I am blessed with friends with great sense of humour who also take the time to read my blog posts. Many of them do not comment as they read the posts on their mobile phones but, share their views with me on WhatsApp.
One of them, GS sent this to me after reading my earlier post Ironing.
My daughter in love and son are in the process of simplifying their lives and in the process discovered one of my long forgotten travel accessories.
This was perfect for a fussy character like me who could not afford to pay pressing charges in hotels during overseas tours due to severe restrictions on foreign exchange allowed to us those days. Drip dry shirts and polyester blend suits made it easy for washing and ironing one’s own clothes.
Much before that, during my school days, I had got into the habit of ironing my clothes and that habit has continues till today. I still iron my clothes and enjoy wearing crisply ironed ones every time I go out. I of course use a proper steam iron and an ironing board like this.
I however do not do too many items at a time as I find it difficult to stand for long. Just the two pieces that I will need for the day.
The discovery of the portable iron led me to reminisce about my travelling days as well as my obsession with ironed clothes AND another very impressive quote from a favourite actress.
I don’t think that I am spoiled. What do you think?
My friend DM who lives in England posted this on his Facebook page:
“We went for a walk this p.m. and were reminiscing…. got to comparing our childhood with “These days”…. We came up with a list of things that were not available to we mere mortals back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s….
Chinese Gooseberries (now called Kiwi Fruit)
(all sorts of things…)
Funny how I can recall the fruit..
So…. what didn’t you have when you were growing up? What was only available in tins (cans)?”
I had responded with:
“The only thing that I remember coming out of a can was a cooking medium called Dalda. Everything else was bought and consumed with hardly anything being stored other than rice, pulses and flour. We did not have refrigerators. So everything perishable was bought at need and used up immediately.”
And DM’s response was simply mindblowing and brought back other memories with which many of my regular readers will connect.
“My parents bought their first ‘fridge in (about) 1958. The mechanism started to leak gas two days after the warranty expired….. other wise we had a stone shelved larder in most of the cottages we lived in.
A lot of foodstuffs were preserved by bottling (canning), beans were salted …. we even salted runner beans in the 1970s when we were first married….other tricks were used… eggs were preserved in isinglass (from sturgeons’ swim bladders) and milk was kept cool buy dint of evaporating water from a cloth covering the bottle or can.
We were never rich enough to afford the land to build an ice house…
To reflect back on those days without refrigerators and other modern conveniences has been quite a nostalgic trip. It took me to many other thoughts some of which can be found in this blog post.”
I got a phone call early this morning from a young man APG, whom I had first met 31 years ago when he would have been around five years old. He and two other young lads in their family were the first children ever to call me Thatha, which is Tamil for Grandfather.
I used to meet him regularly at his home town where I used to visit on business. His father and other elders of his family were/are good friends and business associates. In fact, one of his cousins had adopted me as his godfather and continues to me treat me as such even now.
The purpose of the phone call was to take my blessings on his birthday which is today. I had not known this as, otherwise, I would have greeted him on my own earlier than his call.
This is the first time ever that he had called me for this special purpose and apart from being mightily pleased, I was also puzzled as to why he did so on this birthday.
I then remembered that his father and my friend GP, had died just over a year ago as had his elder uncle shortly after, both due to complications arising out of Covid.
It is the custom in our families for people to seek the blessings of parents/elders on their birthdays and other important days, and since APG did not have his father anymore, he had decided to call me.
What a wonderful thought and tradition.
Today a classmate from school and good friend turned 80. I rang him up to convey my greetings and best wishes for many more birthdays and he was quite nostalgic about our last meeting in 1965. Yes, I left Madras as it was then known and, now as Chennai that year but, he has continued to live there since.
Among other things that we talked about, we did discuss our current health and well being issues and wished each other well.
After a while, another friend also about my age sent this message to me in WhatsApp.
There were some more messages, all in one day, talking about and dare I say, belittling, trivialising and or giving excuses for old age. And then there was this very heart warming story in Jean’s blog which brought a smile on my life.
This got me thinking about ageing and how today’s social media is trying to talk about it in a manner totally different from what it used to be in the ‘good old days’.
Elders were admired for their longevity and hopefully, wisdom and were expected to behave like elders. Their maturity was taken for granted. They were not recycled teenagers. And, they had and continued to live and died, like I do now and will eventually.
I wrote a blog post three years ago on wasting time which was brought to my attention by a friend who commented that solving crossword puzzles is a waste of time compared to reading books. He was commenting on my yesterday’s blogpost on Frustration.
My post four years ago pointed out that we spend our life like this:
Average Life Expectancy – 75 years.
We sleep for – 22 years.
We work for – 32 years.
We are in the toilet – 2 years.
We eat for – 4.5 years.
With family etc, – 3 years.
We socialise for – 3 years.
I am now 78 and I have wasted three years more that makes it a total of three and a half years that I have wasted. I am very happy about it.
Naturally, this post is dedicated to the friend who took me back three years in time.