Vani’s Musings

Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category

This was one visit I had been avoiding for the last six months…….I had dreaded visiting Sanjaynagar ever since we decided to permanently move from there, because of the utter grief I had experienced when we had taken the plunge to move. We had lived there for a quarter of a century and it was a part of our identity. I felt that a little bit of me had stayed back, while the remaining had moved on, saying, “This phase of life is over, it’s time to start afresh”.  I had been successful in not going there at all for all this time.


But then, it was time for me to actually face my demons, because a very dear friend of mine, R, who lives in the US, had come home to India, and yes, she too lived in Sanjaynagar before she got married and relocated there. R was quite concerned actually, knowing me, and wanted to know if she could come over to where I am, but I decided that I needed to make that particular journey and told her I’d go over to see her.


On one hand, I was very anxious to meet R whom I had not seen for the past couple of years, and the mail exchanges between us had become almost nil, but on the other, my mind started making excuses about why I must not go there, like R being not at home when I visited, the now on now off rains, all were making me think if I should actually go at all, if I could postpone it for some more time and things like that. It was Amma’s insistence and the thought that R was leaving in a week that gave me the courage to go there.


Through the whole journey, I saw myself trying to see if anything had changed, and was looking for some familiar thing or face, and yes, all of it was so familiar, I was feeling like I had not moved out of there at all. But I’m still not able to go anywhere near my old house. That’s something that will take a little more time, I feel. I had a good time with R, and everything was fine till the time I had to get back here, and it was then that the whole grieving process began to show up again. I had to come back home, and as the rickshaw started moving away from the area that was so familiar that it was actually me, I felt torn yet again, and the hurt and pain I had experienced six months ago came back, though less intensively. But I’m still wondering if six months away from a place is not enough for us to go back there without attaching any emotional significance to it. Why did I have to feel so disturbed about a short visit, though I very well knew that my life there was over? I’m clueless.






It is said often, that Ignorance is bliss. While it pays to be wise about many things in the world, it’s also equally true that half knowledge is dangerous.


I was watching a quiz show on one of the Kannada Channels on TV, and one of the questions involved completing a proverb. It went something like this “ A person with half knowledge makes a great noise about himself.”


I recollect an incident where such half knowledge made me worry about myself needlessly and give more attention to myself than necessary. It’s quite an embarrassment in hindsight; but I wish to still share it.


It was 2 years ago, around the time of Krishna Janmashtami, that I suddenly started experiencing a curious burning sensation in my palms.


I ignored it for quite a while, thinking that I was probably hallucinating about the whole thing, but it refused to go away, and only got worse day by day, ultimately one such time came when I could not ignore it any longer. I was unsure about seeing a doctor for this, and felt that since I had the Internet at my command, I would try to find out more about what was causing this peculiar problem. And so, I googled this. I came across several sites that gave me lot of possible reasons for this, and the most common feature or explanation on most of the sites was that this could be a symptom of Diabetes. Genetically I am a high-risk candidate for this condition and so I felt that probably Diabetes was making a presence in my life too.


I needed to find out if Diabetes had set in, and for that I needed to take a blood test. Again, I didn’t get the courage to see a doctor to get a requisition for a blood test. I was starting to worry about how I’d tell my parents if I really was diabetic and how I’d manage with it the rest of my life.


It took me another week or so to get the courage to go ahead and take the test.

We have a glucometer at home that is used by my mom and uncle to check their blood sugar levels from time to time, and I decided that I’d take the blood test at home.


It was the day before Janmashtami, and all the elders were in the kitchen preparing for the festival, and so I felt it was the right time for me to face the demon. I took the test and waited for a whole agonizing minute for the result to show up. Believe me, that was the longest minute of my life.


The result came; my random blood sugar level was some 69 or 70. Now I was again not sure whether this was an ok value. I then took a very fast decision to call dad’s cousin who is a doctor at NIMHANS, to check if everything was all right.


The first thing she told me when I told her the whole story was, “There’s nothing wrong with you physically; mentally I’m not sure, you can drop in anytime to verify.”

Then she went on to assure me that what I experienced was caused more often by simple calcium deficiency than anything else and that I had to drink a glass of milk every day to bring up the calcium.


The relief I experienced at this is something I cannot describe in words. But the only good thing about the whole episode was that it made me aware of what I was eating, how I needed to change my lifestyle and how I was wrongly analyzing information.


Have any of you experienced anything like this? Do write in.








If I were asked to list out things I hate about the people around me, I’d probably put one vice more prominently than anything else, and that would be Channel Surfing.


I am not much of a TV person, and my average TV time in a day is around 30 minutes, sometimes stretching to an hour. But most of the time, these 30 minutes are punctuated with arguments and disagreements about why a particular show must or must not be watched, because of the men around me who are particularly fond of this hateful exercise called Channel Surfing.


Wiki  says that Channel Surfing is the practice of quickly scanning through different radio or television frequencies in order to find something interesiting to listen to or watch, and is also linked with laziness, inattention and hyperactivity. Wiki  also says that it’s a very common feature among men, though women are not immune to it. I myself am no exception, but my Channel Surfing is limited to the radio on my phone, and I guess I’d be only disturbing myself in the process.


What irks me is that the men in my house pick the exact moment to surf  channels on TV when a show would just about be getting interesting, and no amount of protesting stops it.


Worse, there are uncalled for and unrequired comments about the stupidity of the show, and how the anchor or the artistes are sloppily dressed, their drab and emotionless dialog delivery, and ultimately how we women are hooked to silly shows, and how they men are very “intellectually inclined”.


At this stage, we generally give up , and tell them we’d be happy to watch anything they want to. Then they don’t stick to one channel….I think their attention to each channel is hardly 5 secs, and I cannot fathom for heaven what conclusion they can draw about a program in 5 secs.


All they like is the 1500th rerun of some program on Discovery Channel where a tiger runs off with the carcass of a deer, and the gory scenes of the tiger ripping the deer apart with some silly monologue is repeated and repeated again.


Then the news channels. On them, I can write reams……………..the same news, repeated in quarter hourly intervals, in different versions on different channels. So are they satisfied watching one of  them? No. They want to go to another news channel to find out if someone is telling them the same thing in yet another version.


Why is it that they are unable to actually sit through a program for 30 mins?

Is it that they feel they aren’t being given enough attention? Or the very thought of interrrupting what others are watching gives them some sort of high?


I wish we had only good old DD, and everyone would then be compelled to watch one program at a time, and I could throw the remote away. But what with the advent of more channels, I think I’m fighting a losing battle. And I’m sure several of you out there agree with me.









Last Week was hell……….first I lost Cash, and the next instance, within just a couple of days, I lost my cell phone L.


Both times I had been distracted, first time when I lost cash, it was because of the incessant ringing of the phone, and then when it was the phone, I was called by my higher-ups and so had been to answer the call of duty.


I had been utterly careless on both occasions, and felt that it was a fitting alarm for me to be more careful about my belongings in future.


It’s been really bad. I’m not able to digest that my phone is no longer with me, considering that I had purchased it after waiting quite long to update the previous instrument, which was nearly 4 years old. I wanted some particular features that were available on the particular model that I had chosen, and the black color was very elegant.


And the worst thing is that all my important contact numbers are now gone for ever. Of course, I did get my SIM blocked instantly and had a duplicate SIM within hours, but the phone not working depressed me no end.


One of my co-workers has been kind enough to lend me his spare handset to use until I get another instrument, and the instrument is not one that I am comfortable handling. But since beggars cant be choosers, I am making do with it.


The Phone Company no doubt gave me a duplicate SIM, but to add insult to injury, they said that the new SIM was not “matching” the old one and I made endless calls to Customer Care who did not guide me correctly as to the remedial procedure.


