Thursday, July 28, 2022

Travel Diaries- Empty Spaces

The more I travel, the more I see places as empty spaces, ready to be filled by presence and leave the spaces empty by our absences. There's no land, mother land, town, home town, house, home, room, living room. There's space that's occupied and there's space that's yet to be occupied. 

I keep hopping from spaces and try to fill the void where it's empty and make the space empty by creating void. In this whole game of filling and emptying spaces, I don't seek a home, house, room.

I'm interested by the word, "Empty Space." How do we define empty space? What make a space filled? What makes a space empty? Does human presence fill the void of the space? Does human creation fill the void of space? Does space have anything to do with the human? Spaces are empty and filled by various other things. 

I got interested as I keep shifting places, hotel rooms and guest houses. Where's a space? I live in multiple spaces. An interesting thought to ponder

Monday, July 25, 2022

Gulbarga Days- Daily walks

Walks at this place seems to be a luxury one cannot get every now and then. 

Morning I had my walk alone for without a worry watching the trees with the backdrop of morning sky. At evening, I went along with M, to watch the same trees and the hues of the night sky. 

A 5 KM long stretch with plains around with no vehicles buzz. Watching the hues of sky, we watched the natural night light, which is a luxury to experience, unlike to be in the flood of LED lights everywhere. 

M and I went on a long walk, asking each other, 'how's life'

Good day. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Gulbarga Days- A long walk

I look forward to come to this place to enjoy the long walks on early mornings and late evenings. On an early morning, I came out for a walk and strolled around the campus. Despite being occupied with work, I prioritse to take walks regulary at this place. 

At 7PM, I went out for a walk watching the cloudy blue sky. It's a breezy evening and the road is deserted without a single bike to ride on the wet black road. I walked in the centre of the road watching the trees located sparsely. 

Watching the trees from a far distance, I wished to have a closer look and also wanted to walk on the green grass. 

A lot of thoughts gushed in. Breathe turned heavier.  As thoughts gushed in, they also got evaporated in a same manner. Step by step, I was watching the tiny flowers amidst the green grass. 

This particular tree looked like a couple performing a dance, when I saw it for the first time. It still looks like a couple dancing to me after so many months. After spending good time in this place, I returned to the road watching the trees with the backdrop of dim blue sky. 

As I continued walking, I began to jog and then run. It's always nice to enjoy this low light evening walks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Jaipur Journals- Thank you Note

 Today, As I walked into her class, she sat with me. She got a paper, pencil, drew something and handed me this note. This was touching. Thanks Asma for the note. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Stories on Wheels- Ola Drivers and their lack of communication skills

Are OLA drivers a good lovers?

I seriously wonder if Ola drivers are any good as lovers. Because, a good lover is good at communication. For now, let's focus on verbal communication.  I feel that Ola (Jaipur)drivers are pathetic at communicating. I book a cab, they call out with a lot of queries like, Where do you have to go? How much is the bill?  Where are you? 

When they listen to the answers. 'Okay I'm coming,' and canceling the ride is one answer. Okay but, still cancel out after 5 minutes is another answer. Silence and then cutting the call as well as the ride, is the usual answer. Very rarely, I hear people saying, "no sir, book another cab, I may not be able to come." Their reasons of rejecting a ride could be plenty but, the basic communication of saying 'no' is never heard. 

Why do they have to feel bad to say no. I requested for a ride. Algorithim mapped to the nearby and he has an option of canceling out the ride. After listening if the ride is worthy or not, he's canceling out. He can cancel out, communicating clearly so that, there's no room of assumption and wait for him for 3-4 minutes, looking at the car icon and wishing it to move ahead. 

Ola, it's high time, you need to help your drivers to improve their communication skills. 

Jaipur Journals- Paintings

Here's the July painting lot. When I returned home on July 1st, the first thing I ordered is a 20 piece set of 8*8 Canvases.

Even though I got the material, I didn't feel like painting them. I took a week to settle down and do all the other work. As I got settled in, I began to paint. Within couple of days, I finished more than 10 paintings trying out different patterns. Also, this is the first time, I put out a few paintings for sale. I've been thinking about it and at last I acted on the idea. Here are a few paintings for sale. 

Jaipur Journals- The Preparation

Tomorrow, I have to begin my work trip. Besides leaving the house, I've to mentally prepare for this travel. Leaving the house for two weeks and getting onto the new routine, I need to be aware of all the process.  

I took my own time to realize that there's a need to do some homework to settle into this life style. 

In the beginning of my work travel, after a few trips, I could realize that I have my own way in processing these travels. I do not miss my home when I'm on trip. I do not miss travel when I'm home. How am I trying to be present, in the place I am, I thought. By being aware of all that I go through during the transitions, I realized. Eureka, I cracked it. I need to stay with the transition rather than avoid it, I learnt. And I always did this whenever I changed places. In the past, I changed places every 2 years or so. Now,  changing places for every two weeks and then, made it bit difficult to process.  So, a  evening before I travel is a much needed solitude time I put for myself. 

Today, I generally took my own time, walking around, making a list of to-do things mentally. Clean the house, organize the books, paintings, get the cycle in. Do not leave the trash. Switch off  all the lights and fans. I tell myself that I'm gonna miss all the plays. I can't meet A till I return. I can't paint. 

Thinking of painting, I reached the table, before I was about to hit the bed. I painted two paintings and I'm happy with the paintings I made. Every time, I tell myself, that I'd spend only few minutes and even after half an hour, I'd still be fiddling with one canvas. 

Basically, I got to be aware of the space I'd be living in. I can't expect the house comfort in a hotel space. I can't expect a hotel service in the home. It's not as easy as I tell myself. I always cringe when I don't have anyone to come and clean my house. That's me expecting a hotel room service in the home. 

Calling it a day hoping for full on traveling tomorrow. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Music- Classical Music for the go

 During College, I was trying to listen to a lot of different music genres. Then, I was listening to violin solo. Slowly, I fell in love with the orchestral music. Later, I jumped into Classical music. Held onto Vivaldi, Beethoven and got spell bounded by the energy the classical music bring as well as the soothing vibes, it brings.  

I had no idea what this music is all about. Do I need to understand music to listen to it. I like listening to them. Let me just listen to them, I decided and went on listening to classical music. 

If I have to listen to some classical music, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky are some whom I listen to often.

Today, I discovered Jenkins, Concerto Grosso for Strings "Palladio": I. Allegretto. Very Gripping Piece. If you love exploring different genres, try out classical, you'll not regret.



Stories in frames- Why not put it out?

 I never started painting to put it out for sale. Also, I'm attached to a lot of paintings as they're inspired by moments, people and memories. In the beginning, I used to gift the paintings a lot, even though, people hardly appreciated them. 

I stopped gifting paintings when I realized that people are not really accepting my gifts. Also, one of my friend M, suggested, "Begin to live with your paintings. Don't escape from them by giving it away." 

From then, I began to store my paintings. Now, I have more than 100+ paintings. I approached one painting to give it away. And before I thought to give it away, I thought, why can't I ask for money, in return?

And when I thought of pricing it, I didn't wanted to see what is affordable price for the buyers. I went ahead with what I feel, the painting deserves. When I felt, my painting deserves 2900, I thought if I can go ahead and put that price. If not me, who's going to believe in my art. I didn't wanted to feel bad for not pricing what I feel. Expensive it may seem, but that's what I feel that painting deserves. My effort, time, paints, canvas deserve it. I don't want to feel  that my time, efforts, paints, canvas deserve very little money. 

Let me prioritize and respect my efforts and time, I thought and went ahead with it. These two are the paintings I put for sale.  

8*8  Canvas Title: CIVILISATION  Price: Rs.3900 + Shipping Charges



8*8 Canvas Title: PURSUIT Price: 2900+ Shipping Charges



Sunday, July 17, 2022

Movie- Inglorious Basterds

2009. English. 

What if  there's an alternative to the World War-2. Inglorious Basterds is an attempt of that idea. Good to see Brad Pitt and others in this movie. Enjoyed watching it. From the beginning, the film got me hooked to watch the rest of the movie. 


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Movie- The Green Book

2018. English

This movie is based out of a real story. An African-American pianist Dr.Shirley wants a driver. Frank Tony lip  Valalonga, an Italian American wants a job. Philip have to drive Dr.Shirley to Deep south states of America for a music tour. In that journey, both get into a beautiful friendship. During the course, Philip teaches Shirley many small things and shares his life.  As Shirley picks a few like-how to eat the fried chicken, he tries to teach Philip a few etiquettes. With a few like picking the plastic trash Philip drops on roads, he succeeds but, in a few like stealing stones in thrift shop, he persists but fails hard. 

As they're on a long tour, Frank's wife asks him to write letters. He manages to write a few. Dr.Shirley steps in to help him to be more expressive. 

In 1960s, there was a worse discrimination towards blacks. I believe that it's still there and the discrimination has turned more subtle and more sophisticated. When Shirley performs, he would be appreciated on stage but, the moment he steps down, he's hardly given respect. One of the hosts refuse him to use the washroom used by any white person. Besides that, Charles would be guided to use a shanty loo in the backyard. Charles refuses and suggests that he heads back to hotel to use. The host prefer the time delay, rather than him using the washroom. This clearly depicts how discriminative were the whites towards blacks.

Since Charles is black, he can't stay in any type of hotel. There are specific hotels for the colored. There's book titled, 'Green book,' a guide to the colored for the stays and other facilities in America.  

Friday, July 15, 2022

Corporate Lessons- Psychological Safety Space

 It's important to have a psychological safe space at work place. With a lot of new workforce and intergenerational teams, often, there are conflicts and also different views. Leaders create this psychological space where we get to talk about our conflicts. Also, all the workers should be oriented for conflict resolution. It's not an easy task but, we need such skills to collaborate and work efficiently. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

This Day That Year And Then What Happened-Books

 1st week of July 2021, I newly moved to Jaipur and was busy organizing my book shelf. I came to Rajasthan in 2019 with a single rucksack and a suitcase. By the end of two years, the only thing that kept growing was my book collection. I had three big boxes of books that I bought now and then ever since I moved to Rajasthan. 

Here's the picture in July 2021


Whenever I go to my parents home, I bring some of my books to my place. Also, I keep buying frequently. Here's the current collection. I make sure, I organise the books no matter how messy the rest of the house is. 


Movie Suggestions by friend

I love to ask my friends about the movies they watch and the songs they listen. I love the way, they get excited to share what they love. Here's the movie suggestions list. 

The Grave of Fireflies
Inglorious Basterds
The scent of a woman
The Green Book
Fleabag
Schit's Creek
Breaking Bad
Killing Eve
Brooklyn 99
Whispers of the heart
Garden of Words
My neighbour Totoro
Hounds moving Castle
Princess Mononoke
Weathering with you.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Jaipur Journals- The Strolls

 The weather is so good that I'm carrying my poncho, in case of sudden rain and hitting the roads. These days, I stopped carrying my headphones and sometimes my phone as well to focus on the walk. Earlier, I was very particular about the numbers as well, like 2 km walk, 4 km walk. 5 km walk but, now I'm just going with how I feel. 

As I feel to be outdoors, I get out and begin to walk on the airport road or the roads next to them. This time, I spotted a lot of peacocks squeaking in their shrilled voice. 

The blue skies and cold breeze seemed to be the best weather for  the walks. Many a times, it's very difficult not to think. We want to walk for certain distance, listening to certain music, carrying certain devices. I'm trying to detach from these old patterns and just walk. The casual slow strolling seems to help me unwind and trust the process of life. 


Play- Nar Vaidehi by Anil Marwari

 2022. Hindi. 

In a theatre company, an actor begins to play character Sita and starts to live up to the character, behaving like Sita. The antagonist. village head, wants Sita to dance in front of the crowd, will Sita accept and does as Village head demands is the play. 

