Ask The Guru.

TOF and I had this exchange in his blog post on the Olympics.

My Comment: And if we can have a world where everyone is a winner, philosophers like you and I will be sans vocations!

TOF’s Response : And that brings a challenging question for us philosophers! Are there not other human dimensions for us philosophers than victory and defeat?

I will let this cartoon answer TOF.

“Explanations bind facts together. They help them make more sense. Where this propensity can go wrong is when it increases our impression of understanding”
~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Modern Entertainment With Grand Children

These two are Kedar 5 and Sarang 3, my grand nephews. Behind them reading, is my sister in law Shanta. The photographer is my brother Arvind.

The boys were completely engrossed in a film clip being shown to them by their very indulgent grand father.

Can any of my readers recall being indulged with anything like this at that age?

Arvind had this to say about the little fellows.

“I have not had the pleasure of seeing two boys growing up together, for a long time. Though, Rukki has two boys, Raghav is a mild fellow. (Ruki is Arvind’s daughter who lives in Bengaluru and Raghav is her son.) But these two rascals remind me of my childhood days with my two brothers.(Implying either that the two others were rascals or all three were!)

The other day, the older fellow hid all his miniature toy cars under my easy chair cushion, so that the younger fellow wouldn’t have access to them. Unfortunately, I happened to sit on the chair and felt all those little cars poking everywhere under me. I yelled at him and the secret hiding place was blown,

Then he hid them inside my pillow cover. The younger fellow was searching for them and in the process stuck his head inside the the pillow cover. He could not extricate himself and started yelling. The mother came and started yelling at them both, and couldn’t get their names straight. Regular Ara.Bara,Ramana, repeating. (Our mother inevitably used all the three names to call one of us.)

Yesterday, Kedar and Sarang pulled out the pillow cases and used them for a sack race. One more yelling from the mother and a few curses; the modern version of “kaattailey poravangalaa”. (Kattayiley Poravangala, is Tamil to call some one a corpse. One that is scheduled to lie on a pile of wood to be cremated.) This is a curse used particularly by the Tambrams. (Tamil Brahmins. No kin to the Boston variety, this is the real McCoy.)

Mentoring And Counseling.

My regular readers know that I do a bit of mentoring and counseling young people, particularly entrepreneurs. While this takes up very little of my time, occasionally things go very bad for someone and I undergo intense emotional roller coaster rides due to the mentee using me as a listening post.

I have shared these experiences with some of my readers offline and one of them, the irrepressible Grannymar has sent me this to boost my self image. Do please click on the image for a larger resolution.

Are you the hostile couch or the sympathetic chair?

The Olympics.

“…… such comfort as do lusty young men feel when well-apparelled April on the heel of limping winter threads”.
~ Shakespeare

Shackman, surely in my case and most decidedly in the case of my friend Chandru, it must be Oh, Limp-ics?

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

Raksha Bandan In Today’s World.

Today is Raksha Bandan and as every year the sister/brother bonds are reinforced in all Indian homes. I have written about it many times and my readers might like to refresh their memories with a quick read here.

In the traditional home, all brothers and sisters lived under one roof till the sister/s got married and went to their husband’s homes. They would however come to the parental home, called Maikey meaning mother’s home every year for this festival to tie the rakhis to brothers and in return get gifts. In some cases, the brothers would visit the residences of the sisters to celebrate too. Modern life however is different from those days when people by and large lived within commuting distance, mostly in the same village/town/city. Now we live in different countries and continents and such observing of the festival and its rites is simply not physically possible.

Every year, without fail, my sister Padimin would send Rakhis to her three elder brothers wherever they may be. Her timing would be impeccable and the rakhi would inevitably arrive a day early to the festival.

Padmini is not getting any younger and shopping for rakhis is not what it used to be. Nor are her brothers getting any younger. All four however are addicted to the computer and follow each other on FaceBook. Modern communication methods, read FaceBook, however has solved the problem for her this year. She simply located this clip from a 1959 film and dedicated it to her three elder brothers.

bhaiya mere, raakhi ke bandhan ko nibhaana
Dear brother, keep up the integrity of the relationship of Raakhi. (sisters tie a thread on her brothers arm on this day pray for his prosperity and health, and the brother takes a vow to always protect the welfare of his sister.)

bhaiya mere, chhoti bahan ko na bhulaana
Dear brother, don’t forget your little sister.

dekho ye naata nibhaanaa, nibhaana
Don’t forget to fulfill the responsiblilites of a brother’s relationship.

bhaiya mere…

ye din ye tyohaar khushi kaa, paavan jaise neer nadi ka
This festive day of Rakhi spreads happiness, pure like the water of the river(ganges).

bhaayi ke ujale maathe pe, bahan lagaae mangal tika
On the bright forehead of the brother, sister put a auspisousl Tikaa(red elongated tilak).

jhuume ye saavan suhaanaa, suhaana
The beautiful monsoon winds are dancing on this day as well.

bhaiya mere…

baandh ke hamane resham dori, tum se vo ummid hai jodi
By tying this silken thread on your arm, I have put all my hopes on you.

naazuk hai jo daant ke jaise, par jivan bhar jaae na todi
It is delicate thread but the relationship is strong to last a life time.

jaane ye saara zamaanaa, zamaana
The whole world knows this.

bhaiya mere…

shaayad vo saavan bhi aae, jo bahana ka rang na laae
That time may come as well, when your sister may not be around.

bahan paraae desh basi ho, agar vo tum tak pahunch na paae
Your sister may be living far away and not able to come to you on this day.

yaad ka deepak jalaanaa, jalaana
Always remember her.

bhaiya mere…

The Good Life.


Talking about the good life, I would strongly recommend the above book that I have recently read. How Much Is Enough The Love Of Money And The Case For A Good Life
by Robert and Edward Skidelsky.

And if you want some native Indian wisdom from a person that I admire a great deal, spend a few minutes watching and listening to this clip. This is Anu Aga, one of Pune’s leading lights. Pune, for those who do not know has been home for me the past 22 years. Anu is a magnificent human being. I have had the priviliege of meeting her and can vouch for her genuineness. Please listen to her.