18 March, 2012

A Reluctant Voter

Ever since that dramatic day 6-7 months ago, when namma MP became namma Mukhya mantri, we knew it.... by-elections would be forced on us. And, today, we, the people of the Chikmagalur - Udupi Lok Sabha constituency had to choose our new representative.

I have been unenthusiastic about this by-election right from the start. For one, I have not been able to tell the difference between having & not having a representative in the Lok Sabha! Secondly, those noises Mr.Y has been making about returning. Lastly, those noises didi has been making about mid-term polls.

Mid- term or full term, our new representative doesn't have much time to prove himself. And, quite frankly, I'm tired of all the petty bickering and scams. I decided to skip the parties and vote for an independent candidate this time. My choice would be someone with a likeable symbol.

Our representatives may be a little muddled up about their responsibilities, but, we, the dutiful citizens of the country aren't! Telling ourselves so, husband and I trudged to the polling booth this morning. We had it easy because the booth had opened only a couple of minutes ago.

There were about ten independent candidates - their symbols ranging from a boy playing cricket to a broken half of a coconut! I chose the ceiling fan, because, it is an appliance that we have been using 24x7 these days....

As I came out, I hoped that Mr.Y & didi can't have their ways. Either of the two will make this by-election a futile & expensive exercise :(

09 March, 2012

A soothing read

The other Sunday, the newspaper supplement had a write-up on some of the erstwhile royals of Tamil Nadu - the Sethupathis of Ramnad, one among them. The current 'Raja', while talking about his duties & responsibilities, had mentioned a century-old school in Madurai that he had to look after.

So, imagine my astonishment when the book I read last week was a school days memoir of someone who had studied in the same Sethupathi School - the school where M.S.Subbulakshmi made her debut as a singer!

'Green Well Years' by Manohar Devadoss is about this gang of 5-6 adolescent boys. Schoolmates, these boys spend most of their free time together. Their favourite hangout place is a large, open well on the outskirts of Madurai. The water looks green....hence, the title!

The author weaves a series of autobiographical incidents from his boyhood days with the history & geography of places in and around Madurai. In fact, life in Madurai during the early years of Indian Independence is so reminiscent of R.K.Narayan's Malgudi! One feels quite envious of the laid-back life style of that era!!



The book is unique for the pen & ink sketches by the author - like this one on the cover. These sketches (about 30-35 of them in the book), are special because the author suffers from near blindness due to a degenerative eye condition.

The author believes that the memories of his carefree childhood and the high spirits of his wife (also suffering - from paralysis below the neck) give him the strength to face his tough life. He is so matter-of-fact about the cruel blows dealt to him. This positive attitude inspite of all the setbacks is what makes this book exceptional.

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 pa...