Reminders.

Grannymar‘s Sunday oneliner this week is: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
~ Dr. Seuss.

Yesterday, my sister Padmini published a photograph from her collection on her Facebook wall.
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This is my late wife Urmeela with our son Ranjan during our halcyon days. I did not even know that this photograph existed and do not remember when this was taken and by who. It did however affect me enough to make me a bit melancholy till I came across another photograph taken more recently.
Manj and RanjThis is my daughter in law Manjiree with my son Ranjan taken just a few months ago.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising & appreciating what we DO HAVE.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Nostalgia, Philosophy | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Equalizer.

TheEqualizer

The attraction? Denzel Washington. The reason for going on a Weekend afternoon, a busy calendar the whole of next week for both my partner in crime Ramesh and me. And despite the higher cost of the tickets, both of us also wanted to exploit a sale offering “buy two get one free” from a shop that we patronise for garments in the mall that houses the multiplex. The offer is only for this weekend.

The reaction? Overall, a very satisfying afternoon. The film was good, I made some new friends at the theater and at the shop after the movie and Denzel did not disappoint.  Both Ramesh and I made some good purchases as well.

What is puzzling is the frequency with which the Russian Mafia as it is called now features in many English films and action novels.  Is it an all pervading presence in the USA and the UK today?  I ask because  the last two films that I saw had the Russian Mafia being tackled by the heroes, the last action novel that I read of Lee Child, Personal also features the Russian Mafia in London, and the last British made film that I saw Rocknrolla also featured them. It would appear that the Russians have now taken over from the Italians!

The story builds up nicely with just enough mystery to keep the viewer’s curiosity about the background of the hero alive till it all falls into place.  The action is fast paced and quite realistic considering the background of the hero and tight direction and editing makes it a worthwhile movie to watch.  Definitely a better film than just a popcorn movie.  I however hesitate to give it a full six star because of the length of the film.  It could have been lower with some unnecessary scenes cut out.  So, Denzel has to be satisfied with .

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Most Overrated Artist (Musician, Actor, Etc.)

I was married to a fairly accomplished artist Urmeela but as much as I tried I could never learn the nuances of art appreciation of any kind. Even in music, I either like or dislike something but if I was asked as to why, I would not be able to answer. People found it strange as Urmeela could paint, play the piano, the guitar, the tabla and was creative in many ways. I would simply say that I married the artist not the art and leave it at that.

So, this topic is a bit of a problem for me as how does one with such limited ability write on it? I have therefore decided to just share a video of a piece of music which apparently was a major hit though I simply could not see why it was so. I leave it to me readers to decide whether my assessment that this artist and the music are highly overrated or not.

This topic was suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you have enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Posted in Blogging, Music, Relationships | Tagged , | 13 Comments

John Wick.

John Wick

What a movie! Phew!

My readers will find it difficult to believe it but I went to see it so that I can write a blog post. Someone very dear to me texted me earlier this morning as to why I have not been blogging.  I responded that my brain had gone to sleep but I thought to myself that I should get back to blogging and might as well do it with a review of a movie.

That there was a movie running with Keanu Reeves starring in it made it even more attractive a proposition.  And with two of my friends agreeing to spend a few hours with some male bonding, we went for a matinee show and winded down with some great high tea in great ambience.

This movie is what my friend Chuck calls a Pop Corn Movie.  A very weak story made to come alive with nothing but clever photography and mindless violence, nowadays called as action.  One expects the hero to win against all odds and he does but does it while keeping the viewer’s eyes pealed and his bottom glued to the seat.  If you can afford to have your adrenalin pumping non stop for about a hundred minutes, this movie is worth a dekho.  In fact that the excitement lasts only for about that much is a great plus point which pushes my rating for it from three to .

Posted in Blogging, Movies | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Expectations!

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.

~ Bruce Lee

Expectations

I love people who are like Mimi and I simply like to be Eunice in the strip above. The lower other people’s expectations of me, the happier I am as I am not quite the meet very high expectations type. The one single person who had expectations of me, my late mother, had just ordinary expectations and so it was relatively easy for me to come up to them. That in some cases, due to sheer luck or as others point out, being in the right place at the right time with the right credentials, I surpassed her expectations and it was a joy for her worth beholding.  On the other hand, I never had to let her down as she did not expect too much!

I have seen a lot of others with high expectations of themselves, their spouses and / or their children and having seen what happens to them, I would rather not have any at all. That way there are no disappointments and recriminations.

My readers will naturally ask if I don’t have expectations of myself. In all honesty, I can say that I don’t other than the one simple expectation that all of us have; to go when the time comes without pain and suffering. I do not have great expectations of anyone else in my life either and that makes it very simple for a peaceful and relatively stress free life.

How about you?

