Friday, March 2, 2018

Obituary - Shreedevi

During my stay in Salem 1980-82 I used to daily see one Tamil or Malayalam films with my colleagues Mr TV Vaidyanathan who knew both Tamil and Malayalam and  Mr CND Nair who was a Malayali. 

Most of the days we would complete our site work by 10 PM so as to have enough time to take our dinner . Our standing instructions to our favourite waiter Thambi Manjunath of Hotel Gokulam, 5 Roads Junction was to keep  our dinner in our rooms. We will quickly take our dinner and then rush to Salem city for 11 PM last show. We will go for either an English movie or a Tamil / Malayalam movie recommended by our friends or as chosen by our driver. I learnt to read Tamil a  little to  read name of films and name of cinema halls as in the posters. Our usual pick used to be films made by Bhagya Raja and we saw the films Antha 7 Naatkal (original version of Woh Saat Din) and Moondram Pirai (Original of Sadma). Moondram Pirai starred Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. I instantly became fan of both Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. Innocence on the face of Bhagyalaxmi (Sridevi) who has lost her memory and is behaving like a child is so real. Cheenu (Kamal Haasan) who tries hard to get her memory back is so desperate to make Bhagyalaxmi recognize him one she regains memory is remarkable in the climax scene. . 

Sridevi Kapoor born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan  (1963-2018) entered Hindi film industry in 1983 and soon stole heart of millions through her performances. I particularly like her comical performances in Mr India, Chalbaaz and Judaai. Her more serious films such as Sadma, lamhe, Chandini, Ladaala and Khuda Gawah do also touch our heart. Her two second innings films English Vinglish and MOM were welcome come back and Film going public expected many more such films from her. Her untimely departure has shocked millions of her fans -- that includes me !

May her soul rest in peace. God bless her family. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

1965-December- A Life event to remember

It was 25th December 1965, papa had come to Patna to attend Chhatii (6th day after birth) ceremony of Pappu (my cousin bro) and he visited my hostel as well. One of my first year engineering hostel colleague had changed his room and as a teenager (I was 15 going on 16) I thought of a prank to dramatise his shifting. I was an ardent Sadhana fan and had seen her film Arzoo released that year 6 times. I remembered each scene and dialogue of the film and my roomates enjoyed me dramatically recreating the film with all dialogues which could last almost for one to two hours. I was getting famous for my dramatics and I went ahead to make sentimental statements for my roomate changing the room. 

Now about the prank and the repercussions..

Around mid night when all the roommates were asleep I wrote a small suicide note and kept a liquid medicine bottle for minor  skin problem labelled  "poison" over the letter. After some time I started making strange noises as if I was having difficulty in breathing and choking. My room mates took note of this and were panicked. 
They started linking of this with visit of papa who as per their understanding had noticed a photo of Sadhana in my purse and had scolded me (though noting like this had happened). I continued my drama and my friends were convinced that I am dying and called the warden, who was visibly annoyed being disturbed at this hour. However seems he was also convinced about my attempt and gave me some homeo medicine which I took after initially refusing it. He ordered for me to be taken to hospital urgently. It is then I realized that I am in grave self created problem. My pleas that it was all fake and a drama fell flat on about 30 pair of ears and I was taken on a  cycle rickshaw to Patna Medical College Hospital.   On way I though of getting off the rickshaw and run, however two strong friends escorting me made it impossible. In hospital I was given a bucket of water with K2MnO4 and was forced to drink almost all. All patients in near by beds were looking at me as a zoo animal and I was very uncomfortable with so much attention from strangers and friends ( all most whole hostel had come to hospital at this late hour. 

In the morning Police came and started enquiring me and I became more and more nervous. I anyway wanted to go even run away but some one warned me not to attempt any misadventure. Now my family at Patna my cousin sisters Shanti di and Chhotu di were informed. They informed my uncle who was appearing in a Public Service Commision exam and he has to leave the exam. My father who had gone back home was informed, who came back in a hurry,  my cousin sis Dr Pushpa was called from Buxar  to tackle hospital. My Bhullar mama an advocate was put in service to tackle the Police and with the help of a related minister Police were restrained from harassing me. I had some relief but the hospital will  not release.  Dr Pushpa Prasad  Intervened and the hospital released me under own risk. Now the new problem surfaced as the warden had recommended my expulsion to the principal. However as per argument put forward  by my uncle I was merely expelled from the hostel for rest of the session and I returned to hostel in the 2nd year ! 

