Life Is Lived Outside Homes.

Since my father’s death, I have been leaving the comforts of my home to travel and do quite a bit of town and city shopping or eating out within Pune. Prior to my father’s arrival too, I rarely left home and its immediate neighbourhood due to my late wife needing my presence at home.

Among the things that fascinate me now when I go into cities is the idea that a great deal of people are outside their homes doing things all the time. The streets and roads are centers of activity, much more than of just movement, a center of commerce and sociability, of nonstop human drama, of endless surprises and interesting observations. There is a certain rhythm to the activities and one can sense groups who are regulars at places doing things that they do regularly and vary onlookers who have seen a great deal and who seem to constantly expect trouble.

Traffic lights are also places to watch humanity at its best with impatient drivers and law breakers looking to see if policemen are around before they dart out despite red lights being on. Honkers who seem to honk even when they red light is on and so on. One can also see other interesting human foibles like using the rear view mirror to admire oneself, comb one’s hair and so on and also the ever present curious motorcyclist who wants to see what is going on inside every vehicle stopped at the signals.

At multiplexes and malls I see a lot of young people spending money and wonder how they can afford such a life. But they seem to be totally indifferent to people like me who are there to watch rather than shop and the noise of the chattering in food courts is to be heard to be believed.

When I watch people coming into the park where I go every evening, I find a change in their expressions when they come into the open air and the green lawns and see the trees everywhere. I think that it is a sense of freedom compared to lives lived in small flats and being cooped up. Children particularly start running as soon as they hit the lawns and it is always a treat to watch them do that. It must be like coming out of a claustrophobic environment to come to that huge open space!

When I try to explain this fascination to others, I usually receive a blank stare implying that I have lost my marbles. Is that your reaction too?



Merriam – Webster gives the following meanings for the word Gentility.

1 a : the condition of belonging to the gentry
b : gentlefolk, gentry
2 a (1) : decorum of conduct : courtesy (2) : attitudes or activity marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation
b : superior social status or prestige evidenced by manners, possessions, or mode of life.

My brother Barath, on his return to the UK after the recent family reunion at Chennai in the South of India, concluded his group mail with this comment.

“All in all, what a trip and thank you all for making it so joyous. I am a very very lucky man to have you all in my life. Hope to bring Annie next year to let her taste your gentility.”

Being very mischievous, I wondered if he meant 2 a (2)!

But to give him the benefit of the doubt, I decided that he meant all the others and I sought the reason for that particular choice of characteristic of the behaviour he saw.

No brainer at all. Bar four seniors in their eighties and one 97 year old sage who we met to take blessings from, and the very few second and third generation family, our interactions were with a whole lot of people in their mid to late sixties, I being the eldest at 70.

None of us have any interest in being anything but gentle. Or should I say, we have no choice in the matter?

Which brings me to the image at the beginning of this post. I am not paid to do this review, but I think that since most of my readers are bloggers too, this e-book will be of interest in a very genteel way.


A friend posted a touching message in Facebook, to a dearly departed friend called KD. That led me to post the following on my wall.

In my school days in Chennai, KD was used as description of criminals. Does anyone know how that came about?

I got two responses which satisfied me.

Nandu Pillai KD = Known Dacoit .

Arvind Rajgopaul short form of ‘known delinquent’.

Then my friend Rajesh suddenly popped up with this message in the same thread.

Rajesh Mehta vanakam sir how are you

Vanakkam is Tamil for Salutations.

Was he implying that I am a KD?

To prevent any misunderstandings, I posted this as a reply to him.

Rajesh Mehta I was never a KD. Vanakkam any way.

Demoiselle Cranes Of Khichan

Srikanth, a neighbour of my sister Padmini recently visited Khichan and shot this video. I am grateful to Srikanth for giving me permission to blog about this.

He had this to say about it – “Khichan village in Rajasthan witnesses every year a unique symbiotic co existence of Man and Birds and a generous sharing of environment and resources . I had read about this and therefore made it an item on my itinerary of my Rajasthan Trip.”

More exhaustive information is available in Wikipedia.

Conrad, here is an instance of interconnectedness!


I wonder if Will will return to the LBC posts!

Turn around specialists are being searched for many struggling companies in India.

Turn by turn was the formula our mother had devised to satisfy three rowdy young boys.

Turn cartwheels is what I would like to do again. Some hope!

I cannot turn down any request for assistance from ladies.

Turn effective instead of efficient.

Turn forceful when treated like a door mat.

A good turn deserves another.

Pune turns hot from another fifteen days.

Turn inwards to find answers for big questions.


My knees turn to jelly when I see babies.


I cannot turn mean under any provocation. It is just not in me.

Turn to nature to find answers for health problems.

I know some people who turn opaque on occasion.

Grapes do not turn putrid.

I turn very quiet when someone else pontificates.

I am brown. I therefore cannot turn red with embarrassment!

Yogurt turns sour quickly in India unless it is refrigerated immediately after it sets.

I often see bullies turn tail when the bullied turn aggressive.

My life turned upside down when my father moved in with me.

Mobs in India turn violent when religious sentiments are affected.

Though I am brown, I suspect that I can turn white if I ever see a ghost.


Bullies turn yellow when confronted.


You will see that the word ‘turn’ is a very versatile one and is used in conjunction with a whole range of other words. I invite my readers to suggest phrases to complete the letters without support!

Finally, one of my favourite songs of all times.

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

How Time Flies.

I went shopping yesterday to a retailer located just half a kilometer away from my home. I bought two sets of curtains for my bedroom windows, some dry fruits and a couple of plastic dispensers.

I started to walk back home with the shopping bag thinking that it should be relatively easy to tote the shopping bag for just half a kilometer but I must have appeared to be struggling as a young man I have known from when he was a little boy, came to my rescue and offered to carry the bag home the rest of the way.

I handed the bag over to the young man and walked with him back to my home and he came in to spend a few minutes with me catching up with his story. He left after a pleasant chat.

What impressed me most about the whole episode was his very cheerful disposition and a genuine desire to be of help. What came as a kind of a moderating thought to me about myself was the fact that I now struggle with shopping bags.

Lesson learnt. Shall henceforth take the car for such shopping trips or take someone younger to tote the bags home if the shopping is done nearby.

I hope that you are reading this Shivam. Thank you for helping me as well as for giving me the wake up call.