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Shenoy writes for OKC in her spare time from Auckland,
Rashmi was born in Malleshwaram, Bangalore and
lived there for the first quarter of her life.
Currently, she works as a Marketing Communications
Analyst with Marshal Software and lives in Auckland,
NZ with her husband Shiv.
She writes during her free time, generally weekends
she also also freelances.
can you call as your own?
had been widowed when she was 56. Govind, her
husband had died of a car crash a few years ago.
The only solace for her was that her four sons
and a daughter were all married and he did not
really have any unfinished business left as such.
Of course he would have loved to live longer and
see all Mango trees give out some fruits… the
rose garden to bloom and what have you. Read
always had a practice at home of lighting the
oil lamp before the Lord twice everyday. Although
my father would light it, he would demand our
presence when he lit the lamp and we would all
pray together. My dad is known to be a jovial
person, a creative one at that as he used to come
up with modified sayings. He would say, “Those
who pray together stay together”. However, that
was a joke… I think. Because, a month or so after
dad said that, he got transferred to Belgaum.
Then mum, my brother and me would do the daily
I always catch a glimpse of this old man in the
mornings and afternoons. He sits out on his deck
with a newspaper in his hand on the easy chair.
He used to look at me too when ever I looked at
him. After three days, I smiled at him. I don’t
know if he was shocked or embarrassed…. he was
just expressionless. I was a bit perturbed but
drove away to work. The next afternoon I smiled
at him again and this time he smiled back and
waved his hand – gesturing me to go towards him.
To me "Namaskar
ree" meant that some news is going to be
broadcast about some friend in the neighbourhood
within the next 8-10 mins. "Kelidra, Jagannath
avr maga fail aagbitnanthe?" "Kamalamman
magalge inna maduvene agilvanthe?" or "Subayyan
sose manele iralvanthe?" I was told
it is bad manners to listen to elders speak and
would generally be shooed away from the hall,
but how could I not listen especially when she
would give us such hot gossip news. I would apparently
here my mum saying "Howda??" "Paapa
alva" or "En madodu - eegin kaalad hudgeere
haage" over the hot cup of coffee that she
would brew for our rather frequent guest. Read
people living in Malleshwaram, it is more of a
need to go to the 8th cross than anything else.
But those of you who have never been there, I
don’t know if I can say you have missed much.
Not that this is an invitation or an encouragement
either. During festivals, it can get as bad as
ever but otherwise, Malleshwaram 8th cross is
a very eye-catching place, which plays host to
a lot of activities happening there. Malleshwaram
8th cross depicts how overpopulated India is,
with more than a sizeable share of the humans
avru (Folks from Neighboring Home)
a Bank Manager for a dad, we were traveling to
a lot of places and people as and when big boss
(Dad) got transferred. However, Bangalore was
our official “base” as we were being educated
there. Moreover mum could not get a transfer outside
Bangalore. Malleshwaram was my complete world
till I was 5 years old and that is when I had
extensive experience with my neighbors. The building
where we lived had four houses out of which one
was the landlord’s house. From the four houses
there were 13 children. Read
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