Monthly Archives: August 2017

Happy friendship day and Raksha bandhan day.
My post today is dedicated to all my friends and all those who consider me their sister.In short,commemorating both Friendship Day and Raksha bandhan at one stroke.This would be in the form of a poetry,though I know I am no real poet,conforming to the stipulated rules and regulations of genuine poetry.You may take it as a sincere call from the heart,a genuine desire to wish everyone well.
Friendship day and Raksha Bandhan.
A wish that everyone Is happy

And cheerful.such days are 

commemorated but once a year.

Although the spirit should

Enliven us through the year.

Festivals are but reminders

Of what should form our festive spirit.

And atmosphere.Noise need not be

The order of the day.silent,sincere wish

To everyone,near and far in distance.
In the ancient days it was an vow by a brother 

to protect the sister,in times of war and while

In distress.Times have changed.

Sisters capable of protecting themselves

And siblings too,when needed.

What is important is the love,affection.

And concern for the other.

That can never die,come what may.
Facebook has brought forth many

A friendship,Many a relationship.

Amongst many flaws,this is beautiful

And enriching.To all those,my wishes,galore.
Lastly,all are not happy.

Life,not a bed of roses for many.

Intolerance,lynching,rape,murder.

You name it and we have it.

To all those who indulge in such

Acts,THINK.It may be someone’s brother,

Sister,father,mother or wife or child.

Not easy to be BUDDHA,the enlightened.

Respect your fellow human.

If not respect,at least don’t harm.

With this earnest wish,I finish.

Hoping for a better morrow.

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Sibling love and rivalry.
There was a time when our families were all joint families and there was no dearth of siblings.Each family had minimum four to five children of their own.Apart from these,there were cousins galore and they hardly felt the difference between their own siblings and cousins.Children grew up together,went to the same schools and played as one family.Sometimes even neighbours’children were also added and more the merrier,was the norm.
In course of time,families became nuclear and people went out of their comfort zones in search of fresher and greener pastures.In each family also due to so many constraints the number of children born came down.From four or five or even more it was the slogan “hum do,humare do”. Gradually the choice is to have a single kid and to bring him or her well with good education and good spend on extra curricular activities,according to the aptitude of the child.With all these,the disadvantages of having a single child cannot be overlooked.Initially even the single child feels happy at being the cynosure of all around and grows up even slightly selfish.”Give and Take ” has to be inculcated in each child so that when the child steps out of the sheltered existence,adaptability becomes easier.
Now to come to the subject of children with siblings,it is expected that they have more adjustment capacities.There is no golden norm.There may be selfless single kids as also very selfish children with sibling rivalry born out of competitive spirit or partiality shown by parents,knowingly or unknowingly.
It is when they grow up the need for a sibling is really felt.We were five of us,out of whom we are three surviving now.All of us are over seventy now and life being so uncertain we cling to each other.The bonding is much more now.As children we have all had our fights,nothing major but all for minor reasons.
My daughter is my only child.I have brought her up as a single parent for most part of our lives.In times of crisis it pains me to see her suffering,bearing the brunt of all emergencies.She has a supportive husband,his family and all her cousins rally around her but the emotional turmoil is her own.
One important thing I have noticed is there is more love when no property is involved.When there is the question of property disputes,will and money matters are involved there is definitely more rivalry involved.The age of ancient rulers killing the siblings may be lesser than before but we witness enough rivalry and family disputes sometimes leading to murder even.
This in conclusion I can say that siblings are necessary to lend more value to our relationships and to be with us in pleasure and pain.No need for despair for single kids.Sometimes friends and at other times cousins fit the role and fill the void.Some noble thoughts on Rakshabandhan day,may be from a different perspective.

Malls,multiplexes and Food courts.
This post may not find any resonance with many of you in the younger generation and more so, the youngest amongst you.

