Monday, November 19, 2012

I swung on a swing - after a long time

Twas a fine wintery sunny afternoon on the Sunday, the 18th of November 2012, My infants terrible made staying at home unbearable and we wanted to go out, the usual places were cut out since the city had decided to go to sleep( Dont know for how much longer). The city going to sleep was a blessing in disguise and the best half asked me to consider other options - long drive, go to a park/garden, Indian fast food stroll (still cannot bring myself to call it junk food), go for a walk in the pleasant afternoon sun. Long drive was thrown outside the window, fast food stroll also went flying out. Was left to make a choice from two options, we decided to go to Empress garden. My son, Prataparudhra loves the place since it is not very crowded, there are numerous slides to enjoy, a couple of rides he likes; all in all he goes bonkers. Tara, my daughter likes anything outside the house since it is all new experiences. Padma, My best half likes to step out and stroll without having to worry about the kids since I am now in-charge of their well being in the public place. 
       A fine park, lot of sun and shade and my son playing the slides again and again and again. I picked my li'l girl and looked around and at a distance I saw a vine hanging down forming a huge "U". In my mind a desire germinated. The grey cells started working overtime to bring back memories- memories of... Aage ki kahani break ke baad.
      A couple of hours passed and we were nearing the time when the park would close, I put my now sleeping Tara in the pram and went near the slide where Prataparudhra was playing and asked him - shall we go home? He as usual says Appa! One last time and he runs the slides a few times more- last time is usually relative. A few minutes later instead of the straight line towards the car park, I pushed the pram on a detour. Padma asks me "whats up!!!?" I dont answer and I move decidedly towards the vine hanging in the shape of a "U". The hanging vine brought back memories of childhood when I used to hang by low hanging branches of tamarind trees, of demolishing amma's sarees using which we used  to make swings. Of running our of reach when she came at me with the broom or ladle whatever was handy -but most of all it brought back memories of swinging into the blue sky and back, every time I swung down and back, it was always with the knowledge that I will be swing back and up into the blue sky and the sun rays kissing my face. Memories of then true freedom and bravado without a care in the world. 
     I came out of my reminiscence when I reached the vine, I stopped the pram, applied the brakes and went to the vine, sat on it and swung. I swung higher and faster feeling the pure bliss. The BLISS of a child all over again and again. Padma did not stop me or even asked "how much longer", she just waited for me to stop and get off the vine. After a few minutes passed,  I stopped and got off. As soon as I got off, Padma hopped on to it and she swung. She was radiating happiness when she got of the vine. I hopped on again and swung at a leisurely pace. By now a crowd had gathered to see the sight of a grown up swinging from a tree vine. I ignored the glances. some dis-approving, some nodding, some waiting wistfully. I could not bring myself to get of the vine and become a responsibility burdened individual again.  Swing and swing free was all that was going in my mind. By now dusk was advancing and Tara was fidgeting in the pram. The security fella came over gave me some verbal advice against behaving "childishly" and sent me off towards the car park. The swinging from the vine reminded me that R L Stevenson wrote a poem on that topic. We reached home and I first browsed my books collections to see if I have the poem. This poem was part of my English syllabi during school. I searched in vain for the text when Padma asked me "why don't you search the internet instead of mopping the floor?" OK sound advice and I found the poem which for you dear reader, I have pasted below.

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down! 

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Desire can lead to embarassment

Since a few days, I was drawn to images of a particular watch from the handicraft watch works of Ulysse Nardin. To be sure I did not hear of this watch maker before. The watch under the name El Toro was very exquisitely designed and the more I saw it the more I wanted it, but I was not sure of the brand. Little did I know that I was worried about the wrong thing.

