Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Blades

The blades were too sharp, enough to cut open a person, if nearby. If the machine was to be used, it needed both their approvals. They were partners in crime. Strangely, they usually contradicted when they had to use the machine.

That night, there was a chill in the air. Everybody could feel it. He wanted to use the machine. She was completely against it. After a big tiff, he won the argument. He switched it on.

All she could do was look at the ceiling, and see it rotate. After a few minutes, she snuggled into a blanket, hugged him tight and slept peacefully. The Fan, with sharp blades, ran in full speed that night.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lalitha Aunty

It was not a unusual ritual in our house, to get curd from the our neighbor, Lalitha aunty, so that we could set it for the next day. But this was rare. Something regular was, when she would come to our house, with a small bowl and ask my mother.

"Sunita, can I have a cup of sugar. I was about to make tea, and I just realized, there is no sugar."
"Sure Lalitha. Anything else, while you are here?"

"Actually, I had just boiled the milk and kept it aside and Bunty spilt the whole thing by mistake. I have sent him to the shop, to get some milk. If you can give me a glass of milk too, I can have my tea and then carry on with my chores"

My mom would smile, go to the kitchen, and in 5 minutes come back with a tray. It would have the bowl of sugar, glass of milk; along with it would be 2 cups of tea and a few biscuits.

"Lalitha, have some tea and biscuits, why do you want to go home and have tea alone", mom would offer. Lalitha aunty would give a sheepish smile and gulp down the cup of tea and leave the house thanking mom. I never understood why mom had to offer her tea, and give her the ingredients too. I would tease her, that she could include a spoonful of tea powder too.

It wasn’t just about tea. I can’t recall a single item in the kitchen, which Lalitha aunty hadn’t borrowed from us. I don’t want to take the credit away, but anytime, Lalitha aunty went shopping, she would get me chocolates. Every time she prepared something new, which was rare of course, she would invite me home, for tasting the dish. Bunty Bhaiyya and I would relish the dish. She would even pack it for mom and dad.

Few years later, I heard my parents talking about an apartment complex coming up in our neighborhood. I didn’t bother to enquire more about it. And, one fine day, we saw Lalitha aunty, Bunty Bhaiyya and uncle loading their belongings in a truck. Uncle came and shook hands with my dad, and just ruffled my hair a bit. Bunty Bhaiyya gave me his football. Finally Lalitha aunty came near my mom, both the ladies were wiping each other’s tears, hugged each other. Lalitha aunty gave my mom, a box, she did Namaste to dad, and she came up to me and said "Take care beta, we will miss you". I don’t know what prompted me say it, but words just fell out of my mouth and I said "We will miss you too aunty".

Couple of hours later, we were having lunch, when mom got me a laddoo, "this is from Lalitha aunty" she said. I realized how much I am going to miss the delicacies she prepared.

A week went by, I don’t know about mom, but I surely missed aunty, now, there was nobody to come and ask for sugar or milk or anything. My mom lost a company to have her evening tea.

It’s been 3 years now, since Bunty Bhaiyya and family left. There is a huge apartment complex, around 50 houses in it. I just hope there will be atleast one family like Lalitha aunty’s who would live in these houses.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Food for ??

"Sir, I need to go home by 8.00 PM, my wife would be waiting",Rakesh was telling Satish on phone.

"Ok, just leave the dinner on the dining table, I will heat it up and eat" Satish was giving instructions to his cook Rakesh.

Time : 8.30 PM
Venue: Rakesh’s house

"Daring, the dinner is delicious. I love the Rice, Daal and the mango pickle", he was praising his wife.
"Come on, you cook much better than I do. Satish Sir gets to eat variety of food everyday. You have to cook one day for me too", Rakesh dint know if it was a compliment, or the wife was taunting him

Time : 12:00 AM
Venue: Satish’s house

The door opened, Satish was exhausted. He went to his room directly, threw his bag on the table, and fell on his face, on the bed.

Time: 2:00 AM
Venue: Satish's house

A group of cockroaches were celebrating. The dining table had food, enough to last them the whole month.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Ashtaavadhaanam: when I got this mail first, I had no clue what this was about. Some talk show is what I thought. But then I was curious, this mail was from kannada and the Sanskrit forum in our company.

Probably its something interesting, I thought.

2 days before the program, G asked me at lunch, you want to attend this program?

I had no clue about it, so I asked him, what it was all about. He was not too sure about it, but gave a gist. It seemed interesting and different. I said why not? Let’s attend.

This part is from the mail we received explaining what Ashtaavadhanam is all about.

A test of poetic genius, a demo of memory and intellect together reaching the peak, a true intellectual marvel, that’s the art of Ashtavadhana. The wiki link says, Avadhana was cultivated by Telugu speaking community. That info is incomplete, since the earliest available treatises on avadhaana kale are in Kannada. There will be 8 questioners asking the Avadhani to do 8 different things. In turns he should answer all of them.

Nishiddhakshari - On a given subject and within the given meter Avadhani should compose a verse letter by letter. After each letter, the questioner restricts the next letter.

Samasya – A stray sentence which could be foul or obscene will be posed as a problem by the questioner. The Avadhani should make it proper by adding letters/words before and after the line.

Dattapadi – The questioner gives some words and gives an unrelated subject. Avadhani should use those words and compose a verse on the subject.

Varnana – The questioner asks Avadhani to explain a subject or a situation. Avadhani should compose a verse explaining that in the given meter.

Ganita – A su-do-ku table of 5 rows and 5 columns. The questioner gives a number in the beginning. Avadhani should fill the matrix with a number each time the questioner asks for it. At the end the su-do-ku should have been solved.

Chitrakavya – There are certain letter patterns in the verse composition of all Indian languages. In the given pattern the Avadhani should compose a verse on the given subject.

Kavya Pathanam – The questioner pulls out verses from the plethora of a particular language’s literature. The Avadhani should locate the verses.

Aprastuta Prasangam – This guy shoots some off-topic questions to the Avadhani every now and then, throughout the Avadhana. Avadhani should tolerate this and answer this guy.

All this has to be done without referring to any kind of notes, without using pen and paper and within the rules of grammar & composition.

Initially, it seemed really difficult to understand what was going on. Yes we studied Sanskrit in school, I don’t remember much, except for some very basic stuff or less. Yes we had a chapter in hallegannada (old kannada), but its entirely different from the modern kannada, so difficult to understand, unless you have spent some time with the language. Yes, we have studied about Chandass (meter in poems). Infact, we used to have an exercise in school to determine which which Chandass a stanza in the poem belonged too, and I used to love doing it. Now all I remember is there were laghu-gurus, but nothing more than that. All this made it seem difficult to understand the show.

Shataavadhani Dr.R.Ganesh, what a Genius this guy is!!!

At first, when I dint know what the title meant, thought it’s a part of his name. Later when I realized, I could only laugh at myself.

It’s simpler to keep the audience hooked on to, when they understand the language. Its simpler, when they know whats going on, on the stage. Here even though most of them knew kannada, and some knew Sanskrit, it was difficult to decipher the old-kannada verses. Dr.Ganesh, explained his complex verses in such simplicity, that you couldn’t stop your hands from clapping, or just wonder, what – how?

One thing, which most of them could relate to was the 5x5 Sudoku matrix, which had to sum up to 111. I am wondering, how he calculated the location of a particular number, or a number of a location. Is there some formula to figure it out? Even if there is, how on earth can he place them, without even looking at the matrix once?

The chitrakavya was amazing too. With 4 simple lines, he created a picture of mridangam.

Even the person who gave him the challenge(pruchaka), was equally good, since, he too has to have one ready, to prove that its possible, and the challenge is not given just like that.

Nishiddhakshari: The person was spontaneous and tried to restrict the Avadhaani in so many ways. It is definetly not one way. If the Avadhaani is able to create a beautiful poem, the credit should also go to this questioner, since it’s his restrictions/conditions which allow the avadhaani to come up with such amazing lines. This is more of a action-reaction event.

As the Dattapadi and Samasya Pruchakas mentioned, they took time to think about the challenge, come up with a poem, with the right meter, and read it out. But, for the Avadhaani its definitely challenging to create totally different poems, adhering to the conditions.

The person who did the Kavya Pathanam, had an amazing voice. I could listen to him sing the poems for more time. Wish our kannada/sanskrit teachers in school sang the poems this way and taught us. It would have been a pleasure then.

Last, but definetly not the least the person who distracted the avadhaani with the comments and questions, in a hilarious way, yet in a thought provoking manner was super entertaining. I am sure, nobody had any kind of difficulty in understanding what the conversations were about.

On the whole, this was an eye-opener for me, as to how rich a language can be. How, when we follow certain rules of the language, can create master pieces. It was a humbling experience, to everybody present there.

I had studied Sanskrit in school, and kannada too. As time went on, I havent read much in kannada. Sometimes I do read the magazines which have been subscribed at home. But, to appreciate, such performances, to enjoy such grandeur, we need to know much more. More the knowledge of a language, better can be the appreciation.

