Friday, December 12, 2014

Love's Labours Lost - Extremely Overdue LBC Post

If there's one thing I've excelled at lately, it's failure.  Love's Labours Lost indeed.  Lost and gone forever, as the song says, or so it seems.  Years ago, when I became a mother, I resolved to put my kids first no matter what and for the most part, I don't regret it.  But lately, I read in Facebook about Shirley, an old friend of mine and expat Irish woman who lives in Australia, where she moved about a decade ago.  Shirley took a trip home to Dublin to touch base with her family and friends, leaving her (Irish) husband and kids to hold the fort at their home in Perth.  I've never done a thing like that, not even considered it.  Well, now I'm considering it.  My youngest's eleven and once the kids are on school holidays, I think it would be great if I could take three weeks out and visit my mother.  This occurred to me when one of my offspring informed me that he/she didn't care about what I was doing, but he/she fully intended to take their holidays in Dublin next year.  And I'm like "Excuse me, if anyone is entitled to take time out and head for Dublin, it's me."  I would so much enjoy a break at my native place and feel all the better going back to Lucknow.  But will that happen?  There'd be howls of protest if I even suggest such a thing.  But it's true in a way - the more you do for those you love, the more they take you for granted.

I've missed a lot of topics in the LBC lately, including the most over-rated artiste, one which I definitely wanted to participate in. Now, without a doubt, I love watching Bollywood movies and any other Indian movies when time allows.  I enjoy the glitz, the glamour and the sheer entertainment value.  I thoroughly enjoy the antics of Bollywood filmi heroes like Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan.  These guys can dance, fight and entertain with gusto.  But can they act?  Well that's a moot point.  They may be great entertainers, but neither Shahrukh nor Salman, charismatic and talented though they may be, would ever be in the race for the greatest actor of all time award, should such an award exist.  Why? Because they play the same role in every movie, that's why. Shahrukh is nearly always called Rahul in his movies and he plays the same singing, dancing lover boy.  Same with Salman.  Salman Khan is seriously handsome and has immense sexual magnetism (or so it would seem as I've never actually met him), but he is not an actor.  He plays the same singing, dancing lover boy called Prem in nearly every movie.  Now, having said that, I'm certainly not complaining about it.  I'll just say "so what" and "pass the popcorn" when the next Khan Bollywood movie does the rounds.  An exceptional Bollywood actor is Amir Khan, who plays the role of a mentally challenged individual in his new movie "PK".  Now there is an actor who stretches himself.  He started out with the lover boy roles but can tackle playing a villager, a mentally challenged person, an idealistic young teacher and various other challenging assignments. He's an entertainer, but there's more to him than the basic Bollywood package.

Another missed topic was "Emotional Alchemy".  Now what is emotional alchemy?  I've heard of sexual chemistry, but emotional alchemy  evades my understanding.  It reminds me of an Indian dance reality show "Nach Baliye", when a dancing couple were told by the judges that they had no chemistry.  "No chemistry?  I'll show you biology," replied the male of the couple. Very funny indeed.  Alchemy is some sort of ancient pseudo science which was supposed to help scientists turn lead into gold. So emotional alchemy could be that process by which emotions lead a person to view a grim situation through rose coloured glasses.  Such as the rosy glow of being in love can blind you to a person's obvious faults.  Yes, well, if that's emotional alchemy, I'd prefer to keep my distance if you don't mind.....

What about the topic "Role Model"?  Well, I haven't got a role model.  I might admire certain people for certain things, but at the end of the day, I want to be the first  Maria Perry Mohan, rather than a carbon copy of somebody else.  I admire Indian actress Madhuri Dixit for her vivaciousness and her dancing skills, I admire Anni-Frid Synni Princess Reuss of Plauen for her beauty, as she is the one woman in the universe whose looks I envy. I admire lots of writers for their writing ability...there's also my former teacher, Jacinta Kitt, who in addition to being a fantastic teacher, went on to do some pathbreaking psychological studies, in addition to being the wife of an Irish government minister and the mother of a renowned musician.  Then there's the Biblical Proverbs 31 woman who runs a home and has a rich and fruitful existence in addition to being a wife and mother.  Who is my role model?  It varies according to mood, I suppose.

The Loose Blogging Consortium, a small group of bloggers including RummuserThe Old FossilMaxi,, Shackman and Ashok, have been blogging along together for several years now, traditionally on Fridays.  We've just been joined by Lin.  With my hectic life, I often don't make it by Friday, but I try to blog along nevertheless.  I thank the group for the continued inspiration to blog when I otherwise wouldn't have done so.  Image courtesy of Ventrilock at

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Comedy of Errors, Blame and Expectations - Long Overdue LBC Post

Life has been so hectic that weeks are hurtling by like a truck falling over the side of a cliff.  Lots of stuff going on, plenty of projects to keep me busy and a family to take priority over all of that.  The next person who asks me what I do all day is going to hear it from me!

The first post I missed out on was A Comedy of Errors, a title which I contributed.  Now as for a comedy of errors - it's the title of a play by Shakespeare, not one of the Bard's plays that I am too familiar with, unfortunately.  I'm sure I'll get around to studying it one day.  But I have to say I identify wholly with the title.  Life is a comedy of errors and misunderstandings for me at the best of times.  Ever since I married out of my culture and went to live in a foreign country where the main language is not English, misunderstandings have become a way of life for me.  I don't know what it is anymore to live without them.  Recently, some visitors to our family were regaled with the impressive story of one of the hilarious mistakes I allegedly made when I was newly arrived in India. As the visitors roared with laughter, I was not at all amused.  Even as a newbie in India, I know I was very aware of the culture and the ways in Indian society.  I did a bit of investigation about how the misunderstanding arose and it appears to have come out of a remark made by one of the smaller kids in the house at the time of my wedding.  That child's misunderstanding has given rise to a totally untrue story which is now, apparently, part of the family lore.  Well, I wonder, if this story is such a part of the family lore, why haven't I heard it before?  Have people been laughing at me behind my back for the past twenty years, I wonder?  If so, then the joke is on them.

Now as to blame, another LBC topic(contributed by Maxi and Rummuser) whose post I missed out on....if what I've been told is true and some small child thought they saw me making a mistake and told everyone, well I wouldn't blame the child, no, not at all.  I do, however, feel that the adults who laughed at the child's story and didn't bother asking me for clarification about it are responsible for letting this silly and untrue story get around.  Why is it that people find it easy to laugh at and ridicule those who are different?  If that had happened to an Indian woman living in an Irish situation, I believe it would be construed as racism.

This weeks topic is expectations (contributed by Rummuser). Well, I never had high expectations of what was going to happen to me in my life so I can never say I've been disappointed.  In fact, life is often wonderful beyond expectations.  I just believe that we make our own lives.  If we expect a good and happy result, we'll get it.  And of course the reverse is also true.

The Loose Blogging Consortium, a small group of bloggers including RummuserThe Old FossilMaxi,, Shackman and Ashok, have been blogging along together for several years now, traditionally on Fridays.  With my hectic life, I often don't make it by Friday, but I try to blog along nevertheless.  I thank the group for the continued inspiration to blog when I otherwise wouldn't have done so.  I thank (photographer David Castillo Dominici) for the above image, 'Work Stress'

Friday, November 14, 2014

Indian Fiction - GOD IS A GAMER by Ravi Subramanian

Hi Ravi Subramanian.  I was eagerly awaiting your latest, GOD IS A GAMER.  It finally arrived and I was so pleased to be able to get a signed copy via Blogadda in exchange for an honest review.  A signed copy from an author is a treasure.  I'm going to hold on to mine for dear life because when the time comes for my to bequeath my property to my heirs, my signed first edition of the Ravi Subramanian thriller will probably be among the most coveted items.  I don't doubt it for a minute, especially with the ebook explosion.

So as I eagerly took the time to find a nice, quiet spot where I could read your thriller undisturbed.  It took some doing, as I'm a busy mother with three teens and a preteen and they all need Mom now at some time or another. Yeah, they're all grown up, but they sometimes  need someone to give them undivided attention, to listen to them and give encouragement - and that can be more intense than taking care of youngsters.  Then there's the MIL, the nemesis of the Indian wife.  But the less said about that the better. The husband is no trouble at all, but I guess I'm lucky.  So there I was, turning page after page.  Bitcoins?  A new, virtual internet currency?  Wow, I had no idea.  An American bank with branches in India and an ATM heist, executed in an army type operation?? Wow, could it be possible. A US senator assassinated on his way to meet Obama?  Chilling!  You know what, Raviji, you are a game changer when it comes to the writing of thrillers.  I mean, who needs crazed serial killers when you have high finance?  Seriously. I can't look at an ATM machine anymore without a quiver of anticipation running up my spine. I'll never think of the boring old bank down the road in quite the same way again.  Who woulda thunk, as the Americans say?  Well, some of them.  And as for gaming?  There's a virtual universe in itself.   My experience in gaming hasn't really gone beyond Tetris and Pac Man, but I do know that gaming is going extremely sophisiticated.  In fact, it's a type of storytelling now.  An online university, Iversity, ran a course on the future of storytelling last year and the basic conclusion was that gaming is the new storytelling method.  Are you sure you didn't do that course, Ravi Subramanian?

Your method of storytelling is something rather innovative and I have seen at least one other Indian thriller writer using it.  It reads like a movie script.  The chapters are short, just one scene at a time. One scene gives way to another and the story proceeds seamlessly. It's action all the way, no meaningless meandering.  In fact, reading a Ravi Subramanian, any of them, is a viable alternative to watching television or a movie.  

Yes, Ravi Subramanian, your book ticks all the boxes when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of the most discerning thriller reader.  Suspense?  Tick.  Excitement?  Tick. Characters for whom the readers can feel and with whom they can identify?  Tick.   A compulsive storyline? Tick. Tick.  Tick.  Double tick.  In other words, my message to readers is:  get this book.

And you know something else?  Your book was educational.  Yes! I found myself  Googling bitcoins and the onion router.  Just imagine that there's, like, an alternative world wide web where people with dark desires hang out without fear of exposure. Shivers up the spine again......  What a bold move, revealing the identity of the bitcoin founder, Satoshi Nakamoto.  That's a real person and, like, no-one knows who he really is.

Complaints?  Nope, not too many.  Apart for the fact that the narrative is sometimes so fast paced that it leaves me breathless, not a complaint when it comes to suspense thrillers.  But Ravi Subramanian, you need to talk to some of your characters.   Some of them have multiple personalities.  Take Tanya, for example.  She starts off as a bechari with a problem mother and ends up as a very black character indeed who is nonetheless more sinned against than sinning.  And that Nikki Tan has to be the worst mother I've ever come across, giving her daughter carte blanche to use the Onion Router for criminal activities, however soft.  And Varun?  Don't get me started on Varun! He makes my blood boil and that is just about as nice as I can be.  Tell me, Ravi Subramanian, why did you create a paranormal monster in what is so obviously a contemporary suspense thriller?  Frankenstein has nothing on this guy.   Varun is like  freaking Dracula. Be you in Brazil or in Goa, he will step out of the shadows, into your life and sweep you off your feet.  And then he will make mad, passionate love to you on the beach and .....well, I'm not the reviewer who will provide spoilers for the readers.  But I tell you, I have severe difficulty with  Varun and some of his escapades.  Is he black or is he white? Speaking metaphorically, of course.  Is he good or is he bad?  I'm still not quite sure what the heck Varun is supposed to be, but if I ever run into that guy, I will give him a piece of my mind for sure.  He's a most amoral character and all I can say is, the man is surely endowed with multiple personalities.

But Raviji, I want to thank you for a great read.  Do keep them coming.  But go easy on the multiple personality type characters. They freak me out, somewhat.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Commitment To The Unverifiable - LBC Post

Commitment to the Unverifiable, this week's LBC topic, seems to be a euphemism for belief in God, about whom we know but of whose existence we are unable to verify.  At least, not in the natural world.

So how do we know God exists?  Simple!  I read it in the Bible.

When I was a kid growing up in Catholic Ireland, we were more or less given to understand that you didn't have to take the Bible seriously, that it was written in a very different time by immature people. We only had to do what the priest told us and everything would be grand.  Grand, altogether.

I now know that that was a load of rubbish.  Complete nonsense and utter trash.  Sadly, many of the priests I met during my formative years mouthed platitudes and cliches and didn't believe even half nor quarter of what they were teaching us.  Of course, we didn't know what many of them were up to back then, but Jesus very wisely advised us (through the Bible) that anything done in darkness would one day be shouted from the rooftops.  That was completely true.

But I've also learnt that you have to be in the spirit when you're reading the Bible, reading along with the Holy Spirit and letting Him into your heart to tell us what the book is saying.  You also have to understand context and time and place regarding when the Book was written.

That's how I remain committed to the (apparently) unverifiable

The Loose Blogging Consortium, a small group of bloggers including RummuserThe Old FossilMaxi,, Shackman and Ashok, have been blogging along together for several years now, traditionally on Fridays.  With my hectic life, I often don't make it by Friday, but I try to blog along nevertheless.  I thank the group for the continued inspiration to blog when I otherwise wouldn't have done so.  This week's topic, Commitment to the Unverifiable is the contribution of  The Old Fossil, that amazing blogger from the USA.  My thanks are due also to for the above image, courtesy of Arvind Balaraman.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Writing Along With The Bards Of The Blogosphere - A Special Experience

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.  I made eight great new writing friends.  There were around 300 of us bloggers brought together by the Indian blogging hub, Blogadda, to #CelebrateBlogging and participate in the Game of Blogs.  The group in which I found myself, which subsequently named itself 'Bards of the Blogosphere', was the most diverse group, with members in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mangalore and Lucknow.    We collaborated on WhatsApp and email, had umpteen discussions  and took the given set of characters and made a book out of them.  Our Excel spreadsheet was our most trusted tool.  Some of us write prose, some poetry, some of us write long pieces, some of us prefer to write short pieces.  Some of us write light, humorous stories, some of us write darker, more brooding prose.  But somehow, this diverse group of bloggers took the set of given characters, Shekhar, Tara, Roohi, Cyrus and Jennifer and made up a plot and a story.

As I've already mentioned elsewhere on this very blog, I wrote the opening chapter of the Cyrus/Jennifer love story.  When I read Arpita's chapter on that romance, which closed the story, I got goosebumps.  The very same characters who had lived in my head had literally transported themselves to Arpita's.  They were the exact same pair, except instead of being the author, I was now the reader.  And the characters were consistent all through, no matter who was writing them.  See, we were all in touch in a virtual manner while we all went about our daily lives, wherever in India we were.  But every time another Bard picked up the torch and ran with it, the story just consistently flowed.  Which showed the connection.

For me, the best experience I've taken away from this has been how to stretch oneself as a writer and leave the comfort zone.  When I was writing Jenny and Cy's love story, I was very comfortable.  When I was writing Roohi's kidnap scene, I was not.  yet I never felt more alive as a writer.  A new, temporary character in the story, Ramesh, emerged, from my own Uttar Pradesh, a common man who, for the moment, was the hero of the story, a man who had been bowed down by the tragedies of life, yet who could come out of his own misery to rescue a little girl who reminded him of his own beloved sister, tragically lost.  Also, the darkest character in the story, Aryan Ahuja, emerged in the story from my chapter, even before we knew his name, a good man soured by a system gone bad.  Evil though he is, Ahuja could be, in the words of William Shakespeare, 'a man more sinned against than sinning.'  Ahuja suffered horribly to become the near monster that he was and I think that the Bards have told his story in a fair manner.

I think we've all somehow been powered by a sense of outrage against human trafficking.  People generally dismiss this evil in our society on the grounds that it happens to other, poorer, people.  This story of a middle class child who was trafficked and the effect it had on her parent would have been terribly difficult for me to write on my own, but in the company of the Bards, it was possible.

Thanks to the Bards of the Blogosphere and to Blogadda for this amazing experience.  I hope our story wins, yet even if it doesn't win, I'll never forget this season in my writing life.

Meet the Bards:

I interviewed each and every one of us (including myself) for my book blog.  Read all the interviews at the following links and you'll get the lowdown on each and every Bard, including links:

Doc (Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan)
Divsi (Divyakshi Gupta)
PRB (Priyanka Roy Banerjee)
Nupur Maskara
Sulekha Rawat
Arpita Nayak
PeeVee (Priyanka Victor)
Datta Ghosh
Maria Perry Mohan

I think the lowest point for the group was when our initial discussions were heating up, one of our members had to drop out owing to personal circumstances, which left us with just nine Bards instead of ten.  But all the Bards chipped in to make up for the shortfall without a murmur of complaint.  Various Bards chipped into help, one with editing, another with the spreadsheet, another with the collage - everyone helped out whenever needed.  We agreed early on that even though Doc (Roshan Radhakrishnan) was the head of the group, we were all equally responsible for the group.  A happy moment came when we discovered that both Doc and I were winners in the Indireads short story competition.  But whatever happened in between, the chapters were plotted and written.  We're all going to keep in touch and it would be really great if we could write another project together sometime.  I do hope it will be possible.  We seem to work well together.

And now, the book:

Week 1: 
Chapter 1 - Princess' Day Out
Chapter 2 - The Weekend Brunch
Chapter 3 - The Journey
Chapter 4 - The Phone Call
Chapter 5 - Through the Eyes of a Stranger
Chapter 6 - The Princess and her Pied Piper
Chapter 7 - Shadow play turns real
Chapter 8 - Mysterious Tattoo
Chapter 9 - The Confrontation

Week 2:

Chapter 1 - I'm coming to get you, Princess
Chapter 2 - The evening before
Chapter 3 - A Good morning
Chapter 4 - Trigger happy
Chapter 5 - The Calm before the storm
Chapter 6 - What lies beneath
Chapter 7 - Pandemonium
Chapter 8 - Whodunnit
Chapter 9 - The Divulgence

Week 3
Chapter 1 - Shadows In The Night
Chapter 2 - Taken
Chapter 3 - Truth and Pretence
Chapter 4 - The Perfect Crime
Chapter 5 - Standoff
Chapter 6 - The Return
Chapter 7 - Catharsis
Chapter 8 - The Reunion
Chapter 9 - Epilogue

It's currently a free read online, with the different chapters found at the various blogs of the writers.  Please visit, follow the story and above all, respond. Leave comments on our posts and Facebook page.

The Bards of the Blogosphere are on Facebook.  You can get to our page from here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Catch Up Time - Double LBC Post

I've been so busy this year, I've hardly have time to breathe.  I've just been offered a chance to write e novels for a really nice publishing house and am currently looking at the contract.  It's quite an exciting time in my life, but a bit scary too.  What if no-one buys my book?  I can't imagine anyone wanting to buy stuff I've written.  I love writing, though.  I've just co-written a novella with eight other Indian bloggers and while I hadn't been interested in the project initially owing to work commitments and only took it up because the organizers called me up and asked me to participate,  I can honestly say that writing that story while collaborating with eight other writers on WhatsApp and email was one of the most enjoyable  experiences of my writing experience. Our book is in competition to get printed and I really hope it wins.

The co-writing was so interesting.  I wrote the initial chapter of the romance story in the novella and the finishing chapter was written by a blogger called Arpita from Chennai and it was surreal - I mean, Arpita wrote those characters exactly as I'd pictured them.  The more torrid chapter in that love story was written by blogger Datta from Kolkata, very tastefully written from beyond the bedroom door. Hats off to Datta for taking up that challenge.  I found the two characters very different in style and tone in the bedroom than they were on the street - but people are very different in the bedroom than they are in the street.  Isn't that so?  That's why I was glad that Datta was doing that particular chapter and not me.  I'd have found it difficult as that area is so very intimate.  It takes a special type of writing talent to write that way, in my humble opinion.  

So.  Last week's LBC topic was education.  I really wanted to do it, but was so caught up that it never happened.  So here it is:


There's a heck of a lot which I could write on the subject of education, but I'll limit myself to this wonderful quote from William Butler Yeats, Irish writer and educationist.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

Yeats' figure loomed large during the days of  my education, back in my native Ireland.  I studied lots of his poetry in my English literature course and every schoolchild in Ireland knew the story of  Yeats' obsession with and hopeless love for the beautiful and enigmatic Maud Gonne.  Yeats was a poet and a playwright of Anglo-Irish stock, who had a huge interest in theosophy, among other things.  He certainly was a man of great and noble ideas.  He coined the phrase 'terrible beauty' to describe the obsession and blind dedication of  patriots who were ready to commit acts of terrorism for the sake of their ideals.  

This week's LBC post has given me a jolt.  The reason for that is the fact that I have zero inspiration for it and that's got to be highly unusual.


A kid's game?  Or something a bit more risque?  I do know it is the name of a fairly noisy song from oriental style punk rockers Siouxsie and the Banshees.  You can visit the song here, if you feel so inclined.  I've had a look at the lyrics and they're pretty grim and awful.....not my cup of tea at all.  The track comes from an album called 'Peepshow' which has fairly seedy and suspect connotations, from my point of view.

As it says in the Biblical Book of Job, I shall go this far and no further.

Thanks to for the images shown above. The image  shown above is attributed to 'stockimages' and the lower image is attributed to 'imagerymajestic'.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Loose Blogging Consortium, a small group of bloggers including RummuserThe Old FossilMaxi,, Shackman and Ashok, have been blogging along together for several years now, traditionally on Fridays.  With my hectic life, I often don't make it by Friday, but I try to blog along nevertheless.  I thank the group for the continued inspiration to blog when I otherwise wouldn't have done so.  This week's topic Personal Debt is the contribution of  Rummuser, that amazing blogger from Pune.

Now when it comes to debt and loans, I find myself on very shaky ground indeed.  I like the Shakespearean line 'Never a borrower nor a lender be'.  We're talking money here.  I also like a saying I picked up along the way.  'Never lend anyone money unless you're prepared to say goodbye to it.'  

If someone is poor and needs money, why would I keep it?  I'd rather just give it away and never look for it again.  But the truth is that generally speaking, no working or  middle class person has money to spare.  At the same time, lending money can create tension in a relationship.  If someone borrowed a substantial amount from me and then is slow paying it back, that can really hurt.  Especially when the need for my money arises and I just don't have it, because I lent it to someone else.  So my feeling is that when someone, including myself, needs an injection of cash, the best bet is to go to reputed bank or credit union and do an official deal, with a repayment plan. It is better to keep loans etc. out of relationships.

One astonishing aspect of life in India which I have found is the phenomenon of people who just don't pay back money.  They take a loan, they promise to pay and then they just, like, forget about it. In my opinion, they actually think they are entitled to the money and just ask for a loan for formality's sake.  Then they just forget about it.

It's not hard to find people to whom to lend money in north India where I live.  A friend of our family, Ashok, a university lecturer, was telling me, the other day about an incident which made my blood boil.  There is a woman, Kanti, who works in his office as an ayah.  She keeps the office clean, goes for messages, makes sure everyone has glasses of water, cups of tea when they need it and makes sure  the lunches are delivered from the canteen.  She does a pretty good job and is honest.  A couple of years ago, this woman was in great distress. She is a widow with two daughters and the elder one was getting married.  As a great deal of money is required in India at the time of a daughter's marriage and for the want of ten thousand rupees (about two hundred dollars), she was going to have to go to a moneylender and probably have to pay huge interest. Ashok's heart went out to the woman.  He has children of his own and he felt for her.  So he gave three thousand rupees as a gift and lent her the other seven thousand rupees.  She kissed his hands and wept with joy and promised from the core of her heart to repay the loan at the earliest possible opportunity.

Two years went by and Ashok never asked her for the money back, assuming that she would pay it when she was ready.  Then, one day, she approached Ashok respectfully and said she had to speak to him about a personal matter. He thought she was about to return his money.  She wasn't.  She was asking 'Sahib' (Lord) to bless her with another ten thousand rupees as her younger daughter was now getting married.  When he questioned her, it appeared that she had completely forgotten that she owed him seven thousand rupees.

Ashok's wife Aarti is furious over this.  The fact is that Ashok and Aarti are struggling to survive, with mortgage repayments and private school fees and ailing relatives who need medical treatment. The loss of seven thousand rupees won't kill them, but Aarti is livid because Ashok is extremely miserly in giving her money to run the house and buy clothes, questioning her closely regarding every rupee spent.  "He's never given me seven thousand rupees," she says, through gritted teeth.  

But Kanti just feels she's entitled to forget about the loan because she's poor.  Very poor thinking indeed.  It's nice to help others, but an incident like this would put anyone off.

So like I said earlier, it's better not to lend money unless one is prepared to say goodbye to it.

BTW, one of my Indian blogger friends Datta Ghosh, on reading this post, commented on Facebook, "I think it is the general trend in humans to forget any favour done to them irrespective of when they are from."  Datta is right.  Human nature is one and the same throughout the universe, lest my post sound as if I have it in for a certain nationality.  Thanks for the reality check, Datta.  

Special thanks to  for the above image.