Learning – 7. Self Proclaimed Expert.

A person from London is called a Londoner, from New York a New Yorker, from Glasgow, a Glaswegian and so on. In India, one from Mumbai will be called a Mumbaikar, from Delhi, a Delhiwala, and so on. I live in a city in Maharashtra in India called Pune. A resident will be called Punekar.

That preamble was to introduce you to a new word that I learnt today.

*”Ultracrepidarian”*

It is defined as “a person having  the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of his knowledge or competence.”

Instead of that tongue twister, Maharashtrians, that is, people who live in Maharashtra, India, will simply call a person of that nature a Punekar.

For my readers, I think that I am an exception that proves the rule.  What do you think?

Good News After A Long Time.

Parts of our state had already received relaxation of lockdown rules last week but, our city and district was among those that did not as the daily covid cases were still high compared to the other parts.

Many businesses were suffering due to the lockdown rules and so their associations staged protests in many places which obviously registered with our political masters. After consulting so called experts a relaxation has been announced with effect from this morning.

Here is the news item announcing the same.

The lockdowns may have prevented further spread of the pandemic but the price that ordinary people have had to pay in terms of loss of earnings and employment has been very high. I personally know of cases where housewives have had to go to work as domestics or start catering services from home to keep up with mortgage payments and to meet other domestic expenses.

With this easing of the conditions, I hope that the economic situation of our city and state will start to recover.

Friendship!

I have known AC for near half a century and we have been colleagues on two occasions too. We exchange messages on WhatsApp everyday without fail and usually they are either messages that inspire or tickle our funny bones.

Today he sent me a message in Marathi and English, reading as follows.

एके काळचा पुण्यातला पेन्शनर. 🙂

Resembling you. 🙂

These messages inculded an image:

The Marathi part of the message translates to: “Experienced Veteran Pensioner of Pune.”

Pune, the city where both of us live now, used to be called “The Pensioners’ Paradise” when we first moved in 1990. While there are many features of that lifestyle still available, the city has changed into a modern one like any other Indian big city with large industries and Information Technology organisations.

I suspect that what AC means is that he believes that I have been a pensioner ever since I moved to Pune thirty years ago! In other words, although we were colleagues for five of them, I never worked and just got paid for attending office!

Some friend!

Another Outing.

My beard trimmer conked out and I had to go to the manufacturer’s service station located at a distance of 12 Kms from my home. I put on a mask, got into an autorickshaw, and went off to see a bit of Pune that I had not seen for near four years.

It was a great experience passing through many landmarks on the way that brought back many memories of my more mobile days and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive to and from the Service Center. So much so that the driver of the auto even asked if I was new to Pune!

The place that I  had to go to is called Swargate and I was simply amazed at the changes that have taken place during the time that I had not visited that area. The major junction is now free of the long waits at the signal due to the flyovers that have come up and we were able to go pretty fast to where I had to go after the main junction.

The icing on the cake was the excellent customer service that I received at the Service Center and the very considerate driver of the auto who drove efficiently, helped me in and out of the auto and over all kept me entertained throughout the adventure.

An outing that has given me the necessary impetus to be more adventurous from now on and more importantly the confidence to my son and daugher in love that I can still be left alone to my devices!

Medical practice today.

Today’s topic has been suggested by Padmini who apparently has been inspired by this image doing the rounds in social media.

I have little to add to what the good doctor has to say but, let me share a personal story that my readers have already read earlier here.

Let me share another story that I have never shared publicly before.

During surgery for a revision to one of my replaced hip joints I collapsed and had to be revived and looked after in an ICU for a few days post surgery. This was in one of Pune’s renown hospitals and I recovered quite satisfactorily. When the bill was presented before discharge however, I was shocked to see items that should not have been there at all. I refused to pay and when told that I would not be discharged if I did not, I volunteered to stay on there indefinitely. I informed my surgeon about this who too was appalled at this and had to intervene with the hospital’s management to get those items removed and a fresh bill prepared. In all fairness to the surgeon he did not let me down and for my next revision, he operated in another hospital where I received excellent care, and more importantly no attempts at ripping me off took place.

These two stories show both sides of the divide. The money making non caring side of one set of people involved in medicine and the the caring and ethical behaviour of another set of people in the same business.

Unfortunately, the non caring money making side of medical practice today seems to be more prevalent now than the latter.

Having said that however, I must admit that I am blessed in that I have excellent medical resources, two within my immediate family, one GP who is also a personal friend, an amazing Psychiatrist who too has now become a friend and the orthopaedic surgeon mentioned in both the stories to whom I free access whenever I need. Thanks to these wonderful people in my life, I have not been led up the garden path except for the two occasions mentioned above and now I am confident that with these resources batting for me, I will escape future rip offs.

Sadly, most of us do not have such resources and will face unprincipled behaviour from the practice and that is sad.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

The School Bell.

I suppose that this should really be called a gong but, this is actually a bell similar to the one used in this post.

For the past thirty years, if I over sleep, at 5.00 am, I am woken up by this bell ringing ten times. I can’t think of even one day when it did not.

My home lies directly across from a boarding school. The school existed much before our neighbourhood was colonised and residential homes came along and has a tradition going back to more than five decades. When we first moved in, we could see the buildings and the play ground as there was no wall around it as it does now. As more buildings came up around the area, the school put up a wall and on my advice to prevent drug pushers selling drugs over the wall to students, raised further by corrugated sheets. This has prevented us seeing the children play there but, at least, we are sure that corrupting influences do not operate from our side of the wall.

The bell is rung to wake up the boarders but is rung even when the school is shut down for vacations. Many years ago, I had strolled across to the Principal to ask why the bell rang even during vacations and he said that though most of the students would have gone home for the vacations a few would remain whose parents were overseas or to attend extra classes to catch up with the curricula that they would have not been able to during the regular classes. Made sense to me.

Apparently, some neighbours complained about the bell in the mornings and even tried to get a legal stay order but on finding out that the practice has been going on for much longer than the complainants moving in into the locality, the matter was dropped as other residents in the area actually welcomed the bell as it helped them either wake up themselves or their school going children.

This morning when I heard it, I was reminded of how even during the current lockdown the watchman of the hostel meticulously rings the bell every morning at exactly 5.00 am. I am in awe that he never over sleeps!

This post will be incomplete without one of my favourite poems.

For Whom The Bell Tolls.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

~ John Donne.

Considering the background that I have given in this post, I would however alter the poem to fit the context.

For Whom The Bell Rings.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s awakening enhances me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell rings,
It rings for thee.