Sunday, November 16, 2008
V : What happened?
M: A life-altering incident.
V : I repeat ... what happened?
M: Ok ... so I was in Mysore. For my training. On my left sat my good friend (whose name eludes me right now), while on my right, sat... well... a guy who wasn't. After conversing with my good-friend-seated-on-my-left, and realizing a little later, that class was over, I turned to the guy on my right and asked him to move. He looked shocked. Taken aback used in conjuction with scandalized would attempt to convey the general impression he gave. And with all this, he didn't budge but instead coughed a "Sorry?". I repeated my request. The traumatized fish-out-of-water, hunted look still hung on his face. I was beginning to lose my patience. People were queueing up behind me with a "Hoy! Get a move on there!". And in my indignation, I exclaimed "Please move!" to which reason seemed to return to the hapless chap's throne and he ... well ... he moved.
I found out later that the unfortunate guy was a kannadiga. That's nice. But I still couldn't fathom why he looked like he'd seen a ghost when I asked him to move. And then, it hit me. I had spoken to the guy in Telugu in the first two instances of requesting him to displace himself. But that still didn't explain his outrageous 'Howwwwwwwww could you?' expression.
I bumped into a Kannadiga friend of mine later, and asked him casually what tappuko meant in kannada? He laughed and said not sans a mischevious gleam in his eye 'Why? Have you been using that word lately?' and promptly dismissed my question. Now I knew there was something wrong. This time I sought out a girl friend of mine, another Kannadiga and posed the same Q. Again the m. gleam in the e. Damn. Whaaaaaaaaaaat did I do wrong? And this time, the answer came.
V : What happened?" (Ok ... I think I need a new line)
M: Well ... I was speaking to my friend right? ... in class? I was conversing with her in telugu. And when the class ended, I had turned around and said "tappuko" in the same flow to this random guy. And ... sigh! While tappuko means 'move' in telugu ... (deep sigh) ... that guy heard it as something else... the 'pp' part of tappuko must have sounded like 'bb' to him and ...
V : Ok ... what happened? (I really need a new line now...)
(Umm... more silence)
M : Sigh ... In kannada, tabbuko means "hug me".
V : (Rendered incapable of speech. Current action : ROTFL)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
1. I had this quirk for a very long time ... if someone hit me on my left hand, I'd hit myself on the same spot on the other hand to balance it out. Wierd? Not half. This actually went cantering to such heights that if my foot touched someone's chappal, then I'd use the other foot and touch the second chappal and endevour to displace it by the exact same distance and angle as the first one (which anyway happened by mistake to begin with). Sigh. Poor me in those days.
2. When I see a fold on a garment ... be it a curtain or a table cloth or someone's chunni, I just HAVE to go and smoothen that crease and keep flattening it till my hands have lost a coupla inches.
3. In my world of fantasy, (which I suspect is a customized set of utterly ridiculous but extremely pleasant thoughts), I'm the world's greatest dancer. Kuchipudi is my main stream, but I'm perfectly capable of executing complex manoeuvers in any style of dance known to man. Oh wait, that doesn't include ballet though ... it only limits itself to Indian classical dance styles. And yeah, I've been bequeathed the greatest of the titles from India's Bharat Ratna to France's Legion of Honour (all before I've hit 30). Naaahiiiiice.
4. I like my పప్పు, కూర, సాంబార్, చారు, మజ్జిగ పులుసులు, పిండి మిరియం (That, in the same order is daal, curry, sambar, rasam, and I don't know whatever majjiga pulusu is called (umm ok... its a buttermilk based sambar, poured loosely (no pun intended)) and pindi miriyam( uhh... I think this one's got a lot of urad daal, lots of black pepper( hence the name 'miriyam' ... meaning pepper) , and beans... but beans can be substituted with any other gourd- veggie also I think) to be ever so slightly sweetish. I cannot bear a dish that has the essence of tamarind and the absence of jaggery. Even my pulihora must have have gud in it. I like the mix of sweet-sour in my food, and if you can't manage to bring that out, then don't invite me. So there.
5. I believe that the planets watch over us and especially bow to Hiranyagarbha - He who dispenses with lethary and who has a proclivity to dole out life-giving rays and the whole works. And all this, when I wake up at 12 in the afternoon.
6. When I see a train, I HAVE to count the number of bogies. And woe begone the person who interrupts me.
That's that. I know they're more. But I've to think 'bout them and I'm sure I've better things to do. Like look at the stars outside and think of being an astronaut.
