Goodbye 2015.

No I didn’t get under a blanket and wait for the year to end.  I have been quite busy the last week of this year with a lot of activity.  Even today, the last was busier than normal but I am determined to write this before I call it a day.

The year has been eventful.  Two of my close friends underwent surgery as did my brother Arvind who also came out successful with a battle with the big C.  My cousin in Vashi to whom I am very attached also had to be hospitalised and I went to see him there.  I personally had health issues and as I write this, I seem to have licked most of them and am well on my way to full recovery.

We had Phil and Barbara from the USA and Koush from Canada visiting us as well as Parag from Mumbai who took some amazing photographs of mine which went viral on facebook.  Towards the end of the year we also had Kiran spend a couple of nights with us. The most eventful was the visit of my sister Padmini with her son, daughter in law and two grand girls last week.  I went up to Vashi with Padmini to visit my cousin which was also an event of some import as we went to congratulate our sister in law who had just been felicitated for the social work that she does among the tribals of nearby areas.

I visited my friends Neena and Anil in Delhi during the summer months and was glad to return to more temperate climes.  As I write this, both Delhi and Pune are in the grip of cold spells and we are all looking forward to the spell easing off.  It was nice to see Ranjan and Manjiree off earlier this evening all wrapped up and in warm clothes.  They have gone off to Manjiree’s sister’s home where many of the younger generation from both the families are gathering to bring in the new year.  I have decided to stay at home and follow my daily routine of going to sleep early and waking up early in the new year.

My blogging was erratic and I was not able to achieve the target I had set myself of completing 2200 posts before the end of the year.  I fell short by 12 and including this one, so far have posted only 2188.  I must really improve my posting during the coming year.  I had about 4800 viewers reading my blog during the year and though the comments do not reflect this,  the figure is very gratifying.  Unfortunately, many of my friends leave comments on facebook when links to my posts are given there and those do not feature in the statistics that I receive about this blog.  While I am grateful to all the commentators who had left so many comments on my posts, my special thanks go to these five inveterate commentators who feature among the top five commentators on my blog.

  1. Cheerful Monk.
  2. Tammy J
  3. Holly Jahangiri
  4. Shackman and
  5. Cathy in NZ.

The most visited post was Disgustingly Cheerful which I posted last January.  It received 256 readers!  I am unable to find what made it so interesting as, in my opinion, there were many other posts far more interesting than that during the year.

On that mysterious note, I now bid goodbye to 2015 and set myself a target to reach 2300 posts by the time 2016 ends.

Favourite Book Or Film.

This week’s LBC topic comes from Maria who as I write this is and when it will get published will still be in her beloved Ireland winding up her visit.  She should get back to bring in the new year at her home in Lucknow and I hope that 2016 will see her back to blogging for the LBC.

Rather than write on book or film let me write about both.  And, as a bonus mention two films, one in Hindi and one in English.

BG Book
My favourite book, one that I keep going back to again and again for reference as well as to refresh my memory is the Bhagwat Geetha.  Does that surprise any of my readers?

My all time favourite film that I can see again and again is Guide.  I first saw it in Ahmedabad in 1965.  There was little else to do in that town those days and the theater oddly enough called the Relief Cinema was the only air conditioned one in town.   I saw the film seven times while it still ran there, I think for more than a hundred days if my memory serves me right.

I saw it again a number of times on reruns at morning or matinee shows as well as on the Television.

It is more difficult to choose an English film but I would plunk for The Magnificent Seven.  I have simply lost count of the number of times that I have seen it and would still see it if it was shown on TV or even at special screenings.  I used to own a VCTape of it and will now investigate if I can get a DVD to keep for posterity.

And to conclude this post on this glorious day of the 25th of December 2015, I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas.  Mine started being one since yesterday afternoon with the arrival of my sister, her son and his family.  I hasten to add this last paragraph before I run away to be with them for the rest of the day.

Bajirao Mastani.


Three factors got me out of my comfort zone to watch this film earlier today. The first one was Looney’s post in his blog about his experience with the film in Fremont, where he claims that the Indians have taken over life, the second was the fact that I had not seen a film in a mighty long time thanks to being indisposed and the third, just the inspiration I needed to get into trousers and go out, a call from my partner in crime Ramesh that he had already got the tickets and that I must rush to the theater.

I am glad that I went out because it helped me to figure out what could be objectionable about a historical film based on real characters and places. Having seen the film, I need now to read more about the story before I can come to some conclusion, but the experience of the film itself is simply one of increase in my admiration for the character Bajirao.

The story is basically on the eternal theme of an eternal triangle. To understand the nuances of this particular theme I am particularly well placed living as I do in Pune and among Maharashtrian Brahmins and also because of my understanding ot the nuances of the Rajput / Muslim liaisons of the period as well as my interest in Indian History.

The three main leads and without exception, all the supporting cast deliver very powerful performances under the able direction of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The cinematography is outstanding and the juxtaposition of the period to standing edifices like the Shaniwar Wada has been very effectively managed.

If I have a grouse, it is that at least two song and dance scenes could have been done away without affecting the storyline which would have also cut down the viewing time by a few minutes from the two hours and forty minutes that I spent!

If you are interested in a piece of very important Indian history of the period of Maratha ascendence and Mughal decline, this film is worth viewing.



“Repetition gives a semblance of credibility to even the most outlandish lies.”

Please don’t ask me to elaborate.  There are too many lies and half-truths in our public life going around that I cannot even grade them for their vileness.  I am sure that all my readers, irrespective of where they live will agree that sadly this is the case in all public life.