Monday, October 4, 2010

The mugs and nut stealers

The mugs and nut stealers

Our country is full of them. The small thieves. They follow a simple rule , if you have failed to tie it to some support the things or possessions of the owner will be removed against the free will of the owner that.

The evidence is the ongoing battle of the Indian railways and how the government is fighting a battle with this coveted group, my mother uses a term for them it is called “Chichke chor” (CC) which means small thief or not such a respectable thief .

I can only suppose that these CC move in groups, as their friends graffiti on the walls of the toilets of the washroom, while the person with the saw tries to saw the chains binding the mugs (good stainless steel ones which are strong and cannot bend with undue strain of constipated people getting on with their jobs).

The graffiti also speak a story of their own. Some of the graffiti are short and humorous

Demanding action from what I can assume is some of their girlfriends or more accurately girls who they want to be with…..

Some on the other hand are drawings of their private parts (I am sure their biology teacher was not good enough),

There are other philosophical ones that ponder on life and write their views in what people may categorize as sher o shayari.

They do make a humorous reading material sometimes funny sometimes sad. I feel the pain of the railway authority that is fighting this battle with the CC because I was in a similar battle with the CC a few days back myself.

The CC are as shy as the lock ness monster. They do not want to be seen getting on with their jobs. We are living in a township which is made up of many multistory buildings. One multistory building has about four houses per floor we have six floors and many of the owners have kids that are of the cycle riding stage so the bicycles are kept in the basement of the buildings.

We live in quience block. One fine day on a Sunday evening when we all decided to go for a walk, Hubby (H) saw that the cycle was missing. We started playing the blame game which is one of the simple pleasures that married couple have in life

He – The cycle is gone had you not locked it??

She – You know I always lock it Goles must have not locked it when she came in

H – Money is for free… grumble grumble

S – If you remember I had bought it with my money when I was working

H – So this is the right moment to squander it I suppose…. By the way does your daughter ride it?

S – She would if she could … she has study burden

H – So let us buy stuff and keep it for the time when he is free to play with it

S – Yes…. I suppose you are right.

H – Money is for free I suppose grumble grumble.

S – Long silence and walking faster

After some time normal conversation was initiated by H by insignificant comments about the people around us.

H – That aunty stays here I suppose

S - Long silence continued.

H – It is okay the cycle was squeaking and one spoke was free

By this time we had reached the security and the gap of space and daughter’s consistent attempts to revamp the spoiled evening worked and I was up to a good fight. I ran on ahead and demanded to see the security. When I saw the chief I told them about the lost cycle they asked the question I had been dreading

Sec - Madam was the cycle locked??

S – I think so... we generally lock it but you know how it is. Kids after coming back…..

The exchanged the look which said clearly - careless parents deserve to have their cycle stolen.

Sec - madam actually it is virtually impossible to take the cycle out of the township as they are checked when they enter and when they leave….

Sec 2 – a few days back however there was a cycle reported stolen and we found it under another block’s parking lot.


It being dark it was decided that we would go and search for the cycle along with the security later on in the morning; however the kids and me filled with a sense of purpose started looking for cycles under all the buildings.

We continued walking … I have seen how, when we loose a small object (even we do not use it that often) we feel very sad and project it in different ways for e.g. I noted how happy other kids were looking in their cycles which I have never even noticed. They are insignificant just like the leaves of the trees and the blades of grass, they are present but we fail to notice them because of the great numbers but now I was looking very sadly at them because I thought how my daughter would look on the cycles.

My husband, far more constructive and was looking for the make and colour of the cycles as they passed him like a hawk and asking for references from my daughter in between scolding her.

After a while he went back where as we continued to search for the cycle. Looking at the cycles of different blocks and trying to ascertain which among them was locked and which was not we nearly gave up. My 7 year old son for whom the loss of a cycle meant a great big adventure called us to see at least three different cycles. At last an angry me shouted at him and told him to go back.

But he persisted and it was him who persuaded us to look in the basement of ORCHIDS block. We did and were about to go away when I spotted it our gleaming cycle, tyres full of air all spruced up… it looked so good and clean that I had to convince my daughter three four times before we found the scratch marks I had made when we had got the cycle with three different girls…. Yes it was ours. It was unlocked ready to be taken away. The chain tying it to the small cycle was familiar (though many cycles have similar chains). We opened the chain with our own key after coming back home, which ascertained that it was ours

After this great joy, we went to security. They were righteous… “Madam It is impossible that things can be stolen from our building complex, reminding me about their efficiency”. I assured them that I had never doubted the fact. (A big Lie)

We were pleased and celebrated our small victory over the CCs. Next morning when my daughter took the keys for cycling (she was surprised that there were other people who wanted her bike and wanted to make full use of the cycle) the tyres were flat. The CC had removed the valve tube and got his revenge.

Friday, October 1, 2010

MAde in China

Made in China

A few days back we have shifted to a new place, my daughter an accomplished place changer has made friends and has her good times but my son still needs to adjust and his joy as in most 7 or 8 year old lies in showing the better toy car … better lorry… better bag and better seat in school bus.

