Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Girl Child - Hooray !!

Hi All

Thanks for the wonderful poke from Vins for making me realize that I have been neglecting this space for the past few days. But some great news. I am now a father. Of a baby girl. :) Mean people insist that she looks like me, but I insist that she is perfectly lovely.

For something to develope from spikes on a scree up there to a live thing struggling in your arms is a huge journey. And when you hold that thing in your arms, is when you realize that the journey has just begun. This is huge for us first-time parents and a bit, no very scary in most respects. So I will take time allocating proper resources to the various parts of my life including this blog.

So while I neglect this space indiscriminately, please don't do the same yourselves. Love, cry, dance and laugh. Especially dance.

Hope you have the most magical year ahead and the best of health to you and your family.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Woman - Fiction 55

Born a child and celebrated as Goddess, she was a woman. Clad in pink, frills and bows, she was a woman. Taking care of brothers and sisters, she was a woman. Crawling, crying, caring, bleeding, and with glass ceilings, she was a woman. Exhausted, her newborn child in her arms, she was again a woman.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The empty room - fiction55

The hospital intercom rang.

The pediatric ward had promised to return her baby next day after the infections were removed. Why would they call now? It was obviously a Wrong number.

She let it ring for eight times before it fell silent.

Then she sat on the corner of her bed and listened for footsteps.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The look - fiction 55

Across the room, he saw her, wildly, as if seeing her for the last
time. Startled, she looked back at him, as if for the first time. Then
they wheeled her to the operation theater. As the glass doors shut, he
turned away from his reflection, violently, as if never wanting to see
himself again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Life of birth

Sitting down wasn't as easy for her anymore. Her huge stomach made demands on her body that made it easy for her to either keep standing or sitting. She would have kept standing if wasn't for that insane throbbing at the base of her spine. As she lowered her weight, she let out a sigh of relief. It was a long day and she would be glad once it was over.

The end of the day would simply mean that it would bring the day of the birth closer by that one day. Absently she rubbed her fingers over the stretched skin of her stomach. The skin seemed to be stretched to an limit that seemed impossible. It had seemed impossibly stretched two months before, and now even though it seemed physically impossible, it had got yet more stretched. Ruefully her fingers trailed to the side of her stomach, Bunched there were the hateful stretch lines that seemed horrendously disfiguring in a mirror. At least to herself. She knew that the marks would be visible once the child came out, but at present nothing else mattered to her other then this thing in her stomach.

As her fingers traced the counters of her stomach, the baby responded from within. The movements were stronger then they had been a couple of weeks back and though sometimes it hurt, the possiblility of an alternative was too scary for her to contemplate. It never ceased to amaze her that an actual living entity was in her stomach. She didn't bother herself with the modalities of whether the entity had been called in there or if the entity had entered on its own free will. But one thing that was for certain was that once it came out in a few days time, it would be permanently linked to her by an indelible link that could never be erased.

As ever the fact of this indelible link scared her. The doubt inside her seemed to grow at a rate faster then her stomach. Would she do justice to her child? How would this entity kicking inside her now look at the world from her arms. As the entity left her arms and wanted to take steps into the world, where would she lead him? All the tears that she would have to wipe and all the tears that she would have to ignore - would she be able to choose these tears wisely? And what about her tears? the tears that she had already shed for this entity and the ones that it would inevitably demand - would it do justice to them?

But right now none of that mattered. All that mattered to her was the movement seperated by a tautly stretched skin. She shared everything with that movement. Her blood, her food and that desire to scream and kick her way out of its confines so that she could hold it at a distance much closer then it already was.

That day would come soon. In the meanwhile there were things to be done. Painfully she got up twisting and then pulling herself to her legs. The signal had changed and the cars were already starting to pile up. As she approached the first car, the woman behind the wheel saw her approaching and rolled up her window.

It was going to be a long day and she would be happy once it was over.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Indian Truck graffiti

The people driving trucks never let go of an opportunity to convey a message. Much like adding a signature in forums.

This one says,

" may god bless the person who made the vehicle. He has made homeless, all the drivers."

I wonder why this trend of putting messages on vehicle doesn't spread to private vehicles. All we put up are these stickers that are printed by the millions.

A hand for Henna

"Come Sir, sit on the stool while I apply henna to Didi. After all, it will take some time and we can't have you standing on your first visit to my humble stall.

Well it is difficult for me to remember with men sir, but for Ladies, I remember them by their hands. Sir, it is my boast that I can remember a woman's hand even ten years after I have applied Henna to it. Why only last month an Didi came here from Mumbai and I remembered her even though it was more then two years. Even Didi here has not come here after her Marriage to you. Have you taken her away from us? Ah Delhi! yes yes, like that other Didi, people come to my shop from all parts of the country.

What to say sir, about my quality of work, I can only let you be the judge. Like you see these turns that I am making here on Didi's hand now? And this one? these are so delicate that hardly ten people in the whole of Maharashtra can make it. But other then that, it is the other things. I refuse to put any chemicals in my Henna. The oil I rubbed on Didi's hand, it is a secret mixture of five oils I mixed with real Eucalyptus oil so that the Henna catches beautiful color. Though with you as husband, I am sure Didi's henna will color just as well. See how Didi is blushing, I am afraid that the henna will color before even I apply it fully.

