Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
But when the young lady was in trouble, the brother was called in for moral support and that's exactly what the large hearted Charlie Mike offered - his shoulders for her to cry on. Incidentally, the kidney donor is her younger son, who's just taken up a job in a Gulf - based multinational company. Another fine example of a son's unadulterated and overwhelming love for his mother! The boy's blessed!!
Hope to hear more from Charlie Mike as he spends the evening with us.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
A 12 - member panel under the chairmanship of former Justice VR Krishna Iyer had submitted the draft of the Women's Code Bill to the Chief Minister last Saturday. The draft, as appreciated by many, contains a number of good suggestions towards the welfare of women and children. And the bill touches upon the number of children per family - fixed at two and penalties to defaulters laid down as :-
(a) Bar the family from enjoying various government benefits.
(b) The breach to be considered as civil/criminal liabilty in the form of a fine of Rs. 10,000/- or even simple imprisonment, not exceeding three months.
There is stiff opposition, from expected quarters, to the penalties suggested. I fear that the politicians will give it a religious colouration and what shape the bill finally takes, is open to question. I'm reminded of the time the late Rajiv Gandhi had backed down on the 'Uniform Civil Code' issue when the famous Shah Bano case had come into the limelight.
I only hope that the panel's efforts don't go waste!
2. Yet another tragedy.
Four children have died and one's in a critical stage when a school van, carrying 23 students, plunged into a river in the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram due to the fault of the man behind the wheel - it has been ascertained that he was the cleaner, did not possess a driving license and was driving at a breakneck speed!
I've the following questions:-
(a) Is it only the driver who's to be blamed?
(b) What about the parents who fully well knew that the van was overloaded?
(c) What about the school authorities and the transport authorities who did not carry out their duties?
(d) And above all, what about the owner of the vehicle, who was using the vehicle like a milch cow?
If the questions that I'd posed above do not find remedial measures, in the form of effective deterrance, overcrowded vehicles will continue to ply putting the lives of unsuspecting children to grave risks. For god's sake, let's not pay mere lip service, shed crocodile tears and claim governmental compensation! Concrete and swift action is what's the need of the hour!!
Monday, September 26, 2011
It was this idyllic setting that we'd to leave behind when we shifted to Delhi in Jun 2000. And soon after, tragedy struck the Nairs when Anitha was diagnosed with a malignant lump in her breast. Despite medical management, the deterioration was swift and she continued her slide towards the inevitable. It's gonna be eight years, in a couple of days, when Anitha had bid adieu to this world and moved behind the mist of time! She's, incidentally, one amongst the departed souls for whom I say a small prayer everyday.
Today, Captain Nair had dropped in to catch up from where we'd left last. I'd always wanted to know about Anitha's last days and he was only too willing to oblige me on that score. Anitha spread happiness to her fellow patients, chatted with the doctors and the nurses and was a livewire to the visitors during the 30 days that she spent at the hospital before slipping into a coma, never to recover. She'd displayed indomitable courage and was a source of hope for the others despite the fact that she had the gravest disease of them all!
As he came to the end of the narration, we found that our eyes were moist and I had the satisfaction of having shared his very personal grief.
Anitha, you shall continue to live deep within till my very end. I humbly bow in prayer for your eternal peace.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
We, in the audience, were privileged to witness the historic occasion and were privy to some moving/tender scenes, inspiring speeches and wonderful gestures. And when it came to one-on-one interaction with those teachers, I realised that everyone of them, without exception, considered me as their own and opened up about their personal thoughts and fears. Their show of warmth and affection, recalling the incidents concerning me while I was a little boy, thrilled me to no end. It was truly humbling!
I'm gonna recall a few of those reactions as they mean so much to me and here I go:-
(a) NBN sir(our Chemistry teacher). I realise that I've missed out a lot by not attending the school's old boys' functions when I see your love and affection that I don't desrve. And when I'd told him that we're what we're thanks to him and his contemporaries, his retort had the stamp of his wit and I quote, ' Just like the newspaperboy delivers the newspapers without fail, like the milkman delivers the milk everyday, we too did our duty and did nothing out of the way'.
(b) Madhavan Nair sir(our Physics teacher). I'd a fall a couple of months back and had sustained an injury on my forehead. Consequent to that, I've frequent losses of memory.
(c) NG Thomas sir(our English teacher). My spondylitis troubles me quite a bit and travelling by road has become painful but I did not want to miss this opportunity of meeting all of you.
(d) KK Muthanna sir(my first House Master in Prasad) and his wife, Gauri Muthanna. Of course I remember you, you haven't changed much except that you've put on a little bit of weight. We still follow the activities of your grandfather's foundation.
(e) Dr. Samuel Raj sir and his wife, Thangam Samuel Raj(our History and Geography teacher). His statement, 'I'm sure you've maintained your handwriting even now', brought a lump into my throat.
(f) Saraswathy Amma teacher(taught us Biology). Of course Rajeev, don't I know you? You used to get good marks in my subject!
Truly humbling and I shall always remain indebted to each one of them who love me so much and what have I given them in return? Nothing! What made me feel guilty was that while they remembered me to such detail I must be honest that I've not even spared a thought for anyone of them.
I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be there on the occasion of the "Guruvandanam".
Friday, September 23, 2011
Pataudi is the guy who brought in class to Indian cricket and the feeling of self belief amongst the Indian cricket team by winning the first ever test series abroad, against new Zealand in 1967 - 68. And I can never forget his performance, in the third test in Dunedin in one of the innings, I presume, where his individual score was equal to the sum total of his teammates' aggregate! He was my hero in its true sense!! His marrying the gorgeous Sharmila Tagore just added to his stature.
And now I go into an entirely different time setting. It was early 1979 and I was a Subaltern on board the Indian Naval Ship Krishna. My senior, who was also my DivO in the Academy, Sarath Jain and me decided to watch the World Billiard Finals between Mike Russell of England and our own, Michael Ferreira at the Bombay Gymkhana Club. Into the first few laps of the game, Pataudi came and occupied the seat to my left and he queried on the scores and the way the game was poised. I was thrilled to bits and over the next couple of hours or so, we'd exchanged a lot of trivia along with the information that he'd wanted! In the process, I'd told him as to how I'd developed my love for the game of cricket thanks to him and narrated all that I'd experienced on the field till then. He seemed to be thrilled by my verbal gymnastics and had invited me to the Taj Mahal hotel for a drink and further interaction. Unfortunately, I'd another official engagement that day and could not redeem that offer. And the urgency of living my life did not give me another opportunity to get to know him closer. And I realise that the loss is entirely mine.
As I saw his last rites on television today, I've this overwhelming feeling of a very personal loss. May God give him peace in eternal life and I bow my head in tribute to my childhood hero! May his family have the strength to pass through their troubled times.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Couldn't help wonder as to how the movie would have been if Mammooty had acted in place of Anupam Kher. No, I'm not saying that Anupam Kher was bad but Blessy would have achieved a casting coup, for sure!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
He has a 'Master' to guide him through his spiritual voyage and sincerely adheres to his directives that he receives from time to time. Steeped in the worldly life and its consequent pressures myself, I must confess that he's become very boring and I pull his leg by saying that if he'd made me his master he'd have been otherwise!
Jokes apart, I find that I haven't finished living my life to the fullest and I still enjoy my drink, sitting on my favourite rocking chair listening to exquisite music, perhaps a ghazal! True confirmation that I've miles to go before my 'graduation' in life!!
But coming back to the narrative of my spiritual friend I was aghast to hear that he'd refused to carry out the last rites of his mother, who'd died due to an advanced state of the Parkinson's Syndrome, as he was into spirituality! He happens to be her eldest son and she was extremely fond of him as I remember. I find no rationality in this sort of behaviour and felt immensely sad and confused about the stance that my friend had taken.
Am I being ignorant about life? Or is it that people, like this friend of mine, forget to live because of their misconceptions about life?
1. May the old lady rest in peace in her eternal life. And having known her, she'd have long forgiven her son for his follies!
2. I'm of the firm belief that when one completes one's earthly duties, one attains spirituality!!
And as I say again and again, I do not require an usher to guide me to my God. I shall attain Him, my fumbles and my bungles notwithstanding!!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
A couple of questions.
1. Will the prices that have gone up come down, ever? ........ Never.
2. And when we know that fuel costs in India are the highest compared to what it is in the world market. Then why does the costs keep going up? ......... To cover up the government's inefficiencies!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
In our conversation today, he'd informed me about his mother-in-law being seriously ill and fighting for life in a local hospital. He sounded quite worried and vulnerable and it took a while for me to put him at ease - or was I really successful? What surprised me was that a person like him who must have gone through graver crises in his professional life and come up trumps on each of those occasions seemed to be forlorn and directionless during the time of a personal crisis.
And then followed his strange request. He pleaded I must ensure that he be given a decent funeral upon his death. Though I'd laughed it off was a crude attempt at humour and said that he'd overtake me in longevity, his fear had lingered in me much after the conversation had ended. I live day to day and try to take in the essence of life and therefore, when I come across people who think far ahead in life, I'm left thoroughly confused as to whether I was doing it right.
Reminded of that famous line from Charles Lamb's 'Essays of Elia', "Men fear death as children fear darkness".
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
In the process of invitation, I've found that many guys call themselves off diplomatically by quoting previous appointments but confide that they'd rather give a particular individual the miss and the reason's not hard to find - some sort of indiscretion on the part of the guest, while at school, had broken the relationship. But what I find amazing is that the grudge is being nursed even after so many years!! I've tried to reason with many, that, at school one might have tread on each other's toes without the back up of sound logic leading to prudent behaviour because the name of the game, then, was 'the survival of the fittest'. To my amazement, many a time, my reasoning had fallen on deaf ears.
I'm one who can boast of my ability to interact with each and everyone of my classmates from school and my coursemates from the Academy. Guys have been nice to have heeded to my requests even at the shortest notice. At this point I'd be kidding if I did not confess to the fact that I've fought bitterly with quite a few of them and become 'enemies' only to reconcile and make up, soon after! I've had my fair share of idiosyncrasies, three of which were listed by a classmate recently in his list of things that he remembered of schooldays and I quote him below, with my rejoinders in brackets:-
(a) I used to be jealous of his 'print' like handwriting(genetic inheritance and I'd no hand in it).
(b) He used to concentrate during evening study periods while people like me waited eagerly for the session to come to a speedy end(by doing so I was spared of burning the midnight oil just before exams).
(c) He used to have a handkerchief in his pocket always(our matron had issued a diktat on the matter right at the start of our stay and frankly, I didn't want to run afoul of her).
Tomorrow evening, we've a Canada based classmate of ours, alongwith his family, spending some time in the city and we're trying to rustle up an impromptu get together. I've not lost hopes yet to get the entire lot to attend, so wish me luck!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Comparatively, the priests who conduct the 'Nair' weddings are literally silent. Is it because the Nair boasts that he's a know all?
Leah's dad was in my House, years back in school. I happened to be his House Captain and hence feel that I too have had a role in his upbringing, a fact that he graciously accepts! I remember him being very emotional since he put his heart and soul into everything he did. In one particular instance, it took all my efforts to pacify an inconsolable Sam for having lost a football match!! And amongst his classmates, he was spirited, active and articulated his thoughts pretty well.
Over two decades back, I'd attended his wedding and as his daughter's wedding got underway I was glad that I could be with him during another momentous occasion in his life. On completion of the Mass, as he came to thank the people he shook hands with most but when it came to my turn, he gave me a bear hug. I felt privileged and I'd like to believe that it was his way of telling me that I was someone special in his life! Thanks Sam, you'd indeed made my day!
Saturday, September 3, 2011
This evening's 'Total recall' on Times Now covered Guru Dutt, one of my favourites. Boy, that man was talent unlimited and his movies are worth a watch even now - especially, to understand his effective use of light in the days of the 'black & white cinema' to highlight emotions!
What strikes me is that haunting melody, 'Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam.....' of the movie 'Kaagaz ke phool' which was picturised on his love, Waheeda Rehman and sung by his talented wife Gita Dutt! I suppose this is the twist that life encompasses!!
2. India has got talent.
One of the competitors on this reality show on 'Colors' was 'Priyush' who'd choreographed his moves on that superb number 'Tujhe sab hai pata, meri ma......' from the movie 'Taare Zameen Par'. He'd run away from his home in the North East to Bombay to eke out a living through his passion for dance! And the day's episode was used to unite him with his mother - after a lapse of 4 years - with all the attendant tears and smiles!!
I'm fond of this number as these wordings or wordings similar to them in content, were put forth to my mother by me when my parents had packed me off to a boarding school when I was in class VII. The gist of the number encompasses my troubled thoughts of those days. So homesick was I that I used to cry into my pillows after 'lights out' and made sure that no one saw me in my moments of weakness!
3. The latest from the Wikileaks.
Once again goes to prove the double standards that we Indians are famed for following. However, this time the brunt of the effect seems to be on the Communist Party. What the party should do now is to set its archaic dogmas aside and work on realistic issues that are important and relevant to the present day world. In Kerala, the leaks have further intensified the feud between the Achuthanandan and the Pinarayi factions.
And Karat simply seems to be inadequate, in stature, to guide his party out of the storm!
Friday, September 2, 2011
My meeting with the DRM, Thiruvananthapuram was fruitful and it was the official engagement for which I'd reached the city. I'd kept the trip a secret from my aunts and relations to avoid mandatory call ons for which, frankly, I had no time. The only exception was to drop in at the office of the PN Panicker Foundation - to interact with the staff - which is situated in the neighbourhood of the DRM's office!
Lunch was the popular biriyani from the Azad hotel, courtesy my counterpart at Thiruvananthapuram soon after which I'd embarked upon my return journey to Kochi by the Janashatabdi. The journey was beset with problems like a faulty traction, bad weather in the form of a tree having fallen on the wayside slowing traffic and by the time the destination was reached, the train was more than two hours late! This time, I'd napped through most of the distance until the last couple of hours when a young lady and a management graduate got to be my co - passenger. She was quite busy on her cellphone sending messages every now and then, and boy she could do that with an amazing speed! Karthika is keen on joining the defence forces but is doubtful about her parents' consent to this wish of her's.
Kochi was afloat, thanks to the incessant rains and the traffic that had snarled for hours earlier in the evening, had untangled by the time Sebastian was driving me to my home at 9. It was 11 and quiet (Lekha is away to attend a marriage in the family) by the time I'd hit the sack. To my dismay, I found that I was pooped doing nothing the whole day!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The commonality in all these cases is the most striking aspect of life's vagaries. The people who rode to power or siezed power under the garb of fighting corruption and sleaze, finally got blown away for following the same methods that they once abhorred!
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely!
I still can't fathom as to why people have faucets and other fixtures in their bathrooms - er, rest rooms - made of gold. Do they help in, anyways, to relieve their woes from constipation or loose bowels?