Contented Hens.

My nephew Sundar and I had this very interesting exchange on Facebook. Please click on the image to get an enlarged version.

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Sundar is die hard Wodehouse fan as I am too and this quote must be about the best ever from the mouth of Bertie Wooster.

Sundar will now go off on his regular hunt for contented hens.  He will be content if he gets even one.  His mother and I will be more than just content too.


My whole life I’ve been a fraud. I’m not exaggerating. Pretty much all I’ve ever done all the time is try to create a certain impression of me in other people. Mostly to be liked or admired. It’s a little more complicated than that, maybe. But when you come right down to it it’s to be liked, loved. Admired, approved of, applauded, whatever. You get the idea.

No, that is not me, but I have just quoted David Foster Wallace in his short story Good Old Neon. It is a story that is a particular favourite of mine for its brutal honesty, on the assumption that the story could well be autobigraphical, as most of his stories lead one to believe.

Why am I suddenly writing about this and digging up this old quote which I have not used in years?

There lies a tale.

Since the past few days, I have been going to the park earlier than usual so that I get sufficient time to take my walks before friends come and wish to chat. I have also been staying there later than usual as one particular friend comes a bit late and he wants to chat till it gets too cold for me to sit around without my warm clothes.

During these long sojourns there, I have been introduced to a recent addition to our neighbourhood who has been trying his best to impress the older residents with his condescending attitudes about what a sacrifice he has made by staying in India while his two children in the USA want him to stay with them there. He is one of those irritating specimens who cannot find anything right about India and perhaps would be happy only in Mars. I doubt that he will be happy anywhere else in the world either.

Now, complaining about India in general and Pune in particular, is waving a red cape to an old bull like me. I had been politely keeping away from his soliloquies the past few days but I had had enough the evening before last and decided to wade into a discussion with him.

He had no chance. It was a no match. I was way above his weight.

All I had to do was to re-introduce to him people who he had already met but with additional information about what their children do and where they reside. All of them had children overseas, all of them travel regularly to visit their children and grand children and they simply did not want to talk about their reasons for not living abroad.

He was not in the park last evening.

The Notebook.

The NotebookQuite how I got interested in seeing The Notebook is a mystery to me but I did pick up the idea from something I read somewhere and sent for a DVD which strangely enough came on the 13th inst.  I could not see it on V Day however but was able to see it last evening.  Lest my readers start imagining all kinds of things, no, there was no valentine involved.

This is one film that I would have most certainly liked to have seen when it was released in 2004 if someone had pointed out the theme to me then.  Urmeela’s dementia was quite advanced by then and perhaps even she would have liked to have seen the film as there are elements in the film with which both of us would have related.

It is a poignant story well directed and acted by seasoned actors.  The characters are very normal human and not some utopian ideal models.  I particularly enjoyed seeing all the old models of automobiles.  All in all a worthwhile movie to see, if one is willing to spend time on a good old fashioned love story with an element of care-giving thrown in.



I hope that you enjoy reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where six of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic was chosen by Maria the gaelikaa. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, gaelikaa, Maxi, Paul, Shackman, and The Old Fossil. 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!

Being the senior most of the LBC gang, my take is likely to be more poignant than unemotional.  Unlike the young, I have little to look forward to  whereas have a treasure trove of memories and recollections of so many things in the past.  This sense of wonder at my past rather than the excitement of a possible future has been brought out so well by two great souls that I will never be able to write like they did.


“The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessing previously secured.”

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero.


“…..the opportunities to act properly, the potentialities to fulfill a meaning, are affected by the irreversibility of our lives.  But also the potentialities alone are so affected. For as soon as we have used an opportunity and have actualized a potential meaning, we have done so once and for all.  We have rescued it into the past, nothing is irretrievably lost, but rather, on the contrary, everything is irrevocably stored and treasured. To be sure, people tend to see only the stubble field of transitoriness but overlook and forget the full granaries of the past into which they brought the harvest of their lives: the deeds done, the loves loved, and last but not least, the sufferings they have gone through with courage and dignity.
From this one may see that there is no reason to pity old people. Instead, young people should envy them. It is true that the old have no opportunities, no possibilities in the future. But they have more than that. Instead of possibilities in the future, they have realities in the past – the potentialities that they have actualized, the meanings they have fulfilled, the values they have realized – and nothing and nobody can ever remove these assets from the past.”

~ Viktor E Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning.

And how does one go about writing a short blog post on those assets?  I shall not even try.

The Four Letter Word.

This is my grand nephew Vedesh. He towers over me by at least half a foot and can easily beat me into pulp if it ever came to that. When I next visit Chennai again, I shall take a photograph with him to show my readers how larger than life he really is.
Two days ago, he posted this on his facebook page.
shut the fuck upSince over a thousand kilometers separate the two of us I decided to tease him a bit and since I could not resist the temptation to respond  we exchanged views as under. Please click on the image to get an enlarged version.
exchangeAs a grand uncle, I think that it is my duty to enlighten Vedesh about matters of great import.  Particularly since his best friend Suman and I had this exchange again on facebook.  I have no doubts whatsoever that Vedesh must have told Suman about my antecedents.

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 7.12.27 PMBong in that exchange means Bengali.  Suman is a Bengali and finds it fascinating that a Bengali had condescended to marry me.  Grihasta is another word that needs explanation which can be had here.

So, as part of their education, without further ado, I shall take them to a remarkable piece of writing on the world’s most popular four letter word which can be read here.

I shall now await reactions from these two young people who brighten up my existence by just being around for me.