Dropping Bricks.

My friends Neena and Anil are in town for a few days. Yesterday while Anil was away on some errands, I had taken Neena for high tea at a local restaurant. On our way out, my daughter in law Leena was coming in and I was delighted. It is always a pleasure to meet up with her and yesterday was no exception. Since Neena had never met her I asked Neena if she could guess who this daughter of mine is. Neena, who has heard of my son Ranjan’s current girl friend Manjiree promptly suggested that name much to Leena’s embarrassment. Neena was most apologetic and when on Anil returned and we shared this with him, he remarked that his family is famous for dropping bricks.

Neena, knowing my weakness for home baked cakes, had baked one and brought it with her all the way from Delhi and I informed Ranjan to have it for dinner when he came home. He did not know that Neena had brought it and asked me this morning as to who had brought it, misheard me and promptly rang up Leena, his ex to thank her for the cake and she was zapped! The zapping was more poignant for having met Neena just yesterday and having experienced the faux pas.

I promptly told Neena that our family is also rapidly catching up with hers for dropping bricks.

I think that the problem is that we have too many similar sounding names among the people we know. Leena, Meena, Neena etc, Mitali, Meeta, Neetu etc are just some that can cause such brick dropping moments!

Points Of View.

“The frame, the definition, is a type of context. And context, determines the meaning of things. There is no such thing as the view from nowhere, or from everywhere for that matter. Our point of view biases our observation, consciously and unconsciously. You cannot understand the view without the point of view.”
~ Noam Shpancer

getting out of bed

I was not able to sleep late in bed till this winter. My routine from very young days has been to wake up well before sun up but perhaps age is now telling, and I do find myself sleeping till later. Leaving the comfort of the warm bed is getting to be more and more difficult. But get up I must to get the household working the way it should.

Some days I want to get up and go outside and get the groceries, and some days I can’t brush my teeth. Some days I feel I can be a good parent to my son, and some days I just want to stay in bed and sleep.

I am sure that many of my readers will relate to that feeling by just replacing the words parent and son with other words.

So far so good. We all can comfort each other that it is normal to feel this way.

But this statement that I have highlighted above is not an original from me. It is from NELBA MÁRQUEZ-GREENE, whose 6-year-old daughter died in the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut USA.

See how the context changes the whole understanding?

Managing Emotions.

Some blog posts take off into long discussions and sometimes the discussions wander off into a subject that is totally unrelated to the original subject of the blog post. It has happened to a few of my posts and I have seen this happen in other blog posts. The latest that I have come across is a blog post by Jean that innocuously started off with the topic “Interesting Challenge”. I urge my readers who do not visit Jean’s blog to visit this particular post and go through all the comments and Jean’s responses to get a feel for what is about to follow in this post.

There is a particular exchange between Bikehikebabe, Ursula, Mike, Evan and Cathy which discusses about how men do or do not discuss anything to do with emotions! This is my attempt at doing precisely that in the context of Jean’s post and its aftermath. I would also take exception to Evan’s assertion about the Dalai Lama, but that is for another blog post. This is about my understanding of my emotions and how I manage them.

I accept that I am emotional and wear my heart on my sleeve. I cry easily and do not hesitate to cry in public. If that is not being manly, so be it. I laugh loudly at anything that amuses me and can express my anger at the drop of a hat. I believe that all of us have both masculine and feminine aspects to our personalities and that both should be allowed to have free rein to express themselves. The Yin/Yang and the Ardhanarishwara principles.

The idea that one should suppress one’s emotions does not appeal to me. I think that emotions are natural phenomenon which should be allowed to be experienced and acted on. I try to separate myself from the emotions that crop up and examine and feel them when as they occur. I try and and create a path for them to happen but try and not let them derail me. I try to use the emotions like frustration and anger to propel myself into action of some sort. I have had deeply emotionally affecting events like death of loved ones and also uplifting moments and I have seen to it that they have not remained for long as mill wheels around my neck. I have been able to do this by managing focus.

I also believe that a strong value system and high self esteem allows for effective management of emotions as they arise.
I am blessed with both and also have enough concern to ensure that either or both do not cause harm to others.

And, no I don’t think that I am superman or anything like that. I believe that with proper training and understanding of oneself emotions can be managed.



A friend recently went shopping and got me something that he thought would be a good thing for me to have. He brought it over and grandly gifted it to me after demonstrating how the gadget worked.

I thanked him profusely for his gift as well as his thoughtfulness.

Last week, I gifted the gift away to someone else as I believed that the gadget would be more useful for that person than it was for me.

Yesterday the first friend visited me and asked me how I found the gadget and I told him that I had given it away to someone else and he was most offended. He thought that it was rude of me to have gifted away a gift.

I suggested that once it was gifted to me, what I did with it was my lookout and he should not get offended. He disagreed.

Who is right?

Mini Pilgrimage.

My friends Ramesh, Amar and I very capably escorted by our chauffeur Arun went to Sangameshwar and Alandi this morning and this is a post on that.
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This is the junction of three rivers which is called the Sangam and is considered to be very holy. You can see a cremation ground on the bank where believers still cremate and immrese the ashes in the confluence of the three rivers.

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Chatrapathi Sambhaji Maharaj built a temple around a Swaymbu Lingam on the request of a Sadhu who had cured him of an incurable disease at this location. You can see the entrance to the temple below.
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Ramesh and Amar went inside the temple for darshan while I waited and watched the rivers flow! It was all new for Amar but Ramesh and I had gone there primarily for an absolutely out of the world experience of a mid morning snack of Kanda bhajji and chai.
kanda bhajji

Yes, that is a fly that you see on the rim. Part of the scene here!

After that very satisfying mid morning repast we moved on to Alandi. Ramesh and Amar went inside the temple here too while I waited outside as I did not fancy getting crushed in the crowds waiting in a serpentine queue. After that bit of formality was done with, we moved on to the next point of interest another out of the world experience of Maharashtrian rural cuisine served by a team of enthusiastic waitresses who kept replenishing our plates with refills, and particularly generous with jalebis for dessert!

A real Pet (pronounced pate meaning stomach) Pilgrimage.

We were back in Pune in time for a well earned siesta.