Sunday, 18 November 2012

Are you my 'addiction'?

                                                 Image Courtesy
                                                      Image creator: mack2happy      

There is always a niggling doubt at the back of my mind. Have you become an addiction with me? 'Addiction' is the only word  I can use to express our relationship. We are under the same roof and yet so far...Everyone in the family knows about you. But  they are ignorant of how far we have gone.

My children run to your place.There they can laugh, sing and explore their fantasies. There are times when they find help  with the school work.I watch them play there, from a distance biding my time. My husband shares and consults at your haven before taking any major decision. He goes on and on  for hours together, while I walk around in circles with a hope of catching a moment with you. My husband doesn't know. By the time he leaves, it is too late. I am a married women with two young children.I cannot afford the late nights...

Oh! How I long to be with you! Alone with no worries of tomorrow or the children with their persistent demands...With you I am a different person- happy and content. You let me be 'me' with no tags of a wife, mother, daughter, sister with their baggages attached. With you I dream of a distant world, feel the waves lapping at my feet at an exotic beach. I smell the tingling freshness of the mountain air with you by my side. And the friends we have made...Yes, our 'friends' know about us. For them, you and I are inseparable.We have had such wonderful times with our friends-sharing ideas,thoughts, laughing together or pondering.

Its been almost two months now. The festive season and school holidays  kept us away from each other. I couldn't have been with you as myriad other chores tugged me away. The children had to be dropped and picked up from their respective classes half -way across the city through all that festive traffic. Did I mention their share of birthday parties to attend? And then doing up our apartment took its toll. There were times when everything had to be dropped and dash to the apartment since the plumber kept the pipe jutting out and the tiles-guy was at his wits end; or the carpenter forgot the design of the kitchen; hunting around for the right tiles and handles for the doors...

And all this while, you were always there. In my mind. I felt guilty for not meeting you. I knew, I would forget everything once I met you. All else would be relegated and time would cease to exist.Would you understand, if I told you that I couldn't even do 'facebooking' let alone blogging!! My dearest blog, I do hope you'll forgive me for not updating and 'maintaining' you....I am a married woman with two young children...

You may like:

Defiled and Humiliated


Monday, 8 October 2012

Road Trip from Nasik to Wellington- I


    We have been on many road trips, an inevitable part of being married to an Olive Green. With a shoe-string budget,it was our good old Maruti 800 and accomodations at Army Guest Rooms that made it possilble. Every trip had its own charm but the one that has to be shared, is the trip from Nasik to DSSC (Defence Services Staff College) in Wellington, Nilgiri hills. I still go ga-ga over it for two reasons. One, the men were back after six months at the border after the Parliament attack alert. Two, the  troad trip was a dream stretch along the Western Ghats and the coastal areas.

  We started with two suitcases wedged between the front and the back seat, a bucket and a mug (you never know what you maybe up against during halts), a potty (our daughter was a year and a half ), a bagful of footwear, odd ends and bits that couldn't go in the truck but had to reach DSSC. And Oh! a folded cotton mattress was thrown in that covered the back seat and the suitcases to make a bed for Pahi, our daughter.
    And so we started, a convoy of three families ,off to the salubrious Nilgiris. Our first halt was at NDA Pune after almost four hours drive. We spent our time going through the campus and gaped at normal routines like a cadet carrying his cycle over his head. Another was standing at attention under a tree as he isn't supposed to move alone unless he is in a squad of four.We were shown the hostels and rooms of our husbands, proudly with sheepish grins( probably they went back to their 'antics' and 'punishments'). Then there was the huge dining hall that fed hot sumptuous meals to around 1500  ravenous cadets in one sitting, without any noise and chaos!
                                                                  (Courtesy wikimedia)

     I was taken in by a nearby verdant hillock "Singhgarh" and expressed my desire to explore it. However, the men didn't seem  keen on it. They had too many painful memories of that lovely place...of running cross-country with heavy backpacks to the top and back, as punishments. After  two days in Pune gorging on the farsans and sizzlers, we continued our journey through the vast rolling greenery of Western Maharashtra skirting many quaint towns like Kolhapur. Well! We just had to buy the famed Kolhapuri chappals and also picked up a tiny pair for the rear-view mirror! Here I've to mention that monsoon IS the time to explore the Western Ghats! What lush vegetation with the grey sky stooping low showering with the rains! After a long drive of  335 kms we reached Belgaum in the evening for a night halt. We were excited in the  morning since our next stop was  Goa...

 We were just not prepared for what was ahead...As we climbed the last of the Ghats, suddenly  a wall of thick mist stoically greeted us...with a board beside it that hazily said "Welcome to Amboli". Visibility was barely 1metre! We slowly rolled into the  mist, awed by its beauty. Objects on the roadside were  hazy outlines. There was a thunderous roar that kept getting closer. It was a waterfall closeby...Although I badly wanted to stop and savour each moment, we continued. We had a schedule to adhere to.  Amboli is the last hill station as the Ghats meet the coastal plains.  The mist released us gently, on our way down the slope. As we reached the plains the sun sparkled unveiling stretches of green fields. Amboli has remained an enigma for me to this day.
   With the Ghats behind, we drove down the coastal plains eagerly into the much sought after Goa like a bunch of teenagers on an escapade. With the beaches just within reach, our convoy zipped over a bridge that heralded our arrival. Barely did we get in, we found a couple of Goa policemen eagerly waiting for us at the other end of the bridge. We had over stepped the pedal way beyond the speed limit! Even being admonished like truant juvenile  and the fine paid, did not dampen our spirits. Now I can say, "been there, done that". It was beaches, Bom church, beaches, cruise on Mandovi, beaches and beaches...Here I shall not indulge in the details, for much has been said about the place.

   Then it was time to move ahead. After all we had more to discover in the journey that would take us to Mangalore, Kannanur and finally Coonoor in the Nilgiris. But more of that in the next post. Someone rightly said, it is the journey that matters not the destination...

Some More Posts:

Summer Camps At Grandmother's Home                                              Hidden Treasure

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Romancing Ross in the Andamans

    Blame it on this languorous weather that Delhi is slowly drifting into. Or the lull in my comfort zone that is making me romance Ross Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands all over again.

A view of Ross Island as the ferry neared

     An island is an island. Period. Stretches of blue and green shades all around with a beach or stoney shores thrown in....or so I thought.  I was definitely not prepared for what Ross Island had in store. A ten minute boat ride from Port Blair (wherein I was fighting my own battle of motion sickness) landed us at Ross.We were told Ross was least affected by the Tsunami due to its orientation. Thank God for it! Or else much of its beauty would have been lost.

 As we walked into the island, it was like Time had taken over the relics of human settlements.
A British Administrative head-quarter  during the Raj days, Ross had everything in it. From the barracks for the soldiers, a bakery, church, market place, officers' quarters, Mess, Press, Chief Commisioner's House and even a de-salination plant!A major earthquake in the 1941 destroyed much of it's structures.  But they all stood there mutely and stoically as Nature slowly took over, engulfing them in her fierce embrace over the years.

De-salination Plant
Remains of a Church

A structure taken over by a tree as the sea watched
"A Terrible Beauty Is Born" - YB Yeats

     I remembered vaguely, a poem we had done in school " Ozymandias" by PB Shelley. Ah! The futility of man's egotism and also the cravings of permanence...Let me refresh the poem to go with the snaps:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Huge Trees

   As we walked around, Ross offered us peace and tranquility with huge trees, glimpses of the sea through the thick foliage and herds of deer. We had to be careful with our packed lunch as we seemed to have contenders. The deer were making a go for it the moment we sat down to eat. They had to be shooed away like the cows and dogs. Lunch was such a hurried affair, I still don't remember what was in it.

Local Inhabitants

    We lazed around till it was time to leave Ross behind and carry our memories back. Revealing only a hint of the life it had witnessed, what stories did it guard? Stories that would be lost forever... As the boat left its shore, I wondered what drama Ross unfolds after everyone has left for the day? Do the Officers and the ladies have midnight picnics? Does the chimney of the bakery smoke with fresh bakings? Is the market place buzzing with the natives and soldiers oblivious to the gizmo driven world?....


Nearest Airport- Port Blair
Ferries- Water Sports Complex
Time required- Half a Day
Accomodations- At Port Blair to suit every pocket
Best time- November to March

Refreshed the Poems courtsey:



Friday, 14 September 2012

"Magic is in the Monsoon!"

