Sunday, December 25, 2011

A stupid, ney perverted thought!

Colin Todhunter is a regular columnist contributing articles in regular intervals to Deccan Herald, to which I have been a subscriber since over forty years now. In today's article on this Cristmas day, on the eve of a new year he has ventured into quite some interesting and serious events of 2011. Apart from half a dozen events he has narrated in this Sunday Herald, a week end edition of Deccan Herald, he has taken up the case of Julian Assange, who has ruffled a hornet's nest so violently that his very life is in peril in the hands of the Godly guardians of world's biggest democracies.

It is in this context I would like to put in a few words here. In my well considered opinion, Assange instead of standing on an open public pedestal and blowing his whistle, he should have taken a sniper's position behind a strong wall and shot his salvos directly without fears. Now that his very life is in danger under the combined mammoth force of Britain, Sweden and USA, I do not expect anything more from him than already published. 

Now that anything more from Assange is doubtful, I feel some of the geniuses should do the job of sniping. I firmly believe that there is no dearth of intellect surpassing the likes of Assange and Steve Dobbs in this whole wide world. But once you fall for name and fame like Assange, the evil in this world can easily take over you in a matter of time. After all, what a person needs to live a happy life takes only a couple of good meals, sufficient dress to cover from the vagaries of weather and a roof to live under. Don't laugh at me, please, thinking what kind of junk this old man is! I am not preaching any religious or spiritual lessons here. It is the basic truth of life one should realise while going on a mission to dismantle the well organized crime by none other than people in governments all over the world.

Todhunter says, the illegal money stashed away in foreign countries from India by a powerful few is more than 13 times the total foreign debt of the country. Imagine this when over half of the population is reeling under poverty not being able to earn two square meals for him and his family, the the punishment calls for the highest. Assange, however loud he threatens to publish the names will soon be muted.

Some time back I think I had written an article on the barbaric act of the so called civil society to put a woman to death by stoning in public. The crime? - unsupported claim of adultery by her husband just to marry another woman of his choice! See "Stoning of Soroya M" on Netflix movies online if your government allowed the site to operate in your country. The final scene of stoning the woman is filmed wonderfully, bringing out all the anguish in you. At that time I felt this age old civil laws were barbaric. But now after seeing such gigantic crimes by the people who are supposed to be in their political position to alleviate poverty, have to be meted out with more severe punishments than the one meted out to Soroya. And for that no government worth its salt dares to do that; only the people in crass mob mentality can do it when the names are sniped out in public!

After all human psyche is based on cruelty and extracting happiness from the sufferings of fellow being. No other life species is based on cruelty just for the fun of it. Only man can do it. So to give outlet to such behaviour of man, which can never be controlled, should be channelised in one or other way, and I think this is the best opportunity!
I wish Merry Cristmas to Colin Todhunter, his numerous readers, Julian Assange and his team of dedicated colleagues hoping, as I have done in the last 68 new year eves, that this time around the new year may bring about real change in society for good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brigitte Bardot - Then and Now

I posted a blog on Dev Anand, the legendary everlasting romantic hero of yesteryear, who romanced well not only in his films but also with life itself by successful experiments in film making, till he passed away a couple of days back at the age of 88. His latest production is all ready to be released early 2012! There were many articulate and nostalgic reporting and tributes to the departed legend in the print and electronic media yesterday and a day before. During writing that blog, nostalgic memories of movies of my college days in earlier part of the sixties started slowly unfolding.

Apart from Hindi and regional language movies, I used see a lot of western movies too - War movies, Romantic movies, Espionage, Thrill and of all I loved Cowboy films (also called Western Quickies) most - Right from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood. Apart from many male actors, lot many female actors were also my favorites and among  my likes Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn were in the forefront. There were sex bombs such as Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren too, But I liked Audrey for her sheer acting skills and Brigitte for her naughty character depiction.  I do not remember how many times I viewed "Wait Until Dark", the recent being on Netflix stream during my last visit to America in the first part of this year. I calibrate that film as Audrey's best. I am never tired of seeing that movie again and again. The acting of a blind woman is such.

Recently I received a chain mail with the same title in the subject field as I have given to this blog. Looking at the pictures of Brigitte Bardot, my mind reeled back in time to "Viva Maria!" Brigitte, if I remember correctly, was the leader of a train robbery gang of the wild west of the early 20th century in that film. The inimitable drunkard Lee Marvin was her assistant in this movie which I must have seen at least twice during my college days.

I felt very sad to to see that lovely Brigitte in crutches. Yet, her trademark thick lips are still inviting, aren't they?

Please see the everlasting beauty in this album :

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Abhi naa jaavo chodkar...

I received a message on my cell this morning when I was taking my breakfast at around 8.10 AM. It was from Rajiv, my good friend from Kanpur and the message read - "Dear Dev sahab, Abhi naa jayo chor kar ke dil abhi bhara nahin. We grew up seeing you romancing with life, charming everyone around you - Rajiv". That's right Rajiv, Dev sahab charmed everyone around irrespective of age, with his unparallelled romancing with life. When Dev sahab romanced with those beautiful words with Sadhana in 'Hum Dono', I saw the movie during my I year B,Sc. in 1962 for a second time bunking classes, if my 50 year old memory is not cheating on me!

Dev Anand was my most favorite actor. I used to see Tamil movies too in those days and 'Gemini' Ganeshan (that great Hindi star Rekha's father), who was 'titled' as 'Kaadal Mannan'  by his Tamil fans, meaning romance king, was also my favorite. But Dev Anand was something unforgettable all life for his new and newer gestures of romance in each of the films he acted. His gently hitting on the nose of Sadhana with his fist during that song 'Abhi naa jaavo...' is still green in my memory. I might have missed just one or two of his films, maybe I have seen all, I don't really know. But it is a fact that I did not care for anything in order to see whenever a new Dev Anand movie was released. I was born and brought up in a small town near Mangalore in South India and during those days Hindi movies were a bit late to arrive in Mangalore. Hindi movies were a poor competitor to Tamil in the 'Tent' Cinema in my little town. We could rarely see a Hind movie during my high school days. Only films like 'Mother India' and  'Madhumati' (Dilip Kumar-Vyjayanthi Mala starer). But the Golden period of Hindi Cinema started in early sixties. Oh, that scintillating tunes with meaningful lyrics composed with great soothing music using real instruments (No electronic organs please!) And that is one of the reasons I consider my college days in Mangalore the best period of my life, with Dev Anand almost a role model!..... from Kala Bazaar, Tere Gharke Samane, Guide of the International fame to Gambler and Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, one cannot discard any of the Dev Anand starer, be it with Waheeda Rehman, Sadhana, Nanda, Saira Banu or Zeenath Amaan.

