Out For A Drive.

Local news informed me that our local river Mula Mutha was in spate and so I decided to go and see it as I do every year during the monsoon.

I left my home for the first time in 161 days yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the drive not only to the bridge over the river but also upto Yerwada, a suburb about three Kms away and back home. I was surprised to see just about 30% traffic than what I had got used to before the lockdown.

A still photograph and a short movie of the river taken from the bridge with the traffic noise as background for the latter.

The End.

I received a message from a very dear friend on WhatsApp that read “I hope that all is well at your end.” I responded “Nothing is wrong with my end. It is my COPD that troubles me. I hope that all is well with you.” He responded with a couple of smilies.

I just cannot resist the temptation to crack this kind of jokes with peculiar language. This particular one, either brings to my mind my bottom or my last day on earth. Neither very appealing what?

Do you use this phrasing?

Names And Nicknames Or Even AKAs.

My late father had very few regrets when he died and one of them was that contrary to his expectations, his children ended up with nicknames that on principle he detested. He insisted that he chose our names to be short so that they could be easily pronounced and would not need further shortening. Life dealt him what we call googlies or the Americans call curve balls and all four of us ended up with nick names.

Two of us are writing here today, yours truly with the given name of Ramana with nicknames of Rummu, Rummy, and Raman and for this blog, Rummuser. Since my surname is Rajgopaul, I also ended up in some places with Raj or Paul.

My sister Padmini, the other writer here, got called as Paddu, Paddy, Mini, Ari, Gudlu and finally for her blog, Padmum.

The other two too ended up with nicknames which were all galling to the dear departed.

All our children too ended up with short names but no surprises, got nicknames. My son Ranjan is called, Ranj, Ranji, Rimjim and may be more that I am not aware of. My daughter in love Manjiree is called Pinky in her home though she is anything but pink in complexion, Jeri and Manj. I call her Bahu which is Hindi for daughter in love.

Talking about children one of the interesting leftovers of our British colonial connection is the use of Baba for boy and Baby for girl children. The Sahebs of yore used to call their children Babies which was puzzling for the ayahs hired by them to care for the tots, who went by Indian traditions of calling boys with ah ending and for girls with ee endings. So the children became Babas and Babies.  Our Anglicised youngsters are deprecatingly called Babalog and Babylog.

Be that as it may, nicknames are very common in Indian families and in some parts of our great nation they do not have any logical connection to the original. For instance my late wife was Urmeela but was called Tutu. Her elder sister Promeela got Tunu, her brothers Upendar, Surendar and Jitendar got Tullu, Jukki and Jiten. The last had atleast some connection but the others could never explain why they got their nicknames.

Apart from families and friends giving nicknames, the general public here takes great pleasure in giving nicknames to politicians and without going into details, some of them are really hilarious and very apt. Our sports stars and film stars too get such names and some of the latter, deliberately change their names to be acceptable or shall we say, convenient, Hindu names.

Our relationships are position specific and instead of uncles and aunts or grand mother and grand father, we have specific names for relatives from the maternal side and other ones for those on the paternal side. For instance for the former it would be Nani and Nana and for the latter Dhadhi and Dhadha. These names often get adopted by non relatives and some even become generic.

I eagerly look forward to what my co bloggers from the USA have to say on the subject to learn about their peculiarities. I just know that both of them have nicknames as do the the other Indian cobloggers, who I hope will elaborate in their posts this fascinating topic.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

The Benefits And Limits Of The Law And Order Approach.

“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”

~ Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist.

The law is what is in the statute books. Orders are delivered by Judges who consider the evidence before them and pronounce judgement. Often justice is not done due to this interpretation of the law or consideration of the evidence. Here is a story to illustrate my point.

It is my humble opinion that we should strive for justice rather than law and order.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, 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.

Sparrows And Pigeons.

A friend sent this to me yesterday. It is a sparrow that is enjoying the bird bath kept outside her window and I immediately felt nostalgic for the time that we had sparrows and pigeons visiting our garden in the mornings. we used to strew bird seed on the flag stones in our garden and there would be a riot of these two variety of birds feeding there.
They happily shared the feed with squirrels as well.

Then suddenly they stopped. The bird feed strewn was left untouched and we wondered what had happened. The mystery was solved by our gardener who saw some alley cats prowling outside our garden.

Now the cats are regular visitors to our garden and verandah where they are fed cat food but the birds and squirrels have not returned

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.