  Most will agree with me when I say, there is something Magical about Monsoon. Well if you must look at it with rose-tinted glasses- all the dust is washed away bringing respite from the treacherous heat, the fresh new greenery etc etc...  Before the onset of Monsoon, there are speculations  everywhere, " Will It?...Won't It?" Just like the Shakespearean Prince who couldn't decide with his " To Be Or Not To Be..." , the Rain Gods keep everyone here very much on their toes.  Right from the hapless farmer who searches the sky with shaded gaze, to the Government in the Parliament who searches for some semblance of support and civilized gesture from their counterparts, just incase it does not meet  "average of  average rainfall".( I am still trying to figure out that googly)

                                                          Courtesy Google Image

  With bated breath  all eyes and ears are then trained on the poor Met Department whose calculations and predictions most often show the opposite result. Quite like the mother who declares at her host's place,"My Chunnu never touches anything ..." And the next thing you know is a crashing sound of a valuable curio in pieces. And the Sonu in question with a poker face says, " I was just looking "...Leaving the mother red faced and the host seething. And so the smart Met Department, drills its excuses before hand, till even the rickshaw puller has terms like El Nino spewing to justify his extra charge.And then to appease the Rain God, there are donkeys being married off to trees and solemnising beleagured frogs matrimony...poor creatures wondering what the fanfare is about as they would have mated in any case. Ah...but there IS Magic!
                                                  Courtesy Google Image

  After all the West has looked upon India as the land of charmers and Magic! And it exists to this day! How else can anyone explain the traffic lights blinking off the moment the drizzle starts? Or the solid roads melting into gushing streams, leaving the vehicles stuck and the pedestrians fumbling for solid ground ? Hah! And we consider ourselves an evolved civilization! Even the fossilised skeletons of  Harappa and Mohanjodaro of Indus Valley fame, must be kicking themselves into a raucous clanging laughter!
   The other day a news in the Times Of India caught my eye..."Mahipalpur hunts For Rs 2 crore Missing Road". If any of you has seen Mahipalpur, it is not some God forsaken area on the fringes of Delhi. It is right next to the IGI Airport, a busy area with alleys snaking in and out. And the last I know the residents of Mahipalpur are still looking for it...They will probably find it in some dusty old file forgotten under some Babu's table ( probably dropped there when something heavier passed hands under that hallowed table ). However I'ld like them to take a lesson from the Naga Blog who led a movement that laughed all the way to the concerned peoples' attention. People's imagination ran amok when the roads disappeared. They planted paddy with signposts put up "Drive slowly, Men sowing the road", went fishing , went Titanicing..with John Lennon's song becoming an anthem of sorts, How many roads must man walk...Friends you just have to read the full account of this Magic taking place in Nagaland here. It turned out to be delightful as I was browsing through the emagazine The Thumb Print.

   Well! The Monsoon this year still heartily pours down showing up with thunderous laugh all the holes , pot holes and the loop holes...However, the farmer is a happy man till the next Monsoon cycle.So is the aam admi who toils day in and day out looking for a restful sleep at night without having to battle the power cuts. The Opposition has one issue less to stage a  walk- out on and the Government is breathing easy and tasking the spin doctors to concentrate on  the other scams. The Met Department is the happiest of the lot, going off to a deep slumber until next time. So you see, there IS Magic in the Monsoon...

Some More Posts:

Making Homes Out Of Nothing At All      A Morning Walk...And A Lesson

Thank you to :

The Thumb Print

The Times Of India

Naga Blog

Saturday, 8 September 2012

I almost got a Taj Mahal...

   It took Shahjahan 20 years to build his Taj Mahal for Mumtaz Mahal. It took my husband 12 years to give me mine. Only, that the Emperor was building a mausoleum for his beloved wife and my husband was trying to provide a roof over his only wife, after years of nomadic life.

   Booking for an apartment 12 years ago, at Dwarka, a sub city of Delhi, we never realised it would be a long agonised wait.We paid every instalment and waited and waited and waited...With each wait, the builder's demands for more finances grew and our hopes gradually gave way to despair. The battle between the builder and the members of the apartment, is another story.

 I'd almost begun to believe that the builder had a mausoleum in mind for the members.  And finally, two days back my husband brings home a bunch of keys in a ziploc bag," Keys to our Flat!" In a ziploc bag? They should have come in puja plates, complete with Band, Baja and Baraat! Er... not the Baraat.

 Now we are on an over-drive to make the place liveable. You can very well imagine our joy, sudden burst and clash of ideas. Its now a battle between practicality and aesthetics, requirements and finances,working out the nooks and niches, optimising space...but its a battle that's making us smile. As a couple of families have already shifted into our building, they give us an insight into the teething problemsof a yet-to-live apartment. I wonder if this is how the first settlers of any place shared their concerns and arrived at solutions...

