Thursday, August 15, 2019

REUNION- FOUR DECADES LATER

It was the decade of the seventies when the toddlers who had morphed into boys and girls were into one of the schools which was an upcoming one. By the end of the decade, it was time to bid a farewell into the new realm of high school. Time flew and brought a chasm which appeared hard to fill. Burying emotions and having fleeting memories, the entire group moved on with little or no contact. Early nineties saw a strange encounter which is detailed in https://blendingvoices.blogspot.com/2008/09/strange-encounter.html and sowed the seeds for a possible reunion.

It is said "Man proposes and God disposes". The cherished memories and the scope of a reunion also faded into the inner realms of the mind only to surface occasionally. Then came the college reunion detailed in https://blendingvoices.blogspot.com/2013/08/gundi-haaku-88-trip-down-memory-lane.html

The facebook accounts opened for the college reunion was leveraged to find a couple of friends. Six years down the lane, a chance encounter with one little lad who resembled the most popular prankster of the class led yours truly to his home. The meeting with this lad named after a famous freedom fighter brought to surface the plant of reunion. Over a period of four months efforts were made to reconnect with not much success.

It was again the social media which came to the rescue with one request leading to another that the numbers crossed the double digit in a week's time. Chat messages and telephone calls set the reunion in motion. The fact that two of them were to be in town from the United States acted as a catalyst. The spanner in the works came in the form of an itinerary clash which was ironed out by one of them volunteering to defer his exit from India by a day.

This move sealed the date virtually motivating one of them stationed outside to also express the intention to join the gathering. Suddenly, the reunion not only appeared to be a reality but the possibility of trying to get all of them together was ambitiously thought of. Couple of mini get-togethers later, the informal network was so enthused by one of them who headed an MNC's sales operations in India that the networking moved to the whatsapp mode. The numbers were reaching the quarter century mark under the tagline "four decades later." An ex- service man ensured that the plans fell in place by pitching in with his ideas and volunteering to bear with yours truly's forgetful ways.

The D-Day approached nearer and the ex- service man tried to rope in the teachers as well as more contacts. The surprise was that the D-Day turned out to be the Founder's birthday too. Converging on the school for a birthday celebration, the men and women left for lunch exactly as they left school four decades back excitedly with no control over the decibels. Vision impairment of one of them did not come in the way of the bonding and soon the tables at the restaurant was a classroom reminiscent of the remark "This is not a fish market". After all the numbers stood at the last of the teens and fruition of the plant was savoured in full measure with at least half a dozen of the girls matching the boys getting together which was a feat by itself considering that one came from abroad and another travelled around 500 kms for the reunion.

Assuring ourselves that we had never had a better day, the parting shot came with the remark "Definitely not four decades later". Will the meet again be sooner or will it never happen again can be answered by Father Time. The photographs remain to tell the tale of the reunion for years to come.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

TAKING A LITTLE OF EACH OTHER

A wail is heard in the labour room and as joy radiates on the newborn's mother's face, we hear questions "whom does the child resemble?" The child grows and we speak of the gestures and mannerisms being identical to another individual ranging from parents, uncles, aunts, cousins et al. Adolescence and adulthood imprints the generational Mr/Ms X as the case may be with the likelihood of this child passing on some genetic traits to another new born. This is scientifically established fact too.

In this journey, one encounters many persons with different facets. Icons from the peer group, the traits of beloved friends and unconscious absorption of the traits of ones who have influenced the moulding of the character over a period of time get assimilated into oneself.

As a child, any comparison to someone else would infuriate yours truly who believed that uniqueness was bestowed on this blessed individual. But in a decade's time evolved a nephew born of a paternal cousin sister who resembled his father in totality but in a side view or profile view startled one out of the skin with his resemblance to yours truly. In another decade another cousin from the maternal side emerged who in his adolescence was dubbed my twin. Science of genetics played its role in humbling yours truly's bloated ego.

As years rolled on we parted ways at school and college. Reunion time rolled in. the surprise of surprises was that close chums not only reminisced their days but retained a nugget from their bosom friends with whom they had parted ways over a decade ago as a trait as validated by their spouses. This brought to the fore another friendship which is treasured and chronicled in the posts



We realized that we were on different paths with different goals. We were separated as chalk from cheese. A shy reserved person had morphed into a social animal while another boisterous kid had emerged as a responsible parent and caretaker. But all retained that trait that they had borrowed from their bosom friend who also retained that trait he had shared. This would baffle even the geneticists but as they say one is to be judged by the company you keep. 

