Monday, July 28, 2008

...And Life Goes On

I had bombs going off all around my house but a friend had a bomb which went off almost next to her gate! Yet, let me add that when I called her on Saturday evening asking whether she would go to see a theatre performance with me, she agreed. Actually Srijit Mukherji has written and directed a play on Feluda ( Satyajit Ray's private detective hero of many a murder mystery). I am a diehard fan of Feluda and when Feluda Pherot (Feluda Returns), got good reviews I had this urge to see it. I said to the Mr in passing "We can watch it one by one" (kids obviously are not allowed at such performances. The Mr said "aah yes " absentmindedly because he is not that crazy about you know who. Then, I guess, he saw the reviews and the venue was Rangashankara which he had wanted to visit for a long time so he said on Saturday "I'll go see it today and get tickets for you for tomorrow's show" and added "ask your friend whether she will go along". I called the friend immediately and asked her. She claimed I sounded desparate and distraut on the phone so she said yes quite quickly although she was not sure about this sudden play watching session.
The Mr came back singing praises. I was apprehensive, I (like most Bengalis) cannot see anyone other than Soumitro Chatterji (the original hero of Ray's Feluda movies) as Feluda. The role was done by Shashi Kapoor in the Hindi serial version-crazy really, Feluda is tall thin and athletic, Kapoor looked short and plump and un feluda like. Sabyasachi Chakravarty did a moderate job but still it wasn't it. Now this chap had used his imagination and placed the play when Feluda is 50+. There was another anxiety unrelated to the play, the Mr would be left with the kids alone for the first time for quite a few hours.
Well, the programme was a great hit! My friend and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Barun Chanda (the person who played Feluda) was good. He is an ex-Satyajit Ray hero. He has put on some weight in all these years that has done him good. The person who played Jatayu Feluda's friend was good too which was a surprise for if it is difficult to find a Felu, it is impossible to replace Shontosh Dutta as Jatayu but this guy had done it. There was good performances by all the others too and the director himself as the arch villain was superb. The downside, props were shabby, cups are not moved from the previous scene, some dialogues overlapped and Feluda loses to the villain in the end, but what the heck, it was thrilling! Rangashankara provided a friendly atmosphere. When the show was over the cast as making their appearance all together on stage, the director appealed to us to spread the word around, Topshe said "there is not much time to do that" the next and last show was an hour away. I said "why? we can always send an sms", and Barun Chanda sent a flying kiss my way! I felt like saying "..and Topshe if you come in putting on your shirt, buttons done up the wrong way and looking very cute as a result as you did in there, then I will send some friends from close by to catch the show", then I thought it would be too much. I returned happy with the flying kiss and my friend returned with a smile on her face.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scarey Psychic is that ME?

Scarcely do I mention the word terror and all hell breaks loose! I had not got over being surrounded with bombs than Ahmedabad happens. BJP is reaping what it has sown- hatred. I remember when BJP first emerged as a force to reckon with. In Delhi walls all over was defaced by the slogan- ' garv se kaho hum Hindu hain'- this sermon from a group who do not understand the meaning of Hinduism which is a way of life preaching tolerance and perseverence. Anyhow who might they be, a political party, telling us what to feel about our religion! Advani is pressing for the reapplication of POTA. No sir that will not solve anything. Bring on the goons who cut open a woman's womb and brandished the feotus and torture him, is there any law against communal violence?Will the BJP government's police arrest the rioters? Will you apologise for the demolition of the Babri Masjid? Will you punish the policemen who looked the other way while innocents were slaughtered?That is the solution. The people should have faith in the government if they feel that their life is at stake and the State will do nothing to protect them then they will become desparate and then they are fertile ground for terror.
The problem is that these guys in trying to avenge the injustice done to them is perpetrating more injustice by killing innocent people and so the cycle goes on. There is no need for more oppressive laws there is a need for self analysis among the govenments, why are we targeted and what can we do to regain the trust of the people. Otherwise I can't see this tragedy coming to an end. As a visitor to the India Gate put it-"Its part of life now".

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I am still recovering from the shock. In my last post I spoke of terrorist attacks and next thing I know there are blasts all over the place in Namma Bengaluru. The blasts occured right around our house, Madiwala, Adugudi,Langford Road, Richmond town, Koramangala and this morning I heard in a news channel that a bomb was difused at Forum. If a line is drawn from one to the other of these locations it would form a circle round our house! Why us? We have come from one serial bombing city to another! Is the BJP government going to make a Gujarat out of Karnataka. Here I was soaking in the communal harmony of the south when this had to happen.
On the day we visited Shankey Lake our owner's daughter informed us that there was a communal riot in the Shivajinagar area as two pig's heads were found in front of two masjids in that area. However we had not experienced any untoward incidents. The matter was hushed up and any protest suppressed and one tabloid says that the bomb attacks were in response to this incident. Doubtless communalism and intolerance is creeping in in Bangalore and terror outfits are going to fan the fire. I wonder who in Bangalore would take time out of their busy schedule to pop pigs heads in masjids, someone who has been paid to do so I am sure. It is the legitimate right of the Muslim population to protest, the frustration of the youth in their inability to vent their displeasure makes their minds a fertile ground for the seeds or terror. This is how rage and a sense of injustice finds an outlet. Has any investigation taken place to find who the culprit is in the pig head matter?? I know for sure that the answer is no. This is a dangerous sign in Bangalore. There will be investigation in the blast case and there will be suppression and retaliation. As we all know that if everybody follows the principle of an eye for an eye then soon the entire world will be blind.
In any form of terror the worst sufferers are women and children as the four dead children in the Srinagar granade attack proved and so did the death of poor Sudha in Bangalore who is the only casualty of the blasts. It is a matter of concern that where as communal forces are organised, secular forces are not. Since children cannot voice protests it is for us women to get together across communities to sensitize their families and explain the futility of violence.I pray to God that the people of Bangalore are given strength to counter intolerance and show themselves as being above the machinations of divisive forces.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dirty Politics and Murky Terror

One can never believe that a person like Dr Manmohan Sigh will be surreptitously working for the American President and is infact busy selling this country to the US. As soon as Prakash Karat stated this, he lost his credibility, at least in my eyes. Now by defending Somnath Chatterji's ouster from the Communist Party, he has made a complete ass of himself. Frankly when he became head of the Politbureau I was very excited, he seemed to be a comparatively young and fresh face of the Communists. I have always had a soft spot for Sitaram Yechury but Karat was not bad either. However the way they have handled their differences with their political ally is disgusting. Instead of levelling accusitions and issuing ultimatums they could have discussed the exact points which they disagreed with with the concerned government department after all they were allies and not the opposition! I have always believed that socialism in its milder form is good for there should be a force to curb the spiralling rise of capitalistic profit making. Socialism emphasises the fact the all men are essentially equal and abject poverty, the result of filling up of the coffers of the rich, should be prevented. Look at the anomaly in this country, Mukesh Ambani is building a 27 storey house complete with a private theatre and on the other hand children in Orissa and Bihar are going without food. This disparity can only happen in a capitalistic society. I am sure Mukesh has worked hard for is success but how hard, does that work deserve so much more than the toil of the farmers who are compelled to commit suicide after their crops fail?
Does Mukesh have the nerve to give up a year's profit to adopt a village in Orissa? Afterall he is making a profit because the people of India are paying for his products and services. Anyhow, I was glad when the CPM decided to support the Govt, it would give them some power I thought. But the fiasco that has just occured have caused great doubt in my mind. Lalu Yadav has rightly said that ..".. abhi sirf Jyoti Babu ko Party se nikaalna baki hai.." or something to that affect. The act of expulsion was vindictive to say the least. In this respect the BJP's response is similar to that of the CPM, goons breaking desenting MP's homes and our own CM yeddyurappa being summoned to Delhi to explain why his MPs were missing! I as the citizen of India know that we have reached a position where agreements like the civilian neuclear deal will not make us dependent on another power. Even former president APJ Abdul Kalam is in favour of the agreement. We have to have the latest technology for our people and the US is the hub of state of the art technology, so what is the harm of getting it from them? I completely fail to understand the alarmist war cries of the CPM and the opposition.

