A very practical guide that I received as a forward via WhatsApp.

Talk to *Mother* _lovingly,_
Talk to *Father* _respectfully,_
Talk to *Brothers* _heartfully,_
Talk to *Sisters* _affectionately,_
Talk to *Children* _enthusiastically,_
Talk to *Relatives* _empathetically,_
Talk to *Friends* _jovially,_
Talk to *Officials* _politely,_
Talk to *Vendors* _strictly,_
Talk to *Customers* _honestly,_
Talk to *Workers* _courteously,_
Talk to *Politicians* _carefully,_
Talk to *GOD* _silently._

Talk to *WIFE*
~No No~……

Posted in Humor, WhatsApp | Tagged | 1 Comment

Roles And Perceptions.

An Industrial Psychologist, member of a group of Professionals to which I belong in WhatsApp, conducted a survey among us about our experiences as employees and citizens. He is trying to draw up a profile of our group so that matters of common interest can be discussed in face to face meetings. Among the questions was one that asked – “Describe in one word or phrase your strength while in employment and as a citizen.”

This is one of the most difficult questions that I have ever had to address on my career and life. I decided to ask a cross section of my contacts the same question about me. These are the unedited responses that I received.

Guiding force.
Guardian Angel.
God father.
Strong leader.
Caring father figure.
Friend, philosopher and guide. (Two people responded with this, one 60 years old and the other 45.)
Ashutosh.(Easily satisfied}
Spiritual humorist.
Enigmatic sage.
Naughty spiritualist.
Naughty and Learned.

The friend who offered “Enigmatic Sage” has never personally met me despite living in the same city as I do but, we have been internet friends for some time now with some very interesting exchanges via blogs, WhatsApp and emails.

I was quite taken aback with two people calling me naughty. I suspect that my sense of humour comes across as naughty to them and that it is not to denote anything negative.

The last one naturally comes from a very dear friend who has had nothing to do with my career or social work but, who and whose family have been part of my life from 1985. Fortunately I did not ask his wife as I know she would have called me Anna which has two meanings. One, elder brother and the other, the local Mafia Capo.

On reflection, I have concluded that such a variety of perceptions is due to the many roles that I have played in my life and continue to. Family, friend, colleague, boss, parent, advisor etc depending on the other person’s position in my life as well as the length of time that s/he has been part of my life. For each individual, my relationship was/is tailor made to suit that person. I would say now, after having received these responses that my strength in one word would be “Flexibility”.

I however answered that question before I asked my contacts, that my strength in my view was “Effectiveness.”

I still believe that it would be the most appropriate for that particular survey as, even in relationships one must be effective.

When I discussed this with the friend who is coordinating the survey, he laughed and offered his very wise comment that I am a chameleon.

Through this post, I express my gratitude to the friends who took the trouble to think and comment and also share the perception of others of me to them.

Posted in Family, Friendship, Humor, People, Relationships, WhatsApp | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments


My post The Lady Of The House elicited the comments of how fast time has flown as I had written about their wedding five years ago.

Those comments have inspired this post.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged | 9 Comments

Homophones – Names.

Joered has this fascinating post up in her blog on Jazz Homophones. My comments there elicited her very educative and informative response which taught me a couple of things too.

The post inspires me to come up with a few homophones in a lighter vein of names with which my readers are quite familiar.

My name Ramana has not only a homophone Ravana the latter is also somewhat an antonym. Raavana, the correct pronounciation is the enemy of Lord Rama in the Indian epic Ramayana. Ramana is another name of Vishnu whose avatar is Rama. My grand nephew Arjun who lives in the USA cannot pronounce my name but has been listening to the Ramanyana from his parents and grand mother for quite some time and insists on calling me Ravana.

My nickname Rummy is capable of producing some fascinating homophones notably Dummy. Similarly Rum has many and I leave it with my readers to come up with them.

My son’s name is Ranjan. It means Delight. A homophone is Manjan meaning dentifrice!

My daughter in love’s name is Manjiree which means the flower of the holy plant Tulsi. A homophone is Manjari which means a collection/anthology.

I am always fascinated by homophones particularly of proper names and while I can go on and on about them, I have resisted the temptation to and have just commented on my immediate family besides my own name.

I however cannot resist one temptation. When I was in school, I had a classmate whose name was Faazal Haque. You can imagine what homophone that he was very affectionately called by his classmates.

Posted in Blogging, Humor | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Lady Of The House.

I feel like kicking myself. There is not even one recent photograph of mine with my daughter in love and son. I must remedy it asap and arrange for it to be framed and saved for posterity. In the meanwhile, this selfie taken last year must suffice for this post.

Five years ago today, Manjiree and Ranjan got married to each other and Manjiree moved into our home. I wrote about it in my blog Manjiree. Today, there was a minor celebration in the afternoon with some sweets and savouries for me and Ranjan as Manjiree is away staying at her sister’s home which is closer to an institution where she is undergoing training to be capable of being in charge of an animal shelter. Ranjan will be joining her and other young people to celebrate their wedding anniversary while I will puppy sit at home.

When Manjiree came into our home, it had been a bachelor’s pad for four years and one run by me while also being a care giver for my late wife for another seven years before that. It really had not had a woman’s touch since 2001 and it showed.

Manjiree brought in the much needed feminine touch and today she truly is the Lady Of The House. She has got the kitchen and living areas redone and the garden completely relaid and looking absolutely stunning. She has also brought in Chutki the second lady of the house and most important, Mangal and Yakob are completely lost without her.

I am a contented old geezer being thoroughly spoilt by these two ladies and the  bemused and benign Man Of The House, Ranjan.

I use this post to convey my gratitude, blessings and best wishes for many more anniversaries to Manjiree and Ranjan.

Posted in Family | Tagged | 14 Comments


There are two main rainy seasons in India called The Monsoons One is the current season in most parts of Western and Northern India called the South West Monsoon and the other later in the year operative in most of the Eastern parts of India, called the North Eastern Monsoon. Though both impact the other areas as well it is to lesser intensity than during their main season.

I live in the Western part of India and right now am enjoying the rains. The Indian month of Shravan or Savan is poetically inspiring from ancient times and the most often used symbolism is the Peacock dancing announcing the onset of rains. Most Indians believe that the dance is the harbinger of the monsoons but, science, the spoil sport, states that it is simply a coincidence that the mating season for them falls during the monsoon time.  It is simply the mating ritual of the peacock to attract some peahens!

Ever since I can remember, the monsoon season has been my favourite every year. I am very fortunate that I live in Pune where it is at its best. I love to sit in our verandah and watch the rain fall in our little garden and also enjoy seeing people enjoying getting wet. My son Ranjan is one such and one never knows when he will get it in his head to come down in pouring rain into the garden to get wet and just commune with nature. I used to do that but, now I cannot risk slipping and falling down so I avoid it. One of the very few things that I miss not being able to do.

Another thing that I used to enjoy as a child accompanied by my siblings was making paper boats to float on puddles and runoff streams. I taught the same to my son when he was little and used to enjoy watching him chase the boat as it floated off. Another pastime that I cannot indulge in any more.

I do however enjoy one more thing associated with our monsoons. Eating hot corn cobs roasted on charcoal fire with masala added on to it. Unlike the old days when I used to go to the hand cart that sells this in our neigbourhood, I have to get it delivered at home. That is the only difference but, the taste brings back many memories, it does.

And finally and before I forget, I have a date with Ursula to dance with her in the rains on the streets of London before I pop off.  She will not let me forget it and I have to make some effort to keep that date.

Today’s topic for the weekly 2 on 1 blog posts was suggested by me. Please do go over to the other participant Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the same topic.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments


The same friend who had accused me of melancholia, after reading my post on Life, rang me up this morning to reinforce his argument that I am prone to melancholia.

This time around, I took some time to reflect on his arguments and also went back to identify some times as upsetting as the present one to wonder if I am indeed prone to melancholia.

The two earlier occasions were the death of my mother in 1999 and the death of my wife in 2009. Both oddly enough in March though the dates were different.

I must confess that I felt more or less like I felt when my brother died and went through a period of why-me-itis. I would not however call them melancholy but, more a sense of unfair and untimely loss. I eventually got over both, as I am sure to do with the latest. So, my expressing my anguish in writing is not being melancholic but a cathartic exercise to face up to reality.

While one friend still wants to win brownie points with my post  Life, another, aware of my COPD arising out of six decades of smoking decided that the best cure for my whatever mood was some humour and sent me this very appropriate and mood lifting video on smokers. I leave it with you to decide who scored brownie points.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Friendship, Humor | Tagged , | 12 Comments


I am inspired to write this post by Rachel’s post The Day I Woke Up.

For the greater part of my working life, I had to travel extensively and when I finally retired, making the odd journey for pleasure was like new adventures. Even that has now stopped since the last three years due to health issues.

Now at the age of 75,  I lost my younger brother to cancer eight days ago.  He was just shy of hitting 74 in two months’ time when he died.  While my son and daughter in love were able to visit him and spend time with him , I was unable to due to my handicap.

Many friends and members of my extensive family have been communicating their desire to visit with me soon and I suspect that they want to do this before I pop off.  I keep telling them that I am not about to oblige any time soon but, who knows?

When I look at my life now, I could not but agree with Confucius.

“At fifteen I set my heart upon learning.
At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground.
At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities.
At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven.
At sixty, I heard them with docile ear.
At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.”
~ Confucius.

The next trip that I make may well be the final one.

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments


I very rarely spend afternoons outside my home as the one thing that I really look forward to every day is my siesta of between an hour and an hour and a half.  My reward for many years of not having that luxury during my working years.

I can completely identify with Snoopy.

Posted in Humor | Tagged | 8 Comments


For this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post, Shackman  sent this message to me.
“List your 5 favorite oxymorons, what they mean and why you like them.”

Let me start off by defining the term Oxymoron.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech where two words of opposed or contradictory meaning are used together to create emphasis. While some oxymorons are created by accident – such as “small crowd” – sometimes they are used deliberately to draw attention to something or to create drama for the reader or listener.

My first choice will be:

Deafening Silence.  Means total silence.  If you split the two words, the first one indicates loudness and the second total silence.  How fascinating!

The next one would be:

Clearly misunderstood. Means that the recipient of the message has not understood the message at all.  The first word would indicate clarity and the second misunderstanding. How can one misunderstand something that is clear?  The inanity of the combination fascinates me.

The next one would be:

Friendly take-over. This is a business operation where one company takes over the control and management of the other.  The first word would mean amity and the second a grabbing of another’s property.  While in practice what this means is that the majority shareholders have agreed to sell their stake at an agreed to price, the minority and the employees and other stake holders can whistle at the change.  I have not come across any instance of it internally being a friendly move for the taken over and that  is why it fascinates me.

The next would be:

Jumbo shrimp.  A large sized shrimp.  Jumbo would indicated an elephantine size and shrimp in popular usage is for something tiny.  The combination is ridiculous for its usage as the correct name could well be Giant Prawn which is in someways another oxymoron!

The next and most intriguing would be:

Living dead. Does this really need an explanation?  I am yet to meet a living dead entity but keep reading about such people.  It simply does not make any sense whatsoever to use this oxymoron for its sheer stupidity.

Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about this fascinating topic.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Language | 22 Comments