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Saturday, September 29, 2012

hve several interests.... jack of all trades, master of none, says sush.. i love being jack
There is a restlessness.  a sense of incompleteness.  i seek something.   only if i knew what !

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Came upon several unread books on my book shelves and some others which I had started on but had given up reading them, mid way.

Fiction doesn't interest me these days. History, culture, tradition, essays, writings where somebody's thoughts are well expressed, where the language/ words are not very intimidating, but at the same time are not very casual, or where the tone of the book touches a chord - these hold my interest.

Have also realized that the grasping power has diminished. Feel the need to make notes most times, write something in my own words and see whether I have been able to interpret things  the way they were  meant to.

A pencil and note pad are never handy. At times , am curled up in bed, reading, and it takes a tremendous will power to move and get that pen and paper. The brat pack has grown up too and sometimes do not respond when I holler out to them to bring along something to jot on. and on the (rare) occasions that they do, I end up misplacing it.

Have to really get more organized now. Sift through and prioritise. Do things that I really want to, finish things I start on. Bring things to a conclusion. Can’t keep putting off things to a later date. Shouldn’t have any occasion where I regret not doing things which which I could have done, or done better.

See , I need to write things down… for better clarity. This is a note to myself.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It was one of those regular days.   The chores at home, tackled .

I had been postponing a trip to Malad.    With a bit of time on hand ,  I thought  I would finish that long overdue visit today.

Malad is home turf.  Had lived there for 12 yrs.. And the impressionable yrs at that.  The markets at Malad are popular for their wholesale trades,  and for several years, the housewife in me, used to prefer making her major household purchases there.  The grocery , the utility items and then some more.

Over the past couple of years,  the trips to Malad have been limited to the ‘comfortable to shop in ‘ malls.  The wholesale markets no  longer appealed.

However, some  things still are Malad specific.   Can go on and on about these, but then this post is not about Malad.

I was there on a social visit but couldn’t resist a quick walk through the crowded bazaar.  Made a hurried  visit to the Coffee Mart.  As I waited for my pack of warm freshly ground coffee powder, I noticed a grubby lad trying to attract my attention.   He must  have been  abt 2 and a half feet tall and about 5 or 6 yrs old.   Dark skinned, the dust marks on him appeared more prominent.  His  big bright curious eyes were  typical of his age. The eyes twinkling, reflecting  no trace of the haplessness of his condition.   Nor did he flaunt a pitiable expression on his face trying to evoke any sympathy.

Once I took notice of him, I heard him say something. Could not really make much of it.  So I went closer to him.  He was doing his best to communicate. The expressions on his face, the hand gestures and the tone of his voice suggested an urgency.  He clearly wanted something.   Malad is FoodLand.  Anywhere u glance, u will only see food.  I thought he wanted some money to eat  a wada pav or a pani puri at the stalls near the Coffee Mart.

The way he conducted himself was very impressive.  He wasn't begging.    Demanding ??  Yes.... but in very much  the same way  a child would , of his mother.  As a matter of right.  He wasn't audacious, nor was he being cheeky.

Something melted within me.  I went upto him and asked him, "kuch  chahiye, kya khaaogey?"  He kept gesticulating and making some sounds agitatedly.  I realised I would not be able to make any sensible verbal conversation  with him.  I followed his hungry gaze and looked in the direction his fingers were  pointing at.    In between the 2 stalls selling wada paav and paanipuri,  a  wee bit away  from the road, was a guy with a vending machine, selling some cold drinks.   There were about 7 tiny spouts on the contraption and each had a tag identifying the drink.

Having realised that he was being understood, he smiled.  The other vendors, started shooing him away.  But he wasn't daunted.  We continued our wordless conversation.  He made the appropriate grunts yet I was unable to fathom which one he preferred.  Then I decided to take a call.  Assuming  that an orange drink would be irrestible to a child, I ordered one.  The boy's gaze was now fixed on to the juice vendor. Observing each movemnet.  He obviously knew the routine.  The man picked up a disposable glass and a stirrer .   The moment the chap placed his finger on the orange tap, the little one yelled shrillly,   "Kaala wala, Kaala waala".  I could not resist a chuckle.   The little fellow  had his preferences and didn't shy from exercising them!!

