Friday, May 24, 2013

Nature's Bounty

Every time I sit behind the wheel, I get a feeling of being in a recording studio.  I switch on the engine,  the AC and the next thing to do is plug  my mobile!  The music is on full blast and I start my hour long journey to our new house.
I can’t help being elated  and sing the tunes aloud . It makes me feel very happy! Period.

Recently, one of my childhood buddy who had come down from the US (also happens to be a professional singer) was with me, as we went driving to our new house, with loud music and all, he asked me, “Such lovely songs, no wonder you are always happy”.  I agreed to that and said, “Thanks to my sister Usha who uploaded some 1000 plus songs on my mobile”.
The next question he asked was, “Don’t you have any ‘Dardh Bhari’ songs”?
“O, no, not again”, I silently said to myself.
“Sorry, I don’t play sad songs in my car”.
“It’s not that you know… those songs are so meaningful and soulful”, he said.

I wonder why these so called “connoisseurs of music” like such songs, including my sister!
Once again I repeated, “No sad songs please because, I want to ‘feel good’ always and when I hear the lyrics and understand them, I feel as though it’s me who is singing”, looking at him.

Saying so, I forget to apply breaks, the car goes bump … bump on a hump and I continued to drive.
Pat came his comment. “It’s high time; Bengaluru’s name is changed to Hampi”.
“Why Hampi?” No comparisons, ah”, I said.
“Simply because, am observing that for every few meters you drive there is a hump”!
“Hump – Humpi, well, if you like it, you may say so”.

I continue to drive.  I have got used to jumping on all the humps that I come across. I get a feeling as if I’m galloping on a horse!

Like this I drive down Bannergatta road two and fro at least four times a week and have learnt a song or two by repeatedly playing it for an hour.
Yesterday, while I was driving on the same road, I suddenly spotted a lovely splash of color on a tree!

Wow, what a beauty! I slowed down my car and switching on the indicator to the left, stopped my car and sat there marveling at the nature’s bouquet. 

What a respite it was to stop driving and admire those beautiful flowers!

“Why hadn’t I seen it any other day?”… Maybe I was so engrossed in my loud music and singing, I had just given it a pass.

Not a soul walking on the road, I slowly downed the window and clicked photographs.
“How beautiful”!

“We mortals, in our daily routine, many a time forget to stop and admire the beautiful things around us, don’t we”? Here, I drive down this road almost every day and I had not even seen it!!
“It’s so nice I saw it today”.

Seeing me stop my car, a guy who was selling tender coconuts a little far away, signaled to me asking me if I want one!
“Hey, that’s a treat too”.
I waved back lifting my index finger to fetch one for me.
As I took it from him still sitting inside the car, I asked, “How much”?
“20 rupees”, he said.
“How come Rs. 20, it should be only Rs.10”, I asked.

You know what was his reply?

“If you are a college student who comes walking down here, it will be Rs.10.
If you come in an ordinary Maruthi car, van or any Indian car, it will be Rs.15.
If you are driving a ‘foreign’ car, then it will be Rs. 20”.

HOLY COW!!! Can you digest this?????????????

This is India, nay… namma Bengaluru! It’s perfectly OK. By now am used to all kinds of googlies thrown at me from all and sundry.

Whatever said and done, the tender coconut is the most refreshing drink one can have at any time of the day.

As he left taking twenty rupees from me, my eyes went back to the tree and its lovely flowers.

Suddenly my phone rang and it was my mother.
Her first question will always be, “Where are you”?
“I have stopped on Bannergatta road and admiring flowers on a tree”, I said.

She sounded aghast!!

“Is anything wrong with you? Start your car right now, how can you stop on a road like that to take photographs? You still haven’t understood how dangerous Bengaluru is”? Daddaddaddad…. Daddaddadada…da.a..a..ddaa.. poor lady went on and on in a serious never ending note. I call it mother’s love and affection! Simple.

“Ok, maaaaaa,  ok… I will start right now, don’t panic, nothing will happen”.

Saying so, I began my journey back home with what else but …. “Inthezaar kab thak hum kareenge bhala….. Playing loudly as before! I love this song from the movie KITE. Do you?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Me time" and all...

 It all began one afternoon when son came home from college. As we sat to have lunch our conversation drifted from his college rendezvous to everything else. Suddenly he said, ‘You know ma, my friends asked, ‘How old is your mom’ and I said, ‘She is 55’. When I said this, my friends almost chorused… ‘Is she 55? Doesn’t look it man’….and he smiled at me!

 ‘WHAT? F i f t y f i v e?’ I said aloud, the bitter gourd curry I was chewing suddenly seemed to taste even more bitter. ‘O, come on Ani, am I 55? I’m really shocked that you don’t even know my age!’  ‘Aren’t you 55? Don’t tell me you are not’. He sounded even more shocked! What made him think I am 55, if am 55… what should be your Dad’s age etc… questions popped up in my mind?

‘It’s ok ma, now tell me your exact age’. He asked in a very casual tone. ‘Am 52 Ani’, I said loudly. ‘That’s all. The way you reacted, I thought you were much younger… I have added 3 years extra, that’s all, it doesn’t make much of a difference’, he said. ‘No Ani it does matter’, I said to myself because I didn’t have the courage to say it loudly.

After gulping down cold water, we both didn’t speak for a while and continued to eat.

I wanted to tell him something and I thought that this was the right moment. I said with a glee on my face, ‘Ani, in another two days I have a photo shoot at home from 10AM to 5PM’.

