Thursday, May 20, 2021

Continuation of My Neighbours

 From Chennai it was a short stay in Zaire, Africa. We had Lebanese and Pakistani neighbours.

Was back to chennai within a year. Could not be very friendly since I hardly saw them.
But we had a lot of South Indian and Gujrati friends around.
Pravin studied in The British School.
It was at the Indian Embassy in Zaire that I met Mother Teresa and hugged her. Will never forget the holy look on her face.
Was in Chennai from 1987 to 1991.
Then it was Hyderabad.
We were rented an independent flat owned by an aunt whom I knew since childhood in Kolkatta.
Had not seen her or heard from her for years and it was a pleasant surprise that she was a common fried of Venu too.
It was a momentous stay in Secuderabad from 1991 to 1994.
Aunty was thrilled when I parcelled Roti and curry over the parapet wall. She announced to all her friends that they had a roti maker.
Then it was exchange of food over the wall.
Uncle was a connoisseur.
Whenever some food was sent uncle gave me full marks and one day aunty said uncle has given 0 point today.
Pravin soon got friendly with their daughter Navina, my FB friend Navi Menon.
Uncle and Venu got along like a house on fire. (Sadly both not there now, but surely entertaining the Gods above). Both of them were really witty.
Aunty had 7 pet dogs and I really used to be scared going to her house.
There were other Malayali families.
Aunty took me to all houses to introduce me.
One family had two sons who were soon great friends with Pravin. They were very studious and always carried books wherever they went.
But their hard work didi bear fruit. The elder son got into AFMC, Pune and the younger son got into IIT Madras.
Both of them doing very well in their respective fields.
The odd one out was Naveena but she was no less than a boy.. All the sons from other families more or less Pravin's age soon got very friendly.
Venu and I too made good friends with everyone.
We soon left to a flat provided by the company.
Once while waiting for Venu at his office, I saw this very pretty, petite lady walking in with her tall and handsome husband and their cute 3 year old daughter.
Venu introduced them to me and said he had joined TOI office in Hyderabad as the manager. They were taken to aunty's house as she had a house for rent in her building.
They soon moved in and it was a friendship that still flourishes on Whatsapp and FB.
The neighbour's in the building where we shifted were mostly Sindhis from Pakistan.
The Sindhi lady opposite our flat was very friendly and used to gift me things whenever her Mother in law came from Pakistan to stay with them.
Her elder son loved the south Indian items I made.
It was indeed a momentous stay till we shifted to Delhi in 1994.

