Not On Assignment

A journo's jottings under no deadline pressure (since Jan 1, 2010)

Archive for March 2010

Social networking woes

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Overheard at the railway station:
First collegian: I keep my interaction with my boyfriend to the minimum on Facebook.
Second collegian: Why?
First collegian: My mother is also on my Friends List on FB…

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Written by Raju Bist

March 31, 2010 at 4:56 pm

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A timeless tale

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He was a father of seven daughters and a son. When his second daughter eloped with a boy from another community, he was devastated.
This was the early sixties, when inter-community marriages were very rare.
The father had a massive heart attack and died before any doctor could be summoned.
The family fell on bad times. Only the eldest daughter was working – as a municipal school teacher.
A neighbour of theirs told Dad about the family.
Dad was then in an influential position in the engineering firm he worked for. He got one of the daughters a job. The next year, another one was absorbed on the rolls. Eventually, three of the sisters would be working for the firm.
Our families grew closer.
When my younger brother was born, the widow and her eldest daughters did not allow Dad to take even a day’s leave from work.
“What are we for?” they protested. “Don’t worry, we will take care of your wife and the new-born.”
Often, when they worked late, the three sisters would stay over at our place.
I was then in school and I picked up my basic Marathi from one of them. Another sang and taught me Vallav re nakhwa the evergreen Hemant Kumar – Lata Mangeshkar Marathi Koli song.
But perhaps the one most attached to our family was the third-born, SM.
SM always made it a point to attend each and every function in our family. She helped us kids in our studies and accompanied Mom on her shopping expeditions.
She worked hard and rose up the ranks in the engineering firm.
Then she got married – coincidentally to a worker from another engineering firm. There was a big age gap between the two. The boy was also a little shorter than her. Relatives mocked the “match”.
But he was a good man, a good husband, and later, a good father.
He was also from a well-to-do family that had ancestral property in their native Ratnagiri.
Here in the city, he owned a large tract of land adjoining his house. He cashed in on the property boom and sold off the house and the plot to a real estate developer. In return, he got four flats and monetary compensation.
After years of struggle in her childhood and teen years, SM now started leading a comfortable life.
But even though she saw riches, she did not change as a person.
She continued to regularly visit my parents.
Last year, when we celebrated their golden jubilee anniversary in a city hotel, she and her husband were among the first guests to arrive.
There, in the presence of about 150 of our relatives and family friends, SM applied tilak on my mother’s forehead and touched my parents’ feet.
And last month, she invited both of them to the lavish two-day wedding ceremony of her son.
It was a wonderful opportunity for my parents to catch up with the sisters, their children and in some case, grand-children.
They came back with vignettes of joys and sorrows, marriages and divorces…
To this day, they continue talking of the re-union.
Thank you, SM…

Written by Raju Bist

March 24, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Vote, dammit!

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Confession: Part 1 was lifted from some other friend’s online journal.
PART 1:
I realise I’m mostly preaching to the converted, but just in case…
VOTE, DAMMIT!!!
This post was brought to you by the letters V, O, T and E and the realisation that there are a lot of seemingly intelligent people that “can’t be bothered”!
PART 2:
Since the “seemingly intelligent people” shirk their responsibility, the wrong people get elected. Here’s a sampling of the type of corporators from my city who hold positions of power:
1) A former autorickshaw driver who now stays in a palatial 3-storey bungalow.
2) A ‘loader’ whose only work experience consisted of manually ‘loading’ goods into commercial transport vehicles. When not working, he could be found lying drunk at the end of the very lane he used to operate from.
3) A housewife whose first task on getting elected was to float a Rs. 7.5 million tender for paving the pathway around a slum in her constituency. And who ‘won’ the tender? Her brother!

Written by Raju Bist

March 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm

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The joke-dispensing cabbie

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It was one of my most hilarious cab rides.
Hell-bent on dissipating the gloom that has descended on others of his ilk, my bhaiya taxi driver exchanged witticisms with other cabbies at the traffic signal and when it turned green, bombarded me with a series of jokes.
One of his best:
With the menfolk out on a business trip, a saas (mother-in-law) and bahu (daughter-in-law) were left by themselves in a sprawling house. At night, the saas could not sleep but she noticed her bahu promptly going off to bed at 11 every night, locking her bedroom door behind her.
One night at 11.30, the saas noticed a man entering her bahu’s room through the window. She also saw him leave through the same window the next morning at five. This went on over the next few nights as well, till the menfolk returned home.
The saas saw all this happening, yet she did not tell anyone about it.
Why?
Scroll down for the answer…
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Kyunki…

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Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi!

Written by Raju Bist

March 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm

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Mall tales – 1/3

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The lady of a house noticed that the onion and butter stocks in her kitchen were running low.
“Let’s go check out the new HyperCity Mall,” she announced to her family. “I have to pick up two items.”
So they all landed up at the mall, spent two hours and Rs 1500 and came back with many goodies – except onion and butter.

Also read: Mall tales – 2/3

Written by Raju Bist

March 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

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Diary of a collegian

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6.30 am: Met Gauri in the ladies compartment. We started discussing our preparations for the forthcoming exams and then gossiped about all the confirmed (and non-confirmed) couples in class.
3.00 pm: Bunked last lecture. Reached home early and called Gauri from the landline (why waste money on my cell bill, no?)
3.30 pm: Chatted with Gauri on Orkut.
4.30 pm: Mom sent me out to buy some fruits. Gauri called on the cell when I was riding my Scooty. Parked it to one side and gossiped with her for half an hour.
6.30 pm: Was with Gauri on G-Talk for one full hour!
8.30 pm: Mom was talking to Nisha aunty so I called Gauri from my cell. Poor girl is having BF problems and she needed some advice. She chewed my brains for 45 minutes.
10.00 pm: After dinner, chatted with Gauri for half an hour on Facebook. We were enjoying our conversation when spoilsport Dad asked me to shut down the comp. Said I had an early college tomorrow.
Oh, we friends hardly get to speak to each other during the day. But will our parents ever understand?

Written by Raju Bist

March 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm

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NOA salutes – 1

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For the last 35 years, Marzban Patel has been regularly coaching Mumbai’s underprivileged children in hockey. Some of them have gone on to represent India India in the Olympics. He has been doing it quietly, away from media glare, without expecting anything in return.
Now the coach has finally got his due.
Employees of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co-operative Limited and the Pirojsha Godrej Foundation have come together to present him with two cheques of undisclosed amounts for his good work over the years.
We salute you, Marzban Patel.
Reworked from: Hindustan Times
(Disclaimer: NOA has highlighted the above report based on information available in the public domain but is not responsible for the veracity of the same)

Written by Raju Bist

March 6, 2010 at 11:09 am