Anukrishna's Blog

The day the cobra came calling … April 11, 2010

Filed under: Random Thoughts — anukrishna @ 1:28 PM

I was walking down the apartment for my usual evening walk when I heard shrieks and shouts from nearby. Turning around a bunch of pre-schooler kids including my daughter and her friends were shrieking “Aunty ! Aunty ! Auntiiiieeeeee”. I was pretty flustered the way the kids screamed and stopped abruptly on my tracks until I could hold one of them and ask them what happened. The only words that came out were “Cobra, aunty, cobra”.

A cobra ? In the middle of this concrete jungle when we have driven out all the creatures out of their homes ? Slowly one of the ‘senior’ preschoolers caught her breath to say “Aunty, there’s a cobra in the swimming pool”. Another one screamed “aunty it was moving like this” and made a serpentine motion with his hands ! Ah ! so that was the cause for the excitement then :-). But it still belied me – cobra in the swimming pool ?!

Shortly after, all kids guiding by this ‘senior’ preschooler were found lying down with their ears to the ground. When we were observing this innovative asana of theirs, waves of nervous giggles broke out amongst them “hey, can you hear the cobra ya ?”, “listen, the cobra is making noise”. All of a sudden the kids leapt up into the air and ran back into the lobby on the way to their houses “hey, run run… the cobra is going to visit all our houses at 7 in the evening. Before that we should all go back safely” – almost as if one of them had divined the cobra’s language :-). Varied calls followed

“It will come and knock knock ! knock ! in your door. wait and see”

“Run ! Run!”

“I’ll tell my mother to close the door”

“Dont worry. My father will beat the cobra. Then we can all come out and play”

“Its ok. We’ll play only tomorrow. I wont come out today”

“I want to see the cobra”

Amidst the plethora of all these shouts, I became really curious and ventured in the direction of the swimming pool. Well, I almost fell down in a laugh riot into the pool – there was the suspected villain of the evening’s play – the cobra- all of a long stick that had fallen into the pool and creating the serpentine motion with the water ripples in the pool. Good evening to remember 🙂

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The sugarcane juice vendor February 19, 2010

Filed under: Random Thoughts — anukrishna @ 10:23 PM

Now what’s about a  sugarcane juice vendor ? Little did I realize that this person who was unknowingly my sole companion in my bus-waiting missions would be the subject of this…

Before adding more mysteries, let me jump in straight. I have this very unenvious task of waiting for the bus in the hot, tortuous afternoons in a bus stand without a shelter. And being an ungodly hour, I do not have too many for company in the bus stand, except for this sugarcane juice vendor. Picture this … dusty hot afternoons with the blazing sun and empty roads. The sugarcane juice vendor almost merges unobstrusively with the surroundings with his rickety cart and squeaky juice machine… the 2 rolling pin type of machine. But he was an inspiration for me.

I would stand everyday watching his excellent juice-making algorithm with the optimum usage of resources and his time-management skills … well he could put a process person to shame 🙂 . And his efficiency in squeezing out the last drop of juice from the cane till the cane was reduced to a mass of fibres – he could have served well as an Income Tax officer hee hee…

The point of the story is how he inspired me…

The first few days, he had his rickety cart with the squeaky roller-pin machine and hardly any customers. Then he noticed the pile of squeezed  discarded cane fibres and the army of flies. So promptly came in a nice sack to store the  dried cane and out went the flies. The machine started looking cleaner and with it increased the prospects of customers on hot afternoons…

Now with increasing customers, he had the challenge of storing more cane. A spacious hammock-like appendage came up beneath the cart to store his supplies :-). Great going, I thought, after a week.  But the sun had by then turned from blazing to melting heat :-). This was a super-winner. He brought out 4 sticks and tied them projecting, each to one end of the cart. He bought a huge sheet spread it over the sticks and brought it down holding it with stones to make a nice, shady, cool tent for the heat.  Now that’s very tempting on a hot afternoon :-). And the queues kept growing. His policy of Just-In-Time inventory and his upgrade to a cleaner motor-based machine from the manual machine made sure that his customers never had to wait for very long to have their cup of refreshing liquid down their throats.

And he was a kind soul too…. kind enough to spare the odd glass for an urchin or to give a discount to labourers hanging around his cart (though I secretly wish that he would recognize me and let me know if my bus has left before I came ;-)).

Well, can anyone now say its difficult to innovate ?!