In 1994, we shifted to Delhi. The house provided by company was a society in which South Delhi college professors owned most of the houses.
We were given the ground floor. The building consisted of ground floor, ist floor and second floor each having 4 flats.
When we shifted, there was only one occupent. A retired college professor.
He stayed with his wife and 2 sons.
Somnath uncle as I fondly started calling him proved to be a very hospitable neighbour.
He was a great help in our shifting.
His wife Monica, I fondly called Didi too was a very helpul and kind lady. I admired the way she used to dress up. Will ever remember how she used to bring a bowlful of cooked black urad da[ since she came to know Pravin loved it. Whenever Pravin dropped in from Hubbali where he was doing his engineering Didi was sure to bring a bowlful of his beloved dish.
Since Uncle too had been a professor of English, we had a lot to talk in common.
Uncle was very tall and handsome and had joined college as a professor at the age of 24.
One day, I asked him if girl students swooned over him. he had laughed and said- Anu many of them.
He was a father figure to venu and me. He was a good cook and prepare delicious mutton.
He relished the south Indian dishes I made. Once had made pyellow pumpkin pachadi a Kerala dish. He mentioned while tasting it, he was reminded of his mother.
His younger son relished the idlis I made and was sad when we left Delhi for Chennai saying Who will make such nice idlis?
Had the good fortune to see uncle and Didi in 2003 when I was in Bangalore for my niece's wedding. Uncle and didi had come to Bangalore to their son's house.
My last meeting with uncle was in 2006 in Chennai when didi, he, his younger son and his American wife had come to visit Mahabalipuram.
Hearing of Venu's bypass, all of them had come home to see Venu.
It was unfortunate I was not able to visit Delhi after leaving in 2000.
Uncle used to be my FB friend and immediately joined my group when I invited him.
We were in contact till uncle breathed his last in 2020.
He would have completed 86 years.
Really will miss him and his endearing smile.
The neighbour on the second floor was a Professor and instrumention in getting addmission for Pravin in his college when admissions were closed. Will ever remember his kind gesture. Pravin was hardly there for a month when he got admission in an engineering college.
Two more neighbors were on the second floor. A professor in Miranda college. Also a friendly person. Will rememember their hospitality when we were shifting to Chennai. She along with her husband's mother arranged a delicious dinner for Venu, my mom and me.
The next door was a Kashmiri Pandit family.
We were invited for a brother's wedding. A traditional Kashmiri Pandit wedding with varieties of mutton.
Truly an awesome wedding.
One day saw a 3 year old standing outside the flat facing my flat.
The child seemed to be well behaved. Hee was standing quietly.
Then his mother came out. I was having a new neighbour.
This neighbor my FB friend Smitha Sharma Gupta whom I called Reena and her husband Piyush were soon to be Venu's and my true friends.
We were like family. For uncle it was a welcome change to have another neighbour next to his house.
The three year old, now a young man of 28 was really mischevious. Not as quite as he had seemed.
He used to keep uncle entertained. Venu being fond of children used to pamper him a lot.
It was at my place, he started eating non vep. His father was a pure vegetarian. Reena didi not cook at home but enjoyed the non veg dishes I made.
The 3 year old was seen all around the society as he used to go out without his mother's knowledge.
Very soon the flat next to my flat was bought by a South Delhi professor. She was the physics HOD. She had a 5 year old son.
The 3 year old and 5 year old soon became friendly and created havoc inside society.
Once had opened the petrol tank of a bike and spilled the petrol. The owner was really angry.
At a party being celebrated below our flat, both of them had run off with 2 lts fanta bottles, it was glass. The 5 year old managed to get it home but the 3 year old before reaching home broke it.
Two men had come running behind them and given a good piece of their mind.
Once, my sister had come from Bangalore to attend a wedding.
She had applied mehendi for going to the wedding.
The 3 year old saw it and burst out- mehendi lagake rakhna.
It was hilarious.
One day noticed both of them sitting on the stairs of my duplex flat and deep in conversation.
Their talk caught my attention.
The five year old was saying in Hindi- Maloom hai. Mera daddy gadi banata hai. (Do you know. My daddy manufactures cars). he was working for Dewoo.
Immediately, the 3 year old said- Aur maloom hai, mera daddy tyre banata hai ( and do you know, my father makes tyres). His father worked for Apollo tyres.
Very soon the 5 year old got a baby sister and two years later the 3 year old got a brother.
The little one too also turned out to be equally mischevious.
When we left left Delhi, Reena was truly heartbroken.
She wept uncontrollably.
But as fate willed, Piyush was transferred to Coimbatore.
It was a very happy Reena who came with Piyush and sons to stay with us.
Very soon, Piyush got a job in Chennai and and shifted with family.
Though meeting them was very rare as they stayed in Adayar and far away from where I stayed, they made it a point to attend all our functions.
Then they shifted to Mumbai.
Piyush made it sure to participate in Pravin's wedding at Guruvayoor.
When Venu passed away, Piyush proved to be a true friend. He rushed to Chennei from bangalore by flight to pay his last respects. It is very rare to have such good friends. .Happy to be in touch with them and their son on FB. I contact Reena daily on Whatsapp.

In 2017, I shifted to Bangalore.
Having been to Bangalore often with Venu, the place was not new.
Was friendly with a few neighbours.
After settling down, got friendly with a Bengali couple.
They were Pravin's next door neighbours.
Lata banerjee, my new friend was a very charming and a positive person.
She was an English teacher and kept busy on weekdays.
She came home every evening and we had a great time talking of good old Kolkotta.
It was a pleasant surprise when Shomu her husband said he had retired from TOI and knew my brothers-in law.
Another surprise was when he said he had passed out from South Point, the school I too had studied in.
He spent his time teaching children painting and playing the guitar.
Used to relish Lata's traditional Bong food and they loved the south Indian especially Kerala dishes I sent.
Lata was suffering from kidney ailment. But she always had a smile on her face and actively doing her school work.
Then her doctor told her to take it easy.
In spite of her ailment, she still came home with her grand children, her daughter too stayed on the same floor.
She had to undergo dialysis very soon. So did not come much. But I used to keep visiting her. Had daily contact on Whatsapp.
She and Shomu went off to Pune to their son. She used to call me up. She used to say she was not so well and had become inactive.
The son got a transfer to Bangalore and they moved in to another locality.
Lata's and my Whatsapp contact carried on.
She said the present house was very beautiful and spacious. I told her I will surely visit her one day. It was COVID19 and lockdown, so was not able to visit her.
Two days just after Onam in 2020, we got news that she had expired. It was a great shock.
I checked her messages and noticed she had not replied to many of my messages. I cursed myself for not following up. I could have at least called her to find out. I was not expecting such a cruel joke.
Then came to know she was really sick and God had blessed her by taking her away before she could suffer more agony.
I hope she is at peace wherever she is. Truly an irreplacable loss.
Another neighbour on our floor is my FB friend Somshurva Mukherjee and Ranjit Raman.
In fact Pravin's and Meena's friends who soon became my friends too.
A jovial couple. We had a good time till they shifted to the US. But the friendship carries on on Whatsapp and FB.
The end of My Neighbours.
Now don't think I will shift anywhere to find new neighbours and make friends.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Reminiscences of my neighbors

 Part 1

My neighbours
Came to Kolkatta in the early 60s.
We stayed in a typical Bengali home with a huge courtyard around which was the toilet, kitchen and three huge rooms.
The sitting room was a marble floored massive room.
There was a Tamil tenant on the first floor with two boys.
The landlady's son occupied a part of the second floor.
On the third floor were the landlady and her two daughters. Her two other married daughters were at their husband's homes.
My sister and I called the two sisters Bada didi and Chota didi.
Both of us adored Bada didi.
She was very affectionate and friendly.
She was the chef of the house.
There were two more brothers also.
Loved the way she used to cook.
It was the tradition cooking range on the huge corridor.
Daily she ground red chilli and turmuric on a stone grinder for using in the dishes.
Her art of making rotis too was different.
She rolled out thin rotis put it on tawa, when one side got roasted, she put another roti and this went on till all the rotis rolled were completed.
Then she would take the rotis one by one, toss them on the fire till they fluffed up.
When all rotis were done, she would pour some water on the hot tawa and painstlkingly dip each roti and spread them to dry.
This method (though I never tried) really yielded soft rotis.
Occasionally she arranged a get to gether where my sis and I too used to participate on the huge terrace. She used to prepare the traditional Bengali food and of course, the Bong desserts were a must.
She had reared some ducks and used to give us eggs.
I hated duck eggs as they were quite smelly but my mother used to make masala omlette which was delicious.
One of the brothers small daughter used to be a regular in our house. She loved the idli dosa my amma prepared. Remember her a familiar sight till we shifted to another house.
The first floor neighbor too was very friendly.
Her sons and my siblings and I were very friendly and indulged ourselves in a lot of games.
The present gen surely miss those days when children used to be active and not glued to TV, laptop and mobile.

Part 11

My neighbours 11
From Kansaripara, we shifted to another house close by. My mom had just given birth to my little brother.
I was 12 years old.
The task of taking care of our new born brother was with my 11 year old sister and me.
It was fun and we thoroughly enjoyed the task given.
It was a beautiful house but the landlady and Lord proved otherwise. Very negative minded, picking up quarels for each and everything.
The landlords brother who stayed in a one room apartment there was hardly seen.
But his door was kept open. My sis and I used to sneak in and ransack his neatly piled book shelves.
There were fairy tales from differen lands and really kept us hooked. MY sis was a bookworm, the habit passed on to her daughter and Pravin. I always kept away but loved reading Romance fictions.
The one we liked was The Arabian Nights.
But even if the brother noticed us, he did not grumble. A contrast to his elder brother. There was the second floor where a Telugu and another flat where a Bengali family lived.
My sis and I befriended everyone and even used to take our wee brother to their houses. In the flat were a Bengali sister and her brother. The sister though tall and stout was very pretty.
The brother looked like a Greek hero and my sis and I truly admired him.
Then one day we noticed that a very pretty punjabi girl who stayed across the road and he were having an affair. They did make a hansome pair.
The locals loved my father and respected him a lot.
They too hated the landlord.
Once things got so bad that the locals had to intervene and save my father.
Not even into one year, we shifted house again. This flat too was very close by . The tenants staying had moved to the second floor. As they knew my father, they had informed him.
We shifted to our new house which was the final shifting till my father retired and was made manager and caretaken of two twin buildings in New Alipore.
My B.ed college, Hastings House was just across the road and my father's ambition to see me as a teacher bore fruit as I got admission in the year 1980, cleard it in 1981 and immediately got a teacher's job after passing out from my B.Ed institution thanks to Venu's Times of Indis manager whose wife was the principal of the school.
At Nilkuti where we shifted, the society was full of South Indians and more Punjabis.
My building was full of punjabis expect for the friend who shifted to the second floor. He and his wife were Tamilans.
All the south Indians in and around the neighborhood became good friends of my mother, so my sister and I used to tag along with her when she went to visit them.

