It Is In The Genes.

Both my hipjoints crumbled in December 1980 and since then,  there are a few things that I miss not being able to do with my replaced and revised hip joints restricting my activities.

During my younger days among the many other things that I did was to be a keen motorcyclist. I have written about it in this blog post. In fact, just before and immediately after my marriage, the vehicle I used to first court my then fiancee and later wife, on two wheelers. The first, a Vespa scooter and the second a Jawa motorcycle.

Like all doting fathers encouraging their children to do things that they themselves cannot or could not do, I encouraged my son Ranjan to take up to motorcycling. From the time that he was old enough to get a driving license, he has had a series of two wheelers starting from a moped, graduating to a scooter and then on to motorcycles of various horsepowers till finally he has settled on a powerful roadster of the Royal Enfield brand.

When I was older but not very much wiser, my uncle who was a keen golfer took me under his wing and taught me how to play golf and got me a membership in a prestigious golf club too. I played regularly between 1967 and 1980. I was fairly good at it too and played to an officially posted handicap of 14. My hip joints gave way in 1980 and I had to stop playing.

Ranjan surprised me with an announcement a couple of weeks ago that he is taking up golf seriously. I was and continue to be delighted. Here he is practicing the chip shot.

From that clip I can see a good golfer emerging and I am delighted.

Here again I will see my dreams come true through Ranjan. I hope.

Nostalgia 7. The Oldest Thing In My Home.

A post on Facebook asked this question:

This took me back to 1975 and a very dear friend AC, who also happened to have been my boss at that time. He was retiring and moving to Andorra and was simplifying his possessions to suit the accommodation that awaited him in Andorra.

I was a struggling young man with a small family and had very little furniture. AC knew this well as he had visited our home often. He asked me if I could do him a favour by taking some furniture off his hands and offered two massive arm chairs and a quarter century old chest of drawers. A favour? Those were God sent gifts and I grabbed them with both hands and much gratitude.

The two armchairs, as old as the chest of drawers gave up their ghosts long ago but looked somewhat like this one below.

The Chest Of Drawers however continues to go strong and sits comfortably in my bedroom just short of three years to reach its Platinum Jubilee.

What is the oldest thing in your home?

Nostalgia 6. Badge Of Honour.

My regular readers will be aware of one of my physical limitations that has bothered me for a dozen years now. It is called Right Ulnar Palsy and it makes it difficult for me to hold things tightly in my right hand. This caused two problems for me earlier today and the second one is this.

That is me with a stained white t-shirt unable to take a better selfie with my right hand.

The first one was what caused the yellow stains in the first place. I was eating mangoes as dessert for lunch. Since our cook was off on holiday today, our char cut the mangoes. Had the cook been there, she would have cut the mangoes without the skin and the stone completely scraped off and I could have simply had the fruit from a bowl using a spoon.

With the mangoes cut differently, I had to eat the mangoes like this:

After seeing the first slice being eaten if you go to 1.40 minutes, you will see how the flesh from the stone is consumed.

My ulnar palsy played up and the stone slipped out of my hand and fell on my t-shirt. That is the stain that you see on the first image.

Why nostalgia?

During my school days, as soon as the mango season started, the first classmate with a stained vest under the uniform shirt was given a badge of honour by the rest of the class. One of course had to deliberately stain the vest to earn this badge! I never did get the badge of honour though as, I could not afford to get the vest stained for fear of punishment from a martinet for a father!

Have you had some mangoes lately? How did you eat them?

Gangubai Kathiawadi.


Kamathipura is Mumbai’s Red Light Area and has been that since time immemorial. If you were born and have lived in Mumbai like I have, there is just no way that you will not come to hear about it. It is also located in such a place that many people pass it while on their way to and from places of work or on other errands.

Despite my association with Mumbai since my birth and having lived there the longest before I put down roots in Pune, I had never heard about Gangubai and this movie forced me to go back in history and read about her.

Seeing the movie, was a mind blowing experience for me for its accuracy with period costumes, vehicles, trains, train compartments etc and I kept going back down memory lane on many occasions.

The story about the Mafia Queen as she was once called, who strove to ensure safety and dignity for the sex workers of Kamathipura is in itself another remarkable lesson in history for me. Seeing her come alive through the excellent acting of Alia Bhat under excellent direction of Sanjay Leela Bhansali is something that I will not forget very soon.

I had not been to a movie since well before the onset of Covid and sitting through this one has been another landmark achievement as it were.

I am grateful to my DIL for having persuaded me to see it and to my son for sharing the experience with both of us.

I urge my Indian readers to see it if they have not already seen it and my overseas readers to see it too as I am advised that it has been released overseas with English sub-titles.

It has been a long time since I reviewed a movie in my blog and it gives me great pleasure to give this a rating of four and a half stars.

One Thing Leads To Another.

My readers will remember how touched I was reading and writing a blog post about Phone Box At The Edge Of The World

While reading that book there was a reference to some quotes from another book by a Japanese Warrior – The Book Of Five Rings by Miamoto Musashi.

I was interested enough to order for it and have just finished reading it.

It is a book that I now regret not having come to know of during my corporate life. Not that its contents do not offer anything for a retired old reprobate now but, it would have helped me achieve a few more “wins” those days.

It is essentially a treatise on how to handle adversity. While in writing it is for the Soldier and the Commander, juxtaposing it to our normal life’s situation is easy and I recommend it.

Aplomb!

In response to my post Sales Calls, I received two messages.

The first was from a Retired General Manager of a very large Bank in India and the other in comments on my blog itself from a Retired Chairman of another Bank in India.

Both said that they have received calls advising them on how to get loans!
Such aplomb reminds me of a story from the P G Wodehouse collection.

For the PG Wodehouse and English language fans!

Bertie Wooster was in the study when his butler, Jeeves, coughed discreetly.”May I ask you a question Sir ?””By all means, Jeeves,” said Bertie.

“I am doing the crossword in The Times and I have found a word with which I am unfamiliar.””What word is that?” said his lordship.

“Aplomb, Sir.

“”Now that’s a difficult one to explain I would say it is self-assurance or complete composure.

“”Thank you, Sir, but I’m still a little confused.

“”Let me give you an example to make it clearer.

Do you remember a few months ago the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to spend a weekend with us at Aunt Agatha’s place?

“”I remember the occasion very well, Sir. It gave the staff and myself much pleasure to look after them.

“”Also”, continued Bertie Wooster, “do you remember when the Duke plucked a bloom for the Duchess in the rose garden?

“”I was present on that occasion, Sir, ministering to their needs.

“”While plucking the rose, a thorn embedded itself in his thumb very deeply.”Jeeves replied, “I witnessed the incident and saw the Duchess herself remove the thorn and wrap a bandage on his thumb using her own dainty handkerchief, after sucking the thumb gently to stop the bleeding. Yes Sir, I did see everything that transpired that evening.

“Bertie Wooster: “Jeeves, the next morning while you were pouring tea for Her Ladyship, the Duchess asked the Duke in a loud voice, ‘Darling is your prick still throbbing?

‘”And you, Jeeves, did not spill one drop of tea! Now that is aplomb