Old Enough To Die.

Nick Posted this quote on his Facebook page: “”Once I realised I was old enough to die, I decided that I was also old enough not to incur any more suffering, annoyance or boredom in the pursuit of a longer life”
~ Barbara Ehrenreich.

Investigating the author of the quote, I found this article in the Guardian.

The views expressed by BE resonate with me though I haven’t had to handle any form of cancer. I however know some people very close to me who have and one of whom is still coming out of the after effects of chemotherapy. Leaving that aside, her take on the rest of one’s approach to living the rest of one’s life requires much wider reception and I am doing my bit by blogging about it and posting my blog on Facebook.

I have ordered for the book that she has written – Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.

Thank you Nick.

A Good Night’s Sleep – Hopefully.

Since about two months ago I have been having constant pain in the upper back and finally it was diagnosed about two weeks ago as fibromyalgia. During the day time it is manageable but when I sleep if I have either the fan on or the air conditioner on, the pain increases and affects my sleep. If I don’t use either, mosquitoes trouble me and disturb the sleep. This year particularly, due to heavy pollution of our rivers with water hyacinth which is being removed but not as fast as I would like, the mosquito menace is higher than normal.

When we had first moved into our present home 28 years ago, we were more or less on the fringes of our city abutting farm lands, stud farms and woods. At that time since mosquito repellents were not available, we had taken recourse to nets. After a while we stopped using the nets as repellents were available but, now I find that my COPD gets aggravated if repellents are used. I therefore decided to go back to the good old mosquito nets and my daughter in love happily tooted off earlier this afternoon to fetch me one from the city.

The net hangs from a hook on the ceiling. The hook was inserted in 1990 when we had just bought the house. It is still strong enough to support the weight of the net!

Behind the bed to the right you can see parts of a chest of drawers. That is an antique piece made in Rhodesia in the fifties of the last century. I purchased it from a home returning expat in 1975 when it was already a quarter century old. It is still sturdy and very serviceable. Just above the chest you can see parts of a photograph. That is of my late wife Urmeela. From wherever she is, she would be happy to see me going back to the mosquito net!

I hope to be able to sleep soundly tonight.


The door bell rang at 11.30 am this morning and I found a courier from Amazon with a parcel for me. First, this is the first time that I received a parcel from Amazon on a Sunday and secondly, I had not ordered anything from them. I checked to see that it was indeed addressed to me and opened it to see if either Ranjan or Manjiree had ordered something for me.

This is what I found.
Bingo! The light went on and here is a flashback to last Thursday.

A young couple, very dear to me who for some strange reason, has adopted me into their family called up to invite me to have lunch with them. I readily agreed and we had a great lunch at a favourite restaurant close to my home. Before the lunch GP told me that she would not order anything as she was on a diet plan which had enabled her to lose six kilograms in just as many weeks through a fasting programme. She said that she would help herself to little bit of what I ordered for myself and from her husband KS’s plate as well.

I was curious about this fasting programme and she explained it further to me by telling me about the above book which was recommended to her by another mutual acquaintance who had lost ten kilograms in six weeks. She believed that by following the programme listed in the book, I should be able to improve on my breathing condition and promised to send the book across for me to read.  (I also suspect that she wants me to shed some kilograms!)

Instead of sending her copy to me, she had simply ordered a copy from Amazon for me! What a delightful surprise gift! I rang her up to remonstrate and thank her, and she sweetly suggested that instead of thanking her, I do the same for someone else. What a lady!

I started reading the book and completed reading the introductions by Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore. I am quite impressed with their approach to the subject of fasting.  I intend going back to reading the book after I finish my daily session at the computer to attend to my mail, blogging, facebook etc.  I shall write another post once I finish reading it.

Thank you GP.

Urban Legends.

Pleases click on the image to get a larger resolution.

That X-ray shows both hip joints replaced with prostheses. Both my hip joints have been replaced and having worn out, one has been revised twice and the other once. The latter is due for revision but, I am postponing as much as possible to avoid getting on to a surgical table again.

A colleague and friend who had not seen me for some time, saw me walking with a cane while I was still in my late thirties.  He simply would not accept the medical reasons for my problem and thus an urban legend was born.

The story spread like wild fire among my friends and colleagues and is now the most accepted part of the legend that is me.

