Friday, March 14, 2014

My Joe

Joe received a call from a lady named Shuba.  It took some time for Joe to recognize that the woman on the other end was her classmate, to whom she was speaking after 30 long years. Joe felt so excited and tears rolled of her eyes. They spoke for a long time exchanging their where about, family details, talking about their other friends and so on.
Shuba invited Joe to a family get together that their class mates were organizing in a week’s time at Coimbatore, a city which was almost 500 kilometers away from the place where Joe lived. She said that this would be a wonderful opportunity for all of them to meet each other and their families. Finally Shubha signed off insisting Joe's presence for the event.
After the call was over, Joe rang up Ravi, her husband and abreasted all that had happened. Ravi observed Joe recollecting and reliving every moment of her childhood. She was feeling overwhelmed and nostalgic.
During the call with Shuba, Joe had taken the contact details of some of her other classmates. She decided upon calling them and chose to begin with Preethi.
Preethi just like Joe was very excited to receive Joe’s call. They exchanged goodies. Preethi said that she was a news reader for a leading channel in the media. She also told Joe about how famous she had become being in the media. Now Preethi asked Joe about what she was doing.
Joe replied innocently, “I am a Home maker”
Preethi immediately excused herself out of the call stating something important had come up. But that was the last time Preethi attended Joe’s phone call.
Joe then decided to call Sangeetha.
Sangeetha by this time had turned an entrepreneur. She too asked Joe about what she was doing.
This time Joe replied reluctantly, “No…I am…just...a…Home….Maker…”
After this Joe never heard from Sangeetha too.
Joe was unable to understand this behavior of her friends. She shared this experience with Ravi and felt sad about it.
All of a sudden, as if having remembered something she told Ravi, "I may not be able to attend the Get together."
She continued, "I have important things to do…Pay the exam fee of Guji (her only daughter), help her prepare for her Exams…even your regular Health checkup is due…."
Ravi understood her feelings and the real reason behind her decision.
Ravi wanted Joe to attend this get together as he felt that it would give Joe a break from her routine. Two days later he spoke to Joe and convinced her on this. Finally Joe agreed to go and they prepared for the journey.
The day had come and it was real. Most of them seemed to have lost with age and turned beyond recognition. "Grey haired, Baldies, Big tummied, Spectacled, Disguised youngish, High in Status, Acting high in status, news of some abroad and some dead…"
It was a delight to see these children in their 40’s.
The program began with an introductory session. Everyone was supposed to give a brief about them self.
Now it was Joe’s turn. She walked up to the dais and began…..
I am Shobana (Joe is her nick name). After completing my post-graduation in computer applications I married Ravi. We have a daughter named Nimaeshika. 
After marriage I became a Research Associate in the field of Human Relations & Child Development.
I have a continuing program of research in the laboratory and on the field (normally indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and have earned one credit (one daughter).
The job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree).
I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more likely).
The job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
She continued and went on and on….
Finally she completed and walked down the dais, head held high with pride on her face.
There was a roaring applause. Her friends were looking puzzled….but one thing they understood for sure…Joe is holding a High and responsible position in the organization she works for…
Even for Ravi, it had taken 20 married years to understand how big a role Joe had played in shaping his life.
He realized that Joe is a "Leader without a Title"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Pendulum Clock

There used to be an old pendulum clock in my house. It stood tall in the hall, wooden body with a white dial and two large hands to show the time, of course one smaller to the other. My Father used to say that it was as old as himself. The clocks face had two key holes and a key. I used to imagine the key as a butterfly. My Father used to lift me on his shoulders so that I could wind the keys to keep the clock ticking. Though I never knew the purpose of this, my self-esteem used to get boosted to the level of having conquered the Everest once. My Mother used to be feel afraid and shriek at my father to take care of me during this exercise. My Mothers fear used to augment my Heroic feeling.

One of my favorite past time was to count the oscillations of the pendulum comparing it to the movement of the Hands. The oscillating long pendulum was always a puzzle to me. How could this oscillating thing move the hands of the clock? Why doesn’t it stop swinging after some time? Where does the sound come from?

I still remember that our clock was always ahead of the Indian standard Time by 15 Minutes. I never understood this logic.  But many times I used to feel good when I reached my school thinking I am late and the school bell is yet to go.

This friendly clock always became an object of fear at night. I always felt that it used to increase its volume of “Tick Tock” at night. The chime usually melodious at day time used to be a horror at night.   Some nights the chime would wake me up and I used to imagine this fellow walking to me and stretch his hands as if to strangle me. At those moments I used to hold my Mom tight and she in her sleep would embrace me. Feeling cozy I would fall asleep again. Probably he felt I was into the hands of a much stronger being?!!...(Love you Amma)

Today I lead a very sophisticated life or I should say I am suffocating with sophistication. I am surrounded by technology and fascinating devices. But still I am feeling void. When I look back I see that I have missed them all. It is not about them alone but a lot more like Love, Care, Togetherness and Confidence and so on.

I now wear a superfluous gadget to show me the time with utmost precision compared to that old pendulum fellow. But during those days of the old pendulum fellow I had a lot of time to do many things which my heart desired…."a lot of time"

But with these superfluous gadgets…"I do not have Time"?....Ironical isn't it.