Pendulum

This post is written for A prompt each day’s Prompt 60 – Fotowrite #5

broken_by_shail_mohan
Image Source (Attributes): Broken, Photography by Shail Mohan

He stood there for a minute.

His wife had already rushed inside the main gate, and was now safely under the stately porch of the towering building. She did not want their son to get viral fever due to the drizzling. The watchman was getting the luggage unloaded.

He still stood there. Looking at his feet. They were so big now. There was a time when his foot fit right in the grill.

He wanted to smile, remembering swinging from the gate to-and-fro waiting for Papa to come home in the evening. But no smile came. Hey, THIS wasn’t the same…

Agree, this towering building was what he had dreamt of living in – during the days when random strangers would come right inside the garden unlatching the gate themselves, asking for his Papa. They had a convenience store and the bungalow. People would often come home in the evenings even after the shop had closed, to ask for random stuff like gehu or daal and his Papa gave it to them without complaints.

“We don’t have holidays in our profession son. And work never ends. Besides what is the effort in giving a few kgs from bags stored at home,” he used to say.

He did not like this. They had no holidays. So they had no vacation.

He spent his summer vacations swinging from this gate. There were so many nuances to that. Going straight to the wall inward from the left side, jumping to the right one just as the left one rebounded back to its position and then swinging the right one outwards. Sometimes climbing right to the top while the gate was swinging and jumping on the wall. That required skill, you know! The neighbour kid Gura got 2 stitches on the eye-brow having fallen from the wall in the process. He also had his share of falls. But the gate was kind to him. He usually fell only in the monsoons.

He continued to swing from the gate even in his teens. People laughed at him. Papa chided him. “You are grown-up now, Beta. Stop this childishness.”

Little did everyone know, this was his thinking spot. He did not only swing from the gate. He deliberated on his ideas. Ideas of climbing the rungs of the financial ladder just as he did the diagonal rung of the gate. He memorised his trigonometric formulae there. So much so that beside eating, sleeping and school – he was always at this very spot. Well, twice in a swing cycle.

If the formula for pendulum hadn’t been discovered by then, he would surely have been the one to derive the famous equation. b3129742fed41e2f6d2e6962c78a3cdc

Image source : Wiki
Image source : Wiki

He did not derive it, but he did something which propelled him into the outside world from the pendulum-like swinging of the gate. He cracked the IIT entrance. All by himself.

He landed a plum job in the Silicon Valley in the IT boom period. Meanwhile the town grew into a city. He could notice several new faces on the way home when he came back for the first time. The gate was good then. Rusty at the hinges, but still holding strong.

His father was waiting for him with two proposals. One was for marriage to a girl his friend had suggested and another to sell their bungalow to build a 21 storey tower where the bungalow stood then. He agreed to both.

The girl was affable, he could talk to her, he could laugh with her. That is all he wanted, he did not need to think. It was love at first meet!

He was surprised over how much time he took for the other decision. He took a month – evaluating his own career prospects vis-a-vis the prospects of earning from the building. But he knew he was deceiving himself. The main reason he did not want the old bungalow gone was because he could not bear the thought of having to let the creaky gate go!

He finally agreed. His father had shut shop by then. The builder was an old friend of Papa’s who kept his end of the bargain and gave them the penthouse to live in, when the building was completed.

When he came back, 3 years later, he had it all. In the U.S.

Papa had refused to come to the States, ‘cos he liked it here. He had seen the building plans and the pictures, but nothing had prepared him for such a magnificent structure which stood where his bungalow was. The new entrance was around the turn, so the old gate stood where it was. It was the rear gate now, only watchmen and casual loiterers used it to exit in the dark single-road lane, which was quite a buzzing lane in its hey days. He had made the car stop there, and got off, leaving his wife puzzled.

He was still looking at his feet. He lifted his right foot to the first gap of the grill. The end of his toes barely got through. He shook his head at the futility of even trying it. But then his eyes went a little forward. And twinkled. The *#%@$^* gate had broken itself for him!!

There was a missing rod in it. Within a second, he put his foot in the gap, and pushed the gate. It went forth and rebounded and just as it neared the wall, he fell in the mud puddle which formed under due to the incessant drizzling since days.

She noticed it, handed their son to Papa, who had just come downstairs on being told by the watchman, and started walking in an agitated pace out of the main gate towards the old gate. She was muttering something under her breath, Papa was busy pacifying the baby. And he lay in the puddle with eyes closed. Even the hair soaked now.

She came there, Jimmy Choo sandals in hand (to save them from being ruined by the mud, not what you think!). “What are you doing? You got this 3 piece custom made! Why did your friend have to get married the day we land here?! Why did you have to swing at this ungodly hour?! And how can you slip? They’re leather shoes!”

But he did not listen. He was just listening to the harmonious creaking of the pendulum. He held her hand, which she had held up for him to get up – other still clutching the Jimmy Choos, and pulled her to the ground. The beautiful blue chanderi was now soaked in mud, as was its wearer. She looked at him in disbelief – one moment she was standing, the other she was lying in the mud puddle, beside him.

He looked mischievously in her eyes. “You think I slipped?”

 

Is laundry only a woman’s job?

I was interested in the topic, ‘cos I am very touchy about the extended topic ‘household chores’ which has ‘laundry’ at its foremost.

In the times before the washing machine and water pipeline at homes, it was customary for the women to go to a water source (a river, a well or a spring) and wash all the laundry. They used to make it a socialization point. This was probably because women were the only people free (as the men folk would be out for work) and capable of carrying out the daunting task (children could not lift the weight nor could they be trusted to be safe near the water) of carrying the wet clothes back and forth over such a distance. The richer few had wells (or tubewells) in the compound.

So when they went to wash their clothes at the common water source, it probably gave rise to the phrase “washing one’s dirty linen in public.”

As times changed, houses got water connections and better means to wash clothes. But women still were the primary people to handle the laundry, as the men would be out for work.

Effective detergents and agents – Ariel being the pioneer amongst them – made women’s lives a little easier when coupled with a washing machine or even without it.

Then came the feminist movement and women stepped out as bread earners too.

But did this change the list of their chores at home? Niet.

(Till this date)85% of working Indian women feel they have two jobs, one at work and another at home. This feeling is termed as ‘the second-shift syndrome’ which means women have to work one more shift after their tiring day at office in order to maintain an orderly home and a fresh stain free pile of clothes for the family.

In the vastly diverse type of population that India has, 76 % of the Indian men feel that laundry is a woman’s job. Women themselves don’t help either. Quite a lot of them giggle at husbands trying to help their wives.

The need is to change the perspective of our families that running a house is not only a woman’s responsibility. The financial and menial responsibilities ought to be shared by each and every able member of the family – even the teenager who goes to college!

Dialogues like “when will you learn to do laundry? It’ll be difficult for you to cope up once you are married” said to a girl should be replaced by “Beta, try and wash clothes by yourself. It will help you learn to live independently.” And this should be the message to the son as well; ‘cos they will grow up to have families with these values. Otherwise, they will end up as a part of 77% of the Indian men who depend on women for doing the laundry. My brother, for instance, heads straight to the washing machine and loads his cricket uniform for a wash however late he comes home from the match.

Gandhiji, in his quest to be self-reliant, washed his shirt and coat. Due to inexperience, the collar turned out all stiff. When he appeared in the South African court wearing the attire, he was a subject of mockery. But he stood with a proud face and told the onlookers that he was happy he did the laundry himself. This not only set a precedent for pre-independent era, but also for us. He freed Kastur Baa from household chores whenever possible, and encouraged her to take part in greater causes. Should not we follow the example set by the Father of our Nation?

If this is implemented, by at least taking turns to do the laundry or to divide the task into putting the clothes in the machine, hanging them out to dry and ironing; the perception of the 2/3rds of Indian women who feel that there exists an inequality at home, between men and women – will start changing for better. Because there are men and children alike who do help their wives and moms respectively. Let us not discourage them by assuming that the situation is as dark as Batman’s Gotham.

Incentivizing the activity or making it a fun chore can also go a great deal to motivate the 2/3rds of Indian men who are couch surfers and prefer watching TV than to do the laundry. Why, if the task is done in collaboration; the 73% of the married Indian women who feel, a man prioritizes relaxing over helping with household chores – can relax like their husbands!

Think about it, laundry is not ‘not’ a woman’s job. It is not ‘only’ a woman’s job. It is everyone’s job in the family.

Start with throwing your socks, clothes in the laundry basket. Graduate to helping loading the machine. Take turns to do the supporting works. You’ll find it helps you cool out the office/school/college stress too 🙂

“I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at BlogAdda.com in association with Ariel.”

Get.Set.Go : Introducing the Tata Bolt

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Tata Motors’ latest offering in the hatchback segment is a stunner.

We went to feast our eyes on the beauty at Phoenix Market City this Sunday. Abhijeet is a car aficionado. Awaaz overdrive- the show, is a regular weekend fixture on our TV set. Lately, we have been planning an automobile blog. Blogadda’s contest Get.Set.Bolt presented just the right impetus to nudge us towards our first automotive review post.

