Saturday, December 29, 2012
The mobile is the master
Monday, December 3, 2012
Viral fever and regal solitude
(published in HT 'EXPRESSIONS SPACE' 16-11-12)
I was freed of my duty to get my five-year-old ready for school. Instead, I would ensconce myself on an armchair on my terrace which overlooks a lawn with flowering plants, bushes and a few trees.
Accompanied by mugs of hot tea, I was able to read the whole newspapers, down to the ‘tenders’ space; the only disturbance being the chirping of birds. I had all the time in the world.
How luxurious it felt to be in total oblivion of the mundane world of everyday. I was dead to the hum-drum of the office, the never- ending complaints, the ominous files in which what is left unsaid in the ‘noting’ is of far greater relevance than what is expressly written.
The obnoxious cellphone was mostly kept switchedoff and nobody complained. It was, however, occasionally switched on to read ‘get-well’ messages and to feel flattered by the enquiries made after my health.It’s so comforting to know that there are a few in this wide selfish world who do spare a thought for you.
In a couple of days I shall be taking up my responsibilities again.The slight weakness and cough will also be gone in another few days but, for long shall linger that indescribable feeling of comfort during the week I was down with flu rightly described as ‘ regal solitude’ by Charles Lamb.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Of content and context - HT 24-06-12
Of content and context
published in HT Lko 24-6-12
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Requiem for the good ol’ television set
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Poor farmers seem to pray
As the crop on fields lay
For the harvest as they sway. :-(
Thursday, April 5, 2012
A Soliloquy ( For the Teachers and Parents to hear)
Though about 30 years have elapsed when I was a primary level kid, I seem to remember so much of then. The names of the teachers who were specially attentive to me are engraved in the memory. Of course, I was kid and didn’t notice that they were lovingly attentive to each one of the class! I remember so well my exhilaration at the pats on the back and, a resolve to prepare the next lesson more thoroughly for more such pats. How I hated it whenever my performance was measured in terms of the achievement of others in my age group – and that too before others. These grown ups! How would they all feel if their weaknesses are discussed before their friends? They laughed at me when I said that an apple is of white colour. Come on just cut it up and won’t you find that the most of it is white? Yes, yes I wasn’t conforming to fixed standards but didn’t I have logic? They glared at me when I replied that “mangoes are found in the shop”. I was made to learn that they are found on trees; though, till then, I had seen them only in vegetable-shops to which I had accompanied at times with my father. It was only later that I found them to be correct when I saw them hanging on the trees. The reminiscences can go on and on but my only request is to please do not forget your own childhood and, love a child for what it is – a child.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
As the tongue longs for taste buds-titillating delicacies, the heart says tut-tut. The insurance agent then puts forth medical policies, gently insinuating that now's the age when a medical check-up every six months is a must - and one never knows what they may throw up! The reminder of age irritates a bit but, as soon as you try to adjust the distance of the brochure to read the fine print, it strikes you that the prospect of wearing reading glasses is not so distant.
The grey had started showing in a few strands a couple of years back and we had got used to being addressed as 'uncle' by pretty young lasses. But, suddenly, colouring hair - the few patches that have remained, that is - seems to be the only option to ward off being similarly addressed by those in their early thirties. Our daily brisk walks (which have replaced strenuous sport) only accentuate the passage of time since we were young. We look askance at young couples who, oblivious to the world, are lost in their sweet-nothings. More than two decades have passed since we ourselves were in the same romantic mood, unaware of the realities of the world and times ahead. In that era without cellphones and internet, we made anonymous calls on the landline just to hear 'her' voice, checked the air in the cycle tubes or petrol in the scooter to keep pace with her, got palpitations while exchanging lecture notes and created unspoken rendezvous of the spots frequented by her. That's when we would have gladly given our lives for that one furtive glance from her.
No, it's not thanks to the 'naughty forties' syndrome that these thoughts recur. Rather, the term itself is a misnomer because naughtiness is an everlasting attribute, but it's only in the forties that it starts getting noticed and earns the disapproval of society. By 40, one is supposed to be too mellowed by life to indulge in romantic musings and hence the frowns.
It's when, instead of attending boisterous gatherings, you seek quiet meetings with like-minded companions. It's only now that poet Wordsworth's lines in Tintern Abbey become starkly clear. They trace so eloquently the growth of an individual focussing on "an appetite; a feeling and a love,/ That had no need of a remoter charm,/ By thought supplied, nor any interest/ Unborrowed from the eye" to a person who matures "hearing oftentimes/ The still, sad music of humanity" that is "of ample power/ To chasten and subdue". Apply those words written in homage to nature to romance instead, and these are times when romance gradually subsides, leaving behind the essence of love.
Nevertheless, the icing on the 40th birthday cake doesn't seem too inviting. After all, the calorie meter starts ticking in the mind immediately. In fact, birthdays are not awaited as eagerly as before. Perhaps that's because they remind us of time left rather than times to come. Then again, our worldview seems to change too. We seem to lose that fearlessness and crass individuality which marked our thoughts and actions. We take decisions not for ourselves alone but give a thought to all related. We start adopting things and practices once considered irritating and restricting - from mundane helmets and seat belts to the sublime heart, home and hearth.
It`s only in geography - the Southern Hemisphere - that we have the "Roaring Forties"; in life, the forties whisper. Life tells us it's time to pause and plan, to take account not only of finances but also of relationships - and that we ought to calculate only when it comes to savouring a cake, not human relationships.