Relocating.

My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has recently relocated to California and I was inspired to suggest this topic by that move. Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see how he tackles the topic.

My pre-marriage and the first year after that was life living out of a suitcase from the age of 16 for me. I had relocated a few times between Hyderabd and Chennai/Mumbai and also Ahmedabad before my marriage in November 1968. Relocating was simply a matter of packing my suitcase and moving to a hotel, hostel or paying guest accommodation and did not make for much effort or difficulty.

The first home we set up after marriage was in Delhi and since it was for a stay of just a few months, we had taken a barsati on rent and hired furniture and bare minimum utensils and a stove but both of us lived off suitcases.

The first proper home that we lived in was in Mumbai between 1970 and mid 1973 when we acquired furniture, cooking utensils, linen, etc and when we had to move to Kolkata, we were exposed for the first time to relocating with major packing, discarding etc but, the redeeming feature of the exercise was that we could hire professional packers and movers who did the dirty work, stored the stuff till we found accommodation at Kolkata and unpacked for us too.

From that first move, we relocated to Kerala, back to Mumbai on three occasions, Delhi and Bengaluru and finally to Pune in 1990 where we bought our home where I continue to live till date. During these relocations we moved and set up new homes on eight separate occasions till we put in our final roots.

I had to relocate on two separate occasions afterwards to Tirupur but since it was to furnished accommodation on both occasions I simply had to pack a suitcase. Whenever Urmeela came to stay with me there, she too simply had to come with a packed suitcase. So those two relocations were not really relocations in the true sense.

The only major disruption that we experienced during the relocations was in the schooling of our son Ranjan which, we once even had to solve by admitting him to a boarding school for three years. In retrospect, those three years were also the most disturbing for both of us despite frequent meetings with him at his school as well as his coming home for his vacations. Another experience that I would not wish on anyone.

I can therefore confidently assert that I am a seasoned and well-experienced relocator. I would not like to do that again though as I am now too well ensconced in my comfort zone in Pune where it will be three decades next year, since we relocated.

Visiting Parents.

In my extended family of siblings and cousins both maternal and paternal, I am one of the rare ones who lives with his offspring. Something that was unthinkable during my parents’s time and well into my adulthood as well. Both my parents stayed with their children during their retirement stage and died while resident with one of the children. Today, if I look at my immediate family, none of my nephews and nieces stay with parents and the parents one of whom is single, live separately.

While this is increasingly getting to be the norm here, there are constant messages on WhatsApp and facebook about the necessity for the grown up children to spend time with their parents. This is one such video showing an adult male going to visit his widowed mother. The language is Malayalam, spoken in our Southern state of Kerala. There are no subtitles but, the story line is easy to follow despite that. Pulls all the right strings! I regret that I am unable to give credit to the maker/s of the film as I am unable to find details.

Qarib Qarib Single.

I saw this film two days ago but could not publish this review as I needed to get some information which I finally got today.

I wanted to see it primarily for Irrfan Khan being in it but, when I saw Parvathy‘s acting, I was doubly happy that I went to see it. The latter is from Kerala and to the best of my knowledge she appears in a Hindi film for the first time. Her slipping into Malayalam on a few instances was fantastic and her overall handling of a difficult role is remarkable.

Irrfan is outstanding too but full marks to Tanuja Chandra for excellent direction which has brought out both talents into full play for a very satisfying experience of film watching.

Camera work in some of the most scenic places in India is outstanding and many memories of the places like Rishikesh, Sikkim and Delhi were kindled for me.

The plot is unusual and the disparate nature of the two lead characters makes it for some very intriguing situations which leads into some humourous yet perfectly keeping within the storyline situations that are very unusual. I doubt very much that some of our more popular stars could have delivered the performance that Irrfan and Parvathy deliver.

Yet another film where the female part is central to the story and the director being female has enhanced the delivery by Parvathy. I hope that these two will come together again for more movies.

All in all, a movie worth going to watch.

Chef.

Chef is a Hindi movie that I saw yesterday. It is an official Hindi version of the American movie of the same name. I have not seen the American version of the film and therefore am unable to compare the two.

I went to see it yesterday because I like to see Saif Ali Khan. I was not disappointed.

He does his best, as does the child actor who plays his son.

The film however flops because the story line is unrealistic in the Indian context and is very weak. Despite the very effective photography of scenic locations in Kerala and Goa, the film suffers because it is totally impossible. Delhi and Amritsar filming is overdone and does not reflect the two cities of today.

We were altogether five viewers in the hall yesterday and the box office staff tell me that the film is a flop. I am not surprised.

The Butterfly Effect.

Please click on the following image to get a larger resolution.

Saudi Arabia allows women to drive! Made sensational headlines in many parts of the world.

The decision was called a major milestone for the country!

Women rejoiced as did many liberal men. I did too despite not being either.

Unfortunately however, neither I nor most people who welcomed this news think far enough about the matter.

In India, in one of our states, the news has sent alarm bells ringing.

Is this the butterfly effect or the doctrine of double effect?

Memory Trigger 14. The Well.


There are two triggers for this story. One if the well and the other is Kerala.

I had the great fortune of being posted in Kerala for a thirty month stint between 1974 and 1977. For my late wife and me, this was the best posting ever as we were in a small community of friends and colleagues in a colony with some great amenities.

During the time that we were there, my mother came to visit us and she too had a grand time not only visiting many places within Kerala that she had dreamed of all her life, but she also accompanied me on a pilgrimage to Sabarimala, which she always maintained was a grand achievement with her arthritic knees.

A little background before I continue with my story. My mother’s parents and other uncles, aunts and cousins were all from a town in Kerala called Alappuzha. My mother however was born in the Northern part of India as her father had emigrated there in search of employment and my mother had never visited Kerala before I was posted there.

Among the towns that she wanted to visit was naturally Alappuzha and I obliged her on a special visit. She had no idea of where her home was or whether any of her relatives were there, but we went there trusting her higher power to lead us to what will happen. In Alappuzha, I had a very knowledgeable local businessman with the most unlikely name of Baby, quite a normal name for men in Kerala,  and he was delighted to arrange for an escort for my mother and me to explore various places in Alappuzha after she gave some background information about her family to him. We eventually zeroed in on one place which had a well like the one shown above under a jackfruit tree in the front courtyard, which was how my mother remembered her mother describing their home. A Christian family was living there but they were very hospitable and confirmed that they had bought the house with the compound from a family belonging to our community. My mother was more than satisfied and was elated that she could visit her ancestral place.

With that background let me now take you to what another Malayali friend, now resident in Mumbai,  sent me as being the kind of wells that are built in Kerala. A sure indication of new wealth made overseas, called typically and with some envy, by residents as Gulf Money. He had sent this to a group of friends and ex colleagues in WhatsApp and the combination of Kerala and wells triggered off my memory of the visit to Alappuzha to locate my mother’s ancestral place.  Please click on the images to get larger resolutions as then you will see how innovative the builders have been in locating the draw wheels for the rope.