Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I was more of a novel writer in the mid 1990s. In fact, I have written 2 novels (the Hardy Boys type) on paper in an unintelligible handwriting so typical of the teenage boy. On the advice of my High School English teacher, I started thinking on the lines of short stories and smaller articles suited for newspaper publications.

It was strangely difficult to adapt to the shorter version after writing 150+ page novels. But once I got the hang of it, I started enjoying it (but I lost the novel-writing skill on the way). Couple of them got published too in the national newspaper. But it was hard work to get it published.

To not see the article after multiple follow-ups was disheartening. And those that did get published had been edited the way I did not want them to. All this was very disappointing. It was very typical of an author on the doorsteps of a publisher. So I ended up writing what came to my head in pieces of paper and stopped bothering about asking newspapers to publish.

Blogspot – which was free! – came like a haven for freedom of thought and penmanship. No more begging, no more follow-ups, no more edits – just pure unadulterated content exactly the way I want it.

The first post on this blog was on March 21st 2006. This is the 500th post which has come after 5 years and a month. On the way, seven more blogs were born under the same banner which specialized in a theme of its own. In all, there are now 1118 posts across all blogs.

The idea of seeing my own words on the internet the way I want it gives me joy. I can reminisce on the years gone by, by going through my posts, by re-living my own life and musings. It gives an outlet for my thoughts and adds meaning to my life. It stays on even when I have departed.

It may not be much, but for me, it is an achievement.

The sad state of human affairs

"I wish I was never born in my parent's house."

The above remark from a female friend of mine caused me to think.

Parents undergo a lot to bring up their children. Initially, the children are totally dependent on the parents and bask in their love. As children grow from tiny tots to teenage, a shift in the love quotient occurs and parents are no longer the favoured best. Job gives a heretofore unknown independence. Money and location of work further distances the parents. Marriage brings in a totally different wave of life-issues - for both parents and the new entrant. Its almost like a tsunami :-)

On the other side of the spectrum, while their children get married and have kids of their own, parents are ageing and would like more to be with children for support and grandchildren for basking in forgotten child's love. Pitfalls occur. Spouses die. Children neither near nor want to be near. Grandchildren do not recognise you. Finally its time to bid adieu.

And then the participants change in this life cycle. Children become parents. Grandchildren become children. And the whole gamut of human emotions come into play once more. And so, life goes on and on and on...

Pretty sad state of human affairs, actually.

A Beautiful Memory

She and I were sitting in the busy Jayanagar 4th block complex.
She was sitting on my lap and I had completely embraced her.
She looked beautiful.

Without a care in the world, I kept kissing her.
And she gave me one cheek after the other, for she too was enjoying.
She looked beautiful.

I sang to her and danced with her.
She too sang with lyrics of her own and enjoyed the gyrations.
She looked beautiful.

Everyone who passed us by, looked at us and smiled.
If they were a part of family, they whispered amongst themselves about us.
We looked beautiful.

Father and daughter.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

31 and 28

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to your wife too!!
Happy Birthday, Dear Harsha and Gouri!!!

Special day today as we celebrated our first birthday with daughter in Sharjah!


Friday, April 08, 2011

Life is Calling

If I am sitting in my room (say, working on the laptop) in Bangalore, I am actually traveling at a speed of 1015 miles per hour. And this is just around Earth’s axis. I am also actually traveling at a speed of 66,676 miles per hour around the Sun. I am not an expert in astrophysics to go further on speed in which my galaxy is traveling, so I will leave it at that but suffice it to say that its like being in a revolve-rotate roller coaster ride that turns around the axis as well as moves this way and that, giving the general feeling that you have no idea where you are at a given point of time. This gives great joy to majority of the population but the feeling I get is one that of nausea because my insides just can’t take it. Don’t get me wrong. The nausea is when I am in the roller coaster ride, not when I am sitting in my room in Bangalore working on the laptop.