In the beginning, there was a feeble accusation that Dev Anand was trying to copy Gregory Peck of the west. There certainly could be some similarities in mannerisms of the two, but soon Dev sahab firmly established his unique identity by the wide range of versatility in his acting style. Not only the acting with a variety of heroins, but his romancing with real life itself is great for his experimentation with new ideas.

The legend has vanished for ever, but the memories will never fade simply because the charm spreads over at least three generations! May the great soul rest in eternal peace." target="_blank">" style="border: 0 !important; background: transparent;"/>

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Global Economy

It has become a much talked about topic about the current Global Economic Slow Down. Being a small time investor in stock market, I too am feeling the heat while I am yet to fully recover from the 2008 Satanic blow!

In this context, an article in the Deccan Herald Daily in its today's edition made an interesting reading. One Paul Krugman, whose name appears in the said Daily quite often, has written a column titled 'S&P's credibility is questionable' in the 'In Perspective' section of the Daily. America, no doubt everybody should agree, is the biggest economy in the world and naturally it has a sound influence on world economy. America is also the biggest borrower in the world as I know. If the melt down was triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008 in America, this time on it is the down grading the rating of U.S.Debts by Standard and Poor's (S&P's) in their research report. It is this report, the author of the said article questions. Krugman makes, in all its appearance, a very concerned and deep analysis of the situation that has a very sound effect on Global Economy. He says the findings resulting in down grading of American Economy, thereby having a global effect, is based more on political compulsions of that country than the any Maths, Statistics or Economic research.

Agreed, America has done a lot of blunders by entering into wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. One cannot deny the deep dents these wars made on American economy. Yet, America is such a country which has the ability to tinker the deepest of economic dents, the author opines. I am neither a political observer nor a specialist economist. But the account on S&P's presented by Krugman is amazing.  To repeat his own words,- "To understand the furore over the decision by Standard & Poor's, the rating agency, to downgrade US Govt. debt, you have to hold in your mind two seemingly (but not actually) contradictory ideas. The first is that America is indeed no longer the stable, reliable country once it was. The second is that S&P's itself has even lower credibility; it is the last place one should turn for judgements about our nation's prospects."

Krugman goes on explaining the contradiction on which judgements are made that have serious implications on world economy. He says it is the the same S&P's who gave a one star rating to Lehman Brothers even on the day the giant financial organisation declared its bankruptcy. Also, the 2008 crisis happened because S&P's gave a AAA rating to mortgage backed assets that have since turned  into toxic waste! And this time? There was an error of $ 2 trillion S&P's calculations in making the research report and after discussions S&P conceded that it was wrong, but went on downgrading American Debts! How well he compares this to a story of a son killing his parents and then pleading for mercy as an orphan! Another point the author asks the reader to focus is that nine years ago S&P's down graded Japan, but that country not only easily gets loans in the world market but also for a cheaper rate of interest at 1%. The country never felt any economic difficulties in making good of its deficits by global borrowings all these nine years despite the rating agency not upgrading its ratings.

As regards the American ability to pull itself back to normalcy, the author opines there are at least two golden opportunities. One is Health Care expenditure in America is the highest among developed nation; bring it down, he says. And the second is tax revenue that is one of the lowest in comparison to international standards; just a nominal enhancement in this sector will boost the economy enormously, the author says. Are they, the people who matter willing to do it? Krugman opines it is actually the right wing forces that are destroying the federal structure of American system.

All said and done, now how is it going to effect this 'Great Indian Economy'?

That reminds me of a comment one of my good friends made way back in 2008. In that melee, the fellow had lost over half of his net worth in stock market, yet unfazed and jovial as ever. Sitting in Bangalore he used to call me every now and then to give me a 'hot' tip or to take one from me. "What they say this Indian economy going to be the global power," he exclaimed during one such call, "if Wall Street farts, Dalal Street purges loose motion!"

That was in 2008 about nameless microscopic flies like me and my friend swimming in the economic ocean, once again being the same in a fresh new global melt down. But Indian  economic ocean is really big and powerful , capable of absorbing the effects of gigantic scams like 2G and CWG involving astronomical figures, what do you say? Where is Lehman Brothers and Standard & Poor's?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


".....I would have preferred doing otherwise, or living otherwise. But I let myself overcome by things ... things foreign to me got started to get in; they began to rule me ......"

Yes, you have rightly guessed (if you have read my previous blog/s); it is a piece of dialogue from a Spanish film. (With English sub titles, of course) The character, a rich old man over 70 telling this to his 15 year old son, who had aberrational behavior. His wife who was half his age was revelling in drug and sex parties every evening......Well, I am not going to narrate the film story. In fact I was wondering  if we do not think the same way as the old man.... as we age, 'I would have preferred.....' Whether you are rich and successful in life or a failed miserable, you get this kind of thought...'if only I took chances with the other choices.....'  - other than what actually I did, - be it with people, matter or opportunities, you always see better things if you chose the other. But you didn't!

Back in 1969 July, when the then prime minister Indira Gandhi announced nationalisation of top 14 private banks of India, I was a bundle of miseries, for, I had resigned my job in Canara Bank Ltd in December 1968 and got relieved on the last day of the year. There was no job satisfaction at Rs.180/- odd take home monthly package for a bank clerk in Delhi. Of course, as a bachelor, I truly enjoyed life with the remuneration, but without hope for a future. I had people ahead of me having put in over 15 years of service as a clerk without promotion, except an intermediary post between officer and clerk! Growth of banks after nationalisation was phenomenal. (And so the NPA - non-performing assets meaning irrecoverable loans). When my juniors got promotions within two years after nationalisation, I regretted my decision to resign. And after about ten years, when I came to know of a person, a colleague of mine, whom all of us at the branch considered as the dullest head as regards banking accounts were concerned, was promoted as a branch manger, well, I knew how nationalisation of banks had in store for Indian economy. People who worked in banks in those days know it all well.

