14 February, 2013

for those who love to play badam-saat

well.. it's been looong since I wrote something here! Reasons being many! Back with a card game!

A bit (?) of background follows. Sunday evenings have been boring almost always and one Sunday evening I got so bored that I decided to play cards all alone. I hate playing cards alone. I like to play cards in group (of 3-4, not more). These days its just my mother and I who play cards if at all. The only 2-3 sensible card games that we knew of - Rummy, saat-aaTh and memory game - had already been repeated many times and we were bored of playing those again. I love playing badam-saat but with just 2 players it is not sensible to play it as it reveals the entire state of game. I finally stopped (trying to pay) playing cards alone and did a Google search on "two players card games". No doubt, it returned me a long list but that was not useful! First - the explanation of games was in English (:D) and it was going all over and above my head. I finally found one game - which I though I'm understanding after reading it. Then I sat down and started playing it - myself playing both roles - player 1 and player 2. In no time, I realized that I had only "read" it and have not understood even a bit of it! :D Enough, I said. I thought for a minute and I started designing my own game. The game I was just reading about - over the internet - was afresh in my brain and my all time favorite badam-saat was at the back of my mind - and these two together gave rise to the following game. My mother and I like playing it since then. It's simple and enjoyable! And yes, for those who love playing badam-saat just like me, this is a good option if you don't have more than 2 players.

Enough of "prastavana" (background)!! Now, the real game! (Note, after we started playing this game, we just felt that probably such game is already known - just that I did not do a proper search on the web! - in which case it's okay, in fact great! I do not claim any patent ;) but yes it did come to my mind just like that! and above all, its enjoyable!).

In the end, there a dry run for this game. Probably, looking at that first would help, than going through lengthy text explaining "how to play"

Just to summarize, following is how we play badam-saat:

Cards required = 52 (all)

Deal = Dealer will deal a single card to each player and keep rotating unless all cards are dealt. (Depending on number of players, some may get more cards than others, but that is okay!)

"Daav" = "daav" is like a round - one set in which all players get one chance to play. The player with a badam saat (card 7 of suite Heart) card will play it first - keep it on the table face up. Then either clockwise or anti-clockwise, other players will start playing a card or say "pass" and likewise it continues.

Play or pass = A player when his/her turn, will simply check all cards in their hand and check if any of those can be put on table. A card can be put on the table (face up) only if it is sequential to cards already on table. For example, in the beginning there is just one card "badam saat" on table. The only possible cards at this point are "badam chhakki" (6 of heart) or "badam atthee" (8 of heart) as far as badam is concerned. But, this is a game of "satti"s! sevens are kings here! You also can put a card on table if its any of the "satti"s. That means, in addition to "badam chakki" and "badam atthee", one can also put "kilwar satti" (7 of club) or "ispik satti" (7 of spade) or "choukat satti" (7 of diamond) at this point. Everytime, one has to keep in mind what are the least and highest value cards that are face up on the table for all four suits and see if they have any card(s) which are in sequence with those. An elaborate example follows. Let's say there are following cards already face up on the table - badam (saat, chakki, panji, atthee, nasshee, dasshee) (i.e. Heart - 7, 6, 5, 8, 9, 10), kilwar (satti, chakki) (i.e. Club 7, 6), ispik (satti, chakki, panji, chouwi, atthee) (i.e. Spade 7, 6, 5, 4, 8) and no choukat (i.e. Diamond - none). Then the only cards which can possibly be played are - badam (chouwwi, gotu) (i.e. Diamond 4, Jack) , kilwar (atthee, panjee) (i.e. Club 8, 5), ispik (tirri, nasshee) (i.e. Spade 3, 9) and chokat sattee (i.e. Diamond 7). If a player who is going to play next has any of these cards, he/she can put it on the table face up. If a player does not have any such card, he/she will announce a "pass" for this current turn.

End of game = the game ends when one of the players has played all his/her cards and is empty hand now. He/she is the winner for the game. At this point, in a standalone setting, he/she is just announced as winner and they can start playing a new game or they can use scoring (see below).  

Scoring = The players are scored (penalized) based on the values of cards they remain with. The winner will have 0 penalty as he/she has played all the cards. Any other player except winner will sum up the values / ranks of cards he/she is left with - for example, if one has "badam raaja" (Heart King) and "kilwar ekka" (Club Ace) then one will be scored (penalized with) 13 + 1 = 14 points. Here, the suite does not matter but just the value. If scoring is used, the players can pre-decide how many games to play (say 7, 10, etc.) and can accumulate the penalties per game per player. At the end of pre-decided number of games, whoever has least score (penalty) is the winner. Whethere to count Ace as point 1 or points 14 depends on where it is decided to be put in sequence. For example, if the players decide to put it on durri (card 2), its value becomes 1 and so point 1. If players decide to put it on raja (card King), its value is more than raja and point 14. Whatever it is, it has to be kept constant for the pre-decided number of games so that scoring is uniform.

