Chaddi-chikka unravels mystery of – WhatsApp forwards & the fat Arab in ray-ban shades

After work, I was waiting at the bus-stop one evening at Piccadilly Circus for my usual 8:00 pm shuttle to Hounslow West. Nothing appeared amiss.

cokecan2I had sub-consciously picked up an ice-cold coke can on the way and, glanced at usual faces waiting for the commute like me. Yes, although a city of huge-size such as London, our cloistered bus stop seemed to defy it.

 

Mind travels to samaj-days of 1974 while I wait for my bus

My busy work-day done, mind had vanished into taking a walk-down-memory-lane to my formative-years of samaj. Actually, Seethamma’s where 7th standard prayer-assembly students merged with high-school girls with rosy-cheeks, dimple-chin. Merger happening as a result of Seethamma’s condescension. Her benevolence showered on us kids for having grown-up without much bruises.

I was immersed into the scenario of singing Devi bhuvana mana mohini, nirmala sooryakarojwala…janani janani janaka janani janani

Truly, it was gratifying that other smaller class- kids would pray in rear-of-school in company of primary, nursery teachers and ayahs with cheap-attire, unkempt-hair.

But, we were elite! Our presence beset august gathering with Seethamma presiding over it.

Mind travels further-back recollecting glory of 1971

Mind wandered further on that crisp Saturday morning. It reminded that 3 yrs had lapsed since a similar prayer-assembly in school had highlighted India’s outstanding achievements of our times.

That was a unique day! It was 3 yrs since India decisively:

(a) Routed Pakistan in 1971 war, creating Bangladesh.

(b) India’s cricket team trounced West Indies in their fast pitches, finding a sensation called ‘Gavaskar

(c) Rattled England’s cricketing pride like never-before in their own backyard with Bengaluru’s Chandra delivering his bowling-spell-of-20th-century.

Do you remember?

How Indira Gandhi although taming Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s ego on one count, had hated the guts of a great Indian Warrior called Manekshaw?

bhutto1

 

Just because he did not agree to bend his principles.

He was hounded time and, again even tried to subvert his stature, for fixing him. She could not find the needle in the hay-stack. She was rummaging all his life.

Manekshaw, a phenomenon a-thorn-in-Pakistan’s-flesh. India’s first full-fledged 5-star general connected with the rank-and-file of Indian Army during the 14-day war like nobody else in the annals of world’s best of armies. His tenure was extended 6-months especially to be conferred with Field-Marshal rank, in 1973.

field marshal rank

Then followed 2 more similar awards.

  • First Army-chief, Kodandera Cariappa OBE, 5-star general in 1986.
  • Ex Air-Chief Marshal Arjan Singh 5-star general conferred with title Marshal of the Air-force in 2002.

 

My mind remembered of the successful milestone India achieved in Nov’71. With Pakistan. Indo-Pak conflict concluding with A.A.K.Niazi unconditionally-surrendering to Indian Army’s G-O-C-In Chief Jasjit Singh Aurora at behest of our indomitable defence thought-leader Sam Framji Hormushji Jamshedji Manekshaw.

1971war7a

Despite Pakistan Army’s ploy to fall at-his-feet and, distract, Manekshaw coerced enemy leadership to shun dilatory-tactics and adhere to protocol. He was the cheerleader who directed Niazi to G-O-C-Chief Jasjit Singh. All in order just give credit where it was due, a respect to Army’s rank-and-file where it mattered.

How nice of him! Allvaa?

Mind resets again to 1974 while Karuna delays an announcement

Now, while memory-recall maps us to prayer-assembly of Nov’74, the allusion is on a backdrop where Pakistan is nursing-its-wounds, yet seething-in-revenge since 1971 as they had lost-face. India’s new confidence saw yet another breakthrough with first nuclear test in Pokhran, only adding fuel-to-Pakistan’s fire.

 

Samaj prayer singing done, Karuna, the monitor came running to read Newsflash

What News did she have to read?

miniature bookShe came smiling, nonchalantly layering her shifting-hairdo in right-hand as it ruffled  to soft-breeze caressing her face. Clearing her throat, she grasped that miniature cute-little-book of hers in left-hand. Instead of reading newsflash she had gleaned meticulously, she said  Good Morning! I have an announcement to make and, with Seethamma’s permission, I will make that after Teju’s sports-flash.

Everyone including Seethamma were propelled into an anticipatory mode.

A barrage of verbiage eager, curious, anxious, jittery, nail-biting, melancholy were all filling minds of 7th std students. Karuna had not given us even a clue. All she did was just stand there in her peaceful posture, and smile!

What will this short-girl with ruffled hair in a lemon-yellow sweater have to announce?

lemonyellow1Tejaswini Niranjan shares sports-flash during prayer-assembly

Well, first things first, Seethamma showed a welcome left-hand gesticulating Tejaswini Niranjan to come-in, traverse through her role. Teju or Gunde Rao to her classmates after a drama-role she had done for annual-day. Tejaswini was good in reading one-liners from her miniature note-book perhaps purchased from VS & Sons, MS & Sons in Gandhi Bazaar or, at R.A.N.Stores in Jayanagar.

She was more business-like covering all sports right from hockey, volley, throw-ball, kho-kho, swimming, equestrian, fencing, table-tennis, water-polo, kunte-billey, gatkoney maney played with seeds (of casuarinas tree), pagadekai, chess, soor-chand, kunti-muttiso-aata, totally taking about 20 minutes of valuable time eating into time of first-period. Seethamma wanted it this way. She had mandated Teju to dwell on importance of sports on that day.

But, why?

There was a lull in ambience.

Samaj Cricket Team – Unsung-heroes

While Teju’s deliberation was acceptable initially for the 7th std boys and girls….slowly it started sounding like a harangue. Yes, and, there were two reasons:

(1) Why so many sports covered today and, in detail

(2) Why not cricket? Especially samaj cricket teams recent glory…

Just then, Sujit, Harish, Balaji, Shivaram, Nani, Shekar, Shalini, RVShankar and, Marker’s son Narayana exchanged glances quizzically why Teju did not announce that samaj 7th std cricket team routed Bonda Vade school in VV Puram, or why she did not highlight samaj boys winning over Women’s peace-league opposite to national college? We could have felt happy the whole day.

But, why?

Was it not a notable achievement?

Perhaps because teju knew these schools had such bad teams that sooner or later, whole-school would collapse like pack-of-cards. Teju like her illustrious mom, Anupama Niranjan, tried to understand factors that influence all-round development of a human being. Homeostasis!

The next step was to aim for spiritual tranquillity of inner-self.

Wow!, Teju! Way to go!

While that was a reflection on lighter side, you surely got a measure of samaj cricket team’s passion for the game those days. The glorious game of uncertainties.

Samaj batting order – Harish-Natti opening, Nani one-down then, the tail started. But, what a team! Most of matches there was no need for tail to bat at all. Nani, Natti, Harish used to finish the business most of the times. Ah! Yes, Krishna used to come at 5 down for some reason of Vaastu. He was a great finisher like Dhoni. He wouldn’t bat earlier even if you insisted.

But why?

Because 5 down was what Krishna’s hero of cricket of those days batted at.

Tiger Pataudi

He was a great admirer of Pataudi and, would wear the cricket cap slightly slant like Pataudi used to wear. Ask him today. He may just smile recollecting his boyish pranks.

But why was Krishna wearing a cap which had M.E.I.P written on it? May be only he remembers.

Similarly bowling honours were shared amongst Narayana, R.Srinath and partially supported by K.R.Rama Mohan. Paapa Nani could not bowl with his wicket-keeper’s pads, gloves, else may be he would do that too.

Karuna makes an announcement!

As promised, Karuna was back to make the much awaited announcement.

Some of high-school girls could not contain their excitement. The near frenzy atmosphere was spared as Seethamma clapped twice to demand everyone’s silence.

Karuna made the announcement! A premonition, of the Nostradamus proportions.

Awe-inspiring, globally-distributed samajites to be hijacked by technology one-day 40-45 years from today, kartheeka bahula panchami, by one of us present in this assembly today. She went on…

You are all advised to keep pitfalls of technology, human fallacy in mind and, take path-of-reasoning, righteousness always.

Many teachers seconding Karuna’s justification claiming some statements are like pickles. Her premonition would gain value with time.

Wow! Bus Arrives…

Big red-bus to Hounslow arrived exactly on scheduled time. It slowed down, doors swung-open as a caucasian obese-lady driver in pink-skin gave a wide grin. All right? She queried looking at me. Yes, thanks, and you? I spontaneously asserted not waiting for an answer. I did not expect her to. She keeps her peace by being nice, I do my part. Allvaa? I pondered.

I am riding a bus recollecting famous fellow-samajites living in UK

There were so many boys and girls from my school samaj who coincidentally lived either in England, Scotland, or Wales. But, so many in London for more than a decade. There were so many, that I have to draw you a table to share who-was-who and, how we identify each with their idiosyncrasies’ of early school-days. My classmates who lived around the place I lived were Sudhee, Shobha, Nischala, Karuna, Poornima, Madhavi, Shalini, Rekha. These are just a sample of boys, girls living in the UK. Especially these were calm, quiet and adorable kids. There were other stellar personalities from my 7th std. class who reached great-heights in life. Then, there were kids who preferred to think elite, breathe elite, stay elite, all in-style. However, they would be introduced, and depicted in time to come.

