Imagine Bali’s son discussing with Sugriv’s son, the plight of their country, after it was subjugated by the Aryan north.
Bin Bali :      Our fathers failed to antcipate the events to come. In the epic  Ramayana, they call us monkeys ! How shameful.
Bin Sugriv : They  got renegades like Hanuman and Vibhishan, in their attempt at domination of the south.
                  The story about the abduction of Sita was a lie.
                  Ravan will die if he touches a woman against her will? why did she not jump out of the aeroplane?
                  Yes, but what shall we do now ?
                  We shall take revenge. I shall be born as the son of Vasudev and you as the daughter of Drupad, and make the Pandavas and Kauravas fight each other. The whole of north Indian Aryans will fight on one side or the other, until only widows and children will remain alive.
                  But our colour will expose us. We shall be caught and killed.
                  My flute will mesmerise their women and make the men impotent.
                 I shall assume the guise of a woman and make the Pandav brothers dance to my tune.

The above imaginary conversation was meant to high light a fact, glossed over by most pundits.
Before the Krishna cult became almost universal in India, following the great poet Jaydev’s Bhajagovindam, some time in the sixteenth century (I always write from memory, as I am not in the habit of maintaining a notebook. Mistakes in names and dates are bound to happen), the prevailing deity was Lord Shiva. The author might have deliberately chosen the two villains of the story to be shown in black colour, to show his anger against these two charactors. There was a war, not earlier than three thousand years, and the exact reasons are not clear. The intention of the author was to show to the world, the horrors of war, and not to deify any body. He wanted to say that, whatever the cause, war is always despicable.

 Today this message is very relevant. Wars are thrust on us by arms manufactorers and their henchmen.
Any reader who examines the role of these two black charaters, will inevitably come to the conclusion that Krishn and Krishna are the villains. After the publication of Bhajagovindam, things became confusing. How can  God be blamed as a villain ? So there was an attempt to white wash Krishn. Now, no one will agree that he is black. My wife, to whom I mentioned this, argued that Krishn is blue and not black !
 Geeta was afterwards inserted in the epic, in order to justify Krishn. In all the rest of the book, he is referred as simply Krishn. In Geeta he became Shrikrishn. I have been influenced by Kuttykrishna Marar’s Bharataparyatanam, in which charactors in the book have been mercilessly exposed ! He painted Karna as the only one, who remained stead fast to his principles. (the late K.P.C.ANUJAN BHATTADIRIPAD, my close friend, whose untimely departure caused me unearable pain, gave me the book to read) When approached by the wily Kunti, to hand over his protective shield, given by his father Sun to save him from all evil powers, he gave her what she asked for, paving the way for his own death.

 He remained stead fast to his friend Duryodhan to the end. As Mark Twain said: every one will be on my side, if I do the right thing. He who backs me even when I do wrong, is the true friend.(not the exact words)
The relationship between Karna and Duryodhan is an example of true friendhip. Krishn even offered him the the Crown, after the war, if he sided with Pndavas; he point blank refused. Vibhishan would have eagerly accepted it !


I had fever, something I used to ignore, but this time it refused to leave me, even after seveal days.
My wife and our neighbours persuade me to approach a doctor in a christian institution, I am not certain whether it was a church, near our quarter at Shirwad, where  a nun doctor examined me and prescribed medicines. She took my bood for testing. I heard her saying : he is very strange; no complaning or grumbling, as if it is nothing, even though he is having high fever.
When my bood test results were shown, she told me to  postpone taking medicines for some days. She collected some plants from their land and told me to grind it into a paste and eat a portion daily and see her on the fourth day. Of course, it had no effect on my blood sugar level, but this very fact that she took so much trouble for me, gives me a strange sense of attachment, now whenever I recall it.
I was nervous. I had seen the plight of many diabetic patients, includig my mother; can I escape  their plight?
Dieting reduced my body fat which was very high. I looked like a stand on which my skin is hung.
Pichai, my officer, advised me to try “diabetic tea”, a very bitter soup, obtained by boiling a special tea for ten minutes. So I stoppped medicines. When this tea became difficult to get, I stopped taking rice and depended on eggs, morning, noon and evening, with plenty of vegetables, milk and curd. Now I use soyabean regularly, reducing eggs to six in a day. My blood sugar remans aroung 200 units.
In that nun doctor’s hospital, I noticed something which impressed me. The hearth of the kitchen was outside, to avoid the nuisance of smoke.The boiler is connected to the stove, heated by the steam. Why  not try it in houses, where plenty of wood fuel is available?
When we settled at CS puram village, we thought that it was the end of our journey, as far as physical movemwnt is concerned.
It was the first time we had a home of our own, it was in my wife’s name and she felt contended and happy. In our system, the first time a bride is ceremoniously received at the groom’s home, is called kudiveppu. She never had it because we had no home.
My philosophy was, and still is, that constructing a home is meaningless in the industrialised society, because our life depends on a job, unlike in an agricutural society, where we are bound to the land  we  own. In our society, it is very rare that a girl is given in marriage to a homeless boy.
After constructing a boundary wall in the rear, and making some alterations inside the house to make it airy, we had exhausted whatever savings we had; and spent the days, taking bath in the river, going to the three temples, one of Guruvayurappan at the west end of the village, consisting of two rows of houses, separated by a wide avenue, Ganesh temple at the east end and a very old Shiva temple, a little away, further east, where the settlement ends and rice fields begin.

 My morning walks were exploratory, enjoying the pure air, there being no industry within a distance of ten miles, crossing the river and experiencing the view from the oposite bank, when the village look enchanting. Ideal for weaving a love story, romantic and ending in happy marriage!
There was a festival almost every month. The people in the village, all brahmins (no admission for others) depending on money coming from Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi, in that order, having to do nothing else but watch any new face coming along, for which pastime, a suitable veranda, from one end to the other, is availablle, are eager to have  any activity involving a good meal,which the festivals provide.

The temples are owned by all those who have ownership of the houses in the village.

Whatever our need, mention it to the man or woman next door, and a solution will be found ! Very good for new comers.


Yes, of course.

The word in Samskritam means black. Actually it is Krishn, without the last letter a. There is one more black person in Mahabharata, Krishna, meaning black woman, the common wife of the Pandavas, five brothers. She is  called Draupaty.

There is some mysterious connection between these two blackies. But for them, there would not have been the most despicable war in history: dirty, immoral, devastating, and extremely fearsome !


I used to cut out interesting photos from daily newspapers. Of course, I wanted to make an album, but am too lazy to do it.

 One is that of  a goat, allowing a new born tiger cub to suck its milk.

 It is the maternal instinct. But for this noble feeling, I won’t be typing this, you will not be reading  it.

 The first case of throwing away the baby was Kunti of Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. Karna was placed in a vessel and floated in the river, to be picked up by unknown, kind hearted people. Why did she do it? Because she was unmarried and will be subjected to ridicule, if the public know about the baby.

 Among Rajput community, female babies were killed then and there,( not now, I hope) because they are unwanted. After carrying in her womb for nine months, how can a mother do it? Are we human? Or the goat that fed the tiger cub?


During the interregnum, between retirement and re-employment, I got a chance to live in the country side and learn about rural life and customs.
The Kannadigas, as the people of Karnataka are called, are a lovable, emotional people, very friendly to strangers,courteous and polite. Once I asked something in Hindi, to a group of school going children. They looked at me silently, as if they are deaf. I forgot it and moved on. When they were at some distance, I heard their leader shout from behind: Hindi Nahi Atha.

There are two roads from Karwar to the Plant Site. One is along the left side, the route we went in project vehicles, as it is more convenient. The other route on the right bank(when viewed from Karwar) is more grand, as the road is closer to the river, which inundates a large area of the adjoining plain, being low lying and marshy. The villages are small and far from each other. Once I saw the thorns of a porcupine which must have been shot by men . I collected the colourful, smooth thorns, sharp at one end, but my wife threw it awy as something unlucky to keep.
I had heard of Yakshagana.
Then, I actually saw the tent etc. though I was reluctant to go inside. The language cannot be understood. I t is somewhat similar to Ramleela of the north. The tickets are costly. Ramleela is free. There was good response from the public.

