Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Padmum and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get nine different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by gaelikaa.

I choose to address the topic for today from this definition of the word ‘conflict’:
“Mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands.”

I suspect that this is what gaelikaa has in mind too!

I have no conflicts as defined above, other than one. What is the only conflict that assails me?

The need to be free of all responsibilities, to enjoy my retirement, the way I had imagined it would be.

I had planned to retire at the age of 50, but was unable to till 52. At 52, our son had finished his studies and had started to work towards making a career in his chosen field of Multi Media. I suggested to my late wife that it was time that we implemented our retirement plan and start out traveling. She balked and suggested that we postpone till our son ‘settled down’. As ever, being the obedient husband, I deferred to her suggestion. But, I was bored and grabbed an opportunity for re-employment and did not look back till I was 57. At that respectable age, retirement got postponed indefinitely as my wife took ill and I had to look after her. When I was 66, my father finally retired and had no place to go to, and I invited him to come and stay with us. My wife decided that she had had enough, and decided to leave us, leaving me holding my father’s hands. He has not mentioned it, but I don’t think that this was his idea of retirement either!

As I write this, I am still holding his hands, and am no where near implementing the plans that I had so elaborately drawn up when I was in my forties.

My undertaking towers over me like a great big monolith.

It is too huge to reflect on. So, I think that I will simply go and surf the internet.

Any conflict seeks resolution. How do I reconcile this conflict. Enter Nietzsche and his wonderful Amor Fati.

I have left the resolution of my solitary conflict in Ganesha’s capable hands and have reconciled to achieving my retirement when He chooses.

Revival Of The Whine Bar?

I live in a Co-operative Housing Society consisting of twelve flats (apartments, for my American friends). It is a nice cozy little society and all the residents are quite friendly with each other. All of us, except two have been here from the time the society was formed. Out of the two, one is a member who joined us just four years ago and one has been leased out by the member to someone who is not very sociable with the rest of us.

One member, recently has sold his flat and has relocated to Mumbai. He and his wife came to take leave of me yesterday and he tried to explain the reason for his move. To cut a long story short, he wanted to move back to Mumbai because most of his family was still there and in his old age, he simply wanted to be closer to them. It was a bit annoying though, as he was whining about how Pune has changed for the worse, and how he hoped that in his new Mumbai suburb he will be happier.

Pune was considered to be the pensioner’s paradise when we moved in here. We came via Bengaluru and Mumbai and many other postings before that, with Mumbai being the longest and the most stays. I was in a transferable job then and as a routine, we would relocate every thirty or thirty six months, sometimes at shorter durations too. For most other Pune residents, coming to settle down in Pune was purely for economic and health reasons. One could sell a flat in Mumbai for a ransom and buy a much bigger flat in Pune for much less than the sale price at Mumbai and this enabled many to live comfortable retired lives in Pune. Pune with its very moderate climate and laid back life style was a wonderful place to live in. It no longer is due to “Development and Progress”.It is still better than say Bengaluru though!

The normal topic of conversation when the older citizens get together in parks or social occasions is how Pune has changed and what can be done now that half the benefit of moving to Pune has disappeared. I call these “whining sessions”. I normally do not like to whine about this and voice my opinion that having made our beds, we must sleep on them.

My neighbour’s recent whine in the reverse direction and with the plea that I should also consider shifting back to Mumbai reminded me about Conrad’s whine bar. If he revives that, I can assure him of a lot of traffic from many Punekars (People from Pune), who I shall forward with great glee to his blog. Game Conrad?

Retirement – Fantasy And Reality II.

To my post of yesterday Ursula has offered her comments as under.

“Ramana, that photo is cruel. I am such a nice person I actually delete rubbish shots of my nearest and dearest as not to hurt their feelings in public.

Retirement? What retirement? I DO NOT WANT TO RETIRE! The trick is to do all your life what you want to do. Follow your star, as one of you recently said (I think it was you, Gaelikaa) even if we find ourselves in the gutter at times – as I did about twelve months ago. And, yes, I know it doesn’t always work like that: Even I do the odd rubbish assignment to pay the next electricity bill. But at least I am not caged in only to then be released at age 65 with a handshake and some rubbish present that I my son most certainly won’t wish to inherit.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not knocking any of your achievements and the relief you feel when you reach that magical age. But, looking at it brutally, it’s one hell of a life to live only to look forward to retirement. Naturally, the lucky ones are those in old money who can do what they like at their leisure.

My father, most my friends, I, we love what we do. I don’t even have a pension fund because I’ll “work” till I drop. I do what I like when I like. I don’t need anyone’s permission to do what I want to do. It’s a luxury. Like having space. Though naturally being freelance/self employed as opposed to being sent into retirement at a specified date does require some nerve.”

My response is as follows:

“What is cruel about it? I sit like that and doze quite often. He is blissfully unaware of what is going on around him. He is full of beer, a good pub lunch and is sleeping in warm sunlight on a lovely summer afternoon. Look at it from his point of view. Total bliss! Ranjan has taken some photographs of me, sleeping in most unusual postures and I hesitate to post them lest I offend the aesthetic sense of some of my readers like Maynard and Gail.

I have not retired from living. On the contrary, I believe that now I am living the kind of life that I should have lived had I been in old money. Retirement does not mean not doing anything. That is an impossible situation. One cannot live not doing anything. Let me illustrate. Normally, I go to bed around 2130 hrs. Recently, a friend of mine from California got me on the IM and the two of us were at it for about an hour, so much so that my sister who saw that I was online sent me an SMS scolding me for either being up so late or for not having turned the computer off! When I SMSd her back she said okay have fun and backed off!. So, some days, I sleep a little late, catch up the next day, may be get up later than usual, take off to up the mountains for a drive or whatever whenever the mood takes me.

The freedom to be able to accommodate these things after a life time of working watching the clock is what is nice about retirement. Particularly so, if there is enough in the bank and some pension keeps coming in and you can pay all your bills and send some gifts to friends and relatives, buy a few books, send for some exotic food or spices or whatever etc. And most importantly, I can now say ‘No’ to many things without hesitating.

So, these are my stars that I follow. One that I am following is to dance with you in the rain in London! It will happen. The chances of it happening when I was working, was a big fat zero. Now, I have got plenty of space around me, subject to the restrictions that I have placed on myself regarding the care that I give to my father, purely voluntarily.

The pension that I am talking about is from a corpus that will revert to my son on my death, it is not from tax payers’ funds. I am not in old money. I shall however ensure that my son is in old money. That is another star that I followed and have made a reality, whereas my son says, “go live off your capital old man, I shall fend for myself”. Tempting indeed. See the difference?

The other aspect of my working life was not that I worked to retire. Far from it. I enjoyed my work fully, continue to enjoy the benefits that accrued to me then in the form of a net work of friends and associates, but to be honest, there were days that I said to myself, man, I wish that I can retire now. I enjoyed my life then, I enjoy it now and I hope to continue to do so till I pop off. (BHB, are you reading?)”


Retirement – Fantasy And Reality.

I was recently introduced to a couple of friends, Greg and Joy who are about to retire shortly.  This post has been inspired by the brief chat that I had with Greg on the subject and it is dedicated to Joy.  Joy, Greg will need a lot of you after retirement.

“Retirement, a time to enjoy life! A time to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, how you want to do it.” – Catherine Pulsifer.

That is one way of looking at retirement. Another, more realistic way is this.

My life’s ambition was to retire at fifty and laze around.

Number one reality, I simply could not. I could do so when I was 52. So, I set about planning for the financial side of it by trying to encash my unproductive assets into productive ones so that I can laze around.

Number two reality. Man proposes and God disposes. Someone came into my life and made an offer that I could not refuse. Yes somewhat like being able to avoid the financial rejig. So, back to work I went for another thirty months and retired again. This time to really just lie around and laze around generally enjoying life and putting on weight.

Number three reality. Another someone came along and made another offer that I could not refuse and I went back to work for a year. This time when I retired, it was for good as matters at home became unmanageable and I had to take charge. Since then, except for a six month revisit to implement second phase of the project that I had started, I have been in retirement from a nine to five routine but far from being able to live the way Catherine Pulsifer thinks retired people should.

So, Greg, I hope that you are reading this. Be prepared to meet with unexpected demands from totally strange developments in your life. They will come your way and when they do, just remember this GOM’s prediction. Catherine’s kind of retirement may happen, and if it does you can be like this:
Old ageIn my case, the grey hair and no hair have sort of kept pace with each other too!

Two New Jokes To Lighten Up This Blog Again.

My last post on Tavleen Singh’s article, showed me that my readers are more practical about these matters than perhaps I am. I shall therefore restrict this blog to posts that should either bring about nostalgia, like my last one about Britannia or tickle the funny bones of my readers. Everynow and then, I shall of course post some human interest articles too.

Here are two new jokes that came my way just this morning. I know that there are some veterans out there reading this blog, like Mike and they should find one of them really hilarious and the other should appeal to all my readers as being universal.


The Navy found they had too many officers and decided to offer an early retirement bonus. They promised any officer who volunteered for Retirement a bonus of $1,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any Two points in his body.. The officer got to choose what those two points would be.

The first officer who accepted asked that he be measured from the top of His head to the tip of his toes. He was measured at six feet and walked out with a bonus of $72,000.

The second officer who accepted was a little smarter and asked to be measured from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes. He walked Out with $96,000.

The third one was a non-commissioned officer, a grizzly old Chief who, when asked where he would like to be measured replied, ‘From the tip of my weenie to my testicles.’

It was suggested by the pension man that he might want to reconsider, explaining about the nice big checks the previous two Officers had received.

But the old Chief insisted and they decided to go along with him providing the measurement was taken by a Medical Officer.

The Medical Officer arrived and instructed the Chief to ‘drop ’em,’ which He did. The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of the Chief’s weenie and began to work back. Dear Lord!’ he suddenly exclaimed, ‘Where Are your testicles?’

The old Chief calmly replied, ‘ Vietnam’.

Fool proof Best Friend Test.
If you don’t believe it, just try this.

Put your dog and your spouse in the trunk of the car for an hour.

When you open the trunk, who’s happy to see you?