Saturday, 27 March 2010

What makes a house?

Having moved recently into one of the 'elite' areas of the city, I fell in love with most of the houses. ( I simply love houses/homes/buildings. Don't mistake, I am no authority on architecture)
My brisk morning walk is often interrupted when I slow down to just gaze at the bungalows – some are compact ones, some are two-storeyed/three-storeyed. I love those – which are old and have a bit of history attached to them. I spend time reading the ugly looking blue-coloured PMC's heritage site nameplates. Bits of information like – Doyen of Indian classical music, Vasantrao Deshpande spent the last few years of his life here (Building's name is Basant) gives me goosebumps.
I have often wondered about people living in the houses I have liked. What's their day like? Does it mean anything to them – a vocalist of repute had once stayed in their apartment or a reputed Marathi historian stayed in the house they are now living in? Or is it just a name for them?
I really don't know, because I haven't gone around asking questions. Sometimes though I itch to take the pictures of these houses. But hesitate fearing a backlash from the residents – they may think its intrusion or worse they might think that I am upto no good. I wish to preserve history, at least in my mind, for my reference, hence the need for pictures.
There are other things too which make me slow down – madhumalti which covers the terrace wall or the balcony (reminds me of my own home), the fragrance of Ananata and Sonchafa. These again remind me of my mother and her garden.
Sometimes I stop to despair. Like today. I was just crossing one lane when suddenly I came upon an imposing structure in white with huge windows. From the road I could see large fluffy soft toys in pink and white. Was this a mall? But, no this was a residential area. A huge three-storeyed building/mansion in white with big windows barricaded by walls. Was it some politician's idea of some dream architecture? (It's a nightmare, if you ask me) I had to go around the house, right up to the entrance gate, only to be greeted by a posse of security guards standing outside it. The name of the owner was engraved in gold and silver. From what I could see was a huge driveway and the imposing structure. It didn't look welcoming. (Not a politician's humble abode, I am sure. The name's not familiar. Or perhaps I am not aware of the powers-that-be )
The structure (I wouldn't call it a home or house. It doesn't fit into my idea of what's a home) gave me more food for thought. Who are the inhabitants? How do they feel living in an ivory tower? What goes on in the char diwaron mein? Are the interiors more opulent, flashy?
I don't think I will never know. I guess I should stop being a Peeping Tom.

Friday, 19 March 2010


There have been few times that I felt really troubled by other people's attitude towards me. This latest incident however takes the cake.
The two fat suckers just stood up and yelled and yelled - I wonder how they managed to pitch their voice on that 'even' tempo. The performance lasted for some 10 minutes. I just didn't look at them. But, I know that they spouted lava of venom and all the malice they could rake up. Not against me. I mean, they didn't take my name. But made sure that I heard every word that was being yelled/hurled like a missile at me.
The first time they put up the act, I had a tough time stopping myself from giggling. I wish I had. That would have taken the wind out of their sails. The second act deserved a punch. Perhaps that would have taken the air out of those puffed up balloons. But I didn't. Not for the lack of courage.
I just couldn't stoop so low like standing in my cubicles and yelling names. No, not names. They didn't take the name of those who had angered them. Perhaps it suggests something about them. Besides being fat suckers, they are also COWARDS!
I didn't give them a 'first look' when they stood up yelling for the whole world to hear. They don't deserve it - UNCOUTH WHO HAVE NO SENSE OF DECORUM.
All this ranting might give me a momentary satisfaction. But that still doesn't answer my question.
Why do some people try to make it tough for others? Because the others are good at something which they are not? Because they want to be the first at finger pointing - lest someone points fingers at them and say 'work shirkers'. ? Or are they just bloody unhappy lot who wish to spoil someone's day?
What the hell is wrong with me?
Why am I wasting my words on the fat suckers? They deserve a royal IGNORE. Let them be. Empty vessels make more noise - or Fat suckers make more noise
(Pssst...won't the fat sucker ups be glad if they come across this blog? At least someone has taken a notice of their antics. SO, FAT SUCKERS, THIS IS FOR YOU....


I am bored...I am bored..I am bored...I am bored...I am bored...I am bored...I am bored...

Writing it over and over again doesn't make me feel less bored. So, what should I do to feel better? to feel happy? to feel good and nice and float on cloud nine?
Should I rant or rave? Should I laugh like insane? Or should I stretch those lip muscles in a grimace?
Hmmmm...tried and tested
I am not feeling better.
Why not write down those things that make me feel better?
What will make me feel better?
1) Sizzling brownie with hot chocolate sauce
2) Garma-garam pohe with ketchup
3) A good book
4) A good movie
5) A bed to sleep and no one to disturb
6) Gulmohar tree
7) A jog around the park
8) A bench where I can sit and watch the world go by
9) No work to be done and no pressing deadlines to be met
10) The fragrance of ratrani and mogra at night
11) The slight nip in the air
12) The first rain and the smell/aroma/fragrance of the mud
13) The deep blue sea
14) Drive down the bylanes
15) Red roofs of an old bungalow
16) Tulsi plants in the front yard (reminds me of home)
17) Trees aiming for the skies
18) Splashing of cold water on my face
19) A mssg or call from a loved one (Mssg me someone)
20) Sitting in the bus to go home
I am feeling slightly better. I am slightly less BORED

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Long Live the Comics

This article has also been published. I think it still needs to be worked upon. Well...

It was heartening to read that the first copy of Batman, published in 1939, fetched
more than $1 million at an auction recently. The zeros added to 1did not make me happy, but the fact that 'Old is STILL Gold'.
I remember being a voracious reader of Batman and Superman and desi comics like Chacha Chaudhary, Billoo and Channi Chachi. The other childhood favourites were Chandamama, Champak and Tinkle. I don't know if any of the above-mentioned comics will be auctioned for millions of dollars, but they certainly could do with a new lease of life.
The comics, as I remember them, were of poor print quality. The language wasn't grammatically correct either. Yet, we were hooked to the comics. I remember waiting for the vendor to get us new copies and once they came immediately settle down to leaf through the pages gaily illustrated characters and the speech bubbles.
Looking back now I remember meeting Channi the Chachi with her rolling pin and her opinion on anything and everything and the smart alec Billoo in my neighbourhood.
I could relate to 'Raman' because I could sense my father and so many others like him trying to meet the ends with a dash of humour and dignity. The simplicity of 70s and 80s was reflected in those comics.
And, it was inevitable that with the advent of the globalisation and the Internet era, they faded into the background. I say, inevitable, because the owners/publishers were not foresighted enough to keep pace with the changing times. It was in 2003 when Diamond comic's popular character, Chacha Chaudhary with the tag line – Jinka dimag computer se bhi tej hai – made his television debut. Another desi superhero, Bahadur who fought with dacoits in 1976, is coming back in a new avatar. In 2010, he will be fighting with the terrorists in the Internet edition.
In the 80s it was okay to not have a TV; one could simply join the neighbours. In 90s it was not okay if you didn't have the Cable TV. In 2010 if you are not there in the virtual world, you don't belong to this world.
Although, I am old-fashioned and would prefer reading the print edition of the comic, I know that if it has to multiply its readership today, Net edition is a must.
In this race for survival, I hope that the endearing traits of the superheroes and the neighbourhood heroes and heroines like Billoo and Pinki are retained. After all, that's the reason why we still remember them and grab the collector's copy.
Batman, Superman, Chacha Chaudhary, Chaman Charlie, Gardhab Das, Tantri the Mantri – May you Live Long.