Friday, April 28, 2006

To click or not to click.

I love looking at photographs. Oh no, not the kind in the bulky photo albums of your neighbour's daughter's wedding, where there are 657 photos of the couple posing with half the people in the world. Nor the colleague's honeymoon album, with photos that make you blush a deeper red than that of the brand new bride's brand new lipstick.

I am talking about the photographs of my childhood, of family get-togethers, of exciting vacations, of old friends, of school and college.... I can completely lose myself in them, looking through old photographs, recalling fond memories, replaying conversations. People tell me that while I am with my beloved photo albums, I have a wistful smile on my face, and a faraway look in my eyes.

"Din jo pakheru hote, pinjre mein main rakhleta" sang Rafi in Dil Ek Mandir. "If days were birds, I would keep them in cages". I Think photos come closest to capturing memories.

As a result, I am a shutterbug. I insist on carrying cameras wherever I go, and click everything and anything. If there is a family get-together, out comes my camera. If we are on a holiday, I first pack the camera. I capture people, places, roads, buildings, trees, hills, rivers, sunrises, sunsets - I want everything. I want to bring them all back and then look back on them and recollect the beautiful moments.

Some places, people and settings fade with time. Once it is captured on the camera, they stay forever. EAch time you feel that the memory is getting hazy, you can whip out the photograph, look at it, and voila! Your memory is refreshed!

S agrees that photographs are special, but he says that in the confusion of taking out the camera and concentrating on clicking, you miss out on the real experience. He feels that photos are great when you want to take back images of people, and of the places you have visited. But when the experience is a fleeting one, one where you need all your senses to experience it completely, then you should just put the camera aside. Some moments can anyway not be captured on camera, moving or still, so why not just forget the camera and enjoy the moment completely? So that later on, you can look back on this moment and still feel the joy of it.

Yes, there are definitely some moments that cannot be captured. If Rose, standing with Jack on the prow of the Titanic, with her hands outstretched, had thought, "Oh wow, how beautiful! What a lovely moment! I really should capture this", then taken out her camera, concentrated on getting the best view, while making sure that the camera does not plunk into the ocean - now that would have been stupid. Anyway, by the time she got her snap, the ship would have hit the iceberg. Ok, I am digressing.

What I am trying to say is, I am not that bad either. But where do we draw the line? How do we decide what deserves to be experienced by itself, and what ought to be captured on camera? There lies the problem. S and I are slowly on the way to agreeing upon a common definition of "camera-worthy" and "experience-worthy", but it will take some time.

Meanwhile, if you'll excuse me, that tree is swaying absolutely beautifully in the rain. I'll get my camera.
[Male voice in the background] Come on, just sit back and enjoy the rain. By the time you get your camera, the rain would have stopped!

And the story continues...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What YOU can do about it.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." said John F. Kennedy, at a commencement address in Yale in 1962.
["...much less the discomfort of action", adds Raaji, a reader.]


---------------------------------------------

My parents are regular readers of my blog. They do comment, but very rarely on the blog. The bouquets and the brickbats are given to me offline. :)

My father watched the heated discussion on this post, and zeroed in upon the repeated complaints about infrastructure and the feeling that we cannot do anything about it.

This is what he wrote to me (modified slightly by me).

-------------------------------------------------------

I have been following keenly the post on Bangalore and the numerous comments. One of the concerns which is clearly coming out is the feeling of "helplessness" to improve infrastructural woes of Bangalore and also that nothing can be done by us as individuals.

Well, I tend to second the suggestions by the noted consumer activist and writer, Shakuntala Narasimhan. One clear message from her to the citizens is that one should protest whenever the situation calls for it. The citizen should put forth his views to the organizations meant to provide civic amenities like electricity, water, transport, health, education and the like.

If we do not do anything, nothing will happen anyway. However, if we assert our rights to get a fair deal from these entities, something "could" happen. If more people do it, certainly, it will be difficult to ignore the voice of the people. Therefore let us decide to "speak" and not be silent. This can be done by sending mails, personal meetings, demonstrations or whatever.
Since e-mail is convenient, the least we could do is to keep sending mails -
1) Directly to the departments and the chiefs concerned
2) To the media (newspapers, magazines, TV)
3) Consumer action groups.

One more point. Let us not assume that all officials/employees in the utilities are indifferent. After all they are also like us. There are sane voices within these behemoths. I was told by an official in one such organization that he spoke to his boss about some suggestions he had for bringing about improvements, quoting the inconvenience being caused to the public. The boss asked him whether anyone had complained, or whether he had any written complaints to show. He had none. The boss waved him off, saying that in that case, it must be a non-issue. And there ended the matter. Our action to register our views will strengthen the hands of this minority.

