Nostalgia.

When I wrote last week’s 2 on 1 Friday post, I had concluded with a clip of a song by Nat King Cole. After reading comments received particularly about Nat King Cole, I went on a nostalgia trip about my initiation to Western music and it led me to reminisce about the three following machines that most younger generation people will not recognise.

The first one is this record player for playing vinyl discs of two speeds, 45 and 33 RPMs. You needed another machine to play the 78RPM records. This was usually connected to a Radio and very rarely to an amplifier and speakers.

If you were willing to risk damaging your discs and were also lazy, you upgraded to a Changer like this one where when one disc finished playing, another dropped from above and started to play automatically.

The wealthier ones amongst us went one step further and had Radiograms like the third  one in fancy cabinets.

SONY DSC

Moving on to other triggers for nostalgia, during my morning sessions in my verandah with my morning mug of tea, I have recently been seeing a young lass walking a frisky Doberman Pinscher the last few days. The lass is usually pulled by the pup and she really has to struggle to guide him around. This has been taking me down memory lane to our own Doberman Pinscher about which I wrote here.

Another trigger was during my rummaging in one of the drawers in my chest of drawers to find a bracelet, I came across a wrist watch that was worn by my late father.

Why this should take me down memory lane is a fascinating story worth a full blog post in itself. I shall write one soon and link to this post. The nostalgia was about the days when wrist watches were luxuries that very few could afford and my first one was a gift that I inherited from an uncle who unfortunately died. That is the Titoni shown here.

A newspaper report in some distant place can trigger nostalgia too as recently happened to me about which I wrote a blog post. In this case, nostalgia led me to reestablishing contact with a friend who I had lost touch with for over forty five years!

A visitor can trigger nostalgia too. I had one on Wednesday who led me down memory lane to the seventies when I got involved with his family. So many good things have happened to that family since then, that we were discussing that for over an hour!

I guess that the older one gets, I am now well past the proverbial three score and ten, and pushing four score, the more we find opportunities for nostalgic trips. We also can find the time for such escapades. We also develop the ability to laugh at ourselves.

Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic. Thank you.

Sometimes I Wonder…….

What a fantastic topic that Shackman has come up with for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post where he and I write on the same topic. Please do go over to his blog to see his take on the subject.

Why sometimes? I wonder often about many things and right now at the beginning of our monsoon season, I wonder how something as rain drops falling on parched earth could release such a magnificent scent, yes, the petrichor never fails to release a sense of awe and wonder in me. I have searched high and low to get that in a perfume bottle or spray without any success. And sadly enough, it becomes just a memory till the monsoon is over and the earth dries up again and another unseasonal shower revives it.

I often wonder at how fortunate I have been in my life considering that as a teenager I was given up my extended family as being a nogoodnik with no prospects for the future.  There were just two relatives, besides my mother who had faith that I will do well.  It eventually turned out that I did well, very well indeed, much to the surprise of many and shock of some. The main reason that I am a total believer in the theory of karma.

Every time some one from my long forgotten past pops up to renew contact on facebook or WhatsApp or just telephones having got my telephone number from a mutual acquaintance, I wonder what makes for such affection that wants to renew contact. I also wonder when something triggers a memory and I try and locate someone from my past to renew the contact again.

Another wonder in my life just now is the latest addition to our family. Koko a blind dog who came into our home three weeks ago. It never fails to amaze me as to how she uses her other senses to get along and does not appear to miss being sans eyesight. She cheerfully bangs into furniture and people but has got her bearings inside the house to a tee and can navigate very well. Every time I see her playing around, I wonder at the karma that has made her blind but also brought her into our life.  That in turn leads me to wonder about so many inexplicable situations that appear in my life for which, other than karma, I have no answers.

The biggest wonder of course in these attempts is that modern social media and the internet makes it possible to. Let me give you how I made two new friends by using exactly this modern wonder. Reading reviews of books led me to two such friends who were the reviewers. In one case, the email id was given at the end of the review and I simply had to send him a mail which led to exchanges of mails and telephone calls and today he is among my closest friends. In the other case, I had to search for his contact using the net and finally found it via Linkedin and though he has not quite become a close friend, he and I are in frequent touch on matters of mutual interest.

I often wonder how we lived without the internet in the good old days!

Earlier this week, I had gone on one of my rare outings to buy a chair for my bedroom. It was after a long time that I went to that particular part of the city and I wondered where such growth of the city will end in. The traffic was at least four times denser than what it was the last time that I had gone to that place. Our local Metro Railway is coming up in that area and once that comes, it may ease the congestion somewhat but, while the construction is going on, the road having become narrower causes for traffic jams. I wondered at the madness of modern urbanisation. I am sure that I will keep wondering about this phenomenon in the future also.

I can go on and on about the things that I wonder at or about and instead, shall end with this old favourite of mine which came to my mind immediately on getting the topic from Shackman. I hope that it will trigger as many memories for you as it did it for me listening to it after so many years.

Rain Drops.

Yesterday was a holiday for Maharashtra, the state I live in for being Maharashtra Day. The downside to such holidays is that the following day, there are no newspapers and that upsets my daily routine of the mornings. So it was that I was sitting for longer than usual at my verandah this morning when some drops of water fell from the skies and I thought that it was pre monsoon showers, what in the West one would call April showers. On investigation I found that it was water falling from the terrace where the occupant was watering his plants on the terrace.

