Monday, December 07, 2009


The day God created Adam and Eve, a phenomenal divide sealed the fate of the two genders, male and female, of the same species, the homo sapiens.
Human beings, the most intelligent creature on planet Earth, aspiring and determined to conquer the Universe, fail most miserably when it comes to comprehending their own fellow mates – the other sex/gender. Indeed it’s a lifetime’s quest, and unavoidably so, as in every walk of life both the genders are thrown in together, or in contemporary milieu, would it not be more appropriate to say, pitted against each other, be it in the domestic or the work front.
Since coexistence is preordained, ideally it should be an easy-going, peaceful and harmonious bondage based on mutual understanding and empathy. However, experience speaks otherwise. The relationship on surface may be cloaked with cordiality. However, the layer is thin and a deeper probe reveals an antipathy which is symbiotic and almost epidemic. Without any bias towards either gender, we cannot help but wonder whether this antipathy is borne out of misconception or by default purely genetic. “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”, as the famous caption goes, is accuracy in brevity.
No wonder Sociologists delight in finding a workable remedy to this malady. Alas! There is no sovereign elixir. Peaceful coexistence, evidently, seems next to impossible. Isolation is fatal. Conjugality is fraught with danger. From time immemorial the situation has furnished all the right ingredients for melodrama and high voltage histrionics (with major contribution from the femme fatale) leading nowhere! Then what of the solution?
Since, survival of both is inseparably interlinked, why not try understanding each other from the formative years itself? Of course, the familial backdrop is a great facilitator in this direction. But kinship has its own limitations and impartial understanding of the male/female counterpart may get tampered by blood ties and emotional prejudices. Besides the family, the Indian society, with its obsessive priority for social sanitization, presents very little opportunity for the two genders to come together and enjoy a conducive upbringing.
Hence, and most definitely co-education, although the plea to it may sound too simplistic, even flippant, to many. Dissecting the word co-education, we find that it is a combo pack of cooperation ‘in’ education. We are fated to coexist, so shall we not cooperate to educate each other and thereby get educated in the process? It is healthy as well - as members of various social strata come together to intermingle and forge bonds. In the process, values get exchanged and imbibed, horizons get broadened, interests get sharpened and extended to arenas hitherto unknown and unexplored for the girl as well as the boy child as both suffer from restricted periphery of knowledge and awareness if left to their own society. Needless to say the process increases understanding of each other as well.
However, no social situation is protected from the Marxian axiom of thesis and anti-theses. While closer proximity of the two genders run the significantly high risk of familiarity breeding contempt, at least, by far it would be a better option than an overpowering and tongue-tying reaction of utter puzzlement in accosting and dealing with one of its own kind who proves to be beyond the boundaries of ordinary comprehension in normal course of routine life.
The Sociologists may attach suitable nomenclature to this process of “breaking the ice between the two”, however, for us laymen, the funda at the grass roots is very simple - growing up together and thereby understanding each other, but of course, under familial/social parentage and guidance. The latter may be heavily underlined and perhaps a little “unduly” stressed, especially, in the Indian context, to avoid all those “catastrophes” which we are nowadays getting used to hearing and witnessing quite frequently.
However, having vociferously championed in favour of coeducation, it may be reiterated that coeducation in Indian scenario is a predominantly urban phenomenon and prerogative of the privileged class. The issue which requires imperative address is compulsory education, irrespective of gender, with a special emphasis on rural India where till date tutoring of girl child remains, more or less, restricted to household chores and grooming of boy child is through the hard routine of enforced labour.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Nowadays, I am generally in the “eerie” mode. What with the sanguine belief of SCOPE being haunted and the blood curdling evidences of the same being discussed quite often in the department (major contribution from my side), added to this genre of exchange are the supposedly “true” incidents recounted by my colleague with whom I have lunch everyday.

Some have this para-normal obsession with the make believe world of unearthly beings and spirits that are commonly referred as ghosts (a most underrated terminology!!) Strange things happen to them too which reinforce their belief in "The Others'. They may be gifted with what we are not but having said that I also feel that a susceptible mind and fertile imagination are sufficient fodder for optical delusions. Lonely unoccupied minds brooding over the unknown and the unnatural - undoubtedly, the turf is more than prepared for extra sensory perceptions accompanied by a staunch belief and deep satisfaction that a tangible proximity with the supernatural is being experienced on day to day basis - feeling their presence all around including the “frozen touch”.

A cynic’s definition of hallucination may be a very simplistic but pragmatic explanation diluting the “eeriness” of the impact of such experiments to the minimal. But dissection of facts may reveal a repetitive thought pattern attracting similar vibes which the mind craves for. Invites to these spirits hovering on the periphery of life and death may be a fanatic's delight but in this whole episode my position is the worst.

I being the sole audience of the almost daily narrations of white nebulous forms lurking around/ peeping through slightly ajar doors/glaring boldly from one of the poorly lit corners/ just swishing past at times/ breathing down the neck/keeping a watchful eye while she cooks etc. etc. which leaves my heart perpetually in the “sinking” state.

Since, these so called anecdotes are transmitted mostly during lunch time, I confess that I am a little wary about visiting the Ladies Room alone in the afternoons which is quite justified in my case as that should be the desired effect of such recounts on the listener.

But the less comprehensible part is the reaction of my colleague who after having delivered these goosebumpy narratives to perfection ( with vivid descriptions going down to the minutest & the scariest details) retreats into her shell and refuses to budge till the closing hours of the day!!!!!!!

How’s that for a gory story-teller?

Friday, November 06, 2009


A conversation, only for comical interlude, is highly underrated and almost as the colloquial phrase goes a “time pass”. A conversation is not only an exchange of dialogues; it is an interaction of ideas, emotions, knowledge and empathy. Conversation is sharing. It is situational and therefore should manifest all the "navarasas" from time to time, including comedy. If it is only a comic relief, then perhaps it is transient and does not intend to hold a permanent place in our memory bank.

Of course, conversation in its purest and most sublime form has been epitomized by Socrates in his quest for the ultimate truth. I feel it is possible to have a little more "meaningful" conversation without indulging in such higher forms of dialogues.

A one sided conversation is thoughtlessness in its extreme. The mainstay of a ”functional” conversation is conjugality of minds, if not perspectives. A conversation cannot meander beyond niceties if inititated with divergent intentions.
A conversation for the sake of having a conversation is wasteful. Again, conversation is not an isolated experience. The full import of words spoken can be assimilated only when combined with gestures, facial expressions and body language. But we should not however forget that sometimes silence speaks more than words and a mere pause inbetween can convey loads more than a loud ejaculation.
The moot point here is that a conversation should be able to satiate the quest of the participants, whatever that might be. The result would yield far reaching benefits, if the conversationists are joined by unity of purpose and thought.
Words spoken should not be taken lightly. They are mirrors of our thoughts. Satisfaction is in venting as well as in imbibing. As we speak, so, we should also listen. As the spiritual leaders say that listening should be prayerful i.e. as in a prayer we concentrate with our whole mind, body and soul, so should we listen to others to take in the best and the most that we aspire for.

Conversation is a thirst to be quenched with the right measure of verbosity. The penultimate conversation is of course divine. but again the process is frought with experimentations. Seeking is an endless endeavour and you may knock hundreds of doors before finding the right one. Till then, you do not permit yourself to be let in. Wander till you have sought what you are looking for and sooner or later you shall be blessed with God’s receipt.


Strange that you should send me this mail, although it appears to be in circulation as a sort of general warning, however, it reminded me of a similar incident that occurred quite recently with me.
As you know, it's so difficult to get an auto from SCOPE without having a fierce debate with the driver regarding the legitimacy of fare being asked for, as few auto-driver in Delhi conscientiously follows rules and agrees to charge by the meter. One evening I was trying my luck in vain to get one to reach Patel Chowk Metro Station wherefrom I take the metro home. It so happened that my luck was out on that day and none of the auto drivers was ready to go in that direction. Therefore, I decided to change my route and take the metro from Rajiv Chowk, hoping that CP being a central location, auto-wallahs would perhaps be more amenable to go that way.

It was a decision taken in duress as I generally do not like the CP Station. If you have ever been to that location, you will appreciate that the station is too big with long, never ending corridors and the crowd too unruly and rowdy. However, my change of destination yielded result and soon I got an auto which took me to the station. But by that time, it was quite late and being autumn, it was darker than the usual dusk, when I alighted at Rajiv Chowk.

The station was crowded as usual with people thronging in from all directions of the city. Incidentally I find Patel Chowk Station more to my liking as it is quiet and peaceful and the crowd, generally the “sarkari babu” type, seemingly docile and belonging to known milieu, hence, homely.

In order to get inside the underground station, one has to ascend a few steps and take the escalator or the staircase down, as per individual choice. As I was climbing up the steps a man suddenly approached me and said in English “excuse me” in a very cultured voice. I looked up to find a bespectacled face smiling at me. The man was tall and lean in built. I think he wore a white lungi and a chaadar over a bottle-green and yellow striped shirt, which somehow reminded me of the mourning attire that the Bengalis usually wear in bereavement. He was carrying a few books which by a cursory glance looked like religious pamphlets. But what attracted my attention the most was the long sandalwood tilak drawn from his forehead till the end of his nose. He looked and sounded educated and spoke English in a well modulated voice. But looks could be deceptive. It took few seconds for me to notice all these things. While entering the station, I had casually glanced around and seen him standing on the right hand side corner of the entrance. He was standing alone and looking at nothing in particular. He had crossed across the throng of boarders to speak to me!!!

If I had to describe my feelings at that particular moment it would be sheer fear. Why I was terrified I would not be able to say. It was an instant reaction. On the face of it, the man looked sophisticated, well mannered, courteous and apparently above board. But at that very moment, when he stood there smiling, my nostrils were being assaulted by this overpowering fragrance of sandalwood, the source of which could not have been just the tilak on the man’s forehead. He continued in English, smiling, “May I please take a few minutes of your time?” It took me a flash of a second to react, “No, thank you.” I turned around and walked past. The man did not follow me. I did not look back to see whether he was still there. But the fragrance of sandalwood continued to haunt me till I reached the platform and boarded the train.

Somewhere I had read that strangers accosting people in the middle of such crowded places use strong fragrances to hypnotize or befuddle them and when they come back to their senses they cannot remember what happened after inhaling the strong aroma. Sooner or later, some valuables are found missing from their persons. I do not know whether this piece of information was at the back of my mind when I vehemently nodded my head and rushed off to the other direction to avoid the man. But the presence of the man could definitely not be considered benign if it was catalytic in evoking a premonition of danger. The conscious as well as the subconscious minds have many a tricks up their sleeves and sometimes it is really difficult to fathom what exactly triggers off reaction to strange stimulii in the instant case my reaction to the stranger.

But I still spend a considerable time in pondering over the fact that the man chose and approached me of all the people in that station with whatever noble or evil intention that he may have had in mind. I really wonder what sort of people they look for such misdeeds. The apparently gullible ones most probably. That makes me wonder whether I look that gullible for a hoodlum to target me as his chosen victim……….I have not found the answer as yet. As a matter of fact, I do not know whether the stranger could be branded as an out and out outlaw.

Incidentally, I have always preferred the fragrance of sandalwood to all other perfumes. I am generally allergic to most. But as I said earlier, the fragrance haunts me now and will always do so reminding me of a strange incident half understood and (God forbid!) half experienced.

Monday, October 26, 2009


My well wisher insisted that I should seriously consider writing as a vocation, since, according to him, I had considerable talent in the literary department and unlike many subscribed to the British English Fan Club and had a distinctive style of articulation. In short, he believed that I was one of those latent talents who would take the world by storm once the floodgate of my literary deluge is unleashed. Soon, I was convinced that I was empowered with such prowess about which even I myself did not have sufficient inkling and that credit went to his discerning acumen to uncover the prolific writer hidden in the mundane mails that I exchanged with him.

If only discerning could stop him, the matter would have died a natural death. But my well wisher galloped ahead in proving to me and himself that a J.K. Rowling was in the making and made it his prime concern to remind me everyday that the world was waiting with bated breath to witness my creative genius. When I protested and procrastinated on the pretext of time constraint, he was quick to advise me that such matters could not be postponed to post retirement leisure and that I should immediately take pen to paper and at least sketch out the “First Chapter” of my self-indulged literary assignment for his critical evaluation. Day after day he sent me mail after mail to that effect. He called it instigation; I doubted whether creativity could flourish under coercion as instigation though subtle in its implication was nevertheless an instrument suggestive of compelling circumstance. However, he was so diligent in his enterprise that soon I started feeling guilty of not complying with his wish. But somewhere, in my heart of heart I knew if I now inked the paper it would not be to give expression to myself and my creativity but to impress him and somehow prove to him that he was right.

