Monday, January 9, 2017

They are also humans

It is very rare that one gets to meet a fellow blogger (at least for me)
So it was a pleasant surprise when I got a mail about a month ago from Dr Hema Hirlekar which said “I keep reading your blogs and just love your amazing photos. I have written a book and the launch is on Saturday 7th Jan. It would be really great if you could attend the function. Attaching invitation”

So I decided to attend the book release (again a first for me)
Before the book launch, there was a flute recital by the young and budding flautist Mr Azharuddin Shaikh. I enjoyed the light music. Later while reading about him I realized that he has to his credit a six foot long flute which he himself developed, probably a first in the world. 



The crowd was an elite crowd mostly from defence background. 


There were some celebrities too. I noticed Dr Mohan Agashe sitting quietly in a corner taking in everything. 



The book that Dr Hema wrote was titled “Life of an army wife”  


After the formality of the release of the book she read out some excerpts from the book. She made the reading very short, probably not very comfortable being in the limelight. As she was reading, I recollected some of the blogs that she had written a few years ago. 


I realised that signing those books was the difficult part for her as practically every one queued up for an autograph. 




Sale was brisk and I found many taking multiple copies, probably for relatives and friends 




Hema’s husband Shridhar made sure that everything went off well as per the flow chart. He even introduced me to Dr Mohan Agashe. 



The ambiance was good, with the golf course on one side. 
I found this poster mounted on the club walls. Probably an old one (going by the truck model) but very relevant even today. 

   
Made a one minute video on the book release, especially for those who could not attend it.
Later at home I started reading the book and found it interesting. Some down to earth facts from the life of a defence personnel and his family, sprinkled with some light hearted humour. I liked the simple illustrations in the book. 


The book is available on Amazon.

There is this part where she goes to the border with her husband and her child. (this is in the early seventies) From across the border two jawans came. She was apprehensive. “Were they theirs or ours? What would happen now” They came forward and saluted her husband and said “Baby ko le jaye?” (can we take the baby?) She almost turned back when her husband said “Jaroor” (sure)
She was shocked and looked at her husband who nodded and indicated that she should hand over the child to them. She was too stunned to react when the child was taken from her hand. All sorts of questions went through her mind “They are our adversaries. What if they don’t bring her back?” She voiced her opinion to which he replied “don’t be ridiculous, we are not at war. They are also humans like us” 

illustration by Dr Hema Hirlekar


I paused reading. I was comparing it with the present day situation at the borders. Indeed, they are humans like us. So what made things change in a few decades. . . . . .




40 comments:

Hema Hirlekar said...

Thank you, Joe! Such a lovely blogpost!

weekend-windup said...

WOW! It is really a good one! Thanks for sharing it!

Augustine Xavier said...

Dear Joe , I like the title of the blog "They are also humans" - made me ponder on how much we owe to the solders of our country and its not only them but their entire family. I will sure read the book by Dr Hema Hirlekar - Best wishes to her. Once again Kudos to you for capturing every minute details of the programme and writing so beautifully, made me feel as I was attending it personally. Thanks!

Jim and Sandie said...

I wish the world was full of people who realized we are all humans. I love that story.

David Gascoigne said...

Wonderful story. I would have loved to have been there. You were very fortunate to receive this personal invitation.

tulika singh said...

A very valid point specially in today's times when actors and singers from 'their' side are being looked upon with suspicion. I like book launches because you get to interact with the author and his/her thought process behind the book and that's always fun.

Hari Krishna Prahlad said...

Beautiful, Joe.

Linda said...

This is such a lovely post! We need more of this!

Lowcarb team member said...

I'm so pleased you were invited and went along.
I'm also pleased you have been able to share the experience through your blog.

Great selection of words and pictures for us to see, thank you

All the best Jan

Tabor said...

Thanks for bothering to stop by my blog. I had to return the visit and hope I have time to read more of your interesting life!

Anita said...

Joe, apparently you are likable and respected, as well as being educated and skilled. How nice of the author to invite you. I love a good book talk and will attend any that I can.

Your video was nicely composed.

Liz A. said...

Looks like a great event. I bet she did get writer's cramp from all the signing.

Ginnie said...

Events like this need to be documented, Haddock, so I'm very sure Dr. Hema Hirlekar and the others present were most pleased to have you there. Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

tina said...

Well lucky you to get to meet a fellow blogger. That is great! I enjoy meeting fellow bloggers too. A few years ago I attended a garden blogger conference and met lots. I found bloggers are not always just like their blogs but it that was okay! Her book sounds interesting. Especially since she is from a different country. I was an Army wife but perhaps American Army would be different? Not sure. Your blogs are always so interesting. I enjoy my visits here very much.

Natasha Hill said...

This was really interesting, and how cool that you got to meet a fellow blogger too. Thank you for the kind comments on my last post too. - Tasha

Julia Thorley said...

What a lovely event this must have been. It seems to have been much more formal than launches I've been to.

Marie Smith said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoyed this post and will return!

Titus John White said...

Wonderful story and how lucky you were to get an invite, thank you for your visit to my blog and the comment. All the best to you and yours. Regards John

Patsy said...

You're right that it's a great experience to meet up with blogging friends - I'm glad you got to do that.

Red Rose Alley said...

Haddock, I like to read about the happenings in your life - you are always doing something interesting and fun. Isn't it nice to meet a blog friend? I've only met one so far, and we lived in the same town. I hope the new year is being kind to you, friend.

~Sheri

Lux G. said...

That's amazing. Sometimes I get starstruck meeting another blogger whose works I admire.
Good on you. This looks like an awesome event.

Priyanka Baranwal said...

The beginning (title of the post) matches perfectly to its end. Watched the video at the end. Cool!

baili said...

i can imagine the excitement when you get invitation from your fellow blogger and meet a person behind beautiful words and wonderful photos!
loved the book introduction sounds really relative to situations often occur on borders of both countries .
such situations are created by dirty games of politics as we all know and result come on the shoulders of common innocent men.
flute is a soul awakening instrument you must enjoy it so much friend.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

This is really a great moment...

Helma said...

To get an invitation for this is very very nice.
great to attend the presentation of a new book.
Cordial greetings.

Giga said...

Hello. I think that the meeting was successful for you. Met great people, and also have an interesting book. It's nice that you were with me. Regards.

George said...

What a fascinating experience to be invited to a book launch. I really like the excerpt from the you shared, especially her husband's response. We definitely need more of that type of thinking in the world today.

Bob Bushell said...

Thanks Joe for coming by, your blog is excellent.

Elephant's Child said...

How lovely to have such a successful blog meet-up. I wish that more of us remembered that we are all humans...
I remember that Mr Whiskey makes Driving Risky from a trip to India in the 1980s. I also liked better to be Mr late than the Late Mister.

orvokki said...

This is a lovely post.
Have a nice weekend.

Jeannette said...

A very supportive post of another writer...how lovely. Such a poignant example you share from her book...a primal question. Trust can be healing...

magiceye said...

Seems interesting

Anonymous said...

Good one…!

I remember, once I attended an informal workshop on how to create a flute.
It’s really a commendable task with science and art aspects coming together.
After each hole being drilled one by one on the flute, it needs to be checked for sound frequency & the notes it generates.
Accordingly, the distance & the size of the hole needs to be optimized. The creator also has to take into account for whom the flute is being created and what kind of playing style the flute player follows.
Imagine how good ear the creator must possess!
If this man has created a six-foot-long flute, hats off to him!!
Would love to see that flute once.
Regards,
Sameer Nagarkar

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,
That was a good one !!

Regards,
Vikrant Pathre

The Artful Diva said...

It truly is a small world. So happy for you - fun to meet a fellow blogger face to face!

Rabbit said...

A catchy title. The real catch is that it symbolizes a very large population, both young and old. Hence, only an 'Army wife' can comment on the merits of the book. Glad that you enjoyed the book launch.

Tamara Narayan said...

Great teaser! Now I want to know what happened to that baby.

Glad the book reading was such a success. I haven't been to one of these in a long time.

trees said...

Very nice post on a book launch. Well done, brother dear! And Hema Hirlekar, so glad you decided to write on life in the services. There is so much to share with those who do not know what it entails. Even I realized the worth of this experience only when I stepped out into the civilian world.

Crystal Collier said...

Now that's a successful event! Very cool that you got to be there. I imagine the book is a fascinating read.

Jenny Woolf said...

I expect the baby was okay, but I would always be anxious about giving up a baby even if it was to people I trusted...