ಒಂಟಿತನ ಮತ್ತು ದೇವರು

ಜೀವನ ಎಷ್ಟು ವಿಚಿತ್ರ ಅಲ್ಲವೇ? ಹೇಳೋದಕ್ಕೆ ನಾವು ಸಮಾಜ ಜೀವಿಗಳು… ನಮಗೆ ಸಂಸಾರ – ಅಪ್ಪ, ಅಮ್ಮ, ಅಕ್ಕ, ತಂಗಿ, ಅಣ್ಣ, ತಮ್ಮ, ಗಂಡ, ಹೆಂಡತಿ, ಮಗ, ಮಗಳು, ಅಜ್ಜಿ, ತಾತ … ಹೀಗೆ ನೂರಾರು ಸಂಬಂಧಿಕರು; ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಶಾಲೆಯ, ಕಾಲೇಜಿನ ಸಹಪಾಠಿಗಳು, ಕೆಲಸದ ಸಹುದ್ಯೋಗಿಗಳು, ಅದಲ್ಲದೆ ಅಕ್ಕ-ಪಕ್ಕದ ಮನೆಯವರು, ದಾರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋಗಿ ಬರುವಾಗ ಸಿಗುವ ಹಾಯ್-ಬೈ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರು… ಅಬ್ಬ! ಅದೆಷ್ಟು ಜನ!

ಆದರೆ ದಿನದ ಕೆಲವು ಕ್ಷಣಗಳು ಇರುತ್ತವೆ – ನಮಗೆ ಯಾರು ಇಲ್ಲವೆನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ, ಯಾವುದೂ ಬೇಡವಾಗಿರುತ್ತದೆ – ನಾವು ಎಷ್ಟು ಒಬ್ಬಂಟಿಗರು ಎನ್ನುವ ಕಹಿ ಭಾವನೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನದ ತಿಳಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇಸರದ ಅಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಎಬ್ಬಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೇ ಇರಬೇಕು ಮನುಷ್ಯ ಇಷ್ಟು ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕವಾಗಿ ಹಾಗು ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಂದುವರಿದರೂ ಎಲ್ಲೋ ಒಂದು ಕಡೆ – ಆ ‘ದೇವನಿರುವನು’ ಎಂಬುದು ಒಂದು ನಿಶ್ಚಲ ಸತ್ಯ, ಎಂದು ಇನ್ನೂ ನಂಬಿದ್ದಾನೆ. ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಸಂಬಂಧಗಳ ಬಂಧನಗಳಿಂದ ಮುಕ್ತರಾಗಲು ನಾವು ದೇವರ ಮೊರೆ ಹೊಕ್ಕುತ್ತೇವೆ!

Advertisements

A bad dream

I had a bad dream yesterday… it’s been sometime since I’ve had one of my weird dreams where all sorts of characters from various walks and periods of my life get mixed up… but this was almost like a nightmare – you see I was about to be killed! 😦

It looked like a reality show setting – there were a group of us in a house – most of them were known to me but I could identify just one – a colleague from office whom I’ve hardly spoken to! The show was about how one by one, each of us would get killed and the killer would be one amongst us. Apart from me there was another pregnant lady in the team. We were all sitting around a sofa and discussing who it would be next and there was a scary knife lying around. I kept repeating why does it have to be a stabbing – can’t it be something else?!! Funnily none of us seemed inclined to kill or to die and we all trusted each other. We were discussing how was it that the organizers or whoever was controlling the show would know if we didn’t kill. Then that colleague I mentioned said he would volunteer and cut himself and throw in a shriek so that it looked like someone was killed and then we would all run away from the house.

Accordingly he cut a deep gnash in his hand and shrieked and a couple of others shrieked too… all of us looked out of the French windows to check if anyone was spying on us. Not finding anyone everybody rushed out… I suddenly realized that I had the knife in my hands and it would carry my fingerprints. I decided to wash it and throw it away before making my escape. As I went in I noticed that one of my ex-teammates, who did not particularly like me, was getting into the house behind me – I didn’t have time to wonder. As I went near the kitchen I suddenly spotted a female – a stranger who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and was working in the kitchen like it was the most natural thing to do! As I went closer, she hissed – give the knife to her – meaning the ex-teammate who was behind me. I said – ‘what??!’, she hissed more fiercely – ‘I said, give the knife to her!’

With a shock I realized that I was the target, I was about to be killed! I remember shrieking ‘NO!!!!!!’ and rushing out through the French windows into the lawn outside. That’s when I woke up with a cold sweat! I realized that the fan was not running and the power was off. It was uncomfortably hot and my heart was thudding against my chest. My hands instinctively went to my baby and I was afraid that someone would harm me and my baby 😦 It was sometime before I could console myself that it was only a dream and the baby was safe. Phew!

I wonder why I had this dream – I haven’t been watching any scary shows on TV – all I watch is the Indian Idol and a harmless fun family serial – which isn’t even the typical saas-bahu types! I’m reading a book which isn’t particularly scary or grotesque. I guess, strange are the ways in which our sub-conscious mind works… I just hope I don’t have any more of these scary dreams keeping me awake at nights! 😦

Re-discovering joys of childhood…

Now that I am at home and my granny is here too, one thing I wanted to do was re-discover some childhood joys in the form of the games that we used to play as children – one of this was Chauka-baara – the very own desi version of Ludo you could say. Chauka-baara squaresIt is a game that can be played by a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 4 players and can be played in 2 versions – one shorter version with just the inner 5 X 5 matrix of squares and the longer version with the bigger 7 X 7 matrix of squares. The game is accordingly played with 4 kavade (small conch shells – the desi form of the dice) or 6 kavade in the respective versions. The score is counted by the number of shells which lie with their open face up when all of them are tossed together. All shells with their open sides up is a chauka – amounting to 4 in the shorter version and 6 in the longer version, while all shells with their closed side up is a baara – amounting to 8 in the shorter version and 12 in the longer version. That’s how the game gets its name!

The game is most exciting when played in the longer version with all 4 participants – that’s when there’s lot of fun and competition involved. Everybody takes turns tossing the shells and get started by moving their respective coins from their home squares. The individual path to be followed is as shown in the picture – each participant takes a complete peripheral path before they can get into the inner square. But there is one catch – each has to kill any one of the other’s coins to be able to get inside – this happens when someone’s else’s coin is in a square and you get the required count during your turn to take your coin to the same square – you then kill that person’s coin and that is replaced to his home square. Then again the squares with the crosses are the resting squares where nobody can kill each other’s coins – all the participants’ coins can rest in these crossed squares. Confusing? Not really! 🙂

Once you have made the maiden kill then it is easy – you just concentrate on getting all your coins into the inner square, following the path mentioned and reaching the Goal square – marked in green. What makes the game interesting is when everybody has had their maiden kills and can get inside – the game really heats up then – there will be a spree of killings and getting the ready-to-reach-goal coins to go back to their home squares! 😀 There can be another interesting twist to the game – once you reach the innermost 3X3 square (I’m not quite sure if it is the inner 5X5 square or the innermost 3X3 square – anyone with the correct info – pliss to correct me!) and you happen to get 2 of your coins into the same square and you score a 2 on your next turn, you can bind them together (gaTTi) – from there on they will move together but only on scores of 2 or multiples of 2. And of course now your rival’s coin can actually stay in the same square as your bonded coins, but the moment you score a 2 – dishkyoom!, you can make the kill! 😀

The participant who manages to take all his coins from his home square to the Goal square first amidst all this drama, is of course the winner! The others can continue to play till just one last fellow is left who is the loser. Well, I suppose I have covered all aspects of this particular game here – any of you readers remember anything else differently – do share it with me! 🙂

Another homecoming of sorts…

I had written about a homecoming then… it is a homecoming of sorts now… so much has changed in the interim. The negihbourhood and the household have changed – the groups of children playing of the streets have changed and so has the games and the decibel levels. I search for the tree-lined avenues and see cement and mortar and traffic and crowds everywhere… walking on the roads has become more difficult and tiring… one has to go a long way to find a little peace and quiet.

The friends have moved on in life as well… they’re now settled and are in different parts of the world, if not the city. The meet-ups that could’ve been possible don’t seem likely to happen. The sister is out of town – deputed to a different city for training and so my constant source of relief from boredom is away too 🙂

At home too, now all attention is focused on the little one to be welcomed. But I feel unsettled… not interested in doing anything much – reading has taken a back seat, I wonder why? I would devour pages of a book earlier without a break and now I cant seem to muster the interest to pick up a book… I thought I will try and get back to reading ways by picking up something fast and light – my eyes fell on Chetan Bhagat’s  ‘3 mistakes of my life’ – I read it, only to realize that I had made  a mistake in my life! 😀 Now I have to again pick up something else that can pique my interest. I’ve been listening to music on and off. I’ve taken up knitting and am trying to get the basics right with a simple pattern – I plan to make something substantial once this is done – I hope I do!

I guess it’s the lack of work… technically I am supposed to be working from home but there’s nothing much to keep me busy and I realize I don’t like it this way – I like being useful and being at work for a fixed number of hours during the day 😦 I suddenly don’t know what is to be done with all the time on my hands! I guess it’ll take a little getting used to., like everything else!

On the health front things are fine… I eagerly await the moments of the day when the little one decides to be awake and kicking! I sometimes still can’t believe that there is a little life-form developing inside of me! It is most fascinating of all changes that can happen to anyone! 🙂

Well… I guess this has been a very blah kind of a post… but I just wanted to pen down something to keep my blog going!

How’ve you guys been?

My encounters with French-2 – where I got ‘Oui’-fied!

I was kinda racking my brains about what best to buy for my little nephew, niece and cousin (yeah when you have the (mis)fortune of being the first-born in the family on the paternal and maternal sides, you end up having cousins who’re as old (young) as your nephews/ nieces!) . Yeah, so I wanted to buy something nice for the li’l ones, at the same time I didn’t want to splurge on something which they would soon outgrow and would thus get wasted. So I thought I’d buy some stuff which could be really useful (atleast for a year or two) and which we wouldn’t normally spend on, back home. Well, this was at the back of mind all the time I went into any shop here.

So my eyes scoured for this something when I was at one of the touristy places last weekend and was taking a walk around the neighbourhood – there were a lot of small shops with ‘SALE’ written across them and that made me happy! 😀 I found one shop which seemed to have some stuff for the infants and kids, I went in to take a look. It was a sale alright – there were heaps of all kinds of clothes, jackets and other wearables and people were pulling at it, obviously wanting what someone else had in hand. I spotted these cute little winter jackets – complete with a hood, mittens for hands and feet and I thought – this is perfect! I’ll buy three of these and my gift’s ready! Little did I realize, it wasn’t going to be as simple as that.

Firstly, it really was a heap and there was no separate heap for the jackets. And since it was for kids, I had to check the sizes before choosing them – the tiny little tag which says – 6 months, 9 months, 12 months etc. and which is not very easy to spot. Now two of these kids are nearly a year old and the girlie is 6 months. Apart from the different sizes, I had to be careful about the colours I chose – I couldn’t end up with pretty pinks for the boys and dull browns for the girl! So my task became all the more complicated. Well, let’s say, after 45 minutes of non-stop scouring and pulling out tiny hands and legs (of clothes, of course!), I ended up with 3 jackets – I partly lost patience after that and partly decided – a gift is a gift, what they do with it later is surely left to the parents!

So then, with my arms loaded with these three heavy jackets, I walked deeper into the store between aisles filled with clothes of all kinds – for women mainly. That’s when I realized how big the shop actually was and how many people it held! I picked my way amongst them and finally managed to reach the billing counter. A woman of African origin, said ‘Oui‘ with a question-mark writ all over her face. I pointed to my armload and pointed to her machine and said bill. She again said ‘Oui‘ and pointed towards something behind my back. I turned my head and saw – a serpentine queue whose end seemed to be lost somewhere in the other corner of the store – all women waiting with basket-loads of clothes they’d bought to be billed on that Saturday afternoon! They were snaking up to the counter in a round-about fashion, which I’d failed to notice. I caught my jaw from hitting the ground and quickly went past atleast thirty ladies to stand in the queue.

And then started the ordeal of waiting.  It being a ladies queue there were a few cat-fights here and there, about people forming invalid sub-queues in the wrong directions – but nothing which wasn’t settled amicably in a few minutes. As I stood between that throng of French women who were chattering away in a language which I couldn’t remotely understand, I felt lost! I did contemplate leaving behind the jackets and coming away, but then thought the better of it – having invested nearly an hour of my time, I wanted to buy it that day. Standing in that queue I realized why men tend to get annoyed when they shop with us. Those ladies, even as they stood waiting, wouldn’t let a piece of cloth alone – they checked each and every piece of clothing in every counter of every aisle – irrespective of the colour or size or pattern or anything. They wanted to take it in their hands and see it for themselves! There were times when I wanted to scream – aunty! please move on! I want to get these 3 damn things billed and get away, can you please let me go?! But I did nothing of the sort, you don’t go to a foreign country and voice your strong opinion amongst a group of people whose language you don’t understand! I grit my teeth and counted sheep as the line woefully slowly moved on. It was a good half hour before my turn came, I paid the cash and rushed out.

Phew! It really had been years since I’d shopped for anything like this by standing in such a long queue! For all the trouble I took, those babies better coo and be nice about their jackets! 😉

My encounters with French – 1

Two days ago I had my first near encounter of the French kind. Having returned from our sight-seeing jaunt earlier than expected,  I had time on my hands. I decided that I might as well use the time to sort and upload the pics taken on the day, after putting in my clothes for a wash. I’d done it once in the week earlier and had figured out a few essential things about the all-in-French washing machine contraption. Accordingly I dumped in the clothes, scooped in some washing powder and turned the thing on.

Ten minutes later I sauntered into the kitched to get something and that’s when I noticed there was no soap water in the drum! I pulled out the soap-powder inlet and fair enough, all the soap that I had scooped in earlier was merrily sitting there staring back at me! Head-slap! It was the wrong inlet dumbo! There were three (no less!) partitions and I’d put in the soap in the wrong one. Voila! I scooped out and scooped it in again into the right compartment and happily turned the selection-knob to some number from where I was sure it would re-start washing, by letting in a fresh whoosh of water.

5 minutes and no whoosh! I got a trifle worried and turned the knob a little bit more. This time I was successful in hearing the whoosh and felt a little relieved. After fiddling around with the knob a few more times (so that my clothes didn’t get over-washed!) I returned to my laptop and forgot about the machine. About half an hour later I remembered and went to check, sure enough the machine had stopped tossing and turning my clothes inside and seemed to have come to a steady not-gonna-do-anything-more kinda stop. Was the drier on at any point in time? I wondered… the selection-knob seemed to be almost at the last point, though not exactly there… I then stopped wondering, thinking that it must have… I anyway hadn’t been paying much attention.

And then, I pulled the door open. WHOOSH!! a mini-waterfall happened and there was a slight flood-like-situation in the kitchen! Luckily I recovered my wits quickly enough and banged the door shut. I then stood for a full 2 mins thinking how I should handle the situation. Was there any button to drain the water? No. Was there a spin/ dry kinda small picture anywhere on the damn machine? Nope.

Then, I did what any self-respecting IT professional and software engineer would do while in trouble! I googled-up to decipher the French options on the machine! That’s how I found out – Essorage is wring-out/ spin-dry and Vidange is empty/drain in French. I prompty turned the knob to Essorage and switched on the machine again and cleaned up the mess. 5 more minutes and I was done, my clothes were ready to be hung out to dry!

Hurrah for Google! I shudder to think… what would’ve been life without you?!! 🙂

Muddle-head me

The dear guy needs to be handed over a special prize for putting up with a muddle-headed-me!

Having pre-decided the menu for the day I get up early as usual and quickly go about preparing the lunch and breakfast dishes. He soon joins me and helps wrap up and finish the morning chores. I leisurely also pack the lunch for the two of us, happy that the morning is turning out to be a well planned and executed one.

After a quick bath, I also have time enough to have my breakfast without rushing while he says he too will have a quick shower before he can drop me to my cab-stop. I finish the customary pooja, eat and get ready to have all stuff handy – the handbag, lunchbag and sweater, to leave. He too is ready and we lock the house and leave with 5 minutes to spare.

He drops me at the stop and I goad him to get back quickly so that he can reach office early as well. The cab arrives, I climb in and take a seat and that’s when I realize – I’ve left my lunch bag at home! I call him, he has just reached home, says he will come back, but I say the cab has already left for the next stop which is quite nearby too. He says he will try and intercept the cab on its way. I see him reach the main road, but our cab zooms ahead and is weaving through the traffic.

On the main road, he calls again to say he can’t figure out our cab as there are several alike, all enroute to reach the office campus! I am confused and panicky by now and chicken out from getting up and asking the driver to stop for a few minutes. He ends up following us for the entire 7-8 kms stretch and has to reach the office campus to actually meet me and hand over the bag.

I am feeling so sad and pitiful. I so deserve to be thwacked! 😦