That is why, one fine morning, I requested him not to send me anymore bugging mails as I thought I knew the measure of my literary worth and caliber and therefore could not hide behind somebody else’s dreams. Though, on hindsight, I feel I have been very abrupt even rude in my attempt to put a stop to this otherwise fruitless exercise and in the process have ruthlessly snubbed a friend’s selfless enthue directed at my own good, which is nothing less than criminal. Though he refrained from arguing on the subject and acquiesced in a quiet manner, I could make out that he was hurt and very, very disappointed. So was I. Disappointed to have disappointed a friend who unconditionally extended unadulterated encouragement, which is a rare deed and a rare gift, indeed. Disappointed because I could not live up to him; to his expectations. But ink should speak the truth and so have I.

And one day, my friend, perhaps I will live up to your dreams and word a tale left untold for now………………..

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am at present updating my knowledge on “Corruption” – types, forms, magnitude and of course, methods of eradication. As I delved into the subject, I found that the topic itself can constitute a separate discipline of specialized study with the recommended foundation-laying at the school level itself (NCERT listening?) since we have to deal with it on almost day to day basis. Most of what I have gathered must be common knowledge to many; to me it was new and I wanted to put it in black and white so that I can refer to it as and when required. Also writing facilitates memorizing.

It is said that corruption treads stealthily in the corridors of power. Power is where money is. Here money signifies the much wider realm of public finance management e.g., public purchase & procurement through high stake tenders and contracts, international aids and loans, investments in and funding of developmental projects, capacity building of developing countries by developed nations etc.; the list is long and indicative of a macro sweep, at times, transcending political boundaries and mega investments where digits multiply into astronomical figures.

Corruption, as we all know, is born out of temptation. However, it operates under disguise, therefore, is difficult to detect. It intrudes and spreads surreptitiously corroding the fine fabric of society. If not confronted and sabotaged on time, it can take institutional proportions. It has existed and thrived in socio-economic inequalities, political instability and weak and permissive governance. Contemporary corruption, however, is more intricate in design and mechanism, as it misappropriates new age information and technology, for selfish calculations, at the cost of the State and Society.

However, these are facts, which are well known. But what surprised me the most was to find that there are various nomenclatures of corruption. There is a Situational Corruption which is unplanned and is provoked by a particular situation like when a person driving a car breaks traffic rule, is caught by the police and offers the policeman a bribe to escape punishment. Contrary to this is Structural Corruption which is pre-meditated and as the term indicates structured and is carried out in a systematic manner. For example, when two bidders pre-decide to collude to grab a tender. But the highest form of corruption, in my opinion, is State Capture when the politicians and political parties are “captured” to exert undue influence on government policies, laws or regulations for the benefit of the vested interests. The means of capture is easy guess……. huge contribution to party fund.

Then there are various types of bribery. When huge amount of money is passed on to the higher echelons of public officials to influence the decision making process, it is upfront bribery. When comparatively lesser sum is given to lower officials to accelerate/facilitate a process, it is known as facilitation payment. When the bribe is consumed by a single official without the knowledge of the organization, it is personal bribery. On the other hand, when the entire organization is involved in the process of bribery, it is institutional bribery.

The area worst hit by corruption is public procurement (common knowledge) as it constitutes 15% to 30% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and in some countries even more. Moreover, these procurement procedures are complex and involve significant mobilization of public resources. Though, accountability, in these processes, is supposedly high, unfortunately, procedural transparency is found seriously lacking and thus rendering the system extremely vulnerable to corruption. The next public domain in queue is defense and defense procurement. (Imagine the security hazard!!!!!!)

Corruption has all encompassing impact. Besides, financial, it burdens the government with operational, maintenance and debt servicing liability, adds to environmental and security risks, health hazards and is a serious bottleneck in the way of competition and innovation. But, above all, It immeasurably damages the value factor i.e. trust in the government, honesty in competition, human incentive etc. While corruption is known to add to the cost of procurement, it is difficult to quantify corruption as it may be in “cash or non cash advantage” form. Moreover, there is the problem of cultural relativism where the line of demarcation between bribery and socio-cultural norms gets imperceptibly blurred.