A note on Sudhee

Performing arts expert since his days of Krishna dance, SubbajjiMono-acting, Cinderella, Nataraja, Punya-Koti, several other dance-dramas, ballets of international repute under the watchful eyes of his legendary father Pandit, Sri. T.V.Gopinath Das, his uncle Karigiri Achar ensured modest beginnings under tutelage of Prabhat Kalavidaru.

prabhat1

Sudhee was associated closely with the acclaimed group, known to have exotic costumes, musical accompaniments such as the rarely found reed instrument named solovox. His in-born zest for fine arts was nurtured, honed by several experts’ right from a tender age of 8 yrs. But, for samajites Sudhee was our korbey

The boy just took-off on this hidden-talent of his. A journey and, layer of achievements that has taken him places. He has performed at several arenas such as Carnegie Hall, NY;

Royal Albert Hall, London; Rudolfinum – Prague, Czech Republic; National Theatre and Concert Hall – Taipei, Taiwan; Bolshoi Theatre – Moscow, Russia.

Although living in US, he now advises on planning international events at Royal Albert Hall, as a director of Asian Performing Arts program under sponsorship of BBC.

But, hard to believe this same boy was carrying bag-full of books supported partially on his left-hip almost like a village woman carrying a small-baby while attending a village-festival. village woman with baby

If you ask him today, he may just smile or acknowledge that the shoulder-strap used to snap often due to sheer weight of the books. Paapa. Korbey!

Sudhindra, called sudhee for his near and dear, is presently directing a global project that focuses on creation of dance formations converging bharatha-natyam, kathak, kuchipudi, ballet, opera and, ball dance of west. The project is aptly termed as combined-confusion. Sudhee had studied at XLRI and, later spent much of time in India with Kalakshethra in South Indian city of Chennai.

A note on Shobha

Shobha, is a thorough people-networking expert who delved deep into understanding cultures of the world. She exuded the expertise through her participation in a project mooted by the Schubert Theatre to exploit communication, art and culture endemic to tribes in West Africa. Shobha is an avid traveller and, visits India whenever she is able to take a stopover in Mumbai amidst her hectic schedule.

shubert-theatre2

She loves taking a break at least for her 1 reason. That being to buy authentic Chepekai in Gandhi bazaar circle.

Shobha grew up in Switzerland and, teaches German during her spare-time to kids of blue-collar workers in several suburbs of South London.

A note on Nischala

Nischala as the name suggests always showed clear interest in science with a special inclination to botany with affinity to crops, grains, pulses and, flowers. She is an ikebana-flower-decorator by academic training. Although, gold-medalist from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Deonar part of Mumbai founded by the doyen of Indian Industry, Mr. JRD Tata. Her interests during her spare-time are what made her globally-known.

She is also a no-nonsense researcher with a skill to determine pattern of cultural projects connecting agrarian economy with rural folklore and entertainment. She has global certifications as an event-manager. Presently, she is advising the British how to celebrate birthdays in the true, exciting way during tsunami called Brexit. She is one of the advisers to house-of-commons on effects of birthday cancellations, and how to mitigate fall-out from events like rain and, acts of terrorism.

She advises Her Majesty on all annual royal-garden parties both in St. James Palace as well as, Scottish Balmoral. She is an avid speaker on Channel-4 highlighting on protocol and etiquette for formal-occasions. She is one of few in world who have been allowed to transcend protocol by her highness during private audience situations. Nischala, nonchalantly directs her sessions while the Queen watches.

houseofcommons4

 

Nischala is planning a surprise party for Queen’s 150th birthday in Balmoral Castle, Scottish holiday home to reigning monarchs and, British Royal Family. Nischala is known for her calmness in a stressful situation as well.

A note on Karuna

The name of Karuna needs no introduction. Hers is a household name amongst connoisseurs of art right from Avalahalli to Zurich. She has her skills two-pronged. Primary skills of monitoring have seamlessly blended with her interest to promote safe-keeping of the world’s art and treasures from all predictable risks. Karuna has advised both institutions as well as, the global whos-who individuals on planning their museums, living rooms respectively with a style-statement and, how-to monitor things in given ambience without compromising quietude and, tranquillity.

Karuna is the only person in world history who has been bestowed with a repeat leadership of a monitor in any school across globe. She was a monitor for more than 4 years in Seethamma’s Samaj and, a western delegation has chronicled her prowess of controlling the irate, unruly class of 3rd – 7th std kids during 60s. Now, a part of case-studies in UK incorporating the famous approach devised by her called the Karuna’s Approach to maintain peace and harmony in any organized activity.

Her work on building globally-distributed high-performance teams has been recognized by Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to the present incumbent president in the White House.

Although based in Automobile capital of the world, Detroit, she travels along with the President whenever he needs a trustworthy person to monitor the press releases.

This is to ensure that it brings a semblance of stability to the otherwise embarrassed White House staff in giving statements related to the Russian investigation and, on other hand to monitor the families of personnel working within White House and Pentagon to bring their forefathers photographs and, hang it wherever they want within the White House. Except the Oval Office.

Karuna brings all staff together in one big-hall and, asks them to keep quiet. If they speak or, get up to go for loitering in the guise of a bio-break, she writes their names on the board with her left hand. This Karuna-Approach seems to be bringing discipline into Republican camp in general and, Trump’s Administration officials, in particular.

She has peculiar requests such as a staffer wants to bring her aunt’s photograph and hang it in corridor just because the old and forgotten lady happened to cook turkey nicely 60 years ago, Karuna smiles and says, this is nothing…..

Karuna the quintessential monitor would go into annals of history for 2 reasons (1) As the most-popular monitor from Samaj, and (2) As an adviser who calmed the storm during a US Presidency.

A note on Poornima

Poornima, known as the most accurate counter of all times. She works with Census-Bureau in an advisory capacity after being known for having devised easiest-way of counting-people. Poornima says it is detailed socio-demographics statistics that underpins national-policymaking with population-estimates and projections to help allocate funding and plan.

Poornima is a Zahara-Begum scholar on human-settlements from Harvard Arts and Humanities School. She is a globe-trotter giving guest-lectures on methods of counting living and non-living things in this world.

Some of Poornima protégé’s are safe-keepers of National Population statistics, Artefacts in Museums across  world. These include  artists Anthony Gormley and Marc Quinn; the museum directors Sir Nicholas Serota (Tate) and Charles Saumarez-Smith (Royal Academy); curators Martin Clayton (Royal Collection) and William Noel (University of Pennsylvania Manuscripts Collection); academics Martin Kemp, Gavin Stamp, Tim Barringer, and  late Michael Camille; and James Stourton,  former Chair of Sotheby’s, UK.

whatsapp

A very affectionate professional by nature. An avid follower of  famous MSS Group on WhatsApp, Poornima never says no to any requests to post stuff on the group. If she has not posted-it on WhatsApp, it means that she is busy counting someone or something.

 

A note on Madhavi

An Ornithologist, Madhavi was first to establish and, put across theories that not all birds migrate. According to her, a few species, such as partridges, never move more than a kilometre or so from where they were born. These are called sedentary birds. But they are a minority. Most birds will migrate.

The most famous are long distance migrants, such as swallows, which breed in Europe and spend winter in Africa. But you might be surprised to learn how many others are at it too. Even blackbirds in your garden in January could well be winter visitors from Eastern Europe.

At least 4,000 species of bird are regular migrants. That’s about 40 per cent of world’s total. But some parts of world have a higher proportion of migrants than others.

In far northern regions, such as Canada or Scandinavia, most species migrate south to escape winter. In temperate regions, such as the UK, about half-of-the-species migrate – especially insect-eaters that can’t find enough food during winter.

bird22

But for Madhavi, it all started by her avid interest to visit Bharatpur, Rajasthan, Ranganathittu, and last but not least Mandagadde near Shimoga in Karnataka, before relocating to UK.

A note on Shalini

Shalini, a banker by academic preparation, training has transformed into a banking expert focusing on analytics to understand  dynamics of lending-loans to filter out risk of defaulters.

Shalini’s analysis of recent times are still in  living memory as the Habib Bank of Pakistan was stalled by the US Government and, their assets frozen to reduce /eliminate terror funding across  non-conventional routes across  globe.

She is a senior faculty in Booth Business School at University of Chicago, and a peer of our erstwhile Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram G. Rajan and, often is tight-lipped on Modi government’s demonetization.

 

Shalini claims that her celebrity colleague missed the Nobel Prize for Economics this year by just-a-whisker to the well-known Thales, of same school.

Her friends do not pester her too much as; they construe her reluctance to react,  as mannerisms in line with her sensitive ex-officio status. She needs to exercise caution in speech however informal, shunning allusion to policy actions from  Finance Ministry that is yet to unfold onto Indian horizon. Especially before such news reach the people via public domain or media. She says, we have to eliminate wealth disproportionately getting concentrated with just few individuals.

She says CBI raids are good for promoting patriotism amongst  corrupt politicians of rural-and-illiterate-background.

tomfriedmanRural folks especially kids should grow up with a dream that the world is a fair place for people’s efforts and, the world-is-flat as depicted by Tom Friedman in his book of a similar title.

If you ask Shalini how she is able to broker an ice-breaker with otherwise deep-rooted mindset of people to take loan-mela-way to richness.

She, simple quips…Good Question, But, it is as easy or, as difficult as eating masala-dosa in Vidhyarthi Bhavan, on a Sunday….if you ask me, she says.

One should have patience, perseverance to do anything that is worthwhile, she confides. Not bad for a girl who used to be so simple during her commute from Ashoka Pillar to samaj. Allvaa?

A note on Rekha

An environmental scientist who happened to understand and, even fore-warn, ill-effects of killer-gas that caused widespread damage and loss-of-life as evinced by fall-out of Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

Rekha who spent time in Bhopal understands demographics that inherently offered itself as a decoy waiting for tragedy, to setup such a huge Union Carbide Plant. The biggest outside of Union Carbide’s HQ in Danbury, Connecticut in  US.

