Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Airlifted!

Airlift!

Three helicopters were put into service. It was quite a unique task for the pilots as well as the support staff. Taking off from the city’s airport, the three reached the highway in time to airlift the gang of six.

These were special type of helicopters with a larger catchment area. After all the task was so, where everything depended upon the area available for the airlift, such was the package being lifted.

And even after deployment of such large helicopters, the area in each was just enough for two. Hence the three copters.

Reaching the copters to the site was the easiest task. The real fun started once the copters had reached.

How do the support staff persuade the package to climb into the copters? That was the million dollar question!

But in the country in which the drama took place, time is of essence. So the support staff took the easiest and fastest route and just shot the package! Oh, don’t worry.

It was a shot of tranquillisers and soon the 6 buffaloes (the package) were snoring away. After that it was quite easy to persuade the buffaloes to climb into the helicopters and reach heights where no buffaloes had gone before.

And that’s how buffaloes are kept clear from the autobahn in Germany. No if’s…no but’s…though it was a quite unbelievable for me, when I read it in the morning newspaper, that some adventurous buffaloes managed to give the creeps to some speed demons on the German Autobahn.

Nearer home, animals of all shapes and sizes manage to walk on the highways as if roaming in the garden.

In fact I have seen some buffaloes sitting prettily in the middle of a busy road, in a city I happened to visit.

When I asked the experienced taxi driver, “How do they manage to sit calmly in meditation on the busy road?”

He just smirked and answered, “The air displaced by the passing cars don’t allow the city mosquitoes to get a toehold on the buffaloes and thus they are protected from deadly diseases like malaria…buffalo malaria”

That logic convinced me about the common sense and wisdom of Indian buffaloes and I promptly went off to sleep in the taxi.

Yatindra Tawde

Saturday, 5 May 2018

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? Or a name board?

To be precise, what’s in a name of a wine shop?

The authorities in one Indian state have suddenly woken up to an 69 year old law, which states that no one can advertise…or rather, openly advertise any liquor brand.

Yes, it’s the same law due to which many marquee names advertise so many different brand names of tonic water on TV, which are suspiciously advertised as capable of giving you good times.

So all the legal wine shops which sell wines and liquors legally and openly…since that is allowed; cannot have billboards advertising any of the brands which they sell.

I can see the future…I go in search of the manna which gives me a good time on weekends.

I reach the usual corner of a building by walking on the path well trodden, expecting to see the brightly coloured billboard which makes up the shop facia…but hey! Where has it gone?

I blink my eyes once…then twice. With a lump in my throat, and a quiver in my voice, I ask a neighbouring shop owner, “Where?”

With a compassionate look and a reassuring tone, he answers, “Don’t worry. It’s still there. You only have to look minutely”

That reassurance is music for my ears. With a spring in my step I bound towards my target.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

The brightly coloured billboard has been replaced by a drab little board, which just announces name of the wine shop, the license number and the time of working.

Half expecting them to ask for a prescription, I hesitantly place my demand. And lo and behold!

My demand is met instantly by the shop assistant, who disappears and appears within moments, with my manna in hand, though a tad somberly.

Three cheers to small mercies! I return to my house with my manna in hand, thankful that some things will remain the same, albeit with less glamour.

Yatindra Tawde

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Innovative Road crossing


Acknowledgement- Sudhir Karandikar

I am a retired person who finds great joy in playing with my grandson. So I make lot of trips to my daughter’s place, usually in the evenings. She stays at the other end of Pune, near Pashan Road. Sometimes I travel there by my own scooter however many times, I prefer going by bus. And for catching the bus while returning back, I have to cross the road.

For those who had seen Pashan Road in the late 80’s and 90’s, crossing this road may seem the simplest task. In those days most of the motorists had not discovered this road; nay, there were not many cars at all.

However now this road is a nightmare for most pedestrians and especially senior citizens like me.

So whenever I have to catch a bus for returning back to my home, I have to wait for a long time to cross the road. It is a routine to wait for a long time, as the cars zip by without giving much of a thought to the plight of senior citizens like me, waiting to cross. And whenever a small window opens up, I take fastest possible strides to cross over to the other side, before another lot of cars come zipping by.

However, one day, the traffic was not letting up and I was just not able to find that minuscule gap in the traffic when I could shuffle across to the other side.

So there I was, feeling quite helpless, cursing my old age as well as the progress made by most Punekars, who were now able to afford more and more cars.

Suddenly I espied a small boy, ambling across the road, sitting on the back of a giant Buffalo, gently poking it to walk faster. He had an excellent way to guide the buffalo to walk in a straight line by poking it behind its ears with his feet, so that the buffalo did not stray into the middle of the road.

Watching this spectacle, I had an Eureka moment!
I called out to the boy to stop. First he ignored, but then curious to know what this grandfather was calling him out for, he stopped.

And within a short while, the giant buffalo was crossing the road, with the boy on top, escorting a grandfather, ambling across.

Ands so friends, I crossed the street successfully inspite of the rushing traffic. After all, which car owner would like to have his car dented by dashing it into a buffalo. And for all the trouble I had put the boy and his buffalo into, I payed him for his services.

