Yesterday, Saturday the 9th of November 2019 was a very special day for us in India but, for me it also took me to some other events, two, very personal.

For my American readers, 9/11 would immediately bring to mind the WTC plane attack on September 11, 2001. By now, those three numerals in that particular order has become internationally known for that particular event.

For me as an Indian following a different system, 9/11 is the 9th of November. My first tryst with that date was when I was in Frankfurt attending a business meeting on 9/11/1989 when news came on about the Berlin wall being broken down. The meeting was adjourned and we switched on the news channel in the TV set provided in the meeting hall to see the wall coming down much to the joy of all present, and particularly my West German colleagues. The official meeting was recommenced after a while but, the evening celebrations almost made me miss my next morning flight to London.

Yesterday, 9/11/2019 in India was special for two reasons.

First was the judgement that was delivered in a long festering case in our Supreme Court on what is known here as the Ayodhya issue.

The next one was the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor between India and Pakistan.

As if these momentous events were not enough, it was the birthday of a very dear friend who is hard of hearing and I had to convey my greetings to her through her husband who was half asleep recovering from a pre birthday celebrations the previous night.

It was also the wedding anniversary of my God Son who decided to spend it alone while his lovely and more responsible wife spent it with her ailing grandson in a town 45 Kms away. I had to call them separately and insist that the former go over to the latter’s temporary abode to celebrate at my expense.

All in all, a good day.

The Mind Is A Monkey.

“But then with me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”
― Charles Darwin

Sunday was the 75th birthday of SD who is very dear to me. I wanted to surprise him with an appropriate gift and decided on a cake because Kamini who is also very dear to me runs a home made cakes business from her home and lives quite close to SD.

Kamini came up with a fantastic cake and included a very original message in icing on it. SD is a music aficionado which explains the design that Kamini came up with. Do click on the image to enlarge and read the message.

sheet music cake 1

The cake was duly delivered but to the maid in the absence of SD who was in the shower. I was informed about the delivery around 10.30 am. I rang up SD to greet him personally fully prepared to hear a diatribe. I was told by his help that he had gone out and will return at 12.30 pm. I decide to call him on his mobile phone and my calls went unanswered. I tried to call up his wife who too did not answer.

Some background before I proceed with the story. SD is an odd ball, like quite a few of my dear ones are and I am too. Two years ago, for the same reason, I had got a bakery bought cake delivered through another friend. SD got very annoyed with me for spending so much and to celebrate a mere birthday whereas he was eagerly waiting for final goodbyes. He forbade me from ever doing anything like that ever again.

My mind went on overdrive. I said to myself that I had blown it and SD will never again talk to me and will cut off all relations and so on and so forth. This thought kept playing in my mind like a stuck record and I could not have my usual siesta.

At 5.00 pm SD rang me up to thank me for the marvelous gift and did not give me the diatribe that I was expecting. He and his wife had decided to go on a date to Mumbai for lunch and a stroll on Marine Drive in the rain. In the romantic mood that they were in, they just forgot to take their phones with them. They also had forgotten to tell the help that they would not be coming for lunch.

I cannot describe the relief that I felt on hearing the story of the date. For a few hours however, it was not a very pleasant situation to have been in. The monkey mind is very cunning and baffling and tends to let one’s imagination run wild, but I am wiser by hindsight.

Happy Birthday Corky.

This is another instance of synchronicity that I keep experiencing repeatedly that this post follows my two posts on long lasting marriages. When I had scheduled those two earlier posts, I had no idea that I will be writing to honour Corky on her birthday. She too is an example of the old fashioned virtue of long marriages and I congratulate her and Joe on that too, on this occasion.

Once you read the two posts on Conrad’s blog, links for which are given below, you will know why I choose this picture, also from Conrad’s blog, to wish Corky a very happy birthday and to wish her many happy returns of the day too. The two blog posts and the comments on them, tell us something about Corky’s spirit and character.



And if you want to experience her sense of humour, you can do no better than read her comments and follow up comments on http://www.levintel.com/2011/03/15/false-advertising/#comments

All of us know how much Conrad loves and respects Corky and that sentiment has spilled over to his readers, some of who have had the privilege of either knowing her personally or have got to know her over the internet via Skype. It is sad that I live in India with odd timings that prevent my trying to do the same. I wish that I could one day.

In India, the eightieth birthday of a person is a very important occasion. It is called Sadabhishekam. It is celebrating the experiencing of 1000 moons. Had Corky been in India, I would have personally organized a grand celebration befitting that achievement. I would have done the same in the USA , if the distances between Pune and the USA were more manageable. Since neither is now possible at this late stage, here is wishing Corky once again Happy Eighty And Many More.