She has done extensive research on Methyl isocyanate, a highly toxic, flammable, colourless liquid, CH 3 NCO, used as an intermediate in manufacture of pesticides: The accidental release of a cloud of this gas in Bhopal during winter of 1984, killed more than 1700 people and injured over 200,000. Rekha is a lead-researcher with British Gas and, has been associated with flaring-of-natural-gas strategy formulations in an advisory capacity.

She plies often to Netherlands as required in chartered-flight to oversee a policy impact analysis under the aegis of Royal Dutch Shell Netherlands. Rekha’s hobby includes cooking, music of rig-vedic age and, shopping at Harrods.

When in India, Rekha loves a stroll on D.V.G. Road connecting Nettakallappa circle with Gandhi Bazaar. Often taking this opportunity to deposit her surplus US Dollars. Has run into Mahesha few times at the bank when he came for a similar purpose of depositing greenbacks.

Rekha an unassuming researcher on-the-go always has recently been awarded the coveted MSS 1974 prize for Outstanding Research on Environment studies involving HDPE polythene bags, for 2017.

Globe-trotters with mind fixation on South Bangalore

All these classmates were globe-trotters in real-sense of term as they criss-crossed the Bangalore-Mumbai, Bangalore-Frankfurt, Delhi-London, Bangalore-Chicago, Bombay-New York routes as though they commuted between Malleswaram, and Basavanagudi.

They were all pampered girls with a twinkle in their eyes who always wanted to celebrate Indian festivals the real Malleshwaram-way, and, Basavanagudi-way. No wonder, our renowned writer R.K.Narayan coined the word Malgudi to give this a unique identity.

Just that some artists aptly encashed it into a TV serial with commercial viability of fantastic proportions. It was made with simple-setting devoid of any pomp and ostentation. Exactly the way we grew up in Seethamma’s Samaj. Allvaa?

R.K. must be surely a thinker-of-calibre, a writer-extraordinaire, I thought – My mind looking for the ice-cold coke can.

cokecan2

Getting-Off one bus and planning the-weekend

The coke I sipped slowly had proved to be useful to quench my thirst most-of-times. It was a trophy I presented myself for having gone through a hard and exhausting day with composure. My mind was simultaneously foreboding if my connecting ride from St. James Park would be elusive again, due to prevailing traffic advisory.

Anyway, sooner I get home I can have a refreshing shower with good cup of coffee my mind reassured me.

coffee

Since it happened to be Friday-evening thought of weekend-movie plans with new-found friends like Narasimha, Suri, living in Aldgate, followed by a couple rounds of cocktail single-malt at a pub near crossed my mind. Would I get to text other friends Shekhar in Brixton, Shanthalakshmi in Canary Wharf, Natti in Chancery Lane, Dayanidhi in Clapham North, Kathyayini in Ealing Broadway, Suresh in Earl’s Court and Prabha in Farrington.

Just then I overheard a fellow passenger say to his wife, Queen has Kohinoor Diamond, I have you. Woman retorting in turn, So you think Kohinoor is a girl?

Exactly that moment, the husband’s reply getting buried amidst the din of a roaring fire-engine.

But, I thought to myself: If Kohinoor was indeed a girl then, she would have studied at some point of her life in samaj. Allvaa? My Senior? Junior?

She would be a graceful-princess all-gold studded off-course with the uncut diamond.

But, I must have been dreaming for sure. Allvaa?

Oh boy! “People Change their colours”!

I would feel the new-ones are icing-on-the-cake of other old-pals of samaj, core of foundation of MSS group. There are so many other stellar personalities who would be introduced in time-to-come, I pondered! Then I saw him!

He looked like well-fed and pampered adolescent boy, like what I was during samaj days. But, this boy was dressed like one from a well-off family.

adolescent boyHe was holding out a polythene cover and trying to convey something through hand-gestures to a man standing next to me who looked like he was in his early 50s. The man who although looked confused, fetched out a 5-pounder from his pocket, and placed it in polythene bag. I understood that the boy could not speak. Then the boy approached me with a smile. He pointed at something on the other side of the road and then held out the bag. Everyone could see some 10-pound bills and 20-pound bills in the bag.

Although I could not understand what he was trying to say or what he was pointing to, I thought he must have some genuine reason for asking money. For changing his mind!

I too dropped in a 20-pound bill. He thanked me with a smile and went on to next-person. Almost everyone present there gave him a 10 or 20-pounder because he looked decent and I observed there were only 10’s and 20’s in the bag.

Arab’s unexpected altruism for a noble-cause

He thanked everyone with same smile. He then crossed the road. All this while everyone was observing him.

fat arabHe then fetched out a 10-pound bill from his pocket, put it in the bag and gave bag to an obese man who was doing WhatsApp forwards uninterrupted. I knew it because the adolescent boy just then had scribbled Stop WApp on a scrap-paper.

I instantly recognized this kind-trouble-maker to be from somewhere near Minerva Circle. He was reprimanded several-times by several ‘citizens-for-austerity, groups.

Like samajites, people across various metros in India, wanted some regulation onto an otherwise unbridled dissemination of God’s images in GiF format, videos, via WhatsApp. Some of them having pre-cursor appended like a fatwa. Send this to 10 people in 10 minutes, else you will get stuck in silk-board traffic for 2-days, and the like.

keffiyeh2Sending good-stuff to his friends, comrades while he wore a keffiyeh adorning himself with ray-ban aviator-glasses. His skin, body-language conveyed he was a thorough-bred businessman from south bengaluru.

crippledwoman1

He in-turn took a break from fingering mobile-phone passing the bag to a physically-challenged woman sitting on foot-path next to bus-stop on other-side of street.

Even from the distance I could see that her face lit up with absolute gratitude. And then both Arab-man and, adolescent boy walked away gracefully.

Confronting the Arab only reveals he is one of our-own

I was absolutely dumbstruck. So were the people around me. These people who would’ve at the most given her 1 or 2 pounds gave the boy at least 10 pounds. And as for me I may not even have acknowledged her presence and may have been engrossed in my own thoughts.

Arab-man walked calmly. I could not restrain myself anymore.

What are you thinking? Where are you from? Qatar, Oman, Dubai, Ras-al-khaimah?

Naanu Minerva circle hattiraa irodu, All calmly even without batting his eyelids.

I was pinching myself to confirm I heard a samaj-accent Kannada.

He further completed in English saying he planned to start-drinking beer in the company of his old buddies as a move-mandated by Vaastu. I thought he displayed his intellectual-side with a sense-of-humour. Although I felt-like offering to host him a party.

To celebrate his unconditional bag-depositing gesture with a UB Premium, single-malt, pakoda, cucumber, tomato-slices, home-made sandige of south-bangalore and, some frito-lays chips. May be there would be the congress-kadlekai, green-peas brought by suri.

Those actions of the boy put every one of us present there to shame and guilty of the-way we treat others who are less-fortunate than us.

I was still deep in my thoughts when my bus came. And I boarded it with tears rolling-down my cheeks and a smile on my lips. At that moment itself I knew that the adolescent boy’s endearing smile and her glinting-eyes would forever be etched in my memory and would never let me lose hope in mankind.

But, why was the kannadiga in an Arab-dress, sun-shades just doing postman’s job?

A million dollar question, indeed! Because, he was aged, he was forgetful?

No chance!, he was alert enough to look stylish. Allvaa?

In fact, on a similar situation earlier during his heydays, one 7th std. classmate had claimed, I am a calm, reasonable, god-fearing guy who sees value in displaying an altruistic gesture on women. I want to be a Vaastu consultant of sorts.

So my feeling was – Why will he not show mercy on a woman, who was destitute due to her sins-of-last-birth. I got a hunch on the Arab man.

Well, adolescent boy just mentioning WhatsApp, and the word pumpkin made Arab man’s eyes light up. They exchanged pleasantries though.

And, after the weekend-party, hosted this time by a person whose name was not Mahesha. Everyone was joyous. It was truly a homecoming for each classmate. They found solace in a camaraderie-unparalleled.

happy image

bus1True to Karuna’s premonition, Technology disrupted samajites’ comfort, yet their calmness prevailed over Arab’s effort to hijack.

All including the Arab from Minerva Circle lived happily ever after!

And, the bus ride! a bit-more smoother

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“Munsaami, koncha kadlekai beku” – Chaddi Chikka’s view of a peanut giant in-retrospect

Muniswamy, an upcoming, progressive, people-savvy businessman

Muniswamy had always liked the edifice of samaj main building. Although not megalomania, he felt like a real business leader. The Jack Welch or Jeff Bezos of peanut business, for samaj-scale-of-operations. This was the place where people could recognize him even from a distance. Waving him cheerfully, munsaami! munsaami! His humility inducing him to always wave them back.

Screenshot_2017-10-19-22-05-47.pngHe’d wave to people like Rajesh Khanna used to wave his fans daily from balcony of Aashirvad, his Carter Road bungalow in Mumbai. He knew existence of few bollywood stars, Raj Kapoor, Lata Mangeshkar and, Rajesh Khanna. Kaka being his favourite.

People recognized Muniswamy, spotting him instantly whenever he appeared in his customary desi-attire, a khadi over-coat, and, gandhi-gandhi topitopi. The decisive transition, and life-long commitment to khadi had happened while ago.

Actually, Seethamma’s casual yet specific comparison was a prime-cause. An expression she had made on Oct 2nd, of previous year. Her gandhi over-coatstatement was that his personality reminded her of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri except for a missing over-coat and gandhi-topi.