Then for some days thereafter I had traveled to meet my grandson by my scooter.

The next time, after almost 15 days, when I had again traveled by bus, I was waiting to cross the road once again in the evening.

And lo! And behold! I saw the same buffalo crossing the road, with a few senior citizens escorting it, coming towards me. As soon as the procession was near me, I could see them paying the boy and then walking away.

As soon as the boy saw me, he waved to me and I waved back at him. He got down from his buffalo, rushed towards a flower shop and within no time, he was again standing in front of me with the widest smile on his face, and a bunch of flowers in his hand.

“Thank you, grandfather. That day you presented me a good opportunity to make extra money. Usually, at the end of a tiring day, I take my buffalo home by this road. I waited for you the next day also to help you cross the road, but you never came”

“But I saw there were other people who were not able to cross the road in heavy traffic. So I asked them and they were too happy with the offer. I was able to help them and in the bargain, made some quick money” so saying, he offered the flowers to me.

“Come. Today my Harya will help you cross the road for free”, so saying he mounted his vehicle, and guided him towards the other side of the road, with me ambling along.

Upon reaching the other end, I offered him money again, but he just smiled and went off with his prized possession!

Yatindra Tawde
I read this in Marathi and was inspired to translate

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Husbands - A Cause for Stress

Survey! Yes, that word once again.

A survey says that husbands cause twice the stress to wives than their children do. And that set me thinking; do I ever cause stress to my wife.

Let me ruminate on my married life…

I remember, since I crossed the age of 10 years, my aai used to say,"evdha ghoda zalay pan kadichi akkal nahi ali". What she meant was I had become as big as a horse, but still the growing years were not reflected in my intelligence or my maturity. And this dialogue of my mother was repeated umpteen times till I got married.

And then the baton got passed on from mother to my better half. Take today's example.

My Sunday morning was rudely interrupted by my wife "get up early! The bai is not coming so please pick up all the pillows and bed sheets". And the watchman called to say "today there will be water cut after 10 o'clock.  So the next farmaan by the better half, "go for your bath, fast".

Being the dutiful husband, I scooted off to the bathroom. You know how the Sunday bath is... A lazy stay under the shower with lots of shampooing. But alas... No sooner had I spent hardly 5 minutes inside, when I am rudely interrupted by a stinging rap on the door, "what's taking you so long? The water will be cut off soon and still myself and the daughter have to have our bath. Come out fast!!"

So the shampooing is cut short, and out I step after drying myself with the towel.

Let me tell you, after my bath, the wet towel drapes itself on the bed. All these years it has always found this place for itself. And today is no different.

And the consequences are not different too.

As I am combing my almost bald pate, a shout makes me jump on the spot and I lose a few more hair. "Yatin, why is the wet towel lying on the bed. So many times have I told you, but your towel is always on the bed".

I hear but I pretend not to have heard. But the next warning is shriller.

So I have to go and pick it up and put it in the balcony to dry.

Now tell me folks is it my mistake that my wet towel likes to lie on the bed on a Sunday morning?

Like every Sunday I stretch myself on the sofa to read the papers awaiting a hot cup of tea.

And a hot cup of tea does reach me but it is served before me with a frenzy since I am then told to rush to the market for the weekly dose of non-veg, without which the daughter cannot survive on a Sunday.

Since Sunday is a yoga day for the better half, there is no option. So the hot tea vanishes into the throat, I get dressed and off I go to the market. It is either chicken or fish which usually satisfy our non-veg urges and today it will be the turn of the unfortunate fish.

Though we love our fish, we are not very choosy, it is either pomfret or the Indian Salmon (Surmai). So today we have salmon.

One thing I must say, the fish preparation by my better half is exquisite. And so we eat till everyone is satiated!

Then we proceed to that calming activity reserved for lazy Sunday afternoons-the afternoon siesta.

After a good 2 hour nap, I lazily got up, and what do I see, my better half has taken up her most favourite pastime- filing of assorted bills , bank papers, et al.

When I see her in this mood I get vertigo. Don't get me wrong- I too am a strictler for filing of paper, only thing is that my files are not bound by any boundaries, they are all across the house.

The empty dining table can be one file, the various drawers are other files, some papers find their way into my office bag, so on and so forth.

 So you can well imagine my anxiety about filling those free paper souls in a bounded file.

Poor bills and other assorted papers!

When these bills are lying about the house I can find them easily but when they get filed by the better half, the job becomes impossible. If I ask my wife where she has filed a particular bill, she too has forgotten!!

So folks, the same drama is repeated on most days. I really feel that I am the one who gets stressed in the above situation but the survey says otherwise.

Surprising, isn’t it?

Awaiting your honest feedback…

Yatindra Tawde

Sunday, 25 February 2018

A Gene gets modified

Rajesh is enjoying his happy hours. He was quite a drunkard in his college days and could easily down a crate of beer in one sitting or finish off 2 bottles of an OLD drink easily.

But now he is happily married with children. On strict instructions of his better half he can no longer get happily drunk inside his home.

He can no longer go to the neighbourhood bar, again thanks to his better half, because, “what will the neighbors say”

So he goes every Friday to a bar which is near to his office, sometimes with his college buddies and sometimes with his colleagues.

So today, Rajesh is enjoying his happy hours. But these hours are no longer happy since the last few occasions. Or rather, these hours continue to be happy, however it is the hours after, that are not so happy.

The hours after, are spent in getting rid of the hangover which invariably creeps in, in the dead of the night, when he is snoring away, happily disturbing his wife and children.

The unhappy hours start quite early in the morning after, when he first gets the urge to discharge the alcohol laden acidic fluids through the wrong orifice, when he throws up.

His head feels like splitting into a thousand pieces, the searing headache putting great pressure on his eyes.

And since these episodes have started, our Rajesh has actually come to dread enjoying the happy hours. His drinking stamina has gone for a toss which brings a smile to the face of his better half.

Is it anything to do with age? No! Not at all!

If Scientists are to be believed, the entire human population is at a disadvantage here. Yes, you, me and everyone else.

Research; yes, the same dreaded word again! Research has proved that there is something sinister happening inside our bodies. Some of the enzymes, known as Alcohol Dehydrogenase (ADH), are turning over a new leaf, undergoing genetic variation on their own and increasing the enzyme activity which produces an adverse physical response to alcohol consumption.

Et tu! It is said that when you think of achieving something with your entire being, the universe itself will conspire to help you achieve it.

But here, a huge population of the human race, mostly the female variety, wanted to achieve prohibition on a gigantic scale, and see how the universe has conspired to help achieve the exalted goal!

The gene responsible for breaking down alcohol in the human body is getting less effective, meaning increased hangovers and lessening consumption.

The days…and nights are not far, when happy hours will be celebrated with a digestive liquid in hand. And the better halves will be smiling like Cheshire cats!

Yatindra Tawde

Friday, 16 February 2018

Evil Eye?...really

In India, people blindly believe in the so-called bad effects of the evil eye.
So a truck driver will write, “Buri nazar wale tera muh kaala”; literally meaning, “If you look at my beautiful truck with an evil eye, may your face be blackened”
Or grandmothers will deliberately put a small black mark with an eye liner (Kajal), on a newborn child’s cheek, again to protect it from the evil eye, saying “nazar lag jayegi”
But Indians do have a propensity to take things too far. But I had not expected to hear something like this…
Apparao is a farmer in one of the Indian states in South India. He is one of the few Indian farmers, who are fortunate enough to own his own farm, however small it might be.
His farm is located very near to the road, where there are many people either walking alongside or traveling in their various modes of transport.
For the past 2-3 years Apparao is flummoxed…his farm thrives for some days at the start of the farming cycle, but as the days go by, the crop deteriorates, and the final yield is minuscule, just enough to feed his family but never allowing him to make decent profits.
He has tried all tricks in an agriculturist’s bag to maximise the yield but to no avail.
He has spoken to the best professors from the local agricultural college, who have given him sound advice, but at the end there is minimal improvement.
His friends too have pitched in and given their advice on steps to increase the yield but all their efforts have come a cropper.
One day Apparao is sitting with his friend, Bhaskarrao, enjoying the local toddy. He tells his problem to Bhaskarrao.
“I tell you Appa, you must see this awesome movie. The heroine is so sexy” coos an inebriated Bhaskarrao.
But Apparao is in his senses. He sticks to his point, “Bhaskar, my crops are failing once again. I don’t know what to do. Please give me some idea, my friend”
But Bhaskarrao is lost in his film world, “Appa, let me take you to the movie. Ok, it’s on me…ooohh, that heroine…”
In spite of so many pegs, Apparao is still standing firmly on his legs, “Bhaskar, please, please tell me, how can I protect my crops”
Finally Bhaskarrao loses his cool demeanour, “You and your crops. Do you really want to know what you should do? Ok, I will tell you”
“You put up big banners of this heroine near your farm. And mind you, she should be in a bikini in those banners. I will come to your farm instead of going to the movies”, so saying Bhaskarrao storms out of the toddy shop.
Someone else would ignore this advice as a drunkard’s foolish talk. But it actually sets Apparao thinking.
And lo! And behold! In the next few days the banners are up, the passerby no longer stare at the farm since their buri nazar or evil eye has got something else to ogle at.
Apparao is happy and a national newspaper deems this story fit for publication.
If only a cute actress not winked her way into the internet record books, Apparao and his sexy scarecrow, if you can call it that, would certainly have broken the internet.
And I am not at all trying to prove that a drunkard’s advice will always pay such bountiful dividends.
Yatindra Tawde

Friday, 26 January 2018

Poetry attempted

Theory of relativity 

Made me lose my sanity

The basic laws of Newton

Permanently closed the door for me to Wheaton

But when I studied Atomic physics

Everyone started calling me psychic...

Mumbai - 2025

Mumbai - 2025 I am wandering through the lanes of my place of birth, Dadar, getting nostalgic about the days gone by. Hindu colony and my ...