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Monday, February 13, 2017

State of Cinema

Tamilnadu had always been a state with high passions .
 cinema was a part of its fabric .
With Madras being the center of south Indian cinema  five decades back cinema produced not only  heroes on its screens but also off the screen .
It was never restricted to actors but involved script writers , musicians ,lyricists ,story tellers and so on .
Cinema and politics were a combo with great alchemy.

Starting from the patriarch saint and founder of Dravidianism Sri Annadurai who rose to become a chief minister ,his proteges one the  highly intelligent poet script writer par excellence dark glassed guttural voiced Karunanidhi the founder of the quintessential image of the Tamil politician and the other his total opposite the good looking rosy skinned rippling muscled dashing hero M.G.Ramachandran .

MGR had enough intellect to checkmate karunanidhi to start a new party on Annadurais demise to wear his mantle of the emperor of Tamil passions and the chief minister of Tamilnadu .

He had droves of women who followed him like a pied piper  and one of them was a lissome nubile beauty and a Tamil heroine ,intelligent and articulate in convent educated English .

She  managed to conquer his heart in spite of a wife at home and so like prof Higgins in my fair lady he went on to train the much younger Jayalalitha to groom her to be his successor .

 Drama swept the state again on the demise of the great MGR who once even withstood a bullet fired by a reel villain M.R.Radha and lived to tell the tale .

Jayalalitha had to face ignominy and  insults on her mentors disappearance as her enemies the estranged first wife and her cronies managed to push her out of the funeral cortege on live TV .

These lasting images of a woman tarnished of her honor brought her into limelight in the next election where the drab first wife was summarily rejected by the populace to seat Jaya  as the chief minister.
Cinema again !!

It was during these heady days a mousy looking middle aged video cassette seller women by name Sasikala was introduced to Jaya who by now had the mantle of a mother or Amma to her party men and was slowly turning into a one women power point in the state with her party men prostrating ,crawling and creeping on her feet .

This abject sycophancy was encouraged in the party
Sasikala quickly wormed her way into Jayas inner circles meta morphing from a live n maid of an unmarried lonely leader of the masses to a dear Friend and  confidant and finally became even  a sister who wore similar dresses and jewelry like her mistress did !!

This was the era of extravagance in Jayas rule with crores spent on a wedding of an adopted son who was incidentally the nephew of the maid turned sister whose tentacles of power were slowly entwining the state .
All this angered her voters who kicked her out of poor in next election .
Wilderness to a politician used to power is a misery specially when dark glassed villains with grudge occupied the CM gaddi .

And one day in the august assembly the fair maid Jaya was humiliated by sari pulling by an opposition MLA a sort of modern day Draupadi act and Jaya vowed to get back at dark glasses and company .

During these bad times when a lonely Jaya licked her wounds maid friend sister Sasikala was at hand to give the salve thus earning eternal gratitude of Jaya ..

The bounce back of Jaya in next election got dark glasses in real trouble as Jaya ordered a vengeful midnight arrest of a panic stricken howling frightened karunanidhi  cried out
they are killing me ayyo in live TV
Cinema again !!

Once her vengeance was satiated Jaya turned into administration while Sasikala and coterie slowly started amassing wealth .

Many were the stories whispered
People with lovely houses and prime land were called to Poes garden house of Jaya in the guise of they being called by a busy CM and in her absence threatened by covert threats to sign away their properties .
In the Government the maids husband was on a spree of minting money by any means and stocking it in the vast Mannargudi family coffers who all become the sudden rich .

Jaya wary of another defeat dismissed Sasikala who was smart enough to worm her way back into Jayas good books promising to distance herself from her husband and his caucus .

But in the background she kept appointing people known to her on several positions thus preparing herself for future positions .

And then its all a grey zone .

Jaya admitted in Apollo hospital under scrutiny of a Sasikala who never allowed anyone to see her even the Governor the caretaker CM and several VIP s

Health bulletins told her anxious supporters that she was ventilated and was being monitored
In two months Jaya was declared dead and quickly buried by the side of her mentor and lover MGR
There were expressions of suspicions as people noticed small holes in neck used in embalming bodies
Did Jaya die or was she killed as whispers told
Did they just do an act to buy time
Strangely the center armed with intelligence systems in place maintained zen equanimity with the PM even patting a demure Sasikala as an act of condolence !

