My niece Nina published this in Facebook.

I am blessed in that I have many friends like that. Let me just share a few incidents with you.

It was in 1997 that I got grounded during a weekend due to a storm in a place called Silvassa on the West coast of India. At that time, I was marketing among sailors of all kinds and the storm had kept all maritime activity on hold and I was stuck with nothing to do. I remembered that I had a friend Youhanna, from my teen age days, living close by in a place called Umbergaon.

Accompanied by my colleague Nandu, who was touring the coast with me at that time, we drove down to Umbergaon and with some difficulty located my friend. Youhanna and I had not met each other for over a decade before that day. When we got off the car Youhanna got down from the veranda where he was sitting came and gave me a bear hug and took me by hand and led me inside to his home. My colleague just followed and when the initial welcome was over, I introduced them to each other too. Youhanna’s wife came out and greeted me and the three of us started off talking to each other as though we had not, not met each other for over a decade. We spent a few very happy hours with them, had our lunch with them and returned to Silvassa.

In the car and during subsequent meetings, my colleage, Nandu found it incredible that despite such long disconnect, we could simply start off where we had left earlier. Subsequent contacts with Youhanna have been on the telephone and sporadic, but I have no doubts whatsoever that if we were to meet again, it would be exactly the same.

Just a few weeks ago, I got a phone call from another old friend Nat who had arrived at Pune the previous evening and waited to surprise me the next day. He and his wife Usha subsequently landed up at home during the time that I was still using the walker to move around, and the meeting was exactly as the quotation above states. We simply started off where we had left off during our previous meeting which was also a few years ago.

Anil and Nina were great friends to have during my first hip replacement surgeries way back in 1985/7. They lived very near to the hospital where I was operated upon and would bring delicious home cooked meals for me. After I moved out of Mumbai in late 1987, as did Anil and Nina too, we lost touch with each other. In one forwarded email that I received four years ago, Anil’s name popped out of the list of recipients and I sent an email to him asking if it was the same Anil and finding that it was, we reestablished contact and it was as though we never lost touch with each other.

I have other friends like Vela in Chennai, Sultan in Mumbai and Kashi in Kolkata, with who, I am not in regular touch, but who are dear friends nevertheless. We call or mail each other every now and then and get updated about happenings in our lives.

Friendship is like good wine. It gets better with age.

Coincidentally, my young FB friend Sukriti posted this poster on FB today and I hope that she gets to read this blog post.

Gratitude List – January 28, 2012

Saturday was the 44th wedding anniversary of Sultan and Farida. Sultan and I were bachelor buddies and have been very close to each other since much before both of us got married. Farida adopted me as her own as soon as they got engaged and the two of them have played a very important role in Urmeela’s and my lives. I rang up to congratulate them and spoke at length with both. They live between Mumbai and Sydney, the latter being the home of their daughter Shehla. I am blessed to have them as my friends. Among the things I intend doing during 2012 will be a visit to them to spend a few days with them and other mutual friends in Mumbai.

Our electricity supplier’s usage meter has been malfunctioning for the past few months. Normally, they would notice and replace/repair the meter but since that was not happening, Ranjan had visited them last week with past bills and a photograph of the latest meter reading to request them to replace the meter. It was done on Saturday and a swanky electronic gizmo has now been installed. I was expecting to be shafted with a charge, but the guys who installed did not ask for any thing, but it may be added in the next bill. I hope that they don’t!

Sunday was a big day. My brother Barath landed up and it was a grand time at home. We went to the park and to do some shopping and it was a great thing showing him off to my friends and contacts. The down side was one of the bridges in my mouth popping out, but thankfully, it happened while I was brushing my teeth after dinner.

Monday morning gave us a bonus. Our neighbour Nazura gifted us with a breakfast dish, Kaanda Poha to honour the visit by Barath. Saved me some cooking time! I got an appointment with the dentist who has now taken measurement for a new brige which should come in during the course of this week. In the afternoon, Barath escorted me to do some long over due shopping and we had a grand time loafing around together and spending money. Caught up with an old friend in the process and had some fun time in his shop too.

After a long time, our father agreed to come out with us for dinner and we had a great outing and over ate!

Tuesday was Barath’s last day in Pune. I was happy to give him his favourite food for breakfast and fuss over him a bit. It was heart breaking to see him off.

Mixed blessings on the medical front. My dentist agreed that I can be without a temporary bridge that kept popping out and was more of a nuisance than any help. My surgeon gave good news and released me from one restriction but consoled me that I will have to put up with some discomfort for some more time.

My old colleague who I thought had gone off to meet her maker, rang me up from Bengaluru on Wednesday and it was a great chat that we had after twenty plus years. She was quite taken aback about the message and informed me that while she had indeed had a by-pass surgery, she recovered fully and is fully alive and enjoying her grand children!

Husena made a surprise visit to personally give me an invitation to the wedding of her grand daughter Farah with Anand. Farah as a tiny tot used to come home twenty years ago to learn to draw and paint from Urmeela and now at 26 is getting married. She is a mascot of sorts for all of us who meet at the park every evening and the wedding will be another venue for all of us to congregate and have some fun.

I firmed up plans for a weekend outing early in February. My intention list is getting fulfilled! I also made plans to go to Navi Mumbai on Thursday to attend a family get together and to meet up with my cousin. I was battling with ideas to write for the LBC post for Friday, when synchronicity came to my rescue and gave me a brilliant idea. My regular readers will no doubt consider that post to be an inspired one.

I went to Navi Mumbai on Thursday and had a feast at the buffet lunch arranged for by my sister in law, topped with my favourite dessert gajar ka halwa and kulfi.

To add to that, my cousin gifted me with a couple of books and also some goodies to be taken back home for Ranjan and my father.

From that well fed condition I moved to my other cousin who was very happy to see me and her daughter in law indulged me with a home made cup cake and hot filtered coffee. As I was leaving, she presented me with another massive big cake with fancy icing and all to take back home for Ranjan and my father. All in all, a grand outing, comfortably accomplished with my usual driver taking me safely to and fro in balmy weather and little traffic due to it being a holiday due to our Republic Day.

Friday passed off in a whirl. The most gratifying part of the day was when I attempted to and succeeded in putting on socks and laced up walking shoes. Progress indeed and highly satisfying.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad, who has chosen to drop out of the LBC for a short while. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, ocdwriter, 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!

Please spare under twenty minutes to watch and listen to this video to get an inkling about the topic for today.

Liebster Blog Award

I have just been honoured with this award by A Letter To My Children.

Besides the award, I have now a description that I think is very apt. I quote: “Ramana is opinionated about politics, sentimental about family, and pragmatic about the direction his life has taken.”

I am grateful for both the award and the apt description.

I shall follow the instructions given while accepting the award.

I am delighted to choose five other blogs who deserve this award. They are: Grannymar, Gaelikaa’s Diary, Padmum, Delirious and Silver Fox.