I wouldn’t say, I am going to start reading novels and poems in kannada from tomorrow. But atleast, I want to make it a point to read the magazines regularly. And as I feel comfortable move to proses, and may be someday, I will be able to come to a stage where I can read poetry, and go into the depths of it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trip to Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach and Bekal Fort - Part 2

Part 1 here

After doubts and delay, we left from Bangalore at 4.30 on Saturday. 15 mins and we got stuck in traffic. By the time we reached NICE road, and then to Mysore Road, I really don’t know what happened. It was too sunny and I had dozed off. But I am sure, there was nothing interesting. Around 6.45 PM we had crossed Srirangapatna, we were at a fork which went to towards Ranganthithu, KRS etc. We took a tea break here. While we were contemplating which route to take to Hunsur. One of the villagers there suggested we go thru the Ranganathittu Road to Hunsur, it would save us 15km, compared to the one via Mysore. Greedy people we were and took his suggestions. 10 mins drive and we were in for a roller coaster ride. The roads were so pathetic, oh wait!! Where were the roads? It was just muddy path. All along we thought if only we had gone thru Mysore, we would have reached faster. If not faster, atleast smoother. Well once we reached the main road, we hoped to get on to better roads. Let’s say we were destined not to travel on good roads.

Wait a minute, did I even mention where we were heading to. We were going near Kannur (in Kerala). The actual name is Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach.

So, let’s get back to the treacherous travel. We went in the road towards Madikeri. There is one deviation, where you take right for Madikeri and go straight to Kannur. At this point, we assumed going straight would lead us to Kannur via a place called GoniKoppa. This as per our plan, made on the fly, was the dinner destination.We reached there around, 9.30 PM. What were we thinking, was this Bangalore to expect people to be roaming around this time. All restaurants, were closed, except a few very shady ones. We see a couple of bakerys open. We enquired in one of them, he told us to check out one hotel, and we found out, that was closed. We rushed back, to this bakery. He was just getting the shutters down. The moment he saw our car make a screeching halt, opened the doors for us. We ate cream buns, dilkhush, bought MTR badam milk, bought a few packets of chips, chakkali, water bottles, fried peanuts, daal, 3 packs of plain buns. Looking at the amount of food we bought, he gave us 2 big bananas for free saying, you will need it on the way. He must have thought we were hungry for a lifetime.

Our destination was 80kms from this place. The road was still in bad condition, when the ghat section began. The roads were smooth, like butter. We were so relieved and thought this was the end of the bad roads. We stopped at a particular place for a break, had badam milk, the night was so bright, since it was full moon day. If only we had taken our tent along, we could have just had a gala time in the middle of the road. After the refreshing break, we were back on the roads. Then we came across a fork, one towards Kannur and the other Thalassery. Our place was 7-8km from Thalassery, so we took that turn and went towards the place.

All of us were pretty excited; we would be on the beach in 15-20 mins. But, the hotel, in which we were supposed to stay was on the beach, so definelty not easy to spot. We called up the owner to find out directions. All he knew was Malayalam. We knew, English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, no Malayalam.

It was a funny conversation between G and the hotel owner.

G: Chetta, we near ******* shop.
Owner: ** Iron bridge
Rest of us in the car : Hey, this is the bridge

G: Chetta, Iron Bridge crossed.
Owner: ** Toll booth ** canara bank------ left
G: Ok chetta, 10 mins
Rest of us: Laughing at the conversation

Person 1: Is that the toll booth
Me: That looks like a toll booth
“There”, all of us screamed.

Finally we saw the toll booth.

G: Chetta, Canara Bank ethra km?
Person 1: 1km
Person 2: ½ km
Person 3- signaling its right around the corner

All of us in the car had a confused expression, but we knew it’s on the right side. Finally after a km, we saw the “Canara Bank ATM”, and saw a small lane going to the left. We took the turn. It was as if we entered a village. It felt awesome with the cool breeze. As we neared, we could hear the ocean roar. We spotted our hotel, parked the car and ran towards the ocean. What a great sight. We are on one side and the other side is the vast ocean, nothing else, no trees, no rocks, and no obstacles, all you can see is water. Since it was full moon, and it was around 1.30 AM, there was high tide. All of us stood there speechless for a couple of minutes, then decided to call it a night. We checked in, and in our rooms opened the balcony door, to find the ocean facing us. Only this time, there were a few coconut trees, in between, which just added to the view. At 2.00 AM, we gave a thought of giving our bodies some rest.

Day 2: There was no alarm required the next day. I woke up around 6.00 AM, realized where we were, and rushed to the balcony to see the beautiful view. They had a nice seating arrangement in the balcony. I spent half an hour gazing at the ocean.

I saw people driving cars on the beach, that early.
An old couple walking hand in hand.
Boats which were in the ocean for fishing. In the half an hour it had moved places.
All this while, I saw a man sitting on a bench near the beach, probably he was also enjoying the view as much as I did.

It wasn’t too sunny; the pleasant view was so soothing.

I went back and slept, since everybody else was sleeping. After an hour, I couldn’t sleep anymore, I woke up G and both of us sat in the balcony looking at the ocean. The hotel guy came to take orders for breakfast. We ordered appams and kadla curry, and tea.

We had the yummy breakfast and tea, and were waiting to rush into the ocean. We changed to water clothes, and then off we went into the ocean. The waves hitting us hard, pushing us away from water, throwing us on the beach, pulling us in, all these were just amazing. It’s not that we haven’t visited beaches, but each time you go, its fun, infact everytime you enjoy the most. We played, volley ball, throw ball in the water. We came to the beach and played, sometime just sat on the beach, so that the waves would touch you and go. At times the huge waves would just lift you and turn you around.

We were hungry, had some water and chakklis sitting on the bench, and clicked some funny pics. After 2 hours of ocean fun, we finally decided to wash up and take some rest. The sun was getting on our head by now.

After a refreshing bath, I was again in the balcony, with G. He was trying to take some pics, while I was writing something in my diary. Around 2, all of us were extremely hungry, we headed for lunch.

It was not totally Kerala style, but yes, coconut oil was used. We had rice, daal, sambar, papad, since we were veggies, we had beans sabzi, non-veggies had fish curry in their menu. The water play in the morning had made us extremely hungry. We probably overate. Once the lunch was done, we decided to go for a walk. It was a pleasant afternoon.

Since we dint want to wet ourselves, we walked on the road adjacent to the beach. After a while, all of 4 of us, sat on the reef built on the beach. Again took some pics, then sat there for a while, doing nothing. The ocean was weird though. At times the waves would go so high, we would think it will hit the reef, but they would go back 100m from where we sat, and at times when we least expected the waves would come very close to where we sat.

The beach was getting crowded slowly. Since this is one of the only drive-in beaches, you can see so many cars, bikes, scooty, Honda active, even cycles on the beach. This is probably the only place where the vehicles are more in number on the beach, than the road. It was time we got our car, to kiss the ocean.

And there we were on the beach, zooming parallel to the ocean, all eyes were on our car – reason (here). Everybody took turns to drive on the beach. There was a point where a small stream was joining the ocean. Initially, we dint know if we could cross that, I volunteered to cross that to check the depth, it was not even ankle deep, we drove the car past this, till the end of the beach. As usual took some customary pics, been there seen that kinds. After an hour of this time pass, it was just 4.30, lot of time for sunset. We just roamed around in the car, for sometime. There wasn’t anything interesting. We went back to our room and in the balcony played UNO for some time. Time for sunset was nearing, and there was just one thing missing. The Sun.

It was so cloudy, so difficult to spot the sun. Around, 5.45PM, we could spot the sun, we took some of our eatables to the beach, to enjoy the sunset. As our luck had it, there was no sun to be seen, so sunset was out of question. In the meanwhile, all of started discussing, about axis of earth, summer, winter, and from nowhere, we started discussing tinkle stories, even shared a few suppandi stories. We sat there until, our eatables got over and mosquitoes started feasting on us. We had another long walk on the beach. You can say it was romantic. By this time, all of us were tired, even though we dint do much that day. We went to take some rest. G had slight fever. He had tablets and slept. I was in the balcony, trying to draw something, in half an hour or so, I got bored and my eyes were dropping, so I did the best thing, went and slept.

Around 9.30 we were ready for dinner, had Kerala parothas, tomato curry, gobi Manchurian, rice, daal, curd. WE dint eat much, since our snack time made sure tummies were full. We sat in the porch, discussing the route to go back, since the route we came in was horrible, and we dint want to take that. We checked with another group who were getting back from somewhere, if they went to Bekal Fort. They dint, but went to some nearby fort it seemed. We wanted to go to Bekal Fort next day, so decided on the route based on that. Went for a short walk again in the beach, sat on the bench for a few minutes and decided to get back to the room.

We told the receptionist to make our bill, in the night, as we dint want to spend too much time on that next morning. For 2 nights, including food and the numerous times we had Tea, it was 5.5k for all of us.
Rs.1000 per room/per night

We went to sleep at 11, hoping, we would start early the next day.
One last night, one last glance at the ocean from the balcony, and off to dreamland

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trip to Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach and Bekal Fort - Part 1

Drive in Beach…
Seems fun...
But its rainy season
So what, that’s the fun
Alright, what else
Bekal Fort is close by
What’s that?
You remember the movie Bombay. The song “Uyire” (Tamil) “Tu hi re” (Hindi), was shot here...
Oh that one...quite scenic… Are we going there too?
Super. I am in
And so were another couple.
Thus started our journey in the afternoon/rather early evening on Saturday (Aug 12).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spa for...

“Let’s take a gold package. It has wash for every month.” Sagar said.
“Yeah but don’t you think silver is enough. Why do we need the spa for a wash every month? Silver package has wash every 2 months” Nita was trying to negotiate.

“Yes dear, but they do body polish too, once in 2 month in the gold package, and the platinum one. Just imagine, how good it would be” Sagar was trying to show the brochure to his wife.
“Okay, you go and get it done”.
Nita left the brochures on the table and went to the kitchen. Sagar went in the car to Auto-Spa.
He gave the keys to the attendant. “Please take care of my baby”, he said and left from the place.

As he was returning home, Raghu uncle met him, “Sagar, where is your car?” “It’s in the spa uncle, getting pampered”, Sagar winked.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Geometry box

Vandana was getting late to school. It was her first day at high school. She was waiting for her mom to give her the lunch bag and the geometry box she had asked for. Kamalamma was working as a house maid, she couldn’t afford much to send Vandana to a private school. She was a smart girl, she wrote several exams and got her scholarship in one of the best schools in the town.

“Did you get me the new geometry box?” Vandana asked her mom with hope.
“You have strived so much my dear, wont I get you one” Kamalamma went to the trunk, which was kept in the corner.

She opened it and took out a small bag and in that was a small package. Kamalamma opened it, and out came a shiny geometry box. She gave it to Vandana and wished her luck.

“Amma, this is so beautiful. Where did you get it from” Vandana’s eyes twinkled looking at the box.

“This was given by one of my owners when you were born. I used to work in one of the richest houses in town, at that time. When you were born, the lady of the house came to visit us. She gave this to me and said, that I should provide you good education.” Kamalamma was wiping her tears.

“That’s so kind of her. Can I go and meet her sometime to thank her for this thoughtful gift?” Vandana wanted to express her gratitude.

“I don’t think so dear. They don’t stay here anymore.” Kamalamma wiped off her tears.
“Now, aren’t you getting late for school. Off you go” she shooed Vandana out of the house with a smiling face.

Kamalamma took out something else, from the package. It was a photo of a pretty lady. After a few minutes of silence she spoke “Madam, your daughter has turned out to be a fine girl, also, she is as pretty as you are”

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


“Lets go that posh restaurant for her party” Amit was trying to convince the other 2 guys.
Amrita, was back after her higher studies, she had agreed to meet her buddies at a place of their choice. Sagar, Karthik, Amit and Amrita were inseparables in college. As life would have it, after graduation, they went ahead with their respective jobs and studies. They were constant touch with each other, and after 2 years, were going to meet that day.
At 8.00 PM sharp, Amrita, dressed in a sleek figure hugging knee length dress, was waiting outside the restaurant. The 3 guys came in a few minutes. She was pleasantly surprised seeing them dressed appropriately for the restaurant, instead of Jeans and some t-shirt with graphics.
“Not bad, you guys” she smiled and hugged them.
“You too” responded Sagar
Amrita smiled and gestured that they should now get in, lest their table be given to someone else. Amit and Karthik hit Sagar on the head “Is that how you compliment a girl?” He just shrugged.
As they took their seats, Amrita realized the guys were trying to be formal in behavior. She was missing out the fun she had with these guys, and decided, if they weren’t going to act normal, then she knew how to get them on track.
The waitress came to their table to take the order.
“Drinks anybody” Amrita offered, “It’s ok guys, I have no problems. I have the money”, she winked.
“One red wine, please” Amit ordered.
“I’ll go for a bloody Mary” Karthik decided
“Champagne, for me” Sagar was the last to decide.
“And for you ma’m”, the waitress turned towards Amrita.
“Get me a diet Cola for now” Amrita closed the drinks menu
As they were discussing the current affairs in their lives, their order started to appear on the table.
Amrita gave one look at all of them, called the waitress and said, “Please get a Shampagne glass”.
The 3 gave her a shocked look. “You started drinking?” “From when?”
By then the waitress came with a Shampagne glass.
“Guys, it’s and empty glass” Amrita showed them. But what she did next was totally shocking for all the three. She poured her diet cola into the glass.
“What are you doing Ammu” Amit tried to stop her. “This is a 5-star, they have a decorum”
“Come on guys!!! I love to drink in fancy glasses. The one she give me a diet cola was like a water glass, I loved the shampagne glass and this is how I will drink it”
“You know, you are insulting our drink” Sagar said, all 3 started at him and then they started laughing loudly. It was a similar laugh, which Ammu shared with her friends, on a roadside restaurant.
She knew, the ice was broken and she had her buddies back.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

wjo's that

“But amma, why can’t I come with you”, Kaushik was pestering his mom.

“We are going to get the groceries, in the scooter, and it will be difficult for all of us to come back on that. Anyway your sister will be at home with you. We will get you hot potato buns. Alright” Mom was convincing Kaushik.

He reluctantly agreed. The Potato buns did the magic.
After 15 mins, he went to his sister’s room. Since it was getting dark, she was closing the windows.

“Why are you closing the windows?” Kaushik asked innocently.
“You don’t want to know. Come lets go out of the room”
“But why did you close it?”
“You will get scared Kaushik, come lets go”
“Why will get scared. I am a big boy now”
“Fine, you won’t listen to me. Will you?”
“Naah. You tell me”
“Ok… do you see that white light out there? That’s Mohini”
“What? Who is Mohini? ”

“You dumbo, last week, do you remember, I was watching a horror movie, a lady was roaming around in white saree, in the dark, with her long hairs open, with no eyeballs”

“Yeah, I was scared and mom scolded you for watching it and switched off the TV”

“Excatly, since we switched it off, she has come here to meet us.” “Look, the white is nearing the window. Can you feel the chill air?”
Kaushik was extremely terrified now.

“Akka, will it come inside and take me away. I don’t want to leave you guys and go with her. She is very scary” Kaushik was on the verge of crying. She couldn’t control and started laughing.
This actually scared Kaushik even more. “Don’t worry idiot. There is nothing called Mohini. That was on TV, just a story. I was just trying to scare you” she said.

“What? now you are lying to me” Kaushik insisted.
“No re baba, see I was closing the windows, so that mosquitoes don’t come in. That was the right opportunity to fool you” she tried convincing him.

“So what’s thing white thing?” he questioned
“Tubelight” she shrugged her shoulders.
“You are calling me a tubelight?” He was angry with her now.

“Come here and see” she opened the window and the tubelight was right in front of the window.“Our window glass is translucent, so you cannot see clearly what’s on the other side. I just made up a story” She was happy that she convinced him.
“Mummy” he started crying.
“Oh my God, if mummy comes to know, I’ll be dead. You are my darling brother no… I will never scare you again. Please don’t tell mummy… Please Please Please” she pleaded him.
“Fine, but if you try to scare me again. I will tell her” He blackmailed her “Ok fine. I won’t”.

As they were about to close the window again, the bell rang and both jumped out of shock.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trip to Shivanasamudra

Most of the times, we plan a lot, and end up not going anywhere. Last Friday evening, as we were heading back home, I just said “Why don’t we go to Shivanasamudra tomorrow?”, “Not a bad idea” G said. I was already super excited. The last time I visited the place was a decade back. We decided to hit the bed early, but then there was a HP movie on TV, and I dint want to miss it. Anyway, we had decided, if we could wake up by 6 we will go, else cancel the plan.
5.00 AM: Alarm rang. I woke up G and asked him, if we are going. He said no. I was disappointed and slept again.
5.30 AM: G wakes me up and says, go and get ready. I was super happy. Initially we argued over who would go take bath first, that way other person could get around half an hr extra to sleep. Since, he is the designated driver, I accepted.
7.30 AM: We were out having breakfast in BTM Layout. Then we took the kanakpura road and headed towards the destination
Please have your breakfast, before you leave Bangalore. Unlike Mysore Road, there are not many hotels. There are only roadside tea shops, where you get bananas, biscuits, chips. There are no hotels in that road. But road is awesome. Not road bumps/humps, no potholes. It was smooth like butter. G had a gala time, driving on those roads. I am not sure about his average speed, you see I having my nap. But anytime I woke up, found him in 120 or 140. In between he would nudge me, to see the beautiful surroundings. Indeed, a pond and a small hill in the background would make such a pretty sight.
At one point there is dead end leaving you with 2 directions, you take right to head to Mysore, so we took the left which would take us to our destination. You will find directions to the place, every few kilometers; it’s a little hard to get lost on this road. Even if you do, the villagers are pretty helpful.
There are 2 falls, Gagana Chukki and Bara chukka , around 2 kms apart.
Finally, by 9.30, we reached the viewpoint of the Falls. This is probably a few kms before the falls; from here you get to see a beautiful view of the Gagana Chukki Falls. Since we had reached early, the crowd was less, hence enjoyed the view for quite some time. We sat there on a bench, sipping hot tea. It was such a beauty. Though I wonder, why is this place called Bluff?
We then left to go near the falls. It’s around 6kms from the view point. As we headed towards the falls, there is a deviation, one going towards Gagan Chukki and the other BaraChukki. Since we had seen the first one from far, we visited the latter this time. We parked the vehicle, and looked at the falls. The water looked so mesmerizing. In one view you feel, water from all the directions, merging into one waterfall. I like this better than the view of Gagana Chukki.
There are steps to go down till the river. After initial fun getting down, the steps become steeper. All along, I was wondering, how much effort would be required to come back up? But the view of the falls on the side, make you forget all this.
Once you are down there, there are coracle rides (in kannada: Theppa), which you can take. They take you for a round in the river, close to the falls. We din’t opt for that. There are multiple falls around. There is a point where, you can cross the stream, though it knee deep or more. A lot of people were crossing the stream to go under the falls. We sat there on the banks and were having fun, looking at people trying to cross the stream. A lot of them fell in water, due to the slippery rocks. One good thing which can be observed here, it doesn’t matter, who you are, where you are from, which gender you belong to, you could see people helping each other cross the river. If one was about to slip, you could see another person helping them avoid falling down. As I was sitting one of rocks, with legs in water, was passing mobiles, holding somebody when they were slipping. It’s such a great gesture, we could see there.
Just next to this, there was a small pathway. G and I headed there, we had to catch hold of the roots and climb a little bit. From there we could get a beautiful view of the falls. We took a couple of pictures and headed back. Not many people venture there, so there are some thorny plants which have just grown in the wild. We ought to be a little careful.
After this, the climb back to the parking began. Every time I was panting for breadth, I would sit on those steps and look at the view, which would probably fill me in with energy to finish the climb. Once we reached the parking lot, we had tender coconut and corn.
We headed towards the Darga, which is near Gagana Chukki. It seems people are not allowed near the falls, since its very dangerous. The rocks are too slippery. On that day, there was some kannada movie shooting going on, so we were not stopped from going near the falls. Ofcourse, the shooting area was still not accessible. We took a few pictures, but the fun part was going down those rocks and coming back up. There was too many monkeys in this area. I had given the camera to G, so that monkeys don’t come near me for the camera. They were least bothered anyway. We dint spend as much time here, since you can’t even touch the water here. Also, it was getting really hot in the afternoon.
There are 2 temples nearby, one is a famous Ranganatha swamy temple, it’s a part of the 3 Rangas. This is called the Madhya Ranga, other ones are in Sriranga and Srirangapatinam
We were thankful that it didn’t rain. We headed back to Bangalore. For a minute we thought we’ll visit Somnathpur. But then thought we’ll leave for another day. On the way we bought biscuits and then non-stop to Bangalore on the kanakpura road. Reached home around 4.30 and had lunch and had a nice satisfying short nap, and in the dreams, saw the falls, yet again.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Long Life!!!

“Rao saab, Mirza sahib is waiting for you”, the driver came and gave a shout at the door. The 70 year old, Gangadhar Rao, got up from the rocking chair. He called his wife, for a cup of coffee for the driver, and went to his room to get his coat, turban and the walking stick. The driver did a namaskar and showed him to the car. He opened the back door as usual, but Rao saab insisted he sit in the front that day. The driver was confused, but it was master’s order, never to disobey Rao saab. He opened the door of the famous “Fiat Padmini” and Rao saab sat, in the front seat, after a decade.
The driver started off to Mirza sahib’s house, which was 50kms from Rao’s house. He never understood, the relationship between, Gangadhar Rao and Ali Mirza. He only knew that every 3 months, Mirza sahib would send him to pick up Rao saab. They would spend 2-3 hours at Mirza’s house and then he would be dropped back. This had been the same since 25 years, his dad had done this, and now, he was doing it for the last 10 years.
Ali Mirza was one of the greatest script writers in the film industry. Almost all the movies he was a part of were blockbusters. It had made careers of a lot of actors/directors. People would become desperate to work in the film, if they knew it was Mirza’s script, they knew something good was in store for them. For the past 30 years, Mirza had not failed to attend any award function, and his mansion had a room which adored all his awards.
Gangadhar Rao, was from a humble background. His father was the temple priest. He never like Gangadhar mingling with Ali. Despite punishments, he always found Gangadhar and Ali playing together. Ali’s father was in the british army, hence gaining the wrath of the villagers. It was not his will to serve the army, some past experiences forced him in. Nobody dared to question him, not even Ali. After independence, Ali’s father decided they would move to Pakistan, and packed their bags to leave. The partition was not kind to them, and due to religious fueds, Ali’s father was no longer there to protect him. Ali was left alone, he dint know what to do, so he ran back to Rao’s house. He was a teenager, scared and shivering. Gangadhar’s eyes did the pleading, and so Ali was then, for the first time, welcomed in the Rao household.
Ali was not allowed to continue in school. Even though he was given shelter, he was not given the same status as Gangadhar or other siblings. He had to take care of the farm, while all the kids of the Rao household went ahead to get education. This saddened both the friends deeply, but Ali had no grudge against the old man, afterall, when the country was burning, he gave him shelter and life.
Gangadhar, would hide from his father and teach Ali, anything he learnt in school. Infact, Ali was so good at things that, he would do Gangadhar’s school work and let him have the credit of all the good work too.
As they grew, Rao wanted his eldest son to become a doctor, but Gangadhar’s interest was not in medicine, he loved nature, he loved poetry, paintings. There was no way out for him, he had to take up what his father wished for. He was sent off to Delhi to study medicine. Ali was still working at the farms. The friends would write letters to each other. Gangadhar would send his paintings  and poetry to Ali, and the latter would spend lot of time, safeguarding his friend’s possessions. During the final year of medicine, he wrote a story to Ali. It was his love story. How he liked one lady at an orphanage, in Delhi, how he met her, how he had proposed to her. But now, he was scared. How would he communicate this to his father? Ali suggested he just marry her and come to the village, this way his father couldn’t do anything. Gangadhar thought this would be the best solution and got married to her. He then came back to the village with her.
That night Gangadhar saw his father’s eyes filled with pride. He was happy that Gangadhar was married. He gave the orphan a life. When both of them bowed, to seek his blessings, he gave her one of the jewels, which his wife had left behind.
“What’s your name child?” he asked.
Scared of what might happen next, Gangadhar said “You know baba, she cooks very well. Come dear, I will show you the kitchen”.
“Chutki, come and help your sister-in-law here”, he called for his younger sister.
Days went by, Gangadhar opened his clinic in the village. Everybody was grateful, they had a doctor in their village. Ali was quite busy those days, he had gone to the city for some personal work, nobody knew what it was.
One evening Gangadhar picked up the evening paper, Ali stopped him, and gave him a book.
“what’s this? I don’t have time to read books now. You know that” Gangadhar was staring at the bound book.
“I know my friend. Just read this once, and tell me what you feel” Ali forced him to sit with the book.
After 2 hours, Gangadhar closed the book, sighed and addressed Ali “How did you know?”
“This is not what I expected. Your reaction is totally different from what I thought it would be” Ali was completely taken aback. “And what did you mean by how did you know? What am I not supposed to know?”
“How did you know she is not a Hindu? I have been trying to hide it from Baba, you know what will happen if he knows she is not a Hindu? Look at yourself, I have seen how my friend is ill-treated, how can I let my wife be treated in the same way” Gangadhar was in tears now.
“I didn’t think it that way, Ganga. Please forgive me” Ali was apologetic. As he was about to leave, Gangadhar stopped him “Baba doesn’t need to know it’s my story. It will make a good movie, you know”.
“What? What did you say just now?” Ali was excited.
“Yes, my friend. It’s my story, but the way you have written this, is wonderful” Gangadhar hugged Ali.
“You know what let’s have a deal. I will tell you a story and you make it as beautiful as this.” Gangadhar held his hand. Ali took it in his, and exclaimed “Deal, my friend, It’s a deal”
“Rao Saab, the house is here” driver opened the door of the car. Rao took out his walking stick and got down the car, looked at the mansion, smiled and went in. the maid, bowed and ran into the study. Mirza sahib was adjusting his spectacles and reading, with a cup of tea on his chair.
“Sahib, Rao Saab is here” the maid informed.
“Get the old man a cup of tea and something to eat”
“Who is the old man here, you are the one who needs constant monitoring, who needs to see a doctor” Gangadhar entered the study.
“Come in my dear story, oops I mean Doctor. Now, I have everything ready, are you ready with the next part of the story” Ali took his laptop to note down what his friend had to tell.
“I sat in the front seat today” Gangadhar said with tears in eyes.
Ali was shocked “You did? That’s really brave of you. I am glad you have moved on. Baba would have wanted you to do this. He loved that seat dint he. He even took his last breadth in that seat”
“Will you write about him?” Gangadhar looked at Ali. His eyes were filled with tears.
“Yes, I will write about Baba. But on 1 condition” Ali smiled. “You will have to take Padmini forever”
“Ofcourse, it’s always been mine” both of them laughed their hearts out. For the first time in a decade, the mansion was filled with this laughter.

Monday, August 01, 2011


“Hey Look look Dravid” they would tell each other, everytime Manju and Kavya went past the corner poster shop. Both the girls loved Rahul Dravid, the cricketer. It was a craze at one time, for some it was Ajay Jadeja, Kumble for some, but for these two inseparables it was Dravid.

