Relived the moment

Just finished watching 83 on OTT and relived the glorious moment of India’s totally unexpected but unforgettable victory over the mighty West Indies to lift the World Cup. The way Kapil lifted the spirits of his team members from “ also ran” type to earn the sobriquet of “ Kapil’s devil” is what the film is all about. Of course, there was no surprise or suspense as the outcome was already well known, but the journey up to the victory was as fascinating as the final triumph.

The film also highlights the importance of the game of cricket in the life of a nation – India in this case. How communal riots in the parts of the country get converted into a show of unity, how the tension at the Indo-Pak border eases for a day with Pak line commander assuring his Indian counterpart of no firing from his side to let Indian forces watch the match to the celebratory mood of Indians cutting through all divisions across the world come to re-emphasise the importance of the game of cricket in our milieu.

The film has several high points – disdain of the English media towards the Indian team, smugness of the mighty West Indian team, Indian team’s struggle to get decent Indian food, nationalism evoked by this game, mannerisms of the original players followed to a T by the actors – a few known and others not so well known and of course, Ranveer Singh who lives and breathes Kapil Dev in the film.

India repeated the feat in 2011, has also done well in other formats of cricket, has several world class cricketers who have several records against their names and India now boasts of a world class premier league IPL that attracts the best talent from around the globe and entails big money. But the seed for all the above was sown by Kapil’s devils and for this very reason World Cup victory of 1983 will continue to remain very special. Kudos to Kabir Khan for capturing the spirit of the moment, which I relived while watching the film.

Cohesion and division

In continuation of my previous blog on Alzheimer’s, I received another “feel good” post from a friend of mine, who has a way with forwarding meaningful stuff on social media; to my mind that’s the real strength of social media – to spread happiness, valuable information and nothing but truth!

While this post has all that’s being done in various parts of the world concerning environment, nature, global warming, endangered species etc ( India also finds a mention – an Indian village celebrates the birth of a girl child by planting 111 trees; so far 3.5 lakh trees have been planted so far! ), the change that’s also happening immediately around us is also not insubstantial. How city bus service BEST has seamlessly moved from diesel to CNG to now electric is something absolutely commendable. I read somewhere that by 2024, BEST will have zero carbon emission! An elaborate metro network will ensure decongestion of Mumbai roads and comfortable travel for Mumbaikars, who struggled for longtime in overcrowded locals ( in fact, while Kolkata pioneered metro by going for this transit system as early as 70s, now several tier 2 cities – Jaipur, Lucknow, Pune, Nagpur apart from Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai boast of metros ). I also understand that any new real estate project in Mumbai gets the approval only if it has sufficient parking slots and water treatment plant to generate recycled water for flushing the toilets.

All the above is not significant and should be highlighted to inspire more people to join the crusade rather than wasting energy on the divisive issues!

Old age is not all about physical frailty

As I often maintain that everything doing rounds on social media is not junk and sometimes the posts or videos that we receive can make a very deep and lasting impression.

Received a three minutes video from an old friend of mine, where an old man with a chessboard set in front of him is waiting for his partner, his son to be precise, to be seated opposite to him so that game can be commenced. A lady comes walking and occupies the seat opposite to the old man much to his chagrin. He admonishes lady to have checked with him before sitting as this is reserved for his son who’s joining him soon for a round of chess. She apologises and moves away slightly vacating the spot directly opposite the old man. A young boy comes and sits opposite the old man and starts the game. The old man appreciates the skill of this young boy and tells him that his son also makes the same opening gambit. In conversation with the young boy, he laments about his son not finding a girl to get married. Meanwhile, the young boy loses the round and moves to the lady sitting close by as he’s her son. The old man praises the young guy to his mother and checks about the others in the family. When the lady keeps quite, he sympathises and asks whether her man has left her. She says sort of – he’s dead! The old man apologises for having touched a raw nerve and proposes that he’d be glad to have her as his son’s bride and her son as his grandson. She breaks down and starts sobbing. The old man looks for his handkerchief to offer it to the lady for wiping her tears, but is unable to find one! That’s when the lady gets up and tells him, “ Jerry, handkerchief is in your upper left pocket.” Meanwhile, the young boy comes back and tell his mother, “ Mom let’s take grandpa home as it’s time for dinner”.

The commentary then tells us that 1 in 9 individuals above 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s and we should respect those who take care of such affected people.

The video raises goosebumps as such is the viciousness of this condition that one neither remembers the immediate nears and dears taking care of him day and night, nor those nears and dears who cease to exist!

We worry about age related ailments – BP, sugar, heart condition, rheumatism, cataract, hearing loss et al, but there are much worse things in the form of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Let’s keep our minds active, relationships healthy and emotions in check. Strong family support and hobbies can be a panacea for such conditions.

Season of festivals

Our strength lies in diversity – of languages, eating habits, customs, religions, creeds- and the fact that our society is pluralistic and our nation secular are matters of great pride for all peace loving citizens of this country. Internal peace and unity will ensure that the country can focus on important socioeconomic issues to better the life of its countrymen.

