Wednesday, November 22, 2023


I was involved in a near fatal accident when in Secuderabad in 1992. Since Venu had left for office, and Pravin to school, I felt bored and decided to visit an aunt in whose we were staying as tenants. When company provided a flat for Venu, we shifted. I know aunty from my Kolkatta days. Hailed a auto. When I am in any vehicle , I am oblivious of everything. I am just in my own world. Suddenly I found my mouth hitting the iron rod and my knee also hitting the bottom rod with full force. The hit was enough to break all teeth and fracture the knee. Everyone at home considers me weird. Maybe I am not a normal human being,, the reason was proved when there was no fracture or broken teeth. As I sat dazed, the auto driver rushed to me enquiring if I was ok. Then I noticed the front portion of a van inside the driver's seat. Luckily the driver was not harmed and no damage to auto. . Still with the throbbing pain on my knee I decided to visit my aunt. I did not find any problem with my teeth. When we reached the road leading to aunty's house, I found a herd of buffaloes blocking the road. The driver expressed his inability to go forward. I got down. The pain on my knee was really bad, but still I manaded to reach aunty's house. I told her what happened. She immediately got Narayana thailam, an Ayurvedic oil and started massaging my knee. The massage was a great relief and I did not have any problem after that. I feel my guardian angel is with me. For the number. of falls I have experienced, a normal person will not be in one piece. Once counted my falls and found they were 18 in total. Twice had slipped inside bathroom and hit my spine on the raised platform of two bathrooms, once in Kolkatta and once in Bangalore. Twice I escaped as doc said I had fallen on my side so no damage to spine. Had missed a step when returning home from a neighbour's first floor flat in Kolkatta. Kolkatta used to have load shedding at 6pm everyday. I wanted to reach home before the load shedding. As i put my foot down on the first step leading down, the power went off. I missed my next step and fell rolling down the stairs to the landing. I balanced with my right hand so as not to hit my head. Luckily no fracture only a bad pain on left wrist that was there for a week. Still keep falling but always my guardian angel protects me. Hope she does not get bored and leaves me. My surivival with good health is in her hands.

The helpful auto driver

In January 2023, I was in guruvayoor. I had planned to visit a few relatives and stay with them for two days. I have a very friendly auto driver, rajesh, who is at my beck and call. Takes me to Shree Krishna temple whenever I call him. Had taken me to Kuttipuram , an hr away ride from Guruvayoor to catch the Kannur express. On the way there were stunning scenic views, Rajesh went on explaining the places. Truly some spots make one believe that Kerala is God's own country. One day told Rajesh, I wanted to go to Pollachi. I checked and found a bus leaving at 7 am. I called up rajesh at 6am asking whether he can drop me at the bus stop. What he said truly overwhelmed me. He said, Chechi I am at the bus stop looking for Pollachi buses. He asked me if I was ready. I told him yes. You come down Chechi fast. There is a bus leaving at 6am. Since bus stop was close by, Rajesh came within minutes and told me to get into auto fast as a bus was leaving. The time was 6am. He was speeding and I told him not to hurry as my trip was not urgent and I can go anyday. Rajesh said Chechi since you are dressed you should go today. He entered the bus stop. waylaid a bus that was leaving. He got down to enquire and ran towards me saying Checchi get in, this bus is leaving for Pollachi. He got me a comfortable seat, put my bag inside and after making sure I was comfortble, he left. Will be happy to avail of his services on this visit also. If ever he is not free, he sends his friend. Had dropped me at my friend's house in Trissur. From Trissur,I was to board my Bangalore mail after 3 days. From Guruvayoor to Trissur, there are stunning churches. Rajesh used to stop the auto and help me take some beautiful snaps.

The good deed

Last year while travelling from Chennai to Trissur, it was sleeping time in train. So snice I had a middle berth, I made ready to sleep. Had seen a father and daughter get into the coach. The daugher was in a burkha, found they were Malayalee Muslims.As I got ready to climp to my berh , the daugher looked perplexed. The father asked for my ticket and said my ticket was for the next coach. I told sorry and proceed to go to the adjoining coach. To my surprise, I saw the father carrying both my luggage. When I objected , he said no problem with a little help. I found the berth, thanked him whole heartedly. Then realized, I had left my charger hanging in the previous coach. Was getting ready to go when I saw the Muslim father, coming back with my charger. Truly a positive minded person. In the couch as I was ready to get up the middle berth, I found it difficult to heave myself up the laddre. I was having a blanket with me. A couple, who was by the side seat, the lady noticed and immediately helped me with the blanket and my climb. When she found I was finding it difficult, . she requested a young girl on the lower berth to exchange her seat with me. She willing agreed saying Sure aunty. So it was a comfortable journey as I felt the presence of my gurdian angel in the form of the father and the kind ladies.

