Hero Worship.

I am an Indian. The original, not the American variety. We tend to build temples for our heroes and heroines and worship them as deities. Luckily for me, I was and still am not, quite that emotional.

I have had two characters from history as my heroes though, I never quite got around to worshipping them. Kattabomman and Spartacus. Both captured my imagination when I was a young lad and for many years I identified them with the film stars who portrayed them on screen, Sivaji Ganesan and Kirk Douglas.

As a young lad in school, rather than worship heroes from the world of films, I worshipped cricket players. Since most of my readers will not know them, I shall not list them but, they were there for me to emulate in my club level participation in cricket. Then came music and Elvis Presley became a hero as did Harry Belafonte.  Later on standing on my own feet and living alone, the rat pack became heroes to emulate and even today I have a soft corner for the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

I suggested this topic for today’s 5 on 1 weekly Friday posts to pay tribute to a man I miss terribly even today.  He was my mentor, friend, philosopher and guide from my childhood to his death.

That only and lifelong hero was my uncle, my father’s younger brother who came into my life when I must have been around four or five years old. He was then a bachelor with his own motorcycle. Every time he came home, he would take me for a ride on his bike with me sitting on the petrol tank. My mother would be pacing up and down till we returned. He was more of a father to me than my father who had other priorities in his life. For me and my siblings, our uncle meant the world as he spoiled us silly and gave us the love that the father demonstrably did not or perhaps could not.

He was a dapper handsome man who stayed my hero till his death in 1996. He hosted my younger brother and me on more than one occasion in his home and would give us enough pocket money to have a grand time in our mid teen years. He taught me to play golf and allowed me to borrow his car whenever I wanted to have larks. He arranged for the foundation for my youngest brother’s career and my younger brother’s engineering skills were encouraged by him by setting up a business in partnership with him. He thought the world of all of us and we in turn returned that without the slightest hesitation.

He taught me the greatest lesson of life when his entire world collapsed around him when his business failed and he went bankrupt.  The fortitude and patience that he showed during that adversity and cheerfulness that he displayed even during those dark days are still etched in my memory like writing on stone.  As he started to come out of penury as his sons grew up and started to earn and contribute to the family, how much he meant to many people in his life came to be known to me, about which none of us had a clue as he never boasted about them.  Some of those people and their children still remember him with much affection and that is the measure of that man’s character.

He died as he lived fighting dacoits who had invaded his farm house in the outskirts of a big city and he fought them till they tied him up and choked him to death by gagging him with some curtain cloth to stop him from shouting for help. He was ever the gallant and the way he looked after his wife in the latter’s later life due to dementia laid the foundation for my own caregiving life later.

I still remember some of the greatest lessons that I learnt from him in sales, marketing and people management which, helped me in my own fairly successful career.

No, dear Fossil, I don’t intend to be nor want to be a hero for you to worship. Please do not be afraid. I just hope that the others in our group have some such heroes to write about in their lives.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by me. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Regrets.

“I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.”
~ Paulo Coelho.

Yes, I have regrets. There are things that I wish I had not done. Things that I should have done but did not. To balance those, there are many things that I am glad that I did. It’s all part of one’s life.  Having said all that, if there is one regret that I have that overwhelms me often is that I outlived my friend of 48 years who was my wife for forty of those.

And what better way to write about those things than to listen to Frank Sinatra sing My way. Yes, I too did it my way just as all of us did it in our own individual ways and now reflection come to the same conclusion as Sinatra does.

My Way
Frank Sinatra
And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all, all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh no, no, not me
I did it my way
For what is man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
And did it my way

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about this topic. Thank you.

And to lighten up this post a bit a cartoon from a particular favourite combo of mine.

Do You Believe In Magic?

I think that Shackman, who has suggested this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post, asks about the supernatural variety and not the other kinds like illusion, the Indian rope trick etc. I shall therefore restrict my response to this area only.  Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic.

If I have to write about the supernatural variety of magic, naturally it leads us to Miracles.

