Sunday, November 27, 2016

In Rememberance of a loving father

Suddenly thought a lot about my father. An unassuming, soft spoken and witty person.
He was orphaned at an early age, and along with his 4 brothers, two elder to him and two younger (5 Pandavas) were under the care of their aunts. He lost a sister when she was 10 years. She developed high fever after seeing something ghastly and did not recover.
He did menial jobs to survive and one day at the age of 17 ran away from his home in Kerala to join the army.
He had left behind his beloved, my mom. They were related, were friends and finally became lovers.
Once he had brought his friend, an Englishman whom my siblings and I fondly called Uncle Ted to his hometown in Kerala. My mother a teenager used to hide behind a pillar to watch. On catching sight, my father used to point her out to Uncle Ted saying she was his bride.
When they got married, they moved to Ooty and then Bareilly. It was a dream life my parents lived.. Though my father did not have any prestigious rank, he was loved by all alike, the less ranked and the high ranked. My mother was thus lucky to go to all the high ranking parties as my father was invariably invited for everything.
The house they lived in Ooty was built in British style having wooden floors and huge rooms.
Since there used to be large gardens, there was a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday and a fresh leg of mutton especially by order for my father.
I still remember a man on bike delivering oats and cornflakes packets.
When my older brother was a few months old, my father had some kidney problem and admitted in a Pune hospital. and in the next room Dilip Kumar too was undergoing some treatment.
My mother brought the roof down and had to be taken to Pune to be with my father.
My younger sis and I were born at the command hospital, Bangalore. Had the good luck to visit the hospital with mom at the age of 60. A revisit when I was a sr, citizen.
I've never seen my father angry. The only time he used to be angry was when he used to teach me maths. The knock he used to give on my knuckle with a hanger was enough to make me say the wrong answer everytime, so it was more knocks. But my father was a wonderful maths teacher as I realized later on. But maths was never my subject.
Remember him chasing me to squeeze juice from a orange peel. Invariably I escaped but he had his way in the end. He resigned from the army in the early 60s due to some injury and came to Kolkatta in search of a the behest of my eldest maternal uncle. Before resigning, he was posted in Barrackpore. Still remember the monkey menace. Our quarters were in a forest like area. It was here I remember the man on bike delivering oats and cornflakes. He resigned from his job after an injury and at the behest of my elder maternal uncle who did not get him any job as promised, found out a job himself in Sahu Jain. It was late Dr. Tarneja who took to my father and employed him. Dr. Tarneja was his boss. He endeared himself to one and all.
Dr. Tarneja made it a point to come home for breakfast with family on every New Year Day till my father was alive.
Remember him going for Hindi movies with a college. One he had gone for a movie and when enquired, he said it was caled Janwar or something when in fact it was Ganwar which he had seen.
My father was lucky to be present for his elder son's wedding and passed away in sleep one month later.
It was a coincidence that Uncle Ted and another friend came to see him at the hospital. I was seeing Uncle Ted for the first time and flattered by the praises lavished upon me..My father had plurasy and suffered a lot. On recovering, he was present on my brother's wedding.
Had a chance to be present for Dr Tarnja's daughter's wedding in Mumbai with Venu.
On realizing that I was VTV's (he was fondly called VTV, full name Vadakke Thelakkat Vasudeva Menon) daughter what he said still remains fresh in my memory.. He said,' It is like VTV having come to bless my daughter."
He was also instrumental in my becoming a teacher. Will ever remain grateful to him.
Really lucky to have had a wonderful, loving and caring father. He is in his heavenly abode since 35 years. Really miss him.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Unforgettable moments

Some unforgettable memories.
This incident took place when I was i staying in Delhi in the mid 90s.
My husband Venu was invited for a party thrown by the Editor in Chief of The Statesman. There were Black Cats all over. Wondered why. Then came to know that there were VIPs attending.
As I was sitting at the table for lunch( a Parsi menu), I noticed Mr Mark Tully (former Bureau Chief of BBC) and Late Mr. Madhavrao Scindia were also at the same table. The person sitting beside me was explaining how the dessert called Rabadi was made and I listened intently with my own questions.
As lunch got over and I was leaving the table, my sari got stuck under a chair and a man quickly came to my rescue, he was no other than (late) Mr. Madhav rao Scindia.
There was Mr TN Sheshan (past election commissioner) and his wife with whom I struck a friendship.
When returning home Venu asked me if I was in my senses and told me that the person with whom I was chatting at the table was (late) Mr. Irani himself. and asked me why I patted Mr Sheshan/s wife on her back to say I was leaving. No regrets.
The second incident was in Secuderabad.
Had gone to an open air party thrown by a corporate friend.
Lots of V VIPs including Telgu film stars had come.
As I was leaving, an aged person stood up with folded hands. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see that it was (Late) Mr. Nageshwara Rao. Really unforgettable.