Friday, November 17, 2023

God's Mysterious Ways

I had booked a train ticket to Trissur for 25th Nov. and reaching on 26th Nonember two months back. From Trissur, I take a cab usually to Guruvayoor. This time the ticket I booked for Trissur was reaching early morning at 2.30 AM. So I decided to get down at Trivandrum reaching at 5.30 AM. I booked a ticket from Trivandrum to Guruvayoor for the 26th Nov. I had got the print out for the ticket for 29th Nov not noticing the date. Since I did not find my berth on the train from Bangalore I went through my IRCTC booking. I found my Bangalore train and also the train from Trivandrum dated 29th Nov. I panicked and wondered whether I had to stay two more days in the hotel.. But call it a miracle, just below the ticket was another ticket for November 26. I truly have no idea when I booked the 29th ticket because I had made sure to book for the 26th November. I immediately cancelled the 29th ticket. I really wonder what would have happened if I had boarded the 26th train with my 29th ticket. God's ways are truly strange.

Monday, October 30, 2023

The Good Samaritan

The Samaritan My Bobworld on my mob just conked off one fine day. My incessent trying, proved to be of no use. Try try try again is the mantra, but here the mantra proved wrong. Since I used to depend on my mob for my bank affairs, I got cold feet as I was going to travel to Kerala and wanted my Bob World to be activated. Called my usual autu guy. I went to my branch. It was a very busy day. I waited for sometime and then approached a staff. She asked to activate and reactivate my account in the ATM outside. Saw an ATM under repair and tried in the other. I failed in my mission, and decided to approach another staff. I waited as he was busy talking to a customer. I went to him with my problem. He made many attempts and then declared, madam I am an insurance guy so not much aware of all these. I stood shocked. How in hell did he solve his problem if something like this happened to him? Luckily another staff came and said ATM was under repair and the machine I tried was not an ATM. She told me to go to the other branch a furlong away. Went there and asked a staff at the counter. Don't know whether she had got up from the wrong side of the bed because she seemed grumpy waving me off saying RBI has blocked all Bob World IDs and nothing can be done without RBI order. Approached another staff and she seemed very helpful. With the details she gave me I tried again but did not succeed. Then decided to attempt opening BobNetworking. I was not sure of the customer id. Since my son knew it, I called up and in the din was not able to make out what he was saaying properly. I told him to give me in Whatsapp message. As I got up the pen I was using fell of and rolled away, so did some coins from my pouch bag. A lady sitting close to me immediately got my picked up a coin near by and my pen and went to the next counter to pick up another coin. Truly a very helpful lady. I thanked her wholeheartedly. Then something promted me to approach the manager. He was busy with a few staff. I waited and seeing him free walked into his room. A very young person. I went to him and told him my problem. He asked me to sit and went through all procedure and said my Bobworld login is unlocked. I told him a staff has said all IDs blocked. He smiled and said only for new users. I sat before him trying myself and again I was not able to. He very patiently did it for me a few times changing login id and transaction id. Hats off to his patience. I then told him about my BOB networking. He went through and and and created a sign on id and trans id. Indeed a true Samaritan. My mission completed, I thanked him with glee writ all over my face, blessed him and took my leave. My belief in God and miracles will never cease.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

My Calcutta University days

My university memories. Calcutta University was established on 24 January 1857 and is the oldest multidisciplinary university. Some prominent personalities were, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Rajendra Prasad Bankim Chandra Chatterjee became one of the first graduates of the university. I am a proud alumni of this prestigious university. Joined Calcutta University in the late 76 to pursue my MA. literature. Our English classes were on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors. Got to make some good friends also. Once when entering university, I saw a blind male student floundering through the gate to reach the stairs. Without thinking, I rushed towards him, held his hand and lead him to his class on the 3rd floor. Within a few months, in the mid 77, I got married. My MIL an elderly and affectionate lady was staying with us. I am fortunate that my MIL and husband allowed me to continue my studies. My MIL used to make sure that I was having enough money with me when I left for university. On returning, I used to see her sitting on the stairs waiting anxiously. The smile that lit up her face at my sight was truly heart warming. I would be delighted to see hot bajji and steaming tea waiting for me. Very soon I conceived. I used to go by a particular No. 5 double decker bus which stopped near the university. If I missed the bus, I had to take 2 buses. I remember running behind the no. 5 bus in my pregnant state when it used to leave the stop and stop some distance away. Once my husband took me to his TOI office. I was wearing a white organdi with orange flowers. A sari my father had given me knowing I loved organdi sarees. At the office, the receptionist a boisterous lady seeing me said that I looked beautiful and surely it was going to be a boy. (Unfortunately, a few years later she passed away at a young age from brain hemmorage.) Later, my husband dropped me at a lane leading to my university as he was in a hurry to reach a place. It was quite a long walk to the university. I started walking and was aghast to see my sari opening out and following a cycle. I stood shocked and bewildered in my petticot and pregnant state. No one around came to help. The cyclist who had gone some distance felt something wrong, turned back and simply freed a stitch of the sari hem that had got caught on his cycle wheel and nonchalantly rode away. I was in tears feeling uneasy with all the stares. I quickly scooped up my torn sari held it and walked slowly to university. Upon reaching, I rushed to the washroom and wore the sare upside down so that the torn area was hidden in the pleats tucked above. A sorry tale of a beautiful sari. It was during my MA exam that an unfortunate incident in the family made me refuse writing the exam. It was my father whose coaxing and advice made me write the exam and clear it. My son was 4 moths old. My witty husband who knew I had not studied well used to make fun saying I bribed Ma Kali to pass my exam. Truly some precious memories of my educattion in Calcutta university. See less

Monday, June 19, 2023

My Gokhale College Days

My Gokhale College Days From school I graduated to college. Since the college was walking distance from my house, along with a sikh neighbor Baljit Kaur's daughter Pinky, I went to the college to get my admission for BA (Hons') English. It was a women's college. The recruiter looked at Pinky and asked if she was my sisiter. When I answered in the negative, he said she resembled me. The fact was no one ever thought I was a Malayali. It was either a North Indian, a Bengali or a Kashmiri. My sibling Paddu menon and my son too don't look like Malayalees. Going through my board result, I was asked to take up pyschology as I had scored good marks in the subject. But I was insistent that I wanted to take English. It was then I realized the there was a test for all those who had opted for English (Hons.) I managed to scrape through. There were students too who were not lucky enough to pursue their English (Hons) I was lucky to scrape through with a warning. The college was just across the famous SSKM Hospital called PG Hospital those days. Our college gates used to be kept locked as a story went around that a student had run off with a hospital staff. We had uniform sarees. White with coloured border. I had a pleasant surprise when my mother gave a voile white sari with a red printed border with a printed red pallu. It was a beautiful saree. Then there were many sarees bought for my college sojourn. I had later given my sarees to printing shops that were all over the area and nearby places. Now such shops are hardly seen. I used to go to college with Jassbir, a sikh friend, my neighbour from my previous house. I got a chance to visit The Gurudwara near the college. Used to go not with ant regigious fervour but to get the Kada prasad a wheat halwa. Till today my fav prasad. I always had to go past her house. Somehow her mother trusted me, so waited for me to pick up her daughter. But the moment we reached college, she used to go away with her boyfriend. Her father was a goon and everyone feared him. My friend had even married the Begali boy on the sly. Later I came to know that her father had beaten up the boy and taken awaay his daughter. Don't know what happenedd to her. When we usedd to walk to college, there was a wood furniture shop and a staff used to keep looking at us as we went past the shop. It got too much, so I told my friend that in future, we would walk on the opposite side. Don't know whether it was providence, as we were walking on the opposite side, the huge lampost near the shop toppled and fell, I shuddr to think what wwould have happenedd if we had taken that way and not taken the opposite footpath? I made some wonderful Bengali friends. All had thought I was a Bengali. It was then that I saw my old school teacher Paromita and she turned out to be one of my professors. A professor Mrs Sinha once was explaining a Shakespearean tale and came out with a word asking to be translated to Hindi. Though I was good at Hindi, I wasn't able to place it, so did the other students. Finally, she came out with the word DIwana. All my professors were vry good in their teaching. We had women's scout. My friend who used to come to college after her visit to her boyfriend and I used to skip the class and go to see movies. Had gone to see Rafoo Chakkar when the whole college had gon to watch WTT (Word Table Tennis). The movies I had seen with my friens were Yadon KI Baraat, Julie, Agni Rekha to name a few. Used to frolic arounf Parkstreet and at Chinese restaurants. Mrs. Sinha used to take us to British Counsil to watch classics like Shakesperean plays made into movies, charles Dicken's and Oliver Gold Smith stories made into movies. I used to take my younger brother with me, Two sisters studied with me. Their house was in the suburbs and people all over knew it as Gol Badi. It was because of the design. A beautiful palatial house. Enjoyed lovely Bong dishes at all my friends houses. A friend soon got married while in college. She was very pretty but slightly overweight. My father had provied us with his company car as her house was quite far. The house was an independant and beautiful sprawling house. The marriage was held in the open illuminated premises. My friend was fully decked up in her bridal finery and looked heavenly. A small boy was staring at her. She chanced to ask him how she lookeed. The boy immediately said in Bengali, Gonesh Thakur. People around were shell shocked not knowing how to react. After the graduation test I was whisked off by my paternal uncle to kerala saying I needed a good rest. Stayed with my cousinn sister In Alleppey for 3 months. Had even gone with her for the inaugural opening Of Chinmaya Vidhyalaya. All the high and mighty of Kerala were present. Bhima Jewellery owner too had presided over the meeting. He was quite aged in the year 1976. Saw a lot of movies and had a wonderful stay with my cousin's maternal cousin in Ernakulam. It was there at a theatre called Little Shenoys, we saw the Hindi movie Charas, a dharam Hema starrer. At my aunts house in Alleppy, it was mathi or Sardine everyday. Relished the simple dishes she made. Learned to make plastic wicker bags from my cousin. One day my aunt said whoever came and stayed there got married soon. Infact left Allepy in September 1976 and got married in May 1977, It was a memorable 3 month stay. Once a family was having a Devi Puja in their house. We had all gone. It was a very friendly neighourhood. Every family knew each other. Mostly teachers from Thiruvam badi High school. The Thirumbadi Sree Krishna temple was ancient and beautiful. A huge temple. The appams given as pradad were hevenly. It was on a Krisha Janmashtami we had got the appams, big sized. Coming back to Devi Puja. As the priest was chanting the slogas, a a telegaram meant for me was delivered. It was from my father saying I had graduated. The pujari noticed this and asked to see the girl who had graduated. Truly God;s grace to be blessed by him. Even had gone to the famous Ambalaapuzha Sree Krishna temple and had got a container full of the famous payasam. as fortunate to see The Indra Gandhi trophy VallmKali or boar race on Onam day. A memorable experience. After returning to Kolkatta my father handed me the MA admission fomm.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Memories of school life

South Point School is an English-medium and co-educational school which was founded on 1 April 1954 at 16 Mandeville Gardens, Kolkata. All students had collected on 1st April but it was a pleaseant shock for all as it was the day it was founded but not open. We all felt we were made April Fool. Founded when I was 2 days old. My memories of South Point High School, a co ed school My sibling and I got admission in South Point in the early 60s. It was my maternal uncle who got us the admission. I don't have much memory of my class 1 to 4. Remember in class 5, a rich marwari boy had invited the whole class for his birthday. It was celebrated in the premises of The famous Lighthouse Theatre. After the fun and frolic, we were shown a fairy tale movie and handed over fairy tale wooden jig jaw puzzles as return gifts. My paternal uncle too used to gift us such jig jaw puzzles. My sis and I loved spending time placing the pieces on the alloted slots. Wonderful past time unlike the modern time. In class 6, we had a teacher right out of a fairy tale. A witch in the tales. She was rude, haughty and wicked. She used to teach us history. The history book was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's Letters from a Father to His Daughter. Truly a wonderful history book. Though a good teacher, her vicious behaviour made the students dislike her. There was a mentally challanged girl sitting on the front bench. The moment the teacher walked in, she used to show repulsion and make sure the child sat away from her. Once she was boxing a boy student's ear for such a long time that he had to free himself in pain and anger. Our class teacher used to be a very affectionate and friendly lady. The class used to look forward to the surprise party she used to give. In class 7, the English teacher used to be the beautiful fairy look alike from the fairy tales. She was very beautiful with her hair tied in a bun on her head. As soon as she left class, the boys used to say- sadhu gachati. It was indeed a ssurprise when she turned out to be my professor at college. Then came to know she was also working in bengali movies. her name was Paromita. In class 8, the school used to have rows of classes on either side on the first floor. The class opposite class 8 used to be a dissection class. The stench emanating was unbearable. But we had to suffer for 1 year. The boys had craft classes and the girls embroidery and knitting. In the drawing class somehow the boys were sidelined. The master always appreciated the girl student's paintings., mine included. My painting was even framed and hung on the classroom wall. The boys felt cheated and had decided not to have anything with the drawing class and used to indulge in their own activities when it was the drawing period. Another past time was discussing latest movies. I used to be an ardent fan of Rajesh Khanna and there were other fans in class. We used to drool over him and his movies. I had the hobby of writing letters to the famous stars and receiving their signed autographed postcard size photos. Nothing preserved. While in class nine, other than Rajesh Khanna, there was a very handsome student whom all girls including me adored.. Girls used to be bewitched including me. He was seen going around with a very beautiful girl student. The George Bernard Shaw comedy, Arms and the man was staged in the school auditorium. The handsome boy and beautiful girl were the main actors. In class nine in my English class, we were asked to write a story by our master. I managed to translate a Malayalam story told by my mother. The master liked it so much that he told me he is keeping it himself. Then it was shifting to a new school building in Ballygunge Place. Then it was shifting of old school to a new school in Ballygunge place. It still is a beautiful building taken over by Birlas. Another memory is of my Konkani friend who once confided in me that a female student had a crush on her father. When I saw him, I knew the reason. He was tall and handsome. Those days he used to be the director of T Board. My friend was the second among 6 siblings. Had gone to her sprawling house and had a delicious Konkoni lunch. Her mother was a very homely lady. My friend had even presented her friends with bru botttles. In West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBSE), the board exam was after class 11. The students had to choose their stream from Science, Humanities and Commerce. The syllabus used to be from class 9 to 11. 3 years syllabus. I was a Humanities student.My subjects were Hindi, English, Psychology, Sanskrit and Home Science. My friends had sanskrit tuition. I managed to get marks in the 50s without any tuition. pass mark was 35. Home science class was interesting. It was on cooking and house keeping. It was 2 papers for each subject and the total marks were 1200. There was arts and craft class. The students had to make Alpana, a Bengali Rangoli with white designs on black chart. There was also clay vase painting with beautiful designs made by students and later varnished for the sleek look. I had taken Hindi as my first language along with English. It was beacause, with English as 1st language, it was Bengali as second language. We used to have 4 teachers to teach English and Hindi. Separate teachers for prose, poetry, grammar and composition. Same thing with Hindi. One of our Hindi teachers, a ,male, used to look very stern. We used to call him Ringmaster. There was a Hindi test taken by him. On the day of the result, I was absent. My friends had told me how he had praised me on my work. My Hindi teachers were Mrs Vijayalakshmi, Mr Tripathi (the ring master) Mr Mishta and Mr pandey. Don't remember the English teachers. In class 11 at the fag end, we had a new psychology master. He was very handsome. Though I admired him, I did not go to the length of the other girls who made a beeling to the wash room to freshen and beautify themselves. It was a pleasant surprise when he recogized me at college where he had come on a visit. I had once gone to pick up my son from school, he was in LKG. A person approached me saying he recognized me. On looking closely, I realized he was my drawing master. Happy people recognize me but I rarely do. In the humanities stream a boy used to be a bookworm whereas his brother in the science stream used to be very carefree. When board results were out, the brother in the science stream had come state first. Missing those glorious school days. Happy to have studied in a school which always was among the top 10.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

The Dream

Dream Humanity with golden dreams amassing wealth of a wonderful honeymoon young males in complete admiration of beauty in front of them loved ones waiting in anticipation for return of their beloveds the hopes and the dreams shattered in a moment, with a deafening sound Mother Earth's fury for the devastation  of her lovely home for man's selfish motives making one remember that it is the Almighty who decides and not Man.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023


Life The poor slogs to earn their livlihood to boost Man's ego toiling away in building the rich Man's dreams palace and mansions, 7 star hotels where the elite cools their heels enjoys their wealth not realizing what they enjoy is the poor man's sweat and blood sometimes leaving their families crossing the seven seas to see that their families are happy sacrificing their hapiness life is truly ironical massive structures set up but does the poor enjoy a day's stay in the buildings constucted after they are completed other than the dust and pollution inhaled when toiling away to complete te rich man's passion and dreams

Friday, March 31, 2023

On Parents and Children

What parents set as example, children learn. If parents set good examples, children behave accordingly. But all depends on how God wants it to be. There are good and honest parents with wicked and sinful children. But as parents, it is their duty to set good examples and for the children to take it or not is their concern. Some children hate the advices given but will surely learn or already learnt when they are taught a lesson or going to be taught a lesson. ill treating parents is one of the worst crimes.Parents sacrifice so much in bringing up their children. Children taking care of a parent or parents when they are penniless is very rare. There are children who praise parents sky high to get public praise, shower their love and respect on parents' photos hanging on walls after their demise when in real life parents are scorned and not given any respect. They are not given food or decent clothes but after demise, expensive rituals and grand feast are given. Some even shamelessly say that a mother taking care of her children is because it is her duty. Some daughters believe that a mother's place is with her son, she should live with her sons and not daughters. Why such narrow mindedness when a mother is the same for both son and daughter. There are parent/parents sometimes having to separate to stay with their children to adjust to their children's whims and fancies. Did parents anytime separate children thinking they are a burden? Parent/parents may sometimes be nagging, unadjusting and creating problems. Children too would have been the same, but parents bore it. Why can't children? A mother however nagging or cruel she is is after all is a mother. Even becomes a whore to take care of her children's needs. Mothers should give their the due respect and not be scorned for what she does. There are children whose ego does not allow them to adjust with their mothers. There are children who take off all the possessions of their parents and abandon them. They should remember they too have children. Good deed begets good deed. There are grand-children who adore grand parents and grand-children who along with their parents humilate their grand parents. Life is a vicious circle, bad deeds are like a boomerang, it will return back. There are a few children who take care of a parent/parents not expecting anything. The parent may have given all her possession to her child. In spite of it, the child does not show interest in taking care of her in old age. There are daughters and noble hearted sons-in-law who take care of mothers even without expecting anything from them. \ How can children who neglect parents live without their conscience pricking them? Such children are surely leading hypocritical and artificial lives. Parents' blessings are the true form of blessings. Even if they are not good parents, the children need not behave like them. Then there will be no difference Parents will be setting a very bad example to the growing children. This way there will be no goodness left on earth. There may be squabbles and fights between mother and daughter, but in the end she has to rest assured that she is being taken care of in spite of everything and has a home and not spend her life in any old age home. Truly said a single mother can take care of her 10 children but 10 children cannot take care of their single mother. In whichever house a mother is taken care of lovingly by the son and his wife, the house and the inmates are sure to earn God's blessings or they have to face the wrath of Shanidev (the Lord of Karma) for bad karma. A mythology says that when Lord Narasinmha becomes Nar and Narayan, they were wandering in a forest when they see a young husband and wife having an arguement. The wife was asking her husband to kill his mother and bring her heart. The husband enamoured with his wife decides to do so. Nar and Narayan change his mind, so he is filled with remorse after killing his mother. As he is proceeding to meet his wife, he trips on a stone and falls down and the heart is thrown at a distance. A voice is heard. "Son are you all right'. The son looks around and sees that the voice is coming from the heart.He is heartbroken, forsakes his evil wife, and finds solace in Nar and Narayan.

Monday, March 20, 2023


Tears tears of joy tears of sorrow tears come to eyes where the heart is full of love tears are not seen in the eyes of the stony hearts tears are the water that appears when a heart realizes the sins committed for selfish motives for a life lived ignobly hail the tears that appear in joy and in sorrow a sign that humanity exists

Saturday, February 25, 2023

My Friend Philosopher and Guide

My Mills and Boon hero The first  meeting with my late husband Venu was at a Filmfare Awards Function in Kolkatta. in the early 70s. I used to see this tall, dark and handsome man impeccably dressed in white, including white shoes running around organizing the event. He was an employee of Times of India in charge of Economic Times later. Along with late Mr. Khuswant Singh, he had gone to interview Mother Tetresa at her Dying Home in Kalighat, Kolkatta and returned with a vast experience.. My late father used to get passes for the Filmfare show and it was an event looked forward to as well as Femina shows. Venu was in charge of receiving actors coming from Bombay. Later he told me that Amol Palekar took a liking to him and was always behind him calling 'Venu, Venu'. I used to see him at a theatre showing Malayalam movies every Sunday. My younger brother used to be fascinated with his belt with the sparkling huge buckle. My brother-in-law, my younger sister's husband(my younger sis had got married before me) was his mess mate. He brought the proposal for me. Later I came to know that Venu himself had taken a liking to me after seeing me at the theatre showing Malayalam movies. When the proposal came, my father refused saying he will not give his daughter to any Tamilian. His friend who was the boss of Venu laughingly told that Venu was of our caste. When marriage talks were going on, I refused saying he was dark. My BIL got real angry and asked me whether I considered myself Reita Feria, a Miss World. I meekly consented to the marriage and till he breathed his last has absolutely no regrets. He is, was and will always be my knight in shining armour and the tall, dark and handsome hero of the Mills and Boon novels which I was a fan of. After getting married and moving to his house which used to be a mess shared by his brothers and other friends, all were asked to vacate. There was this cook who even if abused never used to leave, the reason was the inmates of the mess would sometimes take loan from him. The happenings in the mess when told by Venu were hilarious. After marrying Venu, I got a wonderful family from his side. A wonderful mother-in-law, who always sided me in any arguement and Venu chided her asking her whether he was her son or Anu her daugher, three elder sisters, 3 brothers-in-law and a batch of nephews and nieces. I used to be one among them, so got along well with them. Venu was blessed to see his grandsons,( son of our son Pravin)  granddaughters and also great grandchildren.(grandchildren of his eldest sister who passed away a few years back He had always wanted his family and friends to be around him. He was everyone's pillar of strength. He had endeared himself to my late father. Call it providence, both had to die due to lung problem. Both my father and Venu were similar in nature. He was really a father figure for me and a pillar of strength. He kept giving me hope knowing well he will not survive. He would keep calling me every now and then. I used to tell him I had other work also, he would look forlorn and face would light up when I used to enter his room. My hope for a recovery made me chide him to fight and not be inactive, to be up and about and take care of his needs. Then I used to feel sorry for my outburst and say sorry over again for which he used to calmly say that he understood me very well and that he was blessed to have a wife like me. He also said that he would never have been able to take care of me as I cared for him, hold my hand and keep kissing it till I have to ask him to stop. Even though suffering, he never gave me a chance to understand it. When he complained of chest pain and I asked if it was unbearable, he would say it was OK. He had started losing weight drastically and also his speech. But my coaxing everyday had made him utter everyone's names.. A few months before, he was training me how to activate his bank details, to make online payment etc. He was always afraid about me and how I will survive without him. I always kept assuring him not to worry about expenses or anything else and relax. He always told he was never bothered about money. He gave me assurance he would be around to celebrate our 40th anniversary on 26th May. He had told me he had ordered an online dress for me for my birthday on 30th March. Feel grateful to Lord Vaithyanathan whose ashtakam was rendered and played everyday since a friend told me it is powerful. Though the Lord did not prolong his life, he made sure that Venu did not suffer. After taking me for a bride and entering his home, the cook was dismissed. I knew minimal cooking, my culinary speciality was making rotis having learnt from my neighbor who was a punjabi. She was very much impressed by my rotis. Gradually, I learnt cooking and finally was declared a wonderful cook by friends and relatives. Having spent most of my life in Kolkatta, my education, wedding and birth of son, we shifted to Chennai in 1986. Venu had resigned from Times in 1983 and joined a foreign company based in Indonesia with branches in Dubai and far eastern countries. He used to come to Chennai every month. My mother used to be with me to take care of me and Pravin. We shifted to Zaire in Central Africa and had a wonderful time for 8 months after which my son and I were packed off to Chennai. Venu kept shuttling between Chennai, Dubai and africa. One fine day he said a friend who owned a company had offered him a job as VP in his company. After a year or two he was transferred to Hyderabad where life was a roller coaster ride, making new friends and new experiences. Used to attend functions where popular Telugu stars used to come. It was partying all the way till the year 1994. Was in Hyd from 1991 to 1994. Remember the train journey from Chennei to Hyd, where CM Kalyan Singh was in the next coach. Black cats sitting at the the window seats next to our seat were invariably going along with him weilding their guns when he went to toilet. Pravin used to be fascinated by their guns and allowed to go through it by the black cats. Venu as usual quirked,' Happy I am not a minister'. While in Hyd, venu was invited for the inagural run of cable cars in Gujurat, Gujjar Hills, Ambe Mata Temple.The cable car he was travelling with 3 others literally came off the rope and it was a miraculous escape for everyone because the racing cable car came to a halt when it stopped thanks to a stationary cable car. The people inside were asked to be very still with not even a slight movement to avoid the cable car from coming off the hook.and may crash down. After help arrived, one by one the people inside were brought down by pulley technique. When press came to make a report, Venu immediately stopped them and said they were doing a trial run to see what would happen in a calamity. The owner of the company literally fell at Venu's feet for saving his company.. Once, while in office, ( I used to go with him to office once in a while and friendly with the staff), a youngster who was to get married in two months narrated the cable car ordeal (he was one of the occupents of the cable car), told me the only person who remained calm was Mr. Venugopal and he made sure the other 3 got down before he got down in the end. He also said it was difficult to come across a person like Venugopal.. In honor of Venu's act, he was invited to garland the then Gujarat CM, Kashbai Patel and I was asked to garlad Mrs. Patel. Such was the respect he got from anyone who was in contact with him. Then it was transfer to Delhi from 1994 to 2000. He had to attend many VIP meets and in one such meet thrown by a prestigious Newpaper owner, I too had the chance to go with him. The whole open ground was filled with black cats. I befriended the owner's wife as well as Mrs TN Sheshan, Ex election commissioner. While sitting for lunch, the person sitting beside me was explaining how the rabdi was made when I said it was tasty. The person very patiently explained how it was made. As I was getting up after lunch, my sari got caugt underneath the chair. Immediately somebody came rushing to retrieve it. To my shock and surprise I saw that it was late Mr madhav Rao Scindia.While leaving, I bid goodbye by patting Mrs Seshan by patting on her back. Venu, when outside asked me if I was aware of what I had been going. He said the person sitting beside me was none other than the newspaper owner himself Late Mr. Irani and I was behaving with Mrs Seshan as some long lost friend. Venu  used to be the the PRO for his company and in touch with its client, Shri LN Mitthal, the steel tycoon whom he used to meet whenever he was in Delhi and narrated a lot of interesting things. He was also invited for Mr. Mitthals son's wedding in Kolkatta, the venue being The Victoria Memorial. He could not go. The wedding invitation with a box of sweets was delivered to Venu at his office in Delhi. A beautiful meenakari box, yet to see its worth as it looks like it is silver. The sweet inside was shared amoung the staff and only the box brought home. Venu had the charm to charm everyone, be it neighbors or their children. Our neighbor's children always used to be at our place. Our immediate neighbor had come down from Mumbai to pay homage and said his wife was crying her lungs out. From Delhi, it was Chennai again. He suffered a massive heart attack in 2006 July and had a bypass in 2006 August. He resigned his job and while seeking for one was offered a job in Mangalam Timbres, a Birla company as VP by a friend working there. He jokingly told everyone that he got the job at an age when people retire as the VP.. He was 58 at that time. As always, he endeared himself to one and all, his boss and colleagues. He was fit and fine till 10 years and I had a lot of wonderful moments with him. He and Pravin were more like friends and not father and son. He was called Babe by Pravin. Being in Kolkatta, father was baba, but Pravin changed it to babe. He was a prankster. While attending a colleague's wedding while in TOI, he had retorted that his bride was far better than his other girlfriend. The next day, the colleague came rushing to Venu saying he was ruining his married life as his wife believed it and was furious with him. Then Venu had to go and pacify her saying it was said in a joke. When I befriended the mami, our first floor neighbor in Kolkatta, she narrated their first meeting. She was Hema and Venu told everyone he had Hemamalini as his neighbor. One fine day she told Venu that Hema was coming down to meet him. The way she narrated was hilarious. Venu was standing by the stairs and she told Venu he could see Hema malini in person. She was a stout and dusky lady and Venu was quite shocked. Later she and her husband and sons became very friendly with us. He had once told mami (fondly called) that even if anyone married a patti (dog), none should marry a pattar. Mami fumed saying how dare he insult their caste when immediately Venu said, ' Mami marry a naya (dog in Malayalam) but never a nair which made mami burst out laughing. The house we lived were Naxalite infected. Our neighbor too had been a naxalite. Venu befriended all and was able to change a few advising them to continue their education. Once a problem brought the whole slum at our doorstep. Hearing of it, his naxal friends came with pipe guns shouting in Bengali who were the people planning to attack Venuda. He endeared himself to one and all. His friendship with his neighbours in Chennai who were his school mates also is credible. The friendship still carried on till the end. A 60+ years of friendship. He was more like a family member to his neighbors whose mother looked upon him as her son. A similar freindship lasted from Kolkatta days where he had another mom. His nature was such that if if he was abused and kicked, he would go to that place. He had no enemy. If anyone had critisized, it was because of their ignorance in knowing him. His stature was such that friends and relatives from all around the globe called up to pay their last respect. A family friend's daughter who stayed with us while in Delhi used to call us her Delhi parents. She called up from UK and broke down saying she had lost a loving father. His goodness gave us a loving and responsible son and a more loving and responsible daughter, our son's wife Meena. She gave us a wonderful extended family. Since she lost her father 10 years back, she looked upon Venu as her father affectionately calling him Daddy, scolding him, fighting and arguing with him. There was no need for him to have missed having a daughter. Feel blessed to have shared a lot of rich experience and to be by his bedside when he breathed his last. In fact Venu's family members with their extended families are our family also. There was no restlessness, no suffering and he looked peaceful when he took his last breath. Only beautiful memories remain and the last stage experience. I am grateful to the almighty for giving me strength to face everything. As an astrologer said, it was an auspicious time to have departed and even no karmam (last rites) need to be done. He had gone straight to Kailash to entertain Lord Shiva. He attained moksha. Most importantly, he was a true Rotarian. Having joined Rotary in 1991 in Hyderabad, he became a Rotarian in 2004 and remained in Rotary till his end. Was the president of his club, 2012-13 and it was a wonderful year with PETS (President Elect Training Seminar) in Singapore. The crowd that collected from all over as well as Rotary clubs to pay their homage was proof of him being a great Rotarian, service oriented and fun to be with. Children loved him. A very close Rotary associate had gone out of her way to visit temples, collect vibhuthi and bring it home for Venu. His great grand niece, when she was around 4 used to introduce him to her friends as her best friend. His own grandson, his other grandson, Meena's sis son fondly called Munchie were his great fans. For both, he was their most favorite achacha as they called him. Amartiya, his grandson looks at his achachacha's photo and says achachacha has become ambati (God). If told, he will go and bow down in front of the lamp kept in front of his grandpa's photo. He is only 2 years and 3 months old. Such was his charishma. Remember some MBA students coming home in Hyderabad to get Venu's advice. Venu used to be among the panel of judges for interviewing IIM aspirants when in Delhi and the pay given was always given in charity especially to Saint Teresa Charitable Trust.. Now with the grandson having turned 8 and believing his achacha to be a star asked me if we can contact him in Heaven. I told him it was not possible.  he said Google will help. When I answered in the negative. He left when his mom called. before going, saw him fiddling with my mobile. I found that he himself had searched and came across someone called Venugopal menon. The precious memories will stay on for ever

Give Respect, Take Respect

Give Respect, Take Respect be selfless like the tree it gives Man fruits and shade to rest nature is beautiful with trees all around birds of various hues make the surrounding beautiful in return what does Man do He cuts the trees for his selfish motives fauna and flora are destroyed Mother Earth's jewels depriving Her of all her beauty there is pollution all around, Man is falling sick with unheard of diseases there are earthquakes, floods and famine Mother Earth wrecking Her fury innocents suffer for no sin of theirs let Mother Nature live seek her bountiful blessings She is our Mother and sure to forgive her wayward Son it is never too late to mend always remember the saying give respect take respect

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


when heart is full of compassion' for all living beings no religion, no caste, no creed when Man lets go of his ego and selfish motives when realization dawns our valuable life we owe to God it is He who decides life and death who is Man to decide about his death as a saying goes live life king size leave all decisionsto God lead a positive life and let positive things be granted by God

Monday, February 20, 2023

Meaning of True living

when heart is full of compassion for all living beings no religion, no caste, no creed when Man lets go of his ego and selfish motives when realization dawns our valuable life we owe to God It is He who decides life and death who is Man to decide about his death as a saying goes, live life king size leave all decisions to God lead a positive life and let positive things be granted by God

Friday, February 17, 2023

Two sides of the same coin

Joy in sorrow Sorrows come and go never to stay those who cling to them are oblivious to the beauty of life life has plenty to offer only if you believe in the joy of life life is beautiful with its myriad colours it is for those to experience that life is not grey or black but all colours hidden underneath lending life all colours in all its glory to experience joy and woe that is intertwined the unseen beauty of life is to be experienced when there is joy and woe existing together