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Last Week

Monday, April 30, 2012

I've been on a Roller Coaster ride for all of last week---beginning Saturday the 21st. April.That day was a long awaited and way overdue visit to Oxford--a place where my father spent 3 years of his life--pursuing his degree in Architecture.Sayali and I took the Train from Paddington and with each passing minute my excitement grew----as I gazed at the Country side passing by outside the window many forgotten Memories came alive----and with them images of Daddy as a young man--healthy,robust and very Alive!!!Buying our tickets and catching the Hop-on-Hop-off Bus brought us to Daddy's College--Christ Church----one of the oldest Colleges of Oxford.As we entered and walked around it's huge Campus and Corridors Daddy materialised next to me---walking in step with me.It was a very bitter sweet time--for here I was standing in the very College he wanted me to attend for Architecture--till my anathema for both Maths. and Physics put paid to that dream--both those Subjects and I mutually agreed to disagree completely on 75% of the counts!!!However wandering about Oxford brought him into sharp focus once more---and many tales of Oxford that he'd told us ran through my mind!!One of these was the one about the Annual Dinner of The Queen's College having a Boar's Head presented on a Silver Platter as well as all of these students going to answer their Examinations dressed in Suits and Gowns at the Examination Building down the Street.I also visited other Colleges that some of his very good friends had gone to--namely Trinity College,All Souls College and Magdalene College--pronounced "Maudlin" thanks to the medieval pronounciation which adheres till today!!!A visit to Alice's Sheep Shop rounded off the day for me----for Lewis Caroll had taught Maths. at Christ Church College when he wrote his book--while Alice was the Dean's daughter there!!!
The next day was a visit to Southall in London and the Monday after that ---April 23rd. saw us at Marylebone Street---with me slipping,flipping and tripping over it's pronounciation!!!Spelt the way it is I called Mary-le-bone with poor Sayali putting me straight umpteen times--"Ma it's Maarleebone Street--say Maarleebone" but I just couldn't get it--Marylebone has a "Y" in there--so it should be pronounced the way it's spelt---right???Pronouncing names can be so very confoundingly confusing!!!Anyway Tuesday morning saw me at Heathrow Airport--as expected stuck at the Security Counter for 40 minutes while that poor Security Lady ran from pillar to post to find out if the Gel Packets that kept my Insulin Cartridges cold were not Security hazards!!Finally it was cleared and I was through---to find my way on my own after the Security check.Passing Duty Free I noticed Canisters of Edradour Whiskey Fudge on sale in the Shops there---while I'd carried mine all the way from Edinburgh for Lotta!!!Could actually have just picked it up at the Airport enroute!!!
My Flight was announced and boarded on time and as we taxied out towards the Runway it transpired that there was some Technical Snag--so we taxied back to the Hangar to have it fixed!!!The Flight crew kept circulating plates of Hors-d'Ouvres and Champagne for the next 2 hours--but since I don't drink I had two glasses of Orange Juice and some of the Tit Bits but it was a bit tiresome!!!However this gave me an opportunity to make friends with my fellow Passengers---all belonging to the same Firm and travelling to Las Vega via L.A.-----it was their long anticipated Annual Promotional Trip!!!They were each chosen for making a mark in their own field of expertise and as a reward their Firm it seems hands out a week's all expenses paid trip to various destinations around the Globe.Though there were afew of them on my Flight there would be about 400 of them assembling at Las Vegas from various parts of Britain--before taking off on a Coach Tour to the Grand Canyon,San Francisco and Disney Land---ending with an official Formal Dinner where they'd be handed over their Awards!!!My immediate neighbour was this cute young fellow named Simon--and we chatted off and on in between watching the In-Flight Films--"The Iron Lady" and "War horse" in my case and "Puss in Boots" and "J.Edgar" in his.I learnt about his family--his mother in particular was born in India in 1944 at Calcutta where his Grandfather a Doctor had served during the War!!!This helped to break the Ice and create common ground for conversation as well!!!It was an amusing and informative Flight--and I enjoyed it despite the delay .The conversation helped immensely to divert me from that hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach---for I was going back to the home where Sudhir had died for the first time after a gap of some time--and was extremely unsure of my own reaction!!
My biggest fear was overcome when I entered the room where it had happened.Meha--our grand daughter--has placed a Picture of his on the Dresser facing the bed--and it calmed and reassured me the moment I saw it!!!There was a rightness in being there and I felt as if he had reached out to me and enveloped me in his familiar warmth!!!That night I slept like the dead---and woke up refreshed just to sleep again two hours later!!!Apart from a well acted School Play called "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" that Meha insisted I attend along with her friends I've been sleeping most of the Week thanks to Jet Lag---but hopefully should now be surfacing and adjusting to L.A. time----and coming back to SP again.Here too my SIL Mehul had a Cell phone as well as a PC ready for me--so I'm well equipped to follow my favourite pastime once more!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 5/11/2012 11:58PM

