Writer's Blog

Transient Thoughts

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Adios Amigos

Best song of 'celebratory' farewell that I can think of:

abhee alawidaa mat kaho dosato
n jaane kahaa fir mulaakaat ho

beete huye lamahon kee kasak saath to hogee
khwaabon hee mein ho chaahe, mulaakaat to hogee

ye pyaar mein doobee huyee rangeen fajaayen
ye chehare, ye najare, ye jawaan rut ye hawaayen
hum jaaye kahee in kee mahak saath to hogee

foolon kee tarah dil mein basaaye huye rakhanaa
yaadon ke charaagon ko jalaaye huye rakhanaa
lanbaa hain safar is mein kahee raat to hogee

ye saath gujaare huye, lamahaata kee daulat
jajabaat kee daulat ye khayaalaat kee daulat
kuchh paas naa ho paas ye saugaat to hogee

(from the film Nikaah; cut paste from geetmanjusha.com so pardon the spelling)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Contemptoraries: People I find hard to respect but who unfortunately live in the same time frame as me.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

ShutMeUp or Anand's blog

Visit Anand's blog for some full-blooded, hard hitting, outspoken writing. Anand and I have been friends, colleagues (almost ex-colleagues now), co-footballers and co-amateur-once-a-bluemoon-actually-just-the-once-theatrepersons for close to three years now. I like his taste in books, music, movies... Especially since it is similar to mine ;-) I am sure his enthusiastic, grab-the-day, no-nonsense attitude will rub-off on his writing as well.

Welcome Anand.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bangalore is getting increasingly unsafe. Yesterday I saw a cow attacking a woman with groceries and making away with what looked like two musambis before a couple of bystanders intervened.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Buses and the Private Eye - Part II

Belgaum contd...

Once inside the bus I generally tried to make my way to the front, for there was always space for children in the driver's area - on the box which covered the engine, on the rods which were used to separate the driver's area from the rest of the bus, or on the widow sil equivalent for the windshield on the left where you could sit if you did not obstruct the driver's view of the left rear-view mirror. I even remember, on a particularly crowdy day, standing just behind the driver's chair. That was something! These front seats were real fun. Given the undulating roads, it was like taking the front seats on a mild roller-coaster. Plus there was the added pleasure of watching lowly pedestrians, cyclists, autos and chicken shuffle hurriedly as the ST haughtily stormed its way through.

But let me not make a romance out of traveling in crowded buses. Uncrowded buses are uncrowded buses! Nothing can beat short trips on an uncrowded bus. Often on rainy days when the dombaris got lazy and the farmers had no work in town, we got to go to school in an uncrowded bus. Or when on some holiday I made a trip to the town library in the afternoon.

The sun pouring in through the windows at just the right angle, the wind like a million natural fans in your face, spacious seats which no one wanted to share with you, the scenery through the windows, the 'ghada ghada ghada' sounds as all the nuts and bolts in the seats shook with no passenger weight to hold them down, the other bus sounds - window panes rattling in their frames, the squeaks of the breaks, the groans of the gearbox, the sounding of the horn - it is a mini orchestra, no less. Generally in an uncrowded bus, no one speaks. Perhaps everybody is as comfortable and happy as I am. In an uncrowed bus one doesnt care if the journey ends or not.


By the way the title of this series of posts should have actually been 'The Public Buses and I' but I have taken some ThompsonAndThompson-esque liberties with it to make this series sound more interesting than it is. What the heck, its my blog.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Buses and the Private Eye - Part I


In Belgaum, after a year of going to school in a crowded shchool-auto, my parents decided to allow me to go to school by Bus.

Belgaum was my first proper public-bus experience. Me and my sister used to go and stand at the bus-stop just outside the colony waiting for the bus to come. Waiting along with us were a lot many other people, mostly Dombari women who lived across the main road. Dombaris were traditionally travelling performers of folk acrobatics (walking on the rope, somersaults etc). Now they lived in a semi-slum and earned a livelyhood from this job and that - domestic service, agricultural labour, stealing. They were a pretty unclean lot and smelt a lot. But we were very young ( 6th or 7th standard) and somehow didnt mind being squeezed in a bus with them. By a tacit understanding the Dombaris generally occupied the back of the bus and everyone else was in the front, which helped matters a lot.

After the Dombaris, the next big chunk of the bus populace were the farmers of nearby villages. For the bus to the city came from villages far and near.

The closest village was Bennali. Any bus starting there was usually uncrowded, but buses coming from other villages were pretty packed and we had to squeeze in with difficulty.

But there was no telling which bus was coming when or if there were any buses coming at all. So we looked anxiously down the road, right to the point where it took a bend and disappeared, and waited to catch a glimpse of Bus. The speed of the bus as it took that bend would easily tell us how crowed it was. Sometimes one heard the bus come in the distance before one actually saw it. As soon as the bus was heard or seen the dombari women would let out a cry of 'Estee Aaali' ( Estee was ST, State Transport) to alert their sisters. Within minutes the population of would-be travellers doubled as more women (and some of their men) trickled in from the hutments across the street.

Sometimes two buses came one after the other, the second one totally empty, which warmed hearts all around.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

No issue

A popluar phrase out of our office-speak is 'No-issue'. It is used in technical discussions to mean anything from 'no-problem' to 'that's pretty cool'. I dislike that phrase along with several other phrases of office-speak. Often the phrase is used in non-technical conversation where it is especially jarring.

At the breakfast table, a colleague was explaining how marriage rules are changing in his community.
"Me and my wife belong to different sub-castes" he siad, "And my sister and her husband belong to different sub-castes, too"

"No issue, uh?" said another colleague conversationally.

I smiled happily and my eyes widened in pleasurable surprise but no one else seemed to have noticed the beautiful(ly), unintentional pun.