Rain Drops.

Yesterday was a holiday for Maharashtra, the state I live in for being Maharashtra Day. The downside to such holidays is that the following day, there are no newspapers and that upsets my daily routine of the mornings. So it was that I was sitting for longer than usual at my verandah this morning when some drops of water fell from the skies and I thought that it was pre monsoon showers, what in the West one would call April showers. On investigation I found that it was water falling from the terrace where the occupant was watering his plants on the terrace.

Those drops of water led me to reminisce about this song from the film Manzil which was released when our son Ranjan was all of eight years old in 1979. As perhaps some of my readers may remember, one of his nicknames was Rimjhim, meaning rain drop and so this song became a favourite for Urmeela and me.  And, as it so often happens, a friend of mine posted this song on facebook too and that triggered this post.

This scene shows  Mumbai’s monsoon which was part of our lives for so many years.

rimjhim gire saawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

Spattering rain falling in monsoons
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

pahle bhi yoon to barse thhe baadal
pahle bhi yoon to bheega tha aanchal
abke baras kyun sajan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The clouds have rained, in the past too
And have wet my clothes, even then
But the rain of this season
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

is baar saawan dahka hua hai
is baar mausam bahka hua hai
jaane pee ke chali kya pawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The monsoon rains are sizzling hot this year
And the season is so un-sober
The winds are drunk with, I know not what
Setting the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

There is another version of the same song sung by Kishore Kumar with slightly different lyrics but, this version with the monsoon scenes was the one that flashed before me in my nostalgia trip this morning.

Posted in Movies, Music, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Reflections.

As I sat in my verandah earlier today with my morning mug of tea, I was in a reflective and introspective mood and I observed that in a short spell of about half an hour, I went through a range of emotions.

First it was gratitude that I had this facility where I could spend my mornings quietly watching the morning rituals that take place every day.

Then it was great admiration and respect for the man on a moped with boxes all around him who supplies freshly baked bakery products to his customers every morning. I know for a fact that he would have been up since around 4.00 a.m loading his vehicle and the boxes so that he can start his rounds at around 6.00 a.m. Then the mind went to the men in the bakery who would have been at work perhaps all night long to service many other such vendors before dawn.

Admiration and respect continued as I watched housemaids being dropped off by family members so that they could start their daily grind of at least two and mostly three homes to work at. For them to do that, they would have had to get up at some ungodly hour to get ready for the day and cook the meals for the family to be packed and kept for them to carry to their places of study or work.

Next it was envy seeing young people jogging and older people walking briskly. Something that I wish I could indulge in but cannot due to my health issues.

Then came respect for an obviously handicapped person with some problem in one leg who walks every morning with the help of a walker.

That was followed by great annoyance at a couple of skinheads on a motor cycle with its silencer removed who zoomed across causing a great racket. As if not to be left unnoticed, that was closely followed by a car trying to overtake the motor cycle blaring its horn. Both oblivious to the fact that it was early morning and people may still be sleeping.

And finally appreciation for the punctuality of my newspaper boy who, like clockwork, drops my daily dose of them exactly at 6.20 am. With that last emotion, I came into the house to take possession of the papers and to start reading them.

Sometimes, the mornings can go into other reveries too about which I shall write another post when that happens next.

Posted in Meditation | Tagged | 14 Comments

Rumours!


Wouldn’t all of us like such rumours to be spread about us?

In my case, an attempt at humour by a dear friend resulted in it becoming a fast spreading rumour which in turn became an urban legend about, hold your breath, yours truly.

When my friend Vichu met me after many years at Delhi airport, he saw me using a walking stick and wanted to know the reason. He was going to Chennai and I to Jaipur. I was just 38 years old then and it was an unusual sight for someone of that age to use a walking stick. I explained to him the reason that I had damaged my hip joints and had to get them replaced soon, he could not believe me. He decided to crack a joke about it when he met my brother in Chennai after that eventful meeting and quipped that I had jumped out of a second floor flat to escape from a husband who had come unexpectedly and had fractured my hip joints. My unsuspecting and naive brother believed that story and it became a family legend first and then when I came to know of it, I started using it myself as part of my repertoire of humour. The connection between rumour and humour!

We are right now in the midst of our national elections and rumours of all kinds spread like wild fire thanks to modern social media networks. People have started to use social media rather than trust the mass media like TV and Newspapers as they find the latter biased in favour of one or the other side of the polarised political spectrum. This has its own pitfalls and rumours rather than facts gain credibility sometimes resulting in unintended consequences. I try and check credible sources before I decide to forward messages received in WhatsApp and Twitter and often have to stop further spreading of unverifiable information.

I personally do not start or spread rumours. Often to the bemusement of friends who love doing just that. How about you?

Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post.

Posted in Blogging, WhatsApp | Tagged , | 9 Comments

I Am A Page Three Celebrity Now!

I had reservations about my photograph and interview appearing in today’s newspaper. That is why, yesterday, I had said that if the interview appears in the paper, I shall publish it here.

It did and here is the photogrph of the item. Unfortunately, the page is not available on the web for me to give a link to and so the photograph. Please click on the image if necessary, to get a larger resolution and to read my comments,

Posted in Blogging, India | Tagged , | 17 Comments

The Finger!

No, I don’t mean this finger in Milan.

I mean this one:

Please click on the image to get a larger image and zoom in on the finger to see an ink stain.

I was interviewed by a young lady reporter of a local newspaper as I exited the polling station after voting this morning.  She took this photograph after asking me to pose for it with my finger showing the ink stain as proof that I had indeed voted. She had kindly sent me the photograph via WhatsApp and has promised that I will feature in her article tomorrow in the local paper. If the article does indeed appear, I shall blog about it tomorrow.

India’s gargantuan elections to our Parliament is in progress and Pune where I live,  voted today. After quite some time, I was able to meet a lot of my friends from the Joggers’ Park who had come to vote there. Since I have stopped going there for my evening walks, I had not seen many of them for over a year now. Arrangements to give preference to ladies, senior citizens and handicapped people were excellent and I did not have to stand in a queue for too long as my son who had escorted me had to.

I have done my bit. Now to wait for the results to come which will take another month as it will take that long to cover the entire country.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 10 Comments

A Remarkable Career.

My friend Rajinder posted this image on my WhatsApp page.


Below the image he had written in Hindi a statement translated into English – “This is how young boys grow up to become engineers.”

I couldn’t resist the temptation to post a response and posted this image.

At the bottom, I added in Hindi the message – “This is how young boys grow up to be Captains of ships.”

A little background. Rajinder and I go back to the eighties of the last century when we were both colleagues selling to gullible customers in our Himalayan Region. We made one memorable trip together there and I had met him during many other occasions at our offices. He decided that being a salesman was not what he wanted to do and so went to sea.  We lost track of each other all these years, but thanks to modern social media reestablished contact recently.


Rajinder eventually retired as a Merchant Marine Captain a few years ago. A remarkable achievement for a landlubber from the interiors of our vast country and particularly from the hills!

Rajinder reestablished contact with me on Face Book some time ago  and we have been in regular touch since then exchanging messages mostly on WhatsApp or over the telephone.  Apart from this interesting background, he is also a poet of Hindi verse and posts many couplets on Face Book.

Post retirement, he has settled down in Jaipur, a town that is 700 Kms from the nearest Port!  Like me, he too spends a lot of time in his garden and with his dog.

He has promised to make a trip to Pune to meet me personally and I eagerly look forward to it.

Posted in Facebook, Friendship, History, Nostalgia, Relationships, WhatsApp | Tagged | 10 Comments

Sense Of Humour.

It is, believe me. To start with, when I suggested this topic to my fellow blogger Shackman for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post, I made a typo and instead of Rumour, I typed humour. Before I could correct, he responded with an enthusiastic “Got it” and I decided to stay with the topic. Just imagine what would have happened if either of us did not have a sense of humour!

My siblings and I grew up in a broken home and had it not been for the remarkable sense of humour that we inherited from our mother, I doubt that we would have become what all of us without exception eventually did.  During the most difficult and tense moments, humour came to our rescue without fail and we were able to handle them without succumbing to the tension.  Let me give a recent incident to illustrate.  Last year my brother was battling terminal cancer and I used to speak to him on the phone regularly.  On more than one instance, I offered to go down South to be with him and he simply would laugh and ask me as to who would look after me there?  Macabre?  I thought that this was exactly the frame of mind that both of us needed at those moments of intense emotional disturbance.

I have had some hilarious experiences about some of which I have blogged and here is one of my experiences which luckily was appreciated by the others concerned as well.

Sometimes this sense of humour could be a disadvantage too as I have learnt through bitter experiences when my humour was misunderstood and caused ruptures in relationships.  It took quite a few such fiascos before I learnt where to use it and where and when not to.

I think that I am blessed with a sense of humour and also with many others in my life who are similarly blessed. It makes life easier indeed.

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

Posted in Blogging, Humor | Tagged | 16 Comments

The Back Benchers!

B

A Backbencher in the UK In Westminster parliamentary systems, a backbencher is a member of Parliament (MP) or a legislator who holds no governmental office and is not a frontbench spokesman in the Opposition, being instead simply a member of the “rank and file“.  You will see that there is no space between ‘back’ and ‘bencher’ as opposed to the title of this post.  That is because the contents here are for students in our schools here who either voluntarily sit or are punished by the teacher to sit on the last benches in the classroom.

Some students wear that honour with great pride.

Out of the blue, my friend JM posted this message in a WhatsApp group’s page a few days ago. I have tried to get details of the source without success and if some reader can help me I shall update this post with an update.

The Back Benchers

In school, there was, is and will be,
A unique and discreet subset.
A few rows of back-benchers,
Students, who were never afraid of a test.

