Comfortably Numb.

My cousin/friend Mohan in response to my post on Commitment 2on1#3 sent this to me. I leave it to the imagination of my readers to figure out why.

Hello,
Is there anybody in there
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home
Come on now
I hear you’re feeling down
I can ease your pain
And get you on your feet again
Relax
I’ll need some information first
Just the basic facts
Can you show me where it hurts
There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons
Now I’ve got that feeling once again
I can’t explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb
O.K.
Just a little pin prick
There’ll be no more ah!
But you may feel a little sick
Can you stand up?
I do believe it’s working, good
That’ll keep…

Posted in Blogging, Music, Nostalgia, Relationships | Tagged | 1 Comment

Small Things Matter.

What we consider little things can matter a great deal to others. The impact of this truth was driven home today by a conversation that I had with a friend / colleague from the eighties of the last century.

This friend has been tagging me and liking some of posts on facebook for some time but today for the first time ever, he left a comment on my blog post “Commitment”. He concluded with the sentence “I am lucky you know me.” I had gratefully responded with “You flatter me. Thank you. I am fortunate to have you in my life too.”

After some time, I decided that such an impersonal response was not enough and called him up on the telephone. I had last spoken to him about two years ago to help me with something in Bengaluru and had not called him after that problem was solved.

He was delighted to hear from me and that made me realise that I should have been calling him more often. As I am wont to do, I teased him about that sentence and he went all emotional about how his regard for me went back to 1985 when he had come to Bombay where I was posted then. He was visiting from our Head Office.  He did not know anyone in our office but as people from our other offices did, used our Bombay office as a base while doing whatever work they had in Bombay.  Apparently, during lunch time  I had seen  him sitting all alone and invited him to join the rest of us who used to eat together. He added another instance at another office,  when I had organised transport to drop him off at a railway station.

I don’t even remember these instances. These are the kind of things that I will do without ever thinking about them. I continue do do such things even with total strangers. We stopped being colleagues 28 years ago and these events were 32 years ago but, he still remembers!

For him these two instances have had such major impacts that he continues to remember and cherish them and associate me with them after all these years.

Yes, small things matter. To us as well as to others when we do what we consider small things but which may be big things.

Posted in Blogging, Facebook, Relationships | 3 Comments

Commitment. 2 on 1 #3

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
~ Socrates

When my late wife and I decided to get married to each other, her friends and family thought that I was nuts to marry her.  My friends and family on the other hand, thought that she was nuts to marry me. We went ahead nevertheless,  and both of us were quite happy but eventually became philosophers anyway.

That was the single biggest commitment that I ever made in my life.

“The opposite of opportunism in human relations is loyalty; a noble sentiment – but one that needs to be invested in the right places, that is, in human relations and moral commitments.”
~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The two other commitments that followed much later, to become a vegetarian in 1998 and to become a teetotaller in 1999 were of less significance but commitments nevertheless made to my late mother and to my God Daughter In Love respectively. Both also helped in my passage to becoming a philosopher!

Before some of you ask me, let me clarify. I am not a philosopher in the classic sense but am one in the sense that I am learning to be one.

“Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.”

~ Paulo Coelho,The Zahir

I flatter myself that I am free.

I picked this week’s topic and so Shackman will choose next week’s. Be sure to check Shackman’s take on this week’s topic.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

The Post.

I often wonder at how fortunate I am with so many good things happening to me. This is another instance of such good fortune that I was able to see The Post on its last showing in our cinemas today.

I would have normally seen it on Tuesday but was unable to as Ranjan and Manjiree were away on vacation and I was Chutki sitting and playing watchman. They came back yesterday enabling me to go today and I am more than delighted that they came back in time.

I had been wanting to see it from the time I read reviews about it some time ago. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks were more than enough inducement but there was a bonus in the form of direction by Steven Spielberg.

I was old enough in the sixties and interested enough in the Vietnam war and its repercussions in the USA during the late sixties and the early seventies of the last century. I distinctly remember the Nixon years and the name of Robert McNamara was as well known here in India as it was in the USA. For me therefore seeing something on the screen showing events of those days was a mind blowing experience.

Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, did not disappoint and for those who have not seen the film and are worried about the freedom of the press as we are in India today, this movie is a must see one.

Posted in Movies, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Very First.

Nick has this fascinating post up and I thought that I would join him in going back to my very firsts too.

First vacation: I was about seven years old and was living with my uncle and aunt in Chennai while my parents were in Bombay. My uncle and aunt decided to take me to meet my parents and I distinctly remember the trip by train which was very exciting and the week or so that I spent in Bombay with my parents.

First car: I was eighteen and in Hyderabad when I bought a much used pre war DKW as a favour to a friend who urgently needed cash. I had no intention of keeping the car and in fact sold it off at a profit to professional dealers in used cars within a fortnight.

First job:: On the assumption that in this case, job meaning a proper one with an appointment letter etc, as a Field Inspector for a General Insurance Company in Hyderabad when I was eighteen. I worked there for all of nineteen months before I quit to move to Madras.

First crush: Was when I was in Fourth Standard. Her name was Rama and that is all that I remember now about her.

First kiss: I have written about that story here and here.

First flight: A joy ride in a Tiger Moth off the Madras Meenampakkam airport when I must have been about twenty or so.  The first ever commercial flight that I took was in 1967 from Bombay to Calcutta and back in a Caravelle aircraft.

First fancy dinner: By fancy, if wearing a suit is meant, it was the dinner that I wrote about here.

First apartment: As a bachelor in Hyderabad with my first job when I was eighteen, I had rented a single room above a garage in a compound with a bungalow in it. I had to come down to use the bathroom and it was a nuisance when I entertained friends.

First record: Elvis Presley’s 45 RPM Apron Strings.

First pet: While I grew up with dogs at home as a boy, my own first pet had to wait till I was 32 years old. A dachshund/terrier cross named Mala, she was a delightful companion for about three years. When we were transferred to Bombay from that location we decided to giver her away as in Bombay living in a flat would have been cruel to the dog. She went to a very caring home and I saw her on a few occasions later too.

First concert: Duke Ellington’s Orchestra in the Madras Music Accademy in 1963. The only concert that I ever went to with my brother Arvind.

Wow! That was fun writing. Brought back so many memories. Thank you Nick.

Posted in Blogging, India, Nostalgia | 10 Comments

Retirement.

Thank you Wisewebwoman.

Posted in Blogging, Facebook, Humor | Tagged | 8 Comments

Communication.

The best email that I have received so far this year.

As we progress into 2018, I want to thank you for
your educational e-mails over the past year. I am
totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I can no longer open a bathroom door without using
a paper towel, nor let the waitress put lemon slices in
my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on
the lemon peel.

I can’t sit down on a hotel bedspread because I can
only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been
driving because the number one pastime while driving alone
is picking one’s nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I
can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have
consumed over the years.

I can’t touch any woman’s handbag for fear she has placed
it on the floor of a public toilet.

I must send my special thanks for the email about rat poo
in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet
sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO,now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for
the same reason.

I can’t have a drink in a bar because I fear I’ll wake up
in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can’t eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible
mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers.

I can’t use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell
like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you I have learned that my prayers only get answered
if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish
within five minutes.

Because of your concern,I no longer drink Coca Cola because
it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy fuel without taking someone along to watch the car,
so a serial killer doesn’t crawl in my back seat when I’m filling up.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes
seven different types of cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can’t boil a cup of water
in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face,
disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the cinema because I could be pricked with a
needle infected with AIDS when I sit down.

I no longer go to shopping centres because someone will drug
me with a perfume sample and rob me..

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask
me to dial a number for which I will get a huge phone bill with
calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan ..

Thanks to you I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a
big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me
instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice I can’t ever pick up a
dime coin dropped in the car park because it was probably
placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

I can’t do any gardening because I’m afraid I’ll get bitten
by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in
the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land
on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the
fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you
to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it
actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbour’s
ex mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s best friend’s
beautician!

Oh, and by the way…

A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study,
has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity
read their e-mails with their hand on the mouse.

Don’t bother taking it off now, it’s too late.

P. S. I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because
I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out
of the toilet..

NOW YOU HAVE YOURSELF A VERY GOOD DAY…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Did School Prepare You For The Real World? 2 On 1 # 2.

What a question my fellow blogger Shackman has asked!

I was an indifferent student and failed to pass the Board Examinations for the School Leaving Certificate in the first attempt and had to take the supplementary examinations to pass them later.

I was however an avid Boy Scout and Cadet of the Naval Wing of the National Cadet Corps. These two programmes taught me a great deal of discipline, team spirit and patriotism that prepared me for the real world. Frankly speaking, apart from these two activities I cannot think of any that helped me later.

If however Business School is also included in the title, then I would say, yes it certainly did to the extent of getting me a Management Trainee’s position in a great company. Here too, what I learned as a trainee and junior Manager in the firm helped me a great deal later in my life than the theoretical knowledge that I had picked up in the Business School.

What both these institutions taught me however was how to learn. That prepared me for the real world as it does even today.  This is why I maintain that education is learning to learn.

Shackman picked this week’s topic and so I will choose next week’s. Be sure to check Shackman’s take on this week’s topic.

Posted in Blogging, History, India | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Blockchain Technology.

Ever since I read about Dubai being the first to go wholly for blockchain technology, I have been trying to understand what it is all about without being any wiser despite Guru Google.

I am waiting for a geek to appear to explain it all to me. In the meanwhile, this cartoon resonates with me.  Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Context.


“….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” -Donald Trump via Twitter (January 6, 2018)

This actually got me thinking about my two greatest assets.

I could not narrow from many to two greatest as the competition among the many was fierce.

In the thinking process many great liabilities also came up.  In fact, some assets were also liabilities in certain conditions!

I asked some dear friends and a member of my family for help and without exaggeration I can say that after compiling all of them, even I was amazed at the number of assets that I have in me!  Here are the responses I received, the first one from my sister and the rest from very dear friends.

  1. Your sense of family and friends
    Your tenacity
    Your commitment to maintaining relationships.
  2. Your wisdom …from years of varied enriching experiences. Your empathy and/or your humility…. Since you’re willing to share the experiences for helping others even when they make you appear not in the best of light at times.
    Its injustice to just ask for 2 though….
  3. Independent thinking / intelligence and Sense of humour,
  4. Self awareness and awareness of situations around you – a quest or curiosity to know why what how of stuff going on and Ability to put translate philosophy into practical action through practical steps. A generous heart willing to use all of above to help any one who seeks it
    You are born to guide people. Guru aspect of Jupiter is very high in your personality.

The best suggestion came from my daughter in love who without batting an eyelid simply said that she and my son were my two greatest assets.  Hard to deny that too!

I decided to sleep over it and finally came up with two which are as follows.  The first are what I would call my parallel assets to those of the POTUS and the next are what I think being the greatest in my opinion.

  1. My sense of humour, and
  2. My total lack of sense of rumour.
  1. Always being grounded in reality.
  2. Building and maintaining strong relationships.

What however came across loud and clear to me, as you will see from the responses I received, is that context matters.  Each one’s experience of his/her relationship with me influenced the response.  Naturally, while there is some overlap, there is definitely different perceptions involved due to the context of the relationships.

Go ahead, be inspired by the POTUS and draw up your own.  Ask your family members and / or friends.  May be you can share in the comments section or write your own blog posts.

 

Posted in Family, Friendship, Humor, People, Relationships | Tagged | 11 Comments