Over Confidence.

I have come across some really stupid over confident people in my life as I am sure that most of my readers have too. Over confidence almost always ends up in disasters except on the very rare occasion. I would call myself a confident person not given to taking big risks. I have somehow avoided being overconfident except on very few occasions, three of which I shall discuss in detail here. One almost ended in disaster and two did not.

The first occasion was when I decided that it was no big deal to drive a left hand drive car. (For my American friends, in India we drive on the left side of the road and use right hand drive vehicles.). I almost killed myself and a few others by not having practiced in a traffic less field like I did while learning to drive in a right hand drive car in the first place. That memory still haunts me now and then. That memory also put paid to my hiring cars to drive myself around in Europe and the USA instead undergoing quite some inconvenience using cabs and other public transport vehicles.

The second occasion was when I proposed marriage to U, my friend of eight years. She was my best friend’s sister and her friends were my friends as were mine hers. We did a lot of things together and were very comfortable with each other’s company. I was undergoing internship as a Management Trainee and my employment was not a confirmed one but, on one occasion, something came over me and I suggested that since we were so comfortable with each other, that we should get married. U took a few days to think over the proposal while I went off on a sales tour but, on my return she confirmed that we can and we took a leap of faith into unknown territory for both of us. The marriage had its ups and downs like I suppose all marriages do but, overall, it was a good marriage that lasted all of forty years. So that overconfidence paid off.

The third occasion was when at the peak of a successful career I decided to take a plunge into a new career path and quit an employer after 23 years. Many of my colleagues of that employer who are still in touch with me still cannot understand my, what they call, rashness. I left a large multinational company to work with a small family run company on a short term contract. I knew the family well and that made the decision making fairly simple. My late wife who featured in the last paragraph, supported me on my decision and went through all the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ stages with me in the initial stages. In the end it paid off and I was able to retire comfortably at an age that would not have been possible had I continued in the big firm.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Disappointment/s.

“Disappointment is sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations.”  So, the best way to avoid being disappointed is to be without hopes or expectations and live life on its own terms accepting everything that comes ones way cheerfully and without reservations.

I have had my share of disappointments in life but was resilient enough to handle them and come out of the experiences with hope for better things to come out of the experiences.  This was not something that I deliberately set about doing but, something that came naturally to me thanks to the hard lessons learnt from my parents.  In fact, I was more of a disappointment for them in many ways than all the disappointments that I experienced in my life.

It took a series of serendipitous events to make me a different person from the person who gave them the disappointments which made them come out of their disappointment with joy.  In fact in retrospect, they wondered why I gave them so much to worry about in my earlier avatar when I had it in me to be different.  My answer was always that I was not responsible for the change and that I simply followed life’s diktats and came out of those days smelling of roses.

Like my parents, I also disappointed some employers, who had high hopes for me by quitting their services when least expected to follow the diktats of my conscience or, just to escape unpleasantness in the environments.

It has now been many years since I either got disappointed or disappointed someone else.  That has been a great aspect of retired life where there are no appointments to keep other than those with the medical profession and therefore no room for disappointments!

This is my take on this week’s Friday Four On One blog post topic. The other three bloggers who write on the same topic are Sanjana, Padmum and Shackman. This week’s topic was suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Second Childhood!

I ordered for a book on our famous kumbhamela from a leading online merchant.

I received an odd looking parcel and I wondered if one of the children had ordered for something else. On opening however I found this inside.

I complained to the merchant who has promptly arranged for a refund after taking this back but, I got  a good deal of ribbing from my son and daughter in love for ordering for this book.

Since my grand nephew Finlay and grand niece Josephine love Peppa Pig, I dedicate this post to both of them.

I Am In Awe!

There is an open ground about two hundred meters away from our home where either Manjiree or Ranjan or both take Koko and occasionally  Chutki also, for  exercises in the mornings and evenings. While Chutki goes out with a professional walker twice a day, Koko needs to be taken out by one of them every day.

Koko frolics around while there and is usually very reluctant to come away. She has a couple of friends called Max  and Zimba who play with her with abandon and it is always a sight to watch  them frolicking.

Why am I in awe?

Koko, the brown one,  is totally blind and totally depends on her other senses for her existence. Just look at her spirit for all that big handicap and look at Max in the first video and Zimba in the next  who are so careful with her.

Traditions.

The inspiration for this topic came from a character in the novel A Peoples’ History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian. The character is a professional rangoli artist. In my childhood, I distinctly remember rangoli being drawn every morning outside our homes and the logic for it. The images were always drawn with rice flour and the belief and also the fact was that ants would come to eat the flour. Why feed the ants? So that they did not come inside the homes to look for food and also the traditional belief that we are obliged to feed all creatures big and small in whatever way that we can. That tradition of rangoli disappeared from our lives over the years due to urbanisation and moving into flats / apartments but, feeding creatures continues to be practiced quite widely. In my own home, we had the tradition of feeding crows, doves, sparrows and squirrels till urbanisation took its toll but, my children feed stray dogs and cats in our neighbourhood every day and also during the day time when at least one particular tabby cat comes meowing for food a few times.

Many other traditions have disappeared from families due to the pressures of modern life and one that I miss most is the original use for our festivals for the families to come together for a few days of feasting and fellowship. On the other hand, some traditions like respect for elders and taking their blessings continues to exist though even that seems to be disappearing with replacement with modern Hellos and other forms of greetings.

Most families and other groups have traditions that they follow without having any idea as to how they started or the logic for them and I share below two stories to illustrate such traditions.

1. We visited our newly married daughter, who was preparing her first Thanksgiving dinner. I noticed the turkey thawing in the kitchen sink with a dish drainer inverted over the bird. I asked why a drainer covered the turkey.

Our daughter turned to my wife and said, “Mom, you always did it that way.”

“Yes,” my wife replied, “but you don’t have a cat!”

2. When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

I came up with the idea for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday blog posts where Shackman and I write on the same subject. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say about the topic but, before you do, please enjoy this song,