Coincidence.

A friend posted this news item in a WhatsApp group and I was reminded of two stories.

With the first story in mind, I commented on the post with my comment “Mysterious things can happen!” and gave a link to this village, Kodinhi in Kerala, a state in our South West. Don’t you think that it is an amazing phenomenon?

The next story is personal. My late wife and my cousin both delivered sons on the same day with just twenty minutes difference in the times. When all of us lived in Mumbai, their joint birthday celebrations were routine. On every such occasion, my cousin’s late husband used to wonder at the coincidence with some snide comments that I leave to my readers to imagine.

Surprises!

Yesterday was a day of surprises. Yes, plural, not just one. Let me list them for you.

1. I received a phone call in the morning from a young friend who after the initial surprise was over asked me for directions to reach my home as he was coming after many years and the neighbourhood had changed a lot. I told him that I would rather not see him considering the Covid situation and he said that it would be okay as he just had to deliver some parcels to me. I guided him to my verandah from where I was unable to receive the parcels as they were simply too big. So, he had to come into the house after going through the security rigmarole of our society where visitors have to go through a sanitisation process.

2. The parcels turned out to be one gift, a very thoughtful one, from a mutual friend in Mumbai who my visitor had met last week. Along with the gift the visitor had also brought two Gujarathi dishes that were my favourite with a long lost story behind one of them. My Mumbai friend had heard my story about how I used to enjoy the dish during my stay in Ahmedabad over half a century ago. Since both my Mumbai friend and the visitor are Gujarathis, the latter was requested to prepare the dish as a surprise and deliver to me with a cryptic message reminding me about my Ahmedabad days.

The dish is called Handvo and I thoroughly enjoyed it for lunch.

3. Another friend, this time from Chennai telephoned me to inform me that he is sending me a gift parcel and he was calling to caution me to accept the parcel when the courier comes to deliver it. Quite what the gift is a mystery but, knowing my friend as I do, it is likely to be something that I will cherish and use regularly.

4. A TV serial that I had stopped watching after the imposition of the lockdown as only old episodes were being shown due to the producers not being able to produce episodes due to the lockdown, started showing new episodes from last evening and this 45 minutes every evening will now revert to my old pre-lockdown discipline. This is the only TV programme that I used to watch and I had missed it.

All in all a very pleasant day.

Shutdown Effect.

Since the shutdown due to the current Corona pandemic, traffic in my WhatsApp has increased so much that I have to recharge my cellphone twice a day. Most of the content is not worth writing about but two clips today made things very interesting indeed.

The first one that I received in the morning from my friend Anil, was this one of a deer having fun on a beach in Goa.
The deer has obviously come down from the woods adjoining the beach in some part of Goa.

Here is another forward received from another friend from Mumbai of Peacocks and peahens appearing suddenly in out most crowded city, Mumbai.

What an impact the shutdown has had in our wildlife!

The next one came from another friend in Mumbai that is very interesting indeed. Some remarkable skullduggery in the form of optical illusion helping our friends from the Marketing field.

RAIN.

A dear friend sent this link to me which I found to be interesting and topical enough to share with my readers. Dr. Sandeep Kelkar is a practicing paediatrician in Thane. a town very near Mumbai. He has had considerable experience handling parents and this approach obviously is something that he has developed to destress his patients’ parents. This is as applicable to us as to parents of children.

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.

Rain Drops.

Yesterday was a holiday for Maharashtra, the state I live in for being Maharashtra Day. The downside to such holidays is that the following day, there are no newspapers and that upsets my daily routine of the mornings. So it was that I was sitting for longer than usual at my verandah this morning when some drops of water fell from the skies and I thought that it was pre monsoon showers, what in the West one would call April showers. On investigation I found that it was water falling from the terrace where the occupant was watering his plants on the terrace.

Those drops of water led me to reminisce about this song from the film Manzil which was released when our son Ranjan was all of eight years old in 1979. As perhaps some of my readers may remember, one of his nicknames was Rimjhim, meaning rain drop and so this song became a favourite for Urmeela and me.  And, as it so often happens, a friend of mine posted this song on facebook too and that triggered this post.

This scene shows¬† Mumbai’s monsoon which was part of our lives for so many years.

rimjhim gire saawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

Spattering rain falling in monsoons
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

pahle bhi yoon to barse thhe baadal
pahle bhi yoon to bheega tha aanchal
abke baras kyun sajan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The clouds have rained, in the past too
And have wet my clothes, even then
But the rain of this season
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

is baar saawan dahka hua hai
is baar mausam bahka hua hai
jaane pee ke chali kya pawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The monsoon rains are sizzling hot this year
And the season is so un-sober
The winds are drunk with, I know not what
Setting the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

There is another version of the same song sung by Kishore Kumar with slightly different lyrics but, this version with the monsoon scenes was the one that flashed before me in my nostalgia trip this morning.