Rummuser With Peruke.

Grannymar made an excellent suggestion in her comments on my blog post All Hope Abadon Ye Who….. : “If you are worried about your image, why not bring back the peruke?”

So, I took the help of some graphics editing and came up with this version of me with a peruke.

dad

Rather startling effect I should say!

Grannymar, do you think that my fortunes will change despite my beard if I were to look like this?

What do my other readers think?

PS. Having sneaked a preview, Manjiree believes that I should make this my avatar! I suspect that she wants me to be the laughing stock among her generation of friends.

Life has a way of bowling googleys at me. For my American friends, the equivalent is curve balls. Hardly had I reconciled to my ambivalent state vis a vis my facial hair, I come across this piece of writing that gives me some major complex issues. Should I shave my chest too?

Posted in Blogging, Humor | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Undone.

My devious mind thought up all kinds of ideas to write about this topic but finally and considering the sensibilities of my readers, I decided to play it safe and seek the pardon of Will Knot who came up with this topic, but who unfortunately is tied up elsewhere and does not participate any more. I bet that if he was to return to writing on LBC every Friday, he will write about other undone things.

One of the problems that regular walkers and joggers face is the shoe laces coming undone which can cause one to trip and fall. It has happened to me and I went looking for solutions till I found these two clips which I would like to share with my readers as part of my contribution to the weekly Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok gaelikaa, Maxi, and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

And another simpler and as effective a method.

Knowing that some of my readers will shoot me if I do not come up with something more profound here are two more pictures.
Bedroom-Decoration-with-flower-stands
If we sleep on flowers, it’s called our first night.”

grave1
“If flowers sleep on us, it’s called our last night.”

That is a whole life undone.

Posted in Blogging, Self Improvement, Spiritualism | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

The Missing Husband II.

Twin-Bed

Despite my current status of persona non grata with my friend Nirmala, the mischievous in me just cannot resist the temptation to share with her, Arun and all my readers this gem.

Posted in Blogging, Friendship, Humor, People | Tagged , | 17 Comments

All Hope Abandon Ye Who…………

456225_10150574262536006_1200371547_o

…… Who Keep Beards.

If you did not know, that is me.  Hardly any hair on top to crow about but a neatly trimmed beard.

Despite the absence of hair on the top I was hoping till about half an hour ago that I still have some chance with the ladies. My hopes have just been dashed. As usual, some academics with more money to spend than subjects to research on have found that I am now passe.

My bearded friends, we have two options. Bravely decide to stay with our single isolated status or shave the damned things off. I am opting for the former and modern taste be damned.

What about you Shackman and David?

Posted in Humor, Raves and Rants | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

The Missing Husband.

BlackLabradorRetreiver

My friends Arun and Nirmala live in a farm house outside the city with three dogs for company and only day time help. Since it is summer and the temperature is quite high and dry, they use a huge desert cooler which is more effective than air conditioning.
Their home is a kind of circle with three bed rooms and a studio on one half of the circle, all in a line and sharing a common corridor and the other half of the circular building consisting of a kitchen, dining area, drawing room and a central court yard.

I heard this story the first thing in the morning today to give me an idea of the kind of problems living in farm houses can produce.

At about 3.30 am in the morning, Arun woke up because the cooler had really made the room chilly. He went to the toilet and on his return found the largest of the three dogs, a huge labrador called Rascal had occupied his sleeping area and would not budge from it. So, Arun decided on a tit for tat maneuver, took out a sheet and spread it over Rascal’s sleeping mat on the floor of the bed room and went to sleep there after covering himself. After a while, Nirmala in turn went to the toilet and on return found that Arun was missing on his side of the bed and went all over the house and kept searching for him with increasing panic. All kinds of stories fed by too much television kept popping up including extra terrestrials in UFOs.  By the time she returned to the bed room the second time around, Arun had moved back to his side of the bed with Rascal coming to reclaim his place on the floor. When she found Arun on the bed Nirmala got a shock of her life and almost had a stroke.

As the story unfolded, I kept laughing and could not quite get the panic part and therefore my multiple entry visa to their home has been cancelled and I have been declared persona non grata by the lady of the house.

She still finds it difficult to believe Arun’s story and thinks that Arun was up to some mischief or the other at that hour and at an age of 70! The only witness who can corroborate Arun’s version of the story is blissfully enjoying the desert cooled comfort of their lovely home.

Have you had any missing spouse incidents like this in your life?

Posted in Family, Friendship, Humor, Relationships | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Grumpy Old Men.

Mr. Wislon

Shackman in his comments on my post Greetings And Farewells, had these two nice things to say about me.
“Wow – I never realized what a crotchety old geezer you are. :-)” and,
“Upon reflection I find you are not so much a crotchety old geezer but very much an affable, inquisitive curmudgeon like me with very little time for fools, though they (fools of course) can be very entertaining at times.”

