Monday, October 19, 2009

Namma Park

Disclaimer: 30% of the post is in Kannada, so kindly adjusht. I have translated in English (literally) for non-kannadigas, aint me sweet?

There is a park very close to where I stay. Exactly six and a half (6 ½) steps away from my place. Or maybe seven (7). It’s an old one. When I say old, I mean O-L-D. It has always been called “the Park” by all of us. As you can see we aren’t a creative bunch of people. Our lives, I mean the lives of everyone (almost everyone) living in our area, are somehow connected to The Park. You could say that if, God forbid, BBMP decides to demolish the park, the officials are bound to face some angry saree clad aunties/ajjis* and panche** clad thathas*** protesting in front of the park with a flask filled with strong coffee right next to them.

I can demonstrate how important The Park is -

“Park tarkaari-yammana hatra hogi kottambri soppu togonD baa”

(Go to that park vegetable seller (female) and get off coriander leaves)


“chapli holskobekaa? Banni, ille park hatra obba idaane"

(you wanting hawai chappal fixing? Lets go to our park cobbler)


“accident-aa? Park yedrugaa?”

(all accidents tend to happen near/next to/in front of The Park)


“Lo Mahesha, park hatra hogi Bajji tinnoNa baaro”

(Hi there Mahesha, come lets have hot hot potato bajji’s next to the park).

So on and so forth. You get the picture.

No? I can explain. The above examples don’t really give you a picture of what’s inside the park isn’t it? My bad. Will try again.

A couple of year’s back this park was not-so-world-famous-in-Malleshwaram. Many people didn’t know about its existence, except of course for the residents of our area. Till recently, my previous firm’s cab drivers wondered if I had visions when I’d ask them to wait near The Park. “Park-aa? Yellide madam?” (you say park? Are you out of your mind?). Once in the cab I would glower at the cab driver thinking how the hell he can miss this lovely park. One day, after thinking exactly for one and half minutes (1 ½ minutes), I knew the answer.

The Park was maintained just like any other BBMP parks. No maintenance what so ever.

As a little adorable kid I remember coming to the park with my Mom and sister (note: fuzzy memory). Mom would let us play for sometime inside the park, tell us stories and then we’d leave before 6 PM. The Park, after 6 PM would be filled with drunkards and shady men smoking beedis & cigarettes. So like all good kids we would follow mom and once back at home the two of us played war games. Not really. My sister would do her homework and I’d just watch her (I was a toddler and a toddler has a choice not to study).

After few years the park was given a make over. Workers cleared congress giDa**** , shrubs and weeds; put more stone benches and built a path. We were very happy to find a path to walk. By then I was a big girl (around 11 years old). Along with my neighbors, I would walk for sometime and exercise (err OK you may laugh. pffftt) and leave before 6 (coz of the said reason). The Park was looked after by a man whose name was prefixed with ‘Lazy bugga’. He moved around the park like a zombie.

Our beloved Park started deteriorating all over again.

The next stage came in early 2000 when they once again cleared gida etc and appointed a new gardner. Well it looked alright. We never really bothered going inside. After a couple of years the authorities realized this was going no where (or was it election time?) and came up with an idea to give it a face-lift. They constructed a platform, put up nice bright benches (the stone benches were retained of course, along with crow / pigeon sh*t). The path was widened. No shady men were found loitering around. Most importantly they hired a good gardener.

OK stop! Where am I heading with all this nonsense you might wanna know? Yes, I shall come to that. After the entire make-over (over the years), we now have a very chic park. Aunties, uncles, Ajjis and thathas have a laughing club. Kids are back! Bless them. They play inside the park. There is one all woman’s group. These women sit and talk about yoga, diabetes, weddings, Obama, Amerikaaa -you can hear conversations such as “My son working in US no, so will go there next month to look after grandchildren and this time Subba***** has promised a visit to Niagra falls.. teehee” or “Moole mane Radhamma avra magaLa madve gottaaitante? Ade ri same-u, louv marriage-u” (heard corner house Radhamma’s daughter has found handy husband at pInfy matrimonial service?) -and other serious stuff.

The latest addition to this wonderful park is a fountain! Yes *punching air*.. Those of you who wanna visit this tourist destination can contact me. Please take a look at our new ‘amusement’ park. I know the photography isn't praise worthy, ahem, still...

(picture courtesy: my sister's Nokia phone).

*old ladies

** white colored sarong worn by men

***old men

**** Parthenium weed

*****I am not going to explain

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book = friend

You know what they say about books - “A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend”. And this year I got to read some great ‘friends’. I am an absolute fiction buff. I have read some Biographies/Autobiographies/Self help kinda books but not all of them keep me entertained sadly. Someday I plan to have a marathon non-fiction book reading session. Will keep you posted.

For today, I thought of sharing a couple of books that I have read this year. Do bear with me as I am not here to review books, just a few lines about them. I know we still have three months to go before 2010 but it seems like a nice idea to list them now.

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: Alright I know I deserve a kick for not having read this before. F-i-n-e, I’ll wait for one. *kick* ..err ok Thanksverymuch! So on the eve of 2009 I found myself drawn into the world of Hobbits. The little people held my attention and there I was travelling through the forest and falling in love with the mysterious Strider. I still have the last part to finish. (I took a long break from LOTR. Time to get back).

The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh: I had a choice of picking either Sea of Poppies or this and I chose latter. Amitav Ghosh writes bout the tide country, Sunderbans, which is known for Bengal tigers, snakes, crocs and floods. The story takes us through the lives of three central characters, which change along with a tide. I liked reading this.

Collection of stories by Saki
: The book has some of Saki’s best work. They are witty, dark and entertaining. Saki’s sardonic observations about life are delightful to read. A must buy.

The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney: my first Chick Lit! A relationship tale involving three sisters and their grandmother, Alphabet Sisters is funny and entertaining. At times the pages refuse to move but nonetheless the book has its moments.

Amulet of Samarkhand by Jonathan Stroud: This is the first book in the Bartimaeous Trilogy. AoS is witty, gripping and exciting (in that order). It’s about Bartimaeous, a sarcastic Djinni and his master Nathaniel, eleven year old Magician, and how their lives collide when Nathaniel decides to seek revenge on the powerful Magician Simon Lovelace. Read to enjoy this roller coaster ride.

My friend Sancho by Amit Verma: The only new book (i.e., 2009 published) that I have read this year, My Friend Sancho makes for a good read and has some very funny one liners written by Amit Verma (he blogs at India Uncut
). Do look out for a jealous lizard and it's wisecracks. Nice weekend read.

Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer: Not impressive at all. Twilight is your regular Mills & Boons with a horror twist. 17 year old Bella falls for Edward, a drop dead (literally) dazzling Vampire. Edward is an odd Vampire. He can read people’s mind, play piano and control his thirst. This means he cannot bring himself to drink Bella’s blood. So we don’t get to see any gory stuff. But this is only in the first book (it is a set of four books. yaaawwwnnn); the books which follow have loads of it. When you believe everything is going great in the happy vampire family, there enters another man and so we have a love triangle. When Edward leaves Bella, she falls for another guy who is, hold your breath, a werewolf. You sigh and yell- ‘get a grip girl’. Well I skipped most of the pages.

Edited to add: also read Gone with the wind and Great works of O. Henry (yes, again)

Here are a few other books that I often read to cheer myself up –
The Little Nugget, Carry on Jeeves and Piccadilly Jim by PG Wodehouse
Yukon Ho, There's Treasure Everywhere – Calvin and Hobbes by Bill-please-give-xerox-copy-of-your-right-foot-Watterson
The Best of Roald Dahl
Potter by JK Rowling (I re-visit my favorite chapters/one liners/scenes. My sister finds this very amusing).

Hope you enjoyed going through my book shelf. Please do leave a comment on the book/s you liked reading. I’ll pick it up if I haven’t read :)

pa-pa-pa-paaaaaaaaaa (that's the sound of a trumpet by the way)

Award time!!!!!!! 'my favorite time'. its so nice to get pampered with all these awards and you lovely bloggies deserve a huge candy store for massaging my blogger-ego :) :)
Thank you Aryan’s mom and Swaram, I am so so so happy. Big hug to you both (extra big hug to Aryan :D)

by Aryan's mom:

by Swaram:

I pass these two awards to Gazal and Prax :)