Sunday 27 December 2009
Our Christmas party started on 23rd Dec by 7 pm and continued till 11pm. In the short span, we sang many jingles and other songs apt for the occasion being celebrated. Though this time there wasnt any Santa Claus among us, with the limited strength that we could muster, we had the best of times possible. I recollect with joy the past Christmas years, when we would go around on Christmas eve, santa claus and all, distributing toffees to children in the locality. Every household we visited, we were treated to variety of fares and also enough liquor flowed freely, during the season.
These days people don’t have much time for themselves. Still in Air Force, these kind of festivities are not forgotten, when we are posted far from a city. Only these festival occasions provide the much needed platform to indulge in lot of partying and thereby strongly securing the camaraderie already in place. I don’t know much of the jingles, but there are some among us soldiers, who are adept at these melodious songs.
With the passing of years, the social connectivity is getting lessened, and I don’t know why this happens. No clear reasons, only thing I can fathom is that people are getting more self-centric. Celebration as a society is falling down in strength and quality. My short years left in the air force, I hope will help me indulge more vigorously in these kind of occasions, so that I have lot of joyful things to recollect in my later years.
My New year wishes to one and all. May god bless all with happiness, peace of mind and prosperity. Ever yours in the lord. Joshi.
Thursday 17 December 2009
Last time i went to calicut in Kerala (In Nov 09), it was for sharing grief for the loss of an elderly family member. But the kids were not affected much, and they were always playing. Their stock of games are many times more than the city kids. But when compared to our times, its a far cry. I did introduce them to a new game, and indulged myself as a playmate. They all had so much fun and enjoyment in my company. I got 2 other adults also to participate partly, and they too forgot their pains for a while.
Next time i visit those kids, i want to introduce them to a whole lot of games which they havent heard of. No money was required to play games during my childhood. Tamarind seeds could give hours of enjoyment. One only needed to make a few few depressions on the ground. With just 6 pieces of stones we could play a game using our hands. A piece of long elastic gave a couple of hours of hard entertainment. A simple rubber band got us started using the fingers on both our hands in making exquisite and spellbinding shapes. A handful of mud with spittle on it and a stick dug in the centre of the spittle opened up another altogether new game. I can go on and on and on.
Ofcourse we did play cricket and soccer too. If you didnt have a bat, a wooden plank cut in a bat's shape did the trick. The maize's discard, thoughhard, could be used as a ball for a couple of games. I once almost blinded by sister using a bow and arrow made of broom sticks. I made kites on my own using newspaper, 2 broom sticks, a few grains of cooked rice for pasting purpose and presto! my kite was ready to fly. Earth dug for laying foundation for government quarters was used to play hide and seek. We hurt ourselves many a times, but never complained. After all the running around without slippers when we used to return home, there were flowery thorns in the dozen waiting to be picked from our bare heels. They pained, but we were always immersed in the game.
Past was so pleasant. I think everyone agrees.
Saturday 12 December 2009
In Gujarat, Kite flying is associated with a festival called Uttarayan. It comes around the month of January. I dont know the connection between the festival and this sport. All i wanted was no raised eyebrows when i indulged in my favourite pastime once again. For three years consequtively, on every Uttarayan festival i would go happily to the market to purchase the specially prepared strings called 'MANJA' and quite a number of Kites.
"Pech" in hindi, i guess roughly means entangle. This hindi term is used extensively whenever kites take to the sky. Any one can entangel their kite strings against yours and the weak string would get snapped. Skilled labourers who are trained in making 'Manja' arrive in hordes to Gujarat from Uttar Pradesh during Uttarayan. They do make a quick buck, but their expertise is not commendable. In the three years that i flew kites there, i didnt find too much skill among the kite fliers either. They were quite happy to fly the kites, but werent adept in the art of cutting other's strings.
I used to team up with rank youngsters in Air Force and go the places where there were many kites waiting to be snapped for a free fall. We used to derive ton of pleasure seeing our near invincibility, thanks to one bloke who was too good in this art. Even for the average skill that i possess in this art, i managed cutting many strings which crossed my kite's path. When it didnt cross automatically, my kite pursued the nearby ones. Every 15 mins or so i too would lose a kite, but still it gave me enjoyment.
How many cut fingers i have seen among my friends! But i used to be careful from day one, by plastering my right index finger with band-aid. Oh... how much fun i had in Gujarat! I am still yearning for those kind of days to return. May be i might have to return to Gujarat to re-visit my childhood.
Friday 11 December 2009
The only thing that i wanted to advice him was since the inevitable is going to happen in a few days time, i wanted him to take necessary precautions. Those days knowledge about HIV/AIDS wasn't very common among the masses. With my enormous appetite for reading, i had already gained sufficient knowledge about this disease new to our country.
My friend had heard gory stories about HIV/AIDS and had a firm belief that patients afflicted with HIV/AIDS are easily recognised by their weak health, discernible to everyone. When i asked my friend to use precaution if they both have plans to get intimate, he reasoned that its not required as she is quite healthy and from affluent family. That day i had to use all my force to drive home my point. After that i didnt follow up about his adventure or his adventurous girl friend.
A little knowledge of Anatomy goes a long way in burning misconceptions. Many of my friends who got married, dont know what safe period is. Even girls themselves dont know much about it. With the kind of candid talk i have with my close associates, i usually drive home some points which will help them in future. A whole lot of cock and bull stories heard from friends is what most of us accept to be the truth about the taboo subject of India. There is a wonderful book on the subject i came across many years ago in the "Dummies Series", named "Sex for Dummies" authored by Ms. Ruth K Westheimer. That book would be a good bet to break the misconceptions that get cemented with time.
Agony aunt columns in good magazines is a great source to gain some real knowledge. Thats where i mostly learnt many things from my school days. I stress upon the importance of reading to all my friends, and i know for a fact that many still thank me for putting them into a healthy habit, which has benefited them immensely. Reading automatically increases one's knowledge. Its not for nothing that Francis Bacon famously said "For Knowledge Itself Is Power".
Friday 4 December 2009
Plans could take a somersault in this fashion, i never imagined. Our visits to 2 temples in tamilnadu and kerala would be carried out in future. Making a promise to god and not keeping it is a bad thing. May be thats the reason i never make a promise easily. :) A month in Tirunelveli district got me cut off from the Internet and it was little difficult for me. I hate not updating my blogs, but somehow this proved to be a long hiatus.
The few days in bangalore i spent just meeting old friends and building new alliances. Being away from the city of birth, its difficult to find the roots for a soldier after a gap of 20 years when he returns back. I am always terrified about his aspect and never allow the connections to fade away. Its 5 year since we relocated to a new place in bangalore. Not knowing people in the vicinity has its difficulties. I always strive to build relationships slowly and steadily. In this regard, this leave proved to be little beneficial to me.
In my efforts to be with my wife, i had applied for a co-location posting for chennai. Nothing has come of it. Still waiting with my fingers crossed for a favourable consideration. Once i return back to my workplace, i might get to know the developments. On 7th december i will be joining back for work. From then on, my blogs should appear on a regular basis. Sorry for missing for closer to 6 weeks on the blogspace. Promise to maintain a regular appearance henceforth. See ya guys.
Monday 26 October 2009
Another three weeks to go before i shall be able to use a normal PC with connectivity. Until then its little tough time for me. When i return full-fledge my regular blogs will also come to the fore. Time to hit the bed now.
Friday 9 October 2009
Two years back or so this particular sweet shop was providing Motichoor Laddu for 50 rupees per Kg. Today the price has escalated to Rs.86 per kg, still quite less compared to costs in other shops anywhere in India. No where does Laddus come so cheap. The Air transportation cost is borne by Air Force, as a welfare measure. If one takes into account the transportation charge, the cost of sweets could shoot upto approximately Rs.800 per kg.
This kind of expenditure can be justified, because it for the general benefit of the soldiers. I have had instances of knowing insider news when a regional commander had launched an aircraft to collect his Ray Ban glasses which he had forgotten on his visit to a place. The Ray Ban glass costs approximately Rs.3000 at the max, while procured through CSD canteen. The operating costs incurred by Air Force in bringing his glasses worked out to anywhere approximately Rs.2,00,000. The same commander had once forgotten his briefcase while returning from an Air Force station in another city. In his usual ways, he launched an aircraft to get his briefcase collected. The cost on this occassion for bringing his briefcase should have worked out to around three to four lakh rupees.