His face changed a hundred expressions as he saw the tall transparent glass being filled ,  as the man tapped the glass and filled it again,  as he added the salt, stirred it and wrapped a tissue around it.

He gleefully took the glass offered to him and took a tentative sip.  He smiled...... a smile of satisfaction., of a happy contentment.  The smile was not for me.  I waited .  He did not even look at me.  He took another sip , a big one this tme .  He held the  glass upto his eyes to see how much of the juice it still held. Now that he was sure he wouldn't spill it, he turned on his heel .  Still holding the glass close to his chest with both his hands, he carefully crossed the road.  I lost sight of him soon enough. I wondered whether he took the glass  someplace where he could peacefully relish it, or whether he intended to share it with someone else; a  sibling?? a  friend ?? 

As I  moved away frm the stall,  I was smiling .  The boy  had  attitude. I admired his spunk, his innocence ,  still  unsullied by any negative experiences of an often unkind and whimsical society.

Sent a silent prayer to THE ONE above, to keep an eye on the young man and look out for him always !

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The son is  18 now, moving on to 19.   Is  studying and living away from home, in a different city, in a different state.  He manages to come home on long weekends , which sometimes adds to about  3 days in 2 months.   I miss  him sorely.  We had just begun to bond big time, after his 12th std exams, when the pressure of examinations had waned and studies had ceased to dominate the conversation.   He is a sensitive kind of a guy and  has nearly always been able to read me well.

It's one year since he has been away and yet it still takes some getting used to not having him around.

When he was a little boy and would  want me to join him at play, a tired, me, would sometimes yell at him - Leave me alone!
now  I am packing his bags , as he gets ready to go back to college, leaving  me  alone,

When his sibling was a baby and monopolised my attention, he would clamber into my lap with a wet slobbery kiss fr me . There have been days when  I have turned  my face  away
Today  ,  as I leaned forward to  caress him, stroke  his stubbled face... the teenager gave me a quizzical look and turned away,

and  I HATE IT,  I HATE IT,  I HATE IT  !!

He is not one for any PDA.

Yeah, its now a year  since he has been away.  Yes  , now it takes just abt 3 - 4 days to get used to not having him around all day.  I  know its for his own good and he wanted it that way.    But a  3 month long vacation is just making it even more difficult to let go of him.

It's not easy seeing a child off.

He is an adult now, 18 going on to 19.  A stocky frame,  standing tall at 6 feet 2 inches.

At the door step he takes my leave.  Allows me an  awkward , half-a- hug and walks down the stairs, waving good bye. I shut the door. and make a dash for  the pillows..... to stifle the sobs.

The door bell rings almost immediately, urgently.  It's him.    "U forgot something ??", I ask  him.  "Nothing" he says .  He attempts a smile.   But his lips curve  funnily. .... his eyes  glisten with a hint of tears swimming in them.

Selfish me, I take  advantage of his momentary weakness ...  pull him into my arms and plant that kiss on his cheek.      Gotcha !

Our laughter rings loud in the corridor as he bids me goodbye , for the  second time in 10 minutes.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

He was  The Boss.  At the second job  I held.  Owner of a DTP set up.   I  remember  how I landed at his office.

While studying for a PG Diploma , I had secured  a placement at a firm which manufactured and marketed Electronic Typewriters.   The job gave me my  first taste of independence.  The upbringing at home,  had always been pretty orthrodox and strict.

 The team I now worked with, was a young team.  I was all of 20 and the average age of the group was around 25.  We bonded well.

The job was pretty demanding .   As a Marketing executive, my work involved a lot of field work.  With the exams approaching, the parents were keen that I put in my papers.   I had to comply.

Soon, the exams were over and done with.  I missed the work environment, the freedom and  my new friends.   Once when we met,  they suggested   I submit my Bio-data.  (yeah, it wasnt called a resume or a curriculum  vitae ,then )  to an Employment agency.

Off we went to an  Employment Bureau, following the classifieds.   Filled up a couple of forms and was  directed to my new place of employment.

I checked out the 'new office', with a dear friend for moral support. .  Office?   It was a garage.  In a residential building .  And the esteemed neighbour - a istriwala bhaiya. I made up my mind to let go of this offer  My friend convinced me to at least speak to the people there,  and  then decide.  

The next morning, I was there.  For the 2nd interview of my life.  The job profile was good.  I got the job.   The fact that the proprietor belonged to the same community as mine, made it that much  easier to convince folks at home .  They weren't too excited about the set up though. 

I soon grew to enjoy each day I spent  there.  I was speaking to  Ad agencies I had only heard about or read about.  .  I learnt about Fonts, Lettering, exposing and developing the roll, talking to a whole lot of people, billing.......

He was about 16 yrs my senior.  A rebel, who followed his heart.  Had worked with reputed engg firms and yet had given it all up to do what he thought he liked best.

Till I joined him , his staff comprised of 3  delivery boys and 2 girls who were  data entry operators.  He seemed  glad to have me on board.

I celebrated my 21st birthday a few days after I joined there.

My tenure there was a measly 4 months.   But we bonded.   We spoke a lot.  About anything and everything.   At least I did .   He was a good listener.  Never judgemental.   Sharing with him, would always help me see things in a better perspective.   He became a good friend.   A well wisher.

I was quite aimless at that time.  Quite content to follow the route chalked out fr me , by the folks at home.   Graduation, a good job, a good alliance and then, well,  a "they lived happily ever after.".    At one point in time,  I had wanted to be a teacher.  At another. an airhostess.

 The mother dreamed of a Government job fr me.  Banks, LIC, GIC.... I was appearing for all those exams.  He did not dissuade me or express displeasure when he realised, that I was looking at other jobs.   Soon he was helping me with my resume and we were mailing them from his office.

In the meanwhile there was an opening - a temporary placement - at the father's place of employment.   With an assurance of a permanent post, based on performance.  And I  had to make my choice .   I didn't want to.  I  had to.  Going against the parent's wishes was never an option.

He said, he won't be looking for a replacement fr me.  My chair would always remain vacant.

 I kept in touch with him on the phone for sometime. 

Then   I moved on

After I got married , I took the husband to  meet him.    He had been  a part of an important phase in my life.

The next time I met him was in 1995.     He had diversified his business and was doing well too.  About me, he said, "U have lost all your  restlessness.  Finally ,  you seem  content.   ".  It felt good to hear that from him.

Today  I  had planned to meet up with friends , a stone's throw away from his office.   I called him  and asked him if I could visit him. He was as pleased  to hear from me.   He had an appointment around the same time, so we left it open.... if he was done with his meeting, we would meet.   Fortunately I did not have to wait long and he called me over to his office.   I was expecting to see an  aged HIM.  I was no longer 21, but a 42 yr old.  that made him about 56 yrs old at the least.

He was at the door  , looking out for me.

It was with a spring in my step and  excitement  that I entered his office. A huge grin  plastered on my face... a big smile on his .  His eyes radiated the same joy.

I was glad I had made that call in the morning.  I was glad I was there.

It was like the old times. We were sharing news and highights of  the  years  that had passed since we had last met.   Our dreams. what we had set out to achieve, what we did.   He remembered  fondly, my indecisiveness,  my impulsiveness  as a 21 yr old.   Like the one time when I had decided to join another firm,  said  good bye and then  reported back at his  office  the  next morning,  declaring  - I am not going!!

And then I started talking .  .... restless again. aimless again, drifting , unsure,  unhappy again. I was unburdening. Like I had always done. Not really asking for solutions.

He did what  he had always done.   Listened.   Suggested .  Guided .  Reassured me.  His approval  mattered.  That he had slipped back into  the same role with the same ease, comforted me.  Twenty two years and the relationship hadn't weathered nor withered.  Probably that was what I was looking for and hoping for.   A reassurance of my place , my role, of my status in a relation.  Whether the other person cared as much  as I did.

It felt good.

It felt good  to  go down  memory lane once again. To feel the same warmth once again.   To commit to paper memories, emotions   which might fade with time.  To remember those who touched my life and left their mark. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Remembering Mr D

A lot of times, for various reasons , I keep putting  off doing certain things, for a later date/day.   I have come to realise, this more often than not happens , when   there is going to be some amount of interaction with another person.  Known or unkonwn.  Visiting  or even something as simple as making that call... I keep putting it off... for another day.  But does that day ever arrive?  Sometimes it could just be too late. 

He was my boss.  The Manager, Admin.  In an organization, where several values were upheld.  Managers and the managed, ate at the same table.   The cubicle culture existed as against the cabin culture.  There was a family feeling inculcated right at the induction stage.   They carried it a bit further by preferring to employ immediate kin of the employees as against a similarly qualified 'outsider'.

So there I was , one fine day , on the roster of the company.   My Department Head, the Admin Manager, was a gentle looking soul , with the most endearing smile playing on his salt and pepper moustache.  More salt actually.  Mr. D.   Yes! That's what we called him.  He could easily be in his 50's. Closer to my father's age.  I was 21 then. 

In the 18 months that we worked together, after a few hiccups,  we got along quite well.   As a person  he was very pleasant.  Affable too.   As a manager, he was not very generous .  But not an unreasonable nitpicker either. 'Whoa,  Whoa !'  these words resound in my ears even now.    He had reminded me of Santa Claus, then.

He was a social person.  An organizer.  In the office and in his personal circle too.  He had a way with words and was often seen playing the Master of Ceremonies at his local club and in community events.

After about a year and a half, I moved to a different office.  But  whenever our paths crossed, we met with a lot of warmth.   He retired soon  after.

 And within the next 2 years,  I quit the company too.

I kept in touch with my friends and colleagues  over the phone .  Once, for some reason, I felt like reconnecting with this gentleman.  This was sometime in September 2000.  His birthday was round the corner.  And I called him up.  It was quite a sentimental conversation we had.  We spoke to each other very fondly.  Enquiring about the spouses, the children.  His wife spoke too.  And this became a practise.  For the next 4 or 5 yrs.  That call , on his birthday.  Once they  even surprised me, by calling me up on my birthday.

Somewhere soon enough,  other things took priority and I forgot to wish  him on his special day.  The next year , I remembered , but did not call.  And then I never remembered to  make that call.  

A couple of years later. through  my ex- colleagues,  I got to know that he had suffered a heart attack.  Then again , I heard that he had a clot in his brain.  He had a problem with his vision.  Yet , there was something, I still do not know what , that kept me from contacting his family and him. 

With the PC boom and the magic of Google, I have searched for news about him on the net. About the activities he organized.  Alumni....but to no avail

Yesterday after many many years, I remembered him again.  And google searched him.  And I found him.  A mention of his name, his children's names too.

Excited and mentally making a note of visiting him, I clicked on that  link.  And there it was .  A notice.  Announcing a  Mass .  On the 23rd of December 2011. In fond memory  of.........

Yes.. that is what he is now .  That is what he will remain now....... a fond memory!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pu La, me and my daughter.

There is this marathi movie called GOLABERIJ which released this  Friday.  Am not into watching tv serials these days, especially the Marathi channels so had missed the trailers and promos of this one.  Just happened to read about this movie in a Marathi newspaper and then read the reviews to see what it was all about. The cast of the movie is impressive. Dilip Prabhawalkar, Sanjay Narvekar, Mohan Agashe Mukta Barve....

The reviews said that it was based on the works of Pu La Deshpande. Some of the characters he had penned in so many of his books make an appearance here. I remembered my Marathi teacher from school , Mrs Danait. It was she who had made a mention of this author and his works,  Vyakti ani valli and Batatyachi Chaal. I remember finding both the titles funny. Especially batatyachi chaal.  It was she who said, 'ithey batata mhanjey khaaycha batata navhe'.  About Vyakti ani Valli I remember her saying that he used to observe people so well, that he noticed their unique mannerisms, their quirks and describe them as only he could. Mrs Danait had also mentioned a travellogue he had written.  I don’t recollect in what context she had brought up this discussion. I remember studying an excerpt from one of his books, either in college or in school.. can’t remember when..

