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.

Aplomb!

In response to my post Sales Calls, I received two messages.

The first was from a Retired General Manager of a very large Bank in India and the other in comments on my blog itself from a Retired Chairman of another Bank in India.

Both said that they have received calls advising them on how to get loans!
Such aplomb reminds me of a story from the P G Wodehouse collection.

For the PG Wodehouse and English language fans!

Bertie Wooster was in the study when his butler, Jeeves, coughed discreetly.”May I ask you a question Sir ?””By all means, Jeeves,” said Bertie.

“I am doing the crossword in The Times and I have found a word with which I am unfamiliar.””What word is that?” said his lordship.

“Aplomb, Sir.

“”Now that’s a difficult one to explain I would say it is self-assurance or complete composure.

“”Thank you, Sir, but I’m still a little confused.

“”Let me give you an example to make it clearer.

Do you remember a few months ago the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to spend a weekend with us at Aunt Agatha’s place?

“”I remember the occasion very well, Sir. It gave the staff and myself much pleasure to look after them.

“”Also”, continued Bertie Wooster, “do you remember when the Duke plucked a bloom for the Duchess in the rose garden?

“”I was present on that occasion, Sir, ministering to their needs.

“”While plucking the rose, a thorn embedded itself in his thumb very deeply.”Jeeves replied, “I witnessed the incident and saw the Duchess herself remove the thorn and wrap a bandage on his thumb using her own dainty handkerchief, after sucking the thumb gently to stop the bleeding. Yes Sir, I did see everything that transpired that evening.

“Bertie Wooster: “Jeeves, the next morning while you were pouring tea for Her Ladyship, the Duchess asked the Duke in a loud voice, ‘Darling is your prick still throbbing?

‘”And you, Jeeves, did not spill one drop of tea! Now that is aplomb

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?

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.