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Monday, March 27, 2017

Reluctant Grandpa

The Reluctant Grandpa

Commenting on grandparents in a friends post made me write this .
In the days of parent neglect of selfish self contained families where parents are considered a bother by some (there are so many who dont think so too ) old age homes and sad elders ( having been attached to palluruthy relief center for more than three years knowing many chronic inmates quite closely i can reel off some tearful at times disgusting anecdotes )
Grandparents are the greatest blessing a child can have
They are relatively free ( of course some of my classmates who function as excellent grandparents are also active phyisians be it in the operation theatre or seeing a big list of patients in their clinics but seem to delight in their grandparent role too and are diligent in both )
They have time and give attention to the child which is understood by the little ones intutively

 cant blame the parents with lot of pressures unlike thier parents who have climbed to higher altitudes nearing the peak are more relaxed

Most enjoy being with their grandchildren and  love telling them stories .

My mother with her life in the  forties in  Bombay convents was adept in english classics and my daughter Sruthi was brought up on a fare of Tess of the deaberville .mayor of casterbridge  and such other British classics so much so that subconciously she still lives in a dreamy world of english fiction i think

My son was brought up from a toddler by my mother in law who was so pious and an expert in Hindu puranas that she imparted them to both kids
In fact they had the best of both

Grandparents are  a great buffer to children who know its better to tell them all the little things happening than to their harried parents .

Such priceless treasures are they i still wonder how some put them aloof in a remote home .

Slowly i seem to be inching my way to the status though my daughter is yet to be married but sooner or later God willing

This may give you the feel iam just waiting for it
Well not so at least now  !

I always felt children when born should be at least five  years ;) so that the runny nose nappy changing night crying imps they are can be fast forwarded to a cute age where one could lead them in hand and take them to a park .

My wife has no such misgivings and looks forwards to her grandmas role in great anticipation .

To my strong descision of enjoying my retired life in my way and not running after kids she would give me a knowing smile as if she has a hunch i wouldnt be so uptight when it happens which sort of frightens me .

Anyhow all in good time as at present reaching pinnacle of fifties i seem to be quite content to think iam around late thirty

Grandpa status luckily is still frighteningly distant

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Metro mania

Metro or MRT or Subways are an excellent and  economic way of seeing sights in a new city .
Most big cities have metros and now in India too there are many .
The MRT maps are available online
 the coloured crosslines usually look a bit complicated specially with foriegn names but generally they are very user friendly .
The first ride generally gives the hang of it
Places like Hong kong Singapore Taipei have many lines but some are simpler .
Generally tourist cards available for one two or three days
This is best way to travel
of course the risk of being pickpocketed or mugged is greater in some cities .
Prague had an ancient metro deep in bowels of earth with dizzying depths .one had to go through steep escalators to reach train area and also had a lot of sombre tired brooding people slightly frightening .
Singapore Taipei and Hong kong were boisterous safe and fast .
All one needed was to know which side one was headed to , which coloured line , where one needed to get down and most important which exit was ones !
The last bit was little difficult for me in HK for a direction ally handicapped person like me .
Sruthi my daughter who came with me to HK is a born metro navigator all I needed then was to follow her like a little lamb .
In Istanbul metro the issue was language
As I alighted from the Airport i went to metro station inside it .
Information on routes prices were all in Turkish
All the  questions answered by other busy passengers were also  in Turkish. They even nodded in Turkish !!
Finally I did an ekalayvan
I watched one man carefully press the machine for his ticket so intently that he kept patting his wallet in his back pocket suspecting the slimy Indian behind who seemed to be very intrested in his posterior  !!
And so after he got his ticket and turned back when I gave him a loving smile of gratitude he ran a mile !
Of course to my readers my views are strictly straight and I had no intrest in behinds the only one intrest then was to print a ticket .
I followed steps got a ticket and in two minutes was in a speeding train .
Then it dawned on me which station was I headed to ?
was it really where i wanted to go ?
I may land in another end of a big city .
So I showed the ticket to a walrus moush nearby , there was some movement behind the bush or moush who finally made me understand I could get down at the end of the trip almost an hour after .
I did that and when I walked out was delighted to see the Haga sophia , the very heritage area where I had booked my hotel .
Taipei too has a very good metro service
Singapore and KL these days I know pretty well

Of course I am yet to travel in world famous undergrounds like New york ,London , Tokyo and Moscow .
Above all Iam looking forwards the most to the metro in my home town Cochin which will start any moment and shortly it will come right up to my house in Thripunithura at Pettah .

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