Well, that is generation gap as you can see. With each generation tastes change, as also ideas about entertainment, food habits and even ordinary consumerism.
My thoughts go back to several decades ago.There were no malls.Only corner, kirana shops which were patronised by families and in turn well served by the shop keepers. Good or bad events in the family, they were considered part of the family whom they catered to. I remember an old award winning Kannada movie called “Bharat Stores”, run by an old man who had only kind words to all his customers and his staff. With the advent of malls and convenient stores, his business is affected and is forced to close down.There is much more to the story than this but may be some other time.We know this is the story with many old shop keepers.
For a person like me, who is not a compulsive or obsessive shopper, shopping in malls had not interested me at any time. I found it too tiresome.I can’t point out my advancing age or restricted mobility now as reasons. Except for the initial novelty of getting everything under one roof and also watching a movie or sipping coffee, all in one place attracted me, soon I was tired of doing everything in one place and with no clear plan .I prefer doing things one by one, in a more systematic way. Shopping should never exhaust me. I prefer going to a saree shop, having a predetermined mindset as to my budget,choice of colours, which were almost always the same as ever and material,invariably cotton. If I want to really enjoy a movie,I would prefer one with a discerning crowd and not the popcorn munching multiplex crowd. I find the noise levels unbearable and in an important,sensitive scene my neighbouring seat person would be happily eating something or sipping the aromatic coffee, which at any other time would probably be tempting to me. Sometimes I wonder why some people come to the movie houses and disturb others.There are additional evils like the light from mobiles, someone busy sending or receiving messages.
I remember we used to live in Amar Colony in Lajpat Nagar ,Delhi. My husband was a film buff and I used to like watching movies,though was a more discerning viewer. We used to have at least five movie houses within walking distance.That was a period when I must have watched the maximum number of movies,good,bad and indifferent.Those were also the glorious period of Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh.Movie going was a different experience at that time.Times have changed now.I don’t really enjoy going to the theatres.I prefer watching in the privacy of my own surroundings and at my convenience.Thanks to the mushrooming of channels we get latest movies fairly early.
Now to the last part ,Food courts. It is supposed to cater to the large gathering of shoppers and movie goers. I find the noise levels too much.People generally are loud and too cheerful and noisy for my taste. I am generally noise allergic though my daughter finds pleasure in teasing me saying I am gradually losing my hearing capacity though I deny it. There is one chain of hotels in Chennai and elsewhere where in spite of the delicious tastes,I find the clutter of vessels too much.Same is the case with food courts.any day I would prefer to eat in a quiet restaurant.
I hear whispers from my daughter and those of her generation and the next and some even from my own generation who would be saying.”you are too old,retire in all ways and walks of life”. May be,the truth. Gracefully retire, back to my own interests and most importantly Facebook and other books.

Lending Libraries.
Today’s paper had an article “Custodians of Bangalore’s Reading Culture”, a very well written article about lending libraries and mobile libraries,which brought knowledge to our doorsteps literally.My mind,as usual,travels back in time.
Those were the times when the concept of lending libraries were not in vogue.My father was a voracious reader and so were all of us.There were no dearth of books or magazines in our house,both English and Tamil.As days went by ,till seventies or so lending libraries were not there.
I used to be a regular at British Council Library and National Library at Calcutta.We used to have a friend,Lucky Chari,in B.C and my ambition was to work in B.L and I started making enquiries about enrolling myself for doing a diploma in Library Science after my graduation in English Honours.My father put his foot down when he heard there were only Evening classes.Thus ended my ambition.
There were plenty of second hand shops in College Street in Calcutta and Moore Market in Madras,where I shifted after marriage.There was also Alwar pavement bookshop where one could really find rare treasures.Buying books or magazines was always a passion.Soon we shifted to Delhi and by this time more than half the family was in book trade and therefore books were always abundant.
We had to return to Madras in the seventies and it was here I first heard of lending libraries.Soon I became a member of Eshwari lending library and an obliging delivery boy,called Shekhar always supplied me the latest magazines.As for books,my brother was my regular supplier and also my sister in law who used to send me books soon after her finishing a book.I nurtured a desire to start my own library and they were adding to my stock.Slowly there was a sort of disillusionment,which set in when I saw how people were treating the books lent to friends.Ends were folded and books were torn and no one bothered to return within a stipulated period.All these made me stop thinking about starting one.I had even specified a place outside our home.My office hours plus a part time copy writer’s job left me hardly with any free time.
I was loaded with books which is still the case though I am the last one to grudge it.I continue to get lot of books as gifts and thanks to Amazon I buy also.I was forced to part with some of my books when I shifted from Madras.I am not an admirer of kindle although I agree about the convenience and storage part of it.I am Still flooded with books and I was in search of an young Tutul,who would help me in arranging the books in exchange for the pleasure of reading the books.( For those who have not read Gautam Benegal’s story,Tutul is part real,part fictional character in one of his short stories).At last one Saraswathy came to help me stack my books in some semblance of an order.
Now there is a change.Lending libraries are dwindling in number,if not non existent.Very few kids are interested in reading.These kids are tomorrow’s adults.They may be more interested in their subject books.I am glad I was born in a period when books were valued as treasures.I hope someday sometime people value books the same way.

