Prepare.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Padmum and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get nine different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar.

When I was a Boy Scout, yes, don’t laugh, I was one more than half a century ago, “Be Prepared” was the motto and our Scout Master would suddenly grab hold of any one of us he saw to see if we had all the paraphernalia that the Scouts were expected to carry with them all the time. I am pleased to say that I always passed that test. My one major regret was that I was not able to ever help an old lady cross a road. Despite being prepared to do that, old, lady pedestrians just did not materialise in that woebegone city, where I spent my boyhood.

Then came more adult preoccupations and of course I had to be prepared all the time with things in my wallet, that a pick pocket, if he ever had picked my pocket for it, would have found highly intriguing, and perhaps would have come to take lessons from me. That it did not happen says volumes for my being prepared with proper pockets and other safety mechanisms to deny pick pockets that opportunity.

With more responsible activities, preparing went to other long suffering souls. As part of my managerial duties, I earned the sobriquet of Sanitary Inspector, as the first thing that I would do on branch visits was to visit all the toilets to see how well they were maintained. Prior to my visits, the administrative staff would ensure that every thing was spic and span and would be prepared. This was vital, because I learnt a valuable lesson during my cockroach days when I had to be the first to reach the office and would inevitably find the bottom rung ordinary workers already waiting for the office/warehouse to open. After a few days of observing this, I gathered enough courage to ask one of them why they came in so early to be told that they came to use the toilet facilities as most of them lived in slums with public toilets with massive queues in the mornings. My obsession was easily passed on to the local managements and, that despite the sobriquet, I was respected for that one act of man management was one of the great achievements of my long managerial career.

Life style preparedness included a packed suit case ready to be grabbed for sudden departures, constantly maintained minimum levels in the bar at home and in the car, and inventory levels so adjusted that I never had to go more than a few steps for an ash tray and a packet of cigarettes and lighter.

Then came other mundane responsibilities like care giving for which I had to be prepared 24/7 for emergencies, by maintaining proper stock levels of medicines, food items and other paraphernalia that care takers take for granted. That preparedness continues to this day.

Now, having lived a life that was full and continues to be interestingly so, I am prepared to make my final journey. All my affairs are in order and my son and heir will have no problems with his inheritance.

Sadly, I now live in a country that is located in a dangerous neighbourhood. I belong to that significant proportion of our population that believes in:

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