My readers know that I have recently been knighted and also bestowed with a PhD.
These two dubious honours pale in comparison to what I was called earlier today.
Let me explain.
My dear friend KD sent me these pictures to share his joy in seeing his childhood friends having also grown old just like he and I have.
I responded that I am a comic figure anyway in real life, and shared with him the fact that some friends and nephews call me Gandalf.
And here is the punchline. He responded with “Yes, you have always shown to be avuncular.” I am reasonably sure that I never was with him but, perhaps he was referring to my relationship with his impish son.
What do you think?
My friend SG’s father had passed away quite a few years ago and the mother was living alone in Pune before she too passed away last year. SG and his wife DD were unable to attend the funeral last year as, they were stuck in the UK, unable to get out due to Covid restrictions.
SG’s cousin AG had come down to Pune to handle the details under trying conditions but, managed to do everything well.
Both DD and SG are now in Pune on a short visit before they return to the UK and went to a friend’s hill top denuded, to be reclaimed, barren land to plant two trees in memory of SG’s parents.
The seedling on the left is a Paarijaat and the one on the right is an Ashoka.
I think that this is a remarkable way to remember departed dear ones and recommend this to all my readers.
I intend requesting my son to do the same when I am gone.
This is a favourite quote from Viktor Frankl.
While going through some old photographs, the widow of an ex colleague came across a photograph of mine and some other colleagues with her late husband in a conference in 1988. She promptly sent a copy of it across to me on WhatsApp reminding me of the “good old times.”
While she and her family are still in touch with me, they are not with the others in the photograph and so, I in turn sent the image to two others in the photograph via WhatsApp.
One of the recipients in turn sent me a photograph of a lunch party a couple of days ago, where some old colleagues along with their wives had met for a post covid reunion. I had known all of them thirty years ago, and it was a strange feeling recognising the faces after such a long time. The sender was curious and asked me if I recognised all of them and was in turn zapped when I confirmed that I had indeed.
The second exchange occupied my thoughts for quite some time as all the men in the latter photograph had stayed with the same employer till retirement whereas, I had gone my separate way. A series of “What If” thoughts kept me occupied for quite some time till my other activities changed my mood.
I wonder if this is normal for others too. Has something like this happened to any of my readers?
Since the onset of the Ukrainian war, prices generally have been showing upward movements and there are many shortages being reported in many markets. When some friends chat with me about these developments, I tell them that they have seen such situations before and this time too, this phase will pass.
In just such a recent discussion, a 65 year old friend who is a highly respected trader in my part of the world spoke to me about the changes that have taken place since my time of association with him in a client, manager relationship. I have been associated with the firm that he represents for the past more than fifty years and he particularly for forty years.
He agreed with me that he has seen other such periods of price and supply volatility and how they had tackled them but, he added that during the time that he was associated with me, there was personal involvement in the supplier / buyer relationships which in today’s commerce, has been replaced with rapid turnover of people in positions and also a system heavily dependent on laptops. On probing I found that supply chain management has now been highly mechanised and computers do most of the work that people did during my times. He derisively called this “Laptop Management” and its practitioners “Laptop Managers”.
I was amused as well as sad that the personal touch has gone from a very long relationship between his firm and the one that I was part of.
I however decided to share some humour with him and sent him the following cartoon in WhatsApp with the message that during my time, in Management Laptop usually meant this type of relationships.
Today, I hesitate to use such cartoons lest I be accused of male chauvinism! That is also a significant change that has taken place in our lives!
I received an article in WhatsApp with the same title as the one for this blog and my mind immediately went to two doctors who gave me the right advice at the right time.
The first one was my late wife’s cardiologist, who is also a personal friend of our GP, who advised us to not hospitalise her but, to ensure that she took her medication regularly and at the prescribed dosage and time at home. This ensured that she lived a life of comfort in her last days in familiar surroundings and among people she was familiar and comfortable with.
The second one was an amazing Nephrologist who unlike many other specialists in the city where I live advised me to keep my late father at home rather than in a hospital during his last days. This of course meant that I had to provide nursing care at home but, he was comfortable and content in his last days and died in his sleep at home.
In most similar cases, the medical professionals advise hospitalisation for what I suspect to be financial benefits for themselves as modern private hospitals give revenue targets to them to practice in their set ups. Had I not been fortunate enough to have doctors with different value systems, I would have perhaps spent two fortunes in hospitalisation for both my late wife and late father in their last days.
I have been hospitalised five times for major surgeries and know what it means and I have instructed my son and daughter in love that no matter what happens, I should not be hospitalised again ever. I am at an age where such thoughts must be clearly worked through and a course of action in case needed drawn out well in advance. I have also drawn up a living will about which my son is fully aware.
It is not a pleasant subject but, one that people of my age must read and understand and take appropriate action. My readers can access the article under reference https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2011/11/30/how-doctors-die/ideas/nexus/.