Jun 25, 2014

Kitty Saga - 3

New readers of notsoperfectkarthi, please read Kitty Saga - 1 and Kitty Saga - 2 (at the very end of that post) to bring yourselves up to speed.

It had been more than a month since Chakki had taken her kids off in huff after we had offered her "substandard" acco in our garage while she had gunned for the five-star lifestyle in our kitchen. The kids and I went about the general merrymaking of summer vacation always keeping an eye open for the return of the prodigals.

Then in May, after we returned from a hurried trip to Chennai and Ooty, I opened the front door one afternoon and was scared out of my wits by a black and white furry ball that shot across my way on our porch. Who did I see?

The black n white kitten hiding behind the toy car! They took up temporary residence in our garage. Chakki had brought them back! Here they are hiding behind my scooter:

The kitties were completely wild and would never allow us anywhere near them. I cornered the B&W one once and only got clawed for my pains. I decided to let them alone until they grew accustomed to us if they could. And yes, service at Karthi Cat Spa continued...

They switched acco between our garage and our next-door neighbor's open terrace. Some time in May, the tan and white kitten went missing. But the B&W one made up for it. We named her "Aakrantha Kumari" (the greedy girl kitten) in honor of her insatiable appetite for milk. 

One day we offered Chakki a piece of fried fish. Aakrantha Kumari was on the neighbor's roof. Chakki started to eat the fish, then reconsidered it, picked up the piece of fish and carefully made her way into the neighboring yard while mewing softly with the fish in her mouth. We heard her daughter's frantic replies from our neighbor's roof as she waited to share the delicacy. Such motherly care!

Then two weeks ago, when we came back in the evening after a long day of weekend errands, we found Aakrantha Kumari on our porch. By that time, she had taken to coming in to Karthi from time to time under the strict supervision of her Mom, still not allowing us to touch her, but not running away from us so much either. She shared another bowl of milk with her Mom. Then she played under our car that had been parked in front. Ani came in from time to time to give us blow-by-blow reports of her antics under the car. 

Then as dusk was falling, I went out into our front yard and heard our neighbor call. I walked up to our boundary wall  and he said, "You know that lovely black and white kitten that plays with the kids? It was killed by a stray dog in our yard. The momma cat was so distraught and was crying over the body. I am just back from burying it." DH had come out to hear the last part and I had to tell him the whole thing, by which time the kids came to know about it too. And worse, Chakki herself came to us over the wall.

It was heart-breaking. Because she didn't seem to know what to do. She called for her kitten roaming all over our house. She followed DH distractedly when he went from room to room as though she was sure he was going to the kitten's hiding place. She had never taken her kittens to our second storey, but she went up the stairs anyway and wandered calling in the empty rooms up there. When we opened the front door, she went out. But then came back again through the bedroom window and searched under the window seat where she had given birth to her adorable twins. When we closed the windows, she sat on the sill outside and called.

We all grieved for that bundle of fun. We tried to be philosophical about it, but not very successfully. Two little kittens - alive for barely two or three months? The only consolation was that at least we knew what had happened to the second one, that we had fed her just an hour before she went away and that we had seen her minutes before when she was alive and well but had been spared the horrible end. 

Now all that is left of those kittens' lives are a few photos, a video of both of them playing under our coconut tree and our memories. I will post the video if I can, I downloaded it today to my computer and laughed and cried while watching it. And I had to write about them so that they will be safe somewhere in this cyber-world at least - always playing, tumbling over each other, pretending to be tigers!

Jun 18, 2014

Post Anniversary Thoughts...

In celebration of our twelfth wedding anniversary, let me share this excerpt from Eric Maisel's The Creativity Book

"What are the contours of a good intimate relationship? Every successful intimate relationship rests on the following twenty building blocks. Both partners commit to:
  1. The care of each other's solitude
  2. The maintenance of emotional security
  3. The maintenance  of meaning
  4. The maintenance of passion
  5. The creation of at least occasional happiness
  6. A gentle demanding of discipline from oneself and one's partner
  7. A gentle exchanging of truths
  8. An acceptance of the limits of the human
  9. A minimizing of one's own unwanted qualities
  10. The support of each other's career and creative life
  11. The maintenance of friendship
  12. A monitoring of moods in oneself and one's partner
  13. An acceptance of difficulties
  14. A commitment to one's role as ethical witness
  15. The management of one's own self, life, and journey
  16. Careful communicating
  17. A bringing of one's creativity to the partnership
  18. The maintenance of a present and a future orientation
  19. Fair treatment of oneself and one's partner
  20. The creation of a safe environment"
I understand most of the concepts, except for "one's role as ethical witness", but I certainly get the gist. And I would like to add a rule no. 21. Here it is:

