Nine years!

You know, Alter Idem turns 9 today!

How time flies! Between the last b'day and this one, I could manage only one post. There seems to be a lack of time for everything!! That's why, without further ado, I'll share the short story for this year.

 First time visitors ---- it's a tradition on Alter Idem - to share a short story that I have read and liked, as the birthday post. Click on the label 'B'day' at the end of this post if you want to check out the earlier stories.

I'd read this story in one the weekend editions of the Kannada daily, Udayavani. It's a story from the Middle East - author unknown.

Once upon a time, the ruler of a certain kingdom wanted to know how best 'peace' could be portrayed in paintings. Several painters of the land submitted their works - of mountains, blue skies, forests and lakes - all serene and beautiful. One painting, however, was a total contrast - dark skies, lightning and heavy showers.... at first glance, th…


Ideally, cherry trees require at least a month of very cold weather conditions for flowering. But, they are hardy enough to settle for less - until, they get used to the weather conditions they are forced to live in, i.e.

More than 10 years after the promised 2-3 years, we finally saw some fruits on our cherry tree this year. Thanks to the attractive colour of the fruits, the tree was a sight to behold! But, of course, looks can be deceptive.

This cherry has a sour taste and is made up of equal amount of pulp and hard pits. That's why, the monkeys and the birds decided to leave everything to us!

For a while, we thought of letting the fruits be - allow them to drop off naturally and enrich the soil. Somehow, that didn't seem okay. It was like doing injustice to our long wait. Since the fruits have a low shelf life, I decided to see if I could preserve it.

I'm not a stranger to making jams and preserves. For jams, I follow a standard recipe shared by a grand aunt of mine…

Century on the Bronze Anniversary!

This is my100th post, and today is the eighth birthday of Alter Idem!! That's an average of a post per month......1.04 to be precise!!

I have always celebrated Alter Idem's birthday by sharing a short story that comes to my mind when I begin to write the 'birthday post'.

Today's story is from the Ramayana. I thought of it as I was unloading photographs from the phone a few minutes ago. The pic below was taken at Amritapura.

The Amriteshwara temple, like other temples built in the Hoysala style, has carvings on the outer walls depicting episodes from our epics and mythology. And, let me tell you, it is such a pleasure to recognise the anecdotes depicted by the sculptor!!

Looking for Seeta, Rama and Lakshmana reach Kishkinda and befriend Sugreeva. Sugreeva seeks Rama's help to kill his estranged brother, Vali. In return, he offers to help Rama track Seeta.

However, Sugreeva is not sure if Rama could match his brother's strength. To prove it, Rama shoots a…

The Story of a Seed

It was a visiting Sunday - six years ago at the Poorna Prajna School, Sangameshwarpet. As usual, all the hostelers were waiting for their parents and the goodies they would bring from home.

While walking through the tree - lined path, I saw this eight year old boy. His parents had not yet arrived, and he was whiling his time by striking a young tree with a stick. The moment he realised that I was walking towards him, the boy threw the stick and ran away....some basic instinct must have warned him!!
Well...... I didn't spoil his day by chasing him and giving him the sermon he deserved!

As I removed the stick from the pathway, I realised that the boy had broken it recently from the powder-puff shrub nearby. While putting the stick out of the way, I found that it carried a seed pod. I decided to save it, and then, forgot all about it......

Till about three years ago, the seed pod was lying forgotten in an unused compartment in my handbag.   Even though I knew that seeds do not sprout…

Looking for bliss

These are turbulent times - easily, the worst in my over two score years of existence. There is impatience, unrest, vehement pro/ anti news & views - here, there and everywhere! Often, I have wished that I could live far away from all of this - somewhere in a cave under the deepest sea!

On second thoughts, I could settle for transforming myself into a child again!

 Thoughts that came to me yesterday when I passed by these children on my way elsewhere...

Schools in Karnataka were shut yesterday - for Kanaka Jayanti. These kids had spent their morning making a small cart of sorts, using old bicycle tyres and sticks. They were on their way to the periphery of the forest nearby to collect firewood. When I caught them, they were thoroughly enjoying the tough time the calf tied to the yoke was giving them! It was quite obvious that he was in no mood to pull a cart on a  sunny afternoon.

 After appreciating their cart and exchanging a few pleasantries, I waved my byes to them. As I watc…

7-Year Blogiversary!

The year between the sixth and the seventh b'day of Alter Idem has simply flown by! I could manage only three posts in between. And, I am yet to score my century! 

I have noticed that it is not ONLY me. Most of the blogs that I follow have been going through this inactive, rarely- updated phase. No doubts.... we have been charmed by the likes of Facebook, Whatsapp, etc!

Speaking for myself, social media has also reduced the quality time I used to keep aside for reading - something that I'm realising now, when I have to come up with an interesting short story for the birthday post.  Thank goodness, my resolution for the anniversary post is to share a story that has stayed with me long after I have read it!

This year, I'll share a lesser known story from the Indian mythology - of how a tree came into existence.
I had read this story in a book called 'Brahma's Hair' by Maneka Gandhi. The book is a collection of myths and stories from all over the country - of a…

The Spirit of I-Day

Like every year, it was a cold, rainy Independence Day morning here.

Like every year, at 8.00 a.m., I heard the drums and the other instruments of at least three school bands.

Like every year, it was my cue to take my position by the gate.

Like every year, I watched as the school kids and the teachers passed by - braving the rain and the puddles, walking in step, shouting patriotic slogans - the drummers and the trumpeters playing something random and ubiquitous!

Like every year, after they were gone, I turned indoors with one picture of the receding parade.

Like every year, I stepped into my home feeling an inexplicable cheer - for, THIS, more than the speeches, the messages, the renditions of patriotic songs,... keeps my patriotic spirits high on August 15th!!