Do you know sir, that Henna is used only on happy occasions? Any happy occasion like marriages, celebrations and festivities, henna is the ideal thing. Every part of Henna application is filled with its own Joy. Women get together with their friend and gossip with other, exchanging stories while the henna is applied one after the other. And what to say of the teasing that happens between brothers and sisters and husbands and wives after the henna is applied? Did you know that even lord Krishna would tease Radha with food while she would be unable to eat herself due to henna on her hands? While Henna dries, it cools the hand and even protects it from infections. And once it dries, it makes the woman so beautiful.

Sir if we men even try to dance, it looks like we are swatting mosquitoes, but every movement of the henna applied hand is a dance. If you take my word sir, the Henna is the best jewelery for the Indian Women hand.

There Didi, your hands are finished. Make sure you let them dry for at least thirty minutes or else they will smudge.

You can give the money to my daughter. She likes to use her hand now that we bought her a new one. It is made in Jaipur. Her last hand, i would make nice designs, but since this is new, she refuses to let me near it. That is the way children are.

Please bring Didi again sir. Here only I will be."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tea of life - Fiction 55

Why couldn't life be like drinking tea, he wondered. Relaxing , Simple and without any complications. People could be like Marie biscuit, he thought - there to add taste and substance to life. Why couldn't ... He muttered an oath as the soggy buscuit broke off and disappeared into his hot tea, splashing his fingers.
PS : previous fiction55 here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

iPhone Life - From Dada

As I was making all sort of shameless efforts to collect sympathy after my Gall bladder operation, (Still accepting sympathies !) , I got this magazine from my elder brother in the mail. He had picked it up during his last trip to the US as he knew how smitten I was with my iPhone.
The iPhone Life is a new publication and this was the second issue that they have come out with. You can also find them on the net at their website. If you interested, you can get the soft copy of this very magazine for free at their website.
The magazine itself is excellent if you have an iPhone, and has tips for people who are just starting off with their iPhones and also some for people who have theirs for much longer. Apart from these, there are ofcourse many in-depth reviews of various App's and accessories.
For example, one of the tips was that you can now get some great blog or website such as the "Bills of Lading" on your iPhone. To do that, simply open the website in your safari web-browser. Now, zoom in to the website till you get something that you like on the screen. Then click on "+" and the "Add to home scree
n" .

Thats it and now you can view the "Bills of lading" right from your home screen at any time of the day without even going into the web-browser. :)
So thanks Dada!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Dog Saint of Nagpur

Nagpur is still a city of small bylanes and rustic bunglows. I had taken a stroll around Dharam peth area and came upon this statue in one of the bylanes. I an not sure who/what this is supposed to represent, but going by the vermellion marks on the image, evidently it is held in great affection or esteem.

There is ofcourse precedence for dog saints as this website explains, so I don't see why we in Nagpur can't have one for ourselves.

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Giripeth Post office - Nagpur

Below post also included in my Philatelic blog.


As I have put up in the title bar, I have a weakness of taking my pictures with post offices or post boxes. I got an opportunity to do it yesterday and I wasn't going to pass up on it. The Giripeth post office in Nagpur has a very rustic look to it, like it might have existed in this state for more then 50 years. And it really might have had. My wife is form the locality and she claims to have seen the post office in the same state since memory serves her. That would put the age of the post office anywhere from five years to twentyfive - depending on who is telling my wifes age!

The Post box outside actually looks like it had fallen in one of the stronger monsoon winds and is now firmly propped up in place with a cement base. But nothing much seems to be holding up the building, with its beautiful tiled roof and wooden latticed front. It is really hot in Nagpur, with temperatures reaching up to 47 Deg C yesterday. But because of the construction of these older houses, it was rather pleasant inside the structure.
The well and the Post office in the background

Another neat part about the post office is that it has an serviceable well of its own! Most houses built in this region had a well if their own dug because there was no piped water, but today, you either have bore well dug or even if you dig it at a side or behind your house. This post office was evidently built during a time and place, where the well was a focal point of the house and was considered important enough to accord a place right in front.

Sadly there were no records or information available in the post office about when it was established. The post master, a helpful man in his forties did chat with me for a bit. This post office doee not really handle the home delivery of the letters for the locality. That is taken care of by the post office at Shankar nagar - A heartless three storied buliding, and the area North of the road is taken care of by the GPO.

The General Post office is an nice building from the British era and you can find it towards the north east of map down below, also I had posted about it a long time back here.

If you have been following my regular blog, you'll know that I am working on Geotagging these days and the map below is from another result of a new application called "Here I am".

I was also able to glean the information that the land is not governments and is leased from the "society" and now it seems that they want it back. Since its the government, we can at least be assured that they will take another five to ten years to vacate the building, but it will be a real tragedy to lose such a quaint post office in the middle of the city.

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The map with the Post office location (GPO on top right)