The Sense Of An Ending.


I am not at all surprised that this book won the Man Booker Award.

The Author Julian Barnes is just three years younger than I am. In other words, my brother Barath’s age.

In this book, I could relate to many of the things that he writes about from his school and college days as well as his retirement days and the story itself is so plausible that as soon as I finished reading it, I rang up Barath in London and asked him to read it. More than my relating to the events, he having lived most of his life in the UK would be better able to.

It is a mystery or a thriller of sorts, and a book that I could not put down once I had started to read. The characterisations is brilliant and the story unfolds to a remarkable crescendo.

I understand that the book is being made into a film and I look forward to seeing that too when it is released. It will be interesting to see how this so heavily people and monologue oriented story will be adapted to a film.

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Jack Reacher : Never Go Back.


As my readers know, I am a great fan of Lee Child and particularly like his hero Jack Reacher. Throw in Tom Cruise into a mixture as Jack Reacher in a movie, and how could I not go to see it?

Due to illness, I was not able to see the first Jack Reacher movie when it was screened here and this time around I had no intention of missing it for any reason and so off I went earlier this afternoon to see it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Tom Cruise effortlessly portrays Reacher and is ably supported by Cobie Smulders. It is a fast paced action movie and has one glued to one’s seat from the start to the finish.

If you are a fan of Jack Reacher, or like action movies and are willing to spend about two hours in a movie hall, I recommend that you go and see this film.

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Memory Gap.

My brother Arvind and I had not spoken to each other for a couple of weeks and so I called him up to enquire how things were with him. While chatting about various things we came to discussing our sons and their careers.

Arvind’s son Deepak has recently relocated to Dubai to set up a branch for his employers. He is a much sought after professional in his field and while discussing his career Arvind mentioned that he could have done better had he taken up another offer that he had received earlier in his career.

He however commented that he was neither asked for nor offered any advice in the matter and pontified that neither he nor I would have either asked for or taken advice from our parents at that age. I also shared the information that my son Ranjan neither seeks nor takes my advice on his career and I don’t mind. I also said that the so called generation gap is nothing but a memory gap!

All the children in India and the two Rajgopaul boys in the UK have settled down to good careers and their parents are quite happy that they have all turned out as they have. There is no need for us to worry about them.

Anxieties of parents outrun actual experiences of children!

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A friend and I were chatting on whatsapp recently when this little bit was part of the exchange. The context was about transformation of personalities, which however is irrelevant for this post.

Young Friend: Sir, do you find good memory a blessing or a curse?

Yours Truly: A blessing for me. I don’t have many bad ones in my life to handle. I know some good friends who had many unpleasantnesses in their growing up who wish they had poorer memories.

I often wish that I had a poorer memory when some thoughts of the past, not necessarily negative, but of pain like the death of a loved one, or a couple of lost opportunities due to prior commitments come up. Overwhelmingly however, I have pleasant memories to cheer me up like the many good things that have happened in my life, and continue to happen.

Memory however is now not necessarily a great asset as just about everything can be stored away somewhere called the cloud and recalled at need. I wonder if people will therefore stop using their memories in the future like my generation did and do now. I see some examples like when I go shopping, when I do not need a calculator to total up a list of figures, whereas much younger assistants do.

Posted in History, Humor, Nostalgia, People, Philosophy | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

The Accountant.


Every once in a while a movie comes along that surprises you with its twists and turns and leaves you totally unsatisfied. I wanted the movie to continue even after curtains as, much more could be said about the characters in the story and the subtext of autism that plays out in the narrative.

There is enough action to keep the adrenalin pumping, naturally with Ben Affleck, but also an amazing narrative brought alive very capably by everyone concerned with the movie.

I can do no better than leave you to judge for yourself the quality of this film. I shall just leave you with the link to the movie in Wikipedia to give you an idea about what happens in it.

I strongly recommend you to see it if you can.

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The Olympics. Yes Or No.


We have an Indian Olympic Association. We have also established the SAI for broad basing and bringing excellence in sports across India with nine Regional Centers. Both have at their disposal, huge annual budgets paid for by the gullible Indian tax payer. Besides these two giants, we have any number of other minnow bodies with geriatric officials clinging on to their posts and enjoying life long tenures without producing results.

We produce world beating cricket teams, tennis players like Sania Mirza an Indian professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings, and other Tennis and Badminton players. We have internationally successful boxers and golf players amongst us as we have hugely successful league games in cricket, kabaddi etc where players make good living as professionals.

Only 1 of 27 Indian sports associations has an athlete as its President.

The Indian sports management either through private bodies like the BCCI or the government has just proved to be corrupt, inefficient and serve only to provide careers and perks to its own officials and politicians.

We are a nation of 1.35 Billion people. The Indian contingent of 117 members to the Rio Olympics returned with one silver and one bronze medal. That places us at 67th place on the medals list.

If you ask me, for India, Olympics for India should be a No No. At least until our politicos and bureaucrats change.

Today’s topic for the weekly Friday LBC blog posts was suggested by Shackman immediately after the conclusion of the Rio Olympics. It would be interesting to see what his take will be on it. Pravin the other LBC blogger from India may well come up with a different take on the subject. Please do visit both to see for yourselves.

Posted in Blogging, India/Pakistan | Tagged , , | 13 Comments



Give two actors who are on my list of great actors, a novel that I had enjoyed reading being made into a movie with those two actors and how could I not go to see Inferno? And when I was taken to see it by the two most favourite people on earth, it was worth staying up late to see a late night show last night.

Like most films based on successful novels, this film too suffers from not quite coming up to the viewer’s expectations. It suffers primarily on the details, but the fast paced action more than compensates and overall, offers a pleasant viewing experience. There are some differences between the two in terms of facts but that does not significantly affect the overall impact of the narration.

Tom Hanks does not disappoint. In fact, the whole film is carried on his shoulders without visible effort by him. All the other actors, though important to the plot and play their roles, for all that it matters, are their in supporting roles, even almost cameo, bar Felicity Jones who appears throughout the film.

Another remarkable feature of the film is the background music. Apt, present yet not intrusive. After a long time, I experienced that in a modern movie.

If there is one complaint that I have about the film, that is about the gross under-utilisation of Irrfan Khan‘s talents. For the kind of role that he has played in this film, any ‘body’ would have been enough. The three of us wondered if he would not have played a better role as the lead in the film, but that is wishful thinking.

Whether you have read the book or not, this is a movie worth seeing.

Posted in Movies, Music | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Top 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old.


Lessons Learned Life has this post with the 37 things that we will regret when we are old. I have listed the items and have answered my own experience against each.

1. Not traveling when you had the chance.

I have travelled enough for more than one lifetime.

2. Not learning another language.

As an Indian Sales and Marketing Professional, I had no choice. I can read, write and speak fluently four languages, and speak three others.

3. Staying in a bad relationship.

I didn’t have to.

4. Forgoing sunscreen.

I am an Indian. What is sunscreen?

5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.

I have been blessed and have seen live performances of most of my favourite musicians.

6. Being scared to do things.

I was not.

7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.

My journey has been a hit and miss experience due to my peculiar physical problems. I still try to keep fit with a regime of exercises.

8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.

Does not apply to me. I never let my being a male stop me from being a house husband.

9. Not quitting a terrible job.

I quit.

10. Not trying harder in school.

Mea culpa. I did not know any better and did not have a mentor to guide me. I caught up with education subsequently through distance learning and by going to Business School.

11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.

Not something that ever bothered me.

12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”

I never was, nor am I now.

13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.

I did to my mother’s and benefited.  My father did not get an opportunity to advice me!

14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.

I had no time to be self absorbed. I was too busy keeping my body and soul together.

15. Caring too much about what other people think.

Not something that bothered me ever.

16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.

Did not have to.

17. Not moving on fast enough.

Not applicable to me.

18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.

I had no choice. I did till the very end. I don’t any more.

19. Not standing up for yourself.

Not applicable to me.

20. Not volunteering enough.

I have done my share of volunteering.

21. Neglecting your teeth.

Despite not neglecting, I have had my share of visits to the dentist.

22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.

My maternal grandparents had died before I was born, and I never got to spend enough time with my paternal ones at the right time. Not something that I regret though.

23. Working too much.

I did but enjoyed every moment of it.

24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.

I learnt to more than just one awesome meal.

25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.

I had enough opportunities to stop and smell the roses while on the way to growing old.

26. Failing to finish what you start.

I can’t think of anything that I started that I did not finish.

27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.

Something that I had not thought about. I did not attend many parties where people had to perform party tricks.  I don’t know any party tricks.

28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

I rebelled. I had a reputation in the family for being a nogoodnik.

29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.

I have let enough friendships to run their courses without any regret.

30. Not playing with your kids enough.

Mea culpa. I was too busy travelling for business.

31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).

Both my late wife and I knew that we were taking the biggest risk of our lives when we decided to get married to each other. It worked out alright in the end. I had taken other risks in my career which paid off.

32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.

One of my great achievements is my list of contacts and the networks that I belong to.

33. Worrying too much.

I am not prone to worrying.

34. Getting caught up in needless drama.

Who needs it?

35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.

I did, when it mattered. Neither they nor I had / have any regrets. I continue to spend time with my loved ones now too.

36. Never performing in front of others.

I have performed in front of audiences enough to last me a lifetime. Even now,  much to my embarrassment, I am reminded of those events at some of our get-togethers.

37. Not being grateful sooner.

I have always been grateful for all that I have been blessed with.


The last paragraph below is from the post.

“It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth — from the mundane to the amazing — is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.”

Posted in Family, Food, Friendship, Gratitude, History, Language, Music, Nostalgia, Relationships, Self Improvement | Tagged | 18 Comments


The best comment that I received in response to my post Why Do You Do What You Do? was through email.


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Dallas Buyers Club.


I am writing this post while the impact of the film is still buzzing around in my brain. Manjiree and Ranjan had seen it a long time ago and had been telling me to see it but somehow or the other, I simply had not been able to find the time or the inspiration to see it, the lack of inspiration, because when it was released here in India, I had read brief write ups and had somehow come to believe that it was about drug dealers and drug dealing. It is not. It is about drugs for AIDS.

I finally got around to seeing it earlier this evening.

I am deeply affected. Every once in a while a film comes along that with its brutal honesty and amazing presentation does that to me and this one just did.

The story essentially is brought to life by three characters and none of the actors performing those roles were known to me. But all three, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto produce remarkable performances under some superb direction.

The story unravels well and the affection for the protagonists grows gradually till the climax when one says “phew!” That the story is based on real life people and events makes it a very poignant one to watch on screen.

If you have not seen it, please make it a point to. You will understand why I recommend it when you do. Till then, you can satisfy yourself with the take about the film from this Wikipedia write-up.

Posted in Medicine, Movies | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments