Showing posts from July, 2016

Lovely Birthday greetings in Verse

Vinod, just sent me lovely birthday wishes composed as a poem. Vinod is a class fellow from IIT Delhi and retired a few years ago as one of the senior most officers of the Indian bureaucracy (he was at the top of the equivalent of IRS in India). We have known each other and been friends for precisely 50 years now.

Happy BirthdayForgive us dear friend
how could we forget
we shouldn't forget
our life and breath
friend of friends
monk among studs
worldly too but
not of the world
wise and bold
a style of your own
with a sublime touch
Happy birthday to you Dear Ashok ji
and our best wishes though belated
but warmest and most heartfelt
and our fervent prayers for a long
healthy and most fruitful life to you
May God Bless you ever
that you go on touching

Mr. Squirrel is back

Soon after building a home some twenty five years ago, I planted a lot of trees around it. I began putting out some bird seed and bread etc. to attract the birds. Along with the birds came the squirrels and I discovered they like precisely the same food as the birds. A few of the squirrels became friends and I gave them silly sounding names which to the squirrels must have sounded quite proper and dignified. The squirrels would take bread pieces from my hands.
Then around twelve years ago a brood of cats moved into the area. They were great for finishing up rats that inhabited the area from before the homes were built but unfortunately they wiped out the squirrels too. The birds have continued to live because most are much too smart for the cats; a black bird even teases them by hopping around in front of them. As a result the home is surrounded by bird songs all day, every day during daylight hours.
I have not seen a squirrel here for about ten years now but today morning I was pleas…

A Fellow Student from Kenya and Barack Obama

From 1974 to 1978, I spent four years in Vancouver pursuing doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia. During this period, I stayed in a rented room near the university in the home of a Canadian Lady by the name of Olive Cuthbert. She was a retired nurse who had spent part of her younger days in Malaysia. She said the Malaysians had looked after her well and she wished to help students from developing countries to return the favor. She had since rented out two furnished rooms on the first floor of her Vancouver home to such students on very favorable terms. I stayed with her all through my four or so years of study while the occupant of the other room changed over the years. There was one from Fiji, then Kenya and finally from Nigeria. Since we shared the kitchen and much else in the home we all became good friends during our stay.
The most interesting of my friendship in this home was with the Kenyan student. His name was Mwaghazi Mwachofi Mwashimba, a Muslim Kenyan fr…