My friend and retired sailor AA sent me this image in WhatsApp.
I responded: I am an antique.
AA: No wonder that there is a price on your head! 🙂
Who needs enemies when you have such friends?
Both my hipjoints crumbled in December 1980 and since then, there are a few things that I miss not being able to do with my replaced and revised hip joints restricting my activities.
During my younger days among the many other things that I did was to be a keen motorcyclist. I have written about it in this blog post. In fact, just before and immediately after my marriage, the vehicle I used to first court my then fiancee and later wife, on two wheelers. The first, a Vespa scooter and the second a Jawa motorcycle.
Like all doting fathers encouraging their children to do things that they themselves cannot or could not do, I encouraged my son Ranjan to take up to motorcycling. From the time that he was old enough to get a driving license, he has had a series of two wheelers starting from a moped, graduating to a scooter and then on to motorcycles of various horsepowers till finally he has settled on a powerful roadster of the Royal Enfield brand.
When I was older but not very much wiser, my uncle who was a keen golfer took me under his wing and taught me how to play golf and got me a membership in a prestigious golf club too. I played regularly between 1967 and 1980. I was fairly good at it too and played to an officially posted handicap of 14. My hip joints gave way in 1980 and I had to stop playing.
Ranjan surprised me with an announcement a couple of weeks ago that he is taking up golf seriously. I was and continue to be delighted. Here he is practicing the chip shot.
From that clip I can see a good golfer emerging and I am delighted.
Here again I will see my dreams come true through Ranjan. I hope.
This took me back to 1975 and a very dear friend AC, who also happened to have been my boss at that time. He was retiring and moving to Andorra and was simplifying his possessions to suit the accommodation that awaited him in Andorra.
I was a struggling young man with a small family and had very little furniture. AC knew this well as he had visited our home often. He asked me if I could do him a favour by taking some furniture off his hands and offered two massive arm chairs and a quarter century old chest of drawers. A favour? Those were God sent gifts and I grabbed them with both hands and much gratitude.
What is the oldest thing in your home?
My daughter in love went shopping for vegetables yesterday and saw freshly arrived ground nuts, called peanuts by the Americans, and knowing my weakness for it, bought a pile of it.
I got it steamed in a pressure cooker and sat down to shell them.
That is when nostalgia kicked in taking me back to my childhood when my mother used to ask the four of us siblings to shell the nuts. We used to call that a picnic as, while shelling for storage, we used to keep popping some as we went along. I did not pop any while I shelled because I am still recovering from a tooth extraction but, am looking forward to doing so soon enough from the shelled and refrigerated stock.
Apart from the picnic nostalgia another memory of a late friend kept coming up. That of VB, a dear friend who used to get the snacks for our parties. He used to specially get these boiled groundnuts for me and inevitably say, “Nuts for a nut from a nut!” It has been a long time since I remembered him.
Here is a stock photograph from Alamy showing Indian village children having a picnic like we used to have in our childhood.
How do you like your ground/peanuts?
These two dubious honours pale in comparison to what I was called earlier today.
Let me explain.
My dear friend KD sent me these pictures to share his joy in seeing his childhood friends having also grown old just like he and I have.
I responded that I am a comic figure anyway in real life, and shared with him the fact that some friends and nephews call me Gandalf.
And here is the punchline. He responded with “Yes, you have always shown to be avuncular.” I am reasonably sure that I never was with him but, perhaps he was referring to my relationship with his impish son.
What do you think?
My friend SG’s father had passed away quite a few years ago and the mother was living alone in Pune before she too passed away last year. SG and his wife DD were unable to attend the funeral last year as, they were stuck in the UK, unable to get out due to Covid restrictions.
SG’s cousin AG had come down to Pune to handle the details under trying conditions but, managed to do everything well.
Both DD and SG are now in Pune on a short visit before they return to the UK and went to a friend’s hill top denuded, to be reclaimed, barren land to plant two trees in memory of SG’s parents.
The seedling on the left is a Paarijaat and the one on the right is an Ashoka.
I think that this is a remarkable way to remember departed dear ones and recommend this to all my readers.
I intend requesting my son to do the same when I am gone.