Wrist Watches.

I wrote in my post on nostalgia about my very first wrist watch which was a Titoni. India those days was a Socialist country and wrist watches were considered to be luxury items which were not necessary for Indians. People who had them were considered to be very fortunate and so when I inherited that watch I became one too. Times are vastly different now with two very large wrist watch manufacturers in India making world class watches and plenty of imported high end watches also available at fancy prices. We also have plenty of cheap digital watches in the market mostly from China. Younger people find it difficult to believe that the simple wrist watch was once a status symbol for my generation.

I wore that Titoni from 1963 till 1982 when I received a Long Service Award in the form of a wrist watch for 15 years of service from my employer. According to the policy the company would only pay a certain sum for the watch and if an employee wanted something more expensive, he had to make good the difference and that is what I did to get what was considered to be a luxury item then, an Indian made HMT watch with an automatic winder which kept winding up as one simply wore it on one’s wrist, eliminating the need for winding the watch every morning. A colleague who always had an eye on my Titoni asked for it and I happily gave it away to him.

I wore this HMT watch for over twenty years.  It is still in excellent condition and kept inside my cupboard for sentimental reasons.

A well wisher seeing the antiquated watch that I was wearing in 2002 decided that I needed an upgrade and gifted me with this Maxima watch which is what I now wear whenever I go out.

It is a battery operated one and needs the battery to be replaced whenever it runs down which is a simple matter with many shops all over the city only too willing to replace it for a small consideration.

A few years ago my brother Barath bought a wrist watch for me from the UK when he came on a visit.  Last year, a visiting friend sans a wrist watch wanted to know where he could buy one nearby. I simply gifted that watch away to him on the spot much to his surprise and delight.

A few months ago, I won a prize as part of a promotional programme by an online shopping site and this is what I got.

This too is a battery operated one and I wear it occasionally just to keep it in use. I suppose that one of these days, some other lucky visitor may get it as a gift too!

So, bar the small difference in price that I bore between what my employer paid and the ticket price, for the Long Service Award watch, I have not every paid for and bought a wrist watch ever in my life. How do you like that?

Many young people now think that wearing a wrist watch is passe and depend on their cell phones to find out what time it is whenever they want to. I find it easier to look at my wrist watch.

 

Posted in Blogging, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Nostalgia.

When I wrote last week’s 2 on 1 Friday post, I had concluded with a clip of a song by Nat King Cole. After reading comments received particularly about Nat King Cole, I went on a nostalgia trip about my initiation to Western music and it led me to reminisce about the three following machines that most younger generation people will not recognise.

The first one is this record player for playing vinyl discs of two speeds, 45 and 33 RPMs. You needed another machine to play the 78RPM records. This was usually connected to a Radio and very rarely to an amplifier and speakers.

If you were willing to risk damaging your discs and were also lazy, you upgraded to a Changer like this one where when one disc finished playing, another dropped from above and started to play automatically.

The wealthier ones amongst us went one step further and had Radiograms like the third  one in fancy cabinets.

SONY DSC

Moving on to other triggers for nostalgia, during my morning sessions in my verandah with my morning mug of tea, I have recently been seeing a young lass walking a frisky Doberman Pinscher the last few days. The lass is usually pulled by the pup and she really has to struggle to guide him around. This has been taking me down memory lane to our own Doberman Pinscher about which I wrote here.

Another trigger was during my rummaging in one of the drawers in my chest of drawers to find a bracelet, I came across a wrist watch that was worn by my late father.

Why this should take me down memory lane is a fascinating story worth a full blog post in itself. I shall write one soon and link to this post. The nostalgia was about the days when wrist watches were luxuries that very few could afford and my first one was a gift that I inherited from an uncle who unfortunately died. That is the Titoni shown here.

A newspaper report in some distant place can trigger nostalgia too as recently happened to me about which I wrote a blog post. In this case, nostalgia led me to reestablishing contact with a friend who I had lost touch with for over forty five years!

A visitor can trigger nostalgia too. I had one on Wednesday who led me down memory lane to the seventies when I got involved with his family. So many good things have happened to that family since then, that we were discussing that for over an hour!

I guess that the older one gets, I am now well past the proverbial three score and ten, and pushing four score, the more we find opportunities for nostalgic trips. We also can find the time for such escapades. We also develop the ability to laugh at ourselves.

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

Posted in Blogging, Family, Friendship, Music, Pets | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Wow! What Memories!!

A few days ago I read this gruesome news item which led me to a long lost friend.

The suburban railway station Chetpet mentioned in the report brought back memories of a friend with whom I had lost contact after an accidental meeting in 1964.

Let me start at the beginning.

SK and I were classmates between 1954 and 1958 and the school we studied in was adjacent to Chetpet station.  SK’s home was also close by along the railway tracks. I had often gone to his home during lunch breaks and have very pleasant memories of his mother fussing over both of us and feeding us. In 1958 both of us got our school leaving certificates and moved on in our separate ways. I went off to Hyderabad while SK stayed on in Chennai then known as Madras. By 1965 when we again met accidentally on a main arterial road of Chennai, we had both been in employment, SK as a banker and I as a salesman. During that accidental meeting, both of us retired to a famous restaurant on Mount Road in Chennai for some coffee and catching up with each other. We parted ways again with me going off to Ahmedabad to Business School and he to continue his career as a banker.

Reading about the Chetpet station assault brought back memories of SK and I decide to see if I can reconnect with him and asked some banker friends in Chennai for help. Nothing was forthcoming when I remembered that my cousin SS was also a banker who spent his initial years in the same back as where SK was working. I contacted my cousin who in turn referred me to another ex colleague SV, who fortunately, had retired to live in Pune where I live. SV gave me a telephone number and suggested that if that was not the same SK that I was looking for he would at least be able to help me find my friend’s where and / or what-abouts.

I called that number and was totally zapped to find that it was indeed my old classmate SK on the line and after 54 years both of us caught up with each other with the assurance that we would be in regular touch now that social media makes it so easy.

The Topic of this post however is to express my amazement at the two instances of remarkable memory.

When I rang up SV as suggested by my cousin, I introduced myself by name and before I could say anything else, SV promptly said “cousin of SS from Bombay”. Apparently, when my cousin was in Bombay in the late sixties when I too was there for a few months undergoing training with my employer then and he and SV were in the same branch where he had met me once. And that was in 1967 and he remembered the name after 52 years!

When I reestablished contact with SK and said that we last met in 1965 he said yes, he distinctly remembered the occasion, the name of the restaurant where we had coffee and he particularly remembered my having black coffee which was unusual in Madras of those days where the famous degree/filter coffee was and is the more popular option.

Do you now see my exclamation in the topic of this blog post? Amazing is it not?

Posted in Friendship, Relationships, Wikipedia | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Persistence.

I had written about this plant in our garden eight years ago. It just appears suddenly and one morning flowers with the stunning yellow coloured flowers every now and then. The last time I wrote about it was in September towards the tail end of our monsoons and this morning it is the middle of June, just the beginning of the monsoon.

You will see that the plant grows out of the gap between the paving stone and the boundary wall. We don’t plant anything there and this plant just keeps itself hidden and grows on its own every now and then.  You can see that we have had to move a couple of flower pots to show the bottom part of the stem.
Here is another view.

Remarkably persistent plant is it not? Welcome back dear Indian Mock Strawberry.

Posted in Blogging, India | Tagged | 14 Comments

The Beards Are Ruling – 2.

Perhaps in response to my blog post, or more likely, as a dig at my beard, my friend RP sent this image. Chivalry seems to have died.

Posted in Blogging, People | Tagged | 15 Comments

Sometimes I Wonder…….

What a fantastic topic that Shackman has come up with for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post where he and I write on the same topic. Please do go over to his blog to see his take on the subject.

Why sometimes? I wonder often about many things and right now at the beginning of our monsoon season, I wonder how something as rain drops falling on parched earth could release such a magnificent scent, yes, the petrichor never fails to release a sense of awe and wonder in me. I have searched high and low to get that in a perfume bottle or spray without any success. And sadly enough, it becomes just a memory till the monsoon is over and the earth dries up again and another unseasonal shower revives it.

I often wonder at how fortunate I have been in my life considering that as a teenager I was given up my extended family as being a nogoodnik with no prospects for the future.  There were just two relatives, besides my mother who had faith that I will do well.  It eventually turned out that I did well, very well indeed, much to the surprise of many and shock of some. The main reason that I am a total believer in the theory of karma.

Every time some one from my long forgotten past pops up to renew contact on facebook or WhatsApp or just telephones having got my telephone number from a mutual acquaintance, I wonder what makes for such affection that wants to renew contact. I also wonder when something triggers a memory and I try and locate someone from my past to renew the contact again.

Another wonder in my life just now is the latest addition to our family. Koko a blind dog who came into our home three weeks ago. It never fails to amaze me as to how she uses her other senses to get along and does not appear to miss being sans eyesight. She cheerfully bangs into furniture and people but has got her bearings inside the house to a tee and can navigate very well. Every time I see her playing around, I wonder at the karma that has made her blind but also brought her into our life.  That in turn leads me to wonder about so many inexplicable situations that appear in my life for which, other than karma, I have no answers.

The biggest wonder of course in these attempts is that modern social media and the internet makes it possible to. Let me give you how I made two new friends by using exactly this modern wonder. Reading reviews of books led me to two such friends who were the reviewers. In one case, the email id was given at the end of the review and I simply had to send him a mail which led to exchanges of mails and telephone calls and today he is among my closest friends. In the other case, I had to search for his contact using the net and finally found it via Linkedin and though he has not quite become a close friend, he and I are in frequent touch on matters of mutual interest.

I often wonder how we lived without the internet in the good old days!

Earlier this week, I had gone on one of my rare outings to buy a chair for my bedroom. It was after a long time that I went to that particular part of the city and I wondered where such growth of the city will end in. The traffic was at least four times denser than what it was the last time that I had gone to that place. Our local Metro Railway is coming up in that area and once that comes, it may ease the congestion somewhat but, while the construction is going on, the road having become narrower causes for traffic jams. I wondered at the madness of modern urbanisation. I am sure that I will keep wondering about this phenomenon in the future also.

I can go on and on about the things that I wonder at or about and instead, shall end with this old favourite of mine which came to my mind immediately on getting the topic from Shackman. I hope that it will trigger as many memories for you as it did it for me listening to it after so many years.

Posted in Blogging, Facebook, Friendship, India, Music, Nostalgia, People, Pets, Wikipedia, You Tube | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Monsoon Sets In.

It is raining finally. Last year, I had posted this on the 21st of June but today, it is exactly the same. Just ten days earlier.

It is not raining. It is pouring.

You can get larger resolutions by clicking on the images.

Posted in Blogging, India | 12 Comments

Grab The Opportunities.

Two things happened after I wrote my post on The Beards Are Ruling. . First, I came across a video clip via WhatsApp sent by a friend which I share below with my readers. Second, I remembered another bearded friend and ex colleague about whose Remarkable Career I had written blog post.

This is a motivational speech in Hindi by Abhinav Kumar, India Head of Trivago.

For my readers who do not understand Hindi, Abhinav Kumar’s speech covers simply how he became what he did, despite coming from a small village in Bihar, by grabbing every opportunity that presented itself without any second thought. And every time he also learned whatever was needed to learn including how to speak English, and just kept moving in unusual trajectories that eventually made him what he is today. Rajinder’s career too has been one where he grabbed the opportunities that came his way, did the best that he could in each situation and moved on to finally a contented retirement.

A rather unusual career path for the son of a bureaucrat from the then establishment, Rajinder acquired a Master’s degree in Geography.  Yes, you read me right!  He then was able to secure employment in a public sector organisation where he found himself getting claustrophobic and, unwilling to be part of a venal system, quit.

A smart Sales Manager, not me, saw something in him and hired him as a Sales Representative.  He was very good at it and won many awards for being so as I personally can vouch having been his colleague then.

While he was establishing himself as a Sales Professional his brother had gone through a training programme to become a Mariner and became one.  While the living was tough, the compensation was way above what Rajinder was making as a Sales Professional and this was galling for our intrepid young man.

When his brother offered to help him get a position as a trainee mariner, Rajinder quit his position and took the gamble and joined the merchant marine in 1992.  Working hard and studying simultaneously to write and pass qualifying examinations, after ten years, in 2002 he became a Master and captained cargo vessels till he retired three years ago to a well deserved retirement.  Since his wife still works at Jaipur and with other responsibilities there, he lives at Jaipur but, has already acquired his permanent retirement home in Himachal Pradesh. A man from the mountains, who moved to the plains to make a living, went to sea to make a totally unplanned for career, retired and will eventually return to his beloved mountains.

This is Rajinder now with his companion Hunter at his home in Jaipur. Shackman, he and I not only keep beards, all three are also dog lovers.

Posted in Blogging, Friendship, WhatsApp, Wikipedia, You Tube | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Intolerance.

Intolerance is defined as an unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own; or an inability to eat a food or take a drug without adverse effects.

Having suggested this topic for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post, I shall address both and perhaps something else as well. Please do visit Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic.

Unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own.

Ever since India’s Rightist Hindu Nationalist party, the BJP came to power in 2014, this word became synonymous with the Leftist Intellectuals in India and all kinds of things happened. Minor incidents of law and order took on communal tones like Hindu vs Christian, Hindu vs Muslim and Upper castes vs Lower castes and so on. Some took to mass media to condemn the majoritarianism implied in the result of the elections, some returned awards given to them by the previous dispensation as a means of protest, without however, returning the cash elements that went with those awards and generally made, what in my opinion was fools of themselves.

These were the English speaking, reading, writing urban self appointed intellectuals and their tantrums, simply did not reach the people who were none ot the above. The BJP came back to power last month with an increased majority in our parliament and now one sees the same breed of Tolerant Intellectuals analysing the results and coming to the conclusion that they misread the public mood and orientation. Some of these elements wrote for foreign publications as well crying themselves hoarse that doomsday is about to descend on India. As my readers can see, nothing like that happened and some even changed their tones post analysis of the results.

Being a Rightist supporter of the BJP, I tolerated these elements while they were intolerant of me! Now I am enjoying watching them squirm and the Schadenfreude is entirely enjoyable.

That is the beauty of intolerance. The ones shouting loudest that the other is intolerant is entirely unaware that they are being intolerant of the other to start with! And being completely detached, I simply enjoy trumpeting my own intolerance of the intolerant.

Coming to other types of intolerance, I know some wealthy people, the not so wealthy simply cannot be so, who are intolerant of the elements. During the summer months, they disappear to cooler climes and during the winter months to warmer climes. During the wet months they refuse to get out of their homes lest they get wet and miss out on a lot of fun. These people are also usually intolerant of everything around them and totally insatiable be it about food, drink or relationships.

I also know the unfortunates who are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant or some other intolerant and I feel sorry for them while being grateful that I am not any of those. On the other hand, I recently discovered that I was allergic to one particular type of new antibiotics and it was entirely providential that I had anti allergy medication at home as otherwise, I would have been dead with the reaction I had after consuming that medication. Now that my doctor, family and I know that I am intolerant to it, hopefully there won’t be a next time.

Intolerance can take other shpes too and one of the most common in India is the mother in law, daughter in law conundrum and / or the older generation, younger generation one. Here again, it is difficult to do anything about it when one comes across it but one can be grateful that one does not go through this in one’s own life.

I am sure that there will be other types that my readers have come across in their experiences and I look forward to receiving comments on them.

Posted in Blogging, India, Medicine, Patriotism, People, Raves and Rants, Relationships, Religion, Sociology, Wikipedia | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

The Beards Are Ruling.

Yesterday was the birthday of a cousin who is very dear to me. I dedicate this post to him.

Apart from all the other reasons for his being dear to me is his loyalty to my blog. After the greetings and responses were over on the telephone, he asked me why I don’t blog as often as I used to till a few weeks ago. I answered that I found no topics to write on of interest to me or to my regular readers but, sooner than later, I will start regular blogging again.

As my readers know that I am a great believer in Synchronicity and just as I was scratching my head to find something to blog about I came across an article that made it possible for a blog post at least for today,

This is Shackman. He and I write on the same topic every Friday as 2 on 1 Friday posts. He and I motivate each other to write at least one post every week.
And this is yours truly.

“Having facial hair has variously been a sign of manliness, of unkemptness, of being one with nature, of being Left-leaning, of being lazy, disinterested even, or just too miserly to invest in a razor.”
~ Arun Janardhan.

I don’t think that any of the above signs fit the two of us. At least in my case, it is simply a matter of having been with a beard for all my adult life to minimise the effects of a severe case of acne vulgaris in my younger days. After that problem stopped bothering me, I could not remove the beard as it had by then become my trade mark as it were.

In the case of Shackman, I suspect that he could not find the time during his difficult days and now, having found it so convenient and becoming, has left it to flourish.

It is however nice to know that the beards rule the world for the time being at least.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Friendship, Humor, Relationships | Tagged | 4 Comments