Friday, May 31, 2013

Two points...

These are my observations on two of the events that had happened today. I don't have to add that the happenings - at least one of them - are repetitive but what amazes me is that the people entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that such things never occur seem to have erred, yet again. Who gives them the right to do so, when they enjoy the pay and perks of the chairs that they sit on without fail? And why is inefficiency being left unpunished?

 (a) Nature's fury.

 Continuous showers have brought in the miseries. Water logging, leading to traffic snarls, had become
 the order of the day and that too at many places on the main thoroughfare. To make matters worse, there
 was this incident at the Rajaji junction, where a huge branch of a roadside tree had broken and fallen onto
 the busy road, damaging a road transport corporation bus along with a few cars. And the plight of the
 pedestrians needing to avoid large pools of water on the wayside needs no explanation.

 What had the Municipality done to clear the storm drains and trim the trees that overhang the roads? There
 were reports, only a few days back, that they're ready for the monsoons. So how's the money spent? Who
 are the people who've pocketed the loot? And how're they ready?

 And above all, the Met guys say that the monsoons are another three days away!

 (b) A comical attempt at suicide.

 You might wonder as to how I've used such a title but the narrative will satisfy your curiosity. There was
 this father of two, all of 38 years, who'd been threatening his near and dear ones all along, that he'd commit
 suicide if he're to be treated lightly. No one had taken it seriously and therefore, he'd decided to execute his
 threat and tried to hang himself by looping the rope onto one of the blades of the ceiling fan in their
 bedroom. The resulting bedlam startled everybody as the loud thud with which he fell was heard all around
 bringing people scurrying in. But the initial 'stunning' effect quickly gave way to raucous laughter as they
 saw the confused and dazed gentleman sprawled on the floor with a blade of the fan cocking a snook at
 him! The family was, however, glad that the adventure had ended comically.

 Now, whoever is serious in committing suicide would tie the noose on the blade of a fan? Was it his way
 of frightening the people around? I suppose the ultimate effect would be the other way around, exactly
 opposite to what he'd wanted - he'd be the butt of mirthful laughter for sometime!!


The month of May seems to have flown past in a jiffy. It's another month from tomorrow, the fury of the rains are going to be felt as the children get ready to go to their schools after the summer recess. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Adieu, Rituparno!

The usher of a new wave in Bengali films towards the end of the '90s, the master film maker Rituparno Ghosh, has passed into the mist of time owing to a massive cardiac arrest. He was 49.

To quote a generally popular feeling, he shall always be remembered for his sensitive portrayal of human relationships and the way he glorified women, their inner feelings, their passion and their sufferings. And he was a master at film making, by excelling in every department of the art, as amplified below by the national awards that he'd in his kitty:-

        (a) Unishe April                   -         Best film.
        (b) Utsab, Abahoman          -         Best director.
        (c) Dahan                            -         Best screenplay.
        (d) Raincoat                        -         Best Hindi film.
        (e) The Last Lear                -         Best English film.
        (f)  Chitrangada                   -         Special jury award.
        (g) And of course, many of his films won awards in the category of the best Bengali films.

He shall also be remembered for exploring and beautifully putting across the touchy subject of same sex relationships. He was neither apologetic about his sexuality nor about his cross dressing and in fact, had played pivotal gay roles in a few films. How can one ever forget the manner in which he'd given his own meaning to Sharbari Datta kurtas and long duppattas, the kajal and lip gloss and his walking on the ramp at a fashion week in earstuds and necklaces?

Chitrangada, his last released film, was autobiographical. In it he'd enacted the character of Rudra Chatterjee and the narrative hovered around the time spent at the hospital after having undergone a surgery for sex change.

RIP Rituparno. My humble salute and prayers to the master story teller! We're gonna miss you!!


1. I'd always wondered as to whether there was a touch of angst of the troubled woman in his body, that had helped him in his sensitive portrayals of women in his films. The authenticity of his characters have been vouched for by his female fans in no uncertain terms!

2. And yes, I'm looking forward to see his just completed 'Satyanweshi' ! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The fight for power.

The United Democratic Front government in Kerala is again tottering on its own contradictions. The thirst for power and the blatant moves by the leaders of the various factions of the Congress as well as those of its constituents, for the loaves of office, make the dispensation look pathetic and comical. Governance has been the biggest casualty.

 There are developmental projects crying for attention. And to top it all, pressure groups from their own partners along with the combined onslaught of the Left Democratic Front, sitting on the opposition benches of the legislative assembly, have brought the working of the government to a virtual standstill. The Chief Minister's mass contact programme that has earned the recognition of the United Nations has also bewildered many of them and even, upset their calculations!

Why don't these people understand that the average voter is not interested in personalities but a team that would provide them with good governance, sorting out issues that concern them with the least amount of delay?

If they don't pull up their socks soon, they're gonna face the music. And for a change, they should refrain from appeasing any particular section of the society and bring about the badly needed changes without fear or favour.


It's high time that our politicians changed their outlook and concentrated on the real issues that bother the common man!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This is grit and determination!

On 21 May, just a trifle before 1100h, history was made when 23 year old Arunima Sinha became the world's first woman amputee to scale Mount Everest. It was her sheer grit, tenacity and determination that led her to those lofty(pun intended) heights!

Because, two years ago, she was battling for life after a gruesome tragedy. A national level volleyball player, she was on her way to Delhi in the Padmavati Express from Lucknow when a set of hooligans tried to rob her. When she had resisted, they threw her out of the train and she fell on the adjacent track only to be run over by an oncoming train. The badly damaged limb had to be amputated. Initially lost and depressed, she collected herself and underwent rigorous training at the mountaineering outfit, the TSAF(Tata Steel Adventure Foundation) headed by Bachendri Pal - the first Indian woman to scale the Everest - to achieve her dream and prove that nothing was impossible!

As a run up to her great feat, she'd scaled the Chamser and the Lungser mountains of Ladakh in 2012. And her achievement comes almost 15 years after the first male amputee, Tom Whittaker from the UK, had conquered the world's highest peak.

A post graduate in Sociology, Arunima comes from a lower middle class family in the Ambedkar Nagar district of UP. She'd lost her father when she was just eight years old and it was her mother, a health worker, who'd brought her up.

My salute to you, young lady. And as we say in naval parlance, 'Bravo Zulu'! May your story of courage spread far and wide to fire the imagination of the coming generations!


When someone wondered aloud as to what made people take up arduous tasks like scaling the steep and dangerous Mt Everest, the late American President John F Kennedy seems to have said, "It's because it's there"! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

The mystery that's life!

I've just lifted a news headline that had fascinated me and I quote, "Woman dies, delivers baby, returns to life". Doesn't it sound like a thriller never told?

Erica Nigrelli, a teacher at the Elkins High school in Missouri city, was teaching English when she'd passed out. The 32 year old lady was pregnant and her baby was due in three weeks. By the time she was rushed to the hospital, the doctors could not find a pulse. Her heart had stopped!

The doctors, then, delivered the baby by emergency Cesarean section. Technically, it was termed as a postmortem delivery. The baby was healthy and kicking. And then, something remarkable had happened -  Erica's heart started beating again!

The little baby girl has been named Elayna and both, the mother and her daughter are back home and doing great according to the latest reports.

And a couple of interesting facts connected to the story:-

    (a) The doctors say that nine out of ten such cases die following the initial collapse.
    (b) Erica's husband, Nathan, a teacher in the same school went through the agony and ended up in

Here's wishing Nathan, Erica and li'l Elayna a wonderful life together for many, many years!


How does one explain the phenomenon? Was Erica, sent back by God to take care of l'il Elayna? Or was it a mistake on the part of 'Lord Yama' and if yes, do gods also make mistakes like us, mortals, as one has gleaned from the stories from the epics? 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Back at Kochi.

Got up, on the dot at 6, seeing my mom light the lamp in the puja room and was very happy with the sight. From my position, I'd folded my hands in obeisance at my mom, since she'd become the embodiment of my God at that instant and said a small prayer that I should be privy to this sight for the years to come!

It was a trifle after 10, that we could kick off from our home. My mom and sister had to pass their instructions to the milkman, the newspaper boy, the rubber tapper and the immediate neighbours about their forthcoming absence for about a fortnight with the fond hope that they'd keep an eye on our ancestral house so that unwanted trespassers are kept at bay. I've always found that such exercises are in futility as the neighbours have their own stuff to worry about, but the redeeming factor is the sense of satisfaction that the exercise gives, of having entrusted the responsibility of safety to someone else - somewhat akin to the handing over of one's duties to the new incumbent in an army outpost! However, I didn't put across my inhibitions as I didn't want to be a party pooper!!

Before we cast off, I'd stopped for a while at the spot, where dad's mortal remains were consigned to the flames, to brief him about our programme and had asked him to take care of us. I'm convinced that the conversation, though one sided, is being heard by my dad and therefore, I go through this ritual religiously, every time, on arrival at and on departure from home!

The journey was uneventful except for the rains at certain stretches and a comparative sparseness in the traffic on the highway. With a 45 minute lunch break at a wayside motel, we're back at Kochi at our home in three hours. My Chevy looked as though I'd just returned from a dirt ride and the boy who cleans it up is gonna have a tough time tomorrow.

The dining table was full(?) of people for a change and it was a boisterous evening.


There's a respite from the heat thankfully. But the thundershowers of the previous days have claimed their first casualty - flooding of certain low lying areas coupled with the encroachments by the sea! A teaser trailer for bigger things? I hope not!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Off for home on the weekend.

It was a hectic day at work as the telephones seemed to be ringing almost continuously. There were many who'd wanted assistance to go on short trips as their children had begun their vacation. In fact, a few evenings back, I'd come across a little girl, in our residential area, who's ruing the fact that since both her sets of grandparents stayed within the city limits, she'd no 'native place' to go during the long hols!

It was also the day when the first 'Navac special' had chugged off and my boys were happy to be party to the event.

And so, we'd kicked off for home a trifle later than usual. The sky was overcast right from the morning but there were no heavy rains in Kochi except for a few showers. But we did encounter sporadic rains enroute and the drive was slower than my usual pace.

It was nice to be back home. Mom, Minni and Ammu were getting their stuff together as they'd be accompanying us back to Kochi tomorrow.


The Chevy was mucky thanks to the wet weather and dirt. Needs a thorough cleaning subject to the availability of water! Surprisingly, despite frequent showers over the past few days at my place, the water table continues to be miserably low!!   

Friday, May 24, 2013

From obscurity to instant fame(?).

Till yesterday no one knew as to who Gurunath Meiyappan was. But thanks to the media blitzkrieg over the past 24 hours, we've come to know almost everything about him which are:-

      (a) he's the son-in-law of N Srinivasan, the chairman of the Board of Control of Cricket in India(BCCI).
      (b) he owns the Chennai Super Kings, one of the teams that plays in the glamorous IPL tournament.
      (c) he's friendly with Vindoo Dara Singh, currently in police custody, in connection with the probe on
           spot fixing of matches.
      (d) he's in Kodaikanal in the summer retreat of his father-in-law.
      (e) he'd taken a chartered flight to Bombay on the summons of the police for interrogation.

Does a crook need this much of media coverage, though I'm sure there are the pros and cons to it. The main advantage that I can think of is the 'heat' that's put on the so called 'VVIPs' so that there's less chances of them escaping the law. Otherwise power, pelf and influence are shamelessly used to extricate themselves from the mess that they've got into. The disadvantage could be that such stories become the prime movers for the crooks-in-the making!

The rot of corruption is systemic in our country. And we don't seem to have the stomach to catch the bull by its horns. Otherwise, how can these questions be answered?

        (a) How does the chairman of the game's apex body own a team that's playing a league which he's
        (b) Isn't the money that he's making through his other businesses enough for him?
        (c) Is it because of the involvement of his son-in-law that had prevented him and the BCCI from taking
             stringent action in the wrong doings reported earlier?
        (d) And finally, is there anyone clean at all, in this murky game of cricket in our country?


It's my fond hope that the complete, sordid saga is exposed and the corrupt brought to book at the earliest. Please let me enjoy a decent game of cricket without the suspicion that a ball is being bowled or a run is being taken at the behest of shady guys from the underworld!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Walking through the rain.........

The early morning was still and clammy, with the pitter-patter of the rains. Earlier, when I'd gotten up from bed on the alarm I wasn't hesitant at all to walk out into the rain and so, had gone through the cleansing act with a gusto. Except for my favourite cap, I did not carry an umbrella - I was looking forward to get wet!

Was I a fish or a marine mammal in my previous birth? Even, Lord Vishnu's first form out of his 'dasavatars'(the ten incarnations) was the fish, if you please and no, I ain't hinting at any celestial connection!!

Thanks to the rain, the number of morning walkers was considerably reduced except for the few die-hard walkers like your's truly. The sheer excitement from walking through the rains was palpable and I knew that it's gonna be a nice day. And I've always found that my hunch would turn out to be true - the day being nice, that is!

