My dear students, friends and colleagues,
When Kajal Iyer tagged me on Facebook to write 25 random things about myself, I listed 25 random things on 14 February 2009. The following is an exact copy of that FB note:
1. I am the eldest son of a railwayman, transferred from place to place, so I know what it is to settle down and what it is to be on the move.
2. I am also the eldest son of one of India's greatest playback singers, often called the "Lata Mangeshkar of the Konkani stage" in the late 40s -- Amy Pinto, nee Mary Therese D'Cruz (1925-69).
3. When I was in college, I used to have long hair up to my shoulders. Later I even had a beard.
4. The protest movement against the Vietnam War is a part of my growing up years - a deep and permanent influence.
5. My first crush was virtual: on a character -- Agnes -- from a Charles Dickens novel "David Copperfield".
6. Though a non-veg by upbringing, I can't stand chicken.
7. Now, I'm pure veg and low-fat, with a little fish once or twice a month.
8. I can't remember a day when I was not in love -- with words.
9. The greatest human love in my life -- after my wife Kalpana, ours is a love marriage -- is my daughter, J. K. Pallavi.
10. What would I give for all the money in the world? A chance to meet my school-mates when I was a little boy at Jabalpur and Nagpur (1956), Solapur (1957) and Manmad (1958-61)
11. I used to be a great one for winning prizes in school, till my mother learned me the lesson: "If you have the guts, compete - only with yourself".
12. I am waiting for the student, who can exceed me, who can dare to go beyond imagination.
13. I am playing my second innings now. After surviving my heart attack of 2 September 2006, life is new and fresh. I'm lucky to be alive.
14. Besides love and peace, compassion for the poor moves me -- beyond tears.
15. If there is one thing I have to learn -- NOT to hate the "chhote shaitan" on two-wheelers on Pune roads.
16. The red mud, swaying coconut trees, fish curry rice, the lilt of my Konkani mother tongue, a few drops of kaju feni, cotton -- these are a few of my favourite things.
17. My favourite movie critic, Pauline Kael of the New York Times, who dubbed the "Sound of Music" as the "Sound of Mucous". Read the review.
18. What do I miss about Mumbai (I won't call it Bombay to pander to the imperial English)? The trams, when I was a little boy; uncrowded local trains on a Sunday morning; the common crows, sparrows, mynahs; textile workers and their great struggle against the robber mill-owners; red flags in a morcha at Azad Maidan; the heady mix of faces and tongues from all over India; the discipline on the roads; above all, the couples clasping hands in municipal gardens ...
19. What do I NOT miss about Mumbai? The idle rich, gambling on the stock market, who have raped the city; the skyscrapers that blot out the sky; the private cars that kill worse and more than terrorist guns; the curse of the Shiv Sena that has brought shame to the glorious descendants of Chhtrapati Shivaji ...
20. I remember the three years in Leeds, Yorkshire, taking care of my three year-old daughter, while my wife did her PhD.
21. My mother, confined to the four walls of her home, teaching us -- her Class of 3.
22. Let me pay tributes to my father, Denis John Pinto (1923-2001), the most upright and fearless man I have known, who faced suffering and deprivation because "Honesty is the best policy"
23. My friends, without whom I would have not known that friendship can match up to love.
24. I am grateful to Mother Earth, whom we do not care about.
25. The approaching age of retirement - I shall be 58 on 5 March this year.
This is a list of 25 random things about myself. I have copied it from the FB note 14 February 2009. This post is for the record, since "Journey Unbegun" is a source-blog of various reference material.
Your support is my strength,
- Joe Pinto.
Pune, Friday, 4 March 2011.