Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Art class

The picture on the right is that of a coaster with the picture of the New Market, Calcutta. The one on the left was what was done during a power cut at work. It is larger and in ink. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 28, 2008

Another of those nonsensical names for me....

To profess her love for me, the elder one got this

I like it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A day off

We took off today. For no reason at all. It must be years since we took a holiday like this - for no reason. And we just sat at home. We wondered if this was how retired life would be. Just the two of us at home, watching TV, listening to music, reading, no rush - sounds great and very relaxing, but I must confess it was rather boring. Is this how retired life would be , we wondered. I remember the time, as we rushed to work, we would see these old men in their sparkling white dhotis, sitting in comfortable cane chairs reading a newspaper, and think enviously how lucky they were. And now we are maybe a couple of years younger than those old men and I have my misgivings. Is it really a good life? We do not have too long to wait to find out!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Simple courtesies - a thing of the past?

The other day I called to complain about the phone service. A government department known for their lethargy and disinterest. Imagine my surprise when the lady was not only polite but promised to have the problem rectified. I found myself relating the incident to many and later it struck me that it was disheartening that the pleasant customer service had taken me by surprise. Shouldn't this be the norm? I am baffled when I find a banner stating 'Customer Service Week' in a bank or a super market. Shouldn't it be customer service all the year round?

Forget organisations. At a personal level I find that simple courtesies seem to be a thing of the past. How many instances are there when you find someone trying not to meet your eye to avoid greeting you. Do men offer a lady or an elderly person a seat in a crowded bus? How many people hold open a door for others?

At public places we are sometimes shoved aside without the polite excuse me. At a show people talk loudly and do not put off their mobiles even after several requests. Niceties like thank you, please and excuse me are terms that seem to be forgotten . People jump the queue. Children are allowed to run and throw tantrums in public places while the parents do nothing about them.

Pleasantries are not about the other person you are dealing with. Whether they deserve it is not important. It should be a natural behaviour on one's part. It is a reflection of who you are, and how you were raised. And it is a trait that is worth passing on to your children.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wise sayings..

We cannot control or feel responsible for anything that happens or doesn't. Life is meant to be enjoyed or else God will be upset that we have not made use of something he has blessed us with.

I did not say it. I wish I could be credited for something as wise as that!! I had to share it with you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Chennai Central Railway Station

Above - The Station then in 1920 - photograph from the Hindu Archives.

And now in July 2008

I took this picture ( as usual from a moving car) - I had read an article about the history of the station and had been determined that I would also take a picture of the station. Unfortunately when we arrived, we got off and walked towards the parking lot away from the main building. I was disappointed, and in the events that followed I quite forgot all about it.

Luckily, as we were on our way to take the train back home, this view suddenly sprang before us. I was not seated in the front, but it did not deter me and I dug into the bag and pulled out the camera just in time to get at least a reasonably good view of the station quite a good distance away thanks to a good 8 MP camera that I had with me.

Quoting from the article it was probably inaugurated around 1873. Conceived as a subsidiary to the main station at Royapuram, the building was designed by George Hardinge, a famous British architect living in Madras. The Central Station with its clock tower is an enduring landmark. The building has gothic elements and is well maintained. Its biggest advantage is that there are no steps to climb with luggage. Early on, all the best trains started from platform one. It is significant that all the premium trains now start from platform nine, 10 and 11 while platform one has trains doing only short runs. Interestingly, it’s the only station that has a platform numbered 2a -Actually meant for delivering water and goods to the station staff, the Shatabdi now starts from here.

The elder one would probably remember this station - the number of trips made home from Chennai and she would also be thankful that there were no steps to climb!!

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A wedding...

Back from a family wedding. Quoting a friend - once in a way we need some emotional bonding with the family - and we did this totally. It always surprises me that these days I look forward to such events. There were times in the last twenty five years that I did dread the family outings. In the early stages of our ( married) lives these outings caused quite a strain. I had to be on guard, on my best behaviour and so on. Maybe our priorities change and we appreciate what the others have gone through or we just mellow with age and are more adaptable. It does not happen all the time. For some it is quite the contrary. Thankfully I do not belong to that group.

Monday, July 7, 2008

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