Thursday, 29 March 2012

Rusty's Here Again!


Just read the news that Doordarshan will soon be airing the second part of Ek Tha Rusty – dramatised stories based on Ruskin Bond's life. I had a good time in the 90s watching the series with my mother. I continue to be a big fan of Ruskin Bond and his work. The old world charm, quirky aunts, and loving grandparents, plus a house and large garden full of animals, and yes, not to forget the possibility of ghosts lurking in some corner of Rusty's house ensured that I was glued to DD Metro every Saturday evening between 5.30-6.30 pm.
This time, of course, the news says that they will be capturing Rusty when he's 33 and has garnered reputation as a writer. And, his stories full of romance, thriller, adventure will be adapted for the small screen.
Well, Rusty has grown up! So have I!
It will be fun to meet Rusty in his 30s!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

I want to make a sleeping chamber: Makrand Deshpande

And I would like to sleep in it!

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I was yawning, or trying to cover my wide open mouth with the back of my palm, when I read this premise of Makarand Deshpande's new play.

I yawned some more (this time without covering my mouth) and thought, “interesting”.

The protagonists are two masseurs who sleep for others, their clients. The girls have their own reasons for sleeping for others. One hopes to learn this skill so that she can sleep for her insomniac father, while the other girl hopes that her bed-ridden sister can sleep uninterrupted for few hours.

The only catch is that the masseurs who learn about their client's dreams, will keep them a secret. I hope to catch this play whenever it's staged in Pune because I love sleeping and dreaming.

I have some very vivid dreams and I am able to recollect them when I get up in the mornings. I can also sleep at the drop of the hat. In fact there was a time when I was in school and college when I used to study by lying on the bed, I used to eat sitting on the bed, I used to drink (water, that is ) sleeping on the bed. It was also my habit to walk sleepy-eyed to gather the day's newspapers, stumble back to my bed, spread the newspapers on the bed and read them one by one. (I know...I know... by writing all this on a public forum I am painting a “lazy bum” picture of myself. But, those who have lived in hostels and stayed as paying guests have this special association with their beds – mattress, chaddar, chatai - on which you spread yourself to have a good night or early morning sleep amidst all the clutter and noise of your roomies rushing for bath, or muttering prayers, or snoring away blissfully. Your bed and the chaddar is yours and yours alone. And, if couple of friends do manage to snuggle in your chaddar, you can be mean for once and push them away.)

Ah! So much for digression.

All you sleep-lovers and day/night dreamers, do watch this play whenever it's staged in your city. Meanwhile, I will go zzzzzzzzzzz

Good Night!

PS: Correction. I would like to sleep in the sleep chamber. I want to enjoy my sleep and revel in my own dreams. I don't want anyone indulging in vicarious pleasure of sleeping for me. And, snooping on my dreams!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Memories of Lawns/ "The Kissan 100% Real Blogger Contest",



Sitting on the lawns adjoining my hostel, a tall and stout woman, with her sari hitched half way up her legs, holding on to the hosepipe as if her life depended on it, suddenly appeared from nowhere. I blinked and she was gone.


---

The cool winds and the lush green lawns did nothing to soothe my cranky nerves. Having passed with average marks in my SSC boards, I was pushing myself to score above average in my HSC boards. To save myself from the odious comparisons of studious and more bright roomies, I had taken to studying in the lawns adjoining my hostel.

I pored over my books, frowned, scowled, walked up and down remembering, recalling and then going blank. My rather feeble and reluctant smiles were reserved only for the surly, gruff head gardener or Kaka as I called him. He was the one who called the shots in the lawns, shooing away students at will.

Seeing that I posed no hindrance when he watered the lawns lavishly, trimmed the hedges, or cleaned the marble statue of our founder-Principal, he let me study there.

When I got tired of worrying and he was taking a break from watering the plants, we would chat a bit. He praised the founder-Principal, who had ensured that only girl students could make use of the lawns.

“Girls are more vulnerable. I am glad that they have a place where they can relax and be safe from the prying eyes,” Kaka would say.

His another favourite topic was “lack of helpers”.

“I am getting old now,” he said pointing to his snow-white hair. “I can't be around forever to take care of the lawns. Summer is approaching. Trees and plants need water, more water,” he sighed.

I would click my tongue in sympathy, but my thoughts were pre-occupied with the approaching exams.



One day I was worrying as usual... “another 10 days and I would be penning my future on the ruled sheets.” Suddenly a peal of laughter intruded my worries. It couldn't be Kaka and it certainly wasn't me.

A tall, stout woman with her sari hitched half way up her legs was holding on to the hosepipe as if her life depended on it turned around to look at me.

Soon the lawn was ringing with laughter, and loud arguments between Kaka and the lady.

“This plant here needs more water...and that patch over there needs to be weeded out. This and that...” the lady continued bullying Kaka, who finally fell in line with her instructions.

As days flew, I could sense a change in Kaka. He smiled a lot, was easy to talk to and his lawns... yes they looked different to, brimming with life and colour.



Exams finally got over...I was smiling readily and widely. I happily packed my bags to go back home – to sleep and to hog.

After two months of hogging, sleeping and gaining a few pounds I returned for another year at the hostel. My results were not as I expected them to be...but I was past worrying now.

I went to check my new accommodation. It overlooked the lawns which looked a nice, happy shade of green. I spotted Kaka at his usual post and went down to meet him.

He smiled and asked, “When is your mother coming again? She was a great help during the summers. I have got the gavathi gulab (wild roses) varieties she wanted. Take them along when you go home next.”

I nodded in agreement.



This's how the lawn  (March 18, 2012) looks like. Don't want to believe my eyes
Whenever I happen to pass by my old college and hostel, I can't help spending a few minutes by myself in the lawns. Kaka is no more and so is my mother. But, every green shade, rain drenched leaves, and freshly-watered lawns vouch of their presence.