06 November, 2010

Sorry for the break

Are we not used seeing this slide, many times in those days when we had our Doordarshan TV programmes in India long back? Do I sound old?

 Now that we have so many private channels, if you wonder what does the title of this post mean, then it shows clearly you should be very young and must be in teens, or if you are old enough and had lived in India then you should have been a book worm who never bothered to watch Black and white television, in which they used to telecast programmes starting from 6:00 p.m and whenever there was interruption due to technical reasons the first slide that appeared in the Television in black and white was ‘Sorry for the break’.
Now to cut the story short, I have been having tremendous busy activities for the past few months which were keeping me away from blogging.

Did I have a blogger’s block? No...not at all. I wanted to blog about one thousand things. Every time when I experienced something strange I wanted to blog about that experience. Blogging is a wonderful thing and I would never get tired about it. Nowadays I work far from home, and have become a  “weekend family man”. Kids have grown up and need frequent attention. My health reminds me that I am getting older as well. I am not trying to be daft. I happened to see some pictures of old family friends. I found many of them have become old. You never realise that you are also getting old unless you see others of your age. I am not moaning here. I am quite enjoying each and every millionth of second in my life. Then why did I not blog all these days?  I keep questioning myself.

Can I blame the facebook?
Can I blame the school network which is keeping me very alive?
Can I blame my change in jobs?
Can I blame my aged mother’s health?
Can I blame my teenage son who is drawing more attention?
Can I blame my stressed wife who needs help at least in the weekend?
OK... no blame on anyone. Now that I have decided to blog what should I blog about? I had so much to convey to my fellow bloggers every day, every minute, every second. But , let me think about something which I am facing at this moment. Should I have to blog about the South Indian looking couple who are sitting opposite to me while I am travelling from London, and are yet to smile, or even avoiding eye to eye contact? I have tried smiling, trying to keep an eye to eye contact at least more than a dozen times. But I could not succeed.

Do I need to blog about how an asian origin mother who was struggling with her young child in the pram to get into the train at London Euston, and all the passengers in their own world trying to get into the train and grab a seat. Thanks to my father’s genes, I had to rush from my seat leaving my new  laptop,ipod and other valuable possessions avoiding mishap with all those people rushing into the compartment and extended help to the gentle lady who was relieved on seeing me...What a satisfaction and sense of happiness!

Now getting back to the couple who are sitting opposite to me....

Yes I made it.... I smiled and smiled. Smile is contagious and at last the gentleman smiled. I started talking to him...
He says “Hello”.
“How far are you upto?”
“Did you visit London just for the day?”
“Did you have a good time?”
“Yes..it was good”
“If you do not mind, where did you go?”
“All usual places...”
“Hmmm... So you need to start work again...”
“Oh..no..I don’t need to. I have come to visit my friends....”
“Oh..really...where are you from originally?”
“Oh..really...where in India...South...”
“Oh...Bangalore...nice to know... So you speak Kannada..”
“I speak almost all the South Indian languages...”
“So...you know Telugu,Tamil, Malayalam... well..”
“Yes... I do...”
“Do you know Tamil well?”
“Aiyo...super... I am a pukka Madras pettai boy...”
“How about her”
“She is my friend’s wife and took me to London”
“Oh..what is her mother tongue?”
“Tamil as well..”
He tells her about me and she smiles at me.

As the conversation gets slowly about everything, I realise the train is fast approaching Coventry. The train officer announces the same. They become happier on hearing I speak the same language.

I exchange names and other details. They leave the compartment with a huge smile on their face.

I am sure they will talk about this meeting to their friends who live in UK.

At least their friend will smile and make the initiative when they see another friendly guy in their future journey.
 I think people are people wherever they live and they should learn every day.

Please register your comments so that I do not say “Sorry for break” again.

17 May, 2010

Well done England!

My first ever cricket test match which I witnessed in my life was played between England and India in 1972 at Chepauk, India. I was so impressed with the way English men played. My Dad had told me so much about Cricket and especially English cricket. He had lots of books on Cricket and that too on England and the players.