    Welcome to my home, Komal! Glad you reached safely after everything - happy to read your blog. Of course, I did know you were in LA already with your Ravana learning to cook from you and taking you out with her friends, etc. Enjoy every moment and live in the moment. emoticon emoticon

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    You have done well and survived, my friend. I think you have actually blossomed! emoticon

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EACHDAYAGIFT 5/1/2012 12:05PM

    Hey, Komal! Welcome to my country, even though you are clear across at the other end of it, LOL. Yesterday my project was to catch up on all the blogs you've written since the start of your trip to London, and I really enjoyed myself. Thanks for including pictures with your often funny, often bittersweet stories. It meant all the more to learn that Sudhir had talked to Sayali just before he died about just such a trip with you. So wonderful that Sayali was able to do this for both her Dad and for you. I am proud of you for pushing yourself to do new things, climb new heights, (literally, and then make it back down, LOL!) And no, I don't think it is masochistic to listen to songs that will make you sad, when they are fraught with memories of Sudhir and your life together. It is allowing the grief to have expression and a very healthy thing, in my opinion. You are finding a wonderful blend of time alone to remember and let your heart feel, and time with people and new places to keep you moving forward. I am so proud of you, and I know Sudhir is, too.

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XXMILAXX 5/1/2012 1:39AM

    Happy travels! Enjoy your stay.

Comment edited on: 5/1/2012 1:40:23 AM

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BOVEY63 4/30/2012 5:15PM

    Sounds like a busy time touring before heading to LA. Happy you had a good flight and hope you have a wonderful time here in the US!

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SAASHA17 4/30/2012 1:16PM

    Hey Komal,

Glad u made the journey to LA and everything went well. Please do give me a call if u want to chat..or not...:)

