Friday, October 30, 2009

Man of grit and determination

We send our kids to the best school in town (doesn’t matter if its far away) And then after school he/she has to attend tuitions, and tuitions start as early as from the first standard !!
Some even go to the extend of proclaiming, my daughter is "convented" (whatever that means)
A few years ago I read an article in one of the magazines and thought, if we have more people like this, the world would have been a better place to live for the kids.
I had been regularly following his (Uttam Teron's) progress and coaxed him to start an account in a bank (having larger network in the country) so that people who wanted to contribute could directly transfer the money.
 I did a write up about him and his academy on Flickr (click on the picture below for details)

These are some of the recent photographs that he has send me. The joy of getting a new carom board, some of the sarees woven at the place and US astronaut Mike Fincke visiting the loom.
You can get more info about the school here.

Parijat Academy

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trams of Bombay

In the still of the night of 31st March, 1964 there was a big uproar in the streets and I remember my dad saying "Oh that must be the last tram" I did not get it then, till I saw the papers the next day splashed with photographs of merry makers enjoying the free ride on the last tram in Bombay.
An end of an era. Trams were so convenient (and affordable) The fare from Byculla to Regal theatre (Colaba) was 10 paise. The city fathers ensured that the fares were kept real low so that all could afford it.
The average speed being something like 8 kmph it was easy to board a tram. The best thing that impressed me was the seats. It was a simple arrangement in which the seats were wooden with two slots at the ends. The back rest was supported by two bars which passed through these slots. When the tram reached its destination and started its return journey, these back rests are simply flipped to the other side. Thus at any given time the passengers were always facing the front (in the direction of motion). A simple but ingenious idea. The photograph gives an idea how it works though its not a seat from the Bombay tram. The other two pictures show the single Decker and the double Decker trams that plied in Bombay.
The present BEST was originally “The Bombay Electric Supply and Tramways” which came into existence in 1905.

Later came the trolley bus which also ran on electricity but on tyres.(see this link for photograph) This mode of transport did not last long as the pantographs got dislodged whenever the bus moved to the sides. (went off the road in 1974)
So now it’s the BEST buses that rule Bombay.
A special mention should be made about the staff of the BEST. All said and done they are really efficient and well mannered when compared to the other bus services all over India. The ticket box too has a wet sponge, there by making it easy for the conductors to pull out single tickets. Now its an easy guess how other conductors wet their fingers for the same purpose. (click on the picture below)

BEST Driver

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mrs Kelkar

Old pictures bring back memories.
This must be from the late fifties. I have no memory of this being clicked but I will never forget the Kelkar family. Thats our immediate neighbor Mrs Kelkar on the right with her daughter Shalini behind. I used to call her Aaie (mother in Marathi) Aaie was more conversant with Marathi than with Hindi. But we used to get along well. She used to pamper me a lot. They had a big radio in their drawing room. (huge rooms with high ceilings built by the British) But what fascinated me more was the extension speaker which was in the kitchen. I used to sit on the small stool in the kitchen observing her as she went about happily doing her daily chores of cutting vegetables, cooking, making the water hot for husband’s bath (like a perfect dutiful bharatiya nari) all the while singing “Me dolkara, dolkara dolkara dariyacha raja, Vallhav re nakhwa ho vhallav re rama ” along with the song from All India Radio. It got into my head that when I grow up and have my own house I will listen to the radio and have an extension speaker in every room.

The best time to be in the Kelkar's house was during Diwali, or rather the month before Diwali.
The lovely aroma of the sweets being made. I had free access to all her sweet boxes and dabbas (one of the reasons why my dad used to forbid me from going there during diwali) The way Sharad made the aakash kandil taking great care that it should be perfect. Sharad (Aaie’s elder son) was another person who impressed me. He was very upright, no hanky panky stuff and even though I could not understand much Marathi in those days, I could make out that he was some one who had some principles and was fair in all dealings.

What you see above is the only picture I have of Mr Sharad. This was clicked about 26 years ago when he came with his daughter to attend my sister's wedding. His daughter is on the left and my daughter Nisha on the right.
Incidentally those two boys behind are my second cousins Anand and Jim.

Today I don’t have an extension speaker but my radio (World Space) is in my bed room and is almost always on for 24 hours. There is nothing like listening to the good old songs and radio Farishta is my favorite station on World Space. (I wonder if World Space will pay me for advertising on Blog)

At the first rain my dad used to make me stand at that spot, where you can see the white pail. “having bath in the first rain cures you of all illness” they say. Now I see why that spot was good because all the water from the tiles converge at that spot.

The four storied building seen behind is Rustom Baug, one of the Parsee colonies in Bombay. At the stroke of 8 in the morning you could hear a Royal Enfield Bullet take off, from Rustom Baug, (the firing of a Bullet motorbike is unique) I have never seen the owner but I can picture some one with a side car going to work (yes almost all the Bullets in Bombay had a side car)

Oh by the way that’s me in the center and my mom on the left. My Dad clicked this. He not only clicked it but developed and printed it himself at home. He was a self reliant man and did most of the things himself. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thatched roof

The most productive tree

They say that the coconut tree is the only tree in which nothing goes waste (click on the picture of the coconut tree above to see the uses)

I remember seeing my grandmother weaving these coconut palms which were later used to thatch the roofs.

There is a particular way in which the woven palms were placed and tied with kayar (thin rope made from the coconut husk) If you don’t have kayar, you can use the single leaf of the coconut palm for tying. (the leaves are half heated over an open fire and it turns out very strong and binds well)

Two layers ensure that there is no leakage during monsoons and in summer it keeps the room cool. The roofs were thatched every year before the monsoons.

I tried my hand here doing it and it was fun. (This was clicked by my brother and that’s me on the right) This particular ante room was used as a shed to store items required for the kitchen especially fire wood.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And thats cricket for you.

cricket at dusk

Had been to Bombay last year to attend a friend’s daughter’s wedding which was in Juhu. As there was time to kill, I sneaked off to the beach with my camera (while others were in the hotel room watching TV as the program was to start at 8pm)
My idea was to get some good snaps of the sunset. I realized two things while I was at the beach. One is you cannot get good shots of “the beautiful sun set” with a simple ordinary camera. The second is that there is a lot of activity that goes on at the beach which is worth watching. Like the chana walla who sells his wares with his light weight stand and the basket. He has to keep shifting from place to place to avoid the eyes of the cops and to get new customers.
And then there was this cricket team (probably the locals) who just enjoyed the vast open space and the frenzy with which they shout when the ball is “up in the air” I kept clicking and intermittently showed them the result through the LCD screen. Soon it became the routine. After every over, all of them would flock around me to see the “result” I found that I was enjoying the match as much as they loved playing it. “In the next ball I am going to hit a sixer, and you better click that” said Shankar. Later on I wished they had some e mail or there was some way by which I could send them the prints of what I had clicked.
The only other time I enjoyed watching a cricket match was in the movie Lagaan. Cricket in the rawest form was its best when the British handed it over to us knowingly or unknowingly.
The spirit of the game
Let us face it, Cricket was a game invented by the British to kill time. The weather is pleasant (there in Britain) and playing with a sweater on does not make you sweat. Drawing parallels here in India, we still wear sweater and play in the sweltering heat. Ask them why and pat comes the reply “its part of the uniform”
And when 22 players play there are 2 billion umpires in India. Oh yes every body is an “expert”
I think my aversion for cricket started from the days when there was no TV and it was only the radio and Test Matches. I mean just imagine you play for 5 long days with no result. (a draw is no result right?)
And then came the transistors. Oh boy every body had one. Come cricket season and you can see one popping out of every pocket. Once I was listening to Radio Ceylon on my home made transistor and one guy asked me for the score. I was brazen enough to tell him that I don’t listen to commentary. I can still remember the dirty look he gave me. (he did not talk to me for a long time, a if I insulted him)
Once upon a time cricket ball had to be red, the wide screen white and so was the uniform. Then came the ODI and the twenty-20 and all that went for a toss. Now we have multicolored dress and every nook and corner of the dress, pitch, bat, hat, helmet, shoes, gloves, is a good enough place for advertisement. “Hey Sachin is your left arm sleeve free for the fourth day of the fifth ODI ?”

I am more impressed by the umpires. They look more and more dashing. Talking of umpires, I think their job has become easy with action replay. If in doubt just ask the third umpire.
It’s a “crying” shame about match fixing. So lets not talk about it.
For me only one person stands out from the cricket fraternity and that is Sunil Gavaskar. And why he stands out has nothing to do with cricket !!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fishy Tale

fish market

Getting up at 5 and going fishing is a good and interesting idea, but getting up at 5 and going to buy fish is something that no one will look forward to.
But I had promised wifey that we would do it as that is the only way we can ensure that we get good and fresh stuff at a reasonable rate. The fish supply for Pune comes mainly from Bombay and it hits the main market (near Aplana theatre) by around 4 am. So if we are there by around 5.30 we can pick up some good stuff which is sold at whole sale price.
So off we went and after a lot of wading around in that smelly water we got some good bargain. (every time I promise myself to get some gumboots for this purpose, but it never happens) The ones we got today were prawns, nai meen (Seer fish), and Chaala (Sardines)
There are two ways to ensure that you buy fresh stuff. Either you should be very good at judging the freshness by just looking/touching them, or you have to keep a watch on the containers unloaded from the vehicles and displayed so that you know that this is the latest stuff. I usually opt for the second one.
The Sardines guy was just setting up his shop so he allowed us to select and pick. Wow such fresh and big ones. The only problem is that they don’t cut and clean them, so its another big task to get it home and do the cleaning.

So wifey occupied one corner of our terrace and started her work. I told her that if this scene was in Kerala under a tree, we could have some cats and crows around.
Mum in law was particular in cleaning the chaala herself as “there is a particular way for cleaning when you have to make meen thelapichathu “
Yesterday’s lunch included meen thelapichathu, made under special instructions by mummy. But I should say it tasted great and something different.
Today we had Sardine fry.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A festivity of light.


Its Diwali and happy Diwali to all.
Good to see so many Diyas and Rangolis in front of many houses. (to know more about Rangolis, click on the picture above)
Went driving down in the evening and it was a welcome change as the usual traffic was missing. But it was tough navigating through the anars and the rockets strategically placed on the road, not on purpose but then when there is a space crunch you can't help it.
Some of the shops were closing down early to do their puja. Good thought.
By night fall we were back home and the intensity of the crackers were increasing.
Pulled up my easy chair on the terrace to relax and make the most of it with the sky lighting up more and more. Was just wondering if there was any way to reduce this noise pollution.
A thought crossed my mind "where is the recession?"

The music from Shehnai

Its Diwali and this duo with their Shehnai kept roaming around the streets to appease the residents and earn something in the bargain.
The Shehnai is an aerophonic instrument which is thought to bring good luck, and as a result, is widely used in India for marriages and processions.
When he saw me clicking, he was all the more eager to play it louder. The main Shehnai is accompanied by the smaller one (which he said produces the “sur”) I saw that this boy’s cheeks were permanently puffed. No doubt its good exercise for the lungs but I wondered how he must be feeling at the end of the day.
I showed them what I had clicked through my LED screen, but they were more interested in what I would give them in the name of “Panduranga”
I slipped in something generously as I believe that music makers should be blessed as they make others happy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Honest or dishonest

Had the misfortune of loosing my wallet.

No, it was not flicked or pick pocketed. Mea culpa, I dropped it. (how and where is another long story)

Everything gone. ATM card, driving license, visiting card etc etc. (no credit card as I have never opted for one till date) And yes about 4000 Rs in cash too.

Who ever got it (lets say Mr X) did a wise thing. He pocketed the money(and the wallet), and put the rest of the things in a cover and posted it to me and ensured that I get it, by not affixing the postal stamp.

I don’t know about other countries but in India this is a sure shot method of ensuring that the recipient gets the mail. (Try it, it works all the time) All the other methods like Registered post, Acknowledgment Due, Insured posts etc always have some loop hole and you may get a blank “lost sir” as an answer. Those who are smart enough can guess how the “w/o stamp” method works, others can contact me for the know-how.

Now my question is this: Do I bless Mr X as a good Samaritan , “may God bless his soul” or do I categorize him as a dishonest man (for pocketing my cash)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Some things you learn early in life. Like how to avoid the cow's horn. The distance between my residence and school used to be lined with bullock carts and horse carts, mainly to cater to the timber shops at Lakda Bazar (Victoria Road became Lakda Bazar) These bullocks have a habit of tossing their heads from time to time. It could be to chase away a fly sitting on the other side, but when the head goes to one side the horn goes in the reverse direction, and some of them have really long horns. So if you are not quick enough to side step, that horn is going to get you. The same goes with their tails while chasing away flies. So if you don't want to get yourself painted with (you know what) you better keep that distance.
Had been to my school lately and took some photographs. That picture on top is my fourth std class room. Brings back memories. I find that the class room has shrunk, and so is the ground. (wonder if everyone has the same experience)
It was sad to see that the ground has been tarred. I wonder how the kids play football now. I mean, to play football after school hrs in the rains with a roll in the mud is a totally different experience. The best thing I liked about that school are the Jesuit priests, who used to fold up their cassock and join you in a game of football.
Talking of mud and slush, what is life if you have not experienced squishing mud in between your toes on a rainy day. 

There used to be a gong hanging in that open window in the corridor (in the picture below) 

Mr David was entrusted to ring the gong which announced the change of period. There were times when he was not around at the stipulated time, so some Master would go and ring the gong. Within 5 or 10 minutes Mr David would arrive and ring the gong again, adding to the confusion and entertainment of the students and the teachers.   

Monday, October 12, 2009

Photographers and wedding

Weddings are one thing and wedding photographs are some thing else. I mean the ordeal one has to go through, to please the photographer. You have to pose in different ways over moats and in boats, holding hands looking into each others eyes . . . . .the list and requirement is endless. “No no, don’t get out of the car now, wait, slowly look to your right (with a smile) yes now slide out” comes the instruction. The poor girl is all ready to snap at the snapper, I mean the photographer but she has to grin and bear it.

Group photos with the couple look good, but getting the family members together at the right time is another big task. “Where is Kevin? Hey anyone saw Kevin? Just hold that click one second, our Kevin is coming, ah there he is, Kevin where the hell did you disappear? You and your cigarettes .. . . . .”
Come to think of it, I have even seen some priests in the church giving the Holy Eucharist “once more” as the photographer was “not ready” Where is the sanctity of it?
Why oh why can’t they just photograph the event as it is. It’s a moment of joy for the couple and all that are gathered there, and it should be captured as the event flows.
Here are some clicked at Bombay, Pune, Goa and Kerala. Some of them were clicked from the side line when they were actually posing for the official photographer. In the third one, the bride is with her cousins.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Juke Box

Talking about juke boxes, now a days you get to see them only as a novelty in a few hotels. One of them being Hotel Mondegar at Colaba, Bombay (now Mumbai) If you look hard you can spot the Juke box in the pix.
The ambiance is good, the location is perfect but the service needs improvement. The best thing I liked there was the murals by Mario Miranda, one of the well known cartoonist of India. Goa being his hometown, its little wonder that the Railway Station (Mudgaon) is adorned with his murals. There was a time when “The Illustrated Weekly of India” used to regularly carry his cartoons and I used to eagerly wait for every issue. His illustrations were mostly the simple yet chaotic life in India. The magazine also had Beau Peep which I used to tear out and collect (I still have about 50 pages of them)
The film actress Konkana Sen's dad used to write a column in that magazine. I think it was called Mindsport and really made your brain creak.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Left handed

Whenever I see a left handed person drinking tea, or for that matter any one drinking with his/her left hand, I am reminded of my friend Nanya (Swar)
We were at hotel Sunshine, situated at Deccan, opposite Natraj theatre. After ordering our chai, with Bun maska (Bread with butter) we decided on the usual number “Pop Corn” to be played on the juke box, which could be played at a quarter of a rupee. (even though the anna system was abolished, people still referred to it as char anna) After finishing the bun maska, the tea arrived and Nanya as usual picked up his cup with his left hand (even though he was not a lefty) When I asked him about this peculiar habit he said “most of the people are right handed and they use their right hand to pick up a cup, by which one side of the cup touches their lips. If we use the left hand then the other side touches our lips by which the chances of being infected through the cup is minimized” Talk about the slip between the cup and the lip !! Somehow at that time I was impressed by his logic and started following suit.
Now Natraj theatre is not there nor is the hotel Sunshine (and the juke box) but the habit of using the left hand is stuck with me.
Another habit that got stuck with me (I don’t know how) was to use my left hand to comb my hair !! You see I had that big puff in the front like Dev Anand and maybe to keep the hair standing that way I had to use my left hand. The irony is that now I don’t have much hair left but when ever I reach out for the hair brush (to comb that little patch on the sides) it’s the left hand.
I wonder how Amitabh combs his hair (or what others think is HIS hair)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Punk Potato

When I saw this potato in the kitchen tray I did not like the fact that it was destined to go to the dustbin. I mean there was a time when they used to have armed Army personnel in Russia accompanying the truck transporting potatoes, but then that was during the acute shortage that they faced in those days.

