Facebook suggested to my young friend Aneesh that he publishes the first anniversary of our friendship on Facebook. He promptly obliged. Reading that another old friend GSM and I exchanged the following comments.

GSM: How many real friends do you have?

Me: Facebook says 673 GSM! Most of them have come back into my life after the advent of cellphones, Facebook and WhatsApp besides the great work done by our ex colleague A Ramaswamy. In this particular case, Aneesh’s father Suresh and I were classmates in Ahmedabad as well as neighbours in Bombay. I however met Aneesh personally only last month when he had come to Pune with his father. It was a great meeting I can assure you.

I need to explain somethings to my readers. GSM is the same friend about whom I had written in my blog post Small Things Matter.

The ex colleague that I mention in my response to him is a remarkable man who has been the inspiration for organising group get togethers for retired and ex colleagues of a company in which GSM, he and I worked many years ago. He keeps informing about all of us to each other by mail and also tries to attend meetings of ex colleagues in Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai.

Even I was taken aback to see the number 673 in Facebook. I rechecked and it is indeed true. I can’t however say that I am a very close friend to all of them but, quite a lot of them and I have shared many intersting times together in the past. Some are members of my extended family, some my classmates/alumni, ex colleagues from my working life, children of all these people, friends of friends and so on.

For all the disadvantages that modern digital life has brought us, it has also brought people together.

And to finish this post off in style, let me express my hope that one day my friend Shackman and I will get together and sing this duet!

If More Politicians Listened To Scientists Would The World Be A Safer Place?

Welcome to the weekly 2 on 1 blog post that Shackman and I write every Friday. Today’s topic has been chosen by Shackman who is more optimistic than I thought him to be on politicians. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say on the topic.

I have no hopes whatsoever of politicians ever doing anything that would make our world a safer place. It simply has not happened ever, nor is it likely to happen ever again. The political class marches to a drum beat that is entirely unique to it and the class is most unsuited to march to any other drum beat.  Politicians by definition cannot think long term.

I am in total agreement with George Carlin and for the purpose of this post, I equate the government to politicians.  I leave it to my readers to decide if we are smart or intelligent.


I received a phone call this morning from a friend inviting me to go out for lunch with him. I excused myself giving some innocuous excuses but, he kept trying to persuade me to accompany him. Finally, he gave up and asked me why I was being so unusually melancholic today. I responded that I did not think I was being melancholic but, just lazy.

He went off alone and I was left wondering about his comment on my being melancholic. I had not heard the term used by anyone in a long long time but, remembered a few things which came to my mind that I share with my readers here.  The statue on the left is by Hanneke Beaumont called Melancholia.

In 1866 the major French literary figure Victor Hugo published “Les Travailleurs de la Mer” which was later released under the English title “The Toilers of the Sea”. This work included this quotation.

“Le désespoir a des degrés remontants. De l’accablement on monte à l’abattement, de l’abattement à l’affliction, de l’affliction à la mélancolie. La mélancolie est un crépuscule. La souffrance s’y fond dans une sombre joie.
La mélancolie, c’est le bonheur d’être triste.”

“Despair has ascending degrees. From prostration one mounts to despondency, from despondency to affliction, from affliction to melancholy. Melancholy is a twilight. Suffering melts into it in sombre joy.
Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.”

No, I am anything but melancholic.

Comment, Question And Answer.

In my blog post Haldi Doodh my friend Rasheed commented as follows:

Oh, good old Haldi Doodh. Yum! These people will unknowingly gobble up turmeric latte for their own benefit.

Oh, I have a question for you, Ramu Bhaiya.

What did the cow say to the milk?

Answer: Hey Doodh!

Ramu Bhaiya, in Hindi simply means, Brother Ramu.

My answer to Rasheed is:

Fy Fy Fy.

I was teasing a friend on Whatsapp for his ideology and he responded with “I know that you are chavifying me….”

I bet that none of my non Indian readers can decipher that, and perhaps some Indians too!

Let me explain. Adding the fy at the end of a word is to signify an action explained by the first part. In English for instance, if you say nullify, it would mean that the action makes whatever has happened null and void or whatever. Other words such as diversify, intensify, exemplify, indemnify, demystify, personify, speechify, electrify etc, come to mind.

We Indians simply take Indian language words and add the fy to achieve the same result. Tamilians are particularly fond of doing this.

In the case of my friend’s comment in the first paragraph, chavi means a key. Particularly a key that is used to wind up things like clocks, mechanical toys etc. What my friend meant to convey was that he was aware that I was winding him up.

There are many other words like this and some are given below.

Maskafy – Applying maska. Maska means butter. Buttering up someone.

Ragdofy – To make someone slog.

Chaakufy – stabbing with a knife. Chaku means knife.

Keechofy – Pull.

Khichdify – Khichdi is a mixed dish with rice, lentils, nuts etc. In other words, make a hash of things.

Samaichufy – A Tamil concoction Samayal meaning to cook.

This has become so much part of the Tamil culture that a very popular song has been written around it. Kalaachify in the title means, mix it well.

Touche! Me Too!

We need good friends to keep us grounded firmly on Mother Earth.

I am blessed in that I have a number of them who take great pleasure in ensuring that I do exactly that.

One of them, who unfortunately refuses permission to name him, took me down a peg or two this morning and I am yet to recover from it as I write this six hours later.

My friend lives a safe 900 Kilo Meters away from me but calls me whenever he gets the opportunity to talk to me. He ignored the first opportunity when he read my post Checked Out Characters. He however could not resist the temptation to call me this morning after he received an email alert about my post Haldi Doodh.

The point he made was simply that I should not be so smug. He pointed out that I too am a checked out character for having dropped the Western attire of pant, shirt, suspender belt, shoes, tie and jacket persona to the not so popular white native dress. He called it reverse snobbery.