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11 July 2007

England Returned!!!

This was written in the year 2007, just after my return from UK

I just returned from a month's visit to UK.

Boy, wasn't it bad? Of course it was bad.

Such a bad place this UK. You know, they don't even know how to maintain the roads. You can't find a spot of paper or plastic on the roads. All the dirt and litter is always neatly put away in waste bins. Come on, is this the way to maintain roads? You need to have litter lying on to make it a road. You need different colours of pan spit for it to be called a road. In UK, people do not walk on the roads, they walk on the sidewalks instead. Only vehicles move on the roads.

And they call them 'roads'. Roads are places where vehicles move in the space leftover by walking people and barking dogs and meandering cows.

'Roads' indeed. Gimme a break, won't you?

And the vehicles? They move in such orderly fashion that you sometimes wonder if they are being driven by robots. They don't know how to ride vehicles, I tell you. They always maintain that 10 meter distance between each vehicle. True, these are the traffic rules. But by following the rules, how can they enjoy the drives, what with having to maintain a 10 meter distance between vehicles? I maintain that only Indians know how to drive properly. Proper vehicle driving is when you apply sudden break at a red signal (which you had seen 50 meters ahead) with just one meter distance between your vehicle and the one in front. And still manage not to hit the vehicle in front.

Even bikes follow the rules and maintain the mandatory 10 meters distance there in UK!!. Can you imagine?

Not for the vehicles in UK messages like 'Buri Nazar Wale, Tera Muh Kala' or 'Don't kiss me, I am still a virgin' or 'Let us miss that kiss' or any such. What value is a vehicle without any messages? Or for that matter one without a scratch on the side? The people in UK think that vehicles are used only for travel (or carrying a sedentary person from position A to position B as my prof would put it)

You can't find a single person on the road after 6.00 PM. It is almost like these guys are hibernating. It is very boring I tell you. How can you live the days without meeting a few beggars here and there? Or those guys who paint the city red by spitting the pan masala. Or few of those dirty little kids playing cricket on the road oblivious to the honking of a thousand horns? Or a few irate females shouting racy slang against each other? Or the sound of clothes hitting the stones, or that of the mixie making dosa batter? One of the most heartening things that I saw on my return to India was that of a woman drying her clothes on a clothes line which was tied across a busy lane...

I felt rejuvenated.

Did you know that they don't honk horns there in UK. Stupid people. Why are they throwing away good money for the horn if they don't intend using them? I almost had withdrawal symptoms after landing in UK. I craved for the sound of car horns. Once there was a long traffic jam and suddenly I heard a honking of a horn. My heart skipped a beat on hearing it. I felt that I was home at last. I craned my neck to see the driver of the car who had brought my deliverance.

It was an Indian!!

After I got out of the Bangalore airport, I ordered a taxi. After placing the luggage and me sitting in, the driver, before starting the vehicle, honked the horn to no one in particular. Like some signature tune or something. It was like you break coconut in front of Ganesha before commencing an auspicious function.

It might have been irritating to others, but to my 'horn denied' ears, it was sheer Ecstasy.

I belonged here.

10 July 2007

Of birds and bees

My 8 year old son asks me "How are babies born?"
I know that when he asks such questions, he usually has an answer already.
"How?" I ask him
"Father and mother fall in love . Woman produces an egg and the man produces something called 'sp...' something. This meets the egg and a baby is created. The baby lies inside mother for 9 months and after that the baby is born."
"Wow!!" I am speechless.
"Did you know this?" he asks me.
I pose a counter. "Where did you learn this?"
"In the encyclopedia, under 'Know your body' section. They were mentioning about man and woman making love. I am sure it is a mistake. How can you make love? Is it some physical thing like bus or car that you can make?"
I am still speechless.
The other day we see a pregnant sheep on the road.
"How do animals have babies?" this kid has some curiosity.
I am relieved. He already knows about sperm and egg and all those embarassing stuff. I don't have to start at the beginning.
"Just like men have children. Sperm meets the egg and a baby is created. It stays in a sheep's womb for 3 months or so. And then baby comes out". I think I broke the record of the fastest speech.
My son has the final word. "How can sheep fall in love?"