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.

Favourite Foods And Memorable Eating Places.


That is a typical South Indian meal served on a plantain leaf which would rank as my all time favourite food.

I hope that my fellow 6/1 bloggers Conrad and Shackman get an opportunity to try that experience.

Having been on expense account travelling jobs during my working days, I had enough opportunity to eat in some of the world’s most well known restaurants and more so within India. I have also been blessed with so many friends all over who insisted on feeding me home cooked meals that it will be impossible for me to list all those as well as choose the most memorable except for the few cases right in the beginning of my sales career in rural India when I had to visit villages and towns without restaurants and so the local customers hosted me meals in their homes. Those experiences are simply unforgettable and I can hold forth on them for hours if opportunity presents itself.

I live in Pune which is famous for its street and restaurant food and during my younger and working days, I could gorge myself on street food and never have home cooked meals for days together other than break fast of course. Here is a look at some of the food in my home town.

Those days are gone now and I don’t relish eating out any more. I prefer meeting my friends for lunch at my local club which is centrally located and convenient for all to reach with plenty of parking space too. The club serves different cuisines, many types of Indian, Continental and Chinese and so the guests have a variety of choices. I normally satisfy myself with a soup, a couple of sandwiches and an ice cream to finish off the meal. My major meal has been breakfast now for many years and lunch the only other meal that I have is a small in quantity affair.

I hope that I have generated enough curiosity and interest in my taste in food for my readers to try out some and if it is Pune that they would like to try, I would be delighted to host them.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman 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.

Lockdown 2.

Since 1200 midnight we are back in a lockdown due to alarming rise in the number of cases of covid reported and treated in our city. We were just getting slowly back to normal and this is a googly if ever one was.

Since early this morning, we are back to the beginning of our lockdown experience of no traffic or little and hearing nature’s sounds. The three of us at home sharing houesehold chores as the help will not come during this lockdown.

The lockdown is expected to last till the 23rd of this month.

I am not looking forward to it though, this time around, the supply of newspapers will not be stopped and so I can have my mornings occupied. The first problem has cropped up with our washing machine going on the blink and the mechanic not being able to come to attend to it. He is trying to get a pass to come over and we are hoping that he will be able to.

I hope that my readers are faring better.