Smile.

The inability to do something that we so take for granted, smile, can cause untold problems. This was not something that I had given any thought to and I am willing to bet that none of my readers would have either.

My cousin Shankar knows exactly what would trigger something in me and sent me this story about the smile and how its absence can affect normal life. I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of someone who cannot smile. Would you?

And before I close with a nice musical touch that I am sure will be appreciated by Shackman, I remember the number of times that I have been told to “Wipe that smile off your face

Which of course leads me to this great all time favourite song the visuals for which are particularly endearing.

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What is/was your favourite weekend getaway spot?

This is a difficult question to come up with a single answer for me. You will see why as you proceed reading this post.

Pre Business School, way back in the early sixties, I was based in Chennai in Tamil Nadu, a state in the Southern parts of our nation. There was prohibition during those days and one had to buy bootleg booze at exorbitant prices or risk illness and death drinking illicit liquor distilled in stills by unscrupulous characters.

Just 170 Kms from Chennai was what then for me for Paradise. Puducherry, a small town did not suffer the bane of prohibition and had some very affordable hotels to stay in. It was my and a group of friends’ favourite weekend getaway spot during those days.

Subsequently, Business School, work pressures and the travelling nature of my job meant that my favourite weekend getaway spot was home wherever we happened to be living as during the week days, I hardly spent any time at home.

As I made progress and the five day week end was introduced, I was able to manage to get away from Mumbai to Hyderabad, my late wife’s home town for week ends. Since I had fond memories of Hydearbad too, I always looked forward to those get aways.

Since, by then my travelling had become national and international, being at home during week ends became even more the norm.

When we moved to Pune in 1990, I had to step up travelling again to get acquainted with my new career and so, home was the obvious choice for week end getaways. As the travelling reduced, visiting Mahabaleshwar became the week end getaways and I had written about it in my blog on our Monsoon.

After retirement, since every day became a week end for me, there were no favourite week end getaways. That state of affairs continues till today. I am also content with just spending each day at home and it takes a great deal of motivation to change my mind!

This post is my contribution the the weekly Friday 2 on 1 blog posts. The other blogger, who suggested this topic, Shackman’s take on the same topic can be read here.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The Monsoon Sets In.

It is not raining. It is pouring.

You can get larger resolutions by clicking on the images.

Posted in India | 4 Comments

Happiness.


The balancing point between too little and too much is happiness.

Posted in Language | 12 Comments

Language In India.

The image on the left is the cover of a book that explains a fascinating phenomenon and I hope that some of my interested readers will read it to understand why I find it so.

My employer during most of my working career was an English company and all communication was in English. All our customers spoke local languages and were also most uncomfortable with English. Among the many innovations that I had brought in during my career as a Manager was to let reports from field personnel be simple and mostly statistical in nature with the narrative kept in minimum because most of the salesforce were not comfortable with English either. I even encouraged the reports being written in local languages if important enough, so that the content could be conveyed accurately. We had to use translators to understand and take action but, that was a small price to pay for effectiveness.

India is a country with 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”.  Barring the Hindi belt the all the other states, have different languages as their official languages and most schools teach in the local language.

English has a unique place in India thanks to our colonial days and higher education particularly in Engineering and Medicine has been in English.  Many students struggle with this arrangement as they have to learn English in addition to their other subjects.

Under the circumstances, I found this news item fascinating and unlike our snobs welcome this development. I hope that the rest of the country follows suit.

Hinglish is actually a local name for the combination of Hindi and English. You can also have Tamlish for Tamil and English, Maratish for Marathi and English and so on and so forth. Purists usually are appalled at the usage but I for one encourage it as the idea is to communicate effectively and not be snobbish about the correct use of language.

Among other things, I find it quite interesting as to how American English and English English are different and also the various accents around the world when speaking in English.

Language is fascinating.  Here is another instance to lighten my readers up.  This is a sign board for the office of a Law Firm.

The lawyers do not seem to mind. I suppose that the clients understand what the sign says. Only snobs will find find fault with it.

Posted in Books / Reading, Humor, India, Language | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Do you have a code that you live by?

The answer to the question is, in all humility, yes, I try to. While I succeed mostly, I confess that there are occasions when I slip. I normally take whatever steps that need to be taken to make amends when I slip.

As my readers know, I am a Vedantin and as such try to follow the Indian code of conduct called Yama and Niyama.

Yama consists of the Moral paths and Niyama consists of the ethical paths.

Yama.
1. AHIMSA: Respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards others.
2. SATYA: Truthfulness.
3. ASTEYA: Non stealing.
4. BRAHMACHARYA: The virtue of celibacy when unmarried and fidelity when married.
5. APARIGRAHA: The virtue of non-covetousness.

Niyama:
1. SAUCHA: Cleanliness/Hygiene. (Physical and Mental)
2. SANTOSHA: Contentment.
3. TAPAS: Spiritual practices and austerities.
4. SVADHYAYA: Self education / Life long pursuit of wisdom.
5. ISHVARA PRANIDHANA: Surrender to the Supreme Power.

This topic has been suggested by Shackman for this Friday 2 on 1 blog post where he and I write on the same topic. Yu can see what he has to say at his blog.

Posted in Blogging, India, Philosophy, Religion, Spiritualism | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Mind Your Own Business.

Posted in Humor | 5 Comments

There is nothing new, except what has been forgotten.

The title of this post is a quote that has been ascribed to Marie Antoinette,  a remarkable personality by all accounts. This quote has long been a favourite of mine when occasions arise when I can quote it.

Another similar adage is “History repeats itself”.

Let me give the latest instance when I used it.

I received an SOS from a young lad that his father, a friend of mine, is interfering in the bringing up of the former’s child. I called my friend to remonstrate and reminded him as to how he felt when his parents interfered in the bringing up of the same child that he was trying to influence now. And, I could not resist the temptation to use this quote for effect! And to add some spice to the discussion I also said that there is nothing called the generation gap and that there was only a memory gap.

This topic was chosen by me for the weekly Friday 2 on 1 blog post where Shackman and I post on the same subject. Please see what Shackman has to say too.

Posted in Blogging, Friendship, History | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Memory Trigger – Song.

The trigger.
I got this message forwarded to me in WhatsApp by a friend “Sonu Nigam singing Mohd. Rafi’s famous song “Dil ke jharoke mein” in a concert in London… All instruments are played by foreigners except the singing by Mr Sonu Nigam ! The song is from movie “Brahmachari” released in 1968 composed by the great Shankar Jaikishan! A marvellous song enjoyed even today (after 50 years!) in its full spirit and melody by the mass!”

Sonu Nigam is a contemporary singer in our Hindi films and other programmes. This was obviously aimed at the Indian diaspora in London.

The Original clip from the film showing the song as originally sung by Mohd. Rafi with Shammi Kapoor lipsynching the song.


The memory.

The film Brahmachari was released in 1968 just before our wedding. After our marriage, Urmeela and I had set up home in Delhi in December of 1968, during the midst of the wedding season. In North India, weddings are preceded by the groom arriving on horseback escorted by his family and a brass band. This is called a barat. Since this song was very popular and all about a man declaring his love for a girl, this was the choice song for the brassbands throughout the season. Not a day passed without our being exposed to this noisy band music coming up from the streets till quite late in the nights.

Unfortunately, I am unable to locate a brass band playing the tune but to give you an idea of such music here is a clip showing a barat but, with a different tune.

Posted in India, Music, Nostalgia, People | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Goodbye Old Faithful!

For the past twenty odd years this copper pot has been my faithful companion every night. It would be filled with drinking water by around 4.00 pm every afternoon and kept near my bed for me to drink about half of it as soon as I wake up in the morning on an empty stomach.

I started the practice as part of my daily morning routine on the advice of an Ayurvedic Doctor as a healthy habit. I can vouch for its efficacy as I always feel the difference to my sense of well being when I am out of Pune and am denied this morning habit. Drinking water first thing in the morning from the glass bottles or other vessels helps but it is not quite the same thing as drinking water stored in a copper vessel.

A week ago, I found that the vessel was leaking and so had to find a substitute. Uncle Amazon helped me source a modern equivalent and once it arrived I have bid goodbye to the old vessel. Manjiree insists that the leak can be stopped by some copper vessel makers in the old city and will take the vessel one of these days there to see if it can be done. If it can be, all for the good and I will revert to keeping that beside my bedside while keeping this new baby as a standby. In the meanwhile, I will be using the new copper bottle as it is called by Amazon.  Back to being bottle fed?  Perhaps apt for a second childhood!

Posted in India | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments