The Conversation.

The location: A mobile phone service center.
The occasion: I had gone to collect a repaired handset.
The participants: Me and the person, obviously a farmer, sitting next to me.
The reason: Both of us were waiting to be called in a queue system to collect our hand sets. I was browsing the net in my tablet.
The language: Marathi.

My neighbour looked like this:
Maha farmer

I was in traditional Indian attire of white kurta and pajama like this:

My neighbour: What is that in your hand?
I: A tablet. Something like a small computer.
MN: What are you doing with that?
I: Checking for mail.
MN: Times have changed. We used to get mail through post office.
I: Yes, but this is faster.
MN: Yes, that is the problem. Everything is too fast now.
I: Sad, but true.
MN: Are you a Netha? (Leader, often used derogatorily to refer to a politician)
I: Good Lord, no. Why do you ask?
MN: You are dressed like one and have a computer with you.
I: The computer is a gift from my son.
MN: What does your son do?
I: Has his own business in the computer world.
MN: Does he make a lot of money?
I: Enough to buy me a gift like this.
MN: How much does that cost?
I: I don’t know. I did not ask him.
MN: Did he teach you to use the computer?
I: Yes.
MN: I wish that my son could teach me!
I: Don’t worry, your grand son will teach you soon enough.
MN: With a big grin, Yes, he goes to school here in Pune. Wants to be an Engineer.
I: I wish him and you all the very best. It will happen.
MN: God willing. Thank you for your good wishes.

My neighbour was called to collect his hand set and I was left to ponder over that conversation.

On the way out, he stopped near me to take leave of me.

Puppy Love.

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 me. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Rohit,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!
puppies (17)

That is one kind. Here is another:

But, there is another kind that is what most people mean when they mention puppy love.


Puppy love is also used to describe short term infatuations. I have not experienced that emotion ever. I had true love twice in my life, and both were long term relationships, the latter one ending up in a marriage that lasted for over forty years.

I know of two wonderful couples who have been in love from their kindergarten days till now. They got married when the men could find work to support marriages and both couples are of my age. When I suggested this topic for the LBC, I had both of them in mind.

I was not blessed enough to have anything remotely like puppy love of the kind in the bottom most photograph, but I have indeed been blessed with the second kind. We grew up with dogs some of them from puppy stage and even as an adult I have had close relationships with puppies and there is nothing quite like that kind of love.

If however school boy crushes could be called puppy love, I had crushes on two teachers when I was in the third and fourth standards. While I lost touch with the former, I kept in touch with the latter till she retired and in fact, had taken my new bride to meet her to take her blessings. These two ladies were remarkable teachers who created deep impressions on my very young mind with their love and interest. Unfortunately, I had to wait till I went to business school to come across another such remarkable teacher about who I have blogged earlier. That most certainly was not puppy love.

Espresso Maker.

When I was in Chennai in February for a family re-union, I stayed with Sheela and Mohan, my cousin and his wife and was spoilt silly by them. During that stay, Mohan kept me going with some excellent coffee and would not share his secret of making that particular coffee till almost the last day of my stay there. After much persuasion, he finally shared his secret and introduced me to this wonderful gadget.
coffee maker

It is a Cucina Pro Aluminum Stove Top Espresso Maker which is simple to use and gives some excellent coffee. I got this imported and supplied by an online merchant by late February and since then have been enjoying some excellent coffee and also making the same for visitors who too appreciate it. Luckily, I can get very good quality coffee powder in the neighbourhood Cafe Coffee Day, without too much difficulty and that is a great advantage as otherwise, I would have had to go to the city to get it.

It is a pity that Mohan does not have an Olga. Otherwise, that machine will not be able to keep me away from parking myself with him at Chennai for long durations.


What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?


This post has been at the back of my mind for a long time and every now and then something triggers off the thought. The LBC topic and What I Do/Did For A Living, got one of my readers to talk to me on the phone and that conversation again revived the idea and here goes.

During my corporate avatar when interviewing candidates for employment with us, I would not miss asking this question to try and find quite what kind of changes had taken place in the candidate and also to get some understanding about her power of imagination.

Naturally, I have asked myself the same question to get an insight into my own progress in life and today, I will share that answer and try and explain my current attitude towards, success and ambition about which I have written other posts.

My friends however had clear ideas like wanting to become doctors, engineers, soldiers, government officials etc. They worked towards achieving those goals with single minded devotion and would be puzzled by my own indifference to those laudable goals. They did not have access to my inner thoughts. I could not have articulated those thoughts then even if I had wanted to. I was just that different.

No, I did not want to become a fireman or a cop or a bus driver. What I wanted to do when I grew up most was to get out of my father’s control. To enable that, I was willing to do anything to earn some money to keep body and soul together and in the process have some fun too. I did that by wheeling and dealing and enjoyed those days with like minded kindred souls.

My father had other ideas however and despite getting out of his home, tried to tie me down to employment where he could indirectly control me. That I eventually was able to get free from under that situation and become a reasonably stable and productive citizen was due entirely to circumstances over which I had little control. I call that grace. That is why I have consistently maintained that in my life, I was just in the right place at the right time and events kept overtaking me.

Now, just imagine some interviewer asking me the same question that I used to ask. What could I have answered? Had I been honest, would I have been selected?

Pravin, how does that sound to you?

Story 2. My First Kiss – Sequel.

The first installment of this story can be found here.

Sharada came over to the hotel in the evening and we spent a couple of hours catching up with all that had happened since our bus stop trysts. No, we did not talk about the first kiss.

My story is more or less well known to my readers, but Sharadas needs to be told.

After her passing the school leaving certificate, Sharada studied further for one year in Madras and then her father was transferred out of Madras. She continued her studies in the various towns where her father was posted and got her Masters degree in Economics from Delhi. Two months after her convocation, her father suffered a massive heart attack and died at Delhi.

As it is quite common, the department where her father had worked employed Sharada on compassionate grounds and she had been working with the same department since. Being the only child, she was looking after her mother and despite many suggestions, had decided to remain single to look after her mother and intended doing so for the foreseeable future.

We parted company after dinner and I wished her all the best and that was that.

Fate decided that we had to meet again and this happened a few years ago. I was flying to Bengaluru from Chennai and lo and behold I met Sharada again at the Chennai airport. She could not recognise me but I could recognise her. We updated each other with our stories but no sparks flew nor stars fell. Both of us were able to part in good humour.

Sharada’s mother died some 15 years after our meeting at Kanpur and Sharada took early retirement from her job to move to Bengaluru to be closer to her cousins and family. In Bengaluru she got involved with a nascent Art Of Living movement and was spending most of her time in their activities including teaching kriya yoga to new comers.

To the best of my knowledge, she continues to do that even now. I have had no contact with her since that meeting at the Chennai airport.

I have always wondered if Sharada ever kissed anyone else ever again.