Saving For Retirement.

I had published this image shared with me by Nandu in my post I am not my story.

Nandu in his comments on the post said “I have emailed a pic to you ( since I can’t post here ) . You have answered the question asked in it!”

And I responded with “And a lovely picture it is too. I am saving it for another story some day!”

The time to publish that image is now here and here it is.

Do you relate to it?

City Lights.


City Lights is a recently released Hindi film that has received rare positive reviews and I was able to see it last Thursday and am very glad that I did as it has been taken off the theaters. I am not surprised as there were just a handful of viewers when we went for the only show in the entire city showing at the most inconvenient timing of 2.10 pm. In retrospect, I am not even annoyed for having lost my siesta. That film was that good.

This film is a collaborative film between Fox Star Studios and a famous Indian producer based on the English film Metro Manila produced by Sean Ellis. I have not been able to get a DVD of the latter to compare but have not stopped trying. If I do get a copy, I shall post a comparison blog.

The lead roles are played by Rajkumar Rao and Patraleka who I understand are in a relationship in real life too.  I deliberately use the word actors rather than stars for these two, for they come up with fantastic performances and it is obvious that the direction by Hansal Mehta has achieved great heights because they are actors and not stars.  Neither look glamorous and that is exactly what the roles call for. And for me a very important factor, there is no singing duets and chasing each other round trees and bushes in the film. There is background music and even a song the refrain of which keeps coming back on and off but, it is not disturbing.

The story is simple and the life shown of poor and naive immigrants into Bombay is so realistic that I could relate and even anticipate events, having lived in Bombay for many years.

If you can get to see it, please do not miss the opportunity.  You will thank me for the recommendation.


Much Ado About Nothing.


A quarter of a century ago, I was based in Bangalore and my employer had arranged for a training program to which many managers from other cities had come. Almost all of them were staying in one particularly famous public sector hotel. It was famous for creating situations that only a bureaucratic hotel can. I personally was away from Bangalore on a tour though some managers from my team had also come for the program.

On the last day of the training program, I returned in the evening and was informed by my family that one of the managers from my division had taken ill and had been admitted to a hospital. After getting some more details from the personnel department who had arranged the hospitalisation, in tandem with the hotel’s Medical Officer, I went to the hospital and was able to persuade the doctor in charge of the ICU to let me in to see my colleague as he was from outstation and had no one from his family in Bangalore.

The scene was comic as well as macabre to say the least. My colleague was desperately trying to converse with the nurses who could not or would not talk to him in English or Hindi and he was getting paranoid with patients lying around him either dying or being taken away for surgery or whatever.

When he saw me, he cheered up quite a bit and literally begged me to take him away from the hospital as he was feeling quite well and he did not want to be in that morbid atmosphere. I went back to the doctor in charge of ICU and requested that the patient be discharged and was politely told that unless a cardiologist recognised by the hospital came and requested for such a discharge and took responsibility for the patient, it would not be possible. I used a great deal of influence and funds that night to locate such a cardiologist and took him to get my colleague discharged after he had already been in the ICU for over eight hours.

The cardiologist examined my colleague at the ICU and signed all the papers and got my colleague discharged and I took him away from the hospital. He caught the next morning flight to his hometown and that was the end of the story.

The story’s punchline however was the quip that the cardiologist came up with after the discharge. My colleague had had a fart attack and the hotel’s Medical Officer had misdiagnosed it as a heart attack and had rushed him to the hospital.

That colleague is still alive, kicking and raising hell and we often reminisce about that particular episode. Much ado about nothing really.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my story on this subject which was chosen by Maria the gaelikaa for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman. 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!

I Am Not My Story.


My dear sister Padmini tagged me with that image on her facebook page. You can click on it to enlarge it so that you can read all the content.

In yet another case of synchronicity, I had been to a lunch with my classmates yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to meet a new face among our group. VP was not our classmate but was a year junior to us and graduated a year later than us. We had shared the same campus during his first year and our first. He had been in touch with a classmate in Pune and so was invited to come over and meet the rest.

VP asked me what I did and in my usual flippant way I said that I currently spend my son’s hard earned money but VP would not take that for an answer and asked me what I did prior to my son started to earn and I responded that I spent my father’s hard earned money.

For my non Indian friends, a little background. You can come across this type quite often in our society. Completely carefree gents and increasingly ladies too, who can mostly be found in our many clubs nursing their afternoon gin and tonic around noon or their cocktails in the evenings before dinner time and would be lounging around in the club bars till the bars opened at 11.00am. You can occasionally find them in other places and if you do, you can count yourself lucky for having achieved something rare.

Jokes apart, I did satisfy VP’s curiosity but I was reminded of that episode again due to another piece of synchronicity. My friend Nandu posted this on his fb page!

Now all I have got to do is to become the story that I am not.

Comfort Zone.

comfort zone

There is an important family occasion happening in Chennai by the end of July and a number of my relatives from all over are gathering there. My initial idea when I received the summons was to combine the visit with one to Bengaluru and Tirupur where I have some unfinished work pending. I took a few days thinking about the various ways that I could accomplish all that and in the meanwhile, my son Ranjan and daughter in law Manjiree were also given the summons and they too decided to go over.

They decided on a three day visit to take advantage of a week end and I readily agreed to go and return with them but they had been given clear instructions by the summoning authority that I should be left behind at Chennai for at least a week more.

We were still debating this matter when I retired for the night last night and this morning found that my tickets had been bought during the night by Ranjan that effectively keeps me in Chennai for a week longer than his stay.

My initial reaction was despair. I did not want to stay there for that long but on reflection found that I do have enough and more to do at Chennai for the additional few days.

When I thought about my reluctance, I have concluded that I am getting stuck in my comfort zone at home in Pune and resent leaving it.  I am so comfortable that even leaving the home for local trips is increasingly unattractive.  For instance, there is a mini alumni get-together today and I had agreed to go for it but since morning felt lethargic and was thinking of some excuse to beg off the meet.  Not a very good diagnosis!

If I had insisted on coming back with Ranjan and Manjiree I would have lost the opportunity for some serious catching up at Chennai and when I found this message on top it made sense to me.  I must make the effort to get out of my comfort zone more and get out of the house even if it is just to go for some minor shopping for fruits or vegetables.  Otherwise, I would atrophy! And I have decided to overcome my reluctance and lethargy and go for the get-together later today.

What about my readers?  Do you resent leaving your comfort zones?