World Tour On Bicycle By Siddhartha Priya.

A fellow alumnus from the Business School from which I graduated decades ago, is setting out on an adventure – A world tour on a bicycle. Siddhartha Priya is a young man with stars in his eyes. An idealist in an age of cynicism. I find his enthusiasm infectious and would like to introduce him to my readers.

Apart from being a fellow alumnus, he is also from Bihar, the land to which I owe a great deal for having enabled me to graduate from a university there, giving me a couple of lifelong friends and which brings back many happy memories, whenever it is mentioned.

I believe that the meaning of the name Siddhartha Priya, will be in order here. My readers will of course be familiar with Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. The word Siddhartha is a compound consisting of two Sanskrit words, Siddha and Artha. Siddha means perfection. Artha has two meanings, one is wealth and the other is meaning. In this context of a proper name, Siddhartha would indicate one who is wealthy in perfection.

Priya is the second name of my young friend. This means beloved.

So, the full name will mean “The beloved of Siddhartha, or the beloved of the fully Perfect One (The Buddha). It could also mean, depending on who is talking, one who loves the Perfect One. I leave it to my readers to decide which one is apt for the young man. Indian names can be loaded!

Young Siddhartha has put up a blog site called World Tour on Bicycle and I would appreciate my readers visiting the site and extending encouragement of whatever kind that they can to this idealistic young man. Thank you.

Love – A New Take!

One of the definitions of love that has always made sense to me is by M. Scot Peck. “Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.” In my great big love affair that lasted forty plus years, this was the driving force right from the word go, as all my readers know.

I am also quite cynical about the very haphazard use of the word and keep looking for weird uses and some such uses have also been written about by me in some of my earlier posts. Like, I love hot dogs, or I love to smoke etc.

So, when the topic of love handled by a Biological Anthropologist, Helen Fisher came to my notice, I sat up and listened. In a fascinating lecture with TED, she takes one on a journey of discovery. Some of the statements that she makes might just tickle your curiosity enough to want to listen to her are given below.

“Love is not an emotion, it is a mechanical drive in the brain.”

“Human beings have learnt to tolerate the other individual long enough to reproduce.”

“Women entering the job market is going back to ancient times. 80% of the food for the day was brought home by the women in the times long past..We are simply moving forward to the past.”

“There are significant gender differences in the brains of men and women. Women and men are like two feet, needing each other to move.”

“There are more male geniuses in the world, but there are also more male idiots in the world.”

“Lust, romantic love and attachment can go together and/or exist simultaneously with others. In other words, one can love more than one person at the same time.”

“We are not animals made to be happy but to reproduce but we can develop serious attachments.”

Her considerable worry about the increasing use of antidepressants is worth listening to by itself. She concludes that particular subject with, “a world without love is a deadly place”.

I hope that I have primed you enough. Let me not keep you waiting. You can listen to her at TED.


There is a saying in India that unless one empties one’s cash box, there will be no room for fresh cash to come in. I normally extend this to suit the occasion and say something like for the pocket to be replenished, it must keep getting emptied, or instead of the ‘pocket’, I would use ‘wallet’.

Recently, when reading a post by Maria the Silver Fox, I had commented that more difficult than giving is receiving with grace and gratitude. I suppose that, that is a topic worth a separate post in itself but I need to mention it here as I find it extremely difficult to write about giving without writing about receiving. This is because; I have been at the receiving end almost all my life and hardly ever been on the giving end.

It is said by many sages that it is by giving that one receives. To the best of my recollection, bar an occasional lapse or two, I have never been at the giving end but almost always at the receiving end. I suppose that I am the exception that proves the rule.

To start from my childhood, I received a great deal of love and all that it entails. As I started getting to be older, the story changed, I started receiving a great deal of punishment and scolding from my parents, teachers and other parent figures, though I suppose that all that was given to make me capable of receiving much worse in my adulthood. During childhood however, that kind receiving makes for a different perceptive. So, logically, since I had received so much of punishment and scolding, I should have been giving the same to my child or other younger children. This simply did not happen, as I am such a softy and a clown that it is beyond me to do that to a child.

Fast forward to employment and here again, I received a great deal of firing and punishments as a subordinate, but was simply incapable of giving the same to my subordinates when I moved into superior positions. Some mechanism in my psyche would appear to have been malfunctioning or totally absent. So, I ended up receiving more from the top about my lack of firmness. Something funny however happened here. I started receiving a great deal of support and cooperation and good performances from the crowd still working below me in the hierarchy and this was something that the top could not reconcile with their assessment of my softness or lack of hardness or whatever. I was therefore at both the receiving ends, one on a positive note and the other on the negative. I suppose that I was simply giving a lot of something that was working, without knowing that it was what was happening! This paradox continued till I finally retired from active employment and as I look back to that period of my life, I can’t but wonder as to what I gave against what I received and on balance it appeared that I received much more than I gave. So, one way or the other the adage proved to be true.

Materially, there is little that I can now give as the opportunities simply do not present themselves to me. I suppose that I can go looking for them, but I am not made that way. I am just too lazy. Other forms of giving, particularly of myself and my time, keeps happening as a matter of routine and I do not even think about those things as giving. It is just part of life. I however continue to get a lot of non material things from many sources, the main among them being the blogworld in which I have made such wonderful friends during the last year and a half or so. Without exception, I get a lot of indulgence and affection, even when I rib someone. So, I think that the adage works on this score too. On the other hand, when I read stories like this, I wonder if I would ever be able to live like that!

As I was giving the finishing touches to this post, I came across another very interesting article on ‘giving’, due to it being the season for giving. Please do give some time and read. I wish that I could have thought of that approach to the subject!

The principle of the balance, the yin and the yang, action and reaction et al suggests that a balanced life is what we need. But this is the greatest struggle of our lives, striking a balance. In the case of giving however, the balance is always in our favour when we give. We receive much more than we give.

Moral of the story – Give a little, but give. You will get a great deal more in return. That is the law of nature. The Sage has spoken. Now let us see what wisdom the OGO will come up with.

This post is the Loose Consortium Bloggers’ Friday post when Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger write on the same topic. Please do visit the other blogs to taste the different flavours. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with Christmas so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

My Friend Rajan Phanse

I use the word googly quite often in my writings, which is a cricketing term used for a ball bowled by a bowler that turns the wrong way from the direction that the batsman expects. This is something like a curve ball or a dipper in baseball. Rajan Phanse is a Cricket Crazy follower of the game and has just bowled a googly.

Rajan Phanse has been a very dear friend and business associate for about a decade. He was one of Urmeela’s favourites too and the reason for that was that he used to call her his Julia Roberts. He is a charming, simple and generous fellow who wears his heart on his sleeves. I consider it a privilege to count him among my friends, as I am sure he does me.

Rajan has had a very eventful life and has seen a great deal of set backs and problems and has fought his way up from what I call, the bottom of the pits. Though he does not appear to be so, he is a fighter and his story written about in The Telegraph is proof of that quality.

All the characters mentioned in the story, Prithviraj, another fighter who has fought his way up from great troubles, Sangeetha, a remarkable woman and a loving sister to Rajan and Rajan’s mother, are all known to me and are almost like family.

Rajan was diagnosed as suffering from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in September 2002 and has fought that battle, the intensity of which is known only to very few people as he is not the type to talk about himself much. He is now in remission and has just come out of another battle, which is what the newspaper article is all about.

The purpose of writing this story as a post in my blog is to eat my words that I had written in my post “Euthanasia”.

Raja, it is nice to be your friend and thank you for teaching me a lesson which I will not forget in a hurry.


“Don’t just think about your meals as a succession of one-night stands. You’re in it for life. You’re here today and tomorrow, and all of next week, so you might as well get your head around basic planning.”

That got my attention alright. My blog friend Lily writes a great blog, and that is how she started a post on cooking.

Just look at that imagery. It takes some chutzpah to start a blog post like that, but Lily is not an ordinary blogger. She is Irish and she is from, hold your breath, Limerick.

But all my admiration for her chutzpah evaporated when I read the rest of the story. Like I am now doing, she too hijacked an article from the Irish Tribune. Now there is chutzpah at its best.

The article “Recipe For Life” starts – “CRUSADING COOKING : Fast food doesn’t have to mean bad food, according to Allegra McEvedy, who, in keeping with her joyously irreverent character, was ‘bollock naked’ when she received notification of her MBE, she tells Louise East”

Chutzpah at its best, for Louise East and the subject Allegra McEvedy.

Lily I thank you for introducing me to these two ladies. As a gift to you, I give this little picture for you.

Human Rights Activists Be Damned.

I came across a very interesting piece of news about punishment meted out to a couple of Pakistanis by their court.

I for one, approve this kind of punishment. I also favour castration as a punishment for rapists and women and child abusers.

I however seem to be in the minority and very few people support me. I can not figure out why they should be like that.

I request any reader who disagrees with me to explain to me why.