The gap between the end and the bend !

We meet after a long while. After what seems like an eternity.  

He speaks of lost opportunities and missed chances. Inbetween stories of his valorous wins and overflowing juggernaut of his conquests. 

He suddenly stopped, and asked, why he hadnt seen a blogpost from me in a long while. ‘Have you given up on blogging ?’, he asks.

I tell him there is a difference between a ‘bend’ and an ‘end’ ! 

He looks vaguely. Emptily he fiddles with his brand new Rolex, which I think is a fake one, and says, I should blog about this. 

And I agree. 

Rants & pictures !

They don’t call it Gods own country for no reason. It provided some wonderful opportunities for playing with light and the camera. Here are some snaps from a Kerela trip that happened some time back.

Just as the snaps load up on your screen : My MTNL internet connection is woeful at home choosing to go on strike on a whim. I am hastily pushing through this post, when it has chosen to show me that it ideed can work at top speed and this months bill will include charges for internet !

To compliment that, to blog on such esoteric topics from the workplace, well, err, is not allowed. So, please people, put up with my silence.

In the meantime, I continue to shout out into the world through the twitter accounts and I don’t have a modicum of memory of what all I have shouted out to the world. The chief twitter account I use is @KavisMusings . Well, that’s a subject for another time.

For now, here are the pictures.

Silhouettes have fascinated me since the time I knew they were called ‘silhouettes’. I used to hate the spelling but quite liked the way the word is pronounced. With a twang that has almost an Italian connection !

All these snaps were taken at places somewhere around Kottayam. ‘Panchali Medu‘ is one such. I don’t raise an eyebrow everytime we go far off, deep inside Maharashtra or down into Kerela where there is folklore around the exiled Pandava brothers with Draupadi in tow having lived there for a while. Panchali as Draupadi is better known in the south, has this hill named after her.

She is supposed to have taken bath in the local pond etc etc, details which I omit writing on, and leaving your imagination to do its work.

The modern day ‘medu’ (RTT : raised plateau) has 14 crosses. I wont tell you why. For I don’t know myself. I only know that the place has an extravagance of ‘awesome’. There is an endless breeze, a feast of green for the eye. The clouds rolling over your head and tease you to reach and touch them if you can.

Off Kuttikanum is another green zone : Wagamon. Sometimes spelt with a ‘V’ instead of a W. Whatever, it is , It doesn’t alter green beauty. Green as in GREEN. Meadows. Plateaus. Hills. Throw in some mist. Some people who are ever willing to help. Water bodies that tempt. Well, in sometime, you could have romance brewing in the air.

Value for money romance. For the place is relatively unexplored ! Some unconfirmed news has it that Wagamon is called the ‘Scotland of Asia’. I haven’t seen Scotland. But I can go as far as I can and tell you, Wagamon is a lovely place to go to.

If any of those didn’t get you excited enough to pack your bags and include Kerela a big mindshare for your next travel, here is something that will do the trick. I ooze confidence in stating this.

Chips. Slices of a particular type of plantains. “Plantains” was to give the humble ‘banana’ a twang of fancy. Nevertheless, slices, deep fried in authentic coconut oil. You just cant stop with one or two for that matter. Two minutes on the lips and a lifetime on the hips. For sure.

But those two minutes they are on the lips, they give you a lifetime of yearning for the next time you will head to Kerela !

Earliers posts on the same trip are here, here, here and here !

Pole Power Blessing !

Rural India is littered with sights that get me open mouthed. Well, if you are a regular reader here, i can almost hear you say that i get open mouthed at the drop of a hat. Or at a buzz of a fly or whatever ! Sure. And yes !

Take a loot at this, for instance.

Seen somewhere in rural India. A common sight in urban India too. Power ! I quake in my boots to think of the chap who would climb the pole to fix a electrical problem. (Problems which must be as common place as a puny Tamil film hero fighting of ten people twenty times his size ! On screen of course !)

Here i sit. Not knowing which socket will hold which plug on my computer ! Heck, i cant tell between the printer cable and the phone cable ! Of course i fret and make the odd murmur of how complicated life has become and how powerless i feel !

To think that the chap who climbs the pole, figures out the problem amidst that maze of wires, unplugging the exact wire and replugging after ‘some’ work, is mind numbing to say the least ! Phew !

A chap like me will think that he deserves a ‘life time achievement award’ for just climbing that pole with a combination of ropes, bare hands and some degree of energy .

Oh yes, the other chap does it with no fuss. No noise. Only the odd instruction to his partner on the ground ! Often times, i wonder if i know how blessed i am. On the same keel i wonder if he knows how blessed he is.

On another note, the missus wonders if i chose this post because i relate to the tube light well.

Well. Well.. Blessings. You see !

Pleasing the rain God !

The rains have played hide and seek. Especially with the Met Department. Turning up when the Met writes off. And pouring through the roof, when there is ‘No Chance’ of rain ! That apart, the municipal corporation has effected a 30 % water cut which has had 100 % of the media make 150 % more noise !

Suddenly, the prospect of the next summer going without water in the tap, is very real. And as suddenly as that, th
ere are newspaper clippings, figuring on the apartment’s notice board. Asking all to ‘spend water wisely’ !

And of course, there are these small notices which have periodically appeared just outside the apartment lift. Like this one. “As per BMC Notice, there will be short supply of water. Please co-operate’ !

You cant miss such notices. And if you are in a naughty mood, ‘please co-operate’ can conjure up many interesting things for your mind.

But quite often, there is conversation about this ‘notice’ in the lift. All the way up. A conversation that dies off, only when people reach their respective floors.

