Arguments.

discussion
/dɪˈskʌʃ(ə)n/

noun
the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.
“the committee acts as a forum for discussion”
a conversation or debate about a specific topic.
plural noun: discussions
“discussions about environmental improvement”

debate
/dɪˈbeɪt/

noun
a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.
“last night’s debate on the Education Bill”

conversation
/kɒnvəˈseɪʃ(ə)n/

noun
a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
“she picked up the phone and held a conversation in French”

argument
/ˈɑːɡjʊm(ə)nt/

1.
an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.
“I’ve had an argument with my father”

2.
a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory.
“there is a strong argument for submitting a formal appeal”

I would rather have one of the first three than the last. By nature I have been made like that and I have always been like that.  Now that I am a Senior Citizen, I am forgiven for being like that.

I came up with this topic for this week’s Two On One Friday blog post where Shackman and I post on the same topic. Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic.

Anticipation.

The image is of a Cricketing batsman anticipating a delivery from the bowler at the other end of the wicket.

This topic has been suggested by Shackman for our weekly Two On One Friday Blog Post. Please go over to his blog to see what he has to say on the topic.

anticipation

a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen in the near future:
As with most pleasures, it’s not so much the experience itself as the anticipation that is enjoyable.
The postponement of the film’s sequel has held cinemagoers in eager anticipation for several months.”
~ Cambridge Dictionary.

Having no wild or even tame oats to sow any more, I have little to look forward to in my life in anticipation for something that is likely to happen in the near or distant future.  On a daily basis I have three things that I anticipate and I have one long term anticipation.

My day inevitably starts with anticipation for the arrival of the daily newspapers. Once I have organised myself comfortably and settled down to read them, the mood changes to various emotions. Disgust, happiness, anxiety, pity, sorrow, joy etc, depending on what the contents convey. While I am going through all those emotions for about an hour and a half, there is an undercurrent of anticipation for the settling down to solving my daily quota of crossword puzzles.

The next thing I anticipate is my afternoon siesta with the hope that I do not get disturbed by visitors or telephone calls.  By and large I am satisfied with the time I do get for it but, occasionally, courier delivery men will disturb and that disturbs my equilibrium somewhat.

The last thing I anticipate is a good night’s sleep and I inevitably get it.

In the long term, I anticipate a simple death having already lived eight years beyond our national average life expectancy for men,  and I regularly use two Vedic prayers.

ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिंम् पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ।।

Om Tryambakam(pronounced as Trayambakai) Yajamahe Sugandhim pushtivardhanam; Urvaarukamiva bandhanaan Mrityormuksheeya maamritaat.

“We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva) who is fragrant and who nourishes all beings; may He liberate me from death, for the sake of Immortality, even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (of the creeper).”

अनायासेन मरणं विनादैन्येन जीवनं ।
देहि मे कृपया शम्भो त्वयि भक्तिं अचन्चलं ॥

Anaayesaena maranam ,Vinaa dhainyaena jeevanam
Daehi mae Kripayaa shambho ,Thvaya bhakthim achanchalam

Meaning : Requesting Lord Shiva to kindly grant three wishes:-

  • To give a peaceful death without any bodily troubles to me or others
  • A life without any trouble for the basic needs
  • Total Bhakti to Lord shiva.

Some three decades ago, my Guru instructed me on Action and Outcomes. The gist is that there are four possible outcomes for any action taken – 1. Get what is expected; 2. Get more than what is expected; 3. Get less than what is expected and 4. Get something totally different to what was expected.

The trick in living a life of balance and comfort is in accepting that any of these four outcomes are possible and accepting whatever comes out of our actions as what we deserve at that particular point of time.

This clip explains that well and it gives me great pleasure in sharing it with my readers.

Satisfaction.

This post has been inspired by a story narrated by a character in a fascinating book about Banaras, or Varanasi as it is now known.

“After breakfast I go go my shop. It is a grocery shop run by my two sons,. The oldest and the youngest. I have three sons. The one in the middle is a lawyer. Our financial troubles are behind us now, I am a happy man. But I was a happy even during the difficult days because I was always satisfied with whatever little I had. I never asked anyone for favours. Satisfaction is the most important thing in life. If you have satisfaction, you have everything.”

This character is a man that the author meets in an akhara. He is a retired old man who had come up the hard way as many characters in the book do. Like him, the others in the book too come across as satisfied people who enjoy living in Banaras and the author goes on to say this finding of his too.

“That’s my takeaway message from this trip to Banaras: satisfaction is everything. All these days I was rubbing shoulders with sadhus on the ghats, but finally, on the day of my departure, I have come across a sage, that too in a gym.”

Varanasi has always fascinated me and I have written one story about my own experience there in one of my blogs. I have also reviewed a film Masan a story located in Varanasi, in my blog.