Those drops of water led me to reminisce about this song from the film Manzil which was released when our son Ranjan was all of eight years old in 1979. As perhaps some of my readers may remember, one of his nicknames was Rimjhim, meaning rain drop and so this song became a favourite for Urmeela and me.  And, as it so often happens, a friend of mine posted this song on facebook too and that triggered this post.

This scene shows  Mumbai’s monsoon which was part of our lives for so many years.

rimjhim gire saawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

Spattering rain falling in monsoons
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

pahle bhi yoon to barse thhe baadal
pahle bhi yoon to bheega tha aanchal
abke baras kyun sajan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The clouds have rained, in the past too
And have wet my clothes, even then
But the rain of this season
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

is baar saawan dahka hua hai
is baar mausam bahka hua hai
jaane pee ke chali kya pawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The monsoon rains are sizzling hot this year
And the season is so un-sober
The winds are drunk with, I know not what
Setting the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

There is another version of the same song sung by Kishore Kumar with slightly different lyrics but, this version with the monsoon scenes was the one that flashed before me in my nostalgia trip this morning.

Doom And Gloom.

My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has suggested that we revisit this topic after a little over six years! It was nice going back to see the original post that I had written just as it was to read Shackman’s. We had taken completely different approaches to the topic then but, this time around, I suspect that we would be writing about our respective current political scenarios.

My take is very simple. “The 2019 Indian general election is scheduled to be held in 7 phases from 11 April 2019 to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May 2019 and on the same day the results will be declared. Wikipedia”

This time around, the battle lines are not yet clearly drawn but, indications are that there will most likely be three cornered fights in most states between the current coalition party in power, the Indian National Congress which has recently showed success in three state elections and local configurations of Regional Parties.

The common factor in all the three contenders’s manifesto is the doom and gloom that they forecast if the other contenders come to power. The ruling dispensation however has shown a more positive approach by highlighting their achievements and plans for the future in a slightly more positive note.

I am personally rooting for the current dispensation and am reasonably sure that it will form the next government again. As many of my friends suggest, when discussing politics, I have skin in the game as I have bet that my forecast comes true with some of my pension money! I am likely to bet some more closer to the elections when the odds improve or deteriorate as the case may be.  I am also prepared to lose some friends of a different ideology but, am sure to gain a new acceptable government.

Another area where both Shackman and I are likely to converge when writing about the topic is to bring music in to the post and my choice is an old favourite by The Rolling Stones. Just look at the band and you can guess my age too!

And before you turn on the music, please do remember to visit Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic.  Thank you.

Doom and Gloom
The Rolling Stones

I had a dream last night
That I was piloting a plane
And all the passengers were drunk and insane
I crash landed in a Louisiana swamp
Shot up a horde of zombies
But I come out on top
What’s it all about?
Guess it just reflects my mood
Sitting in the dirt
Feeling kind of hurt
When all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the light your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Lost all that treasure in an overseas war
It just goes to show you, don’t get what you paid for
Battle to the rich and you worry about the poor
Put my feet up on the couch
And lock all the doors
Hear a funky noise
That’s the tightening of the screws
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Sitting in the dirt
All I hear is doom and gloom
But when those drums go boom boom boom
And through the night your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Baby won’t you dance with me
Ah yeah
Fracking deep for oil
But there’s nothing in the sump
There’s kids all picking
Ar the garbage dumb
I’m running out of water
So I better prime the pump
I’m trying to stay sober
But I end up drunk
We’ll be eating dirt
Living on the side of the road
There’s some food for thought
Kinda makes your head explode
Feeling kind of hurt
Yeah
But all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the night your face I see
Baby come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Yeah
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m sitting in the dirt
Baby won’t you dance with me!

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Doom and Gloom lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Do You Believe In Magic?

I think that Shackman, who has suggested this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post, asks about the supernatural variety and not the other kinds like illusion, the Indian rope trick etc. I shall therefore restrict my response to this area only.  Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic.

If I have to write about the supernatural variety of magic, naturally it leads us to Miracles.

My post therefore is a simple short one. The answer is an unqualified “No”.

If that is so, what is the explanation for something like this? I believe in The Theory of Karma and this clearly brings about five lives who come together in this birth to experience the effect of some causes caused by them in either this earlier lives or past lives. I have simply not been able to come across any other explanation for such occurrences that take place with unbelievable frequency. Some with positive outcomes and some with negative ones.

I however believe in this kind of magic.

You sigh, the song begins, you speak and I hear violins, it’s magic
The stars desert the skies and rush to nestle in your eyes, it’s magic
Without a golden wand or mystic charms,
Fantastic things begin when I am in your arms

When we walk hand-in-hand, the world becomes a wonderland, it’s magic
How else can I explain those rainbows when there isn’t rain? It’s magic
Why do I tell me myself these things that happen are all really true
When in my heart I know the magic is my love for you?

What A Memory Trigger!

I had a hair cut this morning and the saloon’s FM Radio played a song from my youth that took me back to many memorable moments for two reasons. The first one for the song itself for its remarkable music score and lyrics which brought back memories of our monsoon nights and the Kumar trio of actor singers.

The second reason for the nostalgia trip was due to this song always triggering my memory of another great song which was my favourite for many years. A song that I had to sing in many parties to admiring friends who were all in the same boat – times when we did not have hire purchase schemes, or obliging banks with easy to obtain personal loans. Enlightened employers had employee loan schemes that advanced loans but made sure that the loans were repaid by deducting a pre-determined amount from the monthly pay cheques. So inevitably, all of us young people in employment and without the backing of well do do parents, were in debt to our employers. You will understand why this particular song was popular with that background. No, none of us however were employed in coal mines!