There then came a better boy. Let’s call him Iron. His dad had been in China for the past few years, hence he was imported. We have “made in China” stuff in our house too, but he is better because his “made in China” stuff was bought when he was in CHINA. He is a very cute boy, to look at but that was where all that ended… his voice is a constant whine – “aunty he is in the window seat but that is mine”.. “Aunty he was saying galis (bad words) in front of us”… and many such things which were cute in the beginning but gradually made us look glassy eyed and politely away.

There are snobs and then there are better snobs. I have never met another one who is better than Iron…there are many lines that are there that only have you wondering weather he can spare some time to coach you. A few quality ones are……

“ Wow!! Aunty he has got new wheels (of skates) mine are imported. Too bad I gave my old ones away he could have had them”

“Aunty you can buy the house in PT2 building now they are giving a free car with it… it is so sad we bought our house just a few years ago there was no scheme then”.

I know a friend of mine who was a mother of famed or ill famed naughty boy of the neighborhood, who had to bear the brunt of him complaining ways a few days back. Her son, who could not take Iron’s snobs in a polite manner, explained to him the rules of the gang leader in not so polite terms. Iron’s ma went to that lady’s house and later that friend of mine starts to froth in the mouth on hearing the name Iron…. “Was a rotten boy”... “Only complaining all the time”

One morning when I went to see off my boy in the school bus there was Iron with his hench men or hench boys from class III, (It is an accomplished feat to have people rooting for you from a senior class being in junior class unless you share the same parents, but being Iron he could accomplish the impossible). He had sat on a seat for the previous two days which was a coveted window seat where my son was sitting as he had come earlier. But because iron had been sitting on it for the past few days he was convincing my son to leave the seat for him. When my son continued to ignore him.. I looked away pleased that my boy was learning the tricks of the trade from the master…. Iron started to complain to me through the window – “aunty … I sit there. Please tell him to get up” I looked away politely a little proud. Iron then appealed to the bus driver and when the bus driver told my son to get up, he got up albeit mournfully, Iron looked at me as Nathuram Godse might have looked at Gandhi ji’s bodyguards after murdering him… and suddenly I was angry and did what I have always advised parents never to do.

Got up in the bus and told the driver to make the changes that was there in the beginning at once. I accused him of favouring pretty kids against better judgment after which the stammering driver did just that.. I looked on hoping that my son was happy but he told me. Mummy if you were going to fight I would have told you that I wanted that seat (another one).

The lesson was learnt – “Never involve yourself in the petty fights of kids unless their mother invites you”. Another lesson was that Chinese goods rock. I am a little fond of that guy because he never keeps a grudge in his heart his pleasures are momentary and his moral is “Yeh nahi, toh koi aur sahi”. That is one lesson we can learn from my Iron man. Made in China

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Life without walls


He comes to me joyfully,

He loves me with true verity.

He loves who he chooses,

and does what he pleases.

Thus living with us in harmony.

He has no walls,

To conceal himself,

He is there for us all to see.

My three year old son,

The joy of my life,

Lucky him and so lucky me.

Then why do we,

Build walls around us?

Why are we afraid to share?

What does he have which is so special?

While we are afraid to be bare?

I hope some day I can be like my son.

Daring to be just me,

For though life is good,

I feel that the walls destroy all harmony.

Shovona Bhattacharya

Friday, September 24, 2010

Roaring forties

On being 40

As I approach the dreaded age of forty I recall what one of my friends used to say - wrong side of 35, I feel certain amount of changes what are they???

Am I less fit than I was…? Not that I feel, people say that I was fitter at the age of twenty but now I proceed for my walks with renewed vigor than I did in those days, I go to gyms ( with knee pain) that I did not want to in those days I feel that I am fit. In fact, I am fitter than I was, because I am working hard for it and I appreciate the value of fitness which I took for granted.

Am I less loved than I was???? Not at all in fact have I felt that the people who love me have grown by leap and bounds.

Am I uglier?? May be ….now hair fall is more but then I am rich enough to buy good treatment in parlours and though I look out for wrinkles I can afford face packs which I did not have time for at the end of my second decade. My son recently told me that I was the most beautiful of all the mums even if I was fatJ.

In what way then, have I changed? I am in a position which is more respected than I was when I was twenty. I am a mother, a wife, an established career woman.

The power that I command in the domestic front now is formidable. I take decisions about our journeys, about clothes that I can wear and buy, not just for my self but also for my family. When we decide to go out some where even if I do feel tired I have to make an effort to go as my children want me there, my husband and also my mother in law feel out of sorts when I am not around. We entertain in a social circle which I want assembled, when I want to go out my family does too.

In fact from breakfast to dinner, from innerwear to sophisticated clothes my family depends upon me. This brings me renewed confidence for my day to day life. Which is reflected in my behaviour as a career woman. As I am happy and successful as a home maker I bring that confidence in my work and in my surroundings.

