Lockdown 2.

Since 1200 midnight we are back in a lockdown due to alarming rise in the number of cases of covid reported and treated in our city. We were just getting slowly back to normal and this is a googly if ever one was.

Since early this morning, we are back to the beginning of our lockdown experience of no traffic or little and hearing nature’s sounds. The three of us at home sharing houesehold chores as the help will not come during this lockdown.

The lockdown is expected to last till the 23rd of this month.

I am not looking forward to it though, this time around, the supply of newspapers will not be stopped and so I can have my mornings occupied. The first problem has cropped up with our washing machine going on the blink and the mechanic not being able to come to attend to it. He is trying to get a pass to come over and we are hoping that he will be able to.

I hope that my readers are faring better.

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.

The Good Old Days.

“Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me?”

How poignant! Please read on.

“Though we tend to remember bad events as well as we remember the good ones, the negative colouring of the misfortunes fades with time, particularly the ones that happened to us. We are wired for nostalgia: in human memory, time heals most wounds. Two other illusions mislead us into thinking that things are not what they used to be: we mistake the growing burdens of maturity and parenthood for a less innocent world, and we mistake a decline in our own faculties for a decline in the times. As the columnist Franklin Pierce Adams pointed out, “Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.”

~ Steven Pinker.

Pinker has got it bang on. As our faculties decline, we think that the decline is in the current times. Pune where I live is currently in the grip of a cold wave. I have lived here for the past 28 years and have experienced temperatures lower than what we have seen so far this winter. I have however been feeling the cold for the first time ever and have been wearing warm clothes round the clock. It is not that the bad new days are here. It is just that I have aged and my body is less capable of handling the cold conditions.

A dealer in antiques has regularly been contacting me to see if I have any thing that I want to dispose off and earlier this week he showed me a photograph similar to this one. This is a coal fired water heater kept in our bathrooms in the good old days before electric water heaters of either the immersion variety or the storage types became common features in our bathrooms. The dealer wanted to know if I had a piece or if I knew of anyone with one as, he had a customer for it. Every day as I take a hot water shower should I think of these old conveniences as belonging to the good old days? Leave alone the hot water aspect, those days, we did not have showers and drew water from  bucket using  mugs to pour on our head to bathe! Good Old Days?

For almost half a century of my life, I lived in a Socialist society and have experienced shortages of just about everything. When I mention this to the younger friends, they simply cannot understand how difficult it was to get milk or baby food when today, they can buy just about everything online for home delivery at a convenient time. Good Old Days?

I bet that most of my readers will remember the days of telephone booths, collect calls, waiting for connections etc.  Good Old Days?

When I hear complaints of some kind or the other about adult children treating grand children badly, I often tell grand parents of my age that there is simply a memory gap and not a generation gap as, we brought up our children in more or less the same way. I am not exactly popular particularly because, I don’t have grandchildren of my own! At least I have my memory intact.

No, I think that I prefer the Good Present Days, thank you.

I have a feeling that Shackman, the other blogger in the 2 on 1 topic plan, is likely to write differently on this topic. Please do go over to his blog to see his take. Thank you.

Favorite Time Of The Year.

I am actually surprised that Shackman has suggested this topic for our Friday 2 on 1 weekly blog posts when both of us write on the same topic. To my rough recollection, by now I must have written at least fifteen blog posts on my favourite time of the year in Pune where I live. It is our monsoon season. It is one of our three main seasons, the other two being Summer and winter. Monsoon starts from around mid June and lasts till early October.

The photograph shown above is of one of the many places around Pune during the monsoon when you can see such waterfalls.

The city itself looks like this often

.

Our little garden like this:

Everything looks clean and green and the rivers are in spate that makes it a sight to see and cherish.


During the end of the summer seaon, I start looking forward to the arrival of the monsoon season. I love to sit in our veranda and watch the rain fall in our garden. My son and daughter in love simply love to get out in the rain and get wet and Chutki loves to play in the puddles all around the neighbourhood when she is out on her walks.

I always regret the end of the monsoon season though it brings in our festive season.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic.

Andhadhun A Movie.

I went to a movie after three months! Not because I had better things to do but, nothing new came up that interested me. Andhadhun however has received rave reviews and a very dear friend who saw it wrote specially to me to go and see it. So, I was escorted by R and M in style yesterday and had a grand evening out. Even the traffic God was kind and we reached the venue fifteen minutes ahead of time and had to wait for the auditorium to be cleaned after the previous screening before we could go in. And the good fortune continued on the way back too and even the traffic lights were in our favour.

It is rare indeed to see a Bollywood movie in the Black Comedy genre and this one is among the blackest. There are occasions when it becomes difficult to believe that it is a comedy after all but, over all the blackness is very present and exciting. Every moment of the 2 hours and 20 minutes of the running time was well spent. Says something about the excellent editing and direction.

That the movie was made in Pune and many scenes are from places that I am familiar with, was icing on the cake..

Very much worth seeing and I give it a five star rating. Please do not miss it if you can possibly get to see it on the big screen.

Special Day.


For me, September 30 has always been a very special day as it is the birthday of three very special people in my life. The first, my late younger brother Arvind who would have been 74 yesterday had he just lived for two more months.

The next, my childhood friend and innovative farmer Babu about who I wrote here.
And the third, my lovely niece Vandana the actor director that I wrote about here.

So, yesterday was a day of mixed emotions till late evening when my daughter in love surprised me further with this.

And this:

A roller coaster day alright. First, in response to my birthday greetings, a longish WhatsApp message from Vandana all the way from California, next, a video Clip of Babu cutting a birthday cake, next the photograph right on top of this post coming up in our WhatsApp family group page and finally the last two photographs.