“Aww.. he is so cute”

“Yeah, wish I could have life size poster of his. But that costs Rs.100, mom will kill me if I ask her for that”, they would giggle and move on from the shop.

“Amma, the small poster is Rs.15, can I atleast have that” Kavya was trying to strike a deal with her mom.
“No dear, why do you want to spend so much on a poster. Instead get yourself a nice comic book” her mom suggested and left the room.

“Amma, its Kavya’s birthday 2 months later. I want to get her a gift, which she would love. I will collect the money you give me and get her a gift” Manju was discussing with her mom. Her mom nodded her head and said “As long as you can save in your money and get her something, its fine. Don’t ask me for hundreds of rupees”

Kavya’s birthday was nearing, and Manju had bought the life size poster for her. Manju was so excited, about kavya’s birthday.


Years later, Manju was getting ready to attend Kavya’s wedding. Her husband asked her, what was the gift they were planning to give. Manju smiled and took out a roll.

When her husband opened it, he saw, Dravid’s poster. “Have you gone crazy? Will you give this as her wedding gift?” he asked her.

“Yeah. It was her dream once. Before I could give it to her, due to some family emergency, they moved to their village. We couldn’t meet for years after that. With so much of struggle, I met her when she came to invite for her wedding. This is an old gift and I am sure, she will be happy with this”, smiling Manju packed the poster in a golden roll.


Kavya was opening up all her wedding gifts, when her eyes fell on the golden roll. She opened it and was amused to see the poster.
She flipped the poster to see something written in a beautiful handwriting.

“Happy 16th Birthday Kavya” (Year - 2000)
Lots of Love

Kavya’s eyes filled with tears, she had got her best wedding gift “Friendship”

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Best Friend Forever

I got a call from one of my Bestest Friends (well I know that’s not correct English, but can they include it in the directory). This happened a month back, I started writing and then, as usual left it unfinished. But today I think I should continue… This will never get over, since we are still great friends.

What do I say about her… We both joined Infy together. We hadnt met each other earlier, but had a common friend, who had told both of us that her friend is joining Infy. In a way it was good, we dint know each other. We did not have any expectations or any impression about the other person…

We met in the beautiful Campus. We were given a week’s accomodation in the Guest House, and were in adjacent rooms. In a week, we became close to each other. We had similar interests. She was not very talketive, but an awesome listener, so we complimented each other. Late in the night, we just sneak into our balcony, jump over one and sit under the moonlight and talk for hours.

After a week, we moved to an apartment, with 2 other girls. All 4 of us belonged to the same gang of friends in Infy. Since the other 2 were usually busy on phones talking to their boy friends, it left the 2 of us to bond together, even better. We were room mates in the apartment.

We had mutual understanding, so it was always her who would wake up first and let me sleep for an extra half an hour. Once she was done with her bath, she would wake me up, like an elder sis, and then I would rush around and get ready and we would go to office together. As time flew, our bond became stronger.

Funny thing, our birthdays come on consecutive days. First comes her birthday, So the celebrations started from 12:00AM and went on till 11:30 PM, and then she would start cribbing “My birthday will be over and now yours will start off”. We laughed so much, and together waited for her birthday to end and mine to begin. Till date, when I wish her on her Birthday, I tell her, tommorow by this time it will be mine. And she says yeah everytime you steal my thunder…

She would always call me Doll. She was supposed to go to Pune for training for 2 months, she wrote me a letter and a to do list at home. Things like close the balcony door everyday, switch off geyser before leaving. One day a friend and me played a prank on her, calling her and telling that it was late at night and I came alone walking from his house as he refused to drop me home. The amount of scoldings he has got from her is enough for his lifetime. Then she dint speak to us for 2 days for playing the prank on her.

When I told her G proposed to me and I said no. She was the one who first told me that I was crazy to not accept his proposal. And after months, when I finally accepted, she was the first person to know apart from the 2 of us.

Like any other friends, we have had our share of good and not good times. We have gone thru the phase where we have not spoken to each other, due to some misunderstanding. But as we grow older, we mature and we realize, it was so stupid to lose a friend over trivial issues.

Both of us were in different places, I would say continents for years, but when we finally met, it seemed we were never apart. It just took us a few conversations to get back on track about each other. Again we lived in different places, occassional calls, occassional chats and we were still good friends.

Time got us together again in the same campus. We would go for lunch together and then a long walk… We would discuss everything under the sun. But then, this time last year she quit. I surely missed the time we had together. She was to move to Delhi a few months back. We decided to catch up over lunch. We had lunch in Sahib Singh Sultan. We were there for 1.5 hrs, it felt like 15 mins. We had so much to talk to. We sat on the stairs near PVR, wondering why there is no place in the mall to sit and chat. I got her a perfect photoframe, wrote her a card. When we parted ways that day, we could sense that we would miss each other.

I am just hoping she comes to B’lore soon, and I get to meet her again.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Race Race!!!

“Is he getting it married?” My mother-in-law asked me.“He is already married to it amma”, I told her smiling.. She just headed towards the kitchen, nodding her head. This conversation, was right after my husband gave her a test ride, after the modifications on our car.
Modifiactions done to Fiat Palio
- Engine Grooving. Its like an open heart surgery, is what he told me. Free flow blah blah blah….
- Free flow exhaust, air filter change, silencer changed

Result: When he starts the car, it sounds like a race car… When he zooms past other cars, the sound is deafening… He doesn’t have to honk on roads, people just give way. All eyes are on the car. Car lovers kinda smile at it.

I am just loving it, for 2 reasons.
- I have always loved Ferrari in F1, and now I atleast get to feel a teeny weeny bit of it, considering my husband drives as if he is on F1 race.
- I can keep saying “Show Off” to him.

Why Show Off you ask?
Any time he is in stand still, he starts, he loves it when people turn around and look at itAs soon as we enter Infy, he has to accelerate such that the security guards notice… Ofcourse they smileSee a bunch of guys and accelerate and heads turn

Best was today morning, our neighbor was cleaning his car, when we were leaving… My husband started the car and let is on for warming up(he says so). So the neighbor asked… What’s with the silencer?. So my husband told him, and he said – Are you going to participate in a race?My husband said – No just the thrill… He just smiled and said –Enjoy :)
As soon as we left from there, I told my husband “Show Off”… You dint even try to impress me so much ….

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bus rides!!!

Bus rides in the morning can be pretty interesting. And here I am not even talking about the people in the bus. That will make up a pretty long tale. As soon as I get a window seat, I feel the satisfaction same as quenching my thirst. I just open the window wide open to see off the place, where I stood, just before the bus came. As we move in snail’s pace in the (in)famous Bangalore Traffic, we see people running to catch their buses, which for some reason they might have missed, or people who are waiting for their mode of transport to arrive. Sometimes we see people strategically crossing the jam packed roads… The best time to cross roads when there are so many vehicles on road… is when there is a stand still traffic jam.
As we move slowly and steadily, the weather also tries to play along. The sky is covered with dark clouds, making us think about the time of the day. Out of nowhere there are droplets of water kissing your face. Instead of wiping it off, or closing the windows, you just push your face a little outside and feel the water on your face. As you go further, and the rain has increased its momentum and you can see a series of water drops falling everywhere. You see colourful umbrellas opening up. Those people who had not anticipated the rain, rush towards any shade available.
In the meanwhile, the windows are closed a little, letting in a little bit of air in, considering a fellow passenger’s request since they like stuffy and suffocating environment in the bus. When the expressway stretch was over and you can just look at the roads below from a bird’s view, it seemed so fresh. The road was wet. People were still running towards the bus with umbrellas hitting each other. Autos standing the stand, with all the drivers having a team meeting, with a cup to hot tea. The best thing in this whole journey was listening to soft romantic songs.
When I realized what a beautiful day it was, the song playing was “Hume aur jeene ki chahat na hoti.. agar tum na hote”… Bah!!! Just the song when I was coming to office without my husband today :) But these are time times which make me realize, small moments just make a good start for the day ahead…

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Independence Day!!!

Shweta, was getting her daughter ready for school. It was the 15th of August. Independence Day celebrations were planned in her daughter’s school. She was present in one of the singing groups. They were to sing a patriotic song that day. Since it was the 25th Independence Day celebration in the school, they had invited the parents to be a part of these celebrations.

The introductions were done, the Mayor of the town was invited to hoist the flag and make a speech. The girls of class V were asked to sing Vande Mataram, and they sang beautifully. Shweta was a proud mother, she had a smile, when she saw her daughter singing. After this, there was a welcome speech and flag hoisting, then started the speech of the Mayor.

What happened after this, Shweta doesn’t really remember, since her thoughts drifted to the independence day celebrations, decades back, when she was in Class Xlll.

Shweta and 4 other friends, were the best of friends, the school had ever seen in that tenure. They loved attending the school functions, except for attending some boring speech, where the chief guests were supposed to give “inspirational” talks. This year, they planned to escape the speech part, of the celebrations. They were ready to sacrifice the usual Laddoos, which were to be distributed in the end. They hatched a plan.

The celebrations were to be held, in the huge school grounds. There was a huge sitting area and on the left was the stage. All the initial excitement had died down when the speech started. The plan was that the girls would try to leave one by one, so that nobody spots them leaving. In the initial 10 mins, the first girl slipped out of the compound. Then in some time the second and third. Just when the fourth one was about to leave, one of the teachers came and stood somewhere nearby. Though the teacher had no clue 3 of them had left. Shweta and the fourth girl waited for the teacher to move away so that they could escape and meet their friends outside the gate.

