The Other Side Of Seventy.


Mike’s post of the same title inspired this post from me. Please read the comments from me and Mike’s response to it too.

Just a day after that I received this in a WhatsApp message from my sister.

Yesterday afternoon, I received news that my friend, philosopher and guide of many years HI died following a failed chemotherapy session for cancer.

Last week was news of the death of a classmate and dear friend.

On the 10th inst, Nick wrote about biographies and autobiographies. I commented there : “I am not and never was into bio/autobiographies. Somehow, I just could not get interested in that genre. My own kind of biography is perhaps my blog just like yours is yours.” Nick responded with “Yes, blogs are very much a form of biography. Not at all chronological, but revealing all sorts of personal details.”

Little did I know that I was about to read an autobiography, and what a one!

Later yesterday, I received a forward of a video of a Cardiologist talking about life and death and how to manage our lives where he referred to a book called When Breath Becomes Air. I got a Kindle version and started reading it and just could not put it down.

Most of my readers here are senior citizens and quite a few are avid readers. For these, I strongly recommend this book. The most poignant and elegant book that I have ever read about a person’s last days written by himself.

Learning 3.

Reading about the Plymouth (UK) shootings in The Guardian, I came across this new word.

That article led me to another new term The Black Pill Mentality. That in turn led me to Blue Pill and Red Pill mentalities and I suspect that as we “progress” as human beings perhaps more such terms will be invented to explain aberrant behaviour by social misfits.

Reductionism in psychology going bonkers I guess.

Learning 2.

In a WhatsApp group discussing the current developments in Afghanistan and the political situation in India now, I came across two new terms one of which is based on the following image.
This image leads to what is called a rabbit-duck illusion. The link will take you to its explanation but, this was used by one commentator to discuss how people are seeing current reality and coming to conclusions.

The other term that I learnt today is The Overton Window. Here again the Wikipedia explanation suffices but, for me, it was a learning experience.

Using both the discussions ranged from optimism to pessimism and realism and for me it was a fascinating experiencing learning so many nuances.

No, I shall not explain my own political leanings or my opinions on what is happening in Afghanistan but, I do intend using these two terms to effect in my approach to studies as well as discussions in the future.

A Very Useful Book.

During the lockdown that has now entered its 18th month for us, I have had the honour of mentoring four different young men, all with marital difficulties.

In all the cases, the main culprit is, the breakdown of communications during the lockdown which meant loss of income, or working from home. In both cases, the claustrophobic existence within homes and the very unusual constant physical proximity to each other would appear to have been responsible for the discomforts.

A further reluctance to go for counselling or consultation with professionals led these young men to approach me for advice and finding that essentially, the problem was break down of communications I had recommended the reading of one book which has turned out to be a kind of panacea of sorts.

I had come across the book in the early seventies in my own journey of discovery of communication skills through attending seminars which was part of my training and development in the organisation where I was working. There is no doubt in my mind that the book taught me very valuable lessons which enabled me to be a fairly successful manager of people and other resources.

I am sure that many of readers would have read it at some point of time in the past and hope that they will agree with me that it is a remarkable tool to improve our communication skills. And the book is:
If you are interested in finding out more about the contents of the book you can do so here.

Learning In The 21st Century.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”

~ Alvin Toffler

I love to learn new things and also am today forced to unlearn many things due to the very rapidly changing and unpredictable ways of the 21st Century. The Covid Pandemic has also ensured that one is restricted in one’s movements, forcing one to find ways to amuse /occupy oneself and this too leads to unlearning and learning new things.

I have blogged about many instances of my learning new things and here is one of those posts to lighten up the mood here.  My readers will also recollect  my earlier post where I learnt about pupcakes.

Today, when I came across the Alvin Toffler quote with which I have started this post, I had just unlearned that my old way of using my new cellphone will not work and I had to learn the new and correct way to use it for one particular application. I had just finished that activity when I had to learn how to use my cellphone’s banking application to do something new that I had never done before.

I think that most of us are like me unlearning and learning new things and the most important thing that we are learning constantly is that there is absolutely no use resisting change that is all the time overtaking us.

Would you agree?

Loyalty Bonus And Learning Continues.

I have lived in the same neighbourhood in the same house for the past more than thirty years and am known to many of the merchants who have shops in our neighbourhood.

Today, I had to make use of the services of two of them who extend me the courtesy of home delivery.

The first was a stationer AJ, who arranges to get my paperback books covered in plastic regularly besides keeping me supplied with other stationary items as needed. My home is halfway between his and his shop and I simply call him up and he comes home to collect the books on his way either to or from his shop and the next day will return them after covering. He will also deliver other items similarly.

I have been using all kinds of paper weights to keep my newspapers  from flying off in the mornings when I have a strong breeze blowing in from our garden. Today I suddenly remembered the old paper weights which were routine features on all office desks in the good old days and asked AJ if he had any and was pleasantly surprised to find that he indeed had. I ordered for one and he delivered me the ordered one and a free one as a loyalty bonus! The ordered one is the multi coloured one on the left and the bonus is the plain simple one on the right.

The second was from a sweetmeat seller who too has been delivering at home for me for many years following his finding out about my health issues. Today, I ordered for two sweets from him The top one is called laddoo and the bottom one kalakand.


When I opened the parcel after I brought the package home, I discovered another small box containing these pedas too.
I thought that there must have been some mistake and called them back only to be told that the packet of pedas was with their compliments for being such a good customer.

A day for gifts much appreciated.

Incidentally, my learning process continued. Since I do not normally keep cash at home, I decided to pay using my bank’s tele-banking application which I had to learn to use as so far, I had used Google Pay which gave me problems in the new telephone. My resident geek took great pleasure in being the father for the child.