26 November, 2014

jugaaD


Necessity is  the mother of invention. And, getting the desired result from available resources is jugaaD

I had come across the word jugaaD for the first time when I heard this song by Kailash Kher. Quite a catchy number - especially, the 'karle jugaaD karle, karle koi jugaaD' bit........

And, it was the first word that came to my mind when I saw this all-weather volleyball/ badminton net at a rubber plantation quite  recently.


When I expressed my admiration, the lady with me explained that it was her husband's idea and workmanship.  Well.... a real net is a luxury that a farmer of limited means cannot afford. This net is the result of a cash-strapped grandfather's desire to add a dash of professionalism to the games played by his grand children..... Only a true sports enthusiast can have the determination and patience to carry out such ideas!

The entire net is made up of stiff, sturdy nylon cord - the kind that's used to fasten heavy parcels.


You'll find such cords in so many homes (including ours!!) - kept on convenient ledges for probable use.... and then, lying around unused for ages and ages!

But, this net has given me an idea. On my next gardening spell, I must experiment with this cord as supporting grids for the vegetable vines......

13 November, 2014

Birthday No.5

Alter Idem turns five today! It means, 'Story-time'....

You know, many a time, when you read a short story, you are not aware of the impact it would have made to the author's career.
 I had read the story Sooryana Kudure by Sri.U.R.Anantamurthy about 5-6 years ago. But, it was only when the author passed away three months ago that I came to know - it is rated as one of the best stories in Indian fiction.

Sooryana Kudure literally means 'The Sun's Mount'. In some dialects of Kannada, it means 'Grasshopper' (the insect). The story is so true- to-life that you can relate to the characters and the narrative if you have lived in the Malnad  for a considerable period! Here goes....

Anantu is on a visit to his hometown. At the market place, he runs into his school-mate and childhood friend, Venkata - the dunce of their class. Venkata is now an expert masseur - cum- astrologer and he convinces Anantu to be his client, and, thus, guest for the day. Though they shared a common childhood, they are now a study in contrast - the erudite professor, and the country bumpkin......

Recollecting their childhood pastimes, talking about their current lives, they walk along to Venkata's house - pausing to take a breath/ acknowledge passersby.... and, finally, to call on the lonely, elderly, bed-ridden neighbour (being looked after by Venkata).

By now, it is obvious to Anantu that behind Venkata's cheerful, easy-going facade lies a life of poverty and wretchedness. While his three daughters are undemanding, the son is a wastrel and a trouble-monger.

Well.... they reach home in good time for lunch. Towards evening, it is time for the oil massage and hot water bath. Meanwhile, Anantu is witness to the son's quarrelsome ways and is quite disturbed by Venkata's helplessness.

The women try to make things better for Anantu by cooking his favourite dishes for dinner. Venkata's wife decides to serve the sweet in a silver bowl for the special guest. Upon opening her safe, she realises that the son has stolen it - along with the other trinkets. Unable to relish the tasty food, Anantu spends a restless night - like the rest of the family. The events of the day keep playing on his mind. His emotions swing from affection to pity to anger towards Venkata - for not keeping his son in check, for breeding frustration by not providing enough......

The next morning, Anantu decides to leave and looks for Venkata. He finds him near the hedge - staring at a grasshopper. And, that is how the story leaves us .... wondering if there are parallels being drawn with the grasshopper from the famous fable........  

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!!...