I Am In Awe!

There is an open ground about two hundred meters away from our home where either Manjiree or Ranjan or both take Koko and occasionally  Chutki also, for  exercises in the mornings and evenings. While Chutki goes out with a professional walker twice a day, Koko needs to be taken out by one of them every day.

Koko frolics around while there and is usually very reluctant to come away. She has a couple of friends called Max  and Zimba who play with her with abandon and it is always a sight to watch  them frolicking.

Why am I in awe?

Koko, the brown one,  is totally blind and totally depends on her other senses for her existence. Just look at her spirit for all that big handicap and look at Max in the first video and Zimba in the next  who are so careful with her.

Social Media And Memory Triggers.

Facebook reminded me and my family of an outing six years ago about which I had blogged here. Naturally, all of us are reminded of that day when Chutki was a pup recovering from the fractures in her hind legs.

Today, Chutki is a big girl and does not need that kind of looking after but, the hind legs are giving her trouble and she spends most of her time simply lying around either on her favourite perch the divan in the drawing room or close to wherever one of us is at any time. The presence of Koko sometimes excites her but, mostly annoys her as Koko is still a pup and very playful and frisky.

This is the latest photograph of Chutki on her favourite perch.

And here is one with both of them.

Retirement.

Two triggers came to me on the same day which made me suggest this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post. Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same topic.

The first was this cartoon in one of the daily newspapers that I read every day.

Luckily for me, I did not have a son like Calvin to make me surly during my working days and in any case, those days were not like what they are today.  We did not have to spend so much time commuting to and from work nor were we under the kind of pressures that today’s employees face in work situations.

The other was a WhatsApp message sending me this link to a post on Facebook.

Again, luckily for me, my old friends continue to be my friends and though the number is reducing there are still enough to keep my mind occupied with them as well as in reminiscing about the good old days.

Having started my working career at an unusual age of 16, by the time I had reached my mid forties, I had decided that I should retire by the age of fifty. This was so that I could see a lot of India and some parts of the world accompanied by my wife. For various reasons I was unable to retire at that age but was able to at the age of 52. Not bad, I thought but, life had other plans. Again due to various reasons, I was unable to implement the plan to travel and so was sort of drifting around when life intervened again and pulled be back into corporate life on three different occasions. I finally retired from corporate life at the age of 62. I did have some gaps between assignments during which I also underwent two major surgeries and tackled some major domestic issues.

For the past 14 years, I have lived a life of a retired old reprobate as so affectionately termed by my dear brother. I have not had any retirement blues as many of my friends have had though I did go through some difficult times being a full time care giver on two occasions since the retirement.

My retired life revolves around a lot of reading and a daily dose of solving crossword puzzles. This blissful existence is interspersed with reunions of various kinds about which I have blogged elsewhere, meetings with like minded reprobates in Pune where I live and visits to or from friends and family.

I am one of those blessed seniors who still has company at home in the form of his son and daughter in love plus two very affectionate dogs. To add spice to the life, two alley cats have also decided to adopt us and keep visiting us to ask for snacks at frequent intervals. Hardly ever a dull moment!

It helps that social media like Facebook and WhatsApp have brought many friends and family closer to me and so, I do not find myself at loose ends ever. The only exceptions are when due to public holidays, I do not get my daily dose of news papers and crossword puzzles when I have to depend on additional reading to pass the morning hours.

Forgiving.

The topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday blog post when Shackman and I post on the same topic came to me as a flash of inspiration when I sought Shackman’s forgiveness for delaying the suggestion. I hope that he has. You can indeed check out if he has at his blog.

Having got that little bit of confession off my mind, let me revert to the quote that I have included above. I think that it is a well thought out suggestion that reflects the truth about forgiving more than any other platitudes that one can come across.

I personally do not believe that human beings are capable of forgiving harm done to them. In my case, I have not forgiven anybody who has caused me harm, though I have moved on and in some cases, even forgotten the incidents unless they come up as reminders when something triggers those memories. I think that all of us are like that but, since it is supposed to be divine to forgive, we pretend to ourselves more than to others that we have forgiven. The best that we do, I think is that we drop that person from our lives and move on finding our pleasures and company elsewhere.

I am more inclined to trust this quote.

Gratitude.

The idea for this week’s topic for our weekly 2 on 1 Friday blog post came when I was musing over my life while having my tea, early in the morning, sitting on my comfortable chair in our verandah, enjoying the fresh morning activities in our garden as well as watching the passing parade outside the garden.

There was much to be grateful on that particular morning as the previous evening I had had an attack of gastritis. Earlier in the day, I had over indulged in a favourite sweet dish called Mawa Jalebi that Ranjan had brought home from a Sweet Shop adjacent to the office of one of his clients. Late in the evening, I started feeling uneasy and by 9.00 pm was in great pain below the ribcage and despite taking some readily available antacids from the medicine chest, I was not getting any relief. Ranjan stepped out to check and found that our family doctor, whose clinic is just across the road from our home, was still open for consultation. I rang him up to check if I could come over. He was just about to close shop but, asked me to come over and I landed up at 9.45 pm at his clinic. He examined me and gave me the assurance that I will feel comfortable soon, dispensed some medicine, gave me an injection and I returned home. I started feeling better almost immediately and by 11.00 pm was fast asleep.

I said to myself that morning that, I was grateful for such a considerate son who brought my favourite sweet dish, I had medicines at home for emergency treatment, I was able to consult my family doctor despite the hour being late, at a clinic that was just across the road from my home, and was able to comfortably sleep the pervious night after having spent a very uncomfortable evening.

That reminiscing led me to consider how many things that I was grateful for in my life at that point of time and I drew up a list as follows.

1. A series of developments led me to settle down in Pune and buy a very comfortable home when I had had no plans to do that before those developments. All that happened after our moving to Pune in 1990 in this home, were, experiences that had brought me to this stage of life in my late seventies where, I can comfortably look back at my life and be content. Just imagine, my bank, hair dressing saloon, pedicurist, doctor and grocer are all just across the road from my home. I have many restaurants very near us where I can choose from a wide variety of cuisine to go to, or, order for home delivery.

2. I have a devoted son and a daughter in love, who mollycoddle me and spoil me silly.

3. Despite both hip joints having been replaced and revised twice each, and in addition, afflicted with COPD, I am able to live a comfortable life if not a very active one. I have a home that provides me with comfortable furniture and ambience that allows to live such a life.

4. I have an extended family who support and cheer me almost on a daily basis thanks to modern social media and telephony.

5. I have a wide circle of friends from all over the world who are in regular touch and, who too,  cheer me up considerably.

6. I have enough resources to indulge in my passion for solving crossword puzzles and read.

7. I am blessed with very loyal and efficient help who have been with us for decades and who are now part of our family. They are available to be summoned on a 24/7 basis and that is a great feeling of security when, my son and daughter in love, take the odd vacation and, I have to be alone at home.

8. I have two dogs at home who seem to have ESP and come to be next to me whenever I feel a bit melancholic.  They act like pick me ups that act magically and the mood changes almost instantly.

9.  There are many more smaller things in my life about which I am very grateful, listing of which will however bore my readers.

Let me therefore share the biggest development for which I am most grateful.  It was my doctor ringing me up the following day after my consultation, to check how I was.  When he found me quite cheerful and back to my normal flippant self, he said -” You are very lucky that it was not a heart attack which I had to eliminate first in my examination, as you had pain in your chest.”  I quipped – “Thank God that it was only a fart attack!”

Are you surprised that I am very grateful for a naturally endowed with, sense of humour?

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic.  Thank you.