Monkey Mind 3.

This is a remarkable video clip with narration by Alan Watts. I am sharing with my readers as I found it very topical.

Posted in Meditation, Spiritualism | Tagged | 12 Comments

Memory Trigger 12. The Weighing Machine.

There was an all too brief period of great romance in my life in the early sixties of the last century, when I was in Madras and my great passion was in Hyderabad. She used to transit through Madras to her home by train and her great pastime on the platforms was to get a few of predictions from these weighing scales located on both railway station platforms just to amuse people like her. Alas for this Orpheus, Eurydice decided to go her way and left me to go my way for reasons that will be written about when another appropriate trigger comes along.

I don’t think that they are around anymore in railway stations. When I was a travelling salesman, just about all major railway stations had them and while one was not fastidious about one’s weight those days, one was most interested in the fortune that the print-out with the weight carried. Some really creative fortunes used to be on those cards and whenever one could afford to take a few repeats one did for the fun of it. You would get messages like these: “You will be happy and peaceful,” “You will meet a handsome stranger,” “Eat well and thrive” etc.

I was reminded of these machines, my old passion and my own travelling salesman days, when I read this fascinating story in the Indian Quarterly Magazine.

Do spend some time reading this remarkable story for the coincidences that the writer encountered and the history that unfolded.

Posted in History, Nostalgia, People, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Drinking From The Saucer.

Drinking From The Saucer
by John Paul Moore

I’ve never made a fortune,
And I’ll never make one now
But it really doesn’t matter
‘Cause I’m happy anyhow

As I go along my journey
I’m reaping better than I’ve sowed
I’m drinking from the saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed

I don’t have a lot of riches,
And sometimes the going’s tough
But with kin and friends to love me
I think I’m rich enough

I thank God for the blessings
That His mercy has bestowed
I’m drinking from the saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed

He gives me strength and courage
When the way grows steep and rough
I’ll not ask for other blessings for
I’m already blessed enough

May we never be too busy
To help bear another’s load
Then we’ll all be drinking from the saucer
When our cups have overflowed

Posted in Philosophy, Writing | Tagged | 18 Comments

Pals.

I have different kinds of pals.  The kind that the above definition proposes is saved for just a hand full of people now as quite a few have died in the last few years.  I have one friend in Chennai who has been my pal for the past 75 years who is still going strong and who can tie me up in knots with stories from our past.  Another friend of 53 years now spends half his time in Mumbai and half in Sydney, Australia.  His daughter and my son decided that they were more like brother and sister and did not want to get married to each other when we proposed that they do some decades ago.

I have three pals living now in Pune one of whom shifted just last year from Delhi.  My regular readers will know of him from my earlier posts about my visits to him in Delhi.  His being here now makes it unnecessary for me to keep going off to Delhi and for him to keep coming to Pune and returning to Delhi.  Of the other two pals in Pune, one is my partner in crime for going to movies with and also a fellow traveller on my spiritual path.  The other is a remarkable fighter of adversity who is also an avid reader of all kinds of books, struggling to become enlightened by reading.

Apart from these five worthies who can be called pals as per the definition given above, I have friends who have stayed as friends from either my Business School days, from our Alumni Association’s local chapter;  or colleagues from my previous employers who are still in touch.  I also have pals who I meet regularly in our local park where we meet in the evenings to solve all the world’s problems. There are also some neighbours who are quite friendly.

There are some pals who have become remote due to distance and time but who still keep popping up now and then on the social media or when they visit India/Pune.

Besides all these types, I also have some relatives who are more pals than relatives.  And that is a great combination which gives me great satisfaction as relationships go.

All told, I believe that I am blessed to be endowed with so many of them in my life.

Shackman has suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. I hope that this definition is what he had in mind and not “Profit And Loss”! You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Friendship, Gratitude | 18 Comments

The Wife.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Doing Something II.

Cheerful Monk while commenting on my post Doing Something asked – “So what are you choosing to do? How are you making that choice?” In the same post, Wisewebwoman commented – “You need to share, Ramana!”

My response is This. Please click on the images for larger resolutions.

And this.

My life has been like the clip below for quite some time now and I often throw the cup and the balls away just like the child in the clip does.

I hope that my responses have amused my readers enough to come to some serious stuff.

