Message from Ranjan

Hello all,

Dad has been diagnosed with spondylosis as revealed earlier and has been advised one month of total abstinence from the computer, after which time the surgeon will review and then decide further course of action. So, you guys will have to do without him for awhile.

Am disabling comments on this post and soon on the rest of the site because he currently has a backlog of over 500 mails, mostly comments. I will be reading to him the important mails and replying if absolutely necessary. Anyone with anything absolutely vital that he sees may kindly mail him direct. We know your best wishes will be with him. Lets all pray he gets better soon!

Hugs to all of you.



Today’s Loose Bloggers’ Consortium topic “Conditions” has been chosen by Grannmar who must have an Ace up her sleeve with this topic as, it took me a long time to figure out just what to write. As I am wont to under such conditions, I decided to let my Muse take over and here is what she wrote.

Primarily, my conditions are:

The most important, Financial. Reasonably good with some money in the bank, a roof over my head all paid for and of much higher value than what I paid for; a regular pension that can keep my body and soul together and a small agency that gives some icing on the cake every month.

The next in importance, Health. This can be subdivided into physical, mental and dental.
Physical: Other than my replaced/revised hip joints, in reasonably good condition.
Mental: I think that I am sane. That opinion however, is not shared by most people who know me, including some regular readers.
Dental: I wear one partial denture and two caps covering four other teeth. I have recently lost one wisdom tooth after extracting which, the dentist gleefully told me that the last wisdom I had has now been dispatched to the garbage heap.

The next in importance is Relationships. All current relationships are satisfactory but all are platonic. Sad. I am however still hopeful.

The condition of the environment in which I live in is also satisfactory. I live in a city that is growing but in a suburb that is away from the hustle and bustle of the center. It is peaceful and the residents are friendly and helpful. All facilities are available within walking distance. The climate is salubrious and the city is the preferred destination for retirees.

My Muse has stopped writing.

What’s In A Name?

A lot it appears. I have just been guided to a really “interesting” piece of news.

I shall refrain from commenting on the story itself but, shall share with you two stories from my past.

When we were in Bangalore before we moved to Pune, we had a German Shepard cross male dog. As a pup he was given to Ranjan by his friends who were our neighbours. They gave the pup to him on condition that he would not change its name. It was named Subramaniam, a tongue twister for most of my readers, but quite common in the South of India. It is the name of a popular Tamil Deity and many males are named after that deity. It was however the first time that we had come across a dog named so. I invited the young lads over to find out why they named the dog so. The boys were running a chummery while studying in Bangalore. All of them were from the heart of Kerala Syrian Christian community, Kottayam. They were Syrian Christians. They had decided to name the pup Subramaniam because, they found that all Hindus named their dogs with Christian names, like Jimmy, Tommy, Johny, etc and they decided to return the compliment.

Seeing how keen Ranjan was to keep the dog, I agreed not to change the name and we took charge of the pup. We shifted residence shortly to a larger bungalow and for the next three and odd years that we were there, Subramaniam was with us and very much a part of the family.

The only problem with the name was that too many important people in our lives were named Subramaniam. To start with, my paternal uncle who was living in Bangalore at that time was so named as was my immediate boss where I worked. Two other very close friends were also so named and it was difficult to maintain the relationships with the house pet named Subramaniam. Eventually, they all accepted the situation considering the background to the name, but for tactful handling of the situtation whenever one of them came home, we called him Doggy, which he quite cheerfully accepted.

We had to find a home for Subramaniam before we left Bangalore with another colleague, as for the first few months of our stay in Pune, we were uncertain about the kind of accommodation that we would secure for ourselves.

The next story is about the time when I was living in Tirupur. For most of the time, I was alone there. My brother Arvind decided that what I needed for company was a dog and sent a fully grown two year old one from Chennai. The problem was Arvind did not know the name of the dog and left it to me to name him. Remembering the past name fiasco, I decided to name him with a Hindu name and called him Pandu. This is a name of a famous King of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharatha as well as the short form for Pandurang, a name for Lord Krishna.

When my mother came to visit a few weeks later, she was aghast at the name and insisted that I change it. For a while I seriously contemplated renaming the dog with another name rhyming with the former, but considering my mother’s sensibilities refrained and renamed him Dondu. Dondu is a common Marathi name meaning a piece of stone. A male child born to a couple after many infantile deaths or miscarriages, is called by this name to signify his in-consequence, lest evil eyes are cast on the child. Superstition or not, the fact that so many Dondus exist, is testimony to the fact that it works!

The problem with that name however was that I was living in deep Tamil Nadu where the name meant nothing. For all those inquisitive types wanting to know the meaning of the name, I simply said that it was English “Don’t Do”.

See what I mean? There is a lot to a name. Even for a dog.

Tell It Like It Is.

My friend Bikehikebabe is the most straight foward, no nonsense friend that I have. She was like that even before she took a good look at me or heard me.

Recently, she took a good long look at me and heard my voice over the skype system.

She must have searched high and low for some time before she decided to send me a message.

BHB, message received loud and clear. The next time you see me you will find a different me. Thank you.

Why Did I Do That?

“The past is the tomorrow that got away.”
-Leonard L. Levinson

Today’s Loose Bloggers’ Consortium topic has been chosen by gaelikaa. I suppose that the intention behind the topic is to talk about those things that we did that we now regret or wish that we could have done differently. A kind of optimism of the past?

Try as I may, I find it hard to think of things that I regret having done. Not that I did everything right but just that I do not have any remorse or regret for having done even those things that eventually turned out to have been not right. Yes, on some occasions, in the immediate after thought, on some occasions, I did feel regret or remorse but as I write this and after much thought, I can honestly say that I am not currently carrying any such baggage.

That is possibly because by and large, my life has been pretty placid. I have had my share of ups and downs but nothing that has left a permanent impression either positively or negatively. I did whatever was appropriate at that point of time and which felt right at that moment, and that was that. Since I have survived quite successfully, reasonably healthy in body and mind, and am financially not in need, I suppose that everything has turned out alright. My karma seems, on balance, to be beneficial.

Three most unexpected-from-me things that I did in the past that stand out for some mention however can be written about.

The first one was my marriage. No one expected me to marry when I did, the way I did and the person I did it with. In retrospect, that turned out to be the greatest success story of my life.

The second was my resigning from a high profile position after having spent half my then life with one employer. Nobody expected that, but even colleagues who thought that I was daft, changed their opinions later, as my life improved quite a bit after that major upheaval.

The third was my spontaneously inviting my father to come and live with me when his wife passed away two years ago. He had had little to do with me during my adult life and both of us are very self reliant people. For sometime after he came to live with me, I did have occasions when I regretted that, but those passed and we have now established a harmonious coexistence that has brought back placidity to my life and that too has turned out to be a satisfactory outcome. There are however moments when because I have to be physically present, I am unable to do somethings, I wish that I had not invited him, but that too passes and increasingly, I have learnt to accept the limitations that particular restriction imposes on me.

How I wish that I could come up with some gory details about things that I did in the past, that I now regret!