No doubt my chosen profession, a show room with franchise of distribution for two districts of a motorcycle of repute in those days, gave me a lot of satisfaction and pride and status in society, which my bank job would not have provided. I was my own man, never required to bow my head to my superior officers. Above all, I set goals for myself for a better future. Yet, that sense of loss of an opportunity was still there!

Quite a few people at the park where I go regularly for my morning and evening walks ask me sheepishly if I was a retired army personnel! A six footer with an erect standard body and an army march type of straight steps in my walking style, may naturally make an onlooker think that way. But every time a stranger asks me so, a wave of sadness passes over my face. It reminds me of my elders refusing to sign in their consent on my application for a second lieutenant job in the Indian army. I was an outstanding NCC cadet during my college education and the military establishment offered a short service commission (seven years with an option to continue) for such cadets in their second year of graduation with a condition that they pass out their graduation at first attempt. Of course, I did have options to join army once I graduated and became an adult without needing any body's consent. But then, not only the process of getting the job was not as easy as the short service commission during education, but also by that time I had lost interest in joining the army. 'I would have preferred.....'

 I have reasons to believe that everybody has this syndrome with varying intensity and frequency of after effects; if some go into deep depressions, some just laugh it out as foolish memories, a truly blessed lot! -'I would have preferred.....', Nope, I do have my preferences right now, in this moment, here and what I prefer or choose is the best under the prevailing circumstances, do it and be happy!....forget the rest!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Yeddyurappa has become the talk of the town, nay, state, nay the nation since quite sometime now. Yes you guessed it right, Yeddyurappa is the incumbent chief minister of the state of Karnataka, my home state. The fellow has been not only indicted but also strongly recommended to be prosecuted for serious graft and corruption, by the Lokayukta, in his final report having over one thousand pages resulted by an investigation that took over two years to complete. Lokayukta, - for the benefit of those who are not conversant with Indian political system, - is an ombudsman headed by a retired judge not below the rank of High Court of a state. This system, intended to make impartial investigation into corruption in public life, was put in place on public demand about a decade ago. But then, the Lokayukta is not given Suo Motu powers to prosecute the corrupt government servant or a legislator, because the law makers (legislators) framed the legislation so, - no power to take direct action against themselves but recommend the action to the incumbent Govt! We the the common citizens should only be happy because a chief minister of the state was included in the scope of the ombudsman despite very strong objection by the ruling class.

However, Yeddyurappa, in my well considered opinion is nowhere near a match to stalwart chief ministers like Mayavati of Uttar Pradesh, Karunanidhi and his rival the present chief minister Jayalalitha of Tamilnadu or the leader of this elite and privileged line of State Chief Ministers, Lallu Prasad Yadav of Bihar.

Anyway, at the very outset, my intention was not to discuss this political nonsense and idiocy when I started to write this blog. It is the sense of corruption, its place and the the reaction to it by the common citizens in this part of the land under the prevailing circumstances including old age friendships.

I made a new friend at the community park where I go for my regular walks in the morning and evenings some 7 or 8 months back. Soon I went on a five month visit to the U.S. and now it is almost one month after my return but we still sit together in the evenings after walk and chat. This man is a retired Govt. official, a gazetted officer in Forests Department. He has pleasing manners with a speck of innocence. I liked the way he took initiative in breaking the ice after a long period of mutual observation, and perhaps a peripheral visual appearance too.

I never make it any secret of my detest and disgust to bribe and corruption. Probably this man had noticed it during our initial talks. Soon he told me without any hint from me, that even though he was in a Govt. dept., which is no less corrupt than any other administrative departments, he hated to take bribe. But then when he helped a departmental man to get a transfer to his choice of place and this lower grade worker after his transfer came to him and forced a couple of hundred rupee notes in his shirt pocket, he felt it awkward but kept it as that same day his son who had applied for some educational institution for a professional course, and asked him  for Rs. 200/- towards prescribed fees which this man did not have! In the evening he paid that sum to his son. Was this man justifying bribe or was he trying to make a right impression on me? I did not bother, for, I have long been convinced that people can never understand my thoughts on morals and ethics in life. I simply take this other facet of nature that I can never understand!

This was before I left on a five month leave from my regular walks in the park. Now, this retired gentleman Govt. servant seems to have forgotten what he told me earlier and tells me that a three year stint to a particular place which has a vast forest land came to him as a boon and changed his fate as it was during this period he was able to redeem the pledged jewellery of his wife to own a house and marry off his two daughters to well placed boys (both govt. servants). And he genuinely prides in telling me that he never stretched his palm for bribe; everything came on its own way in the form of gratitude towards his selfless work! Moreover, I noticed that the events he described defied all logic of chronology.

One should be able to put his feet in my shoes and walk to know what I am, isn't it? I can never understand your sense of right and wrong, good and bad and just and unjust, unless I am born again as you, not me, right?  For this I may have to die first to all past, all values and all teachings I have accumulated in my head.... perhaps!

Yeddyurappa puts conditions to resign as chief minister of Karnataka to the BJP high command and the senior leaders of the party say him first to resign and then they will consider all his conditions! Die to your past sir, you will have a grand new life!

I do not speculate anything new to my state, nation or the whole wide world, the same thing repeats over and again at one or the other corner of the world in a different new form. That is the entire meaning of democracy, the best option of governance we have.

Corruption and bribe, a far and remote extension of survival instinct, is an integral part of life on earth. Bribe, perhaps, takes its form from the first human act of feeding the new born baby to stop its crying!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The week end

I am back from my U.S. trip a few days back. It took awhile to get into the routine mode. I had made proper arrangements to keep my utilities such as land line phone and broad band in force at minimum cost. This time the trip was of 5 months and the house was under lock. So, as soon as I came to Shimoga, I attended to certain pending works on priority. Everything was on track within a week.

There was a series of on line problems yesterday. First it was ICICI bank. When I tried to transfer some funds to a different account in Axis Bank, it failed; it simply informed me that my mobile number is not registered, but I was regularly getting alerts from the bank of my off line transactions such as cheques and deposits. There was even a couple of on line fund credits made by my daughter. And I got all alerts of these few transactions in my account. Now when the portal denied on line transaction citing that I have not registered my cell phone number, I was surprised. (Just before effecting a transaction on line they SMS a unique number to mobile to authenticate the transaction on line and the customer has to mention that number to complete the transaction.) My repeated trials gave the same result and I gave up. Let me go to Axis Bank and deposit the cheque to the account, I thought.

Soon after coming back to India, my eldest daughter from Hubli had advised me to do my such works on Internet whenever and wherever it is possible instead of taking pains to go physically and do the work. We old couple live alone here and have to attend all the chores ourselves. I thought it was a good idea she gave me to reduce physical strain. So I started with my on line bank account.

Next I tried to pay my AirTel Broadband bill on line. The site did not accept my log-in at all on repeated trials. And even when I clicked on 'Forgot' pass word?', the process failed repeatedly. Then I called the bill collector as usual and he came promptly. He told me the service is being underway on a major upgrading work on all India basis requiring 30 odd days and the process is in midway; only in the first week of August, everything will be fine he said!

After failing to pay Airtel on line, I tried to make my payment of BSNL land line phone bill on line. The Govt. of India owned portal pleasingly told me that there is no dues from me! I was holding the bill in my hand and following their instruction to make payments on line! The portal was repeatedly making merry by telling me that there are no dues! OK, let me go to their counter and make the payment as I used to.

I made a chakkar this morning (Saturday-yesterday)physically making payments and trying to put the on line things in place. First it was ICICI. The officer I approached was very cordial. There of course is a toll free number (call centre) to set right everything. But I have some speech recognition problem on phone, especially digitally created voices. The person at ICICI also dialed the same helpline and gave the phone to me as he was busy (Saturday - last working day of the week). I politely told him I have hearing problems and that was why I came to the bank office, he obliged smilingly despite the helpline taking a lot of looooooong minutes. Finally he got the account straightened, and on line transactions can be made after one working day, probably on Monday, he said. But I got the message on my mobile by around 3:30 PM that the account is enabled for on line transactions. The officer had told me that, because of security, as I did not do any online transactions right since I opened the account over six months back, the concerned Internet managers might have pushed my account to dormancy. That exactly could be the case as the SMS read that my account is reactivated.

Well then I took the chakkar to BSNL bills payment window. While paying, I asked the cashier why the portal was showing no dues to me when I tried to pay on line. The fellow simply told me, "I don't know sir, you go to the first floor". I climbed four long flights to the first floor, - yes, sure, four long flights to the first floor! There was only two windows, - one accounts section and the other inquiries for Mobile Service. I went to this and the officer there was cordial. But he did not know what was wrong with the portal and promised me that he would ask the concerned people to look into the matter. Thank God, he didn't ask me to climb another flight of stairs to next floor.

There were days when BSNL, then called the P & T department, a monopolistic Govt. Of India enterprise and one had to wait for a few years to get a connection after booking by paying an interest free deposit. Cell phones were not even dreamt of. Doctors and such other essential service professionals were provided a phone almost immediately after submission of application. without an extra charge, but an emergency connection was available to public on a payment of a hefty sum. The service was shoddy, and the department was filled with highly inefficient and arrogant people. The stink of inefficiency is still ruling the roost though the department was rechristened with a grand name - Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. As soon as my eldest daughter passed her medical degree, I made her apply as a doctor. I got the connection almost immediately. The ownership or the subscription was transferable after three years. Promptly I applied for a transfer of the phone in my name providing necessary documents as required by the Nigam for the transfer. But no the connection remained in my daughter's name till this date though I had made an application with necessary documents at least half a dozen times in these long 15 years! I still get the bills in my daughter's name! And the beauty is the connection is mentioned against my name in the directory! Reason? The computer accepts all changes except the name of the original applicant. Do you get an idea of the extent of the stink of inefficiency?

Well, it is a rather long deviation from the story of my week end.

Right at the beginning, the car gave some starting problems as it was not regularly run in these last six months and the battery is getting old. It somehow started and I drove it to my old office and cut off the engine and did all the work by walking; didn't want to take chances with the starting problem, by repeatedly cutting off the engine and trying to start again. Also unfortunately, I had worn a newly handmade footwear and the bite of the new leather straps is still soring!

That was it; I returned home by lunch time with some wonderful Neelam Magoes, which were selling at throw away price (Rs.15/- per Kg.) due to incessant rains in last four days, and some other sundry purchases. That was a strenuous but ultimately a satisfactory week end I had, right?" target="_blank">" />

Friday, June 3, 2011

On Marriage

Long back in the 1980's when I was an active member of Indian Jaycees, I was member on the faculty board of Karnataka Zone; I used to conduct courses on Human Relations. I had evolved a different type of conducting the course, away from recommended conventions. I was fairly successful in using the new type of coaching. I had earned many friends,- friends to the extent of revealing their personal secrets of life in the hope of getting a solution to their problems from me. That gave a boost to my ego to try formal counseling. Yes, at my age and the surrounding environment at that time, I was proud as it should naturally be. Most of the problems presented to me to cull out a solution were marital. I had immense faith in marriage, and really wanted to help those who had marital problems.

At the end of this article, many of you may not agree with my opinions on marriage. But they are based on my observations over a long period of time; some of you may agree and a few of you might have taken a well thought decision never to marry. Ever since the time in the eighties when circumstances pushed me to find solutions to marital problems, having not been a properly trained counselor, nor a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist, I was rather forced to observe both within me and outside me, the relationships, of which marriage was primary. I had choices to have proper training in marital counseling or to privately study human psychology. But being a businessman added with social activities like Jaycees and other community services and maybe a speck of laziness, I did not consider serious study of the subject but keen observations did help me see the intricacies of the relationship.

What is marriage? There are numerous ways and meanings to marriage according to traditions, regions, societies, cultures and religions. Basically, marriage is to restrict or to moralise, if so preferred, ones sexual behavior. Marriage is to raise a family of your own. What does that mean? Your children get highest priority over other children and the segregation goes beyond this,- there are street children belonging to nobody deprived of all, - even the minimum attention, minimum security. Do I need to explain how they grow or what they become as adults? Segregation breeds evil and more evil in a society in which everything else is secondary to me, my family and my children, does it not? Hence, marriage, an important event in one's social life is also a custom that recklessly promotes self.

Well, that issue is different from what I wanted to venture into, in this article - the intricacies of the relationship in a marriage.

