Saturday, April 4, 2020

The cat, kitten and the dog

Its been an interesting few weeks at home, lockdown and all, but more so due to the pets at home. So, first of all, a fawn labrador retriever has become an important member of our family. He'll be 4 on April 10th. He's awesome- he understands every word we say or don't say. More about this sweet guy in a later post. But the hullabaloo a few days back was because we had an interesting guest at home. The stray cat who thinks she owns us and our home brought her little kitten who hadn't even opened her eyes! After an exciting photo session, she disappeared. Yet again.

Then yesterday she reappears but without her kitty. But she wouldn't stop meowing. We discover that the kitty has somehow lodged herself inside a tiny rectangular hole in the car!! Dh, quick and dextrous with hands was able to pull her out of the hole in the car. Again, after the mandatory photo op, she was showing off her baby when the mother-of-all-tests arrived. Dhrish, our lab, made an extensive check over the situation through a thorough sniffing test to the new attraction. The kitty passed and we have a consensus at home now. The cat, kitten and the dog are happy together.

Dh has kindly named the kitten. Mitten when she's still a kitten, Mat when she is a cat!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My takeaway from The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Death is a great equalizer.

And when Death decides to narrate a story, not about a jewel thief (which is exciting and which would feed Him well) or a bread thief (which is heartbreaking but which will undoubtedly satiate Him) but a Book Thief, you kind of wonder why.

Is it because she's an innocent little 10year old girl? Is it because of her indelible encounter with Death so early in her tender life? Is it because of her selfless actions that help people around her cope up with the copious amounts of death and destruction around? Is Death in love with words himself that he finds The Book Thief interesting and exciting? Are the solid characters who tempt and tantalize The Book Thief an inspiration for Death? Maybe all of it. I think.

Set in a WWII era in Nazi Germany, the story unfolds the hardships and suffering endured by the Germans themselves as they toil and sweat through the drudgery of war. Though the story is set in melancholic times, it does have a fair bit of fun under the cloudy grey skies, a bit of romance with a person and a thing, a little heist planned and executed, and a lot of pain-killing words in books. A thriller under the Nazi flag under the stairs, unusual bonds from unusual places, strong, dependable unconditional love and a great many insults in German carelessly strewn about add up to make it a breezy read! 

The words were loaded, interesting and metaphorical making it thought-provoking and reflective. I went through periods of gloom and despair along with feelings of optimism and rejuvenation of faith for the human race falling into the depths of this book. But I loved that this was my first read on WWII! I would cool off with a lighter, sweeter Gerald Durrell next though :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Covid conversations

Talking to a workaholic dad about the MOAB virus!
The italicized words are the keywords that we've been hearing day in and day out ever since we've encountered the novel corona virus- covid 19.

March 10th 2020 Primary schools closed in India
Dear dad, this new corona virus doesn’t seem to be relenting
Primary schools have been closed, maybe you should consider social distancing?
Of course, you should look after your customers, you should fulfill your obligations
Maybe you can try out phone call solicitations?
It’s just that the virus is going viral and the epidemiologists aren’t reassuring

March 11th 2020 WHO declares Covid to be a Pandemic
Daddy, you know what? WHO has upgraded covid to a Pandemic.
It is important that you don’t venture out, definitely not to a clinic.
No more hugging your friends, just greet them with a namaste
Nor should we put our lives on the hands of farishte!
Let’s get started with it, dad- let’s stay at home, Let’s protect our rishte!

March 14th 2020 America declares national emergency
Appa, Indians are stuck around the world including Atlanta;
They could have been in Florida, enjoying the fiesta!
No fun and games even though it’s the spring break,
Right now, it is just important we don’t ignore a throat ache.
The number of infections mustn't surge and flattening of the curve we must undertake.

March 19th 2020 X and XII Exams are cancelled
Exams are now cancelled for X and XII and rightfully so;
This covid is a menace, but does it affect places that’s cold and with lots of snow?
No, daddy, no, that doesn’t mean that it won’t affect places that are hot
Better to stay away from information pollution and fake news than not.
The virus is bound to mutate, though, I hope it doesn’t find its epicentre in this spot.

March 22nd Janata curfew
Oh! Daddy! India is trying something new. We are willingly going under a lockdown
No one is to come out of their homes even after sundown.
The infected people have been quarantined,
Masks and ventilators will soon be in high need.
Hope and pray that the people are washing hands and paying heed.

March 25th National Lockdown India
What an unprecedented occasion, to mitigate a death-trap situation
21 days of #stayhome to #staysafe to overcome this condition
No herd immunity technique, not for us,
Oh, Look, Dad, maybe the hole in the ozone layer will close during all this buzz!
And we have more fika and connect with Nature in her superfluousness!

March 29th Exodus of migrant workers

Oh dad, people are staying home, people are hoarding
Every day laborers have nowhere to go except their hometown- all the way, they've started walking.
How can we get them home safe and secure? When can we produce the antigen?
Can we try the Japanese Amabie to scare off the pathogen?
The world's completely gone empty, including the Eiffel tower and the Vatican!

(To be continued)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Changes in the World.

Some people lap on the daily routines, take sanctuary in regular habits, fall prey to the usual conventions. Not me, I thought. I like adventure. I crave change. I want different. Every day, every moment, no routine for me, no siree! Or so, I thought. 

The change the world has brought to us isn't the change I wanted or craved or thirsted for, I guess.  But then, can you have changes that you approve of? Can you set standards or levels for the change you approve of? Changes just barge into our lives. Sometimes as a sweet surprise of a welcome guest or sometimes just as a shocking discovery of an unexpected infestation. Sometimes we let the change in and let it reshape us, our attitudes and ourselves. Sometimes we bang the door on it, resist it and try to alter it. Either way, it gets in. 

This pandemic, it's different, it is reshaping the world, it is scary. Though we have people holed safe, sound and comfy in their homes, it's is a difficult, dangerous, nerve-wrecking world for a lot many. But then, the change is here. 

No point in wishing it away. Just need to do the next thing to do. The right thing to do. Let the changes descend on us and let the world recuperate back to its original glory. 
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