September 5th, 2006


On Teachers' Day..


I think of the wonderful language teachers I had..they inculcated in me a deep love for languages that will never go away.

I think of my music teacher...she was our neighbour, made a willing student out of a truly reluctant, recalcitrant child, and moulded my voice and my classical music tradition....

I think of everyone from whom I have learnt over the parents, who taught me so many things, including the fact that money may be important but not the most important thing in life;  husband and his family, who taught me how to be an independent person without gender-specific notions; my friends, who have taught me the value of the treasure that friendship is; my adversaries, who have taught me patience, forbearance and sometimes, forgiveness; a friend of mine who dealt with, first, her husband's infidelity and then illness,  with such maturity and sweetness of disposition; my maid who teaches me that one can be a happy person with very little money, the youngsters in my life now who are so patiently teaching me about wildlife, about photography, about software and its applications, about music, and Zen......I am not a perfect student, but at least I am hoping to learn.

But...I also think of the dry didactic teachers who did much to ensure my aversion to Mathematics, my daughter's Hindi teacher who taught a lesson so well that it was only when I took up the lesson at home that my daughter realized that it was a very humorous piece; other teachers who teach only for "exams" and never instil a love for the subject in the child.

 Back to the positive... I think and salute the teachers who are overworked and underpaid, and work under adverse conditions...who would like to have to oversee the noonday meal scheme instead of concentrating on teaching?

.....And I salute my daughter who has taught me several valuable lessons, and my son-in-law, from whose gentle, wise  example I am trying to learn not to judge people....

Well...every day is teacher's day, and learner's day, as far as I am concerned!

On the eve of visiting Bandipur, a tiger sanctuary


Deep in jungle I am went
On shooting Tiger I am bent
Bugger Tiger has eaten wife
No doubt I avenge poor darling's life
Too much quiet, snakes and leeches
But am not feared these sons of beeches
Hearing loud noise I am jump with start
But noise is coming from damn fool heart
Taking care not to be fright
I am clutching rifle with eye to sight
Should Tiger come I will fall him down
Then like hero return to native town
Then through trees I am espying one cave
I am telling self - "Ranga be brave";
I now proceed with too much care
From nonsense smell this Tiger's lair
My leg is shake, I start to pray
I think I shoot Tiger some other day
Turning round I am going to go
But Tiger giving bloody roar
He bounding from cave like shooting star
I commend my soul to Kali Ma
Through the jungle I am went
Like bullet with Tiger hot on scent
Mighty Tiger rave and rant
Rangaswamy shit in pant!
Must to therefore leave the jungle
Killing Tiger one big bungle!!
I am telling that never in life
I will risk again for damn fool wife

Parable of Traffic


There seems to be nothing that mimics life as much as driving in traffic in Bangalore. All the things that happen...for example, there you are, driving quietly along when a flashy, beautiful set of wheels blitzes past you, and leaves you with stars in your eyes and longing in your heart....oh, lucky ducks, you think, they have it all...why not me? Or you look on with unrequited desire and love...
Then, the traffic light changes, and everyone charges forward, and lo and behold, the light changes just when you are at the crossing..and you think, why me? as you prepare to idle and watch the car in front receding in the distance while you are stuck. In the jostling laneless traffic, you are constantly trying to find the line that will take you ahead...and you find yourself behind that garbage cart  or pre-historic truck, while the line that you left  just now is zooming past...with all those undeserving drivers getting ahead of you.

The reverse sometimes happens too...though initially jammed, your line miraculously opens, and you gleefully speed past that Qualis or the IT-company taxi that overtook you so brazenly a while ago. You get hit, dented, and unfairly; you wonder why you are wasting your time and effort in this rat-race.Then, making it all worthwhile, there's the rare gesture of courtesy, of disinterested friendliness, as a car waves you on ahead, or a cheeky urchin smiles at you...

Sometimes the road is just great, but more often, it is an obstacle course that you have to traverse with difficulty and effort. You feel that for every law-abiding road user there are several rogues who make things much worse....

You also realize, that whether it's a cart drawn by a spavined horse, a little Wagon R runabout, a snooty Honda Accord, a disdainful Merc, or a common-or-garden Maruti...all of them are heading down the same road, towards the same traffic light which doesn't know any distinction between them.....but the cars themselves keep the caste system of  "rich" and "poor" and "status" and "my car is better and bigger than yours" rigidly alive.

The city which is supposed to represent the information superhighway certainly doesn't have even one!
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