Phone Box At The Edge Of The World.

After reading my blog post Landline Telephony, my sister Padmini asked me on WhatsApp if I had read the book Phone Box At The Edge Of The World. I responded that I had not and asked her if it was worth reading. She promptly responded with an “Yes.” I value her judgement on literature and promptly bought the book to read on my Kindle device.

I have not been reading fiction except for two of my favourite authors who write Action Books, and this totally different genre came as a big surprise to me.

The book from the very first page grips one and the pace keeps increasing as one progresses. The contents pull just about every string in your emotions as you proceed and in short a totally engrossing book.

As hard to imagine the set up claimed to be real of a non functional phne box in Japan used by people to talk their hearts out, characterisation and descriptions take the reader to a very different place than the normal fiction does.

An Italian writer writing about a Japanese situation adds spice to the experience and the translation into English is admirable for not losing nuances.

If you have not read it, please do. Well worth the expense and the time spent on it.

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?

Change.

Since the onset of the Ukrainian war, prices generally have been showing upward movements and there are many shortages being reported in many markets. When some friends chat with me about these developments, I tell them that they have seen such situations before and this time too, this phase will pass.

In just such a recent discussion, a 65 year old friend who is a highly respected trader in my part of the world  spoke to me about the changes that have taken place since my time of association with him in a client, manager relationship. I have been associated with the firm that he represents for the past more than fifty years and he particularly  for forty years.

He agreed with me that he has seen other such periods of price and supply volatility and how they had tackled them but, he added that during the time that he was associated with me, there was personal involvement in the supplier / buyer relationships which in today’s commerce, has been replaced with rapid turnover of people in positions and also a system heavily dependent on laptops. On probing I found that supply chain management has now been highly mechanised and computers do most of the work that people did during my times. He derisively called this “Laptop Management” and its practitioners “Laptop Managers”.

I was amused as well as sad that the personal touch has gone from a very long relationship between his firm and the one that I was part of.

I however decided to share some humour with him and sent him the following cartoon in WhatsApp with the message that during my time, in Management Laptop usually meant this type of relationships.

Today, I hesitate to use such cartoons lest I be accused of male chauvinism! That is also a significant change that has taken place in our lives!

How Doctors Die.

I received an article in WhatsApp with the same title as the one for this blog and my mind immediately went to two doctors who gave me the right advice at the right time.

The first one was my late wife’s cardiologist, who is also a personal friend of our GP, who advised us to not hospitalise her but, to ensure that she took her medication regularly and at the prescribed dosage and time at home. This ensured that she lived a life of comfort in her last days in familiar surroundings and among people she was familiar and comfortable with.

The second one was an amazing Nephrologist who unlike many other specialists in the city where I live advised me to keep my late father at home rather than in a hospital during his last days. This of course meant that I had to provide nursing care at home but, he was comfortable and content in his last days and died in his sleep at home.

In most similar cases, the medical professionals advise hospitalisation for what I suspect to be financial benefits for themselves as modern private hospitals give revenue targets to them to practice in their set ups. Had I not been fortunate enough to have doctors with different value systems, I would have perhaps spent two fortunes in hospitalisation for both my late wife and late father in their last days.

I have been hospitalised five times for major surgeries and know what it means and I have instructed my son and daughter in love that no matter what happens, I should not be hospitalised again ever. I am at an age where such thoughts must be clearly worked through and a course of action in case needed drawn out well in advance. I have also drawn up a living will about which my son is fully aware.

It is not a pleasant subject but, one that people of my age must read and understand and take appropriate action. My readers can access the article under reference https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2011/11/30/how-doctors-die/ideas/nexus/.

Family!

A little background.

My daughter in love and my son, my one and only child are both deeply involved in Animal Welfare activities and have many like minded people come home for meetings and letting off steam. At times, the conversation tends to focus on adoptions of abandoned dogs and I inevitably quip to the person addressing the issue that I too am up for adoption as I do not see my DIL and / or Son much due to their very busy lives.

So, when DIL changed her DP on her WhatsApp page, I copy pasted the same on to a family group with the question, “Guess who stole my DP?”

I posted this on my Facebook page too and before too long, another member of my family, my one and only sister posted this in response.

You can see the play on the name of the author of that quote!

My earnest request to those who visit Facebook is to see the posts to see the comments there which took me to a different dimension of life.

And if you want to see how truly funny we are, you must visit this post and read all the comments there too.