I was reminded of the numerous times that I'd walked through pouring rain, wearing my gum boots, to hear that 'plutch - plutch' noise that emanated when the footwear came out of the puddle of water. And I remember having been chided by my mom, time and again, for this pastime of mine. But my enthusiasm has never waned........and I hope, it goes on.

And yes, at the risk of boring you all with my oft repeated yarn, the scenes from one of my favourite movies, 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid' - the characters played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford - come into sharp focus, frame by frame, accompanied by that all time lovely number, "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head........"


A wonderful way to start a day even at the risk of being termed 'mad'!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Changing dimensions.....

I've attended about ten weddings in the last 45 days. The weddings were that of the children of my classmates, course mates and contemporaries. The fact that I want to bring out is that, among the ten, only one met the criterion of the bride and the groom being from the same caste, creed, religion and whatever! The remaining nine involved inter-caste, inter-region, inter-religion meeting of the minds and the hearts. And all the ten couples, without exception, had taken their flights after the mandatory days of celebrations connected with the wedding, to destinations abroad in pursuit of their professional requirements!

It's a question of arranged marriages vs. love marriages. Youngsters have often told me that they just can't think of an arranged marriage as living with a totally strange person was unthinkable. To the explanation that the parents worked untiringly towards their children's interests, the youngster literally tells you that you're living in a make-believe world as there's no connect between the two!

And I must also say that I've often been hearing the following refrain from the members of my generation about the uneasy relationship that they have with their children:-

  (a) "Our generation has been at the receiving end from not only our parents but also from our children.
       We've never had the freedom to choose what we thought was good for us and now, the children
       say that we should support their decisions as they're more aware of what they need!"

  (b) The strongest point in favour of the arranged marriage, is that it's brought about by the combined
        thinking of the families involved and since the elders are involved, there's maturity and experience
        backing their decisions! Any sign of a wrong note in the relationship is quickly taken up by the elders
        and a remedial action put in place with the least amount of delay.

Love marriages have their strong points and the pitfalls. While refraining from going into the details, the point of interest to note is that if the couple, during the days of their courtship, had truthfully opened up to each other about their own selves, the mismatch, the fights and the feeling of being let down will have no reason to come in the way of their relationship. And the following facts are also relevant:-

  (a) The newly married couple often stay far away from their near and dear ones. Their immediate families
       are, therefore, not available for any conflict resolution and hence, the reliability on their friends and
       neighbours for the purpose gets accentuated.

  (b) The pressures on the professional front should be absorbed through imaginative ways by giving
        adequate time to nurture the relationship at home.


1. It would be interesting to follow each of the relationships. I, for one, am sure of the fact that their off springs would be healthy and intelligent, far beyond what we've reckoned with thus far!

2. I wish the ten newly married couples the very best in their lives and here's wishing that they get whatever they wish for!

And were we wrong in following whatever our parents had told us? On a personal level, I don't think so because I'm eternally thankful to them for making me what I am today. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Would Vasco da Gama have done it now?

It's been a long time......

515 years back, on 21 May 1498, the Portuguese mariner, Vasco da Gama became the first foreigner to discover the sea route to India and land on the shores off Kozhikode - historians differ on the name of the exact landing point and it's a toss up between the beaches of Kappad and Quilandi - a few kilometers north of the town! He'd reached the shores in the evening of 20 May, with his armada of three ships and a clutch of 170 men. Since he and his men had experienced heavy rains and stormy weather, he'd decided to stay at anchor for the night. The loom of the lights on the shore had convinced the mariners that they're off a big town. Vasco da Gama and his men were welcomed with the warmth and affection that a guest is traditionally given by the reigning King Zamorin(Saamoothiri, in Malayalam).

It'd be particularly interesting to note Vasco da Gama's first impressions of the mallus. An entry in his diary says and I quote, "the men are ill mannered while the women are short and ugly". I would term this as a hastily made judgement of a travel weary mariner based on the initial sights because, notwithstanding the fact that I'm a mallu, it's amply clear that he is totally wrong on that aspect - there're well mannered men and stunningly beautiful women, if you please! The fact that he, himself had fallen in love with the land and its people is clear in that he went on to live for many more years till his death in 1524, at Kochi, the then Cochin.

The St Francis church at Fort Kochi - a Protestant church - was built in 1503 by the Portuguese Franciscan friars and is believed to be the first church built by the Europeans in India. Vasco da Gama was originally buried here and after 14 years, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.

My take.

Would Vasco da Gama have stepped on our shores today? I've my serious doubts because though Kerala is 'God's own country' thanks to its bewitching natural beauty, it's swarmed by the 'Devil's own people! But jokes apart, it's a historic day today and that discovery made 515 years back had contributed to our progress because of the flexibility shown by our forefathers in assimilating what the Portuguese had to offer.


1.One must remember that the Spaniard, Christopher Columbus had undertaken a similar trip in 1492, in the quest of a sea route to India - the land famed to be rolling in riches and an enormous amount of wealth. Since the world was round, he'd decided to take on a westerly route to reach India! That he'd touched the shores of the present day West Indies and that another mariner, Amerigo Vespucci had already fetched up on the shores of the Americas is history.

2. Would it have been different if Columbus had landed first at Kozhikode instead of Vasco da gama? Not really........ King Zamorin would have received him with equal gusto and we'd have imbibed what the Spanish would have had to offer!!   

Monday, May 20, 2013

Science's advancements and their flip side....

I'm always fascinated with the great strides made in the scientific field. The achievements accomplished never fail to amaze me and life has become much easier, compared to the past, thanks to the numerous gadgets that simplify man's day to day efforts! In fact, it's a Herculean effort to understand the nuances of the little machines that come into use everyday - I shall highlight this aspect by letting you into my ignorance on related issues:-

      (a) My cellphone does the work of a glorified telephone! Period!!
      (b) The remote of our television set is basically used to flip channels or change the volume. Anything
            beyond is left to Lekha to decipher!

But my adrenaline levels are raised whenever I read or hear about the scientific advancements that are reported. I shall touch upon just one:-

   A remote controlled phone?

  The technology that puts mobile phone on the palm of one's hand is a distinct possibility. Using a special
  camera that combines high-speed vision and two rotational mirrors, researchers of a university in Tokyo
  have found a way to project a device's display onto the palm or any other surface, so that one can operate
  it remotely. The associated computer system beams ultrasonic wave emitters and users feel the keyboard    
  pressing against their skin, without anything in their hand.

  As I understand, one will not have to worry about having forgotten one's phone! Simply great!!

 But there is the flip side to it too. Just sampling two:-

   (a) Think twice before having popcorn during the movies.

   PFOA(perfluoro octanoic acid) - a chemical found in microwave popcorn bags - can trigger cardio-
   vascular diseases. The chemical is also found in non-stick cookware, food wrappers, furniture and even

   (b)  Cellphones can raise your Blood Pressure levels.

    And the antidote seems to be our own patented, 'yoga'!


For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction, eh?       

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The thin dividing line......

Between sanity and insanity, there's a thin dividing line. And this is the property of the human brain that has prodded the scientists into carrying out numerous studies which have remained inconclusive, even to this day. Why does a mentally healthy person flip? What triggers it and isn't there a way to get back to a state of equilibrium without medical assistance or say, with minimal medical assistance like the way we treat a superficial wound?

This evening, during my customary walk, I was witness to three individuals - all men - in varying forms of mental instability. Of these, I must hasten to add, that two could be classified as temporarily unstable due to being inebriated.......
 *                                              *                                                *

The first was a comparative youngster in his mid-20s. He was uttering a lot of gibberish and walking along with his dirty white dhoti slung from his left shoulder and thankfully, he was wearing an undergarment. With matted hair and an unkempt beard, he looked as though he'd been living off shop verandahs, park benches or even the railway platforms for the past few days.

Perhaps, he'll find his way back to his own home once the effect of liquor wears off.

 *                                               *                                                *

The second was in a more profound(?) condition. He was middle aged and lying prostrate on the pavement, absolutely dead to the world in an alcoholic maze. Flies aplenty were around his body and he was asleep on his puke. The smell of liquor, that emanated from him as I walked past, was nauseating.

He too will wake up and perhaps, go back to his home.

 *                                                *                                                *

The third person seemed to be one who'd sadly lost his sanity. He was walking along the road, towards the opposite direction, chiding imaginary people who're constantly up to mischief and didn't care a damn about what was happening immediately around him. He too seemed to be a comparatively young guy in his late 30s!

Hope he finds his way to his folks without mishap. Or is he a wanderer who has lost the comprehension as to where he came from and is headed for a destination that he doesn't know?


I must confess that the three gentlemen had disturbed me deep within. Why do people drink to such an extent that they lose control of their faculties? And is drinking a panacea for one's worries? I ask these questions as I too drink on social occasions

I hope I ain't sounding condescending!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

On being forced to do an error.....

This afternoon I'd done something unpardonable. I was driving back from work and had to keep an appointment. What I did was to overtake a vehicle under close quarters and then cross its path - an action that smacked of supreme arrogance as it would have appeared to a bystander but actually, brought about by my impatience! Luckily, there was no mishap thanks to the efficiency and the presence of mind of a fellow driver who had maintained his vehicle in a good condition.

The reason for my impatience was an uncouth driver who was behind me constantly honking on his horn. I'd earlier, while waiting at the level cross, told him that the use of his horn could be minimised especially since we're in bumper-to-bumper traffic and that, he'd the full freedom to overtake me as and when he could squeeze the space to do so. And I thought that he'd understood me by his quiet demeanour and his nod of the head - he was a middle aged gentleman.

But my assumption seemed to be totally wrong as he'd his car's horn blaring away, the moment the traffic had begun to move on the opening of the railway gate. The surprising thing was that he was able to rattle me and in the process, I'd caused discomfort to another unsuspecting motorist as I'd said, at the beginning. I could only mumble an embarrassed apology to the affected guy who was sweet enough to acknowledge it with a wave of his hand. Wish I could be as composed as he was after the close quarter situation!


There's a need to control my temper. And it made me realise as to how a good driver had prevented me from having to visit the service station, close on the heels of the previous one, by his impeccable manners.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Seen and heard......

When I scan the newspaper or watch the television, the differing happenings that take place within our country make me wonder as to where we're headed. Morality, ethics and clean living seem to have become the casualties in this 'get-rich-quick-at-any-cost' world where everyone seems to be craving for that 15 minutes of fame.

The colourful(?) lives of people make instant headlines and the voyeurism inherent in each one of us gladdens the self from the other's discomfiture, but the means employed by some, in pursuit of the lure of lucre, puts off even the most shameless of people! I've this sneaky feeling that the general trend is to do things without getting caught and when caught, cover the tracks with a web of deceit and falsehoods to let time pass, hoping like mad that the harsh public scrutiny wears off as newer and more unusual misdemeanours come out into the open.

I'm just going through a few happenings that have bewildered me and would like to share my innermost thoughts on each of them:-

    (a) The Sreesanth story.

     No, I ain't going over his peccadilloes because they're still being discussed in the media and it's already
     approaching saturation point. Many of the mallus are genuinely fond of him because he's a good player
     and has contributed to certain spectacular wins for his country - can one forget that high catch that he
     took to clinch one of the matches? But that doesn't mean that his misdemeanour can be pardoned, in fact,
     I feel that he should be banned, for ever, from playing the game.

     But the point that I'd like to make is that, was his deeply religious streak - the frequent trips to Guruvayur          
     and the other places of worship and a whole gag of colourful threads on his wrist - an effort to
     invoke celestial protection for his shenanigans?

     (b) Hit and run!

     Again it's the story of a Malayalam film actor, Kalabhavan Mani, who'd misbehaved with a bunch of
     forest officials the other night. And what has he gone and done after that? He went 'underground' soon
     after, till he'd come up with a request for an anticipatory bail from the High court. Thankfully, the court
     has declined to prevent his arrest.

     Trust our heroes to have feet of clay!

     (c) The single woman.

     Why do many of us react differently on seeing a single woman staying next door? And that too women
     with kids? There're umpteen number of stories that emanate from housing colonies - even posh ones,
     which are supposed to have evolved and educated inmates - where the single women have had harrowing
     times. And I shall quote the type of harassment from a Mallika Sarabhai column,
       "Their(the neighbours) children knock on her door and disappear. They play near her door or play
         music loudly, especially if her child is studying. They puncture the tyres of her car. They bully her help,
         her tiffin provider and milkman. If servicemen or friends come, they're curious to find out as to who
         they are. If a delivery man comes, they say that no one by her name lives there!"

       What's this? A total loss of civility? Doesn't the single woman have the right to live and that too, on her


Whither India? God, where are we headed? When will we learn to appreciate and accept the other as our own?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

22 years later......

On this day, 22 years ago Lekha had come into my life. There were calls from our relatives and friends to wish us on our special day. And I was transported in time....