Especially considering height, facial complexion were too pedantic metrics, and hence ignorable comparisons. Seethamma was eating peanuts along with students, staff just after paying respects to a Lal Bahadur’s portrait in school auditorium to honour the leader.

This comparison had a telling-effect on modest his resolve on change-of-heart. He wanted to chauvinistically conform. Being passionate about simple-living, high-thinking, his mind accepted to wearing these paraphernalia of Seethamma’s sense of etiquette. That too, almost right-away.

Actually, the following Saturday of Seethamma’s mentioning, Muniswamy initiated the transition. That day after waking-up, he took his bath, and groomed himself for a shopping milestone that would change his public appearance forever.

He started digging-into his favourite onion-upma, with nandini curds; washing them down-the-throat by a tumbler-full filter-coffee.

Engrossed into thought, he savoured every sip of the heavenly taste, aroma…symphony of a blend caressing his palate. It made a case for whole person brimming with euphoria, in agreement with crisp, fresh morning all-around him.

A sure welcome-feel of anticipation before start of big-ticket weekend shopping. He set-out on his target – Khadi Bhandar (KB), indeed!

Actually set out to reach KB outlet in Gandhi Bazaar at south-western periphery of Tagore circle past the homes of RVShankar, Mahesh, Shantha Rangaswamy, and, the landmark post-office on K.R.Road.

The samajites, any of them, if seen, proudly cheered at anyone visiting their neighbourhood; be it for shopping or, occasional masala-dosa at famous vidhyarthi Bhavan.

But, priority for him was…to buy a crisp and fresh white-coloured gandhi-topi with contrasting over-coat to-go. He knew he had to search amongst boys-sizes and, could not wait to look like Lal Bahadur.Lal Bahadur Shastri in Gandhi Topi

A proactive thinker who wanted to walk before he could run

He had high-acumen to groom himself with finesse. Something he learnt and, believed in strongly to attract foot-fall of customers into his store. Now, he planned to extend his dress-sense and, propel himself on to higher echelons of society. Actually, idea was to tacitly leverage access to power-centre, within samaj.

He had pondered daily while looking into the mirror, often patting himself on-the-back saying, “How nice? My office is ordained to be next to Seethamma’s.

Product Marketing Guru

As a consequence of spending years to build business, the ropes of entrepreneurship were familiar. He knew it’s a constant learning, a dynamic moving-target. An evolving saga of a never-ending spirit-of-enquiry.

He was no longer a novice! Maturing with each transaction of selling toffee wrapped in clear-foil. Each time familiarizing a gullible customer on how his product was much better than nutrine candy or parry’s peppermint. Customers got a run-down on how his toffee is friendly to health. He had analyzed his toffees to contain almost zero % of benzoic sulfimide otherwise known as saccharin. An undesirable component, yet present abundantly in commercial candies. This fact blatantly alluding to operations originating from Nutrine, Parry’s owners.

This point was a scoop for marketing. A key-differentiator in product-portfolio vying for prime-space in supermarkets of future. True to Kempamma’s proclamation, during an earlier staff-meeting, M was a case of murthi chikkadaadaru keerthi doddadu, alluding he always aimed high.

His vision to win in the global market-place

Muniswamy would put in efforts to familiarize business amongst his customers’ day-by-day, brick-by-brick which couldn’t be duplicated, no short-cut to hard work, smart work.

He monitored quality of his products, especially his flagship-products. Although toffee was just 1 paisa a piece, calculations reflected it it’d bring him a smile sooner the economies-of-scale were reached. It’d kick-in music to his bank-balance beyond break-even-point years.

Much like how Wal-marts, Costco and, Amazons run their business. Keeping running-cost low and, induce customer to-buy your other lack-lustre products, as well. What a genius?

It’s not a coincidence he fantasized having his own business management institute. It’d have a leadership development program after his name. Leadership Development Training from Munsaami (LDTM), designed after a similar leadership program Jack Welch Leadership Program, from the doyen of US mega-brand GE. Entrance to LDTM would be through GMAT test, administered globally several times a year.

Expert in bucking the trend-of-recession

Our Muniswamy, the stalwart had seen several recessions come-and-go. If he felt peanut business was down, he knew by gut-feel it’s imperative to wait for recession-cycle to subside. Experience reassured him come sunshine his business would hop on to positive-cash-flow again. The economic-order-quantities (EOQs) of replenishments, frequency of his re-order cycle would find a new reset point.

He was convinced via community net-working in sajjan rao circle, that it behove a smart-operator such as him, from VV Puram, to bargain more discounts from vendors. A crucial vital-few amongst trivial-many of business-tenets for quick realization of break-even-point. Beyond this it was a highway to happiness, and on-set of profits.

Unloading replenishments nearly gold, an awe-inspiring divine ritual!

Replenishments were delivered through main-entrance of samaj. Muniswamy had a liking to it. In future, he’d opt for the 16-wheeler, 2-axle Volvo truck to also dock near Seethamma’s parking lot.

But, although shipments seem to have arrived from old tharagupet, not much is known from where this godly ingredient was sourced. Some unfounded rumours with peanuts linking up with private peanut-farming seemed credible. Especially farming promoted and passed on generations, by erstwhile maharaja of Travancore of Padmanabha Swamy Temple fame.

The legend went on to vouch a version of puranas, Malabar scriptures documenting that peanuts harvested by royal experts had certain divine powers. These peanuts processed, and packed amidst rig vedic chants according to agama-shastras were finally disseminated to chosen points across the world with stamp of stringent batch numbers labelled on them.

Muniswamy’s samaj store was one of chosen destinations on the planet. Besides the heavenly taste, peanuts were destined to transform to pure gold 100 times over, if the buyer, a girl of samaj would buy it on the first day of classes, May 22nd to be precise, after summer holidays and forgot to eat it at least for a month.

Key to the realization of gold was forgetting it innocently. Indeed near impossibility. But, if it occurred, then –

This celestially chosen girl would inherit unimaginable beauty, grace, health, intellect, affection, love, name, fame, riches, property, progeny; attain inner peace, tranquillity and a sense of royalty in her personality. She would exude generosity showering kindness, affection onto all other living beings big, small and tiny.

But, nothing would change if the girl stored it out of anticipation or, just mortal-greed. So, purchase date of May 22nd of each year was popular. Akin to shoppers bee-lining to Harrods at Xmas and New-Year time in London. A line near Muniswamy’s store to buy the peanuts was logical. But, how to innocently forget eating it?

This was an issue, and, it had to be a girl specifically from samaj. Whatever the cause, the effect was a happy one, sales in mid-year operations exponentially soaring progressively year-on-year.

There is perhaps a girl who may validate speculations on divine powers of peanuts today. Because, this unknown girl would have blissfully converted those peanuts into gold ornaments such as daabu, vanki, kucchu, chain, thodu, ungura, sarpech traditional rajasthan head jewelry, kada, Linga Padaka, Muthu Malai, Nath, Oddiyanam or waist ornament encrusted with rose-cut diamonds, emeralds and cabochon rubies, karanphool jhumka from rajasthan, jadanagam, literally hair-serpent, worn by brides to decorate braided hair besides hordes of other vintage ornaments befitting a beautiful girl of royal-taste in today’s budget of mediocrity for royal jewels.

In the event of such a hypothetical girl existing, 22nd of a month is a milestone in her life. Especially deducing scientifically we know on May 22nd the peanuts were still peanuts. Perhaps some other month 22nd is an important date for this unknown girl….perhaps! Wonder who that could be?

Oh girl! Do not forget Muniswamy, the source of your happiness. I want to know you.

necklace studded with diamonds, precious stonesFor the present, although inevitably subdued, Muniswamy acknowledged being cynosure of all eyes, as he smilingly carried a small symbolic pack of new supplies. Goodies like coconut-burfi, peanuts of various kinds, and, toffees made of burnt jaggery, coconut biscuit, masala-buns, banana chips, dark-toffee especially wrapped in clear-foil. Bulk of selling-wares carried by able-bodied delivery boys.

Girls wave to Muniswamy, much to the envy of VV Puram college-boys

High school girls having clear skin, chubby-rosy-cheeks and twinkle-in-their-eyes always scoffed-at the way boys from neighbouring college unabashedly ogled at them. But, with him, they were friendly as he enjoyed attention while unpacking replenishments. It was a welcome sales & marketing ritual for his livelihood. A marked digression from romantic mind-set of boys from neighbouring college aka VVPuram Arts & Science College.

A bunch of vagabond-sons, in garb of boys born to rich parents, perhaps. But, no culture or up-bringing, yet left to themselves in a city such as bengaluru, confined to hostel-life….paapa.

Who cares about socio-economic woes? He had tabled it during a staff-meeting, and due to absence of a quorum, deliberations on it had been hijacked, tossed-out and side-lined.

Muniswamy set to emulate Lal Bahadur

The nearest romance he had had was in fantasizing and, serving as a look-alike of erstwhile Prime Minister, the short-and-sweet Lal Bahadur Shastri. Thus conforming to what Seethamma portended of him.

He had rummaged old newspapers to know how exactly Lal Bahadur looked. One thing for sure, he was proud of his black-mole on left-cheek and, gloated Lal Bahadur couldn’t be an imposter trying to pull-off purchase discounts off-of any vendor in old-tharagupet, chickpet.

Little did he know Lal Bahadur’s higher role! Innocent to the core, paapa.

He could not keep his concern to himself, and even confided a word of caution he planned to exercise. If Lal Bahadur came riding a bicycle one of the following days to samaj, he would not get carried-away in becoming too friendly? He would exercise caveat as in earlier cases while handling strangers!