While the author  Bishwanath Gosh, was impressed by the Banarasi’s satisfaction quotient, I think that he has missed out on the macro picture of the satisfaction levels of most Indians.  Having travelled across the length and breadth of this country during my working days, and a garulous one easily chatting with strangers, I can vouch for the fact that it is a remarkable attitude of most Indians to be satisfied with their lot in life.  For instance, I am sure that it does not come as a surprise to my readers, I for one am a very satisfied person.  I do not envy others more wealthy or healthy as, I am quite content with what I have and what I have become.  Almost all of my friends and family members are like me and many foreigners have observed this trait and commented negatively as being stoic or unambitious.  I think that Bishwanath Ghosh has found the correct description of this trait as being satisfied with one’s lot.

I think that this is what the great American sports personality meant when he said:

“The measure of who we are is,  what we do with what we have.”

~ Vince Lombardi.

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

The Old And The New.

A friend of mine had posted this on his Facebook page.

I was fascinated with this observation for its depth and truth but also its appeal at the superficial level. I decided to change it to reflect  the physical aspect and came up with this one.

I wanted to insert an older photograph of mine but, I was too lazy to go to my collection of hard copies and spend time looking for one. Facebook came to my rescue and gave me this photograph with my siblings and two cousins which my sister had posted some years ago.

Rear row from the left, my late father, I, my late younger brother Arvind, my uncle’s driver Narayanaswamy;  front row from left, my younger brother Barath, my sister Padmini, cousin Gayathri and her elder brother Ramani.  Another important fellow, the brother between Gayathri and Ramani, Shankar, is missing as he was playing hard to get to pose for the photograph.  This was taken in one of the ubiquitous photographer’s studios that used to proliferate those days.

I took a cropped version of me alone, to show how I looked when I was about twelve, circa 1955.  The occasion, was a day’s outing to a temple outside Chennai, then known as Madras.

When I sent the middle image to my friends and family on WhatsApp I received some amazing responses about how either I have not changed at all (!!!) or, how I am still as handsome as I was then and so on!  Very flattering but, the point was totally missed!

The outer scores over the inner.

Success And Failure.


My readers will remember my blog post on how I was not an ambitious person but, events just happened and I became what can be called a success. Before that I was what most members of my extended family and some friends called a failure although I personally was very happy in that state of being. Now as then my attitude towards life itself is best explained by this image.

I therefore have rather unusual feelings about these two words and I hope that with this post I am able to get my thoughts across to my readers.

Before I proceed further, something came my way on ambition and madness that is worth sharing with my readers and here it is.

I was never mad nor am I, I think, now. Perhaps that is why, I am content with my lot which many consider to be the epitome of success. I have a roof over my head, I get all the food that I want to eat, and, I am blessed with great friends and family. I have enough income to afford my daily dose of newspapers and crossword puzzles plus the regular purchase of books to keep me occupied. I have enough to pay the electricity bills to keep my computer and internet connection going 24/7 which enables me to exploit all the advantages that I have enumerated here. I am blessed with a sense of humour that enables me to laugh at the things happening around me and stay cheerful. How much more can one ask for to be successful at the twilight of his life?

If I have failed, that was in taking care of my health in my youth and I am paying the price for it now. On the other hand, I am able to afford the medical attention that my condition demands and that, in my opinion, is also, a measure of my success. I also failed in some relationships but, they are too few to bother about at this stage of my life.

This is my take on the topic suggested by me for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog posts where Shackman and I write on the same subject. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say.

Life And Death.

I had couple of friends visiting me some days ago and we had discussions on a wide range of subjects. Both are part of a group to which I too belong, which has monthly meetings where such discussions take place and, it was not unusual that it happened again.

One of the friends unfortunately has recently been having morbid thoughts. He is four years older than I am and has seen much suffering in his life despite having had a successful academic life. He has been exploring various avenues of living in some kind of seclusion in some old peoples’ home.

Among the issues that have been agitating him is the concept of  “Right To Die”.  He has lately been studying cases of euthanasia and has been wanting to carry out research on the subject among senior citizens of India.

He lives alone except to spend every Sunday with his only son, daughter in love and grandson. My other friend and I believe that his recent bouts with health issues like high blood pressure and insomnia has brought him to some morbid thinking. That is the reason he brought this topic up again to discuss and I was a bit impatient with him as, we had discussed this topic a number of times before and had concluded that he should seek help rather than live with some morbid thoughts of euthanasia.

I finally had had enough and told him that though I had come across many people from all walks of life with fear of death;  he is the first and only one that I have come across with a fear of life.  I bluntly asked him as to why he was afraid to live the full life allotted to him and enjoy it to the best of his ability.

He was taken aback but, quickly recovered and said that, that was the problem indeed. He was afraid to live the way he was living and would rather not. That insight has changed his attitude somewhat as he called me up earlier today to thank me for the insight. I again suggested that he seek psychiatric help and he has agreed finally to do that.