Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fun reading

This correspondence is fun reading and I thought it nice to share with you all. Babu [of Pythakaran fame] is moving lock stock and barrel to his ancestral village, come February. His village is in the state of Kerala which is ruled by the communist party. Babu is trying to get his house renovated and the process is on since a year! People build mansions in a year but not in Kerala. The workman in this state thinks and behaves like the boss and the less work he does and gets more pay he feels he deserves it. Malayalam is the name of the language spoken by people of Kerala and Babu is one of them. Coconut tree is widely grown in Kerala and easily available to those who wish to commit suicide by hanging! You should read Babu’s [albeit imaginary] suicide note in this context.

His house, here in Bangalore, where I too live, was burgled recently when he was away in Kerala trying to get that house done and the correspondence refers to this episode. Reddis are a community of rich landlords and business men who form a large percentage of people who reside in this area. MF Hussain is a well known, high selling, Indian painter, easily identified because of his flowing hair, whiskers and moustache.
From: Babu []
Sent: 16 January 2009 5:28 AM
To: Dr. B.C.Rao
Subject: Re: Real Story: A Violinist in the Metro
Subject: Fwd: Real Story: A Violinist in the Metro

Must Read!!!
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that a few thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician
playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the tin and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was
late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence
took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100. This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive
beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

2009/1/15 Dr. B.C.Rao :
You know Babu, this is true of many life situations. Hussain, if he were to paint [after shaving of his trademark beard and whiskers] at the road side he won't sell a single piece!

Original Message: From: Babu [] Sent: 15 January 2009 4:49 AM

BC, since I am in the communist territory, I follow the Old Russian Gregorian Calendar. Like them, for me, The New Year is cerebrated in the 14th of Jan. So I hope that it is not too late for me to wish you, vasantha and the children a very peaceful healthy New Year.
We are fine here. Children came here for the New Year. Was very enjoyable. The house work, if I can maintain this pace will be completed by Feb. Either the house or I will be finished by Feb.
So look into the obituary columns, preferably in some Malayalam News paper, (Palghat edition) and if you find something reading like this, "a retired person trying to build a house Kerala commits suicide out of frustration, by hanging from a coconut tree " you know who it is going to

Thanks for making me A GLOBAL CITIZEN through your know BC, when I told a few people, about the theft in my Bangalore house, and the fact that I didn't lose any cash or jewelry, I didn’t realize that my status in the local circle will go down so very drastically. Why they thought, should they spend their time with this man who has no jewellery and cash. The result is that invitations to weddings have stopped, and fewer people visit us now.

So I have modified my statements about the theft. I tell all that we lost a couple Jani's diamond necklaces, 12 diamond bangles, two kilos of gold jewelry, my stone studded wedding ring ( purely due to my association with The Reddis from Indiranagar Club) and gold watches , about 6 lakhs of cash, and that too with a smile without batting an eye lid. My standing in the society will, I hope improve, and the wedding invitations will start arriving once again. BC, keep a few days free in March for your visit to our den. I think that you will enjoy it.

Keep in touch.


Leslie said...

That was more than "fun reading". It was great! So what I want to know now is when will HE start a blog so we can enjoy more of his writings. I promise to continue as a regular here too!

Anonymous said...

As the son of the "Pythakaran", I assure you, Leslie, that I will help my father put up a blog very soon, once his more complicated construction is completed in the land of Coconuts :-)



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