I don’t set an alarm clock to wake up in the mornings. My inner mechanism has a built-in alarm that wakes me up around 4.45 am every morning. Till 8.30 my morning is taken up by meditation, yoga, morning cup of tea, japa, prayers and breakfast. After those have been handled to my satisfaction, I read four news papers everyday and also solve four crossword puzzles that come in them. That takes me to around 1200 noon when I start reading whatever I am currently reading in the form of a book or one or more of the many magazines that I subscribe to. Lunch is around 1.00 pm and after lunch too I read till about 2.00 pm when I go off for my siesta till 3.30 pm. From then till 5.30 pm I am either at the computer catching up with my mail and attending to other matters like blogging / reading other blogs and reading the international news. I then go to a park nearby for a walk and meeting with my friends and return to my computer to end whatever has been left over for the day which will include a session or two with Facebook. I either watch a movie or some program on the TV or read till 10.00 pm when I go off to bed to sleep.

This routine is often changed to include going out to see movies or to lunch with family or friends but by and large it is unchanged except when visitors come calling.

I am sure that my readers will agree that all the above will come under the classification of doing ‘nothing’. I enjoy being in my comfort zone and am content with my life as it is.

Now to what earthshaking ‘thing’ that I do when I do do something. For some strange reason, I am treated like a sage by some people. Simply stated, I mentor some younger friends and allow my broad shoulders to be used to cry on by some friends and relatives of around my age.This can be in person, by mail, whatsApp or phone calls. Not a day passes when I don’t have to handle one or two of such interludes in my life.

There Monk and WWW, I have bared my soul!

Posted in Blogging, Books / Reading, Facebook, Family, Friendship, Meditation, People, Philosophy, Relationships, Spiritualism, Writing | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Doing Something.

“I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

~ Edward Everett Hale

Posted in Humor, Language | Tagged | 16 Comments

Effectiveness.


My exposure to the word effectiveness for the first time was when I got into corporate life and it was drummed into my head by a number of mentors that Peter Drucker was to be kept in mind all the time. I flatter myself that I have been effective rather than efficient in my life. So rather than bore my readers with a long pontification on the topic, let me share somethings that to my mind are very effective.

My young friend and ex blogger Ashok posted this on his facebook page recently.

“I am a commerce graduate sir. Have a real estate consulting business as well as a fleet of cabs. My wife and I met through mutual friends, fell in love and got married. She is exceptionally brilliant in economics sir and has a masters degree in arts with a gold medal.

My father also pushed her to do her B.Ed course. I am encouraging her to write the UPSC exam next. My dream is to see her become a bureaucrat and I will become her driver.”- Abdul, my Uber cab driver from today morning.

After seeing numerous instances of patriarchy and oppression of women, conversations like these really inspire hope. India shines every once in a while :)”

There are three stories to demonstrate effectiveness here. The first one of course is that Ashok is a remarkably observant fellow besides being of the kind who can get strangers to talk to him. A very effective young citizen of India doing his bit to change our society as a lawyer.

The second is that of the cab driver. Here is a graduate who instead of asking for doles and reservation from the government has decided to be effective as an entrepreneur. Not only that, he wants to be effective in exploiting opportunities that are available by encouraging his wife to compete and succeed.

And the third, the father in law in the story who unlike most of his ilk, wants his daughter in law to study and qualify for a professional life instead of again asking for favours from society. And, more importantly, instead of being a girl at home cooking for and looking after the menfolk!

Another case of effectiveness at its best. A corporate advertisement that strikes the right cords and conveys a powerful message too.

The story starts with an old Indian man telling his grand daughter about his pre partition times in Lahore and about his childhood friend whose family ran a sweet shop there. The grand daughter uses Google to locate the shop’s telephone number and contacts the childhood friend there. The grandson at the other end in turn uses Google to get passports and visas for the grandfather and himself and both of them eventually land up in Delhi for a reunion of the two childhood friends separated by events outside their control.

Has this post been effective?

I have suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

Posted in Blogging, Friendship, History, India, Management, Marketing, Nostalgia, Pakistan, People, Writing | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Life’s Plans.

To add to that very pithy observation, it is still not going as planned and that is okay too.

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged | 14 Comments

MailChimp.

On getting an alert from Cheerful Monk, I too decided to shift my ‘advice by email of posts’ from Feedburner to MailChimp.

Thanks to a resident geek in the form of my son Ranjan’s help, I was able to accomplish this last night. Those of my readers who have opted to get advice by email of my posts will get advice of this post and all future posts via MailChimp.

I request my readers to please go back a few posts on this blog to assure themselves that they have not missed any of my earlier posts due to a glitch in Feedburner.

Posted in Blogging | 15 Comments