Monday, September 29, 2008
If ever there was a contraption whose mere sight was enough to make me teeter on the icy brink of deep blue funk, it is that. Over the years, I've come up against many of their kind. From the uncertain pappa-gimme-a-1rupee-coin-no?-i-want-to-check-my-weight weighing scales to the heck-you-ARE-overweight ones lounging about at a doctor's.
The one I hate however, is in my gym. A friday evening, after a gruelling workout, when I step onto the offending machine, it says 53.2. I had the best weekend ever. I come back on Monday and it reads 55.8. Sigh. I don't starve myself (anymore) but I'm not that gutsy an eater either. Fishy is what is written all over that WS and all in all, I'm thoroughly justified in looking at the thing askance when I step into the AC environs which house it.
Today was no different. Workout wise I mean. After an hour's 'am-sooooooooo-dead' exercising, I gathered myself and started to crawl out of the place. I tried not to look at the weighing scale which had mysteriously appeared (it wasn't there when I walked in) at the entrance. But a gaggle of giggling girls had that machine at their mercy and its hard to ignore a gaggle of giggling girls at any rate. So I stepped into the circle. One girl said, 'I don't trust this scale an inch. I showed my weight as 53 one day, and the very next, 58'. I had company.
Wait time. My turn now. Weight time. 0.1kg. I get down, hit the thing and again, it shows 0.1 kg. Now I know that that's not possible. And yet, I think I'm beginning to like this thingy. I feel light-headed. Happy. I think ... I'm floating. Zero gravity, here I come.
Friday, September 26, 2008
V: Gulp. Am I to cook?
V: But I can't cook! I mean ... I can't cook for too many people. I mean ... its not that I don't want to ... I mean ... I can't! I'll burn everything! Or undercook it. I'll put too much salt or too less of it ... I caaaaaaaaaaan't! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! (Running away flailing arms.)
N: Oh relax! We'll order it from the desi restaurant around the corner, and pass it off as yours.
V: Chee. That reminds me of a too-hep-for-household-bahu who picks up the phone to order stuff off a menu when family members come home. I don't like characters like that.
N: Ok, first of all ... there aren't any family members coming. And second of all, you aren't hep.
V: Great. I burn food annnnnnnnnd am not hep.
Cookery classes, me thinks.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Anyway, the regular comes in, all set to do her set of pumpin' and ohohoho - locked. Soon there's another lady joining us. And another. And into our motley group, walk in three assorted gentlemen, none of whom have the all-too-important key to unlock the door to our dreams (of looking toned and fit and what not .. you know!).
Before we know it, there's a crowd milling around impatiently heartily cursing
a. the instructor who bloody well should've been here by now
b. the security guard who wore an expressionless face and a spare key that unfortunately could not be spared until the instructor had arrived.
The clock strikes 5.20 PM ... 20 minutes ... that would have meant nearly 100 calories at least. All lost. In the meanwhile, the girls are swapping stories on how a couple of guys almost came to blows. Here's a story that did the rounds. Chap A had apparently 'booked' his slot on the treadmill (which means, he asks the girl using it "How much longer? Oh k ... I'm after you" and then rushes to grind his muscles on some other heartless contraption) and a second one B, not choosing to utilize his time elsewhere just hangs on to the treadmill, billowing great waves of "That's enough ... gerroff now willya?". Obviously, there came a point, when the girl does get off the t.mill, B jumps at the opp. A comes fuming and starts arguing ... then A and B get together and fire away at the girl. Sigh. People.
Anyway, amidst all this, the key-chap (no pun intended), comes in, unlocks the door. And here a mini-race takes place. Everybody scrambles (pretending to amble along casually of course:D ) to get the best machine, me included. Ahh ... all's well that ends well and I came away with 300 calories burnt.
I treated myself to a milk chocolate later to celebrate that. Guess some things never change eh? :D
Sunday, September 14, 2008
How does a girl who has spent her entire lifetime (till then) living with her parents in her comfortable cozy home, suddenly put her stuff together and walk out? Oh sigh. I wish I had stayed in a hostel atleast sometime. I would've got used to staying away from mom's (slurp!) food and dad's wry humour then. I've been in this house of mine since a good 15 years and practically know everyone in the colony. But you gotta move on. Dammit. You've Always got to move on.
I saw Ashta Chamma the other day. Its this new telugu movie and by jove! It is Good. The cast is fresh and they deliver. Period. The script is tight, the dialogues funny and the audience a satisfied lot. :) Two words. Go watch.
