“The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse.”
~ Jules Renard

I would like to create my own quote on similar lines. “The only man who is really free is the one who can get away without inviting anyone for important occasions.”

On both definitions, I am really a free man. Let me just give two instances and leave my readers to decide whether I am really free or not.

The first was my wedding. Except by word of mouth, neither my late wife nor I invited any one for our wedding. Since the function was held at my late wife’s home, her immediate family were present, but they were all my friends anyway. Other than those from the family, only a hand full of friends were present during the ceremony, primarily to act as witnesses.

The day after the wedding, both of us wrote hand written letters to our families and friends, and in my case, my then employers that we had got married the previous day.

The second was my son Ranjan’s wedding. His fiance’s father and I got together and decided that we will have a simple affair at home and follow it with a lunch at a restaurant and have a reception in the evening at a club just near our home. No formal invitations were printed and distributed and just a hand full of friends and close relatives were invited to be present for the religious ceremony in the morning and wider circle of friends were invited for the evening reception by personal visits or telephone calls, mostly made by the bride to be and the groom to be.

I had sent an announcement by email and letters to those without computer connection about the wedding specifically mentioning that it was an announcement and not an invitation.

There are of course many others who do not need invitations and come anyway whenever it suits them. One of our LBC bloggers, Padmum did precisely that and landed up at my place uninvited yesterday. She will therefore not be posting today though she is the suggester of the topic of the day.

And yes, I am very capable of turning down invitations for dinner without offering any excuses. I am known to be a maverick any way.

Now, I leave it to my readers to decide if I am really a free person.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Padmum. The eleven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, 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!

Affirmative Action Indian Style.

This cartoon is doing the email rounds in India.

That needs some explaining for my friends from abroad.

OBC – Other Backward Classes.

SC – Scheduled Castes.

ST – Scheduled Tribes

Minorities – Mostly Muslims, but occasionally Christians of various denominations also get clubbed under this category.

This is called the quota system, though the percentages given in the cartoon are for effect only. For education and employment with the various state governments and the Central government, such quotas are fixed and if the vacancies remain unfilled, too bad.

What the cartoon fails to add is the fact that all the moon walkers will be government employees or politicians.

Another Michael Jackson?

Cheerful Monk had this to say about my avatar in my post “I Am Better Than I Look.”

“It would be nice if your picture weren’t so dark.”

Photographs don’t lie CM! I am a dark fellow. I am an Indian with roots going back to the Southern part of India where dark complexioned folk are the norm rather than the exception.

I know of course that Indian men are now very complexion conscious and try to get the Michael Jackson treatment. But I am at a stage of my life when I have to be satisfied with long distance unconsummated romances and betrothals. No amount of applying fairness creams will work.

Where fairness creams will not work, photoshop certainly would. So, a lighter photograph of mine would look like this:

That in not me. That is my ghost!

Thank you my anonymous long distance romantic interest for two great ideas.


This post is primarily to see if it will link to my twitter account. My friend Joe suggested that I do so, so that good posts can be tweeted by him to his followers. I have linked to my twitter account and let me see what happens when I post.

My regular readers will recollect my post on pessimism and optimism and the very interesting discussions in the comments on it.

One of my regular readers, who would rather direct his comments to me by hitting the reply button on his email program when he gets my posts by email, even suggested that I should call myself a pissimist for using the cartoon! Some people have an odd sense of humour. Anyway, to satisfy him, I have included another cartoon here.

For some strange reason, optimism seems to be a favourite topic of the season. There is another review in the NYT today which makes for interesting reading, though I do not intend buying that book. I have enough backlog pending to be read.

A Reward For Myself.

Thanks to Ranjan offering to stay at home and encouraging me to go out for a well deserved break, I went to see The Best Marigold Hotel, earlier this afternoon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the outing and the cinema was better than my expectations. British acting at its best, with good performances by the supporting Indian cast, fantastic camera work, and nostalgia generating photography of Jaipur and Rajasthan. A passable story line brought to life by some very good direction and excellent editing.

I must also thank my regular commentator Tammy who inspired me to go and see it.

I Am Better Than I Look.

My avatar that appears on all my comments and anything else on the web is this:

Now I know why I am not idolised like some other bloggers. The photograph does not do justice to how I look.

You don’t believe me? Just read this.

When Ashish returns to civilisation from his wanderings, I shall get him to take a photograph of mine showing my left side. I shall replace the current avatar with the new one and hope that I too will get some idolising.

I wonder how many other bloggers who read my posts will do the same thing!