-----------------------------------------------------

I think it makes sense. I later discussed it with my father, and we agreed that there are two small obstacles.

1) It might not be easy to get hold of the email ids of all the relevant organizations. Writing letters is always an option, but more and more people are moving away from it, citing lack of time.
But this is not an insurmountable obstacle. If we have the will, we can find out.

2) We might not get any response or see any action for a long, long time. We need a lot of time and patience. So it is very difficult to sustain the initial enthusiasm. Not everybody can be as stubborn and strong-willed as Andy Dufresne of The Shawshank Redemption, can they?
There must be some way to sustain the interest. Form a group? Take turns in writing?

What are your thoughts on this? Any suggestions? Any ideas? Your inputs will be appreciated.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

50 years of Ruskin Bond.

Wow! Ruskin Bond just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first book, The Room on the Roof, and like he says in View from the top:Golden Memories,

Both book and I are still around.


Thank God for that! And well, why not? Who can resist his stories? Stories packed with fantastic pictures from the land of mountains, hills, trees and rivers, where every person springs to life, every little corner has an exciting tale to tell, and where every story is as likeable as the man who wrote them?

I cannot recall when I was first introduced to Ruskin Bond. But for as long as I remember, I have been an admirer of his. I remember looking forward to his articles in the Sunday supplement of the Deccan Herald. There was usually something by him. An essay, which would take me on a brief sojourn to the beautiful place he lived in, a little ghost story that would make me jump at my own shadow for quite a while afterward, or a seemingly unimportant incident, which would dance with life with his words.

I have spent many hours planning how I would go to Mussourie to meet him, sit on the porch of Ivy Cottage, sip tea, and talk to him. But before my dreams could see the light of day, he came to Bangalore. ;)

About a year and a half back, I woke up in the morning to see an ad in the newspapers that told me that Ruskin Bond would be spending an hour in a well-known book store, as part of a promotion tour. The next thing I knew, much to my disbelief, I was on my way, all across town, to spend a few minutes with one of my favourite writers.

As soon as I entered the store, I spotted a plump, pink and pleasant figure in a maroon shirt, walking leisurely along the aisles. I lost no time in joining him. He looked up from the book he was browsing, and looked at me, much like a kind grandfather, and smiled and nodded. I don't know if anybody was watching, but I am sure I blushed. I introduced myself, told him I loved his writing, and thanked him for his delightful stories. He smiled, and said something like "That's good".

Before I could ask him anything else, some kids discovered him, rushed up and flocked around him, with eager faces and shining eyes. I hung around, waiting. The kids left him alone for a moment, and I snatched a few more moments with him. "How much of your work is autobiographical?" I asked. He spoke, in a slow, measured way. "You could say that most of the events are real. But I have built up on it considerably". Fair answer. But for me, more mystery. Which is built up, and which really happened? Sigh! Maybe some things are best left unanswered?

Then it was autograph time. Ruskin Bond sat, smiling pleasantly, as kids lined up with their newly bought books. I stood in line, a brand new Ruskin Bond omnibus in my hands. He spent a couple of minutes with every person who went to him. There was this little girl in front of me, who had bought a book of ghost stories. When she gave it to him to autograph, he looked at the cover, and made an expression of mock horror. "Ghost stories! Are you really going to read this? Even I get scared when I read this book!" There was laughter all around, and then it was my turn. He asked me what I do, and wrote a personal message in the book, and autographed it, while the official photographer took some snaps. I left with a feeling of exhilaration. I returned to pick up my snaps with Ruskin Bond from the store a
couple of weeks later. Highly amusing. My expression is one of joy, restrained with great difficulty. I went around showing everybody his autograph and the snaps, and I was promptly christened "Bond girl". Oh well!

If this little meeting sent me into such raptures, I wonder what I would have done, had I lived my dream - which is exactly what Uma at Indian Writing tells us she did, in >this delightful account.

In his article, in which he looks back at the 50 years since his first publication, he says,

When, as a 20-year-old, I set out to make a living as a freelancer in India, many friends said it would not be possible. Fifty years later, some of them are still saying so.


He is happy, he says with the life he has lived.

If I could live my life all over again, I wouldn't change much. Only this time I would get down from that night train at Deoli and speak to the girl on the platform.*


Ah, such joy! :)


[*From The Night Train at Deoli, a beautiful story, in which he did not get down and speak to the girl on the platform, and later speaks of it with regret.]
A list of his books.
More info about him here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

An open request from a Bangalorean.

A request
To those residents of Bangalore, who haven't been living here for long, and hence do not consider themselves Bangaloreans,
To those who consider themselves Bangaloreans, but who do not think too high of the "localite" or "Kannadiga".

* I know you have been inconvenienced by the recent riots in Bangalore, and I know that it was unnecessary. The reasons for the riots were many - most of the rioters were just drunken rowdies out to have a good time. Added to it, total mismanagement by the police, resulted in a totally chaotic situation, which caused agony to many. You have every right to bemoan your fate, and discuss about how silly and pointless everything was. But please refrain from making sweeping and unfair generalizations about how "Kannadigas are blind and crazy", "South Indians are movie fanatics", and more than that, please do not bestow rude epithets on the Kannadiga.

* Please note that Bangalore is what it is because of the localites. Bangalore houses you, clothes you, and feeds you, and it houses the concern where you earn your daily bread. The office has been set up here in the first place because of the conducive atmosphere of the city and its (once) salubrious climate, and the welcoming and hospitable attitude of the local populace. If the localites seem hostile to you now, it is because of built up frustrations over a long period, resulting from the hostile and superior attitude that most of you might have displayed.

* Hindi might be one of the most widely spoken languages in India. But the localites need not know Hindi. It is the mother tongue of only a few of you, and you cannot expect everybody to know Hindi for your convenience. Try speaking in English, and if it doesn't help, then learn Kannada. Learning new languages is good for the brain too.

* Bangalore is in India too, but there are cultural differences from place to place. Your natural confidence and open body language is more often than not, construed as arrogance, high-handedness and superiority here. This is not taken too kindly by the localites. Try to be polite. Even if you do not know the language, make sure you use "Thank you" and "Please". The localite is basically a good person. He will respond in kind. [This Thank You and Please will go a long way anywhere. It's called the lubricant that makes the world go round!]

* Do not make fun of the South Indian accent. For your information, the accent you are speaking with, is not too great either. Some English sounds are not present in Indian Languages. Kannada and other South Indian languages do not have the sound "o" as in North. Some of us tend to pronounce it as "Naarth". Some of you cannot say "school", you say "ischool". You think the pronunciation of "bear" is like "beer", but it is not. "Entry" is pronounced as "Entry", not "Antry". Just as some of you cannot speak good English, some of us South Indians do not speak Good English. We are all Indians trying to speak a foreign language. All of us are in the same boat.

* Yes, we speak Hindi with a funny accent. We pronounce "hai" as "hy", because the sound "ai" is not there in Kannada. But we do not know how well you speak Kannada because you do not even try. Even then, try making the "L" sound with your tongue rolled. You will find it very difficult. Because that sound is hardly used in most of your languages.

* Yes, there are rude and greedy localites. There are cheats, there are thieves. Like there are, everywhere. If they seem more rampant here, that is because it is proportional to the population. And because the disparity between the rich and the poor is ever-increasing, this will also increase.

* Yes, the infrastructure is bad in Bangalore. The planners of Bangalore never dreamt of this kind of a population. Even now, enough efforts are not being taken. There is inefficiency, and carelessness in the way things are being dealt with. We are also being as inconvenienced as you are. Stop the ceaseless complaining, or do something. [This applies to the localites too.]

* Bangalore is not a hotel. You are not paying to stay here, and hence there is no point in expecting some kind of special service from the place. It is a place like any other.

* Yes, there are many things wrong with Bangalore. LIke any other place. If you had great expectations from the city, then that is your problem. Try instead, to find out what is right with it, and enjoy your stay here. But also note that most "outsiders" do not return to where they come from, and make this city their home. Warts and all.

We are all Indians, for heavens' sake! Let's not waste our time in demeaning each other, and instead, try to understand, respect and appreciate each other.

NOTE1: You are welcome to comment on this, but let us all refrain from name-calling, and too broad generalizations. Let it not get ugly. Let's have a healthy discussion. Extreme regional or parochial statements will be deleted, whether it is from an "outsider" or a "localite".

NOTE2: If you want me to add anything else, please leave it in the comments. I will update it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fit and fine!

I have always been vaguely conscious of the need to be fit and healthy, and have made several ill-fated attempts at achieving fitness. More often than not, Lady Laziness, and the Slumber Queen have taken over and played spoilsport to all my plans.

That is, until I got married. Now S has very strong opinions about good health and fitness. Since both of us love walking, we have walked a lot before and after marriage. But my idea of a walk is a stroll, smelling the flowers and enjoying the breeze, whereas S thinks that a walk should be walked wearing walking shoes and track pants and exerting your pathetic body as much as possible.

Well, in short, S took over the department of fitness in my life, and Lady Laziness and Slumber Queen bid goodbye to me, and Uncle MuscleAche said Hi. But S was not to be beaten. He advised me, coaxed me, cajoled me, preached to me, threatened me, but he made sure I exercised every morning, and went for a walk with him every evening. At his pace. Which is more or less like the walking race in the Olympics.

I grumbled, whined, made faces, made up fictional stories of pains and sprains, but S was unfazed. He made me walk longer and faster than I ever thought possible, and he was the one who decided when I could stop. My protests fell on deaf ears. I even tried escaping, taking off in the direction of home, when he wasn't looking. But he caught up with me and threatened to make me walk for half an hour extra, as punishment. I finally gave up and relinquished all control to him. I followed his regimen, but took revenge by reminding him every day that I can't feel any difference.

That is, until the short trip we took last weekend. There are some really beautiful roads in those parts, and we walked a lot and had a lovely time.

We had walking for some time on one of the roads, when we came to a steep incline. "Sigh! An incline", I thought, and braced for the strain, the pants and gasps, and winced in advance, dreading the pain that I was sure I would feel in my legs.

Then the miracle occurred. I glided, yes, literally floated up the incline. I even had to look behind me to see if I really had walked up myself, or somebody had pushed me. It was effortless! My legs were strong and steady, my breathing was just moderately faster, and my heart was not pounding away! I was thrilled. My legs were listening to me! They were under my control! I beamed with pleasure. We had to walk a lot more after that, but I strode on so easily and tirelessly, that I could not believe it myself.

At first, I hid my glee from S. Ego, you see. But I could not contain my happiness any longer. I burst out with it. Thankfully, he did not say "I told you so", but I could see he was pleased, almost like a coach would be of the medal-winner that he has trained.

And oh, before S pounces on me, let me clarify. I still have a long way to go. Had that incline been steeper, or continued for longer, I would still have huffed and puffed and my legs would have protested. But I have now tasted blood. The heady feeling of being in charge of your body is too wonderful to disregard. S now has an uncomplaining walking partner.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A peek into paradise.

It was one of those holidays which you wish would never end... and you come back so refreshed and rejuvenated, that even coming to office on a Monday doesn't seem like such a bad idea!

Friday morning: (Had left Bangalore the previous night) Reached Mangalore. (Yes, Mangalore again). Bus is 5 hours late because of a traffic pile up on the Western Ghats due to an accident. But bus is a Volvo, and the sights out of the window are heavenly, so no problem. Attend a programme at Mangalore, dressed again in a Kanjeevaram saree (This time, I had not forgotten my safety pins) and eat 4-5 kinds of sweets (including delicious Badam halwa and luscious mango salad) at lunch.

Friday afternoon: Take a bus to Udupi, pause there for the customary Gadbad Icecream at Hotel Diana. Take another bus, which drives through some of the most beautiful hilly regions in the country - and through Agumbe, a little green village, known for the highest rainfall in Karnataka.

Friday evening: Reach a tiny village near Shringeri.



The village and the house - A cluster of old, beautiful houses. The house we visited - where my mom-in-law grew up, and where S has spent countless happy summer holidays in his childhood, and where S's uncle now lives. It is a stately old house with a tiled roof and a courtyard. With pillars and low doors. A beautiful 350 year-old temple on one side. With a garden all around. An erstwhile apiary. All in a beautiful setting, with trees all around, mountains in the horizon, and the Tunga river flowing in the backyard. [A Kannada saying - Tunga paana Ganga snaana - For ultimate bliss, Drink the waters of the Tunga and bathe in the Ganga].

Friday night: Eat dinner, sleep. In spite of blistering heat all day, no fan needed. No mosquitoes around, either.

Saturday morning: Explore the house, feeling like I am in another world. Hit my head and see stars while passing through the low doorways. Experience a different lifestyle. Eat food sitting cross-legged on the floor. Healthy, unpolished rice grown in the fields behind the house, Food cooked on a stove fueled by Bio-gas. Drink milk which comes from the cows and buffaloes in the barn outside. Bathe with water heated using firewood in the "Hande" (a mud tank with a hollow underneath, where firewood is stuffed, lit and the water in the tank heated.) Drink water drawn from the well. Well, you get the drift.