My veena teacher, it struck me today, is really progressive person. Despite having studied formally only till a single-digited standard, she's manages herself pretty darned well. She called me up today in the evening, asking if I could come and rig this electronic system for her. She tried doing it on her own ... all of her 65+ years, but well... couldn't. The system still didn't work when I left her, but what shone through her was her penchant for activity. She's an active Brahmakumari and does have her own sweet world to dwell in. I've never known her t0 compromise on anything she doesn't believe in. She lives alone, but I don't think I could categorize her as 'lonely'. Her husband recently passed away ... her children are in different parts of the world, but she is content. Yes, as J.Herriot's Yorkshire Dalemen would put it ... "She's a strong 'un" alright.
Finally, the blasts. Delhi rocks again and this time, it ain't a compliment. Sometimes, I wish a bloody deluge would come, sink the entire world and be on its way. No life. No problem. But I guess we must just keep fighting. For how long? No idea. But just keep going ... just keep going. I hate to think of the family of those 20+ people who've been killed. Of the many others who've been injured. In an instant, their lives must've changed. Poor people. The thought in my head is, till now ... these things happened to 'others'. Now though, it seems different. A shadow seems to be creeping on the land. But what do we do?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Q2. Are you from Hyd?
If your answer to the above Qs is 'Err... yes.', then please! could you let me know ... 'coz we need a jazz-or-classical-bhara musician asap!
PS : And for those who cannot read telugu ... the title said ... "There are many great personalities (out there) ... but where are they?!?!?!"
Do let the info flow in!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Imagine a pot. Now imagine its surface riddled with a thousand holes. Now imagine a really really Really bright light. Now imagine the thousand holed-pot placed mouth down on this brilliant source of light. What do you see? Light shoots forth from the pot. The light does not belong to the vessel. But it illumines it. Now imagine the holes melting away ... unable to take the heat of the rays. Soon the body of the pot is gone. And there is only ... light. That, my friends is dance... to me.
It rises from within you and fills you and then seeps out of you. And soon ... it becomes you. Dance to me is a way of life. It lights up my heart, mind and soul. And if I keep on with it, it'll erase the difference between the three. It takes me to a blessed place from where I have no wish to return. But I do. Sigh. I think its heaven. But it seems more than that. Cannot describe the feeling. Is this what they call Brahman? But those who taste Brahman loose their interest in everything otherwise right? That's what the scriptures say. Then how could I've felt That, when I'm clearly still amongst the mundane? Hmmm.
I feel energy ooze out of me when I dance. But I feel like I'm being restricted in this body ... in this cage of flesh and bone. I want to soar ... I want to fly ... I want ... to dance. When I portray the rasa-leela, I am Krishna ... I am Radha. When I dance to the celestial Jagadaanandakaaraka, I am Rama ... I am Sita ... I am Thyagaraja. For when I dance ... I... am.
I exist when I dance. I simply get along when I'm not. To dance is to live ... to breathe. To be. I do not want to away from this wonderful art O Rama ... be kind to me O Blue Hued One ... and let this art practiced by Nataraja himself be a part of me. Let it seep into me ... let it rule me. I do not want accolades, I do not want applause from a crowd. I wish to dance in front of Thee ... You are my audience ... You are my Guru. You are my Nattuvanar ... You... are me.
Am I allowed to speak like this? They say only the Enlightened ones are supposed to speak of God and Themselves as One. And whatever light is within me, sure needs a spark-plug replacement sometimes :). Every mudra is a mantra to me and it pains me when someone doesn't do it right. But then again ... what is right? What is wrong? Only my perspective is the veil that separates the two.
Is he who teaches us dance the Guru? Or is it Dance itself that shows us the way? Is the Guru the Giver or the Given? Again ... hmmm. I think dance is way of bhakti. Of wanting to worship He who created You, through movements of your body. It is the most profound and the most powerful representation of joy because your entire body responds to the call of the Divine. Gaurang, Meera, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa ... all the Greats danced in ecstacy.
And I want to do the same. I want to dance for me. Because it is me.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
When I was young, probably in my 6th or 7th standard, the word marriage belonged my 'Never-ever-ever-ever-ever-mention-that-word-in-front-of-me' book. And if an aunt or an uncle happened to say that I'd be getting married some day, I'd scoff at them and retort "I'm never going to marry." Oh and this would be followed by a good deal of general foot stomping and raging and raving. Chuckles. And now ... !
Coming back to my favourite event of the year, December is going to be one heck of a special month for me :) ... haven't started shopping yet though. But the blue prints have come out and the wheels are beginning to move. The invitee lists are out(whoever comments on this post would also recieve an invitation :D) , the menu has been decided ... the hall's been booked... but lots left to do!
No ... there's no need to be blue. 'Coz the sun's out and everything seems bright and beautiful:).
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I cannot go into raptures without giving you a brief outline of the movie anyway. So here goes.
The story's 'bout a lawyer who's little boy (the apple of his e and light of his l)gets murdered at the hand of two teenagers. The lawyer dad (essayed brilliantly by Akkineni Nageshwar Rao) instead of tearing the two kids apart limb by limb, decides to defend them in the court of law. In the interrogation, it is revealed that the couple murdered the hapless boy for 'fun'. Everyone is soon treated to the ghar ka maahol of the two teenagers.
The girl's parents have no definition of immoral behaviour. Her mom's got a BF and her dad, a GF, so what's all the fuss about? She follows her parents' modus operandi faithfully by 'being friendly' with one chap, 'liking' another, 'loving' a third and 'marrying' a fourth.
The guy's father on the other hand, is an old politico who consciously wants to put society on the road to progress, and in the process puts his family on the road to perdition. He marries a young girl with the sole objective of providing her with a roof over her head, conveniently ignoring a young woman's many other, and maybe more vital needs. The young wife is the same age as her husband's son, leading to some very confusing, frustrating and awkward feelings in their respective bosoms. The wife takes solace in reading A-rated novels to satisfy her galloping senses while her 'son' steals the same books to let his imagination soar into forbidden lands.
The lawyer points out that with magazines painting every figure with a sexual brush, it is not surprising that children are crossing tracks to enter unmanned territories, and that futures that could and should be rosy and fruitful are constantly under seige by monsters of modern society. And this was a 1960s movie for god's sake!
What is thought-provoking is, that though the movie came out in the 60s, its relevance is truer for today than any other. With movies glorifying violence and popping cleavages always at hand and within reach of 1st-graders even, which child will not be influenced? I know a kindergarten kid who closes her mom's eyes when a smooching scene comes up on TV. And this was supposed to be a joke! Ugh. I sometimes wonder how is it that people have children. I mean, the responsibility of shaping them up to herald and be part of a bright future is so mind-numbingly awesome! Not to mention, terrifying.
Sudigundaalu captured the essence of modern Indian society so well, that it cannot be bracketed as a bygone movie. Its message is profound, eternal and valid for the rest of time.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
We had pooled in money and gifted her a tala-meter, an instrument that plays the taala when you plug it in. Dead useful, and a gentle reminder that the students of Sankari Natyasthal (that's the name of the dance institution by the way :)), Kukatpally are a thoughtful lot :D.
Not to be immodest, it was my idea to get the tala-meter. I'd remembered that she'd mentioned it in the Thanjavur Natyanjali trip. The lady who was the vocal backup could not make it then , and my teacher had mentioned off-handedly that the tala-meter would be really useful and all that. Luckily, I remembered the right thing at the right time. And given her amazing vocals, its the perfect gift for the talented lady that she is.
Again, I might be guilty of boasting, but I have to say this. I connect with only very few dancers. And everyone knows that unless you connect with what's going on, you cannot be a part of it.
I must re-iterate here that I am not the world's greatest dancer, indeed that honour belongs to the Lord of Dance, Nataraja only, but I think I can safely say that I'm not bad. In fact, I could go so far as to say that I'm a good dancer. And my teacher is I think the best of the dancers ever - the best as far as I've seen.
I've always maintained (if and when I get an audience ie :D) that dance is all about connecting ... connecting with the Transcendental...connecting with your audience ... with your students. When you do that, you (this is only my theory by the way!) bond with energy around you I think, and that you pass on to your audience/students. That's how sometimes you sit mesmerized through an artist's rendition. That's my explanation anyway.
The point is, with my teacher, its like that. Her name's Mrs. Y. Vijaya Valli Priya by the way. Like all relationships, this ain't perfect either. We've our shares of lows and highs, but at the end of the day, when she sings and choreographs and then I have the honour of performing the most intricate movements to the most divine of songs, all is forgotten and forgiven.
And that's the way it ought to be. Happy B'day ma'am! :)
PS : We've Guru Pournami celebrations this next Sat (19-07-08) ... will surely write a post of that.
PPS : Not that anyone's gonna comment/look forward to me posts (Hmph. Sulks.) more to chronicle the event for remembering later I guess :). Chalo ... tataxxx.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Fresh faces ... great acting, and timing ... everything's ... just great! Love the movie! Imraan's charming and Genelia's ... well ... she's Genelia ... getting better and better with every film. I don't mind watching this movie a couple more times ... and coming from me, that saying a LOT.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Talk about a bad day man!
If you're of the opinion that its not propah for girls to give vent to extreme emotion by the therapeutic means of using anti-social words which happen to be 4 letters long, then Please; this post is not for you.
