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Showing posts from February, 2008

My walks in the Tobacco Company garden........5

I miss my walks in the garden when I travel. On my return I feel happy to see the jogging couple, an Asian and a Farang woman with their dogs still around. Strange as we have never spoken to each other so far. When they jog the dogs run along with them and keep barking and chasing other stray mutts in the park. I am impressed when the dogs obey their masters’ command and get back. After the jog the couples spread their mats and do yoga! I notice she is better at Yoga than the man! The scene is very dramatic and is worth a picture as they go leg up under the shade of the peepul tree near the Buddha idol and the dogs sit around them patiently!

I am also happy to see the Thai- Chinese also practicing Tai-Chi, moving gracefully to music. He is very good and especially impressive when he has a sword in his hand. He moves with a lot of grace and power. Sometimes I see him teaching a few old Chinese women Tai-Chi. They are sincere and intense; watching these timorous old ladies weaving their …

My walks in the Tobacco Company garden........4

It is not always serious during my walks. Sometimes I encounter funny situations. I recall the day after the New Year! I saw a man in a safari suit standing in front of the Buddha Idol and from where I was it looked as though he was talking to the Idol. Actually he was talking into the cell phone. Those days cell phones were not so common! You did not see people talking into their phones all the time as we do now.

Soon, the person who sweeps the place every day appeared with a broom and swept the place again! Minutes later a well-dressed lady drove in and parked her car on the curb close to the Idol. She and the man in the safari suit opened the boot of her car and took out two ornate stools covered with red velvet cushions and placed them front of the idol. Another call and soon there appeared one of those very expensive cars. Very shiny and sleek. Obviously it was the CEO of the factory.

As he got out of his car I could sense an aura of power about him. He wore an expensive looking s…

My walks in the Tobacco Company garden.....3

In the mornings as soon as the sun's rays fall on the lake, you can see turtles balancing and sunning themselves on pipes which are seen on the surface of the lake. The turtles stay on top of the pipe unmindful of the people walking along the path. But, it was different once when I stopped to admire them. They immediately slid into the water. Their instinct for self preservation triggered as soon they saw me stop and stare. I had no way of conveying to them that I meant no harm! My profile as a predator was clearly built into their very nature.

The next day, I could see the same instinct in action when a very cute little turtle crossed my path. I stopped to admire this little fellow. Its immediate response was to stop moving and withdraw its head and limbs into the shell. Its innocence was endearing as it was now very easy to just pick it up. I walked on with a smile. My own stupidity became apparent the next day when I saw a small turtle shell lying a little away from the point wh…

My walks in the Tobacco Company garden......2

Soon I discover a short cut to the garden and the entry is in total contrast to the main entrance. It is a path along the backyards of a few simple cottages overlooking the lake. A few are decorated with things picked up from the streets. In one, a huge bobbin for cables works as a table and a large Singha beer sign as a back drop. In the next an old sofa with springs jutting out of the cover is placed facing the lake. Another has a shack made out of wooden poles and is decorated very ornately with many beer bottles hung from the rafters. The large tree in front of the lake has a few hammocks hanging. Among them one cottage looks very different as it has a well tended garden. It is a different world as sometimes I see a young Thai sharpening the claws of a fairly large fighter cock. Once, one of them escaped from the cage came charging towards me. Luckily a dog distracted the cock and I was saved from some deep scratches on my leg. Actually it was a bit scary. It took me a week to get…

My walks in the Tobacco Company gardens.... 1

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I had just retired after working for 38 years and soon realise that it is an odd sensation getting up early each morning to go nowhere. I feel a walk would do me good and go walking to this garden. As I enter, the irony of a Tobacco Company providing lung space strikes me and I wonder about the number of lungs that were affected to finance this garden.

It is a narrow garden along the side of a fairly large lake and away from the main road. It has some lovely trees and a beautiful Idol of Lord Buddha in the middle. It has paved paths and pruned plants as I enter but the scene gradually changes to dirt tracks, unkempt plants and trees as I walk beyond the idol.


I become a regular to this garden and after a couple of rounds I rest and try to contemplate. I am not very good at meditating and even being in front of the idol does not help. I wonder how Lord Buddha managed to meditate as I get easily distracted by the sound of the cars or the chirping of birds.
The other day the distraction ca…

A Little 'Older' Champs!

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Just the day before the concert Tara and I watched a program called the 'The Little Champs'. It is a competition for singers who are little, not in talent, but in age and they were so natural. I was a bit concerned as to how they would fare later in this highly competitive arena. We hear stories of neglect once they are out of the limelight.

Anyway, I am happy now to write about the concert which Viji sponsored on February 9, 2008 and Gayathri and Tara chipped in with their own special talents in organizing the concert. The Venue was the NIST Auditorium and the Chief Guest was the Ambassador of India to Thailand, H.E. Latha Reddy.
(Viji's mother lighting the lamp.)
Viji and Khalid take pleasure in sponsoring artists from India to perform in Bangkok. This provides us a rare opportunity to hear some very good artists. This year was no exception with a Carnatic music recital by Sangeetha Vidwan Shri K. Saranathan – Vocal, Shri T.V. Parthasarathy – Violin and Shri S. Radhakrishna…

Pilgrimage thoughts

It was one the most beautiful moments in my life. I walked a little slowly to adjust my eyes to the change in the light and savor the moment. I was in the presence of one of the most magnificent and venerated idols in South India. Suddenly, I was propelled forward in a spurt. It was a miracle I thought, god himself had pulled me towards him. One more jerk and I came to my senses. I was being pulled forward by the staff employed to do exactly this!It is true that we are overcome by emotions as we enter the garbagudi of a temple as renowned as Thirupati and try to linger as long as we possibly can. Those of us fortunate, are allowed to remain by standing on one side, while the rest are forced to move on in a few seconds . It was frustrating for me as I was in fact with this privileged group, Ram, Shakku and Vishwanath, but got separated due to my tardiness.I well remember an earlier episode some forty years ago, when the staff held us prisoner due to their internal fights and politics. …