Sunday, September 30, 2012

Footling business and the mating season

I've been away from home for a while now, as I have had  surgery on my right foot, minor corrective surgery which entails what feels like the very long recovery period of three weeks. I am staying with my older daughter, and the SRE is actually managing on his own, with some help from the younger son on weekends, the part time help who makes his dinner when he is in town, and my neighbour, who has the most important role of guarding my spare house key with her life, as well as opening the house for the maid when she comes to work in the morning.

I am doing well,  hobbling around now, going for slow walks in the colony premises, and being thoroughly pampered.

I also have  cuddlesome canine bedfellows, as I like to have the air-conditioner on at night ( my daughter and son-in-law are not using theirs these days) and it is the dogs'  birthright to sleep in whichever room the a/c is running. You cannot, however, close the door, as both the boys like to check on their owners whenever they feel like. This used to mean a wide-open door and inefficient cooling. A strategy has, however, been devised, in which the curtain is drawn across the doorway, so the door can't open very far. I am now the official a/c person in the house- even if I'm outside in the drawing room, I am barked at so that I may go and switch it on. I don't comply, of course, most of the time.

What has been very very educational is the love life of the family dogs! The black beauty is in heat. Her first lot of puppies are now a year old. When she came visiting last weekend, we had a tough time keeping her away from the resident males, as there were plans afoot to mate her with a friend's dog. The friend and her dog both proving unavailable, this week was a different kind of circus. Both the apso and the spaniel had spent a very frustrated week, during which the little apso kept trying to mount the male spaniel, and kept getting yelled at for this unseemly behaviour.

As soon as the female came home this weekend, we had the equivalent of a canine orgy. Finally, of course, the male and the female spaniels mated to their satisfaction, leaving out a very unhappy little apso. We have been wondering what strange puppies would emerge if such a union happened to take place. It is, however, extremely unlikely, as she is so much taller than he is. Our little chap has not conceded defeat yet, though. He  keeps jumping on her head, trying to get her to sit down, and of course she doesn't oblige. Each time he tries mounting her from the rear, she just shakes him off, and the poor little chap tumbles down, only to try, try again. The male spaniel, of course, watches smugly from the sidelines. He has been wearing a very satisfied grin since yesterday afternoon. My younger daughter has been scouring websites, looking for a suitable match for the poor little chap, but has not yet found one. Apparently dogs come into heat once in six to eight months, and have a gestation period of  a little over two months. Let us see if he finds a mate this season. Last night the dogs were thrown out of my room as the little chap just wouldn't stop his antics, and the big one won't stay put the whole night. The female has been enjoying all the attention, and teases the little chap mercilessly when he finally desists. Let us see what form the canine circus takes tonight!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Covered in memories!

In my daughter's home,
on a recent visit
I found these cushion covers
still in use.
The stitches are worn through
in many places, and should be
as I'd made them some twelve or
thirteen years ago.......
(I still have have the 18" steel ruler
with which I drew the lines, with tailor's chalk).
My mother-in-law had fractured her hip
And we had to wait a few days
for a home nurse to come and stay with us.
I'd be in her room for most of the day
leaving her only to cook for the family
or to go to the corner shop for vegetables
while the part-time help sat with her.
I might have read, but maybe not.
I could embroider a simple running stitch
while listening to her stories
of long ago, and attending to her needs.

It was probably a blouse piece that
was lying around the house,
that beautiful flat in Kochi
with strangely shaped rooms.
I would surely not have had the time to go shopping
for cushion cover material!

Biji came, the first home nurse in our lives
this Malayali girl who knew a bit of Hindi
Who could handle her patient with care
And they'd manage, somehow,
to communicate.

I've always wondered at the strangeness
of life, what takes you where,
where you live, where you die.
It's just so strange that this
rosy cheeked lady
from the North West Frontier Province,
who lived in many cities
mostly in the north of the country
spent the last three years of her life
in a part of the country that had never
figured in her life before...........

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On Teachers' Day

My favourite composition for this day- Ustad Amir Khan singing Guru Bin Gyaan Na Paavey- a dhrut composition in Raga Marwa

This is followed by an exquisite dhrut  in Raga Darbari.

I must add that I first heard of Ustad Amir Khan from Ma'am, who has been my teacher ever since I first saw her (a while before I actually met her) in 1972!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


I cribbed about the ladder outside my bedroom balcony yesterday. It was there this morning.  There was some loud chanting in the afternoon, just when I thought a siesta was in order, and I peered out of the balcony to see a loudspeaker affixed to the lamppost, but no ladder. I muttered under my breath, as I am wont to do when loudspeakers violate the peace of our otherwise quiet area, but was genuinely thankful that the ladder was no longer there.

I think I should blog about whatever problems I have, it seems to make them disappear!