Vishweshwar And Jaganmohan.

My dear friend Vishweshwar who does not feature ever as a commentator here in the blog posts, reads all my posts and comments on facebook when the mood takes him. Another friend Jaganmohan, with who my readers are familiar, also reads my blogposts and is himself a web poster with his own website to stream videos live. He too does not comment on my blogs but prefers to discuss matters directly with me.

Vishweshwar, in Sanskrit is a compound Vishwa Eshwar meaning, The Lord Of The Universe. A name for Shiva.

Jaganmohan is also a compound Jagat Mohan, meaning Charmer of the Universe. One of the names for Krishna.

These two friends named after very powerful Gods decided to bestow their munificence on me for Twenty Fifteen and have gifted me with the only things that they think I lack, books.

Vishweshwar gifted me with The Hot Belly Diet.  I hope that he will comment on this post as to quite why he thought that I should read it.

And Jagan, was more generous with three books; Secrets Of Karma, The Gone Girl and The Fault In Our Stars.  Jagan tells me that these three books have been read by him and he wants me to share his joy in having read them.

fault book

My cup runneth over. Thank you Vishweshwar and Jagan.



I was struggling with a particularly difficult word during my daily tryst with crossword puzzles when I asked Ranjan to help me. Ranjan simply said, “google for it dad” and pushed off. I said to Manjiri a bemused observer of the scene that it is now the turn of Ranjan to be my parent.

I mentioned this to another friend who had called up for something else and he said that I should now read a book a review of which he had just read. I googled for it and this is what I found.

Apart from anything else, it costs 80 GBP and I really do not need to worry any more about parenting.

Strangely enough, just the other day on Facebook, I had posted this video on the use of English language where Fry talks about nouns becoming verbs.

This post is a classic example. The title is a noun parent that has now become a verb and further, google, a noun too has become a verb.

To revert to the topic under discussion, it is a measure of the times that we live in that serious studies are undertaken about a natural process and tomes are written about, published and sold for 80 GBP! I parented a son who has turned out to be quite a nice young fellow as have many of my relatives and friends with similar outcomes and when we had some problems, we simply consulted an elder parent or a GP if the problem was something to do with the child’s health. Today, I suppose parenting means acquiring some specific skill sets the absence of which can have serious repercussions on our societies!


Mumbai Fables.

Having finished reading the book Mumbai Fables which briefly appeared on my earlier post Doppelganger I want to share some information about the cover of the book that I found at the end of the book. I quote the author and reproduce an image of the original poster that inspired the self portrait.


“Consider the contemporary artist Atul Dodiya’s Bombay Buccaneer. The self portrait assembles multiple fragments that share no organic connection but depend on artifice and imagination. A poster of the Hindi film Baazigar (1993) is its formal inspiration.In the original, the images of two female protagonists are mirrored in the sunglasses worn by the film’s psychopathic antihero.


Bombay Buccaneer replaces them with the reflections of the painters David Hockney and Bhupen Khakhar. In place of the menacing antihero, there is an ordinary office worker, collar unbuttoned and tie askew, but armed with a gun, the fixtures of everyday urban life frame the portrait – the open doorway of a suburban train, a metalled roadway, and the ubiquitous yellow and black taxi, broken down. Dodiya intermeshes art and cinema, Indian and Western, pop culture and high art, to brilliantly capture Mumbai’s kaleidoscopic urban experience.

This books is an amazing piece of writing which can be truly appreciated only by some one who has lived in Mumbai and before that Bombay. I have lived there during both phases and have first hand experience of many insights that Gyan Prakash brings into the city’s history and present. It is a book that I will read again and most probably once again.

Anil, thank you for this wonderful gift.

Books, Books And Books.

My readers know how I collect, read and re-read books of all sorts. I have blogged about it some time ago under the title “Books”.

Part of the problem of such a pastime is the storage of books. In the blog post that I have referred to above, the library is groaning, and now it simply has no more space to store any more books. I have started two more shelves in my bedroom for them.

Knowing my problem, two people have come up with two different ideas for me to solve my problem. The first one comes from a very dear friend with a great sense of humour and that is this:

The second solution is a gift from my nephew Jai, who is IT savvy and very practical when it comes to handling his uncle and his quirks. He gave this:

I am in already in love with the latter. As soon as I am able to locate a carpenter who will not charge me the moon, I will arrange to get a sofa like the one pictured above to replace one of the arm chairs in my drawing room. And that will be heart breaking.


I hope that you enjoy reading another post of the Friday Loose Bloggers’ Consortium when eleven of us post on the same topic chosen by one of us. Today’s topic has been chosen by Gaelikaa.

Please do visit Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger to see ten other views on the same topic. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with vacations, examinations, family problems and/or romance, so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

As I write this, my father is sitting on his rocking chair, completely lost in a book and since he is hard of hearing, nothing disturbs him from that passionate pastime. Reading and his daily dose of watching television for two to three hours every evening, is more or less his raison d’être.

My raison d’être differs slightly in that instead of the television, I have blogging and crossword puzzles, but both take lesser importance to my passion for books and reading in general. My three siblings too are huge readers as was our late mother. So, I can safely blame my genes for my spending a lot of money on books that would have otherwise gone into my son’s inheritance.

From childhood, my siblings and I were encouraged to read and in any case, the entertainment that is now available was not available then, and one had to read to keep oneself occupied. I also traveled a great deal in my working life, and books were my companions bought at airport and railway shops all over India and some parts of the UK and Europe. Since I retired from active service, I have become a compulsive book buyer and I am not complaining!

Apart from purchasing books, which is something that I started much later in life, I depended on many lending libraries but, of late, libraries are few and far between and it is difficult to keep going to them to borrow forcing me to buy the books that I wish to read.

My home is full of books. They are everywhere. Their alloted place at the library which is over flowing, on the side shelves in the bedrooms, on either side of the pillows I sleep on, next to my favourite chair, next to where I sit and solve crossword puzzles and also in the sideboard near the dining table. Here is the library from which I have removed some books to show that the books are shelved three deep with a kind of mezzanine arrangement at the back.

I however know where I can locate any book that I want without too much searching. Occasionally I need help from my son, whose friends keep disturbing the arrangements in the library.

At any given time I read three books simultaneously, unless I am totally engrossed in one. Sometimes, it does happen that one book will keep me fully engaged but it is rare.

I need to read each book at least twice. I rarely read fiction and the matters that interest me are usually heavy stuff and it takes at least two readings to understand them.

I seldom go to a bookshop to buy books. I mostly buy them online as I find this convenient and economical too. Reviews normally influence my purchases as well as some reference to a book in some other book that I happen to be reading. Lest I forget, I immediately go online to purchase such books. For instance, the latest book that I have ordered for is “The Art Of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar.. I heard Sheena Iyengar on Video from a TED talk. No sooner I finished listening to her, I went to my favourite online bookshop and ordered the book. I have just begun to read it.

As an interesting aside, I request my readers to learn something about Sheena Iyengar who is blind, and also listen to her talk, both for which I have provided links above. She is a fascinating personality who handles her disability with panache and one can’t help admire her.