The Art Of Listening.

A friend, more or less a recluse preferring his own company or just a few close friends of long standing got enmeshed in an avoidable situation. His colleagues from the organisation where he used to work had formed a WhatsApp group and he was not even aware of it. Someone in that group suddenly woke up to the fact that he was still alive and posted a request for contact details from anyone who was in touch with him. One unsuspecting colleague gave the phone number and the problems for my friend started.

First the man who asked for the details called him and insisted on sharing details of his past connections and present where and what-abouts and spoke for more than half an hour. This call was followed by a few others in quick succession, all insisting on holding forth on nostalgia as well as updating to the present.

My friend was getting desperate as he simply wanted to be left alone. He finally had to tell the last caller to request people on the WhatsApp group not to disturb him and finally the calls stopped yesterday.

He called me this morning  to share this misfortune with me. I suggested that his old colleagues were simply bored with the present status under lockdowns and were looking for listeners to converse with. He agreed but, asked me why choose him when he was not in touch with any of them for decades. I suggested that perhaps it was because he is a good listener and the callers had run out of people to call to have chats. He was calmed and we disconnected.

After the call was over, I realised that this conversation took all of 35 minutes of my time.

I patted myself on my back for being a good listener too.

The End Again.

Quite whether it was intentional or just serendipity, after my post on The End was published I received this joke from my friend Jayant.

Two best friends graduated from medical school at the same time & decided that in spite of two different specialties, they would open a practice together to
share office space…

Dr.Smith was a *psychiatrist* & Dr.Jones
was a *Proctologist* (related to colon, anus)

They put up a sign reading
*Dr.Smith & Dr.Jones*
*Hysterias & Posteriors*

The town council was livid and insisted they change it.

So, the docs changed
it to read
*Schizoids & Haemorrhoids*

This was also not acceptable, so they again changed the sign to
*Catatonics and High Colonics*
– no go.

Next, they tried…
*Manic Depressives and Anal Retentives*
– thumbs down again.

Then came..
*Minds and Behinds*
– still no good.

Another attempt resulted in…
*Lost Souls & Butt Holes*
-unacceptable again!

So they tried
*Analysis & Anal Cysts*
– not a chance

*Nuts and Butts*
– no way

*Freaks and Cheeks*
– still no good

*Loons and Moons*
– forget it!

Almost at their wits end, the docs finally came up with:
*Dr.Smith & Dr.Jones*
*Specializing in Odds & Ends.*

Everyone loved it.

The English Language.

Commenting on my post The End, Catherine had the following to say: “blasted English language and phrases…so many “endings” to all the commentators ideals about “the end”.

Just to take this a little further, yesterday, I forwarded a WhatsApp message giving some information to some friends in a group. One of them advised me that the message was fake and that I should not forward it to others. I responded “My bad. I shall not forward it if I receive it again.” Another friend in the same group promptly responded that he was surprised at my using “my bad” and that he found it difficult to use it in normal exchanges. Another friend chipped in that he too found it odd when someone else had used it but, since it came from me, he let it pass. I posted the dictionary meaning of the phrase and moved on.

A little later, I was in discussion on the phone with another friend on the subject of the current lockdown and Covid 9 when he mentioned the W effect which was a totally new concept for me. It simply means that like the word W, Covid will wax and vane for the next few years and we will be in a cycle of relaxation and reintroduction of lockdowns. The prospect is not very encouraging to say the least.

And after we had disconnected I remembered a long forgotten word – agathokakological. I sent it to both the first group and the second friend to amuse them and the former asked for a dictionary link to understand the word and the latter simply added a couple of smileys and “more kako than agatho unfortunately! I not only sent the link to the first group but, also added “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

Language simply fascinates me.

AI In Agriculture.

The vast majority of Indian Agriculture still follows the traditional methods of bullocks pulling ploughs and manual weeding and harvesting of crops. This is due to the landholding sizes being too small for mechanised farming though farmers with larger holdings do use power tillers, tractors and even harvester combines.

I see little scope for AI in our farming when there is still considerable scope for mechanising on the one hand and increasing return to organic farming on the other hand. The other AI, Artificial Insemination however is very popular and effective in our dairy sector which is still very much part of our Agriculture sector as even large dairies buying milk from small farmers who keep milch cattle as a side business to their main agricultural activities.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Sanjana. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

The End.

I received a message from a very dear friend on WhatsApp that read “I hope that all is well at your end.” I responded “Nothing is wrong with my end. It is my COPD that troubles me. I hope that all is well with you.” He responded with a couple of smilies.

I just cannot resist the temptation to crack this kind of jokes with peculiar language. This particular one, either brings to my mind my bottom or my last day on earth. Neither very appealing what?

Do you use this phrasing?

Lockdown 2.

Since 1200 midnight we are back in a lockdown due to alarming rise in the number of cases of covid reported and treated in our city. We were just getting slowly back to normal and this is a googly if ever one was.

Since early this morning, we are back to the beginning of our lockdown experience of no traffic or little and hearing nature’s sounds. The three of us at home sharing houesehold chores as the help will not come during this lockdown.

The lockdown is expected to last till the 23rd of this month.

I am not looking forward to it though, this time around, the supply of newspapers will not be stopped and so I can have my mornings occupied. The first problem has cropped up with our washing machine going on the blink and the mechanic not being able to come to attend to it. He is trying to get a pass to come over and we are hoping that he will be able to.

I hope that my readers are faring better.