Jul 26, 2011

A Day in Water

Yesterday I had a sensible plan to update Vanity Moments, since it turned four yesterday, silently even without its own knowledge. You might be remembering a post which I dedicated to the third birthday of my blog exactly one year back. It had some reminiscences of my Alleppey backwaters trip which I made with a friend a few days prior to 24th July 2010. Since, the chance to bask in the glorious shades of luxuriously floating and oscillating houseboat, completely free of cost was brought to me by a short video which I made on Kerala’s tourism perspective, which eventually became the first post of my blog; I had dedicated the memories of that unforgettable houseboat trip to vanity Moments. And what is surprising now is that, when my blog became one more year older, I had been celebrating with my colleagues, an almost similar boat cruise through the heart of the same much-celebrated backwaters of Alleppey.

When my colleagues informed me about such a trip that they were planning to make on a Sunday, and they expressed their sincere pleasure to make me also a part of that journey, I delightfully towed down to their demand. So, we set forth our journey in the morning and reached the renowned backwaters of the Venice of the East by 10.30 in the morning. Without much later we began our day long cruise through the ripples and wavelets singing sometimes, and sometimes buying eatables from the coastline toddy shops. 

Since it was the tourism season, you would have been able to see a pack of houseboats anchored at somewhere, or sometimes you might see one of them darting towards you steering through the backwaters. Local country boats, which are used for transportation often were passing across the lake from one shore to the opposite and vice versa carrying the passengers. Seeing them at a distance, our driver blew the horn in order to warn them. 

Here, I am posting a picture of myself to give you the smallest hint of the pleasure of our trip. In this picture, I am sitting on the roof of the motor boat watching the ripples. Hope the trip would be enjoyable to you too if you were in my place.

Jul 19, 2011

Visiting Logos Hope Ship

Some Bloggers are very prolific. They update their blogs very often, perhaps in a daily manner. These people usually keep thinking about their next blog posts, while walking, or dining, or even when sleeping. I also do the same thing. All the time I involve in my daily affairs, I will be thinking about ways to develop a nice intriguing post out of my experiences. But still, some people are able to make it in a daily manner; some others like me have to really struggle to make it at least once in a month.

Some weeks before, a ship called the Logos Hope, popularly known as the biggest floating library in the world, anchored at Willingdon Island in Cochin. As per the announcement, the ship would be remaining there for some two weeks. You could go there, and purchase books from the vast collection sorted and arranged aesthetically in various shelves. People who know me personally are well aware about my craze for books, though in present times, I don’t read much.

That was a Sunday, when I set off to the Logos Hope. Since it was an off day, the vicinities of the ship were hugely crowded. You should get one ticket before entering the ship. I saw from a distance, the big tent-like shelter from where you could have got entry passes, was already fully occupied with overflowing crowd. A long queue of human beings was extended to outside, where I also found a place somewhere at the end for myself to stand expecting my turn.

Suddenly it started raining. I pulled the collar of my jacket and covered my head so that I could at least save my head from wetting. None of the bibliophiles in the queue was giving even a damn to the moderate downpour. And somehow, when we all entered inside the tent after nearly half an hour long wait in the rain, I saw a huge crowd rushing within the tent without even know where exactly they could have collected the entry tickets from. 

I actually thought about the 1997 classic movie, Titanic. It was in a similar occasion, when Jack Dawson found himself with his friend on the decks of the celebrated ship of the same name. Why should I explain that well known tragedy made based on the real incident took place in 1912? And hey, I don’t like lying; I sincerely expected at least one Rose Bukater somewhere in the vicinities with a beautiful smile.

Once entered the ship, I found not many books capable of being satiating my hunger for literature. The pricing of books was very interesting. Since the ship is travelling all around the world, for the easiness of currency conversion, the pricings were made in Units. In India, 100 units means 80 Rupees. If you find a book worth 300 units, you would have to pay Rs. 240 to get a copy. If the ship is anchored at some other part of the world, the value of the book will be the same 300 units. But, the prize will be different according to the currency of the region and currency conversion rates set by the ship authorities.