Another notable event was a festival in which the lady of the house comes out, with a lighted earthen lamp, duly escorted by the family members. Near our hut, was an improvised temple, for which the base platform is made of concrete, entirely manned by children, during  these days. Once, myself and wife attended the arti and received prasad, very tasty. We gave  money by placing it near the deity. I was indifferent, or else, I could have collected all details about such festivals.
Work in the office was really back breaking. For the first time in my life, I did real work.
In the audit offices, there was hardly three day’s work, when I was a clerk, except when we go on inspections. After becoming audior, it was only supervision. (Now, these terms have been changed. We were ashamed to be called upper division clerk. So  our association took up the matter with  the Controller and Auditor General, who graciously now calls UDC as Auditor, auditor  as Section Officer, Chief Auditor as Director Of Adit etc.)
After becoming Accouts Officer, my main work was signing of letters, notes, initialling of papers received in the office etc. My table was always clear and I used to sit idle or read some book, as I did not know how to be busy without any work!
Now, in Konkan railway, I had to check and pass all cotractors’ bills received every day. I am a workaholic and I enjoyed my new assignment. I became famialiar with all the works going on in Karwar section, icluding earth work, bridges and tunnels
There is a Hanuman temple near our office at Karwar, before we shifted to Shirwad, now the railway station, and I used to pray there as soos a I got down from th bus. Afterwards I saw the big, ancient temple of Lord  Ram opposite. The former was very small, and devotees had to stand in rain during monsoon. I gave Rs. 500 to our works supervisor and requested him to do the needful to initiate action by the poojari, for construction of a small shelter, by collecting money.
After several years, I saw a fairly big hall there! I felt gratified.
Each division has a Chief Engineer and Raju, a Keralite, was our chief. He approves payments, which we have to honour. My Accounts Officer told me to forget”audit”. I forgot it then and there!

 We used to make payment of bills, for which there is no agreement, at least about rates.
Sreedharan’s word is the law. He is a workaholic, with a mania about target dates. He believed that Accounts is interested in delaying payments and considered them as enemies. So he clipped our wings.
Explosives were being purchased on a large scale for blasting rocks for tunnelling works. We were concerned only with recovery of the cost from contractors. Now, it comes to my mind, that some technical check regarding the quantity required for the works, were also reqired, as these are not available in the open market without licence. They could easily draw more and sell it at black market rates. Now there is the added risks of the material going into the hands of terrorists. I wonder if Audit is aware of  it.

An Engineer in charge of tunnel survey, for which they have to cross the mountan, used to come to me. He offered to take me along, during his mountaineering trip, but it never became a reality.
I did climb the mountain,which is near our office at Shirwad. As the tunnel was yet to be completed, we went around in a bus, and then by walk, till we reached the base. The villagers pointed out a way up, as they used to go there, probably for wood. When we reached the top, it was like an embankment of pure rock, through which a stream flows in the rainy season. Now it was dry. Going upstream, we came across some thing like a steep wall of rock. In the rainy season it was a water fall.
We proceeded further, in spite of protests by my wife. After some time, we came across a pond in the midle of the river, all rock only here, and it was the most beautiful pond I have ever seen. The water, some ten feet deep, was clear as ladies’ tears. I coud see a small pebble at the bottom. I waned to jump into it; but all others dissuaded me as it was getting dark. My friend was afraid that pythons may be around, which was quite a possibility. So we hurried back home.


 There are watchmen everywhere, are they of any use?
The fellow in the bank can’t prevent robbery. His gun may be useless. Is it loaded? Even otherwise, CAN HE FACE THREE ARMED MEN?

The watcmen in our housing society  is useful to some extent. But, how can he verify whether the vsitor is entering the correct address or name in the register?
In one society, thieves removed the engine from several cars in the night. When the owner tried to start the car, it remained impassive. Then he noticed that the engine is missing.

One night we were strolling in NAPP Township. In one corner, a watchman with a gun,  was sleeping soundly in his booth. What is he supposed to do, in case  a guy snathes his gun? Better give them toy guns.