I remember every incident, every personality that had contributed in some way or the other towards the smooth conduct of the ceremony and here are some of the trivia:-

     (a) My house was teeming with friends and relatives as someone'd said that she's looking forward to it
          for a long while. That seemed to be an overwhelming sentiment! There was a reason as it had
          taken its own time to bear fruition as I'd insisted on Rema - my immediately younger kid sister -
          tying the knot before me and boy, didn't she take her time to find her suitable man. But I must admit
          that the wait turned out to be good for her!
     (b) Lekha's biological mother did not attend the function as she didn't want to be the focus of an
          avoidable discomfort to her father and the stepmother, if she were to have partaken in the ceremonies.
          She made up for it by coming and staying with us about 10 days later, to shower her blessings.
     (c) My dad and mom had ensured that nothing was left to chance by their meticulous planning, taking
          the finer points from my maternal grandparents( my paternal grandparents must have witnessed the
          ceremony from the heavens, I'm sure!)
     (d) There were a small bunch of my very close friends who'd taken it up on themselves to help dad
          in the organising bit, to the extent of running essential errands with utter disregard to their own comfort
          at times.
     (e) Biju, my man Friday, who was a great help all through the run up (almost a week) to the actual day.
     (f) Was it ostentatious? In hindsight, yes - could have avoided the fleet of cars and opted for a couple
          of coaches!

But the two aspects that shall always remain etched in memory - the first, took place three days prior to the wedding and the second, soon after the wedding as we're moving in for lunch:-

     (a) My second kid sister, Minni, had an epileptic attack for no particular reason as I could fathom.
          And she did require our constant care and attention, subsequently.

     (b) My grandmother telling me that she didn't mind if her end were to come about, anytime thereafter, as  
          she'd been an active participant at my wedding which was a desire that she'd carried for long.


1. My grandmother had passed away into eternity about two months later. Did she have a premonition of what was to come? But she'd promised to come and spend time with us at Ooty where we'd gone post marriage, notwithstanding the busy official schedule of my grandfather.

2. Many other key players have passed into the mist of time, with my dad being the latest addition to that long list.    

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


A host of things come crowding into my mind. As time progresses life seems to be on the threshold of encountering experiences that were hitherto unheard of or even envisaged as possibilities. I can't help but ruminate over a few of such happenings and so, here I go:-

    (a) Angelina Jolie's woes.

     I, for one, had always thought her to be the person who'd lured Brad Pitt, the then lover boy of Jennifer
     Anniston, while being her good friend and hence, being frivolous and treacherous. But Cupid's ways have
     no set patterns and can turn out to be absolutely, out of the way. Her childhood trauma and an uneasy
     relationship with her dad, John Voight, must have contributed to the making of her personality which
     might perhaps have attracted Brad Pitt's attention!

     Well, all those are passe, as we hear of the stunning news of she having had a double mastectomy on
     account of malignant growth. It must be a terrifying experience for any woman to lose a vital part of
     her anatomy that plays a great role in her overall being. Hope she comes out of the trauma, unscathed!

    (b) The meeting.

    I'd facilitated the meeting between Sunny and Molly so that they could iron out their differences and
    maintain a 'live and let live' policy. A start has been made but how cosily they can coexist depends on
    what each of them is willing to part with, in terms of their businesses.

    There're sceptics among us who feel that I've brokered an unproductive meeting.

     (c) The distant supper.

      Three of us, classmates, drove about a 100 kms this evening to be with Ravi who was celebrating his  
      son's success in the recently conducted civil services examination. It was hectic, with the traffic on the  
      highway at its peak, but his thrilled look on seeing us assured me that what we'd done was really

      Vasudev, may you have all the successes and here's us hoping that you'll be the harbinger of change!

      Great evening! Great gathering! And time well spent!


By the time we'd hit the sack, it was well past midnight. It's gonna be yet another day with differing's a great teacher!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Running with the hare and hunting with the!?

I've this penchant for landing myself in piquant situations and today it was just such a dilemma!

Actually, it had started a couple of months back, to be precise. The caretaker of our residential area, along with the existing vendor who was running the bakery outlet within our precincts, had recommended handing over the enterprise to a new vendor. And after taking in the pros and the cons, I'd decided to sign a contract with Molly, for a year. Things have been going fine and many of the residents had begun to show a sneaky preference to her as against Sunny - her competitor of sorts as he trades grocery - who has been an old hand and has been running his outlet for the last three to four years.

To let you into a secret, my loyalty is with him - and mind you, this is against the understanding that the 'President' doesn't take sides - as the fact remains that Lekha and her deputies purchase their wares from his shop, due to its proximity!

Molly and Sunny have been having their business rivalry, in that they both stack fast moving items like the soft drinks, ice creams etc to cut into each other's clientele and I didn't mind the competition, because in the process I as a customer, was being assured of - borrowing a phrase from the parlance of defence deals - the 'best bang' for the buck!

But things seem to have reached a point where both the sides have begun playing dirty and this is what Molly had come and apprised me about, this evening. It was just the other day that I'd asked the both of them to be in constant communication to arrive at a mutually acceptable working arrangement but nothing seems to have worked.

I've called them for a dialogue tomorrow evening where I'm actually gonna tell them that they've to agree to a policy of give and take, to finalise the stuff that they are going to stock and sell by reducing the commonality. As a customer, I know that it's against my interests!


It's my fond hope that, to avoid feuds among the vendors, I do not let down the customers' interests as that is my priority!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A 'walk' down memory lane!

Suresh's house is situated on the road parallel to the Eswara Vilasom road where I'd lived with my grandparents during my childhood. I'd decided to walk the familiar route as part of my early morning routine.

The road is now lined by new buildings on either side and the entire facade seems to have undergone a make over without change in the fundamentals! 'Kalpar'(the short form for Kalyani and Parvathy, being the grandmother's and mother's names of the owner, Thampi chettan), the house that we used to live in, continues to stand majestically in its place, though with a new look thanks to the additions and alterations, done over the years.

As I passed through, two things had struck me, viz :-

        (a) the apparent shrinking of distances.
        (b) the familiar faces of the people in each of those houses, coming into view with remarkable clarity
             and in the clothes that I'd seen them most of the times.......was I hallucinating? Or was I going  
             a time warp?

I'd also entered the 'Krishnan kovil', a temple that I'd frequented many a time and saw that I was in time for the 'deepa aradhana'. There was an agelessness in the aura and I enjoyed the solitude and the spectacle on offer!


1. The wedding of Shweta and Sandeep was a grand affair. It was an opportunity to meet people and exchange notes. The venue was aesthetically nice with plenty of parking space.

2. The return drive to Kochi was uneventful though the last stretch of 60 kms was irritating thanks to the hi-beams of the oncoming traffic.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's day.

Got up to the sight of mom lighting the lamp in the puja room. And my day was made!

My nephew, Achu, had to be dropped at the bus stand as he was off to Thiruvananthapuram for his test and Lekha had to visit the Ganesh temple, that's her favourite. We're back at home after an hour or so and it was again back to yakkitiyak with mom.

It's tea time when we left for Thiruvananthapuram and had reached our destination, well before sunset. Suresh and Sindhu were the perfect hosts and by evening, my classmates had conglomerated for a lovely session.

It was late night, as usual, exchanging tidbits and news about friends.


Today's Mother's day and I'd forgotten to wish my mom on the occasion but took solace in the fact, that she had long before told me that she doesn't expect me to remember her only on a particular day and therefore, abhorred the custom of celebrating the day. Nevertheless, my apologies, mom, for the slip up! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Off for home on a long weekend!

After work, it was time again for the weekend trip for home to look up mom. Was there a bit of danger lurking around? No, I didn't comprehend it, but a series of events that took place in the short span of three hours were reasons to bring about that eerie feeling.

Firstly, I'd to do a diversion from the normal route that I take to get back home as vehicular traffic had come to an abrupt halt when a dredger had touched heavily on to the Venduruthy bridge. Prior to that, a friend and family had dropped in to say their hellos and in the process of catching up with them, I'd to miss the deadline of time - I mean, I didn't have the heart to leave them abruptly!

Finally, by about a half past one, we'd shaped our home bound course but disaster struck about ten minutes later. I was driving on the fast lane and there was a Road transport corporation's bus fairly ahead on the slower lane but an adamant pick up van wanted to overtake it by getting into my lane, for which he'd no space, really. But he persisted and I, too, mulishly stuck onto my speed and course(Lekha was insisting that I back off, but the haughty Chevy driver in me had arrogantly pressed on) and within no time, my left rear view mirror was smashed to smithereens. I was wild and had the pick up truck stopped to find its cowering driver, apologetic and remorseful. Though I'd taken down his cellphone number and the address, I was sure that there would be no follow up from my side because he was too weak.

'Akrasia'(embarking on a course of action fully well knowing its dire consequences!) had taken charge of both of us, at that spur of the moment - and I fixed the major chunk of the fault on myself. Thankfully, there were no other damages but the rump of what was left of the mirror taunted me of two things throughout the remaining journey :-

        (a) My stupidity and
        (b) The possible drastic consequences that we could have ended up with!

The rest of the drive was peaceful as Lekha and Achu, my nephew, tried to lighten the atmosphere by discussing other things. It was a huge relief to see mom, Minni and Ammu, my niece. And without waiting, we went about celebrating Minni's birthday by cutting the cake accompanied by the celebrations.


I shall only breathe easy, once I hand over my Chevy to the service station to make good the damages, first thing on Tuesday morning, on return to Kochi. Till then, that rump of the mirror is gonna give me sleepless nights!  

Friday, May 10, 2013

An interesting day.

This was a day when small, insignificant yet meaningful things that took place brought in tremendous happiness. It's my fervent hope that I ain't sounding frivolous! So here I go......

Nandu has been a good friend at work. We've done quite a lot of things together and it's the professional in him that has greatly appealed to me. Though we're course mates at the Academy, it used to be a 'hi, bye' sort of relationship and there was nothing more to it. But in 1983, after a chopper crash off Kochi, I was handed over a fleet of four hired fishing trawlers to comb the seabed to locate the wreckage. The hired fishing vessels were pair trawling with their nets trailing behind and the bent loop of the nets sweeping the bottom. Everytime the net snagged, Nandu and his team of divers were to go underwater to investigate the cause. It had to be well co-ordinated by all concerned - the fisherfolk, newly inducted to our scheme of things whose meshing up was my responsibility, Nandu and his diving team for the quick responses. Between us, we could pull off a successful operation!

Nandu's telephone number was finally at hand and we'd a long chat after what seemed to be over ten years. He's maintained his ability to laugh so very easily!

We also had two newly married couples at home for lunch. When the young ladies saw my grandfather's portrait their thrill was palpable. Both of them had participated in the Reading day('Vaayana dinam') and the activities connected with the Reading week('Vaayana vaaram') and were thrilled to bits to know more about the legend. It was a pleasure to give them a brief summary.


As I'd said at the beginning, the events described, might sound trivial to many but they definitely, did make my day!   

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tit for tat?.....Unfortunate!

The convicted Pakistani terrorist, Sanaullah Ranjay, died today. His case eerily followed the pattern of Sarabjit's in his last days.

He was lodged in Jammu's Kot Bhalwal jail, serving a life sentence. He was beaten up by the other inmates of his jail and had sustained grievous injuries. He was shifted immediately to the Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research at Chandigarh, where he battled for his life over the last six days. It was again, as in Sarabjit's case, a case of multi organ failure. The body has been flown to Sialkot, in Pakistan and  was accompanied by his brother-in-law and nephew.  

A sad tale. Was it a case of tit for tat over Sarabjit's unfortunate end? I'd like to believe it isn't.

By taking his life nothing has been or will be achieved. Such actions can only fuel further hatred and in the process, the lives of many Indians languishing in Pakistani jails might be in jeopardy. And we're a peace loving country that does not believe in violence and have enormous resilience to tide over adversities.

A probe has been ordered and I'm sure that the culprits will be brought to book through a speedy trial.


RIP Sanaullah Ranjay! Here's wishing that your family summons the strength to tide over these difficult times!!  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mumbai Police.

Happened to see the Malayalam movie by this name. The movie hall was packed to capacity for the late night show. A good suspense thriller after what seemed to be a long while.

The agony and the ecstasy of being in the Kerala Police has been etched very well by the director. I was particularly impressed with Kunchan in his role as a Sub Inspector and have now come to know about the oath that every policeman takes at the time of induction. That the oath gets broken many a time, thanks to political interference, is a situation that every Malayalee is aware of and hence, the ridicule and a sense of 'nothing can go right' with our police, sadly, prevail among a significant part of the population.

My personal observation is that the police is efficient and has been doing a damn good job, despite the numerous constraints that they've to face, on a daily basis. And I'd like to offer my salute to the Kerala Police, for their perseverance.

Rehman, Prithviraj and Jayasurya, as officers, play their parts well lending credibility to their characters. They're good friends and have a thing in common, in that, all of the them had conglomerated officially at Kochi in their current appointments, after successful stints at Bombay and hence, nicknamed by the title of the movie! The movie begins with the killing of ACP Aryan(Jayasurya) and Prithviraj, as a fellow ACP is entrusted with the investigation egged on by Rehman, who plays their senior. I must particularly laud the following three points viz:-

       (a) Roshan Andrews, the director's, boldness in covering a taboo subject like gay relationships. The
            trend in the past, has been to narrate such aspects in a condescending manner and to gloss through,
            highlighting the film makers' moral confusion. That the frames speak with earnestness show the
            maturity of the director and his team in handling the subject.

        (b) Prithviraj seems to have got into the skin of his character of ACP Antony Moses, without bothering
              about his image!

        (c) An out and out suspense thriller and I must confess that I too couldn't figure out the actual culprit
             till the end! Master story telling!!

Yes, the Malayalam film industry is passing through exciting times with an array of good movies being churned out, one after the other.


The only thing that dampened my enthusiasm was the depiction of a senior naval officer - of the rank of Vice Admiral - in a rather obese form. In the services, the emphasis on fitness and the need to have a trim body, has never been compromised but perhaps, the character has been fleshed out after having seen a few seniors in recent times. I must emphasise that they're exceptions rather than the rule and no, I'm not being apologetic on their behalf!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I'm perturbed about what I've seen and heard from the media and hope like mad that they're indeed just speculations by overzealous journalists to heat up the 'TRPs'. And may those snippets be the farthest from the truth.

 (a) Cocking a snook.

       Shah Rukh Khan, as we're aware, has been banned from entering the Wankhede stadium at Bombay
       for his obnoxious behaviour directed at a poor security guy at the gate, during one of the matches of the
       last year's IPL jamboree. He didn't even have the courtesy to apologise to the beleaguered guard for his
       boorishness, saying that his daughter was manhandled by him while the media's eyes, covering the event,  
       said a different story.

       The problem is that many of our celebrities expect to be treated like the royalty of old. They enjoy
       and expect pampering as their birthright, forgetting the simple fact that their exalted status is courtesy
       the common man who sees their movies.

       His team, 'the Kolkata Knight Riders', is playing a match at the venue in one of the coming days. And
       he's been quoted as saying, "I don't want to sound politically incorrect but what will they do if I enter?
       Shoot me?" .....Impetuous and arrogant! I only hope that good sense prevails upon him and he stays out
       of that place. Celebrities must understand that their fans would be thoroughly let down if they did not
       maintain decorum commensurate with their iconic status. Apologists might laugh it off by saying that it's
       his style!?

       I'm a fan of his and he'd definitely let me down if he chose to make an entry, defying the ban!

   (b) The Chinese checkers.

         There are reports, despite government denials, that concessions have been offered to China to end
         the recent face-off in east Ladakh. Indian forces seem to have agreed to the removal of bunkers built
         by them in the Chumar region, close to the LAC(Line of Actual Control). These permanent structures
         facilitate the Indian Army to keep an eye on the Karakoram highway.

         Sincerely hope that the story is baseless and one's only too happy to note that we can make the
         Chinese wary by our proactive measures on the border, which is the genuine right of a self respecting


As I'd said at the start, let the stories above be mere conjectures and should be treated with the contempt that they deserve!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monkeys for peanuts!

I dunno as to how the monkeys are gonna react to this statement of mine. And I've made it in connection with the education system currently, prevalent in our country. There are many private players along with the government institutions, vying for honours and I daresay that the presence of the former category has enhanced the quality of education - at least, in Kerala from the statistics about their performance.

But having said that, there has been a dangerous slide into converting the entire set up into a money making racket. Teachers are hired and fired, many a time, to suit the whims and fancies of the management or at times, even to force 'free thinking' teachers to submission. The students' all round growth and welfare seem to be the last priority. Let me cite the goings on at a co-ed school that's in my neck of the woods.

From the last five years' performance, the school has had good results in the competitive examinations and the institution was being ably guided by an efficient and a no-nonsense gentleman, as its Principal. He'd ensured a sense of discipline among the students and their teachers and laid emphasis on the all round development of the school's fraternity.

Well, he's been sacked recently. Many teachers have been dismissed citing 'division fall' - a situation when the strength of the students dwindles, necessitating the reduction in the number of divisions per class. Fair enough, if the axing is based on the vintage of induction, starting from the recent and if you're to ask me, more importantly, the performance. But the sacking - in this case - has been arbitrary and smacks of nepotism because of the following factors:-

  (a) The vintage of induction was given the go by.
  (b) A particular teacher, in the good books of the management, seems to have influenced the decisions. The
       details had come up thanks to an investigative media, in that, the teacher was smarting because her rival
       could get a chief guest of the school's choice for the 'Annual day' thanks to her family connections! She's  
       been able to 'fix' her rival by having her booted out!!
  (c) The parents-teachers association has been clamouring for the teacher's reinduction!

How can the students grow up to be decent and responsible citizens if brought up by wily teachers like the one narrated above? And how did that teacher get recruited in the first place? That needs a thorough look see!

Such cases are not in isolation. A court has asked a school in Thiruvananthapuram to reinstate the teachers that it had sacked citing similar reasons.


People into decision making in the education sector seem to forget the fundamentals viz:-

      (a) Teachers have a very important role in society as they mould the country's human resources of
           the morrow.
      (b) The quality of people being inducted into this profession has to be excellent and there can't be a
      (c) To attract the best talent into the pool, they've to be offered an attractive remuneration.
      (d) If there's a climbdown, one's gonna get monkeys...... for peanuts!


I'm reminded of my teachers who'd a great contribution in the way I've reached where I am. They'd shown me and my friends that a teacher's job was not a '9 to 5' one, but one that began from sunrise to the silent hours - during the self study period - before we hit the sack. Of course, it was a boarding school all right but the cardinal point was that each one of them was genuinely concerned about our growth - in the right manner!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Traversing through time.

It was bad news that had begun the day for me. My classmate and friend has been tested positive for a malignant growth in his colon. He's on the heavier side and has always been at the receiving end of our playful taunts because of his ample girth. We're good friends at school and have indulged in boyish pranks, managing to evade getting caught by the authorities through deft moves every time!

Gregarious and active, there was never a dull moment with him around. But with the medical revelation, has he lost that peppiness? All of us have told him, in no uncertain terms, that there was nothing insurmountable about his condition by citing scores of cases that have had happy endings. Though he did give a patient hearing, there was that faraway look on his face and a slight hint of a loss of confidence - a state that can happen to anyone of us at the initial stage!

I'm sure he shall overcome and bounce back to being his original self.

As I took leave of him, he hugged me and whispered into my ears, "Find time to visit me more often. I can't tell you as to how much your words have helped me". I'd quickly turned my head away and cracked a PJ, as  I disengaged myself because it was getting to be mushy.


As I backed my Chevy out off his porch and with him waving at me, my eyes had misted and I was reminded of a quote that I'd seen recently which was, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". I only hope that I was of some help! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

These are the things that I see.

Seeing a number of things happening around, I've zeroed into a few of them which has fascinated or bewildered or even amused me. Are they the direct result of seeing 'what's-on-offer' on television or do they signal the trends of the present times? Do I endorse them? In a sense, no; but who am I to endorse or do otherwise except from the responsibility implicit in me of being a responsible citizen? And it's my firm belief that every generation has the right to chose what they need, make their mistakes and learn lessons from them and are to be assisted when they get back seeking your advice. At that moment when they're with their chips down, no amount of condescension on your part or the 'I-told-you-so' attitude is gonna be of any help. Empathy is all that they require and they'd see the light of reason - I'm sure about that. So, here I go on some of my observations:-

     (a) Tattooing all over.

          It's become a craze and the protagonists insist on having them displayed on the prominent parts of
          their body. Probably, they're trying to convey their attitude to the others but what it possibly could
          be has missed me. Is it defiance or is it a fashion statement? But what bewilders me is the pain one
          undergoes while the tattoo is being inscribed. Crazy diagrams, names or even statements are on
          display and what defies me ultimately is the way young moms and dads indulge in this strange

     (b) The craze for bakery delicacies.

           Children crave for instant noodles, wafers, toffees and aerated drinks that's justifiable. The thrill to
           be having something like the numerous children seen on the advertisements gives a sense of  
           satisfaction and an ego boost besides reiterating the fact that their parents can afford them. My
           own nephew, Kripashankar studying in class VI, comes for movies with me to have his share of
           'Lays' chips, popcorn and Frooti. But if anyone is under the impression that he isn't concentrating
           on the movie thanks to his gastronomical incursions, then he's gonna get flummoxed as the youngster
           would be able to recall the film - frame by frame - much after one's left the cinema! He, like many
           other kids, has a weakness for the sweet named 'Kinderjoy', not so much for the eatable but for
           the miniature statuettes that accompany as compliments!

     (c) The piercing of the body.

          Another case of exhibitionism but what baffles me is the readiness to undergo pain to have rings or
          similar ornaments adorning the pierced spots - ears(in case of the boys!), upper ear-lobes, the central
          cartilage of the inner nose, the eye brows and the navel button. I must confess that I begin to feel
          the pain whenever I see such stuff.

      (d) Continuous texting.

            Continuous texting on the cellphones is common sight. Each one's keen to convey what he or she's
            doing along with the eagerness to know what its recipient is up to. In the process, they're quite
            oblivious of the things happening around in their immediate vicinity! And I'd rather leave out the
            cell phone conversations - it's a tool to effective communication, you see!!


Having said the foregoing, I seriously wonder as to whether these are meaningful observations, in the first place, or are they the misplaced apprehensions of an elder? I shall leave that to be answered by the others!             

Friday, May 3, 2013

How long do you wanna live?

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of the Yeshiva University in New York have successfully slowed down the rate of aging in mice as part of their experiments. Have they found the 'fountain of aging"? And if the key to aging is eventually found what would its ramifications be?

The researchers claim that the hypothalamus - a small region of the brain that plays a fundamental role in growth, development, reproduction and metabolism - holds the key to slowing down the rate of aging throughout the body. By manipulating the levels of the molecule known as NF-kB(nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) within the hypothalamus, they're able to achieve success in increasing the longevity in mice.

Let's assume that this process, in all likelihood, is extended to cover human beings too in the long run as predicted by the article covering the developments. The resulting humanitarian issues are gonna be of alarming proportions and let me try to list them out:-

     (a) the population would be bursting by the seams.
     (b) the natural resources needed to sustain the bludgeoning population would be under severe constraints.
     (c) the mismatch of ideologies and the ways of thinking of various generations trying to live together.
     (d) the difficulty in keeping everyone occupied and contributing to society.
     (e) who decides as to when one should end one's life? Left to individuals almost everyone would like to
          live on.....
     (f) and finally, where does that leave God in the 'new' scheme of things? He'd be left jobless and become
         insignificant, perhaps?

My take.
The question that comes to my mind is as to how long would one like to live in this world? Isn't the present lifespan of a human being more than adequate? And the decision to die must never be handed over to mankind - he'll botch it up as he would never ever be able to take a rational one.

Remember, "Men fear death as children fear darkness".


I'd begun the day reciting the 'Vishnu Sahasranaama sthothram', around 4 o'clock in the morning at the departure lounge, awaiting my return flight.

 If longevity of life is achieved, then praying can be conveniently given the go by as one would have usurped the role of God - an altogether new dimension to life, as death wouldn't mean a thing any more. Wow!

But I would dread that proposition!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The enduring image.

Sarabjit Singh has passed away.

The television grab showing his distraught sister lashing out at the Pakis and highlighting the errors on our side had tugged at something deep within - the enduring image of the day! She was surrounded by a huge crowd but looked lonely in her grief. His devastated wife, Sukhpreet Kaur and his daughters, Swapandeep and Poonam wore a dignified look despite their tragedy.

We've collectively let you down. Grieving with you.

RIP, Sarabjit! May god give your family the strength to tide over their difficult times.


Caught up with Sanjay and Parul after a long while. We'd spent the evening, exchanging yarns, at the Sahib, Sindh, Sultan - a nice eating joint which derives its name from the three locomotives that had hauled India's first passenger train from Bori Bunder to Thane on the 16th of Apr 1853, to cover a distance of 34 kms! The eatery is located at the Ambience mall of Gurgaon. The overall effect was as though we're having our food on a train journey!! A great idea!!!

It was late by the time I'd hit the sack. Had a double check regarding wake up time as I've an early morning flight to catch.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

At Delhi.

I was back in Delhi after a long while. After work it was catching up with friends and I did manage to surprise quite a few of them. Though I've told each of them that I'd endeavour to call on, I do not know as to how successful it would be to do so despite my earnestness.

As I moved from one place to the other, I passed through the familiar places that we used to frequent and it gave me the impression that I'd never moved out of the city at all. Would you believe if I were to tell you that I was going through a 'deja vu' sort of feeling!?

I'd befriended Sethu, a youngster from the Border Security Force. Disarmingly simple in his outlook he's been brought up with fine values that seem to be getting rare these days. He's somewhere on the Indo-Bangladesh borders and I'm pretty sure that he'd do a fine job at his hour of reckoning. I sincerely hope that he never loses his innocence and unbridled enthusiasm! O god, please take care of him.


It was a poignant moment at Bruno's grave. I'd earmarked some time to be with him despite the hectic schedule. The Labernums have grown taller but none of the flowering plants could be seen because they seem to have wilted in the harsh heat of the summer.