Watch the cows and buffaloes munching on straw, listening to them go chomp-chomp, their mouths moving comically from side to side, their eyes looking at you benignly, the not unpleasant smell of their droppings lingering...

Visit the famous Saraswati temple at Shringeri, and the Durga temple close by.



Saturday afternoon - another gorgeous meal. Then, sit on the cool floor and read stacks of old saccharine sweet Readers Digests, and doze off eventually.

Saturday Evening - visit a house two villages away, and walk back in the darkening evening, drinking in the deliciously cool and fresh air, walk through the trees, along the highway, across a 115 year old bridge over the Tunga, built by Sir M.Vishweshwarayya.

Saturday Night: Some more delicious food. Climb on to the roof, and watch the moon and the stars and enjoy the cool gentle breeze, wishing I could go to sleep right here. Come back reluctantly down, experience a relapse into modernity with watching a little Television, and then curl up in a tiny cool room with wooden doors and wooden bolts, and quaint little windows, and go to sleep.

Sunday Morning - Walk up to the Tunga flowing in the backyard. Sit on the banks, with feet in water, look at the river flowing gracefully past. Feed raw rice to the fish. Get a pedicure from the small fish, and a foot massage from the big fish, some as long as my arm and twice as thick. Take a small ride on a small "Ikkada/Theppa" (coracle) - a wide, but shallow bamboo basket, lined with plastic cement bags and fortified with tar, and rowed with a wooden oar (Rowed by a neighbour, with S trying out a bit of rowing later on!) Beautiful river, beautiful green trees, and even more beautiful weather. Takes all of S's might and persuasive powers to drag me away from there. Rest of the morning acquaint myself with the gorgeous, huge doggie in the courtyard, a cross between a Great Dane and a Doberman. Slowly graduate from being twenty feet away from it, to being 5 feet away from it.

Sunday Afternoon - An enormous lunch of raw jackfruit huLi(like sambar) and delicious wheat and jaggery payasa, and then hit the bed.


Sunday Evening - A long leisurely walk along the pebbly and sandy banks of the serene river. Throw stones into the river, watch the ripples. Try to skip stones on the river. Collect tiny shiny pieces of mica, in childlike fascination, but drop them all on the way. Watch birds, especially stark white cranes which come to rest on the overhanging trees of the river, looking like white handkerchiefs all hung out to dry on a single, favoured tree.

Sunday night - A quick dinner, and pack up and rush to catch...sigh!...the bus back to Bangalore!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The world from a wheelchair.

Ok, ok, the title is slightly misleading.. I must have spent a total of just 4-5 hours on a wheelchair, and only at the airport. But it is a different world indeed!

Continuing from this post - When I tore a ligament in my ankle, I had to fly home to Bangalore from Mumbai. I had not booked a wheelchair with my ticket, but the authorities saw that I really could not walk, and provided me with a wheelchair.

Now the wheelchair was quite trendy and comfortable. I sat on it and felt very conscious, and I giggled for the first two minutes. Then, as is the case with anything, I got comfortable and made it my temporary home. A wheelchair-attendant(let's call him WA) appeared and took complete charge of me. I zoomed through the check-in counter [no having to stand in the queue, mind you], and I passed as easily through Immigration check. [The flight was an Air India one in transit, hence the Immigration check]. Halls and escalators and people became a blur as we whizzed past them.

Where people used escalators, we used lifts [elevators, for the Americans among you!]. Some of these lifts were so tiny that there was just space for a wheelchair and a man. It was quite uncomfortable, in that cramped space, with the WA standing so close to me. Thankfully, nothing unpleasant happened [sad, how we are always wired to think that a strange male will take advantage of a helpless female] and we arrived at the waiting lounge. "There is still time for the security check, I will be back", he said, and disappeared.

I sat there, immobile, clutching my bag. No company. Totally dependent on someone else to move around, and that someone is nowhere to be seen. I got weird thoughts. What if the WA forgot about me? What if he could not recall where he had left me? What if....? I kept my thoughts in check and busied myself with a book.

A cursory glance at the electronic board revealed that the passengers of my flight were being called for security check. I looked around. No WA. I waited for half an hour. A painful thirty minutes where I could envision all my creepy thoughts coming true. People were queuing up and disappearing inside. And I was still here. I even tried to work the wheels of the wheelchair but it spun out of control. So I just sat and waited. A very helpless feeling indeed. Suddenly I was in motion. I looked behind me, to see the WA pushing me towards the gate. "Yippee! Yay!" I said in my mind, and bestowed upon the WA a grateful million-dollar smile. He just looked at me quizzically, and mechanically continued to push the wheelchair. "Humph!" I said, as I cruised through security check. The WA then deposited me at another waiting lounge, asked me if I needed anything, and then disappeared, leaving me waiting for the boarding call.

This time I was not that uncomfortable. There was another wheelchair in the hall, with an elderly lady, her husband hovering near her. She gave me a smile, it seemed, of compassion or solidarity. I sat, my book forgotten, observing the ways people gaped at me. Some people are so deliberate. They look at me, look at my foot and then back at me, and then again at my foot... sheesh!

The boarding call, finally. My WA appeared surprisingly quickly, and I was pushed through, clutching my boarding pass, and deposited on a kind of portico, overlooking the tarmac. The non-wheelchair passengers [Ha! See how perspectives change?] were getting into the bus which would ferry them to the aircraft. While I was wondering how we would commute, I found myself being pushed on to the tarmac, and taken well near where the huge flights were standing. Then I was suddenly alone. My WA had disappeared. This was the worst bit. Alone in the dead of night in the middle of the airport, with huge aircraft monsters all around me, the noses of some of them pointing menacingly towards me. I know I know, they were still and all that, but I could hear sounds of engines all around me. So what if I was just a few feet from the terminal, I was still immobile. What if one of the aircrafts lost its bearings and came right at me? I would just have to rely entirely on my childhood hopscotch experience! Frightening feeling!

Soon, my WA came back with the old lady, and just then, there came into view, the coolest contraption I have ever seen. People go ga-ga over cars and bikes, I have gone ga-ga over only one machine, and that was this.

It was a van with a closed cuboid passenger compartment. The rear end opened backwards, and touched the ground, and became a ramp. The old lady and I were wheeled up the ramp, into the compartment. The ramp closed up and once again turned into the rear end. The inside was quite plush. It had huge glass windows, and comfortable seats for the escorts. There was place inside for at least 4 more wheelchairs. We moved quickly, and within 5 minutes, we came to the aircraft. Then the entire passenger compartment started moving up, until it reached the level of the ceiling of the drivers cabin. The front end of the compartment opened up and became a platform, and we were moved onto this. Here there was another platform which whirred and extended itself, and adjusted itself beautifully such that the end of the platform came up just to the door of the aircraft. We were moved on to this, and wheeled directly into the craft. How perfect! I was totally impressed. [The van looked approximately like this.]

The wheelchair could not be moved into the aisle, and so I just hopped over to my seat, which was thoughtfully close to the exit. The air hostesses were very attentive and all that. I settled into the seat and turned to thank my WA, but he had disappeared. Sigh!

The flight was uneventful, though it did occur to me that if anything untoward happened, I wouldn't be able to run for my life! Anyway the flight touched down without incident, and at Bangalore, it was not much of a problem. A waiting wheelchair took me through the vestibule from the aircraft to the terminal, and it wasn't too long a distance from there to the exit. My father was waiting near the baggage collection area, and from then on, everything was cool.

On the way back to Mumbai from Bangalore, I had pre-booked a wheelchair, for, though I could walk, my ankle was still painful. But this time, i was a veteran with the wheelchair! The flight was again not very eventful, apart from a particularly charming head steward, who was exceptionally attentive.

Our airports, I concluded, are quite friendly to the physically challenged... but wish I could say that about our cities too! Anyway that's a different story altogether!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Part 2 - but not quite!

Oops! When I wrote the previous post, I never intended to write part-2 of that episode! Yes, looking back, I seem to have ended the post on a suspense-filled note, and it tickled the curiosity of many of you! Some of you thought that my husband was one of the characters that figured in the post, but I clarified that, no, he was nowhere in the picture.

There are some things which I would like to keep private, more like the "no-comments" policy of the glitterati. :) Of course, I am not a glitteratus [is that a word? ;)] and my story is not top secret either, but at the same time, I would prefer not to blog about it!

But since, inadvertently, I built up expectations and made you all so curious, I will just put it this way. It is just that my invalidity [Is that a word? If not, I am coining it now. It’s a convenient word :)] led to some situations and circumstances which ultimately led to my marriage. It should suffice to say that had I not been confined to one place, things might not have turned out the way they have.

I apologize for the anti-climax :( but then, that's about it!
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