Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Attacking the 'To Read' pile

I finished Vikas Swarup’s ‘Q&A’ in less than 48 hours. But, it took two years and the success of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ for me to actually start reading a book I purchased nearly a lifetime ago.
I really enjoyed the book, as I knew I would when I picked up a totally unknown book by an equally unknown author based purely on gut feel. And yet, I had to virtually be forced to read it!
I am addicted - I can’t stop buying books. But if this doesn’t teach me to attack my ‘To Read’ pile from the bottom, nothing will.

Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Portrait of a burqua clad woman

“Mamma, why don’t you buy that dress”, asked my five-year-old pointing to a burqua.
I was left speechless, like I so often am these days.
"But that dress is so pretty, and black is your favourite colour", he persisted, sensing my hesitation.
Wanting to avoid an elaborate explanation, I muttered something it being too hot for satin, and distracted him with a poster of SRK.

But of one thing I am glad. Despite the environment of hatred and mistrust, we’ve brought him up believing that wearing or not wearing a burqua is a sartorial choice, not one dictated by religion.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lage Raho

The message on his shirt says it all. 'Lage Raho' - that can be the unofficial mantra of this city that I call Home.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jana Gana Mana....

While in school, it was mandatory to sing the national anthem at the school assembly at least once a week, but the song and I became virtual strangers after I started college. I must have heard the anthem about half a dozen times, and sung it not at all till my son started attending school a couple of years back. Now, I definitely hear it twice a year – on Independence Day and Republic Day – and since I insist on my children standing to attention whenever it si played on TV, I end up hearing it a lot more than I did previously.
And somewhere along the line, while mechanically going through the words, I discovered that the national anthem had the power to move me to tears. I am definitely not one of those people who wears their patriotism on their sleeves, but there is something in the song that resonates inside me, and makes me proud of the nation that I am a citizen of.
It was, however, a purely emotional reaction till yesterday. While singing the song yesterday at my son’s school, I was acutely aware of how much has changed since Independence Day when the same song was sung at the same venue by the same set of people. This time round, I was reveling not in what my country has accomplished, but dreaming about what she can do once people like me start taking ownership for steering her destiny.
There is nothing tangible that I can put my finger on, but I sense the coming change. I can see people thinking about India as a nation, and about what we can do to make a difference. Small things make me optimistic – last year, at the Standard Chartered marathon, people were shouting ‘Run Mumbai Run’. They did so this year too, but much more than that, people yelled ‘Go India Go’.
A cynic may dub it as token symbolism, but I think it goes beyond that. People are willing to invest time and effort in determining the destiny of India, and while change may be late in coming, I know it will.
Maybe the next time I sing the national anthem, the hope for a better tomorrow will be seasoned with the beginnings of concrete changes.
Who said I was not an optimist?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Four legged BMC worker

This guy sure looked very comfortable in the uniform of the BMC worker - wonder if he is on the payroll of the municipal corporation!!!

Picture taken at 5:30 am outside Marine Lines station.
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

High Court building

Picture of the High Court.
I have no idea what a mosquito proof well is, but I thought the signage incongruous in front of such a lovely structure.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

My darling younger son...

You were always the self-contained one.
When you were in my tummy, I lavished affection on your brother who was going to have to grow up at 26 months. After you were born, I spent more time with him, so he would not feel you had usurped his place. He was always my baby, but you never seemed to mind. In fact, you seemed to revel in your independence.

Then one day, you wrapped your arms around me- I felt like I have never felt before. You often hug me now, and each hug feels as good as the last.

Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.

Friday, January 23, 2009


[For my baby who turns three tomorrow, and for my mother, who's baby I will always be.]

“Your son has started sucking him thumb at school”, I was told. “Is there a problem at home?”

I knew there wasn’t, but I asked him still. He was just scared of turning three. Nervous about officially becoming a ‘big boy’. Anxious about giving up ‘baby privileges’. Worried about whether I would continue hugging him as I did.

“Sometimes I want to be a baby”, he said.

You are a baby, my son. You can be a baby as long as you like. Even when you have babies of your own, you can still come and snuggle up to me.

Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


A friend recently referred me to an article on homeschooling. With two kids under the age of four and no help, she is struggling to merely to survive, and yet, reading about homeschooling made her feel guilty about wanting to commit her kids to a system that was not too kind on her.Luckily, I have always been a fairly decent student who fitted pretty well into the formal school system, so do not have any compunctions about sending my kids off to school. But that is not to say I have never thought of homeschooling. All those years when I was a stay at home mother, I often thought about how I was much better qualified than any of the teachers my sons would have, and whether it would not be a waste for me not to teach them myself.

The education I gave my children is likely to be as good if not better than any they receive in a school – in fact, now, I often find myself having to make them unlearn things they are taught in school so their foundations are stronger than the ones the schools provide them.

But getting an education is not the only thing that we send kids for. Caring, sharing, fighting their own battles, competing, compromising, negotiating,… there is a whole host of things people need to learn in order to survive in the world, and most of it just cannot be taught at home. Children could learn many of those things in the playground, but in a playground you can choose to run away and not return. That is a privilege you do not have in school, so you just have to learn to dig your feet in and survive.And there is the reality that we unfortunately cannot wish away – our kids are convinced that Mammas do not know best, only teachers do. I learnt the hard way not to contradict my children when they are repeating something that their teacher taught them. ‘Parrots eat chillies’, they were taught, and nothing could convince them that though parrots may eat chillies also, they mainly feast on grains and worms. It reached a point when I was asked, “Are you a parrot or what, why are you eating chillies?” every time I refused to let the kids taste something hot from my plate.

And Maths! I am much better at Maths than my older son’s teacher will ever be, but he still clings to her way of doing things because she knows best.

Translated, teachers make better teachers than mothers, even if the mothers are actually better educated than the teachers are.

And in all that, I have left out what to me is the most important argument I have against homeschooling. Every mother needs time to be herself. Time to unwind and to do something that she likes, even it is something like watching TV or surfing the internet. A mother who is required to be a mother 24 hours a day, every single day is unlikely to be as good a mother as one who gets a few hours off for herself. Homeschooling would not allow that, unless you combine homeschooling with outside daycare, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of homeschooling.

And that is the gist of what I told my friend when she mentioned homeschooling. She was never convinced it was a good option, but now she doesn’t feel guilty about putting her kids in formal playschools anymore! My good deed for the day done!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grading answersheets

Some years back, a teacher at one of Bombay's most prestigious b-schools was sitting opposite me in the suburban local, grading answer papers. Between Bandra and Churchgate, a journey of less than thirty minutes, she went through 57 sheets, each of which had an essay type answer of not less than three handwritten pages of a full scape paper.
Her modus operendi was simple - read the name (doubtless make decisions based on perceived ability of student), flip the pages to count how many pages there were, take in the first paragraph, the last paragraph and one random paragraph in the middle, pen in grade with red ink on the front page and circle it, check the name again and put it aside.
At first, I was shocked - those kids have doubtlessly prepared for the exam and spent at least an hour each on writing the answer out - don't they at least deserve the courtesy of a full read? But soon, I got sucked into the rhythm - she had obviously taken grading answer sheets to a fine art. And even as I questioned her sincerity, I had to admire the dexterity with which she went about her job.
Only once did she falter. Just once, after she re-checked the name, she opened the sheet again, read a couple of paragraphs, then went back and amended the grade.
She could have been the study of countless experiments, but all I could think of was about how many innocent lives must have been destroyed through a system as faulty as the one I was seeing.

This is not the same lady, but the efficiency with which she graded answer sheets in the middle of Dadar station reminded me of her. I just had to take the photograph.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stand and Stare

A couple of days back, a friend forwarded an e-mail on how one of the top musicians in the US played six Bach pieces on a 3.5 million dollar violin for 45 minutes at a Washington DC subway station during peak hours and less than a dozen people even slowed down to listen. Black and white, male and female, rich and poor – they were all too busy to even notice the music. The only demographic group that consistently wanted to stand and listen was, you guessed it, children. But they were always dragged away by parents who were in a rush to go wherever it is they had to go to.
The entire exercise had been a part of an experiment by the Washington Post to determine whether appreciation of beauty was universal, or it was a function of the context in which it was experienced.
‘How would I have behaved in a similar situation’, I kept asking myself while reading the article. Music is unlikely to have moved me, because I am practically tone deaf, but I do know that I almost always slow down when I see an artist sketching, or a man taking time to compose a photograph. I am that person who is constantly pointing things out to her kids, or whipping out my camera to capture a particularly interesting scene. But at the same time, there are so many times when I have picked up one child and dragged the other because I have been in a hurry to do whatever it is that I feel I should be doing at that point of time. Maybe then, I am not too different from all those other commuters.