take care

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Daddy--A Tribute

Friday, April 20, 2012

I hold my father in very high esteem for he was a self made man-----living his life in a hostile environment for most of his later life.His early years were no better for he had to struggle hard to get everything he wanted.Born to his parents on 1st. September 1921 he was an extremely goodlooking child.Exactly 9 months 15 days before his birth a cousin of his had passed away at Oxford---the son of his paternal Uncle who lived and worked in Bombay.This Uncle and Aunt felt that given the timing of his birth he was their dead son reborn-----and both treated him as such.When my paternal Grandpa, who was the "Diwaan" and headed the Administration of the Princely State of Kolhapur ,passed away in 1934 at Daddy's age of 13 years--- both Uncle and Aunt were eager and insistent on bringing him to Bombay--so that he could benefit by studying further and bettering his prospects in the much better equipped environment of Bombay.My Grandma Akka agreed and two years later immediately after Daddy completed his Matriculation Exams with flying colours he was sent to his Uncle --Dada's home.
Here he was treated as the son they had lost and both Dada and Vahini--Daddy's Aunt----as well as their daughter Kumud Tai as Daddy called her----- took him into their fold.Seeing Daddy's aptitude for the Arts--he had a wonderful hand for Drawing and a marvellous understanding of Colours as well as a tremendous eye for detail---- Dada suggested that Daddy take up Architecture---for Dada was one of the foremost Contractors of British Bombay and a number of the Buildings he built still stand proud even today--one of these is the Council Hall opposite The Prince of Wales Museum at Kala Ghoda in Fort.Thus for him to have his own nephew join him in the capacity of a qualified Architect was the next step to consolidating his position further!!!Thus Daddy joined the J.J. College of Architecture to qualify as an Architect.Given his sharp vision and ability coupled with plenty of hard work,he was awarded the Scholarship to Oxford----which on Dada's advice he accepted.The shortfall in Funds was borne mostly by the State of Kolhapur in deference to my late Grandfather 's memory on the order of the erstwhile Maharaja Rajaram and in the remaining part by Dada.
Daddy reached Oxford in 1945--the War was drawing to a close and Britain was struggling to recoup and cope with it's huge losses---the stoicism of the British Citizens left an indelible mark on his psyche.He always used to say that the long lines for Rations would begin early in the mornings---but whatever was handed out was accepted with grace and fortitude.He was greatly impressed by their discipline and honesty---their fellow feeling left a very deep impact on his mind.Oxford was a beautiful place---and he made a lot of friends here--among these Pilloo Mody, Ramesh Divecha, Jagat Choudhary to name a few.An extremely handsome man with a tall,well built ,athletic body-----he took active part in Swimming,Rugby,Cricket---but what he loved most was Rowing and Punting.A Punt is a flat bottomed Boat and is propelled forward using a Wooden Pole instead of an Oar.This Pole is lowered to the River bottom and used as a lever to push the Punt forward---extremely hard work!!!
Daddy had a fantastic sense of Humour,was a great Mimic ,Sang very well and loved Dancing.It was during these years when he began smoking his Cigarettes--and turned into a literal Chimney in his later years--lighting a new Cigarette from the earlier one!! Very scared of his extremely dominating but tiny mother he wrote to her about this in these words "The Pea Souper or Smog of London is so thick that at times I find it very difficult to see the end of my Cigarette---lighting it can under these circumstances can be a pain"!!!Another line of the same letter read "keeping warm in the extreme chill of English Weather is partly accomplished by drinking some old Brandy after Dinner--or at times a peg of Whisky and Soda."His younger brother Shyam Kaka would double up with laughter while narrating the electrifying effect of this News on my Grandma--she dashed off a very angry letter toher son berating him of giving in to temptation---and another equally angry one to Dada and Vahini---blaming them for her son going astray!!!
After his Internship stint in Dublin he returned home to India very much the "Brown Sahib"----with a beautiful huge Portmanteau full of clothes--his Burberry Overcoats and Tweed Coats as well as different Suits suited to the Indian Climate--along with a dazzling array of Ties and Bow Ties--which he prided on being able to tie perfectly and were his favourites!!!!!He also got along a selection of various Pipes--and I can still recollect the dreamy scent of the "Marco Polo" Brand of Tobacco he smoked in these!!!He had spent six months touring the Continent with his friend Ramesh Divecha and would tell us about the beauty of the French and Italian countryside--and the Magic of the Sistine Chapel in Rome--for he admired the triumvirate of Michaelangelo,Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael immensely!!It was thanks to him that I read the book "The Agony and The Ecstasy" and later saw the film in which Charlton Heston played Michaelangelo---couldn't get it out of my head for months afterwards!!
Tomorrow I will finally tread where he trod more than 60 years ago---on the streets of Oxford University.Many of my Memories of the stories he told us are hazy and some slightly less so--but for me it will be a dearly heartfelt wish fulfilled-----to stand at some places perhaps where he had stood--connecting to him in my mind!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 4/26/2012 12:02AM

    These days, every Tom, Dick and Harry can go to both UK and USA. But, those days, it was only thru mighty effort that Indians got into the universities in these countries, and that too the elite ones! YES, I can understand your pride for your father, along with wanting to see Oxford University campus. God bless! Enjoy your trip, Komal:-)

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ZANNACHAN 4/24/2012 9:03PM

    Great story. It really was a different era back then--but it must have been such a culture shock to go from India to Oxford...and then, having adjusted, to come back to India! It would have made him a very interesting person to know.

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    I hope you enjoyed your trip to Oxford.

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MILLISMA 4/20/2012 12:48PM

    I always enjoy reading your stories. What wonderful memories and such a great man he was. Enjoy your walk....he will be there with you in spirit.


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BOVEY63 4/20/2012 12:07PM

    Beautiful story Komal!

