As it happens so often in my life,  two different sources sent me two different links to two different you tube offerings but, on the same subject on the same day. The first one is about a mother and the second about a wife.

Both appealed to me and also affected me deeply and I want to share it with my readers. Though both are presented by Indians, their messages are universal and applicable to all mothers and wives. I hope that these two videos touch my readers as much as they touched me.

The first video is by Hari Sankar…a Grandmaster in Chess who has won a slew of awards…at one stage he was in the top 5 or 7 in the world..like Viswanathan Anand, it was his mother who was the motivating force to take up Chess. He is from Andhra Pradesh.  Despite trying to be funny, he manages to convey a profound statement about motherhood and women.

The next one is from an older man who while presenting the poem is quite affected.

Golden Jubilee Wedding Anniversary.

There are just four friends left who have been my lifelong friends dating from my pre business school days and one of them in fact went to business school with me.  Two of them are in the USA and two are in India and Sultan is one of them.  Our friendship goes back to our bachelor days of the early 60s. It flourishes still and luckily for both of us our spouses too became great friends to each other.

Sultan incidentally is the gentleman (SA) in my blog post of the same title,

Sultan and Farida got married on Januray 21, 1968. They had a quiet celebration of their fiftieth anniversary earlier this month in Mumbai for which I could not go for obvious reasons.

I rang them up early in the morning to wish them and all three of us took off reminiscing about the engagement party, the wedding party and  the reception.

I asked for some old photographs as I had not taken any at that time as I was about to leave Mumbai for further training to the South and was living an almost nomadic life out of a suitcase.  Sultan and Farida too soon left for France for an extended stay there.  It was in the early seventies that we got back together in Bombay.

I received three photographs from Farida which are reproduced below.  Readers will remember those days of Black and White photographs!

The top photo shows from left to right, me, Farida, Sultan and Farida’s brother Jaffar.
The lower photo shows, from left to right, sitting on the floor, me and Sultan’s and my late friend Vishnu.   Sitting on chairs in the middle Farida and Sultan flanked by two ladies from the family.

In the top photograph, Farida is not being shy but laughing at some joke that I must have cracked.  You can see the bemused expression on Sultan’s face and the grin on Jaffar’s.

This is a more recent photograph of Farida and Sultan. Look how gracefully they have aged. I have no doubts whatsoever that it is because of Farida who has kept Sultan on the straight and narrow for all these fifty years.  I wish that I had aged as gracefully as my friend.


I have the pleasure to announce the arrival of a daughter into our home, Manjiree Rajgopaul nee Patwardan. Manjiree in Marathi means the flower of our holy basil Tulsi. Manjiree and Ranjan got married in a simple ceremony at our home yesterday. Manjiree was welcomed into our home with Aarti in the traditional way by Mangal. Arti is the rite of welcoming a bride into groom’s home by waving a lit lamp and applying sandalwood paste and kumum powder, to indicate the love and adoration to the bride.

Celebration lunch and dinner followed and today is for rest and recouping.

Manjiree and Ranjan

This was taken on a mobile phone. Photographs taken by a professional photographer will be posted in due course. My readers can also see a very happy Yakob in the background. Happy is not how I would call my own status. I am ecstatic. Maniiree will light up our home which has been without a feminine light for some time now.


I wish that Grannymar had made a typo and the topic was risque rather than risk. Imagine if I had got it over the phone from her instead of reading it on the list! I would have gone to town with the topic.

Since that option is not available, I shall try and expound on the official topic of Risk.

Whenever we take any action with an outcome in mind, there are four possible outcomes. We get exactly what we hope for, we get more/better than what we hope for; we get less/worse than we hope for and finally something totally different from, even opposite of what we hope for. So, despite being capable of taking the action, there is always an element of uncertainty in the outcome and this is what we call risk. Most actions that we take however, are taken spontaneously without thinking too much about it and when that results in an unexpected outcome, is when we start wondering about risks.

My submission therefore is that risk is ever present in every action that we take and that it is nothing extraordinary to warrant a dissertation. Just getting out of the bed in the morning is a risky business. One can get caught in the folds of the sheets and trip and fall. Does one therefore not get out of the bed? Or does one never cross a road?

The big ticket risks are the ones that should cause us to pause and reflect before acting. Like marriage for instance! I can’t think of a bigger gamble than that in one’s life. Who better to write about it than Ghalib?

क़ैदे-हयात, बंदे-ग़म अस्ल में दोनों एक हैं,
मौत से पहले आदमी ग़म से निजात पाये क्यों?


The prison of life and the bondage of grief are one and the same
Before the onset of death, how can man expect to be free of grief?

All the four outcomes that I had listed above are possible and before one takes the gamble, if he accepts that it will be one of the possible outcomes, he will learn to adjust to the reality, post the action. Here again, I have known that the decision to get married is taken impulsively, because it seems to be the correct one at that time without anticipating that it may not turn out to be the Mills and Boons type of marriage and can lead to avoidable misery.

Another major risky decision that people take is in career change with a similar approach and avoidable misery is often the outcome. I had suggested to Nandu that he become a gym greeter like Wallmart greeters to encourage visitors to use the staircase instead of the escalator and this is what he had to say in response – “I would but I am told Walmart don’t pay much and I don’t like Chinese goods ! And career wise it will be like going up a down escalator – going nowhere fast!”

We are all the time taking risks consciously or unconsciously and it is as much part of life as breathing is. But I do see people vacillating and not being decisive weighing the risks and suffering and it usually amuses me. It is not however very amusing to me when it comes to my own vacillation. I am right now at a crossroads about where to live for the rest of my life. An old plan to sell the present larger than required home and move into a more manageable smaller one is occupying my thoughts but leaving the known, comfort zone is causing unease to say the least. Quite whether this is an inability to take the risk or whether it is just a clinging to the past is a moot point. Not being someone who spends time on weighing risks before taking action and more often than not, depending on my instincts, honed by such a long innings in the crease of life, to not let me down. this particular conundrum is a new experience. I have to come to grips with it soon and I no doubt will.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where eleven of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

Minimum Age For Marriage – II.

Ursula, while commenting on my yesterday’s post Minimum Age For Marriage, said,

“On a side note: If I could make money that way, I’d get married every five minutes; even to people three times my age (honeymoon not an option) And before there is an orderly queue forming: I do NOT hold a British passport. Sorry. Take your business elsewhere.”


My response:

“Your comments makes me ponder, and that is a mischievous state for me to be in. A new post on its way for tomorrow. Let me see how that one takes off.”

Two mischievous thoughts. One, Ursula, from your avatar, you look to be around say forty-ish. Three times that would be 120-ish! Should be very interesting, that combination, honey moon or no, if the $$$$$ is right.

Second mischievous thought, seriously, supposing the story was about a boy of 16 marrying an actress of 51, what would the reactions be?