Marriage is a form of relationship that is created newly between two individuals. Irrespective of what color the religion, culture, tradition or society gives to this relationship, whatever importance is given to this event, marriage is basically dependent on individual capacity to understand the other, irrespective of one's faith. If that basic criterion goes wrong, no religion, faith or societal conditioning can save the marriage from crumbling. So it makes it most important that one should have a clear idea about what basically a relationship is, before entering into a much more complicated relationship called marriage. For those who do not have this understanding and simply enter into marriage just because tradition and culture demands it, OR simply because they think they are in love, in most of the cases moved by stories like Romeo & Juliet or such other emotional imaginations, marriage has to fail. And if corrective steps are not taken in lightning speed at the earliest stage of crumbling, and if the partners in the marriage continue to remain married and allow children and start family under one or other compulsion, a life long suffering is guaranteed.

What is an understanding? Let me try to explain. Understanding basically involves meanings and values. Meanings come to mind and get fixed there as early as the birth of the mind itself. They hardly change. A just born baby has no mind; it has no understanding of this world; no understanding of the environment and the society with its beliefs and customs. But the five sense organs do work and send signals to the brain, a purely survival mechanism. Does the brain give a meaning to the signals it receives from the sense organs? I don't think even scientists are able to give a satisfactory answer to this question. But for sure, the environment, the society in which the birth of the child takes place gives meanings. The color red, has the same name in every one of us, but the reaction that color red makes in the mind is all different in different minds. If that is so, and I do have enough reasons to believe it is so, then whatsoever understanding is, it has nothing to do with reality. That makes a complicated relationship called marriage a pure belief and most illusory. And belief is gateway to cheat. By cheating I don't mean adulatory or any other serious deceit; simple 'I love you' is cheating! Instead of 'love' if the word is 'possess', the statement becomes a bit more realistic. Because that is what we mean by 'love' - possession. Do I tolerate if somebody in the crowd stares at my newly wed beautiful wife? She is my wife, isn't she? She is my sole possession! What is love then? It is the most abused word in all human history!

If that is one front a marriage has to fight and survive, understanding between the partners is another front where the battle is more severe. As I have briefly explained earlier, understanding is more an assumption than reality simply because no two minds have the same meaning and value for the same thing. The value of a rupee is solely dependent on my sense of security. I am secure with or without money, wealth; are you? If my partner says 'I love you', I take it that I have the freedom to have sex with another, but for the one who says 'I love' you' , I have no such freedom; I am a solely owned property. Do you see the battle of meanings? Nature is totally disregarded and suppressed in this battle.

So, marriage is not an institution in which family values are created and promoted, in which children are given a good culture and security. To see this truth you have to struggle hard to come out of your frame of mind, which is restricted by your beliefs, cultural values and this civilised society you live in. If you are able to see this truth, you will not care to have your own children; the entire world of children becomes yours; this universe becomes your family!

So, in my opinion, marriage stunts or narrows down or hinders the intellectual capabilities of the mind, making it waste its energies in achieving ideals given by the society, in making sacrifices and compromises, depleting entire life energies in suppressing and struggling against nature.

O young man and woman out there, you have much more responsibilities to make this world a better place to live than to marry!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


An article about reality of rationality, posted by my good friend pushed me into further depths to see bit more clearly what rationality is. There are people like Bertrand Russell and Friedrich Nietzsche who promoted rational thinking vigorously. But were they wholly rational in their thoughts? If they were, were they rational in their deeds?  Russell married a number of times in his long life of almost a hundred years, and I think all his five marriages failed. Could he not, - a genius, rational thinker - be rational regarding his own expectations from a marriage, having written with so amazing logic and clarity, the effects and influences of religious, cultural and social beliefs on a marital relationship, in his controversial book "Marriage and Morals" making it seldom easy for any intellectual person to question his views and reason? Or, was he experimenting with marriages to find out the truth? And Nietzsche makes me think that he was a woman hater. Look at his famous quote - "Ah, women! they make your highs higher and lows frequent". There is also a story inside his famous story "Thus Spake Zarathushtra", the protagonist in an argument with an old woman, in which he condemns women in every possible way, though finally the woman wins the argument. What is rational in hating women? What is rational in hate itself? After all the relationship between man and woman is natural, (sic) rational and complimentary to life on earth.

I am a rationalist. Rather it would be more correct if I say, I wish to be called a rationalist. Know why? It is seldom possible for a conditioned mind to be unconditioned. Yes, the mind, ie., me, has to be irrational. But is it possible for a mind to be rational when its very birth takes place in irrationality? There is no (thinking) mind when a child is born. Mind takes birth after the child is born, when the child uses the genetic inputs in the cell programmed to react in a particular way to the prevailing environment, to record the event in the form of memory. From this point on, mind or the person takes shape with all the external influences stored in the form of memory for future use. The most of the influence is from nearest people around. And 100% of the people around, that matter most for a child to develop 'thinking', belong to one or other faith, tradition and culture, all of which are full of irrational beliefs. So for a mind that is irrational right from its base, is it really possible to be wholly rational?

What is rationality, rational thinking? Bertrand Russell defines it something like,- to believe something which stands all tests, primarily scientific, as real is rational and that which does not stand test of time and circumstances is just a belief, irrational which may or may not be real. For me even science is irrational. For this statement of mine, you are very well at your liberty to declare that my thinking is flawed or skewed; it is your privilege. You are welcome even if you think I am a fit case to be in a mental asylum! But science goes on discovering a new theory displacing the previous one to fall wayside. Till then they have all relied on the previous one. Is that rational? For almost a century, it is believed that atom consists of a static nucleus and revolving electrons. This concept of protons and electron has fallen wayside about a decade back. To put it vaguely, scientists are now miffed by the truth of the same particle existing simultaneously at two places inside an atom, pushing Einstein into side wings! Almost entire modern science had relied heavily on Einstein's E= MC squared  theorem. Now this theorem is under serious threat of extinction! What then is rational about science? The new is discovered on the belief of the old, is that rational?

To be in a lighter vein, I remember of a friend who boasted that she was practicing meditation since the age of fourteen  every morning at three, nonstop. She was in her early fifties at that time when she became my friend through Internet. We used to discuss a lot of spirituality through mails and messenger chat. When the friendship became closer, she revealed her scorn against the alcoholism of her husband, who used to tell her why crack your head in spirituality when life is there simply to enjoy! This man's thinking is very rational, is it not? Live in this moment! And when this friend of mine became highly disturbed because her son declared his intentions to marry his Muslim girlfriend (both lived in the US), it was irrational side of her so called spiritual mind; at least I look at it that way, because she had not seen in her long years of meditation that nothing in this world belongs to her, being possessive is irrational, right?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"..... because I have been sidetracked for over 20 years..... courts, cases, friends, pranks, a marriage, several affairs (laughs)....... I got sidetracked. And now that I am retired, nothing sidetracks me. I was in the bar the other night..... and I saw myself....having dinner alone......and..well, I didn't like myself..."

I find this dialogue in an Spanish Argentinian movie with English sub titles from Spanish. As I said in my earlier blog, I have this opportunity to view a number of movies of all leading countries on line, courtesy my daughter. I am in America visiting my daughters. Also as I said in my earlier blog, I have difficulties in following American accent and the on-line stream does not offer sub titles for English movies, so I pick from their Foreign Movies section. I had no opportunity to view French, Italian, Mexican and Argentinian movies before. There are some excellent movies from these countries.

That piece of dialogue I quoted was put in the mouth of a leading character, a retired detective in the movie, made my own memories to unwind. I don't know in what meaning the translator used that word 'sidetracked', I take it he did not have time to look at himself.

I am now self retired since four years from a small time business. But it was long before retirement, I started to look and wonder at myself in the void created when the last of my children, all three girls, proceeded to America seeking higher education in the year 2001. Her eldest sister had already started her own family giving birth to a girl child simultaneously doing her post graduation in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, after her marriage. And her immediate elder was already here in America seeking a research slot after her post graduation at Texas A&M University.

It was in that void I started searching for myself, my identity. I started wondering - is there an identity except that I am son of so and so, then husband of so and so followed by father of so and so running a so and so business. Yes, I was 'sidetracked' for over, not 20 but 30 years. But in that void created after all the children became adults capable of taking care of themselves, I could not find myself, let alone whether I liked myself or not. In these long ten years I have searched and still searching - who am I without a given identity? Is there an easy way to look at? I have all my traits - my quick temper, that crass anger, that sensitivity and sentimentality, that unpredictable behavior ... - everything intact. The only thing I could discover in these years is that I am nothing, yes, absolutely nothing without these attributes, the personality traits. I want to see myself in that nothingness; is that possible? I think it is, because of late I have started having glimpses of that nothingness; glimpses of getting lost in the void....and believe me, in that state I touch the borders of immensity, profundity - call it what you will - of life without biases, without prejudices, without given values, without virtues, pride....without all that mind has created, nursed and attached to life,....the wholeness of life without 'me'. Yes, the wholeness, the true beauty without created attachments.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Right now I am in America, on a second visit in three years to my daughters living here. How do I pass my time? They all - my friends and relatives,- the the people who know me  - ask this question. Well, how do I pass my  time, huh? Basically I am a loner. I always prefer to be left alone, and I find it, most of the times very comfortable, alone, away, some times far, far away from this superficial world. And yes, at times I also find myself very depressed. But then it doesn't take long before I bounce back into the realities of the present.

Depression...thought process...that is exactly not the purpose of writing now.....  People who care, have advised me a number of times to sit and write; they believe I have the skill, some even come forward to make arrangements to print and publish!! But they may not, but you & I do know, I am not made of that stuff. A moody fellow, with changing moods faster than you may note, that is me. And of course, I simply don't care for the money, or the fame, accolades or whatever rewards publishing may bring.

So why do I write now? see? I forgot, why I wanted to write now, nor what I wanted to write! Has been a long time you know, since I posted my last blog? Ah, yes, time, how I pass my time here in Austin, Texas.

My daughter became a member by subscription to NETFLIX, an on-line DVD rental company. In addition to regular delivery of DVD's by post, they offer free and unlimited access to viewing of movie stream on-line. I have been seeing a lot of movies, some interest me and take me to the and some of course, I stop after seeing a little or a bit more. Critical reviews are also there by members and premier show viewers, for every movie description, which really help. And the company maintains a really amazing collection of movies. Old - some are of the period before I was even born! - new, in a variety of languages including Hindi.  And there are western quickies, my college time favortites! There are movies of every genre in this portal, - right from hard core pornography to top spiritual matter. History to histrionics, war, thrillers, comedy, romance, name them, it is there in their library and I have free access, courtesy my working daughter.

You know now, how I pass my time.

I have so far seen a number of movies on line. There are some really classic movies. And the amazing thing I discover so late in life is that there are quite ordinary people with certain skills in film industry, who may not know they have seen the truth of this life on earth more closely than a Fridrich Nietzsche, a Bertrand Russell, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Deepak Chopra, Jesus Christ or a Lord Krishna. But they show them to you through their characters, their cenematic skills, not by dumb lecture!

I have much difficulties in following American accent. But subtitle option is there for the DVDs received for home viewing, but not for streaming movies on-line. But for on-line streaming movies English sub titles are there for any other language than English. And to some extent I can follow British accent. I also have difficulties quick, fast reading and that gives a serious disadvantage of watching the characters, the action. Yet, I am able to enjoy the content and its presentation through the medium.

And why did I say that ordinary people are closer to life than the religious and spiritual stalwarts? the so called masters, Messiahs, Incarnations and Avtars? Simple! They don't know (that) what they know! Yes, it is that simple. As I go through the dialogues of the characters and at times I still the movies to read the subtitled dialogues clearly, often coming from a whore, a criminal or a psychopath, I dive deeper into the truths uttered through the characters and simply get stunned by the creaters of these dialogues and circumstances. They are not one, but a team led by the director. Do they do it with an Oscar in mind? I see some gems in a two starred second rate or third rate movies! There are also Oscar winning movies with great depiction skills. There trues life stories and events.

Truth is not some body's ancestral property, is that? All that matters is when you acquire the ability to see it...and only then you will know how simple it is!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Lost And Found Case

It is the first time that my daughter could not visit us for five years since her last visit. Summi went to America seeking higher education in August 1999. Her first visit was in 2001, then again in 2003, then in 2005 and now, after five years. This time, naturally her anxiety to visit her favorite eateries in town was more intense than ever.  Her mother too was equally enthusiastic to take her to her favorite joints. Also Summi now has a 30 month old her very own daughter on tow. Mother and child have been with us since Saturday last, will be leaving by 23rd of this month to Bangalore and from there back to US on the 29th, when we join her for our second visit to the U.S.