This topic was suggested by me for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoy my contribution to that effort.  The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Posted in Blogging, Family, Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Blame.

blame

1. Taxi driver: What a Municipal Corporation! Can’t even maintain roads, all corrupt fellows.
I: You did not see the pothole. You could have avoided it had you seen it.
The taxi driver takes off on another rant.
2. I: I am sorry that I put too much salt in the dish. You can balance it by adding it to some rice where I have deliberately not put any salt.
Guest: Never mind. You don’t have to blame yourself. Sometimes such mistakes happen.
I: No, I am responsible.
Guest: Okay be a masochist if you insist.
3. I: You have over billed me.
Shop keeper: Re checks the total and says “ Galti hogaya” (There has been a mistake.)
I: No, a mistake has not occurred, you have made a mistake.
Shop keeper: What is the difference? I am saying the same thing!
I give up.

I can go on and on with other examples. Our language has evolved to pass the blame on to other people or things or fate and we do not take responsibility for our mistakes and goof ups. We tend to use more of the passive verb form of communication than the active when our own actions are concerned.

Let me give two examples that my brother in law Raju used to illustrate the same phenomenon but to illustrate the need to take responsibility for our actions.

“Consider this excuse -“I can’t exercise today because I can’t find the time, my friend is in town and she is taking up all my time”.

Consider this one ” I can’t exercise today because it is not a priority for me. My friend is in town and I would rather spend it with her. It’s a conscious choice I am making”.

See the difference? In the first statement, you play the victim. In the second you are taking responsibility for your actions. You are choosing not to exercise, you know that it may not be the wisest choice but you are not laying the blame of the friend in town. It’s YOU who makes that choice. I know what I would do, I would go exercise anyway and I am quite sure either the friend will join me or entertain herself for that one hour. She is unlikely to think I am a bad friend or a bad hostess if she were a true friend.”

I try and avoid the blame game and mostly succeed. But even being very conscious of this phenomenon, sometimes, though rarely, I do catch myself blaming others or circumstances for my own lack of awareness.

Are you conscious of this phenomenon?

This topic was suggested by Maxi for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday. This is part of a series of Shakespeare titles that Maria had come up with.  I hope that you enjoy my contribution to that effort.  The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

I am posting my contribution a day early as I leave early tomorrow morning on a vacation. I will be back next week in time to take up next week’s topic.

Posted in Blogging, Language, People, Raves and Rants | Tagged , | 28 Comments

Belief.

To my dear friend Conrad, this is specially for you.

Off the blog world, I have some friends who follow my posts and prefer to comment through emails rather than to leave comments on the posts. One such friend, a fellow traveller as I call him pointed out these two little nuggets as response to my post Commitment To The Unverifiable.

One – From Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass. The dialogue starts with the White Queen.

“I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.”
“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Amazing insight! Believing in impossible things becomes easy with practice!

Two – From Catch 22.

Friend’s wife: “But the God I don’t believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He is not the mean and stupid God you make Him out to be”

Yossarin:”Let’s have a little more religious freedom between us. You don’t believe in the God you want to, and I won’t believe in the God I want to.”

I don’t even remember when I read this beauty of a book. Perhaps over four decades ago. I think that it is time I went back to read it again.

Another friend sent me this complaint: “My wife treats me like a GOD..!!
She takes NO notice of my existence till she wants something”.

And another friend Keith, in a different context had recommended some time ago that I watch a BBC series The Indian Doctor. It was only in the last few days that I was able to and in the second series of a three series showing, the doctor has to face a wily reverend who preaches the gospel and eventually turns out to be a charlatan. As I was watching the episodes where the priest is talking about faith, I kept remembering the mail from my friend and that has been the inspiration for this post as well. This is a very watchable series and I strongly recommend it to my readers.

Posted in Blogging, Books / Reading, Humor, Religion, Spiritualism | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Waiting.

waiting

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”

~ Joyce Meyer.

Posted in Humor, People | Tagged | 15 Comments

Gone Girl.

Gone-Girl-EW-First-Look_612x381

Having read the book based on some reviews before the movie was released in India, I can vouch for one new experience for me. This is the first time that I have seen a movie that is better than the book was. All it took to persuade me to see the film having already read the book was its leading actor, Ben Affleck. A big surprise was Roasamund Pike whose performance is absolutely stunning. I don’t remember having seen her in any movie before and she has just become another name to watch out for for me. Between the two of these very capable actors, the characters come alive and very true to life.  Excellent direction and tight editing makes for a very intense watching experience.

The picture was unusually long, a very difficult for senior citizens like me two hour and forty minutes of sitting around, but this is one time that I am not complaining. It simply could not have been any shorter without compromising the story and its bizarre characters and ending. I simply cannot find any fault with the movie and so it gets from me.

Let me just tell my readers that it is a very watchable movie but please be prepared to spend a loooooong time watching it.  If I had known that it would be so long, I would have opted to see it at home so that I could pause at convenient intervals.

Posted in Books / Reading, Movies | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Hip Hip Hooray!

I request my readers to first read my blog post on Hospital Diversion before you study the cartoon’s implications for me and the title of this blog.

Hambone

My friend Nandu however has other ideas about hips. This is what he posted on his facebook wall.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Medicine | Tagged , | 10 Comments