His unfounded fear making kempi, laugh out loudly.

cycleShe did laugh her heart-out, announcing Lal Bahadur would neither land-up un-ceremoniously nor would he come riding a Raleigh or an Atlas bicycle.

Least of all riding katri as the PM was a kulla in height.

There would be a contingent of security leading his arrival. Mounted body-guards, infantry foot-soldiers, security men on motorbikes beaming with flashlights all in impeccable out-fits, matching gloves, a decoy PM followed by a platoon of beautiful air-force girls, several groups of children who had won gallantry award recently in N Delhi riding on several elephants, before the actual Lal Bahadur majestically cruised along in a neat horse-drawn carriage.

Muniswamy was reassured for the moment. A bit bewildered though.

horsedrawn carriageHe trusted kempi because she often zealously helped him unload replenishments from front-gate till his store inside. Kempi in turn, had seen him grow from strength-to-strength, with happiness.

Anthony the handyman with a velvet-beret

Actually, Anthony was another helpful guy of similar mould. A hard-working, dark-and-dusty colleague always donning velvet-beret. He assisted whenever he happened to be in vicinity. A typical handy-man responsible to keep surrounding trees free of dead-wood. He did enjoy doing exactly that.

Seethamma had even complimented for his designing a long-pole with a hook. A device that facilitated bringing down dry-branches from nearby trees. This design was a painstaking culmination of Anthony’s earnest efforts in a hit-and-miss cycle.

The very reason Muniswamy freely shared peanuts with his peers was due to sincerity they all reflected into their routine. A contagious work-ethic common amongst Kempamma, Anthony, Marker, Puttappa, Maridoss and other staff members. He expressed informality, calling Kempamma as kempi, once in a way when in mood to display camaraderie as kempi and Anthony got up to leave.

Actually, kempi and, Anthony patrolled campus after finishing their daily-chores. They patrolled on instructions of Seethamma. They felt close to nature with school-children cloistered in class-rooms, and no hustle-and-bustle of K.R.Road. The duo would sometimes sit on benches under the huge trees just to listen to koel-cooing to its heart’s content. Do you remember the samaj-tree-koel?

Inseparable friend, a crippled, fat-woman with a light brown dog – Remember?

He had extended help years ago to this inseparable friend, she now clung to him in his daily routine. A fat, dark-and-dusty woman who spoke in a tamilian dialect with unique accent.

She invariably carried a wooden-tray laden with peanuts, borey-hannu a rare local fruit, several kinds of toffees, chepekai, sugarcane chops and, a small rusty metal paavu made of tin to measure her selling items. This accounted for her make-shift-shop. But, too bad she was lame, crippled-in-limbs, and compelled to move-around with help of crutches. Do you remember?

She used to keep a small metal-sheet to fan-away flies which seemed to paratroop onto her shop whenever, wherever she set it up.

Also, she was always accompanied by a plump light brown-dog with nice white spots interspersed on its body. It seemed faithful and followed anywhere she went oblivious of human fallacies such as, spite, greed and, self-centred mannerisms. It happily followed the woman and Muniswamy as they strolled.

What a coincidence? Muniswamy runs into Seethamma

Seethamma was happy for a reason that was not obvious. Her motives sometimes were not visible to the naked-eye. Her happiness stemmed from a fact she’d pick-up peanuts of her favourite variant. Peanuts fried in batter of gram-dhal more colloquially termed as basin-flour. She was happy she could do this at-will after lunch. It was just a saunter of few steps across her office.

But, what a coincidence that Muniswamy heard a shrill, familiar voice while walking near auditorium! Someone quipped – Munsaami, koncha kadlekai beku. He saw turning his neck in amazement, it was Seethamma taking a walk, post-lunch.

almond treeShe had come to meditate near her favourite badam tree in school-corner. Its ambience had helped her plan things. She needed a cosy badam tree for her mind to transcend the ordinary…to explore frontiers-of-vision, notwithstanding a god-sent foresight she already had in all planning small and big. She was honing her analytical skills to grasp, master the complex possibilities in human-endeavour.

It had reflected in most of her professional milestone decisions. Much to the awe of her fans, as well as critics with equanimity.

What a coincidence? She pointed to badam tree showing it to Muniswamy! Her protégé who would in-course of time step-into-her-shoes. But, nobody said a word, it was deafening silence talking, screaming and, bursting at seams”.

Initiation of a future thinker, visionary business leader was complete!

Much in-line with an old proverb, Even the longest of journeys starts with first-few-steps. And, starting with as simple a thing as peanuts?

A convergence of BADAM TREE for nurturing noble thoughts encompassing human mind, evolving technology, and PEANUTS offering a time-tested path to prosperity as shown by Munsaami. What a fantastic new name for peanuts!

BADAMI KADLEKAI! BADAMI KADLEKAI! A convergence of past with present. A name you are aware that has come to stay

Long live peanuts! And, long live jiggery toffee in clear-foil!

GURUVANDANA

sri-saraswati-devi (3)317579Invite_Shashank

Duo_shashank_teacher

HSVenugopal

Guru Vidwan H S Venugopal  had his initial training under Vidwan A V Prakash in Mysore and later under Vid. M S Srinivasa Murthy in Bengaluru. Thereby he inherited two major legacies, of Vidwan T R Mahalingam and Vidwan Narasinga Rao.

Vid H S Venugopal has won accolades both as a solo performer and an accompanying artist for over three decades. He has the distinction of having performed extensively in numerous major sabhas of many States including Karnataka. His forays abroad are equally brilliant, as evidenced by his remarkably successful musical engagements in USA, Germany and a few other countries in Europe, New Zealand, Srilanka, Australia, Kuwait and so on. Connoisseurs everywhere have acknowledged his uniqueness as a Flautist. His weep as an accompanying artist is a marvel in that he has been part of the orchestra for various dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Mohini Attam, Kathakkali, Kuchupudi, and Yakshagana. He has excelled as a Flautist for other forms as well, like Kavyavachana, and Geetha-Chithra-Kavya. That he has composed music for many dance ballets and devotional music albums add to his high reputation.

The field of Drama has not been left out either, as he has also composed and scored music for many dramas including “Mandra’ ( A play based on the novel with the same name by Dr. S L Byrappa), Yegdagella Aithe’, and ‘Santha Saakshaathkaara’, to name but a few. Also noteworthy is the fact that he has taken part in the Musica Sacra International, a musical meeting of major world religions in Markto Berdorf, Germany, and the Rituelen Festival  in Tongeren, Belgium.

He has many  awards and titles to his credit, ‘Hamsa Puraskar’ by Hamsa Jyothi, ‘Sunada Vinoda’ by Sri Shiridi Sai Baba Mandir, Ulsoor, ‘Madhuramrutha Murali Gaana Praveena’ by Devi Bhakta Gaana Sabha, Ulsoor, ‘Ananya Puraskaar’ by Ananya, Bengaluru, for lifetime achievement. ‘Kaladeepti’ by Thyagaraja Gana Sabha, Mysore, ‘Naada nrutya koLalu kovida’ by Sadhana Sangama, ‘Sri Kala Jyothi’ by the Bengaluru Gayana Samaj, to name a few. As for this albums, ‘Aamoda’, ‘Chandana’, and ‘Krishnaamrutham’ have been appreciated by practically all lovers of music.

Vidwan H S Venugopal’s ‘Gokulam School of Music’ in Bengaluru is legitimately proud of its numerous disciples, some of whom are leading performing artists today. The annual dawn- to-dusk cultural festival ‘KALAARNAVA’ organized by Gokulam School of Music has won the hearts of many lovers of art and is one of the most celebrated music and dance festivals in town today.

Shaashank

Chi. Shashank Jodidar

One of the several pupils of the musical maestro Vidwan Sri. H.S.Venugopal, an internationally renowned Carnatic Flautist. Shashank started learning the art of playing the flute at the age of 13 with ardent support and encouragement of his parents Vidushi Smt. Veena Vani, an accomplished dancer and Sri. Ravi Jodidar, a lover of art and music.

Shashank was initiated into music in August 2010 under the able and committed guidance of his Guru Sri. H.S.Venugopal, whose affection for his pupils is proverbial. His constant nurture of Shashank as also his inimitable style of teaching has enabled the devout  pupil to emerge as a budding artist.

His Guru accommodated Shashank in Kalaarnava 2011. “Kalaarnava” is an annual musical festival organized by Gokulam School of Music in which internationally reputed artists are only too happy to perform. Gokulam is the institution founded and run by Vidwan H.S.Venugopal from which scores of pupils have made a mark as accomplished artists so far.

Endowed with talent and dedication as he is, Shashank has gained immensely under the tutelage of this legendary preceptor with the result that his love for this art-form remains boundless. He had the benefit of performing at various prestigious programmes under the aegis of associations like Bangalore Ganesh Utsav 2015, the ICCR at Yavanika, Contemporary stage at Phoenix Market City, Upasana Kalasangha (R), Sahakaranagara, Bengaluru and so on. He was also part of the music ensemble for a Rangapravesham at the Town Hall in Bengaluru quite recently.

He has also been a recipient of multiples of opportunities for accompanying his Guru at various prestigious concerts like at the Ramamandira in N.R.Colony, Sri Ramaseva Mandali in Shankarapuram, Ramakrishna Math in Chamarajapet, Cheluvanarayanaswamy Temple at Melukote, Pattabhirama Temple in 4th ‘T’ Block, Jayanagara, to name only a few. His endeavour continues for attaining higher successes with his Guru.

