Nickname II And Synchronicity.

I am currently reading a fascinating book by Peter Bart called “Infamous Players”. I reproduce an extract:

“[To surreptitiously test Marlon Brando,] Coppola tried a shrewd … ploy. He went
to Brando’s house on Mulholland Drive, atop Hollywood, with a skeleton crew, telling
the actor that he wanted to shoot some trial footage in an effort to get a ‘take’
on the character of the Godfather. He emphasized that this would not be a screen
test: he was testing some equipment and also some character points.

“Brando, attired in a kimono to conceal his girth, welcomed the young director.
He had read the book again and felt that, whoever played the part, the actor should
speak in a slurred manner — he had been shot in the throat at one time and his
soft gravelly voice would carry more authority.

To Coppola’s delight, Brando had started to get into the part. He stuffed Kleenex
into his mouth, causing his jaw to jut out. He blackened his hair with shoe polish
and put on a jacket with a rolled-back collar. When he started speaking his lines,
Marlon Brando had become the Godfather.”

After having posted my LBC blog post Nicknames, I opened my mail box and found an email from Murugesan. This is the first ever mail to me from him from his Blackberry and apparently he has registered me there as God father Ramana Rajgopaul in the address book!

Now I have got another nickname! I wonder what I will look like if I too stuffed some kleenex in my mouth! Okay, here is a challenge to Mayo who features in my earlier post and/or to Cheerful Monk. Photoshop that possibility and let me have the result and I shall write another post featuring that.


A young lad gets lost, goes into an orphanage and gets adopted by an Australian couple. After twenty five years he returns to India to see if he can locate his old home and mother and succeeds.

Here is part one of the story.

While growing up in a completely different environment to that of his childhood, prosperous and given an education, the lad still wants to connect to his past. Strong emotional pulls makes him strive to find details using modern tools and he eventually returns to India and finds his mother and siblings.

Here is part two of the story.

The reunion is far from what he expects and what does not come out in the story is the disconnect between his dreams and the reality of poverty and language problems.

The mother who had given up all hopes of ever finding her child is delighted and is devastated when he has to return to Australia.

The two of them go through all kinds of emotional upheavals throughout the story and I am sure, so do the parents in Australia who had adopted the lad. There is another element of the girl friend of the lad who too must have gone through all kinds of emotions in handling the disturbance of her boy friend.

There have been many Indian stories and films on such themes though they do not quite end the way this story has ended. Usually there is either pathos with one of the protagonists dying or a fairy tale ending that ensures that all the characters live happily ever after.

When I read the two stories, the first thought that came to my mind is that reality rarely reflects fiction when it comes to handling difficult emotions. Very rarely does one come across true depictions like this story and I do hope that someone will make a film out of it.

English Spring.

My friend Sandeep, currently resident of Sheffield, England, had this to say a while ago on a chat;

“The missus is out getting a haircut
I went for a walk in the fields
behind the house
God – I love England in the spring and summer.
Wish u could visit us here”

And I responded:

“Yes, remember that old song, Oh to be in England now that spring is here?
Peter Sellers I think.”

I wish that I could be with him and his ebullient missus Dee.

I can’t but I can share with my readers what I shared with Sandeep. I hope that it gives you as much pleasure to listen to it as it did for me and Sandeep.

A Reward For Myself.

Thanks to Ranjan offering to stay at home and encouraging me to go out for a well deserved break, I went to see The Best Marigold Hotel, earlier this afternoon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the outing and the cinema was better than my expectations. British acting at its best, with good performances by the supporting Indian cast, fantastic camera work, and nostalgia generating photography of Jaipur and Rajasthan. A passable story line brought to life by some very good direction and excellent editing.

I must also thank my regular commentator Tammy who inspired me to go and see it.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad, who has been in retirement for some time. The eleven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

Self Worth.

A fellow alumnus Prakash Iyer, has written a management book worth its weight in gold. Here is an extract which I remember often and which came back to me earlier today.

“……………And another motivational guru. As I watched him pull out a five hundred rupee note and hold it up for all to see, I thought I knew what he was going to do next.

But he just asked a simple question. “How much is this worth?”

“Five Hundred rupees!” the crowd yelled in unison.

“Right,” said the speaker. He then took the note and crumpled it into a ball and asked “How much is it worth now?”

“Five Hundred rupees!” screamed the audience.

He then threw the note on the ground, stamped all over it and picked up the note and asked one more time: “And how much is it worth now?”

“Five Hundred rupees!” was the response.

“I want you to remember this,” said the speaker.

“Just because someone crumples it, or stamps on it, the value of the note does not diminish.

We should all be like the five hundred rupee note. In our lives, there will be times when we feel crushed, stamped over, beaten. But never let your self-worth diminish. Just because someone chooses to crush you — that doesn’t change your worth one bit! Don’t allow your self-worth to diminish because someone says something nasty — or does something dirty — to you.”

I went to see a movie, War Horse, this morning. I ended up seeing a remake of a Hindi movie that I had seen many years ago. Before the movie, I went to the Cafe Coffee Day for an espresso and though I expected to be alone at that time of the morning, there was this young lady already there sitting all by herself. I smiled at her and bid her good morning while I waited for the barista to come up to the counter. I ordered for the coffee which the barista said would be delivered to my table considering my elbow crutches, and went to a corner table to sit. The young lady, promptly moved over to the table where I sat and to cut a long story short, we became friends.

What has this got to do with a crumpled currency note?

Before I was forced to see the Hindi movie, I was given a run around by the staff at the multiplex who had changed the timings of the movies to different ones from what was advertised in the local papers in the morning. Since I was quite disappointed, having walked over a kilometer to see the movie, I was feeling quite low having depleted my emotional reservoir arguing with the staff. They were almost condescending in their attitude and passing the buck to some body in the management that I settled for an alternative that I normally would not have.

At the cafe, old habits die hard and the good morning to a stranger and her response and subsequent conversation with me, boosted my ego back up to what it must have been like twenty years ago!

On my way back after the movie, I went to the local chemist to get some medicines. I had forgotten to take my id card issued by that chain that entails me to a senior citizen discount and informed the clerk about that. She asked for my telephone number and got it crosschecked that I was indeed registered with them as a senior citizen. She then made me jump up with joy by asking for some other identification like a driving license to prove that I was over 60! When I asked her if my looks were not enough, she gave me a million rupee smile and said “No Sir!”, You look to be about 50!

I floated out of the shop and decided to cast my vote for the local municipal elections before heading for home for lunch. Nearer the election booth, I was mobbed by two candidates and one candidate’s wife, all wanting my precious vote!

Self worth? By this time I was feeling like the hero of the Bollywood film that I had seen in the morning.