Tuesday, March 01, 2005


The definition of tropical climate definitely should include 'cold', at least on days like today. Its still early May and God knows what June will bring with it. Twenty seven years in this part of Caracas, and I don't remember the last time I lamented about the chill. Since I am among the few people who go to work so early, there is not many people with whom I can debate it out too. A few of the people who do start early travel in closed cars anyway. What should they care about the various maladies that nature has to offer?!
Today the guy in a Ford who offered me lift demanded 20 Bolivars. Usually people demand just 10 Bolivars for the seven minute ride to Altamira. There is this physician who works in The University Hospital who has given me a free ride twice although a third time he did not stop as a lady(possibly his wife) was sitting besides him. I think all doctors are very good people by nature. Maybe they are trained to be good too. I looked hard at the road behind to see if I will be lucky enough to see another car approach, even though the curve in the road and the Oak trees alongside were conspiring against me. Eventually I did travel with him.
He had a radio in his car and the familiar voice of the newsreader from the local station was talking about a 'yet another flood' in Bangladesh. Just as he started the local news, my mind drifted to the the day when Papa brought home a radio he had bought from the store where his long-time friend worked. He had waited quite long. It was another day in May and I think I was ten years old. Papa bought the radio in the evening after spending the whole day in the store with his friend listening to the reports coming in that Gen. Marcos Jimenez has been ousted. The news at seven was the first radio sound that touched the four walls of our hall and the inner walls of our mind.
One evening in early October , many a years many a news' many a songs and two radios later, I heard Papa entering the house and directly switching on the radio. As I walked into the hall, I knew it was early for the news. Mama and Aunt Angelica, who were making pudding, joined too without asking any questions. After two minutes of hearing, I pieced together the news that the Bolivian army had killed Che in an encounter. From that day on, I guess Papa could not see radio as a source of entertainment. He rarely listened to the radio after that.
Its been a month since I have been planning to buy a TV now. But being decisive is much more tough for a courier dispatcher like me than the Doctor who gives lift for free. But maybe I should buy the TV today itself.
Will radio now be relegated to just thoughts on chilly mornings like these? Will I think of it at least then?
As I was realizing that I did not want the radio memories to fade, the local news did.

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