Friday, October 15, 2010

Good intentions

So much for aiming for a post a day!Does it count if we post two or three times a day, to make up for the missed ones?
So the Commonwealth Games came to a close with a grand finale yesterday. Maybe I'm being cynical, but the thought which struck me was: as a city, do we go back to being our messy selves now? I didn't venture much into Delhi during the games, but when I did, the roads were comparitively empty. There was a buzz in the air, and every evening, smiling faces on TV told us that we had hauled in another load of medals. It is like when we have a party at home--the best linen and china comes out, the kids are on their best behaviour, the hostess is smiling, gracious and efficient, the host is jovial and welcoming, and we always feel, why can't it be like this always? So also with the city. Yes, there are some permanent "gifts" to Delhizens, like the Metro, spruced up roads, pavements and flyovers. But I wish the general feeling of bonhomie would also remain.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Phantom nostalgia

I happened to watch some parts of the movie,“Phantom”, starring Billy Zane on TV. And suddenly I became nostalgic for the “real” Phantom---the comic book one, by Lee Falk. A long time ago, there was this magazine called The Illustrated Weekly of India. And every issue had half a page of the Phantom comic. It would be a serialised story and I could hardly wait from one Sunday to the next. The wonder and the flights of fancy that the words and illustrations brought about ! The Phantom, wearing a purple body suit, with black (leather?) briefs worn over it. The briefs had holsters too. And he wore a mask over the eyes. And his features were chiselled.
The world of the Pygmy Bandar--- the little people with the poison arrows, faithful only to the Phantom. The world behind the waterfall. The skull cave. The table mountain. The treasure caves-minor and major. The minor one had merely gold and jewels. The major one had Alexander’s drinking cup (hollowed out of a huge diamond if I remember right), the preserved asp that bit Cleopatra, the cup of poison that Socrates was given, and so on. Then there was the jade hut, and the golden sands of Keela-wi, which was real gold dust. And Phantom’s horse Hero, and his dog which was really a wolf, Devil. Sometimes when the need arose, the Phantom went to the city, dressed in ordinary clothes, and an overcoat and dark glasses to hide his masked face. Devil would be by his side. Invariably, he would be stopped by a train/ boat attendant---- “Sorry Sir, no dogs allowed,” he would say. And then Phantom would say nonchalantly, “Oh that’s all right---he’s not a dog---(pause)---he’s a wolf.”
I could go on, but I’ll do that next time. Until then, “Phantom moves faster than the eye can see----old jungle saying.”

Commonwealth Games

Aaah, we can release the breath we were collectively holding. The opening ceremony was spectacular. Over the past few weeks we had become so cynical that we weren't expecting much I guess. Still we should not bank on last minute cleanups as these could always come unstuck.
More power to us as a nation and as a people. We do need extravaganzas sometimes to show ourseves what we are capable of. Yes, some of those mindboggling amounts of *wealth* could have been spent on health, education and housing, but I hope we have also learnt a lesson about bungling and corruption.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


This seems to have turned into aPhantom post, in the sense that I can't get what I have written in Word into Blogger, because the 'Paste' option is disabled. Trying to find a way---

Friday, October 01, 2010

When the homemaker is away

I went out of town for just three days. At home:
1. F-i-l got chest pain (twice).
2. R had to go abroad suddenly.
3. Mom got a touch of vertigo.
4. My maid, along with other migrant labour was told to go back to her village for the duration of the commonwealth games.
5. The driver got malaria.
6. The ironing woman got dengue.
7. The washing machine conked off.
8. The frost-free fridge acquired stalactites and stalagmites in the freezer.
9. The AC spewed water onto the sofa.
10. The DTH digicomp box went phut.
11. A plug point went phut.
12. A tubelight went phut.
I guess I should stay put!