One of the Non-Governmental Organizations, fighting against corruption world wide is Transparency International (TI). TI firmly believes that arenas susceptible to corruption should be under constant public eye/scrutiny so that continuous public attention and debate can leave no scope for corruption to entrench its roots. With this motto, TI envisages a strong civil society monitoring mechanism or the “Third Eye” to uproot corruption. It is this underlying philosophy that manifests in the appointment of Independent Assessors, the representatives of Civil Society, to independently and objectively monitor the progress of the procurement procedure from inception to culmination. Needless to say, the External Monitors are required to be professionals of high repute and acumen having experience and expertise in their respective fields of proficiency.

However, having exhausted my corruption knowledge bank, I am still at a loss to figure out an appropriate terminology for the sort of “situation” where X through undue influence on Y gets away with most of the things without exerting much…..comes late, goes early, has lunch on time and innumerable cups of tea, day-dreams, prolongs and procrastinates and replies to queries (like phone call, e-mail etc.) after interminable interludes of deep silence and of course takes a beauty nap each afternoon (on a fixed sofa in a quiet corner specifically designated for this purpose). And all this in broad daylight, in full public view. Here, as you can very well guess, Y and X are in a “Boss-Subordinate” equation (no-gender-specifics attached). The moral denominator in the given situation is very high and the consequences far reaching almost open ended.

What nomenclature do we fix so that the enormity of the possibilities and probabilities of the situation becomes comprehensible by a single term……

“Boss Capture” perhaps?

Then there are various other forms of aberrations…………….

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Nobody would believe if I say that nowadays I am battling against"Puppy Power"!!!!!!!!!!!
Every morning, around 5.00 am, as I unlock the gate, they rush out in a horde -------five of them, in full gusto they charge at me and Mr. SnowBoot; we have to run pell mell in order to save ourselves from the onslought. Good exercise for me but very exhausting as keeping pace with Mr. SB is very difficult and tiring.
Small feet, scrawny body infested with ticks and fleas but what reservoire of energy and speed!!! It doesn't take them a minute to overpower us. Little feet crawl all over us , tickling and nibbling, they have great fun-feast on our feet and legs. Even Mr. Boots is perplexed how to deal with these tiny nibblers. The smallest of them makes the greatest noise and scares the shit out of Mr. S.
One of them is like a ball of wool, round, black with a white star-mark just above his nose and looks more like a baby guerilla than a pupply. But he is the most timid of them all and goes into a contemplative mode now and then. Two of them are sick and always scratching themselves. I tried to spray some medication on them. But they ran away. I wish I could do something for them.
Their mother is a docile creature and has already lost one puppy (it was the most beautiful one.......white with black spots, plump and happy). I have saved their lives once about which I have already written. I want to save the two sick ones now. I am sure God will show me the way. Although, Mr. Boots does not like my playing with them. But I think he'll not mind my helping them.
Today, one of them followed us quite far. I hope they don't get lost or the bigger dogs don't harm them.
God be with them.
So long...............

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I could hear the soft whimpering distinctly growing louder as the drizzle turned into torrential downpour. It was 5.00 am. Still dark and growing darker still by the second as black clouds kept on gathering and melting into opaque sheets of silver. The shadows of the tall trees loomed large and seemed to huddle closer as if to protect themselves from the onslought. The park was just ten feet away from my flat and looked ominous and unkempt inspite of the half hearted attempts made by our neighbours to give it a "tended" look.
The plaintive cries rose and fell with the increasing ferocity of the storm and gradually surpassed the cumulative cacoophony of rain, wind and lightening. For the first time in my life, I could not enjoy the long awaited monsoons or as the Meteorological Department had announced with suddenly-regained confidence, "an unprecedented reversal of monsoons".
It was impossible now to keep on listening to the steady drone of anguish. I felt disturbed and as the wail grew stronger in frequency and volume , disturbance gave way to helplessness and a growing sence of panic. I could not stand any more and opened the door and stepped out. The rains were like darts pricking my body with a rhythmic ardour. I headed towards the park. The curtains of rain closed in upon me making every movement difficult and time consuming. Who would say that the park was adjacent to my flat. It seemed as though I was slithering through drapes and drapes of water stretching endlessly in front trying to reach my destination which looked near at hand like a mirage but was actually miles afar.
At last I reached the gate of the park. The grounds had become muddy, soft and slippery; as I stepped in the soil caved in under my feet making me off-balance. I staggered in and almost fell. In normal times, the tall trees with their bushy foliage always kept the park shaded from sunlight and heat, but now with the downpour it was a shade darker inside and difficult to see even a few feet ahead.
The cries were louder here. But the source of the sound was not visible. Although I could make quite an appropriate guess as to where the noise came from. I followed the sound. Our neighbours had divided the park in half by growing a hedge in between which cut across the park. I had to be careful not to step on the same, so jumped over it. It was a mistake. The other half of the park more or less lay like a disused communal garbage bin; untended and dirty, it had almost turned into a quagmire in the rains. It was just my luck that I did not fall headlong into the mud.
I could not see anything still. I knew they were in trouble but where they were I could not make out. Our park had almost become a vet's nursery when two bitches who looked very similar to each other gave birth to nine puppies. The older one had six while the younger one had three. Now the two mothers helplessly looked around as the rains lashed and the wind blew with gusto. The younger one had her puppies with her. They were very recently born and looked like tiny tadpoles. The mother had dug up the ground before delivering and the puppies usually slept in the oval shaped bowel of earth ( a kind of earthy cot for the babies). They still had not got their vision(their eyes were shut tight) and could just crawl a feet at a time when hungry to reach out to their mother. The mother was always with them over protective and nourishing them with her milk. The older puppies were a little bigger in size but still not able to see. It seemed somebody had moved the older ones from the flower bed where they usually lay.
I was perplexed. The bowel wherein the younger puppies were huddled in was full of water. The mother not knowing what to do, would not move from there and kept sitting with her young ones hugging them with her body. I could see the puppies were drowning and would die if not removed immediately. I gesticulated to the mother trying to make her understand that I was a friend and had come to save her young ones. She did not budge but suddenly looked upward to the sky and started wailing loudly as though calling out to God Almighty for help. It was piteous to see how a desparate and inexperienced mother tried her level best to protect her children from inclement weather. I stood there drenched to the core not knowing how to help her out. There was nobody around. Obviously, the morning walkers, so punctual about their stroll, seeing bad weather, had decided against moving out and taken refuge in their beds.
By this time fear gripped the young mother. She jumped up suddenly and ran to the opposite corner of the park and curled in shivering. This was my chance. I moved forward and picked up the babies. They were slimy creatures and almost slipped out of my gasp. I took two at a time and ran towards home.
My balcony gate gave way to a few feet of cemented ground raised a little higher than the road to prevent water logging in front of the flat. I placed the babies on this cemented table below the kitchen window sheltered by the fibre-sheet awning on top and the pots of plants on the sides. I ran back to bring the third one. Their mother was still curled in the corner fearful and cold watching with helpless eyes. But her babies were safe now. Wet and hungry, they crawled around the plant pots to get familiar with their new surrounding.
I went back to the park. This was my third round. I had to find six more puppies, though invisible, could be heard loud and clear. I again followed the sound and came to the other end of the park. The older bitch looked indecisive as though not sure about the safety of her babies. I do not know it was her indecisiveness or to beckon me to the right spot, she moved closer to the rear end of the park and as she reached the rear wall I caught sight of the puppies. Some thoughtful person had placed a square piece of thermocol atop, but the puppies restless and frightened, were trying to move out of the temporary and inadequate shelter now. I picked them up. Two at a time. Their wet bodies found warmth in my palm. They lay still and stopped crying. As I moved forward, the mother bitch overtook me and ran out. I reached my flat to find that she was already there thumping her tale and giving me the "I-knew-you-would-do-the-good deed" look. It was not a surprise that she knew beforehand the destination of the puppies as they were rescured by my nephew and brother-in-law, on a similar occassion, not very long ago, and deposited here along with the mother.
