Jobless days are undoubtedly dreadful. For one you are penniless. The prospects of an uncertain future send you into a perpetual state of depression and despair. Wagging tongues only add to your misery. But then jobless days have a sunny side too. I have been through quite a few of these jobless phases all of which have had some lovely moments that made me forget at least at that point of time that life ahead is a question mark. It helped also that I wasn’t the only earning member of my family. Without going into details of why I was jobless let me recall some of those wonderful moments.
Jobless phase one
Late-1994 to mid-1996 was my longest jobless phase. My only friend during those hopeless days was the beautiful expanse of greenery surrounding my home. An atmosphere drowned in the rustle of leaves, whistle of the wind and cries of birds intoxicated me with the feeling of being in heaven. The large windows of my house served as vantage spots to watch umpteen varieties of birds. I spotted pittas, Indian jays, golden orioles, hoopoes, crow pheasants, drongos, robins, bulbuls, barbets, coppersmiths, wagtails and many other feathered delights. I could identify every new species of bird that I spotted thanks to my copy of Salim Ali’s ‘Birds of India’ [I recommend this book to any one who wishes to explore the colourful world of birds].
There were a lot of mongooses around my home. My happiest sighting was watching a family of four crossing a road. It was a sight to behold! Mongooses are such intelligent animals!
It was during this phase that I immersed myself into reading. I must thank my brother who got me a membership of a library. I got to read a lot of books by PG Wodehouse. This was one of the nicest things to happen. How much I laughed ! And there were more laugh riots. I read the entire Asterix & Obelix series.
The Sherlock Holmes series and books by Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner honed my detective talent. I must say I am a pretty good detective. Watch out!
Vintage Hollywood movies
Cable TV had become a rage and my favourite channel was TNT which aired vintage Hollywood movies at 5pm. On most evenings I was glued to the TV set watching a movie. I must have watched Ben-Hur and The Wizard of Oz at least 4 times. Other remarkable flicks that I watched were Singin’ in the Rain, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Designing Woman, Casablanca, Anchors Aweigh, and An American in Paris.
In the winter of 1994, I came across this catchy article in the newspaper on hamming and there was a tailpiece on classes being conducted in various parts of the city. I was inquisitive and thought why not enroll. Hamming is super interesting. I learnt the Morse code and I also improved my electricity fundamentals thanks to Mr. RJ Marcus who was a fantastic teacher. I passed the exam for amateur radio operators and got a licence from the Government to operate my own station. Unfortunately, for more reasons than one I couldn’t set up my station.
For those of you who are interested in pursuing Hamming, The Bangalore Amateur Radio Club still conducts classes.
In the summer of 1995, I got myself enrolled in a month-long dress-making course by Singer. I loved the experience and was amazed with the results. I must say I improved my sartorial quotient.
Fabric and pot-painting
Those days, Fevicryl conducted summer classes in fabric and pot painting. I enrolled in these classes too. Painting is a fascinating hobby. I realised it is much easier to paint on pots than on fabric because you don’t have to dilute the paint. Here are two sides of a pot that I painted:
Jobless phases two and three
A couple of months in 2006 and three in 2007 had me cooling my heels at home again. This was a new home and there wasn’t much of nature around here. My two oh-so-adorable dogs Boxy and Asterix were delightful to be with. I just couldn’t get enough of them. Dogs are the best friends one can ever have! To add to that was a bundle of endless joy and mischief – my little niece all of three. My hands were full thanks to these three cuddlies.
Jobless phase four
I am currently into another jobless phase which has not been so kind to me as the earlier ones. My two beloved dogs are no more. An army of cats of various shapes, colours and temperaments to a certain degree alleviate the sadness caused by their absence. My little niece now a sprightly 9-year-old, attends school and is a budding artist. And she was sweet enough to paint some of the pictures in this blog. I managed to read quite a few books from my collection of the last few years. And most importantly I started blogging! 🙂 🙂
Some meaoww moments for you: