Happy Anniversary Padmini And Raju.

Forty years ago this day, my sister Padmini wed Raju. Like all marriages theirs has been a roller coaster ride but for me they have always been very close relatives. Raju’s family adopted me and my late mother as their own and that will take another full blog post to write about.

Today, Padmini and Raju are grand parents to two lovely grand daughters, Uttara and Madura and parents in law to Viren; their daughter Nitila’s husband and Vandana, their son Jai’s wife.

Unfortunately, Viren does not feature in this family photograph. Luckily however, their son Jai’s mother in law, Prema and sister in law, Reshma feature in it.

Back row, L to R: Reshma, Vandana, Nitila and Jai.
Front row L to R: Prema, Madhura, Padmini, Raju and Uttara.

Happy Anniversary Padmini and Raju and here is sending best wishes for many many more.

Gratitude List – October 29, 2011.

Saturday was very exciting for me. I was able to double the number of repeats for each exercise in my physiotherapy routine. A definite sign of improving physical capability.

Sunday is usually very quiet, but some of my clients work on Sundays as we have staggered weekly holidays in the Western part of India. Two of my clients who had gone away from me during my stay at the hospital for cheaper substitutes, came back and have placed orders – even at higher than the last quoted prices!

Monday, one more great day for some additional business. Unfortunately, we have the rest of the week in various stages of inactivity in India due to the Diwali festival, so the billings will have to wait till the end of the week, but the clients understand and that is good enough for me.

Monday also saw one of my old friends, who had been away for long from Pune, come to visit and share some tales of his wanderings. To add spice to his visit, he had, as is the custom during Diwali days, brought some goodies which are always welcome!

I was also able to get a plumber to postpone his Diwali celebrations by a day to come and fix some badly needed problems and more than I, my father was delighted with the work done.

Tuesday was quiet. Since I would need to do the kitchen work in the mornings from Wednesday, I had a trial run while Mangal hung around. All went well and I was quite satisfied with my ability to do everything hobbling around on foot, supported by a walker.

Wednesday, Day One of total independence. Made the morning tea and breakfast without mishap and felt very pleased with myself. Was also able to organise the dinner routine to round off a perfect day. A nephew who had been out of touch came online chat on FB when I made one of my rare visits to it and it was nice to chat with him for a while. He has promised to bring his three month old son and his lovely wife over to Pune to check on my progress. I look forward to it.

Wednesday being Diwali, many visitors with goodies lit up our home and our appetites. Of particular note was the newly married couple from upstairs who were celebrating their first Diwali and it was a treat to see them in their finery and glowing. I also received a phone call from a friend from the local care givers circle to wish me a happy Diwali. She cheered me up no end with her chat. She has got a major responsibility despite which she bubbles with enthusiasm and that never fails to cheer me up and I look at my own situation differently.

I got a long awaited phone call on Thursday. My adopted son, or rather the young man who considers me to be his surrogate father, called after four months of silence. He had been under a lot of strain and was not willing to talk to me as he had no answers for some of the questions that I always asked. He is now well on his way out of the troubles that he had got himself into and called, using Diwali as an excuse and to inform me of the progress he has made. I was relieved apart from being very happy for him.

I also experimented being without an analgesic with some success but had to take one before bed time. I lasted the day without it though!

Back to two analgesic doses as advised by the doctor and feeling much better on Friday. Otherwise an uneventful day.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where eleven of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Rohit and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

The first time that I ever heard the word ‘focus’ was, when as a very impressionable young lad, my late maternal uncle, showed me how, using a lens, the sun’s rays could be focused to a pinpoint on a piece of paper to burn it. For some strange reason, that image has never left me and it keeps popping up every time the word crops up, just as it did when I checked for the topic for this week’s LBC post.

There have been many other uses for the word subsequently, most often during my working career, but it never meant the same fascination that the original image had on me.

Normally, I am a very focused person and can stay focused on the task at hand for long stretches of time. I am not a great multi-tasker and though occasionally am forced into such tasking, I prefer to focus on one task at a time.

Since my recent surgery however, even that staying focused has been affected and I am unable to focus on even one task at a time, no doubt due to the physical discomfort that I am currently in. While there is certainly improvement on a day to day basis, it is no where near the old levels. There is a school of thought among some of my friends who have had similar experiences, that it is due to the after effects of all the drugs that were pumped into me during and post surgery, and till the last trace of them is removed from my system, I am likely to experience such inability. If this is the case, I would certainly like to see that happen yesterday!

I would be very interested in hearing from others their experiences of this phenomenon.

So, before I lose focus, let me just say that this topic has been a challenge and the effort worthwhile. I hope that it has been interesting for my readers too.


In the absence of adequate public transportation, Indians depend on private transportation in all its avatars, but most in number will be two wheelers in the form of motorcycles and scooters of all varieties of power and design.

Pune, the city that I live in has the dubious distinction of being the city with the highest number of two wheelers in India.

In many parts of the country, wearing helmets is compulsory but in quite a few, it is not, but the local authorities try to popularise the use of helmets. Some cities had to withdraw legislation making wearing of helmets compulsory when the public took strong objection. The climate not being very conducive is the main reason for the objection.

One very popular God in India is the God with the elephant head, Ganesha. The lore is that Parvathi wished to take a bath in privacy and created a boy figure from sandal wood paste and breathed life into it to keep any strayers away from her abode. When her husband Shiva came, the young lad would not let him inside and so Shiva simply chopped his head off and entered. When Parvathi lamented, Shiva arranged to get the first animal he came across,an elephant to be decapitated and fixed that head on the torso of the corpse and brought the young lad back to life. That lad is Ganesha.

Here is a local authority using that lore to popularise the use of helmets. It would appear that it is addressed to rule breakers there! Perhaps it is compulsory in Kochi to wear helmets and I can understand why the locals would not like to wear helmets. It is almost always hot and humid there.

Using the theme of people not using helmets where it is compulsory, a local advertisement has come up with this short film too.

As an afterthought, I was reminded of the Hill Tribe of Nagas of our North Eastern India who use scooters made of wood to race downhill in a favourite pastime when it does not rain. I only wish that our cities could use more of these instead of the motorised ones.

What a country to live in! Jai Hind!

Writing Work.

I got a mail from a student of Business Management in New Jersey, USA, yesterday morning, asking me if I would be interested in writing some papers for his submission to his institution as he was facing problems doing so on his own.

For some background: Till three years ago, before I set up my agency, I was an active writer/editor for some online writing agencies. I suppose that my name is still on some rolls in the cyberspace and this student must have come across it by chance. Obviously, he was of South Asian origin from his name and must have thought that I would be keen to make some dollar income.

I responded that I do not write ghost papers for students as a matter of principle and requested him to find someone else. He responded with a request to speak to me on the phone and asked for my telephone number. Since it is not subject to spam calls and messages, I gave my land line number and he promptly rang me up to plead with me to change my mind. He thought that I would be swayed by his talking to me in Urdu, as his English was atrocious, which gave me the clear indication that he must be of Pakistani origin. I continued to demur and he said that he would pay me handsomely (sic) for my efforts and mentioned that he would pay up to US$ 50.00 per paper of about 1500 words. By any standard, that is a very attractive payment for such work and I am sure that some one from India will benefit. I finally persuaded him to find someone else by pleading my present inability due to my recovery program.

I subsequently discovered online that this is a thriving business with many students in the West getting their homework and theses done by outsourcing to India. I wonder what these people learn if they outsource homework to others! It must be topical enough for such a cartoon to evolve!