Irrfan Khan, journey done

“When my wife died, she got a horizontal burial cot…
I tried to buy a burial cot for myself the other day, and what they offered me was a vertical one…
I’ve spent my whole life standing in trains and buses…
now I’ll even have to stand when I’m dead!”   
– Irrfan Khan (Saajan Fernandes) in The Lunchbox

Being not much of a Hindi movie buff, I had missed seeing The Lunchbox when it was released (though I had seen some of his English films). Watched it on a flight during the past year. Irrfan Khan was already ill and fighting the “unwanted guests” in his body at that time, and this line stayed stuck in my mind.

Was deeply saddened to hear of Irrfan Khan’s passing this morning. 53 is no age to die. Considering the Indian life expectancy, it’s 15 years too soon. Well, life’s a journey with just one certainty. We’re just grateful to have experienced the journey. Continue reading

Exercising during lockdown

No morning runs, no evening walks. No socialising and meeting friends. Stay at home and only at home, exercise in your homes for a few days.  These were the general instructions given to people in India regarding exercising during the lockdown that began on 25th March.

In some of the other countries where there is lockdown, Singapore for example, citizens have been told that they can go out to the nearby parks to exercise, while ensuring that the social distancing rule is not being broken. After all, exercise and sunlight and fresh air are important to keep healthy. And the air outside is indeed as fresh as it has ever been in years!

foolish humans

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Indian Army Discharge Certificate

Ever seen a pre-Independence Certificate of Discharge/Release from the Indian Army?

My maternal grandfather, Ananthan Nair, worked in The Survey of India. I think this might have been the only employer he served all through his working life.

Gpa obit

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Taj Mahal on the mind

Today I was thinking of the Taj Mahal. We have this big jigsaw puzzle, framed and up on one of the walls and it made me pull out the photographs I had of the three times that I’ve got to see the Taj Mahal.

The last visit was with my boys, Sid and Gau, during the school break in February 2012. We did that trip from our home in Chandigarh, while my husband Srivathsa was busy at work. Before that, Srivathsa and I had used our annual leave in 1998 to make this trip from Bombay to the Golden Triangle. And my first visit memory in the 1970s is only from the pictures.

Any visit to the Taj Mahal mandates a photo on one of the iconic centre marble benches. The ‘Princess Diana 1992 bench’ which is closer to the monument than the others is often crowded and one usually needs to wait for a chance to sit on it. My boys and I were able to get someone to take our picture on the other bench in the previous row, that serves just as well.

mom n boys Feb 2012
February 2012

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Pigeon set free

We have hundreds of pigeons roosting all over in our building. With innumerable pipe ducts and vents, they have many spaces where they can live quite comfortably. This despite the netting that was installed many years ago, to keep them away.

While well-installed netting effectively keeps the birds out, netting that has lifted or given way allows them to enter, and sometimes they can’t find their way out. As bad as getting inadvertently caged, is a bird getting entangled in the net and not being able to free itself.

This is exactly what happened this morning. While his friends were moving in and out of the duct, this poor fellow drew our attention as he was flapping vigorously to release himself. Little did he realise that the more he flapped, the more trapped he became. It was nice to see the empathy of the other birds who, it seemed, were looking for ways to get him free.

entangled pigeon
Entangled in the netting

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Easter Greetings

It’s a different Easter Sunday this year. With much of the world under quarantine, no church services, no Easter bunnies, no marzipan Easter eggs. Ooh I so loved the ones from All Saints Bakery in Bangalore.

The Easter egg symbolises the empty tomb of Jesus Christ and the resurrection. May the story of the resurrection bring hope and strength to everyone, in this time of suffering. Happy Easter!

Easter egg
Our Easter egg!

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Likely extension of lockdown

who am i

With about 3 days to go for the 3-week lockdown to end, the number of COVID-19 positive cases in India has crossed 7,000 with close to 250 fatalities. The last few days have seen a surge, with the worrying thing being that we have cases being detected after death. The states of Odisha and Punjab have extended the lockdown till 30th April, and this is likely to happen in other states / nationally as well. We’ll know soon.

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