Just when the teacher moved, and the girls were about to sneak, there was an announcement.

We thank Mr.XXXXX for taking out some time from his busy schedule, to come here and give us some inspiration. Now we requests all the students to form a line, so that they can collect the sweets being distributed near the gate.

Eventually, both the girls went in line and collected their sweets and came out the gate. When they met the other 3 girls behind the school, their mouth was stuffed with Laddoo. They had forgotten to leave some of it for their friends.

After some, stares and laughs, they finally decided to sneak into the post office, which was right next to the school. It was national holiday, so it was empty. The gates were locked, so they actually jumped across the wall. There wasn’t even a security guard. All 5 played in the post office for quite some time. Around lunch time, they parted ways, unless all the parents arrange a search party for them.

Shweta was smiling to herself, when she heard loud applause. The speech from the Mayor, just got over. There was an announcement made. All the parents are requested to enjoy the refreshments, provided in the auditorium. Please make sure you have an eye on your kids… Have a great day all of you.
Shweta saw her daughter, stuffed with ladoo in her mouth…

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


It’ll be too hot..
its gonna be raining.
But we’ve both been to Waynad…
I want to go to ChikkamagaLur…
I don’t want to go anywhere…
Let’s go to vythiri in Waynad…
Yeah looks cool…
But isn’t it too expensive?
Yeah… But its our anniversary… So lets go…
But we’ve both been to Waynad… Let’s go to some other place…
After a week of haggling and a day before departure… We thought Vythiri it is… and Waynad is the place…

Calls made to Vythiri… NO VACANCY…

Venue changed to ChikkamagaLur, calls made to 8-10 homestay…, NO VACANCY again.

Finally we thought if nothing, lets take our tent and go anyplace… Place dint matter, time spent together is what is important.

Just then a last attempt. A last call made to Homestay - Mugila Mane. Room available… room booked for 2 nights. All set to leave next day to the coffee place – CHIKKAMAGALUR.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Colourful Paper!!!

Akshata opened the gates and ran towards the door, and rang the bell continuously. Her mom opened the door. Before she could scold her for making the noise, Akshata just barged in, throwing her bag on the sofa, shoes on one side, and lunch bag on a chair. In a moment, the beautiful house turned messy. Her mom realized the gates were wide open, which was an open invitation to stray dogs. She closed the gates and came in closing the door behind her.

One look at the house and she was furious with Akshata. Hands on her hips, giving a stern look, in a normal tone, she asked her daughter.

“What kind of behavior is this, Akshu? Is this what you do when you come back from school”

“Sorry Amma, I am so excited today. I can’t wait to show you, what I learnt in school today”

Her mom wanted to share the joy, but certain things couldn’t be left unattended, so she continued “I am sure, it must be very interesting dear. But, do you think we should go ahead with that, with all this mess around.”

Akshata understood what her mother meant, and promptly got up from the sofa, took her shoes and neatly placed it on the shoe rack, took her lunch bag and kept it in the wash area. She was just about to take the bag and go to her room, when her mom called out.

“Akshu, I have made something special for you today. You freshen up and come to the balcony, with what you want to show me, I will be ready with your surprise”

Her eyes lit up, she hugged her mom and said “You are the best Amma in the world” and ran to her room, to keep the bag in place and to change, but most importantly, she wanted to go and show the amazing thing to her mom.

As she entered the balcony, she could smell freshly baked fruit cake.

“Wow Amma, you made me fruit cake. It’s my favorite. Thank you”

“Well, I had to. You are the best daughter. Isn’t it?”

“Yeah,………….” she said something with a big piece of cake in her mouth, only she could have deciphered what she was saying.

After a piece, her mom reminded Akshata, that she was supposed to show her something.

She got a sheet of white paper. Then she got her Blue Ink Bottle, she got the filler. Akshata first placed a newspaper on the floor. On top of it, kept the white paper. Now carefully, she put drops of ink, on the white paper. It was random, no particular order. Then she folded the paper into half, rubbed over it. She opened the sheet of paper, and a beautiful artwork was on the white paper.

Akshata, beaming with pride showed it to her mom, “See Amma, Radhika taught me this today”

“Wow Akshu, that’s beautiful. Radhika has taught you something very nice”, saying this she hugged Akshata and gave a peck on the cheek and said “Now, let’s keep this aside, so that it dries and we can show it to Appa, when he comes home”

Next day, when Akshata came home, she had another surprise, Amma had got her water colours and told her, she could do the same thing with colours. Both of them had lot of fun that evening. It was one of the most colourful days of the 5 year old. Akshata kept singing all day, my colourful paper.

That night, Akshata’s mom, took out her diary from the trunk and kept the first 2 sheets of Akshata’s creations in the book, and named them – My Akshu’s artwork. She was about to close the diary when a sheet fell from the book.

It was her first colourful paper.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Incentive or Bribe

Heard this line in one of the songs in 3 Idiots – “Rishvat dena to khudd Papa ne sikhaya”… It’s not to demean the parents. Ofcourse what we are today, is because of them, the push, the confidence they have given us… But it’s not entirely false, that we have seen this from our childhood.. Parents.. teachers… everybody….

Recently, I was in conversation with a person(X) I know. We were discussing jewellery. When she said, you must have gone to XXXXX jewellery store, they have got good collection. I said, yeah next time, I will go there and look out.

Just then she said, “we had to get a gift in gold, for the inspector who had come to our college”. I quite dint understand, at first I thought, they had some function and it was a memento, only later I understood, there was an inspection and this “GIFT” was the bribe.

There was another incident, when the college was supposed to have some event, and some permissions from the POLICE had to be taken. So the students told X, “Don’t worry ma’m, We will do some ADJUSTMENT with the police”.. Needless to say, the event was successful.

Now, as a teacher (GURU), isn’t one supposed to imbibe certain qualities in the student. If the Student is going the wrong way, should the teacher encourage the student. In the above mentioned incidents, may be if they hadn’t taken the steps they did, it wouldn’t have happened.

But is this what we are passing on to the next generation…

Not just teachers, parents too are responsible for this.

Lakhs and lakhs of rupees spent on “DONATIONS”
“Dad, I want my DL” – Ok, Lets bribe the RTO.

Why blame government and private agencies…

Its all root level..

“Eat the food baby… I’ll let you watch TV… I’ll give you a chocolate..” What is incentive in the beginning, becomes Bribe in the Long Run…

Friday, June 17, 2011

If you were....

“I like your stories, darling. Why don’t we get this published into a book” Rajesh asked
Priya was very skeptical “I don’t know. Do you think it’s good enough to be published”
“Ofcourse dear. The grammar is right. Your stories are short, simple. The readers can just connect to it.” Rajesh persuaded her.
“If you say so, but how will we do it. Where do we find the publisher. And what about the investment?” Priya was anxious about a lot of things.
“You just churn out good stories, rest you leave it on the supreme one” Rajesh gave a loud laugh.
“Alright, almighty, supreme one… I am so grateful to you” Priya laughed along.
They kept the papers in the file and left to have dinner in their favorite restaurant.

Rajesh and Priya knew each other for 5 years. They were married for 2 years and had a great life. Priya was interested in writing, and started writing short stories as a hobby. Anytime, she saw some incident, which happened around her, or she remembered something from her past, she would weave it into a beautiful story. She had around 50 stories ready.

It took her an year to complete the number of short stories required for the book to be published. Rajesh had contacted a publisher who was eager to publish the book. Rajesh had to do a lot of travelling, for his work, and he did not find time for the publishing. Priya, did not want him to take too much burden, and she herself took up the responsibility of getting the book published. After the initial few stories, Rajesh had not read what she had written. Every time Priya sent him the new story, he wouldn’t read the story citing various reasons. For some time, she started feeling, that her stories were probably not upto the mark and Rajesh dint have a heart to tell it to her. But, her publisher was confident that the stories were great, and she should get it published.

The book got published. Along came the fan following, awards. Success was with her now. She felt aloof, inspite of all the adulation.

Priya couldn’t understand why Rajesh couldn’t be a part of her success. One day, she decided to confront him. She wanted to know if it was her fault and if success had got into her head that she distanced from her loved ones. Rajesh assured her, she was still the same doting wife. It was his work, that was eating up all the time.

She wrote a couple more books, which were again Best Sellers and undoubtedly won her awards and lot of recognition, not just on the national level. Next she decided to write a novel instead of short stories. In a year’s time, she was ready with the book, it was published. The publisher had arranged for a book release.

Rajesh was in town that day. she told him, she would be glad if he could be with her on this big day. Rajesh had agreed to accompany her.

In the evening, Priya was dressed in one of her finest Sarees. Rajesh had got it for her, from one of his trips. She looked so elegant. She looked in the mirror and smiled at herself. Just then, Rajesh called in to say, he would join her at the release location, and that she start from alone. This saddened her, but she was happy that he atleast took some time to come to the location directly. She took the book in her hand – “If only you were” and went downstairs to the car.

