An unique app indeed

Nachiket and Nikita are new parents. They had their son hardly one month back.

Their house is a pleasant mess, which is normal in any house where a child has been born recently. Nikita is on maternity leave whereas Nachiket too spends maximum time at home, whenever his job and his boss permits. Nikita’s mother too stays with them, looking after the little bundle of joy.

Though all of them enjoy being with the new addition to the family, they seem to have no clues when faced with the crying episodes of the child.

A totally peaceful afternoon suddenly turns into a chaotic situation once the child starts throwing tantrums. Thinking the child is hungry, Nikita tries to feed it, but the decibel level increases.

Taking pity on her, her mother takes the child in her custody and started singing a lullaby. As the grandmother touches the high notes in her song, so does the child.

Exasperated the mother and grandmother look at each other clueless. Suddenly the grandmother espies that the diaper is cold.

She places the child on the sofa and takes off the child’s diaper.

Lo and behold! As soon as this is done, the child is quiet. So this was the problem. The solution was so simple but since the problem was not easily identifiable, the family had to put up with the cacophony.

It is night time, everyone is fast asleep. Suddenly a shriek goes up in the air and all are wide awake. But now Nikita is experienced. She goes and picks up the child and tries to change its diaper… But no, this time the diaper is dry.

So she packs up the child again and tries to breastfeed the child. This is what the child wanted and in no time, it is peacefully contented and off to sleep it goes. The night is quiet again!

Nachiket, the software engineer is intrigued. And he decides to do something about this. After all, as a software engineer, he knows that every problem has a solution.

So the next time the child cries, Nachiket goes very near the child and puts his ears to the baby’s mouth. He tries to decipher whether there is any difference between each cry, whether it is for food, or for a sound sleep. But he deciphers none. All cries are the same….wahhhhh….

The next day in office, he mentions his dilemma during the lunch hour, to his office mate, Riddhima. And lo! Riddhima has a ready made solution.

After all she is his senior and she to has faced this in her life before. And Nachiket does as instructed by Riddhima…

Next day he stays at home… eagerly waiting for the child… to cry.

And then the moment arrives…a cry goes out, disturbing the noon peace…

And before the mother and grandmother react, Nachiket is near the child… He whips out his smartphone from his pocket, starts an app and keeps it on record mode, near the baby’s mouth…

Mother and grandmother are watching this, worried about the mental imbalance shown by Nachiket…

But Nachiket himself is very enthusiastic about the task at hand, he keeps his smartphone near the baby’s mouth for about 10 seconds, then his fingers do the tango on the phone …

He gives a triumphant cry and shows the screen to the 2 ladies… Screen shows “HUNGRY” in bold letters.

The ladies are apprehensive, but then the mother starts feeding the child… And the house is peaceful again.

The app is passed on to the mother who is the happiest. She feels as if, suddenly there is a translator for translating all her baby’s cries into human speech.

Next time the baby throws a tantrum, the app shows that the baby needs a diaper swap. These are the happiest days for the mother and the entire family. The grandmother is the most impressed since she had always felt that technology has gone too far …but now she too is impressed.

Friends, you may feel this is far fetched but this technology is upon us and the app is 90-95% accurate in giving its solutions. Only the new parents in the West are the most happy, since this app is not yet introduced in India.

But by the time you read this, it might be available. But just to try out the new app, don’t try to be a new parent, especially my friends who are now in their late 40’s…

P.S. – this app is said to work only for babies upto 8-10 months old, since the innocent babies cry with honesty, only till that age… After that they get smarter for the smartphone app.

And mothers, don’t try to use it for your grown up babies… Your respective husbands 😊



Many times on social media, I have seen posts about how the generation in their 40’s and 50’s are the luckiest since they saw the best of both worlds, the old world and the new. That set me thinking, what are the things of the old world which are now, but memories. So lets go down the memory lane.

The very first thing which comes to mind is, both my parents were working and both of them came home on time in the evening. Mother was home from her teacher job by 5.30 and father was home by 6.30. Very rarely were they late. This facet of family life is now totally lost and a part of history. Now if you leave office at 6.30-7.00 the colleagues look at you with surprise and jealousy. Someone will even ask, “are you going half day today”.

Radio – I remember, there was no TV in our house and the only entertainment was the radio. And mind you, it was the big radio set , an antique piece, which had 2 big knobs, one for volume and another was for tuning, the tuner being so bad that the Radio Cylone channel was very hard to get. Other Bollywood music programs were the Binaca geet mala and Aap Ki farmaish, that’s all. Otherwise it was all about classical music or some Marathi programs, which my mother enjoyed. I remember my mother listening to one such program with such dedication, it can only compare with today’s obsession with daily soaps on TV. To catch all these programs on the radio, there was a long wire which went into the balcony, where it was attached to a wooden strip on which the antenna was attached.

