It Is In The Genes.

Both my hipjoints crumbled in December 1980 and since then,  there are a few things that I miss not being able to do with my replaced and revised hip joints restricting my activities.

During my younger days among the many other things that I did was to be a keen motorcyclist. I have written about it in this blog post. In fact, just before and immediately after my marriage, the vehicle I used to first court my then fiancee and later wife, on two wheelers. The first, a Vespa scooter and the second a Jawa motorcycle.

Like all doting fathers encouraging their children to do things that they themselves cannot or could not do, I encouraged my son Ranjan to take up to motorcycling. From the time that he was old enough to get a driving license, he has had a series of two wheelers starting from a moped, graduating to a scooter and then on to motorcycles of various horsepowers till finally he has settled on a powerful roadster of the Royal Enfield brand.

When I was older but not very much wiser, my uncle who was a keen golfer took me under his wing and taught me how to play golf and got me a membership in a prestigious golf club too. I played regularly between 1967 and 1980. I was fairly good at it too and played to an officially posted handicap of 14. My hip joints gave way in 1980 and I had to stop playing.

Ranjan surprised me with an announcement a couple of weeks ago that he is taking up golf seriously. I was and continue to be delighted. Here he is practicing the chip shot.

From that clip I can see a good golfer emerging and I am delighted.

Here again I will see my dreams come true through Ranjan. I hope.

Gangubai Kathiawadi.


Kamathipura is Mumbai’s Red Light Area and has been that since time immemorial. If you were born and have lived in Mumbai like I have, there is just no way that you will not come to hear about it. It is also located in such a place that many people pass it while on their way to and from places of work or on other errands.

Despite my association with Mumbai since my birth and having lived there the longest before I put down roots in Pune, I had never heard about Gangubai and this movie forced me to go back in history and read about her.

Seeing the movie, was a mind blowing experience for me for its accuracy with period costumes, vehicles, trains, train compartments etc and I kept going back down memory lane on many occasions.

The story about the Mafia Queen as she was once called, who strove to ensure safety and dignity for the sex workers of Kamathipura is in itself another remarkable lesson in history for me. Seeing her come alive through the excellent acting of Alia Bhat under excellent direction of Sanjay Leela Bhansali is something that I will not forget very soon.

I had not been to a movie since well before the onset of Covid and sitting through this one has been another landmark achievement as it were.

I am grateful to my DIL for having persuaded me to see it and to my son for sharing the experience with both of us.

I urge my Indian readers to see it if they have not already seen it and my overseas readers to see it too as I am advised that it has been released overseas with English sub-titles.

It has been a long time since I reviewed a movie in my blog and it gives me great pleasure to give this a rating of four and a half stars.

One Thing Leads To Another.

My readers will remember how touched I was reading and writing a blog post about Phone Box At The Edge Of The World

While reading that book there was a reference to some quotes from another book by a Japanese Warrior – The Book Of Five Rings by Miamoto Musashi.

I was interested enough to order for it and have just finished reading it.

It is a book that I now regret not having come to know of during my corporate life. Not that its contents do not offer anything for a retired old reprobate now but, it would have helped me achieve a few more “wins” those days.

It is essentially a treatise on how to handle adversity. While in writing it is for the Soldier and the Commander, juxtaposing it to our normal life’s situation is easy and I recommend it.

Sales Calls.

My curt responses to many sales calls on my cellphone have reduced the number of calls that I receive to perhaps one or two in a week. I find them most annoying as I am sure are all my readers.

I get calls pitching new flats, health insurance policies, loans, etc mostly but, today I just burst out laughing when I received a call promoting a Matrimonial Site.

There was this very sweet voice saying, “Sorry to disturb you sir but, I am calling from xyz Matrimony.” My initial reaction was to burst out laughing which must have puzzled the lady and when I eventually told her that I am 79 years old, even she burst out laughing, apologised for calling and disconnected.

Have you been approached on a telephone call by a Matrimonial site?

Nostalgia 5.

My daughter in love went shopping for vegetables yesterday and saw freshly arrived ground nuts, called peanuts by the Americans, and knowing my weakness for it, bought a pile of it.

I got it steamed in a pressure cooker and sat down to shell them.

That is when nostalgia kicked in taking me back to my childhood when my mother used to ask the four of us siblings to shell the nuts. We used to call that a picnic as, while shelling for storage, we used to keep popping some as we went along. I did not pop any while I shelled because I am still recovering from a tooth extraction but, am looking forward to doing so soon enough from the shelled and refrigerated stock.
Apart from the picnic nostalgia another memory of a late friend kept coming up. That of VB, a dear friend who used to get the snacks for our parties. He used to specially get these boiled groundnuts for me and inevitably say, “Nuts for a nut from a nut!” It has been a long time since I remembered him.
Here is a stock photograph from Alamy showing Indian village children having a picnic like we used to have in our childhood.

How do you like your ground/peanuts?

Landline Telephony.

This post has been inspired by this fascinating report in The Guardian. Having used these Phone Boxes any number of times during my visits to the UK, I can relate to the writer’s take.

I have a landline connection from BSNL. I have had the pleasure of using this number since December 1990 when we moved into our current home and it is a simple number to remember. I have two instruments, one fixed and another with a portable handset kept conveniently close to my recliner chair.

Unfortunately however, except for one friend who too has a landline, nobody other than the phone company ever calls this number.  Many of my friends who used to have landlines have surrendered their connections for various reasons.  I use it to call landline numbers of shops and establishments from where I need some service but, even these are simpler to reach through my mobile phone.

Cable TV, WiFi providers, water conduits and drainage chutes all fight for underground space and inevitably, the landline telephone cable gets cut repeatedly and it takes for ever to get repairs done to it and so, most of the time we are without a landline connection.

I have been nostalgic and am also more comfortable with the landline but, the sheer convenience of the mobile phones and the fact that most of the time the landline does not work, has made me also to reconsider my position. So, I tried to approach the BSNL to surrender my connection but find no way of doing it online and perhaps will have to go personally to their office to do so. I am however determined to get it disconnected one way or the other.

Are you still using a landline telephone? What is your experience?