The new Tata Bolt was sitting pretty in a fiery red colored petrol variant top-end model. The whole Tata representatives team was enthusiastic in the Bolt Arena – with sportily dressed youngsters handling the registrations, giving out cool wristbands with the slogan ‘Get.Set.Bolt’ written on it, encouraging football fans to take a shot at the ongoing playstation game in the arena, clicking their pictures with a life-sized 3d model of Narayan Karthikeyan and most importantly – giving a detailed look and ‘feel’ of the features offered by the classy hatchback.

Magic : With N. Karthikeyan
Magic : With N. Karthikeyan

Our guide, Aashutosh, explained us the advantages and the newly introduced cutting-edge features of the Tata Bolt for almost half an hour. He was at his patient best, with me shooting questions after questions.

Abhijeet and I have come up with a list of 5 crème de la crème features which are bound to catapult the Bolt on the topmost position in the best-sellers of 2015 :

The beastly 1.2T Revotron Engine with S-E-C driving modes :

IMG_2965

This revolutionary engine was introduced in the Tata Zest and is now the heart of the Tata Bolt. The petrol variant can power up to 85 ps/5000 rpm. The best part is – it is the first hatchback which offers 3 different driving modes for expert drivers, so that the engine is not taxed in heavy traffic situations.

The futuristic Connectnext Dashboard which controls the 8 speakers (and much more):

ConnectNext Dashboard
ConnectNext Dashboard

I have closely observed the making of a similar car dashboard system. I was taken in by this one – powered by Harman. Connectnext is more than a simple dashboard. It takes on the role of the control system for the Tata Bolt’s interior entertainment, navigation and notification mechanism.

Aashutosh gave us a demo of the 8 speakers located in 5 key positions. One can drag to control the balance across all of these. If the person sitting in a seat is bugged by loud music, you can simply take the sound intensity off his speakers!

The Connectnext dashboard pairs with 10 bluetooth devices which can be simultaneously accessed. The notifications for SMS can be paired with Android and iOS devices alike.

The voice recognition is so smooth! It is the first VRS I’ve seen which works for the Indian accent like a charm. I tuned the 93.5 FM with it 🙂

The piercing Stock Projector lights :

Stock Projector Headlamps
Stock Projector Headlamps

Those are dope! It glares at you and can light the way up like a day in night journeys. These are a first in the hatchback segment across all manufacturers. Earlier these were only reserved for high-end sedans and SUVs.

The rock-tight security provided by dual airbags :

India is going to make airbags compulsory (someday). However, car manufacturers are wary of rising prices because of the feature. Tata Bolt makes a bold move and puts TWO airbags to make safety a compulsion and not a luxury for its customers.

The play-field like Interior :

Rugby shouldered seats
Rugby shouldered seats

The seats are called Rugby shouldered seats. Boy, are they comfortable! I did not get out of the driver seat for about 10 mins just because it felt like a cosy recliner. The gear transmission was smooth and the driver will surely be as fresh at the end of the journey as he was when it started.

I am very excited about it, because Tata Motors is based in Pune. I have seen its test mule and wondered many a times what car it was!

The verdict

The Tata Bolt packs in the best of Tata Zest (and much more!). The X1 platform based exterior coupled with the DesigNext technology is shiny, stout and sporty. The interior is like a play-field with ample leg space, boot space and the gadgety dashboard.

I had considered buying the Tata Zest for me. However, driving a compact sedan on the traffic laced roads of Hinjewadi is quite an exhausting experience. I leaned towards a hatchback and decided to wait it out in anticipation of the promised one from its maker. And Tata Bolt is just perfect!

It will cut through the traffic effortlessly through its eco mode, cruise through the intermittent traffic through its city mode and race on the highway in its sports mode B-)

“This post is a part of the Get. Set. Bolt. activity at BlogAdda.

A quirky Quikr story!

Alright, the story of my purchase can be the next Quikr Ad!

Ladies love shopping. And love it even more when their purse is not taxed.

Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity of shopping at the expense of Blogadda. (The Husband was happy too 😉 )

Nirav asked Bloggers about what they wanted this Diwali. I had a long list and the first in it was a kitten!

kitten

And Quikr would be the last place I’d look up for a pet 😛 (You think so too, eh? Well read on!)

I confirmed the participation in the contest on 20th October.

From the next day, I forgot all about shopping (rather had to) during the Diwali week, since Internet was not working on our trip to Goa (21st to 25th Oct). On the return journey on 25th, I was pining for the H+ sign on the phone’s status bar to start blinking as we crossed the Karnataka-Maharashtra border. The hotspot connection was already established with the laptop.

As the web page loaded, I took a look at the available categories :
Quikr1
Well, whaddya know! Pets and pet care was calling out my name and the brain had the fingers clicking it in a fraction of a nano-second.

Cats! Cuteness personified!
cat

He brought the car to a screeching halt near a petrol pump. “You are not getting one of those!”

I gave him my classic Cheshire grin.”NO,” he narrowed his eyes.

(Drats! I should’ve tried the cute puppy eyes instead.)

On 26th, I moved on to the next item in my mental list – a Kindle reader. (Next was a Digital Camera.)

Quikr2

I found good deals around Katraj and Camp browsing Quikr through my laptop. (Now, my phone was in coma because of drowning in sea water. And He was not around, so wasn’t His phone. So I settled by contacting them through the “Reply to this Ad” button.)

Quikr3

I waited and I waited. And I waited till 30th.

I got notification emails from Quikr but there was no reply from the sellers 🙁 Now the panic mode set in. The only reassuring thing was – the phone was revived!

Reminders from Blogadda were chiming in with words of encouragement. So I decided to give it a last full-fledged shot.(Picture Hrishikesh Kanitar readying himself for the last ball of the finals of the Independence Cup in 1998!)

Today morning, I opened Quikr again and pulled up one more Kindle deal. But something had happened yesterday which made me lean more towards the Camera in my list.

Waise to,
me and Him never bicker,
but when we do,
We strike the best deal on Quikr!

“How?” You’d say.(Perhaps you will also add, ‘quarreling is not a good thing guys!’)

Okay, it so happened that he offered to fix the scratch guard on my phone(which I claimed was spoiled by him). You have to know one thing about Him – He is the most meticulous person I have seen in my entire life! This allegation was too much for Him to withstand and He set forth on a mission to fix it. And ruined it once and for all! (Bubbles bubbles everywhere on the screen…first there was one, now there were umpteen!)

This was a given as 1) He had not spoiled it in the first place, it was me who sat on the sand with the phone in my back-pocket 😛 2) That had rendered the gum on the scratch-guard useless.

You have to know one thing. Girls, and most importantly wives(‘accused’), never own up to their mistakes. 😐 Also, when cornered with such situations, they dig up incidences from the past and make the Husband (‘defence’) feel guilty.

I immediately shifted the blame on the bewildered better half saying He doesn’t handle my phone with the same care as His phone. And then my gaze fell on His prized Canon 1200 D! (Bas pachhi to…pati gyu! as we say in Gujrati)

I added to the chargesheet saying he didn’t let me use His camera in Goa. We used the phone camera to click the fabulous marine life when we could’ve had much better pics using the DSLR. Alrighty, it was settled!

I proclaimed that I shall get my own camera and never touch His camera (after dramatically pointing out that even though the CANON 1200D’s receipt is in my name 😛 😛 )

So I dug out one Kindle (half-heartedly) and one Camera (with full gusto!), jotted down both the numbers and dialled the Camera first.

*a little background story*
I being the older sibling, am used to getting everything new. I have never used ‘used items’ apart from syllabus texts in Engineering. And although I knew Quikr since 2008, I never bought anything ‘cos I couldn’t afford the ‘new’ items I wanted and did not want to settle for ‘used’.

But baat abb ego pe aa aayi thi. I HAD to get a digital camera for myself!

*thus ends the background story*

Conversation Transcript

Seller : Hello?

I : I am calling regarding your Ad on Quikr. You have a Canon Powershot 3S IS to sell?

Seller : Uh..yes…

I : Can you give it to me today?

Seller : Not today. Probably Monday? Don’t you want to see it first?

I : I am writing for a Blogadda contest and I HAVE to get it today. When was your camera bought? What was the original price?

Seller : I bought it in 2008 from the US. It was around 25K. Listen, I can give it to you today, but after 8.30 PM. I work in Hinjewadi.

I : Okay, that’s no problem. I’ll come down. What is your name? Which company do you work for?

Seller : I am Vitthal. I work for XXXXXXXX.

*I gave a slight pause.*

I : Don’t tell me…do you know Abhijeet More?

Vitthal : Umm…I do have an Abhijeet More in my team…

(He is his Manager!)

I : Wow, small world! I am his wife!

So to cut a long story short, we visited his place, got the camera, had a good exchange of pleasantries, met his wonderful family and created memories to last a lifetime!!!

With Vithhal, his beautiful wife and their cute son Vivaan. Photo courtesy : Abhijeet, Camera : Canon Powershot 3SIS
With Vitthal, his beautiful wife and their cute son Vivaan. Photo courtesy : Abhijeet, Camera : Canon Powershot 3SIS

I am now, a proud owner of a Canon Powershot 3SIS with a 2GB memory card and shall click away as I please! (Psst..the product is clicked with Canon 1200 D by the generous better half as the case is settled out of court 😉 )

CANON_FRONTCANON_BACK

This post is a part of Quikr.com activity at BlogAdda.com