Time rolled when a childhood friend who had parted ways decades ago dropped in to invite us for her daughter's wedding. The invite in itself was embedded with the traits imbibed from my mother in her childhood days.

This is a tribute to Tim Mc graw who could put it so succintly

We all take different paths, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other

Saturday, June 1, 2019

SPECIALIST V POLYMATH

The World Cup is in motion and a new debate has opened up. Do generalists prevail over specialists? A thought provoking question indeed!


In the gentlemen's game there are many who eulogised Don Bradman, there were others who swore by Muthaiah Muralitharan but as we glean the pages of history we find the ones whom people turn to in times of crises are men like Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham or Imran Khan. The all rounder in them putting general fundas way above any of the specialization is felt.



We wade through a hospital for a diagnosis where a simple pain is referred to a neurologist who says nerves are normal. Thereafter a reference is made to a rheumatologist who says it is a spasm where as a general physician would say it at first shot. But is there a choice?


We enter an office for a redressal. We are told the grievance is right but only the computer specialist can say how to redress it on the system. Another example of forgetting basics to specialize.


The higher studies as it is called was to enhance the knowledge in a particular field and not to ignore the fundamentals. Imagine a Chartered Accountant stating that he can audit but cannot pass a journal entry or a Cost Accountant stating that he can only read costing and cost centres. 



Closer home, imagine the lady of the house stating that she is a specialist in turning out a single dish and would only do that while a cook needs to be hired for the others or a housemaid stating that she is an expert in mopping while sweeping is a different department.



As one goes on the truth emerges that a more complete polymath is definitely the need of the hour while specialization should add value to the polymath and not erode his basic value.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

GANDHI'S DREAM WALK

The prompt on the Indiblogger site by Durgaprasad Dash, the reading of the riveting fictional piece The Madhigattan Encounter and yours own truly's repeated blogs on Gandhi having settled into the deep sub conscious with the remark that Godse was a patriot brought sweet slumber to the thoughts. 

It was an emotional connect as Gandhi walked up with his stick in hand and asked with a toothless smile, "Would you like to travel around the Mahaan Bharat?" Affably holding his hand, I asked him which place should I book the flight and for what time. He smiled and said, "You should learn to walk with the multitude to appreciate our nation". Soon we were on our way and desperate to keep upto his pace as we wandered down the urban streets, we ambled into a street cum cricket pitch. One of the boys was pleading that it was time to go home while the other remarked, "Oh this great Gandhi wants to study to the mirthful laughter of the boys. The young lad first got wild and then sobbed. Gandhi walked up to him and said, "Be brave my boy. Learn to do the right things without hurting others". The boy flew into a rage and said, " It is easy for you to play act Gandhi but do you know they are insulting me by calling me Gandhi?". 

Perplexed, I told him that Gandhi was the Father of the nation to a quick repartee "That is fine for a history exam but not to be called one by your friends". Reprimanding the boy for not knowing that he was called by a legend and apologizing to the toothless grin of the aged man, we moved forward.

We neared a gathering which was debating the issues that plague the country. Their was an unanimity in the youth gathered that Gandhi partitioned the country to give the crown to Nehru. The cause for the Kashmir imbroglio, the partition of Punjab and Bengal was laid at Gandhi's door. Embarrassed that the people were talking ill of him without recognizing the man beside me, I ventured to correct course telling them- "History can be analysed in hindsight but to decide as contemporaries would be a different ball game". The retort came with a huge dollop of sarcasm " We have had enough of that Gandhi and the subsequent Gandhis - they will be wiped out of history books"

Unknowingly, I exchanged a glance with the Mahatma. He smiled and said, " I agree that there is a time and place for everything. Today, Gandhi is not needed anymore. We do not have the British too. So let us move on."

At an election rally, "Godse is a patriot." Gandhi was the lone voice to say "I agree". A quizzical look elicited the gentle response, " Do not get emotional. He felt that I created the Pakistan and gave them too much. Bharatmata was in his mind as he only used his weapon to slay the person causing damage to her in his perspective."

