Sunday, November 26, 2006


Three days back( Tuesday), I fell sick. I had eaten a banana the day before with my school tiffin, which is very very unusual. And since it was unusual, I vomitted twice that night. And twice, Mammam( my mother) woke up with me. Next day, she did not go to office. In the morning, we learnt that our family physician was out of station. So, Mammam saw my previous prescriptions, bought the required medicines, stayed with me all day, either giving me my medicines or feeding me occasional sips of salt-sugar water and my lunch or putting me off to sleep both in the morning and afternoon. She never misses office for petty reasons.To me,this seemed to be a very petty reason , but for her, it was a matter of great concern.Then she really did not care about what happened at office that day.
Yes, this is my mother whom I call Mammam right from the time I was one year old. There have been numerous occasions before this when I have fallen sick and on each of those occasions, she has cared only and only about ME. She has forgotten her place of work on those occasions. But this is not the only thing that makes her so special. The reasons for that will never end.
When I was in her womb, she was posted at a place very far from home. She had to climb high staircases at the railway station and then board the most crowded trains of the world. What a lot of pain it must have been! And all because of me!
During the first 9-10 years of my life, I didn't understand how lucky I was to have got a mother like her. I mean, I always knew that she was the best mother, like everyone does. But I couldn't recognize the specialities. We would get along very well with each other( we still do), she would fulfill all my demands, like my first watch, my story books and my computer. When I was in class two, Baba got transferred to Balugaon in Orissa. During that period, she suffered fractures in her ribs, legs and back in a car accident. Two months later, my grandfather suffered his second heart attack. Then I saw how much she can tolerate. Having not recovered fully herself, she had to do a lot of work during my grandfather's operation. And the mental pressure was always there. I was very small then. I couldn't help her much in the absence of Baba. But she managed everything so well. I can say with full confidence that NO ONE else could have done all that she did. Forget doing them, they would not have the guts to rise to the situation. After that, Baba came back and there were some years of happiness.
It was only when Baba got transferred to Guntur in AP in 2003 that I began to realize Mammam's special qualities. At school, I always hear my friends telling that their mothers keep on telling them to study, not to do this, not to do that... But Mammam is completely different. I always sit to study and get up at my own will. Plus, I do whatever I like. She TRUSTS me. She knows that I study, that I work hard. She knows that I never do anything wrong. Actually, before she asks me how my day went, I start pouring out all the news of the day. Her belief in me is invaluable. It has helped me a lot to become the kind of person that I am today. And needless to say, it has helped me, beyond anyone's imagination, with my studies. During the 3 years that Baba was not here, we would sometimes go for a movie and although Baba was not here, she would prepare Saturday night's dinner herself, specially for me. Not just Saturday night, I enjoyed every morsel of the food cooked by her during weekends. That's another speciality. She is such a good cook. Gradually, we became more like friends. I would keep on asking her to share all her problems with me because I felt that she was absorbing all the grief herself. And she did that for 3 years. Here again, I can say that no one could have tolerated so much. Those were tough times. She had to do everything by herself. Going to office, looking after her three children( me and my grandparents), trying to keep Bonu satisfied ( Bonu stays with us to look after me in my parents' absence) and doing all the household work. I would help her with the marketing and other small things, but she always said that the best way in which I could help her was doing my studies well.
Today, I can't imagine even a day without her. I confess that I can stay without my father as long as I can, at least, talk to him over the phone everyday. But, in my mother's case, that is IMPOSSIBLE. When she went through a surgery in 2002 because of a tumour, she had to stay at the hospital for seven days. That was the worst phase of my life. I just can't sleep withour her at night. So, Baba used to cover a side-pillow with her night-dress and keep it on the bed beside me.
In the end, I just want to say"Thank you Mammam. Without you, life would have been hell. I am the luckiest child on earth because God made me your daughter. The way I enjoy my life today is only because of you. You are great and like I have told you before, you are my role model. Love you always."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Study in Scarlet

