Wednesday, April 22, 2015


                                                                       To  fantasize is to imagine something that you would like to happen. Another word for it is day dreaming.
 `Day dreaming helps the mind unwind, connect the dots and get creative` says a report in a leading daily. The author of the report recommends that when children complain of boredom, instead of overloading them with all kinds of  activities,  give them time to daydream. When they have nothing to do they are likely to indulge in `day dreaming` about what they want to do in life ,  which is good for them . The same report also quotes Sabu Cyril, the well known Art director; “ Day dreaming helped make me what I am today”. 

All of us have been fantasizing  or day dreaming about something or the other right from our childhood.
Living in a chawl in Mumbai in my early years where  50 people shared two common toilets every morning  ( what a nightmare!) I would dream of owning a home with toilets for every  member of the family.Today I have a 6-bedroom independent  home with  seven  toilets ( including the one located outside the house  for servants)- The irony is that we now have only three members living in the house.

As an adolescent I would dream of cavorting with the beautiful actresses of the time. Later in college, I would imagine that any girl who talked to me nicely was in love with me – the number  of one sided love affairs I had would have been  a record. Ofcourse,  like everyone else I was also in search of an ideal wife who would satisfy all the features and qualities I was looking for in my future partner. Since I could not find one on my own, I dutifully married a girl of my parents’ choice. Over a period of time she acquired all the qualities  I wanted in my wife ( I don`t know if I satisfied all her expectations) and we became an ideal couple in the eyes of  society.

At seventy I dreamt of taking up `Vanaprastha` as prescribed by our Sastras and lead a carefree life without family responsibilities.  I imagined  that by doing so I would be  allowing total freedom to my wife so that she could  enjoy doing the things  that shealways wanted to do, without me breathing down her neck. The sudden departure of my wife from this world two years ago put paid  to my plans as I was  forced to take up the role of a ‘Home Maker’. Today I fantasize that I am still living with my wife;  feeling her presence in every room and every object in the house she passionately looked after!

I find  that age is no barrier for fantasizing. These days in my dreams I go back forty years in time and imagine  eating all the mouthwatering dishes I enjoyed,   indulge myself with  drinks   that made me  extra spirited, travel to countries and places I have not yet visited, doing all the things that I know I cannot  do because of my age and related health issues.While  I know that there are limitations to these day  dreams becoming a reality, I am hoping that my  dreams of becoming a regular columnist in some publication  and  writing a novel become a reality!

It is fun to indulge in day dreaming and go after such dreams , irrespective of your age. You will never get bored with life!

Feedback welcome on or 9840392082

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Wedding Gifts


                                                      As a person who had the privilege of conducting the marriage of his three children, I know what a nightmare it is to receive hundreds of wedding gifts from friends and relatives.  To unpack them, sort them and find a storing place is an ordeal which I am sure  parents  face when their son or daughter get married.  The problem is compounded  when dozens of the same items like the casseroles, tea sets , dinner sets , cutleries,  framed  pictures of Gods in  all forms   are a part of the collection.

We still have a few left over gift items received during my elder daughter`s wedding 20 years ago.  While the more expensive ones  get to be used  over a period , the others are dumped in the lofts in every room.  How do you get rid of them?

Well,  recycling the gifts is one  obvious  solution. But what do you do with the scores  of gifts that you are left with even after you have recycled  the duplicate pieces  as your gift to a newly married couple. Though it is no secret that many parents recycle gifts received by their children, it hurts when you receive a gift package meant for some one else with the original `best wishes ` card inside the package– reflects   poorly of the guest who presented such a recycled gift.

Many well to do parents these days make it clear in the invitation by adding the words ‘No gifts please’ or ‘your presence will be the best gift’ etc.  Of course there are few who say ‘No box gift items  please!’  Does it mean that they have no objection to receiving cash or cheques  as gifts?

In spite of the clear instructions printed on the invitation many guests still bring boxed gift items and dump them on the  gullible couple.  When someone reminds them about the instruction regarding the gift in the card they will just shirk and say, “adhellam chumma potturukka –they have mentioned it  just as a formality.  I am sure the gifts will be accepted”.  And when such gifts are accepted by the couple, people  who have not brought any gifts are likely to  feel  guilty.

In one marriage,  I saw two tough  looking gentlemen (they could  pass off as bouncers in a night club) standing in front of the steps leading to the stage,  preventing  the guests from taking the gifts to the couple. They asked the guests politely  to deposit the gifts at a side table and take them  back after wishing the couple. Many  well  meaning guests , offended by the tough stance taken by the volunteers, walked away in a huff without greeting the couple.

To solve the problem and also to take advantage of the generosity  of the well wishers, an idealist couple added a note in the wedding invitation that  those who were interested in presenting  gifts  to issue  cheques  in the name of a charitable organization they had identified.  This trend is now catching on.

The real solution lies in a practice followed in Western countries. The invitation card carries the name of an identified department store where the couple is  registered for receiving gifts. The guests can go though the list of items already purchased by other guests  and order items   that the couple is likely  to find useful which are not already ordered. This avoids  wasteful expenditure.  I am sure that there are wedding gift portals which offer this service online.

My advice: Your blessings are more than enough for couples from well to do families. For others  cash gifts are the best .

Feedback welcome on or 9840392082
You are welcome to share this article with your friends.