One Thing Leads To Another.

My readers will remember how touched I was reading and writing a blog post about Phone Box At The Edge Of The World

While reading that book there was a reference to some quotes from another book by a Japanese Warrior – The Book Of Five Rings by Miamoto Musashi.

I was interested enough to order for it and have just finished reading it.

It is a book that I now regret not having come to know of during my corporate life. Not that its contents do not offer anything for a retired old reprobate now but, it would have helped me achieve a few more “wins” those days.

It is essentially a treatise on how to handle adversity. While in writing it is for the Soldier and the Commander, juxtaposing it to our normal life’s situation is easy and I recommend it.

Aplomb!

In response to my post Sales Calls, I received two messages.

The first was from a Retired General Manager of a very large Bank in India and the other in comments on my blog itself from a Retired Chairman of another Bank in India.

Both said that they have received calls advising them on how to get loans!
Such aplomb reminds me of a story from the P G Wodehouse collection.

For the PG Wodehouse and English language fans!

Bertie Wooster was in the study when his butler, Jeeves, coughed discreetly.”May I ask you a question Sir ?””By all means, Jeeves,” said Bertie.

“I am doing the crossword in The Times and I have found a word with which I am unfamiliar.””What word is that?” said his lordship.

“Aplomb, Sir.

“”Now that’s a difficult one to explain I would say it is self-assurance or complete composure.

“”Thank you, Sir, but I’m still a little confused.

“”Let me give you an example to make it clearer.

Do you remember a few months ago the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to spend a weekend with us at Aunt Agatha’s place?

“”I remember the occasion very well, Sir. It gave the staff and myself much pleasure to look after them.

“”Also”, continued Bertie Wooster, “do you remember when the Duke plucked a bloom for the Duchess in the rose garden?

“”I was present on that occasion, Sir, ministering to their needs.

“”While plucking the rose, a thorn embedded itself in his thumb very deeply.”Jeeves replied, “I witnessed the incident and saw the Duchess herself remove the thorn and wrap a bandage on his thumb using her own dainty handkerchief, after sucking the thumb gently to stop the bleeding. Yes Sir, I did see everything that transpired that evening.

“Bertie Wooster: “Jeeves, the next morning while you were pouring tea for Her Ladyship, the Duchess asked the Duke in a loud voice, ‘Darling is your prick still throbbing?

‘”And you, Jeeves, did not spill one drop of tea! Now that is aplomb

Phone Box At The Edge Of The World.

After reading my blog post Landline Telephony, my sister Padmini asked me on WhatsApp if I had read the book Phone Box At The Edge Of The World. I responded that I had not and asked her if it was worth reading. She promptly responded with an “Yes.” I value her judgement on literature and promptly bought the book to read on my Kindle device.

I have not been reading fiction except for two of my favourite authors who write Action Books, and this totally different genre came as a big surprise to me.

The book from the very first page grips one and the pace keeps increasing as one progresses. The contents pull just about every string in your emotions as you proceed and in short a totally engrossing book.

As hard to imagine the set up claimed to be real of a non functional phne box in Japan used by people to talk their hearts out, characterisation and descriptions take the reader to a very different place than the normal fiction does.

An Italian writer writing about a Japanese situation adds spice to the experience and the translation into English is admirable for not losing nuances.

If you have not read it, please do. Well worth the expense and the time spent on it.

Complacency.

The inspiration for this post is a blog post by an Octogenarian. I too will shortly become an Octogenarian but, I don’t expect that to stop me from being complacent or for that matter make me more active than I am.

I have friends and relatives of around my age who are far more active and I wonder why they should be so as, I find my life of being a couch potato or rather recliner potato quite comfortable. I would rather be at home reading news papers or books and solving crossword puzzles than be traipsing around all over the place. Otherwise, what is the point of retirement?
Unlike Calvin, I am not a man of action and therefore also not interested in taking decisive action.  I would rather not be well informed and prefer to be just left alone!

What about you dear reader?

New Word “friggatriskaidekaphobia”

I had known that fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia and today, I learnt that fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.

The pleasure of learning this new word is all the more enjoyable for having learnt it from an article written by a favourite author of mine Bibek Debroy whose magnum opus, a ten set volume of The Mahabharatha is among my cherished collection of books.

BD’s full article, a very readable one can be found here.

I am not superstitious and do not suffer from either triskaideskaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. It however is a matter of fact that my wife died on a Friday the thirteenth.

Have you experienced any such incidents in your life?

Customer Service – 4.

I wanted to buy a book from an online seller Flipkart just a while ago.

I found the book and tried to place an order and the screen simply froze after I entered my email address as required. I tried this a number of times and finally in exasperation went seeking help.

That was another nightmare as this particular problem is not listed in their alternatives of problems listed and there is no way to talk to them to explain. The only way I could contact them is what they call ‘the old fashioned way’ by mail.

I simply gave up in disgust and found another online seller.