I have no hesitation in accepting that I am a neatnik. I think that it is a virtue.
I use a desk top computer for my blogging, email etc. This involves the use of many cables running behind the screen where the Mac Mini is kept to which they are connected as well as power cables all coiled up.
I decided that I had to do something about this mess and asked Uncle Google for help who suggested that I use a cable organiser. I promptly ordered for this and have now a neat looking table at the back of the screen.
In organising the cables, I had to take the help of my resident geek, my son and heir, who was cheerfully scornful of the whole exercise.
The organiser package came as a set of two and I offered the spare one to him for his desktop computer and he said that thankfully he has not inherited my OCD!
I suspect that he was referring to my post on a couple of his obsessions!
This took me back to 1975 and a very dear friend AC, who also happened to have been my boss at that time. He was retiring and moving to Andorra and was simplifying his possessions to suit the accommodation that awaited him in Andorra.
I was a struggling young man with a small family and had very little furniture. AC knew this well as he had visited our home often. He asked me if I could do him a favour by taking some furniture off his hands and offered two massive arm chairs and a quarter century old chest of drawers. A favour? Those were God sent gifts and I grabbed them with both hands and much gratitude.
The two armchairs, as old as the chest of drawers gave up their ghosts long ago but looked somewhat like this one below.
The Chest Of Drawers however continues to go strong and sits comfortably in my bedroom just short of three years to reach its Platinum Jubilee.
My regular readers will be aware of one of my physical limitations that has bothered me for a dozen years now. It is called Right Ulnar Palsy and it makes it difficult for me to hold things tightly in my right hand. This caused two problems for me earlier today and the second one is this. That is me with a stained white t-shirt unable to take a better selfie with my right hand.
The first one was what caused the yellow stains in the first place. I was eating mangoes as dessert for lunch. Since our cook was off on holiday today, our char cut the mangoes. Had the cook been there, she would have cut the mangoes without the skin and the stone completely scraped off and I could have simply had the fruit from a bowl using a spoon.
With the mangoes cut differently, I had to eat the mangoes like this:
After seeing the first slice being eaten if you go to 1.40 minutes, you will see how the flesh from the stone is consumed.
My ulnar palsy played up and the stone slipped out of my hand and fell on my t-shirt. That is the stain that you see on the first image.
During my school days, as soon as the mango season started, the first classmate with a stained vest under the uniform shirt was given a badge of honour by the rest of the class. One of course had to deliberately stain the vest to earn this badge! I never did get the badge of honour though as, I could not afford to get the vest stained for fear of punishment from a martinet for a father!
Have you had some mangoes lately? How did you eat them?
I received a phone call from a gentleman, let us call him HP from my community. He spoke to me in our common language and syntax to establish his credentials and introduced himself as the cousin of a cousin twice removed from me called TM. HP said that TM had given excellent reference about me to him and that I was sure to be of help to him. I have not heard from TM in decades but was vaguely aware of his existence in Mumbai. HP came straight to the point and asked if he could depend on me to find out some details about a young man from Pune where I live too.
The enquiry was to establish the suitability of the young man as a prospective groom for HP’s daughter. This is not something uncommon in India where arranged marriages are the rule rather than the exception still. I said that I would try my best to find out about the young man given some time and then the discussion took on a different character.
HP wanted to know about my background and when he heard that I had spent most of my working life for a particular company, he was shocked and informed me that he was the cousin of a gent called TR who I had known too, and he wondered how someone like me could have worked in that company. He informed me that TR had been unfairly dismissed from service by the company following which he had died within a few years. I had not known about this as I was not in Mumbai where all this had happened and had already left the company to pursue other interests.
I was however intrigued and called up some old colleagues to get the story and was given the correct story about the dismissal.
The intriguing part of this tale is the degrees of connections that came up in the form of relatives, albeit distant and ex colleagues.
Yesterday for the first time ever, my son and daughter in love insisted that one of them accompany me when I was going out of our home. I was going to the hospital for my booster dose vaccination. I was a bit annoyed as I had been making small forays outside near my home alone albeit with some difficulty and felt that I could have gone alone and got the work done.
Reality hit me soon enough as walking up to the auto rickshaw stand about a hundred meters away, and getting into one, was quite tasking. At the hospital, navigating the approach steps and the parking lot before the vaccination centre were also equally challenging and I was very happy to have had Ranjan, my son, escorting me as I would have most certainly had a fall or had some other mishap otherwise.
It will be time soon enough for a walker instead of a walking stick or elbow crutches for me. Here too, Manjiree and Ranjan have thoughtfully already bought a foldable walker and kept it in my bedroom.
I am today older and wiser and realise that I have become the proverbial old dodderer. I am also very grateful that I have help at home, a luxury that almost all of my family and friends of my age do not.
My readers know that I have recently been knighted and also bestowed with a PhD.
These two dubious honours pale in comparison to what I was called earlier today.
Let me explain.
My dear friend KD sent me these pictures to share his joy in seeing his childhood friends having also grown old just like he and I have.
I responded that I am a comic figure anyway in real life, and shared with him the fact that some friends and nephews call me Gandalf.
And here is the punchline. He responded with “Yes, you have always shown to be avuncular.” I am reasonably sure that I never was with him but, perhaps he was referring to my relationship with his impish son.