Archive for December, 2014

In the good old days

“Hi… after a long time…”. He must be in his early seventies but I could not recognise him immediately and I had to pretend that he was one of my close friends. Fortunately, he took out his cell-phone from his pocket and uttered a few words and switched it off and told me, “It is from my wife… “. If I keep mum, I would be betraying myself but he saved me from such a predicament by narrating certain events while he was traveling in a bus to Ooty. As he was talking he repeatedly said, ” In the good old day…”.

Suddenly I whispered to myself, “Eureka, Eureka”. This chap is none other than Chockalingam whom I used to meet at the local library on Sundays nearly two decades ago. So, it was his “Good old days” which saved me from an embarrassing situation. Even in those days he used the phrase “Good old days” while we were in conversation.

Hats off to good old days!.

THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!

Was this the face that launched a thousand umbrellas and as much warm cloths? Mist and rain have been playing hide and seek all these days, forcing the people to carry umbrellas and to wear warm cloths and caps. Overnight, everything changed. The sky was blue and spotless and the bright sun seemed to say, “guys, summer is a couple of months away… and, don’t be carried away by my presence or that of the spotless blue sky…. just recall the reverse situation even during mid summer”.

Yeah, during summer, we long for a rain and when least expected, black clouds gather, the sun disappears and to our pleasure, it starts raining and soon, the roads are flooded with muddy water. And, if you say, “oh lord, the rain has arrived”, soon you will realize it is back to square one!

You too!

While I was going through the news items (mostly headlines!) in the daily I felt like saying, “You too?” when I was half way through a report.

After independence, there have been ever so many changes in place names ranging from small towns to capitals of states, according to the whims and fancies of politicians, mainly belonging to regional parties.

Of course, during the British period, many of the place names were anglicized and the original names were retained after independence. As a result popular names like Madras, Bombay and Calcutta became Chennai, Mumbai, and Kolkatta etc. Even some of the popular Hill stations too, were affected by this trend.

Now coming to “you too”, it was the suggestion by one of the central ministers. He wondered why not we change the name of Delhi, the Capital of India? Wont it be appropriate if we call it either Indraprasatha or Hastinapura. The Minister was of course, wise enough to say, “It is just a suggestion”, in order to avoid any controversy over it.

Child Care

The winter is in great from this evening also for a couple of hours in the morning, sun seemed to be at ‘His’ best but withdrew from the scene to let the other side rule the sky. Soon it sought the help of wind in order to make it unbearable to the people. As usual, I took asylum in my room and picked up an old dairy and opened a middle page. And, to my pleasure it was a piece of Book review under the title “child care at its best”. The author of the book is Sylvia clare. This book is aimed at all those who interact with children either as a Parent or in any other capacity or any one who wants to change society and create a more acceptable and loving environment. The author of the book says, “No child can be labelled ‘difficult’…”

May be some of you will find it interesting and useful. The title of this book is given above. Go ahead!

Inspiring indeed!

On to the terrace with a cup of coffee just after a cat nap has been one of my recently developed habits. Then the routine glances around the Nilgiri library and some of those heritage buildings. On sunny days it is ok but when the visibility is almost zero I cheat myself by saying “oh, this is the other side of Ooty.”

On such days I ransack my book shelf and pick up some old books. The other day, it was an old dairy and I opened it at random. Wow! just see the following lines scribbled in it a few years ago…

“These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
Draw out our miles and make them wearisome;
But yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable”

and

“there was speech in their dumbness, language
in their very gesture!”

A few pages away from this I saw these lines “He did the English language proud.. Born in a village near Kumbakonam to a poor vaidhik”, it is about the great Srinivasa Sastry about whom an Englishman said “Sastri has made me realise the heights to which the English language could rise”. Some of my close relatives had drawn inspiration from him and even the present generation are proud of all of them !

And now the language card

Of late egoism is playing its role to enhance the position of regional languages at the expense of well developed and widely used languages. Akin to caste based reservation which is not likely to come to a ” Thus far and no further” situation in the near future, politicians are playing the language card by making it appear that the students belonging to certain castes are finding it very difficult to study any other language except their mother tongue. What most of such politicians want is, to cover up their own inability to communicate in any of the widely used languages. In other words, ” If I have my own limitations, let the people, specially those belonging to the present generation remain ignorant so that they would blindly follow us”

Breathtaking indeed!

To our pleasant surprise, there was enough space in one of the compartments to sit and enjoy our journey from Ooty to Coonoor in the small train (Nilgiris Mountain Train) which was to move on shortly along the narrow gauge.

When the train was crossing the first tunnel, I was getting ready to mentally recite those favorite poems of Wordsworth, Shelly, Keats and the ones written by the native poets of yore. Thank god, Urbanisation has not removed those breathtaking scenes which I used to enjoy in the good old days.

Trees, plants and those tiny water falls began to capture my attention even as the train moved on rhythmically. The songs of the birds and their presence here and there seemed to tell me, “Have a nice journey – you’ll soon experience the ‘heaven on earth’ feeling”

Yeah, we did have such a feeling but it was time for us to get down. The destination was fast approaching!