My Favorite Fictional Character Is:


That is Gandalf The Grey.

Why is he my favourite?

I am very affectionately called that by my very dear young friend Kaush. And the story behind that is that I offered some insights about his school days.  Subsequently, I started calling him Bilbo Baggins.

Tolkien’s two books have been favourites for ever.

This topic for the weekly LBC posts was suggested by Shackman.  Please visit him and Pravin who are also likely to write on the same topic.

Breakfast And Tolkein.

This post was originally inspired by a post by Cathy on her adventures with breakfast.

In that post I had commented about my own experience with breakfast and I want to share some insights on that with my other readers.

Right from childhood, I was taught to leave home in the mornings with a full belly. I carried a light lunch in a tiffin box to school, despite having which at around noon, I would be hungry by the time I would return home.

That brainwashing came in handy when I started to work as a salesman when I was not certain whether I would be any where near a decent eatery to have a meal and so would have a big brakfast before starting the day. If I did get to eat lunch, that was a bonus! Whenever possible, my breakfast would have been something like this.

I carry that habit even now and my biggest meal is the breakfast but not quite as elaborate as the one shown above. On the odd occasion that I do not have the quantity and the quality that I am comfortable with, I feel uncomfortable throughout the day, even if I catch up with a good lunch later.

Recently my friend Nandu and his lovely wife Praveena had come to Pune for a short visit and the three of us had breakfast together. To say that I had my usual breakfast would be unfair as we spent a lot of time talking and paid little attention to eating. Here is a photograph taken after the breakfast and I am sure that you will see that all three of us look hungry alright.
Nandu Pune.Feb'13 084

I introduce that day here to highlight another aspect to that day. I was traveling to Chennai that afternoon and was on a no frills airline and would not have lunch at the normal time. So, on my return home after meeting Nandu and Praveena, I had my usual breakfast. Yes, a second breakfast. I was not therefore uncomfortable till late in the evening when I was able to have dinner. I was grilled by our daughter in law Ranjani about what I did for lunch and I told her about my double breakfast which came in handy to remember some stories for my grand nephews about Hobbits.

That little discussion on the second breakfast took me back to those good old days when in corporate life we used to have breakfast meetings when it soon became corporate lore that I would only leave home/hotel after a breakfast and whatever I had subsequently was the second breakfast. Some folks came up with the name Bilbo Baggins for me for that reason. Naturally, I came to know about that much later but was quite amused with that very apt description. It therefore was a disappointment when my brother Barath decided to call me Gandalf the Grey last year. And that happened as a consequence of Conrad the TOF deciding that he was my ring bearer!

See how breakfast and Tolkein have played such important roles in my life? How can I be without breakfast? Or for that matter people in my life straight out of Tolkein?

Walk The Plank.

I like traffic to my blog. Which blogger does not? I also regularly provide traffic to many blogs. I often give links in my posts to other blogs. In most, I park in the form of comments. In some, I just drive past as I am afraid that if I slow down to park, I may get caught in a traffic jam.

What has this got to do with this post? I visit Ursula’s blog but don’t slow down, leave alone park. But I enjoy reading the messages she leaves for me there. On one recent occasion, I did park and since then have been wondering whether I should gather enough courage to park again and risk getting caught in a traffic jam. Ursula is more gritty. She not only parks in my blog but also drives a lot of traffic to it from other commentators.

Ursula has this to say in her blog post On The Narrow. “Same goes for you, Ramana. You will talk the talk but do you actually ever WALK the plank?”

Having a lot of personal connections in the Indian Navy as well the Merchant Navy of India, and with some hands-on experience with some of the world’s finest maritime people, the fisher-folk of many countries, that comment made me wonder if I read it right and went back to read it again, and found that that is exactly what she says.

The Wordsworth Dictionary Of Phrase & Fable describes, Walking The Plank as – “To be put to the supreme test; also, to be about to die. Walking the plank was a mode of disposing of prisoners at sea, much to vogue among the South Sea Pirates in the 17th Century.”

Okay, putting me to the supreme test – being betrothed to me, I suppose that she implies matrimony as the supreme test. Having experienced that state before, I can indeed confirm that, yes indeed it will be. If however, the latter part of the definition is to be considered, then Ursula wants me to be shark feed! A widow before even becoming a wife! Unless of course she means that walking the plank may be a better alternative for me.

And there is my good friend Bilbo Baggins getting wedding rings and polishing them and being invisible most of the time. Bilbo, my good man, be patient, you may get to use the rings elsewhere, if I do become shark feed.