Tea party politics

A political drama has come to an end after TN Governor Rao’s resignation. At the same time, another interesting one has begun with the TN Government disclosing the transcript of the conversation between the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Leaving aside the question whether it is proper to disclose a supposedly confidential conversation to the press, the funniest thing about it is Patil’s reasoning that the Governor is being removed for not hosting a tea party on the Independence Day. Looks like a school teacher sending a second grader out of the class for not doing the home work. When would these guys grow up?

Shorter Days & Longer Nights are back again. I realised this when I started for work at 7 in the morning. It was very dark outside that I would have been forgiven for thinking it is 5 a.m. Once the Day light saving time takes effect over the weekend, the realisation would be more complete.

Reunions

Frankly, I don’t know what I had in mind when I opted to have a web presence, but now, it appears to be the best thing I have ever done so far. Few weeks back, Ramchi jumped from nowhere, left a message in my guest book and followed it up with a call. Both of us were studying at Aptech, Trichy and the last time we met was sometime in 1995. He had stumbled upon my blog when my unusual name has rung a bell but a look around the site made him get in touch with me.

For quite sometime, I have been reading ‘Ahambaavam’ Guru’s blogs. I had made some comments against his entries as well and he too has been reading my posts. I was pleasantly surprised on seeing the comments he left for my previous post – he is the same guy with whom I had done my schooling but remained out of touch for the last 12 years or so. What a way to get connected.. I am so proud & excited!

TV

Our TV is not functioning anymore. Just as I was ogling at Natasha Kaplinsky in BBC Breakfast yesterday, the picture shrunk, turned green before vanishing in to tiny dot. Initially I thought that the heavy winds have blown our antenna away, but sadly I realised that it has something to do with the picture tube.

I was not an avid TV watcher (I am not comfy with this term, but using it for want of a better one). While in India, thanks to my younger sibling’s schooling, we never had the cable connection at our home until after I left the shores. Even otherwise, most of my evenings were spent at the offices of Ramco doing something or other (only god knows what!) & weekends on the MCA classes. First two years of life in UK, where I stayed with 3 other friends of mine – were literally spent watching innumerable Tamil movies that we rented from the shop nearby that programmes were never even considered. We would have watched about 400-500 movies in those two years at an average of 4 to 5 a week that in case we watched any other programme, it was definitely not out of choice. When I moved to Bournemouth in mid-2002, I didn’t get Tam movies here, but it was the time I forcibly drowned myself in studies that TV never came in to the picture (pun unintended). But for News at 10, Cricket matches, Wimbledon & WWTBAM – nothing really interested me much.

After my wedding last year, my wife had no choice but to kill time watching the idiot box. Over a period of time, she had her own favourite programmes & comperers that whenever she used to talk about Carol Vorderman or someone else, I was like who & sometimes what! After all, I like watching only the likes of Andrew Marr & Gavin Hewitt – the Political Editor & Special correspondent of BBC News respectively. Only in the recent few months, as a consequence of the “mornings r 4 me & my books, evenings wd be spent with u” agreement reached with my other half, I got to realise that there are quite a few nice programmes, that I would eventually like. At a time, when we got set to a routine and started making best use of the idiot box, it has ceased functioning. For now, we have hit upon the idea of eeing how life goes without a TV at home. Let me see how long we manage.

Digital Organisers

Not long ago, there was this electronic thingy called Digital Organisers (or Digital Diaries as it used to be called in India) that used to be the proud possession of so many. Model after model came out with increased memory and it was a very handy tool to carry the phone numbers around, particularly for those who didn’t have mobiles. Even last year, I bought few of those and gifted them to some of my folks in India. Probably time has moved faster than I kept pace with, I am unable to find that gizmo(?!) in the shops where I used to find that earlier. However, Digital Organisers do exist now in the form of PDAs. Problem with PDAs are that the ones in the lower end of the price range are quite heavy that one feels like carrying a brick in the pocket and the lighter ones burn a hole in the pocket with their price tag. See, how a product that was so popular could lose its market within such a short span of time. Reminds me of how Vim Dishwash Bar kicked out Sabena cleaning powder in a matter of weeks back in 1993.

Buy one, Get one FREE

I have seen this offer been made available for shirts, chocolates, bread loaves and even mobile phones. When I walked inside Sovereign Shopping Centre in Bournemouth on Saturday, I couldn’t believe myself. A huge board conveying the above message was over a… hold your breath.. CAR. It was a Vauxhall Meriva priced at £9995. Unable to believe, I asked the sales man about that. Perhaps he thought that I didn’t look like one who would buy a car, he said that the offer is genuine and is valid for that day alone in a tone that suggested, “don’t ask any more questions”. Bad salesmanship. Anyway, that’s not something I am gonna bother about.

I am certain what they had displayed on that day were brand new cars, but looking at the dealer’s website, I have reason to believe that the offer might be for used cars. Whatever be it, its true that I was taken aback.

Saraswathi Pooja

This is one day of the year which I used to look forward with glee. This used to be the only day when my parents would ask us to be away from the books and keep it for pooja. I, like scores of children in whose households they practice this ritual, would wish that they have this Saraswathi pooja every month or even every week. Today, as I tidied up the house and placed my books before the gods & godesses for pooja, it brought back all the memories of yesteryears where we used to clean up the house, more particularly our vehicles and apply sandal paste & kumkum. It is especially during these times, we miss India very much. I don’t want to write or even think too much about that as it would spoil my current mood and I would again start contemplating of returning back to India at the earliest. I have set some targets and it is important that I don’t lose sight of that.

Bournemouth, Indians, Mallus, Dasara etc.

About two and half years back when I moved to Bournemouth from London, it appeared to me that I was the only Indian in the surrounding 18 pattis (If you blink at this term, it means that you need to watch Tamil movies regularly to enrich your knowledge). Though I had lived in UK for two years before moving to this town, I felt being in a foreign land for the first time only after moving here mainly coz all of whom I met here were strangers – both at work and outside of it. Unlike other bigger cities of UK, Bournemouth had very little or no black population at that time. As a result, I happened to be the only dark-skinned fellow hanging around the town, so much so that school children either used to stare at me like a new exhibit in the toyshop or get frightened like having seen some alien species.

Thanks to the presence of JP Morgan Chase here in Bournemouth & their faith in CTS, Satyam, TCS for their IT requirements, last one year saw the town being flooded with truckload of campootar people from India. Unfortunately, JP Morgan Chase happens to be in the other side of the town from where we live, hence not many of these folks live in our neighbourhood. Shortage of nurses in UK & proliferation of care homes across Bournemouth meant that nurses started to arrive from India. Seems that Kerala seems to produce more nurses in India – though only next to teashop owners that so many mallu families in our neighbourhood these days.

So, times have changed, children have either grown up that they aren’t scared of me any more or they are seeing more such demons in the road these days, I am not surprised if I spot a group of Indians anywhere here. Three days back a Bangladeshi guy, whom I have befriended told me that there is going to be a Dusshera night on 21st at a hall nearby. My wife & I were quite excited to join the celebrations so that we get to know more people locally. I was thrilled that Bournemouth has now got a sizeable Asian population to celebrate open Dusshera nights. As we were getting ready to go there, what happened in Chennai recently on the fifth day of the test match happened here. It rained profusely and the accompanying winds made it very difficult for us to step out. Added to that, my wife though she was interested to join the fun, wasn’t doing well; hence we decided to call it off. Would look for some other opportunity to network with people. May be Deepavali.

Basically I started this post with the intention of conveying what is in the second part of the previous paragraph. I have been made to understand once again that brevity has never been my strength. Wonder how I scored marks for ‘comprehension’ part in the English paper during my school days.

Not bad at all..

hmmm.. On reading this, looks like that school is not bad after all. Perhaps, one should never react to media reports. We should wait for the confirmation/denial from the party concerned. A good lesson learnt! Thanks Harikumar for bringing this news report to my notice.

Didn’t I say that this might happen?

Veerappan’s 12-year old daughter has been expelled from school. Reason: Being Veerappan’s daughter. Yesterday, when I wrote that the girl would be chastised for everything, I thought that she would be given meaningful stares and people would refer to her as bandit’s daughter in hushed tones. But I didn’t expect that the school would react this way.

Come on.. What did the child do to deserve this? That girl hadn’t even seen her father alive and even if she had, this is no way to treat a kid. Shouldn’t the school have shown some maturity in dealing with that girl? Shouldn’t they have let her study quietly and given her some sort of comfort? Would they dare to throw out of their school a politician or rowdy’s son/daughter – who in fact are being brought up under the very nose of the criminals in most undesirable circumstances and have real chance of influencing the other kids of their age?

Now, thanks to the media, every kuppan & suppan in TN would be able to identify her and she wouldn’t be admitted to any school in the foreseeable future. In all probability, her schooling days are already over.

I don’t say that the kids of the criminals should have free education. All I am saying is this is a perfect way to spoil so many young minds. They have set a very bad example to hundreds of young minds. Nothing would be more ironic when these very same schoolteachers would teach about ethics, moral values and spirit of tolerance to the children.

I thank my stars for having studied in schools that had teachers who deserve to be worshipped.