I asked him, "Hey Ram. How can you say that of him?". He said, "The British thought they were good for India. We thought they cannot rule over us. One is always on one side of the divide. To be a visionary one must be able to see both sides of the divide. Partition became inevitable since the British hastened the Independence process when the Muslim League and the Congress were not on the same page. When one gets the credit for leadership the failures also should be in his account. We did succeed in getting political Independence but we have yet to get the cultural Independence as we have forgotten our roots. We need to appreciate everyone's view but take an appropriate balanced decision."

We moved into a village and soon Gandhi wanted to relieve himself. I took him to a swacch toilet which was constructed with his fundamental ideology. He smiled and said, " So India still needs Gandhi to clean it". He went in and did not return. As I banged the door of the toilet, it swung open and I closed my eyes and shouted, "Sorry, Gandhiji" only to be told not to shout in the middle of the night.

Thank Lord. Gandhi only wanted a walk through in my dream and not in real life as the walk in the dream itself had my joints aching. "What a man!" I thought to myself "still looming large after 70 years of his demise while we find it difficult to make even a small dent anywhere. Perspective differs over time!!! 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

INSPIRATIONAL BOOKS?

Books maketh a man. The legendary Francis Bacon laid down the maxim reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man. For him everything that could be read was inspiring and motivational. In the recent past there is a new category of writers who have held fort as motivational writers leading to some of these books becoming best sellers.

The prompt on the Indiblogger site by Vartika Gopal inspired this post. First google the best motivational books and one site listed ten of the must read ones. None in fact had caught the attention of yours truly till this time. The question then was as to whether one could comment on the usefulness of these books without reading them.

Robin Sharma's The Monk who sold his Ferrari and Who will cry when you die are probably the feeblest attempts to read the motivational category of books. However, books by themselves are motivating. Gandhi held the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata close to his heart. The Bhagvad Gita which inspired him does not figure in this list. Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China, Menachem Begin's The Revolt or Tolstoy's War and Peace which inspired a mind like Nelson Mandela do not find a place in this category. The Complete Works of Mahatma Gandhi which inspired Martin Luther King or his I have a Dream which inspired Barrack Obama do not find as much as a mention under this category.

The solace is that while the story of Rip Van Winkle inspired Martin Luther King to chase a dream, it had also inspired me to consider sleep to be a gift of God. This revelation drove home the fact that any book can inspire a mind which is willing to act and not be even a source of unwinding for many others. The inspiration I have derived from the Panchatantra, the Jataka Tales, or from stories of Birbal and Tenali Rama are no less. 

The difference lies in the reader. Can he absorb and motivate himself by any book or search for a book which will bear the label inspiring is a choice of the reader. No book or writing can be ignored. They are inspiring if the mind is receptive. After all, the Bhagvad Gita was not propounded in isolation though directed at Arjuna intended for all to appreciate. An Arjuna grasps the potential while Bhishma savours it from a distance the rest of the multitude is immersed in the material thought as to why the war is being deferred.

After all it is not for nothing that George Harrision penned :It's all in the mind.

Once the mind tunes to the content of the writing then the import is grasped and it has its benefits let alone uses.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

MATERIALISM AND NOBLE PROFESSIONS

An infant looks up to its mother for the gospel truth. Years pass by and as a tiny tot on being corrected by a parent, pat comes the reply, "My teacher has taught like this only." Later we look at a peer group for worldly wisdom. The search for a mentor would mean that we still admit learning is a process where the taught requires a teacher. As a nation we place "Guru" over God. In fact in one of the devotional poems, Kabir rests the balance in favour of the teacher, thus

                                   गुरू गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पांय।
                                   बलिहारी गुरू अपने गोविन्द दियो बताय।।

In short, he says that if the teacher and God appear together, he would choose to prostrate before the teacher first as it was he who led him to God. Then what makes a Guru materialistic?

The story of Drona of Mahabharata portrays this quintessential aspect. In the court of Drupada, Drona is insulted but none comes to his rescue even though he is the son of the fabled Rishi Bharadwaja who is one of the saptarishis. Rishi Bharadwaja also played host to Shri Ramachandra when the meeting with Bharata takes place. Thus, society at that stage also had made it clear that the Guru needs to fend for himself and his family. The Gurudakshina had to be fixed by him to protect his status. Compare this to the Gurukula system where  Guru Sandipani taught Krishna and Sudama. They revered the Guru and gave him their utmost so he did not need to seek.

If necessity is the mother of invention so is it the mother of many other children like materialism.

The other way to look at it is the convenience of expecting others to be having exemplary morals while we lack it ourselves. A teacher ought not to be materialistic. A doctor or a nurse should not bother about personal needs. A leader needs to sacrifice his needs for the public good. This reminds me of an essay in Hindi wherein the people put some others on a pedestal so as to avoid following the principles. Gandhi is conferred title of Mahatma. Jesus is eulogised as Son of God. Mohammed is turned Prophet. Nanak Dev is turned into a Guru. There is no dispute in conferring these titles but we reduce ourselves to common men and say that we are beyond such achievements or even an attempt to do the same. The matter does not stop there we also start questioning several such persons who attempt on why they do not lead a frugal life, sacrifice more or even prescribe standards which is nothing but an abashed display of our own base intentions.

Repeated onslaughts on these noble professions have led to the day when they have come to state that theirs too is a commercial profession. Who is to blame?

Let us mend our ways to facilitate them to regain their glory.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A LESSON IN BEREAVEMENT

Yours truly had the occasion to visit a nearby hospital and be greeted by a coffin making its exit with a score of wailing humans. The hospital was making its best efforts to console the bereaved and assuage the feelings of the other attendants. The scene was one which was common to most bereavements and our hearts went out to the unknown bereaved.

Couple of days later, yours truly was making his way down the home stretch. Barely a couple of lamp posts away from the beloved home, the sight of the mighty dog army raised the hackles and made one wonder whether it was wise to take the next step forward. At that point under the protective gaze of the adults, three pups made a ramp walk across the road. Fluffy white pups with brown patches altered the feeling from fear to endearment.

The pedestrians waited for the event to conclude. A two wheeler steered by a young lady swept past us and within seconds a crack was heard. The second pup lay motionless and bleeding profusely. Couple of men gestured to the lady to speed away which she obliged. Another told us to pick nearby stones as the dogs would now get aggressive.

The motionless crowd was given a lesson of their lives by the stray dogs!!!

The dogs moved in single file smelt the pup and in a disciplined manner moved to the sidewalk again. The mother (just cannot use the word bitch for the noble bereaved animal) shed a tear and moved the remaining pup to safety. No whimper! No bark!! No attack!!!

Pedestrians moved as the dogs held a silent conclave. A man picked the corpse and buried it as the dogs paid a tribute from a distance. 

Next morning, none of the stray dogs were found. They had moved in search of a safer haven. The mother returns once in a while to inspect the blood stain on the road from a distance.

Dignity in bereavement was in full display.

 A lesson to the mortal human - 

Nothing will change the me first attitude in the human, 
while the rest follow live and let live as a rule.


Sunday, March 3, 2019

TERRORISM- WAY FORWARD

Bullying, intimidating, instilling fear, creating a mob frenzy, harming physically and/ or mentally, causing injuries and if possible death - does this spell terror? Let us reflect upon our own actions. As adults we preach empathy, sensitivity, non violence et al but in reality we admire a bully and heap praises on his ability to create a space for himself. The victim is laughed at and ridiculed under the garb of making them macho. The result is that as a society we admire brute strength over most other qualities. The sports are made competitive with less of sportsmanship as the winner is admired and the loser loses sheen. At a latter stage a person who rides roughshod over others' sentiments is admired over a person who displays compassion. The former becomes a leader while the latter is not even deemed fit to be a follower.

Move over to entertainment, the physical prowess is bestowed with so much importance that the inevitable pummeling by the hero or the wielding of weapons is recognised as the trademark of gallantry. If life is such, in death we glorify people who die for a cause, confer martyrdom, celebrate such deaths with least sensitivity to the near and dear ones of the departed. We turn poetic in glorifying such deaths to the extent that one poet states that a flower would rather lie on the feet of a martyr rather than any other place including on a deity. How far can we go in this act of hypocrisy?

It is not that we never meet deaths of near and dear ones. At any given point of time there are thousands who are placed on ventilators when doctors have given up hope. Would there be a single case wherein the person on the bed is glorified to have made a valiant choice to exit? Every penny is scrambled to save the mortal. Hence, the moral is as a society we love to goad someone to sacrifice his life for our own safety or achievement of goals.

However, if the goal is averse to our own goals then the other person  inflicting such pain is a terrorist. In case he pursues our own goals then he is a warrior. 

Thus, the first step to eliminate terror is to eliminate this hypocrisy from each of our own selves and then attempt to inculcate the same in others. Would it be a more difficult task to admire a person who rides a bike on a footpath or jump a signal or to admire one who is able to provide timely assistance to a victim of such an accident? When will the society move from celebrating martyrdom to celebrating compassion. Will we ever return to felicitating a Florence Nightingale or a Dr. Kotnis or lesser souls who show their sensitivity to the needs of the others? Can we imagine felicitating a soldier of the Armed Forces who is able to bring home a terrorist alive or reform him? Will we confer on his the Mahavir Chakra?

The direction we have to move in is that while individual goals could clash, the explanation of a position would be better. This in no way means to belittle the valour of the Armed Forces but only is a desperate attempt to request the society to recognise them as human beings whose sentiments need respect and praise even when they do not die or face a hazard. 

The move needs to start at a tender age when a bully is set on the course of compassion. The victim is strengthened and steeled with living up to the laws of survival. Are there any takers for starting a movement on these lines? Can we eliminate terror by making it clear that the one who wants his life secure wants the other to lay his life down for his goals? 

Let us highlight the fact that Hitler went into a bunker while his soldiers died in battle for his Fatherland. Did not the cadre of Khalistanis shed their blood and lives for Bhindranwale who holed himself in the Golden Temple? Did not the cadre of Tamil Eelam not consume cyanide or become suicide bombers for Prabhakaran's goals while he entrenched himself in Jaffna? Was not the cadre of Taliban not deluding itself for the fancies of Osama Bin Laden who lived a royal life? Closer still is the case of Masood Azhar or the leadership of Naxals or the Maoists. This constant discourse could pave way for the reduction in terror cadres leading to ultimate elimination of terrorism as a political tool.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

TRADITION, RITUALS- ARE THEY MEANINGLESS?

At the crack of dawn one wakes up to a prayer, rubs his palms and soothes one's eyes - a tradition or a ritual handed down over generations. One can be dismissive about their utility or can glorify it. The question is where does the truth lie? (pun intended).

Even before the official dawn of science all living beings have explored various methods of upliftment. They also pass the learnings from such experiments to the generations later. However, not everything can be explained and understood as some things need to be experienced. It was this realization that made the great teacher in Vishnu Sharma to classify students as one who can grasp by hearing, another who can grasp by reciting, a third who can grasp by writing, a fourth who can grasp by performing and a fifth who will have to be taught through stories. It is for the last two categories that traditions were created as handed down as beliefs.

We use salt extensively. It is a preservative for humans while a destroyer for many other living forms. A bath in sea water was considered to be cleansing and today pranic healers tell us that the easiest health tip is to have a salt water bath. It was said salt should be minimized for consumption while can be taken on the skin level- the logic being to safeguard the good bacteria within while acting as a deterrent to others which seeks to make inroads.

Similarly, an early riser who finished his daily chores early was considered healthy. Performing of daily chores involved physical exertion which was an exercise for which we visit a gym at a cost. Drawing water, chopping wood, tilling the farm, cleaning the house or milking the cows or fetching milk - all involved the exertion physically with an emotional satisfaction.

The spreading of cowdung which is an accepted disinfectant on the floor which also acted as a room freshener and air conditioner was a tradition handed down and after a few generations people lost sight of its values and held on to it as a belief or ritual. It was not the fault of the person who handed it down but the lack of understanding of the person who picked it.

The tropical invite to the early sunshine and the need to keep out the evening heat probably was the reason which designed a east facing residence. The winds blowing north east and south west directions paved way for the natural ventilation. This design may not be universal in acceptance but suited the Indian topography. The lack of appreciation of the experienced wisdom behind this led to it being classified as dubious.

Moving forward to the designs made out of flours around the houses and within ensured the live and let live policy whereby the insects were given enough so as to not aspire for the human share. The vermilion and turmeric in the doorways were in fact insect repellants. Instead of smearing them, some aesthetic persons had innovatively placed designs which formed the basis for another belief.

Prostration, kneeling or touching another's feet was a combination of exercise and the cultivation of a sense of humility in people.

The turbans of the Sikh community was necessitated to keep their flowing hair under control. The need to cover the heads while entering a shrine was to prevent the hairfall in the common area. 

The needs to be distinct as a group also made religions adopt different symbols. In ancient civilizations it was not proper etiquette to question someone on certain status. The symbols indicated them. A bachelor would wear a two line thread and a married man a four line thread. A spinster would not sport a mangalsutra. On the arrival of an elder as a mark of respect the younger one would remove his angavastra and place it as a waistband. This is similar to the act of doffing the hat.

The tradition of fasting which unites all religions is meant to clean the digestive system at a physical level while it teaches one the value of food at a philosophical level. The tradition of having an alumni meet or a fest for a reunion is also replete with its emotional values.

Should one be charitable to the traditional readers of a blog by giving them a respite as charity is also a tradition? Of course, the broad hint taken till a further post on some more tradtions!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

WHAT WINS MORE HEARTS

Irony struck India hard. On a day commemorating St Valentine and celebrating love, a set of humans were brainwashed to carry a load of explosives to ram into a convoy to snuff lives of other men along with their own. Panelists mushroomed predictably to seek revenge while tributes were showered on the martyrdom of the lost souls. On the day of celebration of love hatred was preached without realising that media needs to hold emotions as it could sway emotions from one end to the other. The media need not rabblerouse for the Government to act but everyone wished to wear the patriotism on the sleeve as the hysteria whipped to ensure that anyone who did not tow this line was only a traitor.

Does not action speak louder than words? Is it necessary to mouth inanities as a preamble to action? Did the terrorist bellow that he would decimate two scores in one shot? What made the surgical strikes effective?

A single word of promise of retribution followed by an act which was unprecedented sent the message. But can anyone discount the fact that the message of love which was conveyed on an unscheduled stopover to greet the political leadership on a domestic affair or the condolences offered and the aid proferred when terror struck Pakistan made the task that much more difficult for them to combat us 

Was it not the Lahore bus trip which made the Kargil war easier for India? Was it not the Agra summit which exposed the real design of the neighbour? Love undoubtedly is a weapon which sharpens the shrapnels of an assault rifle. 

Let us move down to a more personal level. When does it hurt most? When an enemy strikes you or a friend or lover strikes you? The universal answer makes it clear that flexibility on opinions makes life easier for all.

But....

Adhering to this preaching is an art comparable to meditation. It is neither easy to forget or forgive. It is not easy for one to embrace a person who has hurt you. No wonder the Bushes, Stalins, Hitlers et al are overshadowed by the diminutive figures of Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr.

Can the Frontier Gandhi return to instil a sense of peace in the disturbed minds of the terrorists and the terror stricken? These men lived through more difficult times but could heal physical and emotional wounds. Can we just follow them- a multibillion dollar question of the American defence equipment industry to be answered.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

BY(E) GEORGE

Inspiring a tiny tot of less than four feet high and age in single digits to follow the current affairs is not a mean task. This was the ability of the man who signed as George Fernandes. Etched in memory is the lithe figure running up the stairs to mount a commercial building to address a crowd gathered and on finishing the address gliding away into the safety of the mob. Newspaper reading of the printed matter with gaping blank spaces and darkened sentences became a habit.

The historic strike era of the seventies wherein the siblings struck a chord with the labour forces is legendary as they became the darling of the masses. His brother Michael was famous amongst the PSU workers while the other Lawrence lived out the word of loyalty which is popularly filmed in British era movies. 

It is said the first impression is the best impression. This was probably the reason the later controversies surrounding him did not deter yours truly from admiring this man. As the offspring of a PSU worker the passions of the strikes and the poverty associated with it was experienced first hand but one must give it to these brothers in arms that they delivered what probably no other union leader delivered. The symphony of these brothers ended with the liberalisation era and one had to exclaim " How George morphed!"

Whether it was Samata or Jaya or any other controversy who can forget the galling decision of booting the multinationals out or embracing them in a latter version did not matter to the mind that was impressed at an impressionable age. The Alzheimer's disease or the unionists steering clear of him did not matter. The railwaymen forgetting the man who got them justice or the mute reaction of an administration which benefitted from his vision also was brushed aside as yours truly rose to say "By(e) George"

Sunday, January 27, 2019

TWIN DILEMMA

A visit by one of the twins named Ram and Lakshman sent us into childhood days, the envious collection of Amar Chitra Katha, the obsessive possession over toys and many other things. As yours truly and others mirthfully drowned ourselves in nostalgia, it was time to pull out the Ramayana. The quick read of Ramayana revived our memories and stoked new queries. Undisputedly Ram Lakhan is a common name for masculine twins in India, is it not strange to know that only Lakshman and Shatrughna are the twins while Lakshman is only a devoted younger brother of Rama and not his twin brother.

So, the most read epic also leads to revelations. Probably the movies and the natural feeling to name the twins as such which has recrafted the most "together" brothers as twins led to another mission. Who are the actual mythical twin brothers?

Lakshman and Shatrughna of Ramayana
Lav and Kush according to certain versions of Uttara Ramayana
Nakula and Sahadeva of the Mahabharata
Jaya and Vijaya of Vaikunta
Nasatya and Dasra - popularly known as Aswinikumaras

These names are not used for any of the twin brothers. In case of a male female twin could we consider names such as 

Draupadi and Dhrishtadyumna - none would prefer considering the tough lives they led
Kripa and Kripi- again not a very fond set for people who have even delved into the Mahabharata
Satyavati and Matsya - would never be a choice again due to the reason of she being the cause of Bhishma pratigya
Yama and Yami - never to be preferred by the mortals

But the most fascinating is that no twin sisters have been attracted to the names of Riddi and Siddhi. Is it that the father does not want to be Ganesh?

The illuminating lesson that emerges is that if the facts are twisted to suit one's needs too it will not attract any revulsion but if the powers that be desire that there needs to be an issue then a fiat would be issued on issues such as who could pray where to whom and when or whether Khilji could dream about Padmini or not. We could have an issue on whether it could be even feasible for Akbar and Jodha could have a song sequence or not. We could have panel discussions on whether someone has the right to speak or not as his forefathers had committed certain sins. IT IS A HONEST DILEMMA!!!

Another thought struck yours truly which could also invite the wrath of many, why do we not consider naming twin siblings as Surya and Pruthvi, if we wanted one to revolve around the other. May be a combative set of panelists would demolish this blog and consign it to the irretrievable recycle bin!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

NOSTALGIA - A TRUE TRIBUTE

Merry Christmas meant a call to my friend's home to wish his parents on the day as yours truly would cherish the high school days of dropping into their place for a slice of the cake. The mentoring us from "chaddies" to trousers included these homes which formed part of our lives. Visits between homes. Monkeying around the guava trees. Exchanging the niceties of the diverse living was part of this metamorphosis. Decades later too the bonds have only strengthened even as my friend chose to leave the shores for a livelihood. 

Visits to his abode meant discussions that ranged from the need for his parents to be with him to the need for him to settle into marital bliss. The parents at no time treated yours truly different from their own sons who struck new roots Down Under. Their marriages did not diminish the bond either. The fact that the parents aged or the nephew became a handsome muscular hunk only garnished the relationship into a more savoury one to relish. Talking of savouring, visits to his home meant his father testing the delicate appetite of yours truly while the maternal instincts of his mother would be stoked deftly with beseeching looks and words to minimise the quantums. His mother would remark that it would be necessary to finish it all for the audible ears while catered to the needs albeit partially by reducing the intake marginally. These episodes were looked at as entertaining by the siblings and nephew while the parents were concerned about this unhealthy appetite.

The years had manifested into decades and the oft remark of the father to remind that yours truly needs to obey him in soft but equally firm words were episodes both looked forward to. In the year gone by the mother had suddenly become frail.

She had been in and out of the hospital for the last six months and not much was read into it albeit the fact that the brothers flew down as though they were just returning home from workplace. However, this Christmas call being received by my friend did not sound right but was reassured on a visit to the hospital. The medico in yours truly ( a person who is an expert in amoeba drawings as far as biology is concerned) held out the hope that she would be back home and it was only the weather that had played spoilt sport.

But, the diagnosis had gone as awry as any of the attempts to draw out anything other than an amoeba. The Sunday call to ascertain whether she was back home to decide a time of visit to promise her that if she would make me a sweet cake this time around it would be devoured without any remorse appeared to be a bit too late as the response was grave. Pepping the brothers up albeit superficially yours truly retired with the hope of being the all round entertainer once more at his home. The hopes were belied on the next day morning as it was announced that the benign hostess had hung her boots.

Thus, Sankranti which happens to be the day on which another friend's father called it a day a few years ago became the day for the final journey for this friend's mother. 

The visit to the church took yours truly to the time when a classmate of ours had lost his father. The culture of condoling was imbibed into us by our class teacher who took us down to their abode followed by the mass at the church. The church also the venue for the weddings of the family as well as the 80th birthday celebrations of his father now was still in its Christmas festoons to bid farewell to this mother of many. The priest read the sermon and the family was in tears while yours truly was immersed in the memories of the days that could no more be reminisced with her but only cherished. Repeated references to resurrection of Christ only invoked the question as to whether there could be one now.

The fact that the rituals of all religions involved the sprinkling of water on or around the remains as well as the different fragrances which are placed nearby confirmed the belief that in times when medical facilities were not this advanced, man needed to be sure that the journey was indeed the last and was probably testing the mortal remains for any semblance of life. 

Last tributes paid, the journey was made to the last abode and the best consolation that one could offer to the bereaved was a silent presence. The vaccuum is now patent. It is for nothing that it is said that all bereavements leave a void. Hard to come to terms but as it is said Time is the best healer. The time has now come for us to set ourselves as role models for the next generation as the earlier generation has done unto us.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

NEW YEAR FLIGHT

Father Time has kept his date as the Gregorians chimed in a New Year. This year too rather the year gone by too ended on a hectic note as we raced to meet the year end deadlines. As merriment surrounded the workplace, with an eye on the clock the systems cluttered with data kept the otherwise dour workplace alive. The youngsters who were missing out on their New Year's Eve bash dished out wry humour which aided in keeping up the spirits whilst it was common knowledge that the pubs nearby had the revellers dousing themselves in a different spirit.

As yours truly went about the charade, the question as to the meaning of these daily chores at different workplaces created by humans came in for a mental scrutiny. The parents of two of the chums were in hospitals and one of them had flown down across the globe but there was no time for human courtesies. The strength of the crowd actually doing the work was that they saw little more than "to be done" attitude while the upper echelon was damning these very persons as the sloth who were ruining the institution. The middle was caught in the crossfire and did a tightrope walk.

Deadlines apart one wonders what would be a patient's plight with only doctors around with no nurses. Apart from the base of several romances, the patient would need just not patience but a lot more. There is an abuse of the working class. The racism is distinct. The chauffeur is no human as he is asked to wait in the vehicle while the boss toasts himself. The maid needs to be in the pink of her health and manage all her affairs with alacrity. Not that these classes do not have their own fair share of black sheep but the quantum that is spent out on their human quotient is also a matter of question. 

As files flew thick and fast, the youngsters suddenly rose up in unison, "Happy New Year". 2018 had not even been given a decent farewell of a two minute silence. 2019 had brought in its share of hope, aspirations, optimism and air of positivity. Will it be another year of the same routine or will things change for better or worse only time can tell.

But folks should that prevent us from using every opportunity to renew ourselves with hope and aspiration. So let us take this occasion to cheer up and greet everyone with a wonderful festive 2019.

A wonderful post is shared here to greet each and everyone


The Boarding on Flight 2019 has been announced....... 
Your luggage should only contain the b est souvenirs from 2018... 
The bad and sad moments should be left in the garbage....... 
The duration of the flight will be 12 months. 
So, tighten your seatbelt 
The next stop-overs will be:
Health, Love, Joy, Harmony, well-being and Peace . 
The captain offers you the following menu which will be served during the flight....... 
A Cocktail of Friendship 
A Supreme of Health 
A Gratin of Prosperity 
A Bowl of Excellent News 📰 
A salad of Success 
A Cake of Happiness 
All accompanied by bursts of laughter...... 
Wishing you and your family 👪 an enjoyable trip on board of flight 2019.....💥💥
Before Ends,
Let Me Thank All The Good People Like You ,
Who Made 2018 Beautiful For Me.
I Pray You be Blessed With A Faithful & Peaceful Year Ahead in 2019

Resolving to be a more frequent blogger another year begins!!!!!!!