The book release location was bustling with people. They were waiting to take a glimpse of this fabulous writer, who had become a rage in a few years. There were photographers, journalists, other prominent writers, waiting to welcome Priya. A volunteer announced, Madam Priya is just in the corner, and she would be reaching the venue in 5 minutes.

Rajesh had just parked his car, and come near the entrance to welcome his Priya. He was happy, as he was going to be with his beloved wife on her big day. At the Road entrance, they spotted her car, taking a turn.

A huge crash. Everybody saw the car go up in the air. Police rushed to the place. The car was smashed all over.

Rajesh rushed to the place. He wanted to rush Priya to the hospital. He could spot the saree in that mess. He went near the body. Priya’s face had a peaceful smile. On one hand, she had the book, which was to be released that evening.

Rajesh couldn’t believe what he was looking at. He took the book from her hand. He opened the last page and read the last few lines.

“Everybody says – Behind every successful man, there is a woman. Some also say – Behind every successful woman there is a man. “
“But all I wanted was my man to be beside me”

~End of Story~

Rajesh took the book with him, and walked across the street. Some journalists claim they saw him teary eyed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Night!!!

It was 8.00PM when there was a knock on the door. It was time for Akash to return from work. He was a hard working guy, who worked nearly 15 hrs a day. Nisha, his wife was very understanding, she knew, all this hard work was for their family of 3. Both Akash and Nisha adored their 3 year old daughter, Ragini. Nisha never asked for a thing from Akash, Sunday was the only day, he got an off, and that he spent with his family, the other days, he was buried in work.

Only complaint Nisha had was his smoking habit. Akash was a chain smoker. He needed one in his hand, all day long. Every day, as soon as he came from work, he would sit on the couch, and Nisha would keep the ash-tray on the table. This was a daily routine. Anytime she asked him to quit, he gave work pressure as the reason. Though Nisha was sad about this, she dint pester him much as Akash was great as a person.

Months passed by, with the same routine. Ragini was being fed her favorite dinner that night, when the door bell rang at 8.00 PM. She rushed to the door to open it up for “daddy”. She felt short, as the latch was at the top end of the door, so her mom had to come to the door, to open it up. Akash was happy to see both of them at the door. He hugged Nisha and then picked up Ragini and gave her a peck on the cheek. He showed his cheek, so that she could return it. She first checked if her dad’s cheek was smooth enough and returned the sweet little kiss, on either side. He put her down, and Ragini ran inside, as if she had unfinished work. He laughed at her excitement, kept his bag on the chair, went to the couch and sat there. He saw Ragini, come out with the ash-tray, she kept it on the table. She then, caught hold of all the ruffles in her frock and moved away from the table, as if, otherwise it would catch fire. She went to her mother, to finish her food and then off to sleep.

Akash, couldn’t sleep that night. When Nisha woke up sometime in the middle of the night, she saw him at the balcony, smoking. She could sense some tension. She walked up to him, kept her hand on his shoulder. When he turned, she just smiled at him, indicating, she is with him and the tense moments would just pass away. All of a sudden, she saw tears in his eyes. She had never seen this in 5 years of their marriage. When Akash realized, he changed expression, he couldn’t be silent. He cried like a baby. All Nisha did at time, gave him the shoulder to cry on; no questions asked. After a while, Akash controlled himself and made a statement. “ I will quit smoking Nisha. I don’t want to see my daughter bringing that ash-tray on the table again”. Saying so, he switched off the cigarette he had in his hand.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bring your kids to Work Day!!!

Malini was excited. She was taking her daughter to office today. Richa, her daughter was 6 years old, and she was super excited, when she got to know, she would accompany her mother to the work place.

Richa was a independent kid, she never wanted her parents to help her to ger ready on any outing. She asked Malini for half an hour to get ready. Since Malini was ready, she had all the time to wait for her daughter. She took her cup of coffee and walked up to her balcony which faced the garden. As she was looking a the beautiful hibiscus which had bloomed that morning, she wandered off to her thoughts, remembering her mom’s garden, which were full of flowers.

Malini was a cute kid herself. Nearly 3 decades back, she remembered, how her mom was helping her to get ready. Malini was supposed to go with her dad to his office. He was the boss of the factory. He was the production manager. Though there weren’t any kids to accompany, she knew she would sit with dad in his cabin, and she would be given all the importance that day, as if she owned the factory.

As soon as they entered the factory, few workers got her some cool drinks to drink, some of them got some chocolates. She felt like a celebrity. Ofcourse at that age, she dint know what it meant. Malini’s mom had packed her colouring books, story books, which she promptly opened up as soon as dad and she were alone in the cabin. Her Dad had arranged a small table and chair for her. But kids, are usually not satisfied, are they? She wanted the big table which dad was using. His table had 3 metal drawers and a glass top, he had so many files on top, along with a couple paper weights, staplers and lot of other stationary.

Malini was left near that table for sometime,since her dad had to go out for some inspection. He told her he would be back in 10 minutes, and that she was not to touch anything on the table. She was a very obedient kid, she dint touch anything on the table. Just a few minutes later, her eyes fell on the drawer. This was the kind where you unlock the top drawer, and open it and the below two get unlocked. She saw the keys dangling on the top one. She promptly closed, the drawer, locked it. Now she dint know where to put it. Since her dad had told her not to disturb anything on the table. She just put the keys in the second drawer, and closed it.

Malini’s dad came and she moved back to her table and chair, and started colouring. In 5 minutes, she saw her dad, franatically searching for something. She realized he had lost something. She dint know though what it was. Two of his assistants came over and all three searched the whole cabin. It was just fluke that Malini’s dad asked her if she saw the keys of the drawer, and that’s when he realized what had happened. They had some important papers in there, and now it was locked up. Just when her dad, and the other 2 were thinking of getting a locksmith, Malini came upto them and said “Daddy, did I do something wrong? I saw the drawer open and thought I should lock it up. And you told me not to disturb anything on the table, so I kept it in safe” and smiled. Her dad couldn’t help but admire her innocence. The other 2 guys also burst out laughing. The locksmith came and finally the lock was opened in half an hour of the incident.

“Mamma, I am ready. Let’s go”, Richa came running to Malini in the balcony. Richa wore a cute jeans skirt and red top, with matching accessories. Malini took her little bag and said “Let’s see what my darling is gonna bring to my office”. They both left in the car to Malini’s workplace. She was telling Richa, dos and donts in her office, mentally making a note to keep an eye on Richa, lest she has to start searching around for stuff, like her dad.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trip to Mysore - III

It was a hot day, and the moment we reached the palace (South Gate), we wanted to drink something. What better than tender coconuts. We were disappointed with the rates though. They kind of exploit the tourists. Point to be noted: The entrance is the South Gate, where you get tickets, to visit the palace.

After the tender coconut, we headed towards the ticket counter. As soon as you enter the gates of the palace, on the right is the camera counter. Visitors are supposed to deposit their cameras in this place. Photography is not allowed inside the palace (bah!!). Everybody has a camera in their cell phone these days, and nobody stopped them from clicking pictures inside. I still dint get the point, why cameras weren’t used, because we can use flash, may be. Anyway, let’s go a little further.

As we near the entrance of the palace, there is a footwear stand. No footwear allowed inside the palace. It’s not a temple, probably they just want to maintain the cleanliness of that palace, and it’s pretty cool inside, so it’s ok.

Note: Both the camera and footwear stands are for free, so no money making there.

As soon as you enter, there is a counter where they have audio guides, Rs.100 per system. You can also hire, certified guides, but we chose to go with audio guides this time (experience sake). There are 21 parts, the numbers are displayed out there to let you know which part of the guide to listen to. The moment we enter, we first go to the place, where the dolls are kept. This is the place, where the family decorates the palace with dolls during Navarathri/Dussehra.

We then enter the corridor, adorned with beautiful paintings. If you really love paintings, you can spend a lot of time here. The audio guide actually explains a lot of paintings, the details in those paintings, which you might overlook. We enter the centre hall, just look upwards, and you see awesome glass paintings adorning the ceiling. The flooring is so amazing; it’s so colorful, you are thankful that you aren’t stamping these beautiful tiles with the foot wear. It seems weddings and birthdays and other important functions were conducted here.

Next we move to the gallery where the paintings of the Royal family are kept. Sigh!! You wish you were a part of them. Who knows, maybe we were in our previous birth, if such a thing existed. Then you move to a gallery of gifts, given to the kings (Wodeyars), by the places they have visited. There was so much of Sandalwood in that glass chamber, such intricacy in sandalwood, hard to find in our daily life. We then saw some more paintings and then moved to the courtyard. The palace has a mixed architecture. European, moguls, Hindu, and you can see all these in one place. It’s a good example of unity in diversity.

History: It seems there was a wooden palace earlier, and it burned down during one of the weddings which happened in the palace. The queen then made sure, no material which can be burnt would be used in the making of this palace. So the palace is kind of fire proof.

Ok... Now in the first floor, In between, we go through rooms where the furniture and other articles are kept for display. Once we cross these we come to a big Durbar Hall, which is open to the public. (Like Deewan -e- aam).

