Thanks to the great efforts taken by a friend who was my colleague in a company in which I was employed 25 years ago, I attended a reunion yesterday of some more colleagues from the late sixties and seventies of the last century. The reunion was arranged in Mumbai where seven of the attendees now reside with my friend coming from Bengaluru and I going from Pune to make it a nice nine attendees.
The venue was a restaurant attached to a Gymkhana in the Eastern part of Mumbai and for me to enter that suburb and exit was not difficult as traffic on Sunday was light. When all of had assembled, I was the second last to land up, there was a lot of hugging and shouting at each other and the management of the restaurant seeing the rowdy behaviour of such old codgers decided to give us a basement room exclusively for our use and made two waiters wait exclusively at our table.
All of us are over sixty and two are still employed and one is running his own business in a town some distance away from Mumbai. Bar me, all are grand parents and five of them had children overseas. Like the cartoon above, all of us kidded each other about our appearances. I was meeting all of them except one after 25 years. The one exception keeps coming to Pune and has been in touch regularly even otherwise.
Except for the friend from Bengaluru and the businessman, the seven others were all colleagues who had worked together with me in Mumbai and one had worked with me in Kerala too. We were all salesmen who grew within the company into managerial roles and had a lot of old stories to remember and reminisce about. We caught up with who is where, who died, whose health is bad and so on and bringing the reunion to a close was extremely difficult.
We have now decided that this group, plus a few who did not come due to various reasons, will meet regularly at Mumbai and Pune and keep in touch. What a day!
This morning, I got a phone call from my sister who is visiting her son in Bengaluru who suddenly put me on to speak to another lady on the phone who turned out to be a childhood friend from Chennai from the early fifties of the last century, now settled in Bengaluru and there was so much to talk about our respective mothers who were the greatest of friends and the rest of the family. Another great nostalgia trip that too culminated in promises to keep in touch and meet at Bengaluru and Pune.
In India, Classified Matrimonial Advertisements is a particularly important source of revenue for all newspapers. All Sunday issues will have a few pages dedicated to this one area. Here is a sample of a page in our Hindustan Times.
Ranjan and I were sitting and having a man to man chat last evening when Ranjan received a phone call from one of his friends who was trying to help a foreigner decipher some Punjabi matrimonial ads. Ranjan was asked as to what NM at the end of such ads meant and I was asked as he did not know. I did not either and I rang up the only Punjabi friend that I could think of Teji and asked him the same and I was promptly told that it stood for Non Mangalik. When I shared this information with Ranjan’s friend, he wanted to know more about Mangala Dosha and I had to explain that too.
A while later, we received another call asking what DU stood for and this one was easy. It was to indicate that the bride or the groom obtained a degree from the Delhi University as opposed to the less preferred universities of the Punjab.
And then, as my synchronicity does repeatedly, I was drawn to this story in the New York Times. Please read it fully and the video is exceptionally good too.
I have disabled predictive texting in my cellphone.
This topic was suggested by Padmum, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort. The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin, 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, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!
I have just returned from seeing this magnificent film and I am still to recover from the experience. It is one of the most powerful films that I have seen on the subject of ordinary people involved in war and such films carry more in the form of unexpected friendships than the other genres do.
I have nothing to say about the film except to recommend that all my readers see it to get the experience first hand of a top class story told brilliantly on screen by some remarkable acting by all the cast, notably Russell Crowe. I have no hesitation in giving it a [rating=6] rating.
Everybody’s talking about people breaking into houses but there are more people in the world who want to break out of houses.
~ Thornton Wilder.
This post is dedicated to Tammy who is a great minimalist constantly trying to break out of shackles.
He could be fictional, but the greatest minimalist that I have come across is Jack Reacher, Lee Child’s hero. He does not own anything other than the clothes that he wears and discards to buy just another set to last him a while longer. He stays in motels and keeps wandering getting into all kinds of adventures.
My one regret in life is my physical limitation that prevents me from taking to the life of a Sadhu. Indian Sadhus are somewhat like Reacher except that they do not get into the kind of adventures that the latter gets into, nor are they likely to be retired Military Police officers. These are the people who have successfully broken out of houses as Wilder suggests most would like to. I would dearly love to and take to a life of wandering not quite begging to survive but like Reacher living on the move with no baggage.
Joshua and Ryan are two modern day Minimalists who are kind of trail blazers and their book Everything That Remains explains the philosophy of Minimalism and the benefits of leading such a life like nothing that I have ever read before. How I wish that I could at least be as minimalist as Joshua has become if I can’t become a Reacher clone!