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Showing posts from October, 2009

Agartala And Back

When you sit in a small 22-seater or a 14-seater aircraft, there is always an eerie feeling. The same you experience when you sit on a helicopter, especially going by the number of crashes. So many famous people have died in these helicopter rides. I am not famous but I have my heart waiting in my mouth whenever I sit on a small plane. And now that I am back from the godforaken place of Agartala, I am oh so relieved.

Not that I have anything against this north eastern state capital of Tripura. It is so green and so laid back and seemingly safe despite being officially declared a "hyper sensitive" area because of the increase in insurgents operating in the state. My one-and-a-half day tour of the place was packed with a visit to a newly opened university and a visit to some local sight seeing addresses, including the oldest school in the north eastern region, the Umakanta Academy establshed in 1890.

But my journey from Calcutta itself was an amusing one. The team I was tied up …

The Ages

My grandmother, at 80-plus, has a habit. She loves to prod and goad and ask innumerable questions the moment you introduce someone to her. So what is the name of your clan? Name your family members? Who all are married? The queries go on... Over the years, I have met people her age and I find they all share this habit. They are all friendly, and to a fault.

My old neighbour in Sarojini Nagar was one such man. He lived with his son and daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. Everyone seemed to pay him a deaf ear, for reasons not far to seek. I dreaded opening the door every morning to pick up the newspapers because he would be standing, waiting for the sound of the door creaking. Soon I would hear a, "May I come in?" He loved to discuss the morning paper headlines with us. It became a pain, so one fine day we decided to be rude. "No you may not come in".

My current neighbour is another old man, who walks about with dark goggles even at night and a walking stick. The …

In Anticipation Of Winter

There is something inxplicably romantic about winters. I love foggy and rainy afternoons, and I am not a pessimist. I also love chilly nights and mornings. And I love the scent of winter tree flowers, more potent, as you drive along Race Course Road and Prithviraj Road.

So I have reasons to be depressed. I read a report that said the degree of coldness is going to decrease with each year. Global warming is my layman explanation. More depressed was when I was at the mall a few months back and winter clothes were on sale at the height of summer. The reason, the saleswoman told me, was because Delhi is going to be warm this winter. I don't want to believe anyone and continue with my fascination for snowy landscapes and barren trees and fireplaces inside houses. In the clutter and worry and stress for all things routine, these thoughts bring a sense of comfort to the mind.

Winter in the hills is holiday time. For three to four months in a year, the schools and colleges are shut and the …

Come October

I thought it was the swine. Sister and rommie were down with fever. And while one recovered, the other was hospitalised with dengue and typhoid. I was mother hen for a week. No complaints there but I had my first brush with a dengue patient up, close and personal. The skin had rashes like allergies and I kept glued to the platelet count reports every morning. Thankfully for our ever cheerful patient, she beat the dengue and the typhoid and came home after seven days. Lolo says people die of snake and shark bites down under and here we have to battle the teeny weeny moseys. Now we have installed the most powerful mosquito repellants in the house - a three-in-one All Out -to kill dengue, malaria and chikungunya. Hope they work.
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Diwali was fun. We had lunch at Dilli Haat at the Naga Stall and digged on smoked pork with akhuni or fermented black beans and rice. Then we bought diyas to light up the house and my sister tried her hand at drawing up a rangoli which looked like the strang…