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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?