I learnt cricket was found in England. It was full of excitement when the first world cup was played long back in 1974. I was a small boy and was at my cousin’s place. I had few cousins who were elder to me and listening to radio commentary. There was no TV telecast in Chennai, India during those days. We listened to BBC and the radio waves played havoc during crucial times. All of my cousins did their little technology bit by twisting the antenna and changing the position of the transistor.

Since it was played in England, I was under the opinion that England may win the cup since all conditions may favour them. But West Indies won it. From then whenever England were playing a semi-final or final, I wished them to win. But it never happened.

After migrating here to England, I have watched few matches and unfortunately witnessed them losing. I had a doubt whether they would ever win it?
My dream came true yesterday.

On knowing that I was not having the right cable connection I phoned up my operator and arranged for the channel. Just half an hour before the match I found that the match was likely to be shown in a different channel and not as advised by the service desk of the cable operator. So hurriedly I called them and they could not guarantee to connect within ten minutes. They told me it may take anytime between 10 minutes to 24 hours. I had no choice and closed my eyes and was silent for next few minutes. Everyone in our family felt that the clock was moving very slow. My mom started telling my kids how ladies at home had to prepare various food for their men who used to leave early in the morning to reserve seats at the stadium.

I played my TV remote hoping that they would have connected our set top box. It was ready and we brought Barbados straight into our living room. We were delighted to watch from the toss. It was nice to know that England won the toss and elected to field. There was a wicket in the very first over and our house became noisy with my son and me dancing before the Television. Again there was another wicket in the second over and it was celebration in our living room. When there was one more wicket in the third over, it was electrifying. England never slipped and they were on the rampage. English bowlers contained the Aussies very well.

Again when England started their batting it was a great delight to watch them. I have never seen such a marvellous English side. It was a team performance.

I have always admired the Aussies for their professionalism. I have witnessed the famous tie match between Australia and India played at Chepauk, India. As a young boy I have admired Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Waugh brothers, Alan Border, Kim Hughes and many more.

But having settled in England now, I realise how important and serious a match against Aussies is played. Aussies are arch rivals of English cricket team and every match are played with the same vigour as it is played between India and Pakistan in the sub-continent.

At last it was our day! England outclassed the Aussies in every department of the game yesterday. I am glad that England has won. This will be a morale boost. From now, they should plan well to get to the top on all formats of the game.

Well done England! You deserve this. Keep flying high!

