Mohali match

SWEET AND SOUR

But I can still reaffirm that he has emerged as India’s fearless leader and the wisest prime minister India has ever had. I am sure that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were privy to his decision to invite the prime minister of Pakistan to witness the cricket match between the two countries at Mohali.

There are good reasons for Mohali being chosen as the venue for the match. It is closest to Pakistan than any other Indian city where test matches are played. It also witnessed the world’s worst communal conflicts when Punjab was divided into two in August 1947 — over a million people were murdered in cold blood and ten million uprooted from their homes.

Though the wounds inflicted in 1947 have healed, bitter memories of what happened 64 years ago still rankle in the minds of Punjabis on both sides. Mohali also has more space than other possible venues. There was no language problem, our guest from Pakistan spoke the same language as the citizens of Mohali.

Like most Indians I watched the first half of the match on my TV before retiring for the night. An eerie silence enveloped the country. It was broken by bursting of crackers and I concluded that India had won.

I was happy that India had won. I would have been equally happy if Pakistan had won. They will go back hurt and  their team chided for having lost to India. Perhaps once again it will be Manmohan Singh’s acceptance of the invitation to visit Pakistan that will bring the two countries closer.

Dance as soporific

As my vision and hearing decline and I do not welcome visitors, I rely on papers, magazines and TV channels to keep abreast of what is going on in the world. I switch on my TV at 5 pm and I get a gist of the news in a few minutes and get my favourite programme — Doordarshan programme devoted to classical music and dancing.
Despite my hearing aids, I am unable to get much out of the music and hope they will put on classical dancing. I can tell which form of dancing it is. My top favourite is Odissi because it is sensuous and closest to stone sculptures on temple walls. Only one form of dancing eludes me — Kathakali from Kerala. I don’t understand why dancers wear weird masks. Why so much quivering of fingers and strong foot movements. I find it grotesque.
Almost all dancers after their decline become teachers of dancing and manage to get government aid to run them. I find the teaching lessons most attractive because I also learn something from them. My top favourite is Swapna Sundri and her two girl disciples. She demonstrates new movements and asks the girls to repeat them which beats time with a clapper.

I have never met Swapna Sundri but feel I have known her all my life. I switch off at 8 pm convinced that my sleep will be full of sweet dreams.

Last supper

A Gujarati, a Madrasi and a Sardar were doing construction works on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building. They were having lunch. Gujju said: “Dhokla! If I get dhokla one more time for lunch, I’m going to jump off this building.”

The Madrasi opened his lunch box and exclaimed, “Idli sambhar again! If I get idli sambhar one more I’m going to jump off too”.

The Sardar opened his lunch box and said, “Parantha again! If I get a parantha one more time, I’m jumping too.”

The next day the Gujju opened his lunch box, saw dhokla, and jumped to his death. The Madrasi opened his lunch, same idli-sambhar, and jumped too. The Sardar opened his lunch, saw the parantha and jumped to his death as well.

At the funeral Gujju’s wife was weeping. She said, “If I’d known how really tired he was of dhokla, I never would have given it to him again!” The Madrasi’s wife also wept and said, “I could have given him dosa! I didn’t realise he hated idli sambhar so much.”
Everyone turned and stared at the Sardar’s wife.

The Sardar’s wife said, “Don’t look at me. He makes his own lunch.”

(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, Delhi)

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