Comics Reflecting Adult Angst.


As the readers of this blog know, I get a regular email feed from delanceyplace.

The mail today is about Charlie Brown, an endearing cartoon character from “Peanuts” by Charles Schulz.
I quote –
“Children are not supposed to be radically dissatisfied. When they are unhappy, children protest–they wail, they whine, they scream, they cry–then they move on. Schulz gave these children lifelong
dissatisfactions, the stuff of which adulthood is made.

“Readers recognized themselves in ‘poor, moon- faced, unloved, misunderstood’ Charlie Brown–in his dignity in the face of whole seasons of doomed baseball games, his endurance and stoicism in the face of insults. He … reminded people, as no other cartoon character had, of what it was to be
vulnerable, to be small and alone in the universe, to be human–both little and big at the same time.”

David Michaelis, Schulz and Peanuts,
Harper Collins, Copyright 2007 by David Michaelis, pp. 245- 247.

Now this is about the most poignant way to describe what in the heart of hearts I knew to be true. To be human — both little and big at the same time. David Michaelis has truly done a great job of writing about the author and his creation and the message that was being sent to the readers.

This is why I think that those comic strips always were favorites and I look for them everywhere. I also suspect that these cartoons have a larger adult audience than a children one.

What do you think?

Marriage Violence and Divorce.

The last few posts have some how coincided with my reading of a book “Marriage and Violence” by Frances E. Dolan. Dolan takes a very scholarly look at the historical background to the institution of marriage and the equations between the two persons involved in the relationship. Somehow, at the end of the experience I just could not understand the various observations made by her on the very institution.

My own take on the institution by now must be quite apparent to my readers. I strongly believe in the institution and believe that one does not have to work at it to make it successful. One simply has to accept that it is a relationship entered into with open eyes and sanctified either by a religious rite or a civil contract. Once this fact is accepted, the question of who is the controlling factor in the relationship, about which Dolan elaborates in detail, becomes a meaningless exercise as, it would be obvious that both are equal and that when both are willing to treat the other as such, the relationship simply gets reinforced.

I had posted a photograph of the Tuckloo Club earlier today on the request of Tikno. Huseina and Abbas have been married for 54 years, Vimlu and Chandru celebrated their 50th anniversary, just two months ago. Urmeela and I celebrated our 40th anniversary earlier this month.

It is not as though we have not had our share of ups and downs. All three couples have had as many as is par for any married couple. We have survived. And successfully. We have not had any violence in our lives.

I also notice from most of the readers that visit this blog that there are many marriages among them that have lasted long periods of time, some going through the early stages of building successful families and so on and so forth. I do not see any violence anywhere here too.

I am unable to understand why marriages fail. Two years ago, our son and his wife of five years decided that they would rather be friends than husband and wife and have been divorced. I could not understand it then, though I accepted their decision, I do not understand it now and I do not think that I will ever be able to. I also observe that the incidence of divorce has been growing exponently in the last two decades in India, and I understand else where in the world too.

Is it that civilization has decided to redefine the institution of marriage? Am I just lucky? Is it just serendipity that my blog also gets people who perhaps do not understand marriage violence in marriage and divorce?

The Tuckloo Club.

Tikno from love-ely expressed the wish that I publish a photograph of the tuckloo club and I have decided to do so here. You can see an enlarged version by just clicking on the image.

tuckloo club
tuckloo club

From left, Huseina, Vimlu, Chandru, Abbas, Urmeela and yours truly. You can see the fading evening light reflecting off the bald pates of the famous tuckloos.

Is cybersex adultery?

I keep telling anyone who is willing to listen that I have seen it all and nothing is likely to shock me. I must confess that this article did.

I do not want to post a long commentary on it as the article itself is quite long and exhaustive. I simply look forward to receiving comments from my discerning readers on this development.

My reaction? What kind of a world are we living in?

Down Memory Lane II

This is the second of the articles that I wrote on my abandoned blog.

Sunday, May 27, 2007
Party Interactions
Last night, I attended a party to meet the visiting son of a dear friend of mine. The friend is 85 years old and is about to lose his complete vision due to Macular Degeneration. Despite this great handicap, he is cheerful, friendly and very alive.

The affection that many people have for him was demonstrated by the number of people who had come to the party. There were senior citizens, some very young people and also a sprinkle of middle aged people, all intent on making the party a success and all wanting to tell his son what a wonderful man my friend was and how he brings joy into their lives.

I was stuck by this rare occurrence. Here is a man who is 85, almost totally blind, a widower, living alone in a Home for Senior Citizens, totally alive. His reach touched people of so many age groups and backgrounds.

What is it that makes a man like this tick?

My friend continues to be exacly as he was on that day last year. He is a year older but not a bit slower or in any way different in his attitude or zest for life.

Down Memory Lane.

I wrote this post in June 2007, in another blog which I have now abandoned. I abandoned that blog because, believe it or not, I could not find it after I had posted two blogs on it. I had to go through hell and high water to find it, which I did today finally.

The two posts from that blog will now be recorded on this blog for posterity one after the other.

Having been a very active business executive and then retired, I find that I am increasingly getting to prefer to read, do the cross words, correspond on the email. To create something new in a blog actually frightens me!

In any case, since I thought that I could put down my observations of the many interactions that take place in my life I had titled my blog “Interactions” and was hoping to add to it regularly.

This is my second attempt.

Every evening, my wife and I visit a local municipal garden called the joggers’ park. This is situated just about 200 meters from our home and is quite a popular place for the residents of the colony that we stay in. The Residents’ Association, through some of its office bearers liaise with the municipal authorities to see that the park is maintained well and is free of nuisances.

Regular visitors have their favourite benches to sit on and there are many small groups who meet almost every day.

Our small group currently consists of three couples, all senior citizens. We used to be four couples but, one migrated away to another colony where they have their own park. The original four men called ourselves The JPTC, an acronym for Joggers’ Park Tuckloo Club. Tuckloo is Hindustani for baldies and all four of us are bald.

What started off as a small group of people meeting every evening for some time to pass time together, has now become a fairly strong mutual support group with the families helping each other in various ways. Very strong bonds have been built and we have become very good freinds sharing our joys and sorrows together.

The single most striking aspect of our group is the way that humour is used to enlighten our meetings and we have become quite famous among the regualr visits for our joyful and laughing meetings every evening.

There are four young mothers with perambulated children, who camp near us every evening and it is a delight to be among the toddlers and the young mothers who have adopted us as honorary grand parents to their kids. They too add to our joy and we look forward to these evening get togethers and on those days that any of us is unable to visit the park, we regret it and the others miss the absentees.

The park is full of all types of people and it is quite interesting to watch/observe and comment on some of them. There are some really eccentric characters and some very serious and sombre people about whom just about every one speculates.

I hope to use this blog to talk about some of the characters that I observe and speculate on and hope to get some other bloggers who will comment and perhaps share their own similar experiences.