Another group of people I fail to understand is the terrorists- today there is a photograph on the first page of the newspaper showing the body of a child being taken away after the Srinagar grenade attack in which four children were killed. I hope the terrorists are happy and so is their God for this great work! Congratulation fellows your souls will rest in peace! It is heart wrenching to see the destruction of humans by humans. For this all our religions have preached love and brotherhood. We are on this boat together and we have to make it livable. There is injustice but there is also always scope for dialogue and communication of understanding and hope for the future.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Woe is me, its class test time

The brat is having her class tests and my life is a veritable hell. It is near impossible to make her sit down to study. Actually she never studies, she will ask for a test paper right away. If I tell her to look at the chapters and the class work before attempting the test paper I have set for her, she will pretend to go through them and will be done in five minutes. Thereafter she will write the mock test any which way and wash her hands off the whole affair. Then while I explain all the little mistakes that she has made she will look here and there and finally I leave it in God's hands!
The mite is asking loads of questions- Mamma ki korsho? (mother what are you doing) is the most common followed by -Eta ki mamma- (what is this mother, pointing his little grimy finger at a picture in one of his innumerable books, and knowing very well what it is as it has been told to him a hundred times before in response to the same question). He will roll his truck, bus, car, auto, engine, and Popeye on a skateboard and ask- Mamma ei truck/car/bus/...Popeye ta kothai jachhe?- Where are these guys going and I have to answer Lalbagh, Madiwala market, Forum Mall, Star Bazaar or whatever comes to me in my absentmindedness. He has become quite friendly and agreed to go to the landlord's grandson which was unthinkable a few months ago.
After the test I want to see Kung Fu Panda with the babies badly need some chilling.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Have been meaning to write, but what with one thing and another did not get to . Then, 2b's momma wakes me again from the stupor with a comment. No momma, have not started school for the mite yet because firstly right after my parents left he was down with a bad bout of food poisoning resulting in lose motions for what seemed like eternity with me hearing plaintive cries of "mamma potty" even in my sleep and now the poor mite's nose is running! I was responsible for his state, firstly I did not check the noodles before giving it to him as I always do. Later when I tasted it something in it seemed to have gone bad. The shop next doors generally makes good stuff but it is monsoon time and I should have checked. Then later, I should have made him wear socks and full sleeved Ts as soon as I saw dark clouds looming in the evenings. The weather here is something we have to get used to. Everyone sprouts jackets and wind cheaters by evening. I was under the impression that Bengalis have a monopoly on wearing the 'monkey cap' but people in Bangalore are equally adept at whipping it out! Infact I have seen kids in monkey caps and a T with nothing under the waist! On the street you can see someone in a sleeveless top followed by a sweater clad individual, so irratic is the weather condition here. My daughter goes to school in a full sleeve sweater and I wear shorts all day and in the evening it is advisable to wear long sleeves as there is a nip in the air. I was never fond of the heat and this weather is like heaven for me. In February there was an article talking of how the Bangaloreans should prepare for a hot summer! The truth is that Bangalore does not know what 'summer' means! The relentless heat and torrid winds in Delhi will give them a taste of REAL summer.

Meanwhile we have also seen a film and been to the Shankey Lake. The lake was beautiful. We spent Saturday evening lolling on its bank! My elder one found a touch- me- not plant, actually several tufts of this grass like plant which closed its leaves when touched. The mite found dry leaves that were shaped like boats and the Mr and I found tranquility. We saw several snake birds and a kingfisher diving for fish. Come sun down we saw the mass exodous of bats from a section of wooded land on the other side of the lake to our side. A family sitting next to us took pictures of the creatures against the now shining moon, quite eerie. We took pictures of ourselves for we had what the Mr calls an outdated camera, which will not be able to catch the more 'artistic' stuff. It was an evening well spent.

We also went to see the latest 'hit' 'Jaane tu....' in spite of the cliches it still charms. What I liked most was the group of artistes who played the moms and dads of the kids. They were so unhindi film mom and dad like and I think that more than anything, that makes the film different. The best of the lot is ofcourse Ratna Pathak, her character is exactly what a mom should be like- caring but not possessive, understanding without being judgemental, passionate in her beliefs she tries to instill her principles in her son but relents when she sees that he needs to be agressive under the circumstances. Her acting was perfect but the guy who created this character should also be congratulated. Nasiruddin Shah as the zestful ghost/ potrait was delightful. Anuradha Patel and her hubby, I forget his name though I used to love him when he acted in the comedy serials of yore, was great too, and so was Kitu Gidwani and Rajat Kapoor. I like the young hero but he can't hold a candle to his uncle. The heroine is sweet and I liked the explosive brother sister relationship that was shown between her and Prateek who I think is really good. I could not see the last half hour because the mite started bawling, he had not been well for a week before that, so can't blame him. Of what I heard from the Mr, the end was also cliched with the mandatory chaos before the hero gets to woo the lady love...predictable all.

Thats all that happened in the meanwhile folks, now the mite is addicted to a morning kids show on Australia TV. I have decided to defer his school going till the next month when he will turn 2 and a half. Till then he can chill at home.