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.
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.
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.
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.