I found this play-within-play interesting. The first play-within-play I watched was Banswara Company and this is the second one. The Sita is pious and dedicates her love to Ram. Just, like the Ramayan, will Ram accepts Sita, is the big question. 

The writer has constantly hit the crucial questions of Ramayan through play-within-play and also, every character brought a lot of intensity in the play. 

Be it, Private, the emcee of the play, wearing LED lit pants and torch light highlight his face or the prompter who's always disappointed with the co-actors who forget their dialogues.

The only draw back of the play was it's place. Watching it from very near by, the audience had tough time to shift their focus on extreme ends of the stage simultaneously. At one side, there'd be soliloquy and on the other end, there'd be a whole lot of characters performing. It was too tough to decide, where to focus. 

A NewYorker, Sarah Rivers also performed in the play. It seemed that, she learnt Hindi and is fluent in her own way. Brilliant performance everyone. Wonderful writing Anil Marwari. Looking forward to watch more of your plays. 

Movie- Virata Parvam

 2022. Telugu

A girl leaves her family, home, village, in search of her love, whom she found him through his words and aspires to join him, in the fight, which he took up to bring revolution in the society. 

This is based on a  true incident Sarala's death. Sai Pallavi is at her best depicting the tender love as well the brave heart. This is Sai Pallavi's movie rather than a typical hero heroine movie. Rana plays a pivotal character but, it's not about him. 

I loved the way how literature has brought difference in protagonist's life in the movie. Also, there's a scene where Sai Pallavi's father talks about madness. If you feel for the love, the way I feel for stories, it's all the same, go for what you want to pursue, he encourages her daughter to do what she wants to do. Lovely writing Venu. Loved it. 

And also, amazing music composition. Loved to hear the Telangana slang on the big screen movies.  

Movie- Ante Sundaraniki

2022. Telugu

A boy from orthodox Hindu family and a girl from Christian family are childhood friends. They had their own way growing up and run into each other at right time and decides to get married. Their struggle to get married is a 3 hour long movie. 

Except for peppy and gripping background score, there's nothing that can make you sit and watch the whole movie. Nazriya is cute and watchable. 

The way the whole story is built up made me feel like stopping the movie right away,  however I chose to watch the movie till the end. 

I enjoyed the screen play and the background score. And I'm done watching the typical upper caste  back drop movies. 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Movie- A Journal for Jordan

2021.English

A soldier father, Charles Monroe King, writes a journal for his son, Jordan, while he's deployed in Iraq, for a war, sharing his advice of love and wisdom. While the war is happening, Dana, Jordan's mother, a senior editor at New York Times revisits her life altering love story with Charles. 

A beautiful story. This one reminded me of all the journals I gifted people and wondered what would they be writing in it, if they're writing. 

I consider journals as the best gifts. If someone wants to gift me, journal, is the one of many things. Thanks Geetika for the suggestion, loved the movie. 



Thursday, July 7, 2022

Conversations and Camus

Talking about development and society, Mr.N has explained me one of the theories, he was recently reading. The Three Stages of Positivism by Auguste Komt. 

The society advances through three stages. 

1) Theological Stage

2) Metaphysical Stage

3) Positive Stage

Right now, we're mostly in the second stage where we work without thinking much. N referred to an incident where, he mentioned it's the adoloscents and young minds who reacted but, not the adults or old people, which means that our society thinking is still in this stage. 

As we go into scientific stage, we begin to question."he began to explain. 

 Is it the ideal stage, I asked?

"The whole science stands on questioning and life can't be lived only with the questioning. Once if we begin to believe without questioning, dogma arises and then forms a new movement," clarified N. 

Will that happpen? I asked. 

It's not about future. It's already happening, N shared about scientology, a new religion which is formed based on the the new development. 

There are 1001 religions which we do not know. Also, to discuss Gender and the notion of human nature, N suggested these two books. Albert Camus: The Stranger and Simon De Bouvair: The Second Sex




Sunday, July 3, 2022

Jaipur Journals- Back at Jawahar Kala Kendr

Being intuitive about sunday theatre play, I cycled to Jawahar Kala Kendr. The play was about to being at 6PM. I arrived at JKK by 6.30 PM. Thankfully, the show got delayed and the moment I walked into theatre, the show got started. It was a play called, "Lapat."

It was set up during 1850s where two Indian girls fought against Sati and venture into British Raj. Slowly, they realise, they're not respected there as well and continue to strive for their life. 

This play was performed by under privileged Children and directed by Muktha. Of all, there was an artist who played the role of Krishna as well as British Lady. Enjoyed it. 

Soon after the play, I got to meet theatre fellows one by one. Vijay, Pooja, Somesh, Anuranjan, Kamlesh and a few more interns(Ashish) Abhishek regaled us with some past stories and acting. He always come up with good suggestions. This time, he suggested me to watch Peter Brook Mahabharata who only has one Indian casted in the epic-Mahabharatha.






Jaipur Journals- The 20 KM Cycle Ride

Returning home after a 40 day break, I finally got on my cycle for a long ride. Yesterday, I tried but, rain didn't allow me to go beyond 10 KM. This time, I prepared myself even for a rainy ride. 

As I got out, I cycled through the lanes watching the cloudy sky. Slowly, I picked my pace breathing heavily. Halting at the traffic signals, watching the world Trade Park and many people enjoying their sunday evening, I reached Jawahar Kala Kendr. 

Soon after the play, I picked my cycle again to catch up with friends at Tonk Road.  They got on their bikes, I got on my cycles. Matter of 5-10 minutes differences, we all gathered up again on steps of Chai Stall. Spending time with them for a while, I headed home, listening to Radhan's composition-Arjun Reddy Sound Tracks. 

It's always good to be back on roads with the cycle.  I hope I cycle regularly whenever I'm in Jaipur. 


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Stories on Wheels- The random ride on the hills

Determined to cycle in the hills, I requested friends to offer me a cycle but, I couldn't get one. Lastly, Saurav lent his bike for a ride. "it's going to be chilly at the peaks," cautioned Narasimha, "get a jacket."

I requested the hotel owner I was staying in. He was generous and lent me a new under armour jacket. Wearing the jacket, helmet, I began my ride on the hills. I had no clue about my destination. I stopped wherever I felt like and just went on watching the hills and the empty benches with a best view. 

I drove more than 30 kms not knowing where I was going. I stopped in between, just to take all the silence and bask in the sun. It looked like, I entered into one of the villages in the hills. Hardly, there was any commutation on the road beyond a point.  I checked out the life in the hills, especially in a village, set up in the hills. 

With this journey, I could change the way I visualise a village. In general, I have a typical visualisation of village, as I only saw villages in plains. Villages in hills are very different from the villages in the hills. 



Movie- Superman of Malegaon

I do not remember who suggested me this movie, "Superman of Malegaon". This is a documentary on people of Malegaon, who makes a super hero film with whatever resources they have in their small town. This documentary takes us into the lives of Malegaon film lovers. They're passionate about movies. We get to see the ordinary humans living their dreams. 

Malegaon is a remote place in the state of Maharashtra in India. It's hub of power handlooms, poverty, hardships. Amidst such dull life, people relieve themselves through movies. They got video halls in which they watch the movies. 

Faiz Ahmad Khan directed this documentary really well, letting us take a peak into the lives of Malegaon people. 

Talking about why there are no women actress in the movie, a writer mention, "It's because of our thinking. And it's because of our poverty. Due to poverty, we don't pursue education. Without education, our thinking doesn't develop. It's a vicious cycle."

The director who is passionate about movies doesn't let his brother get into it. "It's just hobby. Do not see future in this. There's no future in it," he advises his brother constantly. Such a paradox where he's living his passion and doesn't let his loved ones get into it because, does he care for his loved ones?

Sneha Khanwalkar has worked on music for this documentary.  I still do not know who has suggested me this movie. Glad, I saved it to watch it later. If you're interested in documentaries, it's a must watch. 




Music- Yodhaka by Pradeep, Susha, Darbuka Siva & Keba

 It was Past 12 AM. Shreya and I were engaged in life conversations. In the background, Nikhil was playing music. Shreya was sharing how her life is going on and I was narrating my Jaipur life to her. All through these conversations, I couldn't ignore the soothing music, Nikhil was playing. 

What's the name of this song? I enquired. The train of conversation got shifted to music and we discussed the album-Yodhaka, from which, the songs were being played. We talked about the artists of the album, Keba, Pradeep Kumar and how Keba left the band as he didn't wanted to be a part of band which was worshipping a different faith than his. Sad to hear this kinda events from the artists who liberate everyone with music which is same to all kinda faith listeners. 

My favourites from this album are Shwetaambara, Vasudev Sutham



Friday, July 1, 2022

Life & Death Chronicles- My Uncle's Demise

On June 9th, at 6.45 PM, Naveen suggested for wedding shopping at Zudo. Sunny is getting married and Naveen picked a blue kurta and to match the dress, he wanted a decent foot wear. We walked into Zudo. 

I was strolling around and tried out some foot wear, Akhila called saying, "Mohan mama chanipoyaru." Mohan mama passed away. There's no space of doubt. She declared that he's dead. 'How are you so sure of it?,' I asked. She narrated, "Mama pulse was low and it had hit 60 in the afternoon. His sugar levels were down. To maintain his sugar levels, he had an insulin shot and ate a little. Upon's Akhila's suggestion at evening, he was quickly shifted to Hospital. He couldn't respond to CPR, he couldn't respond to his sons' Preetam and Danny's call, neither for his wife, my aunt Chitti's screams. The doctors in the hospital declared him dead. 

This is all my Dad could share with Akhila and Akhila with me. "Can we confirm again?" I asked her hoping that there's a chance for some survival. "I tried calling Dad and mom. Both seemed to be in hospital," my sister responded. 

Without thinking much, a few things seemed very clear to me. I'd miss my best friend's Sunny's marriage event. I need to start my journey to Kadapa and attend the family. 

A lot of thoughts flashed, if I'm given a choice to attend a marriage or funeral. What would I choose? I began to think. It's important to be with loved ones in tough times rather than the happy times, a thought flashed. I'd not be honest, If I mentioned that I felt bad to miss my friend's marriage but, equally, I badly wanted to be with the family to support them during this untimely loss. 

T.ManMohan Jayachandrudu Birth: XX.XX.1970 Death:09.June.2022. Not until 9th June, I knew that my uncle is called as ManMohan Jayachandrudu. I often called him as "Mohan Mama" What do I never know about my mama? I thought. I never knew his full name until 9th June.2022 

He worked in the Police Department as Inspector of communications which is something I knew in half. All the years I know about him, he talked a bit here and there about his work with me. I always wanted to see him in his uniform. Never had a chance to see him in uniform though. 

My early memories with Mohan mama are at their earlier residence at Patel Road, Kadapa. In 2000s, whenever I visited Kadapa during Summer holidays, I'd spend a day or two at Mohan Mama's place. My aunt is lovely cook and always cooked chicken curry, biryani and for sure, a dessert. Mama is cheerful and used to play a lot of badminton. I remember him leaving house early in the morning for games, come home and eat a lot of idles with chutney turning on Mtv Hindi and Channel V, listening to songs. He used to listen to a lot of  Hindi songs.  

As he was totally into sports, he had a baseball bat with him in house. For the first time, I touched a baseball bat at his place only. For an 8 year old, handling baseball bat was a big thing for me. 

I have a good rapport with my cousins, uncle sons- Preetham & Danny. Preetham is of my age and Danny is a few years younger to me. We used to play around and chill out at home. 

In 2007, Mohan mama along with his family, visited Nellore to my other aunt's house. I could see mama being more cheerful and open. In family circles, he seemed to be reserved but, he's not. He's comfortable with a few and with others, he's comfortable being distant. 

I had a good relation with him. Whenever I visited, we could talk for long time. We always had some topics to discuss. Recently, we were talking about Mt.Abu and Abu Road. He's informed of the army bases and other training facilities Mt.Abu has. He's knowledgeable and quite chatty. 