Part 111

Forgot to mention my friends opposite my house in Kansaripara.
My sister and I used to be friendly with a Punjabi Sikh and a Gujrati family.
The Punjabi and Gujrati girls were our age and so we had a lot of things to discuss.
There was a Bengali family too. But the huge Alsatian pet made me avoid going to their house.
Relished a lot of traditional Pungabi and Gujrati cuisine at their homes.
Used to go to college with my Punjabi friend. Also, used to go to a nearby Gurudwawara not for any religious purpose but to eat the wheat halwa given as prasad. Really loved it and still love it.
At the third house we shifted, our immediate neighbours were Sardar families.
Once my mom had gone to ask for something being new to the place and the lady had shutthe door rudely.
Then our phone caame, and the attitude of the lady changed.
Our phone was used more by her and not us. So gradually our friendship started.
Then we got our fridge and inside were more of their items than ours.
One day when I was having my afternoon nap, igot up to answer the door bell.
The Pujabi lady stood there asking for the dought that was in the fridge.
The elder brother had returned from work and she wanted to make rotis for her husband.
I gave it to her. She made the rotis and immediaately returned it to be kept back in fridge.
Just as I was resuming my nap, again I had to go to anser the doorbell. It was the lady again asking for the dough.
I was seething with annoyance but gave the vessel to her without saying a word.
It was soon returned.
Third time the doorbell rang, I sprang up in anger, opened the door to see the maid asking for dough. I gave her a piece of my mind.
Seeing that the lady was quite upset but could not give up friendship as our family was very useful.
There was this beautiful Waheeda rehman look alike, the wife of the cousin brother of my landlord.
She was proud and haughty.
In fact the whole society belonged to the cousins.
Thre was another cousin, always shabbily dressed, covering himself in a torn dirty blanket, beard grown amd looked like not having bathed for many years. It was a failed love affair. used to see him staand at the gate anf glowering at all the ladies entering the society. Used to be really frightened when I saw him standing at the gate and glowering at me and my sis whenever we entered or went out of gate.
The only time Waheeda rehman look alike visited was when I had Pravin. She was completely taken in by the chubby fair baby.
I had visited Kolkatta in 1988. Saw this lady standing on the balcony. She rushed down enquiring after Pravin.
When my wedding was fixed, Venu used to come home most of the days on his Java bike which did not have any silencer. As soon as the bike neared the gater and came thundering in, all the Bong neighbours used to rush to the balcony saying Jamai ashche.
Meaning the groom is coming.
Then it was my husband's home in Sree Mohan Lane.
Before long I had made good friends with the neighbours.
There was a family from Assam, and most were Bengalis.
Our first floor neighbor was a Tamil lady ho proved to be a mother figure to Venu and me. She knew more about Venu as she knew him from his bachelor days and used to narrate hilarious incidents.
The bengali neighbours consisiting of the parents and 2 brothers were a true blessing for Venu and me.
They took great care of Pravin especially the younger son. He was truly Pravin's Godfather. The elder brother got married.
A very homely girl who soon became my friend.
In between the bengali family house and our bedroom window was the kitchen where Bengali sweets were prepared. The shop was outside our society.
The cook always made sure to give some freshly made panneer to Pravin.
The other neighbor was a health worker. A very kind and good lady. Praviin's measles vaccination was given by her in her house.
Mami as Venu and used to call the Tamil lady Hema Mami, was my confidante.
A true mother figure.
She used to serve me lunch everyday when I was studying for my MA. She told me not to waste time on cooking but concentrate on my studies.
Sadly she passed away from kidney ailment.

