Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Saturday, November 21, 2009

People who have made a Difference... 1

Vande Mataram - A Salute to all the Mothers of the World...!

I have always wanted to express my feelings about how different people have made a difference in my life. Life has been so special and I have had so many wonderful people coming into my life; I may need an entire lifetime to write about all the people. So let me start now before I run out of time!

I have written about my Uncle, Father some friends and even Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kumble. But the most important, enduring and everlasting influence has been rightfully... My Mother! Mother will always remain the most important person in my life. There might be exceptions, but the rule is... Mother Rules!

Why is Mother so special? I am not talking about my Mother but any Mother and every Mother. Well, try carrying a constantly growing mass inside your tummy for 9 months. Think of all those kicks from inside. Think of those bouts of vomiting. And those spells of hunger at midnight. Also those excruciating backaches. Then the weight gain, the loss of shape and the swelling on the feet. And finally most importantly the love, affection and absolute devotion after the baby is born. I don't know how my mother went through all these, three times in seven years. But I have seen my wife go through all these when we had our daughter and I forever remain indebted to Womanhood and Motherhood! When I love, adore and pamper my daughter, I have but one regret; "I am Not her Mother".

Now, how special is my Mother? Well she is 'Our' Mother. I have two sisters; one two years older and another five years younger. We three have so many things in common; like our easy-going nature, our vulnerability to emotions, our ability to laugh and share laughter and then our "Parents". But the most striking aspect of all 3 is our absolute and complete love for our 'Mother'. She is the most important person in our life. I am writing this with total conviction and without even consulting my sisters, because I 'Know It'.

I never liked the idea of celebrating 'Mother's Day'. You can celebrate birthday, wedding anniversary and so many things. But how can you assign just one day in a year to the most important entity on earth? Beats me! I might disagree with some of what my mother says. I might fight with her on some issues. I have even advised her about how to deal with certain people and situations. There have been occasions when I have felt 'let down' by her and there have been occasions when I have felt "Oh my goodness, what a rotten thing have I done!". There are instances when I have hurt her and even seen her cry. But then I have gone back to her and we have lived perfectly fine.

My Mother was a confirmed beauty of her times and beyond her times. She has been compared to Waheeda Rahaman of 'The Guide'. She was also the favorite daughter of her head-strong father. She married into a huge joint family. Overcame partisan in-laws and often unfriendly house and has brought up three children to be fiercely self-respecting yet equally sensitive. She has retained enough charm through all these years and looks more like fifty something even though she is past sixty. She is an unbelievably good cook and picks up recipes by just one look at the dish. On the negative side, she perhaps does carry a few ghosts of the past on her back and that could be the reason for some of the bouts of depression and insecurity she shows sometimes. But overall she is a perfect package of a 'Mother' and you can't get any better than that!

It is almost like 'I have taken her for granted'. I can't tolerate her falling ill. I actually get upset when she complains of some illness. I admonish her for something or the other she did in the immediate past as the reason for her falling ill. After I am out of home and alone, I have thought about it. Why do I behave like this? Why do I blame her instead of soothing her? Then I found the answer. I simply can't imagine her falling ill. I just can't tolerate the thought that 'Mother is mortal'. I have never met God. But if 'God' were ever to exist, it has to be in the form of 'Mother'.

Some characters of my Mother are perhaps unique to all mothers. She loves to feed us, her children and grand-children. She will do anything, including learning a new recipe to make her kids happy. Though she doesn't like use of bad language and cursing, she will even curse those persons who'll talk ill of her children. I saw that when I was abused by a drunken man. I have seen her feel miserable and even brake down when I couldn't eat some of my favorite dishes due to severe acidity. No other force on earth can understand humanity better than Mother.

My 'Mother' is the most important person in my life. My Father is very dear to me and my Wife is one person without whom I don't even open my eyes most of the mornings. Two Angels were born just to make my life better; one before and one after me. They are called 'Sisters'. I love and adore my daughter. She is a mission for me. But 'Mother' remains the 'Edifice' on which the beautiful life of mine rests comfortable.

I want her to read this along with my sisters. I want her to know how important she is for all of us; the kids and the grand-kids. I know she understands all this and more! Because... After all She is "Mother".

In these days of controversy over the recital of our national song; I have no hesitation in chanting this to 'My Mother' and all the Mothers of the world...
Vande Mataram !

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bored? Read the Board !

Travel can be inspiring, enjoyable and also be a learning experience. Travel also can bore you to your bone marrow. I was never really a good traveler. During childhood, I had severe bouts of travel sickness. I had to be sedated with ‘Avomin’ tablets like a tiger in a zoo to prevent my bouts of retching and vomiting. Even though I loved to go around and see places and the people, the travel part used to scare all of us.

My daughter has inherited some of this problem. But luckily for her, she is comfortable in air-conditioned vehicles. I overcame this sickness once into teens. Today, I don’t have much of a problem as long as someone doesn’t puke in the surroundings!

I am not really good at driving. I have very little patience on the road and hence prefer not to drive on long distance journeys. But once I am not driving, I tend to fall asleep through most of the travels. My cousin Rajesh changed all that about a decade and a half ago. Whenever we traveled together, he would poke me at the slightest hint of my dozing off. He never used to sleep on travel and never allowed me to either.

That is how I started to stay awake during travel. And this opened a new and a very pleasant window in my life. I learnt to read Tamil during my travel to Coimbatore in 1995. While passing through busy roads of Tamilnadu, I started to configure Tamil letters and before I knew, I was able to read boards without much of a problem!

This habit of reading boards has stayed with me to date and has given me numerous opportunities to smile, chuckle and even guffaw! When I say ‘Boards’ they could be signboards, advertisement hoardings, banners, milestones or even menu cards in hotels. I have realized that if we keep our eyes open, every single journey can be fun; howsoever short or long it could be. You’ll never get ‘Bored’ if you keep reading ‘Board’ after another ‘Board’.

My first memory of such a board goes back to an age long before I made it a habit to read boards. It was somewhere in central Karnataka and was in vernacular. So I am afraid the essence will be lost in translation. But that was one real howler!

Indian Hare Cuting Saloon’ was an interesting board I remember from Karnataka. ‘All type of Alopathy Medisins sold here’ was another. “We deel with repare works of wach, cloaks, time-pice and atometic goods”. "Dublicat Kee for any lock" was a locksmith advertising! What will you buy from "Kalpana Reddymade Cloth Shope"? How about "Hole sale and Re tail Merchants"? The list can be endless.

I remember an old joke from one of Khushwant Singh's book. It was written at the back of a Petrol Tanker "Mera Bharat Mahan" and underneath there was ... HIGHLY INFLAMMABLE !

Does ‘Meels Reday’ board enthuse your taste buds? Kerala perhaps has given the maximum number of occasions to enjoy for this compulsive board-reader in me. Then there was this board outside a fruit-stall cum coffee shop: “Appil, Orenj, Gripe joose and Laim Soda”. They also sold ‘Milk-Sheik’!

One legend of a board went thus “PNP Memmorial Hospital”. When I pointed out this mistake, the authorities just brushed aside the issue saying any way it is pronounced as such in Kerala!
Kerala can turn Shah Rukh in to Ghan and Cricketer Gagan Khoda into Ghoda! It is the patented style of enhancing the ‘T’s and ‘M’s and converting the ‘K’ into ‘G’ and ‘P’ into ‘B’ and ‘T’ into ‘D’ that makes so many howlarious goof ups unique to Kerala. Hindi in Kerala will make for another story altogether and let me deal with that some other day.

Menu cards in many hotels not only tickle your taste buds, but also your funny bones! So you travel by Otto Riksha and keep your luggage in Clock room. Then you go to a ‘Hottel’ and taste some of the exotic items available in Kerala like Gopi Manjoori, Chilli Chikkan, Beaf Rost, Papper Dosa, Buttar Nan, Sweat Corne Soop, Hoat and Sore Soop, Vegittabil Cutlate and finally the most delicious Omblate!

Many small eateries in Kerala will be helpless if you want coffee. They’ll serve only ‘Kappy’. If there is a crying baby, you give a ‘nibble’ to soothe it. And if you have to relieve yourself, you’ve to go to ‘Toilate’.

If you keep your eyes and mind open, you’ll never have dearth of entertainment on the roads in India. So next time when you travel, try this. Perhaps we’ll have more to share. As and when I remember more or come across new ones; I will come back… Just remember that!

Parting shot: A board outside the 'Board Room' of an institution went thus... "Bored of Management"