My young neighbour Ravi needed to come and see me about something and wanted to call me first to see if I was free. He did not have my telephone number and so asked another neighbour Gul for it. Gul promptly sent an SMS to Ravi who saw that it was from Gul and used the number given in the message to call me.

The fun started. One whole day was spent by Ravi calling that number which was all the time engaged.

He finally got one of his employees to come over yesterday to talk to me and to take the correct telephone number. I was at my siesta and so Ranjan gave him my telephone number with the request that I should be called only in the morning hours.

Ravi called me this morning and on my agreeing to see him came over and spent some time with me sharing this story with me.

The reason he decided to send someone personally to meet me was because, he finally got disgusted yesterday morning and sent a text message to the number that he thought was mine. A couple of minutes later, he got a ping and on opening his phone’s message box, found his own message staring at him. On checking the number again, he discovered that Gul had sent Ravi, Ravi’s own telephone number and Ravi had not noticed it at all!

Have you heard anything like this ever?

Toxic Friend/s.

ToxicThis is a rant. I want to get rid of something that has been annoying me since yesterday and I think that writing about it and sharing it with my readers may just be the thing to get it out of my system.

I have come across the term toxic people in various peoples’ lives but could not relate to that term till I came across one yesterday.

I was on the telephone talking to Padma and reminiscing with her about many other 4th Mays that we had seen together. Yes, it would have been her wedding anniversary and she would have celebrated it with great enthusiasm had only my friend Kashi been alive. I was trying to cheer her up and was telling her to have a grand do at home with Biriyani, Kheer etc just as Kashi would have liked when the door bell rang and when I opened the door it was a friend who was visiting, I waved him to sit down while I continued my conversation with Padma and was telling her that in my opinion, she should not go into mourning but must celebrate and so on and she responded quite well to my suggestions. I cut short the conversation bid Padma goodbye and went over to sit with my friend who immediately took off asking me about who I was talking to and what the Biriyani etc was all about.

When I explained what was going on, he literally exploded in anger calling me an insensitive animal etc and that I should have been more gentle with the recently widowed lady etc. All this, without ever having met either Kashi or Padma or my equation with the two of them. He would not allow me to explain all that and took off again that it is not human to react to death like that etc.

I simply got up, went to the door, opened it and told him to get out. Yes, those exact words but said very calmly and gently adding that he could come back when he was willing to be polite and behave like a guest. He huffed and he puffed but got the message and disappeared.

I doubt very much that I will have anything to do with him again though, I will not be surprised if he turned up again to apologise and resume our relationship.

Now I know what a toxic friend is.

30 Questions About Music I Like.

bathroom singer

My blogger friend Mitch has this interesting post up and from it I have learnt a little more about him. I decided to try my hand at this game and here goes. I found it interesting to do and I hope that some others will do too. Shackman?

I have chosen all English songs except for one duet which is in Hindi. I can come up with a list containing Hindi and Thamizh songs as well but will spare my readers the agony. My Indian friends do like and listen to English songs!

1: A song you like with a color in the title

Blue Spanish Eyes. By Engelbert Humperdinck

2: A song you like with a number in the title

Rock Around The Clock. By Bill Haley and the Comets.

3: A song that reminds you of summertime

Summer Wine. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood.

4: A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about

Bachelor Boy by Cliff Richard.(The guy who used to sing it incessantly eventually got married and stopped singing the song.)

5: A song that needs to be played LOUD

Softly Softly by Ruby Murray.

6: A song that makes you want to dance

Dance The Body Music by Ossibisa

7: A song to drive to

One Piece At A Time by Johny Cash.

8: A song about drugs or alcohol

Angel Eyes by Frank Sinatra.

9: A song that makes you happy

I Am Alive by Celin Dion.

10: A song that makes you sad

Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton.

11: A song that you never get tired of

Arrivederci Roma by Dean Martin.

12: A song from your preteen years

See You Later, Alligator by Bill Haley & His Comets

13: One of your favorite 80’s songs

Always On My Mind by Willie Nelson

14: A song that you would love played at your wedding

True Love by Elton John and Kikee Dee.

15: A song that is a cover by another artist

Hurt by Johny Cash.

16: One of your favorite classical songs

O Sole Mio by Three Tenors.

17: A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke

I used to sing this with my late wife. Jaane Jaan Dhoondtha Phir Raha Hun. (

18: A song from the year that you were born

Pistol Packing Mama by Al Dexter and His Troopers.

19: A song that makes you think about life

Tom Dooley by the Kingston Trio.

20: A song that has many meanings to you

I was Born Under A Wandering Star by Lee Marwin.

21: A favorite song with a person’s name in the title

Oh Susana Don’t You Cry For Me, I Come From Alabama With My Banjo On My Knee by The Byrds.

22: A song that moves you forward

North To Alaska by Johny Horton.

23: A song that you think everybody should listen to

Only You by The Platters.

24: A song by a band you wish were still together

Let It Be by the Beatles.

25: A song by an artist no longer living

You Do Something To Me by Frank Sinatra.

26: A song that makes you want to fall in love

Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing by Engelbert Humperdinck.

27: A song that breaks your heart

Release Me by Engelbert Humperdinck.

28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love

A World To Believe In by Celin Dione

29: A song that you remember from your childhood

Somewhere over the rainbow by Judy Garland. My parents used to sing this when I was a little fellow.

30: A song that reminds you of yourself

I am surprised that Mitch did not think of this one which is what everyone would like to for this question – My Way by Frank Sinatra.

My Favourite Vacation Spot.

I hope that you enjoy 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 Delirious. 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!


Will it surprise you if I were to tell you that I have never had a vacation like what this comic character is dreaming of. Nor do I think that I will ever have one in the future. It is for the simple reason that I am not a places person, I am a person person.

My vacations have always been visiting people and doing things with them. If those things included some sight seeing or sea bathing or things like that, they were collateral benefits, but the thrust was on meeting and spending time with family and friends, and getting to know new people.

So, I find it extremely difficult to enumerate a list of my favourite vacation spots. I can however straight away list a few places that I would very much like to visit primarily because people that I would like to meet are there. Northern Ireland for Grannymar and Nick, Canada for WiseWebWoman, Pennsylvania for Mayo, California for Looney and TOF, London for David and the much awaited dance in Trafalgar square with my betrothed, Texas for Shackman and other parts of the USA for Darlene, Cheerful Monk, Tammy, Mitch, Maxi and so on besides Australia for Jim and Neil and New Zealand for Cathy and hold your breath Portugal for Max.  I have deliberately left out places in India as it will take a whole page of people and places to list.

And most importantly, what do I do to catch up with Delirious who came up with this topic for today? Will she be in the USA or in China? Will the Chinese let me in into their country?

Now you can kind of draw up your own idea of my Bucket List!

Brass Handled Walking Stick.

I think that these coincidences are sending me a message to write a post on my walking sticks.

WiseWebWoman has this fascinating post – Mr. Stan and the Brass Stick in her blog.

In another context, I was teasing my good friend Marie about young men giving up their seats for her in buses and trains, and I had this exchange with her on a Facebook post:

Ramana: Marie, if I ever saw you on a train standing, I would offer my seat to you and I am no spring chicken. Those young bucks are trying to hit on you.

Marie: Ramana, I would be offering you my seat since you walk with a stick/cane. I was trained to do so at an early age, and often give up my seat and move further back the bus.

I have been using a walking stick since January 1981. I never leave my home without one and there is one always kept in the car as a spare just in case I forget to take one. I do not need it inside the house, but find it very useful when I am out on unfamiliar terrain. I know that it is a psychological prop but since I am so used to it, I use it everywhere.

Most people who know me well scratching their heads to try and find a gift for me for whatever reason, or if they happen to come across a shop selling sticks suddenly remember that I use a walking stick and so get me one. I currently am in possession of over a dozen walking sticks and have stored most away in the loft. I do not remember how many I have given away to various needy persons. I regularly use one of the five shown below.
walking sticks collection

You will see one with a brass handle among that collection and a close up of that is this:
walking stick 3

This brass handled walking stick was bought for me by a friend who was returning to India from the UK after a long posting there. The handle is in the shape of a crocodile and is quite comfortable to hold. He saw it in a shop in London and decided that it would be much appreciated by me and bought it on an impulse and shipped it to India with all his other household goods in a container. When he grandly presented it to me on his arrival here, both of us discovered that it was made in India and could have easily been bought here! But the thought was indeed much appreciated by me and every time he gets in touch with me, I do tell him that it is still being used by me.

Marie is not the only one who gives up a seat for me in public places.  Apart from seats, I also get waved ahead in queues and get priority attention in most places because of the sight of the old man with the walking stick.

You may like to read the comment and WWW’s response to it in her post.

Male Attractiveness.

Charles Atlas

That is Charles Atlas for the younger readers of my posts. In my teenage days, Charles Atlas offered teen aged males hope.
Charles Atlas Ad

The most famous and quoted of these ads was one of a bully kicking sand onto the face of a skinny spcimen on a beach with a very attractive young girl beside him.

Most of my friends and I did not want to have anything to do with Charles Atlas as he was far away in the USA and India was a very much closed country for anything foreign. But all of us dreamt of dating attractive girls like those in these ads. It was also a time when we were getting to read more American publications than English and comics were the ones in which these advertisements used to appear.

Since my readership consists of many people who will remember the Charles Atlas stage of our growth and many are likely to share my own recollection of those days, I think that I should share something very interesting.

Now after all these years, when I most certainly do not dream of dating nymphet, something to disturb my equilibrium appeared recently in the most respected of journals, The Economist.

How I wish that I had known about this phenomenon then!