Stand-Up Passenger.

We have all heard of stand-up comedians. In fact, what will we do without them? There is also a stand-up philosopher, Tim Freke. I like Tim Freke. We share a spiritual mentor.

Now comes something that had to happen. We now have a stand up passenger in an airplane.

You don’t believe me? Have a good laugh after you read this.

I also take you to my post I aint flying no more which was music to my friend Chuck’s ears. In separate correspondence, he too admitted that he can over flow airplane seats. I wonder if that is the real reason for his aversion to flying.

And I love the cartoon that accompanied the news story in our local Times Of India.

Gratitude List – November 26, 2011

Saturday I was doubly blessed. My cousin Sampath drove down from Mumbai and spent three very short hours with us and left us wishing that he could have spent more time with us.

My blogger friend Praveen who has become a regular telephone contact, took a train from Mumbai to have lunch with us and to spend a delightful afternoon with me, once again leaving me longing for more of his company. We had a grand time getting to know each other better and I hope that we will have more such meetings. To add to my joy, Praveen also brought some favourite sweetmeats, called chikki for me.

Sunday saw me asking for help from my great friend who never says no to me, Abbas to come up with a solution to a problem that my father has presented me with. As ever, Abbas put on his thinking cap and had promised to come up with a solution.

Monday, after all those days of visitors, was very quiet except for one unexpected phone call from my niece in law who passed on the phone to my grand nephew who wanted to say hello to me! Late in the evening, contrary to my expectation, I received two more orders which would have normally been received only next month.

Monday, just as I was trying to go off to sleep for the first time without any medication, other than my vitamin and calcium supplements since the surgery, however perked up! First I got a phone call from Praveen checking up on me, and, hold your breath, I got two love messages from a strange number on my mobile phone! Quite whether it was the effect of these two developments, or it was just nature finally saying that I am on the mend, I slept well.

Tuesday – Abbas came and took my father’s walker away to fix a removable tray on it. He is quite confident that he can do exactly what my father wants. I got very excited learning a new trick in blog writing from Ranjan. I intend using that trick in many forthcoming posts. The most satisfying part of that learning process was that Ranjan simply had to point me in the right direction and I could learn the rest by myself.

Wednesday had Abbas bring back the walker all done up to the full satisfaction of the old man. Nice to have a friend like that. His son Abdul in turn presented us with a whole lot of minced meat samosas which my father loves. It was my father’s day all the way as just as we were about to shut down for the day, Susan brought some Fish Molly for him, which alas had to be refrigerated for him to eat on Thursday. Ranjan did his bit for his father which has inspired a blog which will appear next week.

And for me, business was unexpectedly good with customers wanting to place orders anticipating price increases due to the depreciation of the rupee.

I got good news on Thursday about Anil. He had picked up a particularly virulent form of a virus infection and had been laid low. For the first time in many days, he was able to eat properly and had been advised that all the tests are positive and that he was over the hump.

A politician of some standing from our state was assaulted in Delhi and our city faced some troubles because of the anger of his local followers. I wanted to see what was happening on the TV and found that the cable service had disconnected my connection despite my bills having been paid on time. After much toing and froing, the connection was restored late in the evening. Had the assault not taken place, I would not have known about the disconnection at all! So, some good came out of the assault after all! 🙂

Friday had Ranjan down with the seasonal flu and so I had to depend on my neighbours to source some groceries not available with our regular grocer. They obliged with great enthusiasm and I am truly grateful for such wonderful neighbours.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad. The eleven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, 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!

“Words of praise, gratitude, or thanksgiving expand, set free and in every way radiate energy. You can praise a weak body into strength, a fearful heart into peace and trust; shattered nerves into poise and power; a failing business into prosperity and success; want and insufficiency into supply and support…..”
~ Charles Fillmore.

There is little that we can learn more about gratitude than what has been drilled into all of us from childhood. From “Say thank you” we learnt from our parents, to “Be grateful for what you have got” that we learnt from them as well as other elders, our lives from childhood till we pop off, are filled with advise to be grateful.

We all are certainly grateful for many things, and most of us do indeed express our gratitude at appropriate times to appropriate people. Saying “Thank you” comes very naturally to most of us. In fact, it comes so natural to us that we tend to take gratitude for granted!

That is why, I started to write a weekly post of things that I am grateful for, so that I consciously think of and put in writing, extraordinary things that happen to me on a day to day basis for which I am grateful.

Let us take the quote that I have started this post with. Being grateful for small developments certainly improved my business about which, I have written often in my gratitude lists.

Grannymar, in my last week’s gratitude list post commented – “At this rate you will need a new revolving Door! Enjoy all the attention.” I have been writing about the many people who have been visiting us to spend time with me. In my current ‘house arrest’ situation, being a gregarious person, such visits bolster my spirit and prevents me from going into depression. The visits have certainly been more after I started I started expressing my gratitude for them in writing. In fact, Grannymar was not the only one to comment on that phenomenon, as another friend not only noticed it, he sent me some matter that inspired a post last Monday.

I am convinced that my starting that exercise has improved my life situation quite a bit and I have been able to cope with my first ever experience of being confined to one part of my home for such a long time. Despite having been confined for over eight weeks, I haven’t started climbing the walls, not that I will be able to, thanks to the gratitude lists.

I am grateful for that inspiration which made me think of and put down in writing, extraordinary things that I am grateful for.

While this may surprise my readers, I am also grateful for a lot of synchronicity in my life. As I write this, my attention has been drawn to a number of articles and write ups that have been appearing in various newspapers and magazines as part of the Thanksgiving Day celebrations. One of them is an inspiration by itself, written by John Tierney in the NYT. It is worthwhile reading and rereading this article, which is what I did before I included this paragraph in this post.


Family owned and run businesses in India are the rule rather than the exception in India. Bar the Tatas and to some extent the Birlas, almost all the other groups have splintered into many smaller groups due to inheritance problems when the founders handed over control to their scions. Although this blog post is four years old, the contents are still valid.

In almost all such splintered groups, growth has been phenomenal as the smaller entities have been able to flourish in the new liberal economic conditions in India compared to the earlier socialistic pattern of society that prevailed till the eighties of the last millennium.

It has been my personal observation at the lower end of India’s social life that the less wealthy, but reasonably well to do families, faced with similar inheritance problems, particularly from the agricultural backgrounds, have caused a lot of bad blood among the inheritors. In many cases, sons and daughters have not only fought among themselves, they have fought with their parents as well, in courts of law and sadly, in some cases even physically, to gain advantage over the others.

I know of a particularly poignant case, where a flourishing small business in the retail sector is faced with a problem. The founder has two sons one of who is a paraplegic due to an automobile accident and is unmarried. The other is younger but married and with a couple of children. The only daughter in law of the family, is scheming and manipulating matters to ensure that the paraplegic son is denied any share in the wealth or business, and the father is not bothered to do the proper thing by splitting the wealth during his own time, trusting fate to take care of the situation after his demise. He is superstitious that if he does anything during his life time, he will die a premature death! The paraplegic son is not dumb and is able to see what is going on but is unable to assert himself and get protected while the old man is still alive.

In another case, a very close friend is going through wealth tax problems because of one sibling’s children not being cooperative in disposing off a commonly owned property to divide among all the siblings. This situation has been going on for the past fifteen years! On a day to day basis the interest amount on the wealth tax owed is mounting but the stand off continues and my friend has decided to abandon his lien to the property to save himself from a disaster. Among the siblings, there is division between the pros and the cons and generally bad relationships between six siblings.

Among the very many things that I am very grateful for in my life is the fact that my three siblings and I have no bad blood between us, thanks to the fact that we have nothing to inherit from our father. What a blessing!