But maybe most of those people were not indifferent to the music. Maybe they just had to be in office on time, and could not spare even a few minutes to listen to something they were moved by. Maybe if the same experiment was conducted in the evening when the commuters were going back home, the results would have been different. And if any of those people had been on a holiday, they would definitely have stopped to listen.

So I thought, till I saw this picture that I took during the half-marathon last Sunday.

When I took the picture, I was aware only of the Kenyan runners.
I had blogged about them earlier – to say they are poetry in motion is at the same time totally accurate and totally inadequate. To see them run within a few feet of you is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
It was only when I got home that I noticed the young lady in the frame, running as though totally oblivious to the grand sight that she could witness if only she turned her head a bit. She is obviously a reasonably decent runner, why then is she totally indifferent to something that few have the privilege of witnessing.Could that be another example of not having time for Beauty even when we are not engaged in work? Or am I just over analyzing?
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Because I Can

Why do otherwise sane people subject themselves to physical feats that are slightly beyond them? And having done it once, and proved to themselves that they can do it, why do they attempt it again and again?
These are questions that I should perhaps be asking myself, but I know I never will, because though the answers are there, they just cannot be articulated.
The day before I attempted my third half-marathon, I was reminiscing about the boy who inspired me to cross the finish-line of my maiden half-marathon running. I carried him across the finish line during the second half-marathon I ran, and was hoping I would do the same during my third.
But I had reason to think of him long before the finish line. At the start of the race itself, I had told myself that come what may, I would not stop running till after I reached the 7 km mark, and that I would take stock of my strategy for the rest of the race only after that point. Many were the times I wanted to slow down for just a couple of seconds, but I did not. I just put my head down and concentrated on putting first one foot forward and then the next. Before I knew it, I had reached the 7 km mark, and once there, I continued running.
Even before I reached the turn-around, I knew I was in trouble. The cramps that I had been trying to ignore, could not be denied any longer, and I was forced to walk to the nearest medical camp. Ice and spray later, I was back in the race, but everytime I tried to run, the pain came back in earnest.
By the time I was back on Marine Drive, the pain was so great, the only thing I wanted to do was to just drop out and take a train home. One thing kept me going – if I quit, how could I ever look my son in the eye and tell him that he should not give up just because he doesn’t get something on the first attempt.
Two kilometers to go. Home stretch. I started running. Slowly, very, very slowly, but running. If that boy last year could keep going so could I. Pain shot through my legs – for the first time in my running life, my legs were begging me to give up. But the heart refused to listen. And the heart is always stronger than the legs.
One kilometer to go. 500 meters. 200 meters. The legs had given up sending distress messages. But the heart was not through yet. ‘Now sprint’ was the order it sent out to the legs, which was in no condition to even refuse to recognise a direct order.
I sprinted across the finish line! That last kilometer had been the fastest of the 21 I had run!
I was foolish. I was foolhardy. But I had done it!
As I limped across to the medical tent, a man came up to me – ‘Sister. You were an inspiration to me. You kept me running. Thank you.’ Even before I could tell him it was the sweetest thing I had ever heard, he had disappeared. Was he real, or just a figment of my imagination?
Maybe a little bit of both. But I a sure that next year, he will inspire someone else, and the chain of inspiration will not be broken – it cannot be.
And to answer the questions that any sane person would ask me, I would just quote from the bumper sticker I wish I had 21.097 kms – Because I Can.
But maybe not for too long. After yesterday’s race, I know that the mind is ready for 42.195 kms. How long before the body is ready, I do not yet know.

And before I leave, here is a picture of the person I ran with for almost a kilometer, before an overzealous policeman chased him away for not having a valid bib-
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Real boys.... love

These days, my younger one is rarely seen without his ‘Dolly’. Unless she is fed, he will not eat. She sits on his lap while watching TV, is made to grip the crayon when he is supposed to be colouring, and even accompanies him to the toilet. Needless to say, neither will sleep at night, unless she is tucked into bed next to him, and he hugs her tight.
I had a faithful companion too, so I know just what he feels for her.
Why then does everyone think he is weird?
Must boys be denied the right to love?
Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The last kilometer

Five months before I took part in SCMM’s half-marathon last year, I was so unfit, I could barely jog a minute on the treadmill, but I knew I wanted to participate in the Dream Run come what may. Two months before the event, I was able to run about five kilometers at a stretch, and while registering something made me tick the box for the half-marathon.
I lived in denial till the acceptance letter arrived, but with the event handbook in my hand, I could not put off accepting the fact that I had perhaps let myself into a lot more than I was aware of. Through all those long hours on the treadmill, I was conscious of only three things – I had to finish the race, I had to attempt to run at-least half the distance, and I had to do all I could to try and finish in under three hours.
During the lead up to the Race Day, on the early morning train ride, waiting in the queue for the toilets, it was just three things I kept repeating to myself – ‘finish the race, run as much of it as you can, try to do it within three hours.’ At that time, all three seemed distant possibilities, but I was determined to give my best shot.

Two and a half hours after I stepped over the starting mat, I found myself within striking distance of all three of my pre-race goals – I had just crossed the 20 kilometer mark, had definitely ‘run’ much more than twelve kilometers, and at that stage could have crawled the rest of the way and still made it within three hours.
I was that close to the finish-line, and guess what I did? I slowed down and started walking. It wasn’t that the legs couldn’t run anymore or that the lungs were bursting – it was just the mind that decided that it did not matter whether I ran or walked any longer, so Quit and decided to walk. I tried getting myself to run, but couldn’t manage more than a few steps at a time.
The last kilometer IS the hardest!

And then, I saw Him.
A young boy with cerebral palsy, valiantly pushing his wheelchair, while his concerned father walked beside him. That was the picture of true grit – he was so fatigued he could barely move his arms, but still plodded on unassisted to reach the finish-line. There was nothing in it for him – no cash prizes, no medals, no sound bytes. Nobody would have blamed him had he allowed his father to assist him. But he did not. He was determined to do it on his own, and he was doing so.

Tears came to my eyes. I wanted to go to him and congratulate him. Instead, I decided to pay a silent tribute to him by doing what he would have done had he been in my place – I started running again. And I continued running till after I crossed the finish line.

I do not know if he will be participating in the Race tomorrow. But one thing I do know. When I cross the finish-line, he will be crossing it with me. And I hope I run a race that he would be proud of.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Nadas....two for ten bucks

I seem to get most of my best shots on the local train.
Maybe because that is one time when I am not rushing from one thing to another, so have time to actually look around me. Or maybe it is just that the suburban trains are really interesting places.
Strangely enough, for the amount of interest her 'nadas' generated, nobody seemed to be buying them. Wonder why, because nadas are one thing no saree or salwar kameez wearer can ever have enough of.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Inheritance

A bucolic setting?

Not exactly. The plastic cow I placed in the pot several weeks back to keep it away from my younger one's mouth. Then a couple of days back when the same kid managed to spill a bottle of mustard seeds all over the kitchen floor, I decided to throw them into the pot instead of sweeping then into the dustbin just to see what happened. Surprisingly, they germinated, and look rather nice now.
Wonder if I am going to get 'sarson ke khet' in the tiny little pot kept on my kitchen window?

Took the picture on Pongal day, because it somehow seemed appropriate. I may be totally divorced from my 'landowner' roots, but I do seem to have inherited a green thumb from the grandmother I never really liked. But of all the things she could have left me, it is the thing I most value that she did.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


‘Sakarai Pongal’ is not made by throwing everything into a pressure cooker and hoping for the best. But my cook-book naps in the afternoon!
After all, need the recipe be any more authentic than the ingredients?
Milk from a tetrapack packed in Pune. Rice marketed by a firm headquarted in Calcutta, grown who knows where. Pulses bought loose from the grocer. Jagery left over from last year.
The steamy lump is not Sakarai Pongal. But it is sweet.
I don’t care. This is not an offering to Surya, it is a tribute to my father. And he loved anyything sweet.

Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blowing his own trumpet

Somehow, I thought Moharram was a festival associated with mourning - this picture definitely seems to suggest otherwise.
But when you see such happy faces, why complain?
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Rubik's Cube

Six faces. Six colours. How hard could it be?
But it is. You get one piece into place, two others are disturbed.
Keep at it and you figure out some simple rules…
There is always that one stubborn piece that refuses to flip around– you want to yank it out and push it back in.
Books reduce it all to a series of moves. A perfect cube is easy to attain.
But is that the point? You like bumbling around, trying to reach your own levels of satisfaction. The thrill is in the quest.

Isn’t that how Life is too?


Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Life on the Streets

Is it a novel they pen?
The real story about life
on the streets.
Not the poetry in poverty
which only those
with full-bellies can see.
Or the anger imagined
by a man who thinks
heritage hotels are civic spaces.
But the Real Story.
The pain of hunger,
The joy of a community.

Or, are they working
on a get rich quick scheme?
Do it the traditional way.
Hard work, more hard work,
and bundles of Gandhi's portraits
being passed under the table.

Maybe is it just their maths homework
that they are working on.
Sitting there upon that kerb.

Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Face of the Race

When I think back on the run I did at the Mumbai Marathon last year the things I remember most vividly are two things that were not even there. The more prominent one was the absence of traffic – intersections where I have spent hours in cabs, busses and cars took only minutes to cover on foot. But far more memorable was the sheer absence of litter.
Think about it- roughly three thousand people ran the half marathon. Even if they slowed down at an average of five drink stations each, that is a minimum of fifteen thousand bottles of water discarded around the 21.092 km route. Which works out to about 70 bottles that should have been found discarded on any 100 meter stretch. Taking into consideration the fact that there would have been people running slower than me, the number may have been lower– maybe even as low as only around 50 bottle per 100 meter stretch.
How many bottles did I actually see – never more than seven or eight bottles at any point of time, even at the drinks stations where most people were tossing in the water and tossing out the bottle. What I did see were dozens and dozens of BMC workers picking up bottles from along the route and either chucking them into bins, or putting them in the sacks they carried on their back.

Running along Marine Drive, I finished the water in the bottle I was carrying and finding a BMC worker there, I slowed down and handed the bottle over to her instead of chucking it down for her to pick up. I was stunned by her response – in heavily accented English, she said, ‘Thank you.’
It was she that I had to say ‘Thank you’ to.
Thank you, each an every BMC worker for individually and collectively ensuring such a clean track for us to run on.
To me, the person who most deserves to be the Face of the Race is not the event sponsor, or the event ambassador, or even the event winner. To me, that Face is the face of the lowly paid worker who performed her job with such dedication despite perhaps not understanding the significance of any of it.
And this is a picture of the mob at the start of the Delhi half. Having started late in Mumbai, I missed the excitement, and the pushing and shoving that went with the official start.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The richer the better

Tucked away in a corner on Carter Road, I loved this cutout of Farhan Akhtar that said, "Men, Chocolate and Coffee... richer the better".
Firmly puts women in the driver's seat, though not quite in the way a feminist would approve of.
It also proves what I already knew- that he is the man most 30+ women would want to go on a date with.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Women on track

This picture speaks for itself.

I am so glad I allowed my hubby to buy me a phone with a 3 megapixel camera.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My son's girlfriend

Misha* had just turned four, my son was a month short of his third birthday. But nobody could have missed their chemistry when they danced together at the Christmas Party.
"Is Misha your friend?", I asked tentatively.
"No. Misha is my girlfriend!", he replied authoritatively.

"And who is your brother's girlfriend?", I prodded gently.
"He doesn't have one. Only I have a girlfriend."
"And the other girls, are they also your girlfriends?"
"No. Only Misha is my girlfriend."

I haven't yet made up my mind about whether I should be amused or worried.

Or happy that he is not commitment-phobic.

