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Showing posts with the label Life

The System!

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The calls never stop. They’re ruthlessly regular as always even if you’re going through a huge personal crisis or that you’ve been rendered ineligible for most of the offers in circulation due to various reasons. And I don’t blame the ‘casuals’ desperately trying to augment their measly income with the commissions cum incentives that they hope to earn by getting the customer’s consent for a personal loan or a deposit/investment scheme or a pre-approved credit card. In fact, I always have sympathy and understanding for them; that I get angry most of the times is a part and parcel of the hazardous virtual games being played in abundance nowadays. This time, for a change, it was a male voice that addressed me in all possible politeness. But he sounded weary and lazy, perhaps frustrated by the endless calls from his end since morning without any tangible progress. “Sir, I’m calling from the xyz finance company. If you can spare a moment, please!” For a change, again, I decided not to

Senior Citizens: Have Conversations of the Khatak Variety!

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“Hello! Is this Mr. ----?” “Yes, speaking.” “Sir, I’m calling from the Khatak Life Insurance Company…!” “Oh, welcome back! So, you’re giving me a job again, right?” “Well Sir…it’ll be a part-time job…!” “How much salary would you be giving me per month?” “Well…err…Sir! First you’ll have to come to our branch to discuss it over!” “Nah, my dear lady! I won’t come again to any branch of yours. Since you know everything about me please send me the appointment letter!” “Hmm…mmm…um…ugh…ooh…!” “Enjoy your day!” (Cuts the line … Khatak!)   *   “Hello Sir! I’m -----, calling from Khatak Bank. Can I have a minute with you please?” “About what?” “We’re giving you a credit card with a lot of benefits, specially designed for you…!” “So, nowadays you’ve started issuing credit cards to granddads too!” “Pardon Sir?” “What pardon? I know a bit about how you get our phone numbers. Now, once you get my number you have to be knowing a bit about my user profile too, no?”

Breaking Out Of The Eggshell!

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It had been one of their usual shifting of quarters as per the allotment rules or upgrades of the company where Udit was employed. It was the fourth shifting to have taken place in his ten years of married life with Rohini. This time, luckily, the new quarter was just in the next campus, and so they’d decided to engage one maintenance employee for the shifting work rather than going for the expensive movers and packers. The maintenance employee arranged a couple of hand-pulled carts along with three laborers. The work started in the morning and was going on smoothly, in batch by batch.   Rohini had been accustomed to this business of moving to new houses in every two or three years. She took pride in the fact that she kept every household matter in systemic and organized arrangement so that nothing untoward happened during the inevitable shifting seasons. Although she’d always been very fastidious about order and cleanliness the experience over the years had considerably and progre

Funny Memories: Buying Hapus Mangoes In Mumbai!

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As the mango season rages across India at the moment that will last till June, I remember one funny incident about buying mangoes in the late eighties in uptown Mumbai. That time I was new to the city of dreams and knew nothing about the famous mango variety, called Hapus or Alphonso (the name Alphonso is credited to a Portuguese vice-general in the early part of the 16 th century in Goa-Mumbai regions who introduced grafting on the local mango trees to produce this variety.), and the fact that this is one of the most expensive mango varieties in India, grown almost exclusively in the Konkan region of Maharashtra only, which is exported throughout the world. I joined my new job in the first week of May which was the peak of the Hapus season, and I was getting used to seeing the vendors sprawling out their small and neat mangoes of mouth-watering colors at various street stalls and pavements. I found the mangoes rather similar to the country varieties invitingly swaying in the trees of

Humor: Successful Male Entry Into The Kitchen Requires An Analytical Mind!

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Although the growth of the nuclear families in the recent decades with mostly co-working spouses has made male entry into the kitchen a somewhat desirable proposition the two-year-old and extending Pandemic has become a gamechanger, making the said male entry an absolute necessity. The kitchen has assumed a never-before prominence as every morsel of consumed grubs has come to be necessarily home cooked, and the working-from-home spouses and often the idling males lounging inside their homes all the time have made it a study-in-contrast: the working or housewife ladies of the homes getting roasted all the time in the kitchen and the husbands gorging on the dishes along with their children or otherwise. Some discerning ladies of the homes have assigned them the job of washing utensils first as if to test their commitment and excellence, and then dishing out more serious responsibilities. In any case, the convergence of the life-partners as accomplices in the kitchen has become a fact of

Age Is Just A Number: High Fives To My Young Fellow Seniors!

