Tuesday, August 30, 2016

No Greeks in the Marathon Medals

Olympics at Rio, an event that grapples the world stage of sports. You win or lose, you are there, you may be an ‘also ran’ but you are there to be noticed.
A stalwart at home or an event sponsored by money bags, doesn’t matter, yet records at the Olympics still fly high, even if it means the last laugh for the participant.
Every nation occupies the stage to be noticed. The most heart-warming and heart-rending participation came from the contingent that represented the ‘refugees’ from Syria, Libya, Yemen, all war-ridden nations. All for a universal circus. They came, they played, they left. Where are the Greeks?

India’s heroes – hope eternal
Our country also represented with enthusiasm and hope, the former attribute led to a whimper of controversies but soon brushed under the carpet. Most participants did well in the qualifying rounds and reached the Quarter Finals. There dropped the curtain and lo! We retrace our steps. All deserve a clap! A handful of participants stood out like P V Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Abhinav Bindra, Dipa Karmakar, the hockey team, the wrestlers' team, the sprinters…so on.

From Sindhu to Sindhi
We haven’t yet finished with felicitations for Sindhu when we begin hearing the whines of Balochs and Sindhis fighting for a homeland. How valid is the whine? It is not grapevine but two countries are witness to the whine now. The cataclysmic element being Kashmir. Regions and regional politics cry ‘war’ and civilians bear the brunt. Are we stepping backwards?
After the Gujjus and Marwaris, the Sindhis are an enterprising lot, a ripe corn left on a hot pan to ‘pop’ up ready to serve you the crisp form of corn. They ‘toil’. I know not how but are so humble and down-to-earth that after clinching a deal with you, they (Sindhis) seem ready to enter a carpeted palace/mansion, an affluent empire built with sweat and blood. Other hardworkers never mention sweat and blood. In my entire life, I have known only three Sindhis, one a boy next-door, brilliant coeval and rich. Next a colleague who exudes the most endearing smile but will not fail to borrow cash from you with that smile (cash duly returned too). A third is a snappy receptionist who will part with anything but not her comfort, self-centered. The job says it.
Feline links
War reminds me of cats, the most aggressive of domestic animals. But why are they called domestic? China recently hosted a contest on a global level to select the best cats. We all know China preens its boundaries but it does not give up the hard stare on them. Unfortunately, many of China’s neighbours are ready for a full-fledged war with claws drawn and ready to fight like Kilkenny cats. God save China’s borders. So much for cats. But the dogs are not being spared in some states, the stray ones. Man can stray but not a dog. The dog is a faithful breed but faces culling and killing. Man is after canine blood!
Surrogacy in India
To hold the reins over surrogacy by the government, is a healthy step to check wayward procreations on ethical grounds. Belonging to the older school of thought, a country like India, where the youth wish to free themselves from the shackles of familial burdens, check eligibility on multiple grounds but restrain emotional chords. Accountability these days is on a corroding path but demographically you are countable. Mind that!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Just a few seconds for Jessy

My Sats & Suns have become
Two- and - a half decades
Swept by…..
Her face still glistens,
Never yearned for a better friend, but there,
She still laughs & listens
( An obit written in 1989 for Jessy, revised a bit now)
It is not with any regret or longing that I deplore my present network of being friendless. Friends,as  they exist are acquaintances today, none like her. It is better that way. No, I have not turned a recluse but when one had been showered with a lot of attention and care by one friend, she is missed now and always. Then one gets entwined gradually with one particular train of thought that, had Jessy been there, it would have been different.
Unassuming smile lost.
The tall, lean, thirty something  Jessy kept hovering around me through thick and thin during those decisive years. She counselled , convinced and cajoled me to venture/avoid all major decisions in life. Then one fine day she just paled into insignificance called ‘death’.
Jacintha (Jessy) was born a premature baby with a congenital heart ailment that affected her pulmonary functions. It was predicted by her doctor. She craved for a house near the airport in Mumbai. The doors of which were always flung open for her siblings. They were frequent fliers to the Gulf countries, returned to Mangalore via Mumbai. Jessy was a moral support to them being the eldest.
Her demeanour just flipped from a patient to  a reveller and the house would get filled with peals of laughter. Jessy ‘gang’ spoke Konkani that sounded nasal but  was laced with screeching expressions…kaslay vaslay etc. I wondered from where she derived such energy in their company.
The moment anybody suggested marriage she would laugh about a Japanese boyfriend, though Indian who had forgotten his way to India. Ha! then a guffaw followed that led to contagious laughter from all directions.
Movie tickets rained..
Those days for young women ‘going to the movies’ was a hobby that gained momentum even after college days. Once we secured jobs , the choice , quality and quantity differed. In my case it was always a no-no due to domestic responsibilities.
Jessy was a colleague hailed from Udyavara (N.Karnataka), without her I couldn’t dream of going for a movie every weekend after which she would visit us to spend time with me , dad and brother at Malad. She longed for home made food as she lived in a working women’s hostel so we took charge of her on some weekends.
On Saturday afternoons very discreetly she would book tickets for the show, as office worked only half the day on Saturdays. She booked three tickets for me and another female friend.
I have angrily pounced on her on many an occasion for compelling me to go with her as I was busier than her in office. She would sulk at first and soon grin to pacify me.
Jessy R.I.P

Her departure to Mangalore left us (1988) dazed, when one morning the same year she left this earth from a hospital bed (Manipal). Her signature --- a crisply ironed pair of jeans and kurta, a grin and that Ladies’ Seiko wrist watch that I treasure till date. But the wrist is missing. It’s 2016 Jessy, you are still remembered.