Another Treat.

My regular readers will remember my pre Covid partner in crime Ramesh, with whom I used to go to the movies regularly. During almost the whole of last year we did not meet but were in regular telephone touch with each other.  This year too we have not met personally yet, though we have seen and spoken to each other on a few occasions, with a fence separating us.

Ramesh rang me up last night to announce that a treat will be delivered to me at home for lunch today. It came just before lunch time and my day was made.

This is Sai Bhaji a dish popular among Sindhis and which Ramesh knows I like very much.

We had made idlies and onion chutney to go with it and the unusual combination was simply sensational.

I over ate and had a blissful siesta and as I write this am full of gratitude for Ramesh and our country’s varieties of cuisines.

Have you experimented with mixing up different cuisines during a single meal?

Breaktime – how do you relax when you get a moment?

I have been on permanent break for so long that I have even forgotten when I started.  I have no earthshaking meetings to attend, appointments to keep, or targets to meet and I simply have to live one day at a time and spend my time as entertainingly as possible.

So has my friend Shackman who too retired from active business life many years ago.  That is why it intrigues me that he has come up with this topic for this week’s Friday blog post.

With modern online shopping available to add to my library, life has been made easier further. I don’t have to step out of my home for anything at all.

My life revolves around my set routine about which I have written here. Since I am not involved with any activities that need me to get suited and booted, I spend all my time dressed very comfortably in our native dress and am totally relaxed. I get plenty of excitement from my social media activities, reading and crossword puzzles besides many phone calls. More than enough for me to lead a contented and peaceful life.

My daughter in love and son look after all domestic matters and that too is something that I do not have to concern myself with and worry about. All my comforts are provided for and even the odd shopping that I may want is done by one of them.

All in all, a comfortable and peaceful retired life which I think I have earned after a lot of stress filled times till eight years ago.  I am extremely grateful for my present lifestyle.

Lastly, I am not dressed like that bloke in the image on top.  This is my normal every day look.  Very comfortable and functional for my current lifestyle.

This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas 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.

Letter to Santa. What I want for Christmas.

There is an affectionate term in Term called Mundirikottai which means Cashew nut. A cashew fruit while still unplucked from the tree looks like this:

Do you get why I introduce it here and what relevance it has to the topic? Unlikely, possibly with the exception of Padmum who has suggested this topic for today, and / or Sanjana who speaks Tamil at home.

In Tamil ‘ mundiri’ means cashew and means a nut; So it is ‘ mundirikottai’

A nut or seed is formed inside a vegetable or fruit in the middle of edible flesh by nature, not visible outside except in the case of cashew.

Only cashew has this peculiar formation of the nut protruding outside of it and is visible.

Hence any person who tries to make his/her presence felt first ignoring others is called ‘mundirikottai’

For example, you ask a question addressed to the person ‘A’ in a group, expecting an answer from him/ her only. But the person ‘B’ comes forward suddenly/immediately to answer and answers even before the person ‘A’ starts to answer ‘B’ is rightly called ‘Mundirikottai.’

Now, I can call Padmum a cashew nut for wanting to write to Santa Claus in the beginning of November or call myself one for writing this letter to him much ahead of all the other letters that he will surely get from mid December onwards. The chances of his forgetting my requests are more if I write now but, perhaps that is what Padmini wants him to do any way.  Padmum however qualifies for this title as she has posted one day ahead of the scheduled Friday.  I think that she is desperate for her list to be studied in detail by Santa before he gets other lists.

I have reached the stage of life where my wants are none and needs are few. I have been blessed with everything that I need to live my remaining life span in reasonable comfort and so my letter to Santa this year will ask for just the following.

1. Please ensure that I and mine are spared the chinese virus.
2. Please ensure that the virus disappears quickly.
3. Please ensure that all beings experience good health, peace and joy.

And to wind up, a little humour.

This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

My Life Saver!

I could not have my daily dose of afternoon tea today because the help was on leave of absence and my son and daughter in love were out attending some meetings. I was lost.

I took a chance and rang up my next door neighbour, a restaurant, and asked whether they would revive me by sending across a couple of glasses of their tea and lo and behold I was obliged in double quick time.

I was most impressed. The tea along with disposable cups came in a Food Grade Natural Poly Standup Pouch;

I am sure that the name on the pouch must ring bells in many minds as I have written before about Irani Cafe close to my home. They were about 120 Mts away from us when I wrote that post but, they have now shifted next door to us with just a wall and a drive way separating us.

The same Mokhtar who featured in my previous post answered my call earlier today and rushed the tea to me.  You can see him above sitting next to the Samovar which too featured in my previous post.

The same tea that I have featured in my earlier post but, double dose this time.

The four young men who are the  partners who run the Irani Cafe.

I can’t wait to go there physically to enjoy their hospitality again. My son and daughter in love have already done that and I envy them.

Thank you Mokhtar.

Surprise Gift.

A friend, Mahesh, from Jaipur had advised me last week that he had sent a parcel through a courier and had given me the tracking code for the package. Despite repeated pleas, he would not tell me what the package contained and suggested that I wait and be surprised, hopefully pleasantly.

Due to the disturbed conditions due to Covid, the parcel took its time and it was a frustrating experience tracking its progress from Jaipur to my home. It was fianally delivered while I was on my daily siesta and when I surfaced I found the package waiting for me on the dining table.

I opened it to find a book that I had been wanting for decades and which was not available in India. I had casually mentioned this to Mahesh quite some time ago as, he regularly travels overseas to see if he can get a copy somewhere and he did. This thoughtful friend had not forgotten and had bought it for me but, was unable to deliver it to me due to the lockdown. Recently, using a small window of relaxation, Mahesh had shifted residence to his parental home in Jaipur. On unpacking his personal effects he found the book and promptly packed it and couriered it to me last week.

Today, it is one of my treasured possessions and has gone to be bound so that it will last longer than normal paper back books.

I am indeed blessed to have such thoughtful friends with good memories.

Dated Language.

I sent a message to a friend who had been of great help to me thanking him. The message read –

“Thank you. You are a Brick.”

For my American friends and younger Indian friends, the Oxford English Dictionary defines Brick as:
“British informal, dated, A generous, helpful, and reliable person.”. I have used this word often in the past without any problem.

Agreed it is dated but, so am I and my friend is of the same vintage too.

What leads me to writing this blog post however, is not to defend my datedness but the response that I got from my friend.

“I can appreciate your thanking me but, why do you also insult me at the same time?”

I was puzzled and rang him up to ask him what the problem was and was told that his message read as “Thank you. You are a prick.”

I explained to him what the message was and pacified him but, went to WhatsApp to check if I had indeed made a typo. I had not and so, I took a screen shot of the message and sent it to my friend.

He on reinvestigation found a one in a million chance of an opaque stain on the screen of his smart phone, exactly at the point where the lower loop of the brick appeared. He just cleaned up the screen and the message was not an insult anymore.

I wonder if I should simply stop using the word again in my communications.