So in a huge live funeral the body of Jaya was slowly lowered into the sands of the marina with all neck holes intact .
In days Sasikala her maid moved into Jayas house and her mafia family moved around like a pack of stray dogs in the state .

Now comes one more character by name OPS the humble tea shop owner loyal AIADMK party man trusted confidante of Jaya who was appointed as CM while maid Sasikala became party chief .

Within days OPS with his humility and hard work image was called to the Mannargudi den .

He came out as a resigned CM and announced that Sasikala would wear the CM crown from then on .
But drama and climax starting now
The next day OPS went to Jayas burial place and did a zen Buddhist bout of meditation at the end of which he went into an orgy of confession and informed the populace on how the Mannargudi mafia akin to Sicilian mafias had threatened him to resign and to leave the CM chair to her .

He also touched on how fishy Jayas death was though ignoring his silence till date of this vital matter .
The female don Sasikala flocked her MLA hens to a luxury resort near Chennai where they were kept happy in an orgy of liquor food and the rest so that she could exhibit the worthies to the Governor as her passport to power.
The Governor went into suspended animation probably part of Chanakyan manifestations from center and OPS smiled at this turn of events
The rest will be written as the story unfolds .

Miracle cures

The miracle cures
This beliw video is a  practice session of a faith healer to fool public .

When the preacher shows his hand the supposedly sick in the audience fall down and get cured !

These are paid actors who rehearse before they fool the public .
Seeing this more people will believe hes doing miracles .
In a tamil movie kamalahassan does an excellent impersonation of a cerebral palsy person stumbling , falling ,somersaulting , drooling , his way  to the faith healer who in front of a huge crowd utters mumbo jumbo and touches him
kamal falls down with a thud to wakes up cured

The next scene he is shown arguing with the faith healer about money paid for his excellent acting .

Its a clear case of cheating and conning stupid gullible people , with a law that ignores such activities .
The sad thing in india people fall for such rubbish .
Of course its not restricted to one religion
There are several fake swamis swaminis and charltans from all religions doing this .

The media which benifits richly by sponsored shows and advertisements help in  spreading the message .
With money flowing in from abroad to that one country in the world which is an ideal one for such activities these con men have deep pockets .
some even own their own TV Channels .

Theres no restrictions or monitoring by the state on such falsehoods .

By donating liberally to politicians and parties they are safe under the  law .

Its the poor the needy the sick mentally unstable those under stress and a lot of normal people who fall into traps by these cheats .

These powerful preachers and swamis have goondah and thugs to frighten anyone trying to bring out truth .

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Our House

Places we stay are memories
This house in Cochin built by us in late eighties has a story behind it like all our houses do .
For one its conception planning and building was all by one persons hard work and ingenuity
My father in law late sri Balakrishnan
Uncle as i called him was an architect in Military engineering service and was a honed and experienced professional .
The site too was facing the highway to Trivandrum from Ernakulam as those days the Ernakulam bye pass was yet to be made
Later it became a PWD high road .
It was quite busy all the time and a bit narrow too
Most KSRTC buses slowed down in front of our house due to traffic and i remember getting down or getting into them for some long distance trips right in front of my house like a VIP .
The disadvantage was most passengers sitting facing the house would look at house as it had an appealing elevation with a huge arch born out of the  creativity of uncle my FIL .
Of course our clinic was on right side with a smaller gate partitoned from house by a fence .
The clinic board the patients waiting in chairs watching TV the receptionist in front room with computer all this attracted the passrngers for whom it was an excellent time pass
We too could see them from clinic through our slotted windows .
FIL was very particular with elevation as he knew house was located in a place where all attention would be on it .
It was huge with a really big hall dining kitchen and a back verandah converted into a big room there were more than four bedrooms and master bedroom was huge with a colour matched big bathroom
Of course many houses have all this but iam talking of this three decades back .
The garden with a lawn had coconut trees mango tree a  jackfruit tree ornamental fern trees in front tall and majestic and teak trees more than five or six.
I remember our friend coleague and neighbour Dr Varkey coming home with the teak saplings
Varkey and usha varkey were well known doctors in the area and were our good friends
He hailed from Paala and was at heart a great farmer
He told me Hari grow this teak in no time it will grow as tall as your children
I reminded him of this recently of how his golden words had came so true .
Our children grew up in this house .
Of course our Shilpa left us from here too .
Both our mothers my FIL all left us when we were there .
Both Sruthi and Shyam were born when we were here and lived there till they left Cochin for studies .
The Choice school bus would come right on our door front to pick them up and drop them .
Iam sure they have fond memories of this house named Sruthishilpam .
The car porch was later converted into a lovely bhajan hall where thursday Sai bhajans were held and on sundays children had Bal vikas classes
 when shilpa special school was started it was in this porch etc till school got its own building .

