As soon as I laid my eyes on the topic suggested by Shackman for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post where he and I write on the same topic, I could hear my late mother telling me innumerable times, “Someday, you will remember me / thank me for, telling you this.”

And as I was typing that first paragraph, I could also remember me saying exactly the same thing to innumerable people who had the misfortune of having to listen to my prophecies.

While I can indeed recollect many occasions when I did remember my late mother’s prophecies come true, I haven’t been lucky enough to hear any feedback from the recipients of my prophecies. I suppose that some unfortunates must have remembered, much to their chagrin.

I stopped being so prophetic some years ago when it struck me that I may not be around myself for too long to see the prophecies come true. Or, is it just that there are no more unfortunate souls having to put up with such a character who would have also loved to use another follow up phrase – “I told you so!”

Come to think of it, there have indeed been occasions when I had used both! Someday, I will take great pleasure in telling you I told you so!” I bet that Shackman and all my readers without exception would have no doubts in recognising all three usages either by their parent/s or themselves.

We are human after all and these must come naturally to us.

Someday, you will remember having read this post and remember me. I hope that I am around so that you can write to me to remind me of it. Then, I can tell you, “I told you so!”

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

And as a treat, here is a song that I somehow got to like some years ago. The lyrics are simply mind blowing.

Ninety miles outside Chicago
Can’t stop driving
Don’t know why
So many questions
I need an answer
Two years later you’re still on my mind
What ever happened to Amelia Earhart
Who holds the stars up in the sky
Is true love once in a lifetime
Did the captain of the titanic cry
Someday we’ll know
If love can move a mountain
Someday we’ll know
Why the sky is blue
Someday we’ll know
Why I wasn’t meant for you
Does anybody know the way to Atlantis
Or what the wind says when she cries
I’m speeding by the place that I met you
For the ninety seventh time tonight
Someday we’ll know
If love can move a mountain
Someday we’ll know
Why the sky is blue
Someday we’ll know
Why I wasn’t meant for you
Someday we’ll know
Why Sampson loved Delilah
One day I’ll go
Dancing on the moon

Comedy Of One Error.

Sequence of events.

1. An old colleague Amol, got in touch with me some time ago, thanks to Facebook. I accepted his request for friendship and as requested by him sent him my telephone number.

2. A few days later, he called me up and we caught up with each other’s stories. And as it often happens during such conversations, he wanted to know where so and so and so and so was and I gave him as much information as I could about those that I knew of. He asked about a particular colleague Shrikanth and I promised to find out about him and let Amol know.

3. I rang up another colleague in the South who was closer to Shrikanth than I was only to find that he too had lost contact with him but suggested that I call the Personnel department of the company to see if they had any records.

4. I called up the Personnel Department and requested for information and was promptly sent a phone number for Shrikanth.

5. I called that number only to discover that it was a different Shrikanth. This gentleman however promised to find out details about the Shrikanth that I was looking for. Just to keep track, I saved that phone number as “Wrong Shrikanth” as, I had three other Shrikanths in my list of contacts.

6. I received a phone call from this Shrikanth a few days later to give me the sad news that the Shrikanth that I was looking for had died a few years ago. The conversation however proceeded further with him wanting to get to know me better as he had heard about me from other seniors in the company where he had joined after I had left them. He promised to keep in touch and that was the end of the story.

7. Two days ago, I passed on the information to Amol who however claimed to have known this Shrikanth and wanted his telephone number. I promptly sent the same via WhatsApp through “Share Name Card” facility and forgot all about it.

8. I got a call from Shrikanth asking why I had made his first name as Wrong when it was Vanchinathan!

9. It took a great deal of tact to describe the entire sequence of events to V. Shrikanth. At the end of course, both of us had a good laugh.

Favourite Food.

Last week, I spent a very pleasant few hours with a young friend, KS who dropped in and stayed for lunch with us. As he was leaving he suggested that I come over to his place this week for another meeting and perhaps lunch at his home. I readily agreed and saw him off.

Later the same day, a cousin rang me up to chat and we were reminiscing about our respective mothers who were sisters. Among the discussions the topic veered to favourite food made by each other’s mother and I recollected a combination food that my aunt used to make called Thiruvadirai Kali and Ezhu Kari Kootu. . This is an unusual combination of one sweet dish accompanied by a savoury one. One has to eat the combination to appreciate the unusual experience one has with this combination.

I mentioned to my cousin that the last time that I had this particular combination was sometime around the late nineties of the last century. This combination is usually made only during that particular festival once a year but, my late mother used to make it specially for me whenever she visited us or I went wherever she was camping. My cousin promised to come over and cook it for me one of these days and we went on to talk about other matters.

It suddenly occurred to me that KS’s mother was visiting him and she would be able to perhaps come up with this combination and I asked him if he could persuade his mother to make it for me when I came over for lunch. He checked with his mother and confirmed that I would have it for lunch and fixed the date as today.

With much anticipation I trooped off to their place earlier today and lo and behold, the dishes plus a few other goodies had been prepared for the occasion and I had a feast. The LOH had taken a great deal of pains to make both the dishes to perfection and frankly, I over ate. To cap it all off she had also made a sweet dish with pumpkins which again was out of this world. I regretted having over eaten the main attraction and could not do justice to the dessert.

While I was busy eating and also enjoying the visuals of the lunch, KS took this photograph to save the occasion for posterity.


Due to my present physical condition, I have restricted my movements to the bare minimum and physical /mental exercise to a regimen of about seventy five minutes of yogabhyas every morning.

I rarely leave my home for any outings and when I do, it is only to places where I know that I will not have to walk long distances or climb staircases. I usually take a taxi or an auto rickshaw to and fro destination. All my friends and family know about this and so do not mind my staying put in my comfort zone.

My comfort zone includes my bed where I read and sleep, a recliner where I read and occasionally watch a TV show, and a sofa near the window where I sit in the mornings and read newspapers and solve crossword puzzles. There is a also a plastic garden chair which I use to sit on and have my morning tea and watch the world go by.

So, when I read this cartoon, it resonated with me and I wanted to share it with my readers immediately.

Unpleasant Encounters.

I came up with this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post as just last Friday, I was in a meeting where we discussed the law and order situation in many parts of India and discussed in length the phenomenon of “Encounter Deaths.”

Like in all such issues, there are two sides to the story and what is not mentioned in the news report is the gross understaffing of police forces throughout our nation and the long judicial processes that take for ever to punish criminals and even allowing some of them to commit further crimes by granting them bail. The public puts pressure on politicians to solve the problems created by these criminals and the encounter killings solve many of these issues. Human Rights organisations and the liberals however cast other aspersions like calling them caste/religious killings but, they do not seem to come up with solutions to the problems that I have mentioned at the start of this paragraph.

The discussion reminded me of my own encounters with the police, one, unpleasant and the others surprisingly very pleasant and result oriented. Since this post is about the unpleasant ones, let me restrict myself to that encounter.

It was late 1975 during our national emergency period that this happened. I was travelling from Kerala to Tamil Nadu in a company owned car that was being driven by a company employed driver. We had crossed over into Tamil Nadu when we were stopped by a police officer and a constable who asked us for documents and we produced whatever they asked for. While this was going on, the constable took the driver aside and asked for a bribe and the latter came across to me and conveyed the message. Since we were not doing anything illegal I refused to oblige and my nightmare started.

We were taken to the first police station inside Tamil Nadu and the inspector made an entry in the case book there with an offence which was non bailable. I insisted on contacting someone to get me a lawyer and was allowed to make a phone call from the police phone. Those were days without the modern cell phones and even that little consideration was made to appear as though a big favour was being extended to me. The officer noticing that the car was registered in Kerala and under the impression that I may not have contact inside Tamil Nadu was stumped when within an hour of my telephone call, the most famous lawyer from Coimbatore landed up at the police station to bail me out while the recipient of my phone call was able to contact the Director General of Tamil Nadu Police to instruct the police station to release me on bail despite the matter being an non bailable one. I heard the wireless instruction while still in the police station and the officer for the first time felt that he had perhaps taken on more than he could chew. In the meanwhile, my driver and I had spent six hours in the police lock up.

Having already registered an offence the officer had to go through the motions but we had to move higher court to force the police to register a case and prosecute as they were not prosecuting knowing that they would lose the case. I couldn’t however, keep the matter without resolution and forced the issue.

After four hearings including the one at the higher court to force prosecution, the Magistrate heard the case, heard the witnesses, inspected the documents and took five minutes to record a Not Guilty judgement and also passed strictures against the officer concerned. All this was possible, I suspect, because by the time that the final hearing came up, the emergency had been lifted and things were different.

For a while, my lawyer and I contemplated suing the officer for defamation and wrong confinement but, because I was already posted out of Kerala to Mumbai by then, and had already spent a small fortune on the matter, I decided not to pursue the matter any further.

There were however some very disappointed rival colleagues who were hoping that I would go to jail which would have affected my growth in the company.

I am sure that Shackman will have some equally interesting anecdote/s and I request you to go over to his blog to read what he has to say on the topic. Thank you.

Rain Drops.

Yesterday was a holiday for Maharashtra, the state I live in for being Maharashtra Day. The downside to such holidays is that the following day, there are no newspapers and that upsets my daily routine of the mornings. So it was that I was sitting for longer than usual at my verandah this morning when some drops of water fell from the skies and I thought that it was pre monsoon showers, what in the West one would call April showers. On investigation I found that it was water falling from the terrace where the occupant was watering his plants on the terrace.

Those drops of water led me to reminisce about this song from the film Manzil which was released when our son Ranjan was all of eight years old in 1979. As perhaps some of my readers may remember, one of his nicknames was Rimjhim, meaning rain drop and so this song became a favourite for Urmeela and me.  And, as it so often happens, a friend of mine posted this song on facebook too and that triggered this post.

This scene shows  Mumbai’s monsoon which was part of our lives for so many years.

rimjhim gire saawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

Spattering rain falling in monsoons
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

pahle bhi yoon to barse thhe baadal
pahle bhi yoon to bheega tha aanchal
abke baras kyun sajan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The clouds have rained, in the past too
And have wet my clothes, even then
But the rain of this season
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

is baar saawan dahka hua hai
is baar mausam bahka hua hai
jaane pee ke chali kya pawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The monsoon rains are sizzling hot this year
And the season is so un-sober
The winds are drunk with, I know not what
Setting the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

There is another version of the same song sung by Kishore Kumar with slightly different lyrics but, this version with the monsoon scenes was the one that flashed before me in my nostalgia trip this morning.