Weekly Recap – 4.

Saturday was saturnine. It rained most of the time and my leg was giving me a lot of discomfort. I avoided moving about as much as possible but cheered up quite a bit when one of our friends on a visit to the South brought back a favourite sweet dish from Chennai.

Sunday was eventful. First thing in the morning, I got to hear this short and powerful speech, thanks to it being brought to my attention by a friend, who I know practices what this lecture talks about.

I had been chasing a carpenter to come and fix a broken lock to my father’s bed room and he finally landed up to do the job. While at home, my father got him to fix a few other things too. The carpenter and my father both were very happy and I, despite being much poorer than in the earlier part of the day, was happy that I could make two guys happy.

My neighbour Husena gave a high-tea to welcome back our friends Kitty and Jamshed who had gone off to Switzerland on their nth honeymoon, for the summer and had just returned. The baldies club with spouses except me as solo met up and had a grand time together. My friend Chandru was nostalgic about the good old days when mutton was cheap and the doctors did not forbid him from eating it.

Monday was very quiet. Since Chandru was so nostalgic, I decided to surprise him with some minced mutton and cooked a dish which got almost finished off by Nos.1 and 3. I then remembered that Chandru is a vegetarian on Mondays and kept his share away in the freezer to surprise him on Tuesday. My nephew Jai loaned me a novel on Kindle. A book that I have been wanting to read but not willing to purchase!

Tuesday saw our help not turning up and we had to get food from a restaurant. All three of us had unusual dishes and were actually happy to have had the opportunity to indulge in take away food. My neighbour Vimlu came across and gifted me with some fantastic Murabba which added to the treat. I did surprise Chandru with the mince and when he thanked me, reminded him to remember me in his will.

Wednesday saw considerable improvement to my leg with more flexibility and less pain. I had to cook again as the help had to catch up with the backlog and ahem, what I cooked turned out alright. I was able to send off two books to a friend in Portugal. The packing was a first attempt success. I had never packed to the specifications of the Indian Postal requirements, and I was very pleased that they accepted the parcel.

Thursday was uneventful. My leg continued to improve and I did not want to risk aggravating it by going out in the rain, though I had thought of going out for a spot of shopping.

Rain continued to play spoilsport and I had a quiet and peaceful day and caught up with some pending reading. I was blessed with a gift from a dear friend. A hand moulded cane which is light and strong and just the thing to lug around on my walks. I was also lucky that I was able to locate a rubber tip/ferrell from my stock instead of having to go shopping for it. (I am grateful to another friend who introduced me to the word ‘ferrell’.)

For the not so good things during the week; My leg continued to be painful but with gradual reduction in the discomfort every day.

One of my mentees lost his mother to a sudden heart attack. She was a grand lady of tremendous character and grit who managed to keep a family together despite serious difficulties. My mentee was very attached to her and is quite devastated.

I lost a very good client to cheap alternative material that has flooded the market here. It will take some time for the client to realize the true cost of low price and revert to me. In the meanwhile, some belt tightening is called for.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria the Silver Fox, Padmum , Will knot, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get twelve different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar.

I am not surprised that this topic has been chosen, by Grannymar. She is one of the greatest listeners that I have had the privilege of knowing. She has the knack of saying just the right thing at the right time to get the speaker to continue speaking. I wonder what she intends to write on this topic. She certainly does not need any advise about it.

I can’t hear the word Listen without immediately thinking about two things. I hardly get to hear that word anyway and so, it is not unusual that I think of the two things. I don’t hear that word because, I flatter myself that, I am also a good listener.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the very soothing song by Nina and Frederick from 1960. My generation music!
Nina & Frederick – 1960

There’s a world of sun and sand
Full of sky and far from land
Where evening breezes caress the shore
Like a gentle comforting hand

Fragrant blossoms, honey bees
Careless laughter upon the breeze
And lovers fading to pools of deep
Purple shadows among the trees

Listen to the ocean, echoes of a million seashells
Forever it’s in motion
Moving to a rhythmic and unwritten music
That’s played eternally

The sound of a seagull’s distant cry
His wings like parentheses drawn in the sky
And two white birds clinging like foam
To the crest of a wave rolling by

The silence of noon, the clamour of night
The heat of the day when the fish won’t bite
These are the things that remind me of
The day you sailed out of sight

Listen to the ocean, echoes of a million seashells
Forever it’s in motion
Moving to a rhythmic and unwritten music
That’s played eternally

If you would like to listen to it you can do so at http://youtu.be/HXeGhIJWG5I

The second thing that always comes to my mind is the name by which my late mother in law used to call my late father in law. It was “Listen!” For those of you who can’t figure out why on earth she would do so, let me explain. In those old days, Indian women did not call their husbands by their given names. In fact, even today, there are many homes where this is just not the done thing. Since the two of them came from two different linguistic backgrounds, and spoke to each other in English, this was a compromise solution.

I am sure that this saying which is very common in India must be so in the rest of the world too. God gave us two ears and only one tongue so that we can listen to twice as much as we speak. Do we follow this good advise? From the number of phone calls that I receive and do not speak much in response, I am afraid not. At least not most of my callers. I hope that at least some of them will read this post and learn to LISTEN more
and talk less.

Challenge To Be Creative.

Val in her latest post “My Challenge To You….” throws a challenge at creatively minded bloggers, to come up with a creative post based on her poem and art. The above work is the stimulus. To read her poem, do visit her blog and decide whether you can come up with something creative.

For me, after I wrestled with the challenge, the only thing that I could come up with in response, is this post adding a bit of momentum to Val’s attempt at getting the creative juices of her readers flowing.

If you do take up the challenge, please inform me with a comment on this post so that I can visit your blog too.

All the best.

India Has Arrived.

One hears much noise in the media about India’s current growth trajectory and emerging status as a global player. Residing in India in retirement however, this has not impressed me much except for the increased traffic on the roads and increasing sensationalism in our media.

But now I am willing to sit up and take notice. India has indeed arrived in the global scene. According to a report from the WHO, India is now the most depressed place on earth. India recorded the highest rate of major depression in the world, at 36% . This compares very favourably with Europe and the USA with a little more than 30%, but we have beaten our rival China hollow which has only 12%.

And more satisfying is the fact that unlike in other fields, our women have beaten women from other countries hollow with the distinction of being the most stressed in the world too. 87% compared to the next highest, Mexico with 74%.

Congratulations India. I am very proud to be an Indian. Where is my Prozac?

Pheriwalla Shankar Yerwadekar.

This is Shankar, who too is a fruit seller, but he sells only one variety at a time. He brings whatever is in season in a basket tied to the carrier on his bicycle, and in the monsoon, he has the basket covered with a bright plastic sheet to protect the fruit when it rains. He slings two bags on his handle bars, which contain paper bags to dispense the fruit for pedestrians.

Today, he has brought jamun also known as jambul.

Here is another view of Shankar, with my neigbour’s garden as a backdrop.

Shankar’s story is typical. He is from the original village called Yerwada, which is now part of Pune city and our home falls within the postal district of Yerwada. His surname Yerwadekar indicates that he is from Yerwada. In the process of urbanisation, he sold his plot of agricultural land a long time ago, blew the proceeds on the good things of life and now pheries fruit for a living. He still lives in the same house that his grand father lived in, except that it is part of a very crowded part of Yerwada.

Yerwada is famous for two institutions. The Central jail where Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters were jailed by the British on and off, and one of India’s largest Mental Hospitals.

When I bought our home way back in 1990 and sent the postal address to my father, then living in a village, he promptly wrote back to say that he is very pleased that I had finally reached the address most appropriate for me, a jail or the mental hospital.

To add flavour to this post, here is a photograph of a pheriwalli selling jambul from a push cart in the rain.