Since last three days we have been visiting that famed Sri Devi Condiments, where the fellow prepares tasty chaat masaalaa, and Summi says the taste has not changed a bit from her college days in mid-nineties. Yesterday, during chaat senior mother and daughter decided to shop at an 'all cotton' annual discount sale. Mother took out her money purse from the vanity bag and checked if there was enough cash. We in Shiumoga are not yet fully accustomed to plastic money. Daughter also checked her purse. Satisfied with the total cash they together had, they asked me to drop them at the shop and return home. So did I.

When they returned home, the senior mother asked me to take out the car again. It was alreaqdy dark. She had lost her money purse and the amount of purchase went beyond the cash Summi had, and so had left the package with the shopper requesting him to keep it waiting for them to return with bill money. As she could not decide where exactly the purse was mislaid, she had hopes that it could have fallen on the car floor while putting it back into her bag. They searched the car but could not find. (Up to here I wrote when we were still in Shimoga, on the very night when the incident took place, could not complete and now I am trying to do it here sitting at Summi's home in Austin, TX!)

Well, I had a cinch that the purse had fallen where the car was parked. In fact I could guess exactly what could have happened. The place where we parked the car was a little bit dark. There was no side walk nor was a pavement, neither a street light. Also, there was no shop on that side, instead there was an old house with a small compound and gate. My wife while confirming whether she had enough cash for shopping, had the door open and her one leg was outside on the road. So, I thought, in all probabilities the purse had fallen below the car and when we moved the the wheel of the car had run over it. There were some litter scattered all over the side of the road. Some dusty black empty plastic bags were there.

I took Summi straight to the spot hoping none else had parked a car there. Fortunately the place was vacant. I stopped exactly where I had parked and lo! I could see the purse in the headlights among black plastic bags, the purse also being black, and as I guessed my car tyre had run over it making a dust mark, making it look like another plastic bag. I asked Summi to go and pick it. She laughed at me saying there was no purse, but only littered trash! However she got out and bent over the thing I pointed. She was surprised beyond belief! A man idly leaning against the gate was observing all this; must have regretted for having not noticed the purse which contained over Rs.2,000/- in cash apart from some other miner valuables.

When we returned home, my wife exclaimed "It is my GOOD money, cannot go to anybody but me!". I was wondering if all those lakhs of crores eaten away by A.Rajas and Suresh Kalmadis are bad money?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quality Of Freedom in Democratic Societies

I came here to America visiting my daughters recently. While my daughter and her husband both go to work everyday, leaving their two year old child at the Day Care Center, my daughter is concerned about how I pass my time. Of course, there is TV and this laptop totally at my disposal. Yet, a couple of days back she brings some latest issues of Time magazine from her bed room and gives me to read.

Today I pick up an issue dated 24th Jan.2011. The Tucson, Arizona shooting madness story calls my attention. In fact that was the main article appearing on the cover page, which made me pick that issue of the magazine. This Tucson shooting incident, I believe had made headlines on all global news media soon after it took place on 8th Jan. A school drop out, Jared Loughner, also an alcoholic and drug addict found to be a schizophrenic wrecked havoc on that day going on a shooting spree during a political meeting presided by the local Democratic Party congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. In fact his first target was this woman, whom he abhorred and shot from close range, the bullet piercing through the right side of her head and emerging from the left drilling a hole in her brain from side to side. It is a different story that this woman has survived the injury miraculously, now MSN news just today reporting her verbal request for toast for breakfast, declaring the recovery as lightning fast. The madness caused 6 deaths and 13 injuries.

Whereas, it is always the ruling political party blaming the opposition and the opposition blaming the ruling party in such situations in a democracy, the writer of the article poses questions about  two deeper issues involved in this incident, which is not the first of its kind. Four years back the Virginia Tech massacre caused 33 deaths including the shooter. One, he asks, if it is not high time that people with serious mental conditions such as schizophrenia should be confined to asylums and the other is if it is not time to revise the weapons law and make amendments to the constitution.

 In America, the constitution is so much for the freedom of speech that it allows individuals to make tirades of pure hatred of all kinds in public. An individual simply walks to an ammunition stores, buys a fire arm of his choice and walks away. He needs to get a permit to carry it in public, but for buying at a store, there are no restrictions. One can conceal it easily and carry to a cinema hall or a church. The author of the article, one David Von Drehle, sarcastically, though in all seriousness of the issue says, while the speech does not kill, a gun kills! I wonder if freedom is not bordering on promiscuity, if not lunacy in America!

While issues are so serious and crying loud for reforms, in a democratic society of any kind and pattern, people at the helm of power indulge in blame game, never serious about rooting out social anomalies permanently. Tax paying and law abiding common man is always a casualty in a democracy.

I have seen people of so called advanced countries laughing at India calling it a land of snake charmers and roaming cattle. In India we have bulls roaming freely, even having mating games making people in busy streets run helter-skelter for life! In developed countries we have schizophrenics like the Loughners roaming among people concealing firearms on their person and killing people at will. These things can happen only in immature democracies enabling greedy stupid cheats climb to the peak of power. Be it Indian, American or European democracy, in my opinion, all are miserably immature and stupid systems of governance. Will the system mature? Not in the near future at least, if not never! Is democracy all about freedom or should there be social responsibility at the top. People like you and me can only debate for ever and ever....another form of stupidity, madness? 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Unusual Cold In Austin, Texas

I should say we were lucky to have a usual and moderate weather for the season in Austin, Texas when we landed on Sunday the 30th January. The weather, so to say was rather very pleasant and I was happy thinking that I could start my morning and evening walks to the park right away. But the weather gods seem to have had different plans. On the night of 31st it rained rather heavily with strong wind instantly bringing down the temperature. This year it seems the weather has been very erratic all over the world. If you live in Karnataka, India, you may remember this winter the temperatures at northern parts of the state, like Gulberga and Raichur, came down to near zero degrees. Raichur recorded the lowest at 6 degrees Celsius after a gap of nearly a century. These are the states where people die of sun strokes every summer! Torrential rains poured like hell in interior and coastal areas even in the last week of  December. Now here in Texas, my daughter says it is not usual for Texas to experience the chill at 15 degrees F at this time of the year. Yes, it was 18 degrees during daytime and 15 during night (Around  minus 4 degrees Celsius!) My daughter also says, she has not seen snow fall in this part of the country in more than the last ten years, ever since she came here seeking higher studies in 1999. Yes, snow fall is predicted tonight and tomorrow morning by the weatherman. Weather forecasts are pretty accurate here in America, unlike in India. I am eagerly waiting to see the snow fall here.

