Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The world is coming to an end. Or is it?




At the end of an e-mail sent by a friend, I found a quote. Nothing unusual about that, there are a lot these going, like 'When life gives you lemons, be sour,' and etc. Except this one set me thinking. It said, 'We should not be worried about saving the world, but about saving ourselves'. Let's imagine Doomsday. The polar caps have melted and the world has drowned. All terrestrial life, including us, has been wiped out.
The earth will be one big ocean. Time will pass. The waters will recede. We will be back to square one of evolution. There will be life only in water and when the water recedes and land appears, the fish will say, "Oh fish! We have to turn into frogs, salamanders or whatever the first amphibian form was." Another million, billion, trillion years later the earth will have humans beings again. There will be more fossil fuel of course, some of it made from you and me. I like the scenario. I like the quote. The earth has survived and will survive. It is our backsides that need protection.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

A turn of phrases

Last week in the yoga class, one of the instructors said, "Half knowledge is devil's workshop". This morning, an RJ on the state-owned FM station was singing paens to the benefits of a good night's sleep. She concluded by saying, "A good night's sleep is worth its weight in gold". I imagine her waking up in the morning and telling the husband, (can't be the boyfriend, the station is state-owned), "You are such a heavy sleeper, not light like me".
Two weeks ago, we sat around waiting for a meeting to begin, listening to a conversation between an ex-cricketer and a junior official of a cricket association. The junior official made a veiled comment to which the ex-cricketer replied, "सरळ बोला की... असं नथीतून काय बोलताय? In English, "Talk straight... why are you speaking through the nose ring?"
In ‘Arrow of God’, an English novel by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, a character uses a phrase from the Ibo language, “Sit down, Obika, you must expect foreigners to talk through the nose.” Top left corner: Traditional Maharashtrian nose ring. Photographer: Unknown.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Jejuri, Maharashtra

On a hilltop in Jejuri, 45 kilometres from Pune city, sits the temple of Malhari or Khandoba, the presiding deity of shepherds. You buy the offering of turmeric powder and dried coconut, climb up the 200-odd steps and when you reach the temple premises one of the many priests offers his services to you. You give in. He makes you sit in front of the sanctum, asks your, your father’s and your last names and instructs you to shower the turmeric powder heavenwards while saying 'सदानंदाचा येळकोट येळकोट' (a prayer for eternal happiness). 'Don't brush the turmeric off,' he orders again and again, 'God should turn you yellow like gold'. Gold is everywhere. You shower some here and smear the rest on every deity on the way down. I didn't bother to ask while I was in Jejuri and once I returned I searched (the net) but could not find when the temple was built. 45 kilometres away, urban chaos spreads in Pune while the media touts it as the next 'happening' steel and glass Indian metro.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Compulsion

Blogging, sometimes, is like a conversation. There are times when you don't have anything to say. But there is this pressure on you; I am here in this situation and I have to say something or I will look like a fool. You say something. And look like a fool.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

गोइंग लोकल

और आज मुझे पता चला की मैं हिन्दी में भी ब्लाग कर सकता हूँ। आणि मराठीतसुद्धा...

Bus Route No. 66

As a child I used to travel alone from my place in Dadar to my uncle's place in Girgaum by a double decker bus. The route number was 66. The journey used to take half an hour or more and I killed the time reading the sign boards of all the shops along the road. Some habits never grow up I guess. There was another bus, number 65, that took a longer route to the same destination. On its way it would pass on the edges of Kamathipura, Mumbai's red light district. But that is another story.