Our Good Neighbour.

Time for some gentle ribbing.

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பொறுத்தார் பூமி ஆளுவார்.
That is a Thamizh adage transliterated as Poruthaar boomi aaluvaar.

It means that the one who is patient will rule the world.

I belong to a generation of Indians on whom patience was thrust upon. We simply had no choice in the matter. We had to wait in queues for just about everything. I distinctly remember waiting in a queue to purchase a token plate which would enable me to buy a limited quantity of pasturised milk once a day. If one did not have that, one had to compromise with adulterated milk supplied by a monopoly of milkmen. I also remember having booked for an HMT wrist watch and waiting for six months before it was delivered to me. People had to wait for years to get landline telephone connections and to purchase motorcycles and scooters besides cars. The less said the better about queues for booking railway and bus tickets and the planning that had to be undertaken months in advance to reserve tickets for both train and air travel. Such lives taught us patience and also value for things bought at considerable sacrifice.

The present day generation does not believe us oldies when we talk about those days. It cannot visualise those hard times at all because it is now a generation totally used to and demanding instant gratification. In other words, impatient for results. Gone are the days of plodding with the same employer for a life time of employment and retirement. It is rare nowadays to see some youngsters working in the same organisation for more than a few years!

Impatience, resulting in the desperate need for instant gratification, also results in debt of unmanageable proportions leading to stress at young age. In our times, we could not get loans to finance homes and durables, whereas now lenders are chasing prospective buyers with attractive schemes and instalment payment plans to trap them into the instant gratification trap and stress. Such lures even cover vacations!

The attitudes developed on the basis of such impatience manifests in almost all walks of life including the way the young drive nowadays. To state the obvious, such a value system also affects relationships and the way they are broken and new ones started clearly is indicative of a vastly different value system than the one that I grew up in,

Do I envy these young people? To be brutally honest, yes, to an extent, That extent is that things are now available. I will still not buy anything on hire-purchase and the three credit card issuers that I deal with must be very unhappy with me because, I use them more as a convenience than to repay on instalments. I do not envy their lifestyles and stress at all. I am willing to be patient.

Pravin has 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.

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I Don’t Fear Death.

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Kaabil. (Capable)

The last of the three Hindi films that I had wanted to see in January but could see only earlier today turned out to be worth every minute of the 2 hrs and 20 minutes plus the time for ads, commuting etc.  I had written about the other two here and here.

This story is one of revenge but an unusual angle is given by making the hero and heroine blind. The action scenes are very credible particularly when one of the parties involved portrays a blind man. Every possible emotion is kindled in the viewer with remarkable ease by the very professional presentation.

What stands out in the film is the remarkable acting skills of Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam. Under the very capable direction of Sanjay Gupta both appear to be really blind and there is not one misstep in the entire film which is thanks no doubt to some excellent editing.

The others in the cast produce capable and professional performances, again thanks to some great direction assisted by very effective cinematography. Unobtrusive background music except for one very loud remix of an old favourite song, enhances the viewing experience.

If you can get to see it, please do not miss it.

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The Supernatural.

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I have only one personal experience of the supernatural. It was way back in 1961 when I moved into a room above a garage in a suburb of Hyderabad on a monthly rent which was much lower than what I was paying as a guest in a rooming house close by. The first night was a bit scary as there was something moving with a rustle on and off outside the only window in the room. My imagination worked overtime and I could not sleep a wink till it was day light and I found that there was a coconut tree outside, a branch of which was swaying in the wind and rubbing against the window.

My readers should be able to imagine the kind of supernatural visions that I imagined up during the night.

With that out of the way, let me confess that I don’t have any belief in the supernatural. Never did and will not have in the foreseeable future.

I however like to play with words and can come up with Super Natural phenomenon like the following two stories. If nothing else, they should at least amuse my readers.

The first story is about being Super Natural in modern Britain. The weather there is friendly for such experiments.

The next story is a great distance away from Britain and with contrary seasons.

Shackman has 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.

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Loyalty 2.

This is a follow up post on my earlier post Loyalty.

Story 1.

AB welcomed the maid back but refused to consider giving the old job back to her as it would be unfair to the new maid who had settled down well. The maid was told that she could visit the children and the home as often as she wanted but the job was gone for ever.

Story 2.

GH told whoever approached her that EF had been unfriended by her and that the approacher can well do the same without hurting GH. That is what happened eventually.

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I am not a fan of Shah Rukh Khan but having seen the trailer of Raees, and reading good reviews of  it, I went to see it yesterday. I had another reason for wanting to see the film and that was that I had met the character portrayed in the film in Ahmedabad a couple of times in the mid 1980s. Not as my bootlegger but as an important personage attending a couple of weddings that I had gone to attend too.

Good story, direction, cinematography, unobtrusive music and great editing makes for an enjoyable experience.  I enjoyed the movie and recommend it to all my readers who like to see Bollywood films.

Having said that, let me talk about the actors. Leaving aside the three main actors, every one without exception produces professional performances even in the smallest and shortest of roles. Speaks volumes for direction.

SRK disappoints. He tries to do what Amitabh Bacchan did as the angry young man in the 1980s and fails miserably. He is reputed to be a suave actor in romantic scenes but in this film, he fails miserably with wooden performances in such scenes. I suspect that had he just tried to be himself, he would have come across better in the role.

On the other hand, Nawazuddin Siddiqui though under utilised, steals every scene that he appears in with effortless ease. There is one particular scene where his senior police officer ticks him off and he responds with a cool “Jai Hind” that is simply breathtaking.

The leading lady, a Pakistani actress Mahira Khan produces a professional performance without being overawed by the presence of the star hero. I however wonder why an Indian actress could not have been found for the role.

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Monkey Mind 2.

As I neared the auto-rickshaw stand near my residence earlier this afternoon at about 3.30 pm, I saw that one rickshaw was stationary with a lady standing near it and chatting with the driver. The driver signalled that he wasn’t available to ferry me. I started to walk to another stand about 100 mts away, when another empty rickshaw came along and offered to take me wherever I wanted to go.

As I entered the rickshaw, the driver, very visibly a Muslim, said “Asssalamalaikum” and I automatically responded with “Walaikumassalaam’. He must have decided that I too was a Muslim seeing my beard and the native dress that I wear usually.

During the short journey to the mall which was my destination, the driver asked my permission to ask for a favour and on being given permission narrated a story. His four year old daughter was in hospital undergoing surgery and treatment for injuries suffered from an accident and he was desperately working long hours to raise enough money and sought financial help from me. He kept insisting that Allah will bless me and that the driver would return the money in a few week’s time if I gave him my address. By the time we reached the mall I had decided to help him and instead of the normal fare of about Rs.35.00 I gave him Rs.500.00 and told him that instead of returning the money to me he should help someone else in need at some future point of time. He was all gratitude and touched my feet and hugged me with tears in his eyes and I turned away to enter the mall.

As I entered the mall, my monkey mind took over. Did I do the right thing or had I just been conned by a con artist? I said to myself that the man did not look like a conman and looked genuinely to be distressed. My monkey mind suggested that good conmen are successful because they do not look like conmen. I tried to put my mind at rest by suggesting that I had done something good and if I had been suckered, so be it. I had earned positive karmic points anyway!

As I write this it is 9.15 pm and this internal dialogue is still going on.

How our mind works!

Posted in Gratitude, People, Philosophy, Religion, Values | Tagged | 24 Comments


Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.
~ Ayn Rand

The two stories given below are true and I have been asked the same questions that I ask my readers, by the persons involved. I am no expert on loyalty but modern life throws up interesting case histories like these to make my retired life interesting!

Story 1.

AB has lived in the same block of flats for fifteen years and from the time she moved in there, she has had the same maid come in to help her. The maid had become more or less a part of the family as it were and AB’s two school going children were pampered by her to be like her own children.

CD moved in to a flat two floors above AB’s in the same building a few months ago. AB and CD met in the lift a few times and exchanged visits to each other.   In time they became good friends.

Things soured however when CD offered a much higher salary to AB’s maid and stole her away from AB. The latter with a heavy heart let the maid go but would not offer the same salary offered to the maid by CD to enable the maid to stay on. In due course, AB found another maid and life went on but the relationship between AB and CD was irrevocably broken.

Three months down the line, the maid quit her job with CD as she found the treatment there not quite what she was accustomed to at AB’s. She came back to AB and sought the old position back at the same old salary.

What should AB do?

Story 2.

EF found that her old friend GH was on facebook and sent a friend request to the latter which was promptly accepted. The long forgotten friendship was reestablished online and operated smoothly for a while when national politics went crazy and both found themselves on the opposite sides of the spectrum. EF became quite sarcastic and toxic in her comments on GH’s posts and so the latter simply unfriended her.

In the meanwhile, EF had sent friend requests to some of GH’s facebook friends who seeing that she was friends with GH had accepted the requests and EF made her presence felt in those pages as well.

One of GH’s friends messaged her one day and asked about EF as she found that she was being rude in her comments.

How should GH respond?

I had 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, Facebook, Friendship, People | Tagged | 24 Comments


My irrepressible nephew Jai sent this image on WhatsApp to all members of our family with the caption “The Story Of The Rajgopauls”.

Incidentally, he is not a Rajgopaul. He is only half a Rajgopaul.

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