I had promised myself that I would write at least two blogs a month. I try to look around myself to make a mental note of surrounding events and put it forward in an interesting, if not arresting manner. This seems to be an elusive task as most of our lives are spent in ordinary activities.
Well interesting things did happen. One evening when I was driving home with a colleague, heavy rains for around twenty minutes led to water slopping inside my car. I had kept my laptop bag on the floor of the car and water started examining its’ insides before I could do anything about. The car (FIAT LINEA T JET) sailed through the R A Kidwai River (Road previously) without stopping. It was a heart stopping moment as getting stuck in flowing water at night 8.30 is not a pleasant thought. The car had a bad stink for a few days and I had to send it to the Service Centre to get it vacuumed. The laptop screen had a temporary cataract attack and recovered with time- staving off a bill of Rs. 14,000 threatened by the service providers.
Vedika completes two months today. Devi returned to Coimbatore within four weeks of Vedika’s birth. Padma accompanied them and stayed back. Vedika has a serious face and rations her smile. She has now started recognizing faces and communicating her needs and desires (to be carried around). She pulls back her head to look around. Her dark eyes are expressive and seem to suggest mischief.
We see her growing- thru Skype. She seems to stare at the computer screen wondering at the faces seen in it. I have a row of photographs of her in the office which shows her expression changing from being very serious to a graceful smile- reminding me of my father.
God creates new life forms to enable us to renew faith in this world create hope for a better and brighter future. Perhaps Vedika will see a Prime Minister more forceful and result oriented. May be Congress Party (if it is still around) won’t crave for leaders with a surname starting with G or originating with that surname.
I made a flying visit to Coimbatore over a week end in between hectic travel. I went to Shivam’s school. It is very interestingly arranged. The room is bright, colorful and depicts the efforts of children and what they have to learn. There are lots of books for them to read or look at. The teachers seem to look after them as growing adults rather than troublesome little monsters. (Shivam tells me that he routinely jumps from his desk to the ground during the class and teacher then throws him out of the class. Teachers, according to him, do not seem to like mischief.).
He is studying in IB Curriculum. The concept is that the child should learn and teaching should not be thrust on them. The school is supposed to have lots of toys for children to play. The affiliation is verified by the IB Authorities who are strict in granting recognition. There are only 21 students in the class- a far cry from the 49 students I studied with. It is a different way of teaching –rather learning- and perhaps reinforces the child’s self confidence.
I travelled to Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, and Bangalore all in a week. It seems that there are hardly any full service airlines. All served sandwiches with neutral taste for a price which any one would mind paying. Bhubaneswar is a newly planned city (in comparative terms) and has broad roads and new buildings. I went to visit my employer’s new Plant being built at a distant place. The challenge in creation of any large manufacturing facility in distant places is awesome. There are no nearby schools, good hospitals, shopping areas, towns where few hours could be spent and many other such facilities which we take for granted. The existing inhabitants of such locations lead a more simple life, which impacts they post industrialization in many ways. The re-settlement and rehabilitation process has its own issues.
Kolkata is a big city with trams still crawling around it. There are many new building blocks – residential and commercial visible on the way from Airport to City. It seems the Airport is in Panchayat area and hence we can see Policemen wearing a uniform different from the white one seen in City. I was told that the previous Government discouraged English education isolating an entire generation from the rest of India. The Political Party had made inroads into all aspects of society’s life- business and personal. It went to an extent that they were arbiters in family disputes. What has changed is that these individuals have now switched to the present ruling party. The youth has migrated to greener pastures leaving the older generation behind. The Kolkata city somehow gave a feeling of decay- perhaps due to lack of prosperity in the hinterland.
I am keeping longer work hours. Thirty seven years of working life had made me accept work pressure as they come. The mind however refuses to leave Office though we have physically left it. Blackberry helpfully keeps the Office umbilical cord tied with an invisible, but strong, twine. I wonder why young and recently married young individuals should sit in Office till 8.00 p.m on a regular basis. Doesn’t life offer better alternatives for spending time?
Employer in the form of business organization knows only one love- that for itself and none else. Our love towards our employer is one sided and we often mistake salary slip ( and bonus intimation) as renewed expression of love. They are only consideration for services rendered ( and still exempt from Service Tax- though for how long is uncertain). Any other emotion towards employer ( as distinct towards our work, which is what distinguishes us from the next person) will –in today’s uncertain context- cause deep hurt and injury.
We celebrated my son Anand’s birthday today. We showered gifts on him. Priya baked a lovely cake which we cut and ate at stroke of midnight. In the evening we went out for Dinner to a restaurant in Nariman Point – Status- which I used to frequent in 80s. The food is still good and attracts good crowd on a working day evening in an office area. There is some contradiction in looking at or calling an over thirty year old married adult as our child first and then as an adult. My family tells me that I have not overcome this contradiction and am still at the first level crossing ,refusing to cross it.
Padma would have enjoyed the dinner. She would have experimented with the menu and ordered new dishes. This is the first time in nearly three decades that she is away from home for this length of time. I wrote a blog on this experience. My family after mumbling some vague appreciation of my writing, said it looks too personal (and ‘senti’ – SMS language for sentimental ravings of an unbalanced mind) and maybe I can post it in my private blog. Suffice it to say that the value and depth of a lifelong relationship is more felt during such moments (or months). We are compelled to introspect on many aspects of life we take for granted.
I end it here. It is close to midnight as I complete it. This is a slice of life of millions of Indians- a small world created within the larger one in which we want to live in comfortably- as comfortably as God and our own willfulness would allow us.
Does this make you look at your own small world? If so, my blog has succeeded in its objective.
August 21, 2012