My little one is a big one now…

Happy Birthday my child!

When I look at this picture, I find that you are a big girl now but whenever I think of you, I think of you as a small girl, still vulnerable and  needing my protective hug. It is my emotional side that wants to see you as a small girl who would come to me for small favours and I would be happy playing a mother who was capable of providing you all that support. Remember the Big Banyan episode when you were angry for I being overprotective for you and thus hampering your growth? I could not understand even at that time that your wings were strong and you were capable of flying up in the sky, only the horizon was your limit. But does horizon has any limit?

I look around at the scattered papers and from somewhere I find your name written in bold prominent letters and BTW written underneath, everywhere you wrote your name. I could never understand your ardent wish to fly and spread your wings to their fullest. I was afraid, afraid that you may not get yourself hurt in the process, you may not know of the hurdles in the dark waiting to stop you.

I look at all those pictures that you display on FB, perhaps when you need to say something to me, but you want me to decipher the meaning through pictures. The same old way when you would hide little notes in your small hand in different places and you would watch when would I find them. Old habits die hard, now you do the same with the pictures, bring them out from some forgotten folder of your computer and display on FB tagging me to them!

I watch them and a surge of emotions overwhelms my entire being, how I wish to hold you close to my bosom at that time. But harsh reality strikes me when I realize that you are miles away and are a big girl now. Perhaps you may feel awkward if I hug you so close to my bosom now!

Watching this picture that you put on FB, I thought of the Diwali day when you made me prepare this saree. I remember how excited I was when both of us prepared these sarees and in the evening put these on. You made me feel like a small girl! But the picture shows you as a big girl that you are. I can see in the picture that you are so sure of yourself, your wings are strong, your eyes have dreams of soaring in the sky!

I am happy watching you soar the sky as I know, have always known, but never confessed it to myself that you are, surely, born to win! BTW, the signature line of your name which became as prominent as you are!

Love you little one and wish you a very happy Birthday!

Amen

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Himachal has come a Long way but still has miles to go…

Sunday, 15 April,2012

Lord Auckland, the Governor General to India, was accompanied by his two sisters Fanny and Emily.  Emily Eden spent her time much in the manner as was expected of the ladies especially as she enjoyed a high social position being the sister of the Governor General. A keen observer, Emily, recorded her observation in words and sketches and her observations serve a great purpose in analyzing the life during the Raj by her rare insight into the relation between the British masters and the native slaves. Her journal entry of 25 May, 1839 recording the fete at the Annadale ground and wondered how the British were enjoying at the Annadale “in the face of those high hills” some of which had remained untrodden since the creation:

…and we, 105 Europeans, being surrounded by at least 3,000 mountaineers, who wrapped up in their hill blankets, looked on what we call our polite amusements and bowed to the ground if a European came near them, I something wonder they don’t cut all our heads off, and say nothing more about it.

The insight of this keen observer clearly shows that Hilly people that she calls mountaineers and which are called Paharis by the so-called cultured persons today, held all foreigners in awe. The only feeling that they had for the Europeans was of respect born of fear perhaps as we were slaves to the British.

Imagining the scene in my mind’s eye I empathize with those helpless persons for whom the burra sahibs and the memsahibs were people from some other planet and deserved all their devotion. What happened after the freedom of the nation has changed only something. Instead of those burra sahibs etc. we have some other privileged persons who after usurping the angrez log filled in the vacuum thus created  but some of their poor cousins still watch from distance the fun and frolic of the rich and the powerful.

Life goes on and on and the only thing that changes is the person at the power center. People sitting at the edge still watch and cheer, and  bow before the powerful. How long would it take for the people sitting at the edge to walk up and become a part of the powerful hub?

We may have come a long way but still we have a long way more to go!

Happy Himachal Day!

