Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May Musings

May is a special month. After all it is my birth month, as I recently got reminded via an e-mail from the medical department of my office to get my periodic medical examination done. Its the month in which the number which corresponds to my age in years gets bigger. And I start giving a different answer to the question, "How old are you?" But it still is just another number.
But what else does May correspond to? It is the height of summers. The days are long and hot. Also filled with laziness as one tries to shirk all activity during the day, blaming it on the weather. I sit back and pray for the rains to come and provide relief. Yet knowing fully well, that once the rains have arrived, I'd wish for it to go away.
There was a time when May was the most anticipated month. After all it marked the start of the almost two month long summer vacations. And they were quite fun filled ones. Visiting my grand-parents's places, spending time in the company of my cousins' brigade (there were lots of us). May also meant mangoes, reading comic books (rental basis, read & return), summer special issue, that was fun life. Cable television was still in infancy, while internet was unheard of. Yet unlike today, you had the holiday specials (Chhutti chhutti) to look forward to during the day. The only major sporting event to look forward to was the French Open, only the semis and the finals were telecast then. Side benefit of watching French Open was learning two French words (jeu=game & egalite=deuce). Those were real fun days.
And so on a May afternoon, I started thinking about the older days, or rather my younger days. And I wonder, where and when did the simple fun go from life? Can take leave from work but it certainly does not have the charm of the Summer vacations. And today when the cousins gather, when discussion earlier was on the latest adventures of Super Commando Dhruv & Nagraj now we talk about work, house, rent, tax, somebody getting married etc. Too many happenings all around but nothing is eagerly awaited like the French Open 1st singles semi-final which was telecast live. Something has certainly gone missing.

And did I grow up for all this?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jhansi Ki Rani

I found the following picture on the internet, which claims to be the picture of Rani Laxmibai, the queen of Jhansi. Seems to be taken from a newspaper article. The text below the pic reads as (translated from Hindi) "this photograph was taken 159 years ago by British photographer Hoffman. This was featured in the World Photography Exhibition held in Bhopal (India) on August 19th. This photograph was sent by a collector of antique items in Ahmedabad".
Personally, I have doubts about the authenticity of the claim. Would like to know if this is real or a fabrication.