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Living in London

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I love London as a City--it has great character and Architecture to recommend it to all Tourists and is a great place to spend a Vacation in---but living here like the Locals is a different kettle of Fish altogether!!!Sudhir always used to remark on how nice it was to actually live in different places because of our daughters--thanks to Sayali we got to experience living on the East Coast--- in Rochester,NY----and then Manhattan of New York City-----bang on Wall Street that too!!!Lotta brought us a different piece of USA on the West Coast-- in California.First in a tiny town called Blythe in the Mojave Desert near the border of Arizona State and later in the City of Los Angeles proper.However coming to London was like nothing else--it was the place we'd dreamt about and longed to see---hangover of the British Raj in my case---and the desire to visit the Courts--Old Bailey and The House of Lords and see Lincoln's Inn--a Mecca to many Indian Lawyers in Sudhir's case.Thanks once again to Sayali this wish too was granted and we made our first trip to London in 2010!!!
At that time Sayali was living in a huge Flat in Canary Wharf-----with beautiful views of the River Thames from the Bedrooms and the Living Room.The place was full of Light and so airy that it gave another dimension to live in .The Living Room overlooked the Gardens below and these were a delight to see----the Flower Beds well laid out and bursting with Colours--very bright and cheery!!Her Flat was in a gated community and that meant a 7-10 minute Walk to reach the Gates on either side---the walking paths lined with Flower Beds.There were also covered Walks with sweet smelling Flowers trained over the Arbours and a Staircase that led down to the River Banks on the third side-----extremely beautiful and scenic---but the Wind!!!It was strong enough to buffet even my solidly fat frame---making my poor Darling hunch his shoulders to combat it each time we went out with it gusting around us!!!This put paid to any evening jaunts for the chill could cut quick to the bones in the evenings--for that was when the Wind would be on it's worst behaviour---reminding me of the Aesop's Fable about the fight between the Sun and the Wind I'd read as a child.The Wind would really huff and puff----creating chilly Wind Tunnels in the Corridors of the Office Buildings in the area--making our Teeth chatter in a reflex action--literally of their own volition!!!Hence beautiful as it undeniably was---walking out of the Main Door of the Building required determination to face the ever present Wind!!!
As soon as their lease expired Kartik and she decided to move into the heart of Central London.This Flat is what one would call a true Gem!!!Full of Air and Light as the earlier one this boasts of a good sized Kitchen---large enough to eat in!!Well connected to the Transport system--a bare 10 minute walk at my waddling pace from many Bus Routes and one Tube Station----this sits bang in the middle of the Shopping District. Kensington Palace is a 15 minutes walk away---and so is Notting Hill!!! As for eating out--there are such a variety of Restaurants around catering in fabulous Global Cuisines--that you wouldn't repeat a Restaurant even if you ate out everyday for 15 days at a stretch!!!Some are Cuisines that are tried and tested--Chinese,Thai,Sushi------actually Pan Asian would be a better way to put it adding Lebanese, Greek and Mexican to the list as well.The ones I would really love to try are the Moroccan Cuisine and the Turkish/Persian one.The Tagines of the former and their Kebabs intrigue me--having watched these being cooked on various T.V. and Travel shows as does the Turkish/Persian Food--both being very rich in the basic Ingredients needed!!!
Another thing I love about London is the freshness of the Produce!!!The best tasting Vegetables and Fruits are available here in the Markets-----mainly the Vegetables.I just cook these in a bit of Olive Oil with just the basic Ingredients needed to spice these--the end result is a mouthwatering dish that I just can't get enough of!!Conceited of me but true---it reminds me of the goodness of the pure tastes of my childhood------and that is only reason that we eat at home on week days and nights!!!
Of course this new place has it's problems too---let us start at the very beginning--a very good place to start--as the Julie Andrews Song from "The Sound of Music" begins!!Climbing up the Stairs to the Second Floor(USA third) is a bane--for it makes me huff and puff--and even more so after I have eaten!!So we've made a pact--on Weekends we climb down,eat and walk till all that Food is somewhat settled and then climb up--to have Dinner and then relax at home!!!I literally psyche myself to take a Walk everyday--the added action of climbing back to the Flat adds the Cardio!!!Being in Central London---the Electricity and the Central Heating have a mind of their own!!!On our return from Cardiff we came home to a Flat where certain Lights just wouldn't switch on!!!The reason as the Handyman later pointed out to me over cups of steaming Spicy Indian Tea-----due to it being an old Building certain features were a later addition---and this causes disconnection of some wires sometimes---causing these kind of problems.That day as Sayali raised the Sash Window to air out the stale Air--that Window got stuck--and finally in desperation Sayali cut the String holding the Window up-----or we wouldn't have got a wink of sleep that night!!!The Handy Man fixed that too--explaining that this too was caused by the String getting caught in the mechanism----a very lengthy process to get it to work again!!The Central Heating has a mind of it's own--it's always safer to keep a Throw around to snuggle into when the Heating decides to pull a Stunt!!!The worst however is the Shower----I swear it has a mind of it's own!!! I shower early every morning---before Sayali leaves for Office.She uses it first and while she gets ready I shower and dress for the day.That dratted Shower will first run tepid then warm then cold then tepid again before it finally spews out boiling hot Water!!!Now I've managed to get the trick into utilizing it's idiosyncracy----by trial and error I've worked out a system to use it during the Tepid to Warm stages and then literally race through my Shower--because I don't want either to be frozen or boiled!!
However these are minor hitches--I'm sure I could grow to love London and living here---for London is like a slow Drug--it sinously enters your blood stream--and ensnares you in it's heady charms!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 4/19/2012 4:13PM