Now its sold to a doctor couple who are continuing to practice there too like we did and we  moved to our apartment in Thripunithura.

Above all this house is a testimony to the creativity and the dedication of my FIL
He not only gave me his daughter but also built me an excellent house too .

Mattancherry Bridge

The iconic Mattancherry Harbour Bridge was built in 1940 by British engineer, Sir Robert Charles Bristow. This bridge connects Wellington Island with Fort Kochi across the Vembanad Lake. The bridge was built in 16 spans with steel and wood and the center span is designed in such a way that it can be raised using a spring mechanism. #DidYouKnow #Kochi

Many are my memories of this bridge
We moved into Kochi in late eighties
At that time this bridge was the only link to Wellingdon island enroute to Ernakulam .
during peak hours the bridge would be jammed with traffic
As the  middle portion was a drawbridge of wood it would shake a bit there
Very rarely had the draw opened to let in a huge ship on way to Cochin port .
On one side lay Wellingdon island partially man made with its huge cranes the port and the Malabar hotel at edge on the other lay Cochin west the fishing harbour teeming with people boats crooners mattancherry fort cochin palluruthy and edacochin
They are full of rich history and folklore
Those days i used to cross this bridge in my yezdi bike with premila holding shilpa gingerly it was only by the time sruthi was born we got our first  car .
Walking over this bridge gave lovely views but it  was dangerous as traffic could hit one
Even though the new bridge has been built this is still in use today showing ingenuity of British built bridges

Our first car

Genesis of driving
Our first car was a standard herald owned by a neurologist friend in Cochin .
It was a great moment for us as it was the first car for us .
Though we both had our driving licences we werent very confident of driving it on our own .
There was specially one place we were scary of on way to Fort cochin a small bridge with a steep incline .
Somehow we both had visions of disaster in that place
We were afraid of our capability in handling the clutch throttle brake combo on steep surfaces and imagined a slide down in such places .
So we hit upon a plan to hire a chauffeur and drive under his supervision .
One of the first respondents was a burly ex lorry driver recommended by someone
He assured us on his vast experience and he was duly appointed .
The next morning we got in with him me in front and premila in back .
Our man got in banging the door with great force
Used to lorries our man was a tough honcho but we wondered if our flimsy herald would bear it .
He then held the clutch and pushed it with great force and we shot off like a bullet .
The car careened its way several times dangerously close to pedestrians .
Those days there were no seat belts and we were thrown around in the car .
We told him to slow down and one of us wouls ride under his expert guidance but he wasnt very happy he just prodded on
So it was a total failure
We told him off
The next day one of us had to dare the drive and my wife took the lead and in days both of us were heralding all over Kochi

Image only for illustration ..this wasnt our car

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Army Aspirations

Iam asked by many of my friends why are you so obsessed with the Indian army ?
 You keep filling your FB status praising them and you started a page called friends of the indian armed forces  for our army.
 There are some friends. ,dont know if I really should use that label who for thier own political compulsions or beliefs chastise the army as a murderous raping breed !
 Somehow i cant stand such creatures who cannot see the stark truth
 not being proud of a bunch of people highly disciplined trained skilled honest and patriotic .
 Not many countries can boast of having such a bunch protecting them day and night in wilderness and extreme clinates beyond comprehension , going beyond the borders of religion caste ,language ,social ,economic ,or ,geographic divisions to do thier duty fearlessly ,suffering death or injuries and coming from brave families of fathers ,mothers ,wifes ,and children who with tears in thier eyes but with pride in thier chest are willing to give thier beloveds for the country in body and soul !!
 I cannot suffer traitors who chastise an army such !!
 Thats one group i cannot stand
 sorry to say that.
 You may ask me  two questions.then

 One , are you telling us Indian army is so pure it has no dishonest amongst it , none who are corrupt or some who are criminals ?
 I do no such thing .
 Every part of society has its black spots even in the so called noble profession I belong to ,that is human nature but I will say this here , probably our army may still be the only last bastion where the famed dharmic way of living in honesty and hard work a quintisentially indian way of living , in a country teetering with corruption selfishness and cynicism .
 The second question you may ask is , you keep talking a lot about the indian army and how its personell suffer hardship for the nation ,how come you conviniently did not join such a force and just giving an arm chair drawing room account and praise using flowery language.  ?

 If you had loved the indian army so much you should have been a part of it. !

 In fact this question was asked by one such friend sorry to use that label undeserved who hates our army and considers me a war monger !
 True I did not join the Indian army !
 I did try my best to do so.
 After being in NCC Naval cadre in school and after my medical school and PG in Radiotherapy I applied to Army medical corps ,passed the entrance exams and yes , the interview in New Delhi , where I attended it .
 I was even given the briefing of a life as. Army doctor
 amongst those selected and was looking forwards to the same.
 I never expected my spectacles which had been a part of me from seven years age to be a block to an army life i was very sad to know that i was rejected because of my high myopia.
 At the time one of my uncles Lt. gen. Menon who was a top ranking army officer had put in a word for me .probably the reason why the recruiting officer a colonel and a doctor himself called me to his room a honour not given to all rejected recruits and told me Dr.Harimohan its not that you need to be inside the army always to serve the country you are one amongst the millions of Indians outside the army who can do the same so wish you all the best and his words ring true to me to this day.
 Jai hind

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Jallikattu imbroglio and students agitation on Tamil honour
The supreme courts descision Tamilnadu CM Paneerselvams meeting Modi the Prime minister ,all have plenty of layers of complex powerplays behind them from what iam hearing .
Compared to that catching a bull seems easier
From the NGO opposition to the supreme court dictates lobbies have been remote controlling the power levers in the state quietly and efficiently .
And with the rise of a new Amma after the disappearance of an older Amma shrouded in mystery ,and this new amma though getting the powerful to fall on her feet like the older amma is worried that they may also pull her legs and has ambitions which wouldnt stop with just feet falling honchos
so the pawns are moved the pieces are checkmated and the queen is closing in
but the king beyond the vindhyas has played many a game with tougher enemies and checkmated them with ease
so no one knows where the bull will strike !
So if you guys think jallikattu is just taming bulls you think wrong !
Its the bulls out to tame you and each other ,and like bulls in a china shop will cause colateral damage !
Now the Foundations sponsoring the NGO s from across the black seas to break Indian read Hindu traditions ,and the supreme court judges are supremely surprised at what they thought is a simple matter of bull control growing much beyond what they imagined
Perfect script for a Rajni movie isnt it
And have a big bull as you watch it

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I have always been a fickle eater in hotels .
I need my food hot , tasty ,my coffee along with the  food , it has to be of correct strength , sweetness ,milk ,etc .
I need neat surroundings , hate sticky tables though am not too bothered about palatial ambiences !
Having born in Madras and tasted in some very good hotels and homes and having known kerala cuisine ,one of the most tastiest in the world I developed this supercilious attitude , which is actually nothing to be proud of but thats me !
This snap shows at me looking at a masala dosa with disdain !
My dear cousin in Doha took me to this hotel Bonanza where he felt massla dosas were reasonably good when i visited him on a weekend from Dubai !
But i found the masala dosa way down my appreciation scores and the expression clearly shows my unhappiness !
Balan my cousin called the waiter by name
"hey swami get a replacement itsnt good "
I asked him
"so you know the guy by name "
I was amused when Balan said
"Who knows ? I  just called him Swami "
Strangely the guy whose real name was later we came to know Anwar answered when called swami !!
And then Anwar swami brought me a replacement masala dosa which still didnt hit the pass mark


Kerala school Kalolsavam is a real phenomenon .nowhere is traditional arts given so much importance .there is a lot of hard work and excellence behind the participants
This year even the vegetables used for food for the children are grown by them which is a real achievement
The preparation of food
The mad rush of events
Public intrest
Media coverage
Tourists liking
Its just awesome

Now lets come to  the paradoxes

Its more of a qauntitative competition

Many students train and study different art forms only for the event unlike in places like Tamilnadu
For eg a bharatanatyam artiste matures after years of study under a Guru to give an accepted perfomance not just months like for Kalolsavams
Of course among the participants there could also be such trained artises too but the dictum is to  learn fast , learn many , and get prizes in maximum events

Second the rat race is stressful with protests court cases accusations and even violence
..kerala style of art indeed
This year the function just started already more than 650 court petitions
Iam sure a bunch of lawyers agents all walk around the venue to create instant petitions
The High court of Kwrala needs to seriously consider starting a mobile court and a police station in the premises .
Good training for the students to do the same when they become parents
Is stress infused into an young artiste the right way to excel in art .
It all is because of the grace marks for admission to professional colleges one gets by winning competitions the reason for the rat race .
And an excellent talent with all the training will land up a sad doctor later in life .

Thirdly slights and threats by politicians that they were ignored

This is Kerala

No wonder Swami Vivekananda labelled it as a madhouse


Years does  pass by after a close one passes away
Time fogs us but memories lurk .
My brother in law Unniettan (my sisters husband )though elder to me was more my friend specially when we were together in UAE in the same city Al Ain .
Those were memorable days when I would go to his house any time I felt
 later with my sister too joining him it was definitely once a week if not more .
Whenever I felt the blues when living alone those days I would quickly drive across to tell him my issues
Unniettan was a great listener at end of it he would give his opinion and I would be happier.

He was a very positive person extremely agile fit and multitalented and multilingual
He could drive an yamaha bike or a mercedes benz car  or a huge container with the  same ease .
He was the best in his office in their software and work .
For some time he even tried his hand on business

He could fit in anywhere be it wearing  traditional Kerala garb in a wedding where he would be serving for the guests on their banana leafs with ease or be it amongst Arab colleagues to whom he talked Arabic well
to his Sardar friends he was a Punjabi putar as he had spent years in Ambala imbibing the robustness of a thoroughbred Punjabi

To a Marathi he was Amchi mumbai wallah living in Borivilli or Boisar in Thane dt for years
To a Madraskaaran he could talk good Tamil and walk the streets of Chennai  ,and in Coco Cola plant in Al ain where he worked for long he could converse well with the American and English bosses .

He explored into photo shopping as a hobby and soon was converting photos of departed people in colour as a help to many
He also taught this to those intrested

And one fine day least expected he disappeared from all of us ,just like that one minute there next minute not  !
Like a sparkling comet which exited into the twilight .

Read below too

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Today M.G.Ramachandran if alive would be 100 years.
For the very few who havent heard of this legend he was an actor hailing from Kerala with a childhood in the tea estates of Sri lanka who went on to become a superstar one man emperor of Tamil filmdom

Later  catapulated into the Dravidian moment and famously known as the revolutionary leader he started the ADMK after he split from his bete noir and compatriot script writer poet legend Karunanidhi who continues his octogenarian saga even today long after MGR has just become a fond memory of a fair charismatic fur capped dark glassed chief minister of Tamilnadu and being the blood of blood of the Tamils .

MGR was well known for his sincerity concern for the poor and downtrodden and respect to womanhood .

It was reflected in his films which were but extensions of his daily life so while MGR cavorted with a reasonably chubby Jayalalitha who would carry his legacy after his death the people expected him to do nothing less than cavorting with her in real life too .

And on one unfortunate day a villain in his films M.R.Radha  became  a villain in his life and shot a bullet at him which stuck in his throat .

MGR would outlive the shot to emerge with an image of someone who said tata to thotta which means bye to a bullet .

He emerged with greater popularity after this and his cracked voice due to the bullet became a symbol of his virility and strength .

MGR was known to be a stickler on maintaining his physicue and was known to grow his muscles as much as his votes .

I remember seeing the great man only once
I was studying in Kilpauk medical college then a Government medical college .

We medical students were on a strike and we walked all the way to Fort st George the secretariat to meet the CM to air our grievances.
  After that exhausting walk in the sun we waited in the road and suddenly out into the balcony  came MGR glowing like a star .

He mumbled a few words to the leaders of our group waved at us gromly  and went in .

We were told to go back to our studies and Govt will look into our issues .
 we walked back in silence clearly impressed by his charisma

He was a great legend indeed
Just a remembrance ...

(Tks for image downloaded online ..if objected can be removed )



Dubai the Manhattan concrete powerouse city
But theres another Dubai which I love
The ancient orient village in the fringes of a desert .
Where the sands meet the sea
The Dubai creek its lapping waters quacking gulls laden dhows heady spices in sacks glimmering toys winking mannequins sparkling gold in the Gold souk domed mosques with the muezins calls a hookah pulled for pleasure awaiting whirling detvishes to go to their trance
A Dubai of the ancient

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Libraries and Librarians

To a book worm a library is a treat .
I always had this attraction to books and places where it was stacked up .
Boys are boys and are known for the rough and tumble of the playground the sweat and glory of a goal or a brilliant catch but i was happier in fishing out an Enid blyton or getting lost in a Biggles and his flight !
I sure would have looked a sad loser as a he boy and looked  the quintissential thick spectacled nerd i was .
In my formative years after losing my father at ten years books were an obsession .it took me to worlds unknown it brought me magic from kind faces from all over .i lived those books more than i liked them .i remember carrying heavy tomes borrowed from sundry libraries all over the town and lugging them in crowded buses like a Somalian  pirate carrying his well deserved booty .
To that extent God was kind enough to put me in the exact spot where a book worm and a library fanatic should be put .
Madras yes these days they call it Chennai and to me it just doesnt evoke any memories its always Madras for me
Todays busy Chennai with metro superstructures and shopping complexed and fast fooded roads isnt my nostalgic Madras which was a much more slower hotter but dreamier destination .
Somehow the city was blessed by academics and learning.The red sandstone edifices of the Madras university .the Presidency college .the yellow circular  ice house later called vivekananda house because the venerable saint deitified it by staying there all these and more buildings radiated knowledge and spread it across the open seas of the Marina beach into the vistas of the world beyond .
The city was dotted with libraries small and big and these were my haunts during my formative years
I dont think iam  reading one tenth of the books i read between the ages of ten to twenty .
i used to consume books by the ton my appetite was that of a glutton and i would read anything from a newspaper which came with the peanuts to that gilded prized book kept with reverence in a puja room
Buying books was out of the question for a boy whose mother looked after him with tightly closed purse strings and how she did that depriving me of no pleasures of childhood was a miracle indeed .
But buying books wantonly wasnt part of the agenda then.
So i would frequent the second hand shops in red coloured moore market near the central railway station and spend a happy sunday morning rummaging its delights to buy a rare book for my small collection
Those days birthdays were celebrated with a better lunch and some rice strewn on the head in front of a lamp litted God no parties or gifts so i still remember that rare birthday when my mother called my school friend and he came along with his mother and gifted me yes gifted me with a comic book i was so delighted to get that i tried to read it immediately and i stopped only because of the stares of my mother .

Another thing she was strict about was this habit of mine of asking for books at any house which we visted only as a borrow but today i understand her that book borrowing mostly not to be returned is an embarrasing difficulty thrust on a book lover .
So lets come back to my habituation to libraries .
The Vivekanada library placed in a green cocoon of trees in the Ramakrishna math was a veritable treasurehouse for me .i quickly overcame the childrens section and the unintresting main section to dwell into the generally empty referral section.
It was here that  found nirvana .
Tall brown glassed cabinets lined with thick tomes of red leathered books drove me to orgasmic juvenile  esctacies .
I particularly liked the second world war encyclopedias
These had brilliant text and photos from war corresondents covering every minute of a war which lasted for more than five years .
From the time Hitler buyoyed his war machines and the Germans goose stepped into Europe and snowy Russia their tanks slushed in mire and snow with bazookas bursting thier bubbles to smithereens every single word danced in front of my eyes like the battle of the bulge played only to my pleasure.
I would pity the jews herded into cold wagons on their macabre journey to gas houses as that mad Hitler nuked manhood with the power of the satan .
I would rejoice in the soviets rumbling in their tanks on to a crumbling Berlin while the sands of Normandy would reverberate with the cannons of the ships in the sea as men in thousands would crawl across its darkness lit by spurts of cannon fire .
I would be transported to the elegant board rooms where an obese Churchill puffing at his fat cigar and gulping at his port would discuss with a wheelchaired Eishenhower the next strategy as the Jerries bombarded London .
Every single minute of the war was chronicled in those tomes
No google search could give one the minutae that they did .
There was this young swamiji in the library as librarian who used to look amusingly at this strange boy lost in the reference section sitting on a low stool admidst the fat tomes for hours
One day he asked me do you want to take them home read and bring back .
But swamiji those are in reference section and cannot be borrowed i would say
He would say thats left to me with a twinkle in his eye and i would carry home the huge books .
One day i dont remember how it started young swamiji replied to my question on something with a smile but is there a God ?
To me that was almost blasphemous coming from an ochre robed holy man so i said how swamiji can you ask me that question !
He took me to a quiet table and tried to explain the principles of Sankaras Adwaita and how theresnt any mythical superpower etc but it all went above my head then
Today thinking back i think that young swamiji had a soft corner for my fire for knowledge .

The librarian in the house of soviet culture was a lean tall dark tamil gentleman a card carrying communist obviously he just left me alone to my browsing and was tersely technical in his communications to this juvenile familiar who borrowed books .
Anerican library librarians rarely consorted with the commons as they were spotted behind glassed enclaves of their offices far away from
the reading halls .
The mount road district library librarians were Government employees and preferred to converse in tamil
Again it was the British council library which would give me years of happiness even when into medicine .
I remember a tall lanky Indian librarian there who spoke with almost a stiff upper was here I would fall in love with P.G.Wodehouse a love that would last till I close my eyes to eternity .
My kilpauk medical college library would always to me be a harbinger of good things for it was here that my partner for life answered with an yes for the question will you be mine !

In Ernakulam where i stayed more than two decades practicing as a doctor rearing my children the paico and its books was always a weekend destination my sruthi and shyam and premila too would select their choices and it was a great pleasure this weekly bookie fling .
The Ernakulam public library in the narrow convent road in its jaundiced  countenance was my normal haunt on sunday or friday afternoons .
Singh was the chief librarian and he lived in Cochin west where i also did and chumminess with a chief librarian gave me acess to the latest books just recieved by the library and i was mostly the first person to borrow many new books there.
Singh incidentally was not a oye oye  balle punjabi with a turban but a blue veined mallu as pure as the coconut oil his head was liberally smeared with .
He was just one of those keralites whose parents were fond of legends generally leftists from  other states.
so one finds plenty of Boses Sens Roys  Ajay Ghoses and Singhs in malluland .

My own uncle EN Nair was librarian of Sree Krishna college Guruvayoor , once a professor in psychology he was given charge of the library once psychology dept closed in his college .
He was stern strict almost foreboding and condescended to talk to the likes of me only when i reached college but by then he was so sweet and nice and talkative till the day he  left us .

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