A very happy year 2010 to all of you.
I’ve taken a long time to post anything mainly because my daughter and children were here and I was having fun time with them. They however left on the 15th and my much neglected health started clamoring for attention. A bad cold needs to be pampered and not ignored. I did just that and it simply wouldn’t go. Not that it has gone now but having taken notice of it and treated it with respect it is now subdued and has agreed to lie low and leave in good time.
Winter has been severe after a long time. We had almost forgotten that Jamshedpur could be this cold but right when global warming was being discussed at international levels the northern part of India was being treated to an intense cold spell. We thought that it would get warm after Pongal but it didn’t. May be a few weeks more and we’ll be complaining of excess heat!
Cold weather is fine if one had someone to make hot tea and bring it to your bedroom and you could cuddle up in your bed with a novel in hand, soft music playing, and munching fry – ums/peanuts. Here, the husband has to be attended to as if he were a schoolboy, so what if he makes coffee in the morning!
I sometimes wish he wouldn’t make my coffee. Honestly. He makes it at 5:15 in the morning and starts waking me up saying that it would turn cold and wouldn’t taste as good if re – heated. Now I have to decide whether to wake up in the cold weather just to drink coffee or re – heat it later and be happy to drink sub standard coffee. To add to my misery my coffee maker can talk and keeps commenting on the quality of his preparation and most of the time I get up, but heat up my coffee that by now has become lukewarm.
My daughter asks me why I cannot insist on making my own coffee later. I too wonder why I don’t. I have no reason but perhaps deep down in my heart I prefer to have coffee prepared by him. Division of labor, I suppose. Like folding bed linen was my job till I stated working. Since I had to leave early for work he took over and now it has become his job. When he is out of town and I have to fold the single bed sheet used by me and put away my pillow, I find myself wishing that he’d return fast!
Yesterday was Basant Panchami and in our parts of India we celebrate Saraswati Puja on this day. I am always in admiration of the Goddess Saraswati who represents knowledge and learning. In contrast to the image of Durga who promises divine justice Saraswati seems to tell us that an intelligent mind can tackle adverse situation and justice would automatically follow. And justice may not always mean retribution. Somehow the principle of ‘an eye for eye and tooth for tooth’ seems wrong. The actual and long lasting justice would be to create a change in the minds of people. Correct me if I am wrong.
Let us therefore make a wish at the onset of a New Year.
Let us wish that we have the courage to say NO to practices like greasing palms and giving dowry just to find the easy way out. It is not easy to go against the tide. But 5 years back we, in our college, did just that. We were to benefit by a higher scale and the notice had reached our office. Those belonging to our group from other college paid the concerned dealing assistant in the university Rs. 500/- each to get it implemented. We resisted. The clerk would send extra money but ‘forget’ to mention how it may be utilized in the covering letter. In the following month the college would be directed to pay us the difference but money would be short. This went on for a year when a particularly strict IAS officer took over acting VC of the university. Unable to explain why a particular group from a specific college was being denied the scale the clerk quietly released the money out of fear of action against him. So a tough helmsman can make a difference is what we learnt. We again hear that the 6th pay recommendations would be implemented only if a certain amount is coughed up. Many in my college want to pay up. But I insist that we wait till the budget is presented to see how the university is going to explain why we are being denied the benefit. Patience is required and by god’s grace I have plenty of it. And the fact my colleagues pay heed to my words is comforting. I do hope I continue to be loved and regarded in the same manner till retirement.
A very happy year 2010 to all of you and do continue to pamper me because I am soon entering my 60th year and may soon go through the second childhood phase!