Urban Legends.

Pleases click on the image to get a larger resolution.

That X-ray shows both hip joints replaced with prostheses. Both my hip joints have been replaced and having worn out, one has been revised twice and the other once. The latter is due for revision but, I am postponing as much as possible to avoid getting on to a surgical table again.

A colleague and friend who had not seen me for some time, saw me walking with a cane while I was still in my late thirties.  He simply would not accept the medical reasons for my problem and thus an urban legend was born.

The story spread like wild fire among my friends and colleagues and is now the most accepted part of the legend that is me.

I was supposed to have jumped out of a second floor flat and hurt my hips. When asked why I had to do that, the answer was that the husband came.

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<

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Memory Trigger 21: Question.

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.”
~ Chinese proverb

Recently, there have been some evenings when my daughter in love Manjiree has been asking a lot of questions about our past about which she does not know anything. Her questions have covered mostly Ranjan’s background and about our relatives that she has met. A natural tendency to get to know about her husband’s background.

During one such session she asked me very searching questions about her late mother in law, Urmeela and I suppose that she was not satisfied with my answers for she suddenly appeared a couple of days ago and asked me to go to a link online that she helped me key in.

Lo and behold. this is what I saw appearing on my computer’s screen:

“Artists like Dasrath Kumari Mathur and Urmila Shaw could not be very active in their careers after marriage. “Urmila Shaw was the best painter in our group”, says Fatima recalling her college days in Hyderabad.

Urmila was a Christian and belonged to a middle class family. She had been active in the professional field right from her student days at the local college. She was appreciated for her work by almost everyone known to her, particularly Vidya Bhushan, her teacher. Like him she also went to the erstwhile Yugoslavia to learn mural techniques. She and Usha Shankar worked on the Ajanta mural project, assigned to Vidya Bhushan by the Lalit Kala Academy. Urmila’s family and that of Vidya Bhushan’s were friends.

Urmila was in Hyderabad until the late 70s. She went to Bombay after marriage. Later she settled down in Pune and still lives there. She continued to paint for a long time following her marriage. Urmila and Usha were friends. Usha began to study FineArts after marriage. Her husband encouraged her in her creative pursuits. She had a fascination to experiment with various media, such as, oils, acrylic and egg tempera.”

Every name in the narrative was known to me as I had met and spent time with all of them and had even visited all of them at their homes, and had also attended their exhibitions on occasion. All except Fatima sadly are no more.

That Fatima, a formidable personality considered her as the best in their group came as a complete surprise to me. That Vidhya Bhushan thought very highly of her was known to me, but Fatima’s praise came as a very pleasant surprise. Incidentally, she is very much in Pune and is quite active in the art world.

The reason for the title of this post is that I have been googling for many things for many years but had never found this particular passage till now. On asking Manjiree how she found it, she enigmatically replied that she asked google the right questions!

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Unusual Twins.

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Christmas Season Is Here At Our Home.

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Like many other things in life that repeat, this too is a topic that inadvertently has been suggested by me for the weekly LBC posts as a repeat. Since there is little that I can add to improve what I had written a year and a half ago, I shall simply cut and paste the same thing all over again.

In the circle of my friends and family, I am known as a good cook.

My love affair with cooking started when some male friends working in the Middle East taught me that men too can cook. They had no choice as they were forced to live alone leaving their families behind and perforce had to learn how to cook.

Once I saw them cook and picked up some tips from them, there was no stopping me and at every possible opportunity I would cook. I also collected recipes and bought a number of books of recipes to help me along my then new hobby.

Since I was also in a travelling job and had to stay in hotels and eat restaurant food, I would ask to meet the chefs whenever I was intrigued by some dish and would request the chefs for recipes. I did the same thing whenever I was entertained in some one’s home and would ask the lady of the house or the cook for the recipe.

For me, cooking also turned out to be a great occupation therapy and nothing gives me greater pleasure than someone eating food cooked by me complimenting me for it.

An update however is in order. I stopped cooking after the death of my wife as I simply lost all interest as there was no one to appreciate the outcomes. Three years ago however a whole lot of young people persuaded me to cook one lamb dish for a special occasion and I came up trumps with that. Bar that one occasion, I have not cooked anything other than making the morning cup of tea and microwaving the oats for breakfast or toasting bread slices. I however give instructions to our help who uses the guidelines to cook some amazing stuff for the home and guests.

May be one of these days, I may just get back into the kitchen just to see if the knack is still there.

I have 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, Family, Food, India | Tagged | 23 Comments

First Name.

I got two text messages from Amazon on my cellphone to the effect that a book that I had ordered had been delivered successfully. I had been at home and had not received any delivery from a courier and so got online to Amazon and went to their customer service facility and chose to chat online about my problem.

I was asked to wait till a representative came online which took a couple of minutes but when she came online, she because of the name, she started off by typing “Hello Ramana, how may I be of assistance?”

I responded “I am 75 years old Ms.XYZ. Do you still want to address me by my first name?”

She promptly responded, “Sorry Sir, how may I be of assistance?”

We proceeded to chat and she solved my problem for me.

Amazon wanted me to respond to a customer feed back where I have left my response to the effect that they should not use the first name system of addressing their customers.

Yes, I understand that in the West this is quite common and acceptable but in India, this simply is not. We are formal in our addressing of people, particularly so when it comes to strangers. You would notice that I addressed the lady representative as Ms automatically and instinctively.

I shared this story with another senior citizen friend who too confirmed that he found it annoying when total strangers addressed him by his first name.

I wonder what Nick would say about this!

Posted in Customer Service, India, Language | Tagged | 22 Comments

Fantasy / Obsession / Intoxication.

My fantasy is to one day be able to understand quite how Pravin’s mind comes up with such topics. He is the LBC blogger who has come up with this topic for today’s posts. After some reflection, I could understand the combining of the latter two subjects but am stumped to find how logically the first one fits in with the other two. I hope that Pravin will write on this topic so that I can understand his take and the logic behind the choice.

Stretching a point we could say that these are two sides of the same coin but to confuse us, could also be mutually exclusive. The point however is that Obsessives often confuse their obsession as addiction and addicts do the reverse without really understanding the difference.

I know the difference at an abstract level but for the world of it, cannot put it in writing. I therefore went to my Guru, Google and found this very enlightening article by a psychologist.

In my younger days, I had many obsessions and addictions but, I am now clear in my mind that I am an obsessive only when it comes to cleanliness and order in my surroundings and am an addict when it comes to my morning tryst with my newspapers and crossword puzzles.

Pravin has suggested this week’s topic. I hope that he is back blgging so that I can access his take on the subject. 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, Humor, People | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Slippery Ice.

Mike has a post up in his blog with a lady walking on slippery ice. it is a beautiful image.

That brought to mind a video that I saw recently which should amuse Mike and my other readers. I wish that I could understand Japanese but even without being able to I enjoyed the show. I hope you do too.


Posted in Blogging, Humor | Tagged | 15 Comments

Kadvi Hawa.

Wikipedia translates the title Kadvi Hawa as Bitter Wind. I propose that it should be Ill Wind. “Something bad that happens and makes you think other bad things will happen.”

I had seen a trailer a couple of weeks ago when I had gone to see another film, and was intrigued by the performance of Sanjay Mishra, a character actor who usually plays supporting roles with elan.

In this, the story revolves around him and to that extent he is the lead player. And as can be expected, delivers a powerful performance as a blind and marginal farmer in a desolate area of India. Ranvir Shorey plays a remarkable supporting role as a debt collector. One more amazing but subdued performance from Konkona Sen Sharma rounds off the contributors, bar one more minor role from Bhupesh Singh which is inconsequential.

The director has been able to get some tremendous performances from a talented cast and the photography of the locale, the bad lands of the Chambal Valley in Rajasthan is breath taking.

With all this to support it and a very topical theme of Climate Change, the film should attract crowds. It does not and even I will not advice my readers to see it unless there is nothing else to do on an afternoon. The story line simply does not support such talent.

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Mr. Regret Iyer.

If that title intrigues you, rest assured that I am not joking.

There is a gentleman in our Southern City of Bengaluru with that name. Even Wikipedia has a page on him.

You can read all about him in this amazing BBC article.

Posted in Humor, India, People | Tagged , , | 5 Comments