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A Room With a view.This title is borrowed from a popular movie and this poem is inspired by my friend Sampath Kumar’s poem on Superannuation.He is a person who will never grow old with his multifarious interests and a childlike enthusiasm to explore the unexplored.Still he has written beautifully about the pangs of an old man after superannuated.I am going to present another side of it.This is not a patch on his prowess as a poet but then I am not a published poet.I love this.So many alliterations.One of the few times I am satisfied with my own writing.

The room described is not mine but what my father dreamt of and the dream is mine also ,though I know it would remain a dream.His dream was to live in a house,facing the sea,with choicest music and books and more importantly an expert cook.He loved solitude also.I write on impulse,not knowledgeable about the rules.
A Room With a view.
I look out of the window.Yonder there is 

The ocean.The sound of ways is musical.

At times a little subdued ,at others

Mighty and roaring.

Sound of music also from a nearby temple

Wafting in the air,sound of chirping birds.

From nearby trees,flowers in full bloom

After the night’s rains,mild not severe.

Choicest coffee in hand,concentrate

On the newspapers.Nothing earthshaking

Same demonetisation,some tributes to the departed.

A rape here and a murder there

Now seizure of gold and cash.

Counterfeit,old or new notes.

Money,black or white,does it matter?

My eyes are looking for the cartoons.I find

Pleasure in them since they enliven the atmosphere.

My own zone should be a silent zone.

Neither phone calls nor door bells.

I love the sound of silence

Lending charm to my solitude.

Again looking out,find children 

waiting for the school bus and office goers

In a hurry to reach office on time.

Having crossed all these phases

I enjoy my retirement.I still dream 

Of my exams,my reaching office late.

Of completing some unfinished work.

I realise I need have no worry.I have crossed

The Hurdles.

There are fresh problems,relating to health.

Want to sleep more,limbs are stiff.

Knees pain and eyes water.

But then I am still able to walk

With or without problems

Less compared to many.

I feel a cheer at heart and get ready

For the day,neither past,nor future 

Bother me anymore.

Old age is a bliss and a curse by turns.

Well,tomorrow is another day,who

Knows how many morrows more?


It is not grumbling.It is always necessary to vent out our feelings and FB is a good channel.What you have written is true and many people feel the same way.It is tough to lead life in old age.Not all persons are the same.I can quote my own example.I live alone but I have a part time cook and a woman to do the other works.I have my daughter’s family living 2 km away.They send me the driver if I need anything or some occasional outing.I love my solitude and the calm life.If someone comes home or chats on the phone,I am happy but if they are too busy,it is ok with me.One solution may be retirement homes.Many people are not receptive to the idea.You are taken care of,medically,housekeeping is taken care of and there may be like minded people to chat with or indulge in religious activities.Choice is yours.

Retirement Homes.In yesterday’s paper there was a feature on Retirement Homes,which set me thinking.This is a subject which has been in my mind for quite sometime and something which is often discussed when senior citizens meet.What was just an option for people who could not look to the convenience of parents,either because of their jobs in some other place of residence,even a different country,has now become a reality which senior citizens are willing to try .This would free them from the cares of everyday living like servants,cooking chores and most importantly health care.
Some years back there were only senior citizens homes,where the elderly were left for various reasons.From monetary constraints to physical or some family problems were the reason.Not all cases were apathy and not all were run sloppily.There were some NGO’s who genuinely did a good job.All the same there were some badly run ones where the inmates were left uncared for and unattended.This brought a bad reputation to the whole picture.There were cases of neglect when they were seriously ill and needed attention more.
Then came the concept of retirement homes where one can buy a flat or cottage for a price and will be owned by them.There is the question of affordability and not everyone could buy them.Now there are various schemes and categories to choose from and still the main clientele would be parents with N.R.I’s as their offsprings or upper middle class people.
There are cases where the couples voluntarily opt for it.Reasons being like minded people,constant medical attention and avoiding other problems they have to face,as simple as finding an electrician or a plumber.Moreover in this busy world their children are busy carving a career for themselves and other responsibilities like bringing up their own children and securing their future.No parent would want to add to their burden or worries.Nowadays fortunately the earning capacity of people has increased.They don’t mind keeping their parents in a comfortable place,well cared for ,with amenities for medical emergencies.There should not be any stigma attached and no one should be blamed.It is not as if the parents are sent there as punishment.There are also cases of childless couples opting for it and feel more secure.
There are cases where these retirement homes fall short of expectations.They fail to deliver whatever was promised.Senior citizens who had pledged their life savings in investing in these properties,were left in the lurch.
There is a counter point.Either the parents or their offsprings are not happy about this and everyone wants to live as one family,whatever be the inconveniences.This calls for a compromise and lot of adjustments from everybody concerned.There would be frictions because of the high stress levels and there may be additional responsibilities like taking care of the grand children an age when they would like to put their legs up and relax.Undoubtedly there are some pleasures which come with it.
Now comes the question of people who may not be so sociable and outgoing by nature.These are the people who would be happy if they are left alone,doing whatever pleases them.Case in point is me.I won’t be happy in a company of religious or spiritually inclined people.I would be happier in my own company though I like to welcome anyone who visits me and spend time with me.There may come a time when I will have to give way,because of medical problems.Till such time I would like to maintain this status quo.I am sure there would be many who would feel the same.Would welcome comments,either way.
Lastly,my family doctor’s observation that senior citizens who live by themselves are healthier.Ultimately much depends whether both spouses are alive or due to some misfortune,one is left alone.

