Much Ado About Nothing.

KAKVI is a dark, thick liquid extracted during the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. KAKVI is obtained during the third boiling of the cane syrup and contains a unique concentration of many important vitamins and minerals left over after the sugar’s sucrose is crystallized. I use this instead of sugar.

I ordered two bottles of kakvi online after visiting this page.

I received a carton weighing about three kilograms containing two tiny bottles. Most of the carton contained bubble wraps and some cardboard fillers. Agreed that the glass bottles needed to be protected so that they don’t break in transit but, this, in my opinion is over kill.

What packaging!

Second Childhood!

I ordered for a book on our famous kumbhamela from a leading online merchant.

I received an odd looking parcel and I wondered if one of the children had ordered for something else. On opening however I found this inside.

I complained to the merchant who has promptly arranged for a refund after taking this back but, I got  a good deal of ribbing from my son and daughter in love for ordering for this book.

Since my grand nephew Finlay and grand niece Josephine love Peppa Pig, I dedicate this post to both of them.

Courtesies.


As my readers know, I am a newspaper addict and I wait for my dose of them every morning with bated breath. As soon as I hear the newspaper boy drop them outside the door to our flat, I stop doing whatever I am doing to go over, open the door and retrieve them.

A little explanation. We have two doors to our flat, one solid wooden inside and a screen mesh one outside. We had installed the outside one as an added protection when we first moved in here almost thirty years ago as, then our neighbourhood was in the boondocks and still being developed. The problem with the outside screen door is that it opens out to the landing from where the stair case to go up to the first and second floor flats start.

After the newspapers are dropped off outside our door, the young man charges upstairs to both the floors to drop off papers for the four flats there. On his return, often it happens that I have to wait for him to pass before I can fully open the outside door so that it does not hamper his exit. When he sees this, he inevitably bends down, picks up the papers from the floor dusts them off and hands them over to me with a cheerful “good morning” and when I thank him, with a “you are welcome” and pushes off.

This morning, he went one step further. He must have seen me sitting in our veranda having my morning mug of tea and so decided to come over to the outside of the veranda and handed over the papers to me through the grill. I was overwhelmed. He is not on my payroll nor do we have a relationship other than the morning greetings whenever we meet each other.

Remarkable, in these times of break neck speed and hurry to spare such thoughts and extend a small but meaningful courtesy to a senior citizen. All that I could do was to mentally give him my blessings for his thoughtfulness. May his tribe increase.

That exchange led me to dig out this clip by Simon Sinek to look at the real world.  This morning was my porcelain cup for just the reason that I am a senior citizen!

Nomophobia!

I learnt a new word last week. Nomophobia.

“Nomophobia is the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power. A phobia is by definition an irrational fear.”

Due to a technical problem with my thumbprint not amenable to be read for identification purposes for some applications, I had transferred my mobile phone number to my son as a temporary measure. Not needing to use that application anymore, I was getting quite frustrated with my name not being associated with my phone number in this highly interconnected world so dependent on internet for just about everything. Having recently acquired a brand new smart phone, I wanted my name back as the registered user of the number. I therefore applied for retransfer of the name to mine with the service provider and a new adventure started.

Let me not go into all the gory details but, suffice it to say that it was frustrating. My able secretary, my dear DIL also got frustrated as I was depending on her to get the mess sorted out.

Finally, after three weeks of toing and froing and innumerable telephone calls, complaints etc, the deed was done but, I was adviced that for 24 hours my connection would be disconnected to sort our their own internal problems. I agreed to that having no option but was not prepared for the connection getting disconnected for 72 hours! Immediately after the 24 hour period was over, I started enquiting about when the connection would be restored and after repeated phone calls and some threats to escalate the matter, the connection was finally restored.

During the 72 hours, those who wanted to contact me desperately, did on my landline as also I used the landline for outside calls. Since I had a WiFi connection at home other services like WhatsApp and Twitter worked and that helped keep my sanity. Particularly frustrating was my inability to use the OTP service for various online transaction during the three days. The saving grace however was the absence of promotion calls and SMS services though the same service was the reason for my not getting the OTPs.

This experience shared with a friend resulted in my getting to learn the new word “nomophobia”. No doubt that I suffer from it!

What a relief to get the connection back and great pleasure that the number is now registered in my name!

Packed Lunch.

I am sure that my friend Megh expected me to write a blog post when he sent me this link to a fascinating story about the Norwegian packed lunch and here I go obliging him.

I have not been to a work place where I had to have lunch for the last sixteen years. So, I do not know quite what the scene now a days is but I do see hoards of young people having lunch during lunch hour at either way side food stalls or restaurants near blocks of offices in my neighbourhood. Perhaps the system of taking packed lunch to work or schools/colleges has gone out of fashion at least in Pune or it is just that there are too many singles working in Pune who have come here to work from distant places and staying in paying guest accommodation or hostels.

I distinctlty remember taking a single lunch box of stainless steel to school till I finished high school at the age of a little over fifteen.

My mother would pack curd rice with a piece of dry pickle on one side and a piece of jaggery on the opposite and during lunch break, I would sit with other classmates who would have also brought the same for lunch from their homes.


After that, till I started to work in Mumbai in January of 1970 I had lunch at convenient places. In Mumbai, my wife would pack and send lunch through the iconic Mumbai dabbawalas just like almost all my colleagues in the office got theirs. Those packed lunches would come in carriers like this kind of thermos flask inside which would be a three tier case containing three different dishes. It was quite usual to share among colleagues whatever was brought.

Fast forward to the late eighties when I became part of a management team to which lunch was served in a lunch room as part of the perks during times of socialism in India! So, the practice of taking packed lunch stopped till the middle of 1990 when I shifted to Pune where I started taking packed lunch from home in a electric thermos/thermos tiffin box which would heat up food if plugged in half an hour before lunch time. Here too, I would share the food with other colleagues who too would have brought lunch in similar boxes. Till I retired in late 1998, I continnued to use this device to take packed lunch to my places of work.

I also remember packing sandwich lunches for my son who was going to work after I retired and while I was the house husband due to the illness of my late wife.

I am sure that most of my readers will identify with the days when they took packed lunches to school or places of work unless of course they were provided with lunch like many places now do.   Do you have similar experiences?