No It Isn’t Beethoven.

No, this is not a Beethoven composition. This is a video of two masters of Hindustani Classical Music, Ustad, Amjad Ali Khan on the Sarod and Ustad Zakir Hussein on the Tabla.

THIS is Beethoven’s symphony No.6 played by The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta.

This is a post for the weekly Friday LBC where a few bloggers write on the same subject. You may like to visit Lin and Shackman to see what they have to contribute to this effort. Today’s topic has been suggested by Lin.

Posted in Blogging, Music | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Down The Garden Path.

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One never stops learning and this is a perfect example of that statement. I had heard about and even used “leading up the garden path” but this is the first time that I have come across “down the garden path”. On investigation I found that apparently both can be used to mean the same. What a language!

I can honestly say that I have never knowingly led anyone down the garden path but I am no saint and unknowingly, I may well have done so. If I come to know of such instances through any of my readers, I am perfectly willing to make amends and at the least, apologise.

I can however attest to quite a few instances when I was led down the garden path. This topic, in fact has nudged my memory to a few that I had even forgotten all about. let me share just one such story.

Last year, I suddenly developed a severe pain in my shoulder and since a friend recommended an orthopedist conveniently located, I consulted him. He first tried to ease my pain by recommending some pain killers as well as sending me to a physiotherapist to learn some exercises. This same treatment continued for a month with three visits and seeing no change, he suggested that I take an ultrasound image. On getting the result, the orthopedist suggested that I had a torn ligament and needed to get it surgically corrected.

Once it was suggested that I need surgery, I decided to consult the surgeon who had revised my replaced hip joints on three occasions as to what should be done. He promptly guided me to a shoulder specialist who after studying just an X-ray of the shoulder, recommended that I simply continue the exercise regime and use painkillers at need and lo and behold, in three months, the shoulder pain simply disappeared by itself!

Had I stayed with the first orthopedist, I would have been taken down the garden path and would have punctured a big hole in my bank balance!

This topic for the weekly Friday LBC blog posts, where a few of us write on the same topic, was suggested by Lin. Shackman is sure to write and some others may be writing too.

Posted in Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Peace Of Mind.

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.

One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.

This topic for the weekly Friday LBC blog posts, where a few of us write on the same topic, was suggested by me. Two others, Lin and Shackman very likely and some others may be writing too.

Posted in Blogging, Philosophy, Spiritualism | Tagged | 22 Comments

When I was young.

This week’s topic has been suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday LBC posts where three of us and some times more write on the same topic. One more blogger Lin is sure to write and you may like to pop over to see what the other two have to say on the topic.

I am at an age when I forget that there was a time when I was young. And for the purpose of this post, how do I define young? Pre-teen, teenage or post teen age or the entire period before I hit shall I arbitrarily say, forty years of age?

So, before I hit forty is the choice I will make for being young, and the first thing that comes to mind is that during that entire period, I never ever thought of the day when I will be as old as I am today, and most certainly even in my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be sitting before a computer and typing blog posts out. In fact, a computer was a mysterious machine to be handled only by experts as we in India were just then getting into computerising and I had most certainly given up any idea of ever having to type anything, having got used to secretaries.

Being employed in a transferable job, I did not dream that a time will come when I will buy a home and settle down in one town and retire there. That came true in my late forties which one could call the middle age I suppose. It happened due to a series of fortuitous circumstances about which I have written elsewhere but even just a year before that happened, I could not have thought that it would happen.

By the same account, I never thought that a day will come when a land line telephone, a high prestige item in my forties when neighbours envied someone with one, will become passe and that one would be able to make and receive phone calls through hand held small gadgets which would also be mini computers for many purposes.

When I was young, I could not have imagined that we would have 24 hour television with a wide choice of channels to choose from, DVD players, home theater systems etc, to see any film at your convenience and the internet which would change how we lived.

Nor could I have imagined the kind of traffic and number of vehicles on our roads, nor the kind of roads that have come up to accommodate such traffic. Living as I was in those glorious Socialistic days, I could not have imagined the number of models of vehicles that one would be able to buy off showrooms, having been used to waiting lists for two models of cars and two models of motorcycles for the entire country.

In a matter of three decades, my world as I knew changed and I enjoy the present world and all that it has to offer.

Let me share a favourite passage.

“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?

No, thank you,’ he will think. ‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ ”

From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Posted in Blogging, History, India/Pakistan, Nostalgia, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

I Always Wondered Why!

Lin has once again come up with an enigmatic topic for the weekly Friday LBC posts. Please do go over to her blog and Shackman’s to see what they have to say on this topic.

Frankly, unlike other topics that I have tackled so far, this one stumps me. It is for the simple reason that other than to wonder in retrospect about somethings that I did in the past, I rarely wonder about why others do things or things happen. Those rare occasions will be when someone does something totally out of character and bizarre. Such events are rare enough for me not to be bothered too much. Bizarre things do happen and I do read about them in the papers, but they rarely happen to people I know personally and to that extent, other than a passing interest in the story, I don’t get too deeply involved in wondering why that person had to do whatever it was that was done.

Occasionally I do wonder why my life turned out the way it did because I rarely had anything to do with many incidents that led from one development to another and eventually into a rather mundane retired life. Things kept happening to me without me having initiated anything other than be in the right place at the right time with time and ability available for a zig zag career to develop, blossom and eventually lead to retirement.

Other than this one major wonderment, I really don’t much wonder why. I suppose that I am not curious enough.

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Posted in Blogging, Writing | 23 Comments

A Meme.

Grannymar has posted a meme.

My variation of Grannymar’s Meme.

Every answer must start with the first letter of your name.

Name – Rummuser
Colour – Red
Career – Romeo
Hobby – Reading
Animal – Reindeer
Boys Name – Ranjan
Girls Name – Ranjani
Drink – Rasam (Mulligatawny soup)
Food – Rice and curry
Fruit – Raisin
Place – Ratnagiri
Movie – Rambo
Something you wear – Ring
Something found in bathroom – Rug
Reason to be late – Rain

Posted in Blogging | 20 Comments

You Know You’re A Foreigner When….

Another inspired topic from Lin for the weekly Friday LBC blog post, which no doubt comes from the fact that she is a domiciled foreigner where she lives.

My own take on the subject is based on my experiences traveling overseas.

The first obvious one of course in language. Despite being fluent in English, it is a disadvantage in most countries of the world. Imagine poor old me in the middle of Germany or France! You can read the Roman script on signs but cannot make sense out of them and most people that you try to communicate with turn out to be non English speaking.

On the other hand, traveling to say Bangladesh or Pakistan or Dubai, the last because most locals are Indians or Pakistanis, one feels comfortable that he is among people who share a linguistic heritage with you.

The second one is of course your appearance. I would stand out like a sore thumb in say a place like Hong Kong or for that matter anywhere in Europe due to my colour or facial features.

The last is food. Imagine landing up at a party as a guest of one of the invitees only to find the earlier two disadvantages plus the exotic spread on the table. Being a vegetarian has its own disadvantages and trying to find if a dish is one or not from people who speak a different language is not easy!

Needless to say, I have experienced all the three as well as some more unsavoury prejudice induced behaviour about which I would rather not write.

Posted in Blogging, Food, Humor, India/Pakistan, Language, People | 34 Comments

Calamities.

When I had suggested this topic for the weekly Friday LBC post, a major earthquake was all in the news and I suggested this off the cuff. Since then there have been other earthquakes in Japan, in South America, in Afghanistan and so on so forth. There have also been floods and wildfires and the latest are in Canada and India.

Calamities like the fires that are now raging in a part of our country have been traced back to man made problems just as many other natural calamities now are being blamed on things like climate change which many blame on human beings. The floods that hit parts of South India a few months ago were again blamed squarely on problems created by human beings, in not releasing water from dams on time, using up land meant to prevent flooding for construction of homes and offices and so on.

Calamities therefore can now come in not only due to natural causes like earth quakes, but fires, drought and floods can and do come from careless human beings. Climate change for instance needs the urgent attention of all of us and somehow, I don’t see enough being done to address this issue on a war footing. Here is a case to buttress my argument. We also now have drought in India which too needs a long term solution by sustainable means of water conservation many models of which are available within the country.

Other developments that go under the classification of calamities like train derailing, mass automobile accidents etc by and large are man made and they too need attention towards prevention.

Posted in Blogging, Raves and Rants | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Growing Up Vs Growing Old.

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Shackman’s suggestion for the weekly Friday LBC post is a favourite topic among some people who are growing old physically but who claim that they are not growing up.  I envy them.  I wish that I could have stayed at my youth mentally.

Surely such talk or shall we say, wishful thinking is just that.  One cannot really stop growing up any more than stop growing old.  Degrees of such growth can be subject to discussion or observation, but we cannot completely stop either process.

We can certainly use the phrase as a whole with some tweakings for different contexts for humour but in reality, I am afraid that at least in my opinion, both processes are unstoppable.

 

Posted in Blogging, Humor, People | 49 Comments

Does That Sleigh Have Brake Lights, Mr Claus?

Lin at her creative best again comes up with today’s LBC topic. It is mid summer here in India where I live and a sleigh, brake lights or no brake lights is far removed from our thoughts.

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In any case, in India, Santa Claus travels by many vehicles and once, in Kerala, when I was much younger, I was persuaded to dress up like him and visit the children riding on an elephant. I can assure you that it was not an experience that I would like to undergo again and, no, the elephant did not have brake lights.

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Even in our Himalayan regions where snow is available in plenty, Mr. Claus is not known to come in a sleigh and so, I am afraid that I have to stop this post with that little story about my experience.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Nostalgia, Religion | Tagged , , | 24 Comments