Again there are paintings, infinite mirrors (mirrors kept in front of each other, you get infinite number of images. The arches in this hall are so identical. It looks so beautiful. From here you can see the vast ground. Just imagining, the king sitting right in the middle, with dignitaries sitting around him, the ministers and important people next to him. The ladies of the palace sitting in one place, and on the ground, you see hundreds of people flocked up just to see the king, and the proceedings. You just get goose bumps. The carvings on the ceilings are definitely worth an observation.

No wonder it took 15 years to build this palace. From here we move forward and find the elevator, which was used in those times. Right after this, there is a passage which leads to an Ivory Door. It seems there is a Ganesha Temple behind this door, and when the fire broke down the whole palace, this temple remained untouched. Even today, the Royal family visits this temple. It's not open for the general public. Then we come across 2 doors which carved ivory. It seems these doors won a prize sometime in early 1900s. Next you go to a smaller Durbar Hall (like deewaan -e- khaas). It is so colorful. Just like those you would have seen in the movies. Aah!! I really wish I could have lived there, the chandeliers, the mirrors, the carvings on the pillars. Slowly, steadily, you move out of the palace.

After living through the history, for a couple of hours, you feel bad that you are out of the magnificent palace. You can go to the rose garden, there are some beautiful flowers. You can go to the gate and collect your cameras. Then you can click as many pictures you wish, outside the palace. There are quite a few temples inside the palace gates; you can visit them if you have time. We had seen these earlier, and since it was lunch time, stomachs were pleading us to give them something. Friends wanted to have pizza, so off we went to kalidasa road and reached Pizza Hut.

We had yummy lunch of pizzas and pasta, and left to Bangalore, but not before another pit stop. We planned to go to Shivana Samudra... But did we actually go there or take a detour, will be for the next post... Time to say Good Bye Mysore... and off I drifted off to dreamland in my sleep.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trip to Mysore - II

Mysore is hotter, compared to Bangalore, but since Bangalore is also hot these days, we were used to sleeping without AC, so hadn’t booked the AC room. But, I guess we were lucky, due to some confusion in the booking, the hotel agreed to give us AC rooms with no change in the Tariff. We were glad about the AC, now with AC on and spreads to cover us, we had a good night sleep.

Usually on trips, I wake up early, one is don’t want to miss out on the beautiful day sleeping, second, I can anyway sleep in the car while travelling. But this time I slept till 8.00 AM. We were ready by 8.30, finished our breakfast of Idly vada (not so good), but no other option as we were not in the city, and that our next stop was a bird sanctuary.

By 9.30 AM we reached Ranganathittu. We had to pay Rs.50 per person, as entrance fee, and if we wanted the boat ride, it was again Rs.50, and the car parking was Rs.30. So after paying Rs.430 we headed to see the birds. We were lucky that the moment we reached the place of boat ride, we were about to start, so no waiting time. The boats are covered on top, so no worries of getting baked in the sun. We occupied a nice position. It was a ride for 20 – 30 mins. I have never seen so many birds in a natural habitat. There were birds from Siberia, North America, Japan and lot other countries. Actually I don’t really remember the name of the birds… But yes, very well remember the Painted Storks (easy to remember).

According to the boatman, feb- july is the season to visit this sanctuary. After this the eggs hatch, and the birds fly away with young ones, and you hardly see any birds there. One of the visitors asked, “how do you know from which place the birds come from?”. The boatman said, there are trackers tied to the legs of these birds, and when the report comes, that’s how they get to know.

One of the interesting things which we found was the way these birds were protecting their eggs or young ones in the nest. They would spread their wings in a weird fashion, we try to get a pic, couldn’t get it though. But it was as if mom would hold her saree pallu to safeguard you from sunlight (well similar way). Parents I tell you, ever protective.

Well, all this while we have been talking about birds, you might ask no animals at all. Behold, there are crocodiles in the same river. Yes, same river where we are boating. But, they keep to their business. They are usually under the trees, waiting for the eggs/ young birds. It was a treat to watch the crocs in the river, since a couple of them were moving. Anytime we see these creatures in the zoo, they are sleeping as if they are dead… For a while, I stopped watching the birds and was observing the crocs. It’s a little difficult to differentiate them with rocks around. Again some people had questions on, what will happen if it attacks us. The boatman was cool about it and said, they usually don’t attack, unless we are on their way. So we were making fun, what if all the crocs gang up and try to overturn the boat. We knew it wouldn’t happen at that time, but if it happens I wonder how it will be.

Once the boat ride is done, we came out and saw the watch tower, may be around 15 ft or so. We went up there, couldn’t see much, but enjoyed the moments when the birds were inflight. Tried clicking photos, but they are too fast, and we dint have too much time to capture the right moments. After this, we just took a stroll and were out of the sanctuary and headed towards the city…. Next stop was the famous Mysore Palace….

Friday, April 15, 2011

Trip to Mysore

Let’s go somewhere, anywhere.. Just need a break, this was my slogan whole of last week.

Since we were to go with friends, getting everybody on board was not so simple. Timings, locations had to match. Finally, it was decided that we would go to Mysore on Saturday afternoon and return Sunday night. My first reaction was – “Mysore??? Again!!”, to this my husband said, you just wanna go somewhere right, so I reluctantly agreed.

I love Mysore, the place has so much to offer, but I have been to Mysore so many times, we were there for a couple of years, and it was just 2.5 hours from our house, why go there for a whole weekend. But then again, any break was welcome, so we were all set by 12 noon on Saturday.

As it happens in most of the trips, we started a couple of hours late, and we were kinda hungry the moment we had started. But we thought of stopping for lunch in an hours time. NICE Road is a boon, we reached Mysore Road pretty soon, and then the usual scenery, of paddy fields, some shops here and there, Wonder La and Innovative Film City advertisements. There was nothing exciting or new about this stretch. By the time we reached Bidadi, we were hungry and decided to have some chocolates, until we reach a proper lunch place. Around 3.15 we reached Kamat Lokaruchi. The food here is mouth watering. Kamat is on the expensive side, but once in a while it’s still ok. We had the North Karnataka meals (speciality here). After half an hour of eating, we left for Mysore.

By 5.30 PM we reached our hotel, White Orchids (Bombay Tiffanys Franchise). It was nothing great, but 1200 per night with AC was something we did not want to complain. Anyway all we needed was to sleep that night in the hotel.

We freshened up, and were ready to visit the famous Brindavan Gardens. On the way clicked we encountered a beautiful sunset. So we stopped the car and took a few pictures. The road is pretty ok, to KRS Dam(Krishna raja Sagar Dam). Much before KRS, nearly 2 kms, we were stopped by a few people for parking tickets. Once we got this, on the left we could see the beautiful Dam. After parking our car, we walked for 5 mins to the entrance. Since it was a Saturday, there were too many people. One of us went to get the entry tickets and paid for the camera entry fees (Rs.50) I wonder why so much for the camera. Once we entered, it was the usual mela kind of environment. Lots of eatables, chilli Bajji, Gobi Manchurian, noodles, Banana Bajji, Aaloo Bajji, Onion pakoda, popcorn, American sweet corn… we dint eat any of this, coz of hygiene concerns (bah!!). We took a litre of bottled water and went near the bridge which would take us to the north side of the garden.

There is a ferry (Rs.20) one way which will take you to the other side. We took the ride, just for the sake of it. It was fun. Though we have been here multiple times, we never took the ferry, to avoid standing in the queue, this time we thought, whats the hurry… So after 10 mins of waiting, we finally got to travel in the ferry, and it was fun watching hoardes of people walking on the bridge. We reached the other side in 5 mins, and then as we got down, till we reached the place where they had musical fountain, dint I tell earlier, this was the sole reason people flock the north garden J

Anyway, enroute we saw some cute little fountains, we were telling a friend of ours, this was the place, so many movies were shot, with the celebs. Actually it was a lie. All this shooting was done on the south Gardens, which was the other side of the ferry ride, from where we entered. Anyway, we took a couple of hazy pics, and negotiating the fountains spray, we reached the amphitheatre around the musical fountain. They were playing Saare Jahan se accha (the last song the of the fountain performance)

As soon as this got over, people got up and moved outside, we got on to those steps, and caught up with a nice place, with good view of the fountains. In 5 mins, the fountains took off with a famous Kannada Song. It was a nice attempt. As soon as this got over, there were a few hindi songs, and then a instrumental music piece, and finally Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Humara Humara…. It was a nice feeling. There were whisteles and shoutings and lots of excitement.

After this got over, we headed towards a ice cream and had yummy Nutty Chocobars. This time we decided to take the bridge, and since it was nearing 8.30PM, the crowd was not too much. We had a nice walk on the bridge (not the dam), and then went out to have hot bhuttas/JoLA (corn). We then left to Mysore City to have dinner.

After much discussions, we decided to go to Metropole. This was once a palace, and now being used as a Star Hotel. Food is a little expensive, but the ambience is awesome, Food is good too. The restaurant is in the courtyard of the palace, so you are out under the sky full of stars. The highlight this time was the IPL match was on too. So good food, great ambience, a crowd which would react to every wicket and every four or six, made up for a great dinner.

We came back to the hotel, and contemplated if we should hit the bed, or play for a while, and play it was, and so we played cards for an hour and then left to our rooms, for a sound sleep, with plans to going to Ranganathittu Bird Santuary the next day.