Passing The Buck.


What a topic to start off the new year’s 2 on 1 Friday Blog Post with! It is my idea for it and I hope that my readers and Chuck’s will enjoy reading our takes on a topic that must ring bells to all of them. Please do go over to his blog too to read his.

I have been in Non Management, Lower Management, Middle Management and Top Management and have come across this phenomenon at all levels. Sometimes overt but, mostly covert. I personally have passed the buck, to the bottom, sideways and to the top without any shame and have also received the buck from all sides to know what a delightful pastime this could be in corporate life.

Passing the buck can operate in our normal every day life too, like it just happened to me which is what prompted me to come up with this topic.

My classmate’s grand daughter who lives in Gujarat,  wanted to study in a college near where I live which offers a very expensive Liberal Arts programme.  My classmate asked me to find out details and I was quite lost as I have had little to do with colleges for over a quarter century.  I however remembered that another friend’s daughter had gone to that college and so asked that friend if she could talk to my classmate and she readily agreed.  Both of them not only talked to each other but got the girls to talk to each other too!  Just see how many bucks were passed! The girl in Gujarat talks to her parent, who in turn consults his mother, who talks to me, I talk to my friend, she talks to my classmate and also to her daughter and both the young ladies talk to each other too.  At the end of it all, the decision maker continues to be the first girl in Gujarat who will decide one way or the other.  Nobody else will be responsible.

Or take the Uber driver I had the pleasure of going with recently.  He missed a pothole and jarred the vehicle so badly that I was thrown up and my head banged the roof of the vehicle.  The driver, coolly looks at me and blames the Municipal officials for the poor condition of the roads.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my post, if not, I accept responsibility for the disappointment.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Management | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

A Song For The New Year.

Like I did, many of my readers too went through some difficult times during the last year and also came out of those thanks to grit or more often than not due to angels that got them to keep going like you will find in this song that I dedicate to my readers for the new year 2020.

Before you listen to the song however, I request you to read this story behind the song. Very inspirational indeed.

Well you know those times when you feel like
There’s a sign there on your back
That says I don’t mind if you kick me
Seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You think it can’t get worse than that
And then they do

You step off the straight and narrow
And you don’t know where you are
Used the needle of your compass
To sew up your broken heart
Ask directions from a genie in a bottle of jim beam
And she lies to you
That’s when you learn the truth

[Chorus]

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

I’ve been deep down in that darkness
I’ve been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons breathin’ fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled I’d fall right into the trap
That they were layin’

But the good news is there’s angels everywhere
Out on the street
Holdin’ out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one’s that you’ve been draggin’ for so long
You’re on your knees might as well be prayin’
Guess what I’m sayin’

[Chorus]

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
When you’re goin’ through hell keep on movin’
Face that fire walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
When you’re goin’ through hell keep on movin’
Face that fire walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Recap 2019; Highs And Lows. Hopes For 2020.

This Friday 2 on 1 post will the last that Shackman and I will be writing this year and Shackman has come up with this as the topic. I think that it is a brilliant idea to attempt a recap. I only hope that I don’t leave out anything important.

The year had its share of ups and downs and the latter being less but rather depressing as all lows are bound to be. I shall set out all the ups first and try to be brief on the latter.

Visitors and house guests from out station/overseas.

January started off perhaps as though to give an indication of things to come. My old colleagues KSRR and BP with their wives landed up to pay a visit. We were neighbours for a few years in the early seventies and I was meeting them after almost thirty years. Another colleague AK, who I had first met in the 1980s too came to visit as did Derek, the son of a late colleague who had come all the way from Canada. These visits took me back to a different time and friends and nostalgia was at its peak.

February saw my nephew Simon, niece in love Hannah,  grand nephew Finlay and grand niece Josephine spend a few days with us which was a very special treat.

We also had two long staying house-guests VS and AS on different occasions which while disturbed our normal rhythm, gave us enough time with them to learn many new things as both are much younger in very much in the midst of corporate and marital problems. The former rented a flat in Pune and has moved out and the latter, wound up his establishment in Pune and Mumbai and moved to Dehradun.

Three of my maternal cousins from Mumbai came to spend a day with me using the visit of the youngest of them from the USA. It was a day of sheer nostalgia going back to our childhood and teen years and many peccadilloes of our Mumbai days.

visiting in December first was my cousin Vijay from Australia who I had not seen since the late eighties. We had a marathon session of catching up with each other and learning about many common friends and relatives and all too soon he went back. Next in line, almost as if a Christmas gift, on Christmas day, my cousin Damu and his wife Asha from Navi Mumbai graced us with a visit.

Besides these outstation visitors, we had many guests over for lunch or dinner or just dropping in to check up on me or to repay visits that I had made to them. Each was a break in routine and very welcome change from it.

I was still mobile and capable of attending many meetings with my friends till the monsoon and I was able to make one trip to Lonavla for a reunion with ex colleagues from Mumbai and Delhi.

New addition to the family.

We had Koko joining us much to our delight. She is playful and affectionate but, due to her blindness afraid of any new noise and has to be looked after differently than our other resident Chutki who is being the senior respectable lady of the house in a sedate and sober way. Her behaviour has no impact whatsoever on Koko who simply refuses to change her ways.

Two stray cats decided to adopt us and come around demanding to be fed every now and then. They do not enter the main house and restrict their visits to the verandah and the garden and are a delight too.

Thanks to the social media’s outreach and membership, I was able to reestablish contacts with two very old friends, one of whom after 55 years and the other after thirty years. Thanks to my alma mater’s alumni office, I was able to reestablish contact with another Punekar now in the USA, after 48 years. He is visiting Pune early in 2020 after attending his class 50th year reunion and threatens to spend some time with me. Thanks to a cousin’s daughter publishing a best seller novel, I came to know about her from the family grapevine and was able to reestablish contact with two cousins with whom I had lost touch for over three decades.

Losses.

First to lose was my classmate and fellow Punekar AD. I lost one cousin aged 62 and two more, both aged 87. A very dear friend Abbas about whom I have written a number of blogs too died just earlier this month.

Health Issues.

My readers know that I suffer from COPD and from July that conditions has become worse and I am now forced to use a nebuliser instead of the inhalers that I was using. This combined with my stiffening artificial hip joints, makes it difficult for me to be as active as I would like to be but, that does not mean that I am a wheel chair case. I am mobile and independent at home but avoid going out unless absolutely necessary and only for very short periods of time. I have no other problems and so have a ball with my usual reading, crossword puzzles, WhatsApp, Facebook, the blog world and email activities. Phone calls and visitors add spice to such an ideal life and I am enjoying myself within the limitations that my condition entails.

Hopes for 2020.

My one hope is to spend the rest of my life without more health issues and without either troubling my family or friends with health issues. Other than that, I have none. At my present stage of life, I believe that I should live one day at a time and count my blessings and that is what I intend to do next year too.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about his 2019 and hopes for the new year.

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Family Business.

By accident, I don’t usually watch movies on television, I watched Family Business, a 1989 movie with two favourite actors, Sean Connery and Dustin Hoffman. And, as a bonus, I discovered another good actor, Mathew Broderick. My daughter in love was watching the television on one of the pay and see channels, and I just happened to catch Sean Connery on the screen. I shelved going off inside to my room and stayed on to watch. I am glad that I did.

I can’t for the world, recollect how I missed seeing it when it was first released. With the two favourite actors like that, I would have normally gone for the fist show on the first day of release. Be that as it may, I was totally zapped seeing this film for the complex relationships that it portrays so ably.

I have known real life stories of grandson / grandfather relationships bypassing son / father relationships and I could immediately see the dynamics that the story and the director were trying to convey. I could also juxtapose to my own relationship with my uncle which annoyed my father no end and understand the equations.

I intend watching it again either on the TV or by getting a DVD.

Posted in Movies, Wikipedia | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Season’s Decoration.

My readers will recollect what my daughter in love did for Deepavali.

She is back at it for the Christmas and new year festive season here. She has decorated our verandah with lights and I learnt how to take a video clip too!

Posted in Blogging, Family | Tagged | 10 Comments

Traditions.

The inspiration for this topic came from a character in the novel A Peoples’ History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian. The character is a professional rangoli artist. In my childhood, I distinctly remember rangoli being drawn every morning outside our homes and the logic for it. The images were always drawn with rice flour and the belief and also the fact was that ants would come to eat the flour. Why feed the ants? So that they did not come inside the homes to look for food and also the traditional belief that we are obliged to feed all creatures big and small in whatever way that we can. That tradition of rangoli disappeared from our lives over the years due to urbanisation and moving into flats / apartments but, feeding creatures continues to be practiced quite widely. In my own home, we had the tradition of feeding crows, doves, sparrows and squirrels till urbanisation took its toll but, my children feed stray dogs and cats in our neighbourhood every day and also during the day time when at least one particular tabby cat comes meowing for food a few times.

Many other traditions have disappeared from families due to the pressures of modern life and one that I miss most is the original use for our festivals for the families to come together for a few days of feasting and fellowship. On the other hand, some traditions like respect for elders and taking their blessings continues to exist though even that seems to be disappearing with replacement with modern Hellos and other forms of greetings.

Most families and other groups have traditions that they follow without having any idea as to how they started or the logic for them and I share below two stories to illustrate such traditions.

1. We visited our newly married daughter, who was preparing her first Thanksgiving dinner. I noticed the turkey thawing in the kitchen sink with a dish drainer inverted over the bird. I asked why a drainer covered the turkey.

Our daughter turned to my wife and said, “Mom, you always did it that way.”

“Yes,” my wife replied, “but you don’t have a cat!”

2. When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

I came up with the idea for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday 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 about the topic but, before you do, please enjoy this song,

Posted in Blogging, Books / Reading, Family, Humor, Movies, Music, Spiritualism | Tagged , , | 14 Comments