But this particular potato was looking at me with a quizzical expression and almost asking me “so what are you going to do with me? ” And I almost replied loud “what a punk hair style”

And that gave me an idea. . . . .why not change this fellow into an actual punk?

So I set about decorating him (using my wife’s sewing kit box)

I don’t know how people can stand body piercing, but our friend here looks rather cute with his eye brow pierced !!
If we can have couch potato, then why not punk potato

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jarbara in Green house

Some guys are really enterprising.
This one here grows Jarbara (wonder what is its botanical name)
Its in great demand so he has made a green house and grows it in controlled temperature. (those small gadgets hanging at the top are coolers which get activated when its very hot)
Here he is explaining the finer details about daily care and how he loads them on his pick up van early in the morning at 5 am and travels a distance of about 40 kms to deliver it at Gultekadi (main market) The turnover ? Lets put it this way the profit margin is something like 300%, which goes up to 800% when its in good demand.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Onam menu

Being out of Kerala has its disadvantages and one of them is that you don' t get holidays for Onam.
Once I was in Kerala during Onam and what a week long celebration. The Kodam oothi thullal stands out in my memory. A type of dance in which girls dance around in a circle with earthen pots which they blow into, creating a resonance which can be heard real far. And then they toss the pots to the alternate person. The skill lies in doing it simultaneously, blow toss, blow toss, blow toss and all this without the pots banging into each other. I have seen many pots being broken till they attain perfection.
During that time my uncle's parents took me to see the Alleppey Boat race and it was really an experience. I mean seeing it on TV is one thing and seeing it live is something different. It is beyond comprehension that such a long boat with just man power can slide over the water at such tremendous speed. I tried running along the bank with it but could not keep up. If you are
wondering about the crowd, this was about 40 years ago so the crowd was not what it is now. (I am not a very good sprinter is another matter)
So I took leave today with the intention of helping wifey in her onam preparations. I don’t know how much I helped but succeeded in clicking some good pics.

To see the actual menu click on

Encounter with a Super Star

Last week when we were walking down the Boat Jetty lane in Cochin we saw this larger than life size cut out of one of the popular Malayalam movie hero in police uniform and wifey said “see now we too have huge cutouts like in Tamil Nadu
Even though I always carry my camera, I did not click as I did not attach much importance to these cutouts.
Now see how things work out. When I got into the train (on my way back to Pune) one hefty tall guy sat opposite me. His face looked familiar. So I went out on the platform and called wifey and asked her who the guy was in the cutout. She said it was Suresh Gopi. Then I checked the reservation chart pasted on the side of the train and it was Suresh Gopi. I told wifey and she went all ga ga and asked me to ask him the recipe that he showed on TV about the Payasam !! I said that I am not going to do any such thing. (asking for an autograph is OK but recipe ?)
The first thing that he did was take out his cigarette packet and lighter and keep it out. Now this was asking for trouble as I am a person who will not allow anyone to smoke in front of me, star or no star. So I was mentally preparing myself for the showdown.
But he took the pack and went out. So that saved him (or me, from the dishum dishum that was to follow)
Once he was back and the train moved, I found that we were the only two in the coupe (2nd AC) where there were supposed to be four. Now that made me brave (about the recipe)
I asked him where he was planning to get down so that I would be aware when other passengers get in. (I am vary about people walking away with my luggage when I am sleeping)
Then I blurted out the truth. “sorry I don’t see much Malayalam films so did not know exactly who you are but your face looked familiar like the larger than life cut outs so I went out and asked my wife who was the person on the cutout. . . . checked the reservation chart etc etc and she also wanted to know the recipe” (all in one breath)
It would have been adding insult to injury if I told him that the only Malayalam heroes that I know were Mohanlal, Mamooty, Sreenivasan and Innocent. (in that order)
He was good enough to explain it to me. “Adine entha, athu valare simple ane. Nammal ada payasam ondakathille, athinupakaram cheriya unni appam ondakuka ennitte payasam ellarkum kodukumbol athu athinakthu choodayittu iduka” When he saw my blank look he first started explaining in detail how Ada is made. “Spread the ada on the ela (leaf) and fold the ela and allow it to dry etc etc . Now when I found that he was explaining everything in detail, I told him I won’t be able to retain all these so can he tell this to my wife. I connected wifey on my mobile and gave it to him. So he started explaining all over again on the phone to her. Unfortunately when it was half way through, the train moved into a no range area and the connection got cut. As he was eager to continue, the second half was explained to me. So that’s the end of ever making it at home as the second half has gone into thin air. (you see I am sure I am the first one to get Dementia in my family and that applies here too)
But there are two things that I observed about this actor Gopi . One, he has no airs about being a star. The second being that he is very passionate about cooking and having good food.
The end result was that we were chatting till about 12.30 in the night till we hit the bed (berth)
The funny thing is that I never took any photos with him, no autographs no phone nos. Yes I asked him about his e mail add. He laughed and said “Ee computer enuparanga sadanavum ayitu inike adukan pattunnila” (I don't get along well with this thing known as computer)
He was doing most of the talking and I was doing all the listening. Maybe he could talk freely because I was not star struck or maybe it was only the two of us there.
Some of the excerpts:
Sureshne cooking valiya ishtamane alle ? (Suresh, you are very fond of cooking?)
Athu nalla aharm kazhikan ishtamane, appol athilkude cooking inum thalparium aye. (its like this, I like to have good food, so took an interest in cooking)
His father used to do most of the “special” cooking. “Aa idli thatinakathu kedennu ingana thelakumbol, vevunathinu mumbe edukanam. . . . . . . . . . .” that was part of some thing that he was explaining.
When I told him that my parents are from Alleppey, he said that he too was born in Alleppey. He did mention the exact spot but when I looked blankly at him, he said its in Kuttanad.
His schooling was in Kollam.
We did mention a bit about films. I particularly told him that our Indian films lack in continuity of shots whereas Hollywood is much better in that aspect. He said that we too have a continuity assistant “pashe ennalum chelapoleke theti pokum” (but some times we goof up)
He says his role in police uniform has become a curse as all the new offers he is getting is for police officers. He is booked till the end of Nov.
He enquired about my family in Pune, how many kids? what they are doing?
When he knew that I was in Tata Motors he wanted to how and where the Nano will be manufactured now with the present Singur problem?

He told me a recipe of Drumstick with Appam.
This he had televised some where in the Gulf and he said that he is still getting feedback for it. This was specially meant for Veg. people.
Just scrape out the inside pulp of the Drumstick and mix it with curd (or it will be bitter) after sometime drain out the curd and slightly cook it. Once it becomes semisolid roll it into small balls. Make curry separately as you make motta (egg) curry and instead of motta use these drumstick balls. So veggies can use this with Appam instead of motta curry.
I chipped in my knowledge of Drumstick leaves and flowers for making subji. He said yes but care has to be taken to pinch out the stalk of each leaf “allengi kaikum” (otherwise it will be bitter) He said its tedious as you put in a lot of effort and finally you hardly get enough for 2 people to eat.
His favourite is Chaala ( Sardines ) When he was in the States they wanted to please him and asked him what he would like to eat. He said he preferred Chaala. They were taken aback and apologetically said “we do get chaala but we buy it for the dogs”
He said “so what , I like it, and if you have it then I would like to have that”
While talking about fish he said to avoid Aila (Bangda - Mackerels ) as it had lots of sebaceous glands and that was bad for us (that’s knowledge for me)
He said there is a way for eating too. “Now if we eat only the meen peera (fish made with grated coconut) for some time it will sting our tongue and we will loose interest in it, so we taste a little achar, then some mezuku puratiyathe and then come back to meen peera and it will taste delicious”
While we were talking there were some small roaches roaming around in the bogie. He said this is a perennial nuisance in the AC bogies. Earlier long back while trying to swat a cockroach he hit his own nose and got hurt and asked for the complaint book in which he registered the complaint. “Pashe enthu gunam. They nadakunne kandille” (but what is the use. . . .see they are still roaming around)
He was traveling till Canoor as he had an early morning shoot there. He did make a point to say bye to me in the morning when he saw that I was awake.
Of course there were intermittent calls on his mobile and I could not help overhearing things but that’s his private life so mum is the word.
The next day while having lunch I was reminded of him as there were two Gopis... .. I mean two chaalas looking at me from my lunch pack which Marie had packed for me.
So now it is:
Suresh Gopi
(in that order)
PS: The attached pic was taken by Marie's cousin and later send to me.