Anyway. Add to this Facebook, LinkedIn and Orkut where I get to see multiple updates on the multitude group of friends in each of these networking sites. One friend is traveling from India to Australia for a job, one friend is traveling from Australia to London for studies, one friend is traveling from London to Switzerland for honeymoon, one friend is traveling from Switzerland to India for settling down in life, one friend is traveling from India to US to join husband and many friends traveling within US during the long weekend. It is as if you are in the midst of a huge inter-networking set of cables that are hovering all over you all the time – the way airline industries advertise their routes on a magazines around the world – and you are just a spectator being bewildered by the increasing dynamics of what is happening as we speak in and around you.

My 6 month old daughter, who spends most of her time on her back, pedaling her legs on an imaginative cycle, flapping her hands in utter joy and squeaking away to glory when she has had her night’s sleep and morning milk suddenly stops all of her activities when I take her for my weekend morning walk. Cradled against my shoulder, she looks here and there at the moving vehicles, she looks at the morning walkers and joggers in the park, she looks at the moving branches of the tree, she looks at the birds and she is all agog. She is literally dumb struck. No voice comes from her. She forgets she has hands and legs to flap about. Her eyes capture everything. It is a new world out there for her. Not just the roof and fan which she is accustomed to. So much so that she doesn’t even respond to her name Paavani or her pet name Tontu. She doesn’t want her parents, doesn’t even want her Mother - who is her constant companion since birth – when she is in the open air. Life, in fact, is beckoning her, and she is bewildered by the enormity of it, and the possibilities it beholds. She, who is the queen of the bed and the room, suddenly feels small looking at the magnitude of World beyond her house. The Smirnoff commercial aptly describes the situation:

Life is Calling.

Neonatal Phototherapy

Within the first week of Tontu’s birth, she had jaundice as most newborns do. To treat jaundice for newborns, the infants are kept under a source of blue light. This process is called Neonatal Phototherapy.

The nurse informed that the infant’s eyes should be protected from the blue light. So whenever we placed the baby in the crib under the phototherapy, one of us always had to hold a folded longish cloth (like a shawl) over the eyes to act as a shield.

Now, the baby had to undergo the phototherapy for over 10 hrs. If the baby slept for the entire 10 hr duration, then all is well. But newborns being newborns, they wake up every once in an hour or whenever they feel its time to bother the people around! And if they wake up at a time when no one is around, lo and behold, they start gazing into the Blue World and no parent wants the eyes of their just born to stare into intense wavelength.

So we (whosoever in the ward donning the role of attendants) took turns to provide this shield to the eyes by manually standing over the crib and holding the folded cloth over the eyes. It was on one such occasion, when I was bending over the crib, holding the cloth taut over either sides of the crib, thereby shielding the eyes, that the attending sister saw me. She didn’t say anything but I could see that she was appreciative of the Fatherly Love, of the Father taking pains to protect his daughter.

Almost an hour passed by and relentlessly I stayed put in the same position: bent over the crib, folded cloth taut over sides of the crib, shielding the baby’s eyes. Again, the same sister popped into the ward. She saw me in the same position she had seen me almost an hour ago. She asked me to move aside. She looked around. She found couple of cloths lying hither and thither. She took both of them and neatly folded both into brick like formations. She kept the two brick-like folded cloths on either side of the infant’s head. She took the folded cloth (which I was using as the shield) from me and tucked either ends of it over and underneath the two brick-like folded cloths. This automatically acted as a shield over the infant’s eyes. This done, she walked away.

Imagine my state. I felt stupid. It showed absolute zero ‘Apply Thought’ process from me. I work for one of the esteemed companies who recruits associates testing only keen intelligence and here I was making a mockery of myself in front of attending nurses. The nurse having showed me how to automate a tedious menial task had deflated me completely, and suddenly, with nothing to be done, I sat down. It took a moment for me to digest.

Then I realized that perhaps if the exercise had seemed boring to me, I too would have thought a way out of it. But the fact was, it didn’t seem boring. It didn’t seem tedious. It was nice to be there, near my daughter, sharing her treatment (my hands were undergoing phototherapy too!), being sorry for her to have to feel the emitted heat, staring at her small features, admiring them, being fascinated by them – and it was as if I was enjoying every moment of it and the fact that it had been almost an hour hadn’t even struck me.

That’s what happens when we become parents.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Pet Names

Calling babies by pet names comes naturally to me. I am not sure how it happens or what makes me decide on a particular pet name but I end up with one pet name per baby after spending some time with her (or him, as the case may be).

Some of the pet names I have given to my younger cousins are Koli (mid 1990s), Pammu (late 1990s), Kuttamma (mid 2000s) [yes, there was one new cousin every once in few years!] and most recently, Gundamma (2010) for my neighbour. Now these pet names are despite these little wonders having a name of their own. Somehow, just spending some time with these bundles of joy, leads me to a name which sticks to my mind and I can’t help calling them the same.

When my daughter was born, I hadn’t thought of a pet name for her. My mother-in-law started from day one to call her as Sonu. She informed that Sonu means gold and hence she equated my daughter to the value of gold. But in my case, the pet names did not have meanings. It just was a free expression, a name that had no meaning and yet contained pots of love.

It was only after a month or so that I accidentally hit onto my daughter’s pet name. It just so happens that infants need talking to which mothers and the mothers-in-law are good at but the fathers are not so. Give an infant a silent father and it starts shrieking to glory. But make the father speak and the infant starts getting interested and listens to the strange sound.

On one fine morning in November 2010, when my daughter was about one month old, I was watching the TV and my mother-in-law was handling her and my wife was trying to catch up on lost sleep of the previous night. My MIL got busy and hence deposited the baby on my lap and went to attend her chores. Within a minute or so, the baby started crying (while heretofore she was fine with the MIL). So my MIL asked me to talk to her and keep her engaged.

Now, this is not an easy task – to talk to a person who does not understand a thing you are saying, and also not to expect back a response. So, you got to keep rambling on and kind of speak out loud whatever is in your mind on a real-time basis just so that sound waves get transmitted from your mouth to the person’s ears which stop the person from crying out loud out of pure ennui.

It was at this juncture – when I was babbling some gibberish much to my MIL’s silent laughter - that I looked at her cheeks and uttered the words Tontu Moli (pronounced with a drag of the second ‘o’).

This Tontu Moli ended up being my pet name for my daughter. And now, 5 months later, I can’t help calling her Tontu over a hundred times a day and I love it every time I do!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Old Novels

Way back in mid 1990s when I started reading novels (thanks to Hardy Boys), I noticed that novels can be mainly classified into two categories: Old and New. The differentiation being in print and appearance and style of writing and even in smell! The rummy thing was that Old always won against New in my preference.

There were New novels and Old novels and I invariably enjoyed reading the Old ones more than the New ones. This feeling has not changed even now. There is something about an antique novel, which has withstood the passage of time that makes the novel most cherished and enjoyable.

Just the other day, I chanced upon a couple of Wodehouse novels. While one seemed new with nice paperback, the other had some pages torn. I chose the latter without hesitation. The desire of choosing the Old novels is still afire within me even now. And yes, many a time I have smelt the charm in the old book!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Indian Victories in Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup takes place once in four years and its first edition was in 1975.

I was born on April 16th 1980. My wife was born on April 16th 1983. The first Cricket World Cup that took place after both me and my wife’s birth was held in the year 1983 from June 9 to June 25. As it turned out, India won its first Cricket World Cup in this 1983 tournament.

My daughter was born on October 11th 2010. The first Cricket World Cup that took place after her birth was held in the year 2011 from Feb 19 to Apr 2. As it turned out, India won its second Cricket World Cup in this 2011 tournament (after a 28 year drought).

While me and my wife became the lucky charm and influenced (in our own astral way) a victory for India in 1983, our daughter has become the lucky charm and influenced (in her own astral way) a victory for India in 2011. The three of us feel important to have played a role in India’s World Cup victories ;-)

So, for India to win the 2015 World Cup, me and my wife have to...