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Showing posts from 2005

Roots and fruits

Sisters and daughters fly away;
So do sons and brothers,
Like cousins and friends
All grow wings and leave the nest.

Nurtured feathers grow up under care,
The time comes when they mature
And wish to see and hear things new,
Tread fresh paths and find one’s way.

No chain, no fetters, can hold them back,
Not of iron, or the heart strings,
When the time comes, the cocoon yields,
After all, baby butterflies should be seen.

Some stay back, others come back,
Because the string stretched a little,
To roost the night or grow new roots,
Or to use new wealth for the good of all.

When you clip your wings to stay put,
You may think…so why not?
For the love of the land, the dust of birth,
Is more than good enough for a great living.

Home is where the heart is, it’s said,
Break not a heart, break not a home,
But do go where the heart leads,
You are sure to find a home away from home.

When my voice-box just ‘sat down’ and struck work, like Bangalore’s cable TV operators…

The cable TV operator’s strike (tools down) resulted in lesser noise levels in the house. All of a sudden, my voice box packed up, too. I had felt the onset of a sore throat the previous night, but took precautionary measures against continued soreness. Monday morn saw me unable to even squeak out a good morning. That was when the silence really announced itself. No shouting at the son to get ready for school, no yelling out instructions to the maid, and best of all, no phone calls to answer! The doctor wrote ‘laryngitis’ after politely enquiring whether I had attempted to yodel. All I had done was consume lozenges and have a go at vocal music classes. (Perhaps it was neighbour- invoked blessings?)

Through the day my co-sister answered the phone. Whenever there was a call, I picked up the extension line, and if it was for me, I whispered replies which she very kindly conveyed to the listener. That happened with a friend and an uncle.
I had to answer one call when the good Samaritan was …

One for the bride

‘Look at this one! Sounds formidable.’
‘Here’s a techie working in an MNC, just as Father wants.’
‘I like this one – he’s a chartered accountant – they can start their own firm.’
‘I’ll call this local number. Age and qualifications fit.’
‘He has a dosha* in the seventh house. I’ll download this horoscope.’
‘Jyoti, do you like this face? Come on, be free and frank.’

We wassailed in the umpteen comments merrily doing the rounds. It was all part of a suitable-boy-hunting spree for a dear sister-in-law on the www by her twin brothers and the co-sisters. ‘I am convinced he is there, biding somewhere in cyberspace waiting for her’, I had said, when gifting her a paid registration with one of the flashiest cyber ‘broking’ sites, with option of ‘automatic’ match-making activated.

And the mailbox was inundated – and how! Some invisible computer code written most likely by a well-meaning novice ensured that we received the history and geography of all types of self-proclaimed eligible Keralite bachelo…

Continuing with brave moms...

Another brave mom - mine. Last week she underwent a three-hour surgery to remove a 6-kg growth south of the diaphragm detected hardly a couple of weeks ago: one of the umpteen things the female of the species can end up with out of the blue. Having the scalpel working on the abdomen for the fifth time, that too when you are heading towards your platinum years in an otherwise active and satisfying life, is somewhat unusual, don't you think?
The docs said they did have a little difficulty deciding which scar to start the invasive surgery on, but they did a neat job of it, going by the looks of the lump that they weeded out. A few jittery moments: arranging for blood of a certain negative group, and waiting for the biopsy report.
Fortune favoured brave mom - she did without a refill, and the growth turned out to be benign. What a load off one's mind - and mom's tummy, of course. Three cheers for brave moms! May their tribe flourish!

One brave mom

There was this 18-month-old cherub on Tuesday last at the blood bank. I was there waiting to have mom’s blood cross-matched with a donor’s. At the visitors’ area, with more than an hour to wait, my son and I had this baby for company, perched in the arms of his mother. What was noticeable apart from the smiling face was the left hand fully swathed in ‘banded’ (as baby himself helpfully explained).
The mother satisfied our curiosity: they were monthly visitors to the blood bank for the baby to receive transfusions - Thalassemia was the reason, discovered when he was seven months old. The parents' awareness and understanding of the condition and efforts at coming to terms with it was possible only courtesy the Net. From the mother’s account, it seemed that their social circle is woefully ignorant about the affliction, so emotional support appears scant.
In no reply to the mother’s wondering at why at all this should have happened, I jotted down my contact numbers in her diary, with a…

Verses to recharge oneself

The here and the now

Past is past - let
Bygones be bygones, avow,
See resting in your hands
The Here and the Now.

Unmade hay and unstruck iron,
Let not cloud the vision,
Spilt milk of a day gone by,
Is at best tomorrow’s lesson.

An unheard knock, a missed call,
Rattle – they will – every hour
On the morrow wake up wise,
To see the sun surely rise.

Clear the mind to prepare it
For Fortune’s future favour,
Tomorrow is another day – with it come
Many more Here’s and many more Now’s.

Lavishness at weddings

The other day I logged my 'gracious presence' at the wedding of a friend's daughter. From valet parking and outdoor traffic management to the 'thamboolam' (a farewell cum thankyou gift) for the departing guests, it was evident that greatest pains, utmost care and least penny-pinching had gone into ensuring zero-hitch success of the occasion. Among the educated elite, it appears that the dowry has been replaced, (thankfully?), by an equal-terms, healthy approach to the nuptials. Though of course no one can deny the continued presence of that bargain-barter combo among the pretentious-literate and the hapless-illiterate: God - and a hopefully extant sense of not-looking-a-gift-horse-in-the-mouth - help them.

The mind rolled back to reports and videos of celebrities' vow-exchanging - where media frenzy and hysteria serve to lengthen public memory to a little more than average - the currency-value, the rights-value, the guest-worth, all meant to pop out the eyes of …

Learning a new "language": About Aurally Challenged Persons

Armed with more than a passing command over Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam, I looked forward to becoming literate in Kannada as well by training under friends, street and bus nameplates, billboards and screaming headlines. With my work finding me in Bangalore, I took efforts to put my daily couple of hours of travel to good use – reading, 'thinking' with 'eyes closed', observing fellow passengers and noting the innumerable ways the average road-user finds to gain inches forward in daily road races.

‘Talking nineteen-to-the-dozen’ was what occurred to me one such day as I looked up from my crossword to see a couple of schoolgirls dressed in smart beige and brown uniforms when on my way to work on busy Airport Road. It seemed to me that they were carrying on an animated conversation (some, who didn’t know better, would have termed it loud). Whether standing a couple of feet apart or seated across the aisle from each other, the dialogue always proceeded unbroken. As I conti…