I received a phone call from a gentleman, let us call him HP from my community. He spoke to me in our common language and syntax to establish his credentials and introduced himself as the cousin of a cousin twice removed from me called TM. HP said that TM had given excellent reference about me to him and that I was sure to be of help to him. I have not heard from TM in decades but was vaguely aware of his existence in Mumbai. HP came straight to the point and asked if he could depend on me to find out some details about a young man from Pune where I live too.
The enquiry was to establish the suitability of the young man as a prospective groom for HP’s daughter. This is not something uncommon in India where arranged marriages are the rule rather than the exception still. I said that I would try my best to find out about the young man given some time and then the discussion took on a different character.
HP wanted to know about my background and when he heard that I had spent most of my working life for a particular company, he was shocked and informed me that he was the cousin of a gent called TR who I had known too, and he wondered how someone like me could have worked in that company. He informed me that TR had been unfairly dismissed from service by the company following which he had died within a few years. I had not known about this as I was not in Mumbai where all this had happened and had already left the company to pursue other interests.
I was however intrigued and called up some old colleagues to get the story and was given the correct story about the dismissal.
The intriguing part of this tale is the degrees of connections that came up in the form of relatives, albeit distant and ex colleagues.
This image is doing the WhatsApp rounds over here with the caption “Mumbai variant called Pakodacron has arrived.” This is a spoof on the Covid Epsilon Variant as shown below.
I thought that the pakodacron was quite creative and funny. I also went down memory lane to my Mumbai days when near the shops of my main dealers, a snack bar on the platform of a suburban railway station called Masjid specialised in freshly made hot Moong Dal Pakode. This used to be sent for to accompany cups of hot chai during discussions. The treat was not served like the image above in nice dishes but came wrapped in old newspapers and were accompanied by green chillies dipped in lime juice and coated with salt.
Remembering this old treat I have decided to get them made at home tomorrow just to go on a nostalgia trip.
Does the pandemic situation give raise to such developments for you too?
A friend posted this news item in a WhatsApp group and I was reminded of two stories.
With the first story in mind, I commented on the post with my comment “Mysterious things can happen!” and gave a link to this village, Kodinhi in Kerala, a state in our South West. Don’t you think that it is an amazing phenomenon?
The next story is personal. My late wife and my cousin both delivered sons on the same day with just twenty minutes difference in the times. When all of us lived in Mumbai, their joint birthday celebrations were routine. On every such occasion, my cousin’s late husband used to wonder at the coincidence with some snide comments that I leave to my readers to imagine.
Yesterday was a day of surprises. Yes, plural, not just one. Let me list them for you.
1. I received a phone call in the morning from a young friend who after the initial surprise was over asked me for directions to reach my home as he was coming after many years and the neighbourhood had changed a lot. I told him that I would rather not see him considering the Covid situation and he said that it would be okay as he just had to deliver some parcels to me. I guided him to my verandah from where I was unable to receive the parcels as they were simply too big. So, he had to come into the house after going through the security rigmarole of our society where visitors have to go through a sanitisation process.
2. The parcels turned out to be one gift, a very thoughtful one, from a mutual friend in Mumbai who my visitor had met last week. Along with the gift the visitor had also brought two Gujarathi dishes that were my favourite with a long lost story behind one of them. My Mumbai friend had heard my story about how I used to enjoy the dish during my stay in Ahmedabad over half a century ago. Since both my Mumbai friend and the visitor are Gujarathis, the latter was requested to prepare the dish as a surprise and deliver to me with a cryptic message reminding me about my Ahmedabad days.
The dish is called Handvo and I thoroughly enjoyed it for lunch.
3. Another friend, this time from Chennai telephoned me to inform me that he is sending me a gift parcel and he was calling to caution me to accept the parcel when the courier comes to deliver it. Quite what the gift is a mystery but, knowing my friend as I do, it is likely to be something that I will cherish and use regularly.
4. A TV serial that I had stopped watching after the imposition of the lockdown as only old episodes were being shown due to the producers not being able to produce episodes due to the lockdown, started showing new episodes from last evening and this 45 minutes every evening will now revert to my old pre-lockdown discipline. This is the only TV programme that I used to watch and I had missed it.
Since the shutdown due to the current Corona pandemic, traffic in my WhatsApp has increased so much that I have to recharge my cellphone twice a day. Most of the content is not worth writing about but two clips today made things very interesting indeed.
The first one that I received in the morning from my friend Anil, was this one of a deer having fun on a beach in Goa. The deer has obviously come down from the woods adjoining the beach in some part of Goa.
Here is another forward received from another friend from Mumbai of Peacocks and peahens appearing suddenly in out most crowded city, Mumbai.
What an impact the shutdown has had in our wildlife!
The next one came from another friend in Mumbai that is very interesting indeed. Some remarkable skullduggery in the form of optical illusion helping our friends from the Marketing field.
A dear friend sent this link to me which I found to be interesting and topical enough to share with my readers. Dr. Sandeep Kelkar is a practicing paediatrician in Thane. a town very near Mumbai. He has had considerable experience handling parents and this approach obviously is something that he has developed to destress his patients’ parents. This is as applicable to us as to parents of children.