I have seen good snow falls in the North Eastern states during my last visit to America in 2008. But that was in the last week of December and very normal in Niagara, New York and Washington. It was a wonderful first experience then and I had written elaborately about it in my travelogues circulated among family and friends. Also at Washington, this time where we missed our next flight to Austin and took connecting flights via Chicago, there were snow fall at both the places. I had also seen ice storm in Austin during Chris mas that year. During my morning walk one fine day, I saw heaps of ice crystals of the size of sugar grains gathered by the sides of fences. This also, according to my daughter is common to Austin to fall once or twice a year during deep winter days. But snow fall in February surely is very unusual.

Texas, this time has greeted me with unusual things. Let me wait and see what else is in store for the next five months of my stay here, and sure this time I will put all my experiences in my blogs.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

All Is Well That Ends Well - A Scary Experience

The learned say, a near death experience takes a person to something very near to nirvana. But what if it is the other way round? I scared the hell out of everybody the other day!

Sumitha, my second daughter with her two year old little angel had come visiting us from America after a long gap of five years. All of us, - myself, my wife, my eldest daughter, her husband and two daughters, my sister Vimala and her husband, all and sundry have been eagerly awaiting Summi's visit ever since she announced her decision to visit, some two months back. Ammi(Amitha) and Viju had thought of plans for a short holiday in Goa. This time Summi had taken a long(!)5 week, vacation and she had planned to spend one week in the beginning and one week at the end of her stay, with her in-laws at Bangalore. This time, perhaps for the first time ever since they married 9 years back, her husband Hemanth accompanied her. He could get only two weeks leave from his company. So, he returned after leaving Summi and the child Neha, with us in Shimoga. As planned earlier, we all, - me, my wife, her sister Shobha, Summi and Neha, and Ammi and family, went on a 5 day Holiday starting with a night's stay in Murudeshwar sea resort. The holidays started well with this, everybody enjoying the sea shore and the sea food right from a lunch at Kundapur on way. Next three days we spent in Goa.

We all love sea food. And for those who love fish, one should visit Goa if you ever happen to be in South India. Goa is one place where you get a wide variety of fresh fish with equally wide variety of preparations - local, south coastal, original Goan, Oriental, Italian,- just name it, you get it. It is a heaven for fish eaters, though polluted by foreign elements with drug culture.

Well, everybody enjoyed the sea and the food, especially little Neha and her cousins. On the final day, when we were to drive back home trouble started with me. First it was lose motion due to upset stomach, which was promptly treated with appropriate medicines, which Ammi and Viju, a practicing and professing Gynaecologist and General Surgeon, always carried with them. Lose motion came under control at about 12 noon and we started the journey. At Ankola, at around 2.30, we had lunch, me eating only a couple of idlis without sambar to keep my stomach calm. Lo! I soon started shivering with fever. I was wondering, how could that lovely food cause such shivering chill in the mid day sun! Paracetamol, kept me calm for sometime. But soon I started vomiting violently! All hell broke inside my stomach, when there was nothing left to vomit, I still could not control the feeling and felt as if my intestines are dragged out!

It took only a couple of days for me to become normal. Important thing was I had to be back to normal at the earliest because only a weeks time was left for Summi to return to America and this time we, her parents were to accompany her. Then this skin irritation started troubling me. When Cetirizine failed, I immediately approached a dermatologist, who after examining opined that there is nothing serious and the the irritation could be due to some drug allergy as I had consumed quite some antibiotics for the food infection. When the irritation became more severe after two days I once again saw the Skin Specialist, an experienced woman of repute, she recommended blood test for differential count. The test report revealed a little rise in my Oesonophils count than normal as the doctor suspected. Proper medication arrested the skin irritation almost immediately. I sighed a breath of relief as there were only three days left for our flight to America. By now I was very cautious about my food intake. I was really scared.

A day before our scheduled journey, we managed to complete our packing and came to Bangalore. Summi and Neha had come 5 days earlier. Our flight was at 6.55 PM on 29th February. The day I reached Bangalore on 28th early morning, my motion became a little loose again. I got a little scared but I did not show, took precautionary medicines, and I was strictly maintaining my recommended diet. However I had to reveal to my Bhavaji as I had a couple of more loose motions. Bhavaji, took me immediately to their family doctor, who after examining me reassured me of normalcy. He prescribed some other antibiotics. By evening I felt very much relieved. But after we went to bed at around 11 PM, I felt a little chill. Soon it became hellish shivering monster eating me alive. I had stayed at my sister's place and Summi was not told. By 1 am, I scared everybody. All hell broke out inside me when even after swallowing two Paracetamols of 650 Mg. each, the shivering did not stop. I was running high temperature. Slowly the temperature came to normal and so the shivering chill. Then the body itching started and it went on and on becoming more severe. Both me and my wife practically had no sleep. In the morning when everything seemed to be coming under control, my wife called Ammi and related all the night experience to her. That very evening we had to board the flight. Ammi, as an experienced doctor, did not fall prey to emotions and immediately asked me to change the drugs, as the ones prescribed by Bhavaji's family doctor could have caused a sort of allergic condition in me. This change in medicine (Could it be my everlasting faith in my daughter?) played the trick and by the time we were to leave for airport, I was fit as a fiddle, - at least the feeling was so!

The 28 hour journey was surprisingly pleasant without any slightest health problem for me. At Washington when we missed our flight to Austin, our final destination, and had one hour time to board the next flight, I felt to try motion, which till then I did not have and had a comfortable stomach. I had normal motion to my utmost satisfaction.

By the time we reached home in Austin at 2.30 PM, we all were very tired. We knew, back home everybody was waiting for a call from us as soon as we reached. They were all scared about my condition, especially bhavaji was very nervous seeing me shivering like feather in the storm that night at his place. Summi just called Saritha, our other daughter in San Diego asking her to call Ammi and tell about the safe reaching and also to to communicate the news to all concerned. It was a Sunday. Then we ate some luncheon and straight away went to bed for a long and undisturbed sleep. Next morning I was truly hale and healthy. All is well that ends well, isn't it?