Our in-house former pageant queen and member of social scene royalty, Devika Patel is more than just finesse and finer things. This Mumbai lover is a former Film Censor Board member and Sociology graduate. She welcomes readers to her favourite corner in The Afternoon DC where she chats with friends and fabulous folk
She is bright; very bright. She stood first in Economics and Psychology in B.A. and third in the whole of Bombay University. She lives in a typical Indian joint family. where four generations co-exist and she is the focal point of the household attending to the members of her family. As a matter of fact this brilliant woman has put her personal interests in the background to attend to her three grandchildren when her daughters are at work. She has many interests like painting, cooking, writing, reading, watching movies which take a back seat when the three cuties are around. She is forever ready to help people sort their personal problems. Her name is Sunita Rajwade.
Now, Sunita always has interesting anecdotes to tell. According to her, she has had a very colorful life. This is her story in her own words. "When I was five years old, my parents and I were doing a road trip through Europe. It was late at night. It was in Geneva. The place looked so pretty that I hoped that we could remain there for ever. I voiced my feelings to my parents. By chance, where ever we went, all the hotels and motels were full and we could not get a place to stay. My parents were wild with me because they thought it was my black tongue that was responsible for the non availability of a bed to rest our heads on. I prayed like never before and finally after searching for a long time we found a place to stay. Of course, they did not credit me or my prayers with the good fortune.
I used to be very fond of animals especially dogs. As a kid I had a black dog whom we called Theta. She was a real beauty. Everybody around adored her except for my mother. She simply hated dogs. She was not at all keen on having a dog at home but she sort of gave in to our wishes when Theta arrived home. To add insult to injury everybody referred to her as "Kale Kutte Ki Maa". She used to be furious with that title.
I feel very scared to sit in a car with Sunita driving it. It has nothing much to do with her but with other drivers acting funny when they see a lady driver; worse still when there are female passengers in the car. Sunita herself took a long time to learn driving since she herself was scared of driving. She had many encounters with cops (not literally) most of them pleasant, others unpleasant. like she said, "One day I was distributing pedhas because my daughter Dhanwanti passed her exams with flying colors. While driving I was stopped by a cop since I had jumped a signal. I requested him to let me go since I was in a rush to distribute pedhas. He asked "For what?" I told him it was because of my daughter's results and offered to give him a box. He declined the offer and asked me about her marks. He sounded very pleased when I told him. He congratulated me and refused to take even one pedha. He let me off without a fine.
“I have always met nice people in my life. However bad a situation, God has always sent people to help me. He has given me wonderful grandchildren, two loving daughters and a caring husband. I am contented with life," she said.
Then, as usual it was time to fire questions. I asked her, "Which is your strongest point in life?"
She replied, "I am not scared of anything in life".
I queried, "When you look back, what is it that you regret?"
She said, "I regret I never really followed my passion, painting."
Next , I asked her a tricky question. I called it tricky because I know that her husband Shree is a wonderful human being. I asked, "Who is your ideal man?'" Like the Run -Of-The-Mill housewives I expected her to say "My husband, Blah Blah Blah," But smart that she is, she came with an intelligent reply. She said, "I don't think there is anything like an ideal man. Definitely not Mills & Boons heroes. Tall, dark and handsome. As a matter of fact I acknowledge a man who accepts his mistakes." I am sure Shree fits the bill, I thought to myself.
My next question was, Ïf you were marooned on an island, who would you choose for company?" A) Donald Trump B)Salmaan Khan C) Dhoni D) Ravi Shastri.
Pat came the reply, "Dhoni, I think he is slightly more normal than the others."
Then I asked, "Which is the stupidest thing that you have done in your life?"
"Not getting credit for doing things. At the end of the day people think I have done nothing."
"Who is the worst human being according to you? A) A corrupt Politician B) A terrorist C) A Rapist."
The clever woman did not have to think much before replying. She said "Definitely a corrupt politician. A terrorist believes in a cause. A rapist damages one person and her family. A corrupt politician destroys a whole country. They are the worst human beings." I had a lot to remark on that, but like other fellow Indians I kept quiet.
"What kind of people do you shy away from?" I asked her next. Her answer surprised me "Gossips" she said. "Now, that was not the truth. All of us gossip some time or the other. They joke about women being gossips but I think men are worse. Be it any of the prestigious clubs in Mumbai or the garden of any society where people gather, healthy or unhealthy gossip is a normal occurrence. All of us are guilty of it at some time or the other.
"Which is your most precious possession," I asked.
"My I Phone," she replied.
"While choosing a friend, what qualities do you look for?" I asked.
"Loyalty, Reliability and honesty," she did not take time to reply.
I was moving towards my regular questions. "What depresses you?" I asked. I get depressed when I see grey skies. Also, when I get bad news or when I see sad movies," she replied.
"Which is your sad corner?" was my predictable next question. "When I am sad, I go to my balcony at the back and look out for a while and that calms me."
"What make you happy?" I asked.
"Lots of things; Places that remind me of my happy moments. Good conversation with people and going for long walks," she said with a dreamy look on her face.
"Which is your happy corner?" was my standard last question.
"My yoga mat," she replied and went on to explain, when I want to feel a sense of calm, I take out my yoga mat, sit cross legged and do some yoga stretches and then I feel very very good."
Well, it does not take much to make an intelligent girl like Sunita happy. I thought to myself.
Hi Friends! Each of us has that one corner where we feel happy, comfortable and most importantly, secure. The corner can be a physical corner like a part of your home say, a window, a balcony, a garden and so on. It can be a restaurant where you enjoy your favourite food or a resort where you can relax and be at peace with yourself. It can be an ashram or a pub, a mountain or a beach. Your favourite corner may even change from time to time depending on various factors. I shall periodically introduce you to people from different walks of life and their special nooks that make them who they are.