Sunday, March 14, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Not for nothing
‘Westernization’ and industrialization of
The advent of TV has affected
TV has killed the enthusiasm of attending public programmes also. The famous music festival esp. during Rama Navami period was of such popularity and one could notice a sudden fall in attendance as soon as the TV was made available to
Children were healthy as they were playing outdoors. Calling them in to homes was a big problem for elders. There was probably one “child specialist doctor” who was (is) renown. There was less sickness because people were closer to nature. Grandmothers knew home remedies and there was less need to run to doctors who were also far and few. Unless the ailment was of really serious nature they resorted to simple solutions.
Children went to schools leisurely and playfully returned home and did homeworks only under pressure, after being forcibly called in from their evening street games. There was no tuition menace. There was no need for parents to save money for tuitions, donations and education fees! There was no rush for LKG admission of kids, nor were there any competition for Engineering and Medical seats – only those who could afford the courses joined as seats were easily available. Teaching standards – the old generation teachers – real teachers – were still at large in the few schools and colleges. Education still had some meaning. Pressure from various angles has led to deteriorating standards in recent times. This is unthinkable in our city which is renown for education!
People depended on what we now call “snail mail” and the humble postman was anxiously waited for, for any communication that relatives or friends wrote. Now we use mobile phones to communicate how many times we sneezed.
We listened to the humble radio for news or waited for the morning newspaper. TV and internet now keep us abreast, live. People thronged with families to theatres with great enthusiasm because movies were good and educative – had touching stories and meaningful songs. Stage dramas held frequently at different venues had good crowds too.
Dasara festival saw public participation in genuine enthusiasm because everyone revered the Maharaja. It was really a great time with guests from other places visiting and pitching tent in relatives’ houses to take part in Dasara festivities ending with the grand “Dasara Meravanige”.
Life was cheap. Charges for filling of air to cycle tyres were three paise for two tyres and two paise, if we wanted only for one. Two peppermints were available for one paisa! The police constable was a thorn to bicyclists because he would catch for ‘wrong side riding’ or ‘light less riding’ and check for licenses which was an embossed aluminum token fixed to the cycle (on payment or a small annual sum to the municipality!). At night, to avoid being caught by these constables who hid behind trees and dark places to catch victims, bicyclists used either a candle kept burning in a paper cone half filled with sand to hold the candle and show the light holding the cone in one hand while riding or special kerosene lamps fixed to the handlebar or an electric dynamo which was costly. My bicycle headlamp has a ‘dip and dim’ switch to avoid glare to oncoming people or other cyclists! Now even car headlamps glare dangerously in high beam and no one cares, so un-Mysorish!
We had book circulating libraries having a crowd of members. Printing presses and book publishers were a busy lot. TV and computer have put the reading habit in jeopardy. E-books are no substitutes for the printed book.
Grandmothers prepared traditional savouries in myriad varieties in those days when hotels were few and street-side eateries, ‘chat centres’ were unthinkable. People’s taste buds were satisfied with just Masala Dosa and coffee! Churumuri, Pani Puri and Masala Puri made their impact around the 70s when people got out of shackles that ‘eating out’ was not that much a sin! Ice creams? No one screamed for ice creams. There was no ‘Joy’ to enjoy! Perhaps only one or two parlours like Phalamruta in
Children played all variety of games right on the streets or in wide footpaths. My grandmother used to warn “be careful of the cyclists!” When a rare scooter came by, leave alone cars, the activity paused to make way for it.
Before dawn, we could hear the lion’s roar from the zoo even 2-3 miles away. Now buildings and other noise absorb those sounds what with the zoo itself is getting thinner in animal population. The zoo was a magnificent place to visit and the Primates section was a great source of entertainment from the chimpanzees that smoked cigarette butts thrown at them and ate peanuts like humans!
Development of the city is towards the wrong direction. Under the pretext of developing the city, something else is happening. Technological development is more a bane than a boon because people are disusing it more than using for positive and constructive things. Kitchen conveniences have made women lazy and unhealthy in general. They suffer from ‘modern day ailments’ like knee pain, depression, BP, diabetes, etc. All are resultants of mainly lack of social contacts, less of physical and mental activity. No wonder the ‘medicare business’ is thriving now. Surely, not good a good sign for the health of a city like
A slow development of the city as it did before the 60s was not felt at all and that was a desirable speed. My grandfather’s time typically did not have a tomorrow. They lived on the day. The wants were only basic and never exceeded limits as there was no need for extra and hoarding was unknown. Any extras were either accepted and shared or refused! Virtues of a person were held in high value which is the other way round now. Nobody cares to respect the other. People never raced against time some decades back and we seemed to have lots of time on our hands. Hurry was not a
Rapid improvement in communication network, technological development and transportation facilities are contributing to most ‘modern day problems’. It is the speed that is worrisome and the administration is ill-equipped to keep pace with them. If
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Found some Tailor birds and Sunbirds also that we find here, but could not photograph them.
I must add that the City Administration has done well in giving these useful creatures of Nature a lovely habitat - trees, shrubs and little jungles. The pleasant climate in Chandigarh at this time makes bird-watching a pleasant experience. They have seen to it that despite the development of the city, the birds also find their undisturbed place for their nesting and breeding. The vegetation feeds them well too. Other cities have to emulate Chandigarh in many respects also. Birds form an important element in Nature.