Shillong Jottings…

Shillong Jottings

Brighter side of winter
As winter has begun to turn languid and is well on its way out, the cryophobic gentry, especially the old and the infirm, will feel much relieved. Three months of endurance of the winter can be a trying period. As March descends, so does Spring — the season of new hopes. Already, the moribund vegetation, brown and shrivelled up due to the cold, is becoming green again.In most houses, the heavy winter garments have begun to go back to where they belong the rest of the year. At a house in Laitumkhrah, as the home maker was stacking the piles of double-knit pullovers, furry jackets, mufflers, caps and berets, knee-high boots and what have you, the patriarch of the family commented “This winter most of these came to little use. There was no occasion to move out of the house. No social meets, no church going, no social gatherings…”. The lady butted in rather matter-factly ” Thank God for that. Draw comfort that we survived Corona.” The man nodded in agreement and, before leaving the room, took one last look at the garments finding their way one by one into the boxes.

Storm in a cup
On a lazy afternoon, a couple residing in an apartment at a housing complex in downtown Shillong, were having their evening tea. The conversation rolled from one to the other at a normal pace. The tenor got disturbed suddenly on a non-issue. It was a fierce disagreement over the correct pronunciation of a common place word—Robot. The lady who is convent educated, pronounced it a Robo (‘t’ being silent). The man who also had had good schooling contested the correctness. The controversy turned loud as angry exchanges ensued with neither side willing to back down. The man insisted that “t” had to be pronounced. The lady equally asserted that she had all her life pronounced with “t” remaining silent. Since nobody had a clinching evidence, the stalemate lingered and the storm remained unabated. A friendly neighbour who heard the commotion rushed in but he couldn’t resolve the dispute. The man went to another neighbour’s place to borrow the Oxford Dictionary to prove himself. But the ego-centric lady unprepared to concede defeat, retorted “this is the old English pronunciation. We follow the American pronunciation”. A temporary lull fell as the determined man didn’t want to throw the towel either. He then took his mobile and called a friend who advised him to install a particular Dictionary App on his mobile for verifying the variation of pronunciations of words both in Queen’s English and President’s English. This time armed with a clincher he confronted her. The lady however kept arguing endlessly to expose her bruised ego. Neighbours were not sure whether or not the man got his dinner that night!

Need some space
The thoroughfare at Khyndai Lad is a pedestrian’s nightmare. Half of the road is occupied by vendors selling flowers, food, clothes, shoes and a dozen other things. The remaining space is occupied by two-wheelers and four-wheelers.On weekdays in the evening hours and on the weekends the situation becomes even more chaotic. A pedestrian has to jostle for space with other pedestrians and nagging vendors and at the same time has to be on a constant lookout for passing vehicles too.
Now, the plan to allow vehicles through the jam packed thoroughfare at Khyndai Lad was introduced to decongest the busy G.S. Road area but the plan seems to have misfired.
The congestion on G.S. Road remains the same if not more.
Hence, it would not be a very bad idea to revert to the original. This way, at least pedestrians would have some relief. Would the concerned authorities care to listen?

How much does being grateful cost?
Manners and etiquette are something that are drilled into most of us since childhood. Gratitude for an act of kindness is also a value that is caught, not taught. While children today are still being taught to be grateful, it appears that now grown-ups need those lessons too. And mind you gratitude does not cost anything. It’s just good upbringing.
The SJ team on Thursday witnessed a cop hot on the heels of an offender, probably a drug peddler, since the incident happened near the cantonment slums, infamous for drug-related activities.
The offender was making it difficult for the cop to catch him. A 20 something old youth, who was watching the drama from a distance, decided to step in and help the cop. While the offender was about to run past the lad, the latter tripped the former with his feet.
The offender toppled over and the cop was FINALLY able to nab him.
However, much to the youth’s disaffection, the cop walked away without as much as a ‘thank you!’ to the youth, who was right in front of him. After the cop was gone, the youth muttered, “At least, a thank you would’ve done. He went away without even looking at me… like nothing happened”.
Mind you, the youth did not expedite the capture expecting a handsome reward or gratefulness from the cop but took a ‘civilian step’ against illegality. It was the cop who should’ve known when to be grateful.
Lest the youth is targeted by the offender in near future, will he not regret having helped the law keeper whose select custodians are ungrateful?