Trick = which card to play in your turn? - It may be possible to have multiple cards in hand which are in sequence to the cards face up on the table. In this case, which card to play? well, simplest answer is "any one"! but the trick here is to play the card which will (help :D) unblock least cards for others and most cards for the player himself/herself. For example, if one has "ispik dasshee" (Spade 10), "badam dasshee" (Heart 10) and "badam raaja" (Heart King) as possible cards which can be played, and if the one does not have any higher value card of suite ispik than dasshee, then for time being at least, one can play badam dasshee because that would unblock (at least help) one's own badam raaja to be played and it has still blocked other ispik cards (gotu, raani, raja i.e. Jack, Queen, King) which are probably in others' hands. This way, one can optimize based on judgements. Note that this is a locally optimal decision.

Now the new game! I would call it "asymmetric badam-saat". The reasons will be clear (I hope!) as we discuss the details. Let's go point-wise just as above. We are considering just two players here, as that's why the game was designed! ;) but it can be played with more players as well.

Cards required = 52 (all)

Deal = Dealer will deal 4 cards each. Let's call the other player as opponent (!). Dealer will also put 4 cards face up on the table. Remaining deck is just kept aside. Note, these could be anything, unlike the four sevens that may eventually turn up in badam-saat game! So, you are set with 4 cards with dealer and 4 with opponent and 4 face up on the table.

"Daav" = opponent gets to play first, he/she will start the "daav". The turn - (whose turn = whether the opponent or the dealer will start a daav) - will keep changing (see below). Right now, for the first time, it's opponent's turn. "Play / pass" criteria is almost same as badam-saat. It is elaborated below. If both the players have announced "pass" then their are two scenarios. If this is the first "all-pass" scenario since the beginning of the game, the players first have to make sure that all four suits are on the table. That means, if the four cards initially face up on the table are "ispik chouwi", "badam raani", "kilwar ekka" and "badam nasshee", (i.e. Spade 4, Heart Queen, Club Ace, Heart 9) then players first have to put the cards from "choukat" (Diamond) suite in order to make the set on the table complete. In other scenario, when this is not a first "all-pass" situation, each player will take a new card from the deck of cards kept aside. In which order should they take the card - opponent first and then the dealer (this matches with original order when the cards were dealt in the beginning).

"who gets to play first" - As I mentioned, the "daav" / turn / who gets to play first will keep changing. In the beginning, its opponent's turn first. When there is "all-pass" situation, there will always be a player (either dealer or opponent, not necessarily always the opponent) who announced "pass" first. This player will now get a chance to start next "daav". So, in both of the above "all-pass" mentioned scenarios (either "get-all-suites-out" or "take-a-card"), it's that person's turn who had announced the "pass" first in an "all-pass" situation.

End of game - This is obviously when either of the player plays all his/her cards and is left with empty hand.

Scoring - Well, didn't think much about this. But, a reasonable scoring technique would be just to extend "badam-saat" scoring. Whoever is left with cards (note, there may be cards in the deck kept aside which will be counted in the cards owned by the loser!) - just sum up the ranks of all cards - independent of which suite. Again, whether to count an Ace as 1 or 14 depends on where it is allowed to keep - on "durri" or "raaja". Straight forward enough!

Dry run of Asymmetric badam-saat follows:
Dealer - D, Opponent - O, Cards on table - T
Suites: Dimond -  SD, Spade - SS, Heart - SH, Club - SC
D - deals 4 cards each to D and O and 4 cards face up on the table.
D - has SD1, SS6, SSKing, SH7
O - has SHKing, SSQueen, SH8, SD5
T - SS5, SS9, SD8, SHJack

"daav" 1:
O - can play nothing! Announces "pass" - first one to announce "pass"
D - can play SS6 only - has to play

D - has SD1, SSKing, SH7
O - has SHKing, SSQueen, SH8, SD5
T - SS5-6, SS9, SD8, SHJack

(note, still "daav" 1 continues, as there is no "all-pass" situation yet!)
O - can play (still) nothing! Announces "pass" - first one to announce "pass"
D - now, can play nothing! Announces "pass"
-- "all-pass"
-- "first ever "all-pass" since beginning of the game!
-- meaning, they have to make sure all suites are up on the table
-- only missing on table is SC
-- It's still O's turn as O announced the "pass" first.

O - does not have any card for SC!
D - does not have any card for SC either!
-- (what to do??)
-- (simply continue, pretend as if there was no "first all-pass" yet!)

O, D take 1 card each from the deck
O - has SHKing, SSQueen, SH8, SD5, SC3 (new card!)
D - has SD1, SSKing, SH7, SH1

-- remember, we pretended there was no "first all-pass" yet? Re-visit that decision!
O - "Oh, I have a SC card" plays SC3
D - has no card to play. Announces "pass" - first one to announce "pass"
T - SS5-6, SS9, SD8, SHJack, SC3

O - has no card to play. Announces "pass"
D - has already announced "pass"
-- an all-pass situation (again!)
-- not the first ever since beginning of the game!
-- take 1 card each from the deck
-- continue as all suites are already up...

10 June, 2011

18 May, 2011


मला रस्त्यावरुन चालत / गाडी चालवत जाताना आजुबाजुला दिसणार्या देवळांकडे पाहुन नमस्कार करायची सवय आहे. हो, सवयच म्हणावं लागेल! म्हणजे कित्येकदा तर ते मंदीर नक्की कुठल्या देवाचं आहे हे ही माहित नसतं पण सवयीनं हात कपाळाकडे जातो किंवा मान झुकतेच. रोज ऑफिसला जाता येता मला किमान १५ देवळं तरी दिसतात. आणि हो.. एक मशीद सुद्धा दिसते. खरतर मशीदीमधली प्रार्थना (हो, नमाजच. पण इथं आधी लिहिल्याप्रमाणे खरच दोन्ही सारखंच तर आहे!) खूप वेळा कानावर पडते. कित्येकदा आत जावसंसुद्धा वाटतं पण नाहीच गेले कधी! असो!

तर  ही रोज दिसणारी मशीद. अगदी सिग्नलच्या चौकात आहे. त्यामुळे गर्दीच्या वेळेला तर हमखास मी सिग्नलला थांबलेली असताना सगळं लक्ष मशीदीकडेच जातं. बुरखाधारी बायका त्यांच्या चिल्ल्यापिल्ल्यांना घेवून लगबगीनं आत जात असतात. एखादा भिकारी मशीदिच्या दारात लोकांकडे आशेने बघत बसलेला असतो. बाईकवरुन आलेला एखादा तरूण आत जाताना मात्र डोक्यावर पांढरी टोपी घालत असतो. कुठल्याही देवळाबाहेर असेल असंच दॄश्य!

एक दिवस सिग्नलला थांबलेली असताना अचानकच मी नमस्कार केला. मशीदीकडे पाहुन. मग ती हि सवय लागली. काल त्या सिग्नलला आल्यावर ब्रेक लावणार गाडीला इतक्यात समोरच्या गाडीवर मागे बसलेल्या एक खेडवळ बाईकडे लक्ष गेलं. ती - साधंसं सुती लुगडं, कपळावर लाल कूंकू, सावळा रंग - ती हात जोडत होती - मशीदीकडे पाहुन. का कुणास ठावुक, पण फारच भारी वाटलं!

27 January, 2011

नापास (न झालेल्या) मुलीची गोष्ट

"नापास होणं" यात चर्चा करण्यासारखं काय असतं - ते मला अजुन समजलेलं नाही! एखाद्या दिवशी आईनं केलेल्या पोळ्या चिवट झाल्या किंवा एखाद्या कोकणातल्या मुलीनं "मकई की रोटि, सरसोंका साग" वगैरे पहिल्यांदाच बनवलं आणि ते पुर्णपणे फसलं - तर आई आणि ती मुलगी नापास की काय?! नाहीच! कारण पोळ्या चिवट व्हायला नीट न दळलेल्या कणकेपासुन ते बर्नरची आच नीट न असणं अशा कित्येक गोष्टी कारणीभूत असू शकतात. तसचं त्या बिचार्या कोकणकन्येला आमसुलाच्या साराची सवय, तीला कसं लगेच "मकई की रोटि, सरसोंका साग" जमणार? तसंच आहे! १०० पैकी मार्क द्यायचे ठरवले तर त्या चिवट पोळ्यांनाही कदाचित ३५ मिळायचे नाहीत! after all, in the world of relative grading...! :)

आमच्या घरात मात्र "पास"/"नापास" ह्यावर इतर बर्याचशा घरांप्रमाणेच चविष्ट चर्चा मी नेहमीच बघत आले आहे. मग ती मी शाळेत असतानाची असो किंवा माझी भाची आत्ता शाळेत असतानाची असो! विषय आणि मुद्दे तेच! पास/नापास एकवेळ समजु शकतो माणुस कारण असे टप्पे माणसाच्या आयुष्यातली प्रगती (नक्की कसली?) दर्शवितात (म्हणे!). पण, साडे नव्याण्णव मार्क का मिळाले (अहो, म्हणजे १०० का नाहीत)? - अशा गोष्टी म्हणजे जरा जास्तच नाही का? या आणि अशा कित्येक प्रश्नांच्या सरबत्तीला मी तोंड दिलेलं आहे आणि माझी भाचीसुद्धा तोंड द्यायला हळुहळु शिकत आहे! असो!

माझ्या सुदैवाने(च म्हणावं लागेल), मला "पास/नापास" ला कधी तोंड द्यावं लागलं नाही. माझं शिकत असताना एक तत्व .. आरे बापरे.. नाही म्हणजे साधाच नियम म्हणा.. होता. तो म्हणजे - "परिक्षेचा फडशा पाडायचा". मला अभ्यास करायला, पेपर लिहायला, उत्तरं अधोरेखित करायला वगैरे वगैरे इतकं प्रचंड आवडायचं की ठरवूनदेखील मी शाळा-कॉलेज च्या परिक्षामध्ये कधी नापास झाले नसतेच बहुतेक! त्यामुळे एका प्रकारच्या प्रश्नांच्या सरबत्तीमधुन माझी सुटका झाली! पण त्यामुळे असं व्हायचं की - "एव्हढा चांगला अभ्यास करतेस, आणि काय ग आयत्या वेळेस अशा चुका करतेस - थोडं अजुन वाचलं असतंस, पाठ केलं असतंस, तर पैकीच्या पैकी मिळाले असते" अशा कॉमेंट्सना मात्र सामोरं जावं लागायचं. कोणी विशेषतः गणिताच्या बाबतीत मला असं म्हणालं की - "गणित बरोबर आहे पण मधल्या २ स्टेप्स खाल्यास! नाहीतर पैकीच्या पैकी मिळाले असते" - की मला एव्हढा प्रचंड राग यायचा! मला वाटायचं - त्या स्टेप्स काय लिहयच्या! - किती सोप्प्या आहेत त्या! शिक्षकांना तर कळेलही तेवढं!! अशा न आवडण्यार्या गोष्टी न केल्यामुळे जे काही मार्क्स जायचे तेवढ्याची बोलणी मात्र यायची वाट्याला!

पण "नापास" या शब्दाने खरंतर माझ्या आयुष्यात प्रवेश केला होता. पण तो खोटा-खोटा! म्हणजे - चौथीत असताना, शिष्यवृत्तीच्या सराव परिक्षेत, मी एकदा मजाच केली होती! म्हणजे बाईंनी सांगितलं पेपर-अ सोडवा आणि मी (झोपेत!) सोडवला पेपर-ब! झालं! MCQ असल्यामुळे पेपर चेक करताना फक्त पर्याय तपासले गेले आणि मी १०० पैकी २० मार्क्स मिळवुन चक्क नापास झाले! एकदम "नापास" असा मानसिक धक्का बसल्यामुळे (किंवा लोकांनी दिल्यामुळे) मी भोकाड पसरलं आणि नंतर माझ्या बाईंनाच शंका आली आणि सगळा उलगडा झाला!

असं एकमेव खोटं "नापास" सोडलं तर लोकांच्या दृष्टीनं महत्वाच्या अशा कुठल्या परिक्षेत नापास झाले नाही मी. मला नेहमी वाटायचं, कसं वाटत असेल नापास झालं तर? खरंच का ती आयुष्य संपवण्याइतकी लाजिरवाणी गोष्ट आहे? हळुहळु मला जाणवलं की लोकांकडुन नेहमीच "नापास" ही जाणीव करुन दिली जाणारच! आपण १०० % दिले असतील तर कुठलीच गोष्ट मनावर घ्यायची गरज नसते!

मजा म्हणजे - या कधीच नापास न झालेल्या मुलीबद्दल सगळ्यांना भारीच विश्वास निर्माण झाला होता आणि दुर्दैवानं तो "अभ्यास / शिक्षण" या पलिकडे गेला होता! म्हणजे ही "नापास" न झालेली मुलगी सगळीकडेच पास च होत राहणार असा दुर्दम्य (उगिच!) विश्वास! आणि त्यातच ती नापास झाली! कशात माहितिए? - चारचाकी गाडी चालवण्याच्या परिक्षेत! आणि तिथच तिला कळलं - की - ती आजवर कधी नापास झाली नाही कारण आजवर तिनं तिच्या मनासारखं केलं - मनाविरुद्ध केलेली / शिकलेली ही एकच गोष्ट - चारचाकी चालवायला शिकणं! अजुनही कोणी मला म्हटलं की घे आता चारचाकी आणि त्यातुन जा ऑफिसला - की मला ऐकुनच कंटाळा येतो.

theoretically मात्र आई.आई.टी. मध्ये कित्येक वेळा आम्ही "नापास" झालेलो आहोत! मग ते CS601 मधले 17/70 असोत किंवा अतिप्रसिद्ध CS636 मधले 5.5/35 असोत! ते मार्क्स घरी सांगायची वेळ आली नाही म्हणुन ठीक, नाहितर बोलणी अटळ होती! पण त्या 5.5 किंवा 17 मध्ये प्रचंड मजा होती! कधी कधी तर 5.5 हेच सर्वोत्तम मार्क्स असायचे! तेव्हा तर आनंद गगनात मावत नसे! :D अशा वेळी तर "नापास" हे गावीही नसायचं कोणाच्या!

पण जवळ्जवळ १२-१४ वर्षांनीदेखील माझ्या भाचीला त्या आणि तशाच प्रकारच्या प्रश्नांना तोंड द्यावं लागतंय म्हणजे खरंच कठीण आहे! "परिक्षा" आणि 'मार्क्स" या जगात हरवलेल्या लोकांमध्ये राहणारया एखाद्याला, ज्याचं/जिचं माझ्यासारखं परिक्षेवर प्रेम नाही आहे - अशांसाठी हे किती त्रासदायक ठरेल!

18 September, 2010

the city to which I share some unknwon bond..

My first face_to_face with this city was in 2005. Like many others who join Software companies after their B.E., I too went to this city for my first ever job. Within a couple of weeks, I was wandering on its streets, crossing hallis_and_pallis, walking through n-th mains and m-th crosses, passing juice centers and all_in_one restaurants ending with "sagara". Yeah, that's Bengaluru for me! The way I see it and the way I like it! Kannadigas might still be calling it Bangalore but I love calling it Bengaluru only!

The first thing I liked the moment I entered the city was its climate. It was all good, can't explain or compare it with my native, but it was pleasant and it is always! The next striking thing was - this place is not crowded, like say Mumbai! You can easily walk on streets and get into buses! Next I loved these juice centers at almost every corner of each road! I remember, during my stay there I had continued my fast on Chaturthi every month by relying on these Juice_walas. We used to have 2 fruit juices and a fruit plate on fast_day! :) It's not just that the quality of juice is good at these places but the way they keep the juice center clean and neat, all racks filled with fresh fruits, professional way of handling customer orders, ones in a while the workers wearing uniform as well.. anyone would feel like entering it just like that! And not just juices, one gets all varieties of sandwiches and sometimes pizza also at these junctions. I recently saw an advertisement in front of one such juice center in Koramangala, with a mcDonald's style "Combo meal" that contained sandwich, fruit plate or juice and chips! :)

Our initial stay in Bengaluru was quite pleasant as we were provided with Company accommodation. Real thing started when we had to search for house. I still remember my friend and I going on C.M.H road and 100 ft. road and other areas around Indira Nagar in search of so_called Paying Guest accommodation! We were taking down contacts of agents and calling them at the same time we were trying to find n-th main and m-th cross near some xyz showroom! It was all fun! The houses - all of them - had kind of a similar shape and structure in general. On ground floor, mostly the owner would stay and on first (and sometimes second) floor would be given to the PG girls on sharing. We always wondered the way these houses were almost touching each other and one could easily peek into say the hall of another house and tell which channel they are watching! Initially I was kind of scared by this, seeing it's very easy for thieves for enter the house as they have all connected terraces and balconies! :D Looks like, IT was the main reason that such PGs came into existence. As this was probably not anticipated, all the houses were kind of given extension after years of their construction! We also wondered like how could one shift the luggage in or out of the house where even walking up or down those tiny_width stairs was a tricky thing!?!

I stayed in Bengaluru for almost an year but always felt sad that I missed an opportunity to learn another language! I could not learn kannada partially because I met very few kannadigas (like Mumbai, there are many non-kannadigas here - probably more than the number of kannadigas?!?) and partially because I already had many acquaintances so that I hardly needed to interact with native people. The motivation behind learning kannada definitely came from the fact that BMTC buses would have the route / destination written in kannada script and only numbers mentioned in English. But the sad part is - bus 201 and bus 201D might go in totally different directions! :( So, one has to remember not just the number but also digits after that. So, finally I made some attempts at learning at least the script and ended up learning only "k", "g", and "r' ;) Sometimes, one may luckily get route details put up nicely near the bus stop, but I have found it rarely!

BMTC journey in Bengaluru is fun as I've already stated because it is comparatively easy for one to get into the bus :D I have been traveling by bus in Pune for almost 10 years of my life and have seen people complaining that it's tough to get into the crowded buses in Pune, but I always felt more than tough, it was tricky. But this trick, I never got to use in Bengaluru! :D This was some 5 years back! But, now given that the airport has shifted 40+_km away from the center of city, Vayu vajra shuttles from and to airport is a real pleasant surprise for someone like me who makes plans to visit Pune for GaNapati just 5 days in advance!!