There are many kind of such people, who use their powers for selfish ends; never thinking about the huge loss incurred to the nation. But this Diwali its going to be a sweet one for me, as i have ordered 2 kgs of sweets and also my wife is joining from chennai during the festival.
Wednesday 7 October 2009
Today, out of the blue in my facebook account there were 8 friend requests pending. In the past few years of my having that account, this kind of thing never happened. I added 6 of them, but avoided the remaining 2 as i couldnt place them anywhere in my memory. Another set of difficulty i have usually felt is about adding everyone into one network. I have different kind of friends, and my interaction levels are all different. Some of my friends talk things on the face, because of the closeness they enjoy and hence i never add them in orkut fearing others in my freindlist may be in for a shock.
People from different cultures and different countries have their unique way of talking. I for one will never have the courage to add one of my lady friend in orkut even if she wishes. Her grip on the English language is so enormous and she twists and twirls it, without thinking twice. On a public platform others who read it may be shocked, but we enjoy such good freedom in expressing ourselves. I even share this fear of mine and even though she has read my blogs, i have warned her enough, not to be her usual self if she leaves any comments.
Some fears are manageable, and this one which i talked about falls into that group. Until other challenges come to bind me here, let me go and have my dinner now.
Monday 5 October 2009
On reaching chennai the free time just vanished. I went to watch a tamil movie starring Kamal and Mohanlal. Also did bits of shopping for us on the last 2 days. Mall hopping proved to be a good pastime, otherwise i generally used to feel bored at my in-law's place. Even when Beena left her laptop for me to browse on earlier occasions, boredom sooner hit me. This time she took leave on saturday and i didnt want to spend it sitting idle at home.
Today afternoon i reached back trivandrum. From tomorrow its back to my normal routine. But this week end proved to be quite good. I have been feeling lazy to write anything in my blog. Dont know why, but sometimes state of mind does have a lot of bearing on one's attitude in general. Thanks to all my blog readers. See ya. Lots of Love.
Thursday 17 September 2009
Another friend i have in chennai, who is doing her doctorate from an university there. Whenever she feels it fit, she calls me or leaves messages. But when i call, she is quite busy to attend her phone. Neither she finds time to return the call nor cares to leave a message. The past day she wanted my help and there she was, calling on a daily basis. I did help her with whatever she wanted.
When people say they dont have time, its a simple admission that they dont know how to manage their time. I have worked 18 hour days, but never have i forgot to call or message my friends when i couldnt attend to their call or sms. Even on my wedding day, all the calls or sms were replied. Sometimes i forget my friend's birthdays but thats a different thing, because i sometimes forget my own birthday too.
Another friend of mine since 16 years ,who is now in chennai wasnt attending my calls or responding to my repeated messages for many months on end. This guy had changed so badly i thought. Few months back when i went to chennai, i contacted another friend who knew his home. I told him i want to go to this friend's home today and blast him left and right. I was taken to my irresponsible friend's home by this friend whom i contacted.
When i reached his home, he was there with his wife and his small kid. I didnt waste any time in bombarding him for not returning my calls or messages. He was feeling quite embarassed because i was taking him to task in front of his wife, i couldnt bother about it in the least. He kept pleading he was busy always. I said if he cant find time for one minute for an old friend like me, he is not fit to be busy. For the 15 minutes i stayed there, i kept harping on that point over and over again. That atleast will teach him how to respect people, who think of him amidst their busy schedules too.
Everybody is busy, but one never should be selfish or indifferent. I have heard the saying "Busy people find time for everything". How true!
Please share ur experiences or view about this subject through ur comments.
Tuesday 15 September 2009
My demands were generally not so much on my parents compared to my elder sister's. She would stamp her foot down and get the most difficult things achieved, but i was not so adamant in nature. I understood my dad's financial challenges in bringing us up and never was unnerving on him.
Stylishly dressed people always got my extra attention. Sneakers which were fashionable got my eyes fixed on them. The shoe company 'Liberty' had a run-away success with their Force-10 brand of sneakers. I was head over heels in love of it, for the sheer style it gave. Though i shared my appreciation and liking for this brand of shoes, with my parents, i never asked them to get it for me. I thought when i start earning, i can always buy them if they are still in fashion. Precisely, that was to happen 3 years from then.
Once i got my job, in the second month's salary i bought my much yearned brand of shoes. No doubt, it was 3 years later, but its style commanded appreciation from my fellow trainees in Air Force. A deep sense of satisfaction could be felt, and also tremendous amount of happiness for having bought it with my earned money. In the subsequent months, another long pending wish of mine was to get fulfilled.
When Timex launched their 'Indiglo' brand of watches, they had done tireless advertising, which got me hooked up in the list of its admirers. A neighbourhood boy whose dad was mega rich, got him this watch. Since i knew him, i got to check it from close quarters and fell for it that very moment. My dream to own it ended within the first few months that i started earning.
After these two loved things were possessed, i felt i shouldnt fall in love so deeply for any objects. The waiting periods can be a harsh thing to suffer. The yearning for good things is still there, but the intensity is markedly controlled.
Vanity can get us in its net, but values and character would act as guardian angels.
Saturday 12 September 2009
Since the past 2 months that i met with an accident, fear has firmly gripped my heart while i am riding on the road. These days i just dont like to ride myself, but dont have other way to get around easily. The other day i opted to sit pillion in my friend's bike. I was praying to him to slow down, though he was riding within his abilities. Poor guy, he had to ride unreasonably slow to keep me happy and comforted.
One nasty accident has put great amount of fear in me. While, right after the accident and during the accident, i showed great strength, presence of mind and also averted much injury to me. But, the fear has been gripping me firmly over a period of time. Earlier, my wife used to complain that i drive rash. But last time i was with her, she felt i had improved my driving, meaning i am lot slower these days.
Actually i am unreasonably fearsome these days, a fact which i am quite ashamed to admit. I shudder sitting in any vehicle which is driven rashly, whether its bus, car or bike. I am trying hard to come out of this phase. Thats also the reason i am consciously riding more on the road. When one runs away from our enemy, there is every possibility of the enemy following us. So i am trying to face it head-on. I hate being a coward, anywhere and everywhere. The results are showing slowly, my grit is taking me on the path of victory of mind. With god's support, my fears should subside to acceptable limits.
Until then, let me always hit the road on the slightest excuse and hope to drive the unwelcome monster out of my heart.
I shall try to tell one story in short, which is real, with name of the personality being real too.
A person named ravi came to be known to all because of his acts of trouble making. From small fights he graduated to solving disputes and then to bigger things. This way, his name spread wide enough. With passage of time, he wanted to earn a lot of money. That kind of money was possible only through land grabbing, or clearing of disputes among 2 claimants to a single property.
Ravi would try to gather all information about a property which is disputed. He would approach one claimant to the property and strike a deal for a certain amount of money, to get rid of the other claimant in the property. Once the deal is struck, he would go to the other claimant single handedly. He would have atleast a bunch of people at stand-by at a distance in case trouble erupts. His mobile phone would be switched on and in speaker mode. The other end of the call would be monitored by one of his lieutenants among the group at a distance.
His talk would be straight and would tell the second claimant to vacate the property for a paltry sum which he decides. And also explains to him what consequences will follow, if he doesnt stop laying claim to this property. In the meantime the second claimant also gets a call from big time criminals connected to the underworld. The deal is struck quite immediately after the call, because no one wants to lose their lives for a piece of property. And he gets the money to pocket.
Ravi or Chalghatta Ravi as he is known (Chalghatta is a place's name) had to pay with his life for a murder he committed some years back. The murderer of Ravi is a free man now, because of the fear factor which desisted anyone from deposing against him in court.
Crime begets crime, and there are no exceptions.
The second robber's suggestion was taken and they tied the rich man to the tree and left the place. After some time the third robber among the three who looted, returned back to the forest and said to the rich man,, "I would release you now and lead you out of this forest". The rich man was relieved and very happy to hear this. The robber unbound the ropes and led the rich man out of the forest till they got to a highway.
The robber said to the rich man, "You walk this way of the highway and you will find your home". The rich man said, "You have helped me out of the forest, please come with me to my home". The robber said that he cant come with him, and saying so he left.
The first robber who wanted to kill the rich man was "Tamas". The second robber who wanted to bind him to the tree was "Rajas". The third man who relesed him from the forest and pointed the way to his home was "Sattva".
This allegory was narrated by Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa to his devotees in the 1880s to drive home the meaning of the three gunas manifest in one's personality.
Saturday 5 September 2009
The flying part didnt happen due to the bad weather. I along with my colleagues were in kottayam as part of the ground support team. We were taken care of well, by the organisers of the boat race in kottayam. When the cancellation message came for the flying activity, we were heart broken as much as the organisers. They were all looking forward to witness the aerobatics shows, but the clouds played a spoil sport. We returned back yesterday itself, not wanting to tax the organisers with our hotel bills when our very purpose of being there lost its meaning.
On the way back, we made a stop over at Kollam to take part in the birthday celebrations of a colleague's mother, at his house. We all had good food for dinner at his home, and returned back to our place by late night. I missed an opportunity to witness the boat-race, which i have watched only on tv. May be luck favouring, next year if the same thing is planned i would like to watch it.
Away from the subject, i need to share something. I bought a raincoat a few months back. On every occasion that i went out wearing it, the rains never came. The days when i feel it wont rain and i just go out in my bike without the raincoat, its a sure shot rain day, like it was today. Unpredictability has uncanny ways, after all.
Saturday 29 August 2009
Earlier in the day, i was reading a book by an English traveller who travelled from Kashmir to Kanyakumari by Bicycle. The author was quite apalled with the absence of privacy in the sub-continent. It essentially boils down to one single factor, which is poverty. When every second Indian is wondering where to get his next meal from, the Englishman's concern is never going to bother him. In Kerala, the Gulf countries' oil wells have managed to keep the people well fed and sufficiently well off.
Communism has a good number of followers here. But it is totally forgotten when a malayalee lands in another state. He is ready to work till he drops dead. And back home, the same guy won't allow an industry to set shop, without meeting his demands. Till this day i havent been able to digest this double standards.
May be except for Kochi, there arent many places where lovers can walk together in gay abandon. Prying eyes are all over, the moment a couple is seen being cosy. In buses ladies generally face unwelcome touches and bodily grazing. This scenario is not so much found in the metros. People are getting exposed to the outside world, and now they know its not proper to treat women as materials.
The single most obsession in kerala that cant be beaten is their appetite for gold. People keep amassing the yellow metal, never ever feeling satisfied. I get a sickening nausea seeing brides covered all over in gold. Instead of accentuating the bride's beauty, the heavy ornamentation un-does it, on the most important day in her life.
Keralaites like to be updated on news and politically are more abreast compared to people in most other states. Hygeine is one other thing they simply dont take lightly. Even daily wagers dont leave for home without changing into their regular clothes, which are so much good that one never can guess their profession correctly.
There is so much more to write, but i shall leave with only so much for now. Do comment and share your thoughts.
Sunday 23 August 2009
We owned a small 2 bedroom house earlier, which was sold some years back. There we had some neighbours, who could be categorized into 2 groups. One who owned a car and the other who didnt. We belonged to the second group.
The conversations always were within the same group, and minimally across the two segments, and that too only on need basis. It was a disturbing trend prevalent in society, and we used to discuss on the subject in our family, but never getting affected by the aparthied meted out. Ours heads were always held as high as possible.
Four years back, my long term wish of owning a car materialized. This was while i was in Gujarat. Being a recluse, as i always was, most of my neighbours never knew about my existence. Suddenly persons whose faces were known to me, but myself unknown to them, started striking up conversations. I realised in a day or two the reason for the change in approach. I felt so horrible and pitied their standards.
A person should never be weighed materialistically. I still have my very poor friends, and meet them regularly while in bangalore. Having said that, i dont wish to say that i am rich in any way. I have a regular job and thats it. People forget their humble beginnings once they are well off.
In Kollywood, the undisputed king Rajnikant is known to have had a humble beginning. In Bangalore he has a very close friend from his younger days from modest background. Rajni once went to his house and asked his friend to lend his TVS-50, so that he can roam around the city and see places without any fuss, like during his younger days. His friend warned that he would be recognised and mobbed the moment he stepped out.
Rajni heeding to his friend's worry, stepped out in disguise and roamed the city in his friend's teeny-weeny moped, incognito. Its then, no surprise that respect and adulation flows unabated to people like him.
(My foster sister Preethi a.k.a. Chotu , wanted me to write this blog, when i shared this story with her.)
Wednesday 19 August 2009
Since the next day being Independence day, i thought she should witness unfurling of our national flag by the Chief Minister here and also watch the Parade. On 15th morning we got up early and made it to Central Stadium behind the Secretariat building, well in time. My colleagues were on duty in the same premises to co-ordinate the timing of dropping of flower petals from the air by IAF Helicopter. This was to happen while the National Anthem was sung, after the flag was hoisted.
As we all stood up when the music of our National Anthem was played, we could hear the helicopter coming from afar. Within few seconds the chopper was overhead us with flower petals being dropped from above, which made a good impression on the crowd gathered there. We stayed long enough to see the inspection of Parade formation by the Chief Minister, then the parade by the state police, home guards, NCC, etc.
I should say i had expected some more fanfare, but it was all so quiet in the stadium. Indepence day is celebrated by Indians outside with more energy. A case in point is the Independence day celebrations in Edison, New Jersey, U.S.A. The politicians there make it a point to be the chief guest when invited because of the huge Indian population in that region. There is a saying in Hindi which sums up our casual attitude... "Ghar ki murgi dal barabar".
Monday 17 August 2009
Rules there couldnt be bent, mended or broken. But all these 3 things did happen in the 6 days that we stayed there. Rule No. 1:- Consumption of Liquor in the premises is prohibited. Liquor did flow in plenty, but only the father there didnt come to know of it. Rule No. 2:- Dinner should be taken within 8pm. Generally our evening starts at 8pm and it was a tough call to follow. After much badgering they allowed us to dine upto 8.30pm. Most of the days we finished our dinner only by 9pm. Rule No.3:- Gates of the premises will close at 10.30pm sharp and no let up in this regard. There was an aberration and the gates were made to open after the scheduled time.
All these non-sense got the father there, quite worked up. He was very unhappy with us, but we were also feeling the same for his institution, because it tried to tie us down like this. We were doing a service to the youth in thiruvalla by conducting this rally, and a large number of youngsters turned up. Around 250 to 300 youngsters got selected too. We conducted examinations for roughly 5000 candidates from morning 7am to 9pm without a break. All these 14 hours were spent standing, except for half an hour break for lunch, when we would rush to the restaurant nearby, have food and rush back in record time.
None of us werent used to standing for such long hours, but we did comply as a true soldier should. And thats the reason we just couldnt follow the rules imposed at the Guest House after the hardship we faced during the day. One thing is for sure, none of us would like to return to thiruvalla, more specifically i mean, to the precints of a religious institution. Better say no thanks, than say sorry.
Saturday 1 August 2009
There is every possibility of the participant having to face the wrath of his/her loved ones, the moment the participant finishes the show. Most of us are hypocrites from the core. It needs great amount of courage to bare your life completely to the world. No one has won the top prize till now. If someone happens to reach that far, i am sure he/she would stand the chance of severing all ties from his/her loved ones.
Everybody has unpleasant things to hide from the society. The great Mahatma Gandhi too had so many unpleasant things, but he had the courage to bare it in public. Can anyone believe he had even been to the brothel. But he had the guts to open up and tell it to the world, through his book. Same goes with Kushwant Singh, the writer. His autobiography is a veritable account of how nasty things could be in everyone's life. Quite effortlessly he could write about the big and mighty, and also about his dear ones and their omissions and commissions. These kind of strong people are rare and in short supply.
Human beings have the ability to draw pleasure from seeing other's private lives bared. Seeing skeletons tumble from other's cupboard is not a very good thing, never the less there is enough market for these kind of shows. Sensationalism at the cost of other's life is unwarranted, but when provided in a platter, there are many grabbers including me. I only pray indian telly producers find a better way to keep the viewers amused, without prying into other's private lives. We would be a sick lot if we were to continue deriving gratifiction from such loathsome shows.
Thursday 30 July 2009
The Boss wasnt impressed, and his shouting continued. After a while the boss cooled down and continued in undiluted English that he shouldnt repeat this in future. And he also added something along these lines as a final warning "Tomorrow you shouldn't dare come to office late, you can go now."
The orderly hardly understood any english. He understood some words though. To clear his doubt, he asked a Corporal standing besides, as to what the officer had barked till now. The Corporal explained that the Officer was furious, but then he cooled down because the orderly was a good worker. The final sentence of the Officer was translated thus by the Corporal "Tomorrow you can come late to Office, and since u have a pending work at home, you can go now".
The Orderly was happy to hear this. He understood some words that the officer told though, which included "TOMORROW, COME, OFFICE, LATE, GO, NOW". He thanked the Corporal and immediately left for home. The next day the Orderly turned up about 2 hrs late. The Boss was ready to explode any moment, since his orderly didnt reach office in time.
Finally, when the Orderly arrived, the Officer shouted in Hindi, and asked him how dare he come again late, and also why he had left as soon as he came the previous day, despite his stern warning. The poor orderly found that he was fooled by the Corporal, but to save the Corporal he said he didnt understand English and he had misunderstood whatever the boss had told him. The Boss didnt have anything much to say and the orderly was left free.
Sunday 26 July 2009
I would begin by cutting the vegetables for Beena and thereby saving her some time and trouble. Stirring and sauting was an interesting pastime too, as long as she took care of the ingredients going into the dish. The first three days were good to both of us. I was getting initiated to a new skill, and Beena was saving time.
The fourth day was going to be different. She fell ill suddenly. I had to tend to her even if she had to drink water. She was exhausted to the hilt. The onus to cook breakfast fell flatly on me. I cooked breakfast (idlis) for us and also managed a chutney. Though Beena certified that the idlis came out just right and the chutney was marvellous, i should accept that the chutney was little salty.
The fifth day i didnt know what to cook, so i made good with rice gruel and coconut chutney. And the next day we both had food at the restaurant and never cooked. Beena had almost recovered by then, and i didnt want her to take any troubles. Now i feel what i almost took for granted was not an easy task. My mom to me is more venerable now, and so is every mom who has been cooking for her children without a complaint. Time for some thanksgiving to our mummies.
Monday 13 July 2009
In the 2 years i spent there, i had the chance to meet 3 of the biggest gamblers i have ever met till date. Gambling was their primary job, while it just happened that they became soldiers by mistake; or so it seemed. Out of these three men, two were in their mid 30s and married for namesake (without any responsiblity towards their family). The third was a chronic bachelor in his late 30s.
There were other small time gamblers, but they had a limit to what they put at stake for play's sake. These 3 people would exhaust their entire salary on the very first day and without blinking an eye, would borrow and play again. Out of these 3 persons, one had arrived only a few days back. He somehow found out the other 2 big gamblers there. The new person who arrived there, had a thick chain around his neck. (Later, we were to know that he won it in gambling, while in Gwalior).
Soon enough all three gamblers become big time friends, and would play day and night whenever they got time. Slowly we started realising that the same gold chain gets a new person every next day, among these 3. Our intial reaction was that all three were friends and so they would be wearing the chain for a few days to be returned to the original owner. But on close scrutiny only, everyone came to know that this one chain and the wedding rings of two persons also rotated among the three.
Iam so content to say that a generation has passed since the protagonists in this story joined the services, but the scene now has entirely changed. Alcoholism is decreasing, though its available in plenty, studies is gaining priority for young recruits. Career planning has become the key word, for most of the youngsters joining services now. Thats a glad change. Whoever said change was painful??
Sunday 5 July 2009
This particular girl was at that time studying in 5th standard. She never missed failing in every class starting from 1st standard. But everytime her dad was kind enough to pay money to the school authorities to get her promoted to the next standard. Obviously, i knew her knowledge levels could be quite low. One day i found her studying.
I took upon the idea to tutor her atleast for the chapter she was studying. After taking the text book from her, i read the contents and then closed the book. With my unique way of story telling, i explained to her how Taj Mahal came into being, his love for his wife Noor Jehan, etc. Once my explaining was over, i asked her to read the chapter. To my utter surprise, she couldn't read even one sentence. She was as good as an illiterate. Sympathies flowed from me along with pity for her. Then i focussed on just one sentence in the text book.
That sentence was "Shahjahan built Taj Mahal". It contained just 4 words. I read it loud to her for 20 times and made her repeat it right after me. All the 20 times i also explained to her the meaning of the sentence in her native language (Malayalam). After this exercise which drained my energy and tested my patience heavily, i asked her to repeat what she presumably learnt, just a moment back. To my utter disbelief and shock, she recollected from her memory what she just learnt, and said "Taj Mahal built Shah Jahan". Imagine my mental condition, at that very moment. Somehow I controlled all my emotions, and said i had to leave as there was some pending work to be attended to.
Incidentally, this girl reached upto 7th standard, ofcourse, thanks to her dad. But like everyone would expect, she couldnt clear her 7th standard public exams and the school was helpless too. Her studies thus ended, closing the chapter of agony for her teachers for sure.
More shock was to come 15 years later, and that was when i came to know that she was married and having a kid and over and above that she was taking tuitions for children upto 4th standard. My jaws just fell and I was wide and open mouthed for a long time. I firmly believe she is an apt candidate for the Red and White Bravery awards for having the gumption to take tuitions after all this. God save the children. Amen.
Friday 5 June 2009
Ancient sages are believed to have had the divine power to look into the future and write down life stories of people to be born thousands of years later, with utmost precision. Nadi Jyotisham was a revelation, if nothing more. The interpretor even wrote down my horoscrope copied from the leaves and handed over to me. This happened in Ahmedabad. Few months later when i went to Bangalore, i carried this horoscope and matched it with my horoscope at home. The two were exactly the same.
The world renowned palmist Cheiro was famous for predicting with utmost precision. He would tell on the face of his clients at what age they would face their end. Once he told one of his clients that he would live up to such and such age. When the client had attained the said age, he accidently got to meet cheiro. The client said to Cheiro that he had just attained the said age and still was alive and in perfect health. Cheiro replied that he was so happy to see him alive and sincerely wished his prediction was wrong. That was not to be, as within a few days he died in an accident, though he was in perfect health.
Another Palmist whose prediction was the toughest to pronounce was made by a street palmist. My dad had called him home on my pressing him, as i like the way of rendition of the palmists. Among a flurry of his verifiable claims was when he said my dad would never be able to conduct the last rites of his mom. I felt it would have been safe for him to say that my dad wouldnt be by his mother's bedside when she died, but he could tell with conviction that he couldnt even conduct her last rites. That was a fact, and i felt great respect for the street palmist. (My grandmother went missing while walking, never to return back. She had memory troubles & suspected Alzhiemer's).
Thursday 4 June 2009
Anxiety was raising high for my mom, and she kept searching for me and calling out my name. Suddenly she could find a head popping out of a small pit full of water. It was a pit dug for planting palm sapling, deep enough to drown a kid of my size. She quickly ran towards me and yanked me out of the water. It was a huge sigh of relief to her to see me and alive too. I recovered without any medical intervention, and survived to tell this story because of sheer luck as she spotted me before it was too late.
The second incident of similar nature was to happen after a decade, to my cousin. His name is Sooraj, the only son of my mom's youngest sister. My cousin's house had a pond of their own, though at a distance. While my aunt was busy in her household chore, the kid had managed to reach the pond and duck into it. There was quite a commotion near the pond and my aunt rushed out fearing the worst. As she ran towards the pond where the ruckus originated, she could spot her child struggling in the water. She jumped right away and brought the kid out of danger.
Two lives were saved. Timing was the key in both the incidents, along with God's forbearance.
