As I sat in my verandah earlier today with my morning mug of tea, I was in a reflective and introspective mood and I observed that in a short spell of about half an hour, I went through a range of emotions.

First it was gratitude that I had this facility where I could spend my mornings quietly watching the morning rituals that take place every day.

Then it was great admiration and respect for the man on a moped with boxes all around him who supplies freshly baked bakery products to his customers every morning. I know for a fact that he would have been up since around 4.00 a.m loading his vehicle and the boxes so that he can start his rounds at around 6.00 a.m. Then the mind went to the men in the bakery who would have been at work perhaps all night long to service many other such vendors before dawn.

Admiration and respect continued as I watched housemaids being dropped off by family members so that they could start their daily grind of at least two and mostly three homes to work at. For them to do that, they would have had to get up at some ungodly hour to get ready for the day and cook the meals for the family to be packed and kept for them to carry to their places of study or work.

Next it was envy seeing young people jogging and older people walking briskly. Something that I wish I could indulge in but cannot due to my health issues.

Then came respect for an obviously handicapped person with some problem in one leg who walks every morning with the help of a walker.

That was followed by great annoyance at a couple of skinheads on a motor cycle with its silencer removed who zoomed across causing a great racket. As if not to be left unnoticed, that was closely followed by a car trying to overtake the motor cycle blaring its horn. Both oblivious to the fact that it was early morning and people may still be sleeping.

And finally appreciation for the punctuality of my newspaper boy who, like clockwork, drops my daily dose of them exactly at 6.20 am. With that last emotion, I came into the house to take possession of the papers and to start reading them.

Sometimes, the mornings can go into other reveries too about which I shall write another post when that happens next.


Wouldn’t all of us like such rumours to be spread about us?

In my case, an attempt at humour by a dear friend resulted in it becoming a fast spreading rumour which in turn became an urban legend about, hold your breath, yours truly.

When my friend Vichu met me after many years at Delhi airport, he saw me using a walking stick and wanted to know the reason. He was going to Chennai and I to Jaipur. I was just 38 years old then and it was an unusual sight for someone of that age to use a walking stick. I explained to him the reason that I had damaged my hip joints and had to get them replaced soon, he could not believe me. He decided to crack a joke about it when he met my brother in Chennai after that eventful meeting and quipped that I had jumped out of a second floor flat to escape from a husband who had come unexpectedly and had fractured my hip joints. My unsuspecting and naive brother believed that story and it became a family legend first and then when I came to know of it, I started using it myself as part of my repertoire of humour. The connection between rumour and humour!

We are right now in the midst of our national elections and rumours of all kinds spread like wild fire thanks to modern social media networks. People have started to use social media rather than trust the mass media like TV and Newspapers as they find the latter biased in favour of one or the other side of the polarised political spectrum. This has its own pitfalls and rumours rather than facts gain credibility sometimes resulting in unintended consequences. I try and check credible sources before I decide to forward messages received in WhatsApp and Twitter and often have to stop further spreading of unverifiable information.

I personally do not start or spread rumours. Often to the bemusement of friends who love doing just that. How about you?

Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post.

I Am A Page Three Celebrity Now!

I had reservations about my photograph and interview appearing in today’s newspaper. That is why, yesterday, I had said that if the interview appears in the paper, I shall publish it here.

It did and here is the photogrph of the item. Unfortunately, the page is not available on the web for me to give a link to and so the photograph. Please click on the image if necessary, to get a larger resolution and to read my comments,

The Finger!

No, I don’t mean this finger in Milan.

I mean this one:

Please click on the image to get a larger image and zoom in on the finger to see an ink stain.

I was interviewed by a young lady reporter of a local newspaper as I exited the polling station after voting this morning.  She took this photograph after asking me to pose for it with my finger showing the ink stain as proof that I had indeed voted. She had kindly sent me the photograph via WhatsApp and has promised that I will feature in her article tomorrow in the local paper. If the article does indeed appear, I shall blog about it tomorrow.

India’s gargantuan elections to our Parliament is in progress and Pune where I live,  voted today. After quite some time, I was able to meet a lot of my friends from the Joggers’ Park who had come to vote there. Since I have stopped going there for my evening walks, I had not seen many of them for over a year now. Arrangements to give preference to ladies, senior citizens and handicapped people were excellent and I did not have to stand in a queue for too long as my son who had escorted me had to.

I have done my bit. Now to wait for the results to come which will take another month as it will take that long to cover the entire country.

A Remarkable Career.

My friend Rajinder posted this image on my WhatsApp page.

Below the image he had written in Hindi a statement translated into English – “This is how young boys grow up to become engineers.”

I couldn’t resist the temptation to post a response and posted this image.

At the bottom, I added in Hindi the message – “This is how young boys grow up to be Captains of ships.”

A little background. Rajinder and I go back to the eighties of the last century when we were both colleagues selling to gullible customers in our Himalayan Region. We made one memorable trip together there and I had met him during many other occasions at our offices. He decided that being a salesman was not what he wanted to do and so went to sea.  We lost track of each other all these years, but thanks to modern social media reestablished contact recently.

Rajinder eventually retired as a Merchant Marine Captain a few years ago. A remarkable achievement for a landlubber from the interiors of our vast country and particularly from the hills!

Rajinder reestablished contact with me on Face Book some time ago  and we have been in regular touch since then exchanging messages mostly on WhatsApp or over the telephone.  Apart from this interesting background, he is also a poet of Hindi verse and posts many couplets on Face Book.

Post retirement, he has settled down in Jaipur, a town that is 700 Kms from the nearest Port!  Like me, he too spends a lot of time in his garden and with his dog.

He has promised to make a trip to Pune to meet me personally and I eagerly look forward to it.

Sense Of Humour.

It is, believe me. To start with, when I suggested this topic to my fellow blogger Shackman for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post, I made a typo and instead of Rumour, I typed humour. Before I could correct, he responded with an enthusiastic “Got it” and I decided to stay with the topic. Just imagine what would have happened if either of us did not have a sense of humour!

My siblings and I grew up in a broken home and had it not been for the remarkable sense of humour that we inherited from our mother, I doubt that we would have become what all of us without exception eventually did.  During the most difficult and tense moments, humour came to our rescue without fail and we were able to handle them without succumbing to the tension.  Let me give a recent incident to illustrate.  Last year my brother was battling terminal cancer and I used to speak to him on the phone regularly.  On more than one instance, I offered to go down South to be with him and he simply would laugh and ask me as to who would look after me there?  Macabre?  I thought that this was exactly the frame of mind that both of us needed at those moments of intense emotional disturbance.

I have had some hilarious experiences about some of which I have blogged and here is one of my experiences which luckily was appreciated by the others concerned as well.

Sometimes this sense of humour could be a disadvantage too as I have learnt through bitter experiences when my humour was misunderstood and caused ruptures in relationships.  It took quite a few such fiascos before I learnt where to use it and where and when not to.

I think that I am blessed with a sense of humour and also with many others in my life who are similarly blessed. It makes life easier indeed.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same subject. Thank you.