Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poignant movement

The post below is taken from a letter written by my father Late sh R K Chari to his cousin.

When I applied for a job in Calcutta Marwari Co., the immediate eligibility was my neat hand and the M.D. employed me for writing his personal cheques. I as a hobby collected foreign makes like Parker 51, Chinese Pilot German or French Monte Blanc etc. all during my walk back home at the Chowringhee. You can realise the poignancy and sorrow that which got me the bread is dumped in the dung heap now in the IT age.

Now that the computer has arrived, the use of letterheads, fountain or ball pens has altogether gone. (Even banking is done online and cash through ATM).

The Unsung Hero

The story below is written by my uncle Late J Rajgopalachari, based on the chronicle from my father's records.

It happened in a village in the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu in the third decade of the twentieth century. In those halcyon days, Tanjore District was famous for its prosperity, with well-irrigated lands, thanks to the bounty of the Cauvery River, the flow of water was plentiful as the population of the upper riparian areas, in common with the rest of India , was just about a third of what it is today. The flow to the lower riparian fields and irrigation canals was in the region of 400 to 500 thousand million cubic feet, well over the double the flow these days. With affluence, came the leisure for other pursuits including debates

The incident narrated in this story happened in a small village , Therazhundur , well known as the birth place of the great Tamil poet, Kamban, renowned for his Tamil version of the great epic Ramayana. While he was born in a potter’s colony, it is a matter of pride to me that I was born two hundred yards of where he was born , though in the Brahmin Agraharam a few centuries later. The village, though small is rich in its heritage, and its title to fame in history is rooted in the many stories of legendary characters associated with this village. It was here that Tamil sage Agasthya , fell in love with Cauvery. Cauvery, however refused to marry him and, in consequence, the jilted sage pronounced a curse. Legend has it that Cauvery did her penance in the village to appease the enraged sage and save the people from Agasthya’s curse.

But this story is not about the village or the legendary figures associated with it, but about a humble unsung hero figuring in a chronicle of his life and times recorded by the chronicler Sh. R.K.Chari. In his trip down memory lane, he has recounted the celebration in the village of the birthday of the king Emperor, King George the Fifth. Two hand picked students were to carry the garlanded portraits of king George and Queen Mary in procession down the streets of the village, the students singing, “Long Live the King and Queen” in Tamil. The President of the Tanjore District Board, a Dewan Bahadur, was present. The procession was all set to start, when someone went to the Headmaster asking for the portraits and the Union Jack Flags to be carried by the students. There was sudden excitement as the teacher entrusted with the custody of flags and portraits was not to be seen. A search of his table drew a blank. The Headmaster was on the point of fainting with the entire school staring at him in a state of shocked disbelief. The teacher in charge turned up but had no clue as to the disappearance of the precious objects. He had no solution to the mystery. The occasion produced the man. The Assistant Headmaster briskly walked towards the school well with the air of a Sherlock Holmes. The well had two pillars, one at either end a cross bar at the top with a roller at the centre. A large bucket and a thick long rope were requisitioned. He climbed into the bucket, had himself lowered into the well. After some search, he was able to salvage the portraits and flags without much damage. As the teacher dried them in the hot sun, the high dignitaries and invitees were whisked away by the school trustee , the staff were in a fix and the students escorted home by their parents. In the words of the chronicler, ‘the two portraits were left leaning on the wall of the well, their Majesties regretting that the sun never set in the British Empire”.

An inquisition ensued. The mystery remained unresolved. The Headmaster, held morally responsible for the insult to the Empire was transferred to a smaller school in a more remote village. That it was a very well run school with an excellent academic record could not save him from the wrath of the authorities, who considered the affront to HIS Majesty unpardonable. The Assistant Headmaster was rewarded for his gallant service to the Empire and promoted as Headmaster. But, the angry, silent patriot who had the fire in his belly and guts to dump the flags and royal portraits into the well in the heyday of the Empire, will forever, remain anonymous. In a small village nothing remains secret for too long. But to their eternal credit, the villagers refused to betray their hero for punitive action by the agents of the empire.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Celebrity Crushes (contd…)

WoW! 101st post
Shankari : ) In 70’s when the Big B was in the peak, I was never into Hindi films and used to find it weird when my cousin used to have his posters on her wall and wanting to marry him. I started liking him post KBC. Junior B is my favourite actor, but no crush.

But my list of crushes is incomplete without the mention of Shekar Kapur. His looks still make my heart go Boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom.{couldnt get the musical trck of the song} I remember enjoying the film ‘Masoom’ w/o even knowing who the director was , and once I got to know the director of the film, it was the film no. 1 for me till the release of Mr India.

I till date ardently follow his blog.

Celebrity Crush!!!

Second post for the day!!
Interesting Tag. Probably, when I publish my autobiography at the fag end of my life, I would also include the other crushes that I had. Cant help but to keep quiet about them now, as is expected by the society.

As a school girl, I had a crush on Sanjay Khan, after a film of his with Rajender Kumar where his name was Raj. My first crush, but then I didn’t know the word crush. Ihave a soft corner for Zayed Kjust because he happens to be his son

I took a liking to all Pathans after Imran Khan. I was jealous of all the girls that he used to flirt with, and it is his leadership skills, his display of anger which motivated me to watch cricket. I used to enviously watch the celebrity females sitting in the pavilion and watching him play.

Charles Sobhraj: Not many would call him a celebrity, but for me he was dashing personality. I was disheartened when I heard of his arrest.

Mohammad Azharuddin: I was floored by his graceful batting and his looks. His being an Aquarian was an icing on the cake.

Anil Ambani: No reason. still makes me laugh when I wonder as to how i got a crush on him. But that’s what crushes are, Illogical.

Thanks, Shankari. Had fun doing it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Motherhood and its joys

Tags always wake me from the slumber. This time I have been tagged by Shankari to write five tings I love being a mother and in turn tag other bloggers , both in the same country and those in a different country

As a college girl, I use to wonder why all moms only talk about their children , but now my young friends also would be thinking of the sameabout me. I cant help it, he is an indispensable part of my life and I love him. In my case, parenting is shared by my mother and two sisters who are more of a friend to him. So, I am indebted to be a part of the family who never thought Akash as my son but also as their child.

From my son’s viewpoint , just because I am a motherI can do what I wish , I can mend the rules and take advantage of the fact that I am elder to him !!! Agreeing to all that, being a mother is not a very comfortable status. Child rearing is a tough job and with every growing year it gets further tough. But yes, It is enjoyable.

Being a mother, I realised, I have to practise what I preach. For the child to whom you are preaching is scrutinising us constantly. So, I can say motherhood has made me a better person.

As mentioned in my earlier post, I am a proud mother to a child who loves me unconditionally.

Last but not the least, I get to blog about my son……….

I would like to tag

Shruthi (Bangalore)
Usha (Bangalore)
Lalitha (California)
Geetha (Malaysia)

Please take up the tag, and link back to this post here and to the place where it all started - Her Bad Mother.