Category Archives: personal

Coco


It was a typical Monday morning at the office and I was trying my best to keep cool when the Secretary informed me I had a call from India.

‘Head office’ I thought and gingerly said “Hello”

“Hi dad;” it was my daughter Arti.

There was a pause after which she continued, “Dad I am adding a new member to our family”

My heart literally jumped out of my chest. There was a deafening silence for something like ages and my mind was whirling. Strangely a dialogue from a parody of Hindi movies that I had written in my college days rang through my ears, ‘Beti ye tumne kya kiya …apni khandaan ki izzat mitti mein mila diya.’ (Daughter, what have you done… you have disgraced the family name)

Imagine a twenty year old, fiercely independent girl living alone just because she does not want parental interference and you can understand my thought process. Not that I am a distrustful father, but I am no fool either and my advice to my kids has always been ‘Lead your own life but do it safely.’

I was trying to find all sorts of options to what she meant and finally asked her in as calm a voice as I could muster, “And what does that mean?”

There was an explosion of laughter at the other end.

“Dad, Come on! I am adopting a puppy” More laughter.

My God! What a weird sense of humor. But then some of you who know me will understand where that comes from. I must say I was the most relieved person at that moment. I mean, I don’t mind being a grandfather, but I would like the baby to have a set of regular parents first.

“Wow, Puppy!” I cried delightedly.

“So, you don’t mind Dad?”

“Of course I don’t. What breed are you adopting?”

“Cocker Spaniel”

“Hmm, that is a costly breed”

“That’s why I am calling you Dad”

“How clever.”

“Well Dad, you will have to find a good name for my puppy”

“How about naming it after your ex boy friend?” I interjected, but she had signed off by then.

When I was a kid it was easy to name a dog. If male we called him “Tommy” and if female it was either ‘Daisy’ or ‘Lucy’. But times have changed and children want better and more imaginative names. So, I went online and looked for a link given by a friend. I learnt there that Sammy is the most common name for dogs, followed by Max. Next day I got a call telling me that the puppy was home. I even got to hear him yelping on the phone. Our whole family which consists of four people living in four different places had come together online for an exciting one hour and discussed all about dog names, dog food…habits. Finally Arti’s friend suggested a name she liked, ‘Coco.’ So now Coco is the latest and cutest member of our crazy family. Here is a picture of him. Don’t they look cute together?

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Butterfly tales


Thursday was the second day of my visit to Demeka, the Project site in one of the remotest corners of Ethiopia. I was on an inspection round of the road we are constructing. Quite a few things regarding progress had frustrated me. My mood was foul and so was the weather. The heat was unbearable so I moved into a shade of trees bordering the road. The client’s comments regarding progress and the rental machinery owners’ demands for long pending payments were ringing in my ears when my eyes wandered off to a grassy patch. It was teeming with life, a colorful world full of flowers and butterflies.

I am not the kind to sit and admire nature and its amazing creations and then write poems about it a la Wordsworth with his ‘Daffodils’. Even as a child I had never understood why some kids ran after butterflies and then kept them in bottles. Such a waste of precious time that could have been better utilized playing cricket, football or even marbles. But these winged beauties held a strange fascination for me that day. My problems were receding into the back ground as one by one these wonderful creations unfolded themselves.

The fragile beauty and the stunning combination of just two colours was so beautiful that I clicked this guy from various angles. He seemed to be caressing the flower into giving away its nectar.

This one almost fooled me into thinking it was a flower.

They were literally in danger of losing their lives any moment, what with so many predatory birds hovering around to gobble them, yet they refused to fade away and were enjoying their moment in the sun. It was as if they were beckoning me to push my problems away and celebrate the miracle called life.

Different colors different combinations, but the same stunning looks.

This guy was so frisky it took me an hour to capture him on film. Talk about teaching patience.

This one looks as if Nature the ultimate painter has so casually painted a masterpiece.


There were so many more different colors and combinations, but they were too fast for my slow photography reflexes used to capturing heavy machinery at work. This was one day I wished I had a good camera and better camera skills.

I have now understood the joy felt by the kids running after butterflies and I enjoyed these moments of respite away from the ever-present demands of modern life. I hope some of that joy will rub off on you.

Seven Random Things


Oh well I have been tagged (albeit with my permission) by Shaila and have to say seven random things about me. Now, seven is a big number for a commonplace guy like me. Frankly what is there in my personality to tell? I was born, got married, procreated and will die. Cipher, that’s me. Oops I have already said four random things about me or is that five?  Hmm, anyways here are a few more if anyone cares to read.

  • I am the greatest lover in the world. It can be seen by the way I love myself.
  • I love mangoes but I always have to eat my own words.
  • I am fat and pot-bellied.
  • I have many words but cannot put them in one single coherent sentence to make sense to the person I love.
  • I love Cricket (another not so ‘in’ thing intellectually)
  • Books are where I forgot myself, unfortunately I have forgotten them.
  • Oh lest I forget…the golden color of Whiskey is my favorite.

Does anybody care to be tagged by me now?? Ok I will tag the following

I

Me

Myself

My Shadow

My Ego

My Id

My Superego

My Favorite Woman



I was awaiting my flight from Mumbai to Bangalore, that gets delayed invariably these days, when my cell started singing “Bachkein kahaan jaaoge…”(loosely translated it means ‘you can run but you cannot hide’) This being the tune assigned to the better half I immediately picked up the phone. I know in cell phone times the term picking up the phone is incorrect. So let’s say I pressed the green button.

“Hello, listen, there’s good news for you.”

In the cell phone era, the old world niceties of tele-speak have disappeared, but then it does leave more time for business talk.

I was rather taken aback. You may ask why? Well consider the case. We have been married for the last twenty-five years and have two grown up children. And to hear the Missus say, “I have good news for you” especially to a person brought up on Bollywood movies, there is only one news that’s announced in this manner.

“Bbbut…but how could this happen….and at this late stage of our lives…of course I am happy ….err was it the Goa trip?”

“What are you babbling about? Oh no! Idiot!!”

I know I know….but she is the only person who I have allowed to call me that….after my school teacher, my father, my cricket captain, the numerous girls I declared my undying love; oops the list is quiet long.

“Oh ok then! What’s it?” I asked relieved.

“I have been awarded my PhD”

“Oh wow!” I said. “Congratulations Doc.”

For a few moments there was absolute silence on the phone which is rare when we are talking on cell phone. (This being a throwback to the days when even incoming calls cost eight rupees per minute) But it was a joyous silence where we both tried to digest the fact and appreciate the achievement.

Memories flashed through my mind. The very first was that of her late father suggesting a topic for research and then of her writing a credible synopsis that would be accepted by a very well-respected Professor who would agree to guide her. The heart burning process of navigating through the bureaucracy of the University for registration; convincing recalcitrant industry managers to let her see the food facilities provided to their labour force as it would ultimately help the industry; collecting huge data and then trying to make sense of it; selecting modes of data presentation so that a credible thesis was evolved and submitted; getting papers selected for presentation at international conferences and then attending them… The list is long.

Now someone may say; “What’s so great about that? Anyone who wants a PhD has to go through all this!”

I would agree with him/her. The thing is Asmita completed her thesis while successfully bringing up two children, combining it with a career where she was founder principal of a college, then had to chuck that job and start a career in a new city away from her family and last but not the least helping her husband keep his sanity through two business failures. Now won’t you agree that she has done a great job?

“Hats off to you Asmita” I said breaking the silence. “I am canceling the trip to Bangalore and coming back to Nagpur by the next flight.” and rushed to do the formalities.

“Don’t do that you nitwit!” was what I heard the cell phone saying.

I didn’t mind and pressed the red button. Nitwit is more lovable than idiot…don’t you think so?