I was supposed to have jumped out of a second floor flat and hurt my hips. When asked why I had to do that, the answer was that the husband came.

Shackman has suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman<

Memory Trigger 16 – The Walking Stick.

This article in the Guardian, naturally took me back to early 1981 when I had to start using a walking stick to navigate my way around due to both my hip joints giving me trouble.

For the past 36 years plus now, I have been using a walking stick whenever I leave home, even if it is just to our grocer across the road. I simply cannot imagine my being able to be without one outside my home.

Here is a collection of walking sticks that wait for me just near the main door to the house.

I pick one as I leave and choose the one most appropriate for the trip I am making. For instance, if it is to the local park, I will choose the black one with the strap, or the brown one with the brass handle if I am going for a formal meeting.

I have a few more stored away in the attic, notably a pair of elbow crutches which I have to use immediately after surgery for revision to the replaced hip joints.

There is a story behind the brass handled walking stick. A friend winding up his longish stay and returning from the UK to India, bought it as a gift for me in London. On his presenting it to me, I discovered that it was made in India, by the engraving at the bottom of the crocodile shaped handle! It went all the way to London and came back to me in Pune! You can imagine the embarrassment that it caused my friend.

One of the advantages of being with a walking stick is the readiness with which people help with seats, places in queues etc. It is also a nice way to identify myself to strangers to look out for a grey bearded old man with a walking stick. It never fails!

Farewell 2016.

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

~ Bill Vaughan

Being a pesoptimist, I would be going to bed at my usual time and waking up in the new year also at the usual time. There will be no change to my daily routine as, for me, being in blissful retirement, every eve is a new year’s eve and every day is a new year’s day.

It however is always an interesting exercise to review the year that has gone by as many of my friends do by mail or blog posts but something that I have so far not done. Let me try for the first time this year.

The year started off well though I suffered from a prolonged chest infection carried over from the previous year. I was under medication for over four months during the tail end of which, I went to Chennai to be with my family and friends for some time while a kitchen and living area renovation took place at home in Pune.

While at Chennai, I got to know first hand the problems that many of my relatives and friends had faced during the floods. While there, I also made an overnight trip to Hosur to meet a cousin who I had not seen since our school days.

When I returned to Pune, the work at home was still in progress and I stayed in a hotel near our home for five nights. Hotel stay in Pune after 26 years!

Come April, I was diagnosed with a medical problem which lasted well into September before leaving me for good. During that period, I mostly wrote just the weekly LBC blog posts and skipped the others. During the same period, my cousin from Vashi and his wife as well as my sister from Chennai visited Pune to check up and cheer me on my way to recovery. I was able to find a remarkable specialist doctor who treated me and got me completely back to normal in a most friendly yet professional way.

We also had Debora and Phil from the USA and after a long time, my nephew Jaisundar, visiting us as well as many local friends who dropped in regularly.

Thanks to the increasing penetration of social media, fourteen old colleagues reestablished contact with me and are in regular touch through facebook, whatsapp, phone calls and email. I will be meeting some of them personally early in the new year. I may get back in touch with some more in the new year too.

I attended a great get together at Lonavala with some of my old colleagues during the monsoon. I also attended a small lunch meeting with my classmates. I had blogged about both occasions here. I went to Navi Mumbai on two occasions, once to spend some time at Vashi and the other last Saturday about which I blogged earlier this week.

The day before my trip to Navi Mumbai, I attended a lunch get-together with some of my fellow alumni of the Business School that I had gone to. About six weeks ago, I had attended another such a meeting, a more formal one to meet with the Institute’s Director, Alumni Affairs.

During the year there were two deaths in the family. The first one was that of my daughter in love’s father, Vishnu, an untimely death if there ever was one. The other was that of my aunt, the youngest sibling of my late father and the last of the previous generation from my generation of siblings and cousins. When I remarked about this, my brother who had rung me up to inform me about the death, remarked that we are now the “previous generation”!

As I write this, it has been the coldest December that I have experienced in Pune during the last 26 years. I hope that we will have the usual pleasant winter that we always had next year.

All in all, somewhat an eventful year and I now look forward to 2017 with interest.

The topic for this last week of the year LBC Friday post was suggested by me. I doubt that Shackman will be posting this week as he seems to be still under the weather. Pravin should but perhaps later than Friday which for him is a working day!