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From smog to scramble for Notes

This Diwali was a bit low profile for me but the post-Diwali fare has left me breathless. No new clothes          -           Ok No sweets                  -           Ok No guests                   -           Ok Sparse greetings         -           Ok
The day after Diwali was a ‘holocaust’ to face with my already crooked nose refusing to inhale. The smog that engulfed Delhi and NCR was like bonfires lit everywhere. Administration was left clueless and people with weak lungs looked listless.
Dad was right
Not very long ago when he was living with us he would get petrified much before Diwali over the over indulgence of  over burning crackers for the sound and light effects. He was asthmatic  so he covered a thin  muslin cloth over his mouth and nose and drew the piece around the back of his head to cover his ears adequately .My son called him a dacoit who was afraid of crackers. ‘Why don’t these fellows burn crackers in their toilets?’ dad blares out. I would pacify him by saying ‘Dad the toil…

Job done any which way-Result perfect

Heera (real name differs for privacy) is always a Go-to person who never failed to give a perfect solution. She did it any which way she could but this was her way of solving any problem and never failed a solution seeker. From pounding a picker of pockets (small thief) to hunting a kidnapper and beating him to pulp till the wrong doer is tossed into prison admired by a chain of onlookers .

How much I admire this woman in the neighborhood of a friend. As a child Heera earned her livelihood through accomplishing skullduggery jobs. Her wide ranging jobs began with running errands or fetching dry clothes from the terrace. By the age of twelve she dropped out of school but was fluent in English and Hindi.
Heera, a diamond to her beneficiaries, bloomed from a tomboy to a full time bully then a woman gangster. After marriage she withdrew into a household with a docile husband. Years fled past but after the blooming of three offsprings came the halt to her feminity. By then she learned to p…

Jaw dropping exercise

Did your jaw drop when you heard about Malvika R Joshi,a prodigious feat quite stunning though when she made it to MIT.  A teenager who has not completed her 10th or 12th Board exam (high school exams) but has won a coveted seat at an ace technology institute.  Are we equipped well to sweep aside news about mundane matters and gloat over super intelligence?  Jaw dropping?
Extraordinary rescue
The recent mid-air mishap was worth that jaw-drop rescue to save a hundred and ten lives. All practically did remain hung mid-air, over 12,000 feet in the Alps.  Aiguille du Midi had ill luck in store when two cables got entangled that unseated passengers in cable cars in blustery weather. How romantically frigid!?!
Three governments united sportingly for an unheard of sport over the Alps. The French the Swiss and Italian governments supervised rescue operations of those 110 trapped when each occupant of every cable car was rescued individually. Wow!
Jaw drop heading
The paralympic gold medal rec…

No Greeks in the Marathon Medals

Olympics at Rio, an event that grapples the world stage of sports. You win or lose, you are there, you may be an ‘also ran’ but you are there to be noticed. A stalwart at home or an event sponsored by money bags, doesn’t matter, yet records at the Olympics still fly high, even if it means the last laugh for the participant. Every nation occupies the stage to be noticed. The most heart-warming and heart-rending participation came from the contingent that represented the ‘refugees’ from Syria, Libya, Yemen, all war-ridden nations. All for a universal circus. They came, they played, they left. Where are the Greeks?
India’s heroes – hope eternal Our country also represented with enthusiasm and hope, the former attribute led to a whimper of controversies but soon brushed under the carpet. Most participants did well in the qualifying rounds and reached the Quarter Finals. There dropped the curtain and lo! We retrace our steps. All deserve a clap! A handful of participants stood out like P V Si…

Just a few seconds for Jessy

My Sats & Suns have become duller Two- and - a half decades Swept by….. Her face still glistens, Never yearned for a better friend, but there, She still laughs & listens ( An obit written in 1989 for Jessy, revised a bit now) It is not with any regret or longing that I deplore my present network of being friendless. Friends,as  they exist are acquaintances today, none like her. It is better that way. No, I have not turned a recluse but when one had been showered with a lot of attention and care by one friend, she is missed now and always. Then one gets entwined gradually with one particular train of thought that, had Jessy been there, it would have been different. Unassuming smile lost. The tall, lean, thirty something  Jessy kept hovering around me through thick and thin during those decisive years. She counselled , convinced and cajoled me to venture/avoid all major decisions in life. Then one fine day she just paled into insignificance called ‘death’. Jacintha (Jessy) was born a prema…

A Pause Or A Recess Is A Must

“The hour was approaching six and up in the compound’s solitary tree, sparrows began to call. Gustad listened to their chirping every morning while reciting his Kusti prayers. There was something reassuring about it. Always, the sparrows were first, the cawing of crows came later….” Lines are (not so famous) from chapter one of Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry. The purpose of quoting these lines implies the best hour of the day begins at sunrise and in a city like Mumbai (Bombay) only two kinds of birds one would hear, sparrows or crows or even pigeons if they are flocked at a nearby Khabutar Khana. Generally, pigeons are messy and  a noisy lot they are hardly romantic – the pigeons.
The pigeons they say, are a peaceful lot and the only admirable part of a grey pigeon, is its multi-hued neck that keeps rising and falling, its shiny velvet neck also speaks of the marvels of nature. Birds are interesting to watch in their flight and so are those necessary pauses for rest to build th…