There is another freedom which the younger me never knew about. I am free to walk on the streets without greedy eyes gawking at me. I can do as I please without being the center of attraction of a crowd. This invisibility brings about certain amount of freedom. A few days back my husband had forgotten the tiffin in the house and I had gone to the main gate to return him his tiffin, and I was riding the cycle, I am amazed that no one bothered to give me the looks. In fact no one noticed.
I remember about four years back when I tried the same thing people said many things about decency and what middle class women should not do. But then that was another time and another decade, now I am free to ride the bike when I want to and not ride when I do not want to. Aah.. What it is to be free from these strings

There is another feeling that all my to be forty sisters should be happy about. Okay tell me what were your traumas when you were twenty???




All those questions are settled now and hopefully, the first is established and many are successful in that front. One is at a very comfortable relation with the second. The third in the list are well above their blood sucking cute days and now are pride of the eyes by their activities without us having to worry about them all the time, In other words darlings we are free form all the hassles that have had us moaning with back pain and stress ful days. Do you miss them. I am happy without those days. We can now enjoy kids and play with them without bothering about huggies / nappy rash. We can give sermons to other younger ones, about the ways they should use what bais they…. Because you see now we are armed with experience which comes with age and practice
So girls ready get set and go reach that forty something with a smile and cheer.
Karishma, Juhi, Kajol and the ooh so gorgeous Shilpa I am coming to join the bandwagon of the roaring fortys with pizzazz and cheers

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trip to Amritsar

Trip to Amritsar

1. Day one
Trip started in the morning when we all started for Amritsar at 2 am, we stopped enroute for evening lunch we had already eaten a good lunch but Partha was late and so we all had cold drinks and one Parantha. The route taken was Karnal – Jullandhar – Phagwara – Amritsar.
` We reached Amritsar at about 9:00 pm we freshened up in a hotel and left to do darshan. I was glad of the meal we had taken on the way as Kuku was fed

Golden temple :- So serene calm and beautiful It had the decorations of people who had laid down lives for our nations also there were people sleeping like it was there home there were many people like me who were doing sewa. Some kept our slippers for us there were many who were giving us water to drink. The ambiance of the temple – full of people yet one was alone, there was a courtyard and the temple was in the centre of the lake. The temple was a beautiful sight to behold and many were dipping themselves in the holy water of the sarovar at 10 PM!!! Inside the temple there was a line and amazingly no one was pushing or wanting to go ahead. The interiors were also wonderful. I loved the experience. I had the feeling just like I had when we had gone to shani temple in Shirdi. I felt oneness with the Supreme Being.

After our darshan we left the temple and came out to the restaurant and had food it was about 10 AM at that time we also bought Papad and wadas ( azalea which are a must buy once you go to Amritsar.
Back to the hotel and we had eaten. There Goles got a room with MIL and we both had Kukku. The room had moon and starts on the roof.

2. Day Two

In the markets of Amritsar

Today one Mr. Maheshwari, who was formerly my husband’s colleague, joined us. Also today was Ashtami and both MIL and me were having less to eat. We had naan and curd and the kids and Partha had kulche’s to eat. We again went to the Golden temple. I am glad we did because today there was another beauty and serenity to the shrine. We also saw fishes which came up to us and nearly rubbed against our legs which were inside the sarovar.

In the narrow entry point in the Jallian wala bag where Gen D had prevented the exit of the meeting members
We had been to Jallain wala bagh which simply made my blood boil especially the letter which Gen Dyer had written after killing many people. We saw the letters written by Rabindranath Tagore denouncing his knighthood and also the photograph of the bloke who had killed Gen Dyer in England. There was the well in which about 150 people had jumped to escape the bullets. There was an obelisk about the history of the place.

A few points of the park

After which we also went to visit another temple which was beautifully done up. There we saw not only fishes but also turtles;
From there we went to visit the house of one of our colleague Mr. Sanjay Thareja. Who had been with us in Chandigarh and come to my house in Delhi.

We then went to the house of Mr. Maheshwari. We talked of the old times and then we also discussed about the new times there was delicious lunch prepared by Mrs. Maheshwari. There were puris, sabzi, pulao, dahi wade, rajma which was delicious.
At about 4:00 we left for the Waga border. The interesting thing about this was that we were in Attari so in Amritsar it was called Attari boarder but her it was called Waga boarder as it was the first Pakistan district after the boarder.
Few amazing things that I saw there
1. The BSF Jawans were about a head taller than me and I am tall.
2. The BSF lady jawans were so very beautiful and looked really cool with the guns.
3. The Pakistanis were people like us and they too liked to show off just like we did.

The boarder was charged with the spirit of nationality. Songs were going on to add more fat this spirit and make us all sizzle in it’s wake. The man – I can call him the MC (master of ceremonies) was telling us to shout louder than the Pakistanis and he did every ting to make us shout- which included jumping, dancing. Waving his hands in a very peculiar fashion. It was very nice and funny. But we had a great deal of fun. On the other side there were flags w had them too and got a chance to wave them. We had great fun there.

We finished from there at about 7:30 Pm after standing and shouting for about 4 hours we were thrilled brimming with the patriotic feeligs and more excited. That is a place to visit but please remember to take bottles of water there.
We started from Amritsar at about 9:00.and reached back in Karnal at about 2:00 AM


in th golden temple