Why I Blog?

Mitch at I’m Just Sharing has reposted a 2014 blog post which took me back to TGOD. I reproduce below exchange of my comments and Mitch’s response.

Me: “So, which of the three categories will my blog fit in? Since I have not given serious thought as to why I write, that will help me decide.”

Mitch: “Actually Rummuser, you condescend to yourself but inside I think you know why you write. You write to get things off your chest; you write to share your life and thoughts with others; and you write for the kinship you get from folks like your Friday tagalong group (okay, I never remember off the cuff what y’all call yourselves lol). You have a unique storytelling style that seems to get people talking; you get way more comments per post than I do. And of course early on you told people this: “Tension nahin lenekka!” You did this during a tense part of your life, which you shared as well. As I say, I think you knew all this; I think it’s a cultural thing that you’re fairly self deprecating when you have no need to be. 🙂”

Me: “Wow! Mitch, that is a mouthful to get off your chest! Thanks. You have just made this wet rainy day over here feel like a million Rupees.”

Which led me to study my blog and I have come up with some interesting statistics.

The first post I wrote in this format was on the 8th of June, 2008.
I have written 3327 posts including this one since then.
There have been a total of 28082 comments and responses from me.

Wow! I am unashamedly impressed with my performance!  Do you think that I am being immodest?

I Am So Old.

I received this as a WhatsApp message and I immediately went all nostalgic.

Telephone.:
My earliest telephone was this:
I wonder if the generation that started with dial up phones even knew of this!

The next phone that I used was one were you lifted the handset off the base and waited for an operator to respond to connect you to another party within that telephone exchange’s area.
Or, for long distance calls called trunk calls those days, you went to the local Post Office to book one of the following. Ordinary, Urgent or Lightening with escalating charges for each. The dial less phone set would usually be in a cabin and one waited till the clerk signalled you to go there to talk.
Or, one used this:
The most frustrating part of this was when the time ran out and you did not have more coins to feed the beast.

By this time, that is around the mid nineties of the last century, one could get telephone connections fairly easily but, long distance dial up calls were mostly not subssribed to, as neighbours would otherwise pester one. One had to book a call and wait for the exchange to connect you to the called party.

Then came these:
PCOs or, Public Call Offices changed telephony in India by the late eighties. One could go to these booths and make International Subsriberer Dialling and / or Subscriber Trunk Dialling (ISD< STD)
Finally came the cell phones in mid nineties, and since then, the landscape is unrecognizable.

Radio:
My first exposure to a radio was this:
One was forced to listen to what Akashvani dished out with the exception of Radio Ceylon’s Binaca Geetmala. This was a luxury and this was replaced by a radiogram which had a radio and a record player built into it.
Then we moved on in succession to transistor radio, record player and walkman till the mobile phone made all these redundant.


Television:
The fist TV set that I bought was a Konarak Black & White as India did not have colour television till the eighties.
I then moved on to Colour TV and by 1983 had to invest in a VCR!
We would borrow Video Cassettes from libraries to watch movies which in those days was a great convenience.

Today, all those gadgets have disappeared and we use computers and cable television for our entertainment at home. For music, the choice that is available within mobile telephones is simply mind blowing.

Camera.:
The earliest camera that I remember seeing was my father’s Rolliflex.
When I was thirteen, I was gifted with this:

Unicode

Both used Black & White roll films which after shooting, had to be taken to a studio to be developed and printed. Colour films came much later and those became redundant with the arrival of digital cameras{
You couldn’t take selfies with any of them!  Those too now are redundant with mobile phones offering excellent built in camera facilities.

What a journey it has been!

Kooja.

This is called kooja in Tamil and Phirkicha Tambya in Marathi. It is a vessel with a screw on cap which used to be store and carry drinking water.

Pre-filled plastic bottles have now replaced these but, during my childhood this was seen during all train and bus journeys.

The following image is a caricature of an Indian politician with two yes men behind him.
Yes men are till today called Koojas in Tamil Nadu as they used to carry water for their bosses in such vessels.

In Hindi and other North Indian languages, they are called chamchas the original word still used in regular conversations means a spoon.

Have you ever been a kooja/chamcha or had one? I have both.

Dream Come True.

Way back in the early seventies of the last century, someone very dear to me came to stay with us for a few months till he could find his own digs in a strange city.

Having just acquired a degree in Chemical Engineering, he had got himself a job through campus recruitment and was quite thrilled to be independent after many years of being a dependent.

During those times of talking about his future, he would repeatedly tell us that he will one day buy himself a Maserati. Those were the days when India produced three brands of cars none of which would compare anywhere near a Maserati and in any case, unless one bought a second hand Indian one at a higher price than a brand new one, due to long waiting periods for delivery after booking, such dreaming was rather unrealistic.

Unrealistic that is for others but, not for that young man.

Fast forward to forty years later to 2011 and that not so young man, bought himself a BMW. I had not known about his purchase and had gone to visit him when he suggested that we go for a drive and took me down to the garage where the BMW was waiting for him.

I have known that man from his childhood and had never seen a bigger grin on his face than what I saw that day. He said, “No, not a Maserati but, I have settled for a BMW.”
I got this image this morning from another friend in WhatsApp. I promptly forwarded the image to that man with the comment: “You did not. ❤️ “

Ironing.

My daughter in love and son are in the process of simplifying their lives and in the process discovered one of my long forgotten travel accessories.
This was perfect for a fussy character like me who could not afford to pay pressing charges in hotels during overseas tours due to severe restrictions on foreign exchange allowed to us those days. Drip dry shirts and polyester blend suits made it easy for washing and ironing one’s own clothes.

Much before that, during my school days, I had got into the habit of ironing my clothes and that habit has continues till today. I still iron my  clothes and enjoy wearing crisply ironed ones every time I go out. I of course use a proper steam iron and an ironing board like this.

I however do not do too many items at a time as I find it difficult to stand for long. Just the two pieces that I will need for the day.

The discovery of the portable iron led me to reminisce about my travelling days as well as my obsession with ironed clothes AND another very impressive quote from a favourite actress.

I don’t think that I am spoiled. What do you think?

Number Of Homes In My Life.


I received this cryptic message on WhatsApp and having nothing better to do, I thought that I will count from my childhood and see how many in my life. The results are:

  1. 1. Before I started being aware of what was happening around me, my parents lived in three different places while I was a babe in arms. So, 3.
    2. After I became aware of what was happening around me, we were in Chennai and lived in three homes. During that period I was left with my uncle for one year. So, 4.
    3. We then shifted to Hyderabad where I lived with my parents in one home and then on my own in three different places. So, 4.
    4. Then back to Chennai till 1965 when I lived partly with my parents, as a paying guest and then in a hostel altogether in six different places. So, 6.
    5. Then two years in Ahmedabad in a hostel. So, 1.
    6. That was followed by one stretch of seven months in Mumbai with my parents. 1.
    7. That was followed by two years of living off a suitcase, travelling many parts of South India.
    8. I then got married and after a brief homeless stretch, set up our first home in Delhi. 1.
    9. After that, we got posted to Mumbai on three separate occasions. 3
    10. Kolkata on one occasion. 1
    11. Kerala on one occasion. 1
    12. Delhi on one occasion again. 1
    13. Bengaluru on one occasion. 1
    14. Then finally to Pune thirty plus years ago where we have put down deep roots. 1
    15. While the home in Pune was functioning tickety-boo, I set up home twice in Tirupur in the South of India on two occasions on special assignments. 2
  2. That makes for thirty places where I have lived for long periods over my entire life.  That makes me a way-above-average person.  Should I be happy?