Thinking of grandpa

I’d written all this a few years ago. Reposting today, with minor edits and pictures I didn’t have at that time.

21st June was usually “get-together day” for the CS Ananthan Nair family. If it was a holiday, it was lunch that went into tea. Otherwise, tea that eventually carried on till dinner. Apart from being the longest day of the year, it was a special day that we all looked forward to, my grandpa’s birthday. When he turned 80, we had a bit of a big celebration, where we called all his relatives, friends and neighbours. Grandpa would have been 113 today. And in a week it would be 18 years since he moved on.

Grandpa’s obituary card, June 2004
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Remembering our 400m champion

It was very sad to read that Covid-19 claimed another legend. Every day a few thousands of people are dying in India, and every other day we hear of someone in the public eye succumbing to the disease. These people would have got the best of treatment, so it leaves us, common people, with a sense of helplessness. For the immediate family it must be very sorrowful to lose both Milkha Singh and Nirmal Kaur in the span of a few days.

In my hunt for autographs, and despite my participation in Masters Athletics (in pre-Covid times, I was running 100, 200 & 400m) and staying briefly in Chandigarh (where Milkha Singh was living), I never got to meet him. My mother did though, during her school days.

Bangalore was host to a National Athletics meet in July 1962, and as one can imagine, those who had even a little interest in sports thronged to see the Flying Sikh who had missed out on the bronze medal at the Rome Olympics a couple of years before that.

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Reincarnating the Buddha

What do you do when an artifact or statue gets broken?

If it is a small break, it can be easily stuck using some superglue. If it is broken into pieces, it is harder but possible if you have kept all the pieces. If pieces are missing or it is smashed to smithereens, one may think that it cannot be salvaged, and it is usually thrown out like any other broken furniture. Many people are brought up to believe that broken items must not be kept anywhere in the house, so they have to be discarded.

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Watching the world go by

A couple of weeks ago, my 18-year old son got his first dose of Covishield.

When vaccination for the 18-44 year age group opened out on May 1, we already knew that vaccines were in short supply. Getting a vaccination slot would not be easy and there are many in professions that are at high risk – shopkeepers, delivery people, road vendors, labourers, cooks, maids, drivers, who should rightfully be prioritised.

“I think I should wait. Let those who really need the vaccines get their shots. I am anyway at home only.”, Gautam said. This I did think was was a noble thought.

Getting a slot was and still is indeed difficult. I had been trying for friends and acquaintances, and though I had managed to get a few appointments, it was a very time consuming exercise, requiring one to be constantly online and vigilant.

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Vaccination jokes

Vaccination is a serious matter. In the current Covid-19 situation, it seems to be one of the key factors that would be responsible in getting the pandemic under control, reducing severity of the disease, minimising the need for hospitalisation, and allowing us to continue to live.

Our government has made quite a mess of the vaccination plan for the country, through the vaccination policy it announced in the middle of April, amidst the gasps for breaths of oxygen and hunts for hospital beds.

Announcing early victory over the virus (sans vaccination made it a big accomplishment), delay in ordering vaccines, high-handedness with vaccine makers, vaccine mockery, handing over vaccine acquisition to the states, differential pricing, changing vaccination schedules and regimen … Every area that could be messed up, has been messed up.

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