My efforts to clear the air however did never work with my friends who still feel I really consumed the poison !! 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Became non vegetarian after 12 years of self ban

I had left eating non vegetarian food in 2005 as a tribute to my mother who left us for her heavenly rcabode that year. Though she occasionally cooked fish, meat and eggs for us, she remained vegetarian through her life.
In our Orthodox home non vegetarian, onion, garlic and sea salt was taboo. Though my grand mother followed this through her life, my mother ate onion, garlic and sea salt as slowly these returned to our kitchen, albeit vegetables with garlic and onion were cooked at a different chulha (earthen oven using wood) little away from main kitchen. Later meat, fish and eggs were cooked in separate separate utensil in our cow shed. I however ate non veg food in hostel in Patna without any reservation at that time.
When I got married and had a sweet family of my own at Bokaro or Ranchi these restrictions never applied.
Recently since I am going to have a surgery, doctor advised protein rich diet. There was pressure on me from the family specially from daughter, I started taking eggs immediately. I was averse to eat meat. How ever yesterday I bought chicken and ate it. What I felt when the bird was being killed was " I am taking life if an innocent bird to save my own life". Though I ate the meat, I could not enjoy it as a feeling of regret was over powering. Think fish may not be that repulsive or may be I get used to eating non veg in a while... I think milk and soya protein is also as good as meat but I cannot argue with my family on this.. and have agreed to do so even if against my will.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Ban on 500/1000 Rs Notes 9/11/2016, suggested methodology.

From the time PM announced ban on existing 500/1000 Rs notes, each one in our house hold of 2 persons are busy how to run our kitchen on limited numbers of Rs 100 notes we had. We tried to stand in line for exchange of old banned notes in a Bank (which Bank is immaterial) but after one hour we came back home without new currency - only to try next day when I was successful to obtain 2 nos Rs 2000 new notes - only to realize  that I cannot spent it since the local grocer did not have enough small old notes to return me balance amount.
We also tried to withdraw from  ATM's but 2 out of 3 ATM's in our area remained closed and the SBI ATM which opened ran out of cash within hours. 

While I endorse the laudable efforts of our PM and we expect good results from it  control on extremist and terrorist activities, black money, and fake notes, I think proper thought was not given as how to implement the exchange of High Denomination (HD) notes. I feel following should have been adopted :

1. Sufficient new notes should have been sent to all branches of bank   for exchange and payment purpose from 10-11-2016. Opening additional number of counters for exchange which was not much visible needed to be ensured. Small post office branches should have been activated too.

2. New  Rs 100 & Rs 50 notes should have been printed in enough numbers to reduce expected shortage when these notes were to be only legal tender in the market in absence of Rs 1000 & 500 HD notes.  

3, ATM's should not have been closed for reconfiguration during first 10-15 days as it is a time taking work, could have been closed only for 1 or 1/2 day to replace HD notes with Rs 100 notes - thus keeping uninterrupted the easy cash withdrawal facility from 2 Lakh ATM's across the country.

4. Withdrawal limits from ATM could have been kept as per quantity of Rs 100 notes ATM's could handle - say Rs 1000 per day.

This arrangement would have made 2 channels for payment new notes in banks and old notes from ATM's. Please note despite having new notes I am looking for withdrawal of Rs 100 notes may be from ATM's & exchange with new notes has not immediately served any purpose for me. Wish some one had put some thought after keeping himself in the position of a common man, though great are our people who are endorsing the note ban despite the hardship being faced by them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Silk Smitha - an Obituary

We were just now watching the film "Dirty Picture" on TV and one of my old blog came to my mind and a modified version is shared again.

During 1980-81, I was posted at Salem, Tamilnadu when I came across Silk Smith- who stayed in a nearby room of same Hotel, Hotel Gokulam.

I recall one particular incident when a Tamil film was being shot in Salem. The producer, who happened to be an old colleague of MGR was staying at our hotel with his entire  crew.

The vamp in this film was the famous Silk Smitha. I had earlier watched her Tamil film "Mundram Pirai" which was later remade in Hindi as Saadma, and her appearance was definitely erotic in both the versions.

While Vijaykant, the Hero, was staying in a double bed AC room, on the first floor, I was in a AC single room no 211 in ground floor,  where as Silk Smitha  with her hair dresser was in room no 216 - also AC single room. We shared the hotel corridor.

Silk was obviously lonely and will plead with Vijaykant for a game of card or for few drinks  together-- as informed by Hotel receptionist who also doubled as telephone operator. Silk will throw lot of tantrums every day to catch our attenton in the corridor and we (me and BHEL engineer -Sambshivam) will talk with her little bit without any particular topic.

One day in the middle of night I was awakened up by loud knocks at my hotel room door. I opened the door only to find a drunk Silk Smitha knocking on all doors in the corridor.  She was trying to walk down to her room hung onto the arms of her hair dresser. Often she would break into a dance in the corridor. I could only pity her for her lonely life despite such a large fan following.

The hotel was popular with Tamil film industry and we could watch few scenes of film shooting as well. I was impressed by the tedious process of film making, while in fact I saw just a small portion of all the work involved.

Now about Silk Smitha..
She was born Vijaylakhmi in 1960, and got her stage name from her 1st hit film  Vandichakram (1979) in which her name was Silk. She was active in films for 17 years and acted in 450 films. In 1996 at the age of 35 she committed suicide due to financial problem, alcoholism and disillusionment in love. RIP Silk.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Electronics Gadgets used by people of our generation.. contd..

Continued from last post..
I have covered valve radio, gramophone, transistor radio and spool tape recorder in earlier post..

Gadgets used & being used by our generation :

5th Gadget in my list is record player and later record changers. These used to play 45 and 33.33 RPM records called EP and LP respectively. I purchased a Phillips record player in 1973, which I use to hook up with Phillips transistor's Aux input to listen to melodies of yesteryear. 

6th Gadget in my list is a cassette type tape recorder. Later there were 2 in ones (radio and tape recorder) and 3 in ones (Radio, tape recorder and Audio CD player) became popular. I had brought from Germany one Toshiba make 2 in one with digital tuning for radio model in 1983. Later we had other 2 in one and 3 in one as well. Now people invest in high end music systems - san the tape recorder part. 

7th Gadget used by us was a calculator - 1st with LED display later with LCD display. A table top model which was used initially. Later   scientific calculator with trigonometrical, exponential, Logarithmic functions and with LCD display. An improved version of programmable calculator also was used by some technical persons but it did not become much popular.  I purchased another variant-calculator watch. Though not so popular now, we can still see calculator being used by some shop keepers.

8th Gadget which became popular with people of our generation was a electronic diary. This was mainly used to replace mini diaries which listed telephone numbers. I still have one with 32 KB of memory.  64 & 128 KB models were also available. This is not in use now. 

9th Gadget in my list is land line telephones became popular around this time with introduction of subscriber trunk dialing (STD)  & ISD service made available by the department of telephones (DoT) now called BSNL. Telephone was not a new device and was used by many people but we took a connection only after subscriber trunk dialing (STD) was introduced in Ranchi.

Later wireless models were available and still are under use. 

10th Gadget in my list is Television sets. In 1983, Doordarshan established a high power TV tower in Ranchi. I was trying to convince my wife and kids to allow me buy a portable BW (Black & White) 14" TV with battery back up set. Some how one of my friend's 3 in one with 4" mini TV came to me for repair. When the family saw DD's programs like Humlog, Chitrhar etc I was allowed to purchase 14" BW Onida TV later around 1986 we purchased Onida 21" colour TV. Now Plasma, LCD, LED are in use.  

Other gadgets PC, laptop, camera, mobile, tablets are also being used by our generation effectively.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Electronics Gadgets used by people of our generation..

Gadgets used & being used by our generation :

It must be true for all times but our generation definitely have seen most of the developments of gadgets.. So many that it may be difficult to name all of them, however I try to recollect and put my memory with a little of history attached with them.
When I was a kid say in 1955 our house had no electricity but we had 2 gadgets meant for entertainment:
First  in my list is a  valve radio which ran on a pile battery ( I think it was 110 V DC).The radio - probably a Murphy- was in a working condition, but many times needed battery replacement from Patna, only elders used to enjoy predominantly Sehgal songs. Later we got more modern radio working on electricity.

    Second on my list is a gramophone in our house which used to play earliest 78 rpm records. The gramophone ran on spring charge and the sound will come from a sound box which used to convert the vibrations sensed by needle to sound through a diaphragm. Its speed regulator was not working well and sound will be ok till the spring was charged and later we will hear low frequency notes. The needle also needed change after every record. We had few of the records along with EP’s and LP’s of 80’s till our last change of house. We loved the dog with "his master's voice" sign (HMV) on the records.

T   Third on my list is a transistor. One of our neighbors was working in Japan and his family returned with a small wonder which used to play music. The kids of that household will flash the Nippon transistor with pride. My uncle (Braj Ballabh Prasad) was a music lover and on his insistence we somehow made the young boy part with the said gadget for one hour. We later came to know this gadget in called transistor. The gadget was purchased much later by us.

 Fourth gadget which I came to enjoy was a short lived version of tape recorder the spool type tape recorder. In 1967-68 My cousin Late Prof Dr Maya Sinha, went to UK for her PhD. when she returned she brought a spool type tape recorder. We were thrilled to hear our voices or songs after it was recorded and played back, Didi will not allow us to play with this gadget except under her supervision, though by now I was a 3rd year Engineering student. 

I will detail out more gadgets in my next blog..