Chi. Shashank Jodidar is an alumnus of Sri Kumaran’s Children’s Home, Bangalore and Jain College, Bangalore. Presently he is pursuing a law degree at the Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies.

 

 

Our bygone high school days! A reflection in retrospect by chaddi chikka Digest2-0ct152017

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Remembering 10th std “c” section

The Euphoria:

As the summer of 1976 in south Bangalore set its rays on the horizon, all mundane forebodings of 9th “C” yr slipped out of my memory, virtually vanishing into thin air. But, unlike before, there’s a difference. The onset of a new anticipation! A harbinger of blissful possibilities waiting to unfold.

It was as though the euphoria of spring, authentically blessed by nature just a few months earlier was back to host yet another symphony on celestial scale. As though “spring foliage” around VHS had been mandated a renewed lease, by push of a reset-button.

Nature perhaps wished to signify, acknowledge start of a unique year for a unique group. Us!

We’re in 10th std “c” section.  You, me, and everyone in this group. Yes, we’re glad all things earlier were gone. We loved the latin phrase – tempus fugit!

Do you remember that specific point in your lives? A time when we couldn’t wait to grow up? Hmm… What the hell were we thinking?

If 8th “C” was an orientation of sorts to regimen one’s mindset, it helped me ensconce into lower-than-surrounding-earth ambience of VHS, for the long haul. While enclosures with asbestos sheets making up our class seemed to verge on drudgery during first summer, the curriculum however interspersed with school activities more than made up for mitigation plan.

Science lab, school vision, core competency:

Science Lab we had indeed. Just that it seemed more like a crammed museum than seeming as a thriving place. It was strewn with meagre supply of working apparatus / gadgets related to physics, chemistry, biology. My stints at the Science Lab offered little to help me comprehend difference between theory and practice, and with clarity.

But, notwithstanding impediments, which indeed left a bit to be desired…It was the team of empathetic teachers who made a difference. The mainstream VHS engine inculcating discipline, converting regimen into tangible success.

Much like how we had been showcased Gurudutt R Shenoy, K.G.Ramakrishnan by the school, while we were still in 8th “C”. Just for the same thing to be again validated by state’s mainstream accreditation system in place. We saw best boy, best girl 3 times over. Do you remember?

1974-75: Gurudutt R, Shenoy; Brinda Sitaram

1975-76: Shaji Farouk; K.S.Suma

1976-77: S. Harsha; Sudha G. Rao

So, no qualms for 10th “C”. All got their mental faculties ready to be present in class both in thought, and deed. So much so that nobody wanted to lift hands even in RPrahladaRao’s (RP’s) class when he often queried quizzically, “ Yaaru, yaaru absento avaru kye etthi”

Everybody waiting to savour the yet-to-unfold saga of learning in what would be our last year of basic schooling.

Learning came in all forms, core subjects, languages, school-band, NCC, Volleyball, CPrasanna Kumar Road-Relay, Philatelic Club, Science Club, Gamaka class, Traffic Management training for girls, Ball badminton for all, topped up by the audio-visual sessions hosted in the school’s highly chronicled, seminar hall. In alignment with an aim for well-rounded human-development.

Intransigent Mentors put you between rock and hard place:

Hockey, Cricket, Golf, Horse-riding, Equestrian, Swimming our headmaster K.S. Chandrasekharaiah (HM) had proposed, had deliberated in the board meeting and, got a nod as well. But, the lease of land was pending with un-cleared files with govt. of India.

Just one hitch. The new tracts of land would be allotted in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Although HM was keen to explore for the sake of future generation, NTRaju (NTR), President of Vijaya Vidhya Samsthe, was the slow-link in the decision-chain.

He’d not budge from south-end circle campus. He felt the school looks like a monastery with the saffron paint onto walls and pillars. That’s all what he wanted.

Further, as a New Year gift, he’d even proposed maintaining a herd of deer to complete the look of a hermitage. But, the fact that it would hinder prayer-assembly got the idea quashed quickly. Faculty, NCC, volley-ball, ball-badminton teams all raised concerns. Prayer singers reminded they had to carry-on the tradition of singing “Yam bramha varunendra rudra marutaha….”. So, the majority won. NTR, a sworn animal lover, worried for them as well.

So, seeing no light at the end of the tunnel, whole master plan was shelved for the next generation of thought leaders to deliberate, resolve.

But, unlike so many corporate leaders proactively worrying about future plans, NTR neither groomed next generation of leadership, nor did he allow HM to run the way he wanted to take the quasi-business entity, to next level.

NTR kept on harping on Governance, Governance and, wanted to operate everything in his style, his comfort zone. Although a few confidants try to reason out, try to allude that a change of heart may be imperative in today’s world. He was emphatic in saying, “either my way, or no way”.

What a waste of intellect if a man is so intransigent…..Javaraiah thought as he picked up the last of pipettes for washing in science lab. He could hear the exchanges between the board members so easily that there was no need to eavesdrop…everything was in public domain. The exchanges surely were generating more heat than, light he worried. But, he was helpless…

Audio-visual sessions for mentally inclined, somatically flexible:

Javaraiah was called by LH to set-up a film-show in seminar hall which he was glad to help. He’d put time for his certificate course that previous summer at FTII, Pune. Now, he wanted to cash-in. But, as he was emotionally attached to VHS from his early age, he had chosen to continue the bondage and, stay put in one place so that all his 7 kids complete schooling. At least. And, he liked amoeba films shown so frequently in VHS, a lot!!!

Film-shows there were many, mostly on amoeba, cell-division, mitosis, and meiosis. If anyone put up a request to show. They would be allowed to sit through the catch-up film-show on Saturdays, after school. These film-shows were designed in such a way that they served as a back-up medical check-up as well. If you complained audio-visual session was inaudible, then LH knew what to do. He would put you through a green channel for ear testing.

In seminar hall, you had to listen carefully to audio that came to your ears amidst hordes of other noises …unfortunately all originating from the same equipment.

Replacing this 1950’s equipment had to go through 6 layers of justification in board-meeting and, everyone felt compliance was the best option rather than going through exasperation. But, if you did not complain, you survived the system.

“Ah!”, the films on cell-division glorifying postulates of Robert Hooke…were  enjoyable indeed… especially for a pleasant drowsiness they seemed to induce generously onto all of us with fair equanimity. On an equitable distribution basis.

Sooner the film-show arena was packed, and the projector noise sank into the human mind, alas! the Methyl-isocyanate syndrome kicked in. It would cause everyone to succumb temporarily till the audio-visual learning-mode was  switched off decisively and, kids allowed to breathe fresh air.

Intrinsic, extrinsic factors converge onto seminar hall proceedings:

The projector diligently took the role of a sleep inducer especially due to:

·     low decibel rattle of the projector

·     cramming of students in the dark hall like sardines

·     film-show timing invariably coinciding with an impending lunch break

·     constrained silent ambience

·     projector often needing change of reels

·     LHanumanthaiah (LH), fixing some snags on the fly

·     No expectations set on what to expect in film-shows, especially on relevance with topics being discussed in class.

All these contributed, converged together making audio-visual sessions a key-differentiator in putting many to and, thru… siesta….It blissfully induced everyone some rest. But, siesta in a seminar hall?

Even if LH was impacted by this, he would not show. He had done it enough number of times on a similar projector in Melville, NY. He was a master in feigning normalcy.

For me, it did not matter what the main topic and sub-topics were… I only knew it was something on cytology and cell-division glorifying postulates of Robert Hooke.

Seminar hall cytology film-show triggers ambitions for a movie-buff:

How nice if class topics were tied-in more with film-show content, as well as timing?

But, something to celebrate. Every one of those film-show days, I happily reported to mom, “I saw a film show in school”.

But, for an aficionado of kannada silver screen, the urge would have been to see Rajkumar, indeed. Full blown movies of Rajkumar via 1950s projector in seminar hall, would be sublime…babruvahana, sannadi appanna, girikanye, mayura…would’ve been a catalyst to improve attendance of whole sections at a time. Even NTR would bring in his entire entourage to the monastery.

How could we forget Raghavendra?

Especially, a boy named Raghavendra who had relocated from Varthur and, joined us in 10th ”C”. He used to live and, commute to school from Tyagarajanagar. Just amazing how often he’d escape classes to see a Rajkumar flick …be it in nearby shanthi theatre or, sanjaya talkies. Just vivid in memory.

As though this was not enough, the kid had glibly disappeared once mid-way through YVN’s class.  Mid-way is the key word, here. Oh boy!, what a prankster…?

Pedagogues, an overview:

But, we had a set of exceptional teachers who were all-rounders. Batting, bowling as well as, fielding. They brought compassion into the classroom. This included, but, not limited to PSChidambara Murthy (PSC), JRSeetharama Sastry (JRS), TSMohan(TSM), KNarayan Ballal (KNB), MRVidya(MRV), DJShashikala (DJS), SQuesida Banu (SQB), PAKumar (PAK), PManjula (PM), TSMohan (TSM), TKSundaralakshmi (TKS), MNarayana Rao (MNR), YVNagarajaRao (YVN), as well as the highly committed maths teacher MVenkatachalaiah (MV) who had his own way of saying “Cheepay Kaayi” for guava, whenever he quoted an example cost for an article, all… in the course of his class. Do you remember?

Others can add your own favourites. I will agree to it…:-)

Not to forget LHanumanthaiah (LH) who’d convince a novice that he had just arrived from New York, that same day, that very morning … after a 10-yr stint of teaching Physics in a grammar school in Melville, NY. And, sooner he finished saying, he would run fingers of his left hand through his hair to compose himself for further discussion. Do you remember?

