Journey called life

Living in Kashmir

Dear readers,

I am feeling nervous. May be  goosebumps have decorated my frontal visage. Actually , I do not remember when I wrote a blog last time. Archives on this website tells me that it was way back on 24th May 2014. So, writing after nearly 11 months is a herculean task.

The reason is that my  bread & butter is not sponsored by this activity. May be, I need to change the direction of my life and follow the CB example. CB, the writer, philosopher , movie-maker and a banker who resigned from banking and now lectures people/politicians to behave properly. English fiction/non-fiction writing is a hot profession these days. But, in CB’s case, low-priced books by publisher was a master-stroke. Purchasing books at Rs. 70 is a nice experience. Otherwise older writers used to sell books at a premium price of not below Rs. 500. So, very few copies were sold and concept of blockbuster was alien for Indian book industry. CB regularly sells few million copies. Though, quality of writing is pretty bad  but emotions remain pretty strong in his stories somewhat similar to early 90s movies of Mithun da and Govinda.

I  feel that Ved Prakash Sharma was far better writer.Young men/boys who have grown up in Government Hindi Medium schools in Bihar/UP/Delhi/Haryana must have heard his name   But, he wrote in Hindi and his books were printed on cheap paper. That’s why we call them “Lugdi Sahitya”. CB is master story-teller who packaged  “Lugdi Sahitya” in designer cover and has become a ne0-millionaire.

But, my reason of writing now is a little bit different. I am sitting idly in front of my 08-year old laptop and has no work to do. So, why not write some musings for future generations. I believe in  wise words of Benjamin Franklin ” If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” So, here I believe in my potential and writing something for a benign reader.

You must be thinking that if title talks about Kashmir then where is it till now ?

Since, last few months I am living in Kashmir. In bygone era, Kashmir was basically a huge  lake – an island sea DSC07085 called Kashyap Sar surrounded by lofty mountain peaks. Now Kas means channels and Mir denotes mountains. So, we get plenty of water in Kashmir. I drink fresh spring water.

Above-mentioned paragraph is incomplete. I am just testing the waters again to verify the fact that my readers have not forgotten me. They still believe in my writing acumen. So, this was just a glimpse of my  musings on Kashmir. My bird like story is yet to grow its wings. But, I promise to write about Kashmir. This region is virtual minefield of untold stories. I will pick one gem and show it to you.

Till the time is appropriate. Bye for now.

Advertisements

My tryst with King Cobra …..

Image

Snakes have always fascinated me since my childhood days in mid-90s……they are a fascinating creature whose slithering movement sends a chill down the spine of most brave-heart man or woman.Even while watching snakes on Discovery Channel can be quite a daunting task for some people.Imagine watching snakes on TV and realizing that one of their brethren is slithering in your bedroom can be a horrifying experience.

So, Yesterday a naughty Common Cobra visited my home ….It was planning to have a dinner time chat with me in my kitchen garden. But, actually a desi dog played spoilsport.It discovered it slithering near some trees on water-soaked soil in my backyard. Kalu is  a one year old pet dog guarding my home within a defined boundary wall during my absence round-the-clock. He hasn’t asked for any benefits or salary from me till date…….he gets his yearly dose of injections  and lives happily with me …eating my leftover food and barks on my command.

DSC00635I live in a leafy neighbourhood  called Simhadri and summer seasons bring various species of  snakes/frogs/insects near my home. Till date, Kalu has killed 03-04 frogs and now all species of frogs are terrified by him and gone to other houses leaving the fertile soil of my kitchen garden.

But, before talking about this Cobra, it is my duty to enhance your knowledge about Indian snakes in general as there are various superstitions floating around in our society.

There are more than 270 species of snakes found in India and only a few of them are venomous enough to cause harm to Indians. We can classify the snakes as venomous (can cause probable death to a human being if bitten) mildly venomous (their venom is potent only to kill small prey animals) and non – venomous (they don’t have any venom or even venom glands).The Common Rat snake or Dhaman is most abundant snake found in India which is non-venomous.

There are four common venomous snakes found in India. They are Common Cobra, Common Krait,Russel’s Viper and Saw scaled Viper. If bitten by these snakes, immediate medical help and doses of anti-venoms is required or else your soul is supposed to leave this planet within minutes. These are collectively called Big Four and they are spread all around the country from Bhuj  to Kanyakumari.

But the problem is correctly identifying this slithering demon as they don’t carry name tags with them. So, whenever I see a snake, 02 F’s come to my mind , Fear and Flight….3rd F i.e. Fight is out of the question.

So, coming back to incident.

Around 1830 hrs. yesterday, Kalu started barking on a walking rope which turned out to be King Cobra.

Cobra means snake with hood. It is a Portuguese word.When disturbed, most of these snakes rear up and spread their necks (or hoods) in a characteristic threat display, making them a favorite of  Naagin movies in Indian Cinema because of the dramatic effect.

We realized this fact when Mr. Cobra felt threatened by unnecessary barking of a small dog and decided to teach him a lesson by hissing and showing his long  tongue to Kalu. But kalu knew his own limitations as well as that of Mr. Cobra.He kept  barking continuously and drummed the earth with his 02 front legs.He cornered Mr. Cobra near the wall and didn’t allowed to move from that stretched hooded position for  nearly 45 minutes.Fortunately, this particular snake didn’t knew the technique of spitting venom long distances otherwise  my beloved Kalu would have certainly received some poison from this angry snake. As, I realized from the facial expression of Mr. Cobra that he was pissed off on Kalu.

This dog is certainly braver than me as I was way behind my dog. But, both of them realized that there is no benefit in hand-to-hand fight  and so remained grounded to their position.Mr. Cobra was more pissed off because Kalu was much junior to him in age just a small dog basically a 01-year old puppy, whereas Mr. Cobra must be living in Andhra Pradesh since last 5-10 years. I say so because normally Cobras live up to 20 years and his length was around 6 ft. So, may be he was in middle age or mid-40s when compared to humans as normally  length of cobras go up to 8-10 ft.

May be this was the primary reason for the anger and fury of Mr. Cobra. This was terrifying to me as watching the act of hissing live Cobra is far more dangerous than watching it on idiot box.

Then, some of my friends brought a  Carbon-dioxide filled fire extinguisher along with large sticks to kill Mr. Cobra.

I was happy to see some well-wishers as watching hissing Cobra for 45 minutes without advertisement break had sapped my morale.It was also torturing for  Kalu as he looked to me for helping defuse the tense situation.He was also thinking on lines of junior/senior concept in animal kingdom.

But, I realized the futility of killing this beautiful and magnificent creature.It had not entered my drawing-room.It was may be just passing through bushes/leaves in my kitchen garden still thinking that this jungle area was his home. May be, he was right, Simhadri was a jungle when this bungalow was constructed on this land. This land was the ancestral property  of Mr. Cobra since generations,whereas this home was built just 10-15 years back. I have no idea about evolution of snakes or humans but guess that snakes must have evolved before the birth of Adam & Eve as snakes were roaming in their garden.

So, why kill it ? Why not let it slither away to nearby jungle.Fortunately there were no children/ladies in my house as I am living the life of a forced bachelor nowadays.So, even if he comes to my drawing room in future, me & Kalu can deal with it.Kalu nodded his head and gave his barking assent to my decent proposal.

So, ignoring the plea of neighbours ,I decided to give him a free passage. I controlled Kalu which was the only option as being my pet he was indebted to me which Mr. Cobra was not. My friends made the noise and Mr. Cobra went out slithering carefully and a dignified manner  through a hole in my boundary wall.

But, he entered into a drain in front of my Gate and decided to take rest after exhausting his energy in stretching  such a wide hood for 45 minutes.

This was dangerous as it can pose a threat to passersby and neighbours. I telephoned a world-record holder snake catcher Mr. Kiran from Gajuwaka, Visakhapatnam. Gentleman arrived on the scene in 30-minutes and started probing the drain using bamboo stick but failed to get a response from Mr. Cobra.

We tried to smoke him out but no response. We used phenyl-mixed water to drain him out but failed.We used streams of Carbon-dioxide fire extinguisher but no response. Mr. Cobra seemed to enjoy our collective anxiety and may be was smiling with his open mouth.

This continued for nearly 02 hours as Mr. Cobra must be sleeping in a hole inside drain.Now, I was thinking  that may be Mr. Cobra made fool of us and slithered away to a safe location. But, one of my neighbours suggested  that water must be pumped in drain so that Mr. Cobra get a bath as well as comes out.

A water tanker was summoned and sharp jets of water were pumped in the drain.

Mr. Kiran waited on other side and bingo here comes the slightly grey/black beauty simmering brightly in torch-light,swimming in streams of white water.Watching a snake swimming in clear water is an ethereal experience.They just glide in it..no butterfly or breast-stroke required.

DSC00632Mr. Kiran captured him by tail first and gave few strokes of massage on Mr. Cobra’s head by using a stick.He rotated it quickly in a clockwise manner using his hand.Now, the brain of Mr. Cobra was feeling like he was on a roller-coaster ride and his resistance was gone.Mr. Kiran pressed his mouth/head and gave us opportunity to touch his soft skin and a lengthy photo-session followed.We took this opportunity to irritate Mr. Cobra as we knew that his powers were in control mode  and so  took the risk of messing with a King Cobra.But, Kalu was still apprehensive.

Mr. Cobra was safely stored in a cloth bag and taken to his resting place in Vizag Zoo.DSC00638

Kalu started barking happily.He sniffed out the whole surroundings and made sure that no other reptiles were roaming in his territory. He was celebrating  the combined success of dogs and humans.In fact, his level of happiness was more than mine. I realized that even dogs are happier than we humans.

That’s it for today

A commentary upon Election 2014 by a Mango Man

I am a happy soul these days……..feeling eternal bliss after eating delicious Alphonso mangoes.

I will share a secret with you…even after spending 33 years in Aryavarta, I had not tasted the great Alphonso …the primary reason was that our farmers with generous help from politicians used to dispatch 25,000 tonnes of top-quality mangoes to European Union countries as well as Gulf countries. So, the prices of remaining 2nd-quality Alphonsos were always in the range of Rs. 180-300 per Kg. in markets of metropolitan cities of India.

This is even true of our own ubiquitous Tea also as most of us drink third-quality cheap Tea dust while delicious Tea leaves are exported for earning precious US dollars.

Coming to mango again…

Though, I could have afforded to eat some slices of costly Alphonso being a salaried employee but my strictly desi middle-class upbringing prevented such extravagance. I will eat local Begumpalli/Maldah at an affordable rate of Rs. 30 – 40 per Kg.

I am not against farmers earning decent money for their produce but why keep the king of fruits out of reach for 80 % of our countrymen.

So, now I thank some fruit flies/insects who had infested the great Alphonso and European Union/ Angrezs banned it from importing to their sensitive country.

Now, the rate of Alphonso has come down to Rs. 70-110 in Madurai and I am loving it.

 

But, I planned to write a political blog by by mango man…so the mango story is the perfect beginning.

Since last nearly 03 months, when Model Code of Conduct has come into effect, the bureaucrats have started working sincerely in our country.Even Trains are running on time. I hope that this continues even after installation of new government in Delhi so that we have a permanent Class Monitor to watch over errant and crooked politicians of all hues.

I am sick of the propaganda unleashed by the Congress, BJP and AAP on the social media domain. Only these 03 parties are occupying nearly 95% of information media coverage.

What has happened to a country of 125 crores and counting , having more than 300 recognised parties ?

There is no space for independent thoughts on Internet as trollers/abusers are roaming freely on social media platforms. I was horrified by the news that a local level leader of a National Party…..I am not sure whether it was congress or BJP………had threatened a girl on Twitter for her free opinion….the gentleman had famously said “I know where you live Ruby”……….

To top it all…nothing happened to that rude chap for threatening a girl about consequences of expressing her opinion because he belonged to a powerful Political Party………while our Police is very fond of arresting mango men for slight deviance/outspokenness on the Internet.

Has our country become a Banana Republic on the lines of rogue North Korea where ideological opponents of ruling Gentleman called Kim Jong I…II…III etc. are fed to wild dogs.

Last time I checked we were still a democracy few minutes back , in middle of the greatest festival of democracy. But, the festivities are missing during General Parliamentary Election 2014.

This time all top guns and minions of Congress, BJP,AAP,Samajwadi Party, TMC,BSP,RJD,JD(U) ,Shiv Sena and its sibling MNS, Akali Dal,NCP,NC,DMK/AIDMK are firing blank rounds mixed with choicest expletives at each other. I am happy for my communist brothers as they are not part of this bandwagon.