I bought two books, which I found interesting to a certain extent, thinking that if my Mastercard was compatible to their system, I could have bought more books. One is about the famous quotations and sayings and the other one is a compilation of biographies of some famous film personalities including Charles Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosowa, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Fellini, etc. While making my exit, the ship boys gifted me another book as a custom, which was dealing with the modern day crisis of broken families.

Though totally wet, I returned to my dwelling place with some nice memories to cherish and some good books to ponder upon.

In Pictures:
Picture 1: Logos Hope in Kochi
Picture 2: Scene from Titanic (1997)

Jul 9, 2011

Story of the Sincere Bike

This post is a sort of sequel to my last post, ‘One Day in heaven’. Suppose, as a creator, you have produced something significant, which people admitted as an admirable one; then there is a great possibility for your next works get influenced by this work. What I understand from the comments and direct opinions which I received for my last post is that people liked the story and the way the themes were combined and presented into a single post. 

After six long months’ gap, when I met one of my friends of good old days of Trivandrum, at this Cochin city, happily we both began to explore some unexplored corners of the city. When he visited my dwelling place after some fruitless searches through dress shop windows, I showed off the latest post of Vanity Moments to him. After reading it, he silently admitted that, the multi-perspective narrative of my quest for God, truly has a charm to attract some more visitors. 

Since the time was a little late, I decided to go with him on my bike, so that I could drop him at his temporary settling place. The route was the same where I had received an unexpected help from a stranger two weeks before. On the way, remembering the curious incidents narrated in the post ‘One day in Heaven’, my friend asked hilariously,

“Will your bike stop at midway today also?”

Proudly I said, “Nothing will happen like that. Buddy, trust me. Because, it is my ‘sincere bike’, you know? And even if something unexpected like that happens, the God himself will come to rescue me.”

He just smiled.

I rode my bike a few more meters, and with a shock now I realized that my bike began conking once again. With an ‘Oh shit’ feeling, I thought that it was some two weeks till then I filled my petrol tank for the last time. Once the bike came to a complete halt, I said him piteously, “Buddy, I forgot to fill my tank again. I was running on reserve. Now, the fuel is finished completely”

He smiled, and said, “Ok Mr. Blogger, stop joking. Start your bike again. This is too late, and it is no time for your plays.”

I tried to convince him that what I told him was truth. Unbelievably, he tried to rock the bike and finally convinced when it produced no bubbling noise.  We both remembered, while passing the nearest Petrol Bunk, it was already closed. And presently, no 24 hours Fuel Stations were operating in the city to our knowledge.

I looked around to see if any ‘God’ was hiding in the surroundings waiting for his turn to make a sudden appearance in an inadvertent manner. But no one came. I asked my friend to catch a taxi to go home, while I pull my bike all through the way to my settling place. We finally planned like that, but no taxis appeared.  

In such situations, usually what I do is sitting idle for some minutes. I usually begin my actions only after those hesitant minutes. Here also the same thing I repeated. After those initial numb minutes, I sprang up into action, confronted some of the locals, and inquired if some Petrol Pumps could be operating at those late hours. Finally I saw, one teenage boy with a bike, talking to another one, at a distance. Hoping them to be the Gods of this time, I faced them and talked about my difficulty. Expecting one of those Gods picking up some old disfigured Sprite bottle from the surroundings, while the other one was undoing the cap of the bike’s petrol tank, I asked them, if they knew about any Petrol Pump operating anywhere in the city. 

They informed me that a Petrol Bunk used to be functional till 10.30, which is located close to my friend's temporary dwelling place. I went back to my bike and friend. Together we lowered the bike to one side, so that the remaining drops of the fuel in the tank would come up and sock the operative edges of the tank. After that, I tried to kick-start the bike and succeeded in the second attempt. Without wasting any moment I drove with him aiming the Petrol Bunk, located some three kilometers away. The time was already 10.20, and I drove in such a way that minimum fuel could be utilized.

Finally, just a few yards away from the petrol bunk, from where I could have taken the bike to the fuel machine with a few pushes, my bike came to a dead halt. While filling the petrol tank, I turned and asked my friend,

“I think, now you know, why I call my bike, the ‘Sincere Bike’.
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