The antenna reminds me of the TV antenna. The TV itself came to our house in 1975, the period before that, we used to watch the Sunday movies and Thursday Chitrahaar, at our neighbours place. The first TV was a nice one, black and white, by CROWN. Any bad reception and we used to rush to the terrace along with our father, to adjust the antenna angle. And there was a lot of shouting between the terrace and our balcony to reconfirm that the reception is fine. These frequent visits to the terrace and the shouting was like a picnic to us children and we enjoyed these interludes. One more interesting contraption on the old TV’s was the wooden sliding shutter, which used to be closed in the night. This was to protect the screen.

There used to be a flour mill in almost every house hold. The ladies of the house used to sit around the mill, taking turns to rotate it and gossip away to glory.

Tops and marbles – Remember playing with the tops? A thick cloth strip was wound round and round on the top and then with a fast action, it was unwound to make the top spin. Top championships were held within the building and outside to decide who wielded the tops best. I don’t exactly remember, but I think the championship was known as ‘kopcha’. The tops have now been replaced by Bayblades. And then there were marbles – glass marbles of rainbow colours and the bigger ones known as ‘daff’. Sitting on the haunches, playing a particular game, again don’t remember the name, which started inside the building compound and could go out of the compound, on the road, we children engrossed in it…

Lagori – it was played on the road or in the building compound and involved piling up of one flat stone over another, 7 such stones in the pile. One was supposed to break that pile with a ball and once broken, the team breaking the pile had to repile the stones before the opposing team hits you with the ball. It was one exciting game.

Cricket on the road and underarm cricket – played in the quiet lanes, this game is no longer seen, since there are no quiet lanes anymore. Whole tournaments were played on the road.

And ‘viti-dandu’? Who remembers it now. But in those days, the one who was an expert at it, was looked at with the same admiration, which is now reserved for Tendulkar and Kohli.

God bless the visionary who thought about making Kabaddi a viewer friendly game on TV. Otherwise it was headed for the same fate.

Weekends visiting uncles and aunts’ place – come weekend, and we would be packing a small bag for a quick visit to, sometimes Mama and sometimes Kaka. And same was the case when their families visited your house. Nowadays this time is reserved for visit to malls and restaurants.

New clothes purchases were done only on the occasion of a birthday or during Diwali. Especially during Diwali, the anticipation of new clothes excited us. Nowadays shopping doesn’t require an occasion and mostly depends upon any Sale announced in the neighbourhood Mall.

Visits to other family members were mostly by public transports like BEST buses and trains. Nowadays people prefer service providers like MERU, OLA, TABCAB, if they visit their relatives, that is. I remember, in those days, if father or mother decided to catch a taxi, it used to be the happiest day.

Many other things are now a part of history, no longer seen, maybe I am not able to remember now.

So guys, the feeling of anticipation and excitement has gone out of our lives and replaced by anxiety and stress.

Yatindra Tawde


Oh, fish…

I had always known, nay…experienced, that watching the swimming fish, whether in a pond, sea, lake or fish tank is very soothing and reduces stress.

The old woman was lying on the bed. She felt like getting up and roaming about but was not able to. It was as if she was tied to the bed, but she wasn’t.

To start with various tubes were connected to her body. She was on saline and various medicines were being administered through the drip.

But, even if this had not been so and she were hale and hearty, she wouldn’t have wanted to step down on the floor. For, her bed was surrounded by dirty water, freely flowing in from outside. Even the fish took the free ride inside to inspect the hygienic surroundings of the reputed hospital.

Hospital, did I say?

Unfortunately yes. The rains have been incessant but the civic authorities have been extremely efficient and effective in cleaning up the drains. So much so, the fish were gleaming in the morbid slush!

So the old woman passes her time by gazing at the elegant movements of the fish, who have a free run of the hospital, and eases her stress to hasten her recovery.

Last heard, she went back fully recovered, achieved by drastic reduction of her stress levels and the hospital won the award for introducing a revolutionary new method of saving precious life. They named it, ‘Aqua Therapy’

And the fisherfolk are plotting their next netting trip to a hospital, though they take care to handle their tools of trade, like the net, with gloved hands…

Yatindra Tawde


The Coffee mug

Those dainty mugs made their appearance in the office space a few years back. I think the trend started with IT and call centres mushrooming across cities and the population of the ladies increasing in the office space.

The culture of coffee and tea machines took its hold and slowly but surely, the assorted cups and saucers disappeared to be replaced by the self service culture.

In these offices the ladies were the equal of men and they brought about the revolution in having personalised coffee mugs. In addition to the other paraphernalia on the office desk, these dainty mugs occupied a pride of place.