You should have been sitting with me to see what happened next. He burst out laughing so loudly repeating the sentence I had just said and didn’t stop laughing…

I said, ‘Ani, I did not tell you a joke’. ‘Ma, give me a break, photo shoot… you, at this age? What’s happening to you ma, you are so busy in life yet how come such a weird thing came to your mind’… still continuing to laugh… ‘Ok Ani, think we should change the topic’, I said.

It was “me time” for me and he feels its “weird”. To each his/her own, I thought.
Next day, made myself very comfortable in my room, switching on the AC and lights…I opened my wardrobes , shifting through my sarees and started running my fingers like how we do it on a key board ….ting ting ting ting ting…..right to left and left to right and seeing what to wear for the photo session.

I had read somewhere that if you don’t wear a particular attire/saree at least once in 6 months, then donate it….  O God, what about my Kanjeevaram sarees collected over the years… no way. “Whoever said that, let them do it”, I thought. As this thought ran through my mind I picked up a few from the hanger and put it on the bed. Ok, done. I will wear all these, 10 am to 5pm; I can at least change into ten sarees… I gave a smile to myself looking at the mirror.

Son laughed at the thought of my photo shoot? Well… wait until you see what your mom can do at her age. This thought crossed my mind.

I had a date with “myself”. I wanted to have some ‘me time’. At 50, 52 or 55, do what you like unless and until you don’t harm anyone else in the process even if you are a mother, grandmother or whoever. This is my take.

Before I write any further, let me tell you what I’m subjected to on a day to day basis here at home in Bangalore.

Every morning, as soon as I get up, I open the windows and there it is… standing beautifully lifeless and staring at me. I started observing them after a few months of living in our home. It looked different every day. Most of the times beautifully decked up. In the beginning I would never give a second glance but succumbed to it because of the close proximity I live in. By now you might have guessed what I’m talking about.

The mannequins in the saree stores next door!

 I call them the lifeless beauties. I go to the terrace in the morning, as I go about doing my daily chores, when I sit on the sofa next to the window to gaze at the traffic , last but not the least, when I go for my walks I see them. Now tell me, how in the world will they not have an effect on me? Thank God, am not attracted to the mannequin that is bang opposite my house, it’s a size zero one and always displaying sportswear!!

So, as I had the daily ‘darshan’ of mannequins, I decided in retrospect, how will it be if I stand like one and click photographs? It would be fantastic! I thought. Called up my sister and she too immensely liked the idea of “me time”… being precious and all. When I told my husband, his reaction was, “Asha come on, grow up and laughed; though not as loud as my son, thank god for small mercies.  But, when I told my mother, she remarked, “You are alone here, that’s why you think of doing such things”. Point noted mother.

“Whoever said whatever I am going to do’, I thought.

The day dawned, my fashion photographer friend arrived with her camera and all and my bedroom resembled… no… no… I will just describe and you imagine. The sarees were ironed and kept neatly one next to the other, the jewellery was also displayed and to top it all I danced at the thought of posing from morning till evening.

My friend who has a pleasing personality was as excited as I was and the shooting began. We went to the living room, here, there and everywhere, my friend pulled one sofa, pushed one more, re- arranged the cushions, opened and drew the curtains and I stood and aped the mannequins, lifted my right arm, twirled and turned, sat and stood, stretched and smiled…. I will tell you something… its very hard to smile artificially and stare at the lens without batting your eyelids… and that too for these many hours!!!!

 If you have a mind to do then you will do, these minor facial skin stretches albeit too much or too little are bound to happen.  Well, all the minor glitches were enjoyable to say the least.

Every time I gave a shot, I thought… ‘Sunny boy, wait until you see these pictures’ …. After every shot I would vanish into my bedroom to change and my friend geared up with the next shots and so this went on till 5PM.

That evening my son would return from college at 5.30 PM and before that I would change into my daily wear and sit as if nothing has happened. This was my plan and I executed it perfectly.

He came home, had his food, and went about doing his things and all the time I would smile at myself at the thought of pulling off such a thing and behaving and looking normal with him. He asked me, “Ma, how come you are wearing make-up at home?”

Busted! GOSH! “He caught me “.

‘Remember son, the photo shoot’, I said. He gave me a Colgate smile and said nothing. Did that smile mean anything? That’s ok with me.

This question keeps popping in my head. Now why do people hesitate to do what they want to do?

If someone wanted to ride a bicycle, do it.  If you want to wear a track suit, wear it. If you want to dress up differently do it. Why does everyone relate things to his/her age? Why does my son who belongs to this generation think this way?

Am perplexed by this question every now and then, people are bound by so many things even before they think of venturing out. Life is short and as one crosses fifty, nature takes its own course of dealing with one’s body. So when ones’ body is fit and mind is fine, do it.

In the recent past, I met a very dear friend of mine (who was more than a friend) to iron out our differences and to get back the good times we had had. Sadly, it didn’t work, because the other side of the friendship door was already locked when she said, “Everything is over”. It’s sad.  Never mind, I gave it a shot and am at least happy for that but in this process, I lost yet another friend!!

Now, coming back to my “me time” escapade, it was a wonderful day, well spent with a lot of good cheer, yummy food and of course hectic activity of changing into yards and yards of different fabric … SAREE.

Are you curious to know the comments and compliments I got from my family members when they saw my photographs … my next blog post will reveal it all.

Until then, A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY ! I love you Anirudh.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

                                                     My  traditional Tanjore paintings

                                                          Krishna Collections

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