VVVIPs are given police protection. Do you believe they can face terrorists with AK 47 guns? These policemen may better be utilised for maintaing their gardens at home. The tax payer’s money, my money, should not be misused for protecting an individual, however VVVVVVIP he  fit case for PIL.may be. What is equality before the law? Who decides his importance?
Gandhi never thought of protection. He refused it and faced the bullet? It means there is no criterion for deciding VIPness.

 This is a fit case for PIL.


During the farewell party, our Chief Project Engineer, Paramahans Tiwari, said that he can confidently approve any paper, if it has been concurred in by me! My heart swelled, as though I recived a National Award ! 
What a change from the attitude of M.S.R.Sarma, who blocked my promotion for, as long as he could.
It was my retirement party and, once again I was in the streets.
As my son Sudhir was working at plant site, under a contractor, it became imperative that we should remain in that area, to support him.
There was no private accommodation, the whole place belonging to the forest department, before the project came up. Ranjith managed to find out a roof to cover our heads at Mallapur, where the staff colony was located.
 It was just a barn, with a half partition, to make two rooms. It belonged to a rich farmer who’se great grandfather built a house and fenced off vast territory around it, in prime forest, without any documents. On the bank of Kali river, it is today worth a few crores of rupees. The old lady used to tell my wife, how in her younger days, a cart load of provisions were brought all the way from Karwar, a cool forty miles, including matches and salt, as there was no neighbour here, from whom such things are borrowed in emergency. Were I a novelist, here is a good theme  to write volumes! Or a mega serial for TV.
The whole place was full of rubbish and dry leaves, cow dung and house flies. Unbelievable but true, there were NO MOSQUIOS!
I used to have good sleep.
A thin, stick of a girl, from our neighbouring house, came to draw water from a deep well, who would bend like a willow branch, while carrying the big vessel full of water, from the well to our castle, a hundred yards or so. She will fill each and every littlle vessel that can hold water, including tumblers, without spilling a drop! My wife was so pleased that she gave her a wrist watch and girls’ suit as gift, when we shifted to Karwar again.
Ranjith had a baby, Amulya, whom I used to carry around in the project colony in the morning, where I  would rush early morning, because there was no toilet in the barn! People thought I am his father-in-law.
In the night, in emergency, my wife would accompany me, with a torch and a mugful of water into the fields, until they built a toilet for us, the cost of which was recoverd from us,when we vacated the place.
Thereafter, my morning walks were along the high way. The incident of a dog seeking my protection from other dogs, has been described in a post in my blog.
Sudhir wanted to stop medicines, saying he was feeling sleepy always, unable to discarge his duties. His cousin Anish’s influence was also another reason. Both were talking in a closed room for two days. Meanwhile, he got a job under a contractor working at the plant site, where he had to be alert and active.
All were impressed by the change. He became slim and hyperactive. All noticed  his ability to get things done, as there were many formalities to be observed and his fluent English helped him. He used to read a lot. We were getting Readers Digest, with tempting advertisements offering discount . He ordered for their World Atlas, a must for all geographers. Luckily, we moved to other places and were saved from payment.
Another cousin Kuttan came there seeking some opening. He knew electic fitter’s work and so was engaged under a contractor, doing wiring of new quarters. Afterwards, he became an expert and got a job in Dubai.
One more cousin, Praveen came  and all were accommodated in the barn. It was quite a jolly  atmosphere, when all came in the evening, taking bath near the well, talking  , laughing and recounting their experiences of the day.

Soya once told me that Konkan railway was re-employing railway pensioners and advised me to send an application.
There was a namboodiri engineer working in Konkan railway,  who knew Sreedharan well (He passed away shortly afterwards ), and after about five months from the day I  retired, I got appointed there at Karwar. It was one step lower, as was their policy, and I was told to find suitable house, which will be hired by K.Rly, and given to me.
But I continued to stay at Mallapur, in the circumstances described above, shuttling in private buses, as departmental transport is not available, now that I have retired.
So I couLd postpone my fate, of transporting my furniture, to where I DIDN’T HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA !