Monday, July 21, 2008

Breakfast With Shambhu

Can I get away with it?

I suppose most cats think they are either on par with or superior to human beings? Shambhu for example thinks it is his right to join us while we're at the dining table. He might be playing furiously in the living room but as soon as he hears my fork against the plate he comes galloping at top speed and immediately jumps onto a chair so as to watch me eat. Then in slow steps he tries his luck, to see if he can actually get onto the table though mostly I swat him away with a rolled up newspaper.

Incidentally Shambhu's way of digesting the morning news is to first sniff at the paper, then look at it intensely, then scratch it up and try to chew the edges off. Am sure he gets more of what is happening in the world than I do.

Oh, now that's really interesting - let me just get through this paragraph before you knock me off the table

Shambhu's favourite toy with which he can spend ages playing at a stretch, is something that looks like a white bottle cap though Saru told me recently it is not a bottle cap at all but some part of a table fan that he prised loose while pawing the fan. He pushes it around with his paws, chucks it up in the air, leaps up to retrieve it, executes professional looking somersaults over it and scrabbles around madly from one end of the room to the other - for a minimum of two hours, until he drops down exhausted and then proceeds to sleep soundly with one paw over his eyes for the next few hours.

He has been going down to play in the garden as well, though he is very fussy and insists on being escorted into the lobby. Once there, he takes off. For some reason he doesn't like to go out on his own, though once in the garden, he is able to find his way back home alone! Cats are strange!

Now I dare you to shoo me off!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some Highlights Of Our Marve Retreat

Clockwise from left: Chandran, Sudha, Suresh V, Suresh D., Sharat and Meher

For those of you not present, here are some highlights of our retreat this weekend, at the guest house in Marve by the sea.

Chandran made the tea! Too bad we don't have photos of this but I believe it was quite an event. I only got to taste it and I must say it was gooooood.

We got an opportunity to shake our bodies and jump around and generally let loose, which is normally difficult to do in the city, during our two hour weekly sessions.

During an afternoon session we discovered a whole lot of hidden talent in the members of our group. In pairs they composed the most philosophical verse I have come across in a while, and I hope to post it on the basicindia blog soon.

After dinner there was a round of story telling with each one contributing a sentence to the main story. We came up with an all time record of a horrendously stupid story involving a right angled cat (contributed by Sharat) a sexy cat, a lightening conductor and Chandran. I forget who actually bolted up the lightening conductor - the sexy cat, the right angled cat or Chandran but one of them did and the story ended on that note. Chandran if it was you up there I presume you are back on earth.

Suresh V was so exhausted with cats and Chandran going up and down the lightening conductor that he retired to bed a couple of hours before actual bedtime. He was followed downstairs by Suresh D, Sharat and Sudha who then sat up chatting up old Hindi movies till well past midnight after which Suresh V really decided to call it a day because he was expecting a visit from a neighbourhood ghost apparently with whom he claimed to have spent the night.

Another highlight: it was quiet in Marve! Even more quiet than it is during the week. We normally avoid going to Marve on weekends because of the cars racing up and down the main road playing their boom boxes at top volume - not to mention loud parties that keep us awake till 4 in the morning, sometimes. But this weekend it was very peaceful, it rained a couple of times and we were quite grateful to whoever organized the peace and quiet in Marve.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Finally, after planning it for weeks we got down to seeing the movie "Babel". I think those of us who watched it yesterday evening (including Chandran and Sudha) must have been the last to see it. Almost everyone I had asked seemed to have seen it already and most of them said, "It's a very good movie" and then kind of shuddered. So I, not being a fan of movies based on violence and other depressing topics, have to confess it took me too a while to even decide to see the film.

Well, I must say it's one of the most thought provoking movies I've seen in a while and doesn't allow itself to be easily classified, bringing together as it does, four different stories in four different parts of the world. What was the message? Was there one? I'm not even sure but yes, it makes you think about a whole lot of things. Makes you think about the nature of our world (the human world), about the rich and the poor and how the rich seem to always end up with the attention. It makes you think about fate, about whether or not our life is in our hands and side by side it makes you think about responsibility because of the nature in which we are all linked together in today's world.

Towards the end of the evening, the door of the drawing room (where we were watching the film) opened accidentally and Shambhu wandered in. Knowing his tendency to play with and chew at wires and generally jump onto tables and push things around, and being extremely protective about my DVD player I yelped and got Sudha to catch him and remove him from the scene once again.