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Monday, December 21, 2015

As the year draws to a close

Towards the end of the first ten years of this blog, I have started making a few small changes. There was a widget called Members/followers till recently. I have been winnowing the list there, having discovered that being a ‘member’ has no meaning at all: most so-called members never write in (many have probably forgotten about it entirely), most of my readers are non-members, and one doesn’t need to be a member to read the blog or to comment on posts. I have never been a trophy collector on the net anyway (so many ‘scraps’ on orkut, so many ‘likes’ on facebook). So I have now removed that widget. Nobody has to be a member any more.

It’s 21st December, and very pleasantly cold. My work schedule is now much reduced, so I am in the relaxed mode. On this day every year for more than a decade we used to dash off on a holiday trip – this year has been different. My daughter has just finished her ‘end-sem’ exams and is living it up with her friends. The holiday has been postponed till January: I am hoping that with all schools and colleges having reopened, I am going to have a far less crowded experience this time round. So I am already breaking a routine that was set for almost two decades – taking classes right through the end of the year. I must see how the kids cope with it. Most have told me they’d rather not miss classes…

My leafy babies are giving me a headache. They are growing and blooming, but too slowly, and they have given me occasion to resent my fellow bipeds even more – did you know how many thieves there are who prowl the streets at dawn to steal flowers from people’s gardens, so that they can make offerings to some deity with the same? And you can talk yourself blue in the face without being able to persuade them that there is something wrong about the habit. I lock the gates every night, but that keeps out only the old and infirm among the miscreants. I’ll try this season through, then probably give it up as a bad job if the harassment and plunder is too intense to bear.

I have a diary where at each year-end I jot down the most memorable things that happened. The list starts with 1969, and I haven’t missed a single year yet. This year will be noted for just three things – my home loan was paid up in full, Pupu went to college, and I found out first-hand what being a cripple feels like.

The newspapers announced yesterday that Air India is beginning flights to Delhi from Durgapur airport. More flights, and to other metros, will presumably follow. Good news for a lot of people, including me, because when my daughter goes to live farther away, she can come and go faster, and so can I.

A rash of new schools has also come up – all of them privately owned, all of them expensive, all affiliated to the CBSE, all equipped with ‘smart’ classrooms and promising to turn every kid into a ‘genius’ (read engineer from some private college). We shall see a lot of fireworks in the near future. I hope I can just sit back, watch the fun, and say to a lot of people ‘I told you so’.


Rajdeep said...

Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2016.
Take care of your health. It was nice talking to you earlier today.

Shilpi said...

I didn’t miss the gadget of ‘followers’ what with the new post, Suvro da. But I did wonder why members/followers became members/followers for some years in the middle. And I can’t help but chortling or grinning even when I’m feeling grum when I see your post on Fb: ‘For the 3000th time, I do not make friends on Facebook…’.

It is rather chilly in Cal’ too every now and then. I was poo-poohing the cold when I came back on Wednesday evening but then I started shivering a bit and I was scolding myself but the cold water made me leap. Winter came in on the 15th though. I remember this very clearly. I’m glad about your lighter load – may you be able to shed off more load in the time to come and do only what you want to do. I hope those morons stay away from your ‘leafy babies’. I was grinning about the kids not wanting to miss your classes – but I understand the feeling well. The bit about the ‘cripple’ makes me wince. I remember I saw advertisements on the ramp to the Calcutta airport about Flights to Durgapur sometime this year and I couldn’t help feel a nice thrill. I meant to tell you right after but then I forgot. I shan’t say anything about the new ‘schools’ but I am reminded of one of your whimsy blog posts about c/o Sir and your short bit.

It’s now 47 minutes past Christmas, it was some 9 minutes a few moments ago! Gosh, time flies every now and then – but it’s still Christmas in some parts of the globe – so I’ll wish you a Merry Christmas and may a few of your cherished dreams bloom the coming year. I’ll make wishes for a safe and happy holiday trip and wait for the travelogue and pictures. - Shilpi

Subhajit said...

Respected Sir,

Wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year 2016.
Yes I too second your thoughts on the airport in Durgapur. Living in Chennai, it will be a lot easier to visit Durgapur once it opens up to other metros as well (not that now it is very hectic, yet).
Thank you for your posts Sir. Reading them really means a lot.

Thanks and Regards,
Subhajit Chakraborty