Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy Augury

Arun Patil's last public appearance
News comes in of Arun Patil being able to find his feet again. It’s been almost three months since he had to amputate his right foot because of an incurable gangrenous infection prompted by diabetes. As followers of this blog would know, the surgery went off well and he has since been recovering fast – just that it has taken him time to procure a proper prosthetic replacement that would enable him to be up and moving as earlier.
That happened yesterday. After much trial and error, he was finally fitted with the artificial foot and it is now a matter of time before he gets used to it. “There is an alignment issue which has more to do with the brain accepting a foreign body part,” he explained. “Right now I get the feeling of the prosthetic going wonky and requiring to be dragged by the other leg while walking.”
Arun has gone for an imported device
Job well done for the day... Time to disperse
(instead of the cheaper and easily available ‘Jaipur foot’) which should, in time, enable him to walk comfortably without the tell-tale limp. It has certain springs and clip-on buttons, which again would require getting used to. But the good news is that his doctors are “quite impressed” at the way he has effortlessly taken to the new attachment and is able to stand upright without support.
“I have been learning to walk at home with the walker all of yesterday,” he informed. “Very soon I shall discard the walker and take a walking stick instead. Then I will give you all a surprise by turning up at the Garden unannounced. It could be very soon, maybe this week itself!”
We look forward to being surprised.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Day 1743

Pic of the Week
"Two charming visitors are getting undivided attention and love from three charming regulars."
--Kiran Prakash

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Raksha Bandhan 2015

Mallika celebrates with home-
made tea (on popular demand)
Teja Singh Bhambra celebrates
with authentic rosogollas
Srichand Arora celebrates with
prasad from gurudwara

Call it poor planning, lack of foresight, or sheer bad luck… We were robbed of the spectacle of Shekhawat being chased around the Garden by a band of women determined to tie rakhi on him.
Mallika and Prakash fail to subdue Shekhawat
That was what the ladies had lined up for Raksha Bandhan today. But a sudden downpour put paid to all their plans.
Now, Shekhawat’s aversion to playing brother to any female is well known. Equally well known is the eagerness of several women to be his sister. The closest they could get so far is being his make-believe sister-in-law – or saali. Shekhawat is supposed to have acquired four such saalis already.
But there is a HUGE difference between sister and sister-in-law. And for the ladies, the only way to bridge this gap was to tie a rakhi on Shekhawat’s wrist and solemnize a brother-sister relationship on Raksha Bandhan day. In a way, it was also to curb his ‘waywardness’, not to mention the possibility of receiving a gift from him on the occasion.
But Shekhawat is too clever by half and had come doubly prepared and alert.
RAKSHA BANDHAN: Party time in China Hut
“No rakhi for me,” he warned upon entering the China Hut. This predictably was to embolden Mallika Kagzi, the only lady to have braved the rains and make it to the Garden till then. The problem was she wasn’t carrying a rakhi.
For a while, she toyed with the idea of shredding her dupatta and using it as a rakhi. She inquired about the rakhi shops opening in the vicinity. There too, she drew a blank. Finally, she took off her hair band and without any warning, pounced upon Shekhawat, trying to force the elastic band up his wrist. What followed was an unbelievable scuffle with Kiran Prakash joining forces with Mallika -- but all to no avail.
The fauji in Shekhawat prevailed and Mallika conceded defeat. Effectively, Shekhawat retains his exalted status as the alpha male of the Garden and the ladies would now have to wait another year to perhaps rope him with a rakhi.
Kiran Prakash:
We can't ask for more than what we get in those precise 45 minutes at the Garden. It is a superb blend of serious exercise, leg-pulling, humour, sharp-edged wit, snacks, cake, tea and what not. If people wish to see seniors at their best, they just have to peep into our activities in the Garden.
Lt Col Angad Singh (retd) from Mohali:
The sessions of Big Laaf are occasions for enjoyment, no only for the participants but also those witnessing the events. It has a positive and healthy impact on everyone.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mourning in Morning

Morning tea party in the Garden
The laughter exercises were scrapped today as a mark of respect to an elderly lady who passed away yesterday. She was the wife of a movie producer and former member of the Club.
Most of us could not recollect seeing either of them (in the past 10 years) and in fact, both Shekhawat and Srichand Arora were of the view that no harm would be caused were we to continue with our regular morning routine.
Braving the sudden downpour
But another section of the members led by Mohar Singh argued that our ‘Ho-Ho Ha-Ha’ would amount to gross insult to the departed soul(s). And so, in deference to their sentiments, we desisted from doing the laughter exercises this morning.
Strangely, the heavens also mourned the death of the lady who succumbed to brain hemorrhage, following an accidental fall in the bathroom. The skies wept copiously and interrupted our free-hand exercises, even as Arora tried to race us through. Many rushed for shelter in the China Hut while the remaining few completing the exercises, umbrellas in hand. This was a hilarious sight which more than made up for skipping the laughter rounds. Even Ved Prakash Grover, Razia Khan and Nasir Patuni Shah stayed put in the open, defying the rains and eventually, completing the exercises.
Mallika Kagzi rewarded the ‘bravehearts’ with special home-made tea, which, on a rain-soaked morning can only be godsent. It was a matter of time for the others who had abandoned the exercises, to scamper back for their share of the tea. Others on the walking track also joined in. And so, with beautiful white garden chairs laid out under a majestic tree, we had an impromptu tea party with another round of merry-making – thanks entirely to Mallika Kagzi.
Lt Col Angad Singh (retd) from Mohali:
It is befitting to pay homage to a departed soul. It is immaterial whether the member has been attending the Club or not. Our members did the right thing in abstaining from the routine laughter exercise.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

‘Laptop Programme’

Karuna Waghmare
Karuna Waghmare has a genuine problem: “Does the laptop programme come on only during the mornings?”
The question was addressed to no one in particular, but everyone within earshot, perked up. What laptop programme was she talking about? “Oh our Club programme that comes on the laptop,” she responded, a trifle irritated. “I waited for the picnic photographs the whole of last evening, but they did show up on the laptop!”
Turned out, what she meant was this blog, which she was equating to a TV programme.
Tara Chand receives a desk calendar
And she was not joking. Apparently, her grandson had been helping her to switch on the laptop and log into the Big Laaf site whenever she had wanted to be updated on its content. This time, quite possibly he was not around and Karuna’s independent efforts to access the picnic pics (slideshow of August 22) met with repeated failure.
Checking out the two calendars
“I was sitting in front of a blank screen and no picture showed,” she said drawing upon the analogy of switching on to an unresponsive TV channel. Advising her to google ‘Big Laaf’ or perhaps, use the URL obviously made no sense. She was not even prepared to believe Shekhawat when he assured her that the so-called programme
Teja Singh receives his calendar
was available on her laptop round the clock, every day of the week and for all time to come.
Now, Karuna is not alone in grappling with the possibilities of the worldwide web. Several senior members of the Club confess to be living in a phobia towards the Internet and would rather keep their distance from computers. Some have, over time, conquered this ‘fear of the unknown’, but will wait for some kid in the family to be around to assist them in checking the blog.
But there too, problems are cropping up. One member could not understand how it was possible that the blog which appears in her son’s laptop could also be accessed on the PC which her bahu uses at home. “My son has gone to Chennai and taken the laptop with him,” she rued one morning. “I’ll have to wait till he returns and then I can see the blog.”
When told to use the home PC in the mean time, she was simply not convinced. But next morning she came in with a jubilant smile. Today she carries a smart phone and never tires at showing off the blog on its tiny screen.
Lt Col Angad Singh (retd) from Mohali:
Karuna Waghmare is not alone in having difficulties with the laptop, TV, smartphone, etc. These problems are shared by most senior citizens. During their younger days there were no such facilities. For many of them, a laptop or PC is a miracle and they do not feel at home with these gadgets. The younger generation has a duty towards senior citizens in making them understand the nitty gritties of technology. Then maybe, they will be able to give a lesson or two to the youngsters. Good luck to senior citizens.