Why I Blog?

Mitch at I’m Just Sharing has reposted a 2014 blog post which took me back to TGOD. I reproduce below exchange of my comments and Mitch’s response.

Me: “So, which of the three categories will my blog fit in? Since I have not given serious thought as to why I write, that will help me decide.”

Mitch: “Actually Rummuser, you condescend to yourself but inside I think you know why you write. You write to get things off your chest; you write to share your life and thoughts with others; and you write for the kinship you get from folks like your Friday tagalong group (okay, I never remember off the cuff what y’all call yourselves lol). You have a unique storytelling style that seems to get people talking; you get way more comments per post than I do. And of course early on you told people this: “Tension nahin lenekka!” You did this during a tense part of your life, which you shared as well. As I say, I think you knew all this; I think it’s a cultural thing that you’re fairly self deprecating when you have no need to be. 🙂”

Me: “Wow! Mitch, that is a mouthful to get off your chest! Thanks. You have just made this wet rainy day over here feel like a million Rupees.”

Which led me to study my blog and I have come up with some interesting statistics.

The first post I wrote in this format was on the 8th of June, 2008.
I have written 3327 posts including this one since then.
There have been a total of 28082 comments and responses from me.

Wow! I am unashamedly impressed with my performance!  Do you think that I am being immodest?

No, I Am Very Much Alive!

The day before yesterday was Makar Shankaranthi. It was also the birthday of a now 72 year old ex colleague of mine KPS,  from Ahmedabad.  A very dynamic young man when I had first met in 1972.

I sent a birthday greetings to him on WhatsApp and expected a thank you response from him which did not come the whole day, nor was WhatsApp showing the blue ticks showing that the message had been seen by the recipient.

It had still not been seen yesterday morning. I was beginning to get worried as people of my age do when messages do not get responded to.

I rang up again at 1.00 PM when to my great relief he answered but when he found out who it was calling went almost into a shock as he had received an Obit Notice about my demise just last week from some other ex-colleagues still around. I told him that I was most decidedly not calling from Vaikuntha and that I was very much alive and kicking. I also chided him for not responding to my message and two earlier phone calls when he answered that he was busy with Makara Shankaranthi matters. This little clip being the most significant part of the festival and which had kept him occupied.

He was flying kites!

Later in the evening he sent me a message as to how the confusion took place. Another ex colleague with a name very similar to my surname but of two first and surname had died last week and all of us got the obit notice about his demise. Since KPS read the notice without his reading glasses and rather absentmindedly, he had mistaken the notice to be for me demise.

 

Has anything like this happened to you?

It Is A Small World.

Today being the Golden Wedding Anniversary of friends in Mumbai, I wanted to surprise them with a gift and requested my Godson ND who used to live close to them some years ago if, he could arrange to deliver some Indian sweets to them. ND promptly agreed to send it through a friend who continues to live in the neighbourhood and I sent the address to which the sweets were to be delivered.

Lo and behold, the friend who was still living in the neighbourhood knew my friends as his children were tuition students of the wife.

The gift was procured and delivered well in time for the celebrations and my friends were zapped as to how I knew the students.

Memory Trigger – Caravelle.

Very often just a word can trigger off some long forgotten memory and bring back vivid images to one’s mind. At least this happens to me often and that is exactly what happened this morning when a friend recalled something from his past.

Before proceeding, my friend is a retired Indian Air Force Officer and is around my age.

He was relating a story to me about security arrangements in the IAF stations when he recalled a civilian aircraft landing in the IAF station where he was posted then. He mentioned that it was a Caravelle of the Indian Airlines and that immediately triggered off a vivid memory. I waited for him to finish of his narrative and explained to him my recollection and he too was amazed that a single word brought so much back to me.

It was July 1971, yes, fifty years ago, when my fifteen day old son flew an Indian Airlines Caravelle flight from Hyderabad to Bombay as it was then called. He was coming to his parental home from his mother’s maternal one and was being carried by his mother in her arms.

Airports then did not have all the rigmaroles that we have now.  My parents and I were waiting for his arrival at the arrival lounge from where we could see the tarmac where the flight offloaded passengers.

The tension was palpable as passengers started disembarking from the front door.  The last one got off and the ground crew started to go up the steps to clean etc and still no sign of my wife and my son.  The three of us started to worry.  There were no mobile phones those days to get in touch instantly with the person presumed to have missed the flight.  We then saw a sight that is still etched deeply into my consciousness.

My wife was the last to disembark and the memory that I cannot forget is her coming down the steps from the rear of the aircraft, taking a bundle from an air hostess who was escorting her, and walking slowly with the precious little bundle in her arms all the way from the aircraft to the arrival lounge.   The precious bundle swiftly changed hands. I was present at his arrival in Hyderabad so, he was no novelty to me but, to my parents, their first grandchild was, and I can still recollect the happy noises and cooing from them there in the airport lounge.

The most unforgettable aspect of that entire episode was the disembarking from the rear as is shown in the image below, alas not of the Indian Airlines Caravelle. I had flown Caravelles before and had never used the rear exit and did not even know that there was one.   Seeing this was a surprise to me.  You will see from the image above that there was only one door for the Indian Airlines aircraft.  My wife then explained that since she was carrying an infant in her hands, the Captain had arranged for this as a special case.

Other than Military aircrafts, I don’t think that this access is in existence anymore in Civilian Aircrafts. I had never used one ever despite having flown countless number of times all over the world. Have you?

Dream Come True.

Way back in the early seventies of the last century, someone very dear to me came to stay with us for a few months till he could find his own digs in a strange city.

Having just acquired a degree in Chemical Engineering, he had got himself a job through campus recruitment and was quite thrilled to be independent after many years of being a dependent.

During those times of talking about his future, he would repeatedly tell us that he will one day buy himself a Maserati. Those were the days when India produced three brands of cars none of which would compare anywhere near a Maserati and in any case, unless one bought a second hand Indian one at a higher price than a brand new one, due to long waiting periods for delivery after booking, such dreaming was rather unrealistic.

Unrealistic that is for others but, not for that young man.

Fast forward to forty years later to 2011 and that not so young man, bought himself a BMW. I had not known about his purchase and had gone to visit him when he suggested that we go for a drive and took me down to the garage where the BMW was waiting for him.

I have known that man from his childhood and had never seen a bigger grin on his face than what I saw that day. He said, “No, not a Maserati but, I have settled for a BMW.”
I got this image this morning from another friend in WhatsApp. I promptly forwarded the image to that man with the comment: “You did not. ❤️ “

A Strange Day.

A cousin who I am in regular touch with sent me this poem yesterday in WhatsApp.
VOID IN LIFE

The passing-away of
one’s better-half
Leaves a great void
in one’s daily life
Pondering over days
spent together
Appears impossible
to re-live twice
The goodness of life
one had enjoyed
Now appears like a
star in the sky
Can only visualise but
can-not realise
It is fact of Life, one
can summarise
The passing away of
one’s better-half
Leaves a great void
in one’s daily life.

He explained later that it was from a dear friend of his who had recently lost his wife.

Having experienced the loss of my wife I could relate and was mulling over the experience when my door bell rang, unusually by someone ringing it three times.

It spoiled my reverie and I went to open the door fully determined to let whoever it was who had done that a piece of my mind only to find that it was my elderly neighbour. On seeing her, my mood immediately changed and I opened the door to find out what prompted her to come over as, she rarely leaves her home as both she and her husband are not in the pink of health. I had not seen either of them since the outbreak of covid early last year.

She wanted to come inside to meet “Memsahib”. I thought that she wanted to meet my daughter in love and said that she was off at work and will return only late in the evening. She then interrupted me to ask to meet my wife.

I was totally zapped and told her that my wife had died twelve years ago. On hearing this, she broke down and I had to bring her in and make her sit down to recover. I then understood that her illness also included some element of dementia as, she kept talking about things that were ancient.

I had to calm her down, pacify her, talk about other things about our neighbourhood for about fifteen minutes and then escort her back to her home just across a landing from ours.

This was an unusual coincidence and I am still wondering if some kind of message is being sent to me!

What do you, my dear reader, think?