GDP And Crows.

My young friend Koushik reminded me of this story by comparing India’s GDP figures to the Agra Crows. May he keep inspiring me with such ideas in future too.

Akbar was a great Mughal Emperor and Birbal was his witty minister. One day, Akbar was taking a walk in his garden with Birbal.

Many crows were flying around. As he observed the birds flying, he thought of asking Birbal a tricky question.

He asked, “How many crows are there in our kingdom, Birbal?”
Birbal thought for a moment, and then said, “There are ninety-five thousand, four hundred and sixty three crows in your kingdom, Huzoor.”

“How do you know that for sure?” the King asked.
“You can get them counted, Huzoor.” Birbal said.

The Emperor again said, “If there are less than that, then?”
Birbal replied immediately, “That means that the rest of them have gone on vacation to some neighbouring kingdoms.”

“And if there are more than that, then?” asked Akbar.
“Then it means that other crows have come to visit their relatives in our kingdom, Huzoor,” said the witty minister.

Akbar was very pleased with the answer that Birbal gave and gave him a suitable reward.

Moral: Even if the question is silly, you can manage the situation by thinking on your feet and giving a witty answer.

Posted in History, Humor | Tagged , , | 6 Comments


Posted in Humor, People | Tagged , | 11 Comments


My son Ranjan posted this on his facebook page. Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

There are some subtle details that need to be noted. One, the old fashioned telephone, my first choice in holding a conversation with anyone not in front of me.

The newspaper in the man’s hand. My first choice for keeping updated with global news. I get five of them delivered every morning not only for the news but also for the crossword puzzles in all of them.

I wish that the face could have shown the anger I must surely show when I have to go through an automated system at the other end of the telephone.

I responded to Ranjan’s question with : “In total agreement.”

Posted in Family, Humor | Tagged , | 11 Comments


“In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!”

~ Woody Allen

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , | 7 Comments


I had reconciled myself long ago to being recognised as Manjiree’s father in law and Ranjan’s father.

On Thursday I had to reconcile myself to being recognised as the grandfather of Chutki.

A young couple who live in the same suburb as I do, who too are dog lovers have obviously been meeting the three individuals mentioned above at various forums including during walks with the dogs.

I ran into this very charming couple at a function on Thursday and during the getting to know each other process, they discovered that I am their neighbour and this is how they recognised me!

Posted in Family, Friendship, Pets | 11 Comments

Future Shock.

Future Shock is a book written by the futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970. In the book, Toffler defines the term “future shock” as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. His shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time”.

I have not had any experience of ‘future shock’.  Nor am I now experiencing one despite all kinds of weird things happening all around us globally, nationally and locally.  There simply is no ‘too much change in too short a period of time’.  Change is certainly taking place, but to me at least it seems as though it is in slow motion like this:

I have had my share of shocks in my life and have survived them quite successfully. With age, I have learnt not to be shocked by many things that would have shocked me in my youth. I doubt very much that anything can shock me any more.

Shackman has suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Posted in Blogging, Books / Reading | Tagged , | 15 Comments

The Paradox!

Please click on the images to get a larger resolution.

Posted in Humor, People | 18 Comments

Personality Compass.

I was led to a quiz to assess my personality type. The quiz indicated that there are only four types of personalities:

On completing the quiz. I was declared as being an Emotional Introvert.

“Most defining characteristics: You are sensitive, melancholic and a perfectionist.

You are a very emotional, caring and dedicated person. You believe that there is a bigger picture in life, one that we can’t really see, but we can feel.
You are very compassionate, strong minded, and devoted to your beliefs.
Although you tend to get melancholic, your ability to empathize for others is a true gift and you possess a sort of kindness that is rare.”

Very flattering.

Go ahead and take the quiz.  You may be flattered too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 17 Comments

Eastern And Western Culture, The Reflections Of Hidden Potential In Between.

My blogger friend Tikno from Indonesia has suggested this week’s LBC topic.

Let me first define ‘culture’ as I think Tikno means for this post – “The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.”

Having travelled both in the East and the West and having read quite a bit about both, I can vouch for one thing. And that is that people everywhere are the same and the cultures also the same except that in details descriptions have to be changed.

Almost all the differences have been because of usage of wrong terminology. Western for Modern and Eastern for Ancient.

Once this terminology is corrected nothing is hidden. In both the Western and Eastern cultures, modern communication aids have broken down mysteries and have spread knowledge while assisting in improving living standards everywhere. Technology has also brought people together like never before.

Eastern ancient culture based on an agrarian economy supported by handicrafts has been moving towards, Western industrial culture for quite some time and in fact, today, there is hardly any Eastern nation where this change has not had its impact. Some like Japan and South Korea can be compared to any Western nation while other nations like India and Indonesia are well on the way to becoming so.

On the other hand, movement from the West towards the East for spiritual knowledge, yoga, martial arts etc besides its ancient medical wisdom has also seen increase in the recent years.

This process has its advantages and disadvantages and again the use of modern communication methods can be used to minimise the effects that the latter have on people everywhere. Perceptions of each other in terms of lifestyles and values will change through information.

The potential is also not hidden as suggested by Tikno. It is ignored by most but is available for anyone interested to exploit the synergy that is available for the asking.

We are not human beings but human becomings.  There is hope yet.

You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Comments

Indu Sarkar.

With so much controversy about the film and the problems it had had from the censors and a section of the old INC brigade, I had very high expectations from the film. I expected much more than what the film shows on our Emergency and to that extent was disappointed. On the other hand, I had such an amazing experience watching an actor, Kirti Kulhari who I had never seen on screen before producing a super performance portraying a difficult character.

I had never seen a Madhur Bhandarkar movie before either and was pleasantly surprised at his direction.

My disappointment with the movie was because the emergency just provides a backdrop to a story about a woman. Yes, another woman centric picture and that made the viewing experience very special.

A picture worth seeing for bringing to life the darkest period of India’s post independence history and to see a remarkable performance by a very talented young lady.

Posted in Movies, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments