Explanation.

A friend of mine from Kolkata had been ill for a while and was discharged from hospital a few days ago. I had spoken to him immediately after his discharge and earlier this afternoon, I rang him up again to enquire about his recovery and progress.

He answered the call with a ‘good morning” despite it being 4.30 pm and I responded with my usual Hari Om.

We spoke about his recovery and disconnected after a few moments of other usual chats.

Half an hour later he called me back to explain that he was fast asleep when I had called, it was cloudy and dark and he thought that it was early morning. After the call, he got up washed up and discovered that it was afternoon and he called to explain his “good morning” greeting!

I had a good laugh, wished him many more such deep sleeping binges and also promised to start my future conversations with him with an announcement of the time of day of my call.

I wish that I can sleep like that! Can you?

Mental Health.

It was World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2020 and I had this scintillating exchange on WhatsApp with a remarkable friend of mine.

Friend: One of the best movie clips to share on world mental health day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoKGCtaqkxU

Me: Any particular reason you sent this to me? Do you think that I am nuts?

Friend: 😂 Just to share the universality of the gaps between male and female understanding.

Me: Thank God! For a moment I thought the worst!

Friend: What is the worst?

Me: That you think I am a nut case!

Friend: 😂😂 That you are!!!!

Me: Et tu Brutus?

Friend: Takes one to recognise another. 😂

How many of you think that either I am a nut case, or my friend or both?

Ps.  The Youtube clip is partly in Hindi and partly in English.

Invasion Of Privacy And A Little Fun On Social Media.


All of us know that nothing comes free in this world and what we think we do get free has other hidden costs. WhatsApp and Facebook have access to our innermost desires and they liberally share with advertisers to finance what they offer us for free. Corporates in turn use that information to target their advertising accurately and here is a story to illustrate this.

The following is a real exchange yesterday between a dear friend and me in WhatsApp.

Friend: On my Facebook feed, I get ads for men over 50 – all the ads either show old men playing with grandchildren, or pills for erectile dysfunction or how I need to beware of incurable old age diseases. Depressing stuff. Ageism is alive and well in the targeted advertising world!

Me: Is this a forward or a personal rant?

Friend: Personal rant

Me: 😔😔😔

This thread continued with a different tack with me having my share of fun

Friend: How are you keeping?
You look very good after beard trim and haircut.

Me: You have learnt to ask “keeping” instead of “doing”!😃
Friend: Lol.

Me: Thank you. All of us here are flourishing.
Friend: Great.

A little background the fun exchange. He used to ask me “How are you doing?” and I would respond with “I stopped doing a long time ago.”
The beard trim and hair cut is referring to my blog post.

I Am Alive.

My friend MB posted this on his facebook page.

I commented: I must be one of the right people!

MB responded: You are dead right Sir. And he added a few emojis that I simply did not understand.

I could not resist the temptation to take this further and added: MB, I am very much alive!

He in turn responded: I meant that you are absolutely right Sir. No harm done, my comment increased your life span by another minimum 10 years. And for effect, added a few more emojis.

I in turn responded with emojis of my own: 🙏🙏🙏😀😀😀

Count On Me.

Today has been a great day for me for some scintillating exchanges.

In the morning, I had messaged a friend in Mumbai to help me with something and he did quite cheerfully. Here is the exchange. I have just removed the full name to protect his identity.

Me: Thank you dear HM. I am glad to have you in my life.
HM: You can always count on me
Me: 🙏🏻. You an abacus? Or, remember the Casio? Or the Facit?

And to help him refresh his memory, I gave a link to my post on my blog.

Over the lunch table, I shared this exchange with Manjiree who was quite amused and recollected her younger days when she had to learn multiplication tables by heart. I too was reminded of the same and shared with her my own story.

I must have been around 12, my younger brother Arvind 11 and the third brother Barath 9. Our late father, a martinet, insisted on us learning multiplication tables up to 20 X 20 bottom to top and top to bottom. On his return from work he would first ask me one question say, 12 X 14 and if I did not know the answer, he would punish me. He would then ask another question to Arvind and the story would repeat. The third time around he would ask Barath say 14 X 8 and without batting an eyelid, Barath would respond with 62 or some such number and the old man, satisfied, would point out how great he was to the other two and depart. It was much after we had grown up that Barath confided with Arvind and me once while reminiscing that, he would just shoot off any number that came to his mind taking the chance that the old man did not know the answer!

The next thing that happened today was when I shared the HM exchange with my son Ranjan who promptly suggested that my sense of humour was diminishing as I aged. Great support from my heir apparent. 🙁

I am a teetotaller and a vegetarian which is quite amusing to many of my friends and the next exchange was with another dear friend who sent me this clip.

He added at the bottom – “See what you are missing?”

I responded with “I had a school teacher girl friend named Anita Singh. Her students used to call her Miss. Singh. The only missing I do is missing that Miss. Singh who became Mrs. Kalra.”

Wanting to have the last word, my friend concluded with – “Those were the days what?”

All in all, quite a day.

Looking Up!

An old friend and colleague from my working days rang me up today to ask me for something that I thought was not quite right for me to do. I told him that he should ask someone else more qualified and worthy than I. He however insisted that I help him.

During the conversation, his leitmotif was that he had always looked up to me and hence he wanted me to undertake the task. That more or less settled the matter as I was touched and flattered at the same time.

Let us not go into the task but what amused me was that literally, he is at least four inches taller than I am. Quite how he could have looked up to me beats me!

Some figures of speech really can be confusing when taken literally.