Life & growth !

I was on a walk with my four year old nephew last week. As any other four year old would be, he was brimming with questions. An inquisitive mind and an extremely curious thought process meant a battery of questions fired with a tenacity of a quiz master on a rapid fire round.

We were exploring many subjects. But the subjects that stuck for the longest period of time was ‘What is a living thing ?’

We explored different objects of his interest and held them up under the light of his ‘living’ or ‘non living thing’.



Toy gun.





He was getting almost all of it right on his own. And the rest on some basic prompting.   Out of curiosity on what his mind map was around this,  I asked him how he came to conclusions. Teasing him with statements like ‘oh, but chocolates are wonderful. Why are they non-living’.

His prompt and clear response : ‘Chocolates are wonderful. But they don’t breathe. They don’t grow’.

Which brought a smile on my face. For with a simple answer to define life, he had brought to life, its defining essential : Growth !

Technically, he could have been speaking of physical growth and changes. My mind leapt to the other growth that has potential to happen till a human being is lowered into a grave. Growth that is deeper, taller, wider than that which is merely physical.

Development is an integral part of ‘possibilities’ for the future.  Development is anchored around ‘change’.  Change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behaviour !

Change when sustained, brings about development. Development that lurks and becomes part of a being, brings about growth !

Growth is the great sustenance for life in itself.

That airy morning, with a four year old clutching an outstretched hand, this lesson seeped in !

Life !

Kerala calling !

Just back from a trip to Kerala. For reasons that fall somewhere in the vicinity of ‘personal work’. For those of you that think of that as a well qualified oxymoron, well, it is very much in use. Just run a random sampling of reasons employees give their managers, when the need to take a few days off! Thats that.

Kerala is a place that one always looks forward to. Green. Clean. And ever so offering something new to be seen.

Wavy mountains, pristine plains, wonderous waterways, and always : awesome people. Cochin was where the aircraft touched down. A proud Kerelite calls it Ernakulam and the moment you say, ‘Cochin’, well, they dont give you a dirty look. But, my friend, life is slightly uphill for you after that!

Ernakulam, the metropolis it is seeking to become seems to seamlessly bridge the gap between the past, the present and the future. Its not as though I am new to this place. Some eight years ago, work used to take me every month to Kerela ! It was almost home.

This time around several things were new. Time had worked its magic. Villas and property advertisements jostled for space amongst the ubiquitous ones for jewellery. Roads were wider. At a couple of places where the mind clearly remembers a ‘dead end’ the road seems to have had a fresh lease of life, dutifully coloured by teeming traffic.

And then, there was this tender coconut vendor I used to frequent. Who was still there, vending his tender coconuts. At the exact spot where I had last seen him several years ago. It was surreal. Almost like a group of children playing ‘Statue’ and freezing a part of town. But I only had to look up, to realise how close I thought I was to ‘Statue’, yet how far I was from the truth.

For right above his head, was a new giant hoarding selling ‘3 BHK, 4BHK villas’ with a picture of a ever so happy family clinging together. Pandering to the great Indian dream of owning a house, even if it meant, paying an arm and a leg as EMI !

All the while the tender coconut vendor had been climbing up those slender coconut trees and bringing down those coconuts for the parched throat, ‘development’ had seem to have gone above his head, and completely missed him. For better or worse ? The jury is out on that one !

In other news..

Inbetween all the work that we had to complete, the greedy traveler and big city dweller that I am, took the time to soak in the clean air, fill up a few GB worth of photographs, take a peep into life in an estate etc etc ! Not to mention, soaking into the hospitality of friends and family. ( Which actually reads ‘eating like a shameless glutton.’ )

Posts and pictures follow.

Watch this space.

Loo contraptions !

The last time i wrote about pictures from the Washroom, it received so much applause comments that it was reliably learnt that the google servers tripped.

Yeah. Sure.

The missus of course opines that this was the was the audience’s way of showing me ‘my place’ ! That was incontestable. It was from the missus.

Work takes me to fancy hotels once in a while and recently the eye caught a contraption sleek looking machine in the men’s room. Any of you frequenting hotels that have a ‘star’ tag to befit the charges that go past the moon, will take offence to these mundane ‘everyday elements from the loo’ ( as a friend called it) making it being a blog subject !

Tissue paper ( a.k.a just as ‘tissues’ ) that are placed in artistic boxes that could well find a place in a middle class living room and a noisy ‘hot air blower’ to dry your hands, that can emit so much noise that they can compete with one of those Apollos or Sputniks are de rigueur.

Perfumed hand sanitisers, shiny floors, sparkling lamps and spotless mirrors and such else are far more basic in the star hotel loo!

“But this one is far more ‘energy efficient’”, said a pinstripe type as he dried his sanitized hand using the shiny new pristine contraption machine. ‘The hot air is contained in this cavity and thus your hand gets dry faster….Wow, what innovation’. Adding, in some time adding, ‘even the machine’s noise is far more refined’

The chap next to him was obviously a junior as he announced his position in the hierarchy and the relevance to the gentleman through nodding of the head in agreement, mildly describable as ‘vigorous’. In a hierarchy induced vigour, proceeding to talk about global warming and Mr.Pinstripe’s ‘energy efficiency consciousness’ as Mr.Pinstripe himself held grand court.

All this in the loo.

In a brief while, Mr.Pinstripe, reached out to the tissue paper with a flourish, I presume after the hands were sufficiently dry (if his eloquence on the machine was anything to go by). Dabbing his dermis on the hand off the dormant germ and the evaporated droplet !!

Mr.Pinstripe and his junior were soon gone.

It was my turn to use the energy efficient hand drier and hear ‘the refined purr’, as they called it! The contraption machine purred away singing glory to refinement and technology!

We live in good times. Don’t we ? A hand drier to steam away dormant droplets and a sophisticated tissue to dab away whatever remains are evidences to that. While uninterrupted electricity is a mystical promise that gets spoken of at election time and environmentalists are ‘bizarre’ folks !

As the last water droplet was banished into evaporated state of invisibility by the contraption sleek machine with a refined purr, the day of a good clean handkerchief that I learnt to use when my mother used to pin one on to my school uniform, came whizzing back to the mind.

But hey….

We are an emerging economy. With fancy words / phrases used by all. Emerging tiger. BRIC country. Growth story. Middle Class. Incredible India. GDP. FII inflow And such other glorious words and phrases. Of course, we need better cars, clothes, ice cream, paints, computers, mobile phones and such else.

We need such pursuits to keep us particularly chuffed, the economy to keep growing while fat salaries provide a comfortable numbness to stifle any memory of the simpler times. A simpler time when a good clean hand clean handkerchiefs ruled, with no hand drier and tissue paper in sight.

Come on, what am I complaining about…

These are instruments that help people hold grand court in the loo if not anything else. Not to think of providing a below average blogger a topic for his blog. Amen to that.

PS: A better post and some pictures from the mens room, here is the earlier post !