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As the saying goes ‘age is just a number’, and in some cases it is high and in other cases low. The number doesn’t necessarily have something significant to do with the mind associated inevitably with it. If we go further from year to days the numbers become even more like simple numbers. Like when we say 10 years it seems to be a very long time—a decade as you’d normally like to refer to; but if we break it in number of days it’s just 3650 days or less. However, high numbers do signify body ageing which is biological and cannot be avoided, and unfortunately, ageing is taken by others with ‘low numbers’ in a negative way. The moment people cross the number 60 they are called ‘old guys’, and when someone dies in the range between 75 and above the others say that ‘the old guy has lived enough’. Lifestyle immoderation and inherited or accidentally acquired diseases do make the process of ageing faster and painful in some. But in any case, the mind can still play a vital role.   The mi

And Then I Say Quits…!

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I’m convinced finally that it’s time to put my pen down or rather stop clattering my fingers over the computer keys. Yes, I’ve decided to stop writing here or anywhere with immediate effect. Therefore, effectively, this is my last piece here and wherever it figures. I had already indicated my doubts earlier on this platform. Now, all the doubts are in the final process of getting doubly confirmed. The reasons are both personal and professional. The personal reasons I’ll avoid, because it might be interpreted as passing on the blame; I take the blame squarely on my shoulders and this is my very own decision. The professional reasons are more important and definitive in the emerging scenario of a ‘failed writer’ which is not at all uncommon across the world.   The basic professional reason is that nobody reads my writings, most of them just surfing or watching briefly or passing over accidentally. I have been trying very hard indeed to write across a range of subjects to make these i

Don’t Keep The Change!

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We felt tired and hungry that evening after going through a veritable shopping spree in an upmarket area of the big city. Of course, we did not shop in the cool and expansive showrooms. We moved on, standing all the time, from vendor to vendor sprawled as usual along the pavement doing brisk business. Add to that our tedious journey by a city bus before that. Now, another bus journey where a seat was never guaranteed back home staring at us, we definitely would not have liked to undertake it, starving mad.   It was not in our planning to have tea and snacks as most of the restaurants where you could sit and eat in comfort were very expensive. However, in earnest consultation with my wife, we finally decided to respect the signals blipping constantly in the bellies.   We entered one airconditioned and posh restaurant and took a side table along the glass paneled wall, rewarding us with a nice view outside. The waiters were in uniform. One elderly waiter came up to us smiling. We

Humor: The Credit Heist!

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Rantu and Mantu have been tremendous friends for years, working together in a production house. They meet five days a week in office, chatting merrily, discussing politics or cinema or books apart from their respective work duties. Santu, the third friend in this rather closed-circuit gang often joins the discussions. All the three friends have been very creative in their respective fields of work. At least on one of the Saturdays or Sundays either Mantu or Santu or both inevitably visit Rantu’s residence for lunch and Rantu’s wife always manages with exemplary patience and presence of mind to not show her irritation or something like that and prepares dishes as per the preferences of Mantu and Santu together or separately that implies preparing separate dishes. Rantu takes it all in the spirit of friendship and thinks that his wife too likes the consistently cheerful weekly meetings.   However, Rantu is never known to be a fool or a taken-for-granted person. He has an analytical m

Humor: The Foamy Layers!

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About two months into the total national lockdown in India my stock of various things including that of my favorite shaving gel had been dwindling fast, and at some stage I had no option but to apply the razor on my foamless facial surface that needed to be shaved. That these products were termed ‘non-essentials’ gave me some solace in terms of continuing my existence without any of these. In particular, the daily shaving act for which I reasoned “who on earth is likely to behold my unshaven face with chaotic strings of beard if I don’t shave daily, because when I go out my face is fully masked and if some guest of the most ‘essential’ kind does turn up we again get fully masked accost him/her!” however, I felt my wife would be nastily offended if I went on showing my ugly face for days following the continuous ‘stay-home’ phenomenon; and therefore, I began my search for any of the shaving creams or gels, not caring about my preferences.   During that period only the ‘essential’ shops/