So, I took solace that despite being over the hill as it were having crossed the proverbial three score and ten, I can at least be entertaining. All my good feelings have now come crashing down because some University in the USA has studied curmdgeons for fifteen years and has come to the conclusion that they can only progessively get worse! Shackman, what do I do now?

Posted in Blogging, Humor, People | Tagged | 26 Comments

Code Name God.

cng book

Yes, it is the title of a book and not something that I wanted to expound on.

My cousin Damodaran was browsing books in a local lending library when he came across this book, was intrigued by the blurbs “This book may change your life” – Sydney Sheldon; and “The author’s personal odyssey… in an attempt ot find common ground between Eastern spirituality and Western science is eloquently told and makes for fascintaing reading.” – Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao Of Physics. He borrowed it from the library, returned it after reading and decided to buy a copy for himself to keep as a source book and a few more copies to be distributed among his friends. After he had done all that, knowing my interest in Buddhism and Vedanta as well as my involvement with Vipassana for over three decades, he ordered me as he is wont to, to get myself a copy which I promptly did and have just finished reading it.

I can safely say that I finished ‘reading’ the first half of the book but for the second half of the book, I should really be using the word ‘studying’ instead. The second half is when the author gets away from the background story of his rags to riches story to how he gets on a journey of spiritual enquiry and how he reconciles his background as a Scientist with Eastern mysticism and meditation.

There is really nothing new in what he writes as Capra has written extensively on the subject and I have read all the latter’s books, but how he writes is where the book scores. It is easy to read and understand even for a non scientist and the examples he gives lead one to understand the complexities of quantum physics and that makes all the difference.

I recommend this book to people who are interested in exploring how Physicists are now validating the findings and experiences of Eastern mystics without access to sophisticated equipment like colliders. It is also a fascinating story of the journey of a poor farmer’s son from penury to riches, despair with materialism and eventual happiness through spiritualism.

Posted in Books / Reading, Buddhism, Meditation, Philosophy, Relationships, Spiritualism, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Dakshina Dvaraka. What An Evening!

“Information isn’t what’s scarce; it’s the willingness to do something with it.”
~ Tyler Cowen

It was a heady mixture of culture, history, music, dance, sculpture, religion, and mythology. It was a presentation that was originally scheduled to last two hours and fifteen minutes but because of audience pressure got extended to three hours but still left the audience wanting more.

My friends Geeta and Koushik are deeply involved in matters cultural in Pune with a particular orientation towards Tamil Nadu. They are part of a new initiative called Dakshina Dvaraka meaning Doorway To The South, and had invited me to a programme yesterday. Despite receiving this electronic flier I was not quite sure how the evening will turn out to be but since I trust Geeta’s and Koushik’s judgement in these matters, decided to go. You can click on the image to get a larger image.
dakshina dvaraka

Manjiree and Ranjan too got intrigued enough to offer to accompany me and the three of us had a most interesting and enlightening evening out. Dr. Chithra Madhavan‘s presentation with the help of photographs on six of Tamil Nadu’s many famous temples, the myths attached to them and the history behind them was fascinating to say the least.

Sushruti Santhanam’s explanations about the songs that she sang with reference to the composer/poet/saints behind them was also fascinating and the surprise Bharat Natyam by Dr. Anjali Raju was icing on the cake. Sushruti’s comments about the Maratha influence on Carnatic music zapped audience, sitting as we all were in the heartland of the old Maratha empire.

We left the auditorium with amazement that there was so much that we need to learn about our own culture. Manjiree and Ranjan have decided to go on an extensive motorcycle trip to Tamil Nadu at the earliest and I envy them.

Thank you Geeta and Koushik for having given us this opportunity to learn invaluable things about our heritage. Vignesh, it is a pity that you missed it!

Posted in Gratitude, History, India/Pakistan, Music, Religion, Tambrams | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Hysteria.

hysteria

The first and only time that I had ever come across the word hysterical in connection with a person was and still is for my late mother by my late father. He called her that as an excuse for his philandering that created a dysfunctional home for his wife and children. I therefore am very cautious in using it to describe as someone’s behaviour because there is always the question of cause and effect, as in the case of my mother whether it was her alleged hysterical behaviour that caused my father to philander or whether it was his philandering that made her hysterical.  This is one of the unsolved mysteries of my life as I never had to ask her directly about it as, this whole matter came up in a discussion with my father after my mother had gone off to her various Gods. Perhaps it is a good thing that I never asked her as her answer might have just aggravated an already hostile relationship with my father.

Strangely enough, I have not come across any instances of men being hysterical and I am hoping that there will be some enlightenment from the other LBC writers on the subject.

Other than this little sharing of my life, I have nothing to offer my readers on this subject which was chosen by Maria the Gaelikaa for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok gaelikaa, Maxi, Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

Posted in Blogging, Family, Relationships | Tagged | 30 Comments

Flipkart Has Flipped.

The following exchange of mail should at least amuse if not annoy you. The story starts in August of last year when I placed an order for a DVD on Flipkart. I have been sending mails to them every month and I more or less get the same message over and over again and I was really getting cheesed off that they were not taking the initiative to keep me informed but were only reacting when I followed up. Let us start from end February where one joker did not even know what product I was referring to despite the description staring at him on the letter itself!

Hi Mr.Rajgopaul,

Order ID: OD30815084007

We understand your concern and we apologize for the delay in delivery of the above mentioned order.

The book was expected to be released by January and unfortunately it was not released as expected.

It is now expected to be released by Early March, please visit the below link for more information and updates -

http://www.flipkart.com/rang-de-basanti/p/itmdhcxtrju6crxz?pid=AVMDHCXGCAWARTDF

I assure you that your order OD30815084007 for ‘Rang De Basanti (Movie, DVD)’ will be shipped on the day of its official release. As always, a shipping confirmation e-mail will be sent to you after shipment of your pre-order.

If you still wish to cancel this order, please revert to us with the confirmation and we will be glad to assist you further.

We request your kind patience and understanding.

To this, I responded as follows by mid March.

It is now past mid March and no communication from you. It is not a book. It is a DVD.

Please advise what should be done next.

To this I received the following message:

Hi Mr.Rajgopaul,

Order ID: OD30815084007

We understand your concern and we apologize for the delay in delivery of the above mentioned order.

The book was expected to be released by January and unfortunately it was not released as expected.

It is now expected to be released by late March, please visit the below link for more information and updates -

http://www.flipkart.com/rang-de-basanti/p/itmdhcxtrju6crxz?pid=AVMDHCXGCAWARTDF

I assure you that your order OD30815084007 for ‘Rang De Basanti (Movie, DVD)’ will be shipped on the day of its official release. As always, a shipping confirmation e-mail will be sent to you after shipment of your pre-order.

If you still wish to cancel this order, please revert to us with the confirmation and we will be glad to assist you further.

We request your kind patience and understanding.

Did I solve your problem? Please click here to let me know.

Please write back to us should you have any other questions or need further assistance.

Regards,
Pratik
Customer Support

On the 9th of April I sent this message.

It is now almost nearing mid April. Now what?

I received this response:

On 09/04/14 7:41 PM, “Flipkart Customer Support” wrote:

Response Via Email (Little Pattnaik) 09/04/2014 07.41 PM

Hi Ramana,

Order ID: OD30815084007

Thank you for writing in.

I do understand your concern.

I take this special opportunity to address your concern.

I am glad to inform you that “Rang De Basanti (Movie, DVD)” is not yet released in India. This is expected to be released by last week of April.

The release dates are decided by the manufacturers. Once we have information about the same, we will have it updated on the website.

You have our assurance in ensuring that the order will be shipped once officially released. We, will also send an email to you with the tracking details once shipped.

I request your kind understanding and patience in this regard.
Customer By Email (Ramana Rajgopaul) 09/04/2014 05.00 PM
It is now almost nearing mid April. Now what?

On 18/03/14 10:22 PM, “Flipkart Customer Support” wrote:

To this I responded with:

Dear Mr. Patnaik,

I am 71 years old, possibly as old as your grand father, and there are very few people in my life who call me by my first name Ramana. I am disgusted with your casual approach to addressing one of your customers by his first name without knowing anything about him. Neither you nor I are Americans and this is totally unacceptable behaviour in our land.

You are “glad” to inform me that there is going to be further delay? What kind of emotion is that? Your customer has been waiting to get his order fulfilled for over eight months and every month he has to approach you to find out the latest position without your taking any initiative to assuage his dismay and you are glad? What kind of response is that?

I understand that the release date is decided by the producers of the film but surely you do not fulfill your commitment every month and I have to approach you every month and you assure me that you will let me know when it is finally despatched.

This is not customer service. If you see my record with you, you will find that I was one of your earliest customers and was buying regularly every month some thing or the other till your service and prices hit a sixer. I have stopped buying from you and I would like to cancel this order too and look forward to your refunding the amount with you for the past eight months.

Please confirm that this will be done at the earliest.

Thank you.

RAMANA RAJGOPAUL

I have now received the final message as follows:

Dear Mr. Rajgopaul,

Order ID: OD30815084007
Product: Rang De Basanti (Movie, DVD)

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.

As per the update from the concerned team, the above product is expected to be released by the end of this month. We assure you that the product will be shipped on the day of its official release and delivered within 2-3 business days from the date of shipment.

If you still wish to cancel this order, kindly revert to us and we will assist you further.

We value your time and appreciate your kind co-operation.

Did I solve your problem? Please click here to let me know.

Please write back to us should you have any other questions or need further assistance.

Regards,
Preetham Praneeth
Customer Support

I am still thinking about how to respond to this message. What would you do if you were me? Cancel the order or play it out for some more comedy?

Posted in Customer Service, India/Pakistan, Raves and Rants | Tagged , | 34 Comments