14 March, 2010


I like to observe minute things in life. Yesterday, I decided to go for a long walk towards the country side. Since I wanted to be on my own, taking photos, stopping where I want to, and do whatever I felt without any hindrance, I decided to leave the family. After walking out of the house, I felt very cold. Since it was supposed to be bit sunny, I mistook that it would be warm too. I wanted to spend not less than 5 hours outdoors. After walking few minutes from the house, entered a pub and decided to have some snacks or bites and a drink before I start my long walk.
As I went and sat in a corner, I started observing the people around me. Two ladies with a baby arrived and sat next to my table. There were few people in other tables. It was a typical Saturday afternoon mood. Normally on these afternoons people walk in a relaxed mood and order for food and drink and keep gossiping and then spend some time. These two ladies were expecting some more and were texting. After few minutes another two more arrived with cute kids. I realised that it should be one of the kid's birthday meeting. Every other person had a gift in their hand. Finally the birthday boy came with his mom too. There were totally six ladies and finally one lady came hurriedly and brought a big bag of blown baloons. The kids were excited. As gifts were exchanged the other kids were anxious to see the gifts. Atlast another lady came with a kid. That is when something happened for which I laughed. The birthday boy in a loud voice asked "What is the gift you have brought for me?". When the boy started opening the wrapper, other kids were looking at it with anxiety. The elders also wanted to have a look, but were keeping their eyes to their side. Though this was going on for sometime, when I had a look around, I noticed something else. Somewhere on the wall, between two bricks someone had struck a chewing gum sweet. It was so exact between the bricks. I am sure the person who must have done it should have been thinking about something or must have been in a deep conversation and while doing so, must have just placed it there. I went and asked permission for a picture and took it just for my blog readers.
After finishing my food, I started walking. Before I started walking, I wanted to note down how many people whom I meet are trying to be friendly and how many people try to make eye contacts, and atleast smile. Within few yards I saw a man and his son doing some gardening work in front of their house. On seeing me with my camera on my shoulder he said "Wow..... are you after pictures. It is a lovely day.. If you walk further you can come across a canal and it will be lovely there." I thanked him and had a conversation for few minutes. He talked about his younger days when he had interest on photography. He must be of my age now. But he sounded to be old. Anyhow I was happy that someone wished and talked with me for a while. As I walked further I came across Daffodils shooting up. These are the ones which announce us the arrival of spring. I have always wondered how nature acts on its own. We have planted few at our backyard few months before and they are also shooting up now. But these ones were very tempting and I could not refrain myself without clicking it. I went near and knelt down and took a close up. I felt so happy on clicking. The pleasure you get at these small things cannot be measured. I looked down the road and it was very beautiful. I clicked the road ahead and then walked towards the canal. Normally this weekend I started my walk at a place where I used to finish my walk. This is just to see the same place at a different time in different light. The sun light was beautiful. I cannot explain it. Please see the picture.
As I started walking, it was nice to listen to the chirping of birds, alongwith sounds of vehicles at far, and with the sound of wind. I closed my eyes for few seconds and listened to only the sound. It was great. I found the sound of wind similar to what I have heard when I used to sit at Mahabalipuram Beach for hours together in my younger days. The only difference is the sound of water splashing on the rocks were missing. I saw few joggers now and then, and none failed to say 'Thanks' since I made way for them. At far I saw four ladies walking opposite towards me. I tried to check eye contact with them and they never bothered to make eye contacts. I have always found runners, cyclists and trekkers to be friendly than some other kind of people. I found few strange things. Some of the barks of bushes had numbers on them. I wondered whether they could be some land mark for someone. Then I found some human faces made on the barks which were lying on the side. Even my kids wonder who would have done it. It is still nice to see such things. I took plenty of pictures. I found one gentleman relaxing and fishing. I enquired whether he was lucky and he said "No". He had been there for more than 2 hours and he could not get even one fish. This was the second person with whom I had conversation. After a while I came across a dog (Cocker spaniel) and his owner. The dog was very friendly and had a quick chat with the owner. Believe me or not! I was still walking when I found him returning after few minutes. I was so much involved in enjoying the nature. It was wonderful to see some ducks landing on the water. It looked as if they arrived to give me company. They dived and swam beautifully. By this time, I realised the sun was slowly setting. I had to walk few more miles to reach home. For few miles I could not see anybody but observed few things. This week I did not want to take pictures of any litter. I had a look at those places where I found litter last weekend. I could not see them except one plastic bottle.
I halted at few places and took deep breath. I found something which looked like a tool used for some farming purpose. It must be there for long time. Few boats were docked on the canal and I was able to see people inside. I saw some Rail fencing which reminded me of my younger days in Korattur. One of my Uncle lived in Korattur, Chennai and we used to visit them for holidays. Their house was closer to the station and we always went and clinged on to those rail fences and watched those trains. We as kids had fun in counting the bogies and it was awesome sight to see Brindavan express passing the station at great speed. We liked the goods trains and were proud in saying bye to the 'Guard'. We also counted each and every carriage which were of great fun. After seeing this rail fence, I started walking slowly thinking about those younger days and smiled to myself.
As I was closer to my destination I paused and looked at the spectacular sunlight which was falling on certain area. The dark clouds were rushing. I knew it may rain shortly. But it was a fantastic scene to have dark clouds on one side and bright sun light on the other side. At younger days we have enjoyed those beautiful scenes. Flock of birds used to fly at a great speed. We used to get some dampened earth smell in the air. We used to run home hoping that it may rain, and we may not go to school next day. Keeping this in mind, I walked faster after packing my camera.
As I entered home, my daughter asked me "Did you run Daddy...You seem to be gasping..". I said "Yes" and smiled at her.
Are today's kids missing something?