Angels And Demons.

I have so many Angels in my life that I have lost count.

I have outlived the few Demons that I had in my life.

Life is good.

I wonder what prompted young Pravin to come up with this topic for the weekly LBC blog post! You can see what he and the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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India Is Not Chaotic!

I wish!

In any case, there are some young people in my life who come up with brilliant suggestions and / or ideas that appeal to me and this post is about one such.

To be able to appreciate why,  please read my post on India, My India and also all the comments and my responses there. I guarantee you that you will find the exercise fascinating.

After you do that please see this video a link for which was sent to me by my brilliant young lawyer friend Ashok who has also commented about chaos in my blog post Creationism Or Evoulution.

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The Monsoon Is Here!

That is Pune in the monsoon.

That was our garden during a lull earlier this afternoon in the rain.

The monsoon is always welcomed with hot bajjis. To welcome the monsoon, earlier this afternoon, my Daughter In Love prepared hot bajjis of onion, potato and caraway leaves from our garden.


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Creationism Or Evolution.

Another Shackmanese topic!

And my, by now familiar, response. Why “Or”? Why not “And”?

In my ancient land, the majority of people practice what has, for historical reasons, been called Hinduism. Historical because, When people from the West first came to this land where the river Sindhu flowed, the residents were called Hindus. Hinduism does not qualify as a religion as it does not have any central authority, book or organisation and it does not proselytise. Each Hindu can do what he wants, or not do anything and nobody will criticise him for the latter. Under the umbrella of Hinduism, there are atheists, theists, monists, deists and any other ists that you can come up with.

It is a totally chaotic system of anarchy. Thoroughly confusing to people who have not been exposed to this from childhood.

For us, both creationism and evolution are valid beliefs and one is not better or worse than the other. It is all a matter of accepting that someone is of a particular frame of mind/development and the other is of a different level.

The Indian theory of creation is complex but does exist as a valid system and for those interested here is a link to a remarkable treatise on it.

Indian mythology of the Dasavatara is considered to be reflective of Darwinism.

My personal belief is that wo/man is the last stage of evolution of life as we understand it and the next stage in the progression is to reach Creation itself. This is the theory of Karma‘s ultimate end. So, I can be called an Evolutionist of a kind that Darwin did not think of.

Shackman has suggested this topic for the weekly LBC blog posts. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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India, My India.

I am what is called a Hindu Nationalist in my glorious land. There are some fellow Indians, on the left of center and who are called liberals, who are my good friends despite being on opposite camps.  Tongue firmly in cheek they keep needling me about my loyalties and ask difficult questions on India, Hinduism and Indian culture.

I have now learnt to answer them by referring them to a fascinating book by an Australian writer and some of her quotes from the book.  My readers already know that I place great store on writings about India by foreigners and this is another one instance.  This is not however history but current affairs in India very well written about.

“In India I’ve slowly been learning that I’m not in complete control of my life…”

“India is beyond statement, for anything you say, the opposite is also true. It’s rich and poor, spiritual and material, cruel and kind, angry but peaceful, ugly and beautiful, and smart but stupid. It’s all the extremes.”

“India is the land of the profound and the profane; a place where spirituality and sanctimoniousness sit miles apart.”

― Sarah Macdonald,  in Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure

If you are interested in reading something about India, that is easy to read and quite a pleasant experience, you can do no better than read this book.

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“All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned. These are the things you already know: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.”
~ Robert Fulghum

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“According to Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. However, figures from other sources vary, primarily due to differences in definition of the terms “language” and “dialect”. The 2001 Census recorded 30 languages which were spoken by more than a million native speakers and 122 which were spoken by more than 10,000 people.”
~ Wikipedia.

You can imagine what a task it will be for a travelling salesman if he had to cover the entire country or even some parts of it.

And that was my problem. My mother tongue is Tamil. We spoke it at home and my siblings and I still speak it among ourselves. Our children however are more comfortable speaking and communicating in English, and in my case, now, in my home, we use English and Hindi besides the occasional Marathi. Within our extended family, there are Marathi, Konkani, kannada and Urdu speakers, with a branch that has English as its mother tongue as well. Thanks to an education system designed by the English during our colonial times, all of us can communicate with each other with ease in English.

Due to compulsions of my career in sales, I had to perforce learn to speak Hindustani/Urdu, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi and Gujarathi and though now I am not fluent due to non use, can still follow conversations in all these languages besides being able to read and write in Tamil, Hindi, Marathi and English. I was able to build bridges that have stood the test of time and can reach out to people all over our country even now, despite retiring from active service the last fifteen years.

Wouldn’t you like to be in my shoes?

I suggested this topic for the weekly LBC blog posts. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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Much Ado About Nothing!

As our maid finished her duty and left for her home earlier this afternoon, she was turned back from across the road from our home by some policemen and security personnel. She returned home and informed us that there was a bomb scare just outside a bank that operates across the road from us and that traffic was being diverted while waiting for the bomb squad to come.

For a little over an hour there was high drama with no one really knowing the full story but just as the clouds opened up and the rain started, we came to know that the bomb squad had found a bag with some books and clothes in it abandoned in an autorickshaw. The driver of the autorickshaw saw the bag and panicked and informed the bank personnel who called the police and the drama.

Just as the bomb squad was packing up to go back to their base, the owner of the bag landed up to claim the bag and was subject to quite a bit of ribbing!

It is now raining and the traffic is back to normal and the maid has gone home.

All is well that ends well. The excitement was worth it for otherwise our lives are so uneventful!

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Memory Trigger 16 – The Walking Stick.

This article in the Guardian, naturally took me back to early 1981 when I had to start using a walking stick to navigate my way around due to both my hip joints giving me trouble.

For the past 36 years plus now, I have been using a walking stick whenever I leave home, even if it is just to our grocer across the road. I simply cannot imagine my being able to be without one outside my home.

Here is a collection of walking sticks that wait for me just near the main door to the house.

I pick one as I leave and choose the one most appropriate for the trip I am making. For instance, if it is to the local park, I will choose the black one with the strap, or the brown one with the brass handle if I am going for a formal meeting.

I have a few more stored away in the attic, notably a pair of elbow crutches which I have to use immediately after surgery for revision to the replaced hip joints.

There is a story behind the brass handled walking stick. A friend winding up his longish stay and returning from the UK to India, bought it as a gift for me in London. On his presenting it to me, I discovered that it was made in India, by the engraving at the bottom of the crocodile shaped handle! It went all the way to London and came back to me in Pune! You can imagine the embarrassment that it caused my friend.

One of the advantages of being with a walking stick is the readiness with which people help with seats, places in queues etc. It is also a nice way to identify myself to strangers to look out for a grey bearded old man with a walking stick. It never fails!

Posted in Friendship, Humor, Medicine, Nostalgia | Tagged | 17 Comments