Deepavali,the Festival of Lights.
A time for festivities and happiness for all.

Let that be so for everyone.

Celebrate it with puja and prayers,

If you want.Eat sweets and savouries.

Decorate your house with rangoli

Light diyas to beautify the house.

Wear new clothes.give to the needy.
 Naraka Chathurthi and Bali padami

In the south,Laksmi Puja in the west

Return of Rama after war in the north.

And Kali Puja in the east.

For men, gambling sessions for those 

who like to gamble,Dhanteras to buy 

More gold to adorn for ladies.wealth is prayed for.New accounts are opened.

Real significance lies in dispelling the 

Darkness in your heart and lit it up 

with good thoughts and deeds.

Be happy and make others happy.
Celebrate in whichever way you want.

Why crackers,adding to the pollution

Noise as well as environmental?

Think of the hundreds of deaths happening

As it is in wars and bomb blasts.

Why add to that? Last week two fires.

Negligence in storing and lack of stringent rules and punishment.

In one I.C.U patients

In another an I.A.S academy affected.

It is not the number of deaths which matter

Even one life is still precious to someone.
Think of the children involved in match factories.

And the hazards involved in that

All lives are valuable but with children more tragic.

Consider children’s safety and health if you must,celebrate with less harmful ones.

look at the mess it creates the day after.

Swatch Bharat is the current slogan.where is that?
Message is celebrate you must but no crackers.

Deepawali or Diwali.The social aspects.
This is my Deepavali post for this year.I think I like this festival most.Leaving the religious aspects of it to better knowledgeable friends,I find a festive atmosphere visible throughout the country,unlike other festivals which are confined to particular regions of India.There are lot of tempting offers and discounts,generally genuine which one can buy for the house or for oneself and family.I don’t like crackers,being sound allergic but I love the lamps being lit.There is lot of beautification that is seen,be it the rangoli or the diyas.I have seen most places during Deepavali but Mumbai does it with a flair.In south there is more of ritualistic celebrations and in North,it is more showy.In the east it coincides with Kali puja and Deepavali is secondary.After Deepavali,there is Bhai dhuj,akin to Rakhi festival.

We,in south,buy new clothes for everyone in the family.The oldest lady of the family applies oil on the heads of younger people ,Haldi on the feet,and kumkum on the forehead.This still happens in traditional families though with reduction in joint families and children living in all parts of the world.Then there is the oil bath followed by dolling out a ball of Deepavali legium.,to offset the ill effects of mindless eating.Friends either come home or they go out.There were and are Deepavali releases of new movies,the importance of seeing it first day,first show greatly decreased ,with the advent of Television and programmes on T.V.with Solomon Pappiah’s Patti Mandram,heading the list of favourites.

I love my sarees,so lovingly selected by my daughter.My celebrations are minimalistic.Just as I posted yesterday,one sweet and one savoury and some bought from outside.I have a very natural tendency to diet.Whenever I see too much of food anywhere,either at home or in restaurants,I lose my appetite.I am very satisfied when there is a simple meal.

My Deepavali has started some two days back.I got the house cleaned thoroughly.My fans were dirty but with two fifty plus helpers I couldn’t get them cleaned.My husband was a born humorist and used to have a technique ,As soon as someone entered he would switch on the fan so that the dirt would not be visible in rotation.I could get something done at home.No one is going to open my cupboard which is still in a mess.I am expecting my sister to be here for Deepavali.Hope to see my daughter’s family tomorrow.My lift is out of order and because of my disabilities may not be able to go out anywhere.

Wishing all my friends and family a very happy Deepavali.

Deepavali morning and some thoughts.
It is around 8.45 now.I got up reasonably early at 6.30 because of my never failing cook.We are two old people,my sister and I, staying together for today and both eager to know why the paper had not come.Ultimately both of us settled down doing something else till the paper makes it appearance.

She is an yoga enthusiast.Both of us closing our eyes for different reasons.She,as part of her yoga routine and I,because I am drowsy.We would have our breakfast,the avalakki of the kannadiga so and aval Upma of the Tamilians soon and have our bath.

This year it has been a very quiet Deepavali.Some stray cracker sound somewhere.Either it is because of reduction of Sivakasi crackers or ban on Chinese ones.It makes me peaceful and happy.

There are so many goodies spread on the table that I don’t have any desire to eat anything.It is natural dieting in a way.

No chance of going anywhere and so new sarees would have to wait.I do expect somebody or other to wish us,apart from my daughter.

It is nine and time to get going.This is just written to provide some morning entertainment.As I am ending,some cracker sound is deafening and making my heart miss a beat.

Happy Diwali.

World Peace Day.Peace,a beautiful word,hard to find,None the less to be searched within.To spread the word around.”Shanti”. or peace,without religious connotations,Mean the same.When uttering,There is a peace you feel within.Let peace prevail first at home,In today’s world of tension,Difficult to cope with,A peaceful atmosphere hard to get,Not impossible to attain.Next, our neighbourhood,Let religions and castes be cast aside.Neighbouring states,water is a necessity,Let it not be a bone of contention.Our neighbouring countries,Difficult situation prevailing.Threats of war looming large.Hope it is averted.wars only Mean destruction and loss of precious lives.World over there are conflicts raging.Bomb blasts and pellets and what not.Innocents and children lose their lives.Blame game gone on with terroristsHaving the field to themselves.A powerful world body,the need of the hour.Let us hope good sense to return to peopleA wish for the world to live as one.Let peace descend on everyone.

Teacher’s Day.This day is dedicated to all teachers and named Teacher’s Day and it coincides with the birthday of one of our greatest teachers of the country,Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.From morning my wall is filled with posts on Ganesh Chaturthi or teachers.There are lovely remembrances about their teachers.

In our family also we have had teachers,starting with my grandfather,who was Prof of English,Central College,extending to two of my sisters, and my sister in law and some in my extended family also.My sister has re-established contacts with many of her students,mainly due to their efforts on seeing her profile photo in the Facebook.I could have opted to be one,soon after my masters.I just needed to do a B.ed course. Somehow I never thought I had an aptitude for it,nor the patience or dedication needed.

A teacher’s job is not an easy one.To teach very young ones,although is a pleasure ,need infinite patience for their tantrums and should have a knack to control them.As you start teaching older kids,things become more difficult.You may be proficient in your subject but presenting them in an attractive and efficient way is another thing.Students should be absolutely absorbed.There lies the success of the teacher.A boring teacher is always the butt of jokes.To quote one wonderful example of good teacher,Aamir Kan in “Taare Zamindar Par.”We have had other lovely movies based on teachers like,”To Sir,With Love”,”Good bye,Mr.Chips” and many others.

Today’s generation ,though intelligent ,is a restless generation.What was accepted blindly is now questioned.No one accepts anything at face value.This is surely encouraging but needs extra effort from the teacher.They are not highly paid,except in some International Schools.Therefore a teacher has to be a very dedicated one to enter the profession.Plus,they should have the discretion not decide when to be kind and when to be strict.Along with this,of course,they should have a thorough knowledge of the subject and also the willingness to update their knowledge often.Rather a tall order but necessary.

Amongst my Facebook friends,I have learnt a lot and still to learn .Gautam Benegal writes about things strongly and aggressive,about a burning issue,without mincing words, and uses his art to stress a point.Sampath Kumar deals with it in a different way,also fearlessly.He knows a lot about all subjects and I learn about Economics and Law from his posts which is lucid in explanation.Both of them write beautiful prose.I learn about the intricacies of Carnatic music and musicians and many new details associated with them, from Sriram Venkatakrishnan and he makes the music season special with his one liners.Never a dull moment. I learn more about History,old classics and literature and specially about Tagore from Ruma Chakravarty.My Tamil teacher is N.Chokan and I have learnt about Tamil grammar and usage after reading his book.and my Sanskrit scholar is Raji.B.Iyer.Thus even at this age I have to learn so many things and no limit whatsoever.

There have been lapses in our education system which has to be rectified.In one state there were even attempts to rewrite history.Let us be honest.Students are unruly at some places and teachers resort to violent punishments at others.There needs to be more understanding and the gap between the two has to be bridged.With these words,let me wish all teachers a very happy Teacher’s Day.I have quite a few in my friend’s list,including a young ,handsome professor,Parjanya Sen from Darjeeling.Others I can remember are Ruma,Gita, and Rajan Grover.

Mentioned in this post are Gautam Benegal,Sampath Kumar,Sriram Venkatakrishnan,Ruma Chakravarti,N .Chokan.