Wednesday 3 June 2009
A day came when i finished my schooling. The marks procured werent impressive, though i got a first class as i always did. My dad wanted the best for me, like all parents would, whereas my marksheet defeated his ambitions. He asked me what subjects interested me? Can u guess what i answered. I think u got it right, i said "NONE". He was shocked to his bone. Later he thought doing a diploma at the best polytechnic will atleast fetch me a job. Pursuing to get admission from the No.1 government polytechnic of Bangalore wasnt easy. In the end, i lost an year after all the guarantees provided, i wont blame anyone though.
Ofcourse i didnt want to sit idle now and thought of going for a job. After seeing an ad for a job with the Taj Group of Hotels i applied for the post as Apprentice in Airconditioning and Refrigeration. The training was to be provided by the Taj group itself for everyone who cleared the tests. The written tests were quite easy to say the least. After this, two interviews were planned for the candidates who cleared the test.
Round one of the Interview was a breeze. Round two by another senior in the company was also good and within an hour the results were out and i was among the selected few. Suddenly a senior manager there came out of nowhere and wished to interview the selected candidates. I was the No.1 in the list. With absolutely no tension or anxiety i went into his chamber.
The new interviewer wanted to test the true worth of the candidates. He started asking me questions to check my general knowledge and current affairs, which wasnt actually required for this job. I kept satiating his quest adequately enough. It was now more than 20 mins into the interview and he was getting frustrated because i never said i didnt know a answer to his question. He pressed on with more and more questions, and i started enjoying the process, always answering bang on target.
Forty minutes into the interview, i could see his face tensed up and in a sense of bewilderment. I actually failed to answer his last question after 40 minutes. The question was "Do you know the meaning of OORGOLAM". I said i dont know, and atlast i could see a great relief in his face. He explained to me that "Oorgolam" means procession in Tamil. And thus ended my interview.
I didnt get the job there, but for another reason altogether.
Tuesday 2 June 2009
Among all my lady friends the genuineness in shyla cant be matched. With time and distance the depth of a relationship gets a beating, as experienced in our lives. Out of sight is out of mind: This just doesnt apply to my friend Shyla. A whole box of adjectives will fall short for her, but one word that describes her best could be "Considerate". One tends to enjoy her considerateness and will generally never bother to understand her inside out.
I feel so lucky to have gotten an opportunity to befriend Shyla. She is happily married now. Also going to be a mother soon. Though currently in the States, Shyla and her hubby Srikkanth will be coming to India soon and settling down. Even after her marriage she has kept her commitment as a friend to always keep in touch and be available. My salute to her spirit of friendship. Blessed are the ones associated with her. May God give her happiness everyday of her life.
Friday 22 May 2009
Day-2: All horrible action was to take place on this day of my stay in Delhi. After some hours of sleep we got up and thought of having our lunch at a Dhaba nearby. As I and my best friend were talking in the early evening, another friend joined us. His nature was unpredictable, in the sense that he would be so very loving and sometimes quite mercurial too. This new entrant wanted us to chat for long and promised to drop me to the railway station in his bike. I would realise later how big a mistake i did by accepting his offer.
The train in which i had my reservation was at 9.30pm and i started from rajokri (Delhi) with the mercurial friend in his bike at 8.45pm. I was sure the train is going to be missed. My friend rode the bike fast and furious, quite recklessly i should say. For everytime i said him to slowdown, he only increased the speed of the bike and the rashness in driving. My heart was in my mouth many a times and i had atleast 3 near death experiences before we reached the destination.
When i reached the railwaystation it was 9.25pm. I started running without even talking to my friend, though he followed. When i was above the foot over bridge, i could see my train already moving on the platform. Like a man possessed i ran with my suitcase down the stairs. Though now i was on the platform, the train was quite fast. I started running alongside the train to match its speed. When a gut feeling said that i could try hopping in, i jumped with all my strength.
I found myself inside the train without any harm. I felt like a fool for firstly catching the train in this fashion, and also for not starting early from rajokri. Secondly i felt like an idiot for having trusted this friend, when there wasnt time in hand. It took a long time for me to forgive myself.
Some 3 yrs back i got to know that the friend who dropped me to station many years back had succumbed to Lung Cancer after a long period in hospital.
Wednesday 20 May 2009
This is actually true, because there isnt much one could write in a blog. One of my colleagues asked me yesterday what is the funda of a blog and its meaning. I explained it to him that this word is taken from two words, i.e. WEB LOG. The 'B' from the first word and the second word in full. I also told him this generally constitutes a personal diary open to everyone. The more masala in it, the more readers it will attract. A seeming reason why my blog is not attracting enviable number of readers.
There are so many stories i can tell here, but the contents may not be palatable to all age groups and hence iam diligent about the contents of my blog. I firmly try to draw a line as to how far i can go with the juicy factor in every post of mine. In a talk show i saw last year on a national channel, the subject was about blogging. There were many bloggers in the talk show and few sentences from one or two posts of the bloggers were read out. With the kind of things they were writing, it was not surprising they had hundreds & thousands of readers.
The popularity of a blog is proportional to how far one is ready to bare it all, in public. A sure shot way to attract maximum eyeballs to one's blog is by posting anything that would be off the beaten track.
Saturday 16 May 2009
Life had made him tough physically. He stood at a mere 5 feet 6 inches, but his courage touched the sky and his affection touched everyone's heart. He got so besotted with being associated to our family, that he would make it a point to come to our home almost every 2nd or 3rd day and sit for hours talking about anything and everything. His love for english led him to learn that language over the years and he would comfortably read english newspapers and feel proud about having understood most of it.
Being a mechanic, he was interested in riding fast and performing tricks. His love for speed even got him enrolled for races of 250cc bikes, and had got some podium finishes too at the local level. Wheelie and other tricks were his forte, though i got the opportunity to witness only one. Once during his visits to our home, we were very interested in hearing his stories and one of us asked him if he can really demonstrate what he just spoke. He agreed.
We all came out of our house and waited for Mr. Murthy to do some trick with his bike. He sat on his yezdi bike and dropped a one rupee coin to his left side. He said he could pick that coin by his mouth, while he was circling around it. None of us thought it possible, but his trick was so fast and he achieved what he said, but with a lot of mud in his mouth. My parents, myself and my sisters were mesmerised with his show.
On another occassion his courage got his story in the local newspapers. He went to the bank one day to deposit 10,000/- rupees. While he was standing in the queue, there were 2 Iranians who were quite lanky & strong who snatched the money from his hands and ran out. For their bad luck they had chosen the wrong person. May be they were fooled in by his average height. Murthy anna chased the duo for some distance and when they knew they couldnt keep pace, they split into different ways. Murthy anna chased the guy who was having the money, and atlast caught up with him. Though his adversary was more than 6 feet tall, he fought him quite valiantly and punched till he was knocked out. He then carried the Iranian on his shoulders and walked more than a kilometer to the Police Station and dumped him on the table of the Sub-Inspector and narrated the story.
His courage was appreciated by the police and his story appeared in the vernacular papers of Bangalore. Unluckily when we changed our residence, we couldnt intimate him about our changed address as he didnt have a phone number. We too didnt know his new workshop, and hence lost touch with him. I have thought of finding this person when i have enough time in hand, while in bangalore. Cant lose out on such a lovely soul.
In the defence services, you can be uprooted from one place to another within no time. And the reaction time available could be bare minimum too. I was given just a day to move. Taking my bike was of prime importance. I quickly packed my bags taking everything that i could think of. Bought some packing wire to bind the bags to my bike. I couldnt steal some time even to get my bike serviced. The bike was in pretty bad shape.
Post lunch, i rushed through some quick prayers in my mind even as i was getting saddled onto my bike. I started my bike and thefirst stop was at a petrol bunk. I filled just half the tank, because the distance involved was only 120kms. Once i resumed the ride i didnt stop anywhere. The roads were narrow but pretty ok, except for the traffic during the day which limits your speed to just 60km to 70kms. I didnt have to worry since my peak speed wouldnt cross 70kms even if i wanted. I sticked to 40-50kmph on the meter and kept going.
After a few kilometres into tamilnadu there was a strange difference in the sound of my bike. There was something wrong with the silencer. I pondered for a reason for the sudden change in sound. I could recollect that a month back just before i was to go on one month leave, my bike was hit by a scooter on the silencer. This happened entirely due to my mistake, while trying to train a rookie how to ride. I hadnt bothered to get it repaired as my leave would begin in just 2 days or so.
Though now, i knew the reason of the deteriorating sound, i didnt want to stop my bike. I carried on with the thundering sound but couldnt locate a mechanic in the way. When i was just 20 kms short of my destination, i stopped my bike to have a look. But before that, i had to take a leak badly. When finished with the bodily call, i looked at the silencer and its cap at the end was dangling on one screw. I took a stone found neaby and hit the silencer cap to fit inside tightly and resumed my journey without any incidents.
Just last week i returned back to Trivandrum, but this time i loaded the bike in our Air Force vehicle and had a journey sans anxiety.
Wednesday 13 May 2009
One day my friend Sreenesh took me to Preeti's house. For my nature, I always dread meeting new people, when iam not in the reckoning. The first visit made me have tons of respect for Preeti's mom, and also could strike a chord immediately with her elder sister Milie. But Preeti was in my league by not opening up for a conversation.
It took another occassion to cement my ties with her family, when i accompanied my friend Sreenesh, once again to their home. Nicely cooked food, served with lots of love by Preeti's mom got me hooked to keep the visits happening regularly. In the strange land of Gujarat, i got a place to down my anchor and feel homely. Sundays i would go to their home and relish on tasty food & watch TV. As Preeti's elder sister Milie was a glib conversationist, i never felt bored being there. It took many visits to their home and slowly Preeti started opening up to me. She started sharing the news in her school, about her friends, etc.
Since i was a good listener and non-judgemental in nature, she started opening up very fast. Some issues in her life got her confused and she would consult me. I would try providing the best solution i could offer. She always liked my advices or suggestions. With time i could see that she had turned into a good talker. One thing i liked much about her was that she was ready to listen to me. Small bickerings she used to have with Milie, and i would tell her how to deal with her elder sister who has only love and concern for her.
Phone calls connected us when i wasnt going to their home. One fine day last year, my posting came to trivandrum, and i had to leave Gujarat. Among other things i was going to miss with my posting was my beloved sister Preeti. But luckily phone calls hasnt made us miss each other much. Her feathers got ruffled (i think so) when i couldnt attent her sister Milie's wedding which happened on 10 May 2009. I had missed a golden chance to meet Preeti right here in Kerala. Hopefully there will come another occassion when i could meet her soon. Until then, my unending love and prayers for her will be there as consolation.
Monday 4 May 2009
After we type the user name, password and then hit the enter button, a prompt comes up called autocomplete or something. In finer letters its written whether u would like the computer to remember the things u just typed. I have always clicked the 'ok' button without ever reading. I have paid a huge price being so casual.
Friends, if u also have been as casual as me, kindly dont be henceforth. The pains that can be caused to ourselves and our loved ones is too high a price for forgetting to read the prompts after u hit the enter button.
I have a practice of always logging out. Yet i was wondering the reason for my password having leaked. Even if someone watches my fingers from close quarters, they will never be able to understand my password because of my speed. But when the machine itself remembers what u just typed, its a hopeless case. I strongly believe i was a casualty of this.
Yesterday i was crestfallen to hear from one of my closest person that she got a filthy message from me. I just wanted to be eaten up by the earth at that very moment, hearing the kind of message. The vulnerability to attacks by unknown people cannot be overemphasized when we are on the net. If one more episode like yesterday's happens again, i have decided i will leave orkut for good.
Hope my misfortunes dont happen to anyone else.
Monday 20 April 2009
Subash's son Srivats who is nearing 4 years of age, sorely missed Beena a lot when he knew she had left. I wasnt his favourite because i would funnily bicker with him whenever i felt like. What a naughty child he was. Since he had spend the past two years in his mom's place in coimbatore, he had picked a smattering of tamil. He only used that language when he was angry. His cusswords were "Poda Motta Thalaya". When i returned back the offering in his own currency, he felt so red with anger. But i compensated with lots of chocolates and ice-creams and rides to the beach in my bike.
We visited the vivekananda rock in kanyakumari on 18th april. But since the sun was so hot, beena wanted to wind up the day earlier and didnt spend much time there. Another thing that happened was i got my purse picked without my knowledge. I lost 2 debit cards, my driving licence, canteen smart card, two sim cards of karnataka and tamilnadu and some cash too. I didnt want to spoil my holiday mood and hence didnt go in search of the purse. But i did block both my atm cards before any loss could be done. Beena i guess was pissed off with my carefree attitude for not trying to search for my purse and retrieve it. That could be the reason she felt the sun got too hot that day and we called it a day even before the evening.
Tomorrow i shall be leaving to tamilnadu as i got posted there. Its the same place i had been 2 months back, near kanyakumari. Shall update more when i get to visit the net cafe again. Thanks to all my blog readers and more to prem and priti for leaving their comments. Take care.
Thursday 16 April 2009
We had planned to shift her base to trivandrum, but due to some unavoidable circumstances, the plan had to be changed. Since her train reservations were made earlier for a week's visit to trivandrum, we didnt want to cancel it. Now she is presently here in trivandrum with me. We both are staying in one of my close friend's house. The last 4 days were spent in seeing places in trivandrum. Not much of a tourist spot, but yes there are the normal stuff like beaches, zoos, museum and temples here in trivandrum.
Beena was mesmerised once she landed here. She thoroughly loved my place here. Since she is very religious, i did take her to the famous Attukal temple, which is also known as Women's sabirimala. This temple also holds the Guiness record for having witnessed the largest congregation of women at any single place, for the Pongala festival in the year 1997. The number of women attendees were recorded as 1.5 million i.e. 15 lakh women. This year too i had a peek view of this festival from the outer fringes of the city. What a crowd they make of staggering numbers, full of women. A Devi or goddess is the idol at Attukal temple. Women frequent this temple from all over kerala for the Pongala festival. I could see this year, women in pristine white and offwhite Set-Sarees lined across both sides of roads kilometres away from the actual temple. The movement of vehicles were such a big challenge during that day. There were huge road blocks too during the festival. Guiness record was really not a big deal after seeing the swelling crowds on a single day.
Today we with our host here named Subhash and his wife and child went to Veli tourist village which is just 4 kms distance from our home. Did some peddle boating, had lots of snacks, ice cream, coconut drinks, juices and finished the trip with dinner at an in-house restaurant. In the afternoon I and Beena plan to visit the famous Kovalam Beach.
In a day or two we also plan to visit Kanyakumari too. May be if time permits will try to include Neyyar Dam into our itinerary. Not a single day we are planning to leave for free. I want her one week of holidays in kerala to be memorable for a long time to come. Shall keep updating more in the coming days. Kindly leave some comments, so that i will love to read ur reactions to my blog. Best wishes to all my friends. Take care.
Saturday 28 March 2009
MGM wasnt as exciting as i had expected it to be. The rides arent well maintained anymore. Its one of the oldest theme parks of chennai. The maintenance isnt up to the mark, and i was told by my friends that some unfortunate accidents had taken place, due to their maintenance problem. This was evident from the loss of crowd that we encountered. It could be partly also because of the time of the year. Everybody is having exams, who are in school, and that should be one factor for the lessened crowd there.
On the way to MGM, I and Beena went to Nithya Kalyaneswari temple, which is just a stone's throw from MGM. She had been to the temple before marriage, to seek blessings of god to find a groom. It did materialise as prayed for, and she wanted to pay her obeisance to the god and also thank from the heart. Also there was one garland, which had already dried beyong recognition, which was to the re-placed at one of the tree's in the temple complex. This garland was originally worn by Beena, while she had earlier made the trip to the temple before marriage. Strong belief in the efficacy of this temple, could be gauged by the large number of young and not so young unmarried people visiting this particular temple.
Though I am not a regular temple going person, to give my wife company i had to go. She says we have another thanks giving visit to be completed soon, to another temple which is 4 hours drive from chennai. For now that trip is kept hanging fire. Today i returned to bangalore in the afternoon. Since my elder sister and her child are currently in bangalore, i am having a jolly good time. My neice is just 15 months old, and there is not a moment boring at home. She is quite outdoor a person like me. Always points her hand towards the verandah of our home and asks us to take her out for a walk, ofcourse she likes being carried while we walk.
While in Chennai, i watched a movie named Arundhathi. Its only 10 days back that i knew that the lead role of that movie was played by one of my friend's younger sister anushka. I wanted to check her mettle, and i should say she did a wonderful work in the movie. I did recomment this movie to some of my friends, whom i met. Though re-incarnation is the main plot of the movie, the screen play was done well, and worth the time i spent watching the movie. So much for now, i shall come back soon with more musings.
Thursday 12 March 2009
During our school days, our friends had got interested in checking who had the strongest arm. The only way to do this was by arranging an amateur arm wrestling competition. For my age, i think i had beat my juniors, but that was on the expected lines. Among same age peers, two guys namely mani and thyagaraj emerged the strongest. My sister who was 2 to 3 years younger to these guys challenged them. Thyagaraj who was the eldest came forward to defeat my sister. After the bout, he didnt know where to hide his face, because sumi had conclusively defeated him. All the kids in the block started hooting and teasing him for failing to a girl in the matter of strength. Sumi was beaming from ear to ear and had a great story to share with my parents.
She also learnt cycling at a young age and even trained another of our friends 2 years elder to her. While she was in 10th standard, i tried to teach her riding a scooter which my dad owned. It was the heaviest scooter during those times i.e. lamby. Within few minutes of training she had almost got everything right, and then i decided to give it to her for a solo ride. She didnt go very far and the school children were approaching in hordes from the opposite side, and to avoid them, she careened to her left and fell. That was the end for her riding for the next two years.
When she was in 12th standard, i wanted her to try riding once again. This time on yezdi. My parents were shaking their heads a big NO emphasisingly. I was not the one to listen. Within 2 hrs i should say, she learned to tame the meanest beast among the bikes of that day. As years passed, she became less assertive and mellow over the years. The killer instinct is alive in her, but she lets it lie low these days, i guess.
Tuesday 10 March 2009
In the services, the boss is god. If he desires something, it gets achieved. Sometimes he doesn’t even ask if there was any difficulty in the process. Only the person who carried out his command knows the difficulty. When there are serious problems, the boss excepts you to achieve his goal, and thereafter tell that these were the issues. May be in future he will clear the way for you, when a similar task is designated.
My friend from Bangalore once called me and said if I knew anyone in pune. I asked why he needed to know. He told me that he needed to get admission in to a business school and there was only 3-4 days left for the last date of submission of application form. I understood the seriousness of it. In my knowledge, I had a chatfriend from pune. I called her up and asked me to do a favour. She was in her office already. Once everything was explained she said she will do the needful. She went to the institute, bought the application form and couriered it to my friend, whom she never knew. My friend got the form in 2 days and he submitted it. The mission was accomplished.
In hindsight, I could have told, I don’t have a reliable friend in pune. The fact of the matter is I never even paid my friend in pune before hand. I asked her account number and the money got deposited in her account by my friend in Bangalore. Will plays a big role in managing our affairs, and that’s all there is to it.
Saturday 7 March 2009
I read on a guy's T-shirt today, something written about friendship. These were the first two sentences. "Friendship is like war. Its easy to start but difficult to end..............". Before I could read fully, the guy had walked across and had his back showing towards me.
The word "Friendship", I believe, is the most abused by most of us. I would define Friendship in just one word, i.e. COMMITMENT and that too in capital letters. Many words can be prefixed to this word and one example could be the word UNCONDITIONAL. Yet how many of us can feel proud to have real friends or be one.
One not so fine day, some years back, I found myself in deep trouble; and the condition prevailed for few days. Only one friend turned up and stood with me. I felt absolutely unbelievable that so many of my friends could just turn the other side. I still didn't lose hope on this magnanimous word "Freindship", the reason I shall give in the next paragraph, though I lost hope on many of my so called friends.
I knew a guy named Suresh, who always struggled alongwith his younger brother to make ends meet. In his family, he had his mother & younger sister who needed constant medical attention. One fateful day, his younger sister passed away. The body was waiting to be cremated. Help wasn't coming from any quarter. I got to know about this few hours later. I immediately went and met Suresh, who was crying unconsolably and had got drunk heavily, as he didnt know what to do with his sister's body. I quickly arranged for a Hearse van, and gave him little sum of money to finish the last rites and also stayed with the bereaved family till everything was taken care of.
Few years back I met Suresh. I knew he was well settled by then. He had a job and also ran a business. He had got married too. He had cleared all his debt except one. He told me, "Joshi, I have enough money now and a flourishing business, and have cleared all my debt except one. And that's yours. I will not clear it, because, with money it cant be cleared". The words that enamanated straight from his heart almost brought tears to my eyes.
As long as these kind of thoughts are possible in the minds of people, the meaning of friendship will never change.
Thursday 5 March 2009
One day in the year 1991, a childhood friend who was also my neighbour told me that there's one beautiful girl who has joined work in our neighbourhood firm. I told him i have already had a cursory look, but havent had any close call to appreciate her beauty.
Next day or so, i kept a watch to see when she was leaving office. When i saw her leaving office, i too casually walked in the path and stealed a glance. My friend was right, she was beautiful, had feminine elegance in her gait and walk. Also she was well endowed, and didnt have any arrogance or attitude writ on her face. I felt like i liked her and wanted to become her friend.
Striking up a conversation was the biggest challenge. In my whole school life i never initiated a talk with any of the girls in my class. I kept watching this beautiful girl everyday both morning and evening. You will not believe, i just couldnt muster enough courage to even talk to her and already one year had passed and my love for her kept growing day after day.
During the holi festival, i was never short in having fun. On the day of the holi festival in 1992 i was already on the roads with my colony friends colouring anyone or everyone on the road. Suddenly i saw this girl walking towards us from the opposite side, going to her office. I told my friends to lay seige to her but not to put any colours. They just needed my approval and once she neared us she was mobbed. I politely asked my guys to spare this girl and they did. Some kind of a conversation got started with her by me. I could already feel the butterflies churning in my stomach.
Later i got many opportunities to talk to her, either while she was arriving to or leaving her office. We became good friends. It took more than 2 years for me to propose to her, and she was already working in a 5 star hotel by then. Though she remained a splendid friend during those 2 years, she never accepted my proposal. I had to accept her decision and move on with my life.
Those were wonderful memories and can never get erased.
Friday 27 February 2009
More than a month its been since i have typed anything here. The place i was attached to was untouched by internet and other luxuries. I even got the opportunity to walk 5 kms just to receive a parcel from post office. Walking i had forgotten altogether i must say. The days in tamilnadu was similar to an expeirnece i had while posted in rajasthan. Right after the parliament attack, there was some troop built-up along the border. I was sent to the designated place along with 2 other seniors. We were told things will be arranged by the time we reach there.
We did reach the place to find ourselves in the midst of no-man's land. Presence of civilians wasnt visible and army's presence was located and we contacted them. We told them that we were instructed to contact them for all admin support. Our comfort levels that surged after seeing the army, deflated quickly enough, when the subedar on duty there said he had news about our arrival. There was some major communication gap and the vehicle that dropped us simply returned back to base. Till our tents, cots and communication equipment arrived we were to utilise facilities of the army. Now our hopes dashed after hearing the army subedar.
Not the ones to lose hope, we asked the subedar the directions to his boss's office. He directed us to the top of another mound at a distance of 2kms. It was already 3.30pm and we hadnt had our lunch. After a tiresome walk over the steep mound, we entered into his office; ofcourse inside a tent too. We briefed the Major about our predicament. Without enquiring anything more, he ordered lunch to be served to us by his orderly. He quickly called his subedar and asked him to accommodate us and look after us until airforce support arrived.
It wasnt before 3 chilling nights that we spent with the army sleeping on the sand floor of the rajasthan desert, that our vehicle arrived with our tents and equipments. The first thing we did was to erect the communication antenna and establish contact with our base through radio telephony. We made our unhappiness quite clear to the authorities over the other end for such a cluttery job. They tried to pacify us. After that within hours we got fully operational.
It was an altogether different experience working with army. They utilise anything and everything thats available in their surrounds to suit their needs. Wild donkeys were caught using ropes and trained hard till they became adept at carrying big jerry cans filled with water up the mound. It took 3 days to train the undomesticated donkey, but after that the job of lugging water was just pushed onto its back. My stay in tamilnadu somehow brought back those memories.
Saturday 17 January 2009
Dear Prem, you wanted to know if i undertook my trip to tirupati in my dad's scooter or another bike. Well prem, the journey was undertook on Yezdi, belonging to Mr.RadhaKrishnan, the Ex-Air Force gentleman working in H.A.L., who i believe also happens to be either your relative or family friend.
Keep posting comments, as it enlivens my desire to keep blogging.
I WILL BE IN TAMILNADU FOR NEXT FEW WEEKS
I got orders today evening, to leave for a place in tamil nadu on operational work on 19 Jan 2009 , extending for a few weeks. I guess my new work place's connectivity with outside world or the facilities aren't as good as iam having here. Still, i shall explore possibilities to access internet from my new place of work, which i know is little remotely located.
Tomorrow i will be tightly scheduled, with all my packing and paraphernalia to be looked into, whilst also doing a morning shift and a night shift. But i am sure new places will bring new experiences and new things to learn. When i return online, something more interesting i shall have to share with you all. Until then, may god be with you always. My prayers & best wishes. See you. So long.
Snakes have always mesmerised me, and i didnt want to lose this chance encounter. I hurriedly searched for some kind of a stick to pin the snake at one place. When i got one and stuck the stick gently on its body, its movement was arrested. Now the toughest task was getting hold of its head. The snake having more than half a feet of its front body free for action, i didnt want to take chances. I summoned an onlooking soldier brother to search for another thick stemmed stick to put its head at one place. When he got one, i asked him to hold the stick held by me and took possession of the stick he brought in. I shoved the stick towards its head in simulated attacks and it started striking at it. I kept shoving the stick towards it and it kept shooting its head towards the stick and biting it. Around 6 to 7 bites strikes later, it got exhausted and thats what i was waiting for.
Then slowly i placed the second stick on his head and caught it with my right hand, while my left hand secured the tail part of the poor thing. I quietly walked towards our gate and went outside little away from our area and gently put it on terra firma to resume its normal life.
Though i am not a snake catcher by any definition, i always love to catch one. I have caught atleast 2 snakes earlier and tried catching many more whenever i have encountered them, though unsuccessful in my attempts. I should say that i am scared of snakes and importantly their bites but i love them a lot too. Since i have no idea of recognising their species or toxic value, I treat all snakes as potentially poisonous, whenever i go near them.
(The last snake i caught was also the lengthiest at around 6 feet, caught in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, 2 years back. I couldnt save its life, as public's demands to have it killed was in majority and abided with.)
Friday 16 January 2009
When we reached the hotel that we had booked, they came up saying our room was not yet vacated as the guests wanted to stay for another day more. Since they had extended our booked room to others, it was their problem to sort it out, and they did. They allotted us their suite for a day and requested us to shift to our regular room the next day. We agreed and went to the suite allotted to us.
The suite had a distinct factor in it, and it was the floor. One small part of the floor was see through made of transparent fibre glass. Looking downwards through the floor, we could get a nice view of the slope of the hill, on which it was built. The flip side was, if anyone went underneath our room, they could get a view above their heads too, how prospective that view could be was anyone's guess.
Throughout our time in the suite, i kept stealing a view down through the fibre glass, just to ensure none was acting as a peeping tom. Our worst nightmare did come true, when once i glanced downwards, i found a labourer jaywalking about the hill slope below our room. i was perplexed, annoyed, disturbed and quite furious to see him. Luckily enough, we both were safely clothed at that time. Beena immediately called up the reception, and pulled them up sufficiently. they promised to sort our issue and clear the hill slope of all people. they kept up their word, but our fears never left us.
Only when we shifted to our regular room, the next day, did we care to be ourselves, blissful in our privacy. It was quite a nightmare on the first day, for us. Luckily enough we were quite watchful and open to the worst possibilities and hence took caution. The hotel's name is GRT Nature Trails, Hotel Sky Rocca at Yercaud. If at all you need to book room with this hotel, kindly dont take their Suite, which could spoil ur peace of mind.
Without much of a struggle, my mom atlast agreed. mom always had the last word in my home, as dad was always easy to assent to any request. thats the reason mom took over the reins of all decision making of our house ever since i can remember.
Radhakrishnan chetan and myself had lunch at our house and left for our journey on 31st December 1992 at around 1 pm. though i didnt have a licence, i couldnt care less, nor could chetan. He had a helmet was well as a rayban glass, while i never thought of arranging for a driving glass. our journey started with him on the handle, and made pit stops to have little refreshments and rest on the way. we kept riding alternately every 80 kilometres or so.
At around 7 pm we reached our destination, and quite quickly got freshened up and stood in the long queue of devotees awaiting their turn for darshan. from all that i remember, we kept standing in the queue for the next 13 hours till 8.30 in the morning the next day i.e. 01 Jan 93. for all the hardship we underwent the darshan only lasted a fleeting moment. even before one could put together our hands in obeisance to the lord, we found ourselves away from the diety. such was the flow of pilgrims at tirumala, especially since it was the new year.
By the end of our darshan we were two tired souls. we didnt want to make a stop-over as Radhakrishnan chetan had more pressing works to be attended to at bangalore. without having as much as a wink of sleep we once again freshened up and set out for our journey back. though quite tired and deprived of sleep, my energy levels for driving was never deflated. i took the front seat and set off riding for almost more than 2/3rd of the journey back. without a riding glass for eye-protection, my eyes were blood red in colour, thanks to all the lorries that were ahead of me, injecting spray of sand and other things into my naked eye.
We reached back bangalore by around 4 pm and i felt elated about having had a blast of a journey. its another matter that my eyes took more than 3 days to regain its white colour. lots of sleep and rest later, they resumed their normal stance. but atleast i had this story to tell u all.
Wednesday 7 January 2009
In my life i have encountered enough number of people, who didnt get closer to me on the first meeting. But when i kept meeting them over a period of time, they thought iam not that bad afterall. The reason is i just didnt attract any attention towards me. A Person's attention span gets wider when his sense organs are titillated, to put it another way.
The Kathopanishad says that the nature of the sense-organs is to proceed outward, to enjoy sense-objects, such as sound, etc. They are therefore not capable of knowing the indwelling Self. When knowing about self itself becomes such a hard battle, there is no surprise when people dont treat you on ur merits in the initial days.
I have had the privilege (if i could say that) to be associated with people from the lowest strata of society. They still form a part of my socialising network, though not as much as earlier. In my association with my lesser privileged friends, i have always endeavoured to be one among them. I never showed one upmanship or acted smart. As far as i believe, i blended almost seemlessly with these friends.
Seeing their hardships, i have helped them countless times with little amounts of money. There have been occasions when they have lied to me about some hardship to get some cash and then gone and spent it in the liquor shop. I could have easily put a stop to this, but i know their hardships will continue and they may need my help. That always pushed me to forgive them, and not let them know that their bluff has been caught. Over a period of time, they stopped lying to me, because they came to know that i had seen through their lies but still acted as if i didnt know about their bluffing. Thats the point they stopped lying to me. It took some years, but i kept getting punished without ever complaining, but atleast iam happy that they are better human beings now.
(Countless times i have had the opportunity to help my lesser privileged friends by paying their house rent, electricity bills, hospital bills etc. Many a time i have pulled them out of starvation by providing them ration for the entire month. Some of my friends are gainfully employed now and dont need anymore help. That gives me enough satisfaction.)
Sunday 4 January 2009
This new year eve party didnt go as per plan due to some hitches. But none the less, i had my close buddy Ravi in Chennai, with whom i spent some quality time together, had a beer and also played volley ball match with him & his friends. I wound up the evening quite early at 11pm as my bro-in-law was to leave to Dubai the next day morning.
My holidays in yercaud hill station was fabulous. Did lot of trekking and rock climbing along with beena. She felt as if she was on a boot camp, because i wanted her to move her body a bit, as her midriff has been growing of late and wanted her to realise it with my actions involving her. (sorry kutta, i felt i should put it here as only our friends read this blog). Two days of trekking had given enough pain to her leg muscles and she was complaining. Some pain killers later, we decided to have motorised outings to give her some rest. Took some pictures, which i hope to upload later on. Overall, a great time spent together in cool weather & pristine location.