Mike’s post of the same title inspired this post from me. Please read the comments from me and Mike’s response to it too.
Just a day after that I received this in a WhatsApp message from my sister.
Yesterday afternoon, I received news that my friend, philosopher and guide of many years HI died following a failed chemotherapy session for cancer.
Last week was news of the death of a classmate and dear friend.
On the 10th inst, Nick wrote about biographies and autobiographies. I commented there : “I am not and never was into bio/autobiographies. Somehow, I just could not get interested in that genre. My own kind of biography is perhaps my blog just like yours is yours.” Nick responded with “Yes, blogs are very much a form of biography. Not at all chronological, but revealing all sorts of personal details.”
Little did I know that I was about to read an autobiography, and what a one!
Later yesterday, I received a forward of a video of a Cardiologist talking about life and death and how to manage our lives where he referred to a book called When Breath Becomes Air. I got a Kindle version and started reading it and just could not put it down.
Most of my readers here are senior citizens and quite a few are avid readers. For these, I strongly recommend this book. The most poignant and elegant book that I have ever read about a person’s last days written by himself.
I have been on permanent break for so long that I have even forgotten when I started. I have no earthshaking meetings to attend, appointments to keep, or targets to meet and I simply have to live one day at a time and spend my time as entertainingly as possible.
So has my friend Shackman who too retired from active business life many years ago. That is why it intrigues me that he has come up with this topic for this week’s Friday blog post.
With modern online shopping available to add to my library, life has been made easier further. I don’t have to step out of my home for anything at all.
My life revolves around my set routine about which I have written here. Since I am not involved with any activities that need me to get suited and booted, I spend all my time dressed very comfortably in our native dress and am totally relaxed. I get plenty of excitement from my social media activities, reading and crossword puzzles besides many phone calls. More than enough for me to lead a contented and peaceful life.
My daughter in love and son look after all domestic matters and that too is something that I do not have to concern myself with and worry about. All my comforts are provided for and even the odd shopping that I may want is done by one of them.
All in all, a comfortable and peaceful retired life which I think I have earned after a lot of stress filled times till eight years ago. I am extremely grateful for my present lifestyle.
Lastly, I am not dressed like that bloke in the image on top. This is my normal every day look. Very comfortable and functional for my current lifestyle.
This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, Padmum, Raju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad. This week’s topic was suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.
My childhood friend and neighbour VR posted this image on Facebook.
VR had disappeared from my life in 1958 when my family moved out of Chennai where we were neighbours. She came back into my life thanks to Facebook and her cousin who too came back into my life in 1980 when both of us were posted in Delhi and a mutual friend had brought us together.
I commented on VR’s post as “Thanks to social media in the last few years, many childhood friendships are being renewed too. Perhaps this is the single biggest contribution that sm has made to our lives.”
While social media has played its part in bringing back old friends into my life again, the observation made in the image remains true too. My longest lasting friends, two of them from my boyhood and two from my early working days, survived all separations and have continued to be friends though three of us live in different towns while two in the same city. Alas the last two do not know each other but, the next time that I am in Chennai, I will remedy that situation.
Social media has also brought back groups into my life like classmates, ex colleagues, fellow alumni family etc and to that extent the world has shrunk for relationships.
Another tool that has brought disparate people together is the blog world and this blog by Wisewebwoman brilliantly explains this.
I am blessed indeed to have so many old friends, and more so for long lost ones returning to my life thanks to social media.
Meeta who is now becoming a regular feature in my blog posts sent me a link to a blog post on the word Timshel to share with me her awe at its meaning and intent.
I gather that the word Timshel in Hebrew means “Thou Mayest”. In modern language I suppose that it means, You may. This indicates to me that you have a free will. As a Vedantin my understanding is that “Karma is what will come to you in life and free will is what you choose to do with it.” If this tattoo sported by many indicates the same, I have no quarrel with that and I hope that some of my readers will enlighten me further on this subject.
Here or two tattoos from the google images showing “Timshel”.
Talking about tattoos, my son and daughter in love are both fans and here are some tattoos that they sport. The last two are sported by the DIL.
Both have tried to get me to sport a tattoo or two, and so far, I have resisted the idea. Should I go for it?
This post has been inspired by one with the same title by Cheerful Monk.
Cheerful Monk goes further with a follow up post on the history of the naming of the two lions in her next post The Library Lions.
I had seen these statues of the lions in New York as a tourist on a guided tour and these details were not told to us by the guide. On the other hand, when I visited Paris as a tourist at the museum the Rodin’s statue The Thinker which appears on my mast here was explained in detail by the guide and made a deep impression on me.
The point is that I learnt a bit about Rodin thanks to the guide and about the New York Lions from Cheerful Monk. In the case of the former, my curiosity made me follow up with more investigations later on. Another work of art that intrigued me and about which I investigated and learnt was this in Milan;
One is never too old to learn new things although I find it convenient to use the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” when it is needed.
The masks on the lions made me smile. Do they you?
My readers will recollect my longstanding relationship with another restaurant in my neighbourhood The Flour Works. To just refresh their memory, here is one post on an evening there.
The Meeta who features in that post, is the proprietress of TFW and is someone very special to me. Seeing that I was an orphan, she adopted me many years ago, quite as what, I am still to figure out. Her family too have become friends and so what she feels for me is almost ethereal.
The unintended consequence that this post talks about is her comment on my last post Unintended Consequences.
“I may sound callous about this but my first thought was why didn’t you ask me for tea? I could have sent it in less than 5 minutes as well. The second thought was it’s good you’re considering stepping out and would hopefully walk a few more steps and come see me. 🤷♀️”
After this comment appeared on my post, I realised something that only semantics can appreciate. Before The Irani Cafe moved next door to me, I was located between them and The Flour Works. Now, TIC has come between me and TFW! Both of them are next to each other! And I have to physically cross TIC to visit TFW both on my way to and back.
Please click on the panorama image for a larger resolution.
The extreme left is The Flour Works, in the middle is The Irani Cafe and at the right is our home with the watchman at the drive way.
Knowing my neighbourhood as I do, I can’t visit one without the other coming to know of my visit to the other.
Interesting times ahead!