Crumpets.

It all started with a blog post from eclectica called The Trumpet Project. I commented there as: “As strange as it may appear to you, despite having travelled extensively in the UK, Australia etc, I have never had crumpets. I shall remedy that immediately as they are available here too and may be write a blog post about it.” Kylie responded: “I’ll be interested to hear how you like them. Ive heard them compared to Murtabak, which you might know. Murtabak is far superior in my opinion.”

So, I went to Uncle Google and sought crumpets in Pune online and lo and behold found that a young lady friend of mine Mitali who calls herself “Homebaker” makes and markets them in Pune. I contacted her and she sent some earlier today for lunch.

I added generous pats of butter and thoroughly enjoyed eating them accompanied by some delicious South Indian curry.

One item that never went into my bucket list and one that will not, now that I have had them.

Mitali has also offered to make crumpets with honey or jam in them and the next project will be those.

One item however has gone into my bucket list and that is Murtabak. Long live Google Uncle and perhaps I shall be able to write another blog post soon.

Gone Fishing.

My friend SG had this to say on his Facebook post: “This is probably a sure sign that I am getting old, but I absolutely love “Gone Fishing” with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse. Stunning locations, gentle banter and great fishing – what’s not to like?”

That took me back to the early nineties of the last century and Chris Rea.

I posted this in response to SG and we then exchanged the following messages.

SG: Please watch the programme if you can. It is on BBC 2 here, I think. It is hosted by two aging comedians in their early 60s who are recovering from life threatening health conditions, so a lot of meditations on life and mortality (all presented in a light-hearted way).

I: I have seen a few clips on youtube recommended by some friends. Quite interesting but, not my cup of tea. I am not as old as you are.

(There is over two decades of age difference between us.)

For those interested, the lyrics for Chris Rea’s song:

I’m going fishing
I got me a line
Nothin’ I do’s gonna’ make the difference
So I’m taking the time
And you ain’t never gonna’ be happy
Anyhow, anyway
So I’m going fishing
And I’m going today
I’m going fishing
Sounds crasy I know
I know nothing about fishing
But just watch me go
And when my time has come
I will look back and see
Peace on the shoreline
That could have been me
You can waste whole lifetime
Trying to be
What you think is expected of you
But you’ll never be free
May as well go fishing.

Chris Rea interview – summer 1991, for the song ”Gone Fishing”.

“I know a lot of people have remarked to me they have listened to the record, “I like that song, that’s what we should do, just go fishing, forget about everything”. The funny thing about that song is as I say in the song, I don’t know anything about fishing. he bottom line of the tune is that when you get to the last day of your life and you look back, and you see how many hours you’ve spent in traffic-jams, pushing and shoving, how many hours you’ve spent elbowing people out of the way and being elbowed out of the way; You just thing to yourself I wish I had all them hours back, cos I may as well have gone fishing…”

Humourous Fortitude.

A friend called me up to inform me of a misadventure that another mutual friend SC and the latter’s wife had had. He could not give me the full information as his had come from second hand sources.

I therefore called my friend who took some time to answer the phone but, on seeing my name on the caller id slot,  started off by letting off a big laugh. This surprised me as I was expecting anything else but this as his opening. When he had calmed down, he said that he was glad that I had called and that he was planning to call me any way to share his misfortune with me.

The story that unfolded was that the 80 year old SC had slipped and fallen in their bedroom two days ago. He found it difficult to straighten himself as he had fallen between a dresser and the bed and also was hurting badly. His wife, hearing his shouts came to rescue him and in trying to, also fell down and had broken her fore arm bone in two places. Now, both were in agony and on the floor and unable to get up but, luckily, SC was able to lay his hands on his cellphone that had fallen below him. He called his neighbour who had to break down their entrance door to gain access to their flat and in the process gathered a few other curious neighbours as well.

The whole crowd came up with many suggestions culminating finally in one of them calling for an ambulance from a nearby hospital and finally the two were evacuated to the hospital for treatment.

I could not hold myself back any further at this point and asked him why if he had undergone all this he laughed as he answered my phone and his response showed why we are friends.

He said, that for the past two days, he had been reviewing all that had happened and was shocked at the response of the crowd that had gathered in his room before he was shifted. In his words, it was mostly morbid interest on how both the oldies had got into the distressing situation. He said, instead of those ghouls, had I been there, I would have lightened up the situation, taken charge and pointed out the comic side of the drama. He therefore was planning to call me to give his comic version when coincidentally, my call had come in while both were still in a hospital room. He just burst out laughing impulsively and was glad that I had called.

Both are well on their way to full recovery albeit with bruised egos and lighter wallets. Both however are facing their misfortune with humourous fortitude if that is the term to use in the situation.

Friends.

My old faithful table top FM radio which I use to listen to while reading my newspapers and solving crossword puzzles gave up its ghost this morning. It has been a very reliable companion for the last six years.

After having investigated online for substitutes, I just asked a dear friend ST,  where I could get a reliable replacement and he promptly sent me the name and phone number of a friend of his, PK ,  who trades in radios and other electronic items. On discussing  my requirement, PK offered to get it delivered to me at home later in the day and I agreed. This set was delivered to me just half an hour ago.
Naturally, I am delighted.

The story however does not end there.

On being asked for the cost including delivery charges, PK informed me that it was a gift from ST.

I am blessed to have such friends in my life. I hope that all my readers also are.

A Great Tribute.

A very dear friend has sent me this message on WhatsApp. It is a tribute from a son to his late father who was a Medical Practitioner. I wish to share it with my readers as, this is an unusual request which touched me deeply as I am sure it will my readers.

“August 1st will mark 8 years since my dad passed away. I still think of him every day.

There are two kinds of intelligence, in my book. One is conventional intelligence, the other is disruptive intelligence. The latter is the kind that changes the world – through a scientific breakthrough, or the development of a new drug or technology.

Baba’s intelligence was the latter – a ferocious, disruptive intelligence, that, combined with his courage, his insistence on questioning everything, integrity, compassion and impish, irreverent sense of humour, made him special.

I haven’t inherited that level of intelligence, but hopefully have inherited some of his other traits.

I always remember how his shoulders shook and his eyes crinkled when he laughed. I remember how when we visited the small town of Almora in the Himalayas on vacation, he would dispense free medical advice and medicines he paid for himself, to dozens of poor villagers who would line up outside my grandfather’s door every morning. He asked for nothing in return. I remember his courage at the end of his life, when he calmly told me he would die that very day, after seeing his own electrocardiogram.

I remember everything. The greatest lesson he taught me was to take nothing at face value, and to investigate everything, and only believe something if it was rooted in fact and backed up by evidence. He was afraid of nothing, and would never back down if he knew he was right about something.

So on August 1st, it would be great if you could take a moment out of your day to remember a remarkable man.

Thank you.”

Jailed!

A dear friend Jayant, shared this image in a WhatsApp group page this morning.
If this is the case, I am very much in jail now.

In fact, I have been in jail since May 23, 1999. Before that, I was touching/sipping/drinking alcohol every day for 26 years. Perhaps that was being on probation. Prior to that, I was tippling once in a way, thanks to our glorious prohibition policy.

When I shared this image with some of my friends on WhatsApp, almost all of them said that they were in jail too as we are all from the generation of Indians who woke up before sunrise and followed all the other conditions in the list.

Are you in or out of jail?