Third incident happened in Chennai.
I was the judge of an English play performed by students at an Inter school competition. I was sitting with a few papers on my lap and a book when (late) MSV came walking past the seat where I was seated. I hurriedly tried to stand but found it difficult with the papers and book. A humble personality, he came stood before me with folded hands with a wide smile on his face.

Incidents to be cherished.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Individual difference

Living in independent houses has their share of problems and also living in apartments has their share of problems.
Independent houses without any security are easy targets for robbers. The owner has to do all maintainence himself. Sometimes he finds it difficult to get elecricians and plumbers.Pets and plants are the worse hit. Some people may arrange but it gets too expensive and also there is the question of safely.
In apartments, everything is taken care of by the people arranged by the society.
The problem arises due to some people who wants everything to be perfect for them but hesitates when money matters arise.
Some people fail to give maintenance money monthly, do not contribute for repair works and talks 19 to the dozen making excuses. They are not friendly and stays aloof.
It should be understood that when living in a society it is better to be friendly with everyone especially your neighbours. One does not know when their help is needed.
If the owner wants to have a perfect house, he should be willing to pay like others or face the consequences.
What is the use of education if one does not behave like a social being

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Story of Suicide

The Story of a Suicide" is a gripping novel that tells the stories of Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani, whose lives are interconnected in a web of love, passion, revenge and deceit. 

The author's imagination is worth mentioning.
The meeting of Caesar with Draupadi and Hari meeting the little Hanuman who offered him a buiscuit is really appealing.

I imagined the scenes of Caesar meeting Draupadi and the little Hanuman meeting Hari and thought them to be real.

The quoted lines, Haridas was a labourer who did odd jobs for the men of the upper castes, but was subjected to humiliation and discrimination by them during most part of the year. He lived in abject poverty. During the Theyyam festival he would mystically transform himself as Goddess ‘Bhagavathy’ and perform the ‘Theyyam’ dance, a form of devotional storytelling and dance every night for a month. He would be treated as an ‘avatar’ and the entire village, from the rich to the poor, would fall at his feet and ask for his blessings", proves the hypocricy of the elite.
They fail to understand that god dwells in the poor even if they do not perform any dance style to be treated as avatars.
It reminds me of the dalits who are scorned and when it comes to raping dalit women, the upper caste people overlook their untouchability. Real heights of hypocricy.
The end seemed improper to me.
Hari should have fought and won instead of committing suicide.
The author has set a wrong example for other teenagers.
There are lots of instances where a person wanting to commit suicide has a change of heart and through sheer will power come up in life even at a later stage in life.
An example is  Mr. Kentucky, owner of Ketucky Fried Chicken who after many upheavels in life and many suicide attempts founded KFC at the age of 65.
I appreciate author Sriram Iyer's attempt in writing this novel.
He has shown his descriptive side. Good description of nature and mood of characters.
I feel writing should have been without any abusive language and description. I did not like the usage , 'Mother Fuckers'.
I don't recommend this book for teenagers as it will set a wrong example.
Suicidal tendency has to be curbed through proper channelling.
Reading stories about people who have overcome such feelings and leading wonderful lives should be examples.
Suicide is not the way out.
The person who commits suide may escape, but what about the family he leaves behind. Think about them, their sacrifices to nurture you.
The four friends Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani should have experienced life more, learnt from experience and understood how beautiful life is.
If people with disabilities can strive to succeed in life why should abled bodied people lose hope and think of suicide.
If one door closes another opens.
Death should not be our choice, it is God who decides. So live and wait for God's decision regarding life and death.
I end with these lines- 
असतोमा सद्गमय ।
तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय ।
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः 
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace Review

Wednesday, August 3, 2016