Posts Tagged ‘interest’


September 22, 2014

We are having a discussion on retirement, with someone asking for thoughts from others. Various points of view, and tips for managing one’s life after one has quit one’s corporate career, were given. I decided to add this:

​I enjoyed this thread very much, as a person who’s never had a full-time career; I’ve been lucky to have a spouse earning the bread, and I’ve worked part-time at very different tasks, most of which were not very financially remunerative (yabbah, that word always gives me trouble…reMuNerative or reNuMerative? my mind keeps asking.) I agree with Sandy….there’s never any lack of things to do. The point is to also have enough in the bank to live as one wishes to do (also providing for a few emergencies along the way.)

Sometimes, the retirement can be thrust upon one. I’d like to share the experience of a very young friend of mine, Priyanka. She worked full-time for a (what else, in Bangalore?) software company until she was diagnosed with a hole in the heart, which could not be laparoscopically treated. Prior to surgery, she was also diagnosed with (I forget which type of) diabetes which had to be treated and stabilized. So…without any prior planning, it was a double whammy. She gave up her job, and the expenses, at the same time, shot through the roof. Even now, she has am injection each day, that is very expensive indeed.

But since she and her husband have always been “give back to society” people, she took all of it in a =most positive way. After she recovered from the surgery, she took up photography, which both of them were already reasonably proficient at; she did not have to invest in more expensive equipment. She cycled long distances.​ She’d always volunteered for several organizations, working with deprived children; ​she writes about recipes, particularly ones that she’s deve​loping for her present state of health.

Here’s one entry from her blog, if you are interested.

​She and her spouse help run a group that organizes screenings of ideology-based movies and documentaries every week in Bangalore. (It’s called Khula Manch, and everyone is welcome to the screenings.)

She’s probably 22 or 23 now. She’s set such a remarkable example for me, and for anyone else, on how to handle “retirement”. In comparison to her, those of us who can plan ahead for our non-corporate job careers are remarkably well off, I think.

Hats off to everyone who can turn their back on “careers” to pursue what they want to do. (Not everyone can, or should, do this.)

But a special tip of the hat who make the most of even the unexpected reverses in their lives, to do the same thing!

July 16, 2014




is the site of Glimmingsehus Castle, in Hammenhog; it is a well-preserved medieval manor, the start of the construction of the fort dating back to 1499.



“Glimmingehus, situated in the county of Skåne in southern Sweden, is the best-preserved medieval manor in Scandinavia. Jens Holgersen Ulfstand began to construct the stately fortress in the year 1499.

The present is on the left, and the past is on the right!


“Glimmingehus was established as an imposing residence for the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and his family. At that time Skåne belonged to Denmark.




“Finds from archaeological excavations have revealed the highly exclusive nature of the Glimmingehus household. The most expensive objects available in Europe in the early 16th century have been found, including Venetian glass, extruded Rhineland glass and Spanish ceramic ware.




“Today, Glimmingehus is a living Ancient Monument and a centre for people throughout Scandinavia interested in the Middle Ages, as well as an exciting outing. New research, both archaeological and research into building history, has helped to produce a picture of how the fortress was once built and used.”

Even the lichen is blooming on the walls!



We had our own, very good Swedish guide!


Down to the kitchen:



The well that served the castle; the story goes that there is an eel, about a thousand years old, that is still alive at the bottom! (No, we couldn’t see into the well!)


The huge hall at the top:


The staircase:


The view from the top:


Vaulted ceilings underground:




Narrow windows tell their tale of fortification:


Here’s the baron who built the castle:


(er, he does look “petrified”, doesn’t he!)

And here’s the coat of arms:


The huge fireplace:


The area where the womenfolk lived:


Couldn’t go past this:


successfully puts a villain in

the stocks !


The museum downstairs documented the way life was lived:


I certainly remember grinding soaked rice in a similar grinding stone, when I was very young, in my parents’ home in Kolkata!


The refectory tables:


Interesting window:


This woodcut of the castle itself is very old!


Old tapestries:



A poster advertising an event highlighting the activities of medieval times:


An artist has depicted various coats of arms:


Ancient implements:


Pouring pots (don’t ask me why I thought of little boys pissing!)


Bread was dried in disks like that!


Kitchen soot will always be kitchen soot, and there will always be Cinderellas…


A modern lock in an ancient latch!


An amazing fact at this castle was that even tourism is very old…here are the signatures of tourists from 1938!


