Recap 2019; Highs And Lows. Hopes For 2020.

This Friday 2 on 1 post will the last that Shackman and I will be writing this year and Shackman has come up with this as the topic. I think that it is a brilliant idea to attempt a recap. I only hope that I don’t leave out anything important.

The year had its share of ups and downs and the latter being less but rather depressing as all lows are bound to be. I shall set out all the ups first and try to be brief on the latter.

Visitors and house guests from out station/overseas.

January started off perhaps as though to give an indication of things to come. My old colleagues KSRR and BP with their wives landed up to pay a visit. We were neighbours for a few years in the early seventies and I was meeting them after almost thirty years. Another colleague AK, who I had first met in the 1980s too came to visit as did Derek, the son of a late colleague who had come all the way from Canada. These visits took me back to a different time and friends and nostalgia was at its peak.

February saw my nephew Simon, niece in love Hannah,  grand nephew Finlay and grand niece Josephine spend a few days with us which was a very special treat.

We also had two long staying house-guests VS and AS on different occasions which while disturbed our normal rhythm, gave us enough time with them to learn many new things as both are much younger in very much in the midst of corporate and marital problems. The former rented a flat in Pune and has moved out and the latter, wound up his establishment in Pune and Mumbai and moved to Dehradun.

Three of my maternal cousins from Mumbai came to spend a day with me using the visit of the youngest of them from the USA. It was a day of sheer nostalgia going back to our childhood and teen years and many peccadilloes of our Mumbai days.

visiting in December first was my cousin Vijay from Australia who I had not seen since the late eighties. We had a marathon session of catching up with each other and learning about many common friends and relatives and all too soon he went back. Next in line, almost as if a Christmas gift, on Christmas day, my cousin Damu and his wife Asha from Navi Mumbai graced us with a visit.

Besides these outstation visitors, we had many guests over for lunch or dinner or just dropping in to check up on me or to repay visits that I had made to them. Each was a break in routine and very welcome change from it.

I was still mobile and capable of attending many meetings with my friends till the monsoon and I was able to make one trip to Lonavla for a reunion with ex colleagues from Mumbai and Delhi.

New addition to the family.

We had Koko joining us much to our delight. She is playful and affectionate but, due to her blindness afraid of any new noise and has to be looked after differently than our other resident Chutki who is being the senior respectable lady of the house in a sedate and sober way. Her behaviour has no impact whatsoever on Koko who simply refuses to change her ways.

Two stray cats decided to adopt us and come around demanding to be fed every now and then. They do not enter the main house and restrict their visits to the verandah and the garden and are a delight too.

Thanks to the social media’s outreach and membership, I was able to reestablish contacts with two very old friends, one of whom after 55 years and the other after thirty years. Thanks to my alma mater’s alumni office, I was able to reestablish contact with another Punekar now in the USA, after 48 years. He is visiting Pune early in 2020 after attending his class 50th year reunion and threatens to spend some time with me. Thanks to a cousin’s daughter publishing a best seller novel, I came to know about her from the family grapevine and was able to reestablish contact with two cousins with whom I had lost touch for over three decades.

Losses.

First to lose was my classmate and fellow Punekar AD. I lost one cousin aged 62 and two more, both aged 87. A very dear friend Abbas about whom I have written a number of blogs too died just earlier this month.

Health Issues.

My readers know that I suffer from COPD and from July that conditions has become worse and I am now forced to use a nebuliser instead of the inhalers that I was using. This combined with my stiffening artificial hip joints, makes it difficult for me to be as active as I would like to be but, that does not mean that I am a wheel chair case. I am mobile and independent at home but avoid going out unless absolutely necessary and only for very short periods of time. I have no other problems and so have a ball with my usual reading, crossword puzzles, WhatsApp, Facebook, the blog world and email activities. Phone calls and visitors add spice to such an ideal life and I am enjoying myself within the limitations that my condition entails.

Hopes for 2020.

My one hope is to spend the rest of my life without more health issues and without either troubling my family or friends with health issues. Other than that, I have none. At my present stage of life, I believe that I should live one day at a time and count my blessings and that is what I intend to do next year too.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about his 2019 and hopes for the new year.

Reunions.

Shackman’s suggestion for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 Blog Post came as a total surprise to me and coincidentally, as I write this on the day prior to the Friday post, I have just returned from a reunion.

I have been attending three types of reunions the last two decades. The first are family ones where the family and some close friends get together during weddings, special anniversaries, upanayanams, special birthdays etc but, since the last three years I have stopped going out of Pune as I find it difficult to tackle airports, railway stations etc. So, an understanding family has decided to accept my absence with grace and forgive me my inability to attend.

Another reunion that I attend is of my classmates from Business school and here too, I attend only those that are held in Pune or, at best near Pune. The last one that I wrote about is this one. Subsequently, there have been a few more and one with many out of town and country visitors who exited to Mahabaleshwar via Pune in January. Some of the classmates who live in Pune now get together often particularly when one who normally lives in the USA visits Pune in the winter. Sometimes, some visitors from Mumbai on business to Pune give us an opportunity to get together and those too are very much looked forward to.

The third reunion that I attend regularly is that of my ex colleagues from Mumbai which is held twice a year. I wrote about one of them here. These reunions are held mostly in Mumbai or around these parts as, travel is easy for all of us. This is the type of reunion that I attended today at Lonavala. Some of my colleagues had come up yesterday and spent the night at the resort where the reunion took place but some of us just made the day trip for obvious reasons. Two of us from Pune drove up in the morning and returned after lunch.

For me such outings are emotionally very charged and I enjoy every moment that I am with old classmates or colleagues. I am however sad that I am unable to attend more due to my health issues. My regrets however are somewhat assuaged as I am in regular touch with all of them through daily WhatsApp group messages exchanged. A great way to keep in touch and share news and other information of interest to all in the group.

To see what Shackman has to say on the subject, please do visit his blog. Thank you.

T

Visit To Khandala.

What Abbas missed most was the presence of Urmeela when Ranjan, Husena, Abbas and I accompanied by Nitin went to spend a few hours at Abbas’s week end retreat and farm at Khandala yesterday. Whenever the topic of week end trips to Khandala came up he would sing this song or at least croak it for her. And she would smile and say, no thank you.

Here are some photographs of their week end bungalow followed by some of their farm. You can click on them to get enlarged versions.

This is Abbas sitting near the window overlooking the garden in his bungalow.
abbas at home

garder

garden2

one view of garder

This is Ranjan in the bungalow
Ranj at home

The following ones show Husena with the caretaker’s wife at the farm, Abbas and Husena enjoying some farm grown fruit and some cold water, and the ancient cottage that is the care taker’s quarters at the farm.
Hus in farm
Hus and Abb
cottage

At the right side of the bottom most photograph, you can see part of a black dog. He is a three legged friendly old rascal who entertained us quite a bit there.

From the farm, we went into Lonavala and had lunch and icecream before heading back to Pune. All in all a nice relaxing trip.