How To Be Alone – II


I had promised Cheerful Monk that I would review the book once I had finished reading it and here it is.  I hope that Anjali agrees with my conclusion.

I am disappointed.

Sara Maitland has taken the theme that she loves being alone and would like other people to enjoy being alone too; but present societies consider this preference as countercultural. This may well be true of Western societies but I do come from India where it is anything but countercultural. That India, particularly urban India has increasingly become Westernised considered, the vast majority of Indians would not consider going off to live alone or on retreats as being odd.

Having said that, there are as many pressures here for single people to get married as there are in the West and as many snide comments about singles made to them or behind their backs as there apparently are in the West.

Ms. Maitland has collected many quotes from many authors and her suggested reading list for those looking to be alone include Henry Thoreau, Philip Koch, Isabel Colegate and Peter France. Frankly, I have no intention to read any further on the subject as nothing new has come up in her work and I doubt that I will learn anything new from the others though I must say that I have always found Thoreau’s Walden a fascinating read.

Unless you are now not alone and are being forced into or voluntarily planning to go it alone for the rest of your life and are looking for a DIY book, you can safely give this book a bye.

Of Pumpkins, Witches, And The Whole Nine Yards

Today’s LBC topic comes courtesy Lin whose ingenuity can floor me without much effort. Here is an example of that!

That should amuse you Tammy!

Pumpkins are quite popular in India too but not quite the way they are with Charlie Brown. They are used in curries, chutneys and to make some delicious sweetmeats. My personal choice is the use of them in Sambaar. Apart from mixing it with rice, I also drink it like soup whenever it is made.

Witches and I have had nothing to do with each other ever. The only time that a witch came into my life was when Frank Sinatra introduced me to:

And that brings me to the idiom ‘the whole nine yards’. I personally don’t use it though I am familiar with it. I prefer ‘the whole jing bang lot’. But what ‘nine yards’ gets me to think of is this.
9 yard sari

Ladies from Maharashtra, and the Southern states wear these 9 yard saris, which are longer than the normal 6 yard saris which would be worn like this:
6 yd sari

Elegant wear aren’t they?

Wazir, The Movie.


I had to settle a bet by taking two of my friends to lunch out yesterday and was looking forward to some rest and peace today to catch up with my routine. It was not to be as my persistent friend Ramesh decided that we must watch Wazir before it got removed from all theaters tomorrow. So, with much reluctance I accompanied him and am, in retrospect, glad that I did.

It is a pity that it is not doing very well at the box office but how does one measure the taste of our movie going public? At the theater on cross checking, I was told that today would indeed be the last screening of the film as collections have been very disappointing.

The link to the film given in the first paragraph will take you to Wikipedia which gives a detailed review of the film but let me just add my two bits. The entire story revolves around two characters portrayed with remarkable aplomb by Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar. All the other actors are simply cameo roles and the action scenes rather short and effective. But these two actors do a remarkable job of carrying the entire story on their shoulders and the very effective direction and editing has ensured that the film does not run for more than 104 minutes. One of the shortest films that I have recently seen and that alone makes me give it an additional star to the three that I had originally planned for it, to make it a 4/5.

If you can catch it, please do not miss it.

Chalk n Duster.

Chalk n Duster

It has been almost four weeks since I had an outing with my friend Ramesh and he simply got fed up. Using the excuse of another visiting friend’s presence just now in Pune, he twisted my arms to go out with him for lunch and a movie and I am glad that he did.

The lunch at Tikka Town’s latest outlet in Viman Nagar, a neighbouring suburb of Pune, was simply out of this world and the movie was well worth the two and a half hours spent inside the multiplex.

The film is studded with extremely capable actors. Did you notice my choice of the word ‘actors’? Yes, capable actors, not one of them a star as the term is generally understood. All of them come up trumps with their performances with some excellent direction and camera work.

What makes me give just a 3/5 rating for the film is the very noble but weak storyline. The story is all about commercialisation of school education and tough management vs good teachers and their students. The climax of the quiz show could have been handled better but was very interesting nevertheless.

Chalk N Duster is a movie worth going to if you are the emotional / sentimental type who enjoys soft storylines and high morals being advocated.



I had the pleasure of suggesting this topic for the LBC weekly posts.  I distinctly remember the occasion as I was having my breakfast when I was preparing a list and I simply included this for the heck of it.  It has come now to pressurise me to write something of interest to my readers.

My habit of eating quantities of food as depicted in the style of the right side image here started at a very young age during my school days when I had to leave home early in the mornings and return only in the evenings after sports and games. I had to carry a lunch box lovingly packed with nourishing food packed by my mother and which I used to share with my friends who would also bring their lunches. Since perforce the lunchbox had to be small to fit into a satchel, the quantity would be less than a regular meal and so before I left home, my mother would see to it that I had a full meal so that the quantity would sustain me till my return and the evening meal. The evening meal would in turn be somewhat the same in quantity as the afternoon meal, and not as large as the morning’s one.

Later on in life, I learned that both the Indian and Allopathic systems of medicine also favoured such a discipline for the quantities of food to be taken during a day.

This habit was reinforced when I started to work as a salesman when I would not know if where I landed up during lunch time would enable me to have a meal at all with proper / hygienic restaurants or whether I would have to settle for some biscuits and tea at some wayside teahouse. Much later in life as I had to entertain people for dinner, I would still eat smaller portions than most people do, having already had my preferred quantities in the morning and afternoon meals.

I gave up cooked meals for the evening meal some years ago and have restricted the evening intake to just fruits and sometimes fruits and nuts. I do make exceptions on occasion for social obligation purposes, but those are rare as most of my friends and family know that I do not eat cooked food in the evenings and I am rarely called for such occasions.


Despite this supposedly very healthy way of consuming one’s quota of daily meals, I wish that I could attest to looking like the person on the right of the first image.  Sadly, foolishness of the past has ensured that I look more like the Michelin man shown on the left here!

My GP friend tells me that if I want to look like the person on the right side of the top image, I will have to balance the discipline of the quantity with some serious exercise as well!  Pshaw!