He is gone!!

Years back when I was in school in Mumbai (Bombay as it was known then) I had a few friends living near Chowpaty ( beach in Girgaum area). During holidays I used to go there regularly to chat and play. I had a friend called Khandu who was boisterous, funny and smart. We got along famously and had fun on the beach or would play cricket and so on. Money in those days was always in short supply. Somehow we would manage money and have tidbits, drank coconut water, peanuts and gram!!

For days on we would do these things and how time flew. One day Khandu told me that he was travelling to his native place in Konkan a few days later. Next couple of days we had a great game of cricket. After the game we had long chats on nothing specific. (Honestly I do not remember any specific subject that we discussed in those days) The day before he travelled, we again had our game of cricket, chatted and said goodbyes. I checked the date on which he would come back.

Next day I had a game of cricket near my home but in the evening I felt that I should go to Chowpaty to see the other gang. When I reached there, they were chatting in a group and were quite serious. I wished them and asked “Has Khandu gone?” One of them said with along face “He is gone”. I asked him why he is making such a long face and further said that Khandu will be back in about ten days. Suddenly he had tears in his eyes and he said, “No. He will never come back!!” I just did not understand what he was staying.

What had happened was that Khandu had died in a hit and run accident, just half an hr after I said Goodbye to him the previous day. I suddenely felt as if I was hit by a train! I just did not know what to do. I just started drifting towards home; I do not remember when I reached home. All the time the sentence hitting me was ” He is gone!”

Hundred Rupees and a snake

I live in colony where homes were bought by residents for amounts between Rs.2.5 million to Rs.8 million. The location of the colony can be described as, on the outskirts of Pune, India. 7 to 8 years back there were hardly any homes in this area; all one could see were fields where people grew vegetables or grain.

A couple of days back a snake was spotted in the colony in the evening ( us humans have encroached their homes!!) This is not an un common occurance. Now we have a system of calling a snake catcher; he usually arrives within 15 minutes. For catching snake, his service charges are Rs.100/ (ONE HUNDRED ONLY). Snake was spotted between two homes and a security guard arrived to help. He informed the residents that the snake catcher will handle the situation but he charges a small fee.

Now the interesting part.

There was a discussion between neighbours. Who will pay? After a long discussion it was concluded that unless people contribute, Rs.100/ cannot be raised. (Maybe too big an amount) End result nobody “contributed” and the snake moved back into his original dwelling in our colony and was saved a forced migration to snake catchers home.

Now the real point that I want to make.

  1. Nobody knew if the snake was poisonous. Snakes can go to any home irrespective of the fact if one contributes or not and if it were poisonous…..
  2. Was Rs.100/ really such a big amount to be discussed by people living in our colony?
  3. How to understand human nature ? When an event can affect your dear ones and still one does not take action because of Rs.100?
  4. I know that people living in my colony buy cars worth Rs.1 million or maybe more.
  5. They sometimes spend maybe Rs.10000/ for a dinner
  6. But why the same people could not give Rs.100/ to catch a dangerous snake?

Well probably this is human nature, the most complex thing in the universe.

Random Thoughts

This morning I thought why am I not blogging? So here I am blogging. Suddenly so many thoughts started coming to mind and I was not sure where to start. Suddenly I remembered the first ever Cricket test match I had seen at Brabourne Stadium. It was in 1958 November (I hope I am right). I was 9 years old and had gone there with my uncle. I had never been into such a crowd but I dissolved pretty quickly.
I did not know then who Gary Sobers was neither did I know about Poly Umrigar nor about Gilchrist. But I remember smooth action of Atkinson and Bapu Nadkarni. Ferrocious hitting of Gary Sobers.
I remember eating ganderi ( peeled Sugar cane cut to small pieces) boiled gound nut pods (salted) and assorted stuff. I also remember the support from the crowd when tiny Ramakant Desai came in to bowl.
Last test match I saw was at Wankhede when India beat Australia in 2004-2005 series. I was 55 then but I enjoyed the match equally. I defnitely missed the ganderi and ground nuts ( proabably I had moved over to eating packed stuff which was just OK). Equally enjoyed the crowd support when Austrialians ran into bowl to the Great tiny Sachin; what a site it was!!
At the time of West Indies match I hardly was into defeats and victories but now it was different and how I enjoyed it. We had match on the fourth day and how I danced with crowd!