Part 1V

Coming back to Nilkuti, the society where our flat was in my third house in Kolkatta.
As said my neighbors were Punjabis from Amritsar.
It was from Baljit the Badi Bahu from whom I learned to make perfect rotis. I used to follow her instructions to make tomato puree and preserve in bottles. I even learnt how to make Makki Da roti. It was rolled out in a different way, not on the rolling board but with hands.
A bit of dough was made into a ball pressed well with palms and then placed on the kitchen counter and vigoroughly rotated by hands.
Though I had learned knitting and embroidery at school, it was from Baljit that I learnt to knit well and learnt lots of beautiful designs.
When a sweater got worn out or became small,
the ladies used to unwind the whole sweater and then wash the wool and dry it before making balls and ready for the next knit.
I tried once but gave up. It was a tedious job.
It was during Shrimati Indira Gandhi's assassination that the elder daughter's wedding was fixed for the next month.
Since it was Punjabi colony, there was great fear. Baljit brought everything including gold and kept it for safety in our house.
A security vehicle came and whisked all the Sardarjs and famililies away to safety.
It was utter chaos inside society.
Fortunately wedding went off well amidst tight security.

Hema mami's sons used to call Pravin Siren because of his loud scream and Venu was called Mohan Bagan as he was a great supporter of Mohan Bagan Football Team.
Meanwhile Venu resigned from Times Of India and went with a friend to Dubai. He was on continuous tour of UAE and other African countries.
Since he wanted his wife and son to be secure in one place, he bought a flat in Shanthi Colony, Annanagar, Chennai. All of Venu's relatives were in Chennai.
We shifted to Chennai on Jan 26, 1986.
Since Venu was away in Dubai, my Mom came to be with me and Pravin in Chennai.
It was a two storied HIG flat.
In the two flats on the ground floor were Christian families.
First floor consisted of a Malayali family and facing the flat was a telugu family.
Second floor was truly national integrated family.
The flat was occupied by a Malayali Christian family.
Mother with seven children, five daughters and two sons.
The flat belonged to the eldest daughter and she was a mother figure to her siblings.
Though the flat was hers, she was away at Mali where she had a hosiery business with her Mudaliar husband.
The second sister was an announcer at Central Railways,
The third sister was staying separately with her husband.
The fourth sister was married to a Muslim and he was staying with them.
The fourth sisiter very soon got married to a Malayali Kurup.
It was a very united family.
I was soon to get really friendly with the second sister and fourth sister since they were staying opposite my flat.
I was happy I had very helpful and kind neighbous.
Pravin got very friendly with the Telugu neighbor's son. They got along like a house on fire.
It was the helpful boy who taught me the basics of computer.
Then it was exchanging of food. Got a lot of traditional Christian and Andhra food.
Coming to the second floor Malayali neighbour. There were two pretty sisters.
They were very friendly.
Then to my surprise the mother happed to be the sister of my relative's wife from Chittur.
My relative too was very happy to see me and amma when he came to visit his wife's sister.
The ground floor Christian family consisted of the father, mother and three daughters.
Two daughters moved away after getting married.
The third daughter though married and with children stayed with the parents as her husband was working abroad.
It was their German Shepard dog that took a liking to me and went out of its way to show its pleasure when it saw me on my balcony.
Coming to the Christian family head, he was very protective towards me which was rather quite irritating.
Venu used to come to Chennai sometimes in three months.
One day he had come before a month.
It was night and Venu and I were going out. Mr Cherian noticed it.
Next day as Venu and I sat on the balcony having our morning tea, someone knocked at the door.
I opened to find Mr. Cherian at the door step.
He gave a startled look when he saw Venu.
He said he had come to enquire with whom I had gone the previous night. He did not know Venu was back so soon.
Venu told him not to worry since Anu was with her husband only.
When Venu was away and I used to go out with Pravin, Mr. Cherian who was always at his gate, will make this hand into a fist and ask in Malayalam 'Evadeya pone?' meaning where are you going?

 Gupta, Jyoti Lokes

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Comedy of Errors

 Got my second dose amidst a lot of drama.

