Adventures with Amma

Taking a break from the A-to-Z Challenge.

First Saturdays are working days for me.

Last Saturday on returning from office, I found the door locked and Amma not responding to my calls. There was no light emanating from the rooms as well. After a bit of banging and the door and yelling, I heard a moan and immediately I realized that Amma had fallen down. Fearing the worst, ran down and got the ladder, requested the electrical staff to climb into the verandah, the verandah door was open. He climbed up and opened the front door. As I had feared Amma had fallen down in the kitchen and dragged herself along the floor hoping she would be able to rise.

As I lifted her up and comforted her, I could immediately spot the swelling in her left wrist and right foot. She said she did not know how she fell down but she had hurt herself. Long story short, her left wrist has fractured again – six years more or less, the left wrist has fractured again.

Took her to the hospital, the x-rays showed proof of the injury. The ortho said, we need to put her off Clopilet and get the cardiologist’s approval for a K-wire procedure. With a plaster cast, we are back home. We need to return in a week for the surgical procedure. Again and again she is being put through so much pain and misery. All the Gods and Goddesses that exist, why is she being made to undergo this strain and stress at this age?

Bathing amma, cleaning her up, feeding her takes up my time. Work also has to happen, channeling all my energy, give me strength my Lord, give me patience, for I am losing my trust in you.

 

 

 

B for Byomkesh Bakshi

Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay is one of Bengal’s most famous writers, He was a multi-faceted genius and also spent time in Bombay writing scripts for movies. Though he wrote several books on different topics, his most popular creation continues to be Satyanveshi – Byomkesh Bakshi.

Fans of Doordarshan would remember the television serial that made more people aware of the genius of the creator and his detective. The books were originally written in Bangla and some English translations of the most popular short stories are available. Movies have also been made featuring Byomkesh Bakshi and especially the last decade has seen several movies being released in Bangla. Even the great Satyajit Ray could not resist the charm and made “Chiriyakhana” (Zoo/Menagerie) starring Mahanayak Uttam Kumar. Though the movie is considered by critics as Ray’s weakest, it was quite successful at the box office and continues to have a cult following among mystery-lovers.

The TV series that aired on Doordarshan had Rajit Kapoor play Byomkesh and KK Raina play Ajit his friend and chronicler of the mysteries. Among the many short stories that made it to the mini-screen the one that interested me a lot is a story that involves the ‘Rokthomukhi Neela’ / “the Deadly Diamond” – a precious blue gem that causes only problems to anyone who covets it.

The episodes are available on YouTube. Older movies have also found a presence and the newer ones can be viewed on streaming services.

To view the TV series that aired on Doordarshan in Hindi

 

A for Agatha Raisin

So here we are with the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

Starting with a character and a series of books that I discovered just this year. We had a book sale that allowed us to choose a box and stuff it with pre-loved books for a specific amount. This particular book was part of that collection – “Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death” by M.C. Beaton. I picked the book up on a hunch and my intuition did not go wrong. This is the first book in a series of humourous mysteries set in a charming old English village. The key protagonist of the series is Agatha Raisin whom we believe is in her late forties or perhaps early fifties and has retired by selling her successful PR firm to a larger agency. She was once married, but left the good for nothing husband for her own sanity.

quiche

In this book that initiates the series, Agatha tries to fit into the village of Carsely. She buys a quaint little cottage and tries to merge into the social structure of the village. There’s a baking competition and she decides to buy a quiche and enter it into the competition. What follows is utter chaos? A person who eats the quiche dies and Agatha finds herself as suspect number one in the crime investigation. Who killed the person who dies after eating the quiche? The villagers are not as innocent as they seem. Agatha carries out her own investigations to prove herself innocent.

Do read the novel to find out the identity of the murderer. The book is a mix of Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse’s writing style and draws laughs at regular intervals alongside building the suspense.

There is also a television series based on this series.

 

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

AtoZ2019Square

Going to keep it very simple.

Investigators in fiction and cinema that I have loved.

So expect some known and unknown names spanning different languages and eras.

Not sure if will cover the usual suspects like Holmes and Poirot as already pages upon pages have been written about them.

Wish me luck and hope you are participating this year as well.

 

 

B for Bharat Matrimony

From a free profile to a paid profile managed by my aunt – Bharat Matrimony is a term/product/brand that most unmarried guys and girls would be familiar with in India. The brainchild of Murugavel Janakiraman – BM is one of the most successful brands in India and is the original matrimony portal that spawned other success stories like Jeevansathi and Shaadi.com.

Now coming to my comic relationship with BM. The profiles that get matched on my free profile, magically disappear when I search for them on my paid profile. Now this is a mystery that needs to be solved. Is BM pushing unsuspecting customers to become a paid-profile member by delivering randomly mixed photographs and dummy profiles. How is it that a number of these ‘interested profiles’ lack a photo and have random descriptions. I have had several friends stating how the algorithm that powers the portal does strange stuff. In all due probability it is a set of people playing around with names and dummy profiles to just ensure that there’s one more bakra/bakri signing up for a paid profile.

Poor parents creating profiles for their children in the hope that an American maapilai or London maatuponnu materialises from BM. The umpteen email reminders that keep coming in to the inbox despite unsubscribing, profiles that have chosen to reject you, again appearing in matches list; the comedy of errors never seems to end.

As I sit wondering what next after a long meeting at the bank for some corrections and complications in an existing loan account, I ruminate on the absolute hopelessness of everything. The novel – the magnum opus, the masterpiece, will never get written, the dull monotony of daily existence and ticking of boxes to meet the standards set by society and family will never change. This pointless ranting and writing on a free blog continues unabated. Other than having generous oodles of fat adding layers on to my already drunken boxer physique, the hair on the head is having a surprising outpouring of silver streaks, the stooping scarecrow like posture stoops further as I turn into a veritable hunchback from some old B-grade horror flick. No way is this A to Z challenge going to finish on time.

Till we meet again – yaedadhu ponnu irundha paathu sollunga ba!!

A for Ashwatthama – A to Z Challenge

shikhandi-arjun-ashwathama_dialogue

Image Courtesy – Mrinal Rai

‘The Mahabharata’ for me ranks higher than ‘The Ramayana’ for the examination of the psyche of a multitude characters and how hubris destroys two clans despite the Lord Incarnate himself being on the side of a clan of warriors.

This year the ‘A to Z Challenge’ again decides to wake me up from my self-imposed exile from ‘Teerthadanam’. The past couple of years have seen me go from bad to worse, as the actual circle of people whom I counted to be my friends kept decreasing. With back-stabbing, rumour-mongering, and character assassination the order of the day; somewhere I have lost the ability to trust anyone. OK as always, I meander hopelessly. No further distractions, let’s start with Ashwatthama.

Ashwatthama, the son of the great warrior and guru Dronacharya and his wife Kripa. Growing up in extreme poverty his life changes once Drona becomes the guru of the Panadava and the Kaurava princes and Ashwatthama trains along with the princes.

Ashwatthama was born with a gem in his forehead and he is considered as an incarnation of Lord Shiva and is a Chiranjeevi — an immortal. Despite all the great warriors, it is believed that no one can defeat Ashwatthama. This is in fact proved by Krishna’s cunning act of making Drona believe that his son is dead when they kill the elephant Ashwatthama and conveying the half-truth to Drona that leads to his death of a broken heart as he decides not to retaliate in war and is killed.

Ashwatthama’s rage and fury is not contained and he slaughters as many soldiers from the Pandava camp as possible. His act of directing the Brahmashirsha astra at the pregnant Utthara’s womb invites Krishna’s rage. Krishna curses him that he will roam the forests and mountains for 3,000 years with blood an pus oozing out of his injuries and no mortal coming to his care.

Up in the northern plains it is believed that the immortal still travels seeking some form of redemption or the other. Once in a while, news-reports in dubious local newspapers list the spotting of a strange man with a bleeding forehead. We will never know the truth, but just think, a man who had no business of fighting a war between two warring clans, inevitably gets pulled as his father is the commander in one of the armies and he fights a hopeless war, despite everyone knowing that the Lord – Krishna would deliver victory for the Pandavas.

I sometimes wonder, how this life has played out so far… perhaps, I too shall end up like a nomad, a pointless bhikshu, wandering, seeking a purpose for this existence…Only time will tell..

Z for Ice Station Zebra

Imagine you are in a submarine, you are supposed to reach the icy top of the world before the Russians do and there is a saboteur in your ranks in the submarine. Based on Alistair Mc’ Lean’s pulsating novel of the same name. The movie directed by John Sturges, produced by MGM with an all star cast headlined by Rock Hudson released in 1968 and was a decent box-office success that built on the psychological fears of the Cold War era.

Watch the trailer here:

 

Those who love watching spy/army thrillers and don’t mind a bit of rambling dialogue and old school special effects will love the movie though it makes significant alterations from the original novel.

The movie is a good watch on a rainy evening, with a glass of single malt and something spicy and crunchy to eat! 🙂 🙂 🙂

And with that dear readers this exercise in vanity, a race against a deadline and artificial ego-boosting on knowledge of cinema is done 🙂 Whosoever read my posts – thanks!

A shout-out to Miss Shri Abirami who blogs at – https://astrogogal.wordpress.com/ and featured me along with other stellar bloggers at the half-way mark. Thank you Abi!

Other leading lights who have blogged with great panache, passion and dedication and whose posts I loved reading are:

Dhivya Balaji

Rajathilagam

Mokkai Mannan VSR aka Gils the Great!

Kavya Janani

Nandhini

Kishor

Megha

Sylvian

Sneha

Good luck friends! Make a great May 2017 ahead!