Independence and Freedom.
All lofty words,spoken by great men,

Inspiring fellow countrymen to join the

Struggle,and after years of subjugation,

We won our freedom.
The tryst with destiny speech and many 

Such speeches enlivened the atmosphere.

And it was electrified.People rejoiced

As never before.In some corners,

It also gave rise to discontent and dismay.

Partition of a country brought untold 

Miseries in its wake.Families were separated.

Neighbours,who lived as one family

Were gone and sometimes even parents

Had to face the pangs of separation.
It took us time but overcome we did.

At least parts of the problems.

Progress in certain sectors,not to be denied.

Development brought in its wake,some

Attendant problems.Not insurmountable.
Governments changed and so did the problems.

Much time was lost in debates and discussions.

New issues cropped up in place of old.

Some found solutions and some did not.

It was a great man who once said.

Freedom is when a woman walks without

Fear in the middle of night.

Are we anywhere near that?

Do we have real freedom in many things?

Are our children really safe?

Is there any accountability for any of the misdeeds?

Apathy,blame game,injustice against many.

These are evils plaguing our society. 
We can celebrate our Independence Day 

with conscience when we are able to

Partially solve these issues.Till then,

Celebrate with some conditions.

Treat your fellow human as human first.

No rape,no murder,no bombs,no guns.

An idealistic world.let us take our first step

Towards that and the rest would follow someday.

Independence and Freedom.
All lofty words,spoken by great men,

Inspiring fellow countrymen to join the

Struggle,and after years of subjugation,

We won our freedom.
The tryst with destiny speech and many 

Such speeches enlivened the atmosphere.

And it was electrified.People rejoiced

As never before.In some corners,

It also gave rise to discontent and dismay.

Partition of a country brought untold 

Miseries in its wake.Families were separated.

Neighbours,who lived as one family

Were gone and sometimes even parents

Had to face the pangs of separation.
It took us time but overcome we did.

At least parts of the problems.

Progress in certain sectors,not to be denied.

Development brought in its wake,some

Attendant problems.Not insurmountable.
Governments changed and so did the problems.

Much time was lost in debates and discussions.

New issues cropped up in place of old.

Some found solutions and some did not.

It was a great man who once said.

Freedom is when a woman walks without

Fear in the middle of night.

Are we anywhere near that?

Do we have real freedom in many things?

Are our children really safe?

Is there any accountability for any of the misdeeds?

Apathy,blame game,injustice against many.

These are evils plaguing our society. 
We can celebrate our Independence Day 

with conscience when we are able to

Partially solve these issues.Till then,

Celebrate with some conditions.

Treat your fellow human as human first.

No rape,no murder,no bombs,no guns.

An idealistic world.let us take our first step

Towards that and the rest would follow someday.