I often hear that the auto drivers are inhuman and dangerous, really I said,’ they have been extraordinarily kind to me’. In fact, while in Indore I had an unwritten contract with an auto driver bhaiya that he was the one to pick and drop me or my daughter for close to 5 years. Now this could even be early morning sports events at 6 am or post annual function or other events at 10 pm, there was never a murmur ever on either side, that sometimes I joked to my colleagues who would ask, ‘who did you come with’, and I would go ‘the auto wallah’, with a wink!
More than that they were also my besties, the auto wallah bhaiyas, that once a college function pic appeared in a local paper and they were the first to point it to me and almost celebrate it. Kind of made my day brighter!
In Bangalore, though I have had some tough experiences but that does not make me brand all auto drivers as being unethical because they are not obviously.
On the linkedin a young lady wrote to me saying she was looking for work. She said, ‘I just wanted to connect to you’, I was amazed at this and we talked.
Apparently with the COVID 19 her life has been difficult and she was going through some tough time.Well, so was I! After a few exchanges of messages on phone, and some talk later, we sort of built some bonding. Yesterday I reached out to her asking for some suggestion and she said your daughter is mine too, Sreelekha!,I will do whatever is possible’. Really!!! I was moved beyond words.
When I connected her with another friend of mine for a webinar, I felt good. Isn’t the world a good place!
I can share numerous instances like that. When I was buying my flat against a negative bank balance on my own,fighting my own diffidence, a whole lot of indifference and skepticism and some genuine doubt, the man who was selling it to me said, ‘listen I will transfer this amount to you from my wife’s account. Give it back to us when you are comfortable’.
Now who does that? I don’t even know the guy or his family but there I was being helped to help accomplish a wish I thought I would never be able to achieve in the first place.
I guess we all have these examples of the goodness of the universe reaching out to us at different times but when life takes a bad turn, we forget and blame the whole world for being selfish and cruel.
Of course we need to be cautious and careful and often times when I have lowered my defence, I have been taken for a ride or two! That notwithstanding, I would still say ‘its a good world, with the kind forces of the universe guiding and almost holding your hand with compassion and a great deal of consideration’.
So what if some dreams never come true, some wishes never become real, some efforts go in vain, it is all just fine.
I use this talisman often, ‘think of a street dog or any animal or tree in this world, whose right or need or very existence is always in jeopardy,yet does it or he/she have a choice to express, question or even plead!’ Well, knowing the answer to that one has to be grateful for the many many blessings one has.
Our lives are always better than that of many others in so many different ways even when we are going through some very bad times and we always have the power and the strength to give, reach out and help one another, then why waste time cribbing, go have a happy life, happy as it is! Cheers!
To watch a Leonardo Di Caprio movie is always a delight but watching a very young Leonardo charming essaying the role of an absolute con man was more than delightful.
With Tom Hanks as FBI agent Hanratty at his heels, the young supremely chameleon like Frank Abagnel Jr changes his colors leaving even the experienced FBI agent stunned into stupidity a few times.
To know that it is a biographical tale is even more interesting. I mean that is pure genius, no wonder Charles Shobraj has many women swooning over him!
Anyways the digital art in the trailer was pretty impressive too.
The movie is a feel good watch, where one is torn between admiration for the talents of Frank Abagnel, sympathy for his rather unfortunate upbringing and of course a suspicion of con artists.
What is very endearing is the friendship that develops between the cop and the Frank. When a young Frank Abagnel calls Carl Hanratty the FBI officer chasing him on a lonely Christmas night one really feels for the lonely souls around the world, who cannot share their joys or sorrows with another soul.
The word ‘unda’ in Malayalam a variety of things but using it to refer to ammunition was to me a novelty.
Well, as usual these days this Malayalam movie revolves a single plot, a singular idea, and like the precision of a short story dwells right into the center of the story i.e. the availability of ammunition for the police men of the Kerala police force sent on election duty to the far away Bastar .
From thoughts about what is really naxalism, are the tribals who are said to form part of it so dangerous as they are made out to be?, does anyone really care about the police men to making us wonder in these COVID 19 times, that really don’t we really take the government,i.e. whatever of it that is there for granted and paint the whole machinery with the same paint ignoring in the process the honesty and dedication of many individuals who make this sort of invisible yet huge entity.
Unda has as its protagonist, a police officer who is but a faint memory of his perhaps more colorful youth, a misnomer in the police force with no experience of ever holding a gun and one whose sole weaponry included the good old lathi and the bamboo defense handle!
The story narrates as to how this lackadaisical officer put in charge of his small battalion in a dangerous life threatening situation, on the verge of losing his self respect rediscovers his true strength as he rises up to the challenge thus not just saving his face but also earning some respect for the Kerala Police Force in an alien territory where the lavish Kerala style bath is a true luxury.
How varied is the Indian landscape! It is beautiful when cultures try to reach out and understand and that is what this movie does, a bringing together of lives from across this vast nation we call India.
With none of his airs of a super star, Mamootty essays his role with ease as he grows from a discredited police officer to a man of the moment, but so does every single artist on the screen whether it is the army officers or the villager, Kunal Chand and his grandson or the rest of the crew.
Its a thoughtfully made movie of the beauty of the human heart beneath the police uniforms which we can come to ridicule and humiliate on public platforms all too often!
One of the most delightfully entertaining films that I watched recently is Oh!Baby which has Samantha Akkineni in the lead and boy! does she not own it!
Reminiscent of 13 going on 30 but standing on its own two feet proudly, the film has erstwhile ‘Julie’ fame actress Lakshmy whose younger self is played with great finesse by Samantha as Swathi.
The story and its depiction on the big screen, ensures that it is a total roller coaster of emotions with a totally charming Samantha leaving the audience in splits of laughter, empathy and even a fair share of teardrops.
Rajendra Prasad, Lakshmy and Samantha clearly hold the fort and your total attention in the movie.
When was the last time I enjoyed a Telugu movie this much! That looks sometime far in history.
Anyways, Oh! Baby is not a movie to miss for sure.
What the movie does is to hold a candle to the unaccomplished dreams and aspirations of the older generations!
Seriously,when I see my mom actively and enthusiastically participating and preparing for her Akshara Shloka classes and events, I see in her the child that would have topped the class or pursued higher studies if only her parents had thought it worthwhile to allow the girls in the house to study as they did with the boys!
Anu met her friend at the parking lot.Her slim figure looked frail and her face without the usual sheen.
Anu gathered from small talk that her friend was not keeping well. Niru lived alone with her child.
As a caring mother she put her life energies to nurturing her child. She took great pains to cook great dishes, provide all comfort to her child.
Sometimes it was difficult.
Not much of a social person, she kept to herself. The mom and daughter looked out for each other, had good to great food, even trying their hands at marathons.
That was an experience, Anu remembered how Niru spoke about it with great excitement.
Quiet but smart and efficient, Niru believes in letting her work speak. She constantly upgraded her skill set.She knew that there was something out there for her.
Her grace and charm and her devotion to work does not go unnoticed as her students and colleagues reach out to her in appreciation.
‘You are super, mam’, they said often.
Yet, when Anu saw her at the parking lot, she said bye and moved ahead. After some time though, Anu got increasingly worried, ‘what if…’ she thought of returning to check on her friend and slowed down and waited at the junction long enough to see her friend ride away smartly.
It must be the times, it must be herself, it might be the kindred of womenhood, yet Anu thought, if she had not waited to see if her friend was alright, she may not have been able to sleep well.
Hmmm….something really is getting on to the nerves… what is it really?
To all the women braving it out there, with salary cut offs and support non existent and increasing insecurities, reach out, express yourself in writing or reading or coloring even, and that is going to help a great deal.
Till then, this too shall pass….
Besides friendships are not about insta pics or fb posts or crying out from the rooftop but just being there in silence, reaching out in need and lending some quiet reassurance.
The young man, one of my brilliant and enthusiastic colleagues walked in today with his wife, a smart yet quiet girl and declared, ‘she is everything to me, my life and my lifeline.’
‘I come here often he said, referring to my office, we discuss everything non academic and creative and that is something I love doing’
I looked at the couple and smiled.
‘Times have been tough’, he said, ‘who can blame Sushant Singh Rajput for what he did? That brilliant boy was pushed to do what he did.
Anybody else would have done the same.
The past months I too ……..really..he paused.
She helped though, her love and her care and my friends’.
The young girl smiled understandingly, ‘this boy, he talks a lot about death mam….’
She is a health officer who felt that it is this quarantine that has finally got the government machinery some recognition, ‘usually we are always in the bad books, no matter what!’
‘You know what, she always asks me to talk about her work. Like if we meet someone and they ask her what she does, she will in turn look at me , no, not because I am the control freak or something, some how when she speaks about her work, people don’t seem to get it, and they instead look at me, so now she has deputed me to do all the talking.’
‘I think of farming, perhaps that’s something I should do. You see farmers are resilient, and I have been trained in it by my father, so what if I did my PhD and I love teaching, I can always pick up the plough’.
They looked as if they were made for each other, the man being creative and outspoken the girl silent and observant and that she said, ‘ is what makes their journey together interesting’.
I was thinking of lifelines for living, how important it is to be understood and to be heard.
I guess that is what makes the difference. When Anju called me from Chandigarh yesterday after a long hiatus it felt good.
The quarantine is affecting everyone in different ways, my mother who lives but 8 hours away from me, panics, ‘when can I see you?’
These are tough times. Challenges are one too many. Even the strongest need support. So reach out and stay connected.
‘Your parathas mama’, goes my kid ‘are yummy, delicious and flaky’, she says that with an elaborate nod and thumbs up sign.
I love such compliments and that gets me back to the kitchen eager for more validation.
But when its cold all around, whether it be work, life or living what does one do apart from stuff oneself with some good food.
So said my friend adding that he is going to get enough chicken cooked today to fill his heart and forget his worries.
It was in Raipur that I picked up my paratha skills from chechi who patiently taught me how to cook gobi ka paratha, aloo ka paratha, methi ka paratha, palak ka paratha and more. In fact, I was so impressed with my own paratha skills that I never missed an opportunity to show them off to any hapless visitor to my home.
‘Paratha khaoge!’ I would say with unmatched glee.
Recently though adding your bija seeds, til, and other such tit bits into the paratha has helped me make them even more tastier and drool worthy!
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...”