Ranging from the most common ‘This is ridiculous’ to other strands of ‘What do they expect us to do. Dig wells here? or “why don’t they just drill ten more wells here, we will all pay types”. ( All in accents of a distinctly foreign land which i spell as ‘HBO’).

Contempt for mother Earth & mankind and/or wearing stupidity as a valour medal get my gut. They look at me and other ‘dimwits who preach conservation with a certain unconcealed disdain which is fully reciprocated.

Many times i wonder if the rain Gods are playing hide & seek just to have some fun at the expense of such folks. That’s my grand premise.

Anyways, here i am. In the lift. And there is a family : husband, wife. two kids. And they converse. Between them, of course. I know this gent. On previous occasions, we have had, lets put it this way, ‘differences of opinion’ on water conservation.

And so, the man goes on. ‘These admin fellows, they are not going to get any result with such generic messages like ‘please co-operate’. They must mention, exactly what we should do to conserve water. With a double emphasis on EXACTLY.

Yes. Yes’. I go in my mind. Looking into the corners of the lift. They have to tell you EXACTLY how many litres of water you need to wash your teeth, clean your face. And of course, they have to tell you to close the tap tight. To wash cars lesser …just to think of water.To educate your children…… THEY have to tell you all of that !

And just as i was thinking that, the kid says, ‘big deal dadda. Don’t take bath. Apply the extra perfume. Which you anyways do every weekend’. With a similar double emphasis on ‘EVERY’

My eyes try to look into the man’s eyes. He looks at me. For a brief while. He then looks away to search for mysterious cobwebs in a super clean lift. Theres a deafening silence.

I don’t know about the rain God. But i am having a ball. But you know what, since then, we have been having rains. Serious rains.

Whats with glasses ?

Picture of Kim Jong II from the web

It is time to change my glasses. Its been years. My glasses have seen all the sights that i have. From the plains of Madurai to the peaks and valleys of Mahabaleshwar. The chill of the Bangalore air and the seething summer heat of Delhi. The coasts of the Arabian Sea to the Bay Of Bengal. My glasses of seen it all. ( Other sights, tears, laughter, and insightful moments are not getting mentioned)). Somehow, sticking to geography seeks to override all else !

So, this discussion on the glasses was at the dinner table. This is a style statement. A friend said. Its a style accessory another cooed. It gives you a certain image…a certain personality, said a dear friend with glasses that were flown in from Kolkatta. Please don’t ask me why. I don’t know.

As the conversation rolled on, snide remarks on how i was going blind cropped up. And then, out of nowhere came a comment : ‘Reconsider glasses. Obama doesn’t wear one’.

That was the inflection point. And as the discussion on the dinner table raged on, my mind wandered to world leaders who wore glasses. And i couldn’t get many. And the list that was coming to my mind didn’t exactly swell my chest.

a. Kim Jong – II ( North Korea )
b. Hun Sen ( Cambodia )
c. Manmohan Singh ( India )
d. Robert Mugabe ( Zimbabwe )
e. Asif Ali Zardari ( Pakistan )
f. Dick Cheney ( Vice President of USA )

And of course Sarah Palin ( Attempted Vice President of USA )

There, am sure, and HOPE, that there are other heads with glasses on ! But this list somehow does get me hurtling towards discomfort. If some historian and an avid blogger with imagination and time at his hands were to do some mapping in the centuries to come, where would it leave me, i wonder !!

That leads me upto this door.

Do all world leaders have clear vision ? Can they see well ? Why dont people wear glasses ? Are you thinking that they perhaps have crystal clear vision ? For instance, can George Bush see ? His dad used to wear glasses. But he doesn’t. Hmm !

I wonder if we can fix the problems of the world by just administering the correct prescription for the eye to all our world leaders ! After all, vision is important !

There seems to be a whole lot of need. For good vision !

As for me, i would be trudging to the eye wear store soon. My problems are more plebeian. I just need to see clearly when i read…

A post gave me a whole deal of comfort. Its all going to be in the other persons mind i tell myself. ‘they both wear glasses. which one do i vote for?’ caught my attention!! Do Read it here.

So i trudge along to the eyewear store. Berating myself to stop making Kilimanjaros out of mud heaps.

And as i trudge along, i think of the others that wear glasses, in addition to that list above. Raj Udhav & Bal Thackery, Karunanidhi i think. I shake my head, as my confidence starts to slip. Again

I try a new trick to get my mind to give me some other name and some additional confidence too : ‘Think International’, i tell myself.

And then, my mind says :Donald Rumsfeld.

My purchase decision has been postponed for now.

A dilettante rants

I sit in the balcony. Looking at the moving clouds. That’s fast becoming my hobby of sorts. Book in hand, music to suit, a breeze to buffet thought, some home made coffee and of course, the clouds up there.

The clouds take many shapes up there. Of a cauliflower. Of a bathtub. Of a layer of paddy. And as the sun sets behind, the colour adds to all the glamour. It switches from a sepia tone to a crimson red. The building that occupies the foreground stays firm. The coating seems to change though.

I sit there and watch intently. The shape of my life, my times and my future seem to be best exhibited by the clouds up there. These are some snaps from that evening. Sitting at the same spot. Aiming at the same sun. And the same clouds. With the same buildings as the foreground. Time, they say, has many hues !

PS: Special thanks to all those readers who have been urging me to start a separate photo blog. That puts a spring in my step. An amateurish dilettante like me cant ask for more ! A delight to note that people indeed want to have more from me.

Well, that was the thought that i would have liked to raise a toast to. And then, the missus popped a question. ‘Are you sure ?’ Those are tense moments. Its like asking a ransom caller, if he dialled the right number !

‘Perhaps it is just that people have had enough of your writing and out of politeness suggest that you start a photo blog..’

Her voice trails off.

This post ends right here i say !