Life.

I am inspired to write this post by Rachel’s post The Day I Woke Up.

For the greater part of my working life, I had to travel extensively and when I finally retired, making the odd journey for pleasure was like new adventures. Even that has now stopped since the last three years due to health issues.

Now at the age of 75,  I lost my younger brother to cancer eight days ago.  He was just shy of hitting 74 in two months’ time when he died.  While my son and daughter in love were able to visit him and spend time with him , I was unable to due to my handicap.

Many friends and members of my extensive family have been communicating their desire to visit with me soon and I suspect that they want to do this before I pop off.  I keep telling them that I am not about to oblige any time soon but, who knows?

When I look at my life now, I could not but agree with Confucius.

“At fifteen I set my heart upon learning.
At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground.
At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities.
At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven.
At sixty, I heard them with docile ear.
At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.”
~ Confucius.

The next trip that I make may well be the final one.

Comment, Question And Answer.

In my blog post Haldi Doodh my friend Rasheed commented as follows:

Oh, good old Haldi Doodh. Yum! These people will unknowingly gobble up turmeric latte for their own benefit.

Oh, I have a question for you, Ramu Bhaiya.

What did the cow say to the milk?

Answer: Hey Doodh!

Ramu Bhaiya, in Hindi simply means, Brother Ramu.

My answer to Rasheed is:

India And Its Future.

Science has become religious and religion is pretending to be Science. That is where the problem is. Neither understands the other.
Devdutt Pattanaik.

“JP Morgan elegantly points to the ruins of emerging markets and says India is a nice house in a bad street! I would add further… The western world is founded on the principles of liberal, free market, democracy… Outside the OECD and the western Anglo Saxon Protestant world, literally in the entire globe there is one other example of this experiment and that is India…we are the West and England’s most natural ally… We speak the language, sing Beatles songs, read Wodehouse and want to grow up to be Sherlock.

Despite our many failings we are a giant and a colossus and for the sake of the world, let’s hope we succeed!.”

That was the concluding paragraph of a speech made by Mr. Dhritiman Biswas, a young Professional of Indian origin from Britain.

The breed of Indians that Mr. Biswas talks about certainly exists but is confined to urban India and will not exceed about fiver percent of our population. This population however boxes way above its weight because of its ability to use the English language and also because English language media of India is the most visible in the international arena. But five percent of India’s population is 70 million people! More than the UK’s.

I for one comfortably straddle the worlds of the five percent and the rest of the ninety-five. Primarily because I come from a family with deep roots in rural India and very orthodox religious beliefs. Due to migration to cities and exposure to Western style education, I benefited through employment with multinational companies and visits to the West. Extensive reading of English fiction helped too but at the heart of hearts, I am deeply rooted in our culture and philosophical systems and values.

“India is beyond statement, for anything you say, the opposite is also true. It’s rich and poor, spiritual and material, cruel and kind, angry but peaceful, ugly and beautiful, and smart but stupid. It’s all the extremes.”
~ Sarah Macdonald.

Pune, My Pune.

shaniwarwada_pune

I have just returned from an out of town trip and realise how fortunate I am that I live in Pune. And to make it more so, my friend Shubha posted this on her facebook page.

I have lived in Pune for the past twentyfive years and I am a very happy person as are almost all the people that I know who live here.

Thank you Shubha.

Change!

shaniwar-wada

A town that once went to bed early is now up well past midnight, with pubs, cafes & eateries staying open, hosting residents of a city that has changed from a pensioners’ paradise to a young metropolis.

That is how this morning’s article in The Times Of India, Pune edition, about my home city starts. Please read on to learn about what a decrepit old codger I have become. The writer certainly had me and all my friends in mind when he wrote – “Old timers recall the sleepy roads of Pune of the late Eighties.Hostellers from the early Nineties recall fun Sunday evenings in Deccan, which would end with them rushing to catch the last bus at a rather late hour of 8pm, after which the bus frequency dropped.”

But, make no mistake about it. Neither I nor my friends would like to live in any other city in this world.