Friday, March 31, 2017

134. You've got Mail!

Thousand Full Moon: Prof. Madhukar Khadilkar  
Contributed by: Prof. Khadilkar
Prof. Khadilkar (81+) lives in Kothrud Pune and has retired as the principal of Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Pune after a long successful career. His brief write-up in Marathi, given below, touches upon some of his cherished life moments. He first talks about his marriage to his wife of 55 years. He says that when he had decided to get married, he met a few girls but he was not comfortable with the then prevalent ways of finding a suitable match. So, when he heard about this beautiful girl who was an accomplished classical vocalist and came from a good family he took the initiative and wrote her a letter expressing his desire to marry her. He requested that she sent her reply to his Pune address. Since he had a traveling job he was stationed in Nagpur for several days. As days passed by and he did not hear back from her he presumed that she probably was not interested. His joy knew no bounds when one day he received her letter forwarded from his old Pune address accepting his proposal!
He also mentions his daughters’ successes and the birth of his great grandson as some other cherished moments of his life.

Monday, September 19, 2016

133. Joyous Moments.

Thousand Full Moon: Shrimati Prabhavati Abhyankar (82+)
Contributed by: Rohini

Shrimati Prabhavati (Kaku) Abhyankar is the matriarch of her family. She lives in Mumbai near her two well settled daughters. A petite figure, with a loving smile, always ready to welcome family and friends, even in the middle of the night.
Prabha Kaku’s maiden name was Leela Vaidya. She was born in a village near Dapoli in Konkan. Being the youngest of the ten children she was her father’s darling. She said he would buy her things and would take her to the fair. He was a police constable. She is very proud of him and misses him even today. Her eldest brother was an Ayurvedic doctor, doctor of Indian traditional medicine. He used to live a couple of floors removed in the same building as she does. He had come to Mumbai when he was very young and lived as a paying guest in Girgaon and had started work right after finishing school. She was visiting him when the marriage proposal came from her husband’s family who also used to live in Girgaon at the time. She got married at a young age and moved to Vile Parle in about six months’ time.
She narrated three memorable events to me on the phone when I spoke to her last. Once when her daughters were very young her husband was taken ill and was running a high fever. He was admitted to Nanavati hospital. The doctors were very concerned and said that, that particular night was critical. When Prabha Kaku went to the hospital early next morning the Doctor came and tried to wake her husband up by calling his name, she said he opened his eyes on hearing the doctor’s voice and that was the happiest moment of her life
Her granddaughter has won many prizes in school and brought her a lot of joy.
She fondly mentioned the day when her grandson was born. She said the nurse came out and announced, “It is a Baba (a baby boy) but Kaku just was not sure what she had heard so she asked her niece again, “Did she say a Baba or a baby, a boy child or a girl child? Her niece gave her a bid hug and said, “Kaku it is a baba, a baba!!”
“That too was a joyous moment for me!” She said with contentment.

Friday, August 26, 2016

132. Fulfilled!

Thousand Full Moon: Dr. Nalini Varadpande(81+)
Contributed By: Dr. Raghunath Boradkar 

Shrimati Dr. Nalini Varadpande retired as a Professor and Head, Department of Home Science from Morris College Nagpur now known as Nagpur Nagar Mahavidyalaya. She did her M.Sc. [Child Development] from MSU Baroda and her Ph.D. from Nagpur University. She lives in Nagpur enjoys playing Rummy and is very Prolife with an exceedingly positive attitude that baffles a pessimist like me! Here she narrates an account of her memorable experience which as she calls it is ‘Simply Unforgettable’. Here it is and mostly in her words.
I completed 81 and entered 82 qualifying myself for a ‘Sahasra Chandra Darshan Sohala’ Thousand full moon celebration as per our ‘Shastras’ scriptures. Though not literally I had seen 1001 full moon days. My life’s script rolled before my eyes as I thought of it. Memories of all sorts good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant, significant and insignificant, success and failure crowded my mind and selecting a single eventful episode appeared to be  a ‘Herculean job’. At the same time lots of Joyful moments and experiences surfaced from the unconscious to the conscious and made their presence felt.  There were moments of pride witnessing the success of my Son, Daughters and grandsons. And yet my mind searched for a moment that was my own and a very personal one. And then suddenly this Unforgettable Episode appeared before my eyes from my earlier days.
My husband Baba was a commissioned officer in the Indian Army and was then posted at Sugar sector near Simla. The place was about 1100 feet higher than Simla there were about 18/20 tents all surrounded by snow and he was to stay there for a minimum period of six months.  To me it seemed like a stretched time interval and unbearable. There was no contact with him excepting through the mail. And the letters had to be addressed to 56 A.P.O. They could be opened and read for security reasons and hence used to be totally insipid and uninteresting.
Every week he had to come to Simla either for weekly ration or some other work. He used to call me from there.  But it was not always that we could talk .Frequent interruptions were common and irritating and I used to feel terrible. But I knew there was no go.
And then one day he called me from Simla and my happiness knew no bounds. A call for two minutes went on lingering in my mind for two days. He had just said ‘I am coming next week’. We were all happy that the six months isolation was to end soon. I started counting days but hardly ever anything happens smoothly and without any tensions and so I had my moments of tension. Just two days before he was to arrive we received a news that out of the six jeeps that had started for Simla two were swept away by an avalanche. The news was tragic but no more information was available from the command office.  I was gripped with anxiety and hardly knew what to do. My prime concern was his safety but everything seemed uncertain and we could do nothing .I am not a believer but I immersed a Ganapati idol in water and started praying for his safe arrival. And lo a day before he was to arrive the phone rang and I heard the familiar voice saying ‘Nale I am coming by Rajdhani Express and will reach tomorrow’. My prayers were answered and the first thing I did was to place some sweets before the Idol of Ganapati albeit after taking him out of water!
The day he was to arrive we all decided to stay at home.  The house was ready to welcome him. My daughters Anjali and Manju decorated the house and had drawn a beautiful Rangoli and my son Mohan had brought roses. We went to the station to receive him and when I saw him getting down from the compartment I literarily ran and hugged him without bothering about the crowd on the platform. My eyes were full of tears but they were tears of joy.
I went to the college the next day for some time but was unable to concentrate. I had already decided to take leave on Monday and Tuesday. I tried to concentrate on work for a while but could hardly do so. So I told my colleagues to look after work telling them that they should call me in case something important crept up and left for home in a jiffy. I must have hardly spent two hours in the college. All the while I was thinking of preparing something that he liked to eat. When I reached home I found an official envelope on the table. Curious I opened it and read the letter and lost my temper. His leave had been cancelled and he was asked to report immediately. I was so furious that I could hardly speak. A question that I felt like asking was ‘Why did they sanction the leave when they were to cancel it and Do they not have families to think of’? To give vent to my feelings I started crying. I calmed down after a while. In the meanwhile Baba had seized the situation and to ease the tension said ‘Nale lets have some tea and onion pakoras as I haven’t eaten them for some time and that too prepared by you. I will get things ready for you. Rather than easing the prevailing tense atmosphere I got angrier than before and wondered how he could think of Pakoras when his leave was cancelled and he had to report immediately. I even asked myself if he was really ignoring us and had stopped loving us. I openly gave vent to my feelings. Realizing that things were getting out of control he then said to his cousin who was there ‘Manohar Tell her everything or else we will get no tea and pakoras and she will spoil everything’. Then Manohar told me that he had taken out the original letter and replaced it with a fake one cancelling the leave. He had cleverly forged the signature and all this was done as a joke to harass me. With this the tense environment turned in to a joyous relaxed one and I could only say ‘What a cruel joke’. I just slapped him on his back and went to the kitchen and fetched the tea and the piping hot pakoras for the party. What had happened then has now turned in to a Simply Unforgettable Moment.
About a month back my children with their children celebrated my 81st Birthday with ample gusto. We went to a beautiful holiday resort and enjoyed fully. We did some boating played games danced and shared happiness and I felt these were the most exquisite moments in my life. All my near and dear ones were there and I said to myself ‘This is life and I enjoy it’ I am happy and content. Dhanyoham. Fulfilled!

Dr Nalini Varadpande M.Sc. P.Hd.