Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Missing Amma

The colours have changed. The autumn leaves crumble beneath my feet as I walk my way up to my institute. It’s a typical September morning and the trees shower their yellow leaves every time the chill wind rushes. I am all geared to fight the cold with my denim jacket and a Kashmir shawl wrapped around my neck.

He has to walk down hill to catch his school bus, a boy nearing his double digit age. His morning face was a substitute for the sun that was denied its show by the mist and fog.
One good thing about school here is, the children don’t need a bulldozer to lift their books unlike how it is back home. And so, this young guy was all set and his mother was opening the gate for him.

It was just a usual scene. The one that happens and happened in everyone’s life. But when I saw it, I could not control my emotions and memories came flooding back. His mom bent down and kissed him on his cheeks and he returned it with his hands wrapped around her neck and then started skipping off. He turned back and waved to him mother and she was waving to him leaning on to the gate. The boy kept waving until the distance from which he could no longer see his mother and his mother kept waving to him until the tip of his cap disappeared. I miss my mother.

Well yeah, she was there with me here and it was just like being home. She used to walk with me to the institute everyday and used to be there every time I returned home after a tired day. I never told her then how comfortable it was, but at least now I want to. Waking up to an empty house and entering one has become a routine now and I tell you, it’s the most painful phase to go through. But the memories and love will keep me going until things get back to how I want them to be.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tom, Dick & Kambodhi

It is early morning and I am sitting in my Arbeitsraum (work room). Its Friday and work at the moment is saturated and slow. I much my milk bread and scan the Hindu online for news. A caption brings back nostalgia. Quiz on carnatic music.

Way back in 2004, two amateur flautists and one vocal maestro joined forces for a quiz on carnatic music. My efforts to dig out the article that was published in Hindu turned futile and hence owing to my crammed memory, I have to skip details of the organizer. But I think it was or the like. The quiz master was Sanjay Subramanian.

It was none other than me, Vivek and Karthik. Notorious trio we have been, right from standard VI till B.Sc and we shared a common interest in music. And so, we decided to press our luck and participate in the carnatic quiz that was being held that year. Knowing that there would be a prize for the best team name; we racked our brains hard for days to find one. The three musikteers, Masters of Raga and many more were flushed way with the thought that they were common until we realized that we need a name which conveys a meaning that music is for everyone. Standing outside my apartment and balancing our cycles on null velocity we were rolling with laughter over the ingenious and ignoble names that cropped up until there arose a statement “jeez dude, some Tom, Dick and Harry is going to walk away with this prize.” That did it. Tom, Dick and Kambodhi was christened upon our team and the application was submitted.

The quiz was on a Sunday at an auditorium in a school in MRC Nagar. We cycled there and registered at the front desk and as soon as we went inside, we knew that we were not standing any chances to qualify for the finals! Music stalwarts were participating and we were just a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs! Yet, we took up the written preliminary round and were happy with the number of questions we answered right but as anticipated, failed to make it to the finals. We sat back and enjoyed the quizzing and then it was time to announce the prizes. Away went first and second and then came the best team name. Sanjay’s voice was booming in our ears “The best team name award goes to Tom, Dick and Kambodhi. What an innovative name! Come up on stage guys and which one of you is Kambodhi?!” That was a brilliant moment for us and our expectations were not in vain!

I feel a bit sad now, that I am not able to pursue this wonderful art of music with zest and zeal from here in Germany and I guess Vivek feels the same too being in USA. But we are happy that our Kambodhi ( Karthik) is doing it for the three of us back home. Cheers to you and our team!!