Well, surely is it unbecoming of us to judge our pedagogues?

Well, no…just an entitlement of an opinion. A bit of sense of humour, chuckled chaddi chikka as he pondered over yet another VHS get-together in 2018. Mobilizing enthusiasm amongst a lot who have spent half of their lifespan already.

A group which needs to cherish a camaraderie, support each other’s motivation to do the right thing. Shun the snobbishness of elite. Uphold dwindling values of middle-class. No matter where you live, what school district your home is in…or, what car you drive. Alvaa?

An urgent need it is…perhaps, especially before the relevance of this group folds up.

Coming back to our class, we earnestly looked for anomalies, be it LH or, the more innocent CNKrishnaMurthy (CNK). In all his talk during prayer-assembly, and otherwise CNK  was closely monitored by our listening skills to account for how many times he uttered the word “Gottaayitenri, Gotthaayitaa!”. Do you remember?

We were mischievous, and as such this is to be seen purely as a sense of humour. We got transaction-hungry that was set in a restless mind topped off by a mix of adrenaline, and physical energy that seemed limitless.

Epilogue:

Amidst the trivial many, a vital few pedagogues tried to hone our unbridled, boisterous mannerisms. Looking back, we try to sugar-coat it calling it “spirit of enquiry”.

But, then it is a fact of life. We are at receiving end from our kids in a world where the only thing constant is “change”, 108 diversions for the gullible, plethora of silver-linings for the discerning.

That change from 9th “c” on ground floor behind seminar hall it was a progression to the better. Progression to a newly constructed classroom where you could still smell freshness of the walls. What were missing are the portraits on the walls, like we had in earlier class. We had bid goodbye to Shanthi Swarup Bhatnagar’s portrait. I saw it every time I walked past front of the class.

Was it a coincidence that 10th “c” was directly on top of 9th “c”….let us invite more perspectives on this moot point, as well as the eventful year that it was!… A ploy I adopt to get your inputs for… my next blog.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Our bygone high school days! A reflection in retrospect by chaddi chikka Digest1-0ct152017

560556432Preamble, moving to next level of VHS networking:

Despite the challenges of a constantly evolving world around us, we’ve grasped the reality of sustaining networking with friends. We’ve surely done well to keep-in-touch amongst us via conventional email yahoo groups. Kudos to all!

While forming a WhatsApp group may take us to next level, there are pitfalls galore.

There’s more to cherishing those bygone high school years, than just creating a WhatsApp group. Just to fall into a trap of en masse forwards from other groups to ours, in a hurry.

But, given the awareness, we could perhaps, exercise restraint on “forwards” syndrome. And, explore this option. Agree?

It’s with that very thought that I want to initiate a way to share my memories of VHS via a blog of sorts delivered every other month on to WhatsApp. This way, access to nostalgia would be more digital, on-demand, non-premium, and not against one’s volition. I want to avoid cramming in boxes every month. Besides, I can set aside some time for creating these reading material aligned to those golden years of schooling. Pl note that although the blogs pertaining to that 3 yr window, doesn’t follow a chronological order as the memory hasn’t accurately stacked it that way.

Disclaimer:

My blogs would be a loose “sally of mind”. It would be a spontaneous timestamp of my memory, dispassionately shared with you. It offers a walk down the memory lane for you as a fellow classmate. Perhaps, you’d revisit your own as one who went through a similar feeling from “seen it… done that” kind of perspective.

I submit not to profess a “photographic memory” for many of us to get onto a correction mode, in a hurry. Any factual error please let me know. Like all of you, I’ve largely endured a long journey beyond high school and, have had fun as well. Let’s rather allow this effort to trigger more memories you could share, especially focused towards a sense of humour, and wholesome fun.

Influence:

The crux of my writing is to verge on details, to titillate the nuances in joy of reading. All dispassionately worded in-line with my learnings of creative narration assiduously tutored by M.K.Suryanarayana Rao (MKS), my beloved Sanskrit teacher during II PUC, in National College, Jayanagar. Besides, my years in Leeds, England which brought me closer to nature, coming to terms with home-sickness and, a genuine interest to understand people.

I am greatly influenced by MKS’s style of imagination although I horrendously fall short often, especially as reflected by his elaborate efforts in narrating the great works of Kalidasa. Maalivaagnimitra, Vikramorvasheeya, Abhignana Shakuntala, Kumarasambhava, Raghuvamsa, Vritusamhaara. Once you get engrossed with a character in these works, you feel the moment unfolding in front of you. If you miss reading these works, alas! You’ve missed something from Kalidasa’s fantastic ability to delve into depths of human mind.

The character of Shakuntala, for example portrays breadth, and depth of interactions in her daily forebodings in a hermitage. The communication she seems to have with each sapling, each creeper, is mind-boggling to say the least.

On the lighter side, these are the kind of things that alleviate a person’s equanimity with his / her surroundings, however chaotic or tranquil the ambience. With time, you learn to let the pain exist on its own, while you train your mind to objectively address issues in order of priority. You draw strength to endure unfairly repetitive crawling traffic woes such as the ones I stumble upon often in Bangalore.

You learn to be at peace, manage stresses well. A vital skill for all of us to keep sanity in an ever competitive, chaotic, disruptive world. Allvaa?

While reaching levels of expertise would need perseverance, I take the liberty of starting somewhere. Being rest assured I’m sharing thoughts with a considerate target group.

Read Kalidasa’s works if you can. You’d not only agree with me, but humbled with conviction as to why he is considered to give Shakespeare a run for his money.

Anything more, would lie in the eyes of the beholder

It’s an evolving world:

While this blog is one way to connect past with present, and celebrate our bygone golden days. It also alludes to revisit our cherished memories, of other things vintage, and propels our motivation to arrive at foreseeable future.

Today’s mantra of existence underscores an ability to be tolerant with disruptive technologies. More our flexibility to accept social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing, better is our orientation with change. Better prepared we emerge to face the future.

What happens around us impacts the way we mould our perspectives constantly? Much like a company does its Sales & Operations Planning based on how the world it thrives in, responds to stimuli. Re-setting plans regularly.

Recently, we saw the case of Gauri Lankesh related news chronicled on global scale. So little did we know how values, tenets of life a person holds dear to heart during formative age could influence the person later in life with such conviction, ruthlessness. We had seen her as a junior to us in VHS. On her passing, her pursuits, her beliefs, her value-systems have become potential case studies, perhaps. Some analysis, inferences may also get documented. But, it’s the shy girl climbing the flight of stairs what comes to mind. Going up and down flight of steps on half-completed building where our 10th”c” was housed.

RIP Gauri. Because, to cast aspersions or pass a slur after a person’s passing isn’t Indian. But voluntarily walking into shades of gray, as reflected by those controversial pursuits she inherited over post-VHS years if true, perhaps fit only a misanthrope. Not fit for lass with exposure to a value-system, not with her “simple-girl-next-door” with a “twinkle-in-her-eyes”, kind of looks.

Trust all would agree, including Gururaj Chadaga. Just pulling your leg, guru…:-) Cannot help but recall your signature style of combing hair. Yet, we saw combing competition from a few of our classmates LRNagendra…who spared no efforts to stay current with  “amitabh, the trendsetter” in hairstyle…being current was icing on-the-cake. Both combed a bit more on certain days with their metal combs defying the discomfort of their forearms. Discomfort tacitly accepted due to fore-arm adorning a metallic bangle, which seemed to tango with movement of wrist.

Competition although to a lesser extent was offered even by shiva who was finicky about dabbing oil and casting his hairdo akin to yester year hollywood heroes, Robert Redford, Sean Connery, Humphrey Bogart and Gene Kelly all combined together. Not a strand above his forehead was allowed to go wayward. Shiva wanted nothing short of “the ultimate thing”.

Hair nourished in vitamins, amla, soaked just right in hibiscus additive for sparkle till all hair became as cohesive as a combined sales + delivery team waltzing a potential customer of an IT Major. It is always a symphony for business units to display a synergistic-symbiotic relationship exists within all their working parts.

Especially during a time when customers are stuck in the wait-and-watch mode, you need to serenade them, make them invest in your IT Enabled services business. In India, it gets accentuated due to competition.

Jokes apart, my best wishes to each of these people bringing special dedication to their chosen professions, which is more meaningful. As much as I do, onto the rest of my audience, you….my classmates.

So, let us bring in our adaptive mindsets…. Use discretion and sensitivity to align with groups’ dominant interests…and, invest in building a memory base of VHS years, and stay young in mind.

Frankly, this is not a debate on right or, wrong. Just a point a view put across in the same spirit that we all grew up during years of schooling.  I hope you would enjoy reading through these, as much as I derived joy in putting them together.

I invite you to travel back to high school days once every other month through my blog.

Always appreciate your feedback….:-)

Awake, arise, stop not till the goal is reached! Hope you agree….

see you in Dec.2017.

Tennis Court’s Green Benches, Auditorium’s Red Floors entice White Australian called Violet

STC defines abounding tennis craze in India

Although the beginning was humble, popularity for the game was impacted by kinship of generous sponsors supporting this game, to develop infrastructure such as Samaj Tennis Complex, STC for its ardent fans. Surely, STC lining the front yard of our school auditorium was destined to be always on par, if not ahead of any tennis ambience in the city. The City Institute, Bangalore Club had rich patrons streaming to volunteer for funding,  and planning its upkeep.

But, the crowning jewel of “Cubbon Courts” that had seen the day of reckoning during Davis Cup tie with Australian team becoming cynosure of all eyes with its newly earned tag, “home of KSLTA”.

