Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Au Revoir, Captain Khan sir!

Today was Captain Matloob Aslam Khan’s last day at the office. His presence in the directorate was taken for granted by me ever since I’d joined, except for a brief interlude of one year, in between, when he’d to shift to Lucknow. We’d struck a cordial note on our first meeting and had exchanged most of our likes and dislikes, but more importantly, understood each other’s professional and personal outlook which matched rather well. He's fond of me and doesn't hesitate to show it.

He’d let me into his personal life and I’d seen him systematically go about the preparations for his daughter, Safia’s wedding followed a couple of years later by his son, Minhaj’s, over the last decade. In fact, he gave us the pride of place in making Lekha and me a part of the ‘baraat’ and we can never ever forget the experience. The sheer grandeur of a muslim wedding, conducted through meticulous planning, was evident all through and the long journey to Aligarh and back, neither sapped our energies nor our enthusiasm.

His energetic countenance has now been slowed down considerably thanks to the infliction of the Parkinson’s syndrome. But his family and those amongst us, close to him, have not prevented him from doing things on his own including driving his car. His son is returning from Nigeria for good and has already done the groundwork in setting up an enterprise of his own and the Khans would definitely find it easier living with Minhaj and his wife, Aiman.

On a personal level, I shall miss him and know for sure that our office will never be the same for me again. But life has to move on.

Here’s Lekha and me wishing you and your family, health, wealth and happiness. Take care Captain Khan sir, may God be with you always and every time. Our prayers shall be with you.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Basketfull of mangoes from Bulandshahr

Today, I received my annual share of mangoes – the juicy and extremely sweet ‘chausa’ – from Bulandshahr. Actually, these mangoes are from the private orchard of Captain Matloob Aslam Khan, a dear friend and colleague. He has been doing this ever since I’d joined him. A wonderful feast and a marvellous gesture. Khan sir, may your orchards continue to produce more fruits in the years to come!

Monday, June 28, 2010

MG Radhakrishnan, the musical maestro - My Radhappa chettan

MG Radhakrishnan is from a gifted family of music and has strode on the firmament of the malayalam film music like a colossus. A gifted singer and a music director, par excellence, my all time favourite is his efforts in the movie ‘Thakara’. The music in it has a way of challenging one’s sensibilities and finally, subdue them to its meek acceptance just by sheer quality and the richness of texture.
Radhappa chettan, as he’s known to us, is related to me – my grandmother, the late Mrs. PN Panicker, is his aunt or ‘ammayi’ as we say in our language. Stories abound about his stay at my grandparents’ place in Thiruvananthapuram while he was studying at the Music Academy, Thycaud for his pranks and a good sense of humour. My mother had just returned for prenatal care and after giving birth to yours truly, continued to be under the care of her parents to avoid further post natal complications. My amma and Radhappa chettan got along like a house on fire and their spontaneity in raking up raucous laughter was well known. I believe, he used to carry me around quite a lot those days and has shown a special affinity towards me even to this day and he calls me ‘monay’.
Way back in 1979, when I was a young subaltern at Kochi, he and his entire team(consisting of the gifted Ambalappuzha brothers amongst others) spent an afternoon with me in my mess cabin prior to a musical evening at the Rama Varma Hall. Though I’d an assignment later on in the evening, he insisted on my being at the centre of the front row for his first rendition, which he gracefully dedicated for me and all my future professional endeavours. I really felt proud but self conscious as the audience had me under close scrutiny as they sensed our special bonding.
Years later, we met once again at my cousin Reshmi’s wedding where he had me sit beside him during lunch and taught me the way to secure the banana leaf, after finishing the spread. Usually, people secure the leaf by folding the bottom half over the top half, but he insisted that the correct way was the other way round as the gesture shows respect towards the goddess Laxmi, who’s associated with food, wealth and well being. Ever since that day, I follow his instructions of folding the banana leaf –top half over the bottom half!
Two years back, when I’d gone to visit him at the hospital on his recovery from a serious liver ailment, I was very happy when he told me that I should get him a bottle of ‘cod liver oil capsules’. And I was only too glad to oblige and wasn’t he so very thankful, bragging to one and all that they were given to him by me. In the eagerness of living our lives, we’ve not been in constant touch.
This evening, I got the news that he is battling for his life on account of that erratic liver of his. I’m sure he’ll come out of these trying times with the inner strength that he possesses as he’s a great fighter. O God, please give Radhappa chettan the strength to tide over this difficulty and I promise that I shall be in constant touch with him from now on!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Illusion is the product of the mind and fact is the product of wisdom.

I’ve often found reticence amongst my friends to interact with classmates or coursemates. I find this a bit odd because I love to do just that and I’ve always looked forward to the light hearted banter that is in abundance on the group forum on the net. And I’ve always received warm reactions even from some of those with whom I wasn’t that close while at school or while doing the ab initio courses. Yes, I admit that many of us carry opinions of our contemporaries from the way each has been perceived during the formative stages but shutting off oneself because of those deductions can only be at one’s own loss – I’m of the firm opinion that one’s growth is never ending till one’s end and everyone has experiences that can only add up to one’s continuing education.
I shall cite a personal experience of mine though it happened years ago. HS Iyer was my classmate (we’re not the best of friends while at school as we had our own circle of friends) and in the early 80s was working at the TIFR, Bombay. I happened to chance upon him on an outing and with great persuasion, made him accept an invitation to come and spend a Sunday afternoon with me.
Come Sunday, a very hesitant Iyer fetched up at my place. His hesitation was because he perceived that after leaving school, he’d not done as well as I had and it took all my powers of conviction to let him know that when we were together, it was just Iyer and Rajeev as we were at school, shorn of all our professional trappings. As the mad beer drenched afternoon proceeded, Iyer confessed that he had hated me while at school and went on to narrate an incident to justify his feelings. It was a revelation and I'd it nowhere in my memory, honest!
We’re in class VIII and one day our Maths teacher, Mr. JS Iyer, had the whole class standing as none of us had done a home assignment given by him. Then he went about trying to find out the reasons from each one of us for having done the unthinkable. When he reached me, he asked, ‘’Rajeev, did you forget? Don’t repeat it or I shall tell your grandfather” and let me off. HS Iyer was one of the many others who got a taste of Iyer sir’s cane that day, much to his discomfort. To his young and impressionable mind, my being let off for a misdemeanour similar to his because of an accident of birth, in that, my folks knew the school authorities, was blasphemous, if not, unfair! In fact he was validating my personality against his perceptions, years later and I think I passed his test. We took down each other’s addresses promising to keep in touch but in the eagerness of living our lives, forgot the promise soon after.
HS Iyer passed into eternity, four years back. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to change his perceptions about me. RIP Iyer!
Many of us carry our first impressions of another to eternity and in the process, lose a good friendship. So endeavour must be to reach out.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Delhiites are at it again!

No sooner had the media started breaking news of the hike in fuel prices beginning from midnight, almost all the petrol bunks of the city have been choked with unruly and serpentine queues of motorists trying to top up their fuel tanks with appropriate fuels at old rates.
Some things never change, eh? O, these Delhiites!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are relationships so fickle?

A friend of mine has two daughters and a son. He has educated them well, in that, the eldest daughter is a doctor, the younger one, an engineer and the son is doing his engineering. Both the daughters are married to IT professionals, who’re working in reputed firms and hail from good families. Then, where’s the problem, one might ask! And that’s my thought for the day.
Both the daughters, their husbands and their families are not on talking terms with this friend of mine and his wife. I’ve not pestered the real reasons from the hapless dad because I consider it as his very personal secret and it’s my firm belief that I’m only supposed to lend my shoulder for him to cry on, as and when required. The daughters have been married over a timespan of the past three years and both were arranged marriages. Having touched upon each of their family backgrounds, I really can’t fathom their ‘katti’ culture of the present!
What makes my friend quite sad is that, both his daughters, have not been able to take a stand that their parents have to be treated, in all fairness, well by their spouses and their parents.
Does a girl willingly surrender her identity completely, only to be accepted in her husband’s household? And that too when the protagonists are all well educated or should I say, are sufficiently literate but not educated? In this case, the latter seems to be more appropriate. And the son gets whatever he asks for, the parents are so indulgent.
Apologies for being harsh, but my random thoughts, as usual!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Delhi at its worst, weatherwise!

For the last couple of days, Delhi has been fuming literally. With humidity around 70%, life has become unbearable. This is gonna be the pattern over the next two months covering the pre monsoon, monsoon periods and the met department has predicted that the monsoons would arrive here around 29 Jun. The sultry heat becomes unbearable and frankly, I have never been intimidated by the dry heat of the previous couple of months. One might find this to be paradoxical, coming as it is from a thoroughbred 'mallu' who's constantly exposed to such climate in the coastal state of Kerala. Anyways, there's no other alternative but to grin and bear it and so is the case with me.

Love being snuffed?
There has been an increase in the media coverage of young couples, in love and subsequently married, being driven to suicide because of parental/ societal disapproval. There are a lot many cases where close relatives of the couples have brutally ended such relationships as a part of retaining their family honour. I would like to believe that these are occasional aberrations and is not the general trend. I've three questions connected with such happenings and they are:-
(a) How can the family honour be retrieved once someone is killed?
(b) Is their love and commitment towards their young ones so shallow?
(c) Can the person who commits the ghastly crime ever think of leading a normal life, thereafter?
I suppose, these will remain a mystery to me, always.

An unnecessary controversy seems to have erupted about this movie ever since Mr. Bachchan has said about 'deficiencies' in editing on the part of the director. One can understand the father's apprehensions over the success of his son's film, but what I fail to understand is that the filmgoing crowd has given a loud round of applause for his daughter-in-law's performance and he's not even acknowledged it. Wonder why?
To my mind, a movie is the artistic rendering of a story/event/personality and to that extent, the director has full freedom to execute his thoughts. By all means one is at liberty to say whether the finished product is good or bad, but to pointedly go after it, is indeed not the done thing. I must hasten to add that I've not seen the movie as yet.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My weekend tryst with automobiles and other trivia

This weekend shall always go down in memory as one when I’d got to test drive three good vehicles like the Toyota Corolla Altis, the Chevrolet Cruze and the Honda Civic. The drives were spread over the entire forenoon of Saturday and though the heat prevalent was oppressive, it did not dampen our enthusiasm. I must confess that though I thoroughly enjoyed my ‘behind the wheels experience’ on the Altis and Civic as they were both petrol driven, the powerful and diesel engined Cruze did test my wits. The roads of Moti Nagar were just about okay and I made sure that my fellow passengers did not have a ‘torrid’ ride.
The change of guard
Meanwhile, it was our Old Boys’ day at school. Towards the run up to the event, there were acrimonious mail exchanged on the OBA circuit about changing the office bearers, especially Capt(IN)Louis George of my class of ’72 who has been the President for the last 15 years. He has been a tireless worker and would even spend money from his own pocket to attend impromptu meetings of the OBA, without seeking remuneration. I reckon the heated exchanges were an ego trip to many minds and thankfully, the General Body meeting of the OBA of 19 Jun ’10 elected another classmate of mine viz. J Ajith Kumar(418) ending weeks of speculation . On a personal level, I felt bad for Louis but I was also happy that yet another classmate of mine has taken over as the President of the organisation. While thanking Louis for his everlasting contributions to make the organisation dynamic and proactive, I wish Ajith the very best and my continued support in all his endeavours.
Father’s day
While speaking to my parents today, as is my usual Sunday morning practice, I’d wished my father a ‘happy father’s day’ and amused as he was about the whole thing, he repeated the same question that my mother had asked of me on mother’s day and that was, ‘do you remember me only on this day?’ I was flummoxed and left searching for an answer.
Minni and Ammu are currently at Palakkad with Rema, the sister who’s immediately younger to me. They were on a picnic to the Malampuzha dam this morning.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Reading day - PN Panicker's Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is my Muthachan's (maternal grandfather) remembrance day and back in Kerala, it's going to be the 'Reading day'. Every year, on this day, a special morning assembly is called in all the schools of the state and children are made to repeat the excerpts from books of value, which will be read out to them by leading luminaries drawn from every conceivable walk of life. By doing so, it's symbolically put across to the present generation that reading and educating oneself is an important aspect of one's personal growth. And they'd also be enlightened about the legendary efforts that PN Panicker had put in to make Kerala literate, through a well networked library organisation( a conglomeration of 5,280 libraries set up in every nook and corner of the state by his own efforts) and focussed thrust on functional literacy.

Muthachan, during his lifetime, had stressed upon the importance of reading and had coined, the by now, famous slogan, "Vaayichu valaruka"(Read and grow). The activities that are, thus, set in motion will continue for the entire week following 19 Jun and the week would be called the 'Vaayana vaaram'. This has been a governmental initiative started a year after 19 Jun 1995, the day Mr. PN Panicker passed into eternity.

On a personal level, I shall spend some time in front of his portrait, as is my regular habit every morning and concentrate on the man who'd showered his unrestrained love upon me. And I shall also say a small prayer for his soul at 1923h, the actual time that he'd passed away from this world to eternity.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A touch of angst

Today, my sister Renjini aka Mini and her daughter, Ammu left by the Kerala Express for Thalavoor where my parents stay. They’re on their own as they hired a cab to reach the railway station and boarded the train and only then did my sister give me a call saying that everything had gone fine. Last night, Lekha and me had gone to her house at Dwarka to persuade her to come alongwith us so that, I could go and drop them at the station this morning. But she’d refused the offer as she wanted to spend the night at her place itself.

Since Ammu is going to study back home in Kerala, it would take some time for them to come back to Delhi and since her father, Sanil Kumar, is working in Doha, Qatar, their house in Delhi will be rented out for the duration. My sister had come to Delhi as a newly married bride in Jun ’92 and so, for her, it’s back from Delhi after 18 long years. And Ammu, though born at Kochi, has been brought up in Delhi. So, for the both of them, it’s gonna be a cultural shock and will need time to settle down. The greatest advantage, however, is that Ammu will get some fine inputs on life and ofcourse, love from her grandparents, which is essential for the healthy growth of the child. Here’s hoping that they settle down in the new environment smoothly and without much ado.

Mini should be taking up a teaching job in a school near Ammu’s college and that should keep her gainfully busy. It’s my fervent hope that they get whatever they wish for in the years to come. Lekha and me will definitely miss Mini’s company and Ammu’s chatter. On a personal level, my kid sister has always been protective about me and consequently, I feel lonely as though my local guardian has left me to fend for myself!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why the farce?

The Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 is an event that no Indian can ever forget. The magnitude of devastation coupled with the festering after effects on the locals, even to this day, continue to defy logic. What makes it even worse is that neither the guilty has been brought to book nor have the victims been adequately compensated. It now transpires that the government of the day had assisted Warren Anderson’s (the chief of the Union Carbide) exit from this country to avoid the law.
The Congress party’s minions have tried to put the onus on the ailing Arjun Singh, the then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, for having given him a safe passage out of the country as he feared large scale violence by the masses in the state. Now, whom are they trying to kid? Can such an endeavour ever happen without the knowledge of the Prime Minister – especially, an assertive one like the late Rajiv Gandhi? Do Sonia Gandhi and her meek followers think that the common man in this country has swallowed their story hook, line and sinker?
Come on damn it, at least for once, stand up and accept your mistake. This country is so forgiving and emotional that, just on that tokenism, they’ll vote you to power yet again. But do not make the mistake of taking the very same common man for granted - he’ll have the last laugh and he, who laughs last laughs best!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Football is here!

Thanks to the start of the FIFA cup football championships in South Africa,
days have become much more interesting. The strategies and tactics followed
by each team will slowly unravel as the initial rounds get completed. Every
evening I take up my vantage position, in front of our television, after
finishing my daily chores - I dread 'long' telephone calls during the period
and hope like mad that none intrudes my privacy as I do not want to miss out
on any piece of the action.
This is my personal thought, that a game of football is anyday preferrable to
watch compared to say, a game of cricket which anyways one is saturated with.
Sad that India is yet to arrive on the world soccer circuit and I refuse to
believe that we lack talent. My personal foray into the game was as a member
of my 'House' eleven in school and the Hunter squadron team, while at the NDA
and my position was 'left in'. And I enjoyed the game best when I had played
under a slight drizzle with the entire House or the Squadron enthusiastically
endorsing every move of the team and cheering lustily, egging us on to achieve
the impossible nay, the incredible!
I don't want to do any crystal ball gazing as of now, but I must admit to
having a sneaky preference towards Brazil ever since their legendary win of
the Jules Rimet Cup for the third time in 1970 and annexation of the cup
as their own as per the byelaws. The FIFA cup was introduced in lieu!
Here's wishing the very best to all the teams!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Revisiting an old saying

Life has been hectic ever since I've been on the lookout for
a house for young Felix, the son of my classmate from school.
Thankfully, the search has come to a successful end this evening
and the final agreement was signed between the owner and his new
tenant after which the exchange of money(an advance of three months'
rent) and the house key took place, in my presence.
Two thoughts passed through my mind then, which were,
(a) Felix has a wonderful mother who'd gone through the pains
of looking at various houses and zeroing in on the present one and
(b) What did the guy mean, who's credited with the saying, 'Fools
build houses and wise men live in them".

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The legend that's Mohammad Rafi

I was eagerly awaiting the programme, ‘Total Recall’ on the Times Now channel during this weekend. I was able to see it in between breaks, thanks to the hectic schedule that we’d put ourselves into, in helping the youngster Felix to select his dwelling place.
Total recall was that of Mohammad Rafi’s electrifying presence in the annals of the Hindi movie industry during the last century. Some of his memorable hits were sung during my school days. Every number that he’d sung can be identified with my years of growing up and at times, I used to have this feeling that he was expressing my innermost thoughts that were intense in my mind then! And the three of my all time favourites are:-
(a) Chaudhavi ka chand
(b) Palkon ki chhaon mein rehna hai
(c) Deewana mujhsa nahin.
Mohammad Rafi saab, you shall ever remain alive through your numbers and even to this day no one has been able to take your place. Here’s wishing you everlasting peace in eternity!

Felix has finally found his house in Sector 22 of Dwarka. The deal was clinched between the owner and his new tenant in my presence.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A personal dilemma!

Last night we’d a call from my aunt at Kidangoor near Kottayam. Her daughter, Malu, has just finished her graduation and is awaiting her results. A couple of months back, there was a campus interview by the INFOSYS, for selecting candidates for their BPO network. My niece was among the thirty who’re short listed. She’s now got an intimation to present herself for a final interview at Mysore, this Sunday after which she’d be posted into a BPO at Pune.
Her father, rightfully, wants her to pursue her studies. He’s of the opinion that once his daughter takes up the job she’ll neither have the time(thanks to the graveyard shifts) nor the inclination(studies would be the farthest in one’s mind once someone gets into a job) to get back into the frequency of studying and is therefore, against her going ahead with this project. But Malu is quite enthusiastic with the whole idea, ably supported by her mother. The three of them make their family and one can understand the tensions building up between them over the issue.
I’ve been given the dirty job of convincing Malu of dropping her plans. Earlier in the day, I’d a word with Kris Gopalakrishnan of INFOSYS on the topic who was wondering aloud as to why my niece requires this job and has asked me to tell her to concentrate on her studies for much better prospects which will come by.
Come evening, I’ve this job to do. I wouldn’t have minded facing a firing squad, instead! Because, I know that I’d be breaking the young lady’s heart for sure.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Whither Kerala?