Had taken my first shot under the belief it was covaxin. I thought it was abbreviation for COVID vaccine..all my relatives from Venu's side had taken Covishield since our nephew worked for a pharmaceutical company manufacturing Covishield. Thought I was the only black sheep.
When the time came for the second shot, I tried calling Appolo Hospital and failed to get any response. A voice at the other end kept repeating click one for English 2 for Hindi and so on. I approached the hospital only to find vaccine stock was over. Had the presence of mind to ask a security. He gave me his number and the number of a staff dealing in the vaccine.
Fortis Hospital being close by, I went there. I was directed to the eighth floor where vaccine was being administered. I asked the attendent whether I can get my shot after getting the first at a different hospital. He said Yes. Felt relieved. But what he said next made me curse myself. They were giving Covishield. Left the hospital with a heavy heart. Again went back to Appolo. Gave a piece of my mind to a staff there telling her the customer care was awful. What if any emergency was there? The hospital was supposed to be renowned for its services. She looked at me and gave me a no. that connected directly to a staff.
Returned home. Made a call next day and was told vaccine was out of stock. Then all got positive at home and under quarantine. Quarantine period got over so yesterday called up the staff and was asked to come the next day as vaccine was available. Meena told me to check again for vaccine taken. It was Covishield. It was like winning a crore in a lottery. I immediately thanked Meena for her presence of mind
Today morning, my son asked me to go for my second shot. Since it was lockdown, it was doubtful whether I would get any conveyance. My maid's husband consented to come with his auto. Son said if any police waylaid, just show your COVID certificate. Before entering the venue at the hospital, a security shooed me away saying only 200 tokens were to be given and no more left. Tried calling the staff, the number security had given. But failed to get her.
Went to Fortis since it was giving Covishield. Unfortunately vaccine was over and stock expected on 20th May. But did not give up hope. Tried the staff's number and got connected. It was truly divine intervention. I told her the issue. She said don't worry you please come. Again went back to Appolo. Asked the security for the staff. He answered rudely no staff with the name. Rang the staff again. She was really polite and told me she was outside in an yellow coat. Located her. Told her I did not have any token. She asked me to follow her, took me inside the room where registration was done with which token was to be collected. She spoke to a staff who asked for my first vaccine certificate, verified it and asked to pay. There was hardly any people. After payment, as I was waiting near the mentioned room, a staff noticed and told me to enter. There was a man just completing his vaccination. Then I was asked to take mine. Waited amidst a crowd waiting to take vaccine. Suddenly remembered to coll ct certificate. Went back. The security was truly perplexed seeing me off and on. Told him I had to collect certificate. I was happy to see the hard copy of the certificate. The first one I had to download. Did remember to thank the staff before leaving. Till now I am in a daze. My positive attitude and perseverance did bring about a positive result.

Nona dairy

 I was clearing shelf. My new slippers were there. Nona, my 6 year old grandson saw a home wear pair of slippers which I was using in Neiyattikkara.

I put it on thinking of giviny thr present ones a good scrub.
Nona saw me wearing the pair and asked me Achamma, do you want to feel you are in Neiyatinkkara.
What imagination

The hoodwink

 Remembering our driver Shaji, a Mallu Muslim.

He worked for Venu in the early 20s when we were staying in Shanthi Colony, Chennai.
A very smart and happy-go-lucky youngster.
Whenever he used to take me out, he used to show the houses of various stars. Seen the houses of Vijay and Arjun.
Those days Venu used to be friendly with director Kunjumon, who had directed the blockbuster movie Gentleman.
Both Venu and he had once gone to Dubai together. He had even told me not to worry as he will make sure to bring venu in one piece.
Had one day gone with Shaji to pick up some papers from Kunjumon on Venu's instuction?
Shaji was just getting off the car when I happened to see a very handsome man come out of the gate and asked Shaji whether it was Kunjumon. (This was before I had met Kunjumon at the Chennai International Airport).,Shaji gave me a startled look and said it was his driver.
Shaji proved to be a good driver. Then Venu sent him to work for a friend.
One day, the friend's wife said that Shaji was in love with a lady working in a textile company and having 3 children.
Then I got the news that they had married.
The next I heard about him was he had ditched her with his twins.
Wonder how the poor woman is surviving with 5 children!

In memory of my husband's brother

 Remembering the very hospitable couple late Chandru and his wife Subhadra.

