Nick’s/Speccy’s Questions.

Nick’s latest post is unusual, but he does come up with unusual posts on and off. Otherwise he would not call his blog Nick Here And Now. His post led me to Speccy’s blog which too is an unusual one, which I intend visiting regularly.

He has not asked me to, but I think that it would be fun to answer those questions any way and here goes.

1. What was the last concert you went to?
Bhimsen Joshi, Savai Gandharva Festival, 1995.

2. When did you last drink champagne?
1999. A friend’s wedding anniversary party.

3. Have you been dancing recently?
To my father’s tunes? Yes.

4. What’s the first track on the closest CD?
I don’t have a CD collection any more. It is all in my computer. I listen to whatever my mood takes me too.

5. If you could compete in the Olympics, in what event?
Falling flat on my face.

6. What is your favourite children’s book?
Ali Baba and Forty thieves.

7. How did you choose your blog title?
Sheer inspiration!

8. How long do you spend on blogging each week?
More than I should really be doing.

9. What was your biggest achievement?
I am one of those fortunate beings with no achievements to its credit.

10. Who are you inspired by?
Swami Vivekananda.

11. Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?
Very likely my son Ranjan who feeds about a zillion stray dogs in our neigbourhood.

Like Nick, I leave others to follow suit or not as they wish. I enjoyed the exercise.

Gratitude List – March 24, 2012.

Saturday was yet another quiet day, but was upsetting, with the quality of the idlies made by me from the regular dough sourced from our neighbourhood retailer, not coming up to scratch for my father. I caught up with a lot of reading and responding to letters from friends. Ramesh came over in the evening to spend some time and to pick his spirits up. We have decided to have a couple of boys days out next week. I sourced dough for idlies from a new shop and let it ferment over night.

Sunday suddenly became very busy to start with me making a batch of idlies which finally met with the approval of my father. Phew! It warmed up with Jay wanting to take my help to chrystalize some of his thoughts. The discussions carried on throughout the day and till late in the evening. Kunal landed up with some badly needed replenishment of a typical whole wheat khari biscuits that my father likes. He also brought an aluminium walking stick which will now supplement the lighter one that I now prefer to use over wooden or cane ones.

Monday was peaceful again with no visitors but Jay kept me busy on and off with deep discussions on matters spiritual. I went to the park with the new walking stick which was much admired by those in the gang who use similar props to navigate their way.

Tuesday was, in contrast to Mondy, a humdinger. It saw Neena landing up with her 84 year old cousin Shalinitai for a visit and the latter was simply awesome. Brisk and lively she lit up our conversation and as a parting gift gave me a book of her published articles as well as a book written by her late husband. It was a grand reunion with Neena who I had not seen for many years.

Subsequently I drove the car to the bank and finally closed down the last superfluous bank account that my father had kept alive for sentimental reasons. One less complication to tackle henceforth. I was also mightily pleased that I could drive in heavy traffic manage the parking and tackle the bankers who were most reluctant to close the account.

On Tuesday, it was also the turn of the washing machine to conk out too. My telephone calls to the customer care center could not solve the problem due to their computer system not functioning. Luckily, due to earlier contacts, I was able to speak to the fracnhisee service provider who promptly sent a technician to solve the problem. My readers will find it difficult to believe it, but the problem was a couple of coins that had jammed the mechanism! I was however impressed with the service and the cheerful way that the technicians tackled the problem.

And to put some icing on the cake, just as I was about to leave for my evening walk to the park, I got a phone call from Srinivas, a young father of the little girl in the photo that follows, to join him for some coffee at FW. We spent around two hours discussing various things that were very stimulating for me, if somewhat tiring at the end. While in the FW a stream of other friends landed up to greet and wish me and it was all very gratifying.

After the hectic Tuesday, Wednesday was an anticlimax. A quiet day that afforded me enough time to finish reading a fascinating book “The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley. This was recommended to me by my friend Tilak in late January and I had been reading bits and pieces since the beginning of February. I was able to inform Tilak that I finally finished reading it and gave him my comments on it too. My father was feeling uneasy and I took him to the doctor who has diagnosed an upset stomach and gave him the appropriate treatment. He felt better by evening. Jay went missing on Tuesday night, but Ranjan was informed late in the night by him that he was safe.

Thursday saw my father fully recovered and back to his normal self. I had a quiet day and went to the park and did some shopping too. Jay returned looking well and took his baggage and disappeared again threatening that he will make a return soon.

I spent most of Friday convening an initiative for our local alumni association chapter. It went off well.

Complexity.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad, but he has abdicated. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, The Old Fossil 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!

Complexity is something that all of us face almost constantly in our lives. It is the exact opposite of Simplicity, but both
are relative and also often interchange over time periods. In other words, what is simple today can become complex after some time and what is complex today, simple after some time.

Complex problems are solved with simple solutions and simple problems often call for complex solutions. There are also situations that evolve from simplicity to complexity and vice versa.

I therefore submit that complexity is all in our minds and has no real existence. It is we who make it what it becomes.

I personally tend to break down complexity into its component parts to understand the relationships involved among the elements and simplify to the extent possible and do what needs to be done.

See what I mean? I have taken a simple topic, made it into a complicated one and end it simply.

To further buttress my stand, I request you to spare a little over five minutes to listen to this presentataion.

Thank you for your patience.

Humour Earns New Friends.

My father, himself a Homeopath wanted some medicines and I strolled up to the local Homeopathy medicine retailer, run by a husband and wife team of Homeopaths.

This shop had opened up just a couple of years ago and has enabled the locals to source their homeopathy medicines from close by, instead of going to the city to do so. It is a nice compact little place, but not very comfortable to sit and wait for the medicines to be dispensed.

This time around, I was second to be waited on and the first one was a young mother picking up various things for her infant and consulting the doctor on various matters. As I am wont to, and since I knew the young lady, I kept teasing her and the atmosphere was quite relaxed and casual.

After I had finished my transactions with the couple, the lady doctor suddenly asked me if I was Ranjan’s father. On being confirmed, she said that for a while, she had been wanting to ask that question as normally Ranjan would come with the unique hand written prescription that my father writes on the back of used envelops. Ranjan normally runs errands for his grand father, and I had not been there since last June. On being answered in the affirmative, she further added that they keep seeing Ranjan near their residence too. Ranjan often visits his friends Karen and Yadu, their neighbours.

With that background, the lady asked me some more details about our home and I could not resist the temptation to quip that our home consisted of three motherless children, all bachelors and it was a comfortable place to be as there was no woman to bug us.

The husband, quietly handling the packing of the medicines and toting up the bill suddenly burst out laughing and insisted on shaking my hands. The poor lady, was taken aback a bit, but smartly recovered and joined in in the laughter.

I made a couple of new friends and more importantly, they have now offered to keep the medicines ready for me if I would telephone ahead. This would enable me to avoid the uncomfortable sitting around to get the prescriptions filled.

The Sikhs.

It is a pity that ignorance usually finds a way to create problems where none should exist. Just because some one wears a turban, to be equated to the Al Quaida saddens me. In India, the Sikhs are a highly visible and successful minority who command tremendous respect. Our Prime Minister today, Mr. Manmohan Singh is one, just to give you an example. They are gregarious, fun loving and with great sense of humour. They crack jokes on themselves with abandon and there are many jokes that are created on them, which they cheerfully accept as their own.

I have personally known some remarkable Sikhs and was fortunate to count one among my closest friends. He unfortunately is no more among us, but when he was alive, he was a regular house guest at our home and was treated like a member of the family by Urmeela and Ranjan. He ran a restaurant in Mumbai and whenever we went there, we were treated like royalty.

News like this, therefore disturbs us. Despite the fact that the local community have gone to great lengths to protect and assuage the hurt, it cannot be easy to live under such threats from ignorant hate mongers.

While I was mulling over a post on this subject, synchronicity once again played its hand and gave me access to this wonderful tidbit.

“A bunch of boys hired a taxi driven by a Sardar driver for one full day.During the entire ride the boys kept cracking sardar jokes.At the end of the ride when the boys paid the fare,the Sardar driver gave Rs 10 to each of the boys saying ” I forgive you for all your jokes because you are all young,yet to understand life.Meanwhile,take this ten rupees and give it to the first Sikh beggar you may come across”.

Years later,each of the boys still had the ten Rupees,as they could not find a single Sikh beggar.

Silkhs contribute :

33% income Tax
45% of the Indian Army
67% of the total charities

59000 Gurdwaras serve langar free of charge to 60 lakh people every day.

All of this when Sikhs form only 1.4% of the Indian population.”

Source : Article by Khushwant Singh,Hindustan Times,dated March 18,2012.