One Thing Leads To Another.

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?

My Latest Social Media Correspondent.

She is all of nine years old and when the school reopens will be at the last term of her Fifth standard. She is the daughter of my niece in Hyderabad and since the lockdown, has decided that I am fair game for her smart phone shenanigans.

She is totally adorable and I love the banter and enjoy our exchanges but this post is not about our relationship. It is about this little girl’s dexterity with the phone.

She texts fast and her responses to my messages are in half the time that mine are. She uses emojis widely and never uses a wrong one to convey any particular emotion. She chides me for being slow! And there I was thinking that I am a fast typist!

She recently produced an old photograph of me with some others and asked to point out which was me. Before I could respond, she sent the same photograph back on whatsapp with an arrow superimposed on it pointing to me with just ? in the comments section.

I have been trying to figure out how to do the same thing since then and am still to come up with the technique.

I dread imagining a future full of these children as adults using all technology at lightning speeds and leaving us oldies gasping for breath.

Woman.

As it happens so often in my life,  two different sources sent me two different links to two different you tube offerings but, on the same subject on the same day. The first one is about a mother and the second about a wife.

Both appealed to me and also affected me deeply and I want to share it with my readers. Though both are presented by Indians, their messages are universal and applicable to all mothers and wives. I hope that these two videos touch my readers as much as they touched me.

The first video is by Hari Sankar…a Grandmaster in Chess who has won a slew of awards…at one stage he was in the top 5 or 7 in the world..like Viswanathan Anand, it was his mother who was the motivating force to take up Chess. He is from Andhra Pradesh.  Despite trying to be funny, he manages to convey a profound statement about motherhood and women.

The next one is from an older man who while presenting the poem is quite affected.

Child Is The Father Of Man.

I recently wanted to consult an optometrist in my neighbourhood and sent the following message to him on his WhatsApp page.

“Hari Om. Namaste.

This is R. Rajgopaul, Ranjan’s father.

Please call me when convenient tomorrow morning. Thank you.

Regards.Hari Om. Namaste.

This is R. Rajgopaul, Ranjan’s father.

Please call me when convenient tomorrow morning. Thank you.

Regards.”

There was a time when my son Ranjan had to introduce himself as my son but, now the tables are turned and I have to introduce myself as his father.

The Virtues And Toxicities Of Popularity

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

~ Shakespeare in As You Like It.
No. my intention is not to ring my own bell.
Nor to pat myself on my own back. I have a message about the topic where I am the centre of the action and so, these two pictures.

Fellow Five on One blogger and web-friend Shackman posted this on his facebook page and as he had requested I copy pasted on my page.

“I think most of you know me pretty well, it doesn’t matter when our paths may have crossed. Maybe some of you like me and some don’t, but if you’re on my Facebook, it’s because I like you. I would love to see if we can still chat more than just likes and actually write something to each other. Again, I decided to participate in an experience called “Meeting between bread.” The idea is to see who reads the post without a photo. We are so quick to dive into technology that we forgot the most important thing: good friendship. If no one is reading this message, it will be a short social experiment. But if you finish this to the end, I would love you to comment in ONE WORD about us. For example: a place, an object, a person, a moment in which you remember me. Then copy this text and post it on your page (don’t share) and I’ll go to your page to leave a word that reminds me of you. Please don’t comment if you don’t have time to copy the text. This will destroy the experiment. Let’s see who spent their time to read and respond according to the common story outside of Facebook! Thank you for participating!”

I was overwhelmed with the responses that I received, bar a few, all from my colleagues from my working life. These wonderful people have been in touch with me all these years despite my having retired twenty years ago, thanks to the internet and the social media. It brought to my notice that I have  well-wishers in my life who still have regard for me; and I am reminded of that post and the comments on it as I write this post.

I don’t think that I was or am popular. Popular is for entertainers and sportspersons. Popularity is ephemeral. What I received was pure affection and regard from mates who had worked alongside me thanks to something that was drilled into me during my younger days by mentors who taught me a simple formula to be good in my career. CCDO. Connectedness, Constancy in the connectedness, Dignity in the relationships thus established and Opportunity for growth for both in the relationship.  This is something that I passed on to the people who crossed my path as well.  That it has worked has now been amply proved and I am grateful to those mentors who showed me the way. I repeat, I was not and am not popular. These long lasting relationships are testimony to that fact.

Since this has been my personal experience, I would say that the virtues of popularity are that they are superficial, short-lived and ego boosters. The toxicities of popularity are narcissism and self destruction. I am glad that I was and am not popular. I don’t know what to call what I am and leave it to my readers to decide on a nomenclature.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Conrad. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Individuality And The Common Good.

This is the Advaita approach to the “other”. I am named after this sage and had been taken to him as an infant to get his blessings.

The oneness of existence is the core of the Indian philosophy.

Unfortunately, human beings have gone astray in their thinking and we have landed up in the Tragedy Of The Commons.

I have no solutions to the problem and if and when I am asked, I refer them to Advaita philosophy.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, Padmum and Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Conrad. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.