   For hours together, my husband studiously studies the monitor that searches for his product information till late night. I'm sure he has never burned the midnight oil in his entire student life, painstakingly jotting down information. Armed with this, he literally interrogates various vendors, till the vendor is probably contemplating change of profession and I'm  squirming in my seat.

  Wherever we go, unconsciously we take in the details of smart optimising techniques of other homes. On our morning walks, our gaze is mostly drawn to the high rise apartments to see if we can spy on something useful. This invariably has us stepping on pet dogs' poo. Now, thats another pet peeve of mine- pet dog poo on public pavements...

   However,still jumping over poo , with rising costs and over- shooting budget, we plan to move in, in a couple of months with our sanity intact and marriage still in one piece. Friends! Please feel free to drop by at our abodeand bless this mahal of mine, I mean ours...  

Some More Posts :-

No TV           No Horn Please!


Courtesy Google Images

Saturday, 1 September 2012

A Warm Window

Looking for door and window solutions for our new apartment led us to a basement shop which we missed the first time around trying to locate it. There was a lone tailor deeply engrossed in his work. His employers were not in. Just as we turned to leave, a very graceful lady in her late 60s at the doorway said," You must be looking for my husband".

She proceeded to advise us on the particular brand. With salt and pepper hair hurriedly tied behind and a twinkle in her eyes, she dropped several household tips.There were  beautiful blinds made with old scarves of hers. "Never live in a city after retirement. No vegetable costs less than Rs 60 per kg." She had just  come back grocery shopping from a mall... In between, she managed to call her husband and his partner," You have clients  waiting..." We agreed to wait for them since they were on their way.

 On learning we were from Assam, the lady turned dreamy eyed with a hint of a smile lighting up her face. "I love that place. We spent 17 years of our life there...The people are so simple and charming.The lush greenery around.Oh! Those were beautiful days..." Well, this just made me swell with pride (what with the recent spate of violence) and connect with her. She went on about how they spent their days in Digboi since her husband was with the erstwhile Burma OilCompany (BOC),now Assam Oil Company (AOC). Their recent sojourn to the state, for Burma Oil's centenary celebrations at Digboi , thrilled her as she met many who still remembered her.

However, we were still waiting for her husband and his partner to arrive. This time, she hollered into the phone,  "Their kids are coming back from school. Where are you? They are getting late!" Ten minutes later two smart elderly gentlemen walked in. As we were introduced, she happily announced," They are from Assam." Her husband broke into a gentle smile,"We have warm memories of that place. I have travelled that region extensively." Our conversation turned to the present strife gnawing at the state and its people...of its causes and possible villains...In between, they obliged by talking business, the very reason of our presence there. However they seemed happier when talking about other issues.

As we drove back, I couldn't help feeling warm and snug. Three complete strangers had so effortlessly coccooned us with their advice and memories of days gone by...offered us a peek into their lives, their children with rich anecdotes. We came looking for window solutions and were thrown open a window that took us back in time...a time we forgot had ever existed. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Classics in shady light!!!

Imagine Mr Rochester with his pants down or good old Holmes pawing Dr Watson with the famous "Its elementary, my dear Watson"!!!

 Well  the Clandestine Classics( Jane Eyre and other classics to get Fifty Shades of Grey erotic treatment)are soon on their way to throwing  shady  light on some of the 19th century literary classics. Now the question is, would I be interested in catching Darcy and Elizabeth making out...Its like asking myself, do I want to see Meena Kumari in the same light as Mallika Sherawat, a Greta Garbo as a Madonna with their over- the- top explicitness?!

Look around you. Is there any dearth of erotic material whether virtual, real or media publicised? Erotic literature is not new, case in hand - Kamasutra, Lolita that top the list. Then there are the sex scams and scandals to titillate and feed the depraved. In a world of such abundance, why is it necessary to drag in and slush around the charm of another world, of another era?

There is an aching sweetness in the glances  and words unsaid, that makes you want to sigh...Picture Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre sitting under the bough in their quiet exchange of words..the beauty of it!!!

In this age of in-your-face blatancy , cashing in on whatever- have- you and piggy-riding to the bank, I suppose, this is letting an "opportunity" go waste.

Personally, I have nothing against eroticism. It has its own place in the vast literary world.Just as a sexed up Jane Austen heroine would be incongruous, so also a Meena Kumari would not work in today's context. It would be like the sorry state of N D Tiwari caught with his pants down( errr... his dhoti down, not that he was a saint in his heydays probably).