It took two more visits to bring all the puppies to safe shelter. The third time I went back with the mission to somehow convince the younger bitch to come and feed her puppies. But she had absconded. I came back worried. Though the puppies were safe I did not know how to feed the tiny ones and keep them alive. They were too small for external feeding.
I found the tiny tots had slided behind the money plant. The older bitch sitting next to her babies were licking them fervently to perhaps dry their dripping coat. Soon she would start feeding them. I picked up one of the tiny pups and placed it near her with great trepidation and pleaded her to look after the abandoned one. I was scared if she bit the pup it would be difficult to keep them there. She looked doubtful knowing at once that it was not hers and then sniffed the pup hesitantly. I stood still. The pup crawled up her body and groped for her nipples. The bitch did not move and suddenly she was licking it. I was overjoyed. One after the other, I placed the destitutes in her lap and she licked them and allowed them to feed from her breasts. My worry was over. The bitch had accepted the discarded ones.
Thereafter, it became my moral responsibility to see that the nine pups were together, comfortable, well fed and warm. It rained incessantly for three days. The pups with their mother stayed there for all the three days. They crawled all over the place sometimes drifting away whereupon it was my duty to pick them and place them next to their mother. They pissed and soiled the ground so much so that my whole house stank and it was impossible to keep the front windows open. I fed the mother so that she could feed her babies sufficiently. Sometimes, the mother went gallivanting around and the babies whimpered together. The teeny-meenies cried more as they were always hungry. It was difficult to stay aloof inside the house when the babies were crying incessantly in hunger or being left alone right outside.
Mr. Snowboot (our pet) was very annoyed and unhappy with the whole situation. He could not understand how dogs could be so small and wierd in behaviour and looks. He would take a stroll outside peep through the balcony gate and walk away disgruntled grumbling softly under his breath. Soon he gave in to fate and came to reward the puppies and their mother with his royal ignorance.
The second day Ashwin and Didi told me that the situation was going beyond the bounds of health and hygiene. Maa said to look for some alternate arrangement as a few days more of the stink, the whole house would need to be sanitized by a full tanker of disinfectants. I was in a dilemma. Being their saviour, I could not throw them away. The rains made it impossibl to look for any other alternative. Clueless as to what to do next, my "puppy farm" stayed where it was.
On the fourth day, early morning, though still cloudy, I saw the mother bitch carrying away the tiny tadpoles in her mouth. I followed. Soon I found that she had found a better option under one of the trees in the park opposite to ours where the foliage was so thick that neither sunlight nor even rain could penetrate through. Surprisingly the absconded bitch was also loitering around that vicinity. One by one the mother carried the new borns to the safe shade under the tree. Then she came back and tried to pick up her babies. But they were now too big to be picked up by the mouth. She tried to drag them by the ear; the babies started yelping. I decided to help the mother and carried them two at a time to the other park. Interestingly, it did not rain again. This once again made me realize that animals are nature's children. The mother bitch knew by her own instinctive knowledge that it was safe to move out of the make shift kennel or whatever one would like to call that inadequate arrangement.
Weeks passed by. Twice I went round to see whether they were safe. In my second visit I could not find them. I was sad.
But not for long.
They have now come back. Seven out of nine. The cutest one( a white coated one with gray-green spots; happy and plump who slept with all four tiny legs spreadeagled) was picked up when the puppies were sheltered under my kitchen awning. I hope he has been blessed with a caring family.The other one contacted a deadly infectious skin desease and cannot be found anymore.
The saviours are always tormented by their self-imposed moral obligations. Now it is my duty to see that these seven are comfortable, well fed and medicated(I could not save the infected one but I managed to save the rest of the herd with timely dosage). And in return, the mongrels have taken a pledge to destroy my plants, break the pots, chew away the leaves and moss grass and generally wreak havoc in and around my house. If I am late in giving them their morning feed, which is between 4.30 and 5.30 am, seven pairs of clawed feet dutifully bang my gate to give me a polite reminder that I am forgetting my most important daily chore.
But their most perturbing play is chasing and teasing Mr. Boots during his morning walks which leaves us both panting and frothing and praying that these toddlers will have better sense of gaming pleasure than the bizarre sadistic glee they derive from nibbling and nosing Mr. Boots when he is in his most disadvantageous position. Obviously, Boots detests these interferences Most part of the walk is concluded in dizzying speed looking for a quiet corner where SB can relieve himself in peace. We are yet to find that spot.
Moral of the story "doing good does not always yeild good". On the contrary, it can sometimes boomerang. In fact, yes, most of the times. This is what I have inferred from my experience.

Friday, May 08, 2009


Its been a long time since I have visited my own blog!!! Sad, isn't it? Sad, not to get enough "me-time" . Sad , not to do things which you love to do. Sad, not to have a proper leisure activity. Sad that I have spent my days in a whrlwind sort of spin, shuttling from one task to the other, getting stressed, feeling dejected, dabbling around and not able to do anything with proficiency and perfection and landing up being muddle-brained like the "muggle" that I am.

Life..............sometimes can be like the "death eater" sucking up all your energy and not giving you sufficient space and opportunity for creativity................mind boggling and unnerving!!!!!!!!

But now I am free of all baggages.

Now I can relax.

Now I can say "Hi" to myself.

Now, I can look back and count my mistakes and cudchew on possible remedies.

Now, I am "myself".

What should I call this journey .........this episode...................this coming back to my own self........coming back to ordinary, mundane routine which is oh so dear to me...........visiting my blog.................doing up my house..............catching up on unfinished riyaaz.............oh such a lot to do and such a lot remain undone..............God I need a reservoire of unlimited strength and energy to accomplish all that I crave for.....................................all that I aspire to do....................................

Oh a phrase crops up in my mind .................................a phrase so apt................... describing my journey from hell to heaven ...........Hell Se Hullo Tak?!!!!!.................Howzzzatttt???????????

Monday, April 13, 2009


I have more recently been introduced to the world of Ruskin Bond and I must admit I am enjoying it thoroughly. His storytelling is simple, yet gripping. Plots are uncomplicated and yet novel. His descriptions of the scenic beauty of Mussoorie and Dehra Dun are vivid and easily transports the reader to the daunting hills and the winding valleys..............the Deodar and Pine forests, the clear water springs and the limitless, undulating stretches of greenery, bringing in the fragrance of a world long lost and overpowered by the vices and vagaries of jet-paced modernization.
In his foreword, Ruskin admits that he has been influenced by Satyajit Ray's writings and on more than one occassion, this is discernible and at times quite pronounced. Ray's storytelling was almost cinematographic. So is Ruskin's. Both have the God given ability to creat a powerful feeling of nostalgia and at times an odd almost eerie sense of deja vu.
I have finished reading "Seasons Of Ghost" and I wish to explore more.
But I would really like to know whether Ruskin is the writer's real or pen name. Could it be an abbreviated version of Rumplestiltskin ?
I wonder..............

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The question that is bugging me since I have started blogging is how honest and truthful one should be on the blog. The unwritten ethics of writing a diary is that you should pen the absolute truth because diary is like your own self. While, one may hide one's feelings from the outside world but confronting your own self one should not be hesitant to admit the naked truths.

A Diary also enjoys certain amount of secrecy i.e. you can keep it under lock and key, away from prying eyes, if you feel that the "exposed" you is cocooned in its folds.

But blog is not a diary. It can be invaded by anyone............. read by any one............. and most importantly it allows "perfect stangers" to record their opinions..... which may or may not always be very subtle...................may be completely uncalled for and hard to digest..................or perhaps on a more optimistic note, I may, at the same time, grudgingly acknowledge the remote possibility or chance of encountering a complete new vista of thoughts and perceptions, hitherto unenvisioned by me or having diametrically opposite shades to mine.

The ifs and buts in the situation being overwhelmingly predominant at the moment, the bugging byte continues to nag.................

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I am blogging!!!!!!!! This is my first entry. I am aghast. Me?????????? Blogging????????? I would always associate blogging with "big" people. "Big" meaning the celebrities who had such a lot to say about anything under the sun and people would gatecrash into their blogs to get a peek into their private worlds of thoughts and things. Intrusion, I'd call it. Intrusion into one's personal space.

And today, lo and behold, I am putting in my first enty in my OWN blog. Horrendous!!!!!!!!!! I who wouldn't even keep a diary lest anybody at home gets hold of it and comes to know of my intimate musings. I am blogging, JUST IMAGINE, with the full knowledge that anybody can enter into my space and "nose around".

But may be somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind I have this thirst for venting out.........pouring out my likes and dislikes, my thoughts and beliefs, have an intimate chat with my ownself and no offence if a third party ventures in and pokes around as long as I am just a blog, just a few typed words, formless, nameless(??), faceless........till then happy blogging!!!!!!!

"Jisse bhi dekhiye woh apne aap mein gum hain, zabaan millee hai magar humzabaan nahin milta". Most probably that is why............... blog my friend blog.........