February 22, 2010

Panchgani

This is a post I should have written early January. Echoes of music from Pune muffled the bird calls we heard in Panchgani in the last week of December. This was a family trip: Vijay's brother Vasudev and his family, and the four of us. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Outside the Nana Phadnavis Wada at Menavli, on the way to Panchgani

Shiva temple on the banks of River Krishna. This is where Swades was shot.
Panchgani main road; its a cute little typical hill town.
An interesting visual at the Strawberry Inn, a nice Parsi eating place, where they have good paintings, and where they play hindustani classical music. The food's good, too.
Strawberries being sold outside the MAPRO farm near Panchgani...
...also, fresh carrots and turnips
Elphinstone Point/Needle Point (the board said Niddal Point!)

Paragliding...would love to do this!

Backwaters of the Dhom dam on River Krishna
We stayed at a home stay called Shubham Nivas, with a nursery in its backyard. This place only gives you a room and nothing else, not even chai. For food, one has to take a 5-minute walk to Strawberry Inn, which is a great place. We also drove half way to Mahabaleshwar, and saw some of the breathtaking viewpoints there.
Ideally, one must stay in Panchgani for a month during monsoons... must be an overwhelming experience.

February 09, 2010

Couples - yesterday and today

There is something nice about couples of my parents' generation. They always go everywhere together, and are seen together more often than not. In the early Hindi films also, there were established couples who were paired together in every other movie. Raj Kapoor-Nargis, Dilip Kumar-Vyjayanthimala, Dharmendra-Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Bhaduri, Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Singh...very often, the screen couple became a real-life couple.

In my own family and among friends, I have begun admiring couples, including my own parents, who seem to lead their lives together, despite the bickering that is inevitable in a marriage. If there is a social event, they invariably go together; they plan holidays together; they visit people together.

In my generation, us women have rightfully sought---and got---the freedom we deserve. After marriage, we begin our lives as a couple, but slowly, as we discover that we don't agree on everything, we decide at some point, to 'agree to disagree'...that's when we begin to find friends and 'do our thing'. Go shopping by ourselves, go to a play or a concert with friends, I even go on trips on my own.

Yes, life's fun...definitely better than if one becomes a 'Gandhari' and does not do things one likes because the spouse does not like it. While I have enjoyed and still enjoy doing things on my own or with the children, I have suddenly begun to miss being a 'couple', and have begun envying others who have managed to continue being one, years and years after their marriage.

As they say, women are never satisfied with what they have. I now need to work on Vijay to get back to being the 'couple' we used to be. In the first years of our marriage, he even accompanied me to a Kathakali performance (did I hear someone say "poor Vijay!")!

Can couples who 'agree to disagree' once again 'agree to agree'? Or will this happen only when the children leave home?

An apology to Africans

We have had a professional connect with Africa for a long time. While at ICRISAT during the eighties, we met and were friends with sever...