Retirement.

Since I started my official working life from when I was just 18 years old, by the time I was 40, I had planned on retiring when I reached 50. I was able to at the age of 52 but after just a short time in retirement, I was pulled out to work for three years on an assignment. Subsequently too, during blissful retirement days, I was pulled out on three different occasions.

Be that as it may, I have now been in full retirement for the past nine years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I am now too old to be pulled out of retirement again.

My retirement timing has coincided with India’s exposure to the internet, mobile telephony, multiplex cinemas, movies on DVDs etc, and online shopping. This enables me to live quite an active life with constant touch with friends and relatives as well as visits to and from them.

Online shopping enables me to buy DVDs, books and kindle downloads which ensures that I have enough to keep me entertained when I am not busy with my reading of newspapers, magazines and solving crossword puzzles.

The internet exposed me to to the blogging world and I have been actively blogging now for nine years. I have slowed down to just one post a week to keep the LBC weekly blog posts going, but I intend correcting that to increase the frequency to at least three blogs per week soon.

Blogging and visiting other blogs has introduced me to some wonderful blogger friends and that is another advantage of living a retired life which enables me to find the time to indulge.

You can see what the other LBC blogger Shackman has to say about retirement in his blog. The topic for this week was suggested by me.

Posted in Blogging, Books / Reading, Family, Friendship, Writing | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Cooking.

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.

The topic for this week’s LBC post was suggested by me and you can see what Shackman and Pravin have to say in their blogs.

Posted in Blogging, Food | Tagged , | 33 Comments

Piece Of Mind.

My regular readers will recollect that about a month ago, I had written on another topic suggested by me for the weekly Friday LBC post – “Peace Of Mind“. When we had suggested the topics for the LBC, immediately after Peace Of Mind, my mind jumped to Piece Of Mind and I had suggested the topic. And now that the time has come to write on it, I am stumped! I am sure that the other blogger Shackman will come out trumps on this one and you can see what he has to say at his blog.

When I googled for “piece of mind idiom”, this is what I got. “(idiomatic) To express one’s opinion strongly; to voice one’s disagreement or dissatisfaction, especially with another person; to scold or rebuke someone”.

Using that definition as a guideline, I can vouch for one difficult to understand fact. I have not been able to give a piece of my mind to anyone in decades! Retirement has made it impossible. It is not as though opportunities do not present themselves but discretion plays its part and I refrain from letting go.

Pre retirement days as a Manager, there were many occasions when I had to give a piece of my mind to somebody or the other and in retrospect even those now seem to have been tempered with factual letting go, rather than diatribes. Perhaps I am just made that way.

I expect that my spiritual pursuits have something to do with this ability to let go and resort to giving pieces of my mind to anyone as I find myself quite placid and equanimous in most stressful situations. Here too, perhaps I am just made that way.

How about you dear reader? Do you often let go and give a piece of your mind to others?

Posted in Blogging | Tagged | 19 Comments

The Legend Of Tarzan.

The_Legend_of_Tarzan_poster

It was like going back to my school days and seeing Johnny Weissmuller. After seventy years, I saw Tarzan and Jane in a movie yesterday.

Let me start at the beginning. My friend Ramesh and I had gone to see a Hindi film but were late reaching the theater. By the time we reached there, the management had decided to cancel the show as there were no viewers. We were too late! We were told that had we been just ten minutes early, we could have seen the film despite being only two viewers.

Having gone that far, we enquired about what other films were running in the multiplex and found that The Legend Of Tarzan was about to start in a few minutes and decided to see it despite not originally wanting to see it at all. And guess what? Including the two of us, there were only four viewers for the movie. I suspect that the weather, it is raining cats and dogs here, should be blamed for this phenomenon!

The experience was mixed. To start with, the film was in 3D and I am always uncomfortable wearing the extra pair of glasses to see the film. Other than that, the special effects were rather exaggerated but it was compensated for by the storyline and action. Any way, for me, it was like being a young lad again and I came away from the theater with a lot of nostalgia for those Black and White films with Tarzan.

If you would like that kind of an experience, I would recommend your seeing it if you can.

Posted in Movies | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Millennials and the future.

6358766284264723861347276027_Millennials
This week’s topic has been suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday LBC blog posts.

Millennials are persons reaching young adulthood around the year 2000. Which means that they will be in their mid thirties now.

In India, this is the time when they are already married and have become parents unless that they have decided not to become for a number of reasons.

In the latter case, it is mostly due to pressure of careers of both husband and wife and / or fear of the future for the children. Fear arising out of the prohibitively high cost of education, pollution, commuting to school / college etc and also the uncertainties of a satisfying career at the end. It is also possible that they may decide not to have children so that they can be carefree and focus on enjoying life without the added responsibilities.

In the former case, that is for those who are already parents, the future is full of the same problems that caused the latter from having children. On the other hand, they are already in careers and hopefully well settled in their lives unless they are in transferable jobs like I was.

In India, society is going through very rapid changes and aspiration levels across the spectrum of income levels are very high. This is particularly so for the millennials who are neither in the beginning of their careers nor at the peak. One keeps hearing about job hopping, serial entrepreneurship etc which would indicate a churning. Quite how this would translate into creation of wealth and improved lifestyles is not very clear. Because of such aspiration, debt levels for millennials due to home loans, automobile loans, consumer durables bought on hire purchase etc generates stress and related illnesses.

The laid back lifestyles that my generation enjoyed is no longer possible and the future for the millennials till their retirement would seem to be full of stress again affecting health.

I would conclude that the future for them till their retirement will not be the same as it was for my generation.

Posted in Uncategorized | 25 Comments

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 , | 17 Comments

Down The Garden Path.

100574890a

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.

PS_0668_FRISBEE

Posted in Blogging, Writing | 23 Comments