Monday, December 20, 2010

Slap With A Kiss

Traffic in Pune can be looked at with various perspectives. Chaotic, amusing, disgusting, irritating enough that many times gives you a chance to vent out your frustrations. It is quite a sight to keep witnessing varied driving skills that most people have adopted themselves to, which they proudly exhibit even on jammed roads! The occasional war of words in the middle of the roads and a public gathering around as if watching a street play, just add to the spice.

How-much-ever we protest against the traffic scene by means of criticism or otherwise, it is ultimately left up to us to save our own skin between the rush hour madness on roads. I would like to share one of the most entertaining incidents' that such madness had to offer at Karve road recently.

An old person (who we would call ajoba, even if unknown), was riding his scooter on Karve road. A young boy in all his josh and form, zoomed through the road least bothered of how others were disgusted in an attempt to give him way, rather to save themselves a bump. This Ajoba too, had to follow suit.

The young fella had to finally cut his speed and wait at the red light, which had quite annoyed him (so spoke his face). Ajoba caught up with him at the same signal. The conversation that followed at this junction at Karve Road, was a classic example of what is called - 'A slap with a kiss'.

He said to the young boy (a friendly greeting as if he knew the boy), "Kaay Karve?" (Hello Mr. Karve). The boy was amused and replied somewhat irritatingly, "Aho mi Karve nahi. Mi Joshi aahe". (I am not Karve. My name is Joshi). To which, ajoba said, "Mala vatla baapacha rasta aahe mhanun garditun hi gadi palvat hotat. Mhanun Karve mhatla". (I thought you father owns this road so you were speeding your bike even in such traffic. So I greeted you as Mr. Karve).

The young boy's face filled with shame, and he could not utter a word. Rest who witnessed this 'scene' (or 'kissa' as we call it) on the signal had a hearty laugh as they moved ahead at the green light.


Pune traffic can be looked at with various perspectives,
There is no way to remotely understand the drivers' motives;
Those behind the wheel exhibit their skill,
Some barely manage to escape and some zoom out with thrill.

There is not a trace left of traffic sense,
Who cares for rules, at every step they commit an offence;
Traffic lights shine merely like a showpiece,
Disrespect for traffic rules result in breaking them at ease.

Riding is no more just a means to commute,
It now even personifies adventure and attitude;
While we await some strict measures to retain safety on road,
It would be a favour to discipline ourself first, as the best mode.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Innocent Doubt

Christmas holidays have begun for the little ones. My niece, Aarya, came home for a day and filled the day with her drawings, childlike innocence (this, I mention ‘coz this 10 years old likes herself to be called a grown-up), curious questions and talks.

One thing that I do quite often is, conveniently slide some boring tasks to kids by flattering them. “I know you can do this job well. Let me see your skills”, and such statements are enough to ready the kids and get the job done, more-so, a job well done! Quite mean on my part, but it is fun to be involved with kids as they do this ‘job’ for you. It’s a chance to be a kid yourself and join the naughty brigade. You may have some hazy memories of your own childhood, but the child in you is always ready to play its role for sometime. As the kid is doing the ‘job’ you also need to become a commentator and appreciate every task that they perform, be it just moving a paper and placing it where it is supposed to be!

When Aarya had come home the other day, once again I shifted the boring task of arranging the old Marathi and English newspapers as separate stacks. This is a very unexciting and unimportant task for me but, for her, it was a fun task to do. Why? I wondered. There were some papers stacked separately, and those left were to be piled in those lots. But kids as they are, Aarya pulled all the newspapers out from the rack and sat in the middle of the sea-of-papers.

I had already done my part by flattering her for her skills to do any work tidily (this work was no where related for the need to be neat and tidy, but still ;-) ) and quickly (which was my concern, else mom would scold me for the mess and also for little Aarya doing this work – who had come at Aji’s to play). Oh, and i even added that 'Aarya even I cannot do this work as good as you can!' ;-)

I must say, she made this dull task appear to be so much fun! As she was bundling up the Marathi and English papers separately, she would read out some sentences or headlines to me, which gave her a sense of pride. “See, I can read the newspaper now. Even the Marathi sentences!”, she exclaimed, of course expecting a pat on her back :-) She went on to read few lines, see pictures and could even recognize some people in those. This was very exciting for her, and as she separated the papers, it kept unfolding for me as to how such a lame task (according to me) be so much fun? As I had flattered her, she did her 'job' really well – tidily and quickly, and of course better than me :-)

While doing this assigned job, she pointed out a query, which startled me. I had asked her to pile up separate Marathi and English newspapers. She was doing it well, until she came across some supplements of the Marathi paper that had names in English! ‘Property Today’, ‘Classifieds’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Uth Tube’, ‘Jobz’, etc. She asked me innocently, “Now where should I place these papers? They have names in English, but all the content is in Marathi! Should I stack these separately as well? These are neither completely English, nor Marathi”. I had a hearty laugh on this, to which even she joined me, but rather puzzled. Her query had me thinking for a while, and I even concluded that wasn’t she right? Her doubt had a point there after all.

I had no logical answer to this, which she kept demanding. I could not provide her Marathi names for the English titles of these supplements. All I could say was, that’s the way it is, these names are catchy and are now popular. She resumed her task as she kept that query aside (maybe she understood that I really couldn’t answer) and kept the fun rolling with her reading and staring at pictures.

While I was posting this, I saw the title of my earlier post ‘Agar Biscuits Nahi Hote Toh Mera Kya Hota…’. Yet again I had a hearty laugh, without bothering myself to reason :-)