At one point of time, he was totally into alcohol and smoking. I never saw him drinking or smoking in front of me though. Even in home, I was told that he'd smoke in the washrooms but, not in front of his children. I wonder how he felt about his smoking and drinking. 

May be he was not doing that out of enjoyment and added a lot of shame to his habits. 

In 2015, My uncle underwent through series of operations and had to undergo dialysis. I always remember him eating a lot of delicious food. From watching him enjoying his sumptuous food at home, I was saddened to see him eat bland food on a hospital bed. From then on, my aunt, and cousins had tough time as caregivers. 

My uncle resumed his job after a series of operations. Dialysis process was set up at home. My cousin had to return to home to attend the family. Come what may, every day, at night my uncle had to undergo the dialysis process. I remember talking to Preetam about this, on long walks. Earlier, Preetam and I had a chance to go out for a dinner and chat. But, after my uncle's hospitalisation, night plans were never an option. 

Over the years, my uncle's health condition went through a lot of ups and downs. Despite his health condition, he was quite active at his work. 

10.June.2022

I spotted Preetam and Danny sitting near my uncle. Both of them were deprived of sleep. My aunt was inside. All the relatives showed up at home. One of the relative called out Preetam to bring tooth brush for them. Preetam told to Danny. Danny was on his way. I offered him help and got what is necessary. My Dad was out making the necessary arrangements. I wondered what it is to attend others' needs during the funeral rather than grieving for the loss.                                              

A lot were walking in with garlands and standing next to their children. I was not ready to watch my aunt in such situation. I didn't walk in to the house. I was standing out with Preetam and Danny. There was nothing much to talk about except be there and just be there. 

Slowly, a lot of police personnel walked in with the garlands. A few walked in for the work and a few to bid a last bye. Everyone wanted a picture as they were offering a garland. As SP, Deputy SP joined at home, the environment at the street could be anticipated. First a few police officers walked in. Later, a jeep with two police officers jumped out. And then came the white Innova in full speed in a small street. Everyone were on their toes as SP was about to attend the family. All the police officers saluted, one had the garland ready. SP quickly offered his respect and talked to the family. In the same way, Deputy SP, Head of police communications and other big police officers paid their respects. 

All through out this events, my aunt was unconsolable. Preetam was silent and had no expressions on his face. Danny was sitting next to my uncle staring at him. I had to leave them to bring some material for the funeral. Other relatives were busy bringing the coffin and getting the grave ready at burial ground. 

I wonder, how one has to attend all these funeral logistics, without taking time to grieve. The memories would flash, the reality would surface but, still we got to call that van who'd give the last ride to my uncle.

Watching everyone and sometimes at uncle, emotions dwelled but, I couldn't cry. Is it any conditioning that boys shouldn't cry or what's wrong with me? I couldn't cry but I was aware of the emotions I was going through. My cousin was standing still supporting his mother all through out. 

A lot of police officials arrived and offered their last respects. As time passed by, there were only a few people arriving. One lady neighbour walked in to pay her respect. Besides, offering garland, she walked near my cousin and asked how it happened. As my cousin began to retell the whole incident, she, without any second thought, began to give her suggestions. "You should've taken him to hospital. You should've given him more food. You should have been bit early in responding." The suggestions didn't stop. 

How can these people be so insensible, I thought. Someone is grieving for the loss. No suggestions would bring him back but why does one not think, what to talk, when to talk and where to talk. I wanted to tell her, No dear neighbor, we don't need your suggestions!. Instead, I could only see my cousin's face nodding,  struggling to respond to her words. 

As it was beyond lunch time, 1 PM, my dad got worried about the food for everyone who are at home. The funeral has to happen. The bellies also need to be fed. As he was thinking what to do, uncle friends already worked on this and ordered food for 50 and odd people. Right from what to order and where to order, they got it sorted. Right from plastic plates and glasses, they got it covered. "Don't worry, we already took care of this and ordered for everyone." they responded when dad went to ask how many would need lunch. Everyone were volunteering to be of support to the grieving family. 