Happy B’day to my youngest one…

Thursday, 16 December, 2010

Dear A,

Today when I got up in the morning and looked at the picture of Lord Shiva, I silently asked for all his blessings for my son as it is your B’day today. I know I have never written anything about you except a few random remarks but today I had an inner urge to bare it open for all to see what I felt like when you came in my life and that too when I already had two daughters! Everyone can imagine how happy I might have been! I am like anyone else, a typical Indian woman with very average and small dreams and aspirations and one of those was to have a son! So you can understand what it meant for me to have a  son after two daughters. Although the fact that you have many a times accused me of being very strict with you, is another story. Perhaps I might have talked about a number of times but again would love to tell you that I was waiting for the birth of a daughter when the midwife announced you to be a son! You were a red mass of flesh soaked in blood, part of my flesh and my blood! Your eyes were shut. I was afraid for you and was guilty for keeping you in pains for a long time. You might be wondering why am I writing all this to you today of all days? Perhaps it is because of two reasons, one is that Aarush, your nephew, is with us and his antics remind me so much of your infancy and the second is that your Dadi is also with you and it acted as a catalyst for surging up of all those emotions that I had long back forgotten about! I would write to you more about your life when you were a part of me but some other day!

Today, I wish you all the best for your life ahead. You may be miles away from us but I know that nothing ever can have any impact on the special bond that we share. And today when you are so immersed in your work, the work that you love, I have a resurgence of all those good times that we had together!

Happy B’day my son!

Maa

Shame Sony India: Poor after Sale Service!!!

So when my ever faithful camera, that was like a new eyes to me, died suddenly, one day, I was desperate. It had not died. It had all other things working except taking and displaying pictures, and I always thought that cameras are for taking pictures! Well, as I said earlier, I thought it to be CCD problem as all the symptoms were the same. Light or dark blurred display on the LCD and on my Laptop. I started searching for a place where the problem could be solved. I wrote to wo ho-so-ever I could think of. Ironically there was no reply from Sony India but when I wrote to Sony Asia Pacific, the India office got into action. I got a call from someone in their Delhi service center and I was advised to go to Shimla service center.

I traveled six hours’ arduous bus journey to take my camera to Sony service center at Shimla. I was told that it was at Sanjauli but when i reached Sanjauli I was told by a Sony shop there that the service center was near the tunnel at Dhalli! I walked all the way to Dhalli and was happy to see the sign of Johny Electronics, the authorized Sony Service center! I heaved a sigh of relief as I had reached where my camera will get a new lease of life. But, unfortunately, the man who would have inspected the camera was not there and moreover I didn’t have any papers with me regarding the purchase of my camera. So back I had to come with my camera. Another visit to Hamirpur and this time I gathered all the receipts which luckily were in the packing of the camera that i had stacked atop an cupboard! Another tiring trip to Shimla and the same excursion to Dhalli. This time I met the man and he asked me to leave the camera with his center. Ah! What a torture it was to be separated from my ever faithful one but I didn’t have a choice. Leaving the camera and taking a receipt from a young girl, I walk back.

Then started a period of wait–wait for a call from the Sony people. One fine day they called me to tell that the camera would have to be sent to Ludhiana Service center of Sony to be inspected by a service manager. I agreed as what else could I do. So my poor thing was sent to Ludhiana. Again I had to wait for a tidings from Ludhiana. One day I got a call from Sony Shimla and the girl on-line told me that the camera repair estimate was 8000/ and some Rs. They wanted my nod to go ahead with the repair. The amount seemed to be staggering! I wanted to make a judgment. They had not said a word about CCD problem and had neither told what the defect was. I again wrote to Sony office. And can you believe what happened after that? I got a SMS on my mobile from Sony service center Ludhiana that the repair estimate is 14,416.50/ for job no. 000300683068. My God! I nearly fainted to look at the amount and more so because the Shimla Sony Service center had conveyed to me an amount of eight thousand and some rupees!

I wrote a mail to Sony service center at Ludhiana to tell me what is the exact amount for repair.  Someone wrote back to me that it was 8500/. Now tell me how could i have trusted the Sony people when they had quoted two different  estimates for the repair job and the difference was of 6000/, not a meager amount by any standards! I wrote back to them to send my camera back to as it was as I didn’t trust Sony any longer.

So I got my camera back. It had travelled a lot, had traversed a lots of hardships but still was un-repaired! Now if you wonder how am I taking pictures if I had not got my camera repaired by the Authorized Sony service center. It is because I once again searched the Net and found many camera repair shops in Delhi who do this job. I found one. I went to Delhi in the morning with my camera, took it to the camera repair shop and within an hour my camera was in my hands–in working condition! I had to pay one-fourth of the amount that Sony had asked for!

So it is no surprise that my son has now bought a Nikkon for me. Sony, you have lost a faithful customer by your poor after sale services in India! Shame Sony India, shame for bleeding the customers who trust you so much!

My Sony DSC H1 Camera…

Ah! its time that I write about my very interesting experiences with my camera. In fact it was my son’s idea to buy this camera in January, 2006 as soon as the camera hit the market. Even I was mesmerized by its looks and the fact that it looked very professional added to its charm. Though we thought hard whether to settle for a handy Sony camera or this one which would be too conspicuous to carry and display! My son. as all sons are in families, had the last word and we went for Sony H1 camera. Like all other Indian homes that I know of, my son became the exclusive owner of the camera. He would operate it while we, the lesser mortals, would watch him appreciating his technology awareness. Whenever we would touch it, it would be only to dust off any specks of invisible dust that we suspected to have settled on it. But I had fallen in love with the camera. My son taught me to handle it–handle with love and care ‘his’ camera. I started taking some pics. As the digital cameras don’t need anything else than a computer to download the pics so taking and downloading pics became much easy. DSC H1 has one problem. The time taken to focus on a picture is comparatively more so, in the beginning, my pictures would be a little out-of-focus. My son would not be worried as much about the out-of-focus pictures as he would be about the harm done to the shutter button if it was released without first holding it for some time till the camera focused on the object.

Gradually I became the sole owner of the camera when my kids moved out. I loved it as now I was the only owner that controlled it. it assisted me in reliving so many moments that would have otherwise blurred in my memory. with the passage of time. I could relive and re-experience many of such glorious moments.

And imagine the importance that it  attached to my persona when I moved around hanging this camera in my neck. I remember one very interesting incident when I wanted to click some pictures at Mandi Shivratri festival but was feeling shy to barge in the crowd of people in the Mela ceremony. A beaming police personnel said to me, “you can go ahead and take pictures.” He mistook me or perhaps my camera to be that of a Newspaper person. Such is the charm of the camera and it added enigma to my persona as well. Both of us enjoyed capturing importance with the assistance of each other. First it was love but now it had become a necessity for companionship.

You can imagine how heart-broken I was when one fine morning my camera would not show the pictures in the LCD! I tried hard. But it seemed to have developed some snag. I tried taking the pictures like a mad person. I clicked right left and everywhere. The pictures would be blank or grey or black but no figures. I tried downloading the pictures. The same blankness jeered at my face. it seemed as if my life had become all blank. I felt like a blind person. How much dependent had I become on my camera, I realized when it was not working. I put it safely in the cover and tried finding on NET what could have happened to it. Luckily for me I came across soem articles about CCD problem in Sony cameras and the world-wide recall offer to mend the cameras with the same symptoms that my Sony had developed. I was happy as I had, in my own novice manner, found out the malady having affected my camera.

Now I plunged into action, writing to Sony India about my camera and taking my camera to Sony service stations. What I learnt about the Sony after-sale-service promises is another story and a painful one that demands another blog post as I don’t want to spoil my mood and that of my readers reading about unprofessional attitude of Sony Service center!

Happiness on the Anvil……

Three pair of eyes,

Each having seen

The stand taken

And provided,

The much needed

Moral strength,

Watch together

Anvil of tomorrow!

The new day

That heralds

And promises

The best of everything.

Each pair of eyes

Succeeds in putting off

The watery veneer

That covers the pupils

Having seen

The worst of mankind!

The warm smile

On the lips

Of three faces

That look towards

The tomorrow

When colours of

Vibrance happiness

Awaits to greet them

To accord

A warm welcome

With arms wide open!

Amen!

To Arush, my Grandson, on his first Birthday…

08 June, 2010

Tuesday

A small bundle of life,

Smeared and covered

In blood of my own blood,

With soft tiny palms,

Holding the power

To put the balms,

On my scorching

And painful strife.

Your first crying

Your  baby babel,

Soothing my very being

With peace and calm

Heralding life and rhythm

To silence the clamours

Of my life and soul.

Fragile and red,

You looked at me,

Our eyes met

And a voice

That only both of us heard

And a new bond

Of love and adoration

Of peace and assurance

Too, was born

That I live beyond

My worldly existence

Through you my love

The blood of my own blood!