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Showing posts from March, 2010

Dilemma!

My daughters attend one of the top schools in our city.  Their friends live in every district in the city.  It is not always possible for them to attend all the birthday parties and functions to which they are invited as their father is often out of town and not available to drive them.  But I try to send them as often as I can if a lift is available.

Recently Trisha (aged 9) was invited to a friend's birthday party at  mall in the city centre at Lucknow.  As that area is accessible from our home,  I pressed Yash to drive her there.  He was not in the mood at all.  Sunday is his only day off, and he was feeling rather tired.  However, I persuaded him to do so on the grounds that while she was attending the party, we could buy some of the schoolbooks and uniforms which we need for the coming school year, as many of the shops we had to go to are located in that area.  Also, I wanted to attend Sunday Mass, and the Cathedral is located there too.  It's nice when you can accomplish…

Ranjita

I came to know Ranjita when her younger sister Smita was teaching my son in a small local school.  They were a family of three sisters from rural Uttar Pradesh.  Their family was highly respectable and belonged to a community of Brahmins, the highest of the Hindu castes.  However, their father was not very well off financially and was unable to pay large dowries for the marriages of his three daughters.  In their particular community, large dowries were  de rigeur.

Smita, a happy, good natured young woman with a large, friendly smile was very excited, as a bridegroom had been found for her elder sister Anita, aged around thirty two.  The man was a widower from Delhi, with two small children.  His wife had died in an accident the previous year.  The eldest sister Ranjita, aged thirty four, the same as I was then,  had been, Smita informed me, married about five years previously to a much older man, a widower.  She was now the mother of a four year old son.   

Yash and I attended Anita…

One Sunday Evening.....

I usually get my Sunday Mass in my parish Church on Saturday evening for convenience, or failing that,  I attend on Sunday morning.  But if I miss either of these services, there is always the Cathedral service in the city centre on Sunday evening.  This was one such Sunday.  Early on Sunday evening, I asked Yash, my husband, to keep the children amused for an hour or two so that I could disappear for a while.

There is an autorickshaw service from my area to the city centre, so I had no trouble getting one of those (for those unfamiliar with the public transport situation in north India, an autorickshaw is a small taxi which seats three to four people).  Most people travel by 'auto' an a sharing basis.  On this occasion, I noticed (out of the corner of my eye)  that I was sharing the auto with a young couple.  I was busy texting on my mobile, so I hardly glanced at them.  However, when you are sitting close to people, you become aware of them without even trying.

I could under…

Disclaimer!

Lots of social networks are looking for new members.  That's okay.  The internet is a big hunting ground.  Today, I received an invitation from my brother to join yet another a social network.  We speak every day, we don't need social networks.  But I don't reject invitations from anyone who means something to me, so I answered in the affirmative.  In order to join that network and 'connect' with my already 'connected', I had to supply my email id, whereupon that social network automatically sent invitations to everyone in my mailbox informing them that I wanted them to join me on this network.  I've already started receiving enquiries about this by email from some of my contacts and I've told them to feel free to reject the invitation.

Email networks are also starting their own social networks.  A few months ago a similar situation occurred.   A network on which I have an email account invited me to connect with various  people on my contact list, …

Holi

There are many festivals celebrated in India, throughout the year.  Every region and community celebrates its' own festivals, and the one which has just been celebrated here in north India is 'Holi', a spring festival.  Holi is very much a daytime festival.  It marks the beginning of the summer weather here in India.  It is usually a riot of colour and unconventional behaviour.  One of the traditions is to smear coloured powder on friends and neighbours, sometimes rendering them totally unrecognisable.  Some people, the younger ones especially, go a step further and throw buckets of coloured water over everyone. Many of the children, my own included, use large water pistols known as 'pichkaris', to drown all the members of the household in coloured water.

But this year was different.

Our house was quiet yesterday on Holi.  It was so strange.  I don't remember a single year in the last fifteen when there wasn't riotous mayhem in our house.  Since the death o…