Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Mov(ie)ng Experience

A few weeks back, as I changed out of a perfectly decent casual attire into a semiformal traditional one ,my son who was visiting me asked,'Werent you supposed to go watch a film?'.'Yes', I replied.'Mother, what is that weird smelling thing you are applying?'Mosquito repellent ,I quipped.As i proceeded to drink a large glass of orange flavoured 'Glucon -D',I saw my son looking puzzled and starting to punch on the keys of his laptop rather aggressively..(I am sure he was googling 'progressive dementia'!)
My pre-movie preparations complete, I left the house to watch 'Patiala House'.I must apprise my readers ,that i have only ventured out twice in eight years for a film in this town,more as a social obligation than for a cinematic experience.Unfortunately i have had the dubious distinction of passing out , both the times before the movie started!I was adamant on not making this a hat-trick and had no intentions of stealing the show from right under the charitable noses of the patrons !!
I reached the movie hall and was received by the President and members of the Club screening the charity show.The President greeted me warmly and gave me a reassuring hug , whispering into my ears'You will be allright'.Another , very diplomatically remarked that she had not seen me for a while and hoped i had been keeping good health..A dear family friend , who had missed the film twice on my account, told me she was carrying orange sweets and a bottle of Mirinda in her bag !!
Sheepishly ,i climbed the steps of the hall.On entering the theatre,I was deluged with a sea of familiar faces.Prominent citizens of the town, my ex, present and future parents, my ex, present and future children, my ex and present staff and innumerable family friends..We were well into the credits by the time i finally finished with my social rounds..
I was just settling down in my assigned seat , when a lady in front of me shouted out to her friend not to occupy J5!Apparently, the seat slided up and down on its own and had the cushioning ripped off so one could actually feel the iron bars (OUCH!!)I found myself nervously jumping on my seat and checking the reclining mechanism (which did not work ).I sat upright , without complaining...I was going to last through the film and enjoy it !!
Just when i had started to make sense out of the nonsensical happenings on the screen, I was blinded by a bright spotlight on my face! I was rather confused as to why the usherers were using spotlights instead of flashlights in this town.I was informed that it was the cameraman from a local TV channel covering the event !!
Half way through the film, suddenly there was a lot of tittering and excitement amongst the audience.Fearing , a local politician/ senior bureaucrat making a habitual late entry , i looked towards the entrance.I saw a few people carrying huge cartons..Packed boxes of snacks started getting distributed .Loud cries of approval and disappointment followed.I was negotiating my snack pack in the dark when I found a huge tray bearing soft drinks perched on my head, as the viewers in the back row helped themselves and passed on the glasses at a leisurely pace !!!My protests fell on deaf ears..Several more interruptions later (power failure, announcement of lucky draw winners etc..)the movie finally ended..
I left the movie hall with a broad smile on my face..I realized that 'going to the movies', a regular outing anywhere in the world is an event to be experienced in my small town !!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


