Tuesday, June 14, 2011


She landed at the palakkad station with amma and achan at 8am like every year, when they come down to the ancestral home for the harvest festival ‘Onam’. As it would take another hour for them to travel by bus and reach home they stop at the usual small hotel. This time she tried out their idiappam and like all the other dishes she had tried here over the years the taste was so simple and lingering. She wondered how the same fare served every year and that too at such an obscure place can taste so good.

The journey from bus stop to home is a feast to sore eyes. This time of the year is when the place is greener being the harvest season. You could spot all kinds of flowers, trees and fields in full bloom and the weather -actually pleasant. So this bus journey is something she waits for throughout the year and enjoys even if it includes getting a quick nap in between; all adds to the peace that surrounds the aura. This year she was all the more at peace as she had just joined college this year and finally were doing only the subjects she wanted to. She was plunging into all the history she wanted to and learning all about the constitution with intrigue with the relevant additions of societal system without disturbances by numbers and experiments.

Once reaching home it was visiting relatives and preparing for the festival which was the order of the day. She would go with her cousins to help them in take the fresh mud to mould in ‘Maatheru’ (Mud moulded mounds which are kept from entrance till home used to welcome King Maveli the king who visits once a year to grace their houses with his presence and check on their wellbeing) This time around, she tried her hand at making chips atleast in cutting the plantain because frying them in those huge kadaais were definitely not yet her forte. By the third day all her relatives and cousins had come down and they were doing all the catching up they could of the entire year. As they were all there only till the weekend they wanted to do something different.

The hillock at the centre of the village which all the aunts and uncles and her mother had been admonishing from visiting telling they have never visited during their childhood was a huge temptation. So they all made plans to go at 7am the next day and as they always make excuses to go out without telling the destination the elders would not have a problem. As it was not a long distance to cover they had estimated that we should be back by 9am as though it was not a tall hill considering that were warned about (god knows what) we thought to take it slow. As there were no roads leading to it they went through the paddy fields and reached the bottom of the hill. They checked about 3-4 different locations to see which might be the apt one. They started up the hill on all fours till about quarter of it as it was slippery and no great foot hold. After that surprisingly, the climb was pretty fast because of all the small trees that were there on the hill the entire journey and now being the season they were all strong and had all different kinds of flowers too. They reached atop the hill at around 8.15 am to visualize the most breathtaking view. They could see the entire village with both the temple domes clearly visible, all the fields swaying in the early morning breeze and all the colours of flowers covering the landscape like a huge canvas. It was like turning into Wordsworth at that point wanting to write another Daffodils. They were there for about 15 mins enjoying the view and came back. On their descent they started picking the flowers which were on the hill. They reached home to all the scoldings from the elders. She was still overjoyed with their entire tryst of the day, though all of them realized it was pure luck that nothing happened to them as they were no great rock climbers and that was one of the most slippery hill throughout the year.

The next day saw the most colourful pookalam(rangoli of flowers which is a tradition during onam) of atleast the decade she had witnessed. She went back that home with wonderful memories to last for a lifetime and hopes to create new ones the year after.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

BBMP – Not a Rant……..

As I moved into our new apartment I was prepared for all initial glitches of moving into new place and new location like not finding everything in the nearest store, backup generator not yet running, roads not being well done etc etc.

The one thing that I was not prepared for was the uncivic manner of disposing garbage. However I’am not writing this about instilling civic sense but on the manner BBMP treated it. For about 2 – 3 days I followed suit with everyone else in throwing garbage in the nearest empty plot but just could not take it off my mind and felt so guilty about the same. The next day searched on internet for the BBMP number where I can complaint about it. The surprising part is there is no site specific to them; all I found were rants of people of how they have complained and not got favorable results. However from one such review I got the number and as I have not yet lost complete in such services decided to try it out. I called up the number which went to a call center and after understanding the problem they registered the complaint and gave me a GR (Grievance) number. After disconnecting there was an automated message also giving me the GR (Grievance) number.

After the phone call I thought it would take a few days and so left it at it so I was taken aback when I got the call from Area Health Inspector the next day asking for the address details so that he can come and check. I gave him the details and mentioned my unavailability at the location. In the afternoon he again called to confirm that he was at the location and mentioned that he could definitely arrange for garbage to be picked up from the next day. As it’s a new apartment and association had still not formed connected the builder to the inspector.

On the next day I got a call from the builder that the bins have been placed in the apartment premises and he will ensure that people are informed about the same. I was quite happy with the speed in which the issue was resolved but hold on my bigger and much more pleasant surprise came the next day when I saw that the Health Inspector was getting the plot which was used as dumping yard also cleared.

When I got the call asking if they can close the case in their record I mentioned that I was happy with it and would love to write a positive review about the time taken and service rendered. The call center person I think was taken aback and was laughing (pleasant one) as she had not expected someone to tell that. Unfortunately they don’t have a site where I could write it so writing on my blog. I would have been more than happy to give them whatever the highest was on customer satisfaction.

This incident just confirmed my belief on not to write off govt run departments as inefficient just going by majority opinion but try it out atleast once.