It is like the Gali season in Benaras during Holi, but our conscience was clear during those days. In Benaras, you learn to abuse anyone without having malice in your heart. May be, these politicians need to undergo a crash course in Galishashtra while living in Acharya Narendra Dev Hostel of Benaras Hindu University. Abusing inmates of Rajaram Hostel, Birla Hostel as well as girls of Gangotri Hostel was sheer fun. I still remember the shrill voice of  my beloved Budhau who used to aesthetically abuse other hostellers during long hours of study in night.

In fact most of night owls of BHU were excellent Galli Masters who become very cordial with their seniors during day time. It was unadultered fun.

But, these politicians are really sick people who are using below the belt punches in such a derogatory manner.

Some people are threatening to cut others into pieces, others are sending opponents to Pakistan……….

what the ***k is happening?

Why these buggers are forgetting that mango man like me is more concerned with prices of mango in local market…. Education and job for youths are more important than taking revenge on the catastrophic events of 1947.Image

Good roads having a silky surface in my neighbourhood matters to me more than in knowing that a 67-year old or should I say young is having extra-marital affairs with a young and pretty journalist in Lutyens corridors of Indraprastha.

How does it concern a mango man ?

Why will I bother about a politician not recognising his legitimate wife for a considerable period of time, if the lady in question is comfortable in remaining so.

Yes, these are juicy gossips and bring a smile to my mango-smeared face but why the heck have they become the most happening topic of election debate.

I am more concerned about public money being looted by politician/bureaucrats and businessman nexus.

But, I am perplexed to know that Aditya Birla Group has donated 36 crores to Congress and 26 Crores to BJP at the same time……so whoever comes to power will help them in enriching their coffers. What an ideal distribution of money.

All big business houses are doing the same that is why Rahul or Modi jee are flying Business Jets and filling the tanks with costly Aviation Turbine Fuel while me as a mango man thinks 2 times about filling the petrol tanks of my Swift Dzire even for travelling to nearby multiplex.

They are talking one-way to gullible public at KanyaKumari in morning having lunch in Bhopal and dinner with Bodo tribes in Assam. All in a day’s work.

Even the convicted Lalu Yadav travels 8 hrs. a day in Helicopter.

The moot question is,who is footing the bill ?

Can any politician in this election will promise me that the income tax which I pay from my hard-earned money will not be looted by these jokers ?

I work 12 months a year and get paid for 11 months only as 01 month salary is reserved for Income Tax.

Who is responsible for this money ?

There are questions and more questions. They will remain so till the day I decide to become a politician.

Mango man Kejriwal tried to do this but he is having a horrid time in the field.I remember the immortal lines of an incorigible and volputous Bihari actress

“ Thappad se dar nahi lagta Saheb……..pyar se lagta hai “

I felt happy when a mango man in Hyderabad asked Superstar politician Chiranjeevi not to jump queue and fall in line. Sensing the presence of Canon SLR cameras in Election booth courtsey our ever-present TV cameraman…….the Gentleman Chiranjeevi became a part of disciplined line while everyone present cheered for the brave and young mango man.

I became happy and cheered for this fellow mango man.

But, I sincerely wish that this election season gets over sooner as I have to unfriend some of my Facebook friends due to their illogical wit.

This includes Modified friends, Rahul admirers,Manmohan brand dual politics and Kejriwal crusaders.

Though, I personally like some traits of politicians of these colours.

I like the Manmohan brand of silence which is far better than 56-inch chest people.

Basically I am like Panchali in this regard…….when God asked her that ‘ what type of husband she would like to have’…..she talked of 05 qualities which were not possible in one man so God gave 05 husbands to her.

May be we need a Panchali Prime Minister who is

i.            honest,

ii.            decisive,

iii.            wonderful orator,

iv.            popular, as well as

v.            commanding respect of fellow citizens of AryavartaImage

So, my dear readers, I suggest you vote for a Panchali Prime Minister having these 05 qualities enumerated by me.We need to perform some kind of divine Hawan/Yagya to get such a Gentleman.

To end today’s musing I will tell you a crass joke in the language of politicians whom I have criticized in my blog….

Someone said to Manmohan jee that Chinese people have entered 10 Kms. inside our territory.

The ever smiling Manmohan Jee said,

“I was not bothered when Italian people entered 10 Janapath why should I bother about 10 Km. territory intrusion “

You feel it was in a bad taste……..I am happy…I just wanted to have fun at the expanse of others.

This is my blog. It is either my way or Highway.

Bye for now.

Enjoy reading.

%d bloggers like this: