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The Car….

Haven’t written on QTOL in a while, long enough for QTOL to be technically non-existent. But as I was telling Lakshmi QTOL is a space I write only when something comes to me. Not something for which I can make a timetable.

 

So just as life would have it, as I returned home on my first day of freedom (I just quit a full time job) life presented me with a QTOL moment!

 

I live at a chaotic street junction. The evenings on that road are usually jammed with traffic. As I stepped out of my taxi waiting to cross the street, in the middle of all the Bombay traffic flanked with taxis, the Hynudai Santro’s, the City Honda’s the Ford Icons, the Maruti Getz and the many more of those flashy and modern age cars out of nowhere a ‘bottle green’ antique car makes its way. (Since I am horrid with cars, don’t know what particular car this was) I only know it was bottle green with a long bonnet and a small square sitting arrangement.

 

As the car passed me I couldn’t but give a hearty laugh!

 

Right inside were 5 neatly packed ‘bawa’ men (Parsee). Dressed in their traditional white ‘Dugli’s’ and ‘Pagris’ (the traditional white shirt and cap dress). The car was being driven by the oldest of the lot may be over 75-80 years with a long flowing white beard. His front seat companion was a 30 odd gentleman clean-shaven. The back seat which would have otherwise fitted two was packed with three skinny gentleman, two 75 odd years and one again in his 30’s!

 

As I stood there with this car slowly passing me by in traffic it almost felt as though these guys had just zoomed down from Hogrwartz! Out of their school class in their uniform being dropped back home by their headmaster. The guy on the wheel looked like an exact replica of Dumbledore! And their Dugli’s though missing the flowy feeling of the magical robes definitely had a charm of their own! In that crazy moving traffic and the chaotic street corner these 5 gentlemen in their car definitely seemed to have landed from a wonderland setting a pace of their own to the world around them!

 

And suddenly in the midst of my surprised laughter I found one of the back seater’s looking straight at me. In that odd moment, for the fear of not offending them I turned away to continue my hearty laugh to myself! The laugh was definitely not a mocking one but that of sheer pleasure of seeing life at full swing!

 

A big cheers to those 5 men in the car. Hoping they have a great ride!

 

P.S: As I walked back home it struck me .Why is it that if you catch a random person laughing at you the first thought that would cross our minds is ‘they might be laughing at me mockingly’ and not that ‘they might be laughing at something that made them happy looking at me?’ and also may be that guy who caught me did not think that. But why would it cross my mind that he might feel offended?

 

Here’s hoping that more laughter gets interpreted as happy than offensive! hehe

 

And for all those have yet not met a Parsee (the Zorastrian community in India) please go out there in the search of one right away! They are by far one of the most amazingly entertaining set of people I have met so far!  I am sure they are the only bunch of oldies I can find packed in an antique car in Dugli’s floating along Bombay traffic!

 

 

 

 

What’s in a Tag?

Apparently a lot – you can write your whole life down using the beginning of each of these letters of the alphabet. Mandira, as the surviving readers of this blog know very well, has been trying very hard to get me to write. This is her latest attempt – I don’t blame her. By tagging me for the alphabet tag, she has ensured she gets a minimum of 26 words if not sentences. Here goes, the “me” in alphabets.

A- Available? Dear Alphabet A, Please be more specific with your question. With lots of love, Lakshmi.

B-Best friend: …………… – Fill in the Blanks.

C- Cake or Pie? Cake for eating but a Pie seems far more fascinating to throw at someone.

D-Drink of choice: Water

E-Essential thing used everyday: Two actually – Toothbrush and Paste

F-Favourite colour: I am colour neutral

G-Gummi bears or worms: Gummi bears sounds cuter but I wouldn’t want to eat either

H-Hometown: Huh?

I-Indulgence: Chocolates – dark, bitter chocolate.

J-January or February: What if January was called February and February was called January?

K-Kids and names: Whose kids?

L-Life is incomplete without: Good Sleep.

M-Marriage date: Is not available for public consumption – I don’t want unsolicited calls/ emails/ comments for loans or buying those million ideal gifts. My spending is not linked to my anniversary. Believe me, you will face no profit or loss on account of not knowing my marriage date.

N-Number of siblings: One.

O-Oranges or apples: Apples.

P-Phobias: Injection-0-phobia.

Q-Quote: “Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they’re looking for ideas” – Paula Poundstone

R-Reason to smile: Too many to put down!!! Reason to cry would be easier to do.

S-Season: I live in Chennai. It makes no difference.

T-Tag three people: Asha, Srivalli, Amma.

U-Unknown fact about me: I day dream all the time – its like there’s this television running in my head all the time.

V-Vegetable you do not like: Pondalangai.

W-Worst habit: Pro—–cras————ti—————————-na——————————————I’ll fill in this last bit later.

X-x-rays you have had: X Ray for my Ankle

Y-Your favourite food: Idli – Milagai Podi. Those of you you assume a sambar and vada with it, will get pasted by me.

Z-Zodiac: I am a Lion. Right now, this is sounding better than “Leo”.

An Award for the Sleeping Beauties and Other Random things

Now no one really likes to compete with never ending soap operas – but then there are these rare occasions in life when we can say that we are truly touched – and this is one of them. Our friend Mandira at Churning the Word Mill thinks that we are…..
bestbloggingbuddiesaward.jpg

Thank you Mandira!! :)

Unfortunately Mandira is also consumed by grief over the sad untimely demise of this blog – The Quaint Treasures of Life. The “not to be missed” rib tickling obituary will tell you more.

We have made it quite clear that its not really the lack of ideas or time or the absence of will to write that caused this sudden lull in QTOL. Our blog atmas are incorrigibly INTP.

Meanwhile here are some of the things I have been consumed with while “not blogging” on QTOL – this list excludes work that I do for a living:

  1. QTOL isn’t a good place to rant. The past few months I’ve been more in a rant mood than a “so let’s look at quaint things in life :)” mood. Worry not, there is no pent up aggression. I have ensured that a considerable amount of Neha’s chat real estate is occupied with my rants.
  2. I have been busy earning the distinction of Cyber Squatter by blogging on my mom’s blog - until this effort was stopped in its tracks with a “I don’t want to cook” syndrome.
  3. I have been regularly deleting mails that say forward this email to 5 people and you’ll be blessed with good luck, forward to 15 people you’ll be blessed with gold, forward to 20 you’ll be blessed with diamonds, forward to 100 you’ll own Google, forward to 1000, you’ll become god. If you don’t fwd, you’ll be struck with bad luck for the rest of your life. if you ignore and snigger, then the devil will fry you in hell alive.
  4. I have been trying to figure a way to disable a facebook account. I hate to sound dumb, but I actually couldn’t figure how to do this for quite sometime. My random urge to sign in and figure what facebook was all about resulted in days of inbox overflow with overzealous people who wanted to hug me, kiss me, throw something at me at the drop of a hat.
  5. I have been day dreaming about doing a whole lot of things – illustrating a Children’s Series, traveling around the world and getting paid for it, running a marathon (idea credit – here and here), taking an offbeat holiday with Neha (idea credit - here), writing a book, running a retail outlet exclusively dedicated to kitchen gadgets, blah, blah and blah.

Some of these have been so very consuming, that even if I took time out to watch the leaves of the Gulmohar flutter like a butterfly in the wind – I din’t bother to write or share. Perhaps, its time to change that or to imitate a motivational speaker “The Time for Change is NOW”.

Fairy Tales…

Fairy Tales! You grew up on them as kids. Most kids love them, and if one had to take a guess on who’s got better choices on things, kids or adults there wouldn’t even be a debate on this issue…hehe 

But then I just got thinking… as one grows up why do most people grow out of fairy tales? or why do adults start believing that fairy tales are unreal and its time to get realistic? I have never got why realism gets almost equated to accepting that life’s not so nice! 

If one actually takes a look at the notion of fairy tales aren’t they the most real things in the world? They have the absolute mix of the good, bad and the ugly…the struggles and the triumphs, the king and the popper.. all of this with the ‘one big happy ending’! Isn’t that what life’s all about?  

For people who may question this I would want to tell them that dude you haven’t reached your end as yet so how can you write it off? And who on this earth living any life will ever be able to deny the mixed bag that the present always is… 

So except for the bit that all characters in most fairy tales are always ‘beautiful’ and ‘handsome’ and the perfect life is when the ugly becomes beautiful and the poor becomes rich…the base of most of them is about happiness isn’t it? And whether it’s the story of Cinderella or Pinocchio the point is about life may be a struggle but its got happy endings!  That’s of course if you choose to ‘believe’ so. That reminds me of another thing. Most characters in fairy tales who do make it brilliantly in the end are somewhere people who believed through their story, and isn’t that an alternative to just optimistic thought? Who would debate that optimism can carry you better than pessimism in a real rut?

 So yeah I tell u adults! Don’t know why they get us off track in life! lol

Our Blog Atmas

Neha and I haven’t updated this space for a long looooooooong time now. This blog infact seems to suffer from bouts of the Kumbakarna syndrome that Hema has explained so well – rib tickling perhaps but mind you its as real as life can get. Not even the valiant efforts of a dear friend to start a MEME that can get us to write could wake this blog up.

There are somethings about “us” that we can’t explain – we can’t put a finger here and there and say “Oh, I am too busy to find the time” or “I have a writer’s block” because these aren’t true. We have some stuff sitting in our drafts and some more waiting to be read on our hard disk – we just don’t update because that’s how we are – a reason that’s hard to explain and perhaps to many to understand. Many people in our life think we’re positively crazy and strange – and we couldn’t agree more.

I recently stumbled across a link to this 4 question test at Dining Hall that threw up the these four letters as my Blog Atma – INTP – explained as:

“You are an INTP!
As an INTP, you are Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving.
This makes your primary focus on Introverted Thinking with an Extraverted Intution.

This is defined as a NT personality, which is part of Carl Jung’s Rational (Knowledge Seeking) type, and more specifically the Architect or Thinker.

As a weblogger, you might not be as concerned about popularity, but more with the ideas and theories that you strive to understand. Because routines aren’t your strong point, you might be more likely to work on the concept of how to do a blog, but not be as excited to keep it up.”

Now one could hope for some level of sanity and balance if the co author of the blog has a complementary personality – perhaps QTOL still has some hope if Neha turns out to be more of a stickler for routine.

Neha took the test as well and apparently her blog atma is also denoted by the very same four letters – INTP.

In short we like to explore and think, love change, but aren’t people who do something religiously. Although there are times when I seriously wish I could be as organized and regular as Mandira or my mother, honestly as of now I am quite content being an INTP :)

Snapshots

Three images which stay in my mind over last one week, in the order that I saw them. 

First- On an extremely hot afternoon I made my way out of the Kanjur Marg station (a central suburban station in Mumbai). The journey from VT to Kanjur Marg took me 35 min in the train and I found myself complaining of the extreme heat and how over crowded and stuffy the train journey had been (I did surprise myself by feeling that way!). As I stepped down the over bridge on my route to the auto, the tiny lane was also quite hot and dusty. In the middle of that lane a large steel drainage gutter lid had gone defunct. The gutter had obviously stopped functioning and the lid lay there slanting one foot inside the gutter making a slant.  

A crowd of kids (ranging from 3-8 yrs) from the near by huts were surrounding this defunct gutter, taking turn to use the sliding lid as their own private little garden slide! The circle around the gutter went in circles, one kid taking the turn after the another and each having an absolute blast as they slid themselves down that 3 feet by 2 feet slide! Each kid had that expression of absolute joy and amazement as they made their way down. Only if I was not to rush to the meeting I would have stuck around there a bit longer and may be tried joining them in their game! 

Second- As I sat on Marine Drive on a breezy evening, gazing at the sea and the sky, evening walkers, kids out for their evening play time and friends on a stroll gathered on the side promenade. One kid took my attention away from the sky and the sea for quite some time. 

He was with the person who would be taking care of him as his mother sat catching up on her phone. The kid, about 4-5 yrs old was riding his just newly acquired bicycle (the bicycle still had fresh plastic covers which were not taken off). He rode for a bit, and then for a longer time than he had ridden his new possession he was more enthralled at pushing the cycle, beating it up, and kicking it. Lifting it again, pushing it till it went a bit far, waiting till it dropped and kicking it again.  

After sometime the kicking and the hitting got the better of me and I got back to my sea and the clouds 

Third- On my way back home tonight, around 7 p.m as I walked down towards my house I was passing one of those famous bookstores which lots of people keep hopping in and out of. This store has definitely added a lot more traffic and crowd to my earlier relatively quite street corner.  

Just outside the store the mother carried her 5-6 yr old daughter who had just been taken to the bookstore, presumably waiting for their driver to come and pick them up. The same bookstore had an under bridge area right opposite where a lot of street families live as well. 

As I walked passed the mother daughter duo, they were being daunted by one of the street kid girls begging from them. As I walked, my ears overheard the daughter telling the mother “please give her something na!”, and my eyes caught the mother quickly giving her daughter a stern look of ‘no’, and her hands trying to send the beggar kid away  

Don’t want to say anything more… just wanted to share these images as they linger on in my mind… the subtleties of life as they keep popping up all around us… reiterating life the way it is!  

The Stars

This is a poem written by Nikhil, my nephew who is about 8 years old. Besides being an intelligent kid who loves to read and play, he’s an awesome big brother to the impish 2 1/2 year old Sanjana.

The Stars

Come out, come out

My dear little stars

Night will soon be here

If you don’t come out

I can’t see you appear.

 

I am standing at my balcony

And I can’t stay for long

As my mother is coming back soon

And she’ll call me back

 

Oh no!

Here she comes

I’m sorry but I must go

I wish I could see you shine

In that vast coat of black

But sadly now I must go

But please you don’t go!!

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