Small Pleasures.

After a dry spell of three days, the monsoon revived again this afternoon and I got up from my siesta to petrichor. Sitting in our verandah and watching the rain fall in our garden is one of my favourite pastimes and I indulged in it till the showers lasted.

Last year I was in better physical condition than I am now in and I was able to make short visits outside our home and I had gone to a reunion of ex colleagues at Lonavala during the rains. Till a few years earlier, every monsoon I used to go to Mahabaleshwar at least once during each monsoon but, all those are now distant memories.

I am at least mobile enough inside the home to be able to enjoy such a small pleasure that I am grateful enough to appreciate such small pleasures like petrichor and rain watching.

I am also very grateful that I am blessed with two young people in my life who pamper me.  My pedicurist is closed due to the lockdown and since I cannot bend down to clip my own toe nails, my son Ranjan obliged. AND my daughter in love sneaked up from behind me and took this photograph to save the moment for posterity.

The Law Of Attraction?

The Jack in the jack fruit is derived from the Malayalam word Chakka for it. It is one of my all time favourites and I gorge on it whenever it is available. I love to eat the fruit as well its seed after boiling and removing the hard cover from the seed. One of the reasons that we don’t get much of it in many homes is the mess one makes while removing the outer cover to get at the wedges.

During the lockdown, our help were not coming to work and I thought that I would at least get the seeds from a dear friends and ex colleagues from Kerala who has a few trees growing in his garden in Kerala. While they were ready and only too willing to oblige, the courier companies and the post office unfortunately were not willing to accept packages for destinations in our state. So, I had to inform them that I shall bug them next year by which time hopefully the lockdown would have been removed everywhere.

I still craved for the seeds in particular and I think that this is where the Law Of Attraction kicked in. My daughter in love’s mother had procured two fruits and today, one of them was cut open by one of the maids who has been allowed to come to work. The surprise was that the fruit was from a tree in the garden of my daughter in love’s maternal home in Pune. I got my wish fulfilled and these seeds shown here are about to be boiled and covers removed so that I can have my favourite snack.

Print Media.

I am in total agreement with that observation on all media. I rarely see television and my main exposure to media is the newspapers.

A news item shared on WhatsApp by a fellow 6 on 1 Friday blogger Padmum, gave me the idea for this week’s topic.

This story as it comes during the time when our state government has banned distribution of printed news papers by hand during the lockdown in our city, almost made me cry. I am addicted to a dose of five newspapers and the seven crossword puzzles that they contain every day for my forenoon occupation and only I know how I have been managing without them since the lockdown.  And, in all fairness my despair is more for the loss of the crossword puzzles than the news in those papers.

Unlike the West, where the print media is losing ground to Television and internet, in India, it is flourishing or should I say was flourishing thanks to a very news hungry populace deeply involved in our politics and sports.  Unfortunately however, while the headlines may contain the news, most content is opinion and the op-ed pages just reflect  the philosophy of the news paper, and for the English press in India, it is left wing and anti just about everything.

One therefore tries to see what the foreign press has to say and sadly, they are no better.  Here is a classic example of what a leading news paper from the land of two of my fellow bloggers here reports and why we are not particularly enamoured with them either.

The Militant Monk shown in the clip is Yogi Adityanath, the democratically elected Chief Minister of our largest state with a population ~25 million. He is an ascetic forced into politics thanks to years of misrule in his state of residence and very highly thought of by his constituency.  Contrast that with Baghdadi about whom I hardly need to explain.

The Washington Post is hardly alone and if I start to list the other news papers, my readers will get bored and leave the rest of the post unread.  I am sure that they know exactly what I mean.

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.

Passing Out.

In a recent exchange of messages in our Senior Citizens group, two long lost classmates from our National Defence Academy tried to place each other by asking when each had passed out. They obviously meant this kind of passing out where the ritual of throwing a cadet is normal. This is from one of our Officers’ Training Academies.

It is also quite common to ask fellow alumni in our Business School Alumni meeting to ask each other as to when one passed out.

If I am around and I get a word in, I inevitably ask “how and when did you revive?”

For me, this is what is meant by passing out:
My mind keeps asking why people cannot use the word graduating instead of passing out. I think that it is more appropriate. What do you, my dear reader, think?

Typo.

During the lockdown, my daughter in love Manjiree had to go off to her mother’s place to be with her mother during a particularly trying time as her grandmother (Nani) was seriously ill and had been admitted in a hospital.

During her absence a dear friend SK was getting home cooked food for me and my son Ranjan.

Nani did not recover from her surgery and passed away and I sent a message to my SK by WhatsApp which I reproduce below.

“Manjiree and her mother have moved to my home after creating Nani.

No need to trouble you any more. Thanks for your help.

At your convenience please drop the other bag/carrier so that I can return both to my friend.

Thanks once again. I look forward to meeting all three of you after this tha Asha is over.

A person Affectionate regards.”

Earlier this afternoon, SK finally decided to ask me for clarification on what I meant by creation of Nani. Naturally I was zapped and asked him to send me the message back to me as I had erased it at my end. I discovered that it was cremation and not creation. There were also two other typos – the last but one line should read as “thamasha” instead of “tha Asha”; and, the last line should not have “A person” in it at all.

Autocorrect at its best and a lesson for me to edit before pressing the send button in future messages.

Thank you SK.

Emotional Investment.

There is a field in finance called emotional investing which means using feelings rather than logic in making investment decisions. I will briefly talk about it later, but I would like to focus more on the psychological emotional investment which is – “Emotional ‘investment’ in a subject is the degree to which emotions are evoked when the subject is encountered. Things in which we can invest include: Relationships with others. Ideas and ideologies.”

Viktor Frankl in his best seller Man’s Search For meaning talks about two instances of emotional investment which end up in tragedy. The first is of a man who gets a dream where he hears that he will be free from the concentration camp by the end of the month and perks up. When there is no sign of freedom at the end of the month, he dies. Similarly, other inmates imagine that Christmas will bring about their freedom and before the new year they will be free. They too die of disappointment.

On the other hand, Frankl observing such behaviour keeps his hopes alive with the single thought that he will one day write a book about his experiences and that one thought keeps him going till his release.

What better examples for emotional investment in ideas that can lead either to negative or positive results?

In the Indian system of Personality Analysis, there are three traits in all human beings called, Satvaguna, Rajoguna and tamoguna. All of us have all three in us except that the degree to which they predominate differs from individual to individual. I flatter myself that I am the Satvik type.

Some years ago, I had an opportunity to undergo the Myers Briggs personality analysis and I was given this analysis about my personality type:

Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging

• Realistic, outgoing, systematic, dependable
• Dignified, strong-willed, and principled
• Extremely loyal to family, community, and country
• Great strategist and outstanding “game” player
• Respects tradition and order
• Highly ethical, hardworking, dedicated, and honest
• Lives in the observable “real world” and focuses on what is practical
• Extremely organized with difficulty dealing with uncertainties
• Responsible and would rather plan before acting.

In the Indian system of personality analysis, I flatter myself that I fall into the Satvic type.

My Yogic analysis and the MB analysis gel well and I can say that I am a well adjusted personality with just enough emotional investment in what matters and not greatly involved in the negative aspects of such investments.

Now, coming to the financial emotional investment aspect of this topic, I had made some foolish investments based on emotion rather than logic and lost a packet in the bargain. For instance, in a horse race, I bet on a horse named after my late wife and that horse came last! Similarly I invested in an IPO of a company named after a favourite deity and that company went into liquidation in just three years. After that experience, I have withdrawn from all kinds of financial speculative activities and now live a comfortable if somewhat placid life.

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 Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.