Today has been the single most lousy day since I joined my new bread-giver. My bus comes in at 8.45 AM by my watch. And the day I arrive running and wheezing with a lung almost near damage, at 8.46 AM, the bus invariably has to turn up at 8.30 AM. I generally enjoy walks, but my 15 min daily trudge to the bus stop is generally marked by an acute sense of racing-against-time and repeated gimme-a-lift-someone gestures. Anyway, today was different. I did get a lift and did catch the bus. I couldn't miss it. I had to wait for a good 10 min. Now the good thing about my company is that it provides bicycles for its employees to reach their respective buildings, thus eliminating the need to walk that stretch of 2 km inside the campus. And the bad thing is, there's NEVER a cycle around when you really need one. So there it was, another 15 min worth walking in the sun. By the time I arrived at my cubicle, I felt like I'd run a marathon.
After a great deal of colourful language about the sweaty start to the day, I settled down. Of course as a person on bench, I couldn't settle down and do something that justifies the company paying me, but I was thankful for the free time anyway. I had some stuff to do and I did. At 2ish, I get a mail from my HR with the subject : Meeting. and a "Please plan to attend" in tow. That's it. No agenda mentioned.
Now, I've come to realise that meetings with agendas are a lot less dangerous than those without and it was with a sense of trepidation that I stepped inside the meeting hall. The meeting was supposed to be anchored by three musketeers (for my own job-safety, lets call them M1, M2 and M3 and M1>(M2~=M3) k?)... biggies in the corporate ladder. I had no idea that a meeting could be molested to such a degree and by jove, molest is the right word, perhaps a trifle euphemistic, but nonetheless right.
M2 starts off with a 'There have been other sessions scheduled before this which some of you have not attended. Now had you guys been in project, it would've been understandable but being on bench (oh glory be!), this kind of behaviour is unacceptable.' Fine. Agreed. But seriously, a day session with a psychologist?!?!?! Puhlease!
How do I put my ordeal into words man???? From stuff like "You should learn to come on time, you might not be in any project but that shouldn't stop you from stepping into the sanctum sanctorum of the campus before the cock crows (this from M3). At least it wouldn't discourage those who are actually working on a project." (Great. Apart from making us feel like S***, he actually managed to give the impression that those stuck to a project actually gaze whimsically at us, praying for a speedy return to that coveted word of corporate IT, Bench.); to "Do you know when the average benchie comes in? At 10.00 AM. (
Now here's the part that makes the blood (no pun intended) boil. There's recently been the launch of a blood donation drive in the company. I don't know if all the M1s of the company get together at the coffee machine and go 'Hey how much of blood did you squeeze out of your guys ... I got a gallon's worth already'. 'Coz that's the impression I got the way M1 went about the whole thing. For a good 30 min.
Now don't get me wrong, blood donation is a noble thing and I support it totally. That I'm aneamic stops me from pouring the pints but the way our M1 kept at it with a steady drone of "What do we have to do to make you donate blood?" (which was followed invariably with uncomfortable silence) made is sound more like a blood extortion campaign than a blood donation one.
I mean... seriously dude, "'What do we have to do to make you donate blood?" !?!?!?!?!!? what kind of a F***ED Q is that baap? What was he expecting us to say? "Sure...just give them a thousand bucks each or grant them 5 extra leaves in addition to the ones they're due for?!?!?!" The docs would probably have to restrain people physically from donating blood then. Of course comments like 'You'll be given a Frooty and a biscuit packet' didn't yeild much. For a meeting schedule for a half-hour, the damn thing went on for an hour, the major part of it being our bloody favourite topic.
5.30 PM. The buses were about to leave and our musketeers shows no sign of abating. Finally one lady has the guts to stand up and say 'I've got to go now'. All the Ms were disappointed ... for it meant that the benchies would've to be tortured in another meeting and that the opportunity at hand was getting ready to vanish into tiny wisps. I raised my hand too and said "I'd like to leave too ... my bus is on the verge of leaving". And then M1 says sarcastically , "Oh! Are you one of those who comes in at 8.00 AM in the morning?" The bloody F***er. I come in at 9.00 AM every morning and occupy the BENCH and when I justifiably want to go into the world where things actually HAPPEN, he comes up and gives me this sardonism laden S***? I've a temper like a rocket and a not-so-public library of invective at my disposal and I put them to use quite efficiently. An unfortunate aspect of today was that I wore my favourite pair of jeans. And it being wednesday and not a friday, jeans are against the law of the land. So when M1 let go his 'witty' lines on me, I couldn't just walk out from amidst 50 odd folks without letting their eyes catch my wardrobe faux paus. !#@$@#$%@#$%
Of course, I missed my bus and that meant a another hour's wait and a lot more diatribe floating in the atmosphere towards M1. Basically I got the impression that the Ms were starved of an audience who would do them the honour of listening to their dishing stuff out and who's handier than an assorted collection of 50+ benchies sitting on their butts with nothing to do but attend s***ty meetings on "psychology of the average benchie" and "What to do when on bench?" ? I mean, they just wouldn't tire out doling out advise baap! And the questions!!! The lady on my left asks "Will there be any technical trainings?" at 5.28 PM; after the Ms speak one after the other on arranging sessions on various subjects, technical and functional. Needless to say, I gaped. The worst part was, the questions seemed paryayvaachi to me. "Could you tell us a little more on the technical sessions?" was inevitably followed by "What kinda technical sessions would be having and when?" People people people. Please have pity.
