Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ek tha bachpan................


                                        
                                          

Our sitting room has a large sideboard (which, along with some other furniture, came along with the flat) which happens to store many of our treasured books, most of our music, and all of our movies. The said movies have overloaded their shelf- the drop-down flap often refuses to close. In the interest of closing the flap I pulled out a few VCDs and DVDs and came across Ashirwad, the 1968 Ashok Kumar starrer. I first saw this film with my father on the television at the home of our dear family friends. (Daddy and I spent many a Sunday evening in their sitting room watching whatever film Doordarshan cared to telecast). It was an amazing film, with two memorable songs for children that I remember, both composed by the incomparable Harindranth Chattopadhya, Rail gadi chuk chuk chuk and Naao Chali.
             The song that has been playing in my head ever since, though, is Ek tha Bachpan: it brings back so many wonderful memories of my father, and seems to describe him perfectly. I see him laughing out loud reading Wodehouse, listening devotedly to K.L.Saigal, carrying me up to the terrace in summer while I pretended to be asleep, cherishing his Parker pen, relishing the sharpness of a green chilli (and breaking off half of the hottest ones and insisting that I try it), bringing home exquisite sarees from his frequent travels, annoying my mother endlessly by saying "Yes Sir" to her diktat, fomenting my eyes with boric solution and putting eyedrops in them, waking me up in the middle of the night to give me medicines on schedule, tossing his head back and laughing out loud, him using the phrase gadhey ka baccha as a serious term of abuse, going to plays and concerts with him, going to buy vegetables with him on his bicycle especially for the joy of careening down the slope on the way home, arguing with him on what for me were matters of principle, him singing Radhey rani dey daro na , going with him and my sister for children's films at Sapru House, his ability to find joy and adventure in everything, waking up early to find him already up and studying for his homeopathy exam, him making tea for Mummy every morning.............
My list of cherished memories of my father is endless.


Ek tha bachpan, ek tha bachpan
Chhota sa nanha sa bachpan
Bachpan kay ek Babuji thay,
Achchey sachey Babuji thay
Donon ka sundar tha bandhan
Ek tha bachpan........

There was once a childhood,
a small, little childhood
This childhood had a Father,
A good and true father
A beautiful bond between them
There was once a childhood......

Monday, February 25, 2013

A very slow rate of change

The SRE and I are both rather laidback and lazy. We also tend to accept situations and work around them, rather than make enough of an effort to change them in ways that would improve our quality of life.
           Since we have spent most of our lives so far in either company or company leased property, we tend to accept the structure and fittings of our house as a given, unless forced to do otherwise.
A case in point are our electrical points and wiring. Our present apartment already had a split air conditioning unit in the drawing room, with a long, thick wire running from it, snaking over the French windows, down to the power switch, a good 30-35 feet or so. It was only after
a) getting an air conditioner installed in the kitchen as well as b) getting the house painted did we realize that at a relatively low cost we could get the wire hidden within a slim white plastic casing!

This seemed like a huge achievement! When the SRE decided that he had enough of our old dabba TV and bought a 42" flat screen TV that I irreverently insist on calling The Blackboard, the installing engineer told us to get a separate plug point for the TV, in the interests of its long term health. He must have been quite disgusted by the sight of four plugs hanging from a multi-point adapter, one each for the TV, the Tata Sky set, the DVD player and the music system. Since the sockets tend to work loose over time, getting all four machines to work was often frought with much tension.
Our building's electrician was summoned, and two plug points were installed! Such riches!!!!

However, all these riches remained on the far wall- the wall away from the French windows. There are no options for lamps or charging points on the other wall. (Even the dining room has one lone point behind the sideboard, apart from the fridge point). So when our children decided to give the SRE a massage cushion for his birthday this year, it seemed obvious that it would sit on the armchair near the corner table, where there is a plug point. The younger son, however, felt that the leather recliner was a far better chair to keep it on. And so, our trusty electrician Vimal was summoned, and
voila, the 'electric chair' :
                            

It seems like a huge triumph, the plug point on this wall. It gives us so many options! We might even put a lamp on this side of the room. Phones and laptops can be charged here. The possibilities are immense!!! We are quite convinced that now that we have made such significant improvements in our living space, the landlord is sure to want his house back very soon!!!!
               



Friday, February 22, 2013

Not happy

The SRE sprained his ankle while playing golf last Saturday.
And scored a birdie just after!
He's in pain, on bed rest.
Life is not 'normal.'

Remember good old Fido Dido?
Who used to say,

Normal is Boring

I want boring!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Black and white

Egrets and crows
at the sprinkler
on the green:
Thirsty chessmen.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

After ages!

I changed my upholstery and curtains after several months.
Our default colours usually range from teal blue to turqoise.
I bought a new durree after years. I dug out long forgotten artefacts. I bought a couple of bits and pieces.
And, voila:



















  









The house was looking extremely neat and tiday. It is back to normal today, occupied by my son, his friend, and various kinds of footwear and detritus. Feels like home now:)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Domestic delights!

I finally cleaned my fridge today
after weeks, at least,
of dawdling, and postponing
this unenviable task,
and always having something else to do.
Remember the old fridges
which you had to clean,
with their thick coat of ice
in the freezer?
Periodic defrosting mandatory,
cleaning a routine.
I was so glad to get rid of that one,
frost free is a joy.



















I took out every shelf and every rack
from the door,
into a bathroom,
with a bucket of warm soapy water
and sat and scrubbed them,
dried them in the balcony.

Interior and exterior wiped well
but not the perfect, paranoid cleaning
which I'm sometimes inspired to do,
(mostly on my blender)
an earbud and Colin spray
to clean grimy chinks....
Maybe one day!

It was fun, though,
because my cassette deck came home
repaired, playing beautifully,
and the fridge seemed happy too,
being cleaned to good music.

Let me tell you, though.
This was enough for me today
because of course there are
so many other things to do

I did not dare open the freezer door!!!!!