On one side, the lunch was organized and other side, a discussion on when to visit the grave yard and by what time the coffin would come and at what time, we'd go to church. 

The coffin arrived at expected time. Family members got engaged in the last bath/cleaning. As it was time to place uncle in the coffin, the coffin had to be customized. People began to discuss how to tinker the present coffin as getting a new coffin would take more time. I couldn't think how tough it'd be to everyone to engage in these logical rational conversations when they're going through a turmoil of emotions. 

After a lot aye and nay, we got it sorted and began to head to the church and then cemetery. 

Police department paid their last due respects by gun salute. In quite silence, the gun sound shook us up to ponder on life and death. All this love and respect to the person who can't witness it anymore. 

                          

The only thought I take away, walking away from the grave after offering last respects to my uncle is, DO NOT WAIT UNTILL PEOPLE ARE DEAD TO GIVE THEM FLOWERS. 




Memories- A year to the shift from Sirohi to Jaipur

 1.July.2021 

The day, I began to shift to Jaipur. I never expected this shift in such short time. I was given a different role and I was happy to work on it by staying in Sirohi. As Dyu left Sirohi, I couldn't think of living in Sirohi anymore. I never thought I'd stay with someone when I was shifting to Sirohi. From day one, I was with Dyu and he is a big a support system. I was just like a kid clueless of how to live in a small town. He was the one who took care of everything. Right from paying bills to getting the basic groceries to home. I can't imagine living in Sirohi without him. Dyu left in April. Azhar joined me for a month. Soon after that, I went home and returned in June. I spent a month in Sirohi hanging out most of the time with Pallavi and Geetika. 

I was postponing my shift by days. All of sudden Gautam and Rajiv visited Sirohi and invited me to join them to Jaipur and check for houses. I couldn't say no to them. I went ahead and stayed in Jaipur for couple of days to figure out the house. I spent 4 days in Sirohi and figured out a house for myself. I returned to Sirohi not sure of how this transition is going to happen as I was not ready to process it. No sooner, I returned to Sirohi, I began to organise things and invite  the packers and movers. Within no time, I was clearing my books, Dyu's stuff, kitchen utensils and all the things we procured in Sirohi. 

The First Days in Sirohi

When I was coming to Sirohi in march 2019, I came with a single suitcase and rucksack. Dyu joined with a big suitcase. The first thing, we bought in Sirohi was a mat to sleep for the price 150rs each. We got two and tried sleeping on it. The mat was no better than floor. It was too hard to sleep. Next day we got a cot for 1000rs each. 

As days passed, we settled in the house with the basics. The basics included a water keg, cot, door mat, bucket, mug, broom and few other utensils. Kaveri, Dyu and I were doing the shopping in the beginning. 

After a year, in March 2020, Kaveri left Sirohi for Bangalore. After another year, in April 2021, Dyu left Sirohi to figure out his next destination. 

I left Sirohi on July.1.2021 for Jaipur in a hasty manner. I wanted a change in life but, a lot of unasked changes were happening in life then. 

The Last Days in Sirohi

For one moment, I wanted to be with people around. Another moment, I wanted to be alone walking those lanes and wandering in the places I've lived. I wanted to process the change and tell myself that it's not going to be the same. It's not going to be the same with the people whom I talk daily. It's not going to be the same when I visit those shops I daily walk into.  It's not going to be the same when I visit neighbor whom I share a smile with, to talk to.  Things are going to be different. I may have to live in a new place with new people. I've been doing that all my life- leaving people and living with a new people. I was just having hard time to process that reality. 

However, I couldn't bid bye the way I wanted to with a lot of people. Shankar and Azhar decided to bid me a farewell properly. Shankar came all the way to Sirohi with some meeting excuse. Both of us headed to Abu Road. Had our usual dinner. At late night, Shankar and Azhar boarded me on train. 

That last dinner was assurance that things are not going to change only the frequency of meets may change. Thanks Azhar and Shankar for everything. 


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