Alphabets revisited

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Next month starting, fool’s day…I write everyday barring Sundays…do support me 🙂

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The Book-Shelf

Today I heard Yug tell his mother about Kindle. It appears now there is a new book which is a computer book and Yug is gifting it to Shakuntala.

‘Mummy…you are always reading or writing. So Kindle is perfect for you. You can store so many books and read them at your convenience. All your collection is getting old and pages are now yellow.’

‘I am careful to dust the book shelf each day Yug. But pages will go yellow with time.’ Shakuntala responded to the yellow pages remark adding emphases on the last word considering her own age.

‘Exactly!… The book shelf! It occupies a lot of space in your room and Kindle will just be at your bed side. Why not replace the Book shelf space with a new TV console?’

‘Ah! So Yug you want a new TV! Say that beta. Why replace my beloved book Shelf? We can shift it to some other place.’ Shakuntala said eyeing me with pride.

‘No Ma! It has become old. Look at the worn out sides. The paint and varnish do nothing to make it look jazzy. Look at those blue stains all over it. It does not match with the interiors of MY home at all.’

‘Let me think about it’ Shakuntala said meekly. She had lost interest in the topic when he mentioned MY home. After her husband’s demise she had to move in with her son and being the ardent book lover (I hope she loved me equally too!) I am the only piece of furniture she got from her old place.

I still remember the first day Shakuntala saw me at the expensive wooden showroom. Among all my friends, I was chosen by her. I am not a narcissist but I knew my worth then. Among all of us who were batch mates, I just knew I was better and I was made for bigger things.  I had the perfect look and a most enviable BMI for sure. I also thought I was, in your face handsome, nobody could have ignored me. Shakuntala could not ignore me either and I could not ignore her too. A charming smile and bespectacled intelligent eyes, she would love me like no other can! No sooner she set her eyes upon me and picked me out, she was smitten. I can tell that, I have had that effect on several people by now; but probably they were never too serious to pursue me; or Shakuntala and I were destined to be together forever. She admired me from side to side and convinced her husband that I am the best (not that it required much convincing!).

We were home and I was in her study room piled with books ranging from romance, mystery, horror, thriller…you name the genre and there would be book that I carefully carried! There was never a day when she did not come to me and dust me. Guests who came home were envious of me and the books that ornamented me. There are countless pictures in the family album with me as the handsome backdrop.

Young Yug used to climb up (making some of those books fall) and pretended to hide on the top shelves for avoiding milk. Shakuntala always knew where to look for him and got him down gently. Yug practiced his scribbling on my tall side walls, he accidentally hit me with his bat too while practicing his cricket shots. He loved keeping his small little books on the bottom most shelves and would lovingly sleep besides me reading.

Little Yug once admonished for spilling over ink on me stains of which never let me. Yug hiding all his playboys on the top most corners. I thought he was my friend! He is now thinking I am ugly and a burden. To him, perfectly lined books, memories of his boyhood; seemed little in comparison to LED!

Shakuntala walked up to me and started sorting the books. Had she given up on me?!

Suddenly I noticed she was crying…her hands trembled and she slowly collapsed among the heap of books with a sigh …!

Yes we were indeed …together forever….my solid teak put to use for her last …

 

 

Love in a Metro

‘Mom! I will look at her pictures.’ I said aloud and disconnected the call. Looking around I realized my voice had managed to penetrate the head phone wearing gentry of the crowded metro train. They smirked as if they knew about the picture I was talking about!

I am Raj… I know; the name makes you think I would be having girls falling all over me. It is the exact opposite! I am this fly on the wall who wants to fly, I want to Raj karo on hearts and remain a wannabe. By now I have come to terms with the fact that nobody notices me ever and names can be deceptive.

I opened my email; and the most beautiful girl stared me back from my phone. She had perfect black hair and large almond shaped eyes. I had had many photographs sent to me, but none had this effect …I was in love..Yes!

I read the details…staying in PG at Delhi. “I can actually go and meet her! I grabbed a seat at the next station and sat dreaming about my future.

‘Can you move a little?’ Said a sugary voice…I looked up and yes you guessed it; there she was photo girl. Looking resplendent busy typing away on her phone…her fingers so tender and long …… She looked so good in person!

I saw, how uncomfortable she was sandwiched between me and another chap absorbed on his phone refusing to budge. I got up and she smiled gratefully, this was the first time a girl looked at me like this. My heart missed a beat….. She looked so happy chatting away….Blushing in between. With her family looking for a match, I am sure one of her friends is pulling her leg. At each new station, I hoped she does not get down; while yours truly had already missed his station for his destination…

Suddenly she looked up and it appeared she needed to charge her phone. I handed over my power bank to her…

‘Sorry..’

‘You are looking for a phone charger?’

‘Yes! But…..You had to miss your seat for me too..’

‘Please you can use it…’ I smiled

‘Thanks.’ She looked relieved. She was now typing a little slow and looked sad. Her full of life eyes were now full of tears. I wanted to hug her and console her…. I could sense that my eyes were moist too… so this is how being in love felt…

Suddenly she turned to the guy next to her.

‘Please do not do this.’

‘But you have not told your family yet.’ He said crossly.

‘Come on now Ajay! Papa keeps sending emails to random guys… latest is Delhi boy…I will say no…I love you; how can you doubt that’ she broke into tears.

The guy kept a hand on her shoulder and took her in an embrace.

I deleted the mail on impulse, but I do not have the heart to empty the trash…

 

 

 

 

 

MAX – a J W Marriott Initiative

 Who drives you buying decision these days? In the madly active advertising world where children are constantly exposed to media, they invariably guide us into buying something as small as toothpaste and something as huge as the new SUV. They have an opinion and most often than not it holds value. It is not surprising then that our vacations are also dictated by them or at least have considerable focus on their requirements. I am a business traveler and at times prefer to take my son along to the new place. The maximum time unfortunately is spent watching television or at the pool. Some resorts do have kids areas but they are mere caricatures and do not do justice to the child’s energy levels.

Last Sunday (March 06’ 2016) I attended a very interesting program launch by J W Marriott. They have come up with kid-centric vacation programs that aim at keeping children busy when you want to attend a business meeting, go shopping or just laze around at the pool side. Aptly titled MAX — to maximize the benefits of your vacation, it is an exclusive kids program, which aims to enrich the travel experiences of children through holistic activities that inspire and nurture. The program is available to guests staying at participating Marriott International hotels and resorts throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

MAX! is aimed at children from 5 to 13 years old and is founded on four activity pillars: Stay Active offers action-packed sessions, ranging from pool activities to dance lessons; Stay Curious encourages intellectual curiosity with activities such as cooking and arts-and-crafts; Go Explore will appeal to children’s sense of adventure; while Just Relax offers more tranquil pursuits. The four pillars are consistent throughout all offering properties; however the specific activities will be curated by each property, making the experience authentic to the location and culture.

 

The launch gave me a good understanding of how the trained staff will be closely and lovingly involved with our children. The whole setup was in keeping with the mood of the children and the educational aspect.

Children were having a blast playing mini golf, jumping in ball pool, coloring or just reading. The stipulated one hour stretched to almost three when children refused to leave with their parents! The launch function had a cake cutting session and some amazing kiddie snacks too!

The team had so thoughtfully arranged for surprise return gifts for all kids. They all looked so happy and this program sure looks like one to look out for when opting for a vacation with kids.

Namrata Chauhan

P.S. Please contact the hotel directly for details of the program.