Jungle is a word that originated in India from Sanskrit. We use it to describe any wild growth. For instance, during the monsoon when in our part of the world the predominant colour is green, my late wife used to call our small garden a jungle as our gardener was simply incapable of keeping it under control.
Consequently, the gardener was very affectionately called Junglee by her. You can see from the photograph taken just this morning, that he continues to be our gardener and continues to be a Junglee.
What triggered off that memory was this little nugget that my beloved sister sent me this morning in WhatsApp.
Another new word learnt. I however don’t think that I am a Memophilist just because I have a jungle at home. Or, do you think that I am?
No, that is not a typo in the Title. Please read on.
When I opened the refrigerator this morning to take some milk for my morning tea, I saw a cardboard box in the bottom shelf that is normally used to pack cakes. I thought that my son or daughter in love must have got a cake for some purpose and left it at that.
Later on, I was totally engrossed in my morning newspapers when my son appeared in my peripheral vision with the same box opening the front door while mumbling something about cupcakes. I did not associate the box with cupcakes.
After some time, I asked him where the cupcakes were and he said that the box that he carried out in the morning contained them and I was zapped. He went on to explain that the cupcakes were for a friend who was celebrating her dog’s birthday and she was treating all the dogs in the park in the morning. (There is a park about half a km from our home where dogs are taken to play in the mornings and evenings by their owners living within its vicinity.)
When I probed further, it transpired that it was quite normal for people to bring such cupcakes for some reason or the other to distribute among the dogs and many dog owners were running successful home businesses baking these and that they are called pupcakes.
I was able to get photographs of the actual pupcakes distributed this morning to eager dogs.
Something new learnt today! Have you come across such pupcakes?
I received this cryptic message on WhatsApp and having nothing better to do, I thought that I will count from my childhood and see how many in my life. The results are:
- 1. Before I started being aware of what was happening around me, my parents lived in three different places while I was a babe in arms. So, 3.
2. After I became aware of what was happening around me, we were in Chennai and lived in three homes. During that period I was left with my uncle for one year. So, 4.
3. We then shifted to Hyderabad where I lived with my parents in one home and then on my own in three different places. So, 4.
4. Then back to Chennai till 1965 when I lived partly with my parents, as a paying guest and then in a hostel altogether in six different places. So, 6.
5. Then two years in Ahmedabad in a hostel. So, 1.
6. That was followed by one stretch of seven months in Mumbai with my parents. 1.
7. That was followed by two years of living off a suitcase, travelling many parts of South India.
8. I then got married and after a brief homeless stretch, set up our first home in Delhi. 1.
9. After that, we got posted to Mumbai on three separate occasions. 3
10. Kolkata on one occasion. 1
11. Kerala on one occasion. 1
12. Delhi on one occasion again. 1
13. Bengaluru on one occasion. 1
14. Then finally to Pune thirty plus years ago where we have put down deep roots. 1
15. While the home in Pune was functioning tickety-boo, I set up home twice in Tirupur in the South of India on two occasions on special assignments. 2
- That makes for thirty places where I have lived for long periods over my entire life. That makes me a way-above-average person. Should I be happy?
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.
In my post The Importance Of Education I had mentioned that the purpose of education was learning to learn.
Nothing else recently has happened to me to give body to that definition than my latest adventures with my new phone which I was gifted just a couple of weeks ago.
This model is very different in many ways than the one that I had used for many years before acquiring this one. It has been a continuous learning process since I acquired it and almost on a daily basis I have had to unlearn earlier ways to learn new ways with this.
The latest adventure was when I had to add a new contact to my bank of contacts when it simply refused to accept the full name of the contact and stopped at half way through the surname. I battled with it for over an hour before asking for help from my DIL who readily, if somewhat amusedly sorted it out for me and also taught me how to do it by myself the next time I had to add a new contact.
I never had any doubts that I was educated and this adventure simply proves that I am as, I am still, at the age of 78, capable of learning.
I was peacefully reading a book in my room when there was a knock on my door and my DIL asked if she could come in. I said “of course” without looking up and heard her say “I will just quickly give you this injection and go away.”
I was jolted out of my peace and asked her why she is giving me an injection when I had just been given one two days ago in her presence.
I then heard her say, “I am not talking to you.”
“Good Lord, who else is in my room?” I said and turned around to see her injecting Chutki our dog with her insulin shot. Chutki who is under treatment for canine diabetes, had quietly come in and was lying down behind my bed. I had not seen her coming in and the misunderstanding.