My post therefore is a simple short one. The answer is an unqualified “No”.

If that is so, what is the explanation for something like this? I believe in The Theory of Karma and this clearly brings about five lives who come together in this birth to experience the effect of some causes caused by them in either this earlier lives or past lives. I have simply not been able to come across any other explanation for such occurrences that take place with unbelievable frequency. Some with positive outcomes and some with negative ones.

I however believe in this kind of magic.

You sigh, the song begins, you speak and I hear violins, it’s magic
The stars desert the skies and rush to nestle in your eyes, it’s magic
Without a golden wand or mystic charms,
Fantastic things begin when I am in your arms

When we walk hand-in-hand, the world becomes a wonderland, it’s magic
How else can I explain those rainbows when there isn’t rain? It’s magic
Why do I tell me myself these things that happen are all really true
When in my heart I know the magic is my love for you?

Success Cycle.

At the age of 1 years …* *Success is.*
That you can walk without support

*At the age of 4 years …* *Success is.*
That you do not urinate in your pants,

*At the age of 8 years …* *Success is..*
To know the way back home.

*At the age of 12 years,* *success is..*
To have friends.

*At the age of 18 years,* *success is.*
To get a driver’s license.

*At the age of 23 years,* *success is.*
To graduate from a university.

*At the age of 25 years,* *success is.*
To get an earning.

*At the age of 30 years,* *success is.*
To be a family Man.

*At the age of 35 years,* *success is.*
To make money.

*At the age of 45 years,* *success is.*
To maintain the appearance of a young man.

*At the age of 50 years,* *success is.*
To provide good education for your children.

*At the age of 55 years,* *success is.*
To still be able to perform your duties well.

*At the age of 60 years,* *success.*
To still be able to keep driving license.

*At the age of 65 years,* *success is.*
To live without disease.

*At the age of 70 years,* *success is.*
To not be a burden on any one.

*At the age of 75 years,* *success is.*
To have old friends.

*At the age of 81 years,* *success is.*
To know the way back home.

*At the age of 86 years,* *success is.*
That not to urinate in your pants again.

At the age of 90 years …* *Success is.*
That you can walk without support again

One of the best messages I have ever read.

Life is a cycle.

I am indebted to Padmum and Shackman for the inspiration for this post.  For those interested, I am at the stage where success is to have old friends.

Melancholia.

I received a phone call this morning from a friend inviting me to go out for lunch with him. I excused myself giving some innocuous excuses but, he kept trying to persuade me to accompany him. Finally, he gave up and asked me why I was being so unusually melancholic today. I responded that I did not think I was being melancholic but, just lazy.

He went off alone and I was left wondering about his comment on my being melancholic. I had not heard the term used by anyone in a long long time but, remembered a few things which came to my mind that I share with my readers here.  The statue on the left is by Hanneke Beaumont called Melancholia.

In 1866 the major French literary figure Victor Hugo published “Les Travailleurs de la Mer” which was later released under the English title “The Toilers of the Sea”. This work included this quotation.

“Le désespoir a des degrés remontants. De l’accablement on monte à l’abattement, de l’abattement à l’affliction, de l’affliction à la mélancolie. La mélancolie est un crépuscule. La souffrance s’y fond dans une sombre joie.
La mélancolie, c’est le bonheur d’être triste.”

“Despair has ascending degrees. From prostration one mounts to despondency, from despondency to affliction, from affliction to melancholy. Melancholy is a twilight. Suffering melts into it in sombre joy.
Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.”

No, I am anything but melancholic.

My Life In Three Songs. 2 On 1.

Trust Shackman to come up with this great idea for the weekly Friday blog post where both of us write on the same subject. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say. Knowing him as I do, it would be bang on and most appropriate songs.

My question to him is why three when one can do?

He would call it cheating and he is not a great fan of Sinatra anyway.

There was a time, I suspect that it was midlife crisis of some sort,  when this song would have been more appropriate, though it was aspirational rather than real.  Please read Ursula’s comments on my post Fishing.

Another one to sign off an all time favourite: