Memory Trigger 16 – The Walking Stick.

This article in the Guardian, naturally took me back to early 1981 when I had to start using a walking stick to navigate my way around due to both my hip joints giving me trouble.

For the past 36 years plus now, I have been using a walking stick whenever I leave home, even if it is just to our grocer across the road. I simply cannot imagine my being able to be without one outside my home.

Here is a collection of walking sticks that wait for me just near the main door to the house.


I pick one as I leave and choose the one most appropriate for the trip I am making. For instance, if it is to the local park, I will choose the black one with the strap, or the brown one with the brass handle if I am going for a formal meeting.

I have a few more stored away in the attic, notably a pair of elbow crutches which I have to use immediately after surgery for revision to the replaced hip joints.

There is a story behind the brass handled walking stick. A friend winding up his longish stay and returning from the UK to India, bought it as a gift for me in London. On his presenting it to me, I discovered that it was made in India, by the engraving at the bottom of the crocodile shaped handle! It went all the way to London and came back to me in Pune! You can imagine the embarrassment that it caused my friend.

One of the advantages of being with a walking stick is the readiness with which people help with seats, places in queues etc. It is also a nice way to identify myself to strangers to look out for a grey bearded old man with a walking stick. It never fails!

Food For Thought.

When I looked around for an inspiring thought for today, I found this image in the internet.

This took me on a different quest for something that I had read some time ago. Let me give my own reactions to the five regrets listed there for this post.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

I honestly believe that I have lived my life as it evolved without ever wanting to change it and welcoming events as they took place. Perhaps that is why, I have come to this three score and ten plus years stage with hardly any stress which surprises the medical profession no end.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

I never worked “so” hard. And, I am not being facetious at all. When I worked I enjoyed every moment of it.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

This has been a weakness but not something that I would regret as not having had the courage. I would say that I was concerned about the other’s feelings and so avoided expressing my own feelings. There have however been instances when I had indeed expressed my feelings without any restraint when those feelings were on the positive side.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

As my readers well know, I have and so this is not a regret that I have at all.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I have let myself be a happy person and bar those unfortunate losses which gave me sadness, my life has by and large been a happy one.

At the end of the Guardian article this question is asked “What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?”

My answer is simple. I lost my wife too soon. I have no big ambitions left and no desires to change anything. My oft repeated prayer is a Sanskrit one which simply asks for a death that is no trouble to me or my near and dear ones and a life without penury. I have the latter and hope that I will get the former too.

As a post script, let me add another paragraph to discuss the contents of the image given above. Among the unstated regrets that most men have in their lives is one that is rarely if ever openly admitted to. They would like to lead lives as depicted in the song Wandering Star and My Way. Highly impractical former and possible but not likely in the latter. I too have had my share of longing for both and like to hear the songs every now and then just to go gaga! I am sure that there must be songs with similar thoughts for women and I will appreciate some of my readers leading me to them.

Pravin had suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

Fasting.

I personally do not fast but many Indians fast regularly and there are different types of fasts.    I do not consume any cooked food after sun set and if I feel hungry I may just eat some fruits.  Mostly, I restrict myself to just two meals a day and may have some nuts / dry fruits for a snack in between meals.

Fasting is a very integral part of the Indian way of life and members of all the religions follow their own fasting rules and regulations.

For some time now, I have been contemplating fasting for a full 24 hours during one day every week and am much enthused with what I have just found here.

When I start, which I will after I consult my doctor the next time I visit him, I shall inform my readers about what happens.

fasting

Do you fast?

To Keep Or Not To Keep!

The Guardian has an article about some things to do in 2015 among which this paragraph has caused a bit of a dilemma for me!  Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.29.58 PM

There is an interesting description there about being a “lumbersexual”, which intrigues me more. I don’t work at Nerdery, nor am a barhopper. But I do wear checked shirts and keep a beard. I don’t look anything like the models featured in the article, but if push came to shove I can work a Mac as well as a Nerd though I don’t carry in in a backpack. I drink one mug of coffee a day and two mugs of tea, so I can pass for the requirement in that department.

brutus

The dilemma is in taking off the beard. So, this is a poll. Should I keep or not keep my beard in 2015? At the end of the poll, I am unlikely to take off the beard because I am just too lazy to shave everyday, but the poll should be interesting!

Much Ado About Nothing.

When I wrote All Hope Abandon Ye Who……., I either missed it or it was not mentioned in the article that led me to write that article that the survey covered only hipsters! Now let me quote from another interesting article in the Guardian – “The reason this was deemed newsworthy is because beards have become what we in the fashion column-writing business call A Thing, and the reason they have become A Thing is because they have become associated with a certain demographic called hipsters.”

This was in response to a reader writing in with this question – “As a near lifelong beard sporter, I was concerned to read an article in the Guardian last week saying that we have reached “peak beard”. What does this mean, exactly?
Jimmy, London”

I was intrigued enough to try and find our what hipster meant and must say that I am very relieved that I am not one. “Hipster is a term popularly used to denote a contemporary subculture in North America, South America, Australia, and Europe primarily consisting of Millennials living in urban areas.The subculture has been described as a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior[s]” and is broadly associated with indie and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store-bought clothes), progressive, independent, or far-left political views, organic or artisanal foods, and alternative lifestyles. Hipsters are typically described as affluent or middle class young Bohemians who reside in gentrifying neighborhoods.” – Wikipedia.

None of those qualifications apply to me, and I mean NONE. Particularly, the affluent part living in gentrifying neighbourhood.

To the best of my knowledge, my friends, Shackman, David and Mike don’t qualify either.

It is therefore greatly satisfying to me that I have not reached peak beard and therefore can keep my beard. So can my three friends listed above.

That leads me to the next development which was for my to change my avatar to one with a peruke following a suggestion from Grannymar. Now that my trademark beard is safe, I can revert to my normal avatar.

An interesting thought however is the suggestion in the article that “the only really impressive thing a man can do with facial hair is growing a Salvador Dalí-like moustache”. Let me see how that will look!
Salvador-Dali-Smiley-Face-Accessories

Sexual Harassment.

I was under the impression that Indian cities were the worst in the world for women due to sexual harassment that they face. Here is a sobering thought about the situtation. It is also another fact that among all the cities in India, Delhi is the worst with one in four registered complaints coming from that city, our capital.

So, this article in the Guardian came as a complete surprise to me. My memory of the London of my visits had not prepared me for this shocking news.

Our two capitals seem to compete with each other for the fist place.

What is it that drives these men to such despicable acts? The most reasonable answer that I have received is that they are frustrated in their personal lives and take it out on women who are perceived to be easy targets and fair game. I suspect that there is more. In the case of India, single men migrate to cities to seek some kind of employment not available to them in their native towns or villages and are subject to loneliness, and also the very suggestive Indian films and television programs that make it appear as though securing the attention of women is very easy.

Whatever the reason, quite why this should happen in London is beyond my understanding. Continue reading “Sexual Harassment.”