PC was very taken with the moat, I think he wants one of his own, with crocodiles:


Another portrait (instead of oils, they used stone in those days!) of the Baron of the Castle:


A scale model:


I was amazed to find the


which we call the mOresing, and which is still played in many Carnatic music concerts:


It’s apparently also called the “Jew’s Harp” and is one of the oldest musical instruments in the world! Here’s the castle employee playing it for us, being careful not to cut her tongue in two:


When medieval knights talked of chain mail, they didn’t mean a spate of unwanted letters!


The museum had some (SO lightweight, made of nylon!) on sale:


They also had a lovely model of a slingshot cannon, and knights of old:




They had quill nibs and metal nibs:


There was a children’s activity area:


Medieval pastimes no. 347, Riding a Pig:


Now you know why there are no more unicorns, they’ve been made extinct!


Tourists are helping make each other extinct, too:


Imposing Glimmingehus Castle…thank you for taking us there, !


Ofkose I have to talk about the birds, too….many of them make their homes here. We saw Swifts and Starlings, Ravens and Rooks, and many Jackdaws, like this one:


As we were leaving, we sighted a pair of Common Kestrels circling above the castle…and Kejn spotted three nestlings, in a niche, high above! What a thrill it was!


So that was my heritage-cum-birding experience here!

That was me documenting Glimmingehus….


I hope you enjoyed the castle as much as I did!



is my FB album of the visit.

Beauty everywhere…

July 2, 2012

To most gardeners, insects on their plants means bad news, and something that must be dealth with drastically.

But when I went to snip off the infected parts of the Clematis climber in the back yard, the little insects looked SO beautiful….

infection enright clematis  fp 300612

I could not help photographing them before snipping off parts of the creeper.

However, I don’t know whether I should be sad, or glad, that these little creatures seem to be back in force! Oh well, off I go with the garden scissors now…


April 19, 2011

Often, I come across topics of great interest to me…but if the article or write up is very lengthy, I find that I start skimming towards the end, and perhaps (though I don’t like to think so) missing important points. So I was wondering…how long should write ups and articles be?

I was having a conversation with Meera of Citizen Matters; she wanted me to write something, restricting myself to 750 words, and I had my usual complaint….”that’s like wringing out all the meat and printing the dried-out skeleton!” But she made a valid point…that today, attention spans (yes, I suppose, mine too!) are shrinking, and no one wants to wade through more than 1500 words at most.

This post was brought on by an article about sugar being a poison, sent by Udhay. It was so long, that I did kind of lose interest, and skipped here and there, finding the general gist rather than reading the article in depth.

I find that with experienced “speed reading”, one can get the drift of an article pretty well; but would it not be better, on the part of the article writer, to keep the write-up to just the length where skipping and skimming would not be necessary, and the details would stay with the reader…?

Of course, I am talking about general interest topics, not technical or scientific theses, or novels…but even there, I wonder if writers don’t often fall into the trap of being prolix . Good editing is, I think, a must for everything that is written. Tautness, and not tautology, should be the norm. All those 1000-page reports…whoever reads them? Perhaps “Gone With the Wind” is “Gone With Too Much Wind”?

Oh well, let me stop here, before I fall prey to the same fault…I think I could have skipped that last paragraph!

Interest and Disinterest

June 14, 2007

themadman posted about his father telling him something funny…when relatives and friends heard that a son of his was getting married, they assumed that it was themadman and not his younger brother (who is the one actually engaged now!)

I too cannot understand this preoccupation with whether one is getting married, or having a kid, or….the next rite of passage in life. It’s as if, if one conforms, one is validating these relatives’/friends’ own value systems…

I am often asked about my’s 2 years since she got married, “any news”? I am not in the least bothered about “any news” myself, so find it amusing to note the interest, but accept it as part of the social scene. I call this kind of interest a need for “social information”, and it’s just part of the social fabric in the community I live in.

Personally, I do believe that questions about marriage and children may actually be touching a sensitive point, and therefore, should not be asked. After all, information about an approaching marriage or child will be common knowledge soon enough…

But the funny thing is, I am often asked such questions about OTHER people! (Eg. I know a couple who don’t have a child after…hm…maybe 7 years of marriage,I am not sure..and other friends ask me, “do you know why they don’t have a child?” ME? How on earth am I supposed to find this out, assuming I was interested in the first place? And assuming that I would have to ask them, why can’t these friends ask them, themselves?

But…try telling your troubles to these same people who ask all these questions and suddenly….they are NOT interested, and you can watch as they mentally tune off…