A couple of weeks back ,my father made an unusual request..that of a cellphone instrument!Alarmed, i immediately set out to fetch the BP instrument, simultaneously questioning him on his need for the much loathed cellphone.Sheepishly he informed me ,that he needed to go mobile as both the LL numbers were out of order.Apparently, while digging up the roads in order to broaden them the workers had erroneously chopped off the telephone cables and narrowed down our communication options considerably.Since i rarely use the LL i consoled my father saying that communication was a very small price to pay for Development!It took all of 5 days and daily persistence to repair my fathers severed LL(lifeline..)
A few days back,my smugness evaporated and i found myself steaming as i realized that my cellphone had been disconnected!I sent out the most capable and resourceful staff i have to put me out of my misery.My persistent queries were answered by a BSNL official..'Hamne Kolkata baat ki hai aapka number phans gaya hai!'.While the world is rejoicing the birth of new phone technologies and Apples brilliant innovations,my town is struggling with a 19th century Exchange where numbers get stuck !!Moreover, it took a stray call after 3 days to realize that it was only my outgoing calls which were barred!!My sorrow swelled up like the'Yang Tse' river.Finally all the recorded messages stating'this number does not have an identity','this no. has ceased to exist,' it seemed had made me ceased to exist for all my friends and family.
This weekend after a drought of calls , i headed for the LL to talk to my son in the US.Once again it was not working.This time 700mts of cable had been pilfered.I was not at all perturbed, on the contrary rather proud of my small town .While the Nation is dealing with its multi crore 2G scams, the people weighing the pros and cons of Congress vs Progress and with all the eruption against corruption..this town like a small Gaulish village was dealing with simple everyday petty thefts !!!
I sincerely think that the early 70's with its manual exchange where the telephone operator asked for the 3 digit 'Number pleej', was a more comprehensive and sure way of communicating in this part of the country.
As things stand today, I am in dire need of TLC(Telephone-LL or Cell)..With my phone now being used as a camera and a juke box, maybe i should just capture the moment and dance may way through the crisis..After all i am in Neverland, from Graham Bells invention to the idyllic world of Tinker Bell-not bad at all !!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dumb Belle...

Einstien said that'Imagination is intelligence having fun'.Well i am known to have a lot of fun but i do fear it has little to do with my intellect !!Lately to my dismay, i have noticed that the grey matter is getting covered by an impregnable layer of soot.The fact that i work with preschoolers is not helping either.I have regressed to being a child in every which way.It is a very happy albeit a mentally challenged state to be in!
Once considered a very bright student of math, now at the mention of 'Calculus', i dimly recall a character from my favourite comic book.I invariably cringe when my son and a dear friend discuss books, effortlessly recalling details down to the publisher and the edition and i am struggling with the title and author of a recently read one !I knew the situation was grave and the 'brain drain' had reached gutteral levels ,when at the gym i reached out for the dumb bells and the treadmill refusing to raise the bar.
Sometime back, a friend and well wisher, tired of my lamenting had suggested i take to playing 'Bridge'.It would take care of my time as well as keep me mentally agile(I do feel he was making some sort of a statement here!!).Never to bypass an opportunity which improves my quality of life or mind ,i took on 'Project Bridge' with utmost commitment and sincerity.
It took me five minutes to download the tutorial and forever to upload it in my head!My love affair with the game started instantly.I took down notes, quizzed myself, played against robots who reported mechanical failure as their Artificial Intelligence could not match my non existent one , played against novices and got abused via cyberspace.In short , i had taken to the game like a half dead fish to murky or oil spilled waters!! Whenever i thought i had made some headway , the game got trickier, revealing another level , another facet!
As mentioned earlier ,my brain responds to only simple,anything complex threatens to shut it down.All self help books had led me to believe that one should live for the moment.In Bridge this is akin to certain death.Here you have to think about the past, the present and the future in one single moment.Once again i was faced with the dilemma, of whether i should keep my life simple and abandon this game or pursue it relentlessly ,regardless of the fact that it was doing little to improve my cerebral status. As always i took the 'Middle Path' and have taken to Kibitzing ( watching a game, in Bridge parlance).
I find myself back to square one..But i will not loose heart or club myself , but call a spade a spade and someday shine like a (crazy!?!) diamond.I am sanguine there will be a Bridge over these troubled waters soon..
PS. I have recently taken to writing with my left hand,.My rudimentary knowledge of pedagogy and physiology tells me that it develops the right side of the brain related to creativity !!

Monday, February 14, 2011

On Love....

There are some who walked with me,

some who walked past..

There are some who stayed on,

some who did not last..

Sands of time have blown many a footprint away,

but the impressions are embedded deep within my heart...

I have lost some to life,

and some to death..

But i believe in love,

And will do so till my very last breath..

There will be many seasons under the sun,

But none that i will ever regret.....