We have in the past most peacefully and with full reverence celebrated different festivals that have coincided. In a sense, even the current month of April packs in it a whole lot of festivals – Navratri culminating into Ram Navami, Ramadan that will culminate into Eid, the period of lent that will end with Easter Sunday and new year of various regions – Baisakhi, Bihu, Vishu and Poila Baisakh.

It’s very unfortunate that Ram Navami processions at certain places were met with resistance and violence leading to riots. Now in a riot like situation, it’s very difficult to pin blame on any community for as there are peace living people in every community so exist the rabble rousers. But all sane minded people should frustrate the attempts by these rabble rousers to disturb peace and amity.

Right now, we can see many states around us crumbling. Srilanka is in economic mess and serious shortage of essentials has led to virtual civil disobedience. Pakistan is facing unprecedented economic downturn and inflation, leading to change in Government there within 3.5 years. And no early end to the woes of the common citizens seems to be in sight in both these countries. Bangladesh seems to have got its economy on the right path, but religious intolerance there is very unfortunate as Bengal ( undivided) is a land of Tagore and Kazi Nazrul. In contrast, though we in India are not totally unaffected by Russia- Ukraine war and are facing general inflation due to sharp increase in fuel prices, we are still best off! And India demonstrated tremendous resilience by emerging strongly out of 2 pandemic marred years.

Let’s preserve this unique feature of India of unity in diversity. That’s our strength. Let’s keep our emotions and feelings in check and work collectively towards building a strong nation, a role model and benefactor for the entire world !

Happy new year !

Friends with Ex

Hrithik Roshan married his childhood love Susanne Khan and the two formed an ideal couple, very much in love. After nearly a decade Of blissful togetherness and two cute children, they decided to call it a day, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason.

However, the two continued to be friends and frequently got together, especially whenever their children required both of them – parent teacher meets, birthdays, holidays etc. in fact, how an ex-couple could continue to remain good friends was very well demonstrated by this couple. In India, divorces are mostly bitter, marred with battle for custody of children and alimony and exes become complete strangers, if not lifelong enemies post the separation.

In fact, I vaguely recall that Hrithik and Susanne were once contemplating getting together once again and remarry. Of course, this didn’t happen and both decided to move on in life.

However, news item in today’s newspaper regarding return of Hrithik and Susanne from holiday not only together but along with their respective partners was nothing less than a shocker! Hrithik has been dating Saba Azad for sometime as tracked and followed by paparazzi and media, I had not heard about Susanne dating Arslan Goni. But seeing them together as two happy couples was something that has either never been seen or seen very rarely in our country.

While tongues can wag and people can say or think whatever they like, I think Hrithik and Susanne have set new standards and thought process for separated couples. They have rather become brand ambassadors for those couples, who find their respective partners incompatible but are scared to get separated for post divorce bitterness and complications. Life is short and unpredictable- rather than persisting with an unhappy relationship, some learning can be imbibed from this celebrity couple, who have so graciously moved away and are respectful of each other’s new partner. No doubt it’s easier said than done – to celebrate happiness of your ex partner with a new partner requires a heart of a lion and mind that’s very broad!

Hope Hrithik and Susanne find happiness with their new partners, simultaneously remaining friends with each other and bringing up their children together into good humans.

Till death do us part

Creations of the nature are seldom without purpose or a very deep logic. Everything created by nature – living beings, seasons and the very universe follows a great logic and has a great purpose behind its creation.

The above idea struck me now when I am waiting for an important milestone in my life whose date has been fixed. And in spite of knowing the exact date, there’s so much anxiety, impetuousness and restlessness about the impending event. This led me to wonder, what if the lord almighty had fixed our date of departure from this world?

Birth and death are some of the unique mysteries that the mankind, in spite of great leaps in science, technology and realm of knowledge has not been able to unravel. Birth to some extent is now determinable – we are coming across several cases of induced births on pre decided dates, especially the 1st of January or days coinciding with festivals that are considered auspicious. But death remains a mystery. Some countries have legalised euthanasia, where a person can choose to die with medical assistance under certain specific circumstances. But these induced births and pre planned deaths are artificial and few and far between. To most of us, death remains a mystery and an uncertainty.

While it’s good to follow the philosophical idea of life being momentary and most wicked, the fact remains that we live our life as if we are the permanent denizens on this earth, living forever. We continue to work, enjoy, amass wealth and enter into relationships, without ever realising impermanence of all these, the only reality being death. It’s true that terminal patients do see foreboding of death all the times. I have closely seen my brother in law, suffering last stage of metastatic cancer, counting his days and waiting for an impending death. Yet even in the worst of times, he had not completely given up the hope of survival , awaiting a miracle.

Let’s respect nature and all it’s creations, though the theme of this blog is to thank nature for certain very logical rules that makes our life on this planet so much to yearn for!

We make solemn promise

Till death do us part

Yet in our entire life filled with years

We shun considering death as our part

Nature is very kind

And certain mysteries it keeps in its heart

So that we live life to the fullest

Without waiting for the end as it’s part!

1st April – A different perspective

In the current scenario wrought with grimness, April Fool’s day assumes a different significance. We wish that all these wars, tensions, inflation, global warming, Covid etc are not a reality, but a superpower’s temporary aberration to mankind on a fool’s day and that from tomorrow onwards, all the aforesaid negative events will cease to be a reality.

I wish, Covid was not a pandemic

Inflation just momentary, soon to become anaemic.

Global warming will be arrested soon

Fluctuation in stock market is not a bane but a boon

Ukraine Russia war is just a day’s affair

North Korea’s muscle flexing is hardly a scare

Everything is alright, everything is fine

It’s just my ( superpower) way of wishing April fool to mankind!

Annual financial closing 2021-22

I am really ancient. I joined the banking industry way back in 1983 and that too on the 28th of December, just three days prior to annual financial closing. Yes, you have read right. Those were the days when the banks used to close their books on 31sr December and the financial year end coincided with the calendar year end. This continued for sometime – if my memory serves me right, I think the closing was shifted to March during 1988-89.

It was a big event and bankers never enjoyed the year end variety programme telecast on Doordarshan. The interest had to be manually computed and applied on all deposit and loan accounts, ledgers had to be balanced and all the provision entries to be put through manually before one could think of going home. It usually meant late night hours or early morning hours for some of the larger branches. In any case, the following day was a non customer working day ( it still is) that meant coming to office leisurely , having team lunch, completing the remaining year end activities and preparing for the new financial year.

Thanks to the end to end automation, all the aforesaid activities – interest computation and application, ledger balancing and provision entries now happen automatically at the touch of the button. Even preparation of large returns manually for loan accounts are now system generated. Year end activities nowadays are mostly around business accretion to the extent possible to achieve the maximum possible growth.

However, for a banker, the activities may have changed, but the importance and criticality of the annual financial closing haven’t changed. it continues to be an important milestone and a satisfying closing paves way for several opportunities regarding personal benefits by way of good rating, increment, year end benefits and promotion, if eligible.

For me, this FY 2021-22 closing assumes similar significance as 1983 closing. That was my first closing and this is going to be my swan song. While on one hand, I am happy that I will not have to worry about all the closing related activities and responsibilities, there’s a tinge of sadness on activity or occasion no longer existent in life.

My best wishes to all members of the banking fraternity for a satisfying year end closing .

A tribute to time

              Time

Time is a very vicious thing;

It gets spent with a zing.

We are faced with its perpetual shortage;

In childhood, youth and old age.

Time is also very precious;

Well spent time bears fruit that are delicious.

Time wasted is very perilous;

For it makes a person go delirious.

Time is very wicked;

When going is good, it’s nicked.

When grief befalls one;

Time seems like a ton.

Past makes you nostalgic, always golden;

That galloped too fast beholding you to olden 

The future always looks so uncertain to face;

With each second trotting at snail’s pace.

It’s easier said that done;

To live in present for anyone.

It’s difficult to detach oneself from the past;

And not too look at future that seems so vast.

One way to reconcile  heart to vagary of time;

Is to view time scientifically using one’s mind.

It always moves at its steady pace;

Whether one is a tortoise or a hare.

I read somewhere the secret is to move with the flow;

Time neither moves fast nor slow.

It’s our reaction to the time that makes us fear time;

Good deeds and thoughts over the time will make life sublime! 

Truth shall prevail

We are in a age where information is available in abundance and Google is the new guru- a sort of encyclopaedia that knows everything. Gone are the days when information required multiple visits to libraries to dig out the required data or facts.

But I personally feel that we are all rather inadequately or ill informed about the various happenings around us!

Let’s check the facts around currently the hottest event- Russia – Ukraine war. Why is this war happening, who’s winning, what are the losses and gains for the two warring nations, what’s preventing a ceasefire or truce – different sources will give you different information, which are in fact not the reality but perspective!

How about the Covid pandemic that threw our life out of gear for more than last 2 years? How did it start, was it natural or synthetic, how many people died, why is it mutating so fast, how effective is the vaccination, shall we require booster doses ad Infinitum- check any guru for comprehensive answer to any of the above questions!

And this information ( or should we call it disinformation) is not restricted to the aforesaid worldwide mega events? What happened to Sushant Singh, did he commit suicide or was he murdered, what happened to the purported drug mafia – NAB had summoned virtually half the Bollywood?

And there are issues by dimes and dozens that rock the nation or state or city by becoming the headlines or breaking news for a few days and then vanish into oblivion! Where is that crop of investigative journalists who would painstakingly go into the depth of the matter to unravel the truth? Or is it then we are too busy to wait for truth to emerge and look for instant gratification through cheesy gossip?

Unless, we learn the truth, we should restrict ourselves from forming firm opinions. Let’s keep our minds open for processing different views and perspectives without treating any of them as real fact. And hope that truth shall ultimately prevail!