Perspective.

A few days ago, a friend mentioned on a WhatsApp message that life was frustrating due to the rains and some other local civic issues. Since she is quite a sport, I sent her this image that had fortuitously landed up just that morning in another message in WA.
She promptly responded that she had changed her perspectives when she had read Forty Rules Of Love.

I was intrigued and since I had not read or even heard of the book, sent for a copy of that book from Amazon and just finished reading it yesterday.
Having crossed that landmark, I messaged my friend -“How exactly did forty rules of love change your perspective?”

She responded with this fairly detailed message:

“It is pure fiction I know but, don’t laugh.
I still have my thinking process working for me.
I first read it several years ago when it had just come out.
I thought that if Ella could leave everything behind
and go looking for Aziz,  then I could also think and give my opinions freely. The only difference being that I had not changed my life for a man.
I now feel free to think and express my thoughts which earlier as a wife and then as a widow,  I had felt I could not. That is all.

My mind is free  as also my spirit.

And, up to the time that my mother was alive, I had kept my thoughts on religion to myself so as not to hurt her.  Now my opinions are well known as I articulate them freely.”

The behaviour of Ella that my friend mentions does not seem bizarre to me as I know of other women who have done similar things and who have survived,  though with some tragic consequences to their husbands and children.  My friend is still very much part of her family and in my opinion quite enjoys being so.

That brings me to my own take on the book.

It is not one of those books that one feels compelled to finish reading in one sitting.  It is quite disjointed and there are too many diversions within the framework that takes one’s attention away from the main theme.  And having been a student of Sufism and Islam besides Vedanta,  I found the philosophical comments  interesting if somewhat needlessly long.

While exploring the author I also came across reference to another of her books The Bastard Of Istanbul.  I have bought a copy of that too and will shortly read it.  Perhaps I may even review it here.

Have you read The Forty Rules Of Love?  What impact, if any, did it have on you?

 

Fun With Language 2.

Another exchange in WhatsApp yesterday. This time in a group page of classmates.

BN: You can speak English fluently. Right?

Try this small para.

*A real mathematician can mathematically mathematise mathematics in a mathematical mathematiculation. So if a mathematician can mathematise mathematics in a mathematical mathematiculation, why can’t you mathematically mathematise mathematics in a mathematical mathematiculation like the mathematician who mathematically mathematises mathematics in a mathematical mathematiculation?*🍀😝🤣👍🏻

DS: This can drive any one mad..

Me: BN is DS.

PP: What do you mean? There is no comparison between the two.

DS: Yes Ramana how did you compare? Please explain to understand.

Me: Typo. My English! Please add a comma after ‘BN is’.

DS: Oh, Ramana I have understood what you meant but, BN is not mad. He wants others to be mad. Right BN?

Me: Yes DS. BN drives others mad too.

And the gentleman that BN is, he is yet to respond.

Fun With Language 1.

This exchange in WhatsApp took place between my friend SD and me earlier today.

SD: This is a cake…Can anyone believe it!!!Great creativity…Paithani saree cake with Kolhapuri jewellery made by cake artist Tanvir Palishkar at J W Marriot Pune.Amazing talent,still can not believe this is a cake.🌹🌹🌹🌹👆👆👆👆

Me: Yes, it takes the cake!

For skeptics, here is a link to the Youtube clip showing the full range of saree cakes.

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?

Recycled Teenager.

Today a classmate from school and good friend turned 80. I rang him up to convey my greetings and best wishes for many more birthdays and he was quite nostalgic about our last meeting in 1965. Yes, I left Madras as it was then known and, now as Chennai that year but, he has continued to live there since.

Among other things that we talked about, we did discuss our current health and well being issues and wished each other well.

After a while, another friend also about my age sent this message to me in WhatsApp.

There were some more messages, all in one day, talking about and dare I say, belittling, trivialising and or giving excuses for old age. And then there was this very heart warming story in Jean’s blog which brought a smile on my life.

This got me thinking about ageing and how today’s social media is trying to talk about it in a manner totally different from what it used to be in the ‘good old days’.

Elders were admired for their longevity and hopefully, wisdom and were expected to behave like elders. Their maturity was taken for granted.  They were not recycled teenagers.  And, they had and continued to live and died, like I do now and will eventually.