The first thing that caught my eye was the blue leather strap. That itself should have indicated the beauty's worth. But no, the mind would not accept, I was still thinking I can buy this. The second feature that kindled my desire was the "automatic"or self-winding mechanism. I dont know why, but I am enamoured by such watches and I already posses two automatic watches. Any way back to El Toro, the exquisite desire of mine. My best half saw me a couple of times drooling over the images. She suggested "lets procure the desire". And then we started speculating how much would the desire set us back. I very very confidently(idiot) put a cap saying that it would not cost us more than thirty thousand Indian rupees. The Universe which usually conspires to make me happy must have been dancing in mirth thinking "this dhakkan deserves this." And then I checked which store in Pune stocks this - C T Pundole is an excellent watch store and the sales people know the stuff they peddle. Anyway I thought, if tis CT Pundole selling, I can walk with the magazine image and ask straight without any hassle. So I walked in and was accosted by a smiling cherubic sales person who cheerfully asked me what do I desire. I showed the print and he exclaimed aah! We dont stock this, we procure on demand only. My heart sank into the ground. This could only mean my pocket was not deep or colloquially speaking - mere paas chaddi nahin thi". But still, I would not give up, let me ask for the price, just might be possible that it would not be very expensive(Universe started dancing again). The cherub of a sales chap, took the magazine print from me, disappeared somewhere asking me to wait. I waited with abated breath(one of my friends would say balls in the mouth) hoping against the universe. A few minutes which seemed an eon passed and the cherub came near me with an embarrassed look and whispered in my ears in hindi - sir aaa. aa, aa,a 15 laakh hoga. I felt the world go still as my jaw dropped, and this time I could see the universe dancing. I was covered in red shame, embarrassed beyond redemption. I shuffled as fast I could out of CT Pundole. I felt as if everyone there were looking at me and laughing at me (as if they had nothing better to do). My best half followed me sedately tugging my son and carrying my daughter along. We got in the car. I drove home towards home in stony silence. My best half made some tea and then as I sipped the tea, I went over all that happened and just burst out laughing and then I could not stop laughing. I would have gone on a laughing spree if this were to happen to anybody else. But when it happened with me, I went through embarrassment, then indignation and then and only then could I get to the laugh at myself stage. Each time I went over it, I would end up laughing at me. Someday I would raise my chaddi high enough to get an El Toro, but would I want it then. I will let "SAMAY" answer that doubt.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Incident of the Pharmacist/Chemist

My son falls sick and so we go to the doc, doc prescribes syrups. So far so good. Son throws up everything he eats or drinks. I Call the doctor who prescribes ONDEM syrup to prevent throwing up. This is where the fun begins  

I rush to the pharmacist- the air is hot and fetid and a couple of fans are whirring. These fans played a very important role in my life today.

Me: Ek ONDEM. dena (Give me an ONDEM)
Pharmacisit : (whips up a box) "kitne Chahiye" (How many do you need) 
Me: (Confused) Bas Ek (only one).
Pharmacist: Passes me flat box
Me: (without paying attention) Syrup nahi hai kya (Dont you have the syrup)
Pharmacist: kaunsa flavour (which flavour?)
Flavour bloody hell - what flavor for a medicine which prevents throwing up your guts. 
Me: Now still confused (i am still not paying attention to the box in my hand) - kitne flavour mein aate hain (how many flavours does it come in)
Pharmacist: Shows me three different boxes 
Me: (Shocked)  I check the box in my hand. Oh! Lord of all Gods!!! 

This dhakkan of a (fool of a) pharmacist understood me totally wrong. I asked for ONDEM , he heard CONDEM and had passed me a pack of "Moods"

Bloody hell verbal communication sucks.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A dad is born... Again

Life has come a full circle in a short span of 5 years (boy it does seem a long time) when I got married to Paddu, whom I came to knowing only after the marriage was fixed (typical Indian style) and we had no definitive detailed plans of the future. The first transformation in our lives was when I was reborn as a dad (please read the first "a dad is born") and four years later I am born again as a dad. I thought that things would be different this time now that I have experience. But always the Universe conspired against me to make me happy in its own way. The waiting filled the time for the last few days. In anticipation of our second child, I finally stopped procrastinating and bought a car without knowing how to drive it. so off to car driving school to fill that competency gap. Then in the last month of pregnancy, I drop Paddu, my best half and
Prataparudhra, the apple of my eye at her mother's home in Mumbai while I stayed put in Pune. Please trust me this was her decision. I did not decide that. I fought that decision of hers, but like always she could win me over with impeccable logic-tis warmer in Mumbai during the winter months. My son is excited that he would get a baby brother(Could not understand why not sister?). Maire my colleague and friend wagers that because of all my sins in this birth, I will be blessed with another boy who will also make me dance to his tunes. The good doctor advices Caesarian again. But this time we have the luxury of deciding dates and this was a bad luxury as it turned out since the universe again conspired to rip apart our perfect plan for a birth on a perfect date (by the alignment of stars and planets). The doctor could not fit on said date and gave us 7th Jan 2012 as an option. By this time I had enough of star, planetary alignment from every other quack-anstronomers and their dog that I said YES. 7th is good. So  drive  down to Mumbai on my classic 500. You can start sniggering. The ass has a car and he went by motorcycle. You see sniggering people, this was a reconnaissance trip to learn the route from my home to my in-laws' home and Mumbai being what it is, a mayhem of people, I ventured to go by bike. I get my Paddu admitted in hospital and Through the evening and into the night I kept reassuring my son that Mamma is alright, she will be coming home soon, you will be taking care of the new baby and all the bullshit. I guess he realized that too because he said, take me with you to the hospital and promptly went to sleep. Then dawn came rosy cheeked and awoke me. I get ready and go to the hospital and wait for the doc.
1. The anesthesiologist comes 
2. The doctor comes.
3. my best half is rolled into the OT
4. The door is shut on my face. The good doctor refuses to let me stand
in the OT and after some time the pediatrician goes into the OT.
5. I grab 40 winks when I hear a new born baby's banshee scream
6. I run to the OT door waiting expectantly with my in-laws thinking the door would open now and I will get a bundle of joy in my hands.
7. Bloody universe still conspiring.
8. Not knowing what to do, I start to bang my head rhythmically on the door hoping then at least some on will take notice that people are awaiting, but none of this could melt their heart of stone.
9. All this time I could hear the baby screaming and screaming.
10. 50 Minutes later, the door opens and a nurse comes out to say - pay the anesthesiologist. I draw my last reserves of patience and ask in a rising crescendo how is the mother, how is the baby. Is it a boy or girl? Thank you very much. 
11. The good anesthesiologist comes out and tells us- baby girl, mom and baby are fine. We have a princess. We have a princess. Prataparudhra would be disappointed, but he would come over it.

After the euphoria settled, I went in search of the nurse who was the target of my anger and apologized, the arrival of my princess will not be marred by anger and hard feelings. The pediatrician comes to us gives us the baby stats. I thank her profusely and look at her expectantly like a little boy standing in the line for candy. She sees me and tells me to go in and pick my princess. I did not need to be told again. I ran in and took the little bundle which packs a whopping amount of joy and she yawned, she yawned in my hands. That did it and the dam broke and I let the tears of joy flow. Flow I said, na they were running like the godavari and krishna rivers and would not stop.My in laws were now used to seeing me with my eyes running rivers. I put her gently on the bed and kept staring at her. She opened her eyes, saw me(:P saw me) and went back to sleep again. I crooned some thing to her, tucked her wrap around her as she slept

This is not exactly the best of a post rather it is just rambling running thoughts that are still running through my mind.
So what will we name her -
This time my paddu did not let me choose names from History, so I turned to faith and belief in the hindu pantheon of goddesses and came up with two names; one starting with K and the other with T. We ran into a disagreement with regards to the name and so we are doing a blind voting  with the members of the family. Dear reader, I will come up with the name which won through the voting. 

8Th jan 2012:
the voting results are out. "T" won hands down. The universe conspired against us to make us happy yet again. So what is the name we chos? This is my blog and I will script it out my way. I looked at history again to give me a name for my princess and a princess needs a queenly name, but paddu stumps me and says "why not a godly name" so I fall back on my second object of intense reading, Ancient Indian thought and philosophy. This sphere of reading took me not just through Indian philosophy, but also Tibetan and Mahayana philosophy. I felt that since my super god is Lord Rudhra after whom I named my Son, I will name my daughter after my super godess, the MOTHER. By this time I had read Aghora by Dr. Svaboda quite a few times and two names stuck out as a strong affliation to the great MOTHER- Kundalini and Tara. The voting decided Tara as the name. The goddess Chinna Mastha Smashana Tara is the great mother who directs the soul towards moksha or oneness with GOD. So my princess will henceforth be called Tara after the great MOTHER.