Later I picked up these 2 books at a book fair at Cross Maidan. Dad is an avid reader and I think during the college yrs, I had accompanied him to one.

They remained my favourite for a long time. I  used to read and reread them. In those days DD too used to telecast a famous play of his, Varyavarchi Varaat and Ravivarchi Sakaal. Then there were also programmes where he would read out some of his works. Pu La katha kathan. The programme was called Nivadak Pu La .  It was not just reading but nearly an eka paatri prayog ( a one man show/ presentation). He brought the character to life, with his words and expressions and expressiveness.

Planning to take the daughter to this movie today. She is not very fluent in Marathi. She will not understand most of it. Pu La Deshpande is unknown to her. Will introduce her today. Even if she understands and retains some of it, I will have been successful in exposing her to a legend, a genius, his style of writing, of describing, breathing life into a character. Exposing her to the culture of a chaal, neighbours.., not just people who happen to stay next door, but people who become part of yr lives.

I did live such a life for a major part of my childhood. Infact most of us have.


We did see the movie.. she liked it. On the way back we were talking about our favourite characters from the movie. Their language, dialects., their physical appearances ...... she might not relate to them with the same degree of fondness as me. But am glad she got to know about them, know them

Hope she will read Pu La some day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

गोष्ट लिहिताना ती तुमची गोष्ट नसावी.   तुमच्या आयुष्यातील  घटनांचा क्रमवार उल्लेख म्हणजे गोष्ट नव्हे.   गोष्ट म्हणजे तुमचे आत्मचरित्र नव्हे.

तुमच्या अनुभवांना नटवून , त्यांचे नाट्यमय रूपांतर करून,   ते मांडले,  तर तो गोष्टीचा भाग होऊ शकतो.

- frm the play Final Draft.  Not the actual reproduction, but a gist

Saturday, February 4, 2012

 A story sometimes touches a chord. 
 Gets me involved

It is not my story.

 ती गोष्ट माझी नाही .  नव्हतीच. 

मी गुंतत जाते .   कशी  तरी, ती माझीच गोष्ट होऊन जाते.

 कथा संपते . 

पण मी तेथेच रेंगाळते. 

 कथेचा व्यवस्थित अंत झालेला   असतो.  कथा पूर्ण झालेली  असते .

 तरी ही ,  एक रितेपणा का जाणवतो?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The heart feels young, there's the spring in the step, the smile on the lips.  Checked in the mirror ... and it was a different face staring back at me!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thank you, Sir,

 26th September 2011.

Dear Mistry sir,

Today morning I dropped off my daughter at her examination centre. She is appearing for the Intermediate Drawing Exam. While I was going through her bag to see if she had packed all her art stuff, I remembered you. I thought of that day 3 decades ago.

While in school, I was amongst the toppers and mum thought  that any time away from my study books  was time ill spent. So  most of my drawings used to completed by my neighbours.   And they probably did a good job, to suitably impress you.   Impress you so much, that you felt I had it in me to clear the Elementary Drawing examination. So on Day One of the exam, though I had made up my mind Not to appear for that exam, you came into my class, told me to pick up my bag and leave for I B Patel School, the venue of the exam. When I told you that I had not brought my drawing and painting material, you took me to Jayanti Stores and bought me all that was needed.

There was no getting away from this one. I appeared for that examination and cleared it. I was excited. You said, ‘mujhe pata tha’ . Later, I learnt from you in the drawing classes you conducted in the evenings and appeared for the intermediate exam too.

Today morning my daughter’s drawing teacher came to the exam centre and announced nonchalantly  – ‘Atharva nahi aa raha hai'  and saying this she herded her wards to one corner for last minute hints and instructions.   I thought of you once again .

Thank you Sir.!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chaos and me go  hand in hand.............

We planned a vacation...Had out tickets in place more than3 months ago.. Tkts to Jabalpur... Vacation in Jabalpur Indore Bandhavgarh Pachmarhi.   But then things are never this simple for us ... 3 weeks before our date of departure all our flts get cancelled.   KF reschedules all our flights and we move from direct flights to flights routed via delhi.   .   Our itenary changes too. It's just Jabalpur, Pachmarhi and Kanha, with a day's halt at Delhi on the return journey.

At 11.20 pm  on the 22nd  I get an sms metioning a delay of an hr for our mum del flt.  I was relieved ..... i could sleep some more..   but then the thought strikes that we might just miss our connecting flt.  More phone calls to KF and they acomodate us on a spice jet flt to delhi.  Problem  being that the flight is now at 5.30 am.....A preponement of an hour.........

  4 sleepy heads trudge into the airport at 4.00 am.

The flt  takes off a little after 6.00 am.

I had always dreamt of watching the sun rise on a new yrs day.  Today i saw the first light of dawn break as we were flying.  What an experience that was.  The dark of the night giving way to an inky blue mixed with a bright orange.  a streak of black clouds . The orange taking on several shades ,  a flaming red now, a shocking pink a little later!  The daughter  even managed to click a picture of the crescent moon in the sky.  The pictures are beautiful.

The children  managed to see 2 aircrafts in the sky along with ours.


Our  flt scheduled t arrive in delhi at 7.50 manages to and a little after 9.00 am , that too at the old terminal.  Our jabalpur flt is frm the new terminal.. We find out that it t has been delayed too and breathe easy.   breathe easy?    the temperature in delhi as we come out of the craft is 5 degrees.  the chill hits us and catches us unawares.   our woolens are all in the cheked in baggage.  we make a dash fr the terminal, collect our luggage and hail a cab.   just as luk wld have it.... our cab is frm baba adam ja zamana.   a frantic husband is trying to impress upon teh driver our urgency.  but the chap has a troubled deen dukhiyari and perplexed expression pasted on his face.  and any q by vittal is greeted by a nod of the head.   we couldnt decode, whether it wwas inb the affirmativr or not... we do manage to reache the other terminal with the boarding having commenced and the counter being closed.   vittals platinumcard comes to our rescue and we r asked to hurry to the gATE, which ws miles away.  amidst repeated announcements over the public address system fr mr K n family to report at the gat, huffing n panting and weating profulesly , we find a bus waiting to transfer us to the craft.   heaving a huge sigh of relief we clmaber on to the bus and look out fr our aircraft.   the bus takes forever to reach the corner where our craft is waiting fr us.   and the first sight of it wasnt one of relif.. it was more of  a shcok.... \this is  a toy plane... it has just 3 steps as against the long flight of steps for other airplanes... the 1st thoght that came to the mind was tat of our bollywood villain ajit.   fleeing the country with hs sona and his mona on a tiny chartered flt.   as we got in , we realised that it carried ni moire than 60 paseengers... the seats were in 2's. that's how narrow the aicraft was!  ps

an uneventful 2 hrs later we laded in jabalpur.   jabalpur airport.. nt  a bldg in sight... bare a d barren... hardly abny treesr any construction.   military cantonmnet area... so vry very clean  . eche the hotel meals and beedaghat.... see the dhuadhar falls frm a cable car...  my first cable car ride.    then frm a close range...there is also a horshoe  shaped waterfall a la niagra dalls.  the sheerforce gives rise to waterrdroplets rising up high and causes a smoke screen... hence the name dhuan dhar\\frm there we goto see the marble rocks..... we hire a boat. as the boat cuts thru the calm waterrs there is a deep silence... the rockyyinh walls rise up on both side..the whole view iis surreal .. feelis as if i am watching a 3 d movie... there seems to n be a extra diemnsion thre.  the boatmans voice echoes as we row along the narrow river betweeen tht towerign rocks.. the rocks are of diffennt hues... pink blues, gold a and ehite,.... a treat to the eyes... thewater at some place is 650 ft deep.  cantexpress the range of emotiions nor the beauty of the place.