Each encounter that I had with the native people, be they bus drivers / conductors or juice_walas, I felt that they all are dedicated to their job and they do it to their best. Sometimes, I feel motivated looking at them! Specially when I see "vayu vajra" bus conductor giving a royal treatment to someone new to Bengaluru and giving him almost a virtual map of how should he go to his destination! This "Aaha!" feeling is hard to get these days.

Okay, let me stop now and probably share an experience which I had. I got into 201D from domlur to get down at Sony world and gave Rs. 10 to the conductor. She (yes, she!) kept the note inside her pocket (and not the usual money_bag conductor carries) and did not give me the ticket either! Being my first trip to Sony world, I did not know the fare either! After waiting for a couple of minutes, I asked her again for the ticket and she gave me one worth Rs. 6. I again waited for some time to get Rs. 4 back and she did not! I then said - "ticket diya hai, chaar rupaye baaki hai" - to this not she but the driver replied - "ticket diya hai na, bas ho gaya!" Later while discussing with a group of friends, I realized that many had some such similar experience. Then onwards I decided to give Rs. 6 change and get the ticket worth that (to save my money!!) But, one day this funny thing happened! Unfortunately I did not have change and I again gave the conductor a note of 10 on my way back to Dumlur. I told him I wanted to get down at "Dell". He said something in kanaada. Assuming he did not get the stop name (as it is probably not a standard name, Dell company is around so we call the stop "Dell") - thus I tried to explain to him which stop I want to get down at - in Hindi. Then he again said some (other) sentence in kannada. I said - "kya?" to which he replied - "how much?" (:)) I said - 6 and to my surprise, he replied "very good!" and returned Rs. 4! :) It was really a funny experience as he kind of took my test!


Here comes another weekend and I start my journey in this beautiful city! Be it army area near HAL airport or be it residential area like Indiraganar / Koramangala or be it some IT park like EGL or even shopping area like Forum / Garuda - Bengaluru is all the same and special in its own way!! This feeling I somehow (and unfortunately) do not get in my Pune, as I feel it totally different in say Sadashiv Peth against Koregaon Park or Senapati Bapat Road. I like roaming in the city.. just like that!!

I'm sure I'm going to miss Bengaluru when I'm about to leave!

11 May, 2010


व. पु. म्हटलं की खरंतर मी जरा धाकधुकीनच पुस्तक हातात घेते; कारण त्याचं लिखाण (मी जेवढं वाचलंय तेवढं) मला extreme वाटतं. म्हणजे "एक घाव दोन तुकडे" प्रकारचं. पण "ठिकरी" सकाळी हातात घेतलं आणि तासाभरात बघता बघता संपलंदेखील! पुस्तकाचं मुखपृष्ठच इतकं बोलकं! नेहमीप्रमाणे आधी पुस्तकाच्या मागच्या बाजूला पुस्तकातला एखादा परिच्छेद असतो तो वाचायला घेतला. तेव्हा कळलं की ही ठिकरी म्हणजे मला माहित असलेल्या टिपऱ्यांच्या खेळातली "टिपरी" - जिला खेळवणारा कोणी वेगळाच असतो; ती आपली या चौकोनातून त्या चोकोनात पडत जाते! म्हटलं तसं, पुस्तक हातात घेतल्यावर खाली ठेववेना. खरंतर स्त्रीप्रधान म्हणता येईल अशीच एक साधीशी गोष्ट! पण व. पुं.ची लेखणी लागल्यामुळे खूपच वेगळी वाटते. कित्येकदा अशी स्त्रीप्रधान / स्त्रीयांच्या प्रश्नांबाबत बोलणारी / त्यांच्या अत्याचाराला वाचा फोडणारी पुस्तक किंवा सिनेमे पाहून मला वाटतं की एखाद्याच्या आयुष्यात "सगळं कसं छान जुळून आलंय" म्हणतात त्याप्रमाणे एखादीच्या आयुष्यात "सगळंच कसं विपरीत घडत गेलं" असा कसं काय असू शकत - असा प्रश्न पडतो. अशा वेळेस गोष्टीपुरत का होईना "नशीब!" एव्हढं एकच उत्तर सापडतं! उदाहरणादाखल याच पुस्तकातलं एक वाक्य: "लग्नानंतर वेगवेगळे उपाय करूनही अनेकांच्या घरात पाळणे हलत नाहीत. पण असे हे अत्याचार झाले की हमखास अपत्याचं आगमन व्हायलाच हवं का? फसवणूक झाली म्हणजेही हाच अनुभव येतो."


शीर्षक: ठिकरी
लेखक: व. पु. काळे
प्रकाशन: मेनका
किंमत: ३०/- फक्त
पाने: ११०

10 May, 2010

राज्य-परिवहन मंडळाचा...!