Dividing line that blurs and shines

A thin line that surfaces between ‘inevitability’ and ‘death’ is sometimes bright and visible to the pragmatic or brave. But one cannot justify it by sounding logical. It does give a jerk to the senses but somehow the emotional binding keeps tugging at the conscience. Yet that fluke decision is quick and necessary. We nowadays call it ‘passive’ death that permits the body cells to die a natural death. If imposed on oneself it is called suicide –Not a brave act though. A few such cases of ‘passive ‘deaths were witnessed by me does call for a debate from both the medical side and the layman’s. Views on life differ. Life’s ‘inevitable’ connect with death is mysterious . A recent news item when parents opined, almost implored to the authorities to allow ‘passive’ death for their eight month old baby who suffers from a liver disorder almost incurable. Not so long ago the natural death of a nurse who unfortunately was brutally raped, fell into a coma for almost two decades or more made all si…

Machinations mar human lives

‘Death’ is no longer a mystery but a technical glitch in the human body. The body solely depends on the smooth functioning of all organs. The emotions evoked by ‘death’ are very natural, or even the lack of emotion does say a lot about individuals who are bereft of a family member, a friend or a companion. Nobody can be judged emotionally. I do not want to sound like Freud but the pain of death does leave a scar, an empty space. That sums up the second half of May 2016. The first half was a parody of sorts juggling between the heat of politics and the heat of the Sun.  A clear vision of  politicians  in our country struggling to impress the electorate , dousing forest fires, tugging higher ups to quench parched throats with trucks and railway tankers fetching water for humanity or staring down deep dry wells for a pail of water, despondent farmers looking heavenwards for rain and the frequent bouts of power cuts ….a clear picture of man entrenched in a  trap of  challenges big and small…

When confidence brims over…..

One doesn’t have to belong to a school of elegance and finesse to standout in society, not that we, the less fortunate, who didn’t attend such a school, lack them, lack these qualities. When women walk out of that realm of grace, they apparently tend to defy some established norms, laws or traditions in society.
Exemplary behaviour is spontaneous , does not evoke rebellion, may at times attract rebellion in spurts and thus  becomes memorable.  My recent exposure to women of all ages and flavors (?), keeps the insides of my tummy churning to warn myself, dissuade a few , adorned with resentful acts or their statements uttered in defiance . We know you are  there. Sheer unabashedness ! Being a hindu by birth, not a fanatic, some aspects of my religion have been ingrained or taught for self evolution .When young ,  as  school students, visiting a chapel, daily, without any distaste , we solemnly entered the chapel. We knelt and prayed after making the sign of the cross. We acknowledged the…

Cronyism sucks….blood & sweat are invaluable.

Cronyism or nepotism are words which hardly cross my mind and no wonder I’m a stuck here. But better off without favours. Those who indulge in these acts wield an air of authority along with weapons that range from a kitchen knife to flesh…. I mean human flesh. The arms used are many but users are stealthy, skip normal work-schedules, travel at the drop of a hat, indulge in petty thefts, hang around anywhere, adopt part-time professions like errand boys, chauffeurs, bar tenders, bar dancers etc.  Now do not look exasperated… but they do get high-handed when on the job. Business runs on these lines/modes so that the venturer (victim) does not get trapped, then begins the vicious circle. Generally they act on word-of–mouth. They hop, trudge, somersault or fly depending on the urgency. The moment they track the victim they are vile, indulgent, offer promissory notes that are vital to the giver and taker. Have you seen a budding ‘crime’ operator skilfully getting his job done?  He possesse…

Cultural bows , vows or blows…blowing my nose

The past few weeks have been telling on my nerves and body. First I would like to target  theweather. Cold/winter/grey skies have never been appreciated by me except in poems/paintings. An unexpected indisposition at home set the ball rolling which apparently affected near and dear. This ‘indisposition’ silently endured by my husband (the victim) for over a month. To begin the ordeal  of putting it in words ,one needs strong nerves to bear cultural shocks but when the year begins with  a physical shock (accident  mentioned above) the following shocks are not borne by a debilitating body. One learns from the laws of nature when one leaf falls it gives way for a new leaf. This new leaf appears after the rough weather . But that does not augur well for the other aging leaves. All will fall one by one sooner or later.
Marriage by night
The marriage of a friend’s daughter in all splendor was an honour to attend and participate. But the more amazing part of the event was to see a group of  han…

Those pitfalls of piling on people

The festive seasons are the special slots in one's lifetime that stay memorable because they beckon people to mix with their loved ones and the habit grows with you. It should be nipped in the bud. Some call it socializing or 'we still think of you'....on festive occasions.... though you are 'khadoos' (horrible).

One such person I can think of is Rama Lakshmi,  a devoted daughter of a bureaucrat who longed to stay away from her parents on weekends was a festive occasion for her. What a frightful suggestion from a young lady and spinster. That's ok. She was sprightly, witty, could dance and sing like all youngsters. Promptly on Mondays she will tell you what she did or how revelling the weekend was, no revealing. Begins with no blushing..." Oh you know Bharat ?" the names of her male friends - their eating  and drinking habits will make you admire a walking encyclopaedia. Nothing comes out of it but she is munching your grilled sandwich...piling on yo…