The backbenchers took the longest breaks,
Took the longest to settle down.
Rarely would have done their homework,
Still, from teachers didn’t evince a frown.

They were current on movies,
And knew great stuff on sports too.
And if our city had secret places to visit,
They already been there an done it too.

They weren’t good at academics,
But weren’t bothered about it.
They were good in sports,
But would not bother others about it.

They were taller and heavier,
Some had seen more summers.
Puberty struck them earlier,
One of them was a drummer.

They had magazines which front benchers didn’t,
More glossy and re-readable at that.
There was an air of mischief,
And a smile that complemented that.

Except in the art class,
The ones in our class were great artists too.
They’d draw on the desk,
Art mentionable & unmentionable too.

They knew how to fly planes,
Land missiles on teachers.
And with a poker face,
Lie with panache & credence.

Catcalls and comments,
Came from them with a regular flow.
Assignments were jointly completed,
Later than sooner they would show.

They were a nice lot,
Happier than most others, I’d say.
More at peace with themselves,
Except on the results day.

Sports Day was the day they’d excel,
And make their class and house proud.
Win points and medals,
Be cheered by the crowd.

They had the colours on holi,
Their pen wielded ink too.
Their crackers resounded in toilets,
They had the gadgets & games too.

In time we met again,
In social media groups & reunions.
They’ve done as well as those in front,
The differences have melted since.

Happy then and happy now,
The backbenchers had a fair deal.
They must’ve slogged in between,
As good or better than front row, I feel.

It generally evens out in life,
Whether you were at the front or back.
The benchmark was never the bench,
Or where they sat, front or back.

I posted on the page that I was a back bencher in school and this poem resonated with me. I have also had the experience of being punished by being asked to stand up on the bench as shown in the image for the person in the third row.   I had also used some classes to catch up with sleep deprived due to excess physical activity.  I also used the opportunity to give my thoughts about what the others in the group might have been in school and all my predictions turned out to be true. None of the others incidentally, were back benchers though!

I mentioned this to a couple of friends and one of them said that he is not surprised that I was a back bencher but, his reasoning was based on my being larger in built than the average Indian male.  I thought that was odd and asked a school teacher friend of mine as to what could have prompted that observation and he promptly responded that the larger built students in schools were either into sports or the NCC, Boy Scouts etc and as such are less studious.  They are also more likely to be punished for being mischievous in class by being relegated to the back benches.  This too resonated with me as I fitted that description when I was in school.

The poem resonates with me because like the poem says, I have done as well if not better than the front benchers of my class in school.

What bencher were you?

Posted in India, Nostalgia, Poetry, Wikipedia | 10 Comments

Pigeon Impossible.

Every time I see this, I get to like it more. It gives me great pleasure to share it with my readers.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Déjà Vu.

Déjà vu refers to the feeling that you have already experienced your present situation. While it is a fairly common experience for many others, for some strange reason, I have not had that kind of experiences other than just a few times.

The first time that I experienced déjà vu was way back in the mid seventies when I had gone to North Kerala on a business tour. I spent a night at a Dak Bungalow which was located on a cliff top adjacent to the Arabian Sea. One could not go down to the shore directly from there but one could hear the sound of waves crashing on the boulders strewn below the cliff. This was the background music to my experience. It was a moonlit night and my local Agent, our local Sales Representative and I were on the lawn having our evening pre dinner drinks when an elderly gentleman came up to me to enquire if I was interested in buying some real estate nearby. It occurred to me then that I had experienced this exactly same experience in exactly the same place before. I had however not been to the town ever before, at least, not in this life time. I mentioned this to my companions for the evening who in turn shared their experiences of déjà vu. Their stories were fascinating to me for the reason that I had none other to share with them.

The next time was a decade later when I visited the Amer Fort in Rajasthan on holiday. It was not restricted to just one experience however and during all the three occasions that I went there I experienced the feeling that I had been in the fort before with vague uneasy feelings of dread.  Perhaps in a previous birth I was a soldier defending the fort!

Other than these experiences, I have never experienced déjà vu as defined above. I have tried to understand the phenomenon through google search but am unable to come to any conclusions about my specific experiences. I have certainly had the attentional varieties which focus on attention. The basis of these theories is that a scene is briefly witnessed without full attention being given. Then, shortly after, the same scene is perceived again, but this time with full perception. The second perception matches the first and is accidentally assumed to be older than it truly is, thereby triggering déjà vu. It is like trying to unlock the front door mechanically and being distracted by some activity on the road and returning to unlock again when it occurs as though one had done this before.

On discussing this with some friends, I found that I could possibly get some information about the Rajasthan episodes from a Past Life Regression Counsellor. I haven’t however found the necessity to go to one. Not as yet anyway!

An interesting topic thought up by my co 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman. Please do go over to his blog and see what he has to say on the subject.

Posted in Blogging, India, Science | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments