Saturday, January 21, 2012

Manitou - Come on, come on!

My father Flt. Lt. C.M. Gopal was always keen that I should broaden my knowledge.

While in school he insisted that I learn type-writing. To this day I find it very useful. Also cycling and swimming. But swimming I never learnt. I did visit the YMCA swimming pool at Nandanam a couple of times, but the cold water didn't suit me.

After I had finished my college and started working, he explained me about horse racing and also told me that while on the race if a horse became lame, they would shoot it and end its life. He goaded me to visit the Madras Race Club and witness a race. Somehow I never felt enthusiastic,

Mr. Santhanam, an elderly person of about 70 years, fondly called by us as Santhanam Iyer, used to work with us and he had a mechanical mind and would visit Moore market, pick up some parts and assemble machines for us! But come Sunday, he will take some money from us and go the races along with his friends.

And so, one day, I went with him to the Guindy race course. I bet a small amount on the famous horse Monitou. I saw the bookies. People shouted: Come on! Come on!! There was excitement all around!

During one of the races a horse fell down and became lame. A tempo was brought and the horse was shot dead and taken away.

That has been my only visit to the race course. But I had learnt everything, saw everything.

This itch to learn about things has stayed with me. My daughter has an Apple 4-S mobile phone. Even if someone were to gift me this phone, I would politely say: No. Because I really have no need for this phone. But while I am in my daughter's house I keep exploring it and try to learn what all it can do. Thanks to my father for instilling in me the spirit of enquiry.

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