When Venu had his bypass in 2006, the hospital was close to Candru's house. Venu's relatives and friends were at hospital waiting for news
Whoever were at the hospital used to go to Chandru's house for lunch. Subhadra used to prepare meals which had the traditional Kerala items. Never once she had seemed angry or made any negative remarks for cooking for so many people. Still remember her endearing smile and her willingness to serve with a generous heart.
Not once but continuously for 3 days, the couple were extremely hospitable.
Venu's very close friend' a doctor had taken special permission to be at his side during operation. It was a great solace for me. When the 6 hour long operation got over and his friend called up to convey the news, all were at Chandru's house. Immediately all rushed to hospital.
All were relieved to know the bypass was successful. A jovial doctor, to relieve my tension smiled and told me, When. Venu's heart was opened, I saw you in it. It did relax the tense atmosphere as all present smiled.
Will ever remember Chandru's and Subhadra's hospitality. God give her strength to overcome her irrepressible loss.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Service above self

  A born leader

setting a fine example
of service above self
what better than
taking up 111 projectst
to commommorate
the 111 years of
rotary existence
bringing together
members from
around the globe,
to serve the needy
striving to bring
smiles on faces
of the less fortunate
god's work done
on earth
by our own Eclub President,
Rtn Jayanthi. and team
spritely and full of life,
for her, there is no uneasiness even when
wearing a crown
her smile the mirror
of her soul
engulfing all
with a passion for serving the needy.
A Herculean task accomplished
through sheer will power
blessings galore
encouraging to serve more.
May there be more such humane beings
lighting up paths
to provide and nurture
the less priveledged
blessings bestowed from above and below.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

An encounter with a lizadr

 Anothe haarrowing experience.

This was in Delhi. I was frying papad when I chanced to see a big greyish black lizard on the window net.
I panicked and tried chasing it with splashes of water. The poor lizard darted here and there on the net warding of the jet spray.
Then not able to take it any longer, to my fright leapt straight at me. Luckily I dodged and it landed on the kitchen platform and scuttled away.
Good heavens. did not fall into the Kadai. Would have been a gruesome scene.

Another lizard incident

Believe it or not.
Once in Chennai after waking up in the morning, as usual I opened my hair to tie it into a neat coil.
The moment I opened my hair, a small lizard jumped out. It was having a cozy sleep inside my hair. Fortunately, it was not a big one.

Gale Gama

 An Uncanny Experience

Fact or fiction, readers have to decide.
I am a staunch devotee of Edapally Ganapathy, a temple in Edapally in Cochin, Kerala.
Venu used to quip- I think Edapally Gnapathy has left its place and settled here.
This Ganapathy is believed to restore lost objects inside homes and they are truly restorned exactly from the place searched.
But this Ganapathy will not waste time in going out to search for lost items outside.
One has to keep 11 rupees in prayer and offer it to Ganpathy when they visit the temple the next time when object is restored.. Surely, Ganapathy will not mind any Ganapathy temple.
Seeing my frenzied behavior, one day my son said in Hindi, Ek din soond nikhlegha aur marega (one day a trunk will appear and hit you).
It was my wish to visit Kalahasthi.
As providence willed, Venu, Pravin and I left for Hyderabad by road to leave Pravin at his new workplace.
Venu said on the way we will be crossing Kalahasthi.
I was thrilled.
We reached Kalahasthi and saw a baby elephany blessing devotees going inside. Venu and Pravin too received their blessings.
I went and in great devotion bowed my head only to get a heavy whack on my head. My hair clip came off, the hair opened out and I found myself feeling dizzy.
I looked at my son, he simply asked me whether I paid any money to the elephant. I answered in the neagative. He said that it was the punishment for not paying any money.
It was indeed fortunate that it was not an adult elephant, but a calf.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Grandson's pranks

 Today's incident.

Was fast asleep when I was woken up by the screeching sound of the door opening.
Nona walked in and snuggled up to me. Told him to go back to sleep as there was no school or online class.
He pulled my blanked and coverd himself and was soon fast asleep.
I remembered some work in the kitchen and went to complete it.
On coming back found Nona sleeping on the side of the bed and no space for me and my blanket too covering him. Tried sleeping but felt cold, so put off the fan. I tried pushing him a little bit to create space for me to lie down but was unsuccessful. Lay down on whatever space was there hoping against hope not to topple down. Had just caught up some sleep when I was jostled by Nona's scream. I jumped in fright and literally fell off my bed.
But the little fellow was fast asleep unaware of anything.
When he was asked why he screamed, he said he was dreaming of spiders and some crawling on him. I told him his dream made me fall off the bed and he went on laughing imagining that scene.