I have two problems here -
1. Be original.
2. Tomorrow when I ask my children to explore the beauty of the classics, they may chance upon these "revitalized" versions. Not that I want them to lead cloistered lives...but they will never be exposed to the beauty of subtlety, the sublime...They will never know how the world existed "once upon a time..."

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


     A task postponed for ever so long, was finally dealt with today. Cleaning the refrigerator... :) Out came the shelves with their 'left-over' occupants. A wet cloth gave a good wipe, cleaning the stains and spots of dried spills. A toothbrush dipped in vinegar took care of the stubborn ones. Food that was intact, went back to the squeaky clean fridge, and the stale went into the waste-bin.
     Satisfied with the outcome, I took a break with the newspaper in hand. After a couple of news articles, my mind nudged me to pull out an old file cover.
     It was a gift from one of my old friends... a mustard yellow cloth cover with golden weavings (Mohua , do you remember this?). Each paper was pulled out. Academic credentials smugly rested at the back...some horscopes of husband and the children...old salary slips and contract papers of mine tumbled out. As I dug deep into the pockets, I found a photograph of my husband posted in some remote corner of Kashmir, passport snaps of my daughter, some film negatives yet-to-be-developed, work related material..and oh! a couple of recipes too.There were prescriptions, and  a couple of letters written in our times of separation. Funny! how they remained stashed together all this while.                                                                                                                            
    Again the waste went into the bin. The snaps and the slips went back into the pockets. Letters were re-read with a smile on the lips. Sometimes old letters are good prescriptions too! 
   And then I found a copy of a poem, that I'd come across long ago in a woman's magazine. It was by Jyothi Singh Viswanath. It touched a chord deep inside then, and which I'ld like to share with you  today.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Am I Here

   I came to your house 
   With a suitcase full of
Myself, my identity
Wrapped delicately in my
What stands before you
Is a mirage-
An image that disappears
              on close inspection.

The visage is
That which you have created
and within
The substance that I've lost.
My old self peeps out of
Faded photographs,
Books fragmented,the pages
          turned yellow with age
clothes that don't fit.
By the should of your love
        and the could of my past.

Somewhere, deep inside
                the battered suitcase
Lie my dreams.
Wings broken,
Wrapped carelessly in an old
Burdened by the waste of a
That is vague with

That was me, I was there...
Am I here?      

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Vaishno Devi Shrine Katra

At the slightest pretext and opportunity, I like to escape from the stress and madness of a demanding city like Delhi. Or perhaps it is the nomadic strain in me since childhood, that urges me to seek respite from a monotonous life. So when the kids' school closed for a session break, we packed ourselves off to Katra- an overnight journey from Delhi to Jammu and Kashmir.
    Katra is synonymous with Mata Vaishno Devi, the presiding Goddess whose blessings are sought throughout the year. There is a continuous stream of the devout, who arrive at this small town for their spiritual journey. We did the same.
       The shrine is nestled in the Trikuta hill and there are various ways to approach the Goddess. For those who would want to make an arduous journey,there are the steep steps or a walk along the gently inclined roads. For the others, there are palanquins, ponies and Helicopter services for hire. A commercial cosmos seemed to have sprung to facilitate the pilgrims' needs. You will find the interesting stories of Her glory and how this place came to be, here.
    What I found interesting was, you could visit the Goddess without any demands made of you, by the  touts that have tarnished the sanctity of  many religious destinations. As we walked around the main and only market of Katra, I came across tired but satisfied people walking down the hill. They came from all walks of life. There was a look of relief written large on their faces. A culmination of probably, long anticipated moment of making this journey.

Fawwara chowk
      We came to the Fawwara Chowk, named after the lone fountain that struggled to assert its presence amidst the louder commercial kiosks and various modes of transportations and their agents.  