All in all ... bloody day! Am bushed!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Anyway, the fact that I'm writing this post obviously translates to my changing my mind from what I wrote previously. I'm still alive and kicking (at a lot of things.) And now, to my rant.
So today I join my gym. At the office. Great gym. Great equipment. And great me dresses up like the chief official of the Land of Loserdom. The first few minutes, I stood dumbly in there before talking to the gym instructor, who took one look at me and announced "You can't work out in those clothes" The horrified expression and the dozen exclamations were pretty much tacit and understood by both parties. I convinced him for today, and worked out for like 15-20 min. And then I was told to go home.
I don't know what more I was expecting from my first session anyway. Walk out after losing half my weight or something? Grrr. I think I subconsciously figured in a solid one hour or more of training on my first day itself after which, swathed in sweat, I shall usher myself into a new land of promise and hope. Crash. Less than half-hour. Disappointing dude!
Anyway, the bright part in my life is that I'm now a diploma holder in Kuchipudi (thoroughly disconnected statement ... I know). Officially allowed to teach that magnificent art form. So cuppa kuchipudi anyone? I'll charge nominally! :D
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
A whole year, down the drain. And to top it, my teacher thinks I was over-confident. Great. Just great.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
And this had to happen to me. I was at chapter 41 of Dog Stories (a heart-warming book truly) when at around 5ish in the evening I became conscious of this tiny mewing going on and on. Now, it had rained, nay, poured in the afternoon, and obviously this tiny little kitten was alone and crying, lolling in the mud, waiting for its mother to come and pick it up. And the mother (it grew up in and around my house) was there sitting on the parapet wall, mewing in its own tenor. It lazily ambled along and meanwhile I (quite foolishly) went and picked up the little feller, brushed a red ant off it and set about rubbing it dry.
Her majesty strolled in a few minutes later and when I placed the apple of her eye in front of her, what do you know! One sniff and about-turn. Yikes man! What could I do??? Most unfortunately I was still in Herriot's-ville with the Yorkshire Dales' ethereal earthiness and lush greenery embossed in the mind. Did I mention that it had rained? Yes? Good. The sky looked laundered and the earth moist and green. It could've been Yorkshire itself for Rama's sake. As such, with each passing chapter of Herriot's, my desire for a pet was increasing by leaps and bounds. And lo behold! Here was a helpless kitten, evidently causing no flutter of motherhood in its mom. It was like Nature had smiled and said "You asked for it!" And I had revelled in the fact.
The internet came to my rescue and I figured out what I had to feed the little one. Went out, got a teeny milk bottle and multi-vitamin syrup and eggs and stuff. I was heady with this surrogate-mom feeling. This was going to be my baby. :) But it was not to be that way I guess. Feeding a little one is WAY tougher than it looks man! I've often wondered why is it that people get annoyed when their child doesn't drink milk, or eat whatever it is that they wanted it to eat. They just had to handle it with patience I felt. But now I knew. My furry little buddy refused to get anywhere near that bottle. How I managed to coax and cajole and feed it, only I know.
By the end of the whole thing, I was heartily sick. I prayed for the mother to come back and take it under its wing ...er... paw. Took a nice little chappal box, line it with a whole edition of New Indian Express, put my new best friend in it, and placed it outside. At around 9.45 PM, I heard teeny mews again. Stepped out with the intention of checking on it. Surprise! It was sound asleep. Mew! Mew! The noise cut the surrounding silence again. And to top it, it had that oh-so-vulnerable tenor attached to it. Enough to melt the hardest hearts. And mine, as everyone knows does not fall into that category anyway, which means, the problem of not melting never arises.
Stealthily climbing over the neighbour's parapet wall, I landed on the other side of the wall, and gulp ... of the law. Silence again. I couldn't go so far as the windows in case someone saw me. I was too young to go to prison anyway. So I turned back. And there it was again. Mew-Mewwwwwwww ... take-me-hooooooooome, I'm-coooold-and-hungryyyyyyy, I-want-my-mommmmyyyyyyy, the cries said. Again the expedition began. And not a fruitless one, this one. I found the tiny one (this was even smaller than its sibling) wet, hungry and crying. Oh god. Not again! It doesn't take a mastermind to guess that I took this one home too.
My first thought was to feed this chap but I read (obv, on the net) that feeding a cold kitten recks its digestion. So I set 'bout making the fellow warm. Unlike in the previous case, I had no advantage of time over this one. It had already had its share of cold, and sleep. And now it only had hunger. And to prove a point, it started yelling loudly, MEW MEW MEW all over the place. And boy, for a tiny body the size of my palm, it could bring the house down with those perpetual cries for food.
I ushered in my trusty vapourizer and let that comfortable steam steal over the kitten's body. After which I set 'bout feeding it. This fellow, unlike its predecessor, went for the bottle with gusto (relatively speaking) and I understood why motherhood was considered so important and fulfilling. The joy of feeding someone far more vulnerable, the responsibility of taking care of someone dependant on you ... its an exalted feeling. But enough of senti ... the newest member of the gang was placed along with its sibling in their makeshift home of cardboard and paper.
Apparently new born kittens must be fed every 1.5-2 hours. And I don't think they like the concoction I so lovingly, brewed for them. They must think that I'm being a nuisance waking them up and pouring that wierd mixture down their throat. But I've got to do it.
I love cats you know. If I ever have a pet, it'd be a cat. But I'm praying here that the mother cat would come and take these two guys back into its fold. Its too big a responsibility for me ... those little fellers need the warmth of their mom, not some dumb bottle with lactose shoved down their throat. Please Lord Rama, let the mother come and take 'em both back! Pleaaaaaaaaaase!!!
PS : I'd have pasted a couple of snaps here, but those guys are too young, way way way too young to have someone photograph them even! Bhagavan ... if they live, I'll come and break a couple of coconuts for you!
PSS : Feeding time ... gotta go!
Monday, March 17, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Railway concessions. Artists. The two entities it seems are linked by that inexplicable bond of karma that we are so fond of quoting. Ok, the inexplicable bond of karma that I am so fond of quoting.
A week ago, I went through the entire ordeal of getting my concessions approved and tickets booked for my impending trip to Kumbhakonam and Thanjavur (to perform at the Natyanjali dance festival, in case you aren't up to date with my posts :D). I thought I should document the episode so it might guide, akin to a beacon guiding a stricken sailor, some hapless artist who has a fairly vague manner of approach towards the formidable task that lies ahead. Oh alright, I just like to get a little prosaic sometimes. But you get the idea I guess. So here goes.
Scene1 - The curtain raising act
- Where are you starting from? Where are you going? For the sake of convenience, consider these as points A and B respectively.
- Do your homework on the Indian Railway train timings, fares, availability etc. A most helpful site is www.indianrail.gov.in.
- If you're in Hyderabad, you need to go to Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University at Nampally and get a concession form written out. Easier said than done? Not quite. Read on.
- If you aren't in Hyd, well ... you got me there. But the rest of procedure is probably the same, so you could still hold on to this post.
- Before stepping in the environs of the Univ, prepare a letter addressing PRO, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. Cut the corporate lingo here and clutch at the "Respected sir/madam" straw. It'll help.
- Have at least 15 copies of the list of people coming along with you. (I took four but ended up submitting around 12 more copies. Thank god for the Carbon papers.)
- This done, the concession form when written, should specify the points A and B in the OCF. As in, travelling from A to B kinds. And more importantly, the RCF MUST state B to A. You cannot have a point X merrily stroll in, in between. And if you've to change trains, then do mention, via say C. In my case, I had to go to Thanjavur via Chennai, so it was Sec'bad to Thanjavur via Chennai. You cannot have a A-->C while going and B-->A while coming back. Has got to be A->B and B->A. So far so good? Still with me? Read on then.
- Make sure that if the group is splitting during the onward or return journey, you've have as many concession forms from the Univ, as there are groups. To elaborate, if the group X is splitting, into X1 and X2 in the RJ, then you must take two concession forms, stamped and ratified from the Univ. One form will go to X1 and other to X2.
Scene 2 - The hair raising act
- Now that the Univ part is over, you move on to the next chapter, the seemingly impenetrable fortress of Sanchalan Bhavan. And if anyone tells you otherwise, don't believe them.
- By that I meant, if anyone guides you to Rail Nilayam, that's the not the place you want to be in for concessions. All roads lead to Rome and all concessions to be approved take place in Sanchalan Bhavan.
- So grab you forms and pens and pads and march in.
- Go to the 2nd floor, Commercial Division and if I'm not wrong, its the 2nd or 3rd door on the right that takes you to nearer to your goal.
- If you've arrived at lunch time (which I advise you not to), wait. Once that's done, wait for some more time.
- They will give you some pink and yellow forms on which they'd write the details of the group and the kind, the points A and B. Make sure you check all these before you place a weary foot out of the Bhavan. Also, there's a date funda there, which I'm not too sure how to put into words. It is the date on or before which these concessions are valid and acceptable to the Railway authorities. So make sure that date pretty much covers your entire trip. Or you'd have emerged as the last word on railway artist concession for the day, with no access to that much coveted 75% concessioned ticket.
Scene 3 - The final act
- You've your forms all signed? Dates, names, destinations all in place? Good.
- Walk into the Sec'bad Railway Reservation Complex (applicable to the twin city residents only of course), which is a generally pleasant place.
- Go to Counter number 30. Group tickets counter. If there're people in front of you, brace yourself for some wait-time. (There were two men in front of me, with 30 and 40 tickets done respectively. Never had I missed a good book so much!)
- Make sure all your forms, train names, numbers, names of the artists are all filled out duly. Keep your cash ready. When your turn comes, handle the scene with patience (believe you me, you need it) and panache and presto! 11 hours into the task and its is done. Not bad eh? :D
- Oh and the most important thing ... have fun!
Coming up on this post : The magnificent temples of Kumbhakonam.
- UA - Unidentified Abbrevations :D
- RJ - Return Journey
- OCF - Onward Concession Form
- RCF - Return Concession Form (Duh!)
- Univ - University
- Hyd - Hyderabad
Monday, February 25, 2008
'Halt!' barked the security guard। 'Railway concession', said I, to which he threw me a look and a few words, the net result being that I was in the wrong building, and that Sanchalan Bhavan was where I should've been, not Rail Nilayam. The words of a guard of course... not to be taken too seriously. 45 min later, I'm marching out towards Sanchalan Bhavan. Grumble.
Surprise! My onward journey says Kacheguda to Kumbhakonam, while my return journey states Thanjavur to Sec'bad। Can't do, I'm told. If you're going from A to B, then the return must hold B to A, and nothing else. Sulks.
Now I've to go Back to Telugu University and get that form changed and then crawl back to Rail Nilayam/Sanchalan Bhavan whichever and get the tickets done. Half a day in the sweltering sun, and a task not done. But it'll all be worth it, when I dance at the magnificent Brihadeeswara temple at Thanjavur. :)
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Damn … why do I always blank out when I want to pen down some thoughts!?!?! I suppose I’ll just have to categorize it as one-of-Nature’s-mysteries and leave it alone. Hmph. But I digress. Of late a lot of thoughts have been swirling around in the cerebral firmament. So here goes.
I was watching the parade today on TV. And the eye generally mists over when you see a Shaheed 28 year-old Captain Harshan’s old father comes up to accept the Ashok Chakra… or when an equally brave man Colonel Vasant Venugopal’s young widow accepts the honour on his behalf. There was also one Dinesh Raghuraman (I hope I got the name right), one Naib Chunni Lal … all of whom received the medals posthumously.
When I think of them, I realize I’m so insignificant. What am I after all???? A mundane, one-of-the-crowd IT engineer, earning her pay packet… I mean … here I am secure in my beautiful home, filled with the people I love; I have a great job which gives me enough money to pay for my dance. And yet … yet … this bloody greedy mind cribs for more. And there were those soldiers who CHOSE to die … who spurned the regular MBA/Doctor/Engineer or whatever relatively 'safer' jobs that they could easily have got … they died … leaving behind aching spaces in the hearts of those who loved them.
All I really face is big bugs and small and medium sized bugs in my programs. Not bullets. Just bugs. I’ve good stuff to wear… to eat. I have my family around me. My mom makes me nice food and loves me … my dad is there for me always. Every weekend I’ve my dance class … and yet … I manage to actually feel cranky sometimes.
I’ll try never to crib again. (Hey … I said I’ll try) I’ll think of that slain Colonel and Captain and the lives that could’ve been and never were … and I’ll realize that I don’t have the right to wail if things go wrong. No sir … because all I face are bugs. Not bullets.
I salute you Sirs. Jai Hind.