Anyway, finally, after 3 long days, I found that my borrowed phone had a network connection and was working. Now it is time to store numbers, which is a huge task in itself.


Anyways, that’s my story of being incommunicado and feeling helpless. It’s not been long since Cell phones entered our lives, but just an hour without them makes us feel that we’re hopelessly lost.


I’d like to use this post to caution all my readers to be more careful with their belongings and not repent for lost stuff like I’m doing right now.




It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, Dad was out on work that emerged all of a sudden, cousins out to fulfill some social obligations and mom’s the only company I had.

Since I felt jaded being home all day, I felt the need to go out and take a long walk to clear out the cobwebs of the brain and get prepared for what is going to be a hectic week ahead.


As we are in Malleswaram, it’s easy to persuade mom to go out with me, since we both love walking down 8th Cross and window-shopping, making a mental list of things that we feel we need, but never really get around to buying.


So off we went, on a long walk from 11th Cross to 3rd Cross in Malleswaram.


The Walk made us hungry and we decided to head for a snack at one of the sundry eat-outs of the area. We have visited the usual haunts like Janatha, CTR, Asha Food Camp and New Krishna Bhavan umpteen times, we decided to head towards Halli Mane, another famous eatery in the area, one that we were visiting for the first time, in spite of having lived in and loafed around Malleswaram for so long.


Now here is where I would caution people not to expect much, going by the name, which literally means a village house. We had expected some rural food items that we wouldn’t usually see on our plates each day, but were thoroughly disappointed to see that the menu consisted of the usual Dosa-Idli fare, to mention nothing about the large array of North Indian items on the menu. Are the traditional village homes in Karnataka serving Vegetable Kadaai and Chana Bhatura to their visitors? Beats me.


The only additions were Akki Roti and Ragi Roti, which are now served in most of the Darshinis lining the city.


Mom ordered a Rava Idli and I had an Onion Dosa, both being nothing different from the same items served across other hotels in the area.


What I didn’t understand was the hype associated with the place…. and there were people eating there simply because the name meant something.


I wonder how these restaurants are rated…. are there journalists who actually sample the fare and then write about it? Or there are other ways to get your name promoted?


I don’t know. I felt that the customer must be the judge of whether or not an eatery is good, and the best publicity is by word of mouth, because it is the taste that ultimately lingers in the mind.







How would India be without its two most spoken about issues?

A. Cricket

B. Politics

I cannot imagine how people could go on without harping about the sad state of Indian Cricket and the sadder state of Indian Politics.


Last evening, I visited a watch repair shop which had this board displayed prominently “Politics and Cricket must not be discussed here”.

Wonder why the shopkeeper developed so much of an aversion to these two topics, and why the board itself. The shop hardly looks like a “HaraTe KaTTe”, add to it, the shop keeper’s forbidding stance, no one would go there if not necessary.

Ideas anyone?

Yet another Valentine’s Day……………….and no, my views about it haven’t changed from last year. I am tired of all the hula-hoop made by the RJs and TJs (TV Jockeys) about it, and add to it the “Oggarane” of the newspapers. Today I saw an entire page dedicated to this nauseating stuff. I know that there is usually nothing much to read in the newspapers, but this took the cake. People, aren’t we fed up of this utter nonsense?  Then there was the article about “Love foods and Aphrodisiacs”…revolting is one word I can use to describe it. At least in India, with the population bursting from the seams, do we require such pretexts to procreate?  

Yes, I understand that teenagers look at love from a very different point of view than ourselves, but isn’t this the right time to lead them into becoming sensible, mature and responsible human beings and ensure that they don’t go astray? Well, people may argue that it could be an occasion to spend time with your loved one, but what irks me is that by loved ones, we have been psyched to believe that it is only the beloved. Why so? Would we spend even a quarter of the same time with our aged grandparents had we a “Grandparents Day”?

 God knows when the change will occur.