Moment Of Truth.

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.

Who? Me?

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.

Wow!

What do you think?

Nostalgia And Reality.

While going through some old photographs, the widow of an ex colleague came across a photograph of mine and some other colleagues with her late husband in a conference in 1988. She promptly sent a copy of it across to me on WhatsApp reminding me of the “good old times.”

While she and her family are still in touch with me, they are not with the others in the photograph and so, I in turn sent the image to two others in the photograph via WhatsApp.

One of the recipients in turn sent me a photograph of a lunch party a couple of days ago, where some old colleagues along with their wives had met for a post covid reunion. I had known all of them thirty years ago, and it was a strange feeling recognising the faces after such a long time. The sender was curious and asked me if I recognised all of them and was in turn zapped when I confirmed that I had indeed.

The second exchange occupied my thoughts for quite some time as all the men in the latter photograph had stayed with the same employer till retirement whereas, I had gone my separate way. A series of “What If” thoughts kept me occupied for quite some time till my other activities changed my mood.

I wonder if this is normal for others too. Has something like this happened to any of my readers?

It Was One Of Those Weeks.

First, it was an unusual phone call from a relative who rarely calls. This was to advice me,  of the death of a friend of many decades. He had died peacefully more than a month ago and immediately after the funeral, his wife had been taken away to the USA by their two sons who are American citizens.

This came as a total shock to me as I had been sending. WhatsApp messages to him during this period and was not surprised by his not responding as he rarely responded to messages unless specifically asked for one by me.

I am still to get over the sense of loss and the lack of proper information from his family about his death.

If that pushed me into melancholy, what followed two days later came as a very pleasant surprise and quickly changed my mood.

A friend called me up to say that she had met an old friend from my working days and mentioned a name that I simply could not remember. I requested her to send me the telephone number so that I could speak to him to place him in the proper framework.

When the phone number came it showed a DP that was vaguely familiar but, the current looks of the man could hardly be the same as it was more than three decades ago. I rang him up and straight away apologised for not being able to place him, blaming my advancing years and fading memory for the lapse. He was understanding and explained how and where we had met and what all happened due to that meeting and a few others.

That discussion took me back to a time when I was in the midst of some exciting corporate activities and took me on a nostalgia trip. Just the medicine needed perhaps to get over the melancholia that the earlier news had given me.

Then to top it all, my daughter in law’s weekly day off meant having lunch together with her and my son, an increasingly rare occurrence as, even on such off days, something or the other comes up and I either end up eating lunch alone or with my son as companion. The icing on the cake was some fantastic food followed by baclava and my favourite flavour of ice cream.

Three different kinds of days in one week with different outcomes to my mood. Rather unusual for me. Somewhat like a see-saw!

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?