Shrine in a shop
All your needs for the trip uphill
      There were shops that rented out slippers, shoes and even crudely made walking sticks! And there were shops with replicas of the sanctum sanctorum installed  to lure the tourists into buying their wares ...Stores after stores selling memorabilia, prashad,red strips of sequined  cloth to carry back for family and friends...And kiosks after kiosks for the hungry pilgrim.
     It is this small settlement at the foot hills that brings you back to your mortal self and realities of everyday life ..for when you begin the journey, there is serenity and peace.The journey up the hill, lets you reach out to your inner self. The air punctuated with cries of jai mata di, cajoles your  focus on the Divine, just in case your thoughts have wavered with the aches endured and vistas spread before you.
   After the darshan, once back at Katra, there are other places to visit if you have the time. There is Shivkhori around 85kms from Katra , a cave  enshrined with a naturally formed Shivling. People also love to move onto Patnitop and beyond for a taste of the beautiful Kashmir. And if you are moving towards Udhampur, you must try the rajma-chawal combo at Pida. It is the best! Even people who never liked it ( my father- in- law, for instance), vouch for it!!!  I was also told of the ruins of a fort at Reasi that was hardly 25kms away. Maybe you could try it. I've kept it for my next visit :)
   I decided to stay at Katra and not oscillate to and fro to too many places. Looking at the distant snow clad Pirpanjal mountains and taking in the crisp freshness of the air that only hilly areas can give you, was enough for me. Reading a book with the rolling hills around and the setting sun, is my kind of a break.
    It  is faith that draws multitude of people to shrines such as Mata Vaishno not only in the Divine but somewhere down the line, faith in oneself for which we seek Divine support... In the evening, as I look at the Trikuta hill, the twinkling path leading the weary soul to the shrine, and the stars above seek solitude and introspect for a better self.


Twinkling Trikuta

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Defiled and Humiliated!!!

      There should NOT be any Navratras  henceforth in our country! Or any Durga Puja celebrations for that matter! All the temples of female deities should shut down. We are not fit as a people to observe these occasions. Let us do away with double standards. Atleast we will be clear about our position as women in this society as also in the country.
      Stop all this nonsense about "Save The Girl Child", the" Ladli" projects! Why do you even want to save her from female foeticide if you are going to subject her to rape and other such heinous crimes when she grows up (and even when she hasn't grown up)! Why would The Government insist on educating her if she cannot realise her dreams of independence in every sense!
     We still live in an age where women are considered as descendents of Draupadi, an object more than anything else. Forget the men, even the women themselves will be the first ones to cast aspersions on the "character" of the victim and pass scathing snide remarks...
   If you think I am over reacting to minor social aberrations, just open the newspapers in the morning and you will have these news screaming at you. Don't worry these stories will die their natural death after serving their purpose of selling the paper. They will continue for a couple of days more if some powerful people are linked. Do we get to know if the culprits have been punished? Chances are less, since they have "managed" to wriggle free after probably a couple of months behind the bars.
   All is Well or not so well... Media will move onto new stories and we will continue with our cup of tea. We will analyse and debate over them and find numerous reasons for such incidents. Will there be any strict laws and more importantly enforcing of these laws? Oh! But a Bill will have to tabled in the Parliament and debates will be on. these take time, you know!...While all the juggernaut is on , the victims will limp into their haunted futures...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Marching in hostel...

   If you have lived in a hostel, chances are that you are rich with anecdotes. Each anecdote at times, is a milestone of your growing years.
  Rehearsals for Sports Day of a school , right behind my apartments, reminded me of early winter mornings at CG Hostel, Guwahati. Each hostel competed for the best marching contingent. Marching was mostly done by the 'freshers' while the seniors drilled them into discipline. Waking up at crack of dawn for practice evoked many subdued mutterings. But once out, the girls were seen giving their best with a hot,watery cuppa thrown in at the end. After many such mornings, when there was a semblance of order and synchronicity in the ranks, gates were thrown open for a march, down the street in front of the hostel. With Dighalipukhuri  on one side, the girls' team smartly marched. It would so happen that at the same time, the boys' hostel teams would also choose exactly the same time to march by the girls' hostel.
    Friends, you will appreciate the effect of girls on the boys, and also the other way round. The young boys who were missing the warmth of their hostel beds,walked leisurely  with a few exceptions. A stifled yawn here and an infectious loud one there.This however did not perturb the 'senior supervisors'. At the sight of the girls,  suddenly order was restored in the team. And as the groups crossed each other, a call for salute( "daine dekh")  was commanded of the boys. Lo and behold!Within a second, the boys pulled up their socks and marched confidently in nearly perfect unison!  The girls who were marching so confidently, with smart synchronous  movements, suddenly floundered and found their hands and feet moving on their own. From the quiet and focused ranks, came forth  nervous giggles and glances. All the hard work put in,  unravelled with a mock salute...However, with some more practice and firm resolution, this phenomenon slowly subsided.
 ... At the end, the girls' took the trophy home. Happiness over-flowing, fostering new-found kinship away from home and a bond growing that brings a smile even after so many years have passed by...