What else do we want when the city has matured so much as to accommodate a clash of the titans…India Vs visiting Australian Team of Geoff Masters, Mal Anderson in Bangalore. We would see Jaideep Mukherjee, Chiradeep Mukherjee, Ramanathan Krishnan and, last but not least, the Amritraj brothers, Ashok, Vijay and Anand. How could we overlook that?

So, demand for tennis was there except for those die-hard cricket fans like Violet and, Seethamma. Samaj wanted to respond to popular demand from the community it thrived on. And, Seethamma, a sport after all…

No wonder the numbers had surged in enrolment for tennis in STC.

STC brings Wimbledon to Basavangudi

STC was especially known for its calmness. Known for its robust infrastructure too. The apple green colour seating, generous supply of good drinking water, clean white towels for the seekers was international class. Washroom behind school building helped the tennis enthusiasts see stars during their bio-break.

One look at the benches, an aficionado could say it closely matched those on periphery of centre court at Wimbledon. Seethamma had specifically told painters to match the colour of door, window frames of auditorium in the backdrop to those of benches. The hue of apple green colour everywhere had induced even colour blind to stop, and look around the ambience. In short, a vision to recreate “Wimbledon in Basavangudi” was resoundingly successful.

Only sound that belied otherwise tranquil surroundings was the sound of tennis ball smooching a Dunlop or Wilson brand tennis racquet with regular tempo. Stalling now and then, whenever the novice bent down to pick up the ball; just to put it in business again.

Violet fascinated with India wants auditorium as her Office

Auditorium was an entity heavily intertwined with nostalgia involving our Violet Teacher. It was her abode during school hours.  Her preferred work-place. Her “South Block” or “Oval Office”. Actually, there was a tussle between Muniswamy and Violet Teacher for occupancy of Auditorium as their future work-place.

Violet’s childhood dream propels her to India, and the Interview

Violet was an ardent fan of everything Indian since her childhood; despite the influence of Adelaide, Brisbane, and even a sleepy mining town in city of Perth. She had read about India extensively and often fancied spiritual euphoria of living in India. More so, every Sunday after customary visit to local church with her parents, where they preached peace.

One thing had remained an enigma for her. Violet had longed to visit gavi gangadhareshwar temple in gavipuram ever since she heard of the existence of a passage to Benares beneath ground. She wanted to imagine herself exploring this novel option. It would be akin to the excitement unfolding in an Enid Blyton novel…But, will this be fact or remain a fantasy?

During her interview with Seethamma, she had calmly finished written test, had done group discussion with other potential candidates. It was during the subsequent stages that saw Seethamma interface with the job aspirants. As the personal round drew towards closure, towards culmination, Seethamma was kind enough to ask, Ms. Violet do you have any queries about Samaj or anything related to job role? Or, anything else?

Violet’s face bloomed like the lavender, bell-shaped flower on the Tennis Court creeper behind the interview cabin. She could see those flowers through chocolate coloured windows behind Seethamma’s office to be accurate.

Seethamma warms up to young Violet’s innocence

The cordial tone and tenor of her crucial interview with Seethamma reassured Violet. It went off well indeed. They kind of “hit it off”. Violet settled into informality quickly querying Seethamma to tell her more on gavi gangadhareshwar temple.

Actually, for Violet, Seethamma telling her more about all routes to global cities beneath ground originating from gavipuram, excited her. London, Paris, Zurich, Chicago…

Wow! she could not hold back, “Madam!, Tell me all the global routes existing beneath ground from gavipuram, I will take notes, don’t want to leave it to my memory”.” I want to be able travel at will and, give surprise to my friends settled in those cities” “What do you think?”

Underneath routes to where? A bewildered Seethamma asserted. “Ninu Koncha summane iramma”

By this time, Seethamma was convinced that young, plump Violet had not grasped even a tiny glimmer of the mighty effulgence of India’s spiritual greatness. Violet surely has a long way to go before she understands India as a spiritual country, Seethamma chuckled.

But, Seethamma was enamoured with Violet’s innocence. It was a fact that actually brought the two of them closer. Violet announcing the fact during the course of her personal round of interview; that she just purchased a spectacles frame mimicking that of Mahatma made Seethamma feel empathy.

Surely not bad for a “firangi” from the “Land Down Under”, she thought. This potentially had already started sowing seeds of a long-term cross-cultural bondage between Seethamma and, plump, Violet.

Moving into Office, the anticipation!

The incumbent had to plan ahead as they were allowed to bring in their own furniture makers, carpet guys, interior decorators and  adorn it to their own style. That was an established tradition in Samaj. Zahara Begum had likewise hung few carpets of pashmina from Arab countries, in her office which often smelt of uncooked meat though. Some of school buddies would confide in me.

Violet Teacher had a liking for spaciousness of auditorium. But, how to convince Seethamma, a strict disciplinarian? Nobody could imagine her to be gullible, she had seen lots of Australians, Belgians, Germans and, cultures of Gulf Countries to fall trap for Violet’s skin colour.

So, Violet the slim girl by Australian standards, pondered over a ploy to impress Seethamma. It had to be better than an earlier ploy. The con behaviour she had successfully executed while still a sophomore in Adelaide. She had executed it to win a scholarship catapulting her destiny and, enabling her to emigrate to India. Much like Nadia Comaneci had done a perfect “10” performance to become a celebrity.

Those series of events had become a portfolio of resounding results, and had landed her with a dream job. Her dream destination was Basavangudi and, Mahila Samaj, her dream brand to pursue a career.

She had somehow successfully taken steps to stabilize her otherwise, choppy career. But, now how would she convince anybody to give her auditorium as her office space? This bothered her day, and night.

The Plot and ultimate victory

Violet the girl, the sumo wrestler look-alike, devised a ploy to lure Seethamma to accede to her request. Aim should be to floor Seethamma completely; she murmured looking at herself sideways in the huge mirror in front of her.

She had to bat like Sehwag against South Africa’s greatest ever, world’s fastest bowler..Dale Steyn. Violet had to score with impunity from the very first ball…Like Sehwag did during very first over. How to do this?

Violet Teacher invited her for an extended 4 hr piano concert playing Beethoven, Handel, Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky with a break in-between for peanuts. She delicately ended her concert with “Nach Kare Baaba Paisa Milegaa”. Much to the applause of target audience. Job was done!

So, this having been done, success was just a matter of days for Violet to choose her office space in samaj. Seethamma happily allocated Violet Teacher, the auditorium while puny, tiny Muniswamy had to settle for the corner space tucked away on ground floor beside wooden stairs, not far from Seethamma’s office.

Actually, Muniswamy was so heartbroken that he decided to leave everything and proceed on his pilgrimage commencing with the famous “char dham yatra”. He wished to visit gowrikund in Uttarakhand, see ‘lakshman jhoola”, visit Badrinath and, stay there few days amidst total solitude.

But, his habit of writing his thoughts gave away the secret plan to Kempamma, another staff member of samaj. She was a  Muniswamy sympathizer in a big way. The note fortunately spilt the beans, letting cat out of the bag. All because of duty minded Kempamma carefully picking a pink paper while she swept the candy shop with her coconut broom.

Actually, Muniswamy had contemplated a get away from mundane forebodings, buy a one-way ticket to Himalayas and, vanish into the majestic mountains. He had lost his last option to expand business. He was disturbed his ardent desire to work out of auditorium was callously transgressed, by his employer. A clear case of racial profiling evident to this man in Gandhi Topi.

But, at least a solace that Kempamma’s alertness foiled his bid to otherwise disband everything. He wanted to leave the illustrious “Samaj Team”. Kempamma, rescued the world….all just in the nick of time.

But, in retrospect, Seethamma oblivious of Muniswamy’s foiled escapades made a mention of Muniswamy’s contribution to Samaj on national TV during prime time. She was delivering her acceptance speech during National Outstanding Teacher Award ceremony inside Asoka Hall of Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi.

Muniswamy elated while watching his name come up on prime time national TV. He was pleasantly surprised, and happy to know he was wrong in assessing Seethamma in a hurry. What a coincidence Violet had just visited Muniswamy to wish him his 60th birthday that very evening.

In the next few days, Muniswamy brought Seethamma and, Violet his coconut

toffees wrapped in wax paper. They ate, and lived happily ever after.

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Bell-shaped Lavender Flower on the Mahila Samaj Tennis Court Creeper

Lavender Flower on Mahila Samaj Tennis Court

Remember! This beautiful flower was in plethora all over the creeper majestically spread on enmeshed tall fence bordering Samaj Tennis Courts ? We were so careless in the event of proximity with these soft, beautiful bell-shaped flowers. We trampled upon the childlike innocence with our childish pranks cutting short the desire of these flowers to rise and shine. We hijacked the happiness of yet another creation of god, with a cavalier mindset crushing these lavender bundles of joy between the ventral sides of our young palms.

The tender palms that were to tend and rid the creeper of any weeds chose to pat its tenderness with vanity. Took away sensitive life out of a lavender bud beside a lavender flower with gleeful normalcy. All because we were happy to hear the bud making a soft “tup” noise as it released the air trapped inside. What callousness….allvaa?

Lavender bud became a “punya koti” of sorts….unconditionally. How unfair?

But, the creeper, fence, the support stone structures ….with a gamut of paraphernalia of the setup neatly maintained by Marker, his entourage of support staff, ball-boys galore….allvaa? 

I-55-1 Ipomoea cairica

This flower was so ubiquitous that we took its beauty for granted. Surely it caresses my nostalgia as an icing on the cake called “Samaj Tennis Courts”. May be you too….Allvaa?

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