 21. The maintenance of an incorruptible, unbreakable sense of humor

As for us, we are getting there, getting there... Though I think that even when we are in our dotage I might still occasionally adopt my screechy fishwife tones and DH will still go ballistic to the point of bulgy-eyeness. So much for gentleness! But there is no one else I would rather do this whole thing with and I think THAT is what really matters!!!

What do you think? And if anyone can make out what building block no. 14 means, please let me know! ;)

Jun 1, 2014

Movie Review: Bangalore Days

Wow, ever since a bad incident six years ago when I had to manhandle a guy who took advantage of releasing-weekend crowds, I had given up going to any movie's first few days' shows. Result: I missed some good movies like Anjali Menon's Manchadikkuru, Madhupal's Ozhimuri etc. and had to wait a long time to get the DVDs.

Bangalore Days, anyway, will not suffer the ignominious fate of being thrown out of movie theaters before a week is up. As we were all looking forward to Anjali Menon's latest, I decided to make an exception for my own rule. We caught the late show of the movie at the nearest theater on the day of its release! The crowd was huge for the late-night show, the theater was housefull.

The nothing-given-away plot summary: Kuttan (Nivin), Divya (Nazriya) and Arjun (Dulquer) are cousins who have been playmates since childhood. Arjun and Kuttan have made their way to Bangalore and when Divya is married to Das (Fahadh), all three cousins achieve their childhood ambition of settling in Bangalore, their dream city. But the cousins soon find that things are not as smooth in their dream city as they believed it would be...

It's difficult to give Bangalore Days a single adjective that will encompass the whole movie. We all laughed till our eyes were wet. Then we all cried till our smiles dawned once again. The movie has to be seen to be believed. The characters may have been seen before - we have all seen Kuttans, Arjuns, Saras (Parvathy),  Meenakshis (Isha Talwar) and even Michelles (nameless-to-me) - they are common enough. But it is the way in which they are blended together in a tapestry of love and hate that the movie becomes a thing of beauty, to be watched again and again, ad nauseam.

Although it is essentially a story of youngsters, the elders also play notable roles - be it Kuttan's mother (Kalpana, in a lovely humorous role she handles very well) who blossoms in unforeseen ways, Divya's hidebound parents (Maniyan Pillai Raju and Praveena) who decide that an astrologer's prediction is more important than their daughter's dreams or Natasha's (Nithya Menon) embittered parents played by Pratap Pothen and Vinaya Prasad and Sara's ambitious mother (Rekha) who wants only the best for her daughter. We have seen the likes of these characters as well - but not like this and we cannot but empathize with each of them.

The last time I went to Bangalore, I saw lots of traffic jams, construction of the metro going on everywhere and a general breakdown of infrastructure in several parts of the city. Which makes me wish I had gone with Sameer Thahir and Anjali Menon. Together they take the best of the city and make it appear a dream destination that everyone aspires to. The picturization of the final bike race has such a dreamlike quality that was calming and exhilarating at the same time.

The whole cast does an exemplary job. Fahad takes on a partly unsavory character and comes out brilliantly. Dulquer has us rooting for him all the way. Nazriya and Nivin handle their roles with consummate ease. Parvathy is a revelation - this girl has come a long way since her half-baked initial performances. 

A highlight of the movie was the incredible montage of childhood pics of the three central characters in the intro. It was enthralling, to say the least.

But the movie is causing me some deep disappointment: There is nothing to find fault with!!!!

Final verdict: Paisa vasool, time vasool, even lost-sleep vasool (and that's an encomium very, very few movies can hope to earn from me!) Go ahead and book your tickets, you won't regret it!!!

Spring/Summer Projects

Gosh, isn't it baking hot in God's Own Country these days! In accordance with the government's guidelines, we seldom venture o...