Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I had reasons to say so. When I started travelling in Bangalore buses, I was surprised to see men sitting in ladies seats. It was no different in any route, whether it was from Koramangla to Shivajinagar in 166 or 164 or from Chamrajapet to Kempegowda. Interestingly, women too had no qualms either on their way to office, school in the morning or coming back home. They happily chatted with their friends while the men dozed off while sitting. At times, I used to feel disgusted at their behaviour. If I had protested, very rarely though, they shot back in Kannada which was initially worse than Hebrew to me. But I felt proud thinking men in Calcutta were better.
But today, I have been proved wrong. I rather felt sad. I was on my way to office in a chartered bus. It was not so crowded when I boarded. But soon many hurdled inside. When the bus reached Beleghata, a lady embarked in the bus clutching her baby and trying hard to balance herself. It was evident she was unable to stand and looked helpless. But no one noticed. She came right in front of me. Next to me and around were many so-called bhadroloks who stayed put where they were and feigned not to have seen her.
I looked at her and asked her to seat. She breathed a sigh of relief. I felt good too. But wondered why at all I felt annoyed with the men in Bangalore buses.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Marriage ceremonies hardly evoked interest in me a few years ago. Rather, I missed many of them since childhood. The reasons being one too many.
But now things are different. Whether it's the wedding of my friend or my father's colleague's daughter's, I am keen to attend them. The incentive in these parties is the opportunity to meet old friends and acquaintances.
A few days ago, I was at one of those ceremonies. My father's friend's daughter got married. Coincidentally or luckily, it was a Friday, my weekly day off. Though it was not closeby, but we drove down to South Kolkata from the North, where we stay. All these to meet the known ones whom I had lost touch in five years while I was away from the city.
It was a pleasant surprise to meet my childhood bumchum, mashis, auncles, jethus, kakus, didis and dadas. In fact, it was difficult to recognise some of them. Some greeted us with warmth while a few others with a light grin. But it was fun to be with the known ones after so many years.
It was indeed a great feeling to meet my childhood pal in the party. Draped in a saree, she looked gorgeous. And soon we began our usual chitchat. We had so much to share and remembered those golden days which we had enjoyed together and which will never come back. But the biggest surprise was the news of her marriage next year. She quickly clicked on her mobile and showed her would-be hubby's pic. And then there was so much to share. But time was short and she had to leave early. She had to visit her in laws house that night.
We exchanged our phone numbers and promised to continue the never-ending stories when we meet next.
But I doubt if next time she will have time if the occasion is her marraige.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Time matters, dear doctor
Indians are a typical breed wellknown for the poor sense of punctuality. It's often said that if you're late, it shows you are important. Earlier, film stars came under this category but it seems now doctors too have joined the gang.
Today, I happened to visit one of the leading hospitals in Kolkata. Not that I was keen to visit but rather forced to. Thanks to the wisdom tooth that has been disturbing me for long. As advised by my neighbour, I had called up the doctor's personal secretary on Monday. He gave me a time. 12.30 pm sharp on Wednesday. I thought I was lucky because I won't have to waste a casual leave. I was at the hospital right on time. The doctor, much to my dismay, was missing. His assistant greeted us with a smile. He asked us to fill up the registration form and complete the formalities before the doc arrives. I followed what he said. Shelled out Rs 150 for registration. All these took me another 15 minutes.
I was back to the chamber. Another paitent was also waiting and stared blankly at me. It was 1 pm by then. I was still waiting. I looked around the AC room. Posters of distorted faces of patients being cured after surgery dotted the walls. Indeed, the doctor is an expert, I murmered. It was 1.30. But the doctor was nowhere and I became a bit restless. I called up the doctor's secretary and he said the doctor will be a bit late. At 1. 45 pm, when I had already made up my mind to leave, the surgeon walked in with his secretary. Disgusted I was, but stayed back and stepped inside his room.
The doctor was late but looked absolutely normal. He looked at me and enquired about my problems. I blurted out all. He asked me to sit on a huge chair where he wanted to ckeck my tooth properly. And as started detecting, I couldnt resist myself to pour out my grouse. That he was late and he should have been a bit more responsible. He was polite and had his excuses ready. His job, he said, is different and if a patient's condition is serious, he can't leave and come. "But why then give a time at the first place?," I asked. He said, it rarely occurs like this. He is always punctual unless he gets stuck with a serious case.
I really didn't know what to say next. But, I was sure, he knows patients will anyway wait for him...time is on his side