आज सोमवार. मी मुंबईच्या (बोरीवली एशिआड बस) सकाळी ७ च्या गाडीचं आरक्षण करून ठेवलेलं शनिवारीच. सहा वाजून ४० मिनिटांनी मी बसथांब्यावर पोहोचले. पाहते तर एक बोरीवली आधीच येवून थांबलेली. म्हटलं, वाह! आज काय नशीब जोरावर आहे! ७ ची क्वचितच ७ ला येणारी गाडी आज चक्क २० मिनिटं आधी! धावत जाऊन त्या कंडक्टर मुलीला विचारलं, "७ ची बोरीवली ना?"
ती म्हणे - "७ ची लागेल इथे शेजारीच."
(मी मनात) - तरीच! एवढी लवकर कशी काय! तरी एकदा खात्री करून घ्यावी..!
मी लगबगीनं ते announce करणारे बसलेले असतात, त्यांना गाठलं.
"७ ची बोरीवली? लागलीये का?"
"७१०६.. नंबर आहे, बघा लागली असेल तर"
ऐकताचक्षणी मी धावत परत आले, म्हटलं ह्या लागलेल्या बसचा नंबर बघावा आधी! तर तो काहीतरी ८२xx होता. म्हटलं, जाऊ देत! थांबा आता ७१०६ ची वाट बघत. तसंही अजून ७ वाजायचे होते!

वेळ: ७.१५
(मी मनात) अजून कशी आली नाही बस? माझं घड्याळ मेलं एक नेहमी पुढं असतं. नक्की किती वाजलेत कोण जाणे!
हळूच शेजारच्याच घड्याळ दिसतंय का, प्रयत्न केला बघायचा - अरे! झालेत की सव्वा सात खरंच.
मी शेजारच्या वेदांतच्या आईला (मगाशी तो रडताना त्याच्या आईने "वेदांत, इथे ओरडायला लावू नकोस" म्हणून एक धपाटा घातलेला होता त्याच्या पाठीत :() - तुमची बस कोणती?
त्या: पावणे सात ची मुंबई सेन्ट्रल. लेट आहेत गाड्या म्हणे आज! तुमची?
मी: बोरीवली, ७ ची. हो ना! फारच उशीर झाला! पावणे सात म्हणजे!
(मी मनात) चला पावणे सातवाले लोकदेखील अजून थांबलेत.. असू देत..असू देत.. येईल हो बस!
तरी राहवेना, एकदा पुन्हा announcer कडे जाऊन -
"काय हो, ७ ची बोरीवली - ७१०६ लागली का?"
तिसराच एक माणूस : "ओ, हे तिकीट जरा adjust करून द्या हो.. सोलापूरचं आहे.."
announcer त्या माणसाला : बघू? मगाचपासून ३ वेळा ओरडलो होतो इथून, तेव्हा नाही गाडीत येवून बसायचं? आता आलेत adjust करायला!
मी : अहो काका, ७ ची बोरीवली...?
तो माणूस : केव्हा? बस लागलेलीच नाही आणि काय म्हणता तुम्ही?
announcer त्या माणसाला : काय बस लागली नाही? अं? कधीच लागली बस.. त्यानंताराचीसुद्धा एक गेली.
तो माणूस : कधी? अजिबात बस लागलेली नाही platform लाच!
मी (मध्येच) : ७१०६, तुम्ही म्हनालेलास ना हा नंबर?
announcer त्या माणसाला : खोटं बोलू नका. (register दाखवत) बघा, ७५३३.. केव्हाच लागली आणि सुटलीपण. त्यानंतरची हि ७६१२ बघा सव्वा सातला गेली ही पण.
तो माणूस : ओ, त्यांनी चढू दिलं नाही. इकडे adjust करायला आलो ना म्हणून तर!
announcer त्या माणसाला : मग खोटं का बोललात आधी? बस लागलीच नाही म्हणून? आणा हिकडं ते!
मी (पुन्हा एकदा मध्येच) : ओ काका, बोरीवली...
चौथाच माणूस : बोरीवली शिवनेरी साडे सातची लागली का हो?
announcer या नव्या माणसाला : हां.. ती आहे बघा तिकडे. (बोट दाखवत)
(मी मनात) बस! झाला एवढा अपमान (?) पुरे झाला! तडक तिकडून निघून आले. पुन्हा बस ची वाट बघत.

वेळ: ७.३०
एका निम-आराम २ x २ बोरीवलीच्या बसचं आगमन झालं! म्हटलं, यांना एकदा विचारून पाहू, बस लेट आहे तर नेतात का या तिकिटावर?
मी: ओ काका, ७ ची बोरीवली लेट आहे, या बस मध्ये adjust होईल का तिकीट?
कंडक्टर काका: काय? ७ ची? आहो, गेली असेल ती केव्हाच!
मी: नाही, मी पावणे सात पासून आहे इकडे. नाही आलेली बस. लेट आहे. बघा ना इकडे adjust होतंय का?
कंडक्टर काका: असं कसं? तिकडं विचारून या एकदा.. गेली असणार बस!

मी घाबरले, तडक announcer कडे -
मी : ७१०६, ७ ची बोरीवली लागली नाहीच का अजून? साडे सात होवून गेले की!
announcer : ती? ती गेली की ८२६० सोडली तिच्याऐवजी.
मी : कधी? तुम्ही तर ७१०६ सांगितलेलं. मी कधीची थांबलेय वाट बघत.
announcer : ओ नाही.. तीच्या ऐवजी सोडली. बघू तिकीट...
हा.. २४ नंबरचं सीट ना? मगाचपासून ३ वेळा ती मुलगी (कंडक्टर) येवून विचारून गेली, होता कुठं तुम्ही? ती बस गेली ७ लाच!
मी : (मनातच..) असं कसं शक्य आहे! मग मी मगाशी विचारलं तेव्हा? काय झोपा काढतात का ही लोक?
मी काकांना : मग आता? पुढची बस कितीला आहे?
announcer : आता ८ ला आहे बघा. मी इकडे लिहून देतो. तिकिटाच्या माग.. ८ ची पकड आता!
मग त्याने "पुढील बसमधून प्रवासदर वजावळ" असं काहीतरी तिकिटावर (माग) लिहून मला उपकृत केलं.

मी धावत त्या बसपाशी आले.
मी : ओ काका, ती बस खरंच गेली! या बस मध्ये करा की adjust ! लिहून आणलंय तसं.
काका : नाही अहो, ही extra गाडी आहे. यात reservation adjust होत नसतं.
(मग तिकीटाकडे पाहून) - शिक्का नाहीये आणि यावर!

(आता मला काय स्वप्न पडलेलं की तो माणूस adjust केलं तिकीट की शिक्का देखील मारतो? सही तर त्याने केलेलीच!)

मी पुन्हा announcer कडे. या वेळेस वेगळाच माणूस होता! त्याला direct म्हटलं, "ओ, यावर शिक्का नाहीये". त्यानेदेखील काही न बोलता मारला शिक्का. :-o

मी पुन्हा त्या बसपाशी. बस जवळजवळ निघण्याच्या बेतात.
"ओ काका, आहे आता शिक्का, करा की adjust!"
"आवो, नाही होत extra गाडीला.."
"बर! मग याचं तिकीट किती?"
"१५०.. कशाला पण? येईल न ८ ला पुढची गाडी.. का उगीच ५ मिनिटासाठी?"
असं म्हणून त्याने गाडीचं दार बंदच केलं direct!

वेळ: ८.२०
मी जवळजवळ रडकुंडीला! बस न मिळण्यापेक्षा पैसे वाया जाताहेत की काय? या कारणानेच जास्त! हे तिकीट वाया गेला तर? पुन्हा १५०! नाहीSSSS...वगैरे!
तेवढ्यात कुठूनतरी "दादर चला दादर" अशी हाक ऐकू आली. मी direct चढलेच त्या बस मध्ये. मग त्या कंडक्टर ला (हो, हा काकाच्या वयाचा नवता :D) म्हटलं - "दादर? कितीची आहे? ८?"
तो : "नाही. ही extra आहे"
मी (मनात) : कर्म माझं!
पण मी almost त्या बस मध्ये जाऊन चढलेच होते. म्हणून मग...
मी त्याला : माझं हे तिकीट adjust ...
(पुढे काही बोलण्याआधीच..)
तो : तू आधी बसून घे. नंतर जागा मिळायची नाही.
मी (मनात) : पण आधी तिकिटाच विचारू.. नंतर म्हणेल नाही होणार adjust!
मी त्याला : नाही, पण हे extra गाडी..?
तो (पुन्हा) : आधी बस पाहू. तिकडं माग जागा आहे.
मी बसले एकदाची. मनात धाकधुक होतीच, म्हटलं, नंतर म्हणायचा - आधी का सांगितल नाही? आता दे तिकिटाचे पैसे!
पण नंतर मात्र त्याने अजिबात पैसे वगैरे मागणं तर सोडाच! पण तिकीट नुसता पहिला आणि विचारलं - की कधीची बस होती? - बस, एव्हढंच!
गेल्या दिड तासात मी पहिल्यांदा "हुश्श" केलं असेल! हा आत्ताचा कंडक्टर आणि ते मगाचचे २-३ जण सगळी राज्य-परिवहन मंडळाचीच माणस! पण केव्हढा फरक!