The very first thing after coming to office, the mugs were washed by the ladies themselves; after all cleanliness is very important. Then the mug was filled with the drink of choice, which then occupied the table as an accessory.

As more and more ladies took up this hobby, each of them wanted their mugs to be unique. The Rs. 99/- shops took advantage of this obsession and brought out beautifully coloured mugs which were much coveted by the working ladies.

As coloured mugs became common, some shrewd entrepreneur thought of mugs with a message. These mugs appealed to those male colleagues, who had always thought that having a personalised mug was a sign of feminity. Especially the mugs with funny and naughty messages were very popular with them. Thus mugs had truly captured the office space.

But the real fun started when the mugs culture of IT and Call centre field migrated to other traditional businesses.

Here, the bosses introduced the mug culture. First and foremost, the mugs became larger in size and denoted the status of the user. The colours became more masculine and black or dark maroon or chocolate was the preferred colour.

But old habits die hard and the bosses did not believe in self service. Thus commands were given to the tea boy to regularly check on the level of the drink inside the bosses mugs and he was put on auto refill.

And what did they drink?

Not the humble tea or coffee, but exotic sounding drinks like green tea, cinnamon tea, lemon tea, cappuccino, et al. Sugar got replaced by artificial sweeteners like aspartame, stevia products, corn syrup and if natural sugar was required then the preferred one was honey.

And since the bosses status was to be maintained, such mugs became more expensive and more ornamental. Thus, such mugs were out of the reach of the common office worker, whether a he or she.

But the ambitious among them still went ahead and bought them and they were now considered as ‘must have’ office accessories. In the office, the mugs  now had aspirational value. In the same way that cars became common in the parking lots of the offices, the mugs too became common inside the office space.

And reflecting the other common culture of Indian offices, many of the the mugs are now offered with their own spoons, ‘chamchas’ in common parlance. These chamchas have their own holders on the majestic mugs and are add-ons just like the majestic bosses have their own chamchas!

Yatindra Tawde


A fine art indeed!

The man standing in front of me is chewing something, lost in his own world. You can tell that he is enjoying the taste of whatever he is chewing at. His facial expressions show eternal bliss as he silently goes on his own trip, you feel that it must be something very intoxicating.

And suddenly he arches his back with the grace of a ballet dancer, throws back his head, his eyes closed, his face most grotesque, as the bright red liquid mixed with his own saliva, is expelled from his mouth and making the most perfect curve, it is splattered on the nearest wall with fine droplets forming a beautiful design on the wall. And if the wall has been white washed, the design looks exquisite.

That, my friends, is the fine art known as spitting , in lay man terms.

Now this fine art is in danger of extinction, what with the government banning it from public places in India. It comes at a time, it was on the verge of getting maximum votes as a new Olympic game so that the Indian sub-continent can be given a fair chance at winning some serious metal. After all, all the sports in the Olympic games are originated in the European continent, though the country, Greece, where they originated eons back, is no longer among the top medal winning countries.

I had a dream…an Indian player of this sport is standing very confidently, paunch and all, but otherwise with a slight body frame, among the Chinese, the Europeans, the Africans at the spitting range of the next Olympics.

Among the competitors’, is a competitor from the other sub-continental country too, who the Indian knows as his closest competitor and who alone challenges him in this new sport. Paan wallah bhaiyas’ sits in front of each competitor, a paan in their hand, in the pose of offering the paan to each competitor, at the sounding of the ‘start’ siren.

The faces of the Indian, the other sub-continental guy and the very competitive Chinese player, are dribbling with red saliva, which has formed a permanent red scar from near the corner of the mouth going down towards the chin. You can tell from this sign, how many hours of practice, these competitors’ have undergone.

And as the siren goes off, the competitors’ accept the paans from the eager bhaiyaas, they then arch their backs, throw back their heads, their faces grimacing from the efforts, as the finely chewed red liquid escapes their mouths and shoots off towards the target, a freshly white washed wall with the bulls eye painted.

Suddenly the stadium watching this newly introduced sport, erupts with joy, as the Indian is the winner, with his entire spittoon hitting the bulls eye, closely followed by the other sub-continental guy, who has won the maiden medal for his country and the Chinese has come a close third.

In fact, the Chinese is so near that he is sure to be a big threat to the Indian and the others from the sub-continent, in years to come. Less said about the Europeans , Americans and Africans, the better, since they had to forfeit their deposits, since their spittoons’ either fall on themselves, and more seriously, on the judges of the competition.

The competitor from Great Britain is a commendable fourth, since he is quite well versed in sub-continental matters, due to obvious reasons.

But alas…my dream remains a dream due to the cruel hand of fate which snatches away the last hope in the form of a ban on this great cultural heritage of the sub-continent.

Yatindra Tawde