    Interesting blog as always, Komal. So happy for you that you get to spend a few months in London and then, in LA and back home in Mumbai, just like my Mother in Love used to do.....in her old age plus spend time with all the grand children! Enjoy and live in the moment unlike her, who missed her own home the minute she landed in the USA. Love your travelogues too!

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XXMILAXX 4/19/2012 1:06PM

    Sounds really great..I'm living through you here. :-)

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SHAZZY67 4/19/2012 12:21PM

    Love your blog and yes... London is a slow release drug... I've lived here all my life and still wonder at it.

I'm lucky to work in an office on Lincolns Inn Field so get both the good and the bad of it (the lovely location but the awful commute) but as you say... these are minor inconviniences when I think of where I am.

As Samuel Johnson said "if you're tired of London, you're tired of life"....

Happy travels


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RIDMYCOCOON 4/19/2012 12:11PM

    i love the wind and sun story. i read it to my son a couple months ago. i also love london. only there two weeks but i understand that slow drip. i went there with my mother shes been gone for years now as of 4/1. we had quite a time. we stayed in piccadilly square...
i miss her. emoticon

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BOVEY63 4/19/2012 12:05PM

    Your writings always bring me to the places you have been ~ so beautifully written!

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RAIN454 4/19/2012 9:51AM

    Im craving Persian food now! :) How is that you manage to always make me hungry after reading your blogs, Komal?!! :) hehe.
So are u planning to relocated permanently to London??

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    You must be having a wonderful adventure!

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PUDLECRAZY 4/19/2012 6:23AM

    It is lovely indeed that your daughters have such wonderful places for you to live. Your life is an adventure. London is sounding wonderful - you are enticing me to try traveling there some time.

Steaming spicy Indian tea, fresh veggies, a light and airy flat, walks through London, time with Sayali.... fantastic!

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SWTHRT4UDRLNG4 4/19/2012 6:21AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Those Musical Days!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Weather outside is wet--it's raining in fits and starts and Sayali's just left for work----so it's just me and my memories left in the Flat till the evening.I've always been addicted to You Tube since I discovered it a few years back--and after Sudhir died it's turned into an obsession!!!The Reason???It's because I have a great horde of Memories------and most of these are linked to Music--old English Pop Songs,old Bollywood Songs,Urdu Ghazals and Hollywood Themes from old Films--we enjoyed everything---it just had to be Music!!Both of us loved the Rain and one of our favourite Songs was "Rhythm of Rain" sung by the Cascades but the other one by Neil Sedaka was a favourite too---it was called "Laughter in the Rain".In the early years of our marriage we loved driving out into the Rains to the Beach to witness the full glory of Nature in it's Element---the wild abandon of that thunderous performance always found an echo in our hearts!!!
During my childhood thanks to my Convent School upbringing I'd taught myself to dance some really energetic Dances like the Jive and the Charleston------with plenty of help from my Anglocised father who was a very good Dancer---my mother on the other hand couldn't and wouldn't dance---she was too self conscious!!!As a child I studied Classical Indian Dance too--beginning with Kathak--which I had to give up because all that whirling made me dizzy--and I changed over to the Bharata Natyam in which I have a Degree!!!I wanted to actually learn the Odissi style--for that's the one depicted on the walls of the Ancient Indian Temples--but falling in love and marrying Sudhir over rode everything else and reduced all my ambitions to dust when it became THE most important fact of my life and gained supreme importance in my eyes!!!Sudhir too was not very fond of Dancing but was content to watch me go mad and just let go each time it rained---but this was only till I put on too much weight---and then it became too strenous to dance---so I'd just sway!!!!
However there was one song that I really loved and it was one I sang to him often----specially after the girls grew up and flew away!!!In my School days a friend of mine had an Aunt living in Hong Kong which then was a British Colony.This Aunt had got 4 45 r.p.m. records with different Songs by Chinese Singers.One 45 r.p.m. was sung by Tsai Chin and featured the Song called The Ding Dong Song.The second one by Pan Wan Chin too featured the Ding Dong Song and it was this version that I fell in love with--thanks to the catchy tune!!!The 3rd. and 4th. 45 r.p.m. was sung by Kyu Sakamoto ,a Japanese Pop Singer and these had the songs "Shina No Yoru" or "China Nights"on the one side and "Sukiyaki "on the other of one and a beautiful Song called "Sayonara-- Japanese Goodbye" on the other.These Songs so captured my imagination that I just had to have those records and exchanged some of my chunky Silver Jewellery---considered Art or Costume Jewellery in those days----- in exchange for these with her----for nobody listened to these in her home anyway!!The Lyrics of the Ding Dong Song were pretty silly and childish--going like "I hear a Bell go Ding Dong deep inside my Heart---each time you say kiss me then I know it's time for Ding Dong to start-----each time you hug me Ding Dong Ding Dong each you say you love me Ding Dong Ding Dong----I hope I don't wait too long to hear my bell go Ding Dong"!!!To me this became the perfect Song to sing to Sudhir during our Engagement and the early days after our Marriage.
I loved teasing Sudhir with the Ding Dong Song---for the Lyrics really embarassed him each time I sang it to him in public!!!So whenever I needed to get even with him on any issue--inconsequential as usual--- I'd make him uncomfortable by humming it instead in company---and he'd really get hot under the collar with embarrassment and dread---for he could never be sure as to when I'd actually start singing the Lyrics!!!Of course with time my juvenile behaviour became a part of my private persona as I grew older and since there was just the two of us home in the last 11 years of our marriage this Song became the way to express our love for each other---and by now he too knew the Lyrics by heart!!!
Surfing through You Tube yesterday I just typed in the Ding Dong Song--and both the versions appeared on my Laptop Screen!!!Emboldened I typed in the other Songs too--and spent most of yesterday reliving some of the best Memories of my time with Sudhir--what I wouldn't give to sing it to him once more!!!

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RIDMYCOCOON 4/18/2012 10:33PM

    So sweet. I will have to give that a listen!

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NITAINMN 4/18/2012 10:04PM

    Audio Visual memories are hard to forget.....so sorry to hear you say you could sing one more time, Komal. Please do and I bet Sudhir will hear you, whether you are aware of it or not. I am sure he is there right next to you with a loving smile on his face! emoticon

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BOVEY63 4/18/2012 5:09PM

    Music can be so powerful and beautiful. So wonderful that you can listen to those that were so dear to you and Sudhir.

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PRACHI17 4/18/2012 5:01PM

    I love Dancing too :) love reading your blogs :)

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SAASHA17 4/18/2012 8:15AM

    Keep on dancing:)

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XXMILAXX 4/18/2012 7:48AM

    How sweet! Keep singing and dancing.

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XXMILAXX 4/18/2012 7:36AM

    How sweet! Keep singing and dancing.

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    I love those little stories you tell in which you ruled your mate with love!
I too can destroy my man's power by silly songs.

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PUDLECRAZY 4/18/2012 6:36AM

    I love to listen to music, too. Many kinds. I enjoy dancing, but am not that good at it.

We had the great pleasure of having a lovely dancer from India come to our school for a few weeks to teach dance. She was a friend of one of my friends who traveled to India to worship with her Hindi guru. Sanchitta is a very accomplished dancer of ancient Indian temple dancing. She taught us a dance about the story of Ganesh. It was lovely to watch her and she was an excellent instructor, although we were all very inept at doing the lovely moves of the dance. Her husband was an excellent musician and performed on the sitar for us. It was such an honor to get to spend time with them here.

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That Pesky Pigeon!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I had originally decided to blog about The beautiful Kensington Palace that Sayali and I toured on Sunday---but this Pigeon intervened!!!So here goes about that pesky Pigeon!!!I've noticed a lot of Pigeons around London and they are very noticeable--being pretty plump and a bit crazy.The Mumbai ones are dimwits too but the London ones appear to be even worse!!Sayali's housekeeper Baljit had come yesterday to do her regular routine and one of the first things she does is open up the windows in each of the rooms to air them while she cleans.She forgot to close the Kitchen window when she left----and as usual--I digress!!
So yesterday after Baljit left in the evening I was in the Living Room when I heard a loud commotion coming from the direction of the Kitchen.My first thought was that it was an intruder--then that complacent cooing reached my ears--and that galvanized me into action instantly!!I have a genuine horror of having Pigeons in the house--those dratted birds are complete dimwits and won't bother to check out the escape route before trying it---and will rush around the Room banging on those Glass panes which happen to be shut tight!!!IThe Pigeon coolly waddled out of the Bathroom--looking at me with it's beady little eyes after inclining it's head at an angle---as if to say"Oh it's you is it?" as it minced it's way into the Kitchen.Then it calmly waddled around the Kitchen floor--pausing occasionally and fixing me with it's curious beady eyes----- not really understanding the reason why I closed the Kitchen Door after me!!!I toured the Bathroom,Bedroom and the Living Room to ensure that there were no further unwanted Guests and by the time I returned to the Kitchen that fat little bird had flown up to the Counter and was waddling all over it---in no hurry to leave!!!
That dratted Pigeon thoroughly inspected the sparkling Sink--moving on to the Draining Board------ equally spotless before going on to inspect the gleaming Gas Top-----and after that investigating the Chopping Board,the Knife Rack ,the Spice Rack and Condiment Tray thoroughly----pecking at the Wood before giving it's Seal of Approval about the quality--all the while with me trailing after it--earnestly telling it to leave--pleading desperately actually!!!!!It would turn around to look at me before turning back calmly and ignoring me completely!!!This went on for half an hour till finally satisfied with it's Tour,it hopped onto the Window Sill and again stayed put for another 15 minutes-----moving around in circles---as if undecided whether to stay--or go!!!
Finally the pesky thing flew out--and I pulled the Sash Window closed--literally moments before it changed it's mind and crashed into the Glass on it's way back in again-----looking completely dumb founded at the approach having been so speedily cut off!!!That's when I began feeling so terribly guilty-----because that pesky bird gave me such a reproachful glance from it's beady eyes that I'm still apologising profusely to it each time I see it perched on the Window Sill out side that particular Window!!!1

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RIDMYCOCOON 4/18/2012 10:35PM

    Oh! how I have missed your stories. Hilarious! emoticon

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NITAINMN 4/18/2012 9:58PM

    Ah! What a funny story...I too remember when we stayed in my friend, Kamla's home in Queens on 11th floor condo buidling, a pesky pigeon came in thru a little gap between the net that keeps them out on the balcony. I was terribly ill those days and Nitya was at work, Kamla at her Ashram. I remembered she had mentioned if this happens to call her neighbor. I ran all the way to the end of the hallway and rang the door bell. Fortunately, her daughter who worked night shift was resting and woke up to come running to my aid with a pair of gloves. By the time we got there, we found 3 more pigeons had found their way in! She had to catch them one by one and release ooutside thru the exact same gap in the net and close that gap to keep them tightly shut out!! I love the way you let your little pigeon mess around....a lot of cleaning and sanitizing after for you, I bet!! Yes, they are called the rats with wings in NY and in the USA in general.......All you need is a cat to rid of them! emoticon

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XXMILAXX 4/18/2012 7:56AM

    At least it priovided company and entertainment.

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MILLISMA 4/17/2012 8:44PM

    That is so funny. It obviously felt very comfortable with you. I'm surprised it didn't just keep flying around banging into things. See, it knew you had a kind heart!


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ZANNACHAN 4/17/2012 5:38PM

    LOL! Great story. I've had birds in my house--but thankfully, never a pigeon.

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BOVEY63 4/17/2012 10:54AM

    Love this story!

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SAASHA17 4/17/2012 8:34AM

    hahahhaha...im just glad it was a pigeon and it went its way...I agree with prachi..rats with wings..

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PRACHI17 4/17/2012 7:02AM

    Ahhh i hate pigeons tooo ! rats with wings i say !!!

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