* name changed

Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The old, and the not so old

Rickety Fiat taxis of indeterminate horsepower, and charming horse-drawn 'Victorias'- they all have to stop at the same traffic lights on Marine Drive.
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Monday, January 5, 2009

The Star outside Amboli Church.

You can't really make it out, but the Star has the words Peace and Joy, surrounded by images of a Dove, a Cross, an Om and a Crescent. A more culturally sensitive message would be hard to find.
I think it is incredible that the congregation has made the statement that it has made, but I also wonder how many temples would have thought to make a similar gesture during their most important festival.
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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mother and Child

Despite having brought up two babies in the last five years, I continue to be fascinated by how tiny babies actually are.
Looking at this picture, who could tell that in just a few more weeks, those tiny feet will be trying to fit themselves into the high heeled shoes they are now resting comfortably against.
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Younger Child

“Mamma, I want to teach you addition”, said the older one. Since, even a month back, he was struggling to just grasp the concept, I couldn’t but agree to play with him.
“Okay, let us do five plus three equals ?” He wrote the numbers out.
“What do I now do?”, I asked, playing along.
“Which number is bigger?”, he asked patiently.
“Yes, five. Now keep it in your head.” He made me place my hand on my head. “Now, show me three fingers. Good. Which number is in your head? Yes, five. Now, which number comes after five.”
“I am not sure”, I stammered, playing along. But help was close on hand.
“Six!”, said the younger one.
“Very good. Now count the fingers”, prompted the older one.
“Six. Seven. Eight. Eight!!!”, announced the younger one triumphantly. “Now I want to do another addition.”

Soon, the two were happily playing away at addition, and the younger one got the mechanics of it in a jiffy. Whether he understands the concept of addition or not, I do not know, but the not-yet-three-year old can now perform simple addition sums with just a little bit of help.
Isn’t he lucky being born the younger child?

Friday, January 2, 2009

No Clenched Fist

The other day, I got a mailer from the organizers of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, which ended with -
‘No closed fists. No angry rage.
Just the open road and the will to finish.’
My sentiments exactly!
Others who presumably received the same mailer did not quite agree. More than one columnist has written about how Bombay should channel all its anger and negative energy into the Mumbai marathon. But to what purpose? Will the government become more proactive when it comes to tackling terror just because a couple of thousand people run a race that they signed up for months before the Terror Attacks?
One guest columnist has written about how in the aftermath of the Terror Attacks, he has been able to increase the distance he is able to cover from three kilometers to seven. He may attribute it to the anger he feels against the terrorists, but I know that without any such motivation, I was able to up my performance by roughly the same level last year.

The Mumbai Marathon is now an institution- an institution that celebrates the growing fitness culture among Bombayites, an institution that has got people who would otherwise never have run running. That many of the runners also care about the country they live in and would like to make a difference is incidental- the main reason why runners run is because they have discovered that they love running. And to try and put a political agenda to it merely cheapens the whole thing.

Just last week, we heard about how a swimming champion, Vinod Ghadge, got enmeshed in fishing nets and drowned in the open seas while paying homage to the victims of the Terror Attacks. A pointless death, in my opinion. The victims of the Terror Attacks know that the nation is with them. Would one man utterly unconnected with the Terror Attacks swimming from Raigarh to Bombay alleviate their pain in any way. If he was hoping to raise money from the swim and donate it to the victims, it may have been of some use, but that did not seem to have been his intention. Then why undertake the swim at all, unless he hopped onto the ‘homage bandwagon’ in order to get some additional publicity?

I am glad the Mumbai Marathon is rising above that. If things going as planned, it would be my privilege to join thousands of others on 18th January, as ‘Mumbai runs to secure its future.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A game of chor-police

My two boys wanted to play chor-police with their friend. The friend had a gun, my two didn’t. They wanted him to share his gun– he had no such intentions. I could see stormy tantrums at best, a no-holds-barred fistfight at worst.
“Why don’t you play something else?”, I intervened.
“We want to play chor-police only!”
“Why don’t you play terrorist-police instead? Your friend can be the terrorist, you be the police.”
“But we still need guns.”
“Not if you are the Mumbai Police, you don’t. Mumbai Police takes on terrorists with lathis.”

Sometimes Truth does show you the way!

Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.


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