A Hero Who Deserves Better. P. V. Narasimha Rao.

If there is one single individual who can be given credit for setting India free from the clutches of claustrophobic socialism, that is P V Narasimha Rao, who was Prime Minister of India between 1991 and 1996. The beginning of the turn around of the Indian economy was his tenure when he brought in a technocrat, our present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as our Finance Manager and let him loose.

Unfortunately, Indian politics being what it is, very few great leaders get the recognition that they deserve in the Center, if they are not from the Nehru/Gandhi family. So, it was with much joy that I read this article in the Business World by another admirer.

I take this opportunity to express my own admiration for the man and for what he achieved in that one stint as our Prime Minister. He brought India’s dynamism out from under the wraps that the Socialists had so effectively hidden for over four decades, which can only be called our lost decades.


My friend K came today on his monthly visit. The topic of discussion today was on parenting.

K’s last born, now eighteen lives with him. K as my readers may recollect is a divorced single parent. K’s two elder children are daughters and now married and settled down to domestic and career bliss in India and the USA. K did not need to consult me on parenting for them, but now finds it necessary at least to discuss the matter to see if he is doing the right things with a growing young man who lives at home.

I started off by telling K that I know of no father who has been totally successful in providing the right kind of parenting and that it has been my observation that almost all, bungle their way around this and eventually come out smelling like roses. I also suggested that things will be alright and there is no need to worry unduly about this matter.

Interestingly, the topic then changed to some other matters that have been worrying K and on top of the agenda was the problem of an alcoholic in the family. That discussion took off in a direction that neither of us had anticipated. I had just been south to tackle the same problem for another friend’s family and I shared my experience of that visit and the course of action that we followed there. K is likely to get another meeting organised for me with the people concerned in his family soon and perhaps something will come out of it.

That discussion took us into another matter. K wanted to know why I don’t drink or eat non vegetarian food any more and whether I will start to do both ever again . This has been a topic that I have not discussed with many people, and certainly not with K. K knew that I was quite a bon vivant some years ago and wished to understand what brought about the change and whether the path that I chose is something that I enjoy being on or whether it is a distasteful experience that I am undergoing with some other self imposed compulsions.

That broke some dam inside me. I simply cannot figure out why it happened, but all the whymeitis that has been kept bottled up inside me for years, came out in a torrent, much to the surprise and eventual delight of K. At the end of it all he said, and I quote him verbatim, ” you are now ready for Sanyas.” Some friend!

I now have an idea for a post on whether I am ready for sanyas or not. In the meanwhile, some of my readers who have been following my rants here may have their opinions on the matter. I would be interested in reading their comments.

Half Truths.

I hope that you enjoy reading another post of the Friday Loose Bloggers’ Consortium when eleven of us post on the same topic chosen by one of us. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad.

Please do visit Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger to see ten other views on the same topic. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with vacations, examinations, family problems and/or romance, so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

What is a lie, what is truth and what is a half truth? Humanity has struggled with these questions since time immemorial and even the blog world is full of posts on the subject.

Indians however are very clever people. They have role models and even Gods to come to their help in getting rid of guilt. Let me give you a classic case of deception that is part of India’s greatest epic, The Mahabharatha, which with about one hundred thousand verses, long prose passages, or about 1.8 million words in total, is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined.

Yudhishtira is the eldest of the Pandavas, the good guys. Yudhishtira is famous for his honesty and uprightness. Drona is the opposition’s greatest hit man. In fact, Drona was the teacher for both sides of the divide. Krishna, the God in human form is the charioteer for Arjuna the hero of the good guys.

In the war, the Kuru commander Drona was killing thousands of Pandava warriors. Krishna hatched a plan to tell Drona that his son Ashwathama had died, so that the invincible and destructive Kuru commander would give up his arms and thus could be killed.

The plan was set in motion when Bhima killed an elephant named Ashwathama, and loudly proclaimed that Ashwathama was dead. Drona, knowing that only Yudhisthira, with his firm adherence to the truth, could tell him for sure if his son had died, approached Yudhisthira for confirmation. Yudhisthira told him: “Ashwathama has died”. Yudhisthira, who could not make himself tell a lie, despite the fact that if Drona continued to fight, the Pandavas and the cause of dharma itself would have been lost, then added: “Praha kunjara ha”, which means he is not sure whether elephant named Ashwathama or the man Ashwathama had died.

Krishna, knowing that Yudhisthira would be unable to lie, had all the warriors beat war-drums and cymbals to make as much noise as possible at the critical moment. The words “Praha kunjara ha” were lost in the tumult and the ruse worked. Drona was disheartened, and laid down his weapons. He was then killed by Dhristadyumna, another hit man from the good guys.

If God could arrange for such deceptions, who are we, mere mortals to shun half truths or whatever else you want to call them? I refuse to be guilty whenever I have to speak half truths. Why, I often tell full lies, like Nick gives examples of. When the food is awful in my host’s home, I shall not feel guilty if I praise the food and manage to eat enough to back up that lie. And I am not God, I am just human.

Male Menopause.

As if I do not have enough to muse about, this news item in the Independent, got me into a very reflective mood. Without any disrespect to Dr. Hegarty, and strictly talking about my own life, I think that I should share my thoughts with my readers. I am sure that I shall get a lot of wisdom at the end of it all.

What really intrigued me about it is the use of the phrase, “mid life crisis”. I am unable to figure out if I am in the midst of a mid life crisis or a late life crisis or whatever.

For love or money, I am unable to find the answer to those questions as I am first of all unable to figure out quite what crisis that I am going through. Is it the tendency to fall asleep in the afternoons? I always thought that I deserved that piece of indulgence after so many decades of denying myself that during my corporate days. Is it the aching muscles? I thought, and my GP confirms that it is because I spend so much time blogging. Is it the falling libido? I do not know as, since my widower existence began, I have just been too busy living.

The funny part of all this musing is that all three symptoms existed for me in my early twenties when life was filled with partying all the time. Would it mean that I passed through my menopause during my twenties? Early life crisis?

I am confused. I am looking for enlightenment.


This comment is too good not to be shared with my readers. Akismet caught it but the sheer gall of the commentator made me laugh, as I am sure my readers will too.

“I just installed an in-wall computer in my bathroom with a pull out keyboard tray and, with all do respect, this is the first blog I read while taking a number 2. This is getting bookmarked because it will always have a place in my heart, and bathroom. :-) Thanks for the great read.”

S/He may well have installed something like this!

Yet Another Entrepreneur.

That is a refrigerator that works without electricity. It is a solution for many villages without electricity, but where something to keep things safe a for a few days can make for a lot of convenience.

That is Mansukhbhai Prajapathi, a potter by profession who has brought smiles on a lot of faces. The refrigerator shown above is made from clay. Mansukhbhai has a lot of other gadgets like water filter, pressure cooker etc in his range of products made from clay and all of which need no electricity.

You can read all about him in this news item from Rediff Business.