I used to spell this word as CONGRADULATIONS till I was 54 years old!
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?
In Tamil, my mother tongue, “Chinna Veedu” literally means “small house” implying a mistress kept in a smaller house by a rich man whose bigger house was for his official wife and family. A movie was also made with the same title some years ago which was a bit hit in Tamil Nadu.
I was teasing a friend of mine about his current work style of working only four days a week due to the restrictions due to Covid by asking him if he had established a “Chinna Veedu”. After fielding that effectively, he told me of a story about a mutual friend that I had not known so far.
This mutual friend was a wealthy wholesaler in Mumbai with two children, one a son and the other, younger, a daughter. The son joined his father’s business after his college education and the daughter, after acquiring an MBA, started to work for a very big business man in Mumbai in his office in the Finance department.
As, it is normal in such families, the parents indulged her as it was only for a short while as she was expected to get married into another business family as is the custom in their community. When she was 24, the parents found a very nice match for her and got her married in a typically lavish Indian wedding ceremony.
Just after a few months, the daughter returned to her parent’s home complaining that her husband was impotent and that she wanted a divorce. Her parents, devastated confronted the groom’s family and the truth finally came out.
There was nothing wrong with the groom but, the daughter was in an affair with her boss who had asked her to get married to please the parents but to get a divorce after a while on the promise that he too would get a divorce from his current wife and marry her. The girl is 24 and the boss 50 years old.
Finally, all issues were sorted out and both parties went through the divorces and before they could get married however, our mutual friend had a massive heart attack and died just a few months ago at the age of 60.
I did not know about this story as I have been out of touch with most of my former business associates that I knew during my working days and this news and story came as a total surprise and shock to me as I knew the girl and her family rather well and had a very amicable relationship with them over many years.
What as story to start my Sunday off with! Have you come across anything like this in your circles?
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.
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.
According to WHO, globalisation can be defined as “the increased interconnectedness and interdependence of peoples and countries. It is generally understood to include two inter-related elements: the opening of international borders to increasingly fast flows of goods, services, finance, people and ideas; and the changes in institutions and policies at national and international levels that facilitate or promote such flows.”
I am all for this provided, the spirit of the policy is implemented without any reservation but, in practise, that has not been the case as the next choice comes into play.
“Tribal nationalism more popularly called right-wing populism is a response to worries about immigration and national identity, coupled with genuine social injustices including economic hardship and unemployment.”
I live in India. We have gone through a partition of the country that divided us into two and now that has become three with some elements of the division still troubling us. Unlike the post world war II Europe, where full exchange of ethnic minorities took place, we did not due to what is now felt as stupidity of the then leadership of the country and we have an effective fifth column operating here. We have a major problem of illegal migrants from our neighbouring countries encouraged by this fifth column and some of our short term oriented politicians for vote bank politics. There is also a sixth column which is the leftist elite leftover from our experiments with socialism which, while on the retreat is also causing much damage to our youth.
Our Tribal Nationalism therefore is very appealing to people who are proud of our heritage and history who are unashamedly Indian and who are the cause for the despair of the English Speaking Left Intellectual Mafia as they are now called. I have no hesitation whatsoever to confirm that I am a Tribal Nationalist who is willing to accept Globalisation which will treat us exactly as it would like us to treat it. With respect.
I would therefore have preferred to call the title with an “And” instead of the “Versus” suggested by Shackman.
This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, Padmum, Raju, Shackman 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.