Love Conquers All!

Jim, Romance in India is alive and flourishing. At least among some old geezers. Manjhi was a young man when he started to break down the mountain, but look at these two remarkable men.

An 80 year old man is building another Taj Mahal as a memorial for his lady love. You don’t believe me? Please read this article.

Another old man, finding taking a boat cumbersome and having to wait for it, invents a contraption that takes him across a river in no time. You can read all about it here.

Manjhi The Mountain Man.

Jim's Manjhi

On August 15, 2015, my blogger friend Jim posted this image on his facebook wall and we exchanged these comments

Jim: “Ramana, thought that you might like this story.”

I: “He is quite a hero here Jim. A biopic has been produced with a very popular film actor depicting his story.”

Jim: “Thought he might be inspiring. Have you written post on him?”

I: “No Jim. What I will do is to see the film and then write a review of the film.

And as promised to Jim, here is my review of the film which I saw yesterday.
Manjhi poster

Three highly talented people come together to produce a masterpiece of a film based on a true story but to make it appeal to the average Indian film goer adding some mirch masala. Incidentally, one of the three is Ketan Mehta who has actually directed a highly acclaimed film called Mirch Masala! The true story is embellished with some cruelty of the inter caste genre, atrocities against the poor and the marginal, corrupt politicians and babus, but all of these present a realistic background to a remarkable story of one individual’s remarkable achievement.

While Ketan Mehta has written and produced the film, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Manjhi and Radhika Apte as his wife and inspiration have performed so well that I am yet to recover from their powerful impression on me. The tight editing and excellent photography brings rural Bihar alive and the use of the local dialect is charming and very effective. While I saw a Hindi version, I am told that a version with English subtitles has also been released.


Better research could have saved the producers some embarrassment. Indira Gandhi no doubt to add some comedy, is shown promoting her Hand Symbol for elections when during the period that this incident happens, the INC had not come up with the symbol. Actually, it would have been better comedy, if that was the intention, to show INC’s Emergency time symbol of the cow and calf which has always represented the INC from her time, first with her and Sanjay Gandhi as cow and calf and now with Sonia and Rahul depicting the same!


It is a moving film that leaves the viewer with awe and respect for the determined man and the two plus hours in the theater goes by in a flash.  I recommend it highly to discerning viewers with a full[rating=6] rating.

Planning And Planting.

I suppose that Lin wanted us to write about a process of planning to plant a garden or an orchard something like that. Otherwise, these two words though sounding similar when spoken aloud, as a team do not offer a combined opportunity for comment.

Since I have never planned a garden or an orchard in my life, let me take the two words separately and write what I can about them.

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

He should know!

During my corporate life, I have had my share of plans and planning and over a period of time, became quite adept at the process. While many others struggled with them, I had worked out a “system”, based a great deal on my instincts for the market, and it never failed me. What used to disappoint me and many others who had spent days on such exercises, was that if anything came out of such plans, we did not know the logic behind them! For instance, at the lowest level the plans would indicate low volumes and at it each stage of upward consolidation, the volumes would be increased and by the time the targets came back they would usually be some things quite different. I used to quote Ike whenever I was asked by disappointed managers as to what happened to those plans!

So much for plans. Let us talk about planting.

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
~ Warren Buffett

He should know!

Twenty five years ago, when we purchased our home, the road leading to it and around it was desolate. My late wife planted all the trees on both sides of the avenue that you see here now. In fact, about ten years ago, the local Residents Association decided to call it North Avenue instead of some road or the other, though the ubiquitous politician has given it some name ending in a road that no one knows about.

Yes, Urmeela planted those little plants, put fencing around them to protect them and watered them during the first few years till they took root and stabilised. She planned for them to take root and spent time and energy on them. And despite pruning by the local utilities to prevent over head cable snapping, they have flourished. She was the “someone” long ago for at least these trees.
North Avenue

ranjan avenue

She also planned and planted a garden in the small plot that is attached to our home and now it is being revived and redesigned by my daughter in law Manjiree. I cannot do much there as I simply do not get the necessary interest in gardening up though I enjoy sitting in the veranda and enjoying the birds and butterflies that come in there.

This topic was suggested by Lin 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,  AshokgaelikaaLin, 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!

The Traveller And The Old Married Couple.

Having recently written a series of posts on Travelling, when I came across these two very interesting things,  I thought it best to share them, with my readers though there is little travelling except for the mention of a traveller in the second story. There are however powerful messages in both  for some of my friends!

The first story is about a young lady who has decided to take travelling to a new high.  She is permanently travelling.  You don’t believe me?  Just read this please.

The next one is actually a joke.  Enjoy!!

A traveler once visited a small village in the countryside. At the local bar, someone asked him if he was married. ‘Divorced, actually. Never could find a woman I didn’t end up fighting with all the time.’

‘Then you should go talk to the old couple that lives on the hill outside the village, rumor has it that they have been married over 60 years and they never fought this whole time.’

‘What?? That’s impossible! Everyone has fights!’  Exclaimed the traveler. But the local swore to him it was the truth and nothing but.

The traveler just had to check it out, and in the morning he knocked on the door of the little house on the hill and was immediately welcomed by the husband, who invited him for tea. After the traveler explained why he came to see him, the man smiled and nodded.

‘It’s true, we never fight.’

‘PLEASE,’ Begged the traveler, ‘can you tell me your secret??’


‘Well,’ said the old man, ‘It all started about 60 years ago, right after the wedding. We were riding our mule back to town and walking it down the street when it tripped over a stone and my wife said to him “That’s one.”

We kept riding and he tripped again on another stone, which made my wife immediately say: “That’s two.”

Two minutes later, the mule trips over a stone again. My wife said: “That’s three.” pulled out a gun I never knew she had and shot it in the head without thinking twice! I was shocked and yelled at her: “What the heck do you think you’re doing?? We needed that mule! Are you crazy???”

My wife looked me straight in the eye and said: “That’s one.

And we haven’t had a fight since.