1. I've been following the day to day happenings in Kerala thanks to my daily copy of the 'Malayala Manorama' and also through the visual media and I shudder to think as to where we malayalees are headed to. Note the following, recent happenings:-
(a) Total disregard to legal process. The Kerala High Court had ruled that the
unlawful annexation of forest land, in Wyanad has to be taken over by the govern
ment. The state government, instead of taking firm eviction action, has appealed
against the ruling at the Supreme Court because many of its party cadres, including
bigwigs, have a stake in the encroachments.
(b) The police force can take a walk. A couple of CPM wrongdoers, apprehended by the police, were freed by a rampag
ing set of party loyalists in broad daylight after threatening the policemen of
dire consequences if they repeated such acts.
(c) The sulking minister. The Health Minister is sulking at the media's revelation that this year too the department has not geared itself to tackle the
monsoon related ailments, which has become a recurring feature. What makes it
all the more incongruous is that we mallus claim that we ensure a clean environ
ment around us unlike for example, the Tamilians who live in unhygeinic conditions!
(d) It's the laws of the jungle, if you please. Guys, who've been officially identified as 'goondas' by the police, rule the
roost, and that too with impunity, thanks to thir political patronage with covert support
from some bigwigs of the police force!
2. O Kerala! Whither Kerala? If this is the sorry plight of a highly literate people, can salvation be ever achieved to bring the state back on an even keel?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

To Sir, with love

Just got the agonising news that Mr. AP Soans, our English teacher in Sainik School, Thiruvananthapuram had expired in Madras early this morning. It was just a month back that I’d enquired from our classgroups as to whether anyone had his contact number or address but did not elicit any response. As the news of his death sinks in, I feel exremely bad that I’d not doggedly pursued on that issue. I’m going to make up for it in a small way, in that, I’d like to concentrate on Alymer Patrick Soans, the gentleman and the wonderful teacher that he was.

Mr. Soans had joined school, a year after me, in 1968, but we soon got to liking him for his disarmingly charming behaviour. He sincerely strived for the betterment of each one of us and he was particularly fond of me. We used to gather around his piano on Sundays and sing numbers that he would meticulously teach us. Harry Belafonte’s evergreen, ‘The Jamaican Farewell’ was one of the many and I too would run my fingers on the piano tabs, eagerly encouraged by him.

He was infectiously energetic, be it on the sportsfield, in the classroom or on the cultural platform. His diction was flawless and the way he used to get ragged, comes vividly into sharp focus in front of my eyes, when we used to knowingly pronounce ‘Charlotty’ for ‘Charlotte’ – the famous character of one of Dickens’ novels.

He got married a bit late and I still remember the way he used to blush coyly when he spoke about his wife, ‘Nalini’, with whom he was hopelessly in love. She’s a wonderful human being herself and I’ve no doubt that God had meant her to be his. May she have the strength to tide over these troubled times!

Mr. Soans sir, I’d always be grateful to you for making me what I’m today. They don’t make them teachers like you anymore. Thanks for all the patience that you showed in teaching me and my friends and we shall always remain indebted to you for your kindness. RIP. Affly, Rajeev.

Monday, June 7, 2010

At the KFC outlet

After a long while, Lekha and me decided to take our guests, Saly and Felix
to lunch and after driving around for quite a while in the hot afternoon, decided to
settle down at the KFC outlet nearby. The 'tough' decision was taken on two counts
viz. the last we'd visited a similar outlet was while we're at Bangalore a couple
of years ago and secondly, the youngster with us showed an inclination.
The atmosphere in these eateries have an easygoing ambience with the clientele
mostly consisting of young boys and girls. I think, at 54, I was the eldest in
the crowd, this afternoon. Whatever said and done, the air around is certainly
very infectious and I really- in fact, all of us did - enjoy the time spent out
there. We'd ordered a 'Bucket Meal' and for all the pieces of chicken, wolfed
down with a generous dose of Pepsi, I'd to really exercise it in the evening to
get out the extra calories.

In the quest for a suitable house for the newly married couple, felix seems to
have zeroed in on the flat at Dwarka. Thankfully, there'd be no more visits for further
enquiries on this aspect!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

At the Delhi airport

We're at the airport to pick up our friend, who was coming from Kochi. Thanks to strong and gusty winds, she finally arrived almost two hours behind time. And her baggage was overwhelmingly reeking of a fishy smell - on enquiry, it was established that a package of refrigerated fish was stacked on top of her baggage. The clothes inside were thoroughly soaked with the 'unfriendly' water and the lasting impression of last Saturday evening was an overwhelming fishy stink all around me, with a very apologetic Jetlite staff offering to clean up the mess, themselves. And due to paucity of time we'd to decline the offer and sort out the situation ourselves!

A hectic weekend

Ms. Saly Kunchattil, the wife of my classmate from school, will arrive Delhi this evening by the Jetlite. She’s coming to identify a house, furnish and put in essential household items in it for her son, Felix, who has taken up a job with the Mahindras& Mahindras. The youngster had got married last month and his wife, Mily who’s working on a project at the INFOSYS at Bangalore, will only be able to join him towards the year end. I’d told the Kunchattils that the youngster should be left alone to select his dwelling place and they should remain in the background and render assistance, if and when the need arises.
I suppose they’ve their own reasons for doing otherwise. But what I can foresee is a hectic weekend for Lekha and me.

Mamata Banerjee, after having won the municipality elections of Calcutta, seems to be giving a rough time to the communists. The communists are going to get annihilated, both in Kerala and West Bengal in the forthcoming assembly elections as their party is steeped in nepotism, high handedness and corruption. And the worst is that they hate to be criticised for their wrongdoings and blunders. They badly need an overhaul!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Of sex, sleaze and scandal

The day's newspapers are full of stories that cover aspects of sex, sleaze
and scandal. Be it a General involved in a sexual misdemeanour, a union
minister involved alongwith his family in the IPL bid tamasha or the police
looking away when crime is being committed right under their nose, the
theme remains the same and that's we, Indians, have to go a long way to become
a superpower.
Why don't we accept every Indian's right to live well? Isn't there any limit
to making money or amassing wealth especially, when we know that we do not
carry anything along on attaining eternal life?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Darkness at noon!

Thanks to the cyclonic disturbance off our western seaboard, there's a prevalence of
strong winds in the areas in and around Delhi. And the strong winds, estimated at about
30 knots, has raised a lot of mud into the atmosphere which has drastically reduced the
visibility to 1,000 mts. This is the dreaded phase of the Delhi summers and quite harmful
for individuals suffering from ailments of the lung, especially bronchial asthma. The
dust will only settle down with a good rain and that's what everyone's now looking forward
to beat the scorching heat!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The miffed 'godman'

I am quite amused by the way the godman, Sri Sri Ravishankar, is feeling peeved about the union Home Minister's and the Karnataka DGP's assertions that the recent shootout at his ashram was between two of his followers from different factions and the incident took place much after the godman had made his exit from the venue.
It's my firm conviction that enlightened individuals must strive to make their followers understand the essence of life by making them good human beings and channelise their energies to achieving God. Obviously, this man has proved that he's no different from many of the frauds before him as he seems to nurture factionalism within his flock - a divide and rule policy? And the opulence of his 'ashram' is pathetically garish.
I've this sneaky feeling(the cynical mallu 'Nair' that I am) that he's making a case for 'Z' class security for himself by depicting that his life is in danger! And he's crestfallen that none of the powers that be has bitten the bait and hence, his frustration.
I go by the feedback, about the man given to me, by one of my friends who'd studied with him and I quote, "A shy introvert who was very average in his studies. After college, his whereabouts were not known to many of us classmates and we're naturally surprised to see him in this new 'avatar'. Where has he got his divine wisdom from?"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Delhi continues to be as insensitive as ever!

Yesterday's news portals gave gory details of a lady, in her early 30s, being run over by a vehicle after which scores of vehicles went over her body, crushing the skull and mutilating the body beyond recognition. Is this the ways of a civilised society? Where were those wretched car owners driving away, without showing the basic courtesy to a departed soul? Didn't they comprehend that they're running over some object and out of simple curiosity (that should come from within every motorist) why didn't they ascertain what the object was, before proceeding further?
O, people of Delhi, how heartless can you be? All of you might have reached your destinations thereafter but you've long since proved your brutality, nay bestiality! And all those who drove on, even after knowing that it was a human corpse, let me remind you that you've committed an outright murder and hope God makes you answer for your sin!!
My humble prayer to the departed soul and here's wishing that her family has the strength to tide over this catastrophe.
And to the Delhiites, a simple message - do not forget to live life in the mad scramble of living your lives.