I just finished reading the first novel “A Study in Scarlet” of my Sherlock Holmes-Volume 1. To describe it in one word, it is simply WONDERFUL. The novel is divided into two parts. If you have read it, you will know. In the first part, it is a perfect detective story and in the second part, a perfect blend of emotions, horror and thrill. This work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has left me mesmerized. He has established a link between the two parts of the novel so well, that even if Sherlock Holmes himself ever read it, he would not be able to find a tiny mistake in it. After reading the first part, I was very surprised when the second part started with “In the central portion of the great North American continent, there lies an arid and repulsive desert…” In fact, the description of this ‘desert’ continued for two pages and I began to doubt whether there was a link between the two parts of the novel or not. But then, the surnames of the two murdered people of the first half appeared at one point and I came to the conclusion that this was a flashback. How beautifully this flashback has been described. Whether the feelings of the young Lucy Ferrier, or the orthodox Latter Day Saints and their customs, or the vindictiveness of Jefferson Hope at every point, the descriptions are too good. If Sherlock Holmes was the hero of the first part, Jefferson Hope was the hero of the second. He carries the whole story on his shoulders. He commits his life to the revenge of the murder of his lady love and her father. He is such a patient man. After reading about him, it seems that our patience is just not enough. Why can’t we all be a bit more patient, a bit more tolerant, like Jefferson Hope?
The two parts of the novel are too different from each other. But, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle connects them with extraordinary skill. He makes the novel so touching. It’s more than just a detective novel. Unless you read it, you won’t understand that some magic is there in it too. “Harry Potter” has magic as its theme, but Sherlock Holmes doesn’t. Still, it is just as magical. Only that magic is different.

Friday, November 10, 2006

This article has been taken from The Telegraph Knowhow newspaper of 26th September, 2006. I had cut out this article before the puja and had completely forgotten about it. Today, I suddenly discovered it. I have not typed the whole thing. Just the words in bold are the reason for which I am including this in my blog.

“J.K. Rowling, here’s food for thought. Would you be interested in a three feet long pinkish worm that smells like lilies and spits? It was long thought to be extinct, this worm. But in true Hogwarts style, it’s popping out intermittently from tiny swatches of farmlands in the Washington-Idaho border. And it’s making waves in the region.
If conservationists had their way, they would hardsell the Giant Palouse Earthworm to Rowling and insist she gave it pride of place in Harry Potter’s armament of miracles. “This worm is the stuff that legends and fairy tales are made of,” says worm supporter Steve Paulson. “What kid wouldn’t want to play with a 3 foot-long, lily smelling, soft pink worm that spits on attackers?”
The worm was first found in 1897, and the species has always been elusive. It can burrow down to 15 feet deep. There have been only three reported sightings since 1987. The most recent sighting was on May 27, 2005 when a graduate student from the University of Idaho unearthed one specimen. The Giant Palouse Earthworm is the largest and longest-lived earthworm on the American continent.”

Friday, November 03, 2006

My two best friends

In this post, I am going to talk about two of my best friends. I have very few friends, with whom I share a very special bond. They are not my friends at school or friends in my neighbourhood. I get along well with everyone at school. But, there are occasions when I don’t like their topics of discussion. For instance, they talk about boys, which is my least favourite topic. You might say that all this is natural at my age. Still, why do they have to discuss it? Can’t there be any other topic? And I don’t have a single friend in my neighbourhood. Forget being friends with them, I don’t even know their names. You might say that I am very choosy or I am a snob. I admit it. I admit that I am choosy. And that’s why, there are only a few people with whom I am the best of friends. They are my mother, my father, my maternal grandfather and grandmother and my cousin (Woodsmoke). Today, I am going to talk about my grandparents.
“Old is gold”, and my grandparents perfectly match up to it. My grandfather is 80. It is really amazing that even after two heart attacks, a recent eye operation and many other ailments, he is still so lively. He is certainly different from other old men. He doesn’t always sit with a glum expression on his face and seem to dislike everything. He is a fun-loving man. Even at this age, his sense of humour deserves applause. If you suddenly meet him now, he won’t let you realize that he is sick, that he is suffering from so many ailments. Plus, he is an educated man. He knows his English really well. His GK is fantastic. He watches the news, probably ten times a day. He loves eating biscuits. And the best thing about him, he loves and understand his family, specially, his grandchildren (me, Woodsmoke and another cousin of mine).
As for my grandmother, the first thing that I would like to mention is that she is among two of the best cooks of this world( the other being my mother). You can’t help, but like her hand-made food. And she is absolutely perfect about everything from cooking to cleaning to just sitting and watching TV. She speaks so sweetly. Anyone who meets her, becomes friends with her. Yes, she is a bit fussy, but that gets overshadowed by her role as a grandmother. Which other grandmother would have liked it if her grandchild would have played pranks on her? But my grandma doesn’t mind. Apparently, she minds, but I know she loves doesn’t. For if she did mind, why didn’t she remove the objects using which I like to irritate her? Every time I visit my grandparents, those objects are perfectly in place for me to utilize. I call my grandparents everyday. I love them. They understand me.
Not all grandparents in this world are good. Nor are all of them bad. But those who are good, deserve their grandchildren’s love. So, we should always be friendly with them. Even if they are not so good, then they can become happy and lively once again, if they get their grandchildren’s love. It will take a lot of Gandhigiri to express your love to your not-so-good grandparents, but ultimately you will get happiness.