1949 or 1979? 

I am trying a different format of blog which I may repeat if both you folks and I find it comfortable!

I thought why not ask a question to myself in the form of Vikram Vetal story! Vikram, the King is Pramod and Vetal, the spirit is replaced by new entity, “Internet Genie”! (called Genie)


Pramod somehow caught hold of Genie, managed to make Genie run at the high speed that was expected of him. Genie as usual started narrating a story. He started with a question, “If you were given a choice, will you be born again in 1949 or 1979, which year will you prefer?” Pramod knew that if he uttered a word, Genie would slip out of his control and system will hang! So Pramod did not give any reply to the question asked.

 As usual, Genie kept on talking. Pramod now that you are in Golden period of your life, you will be a good judge to say if you would rather be born in 1979! Person born in 1979 will not be able to judge if his birth should have been in 1949. You have seen a much simpler world, almost on the verge of being naïve. Cities were smaller, life was simpler but then there was nothing to do in the evening except news at 7 pm and 8 pm on the radio! While you were in school/college there were shortages, incomes were low, and eating an apple was considered a luxury! Ultimate aim in those days was to have your own bicycle.

Had you been born in 1979, as you ended school and entered college, you would have had colour tv, the rationing was almost gone, availability of everything had improved. Eating out in big restaurants with parents would have been a thing to look forward to. Maybe some parents had cars! Sachin Tendulkar had started playing for India, MS DOS, PC, web, these words were discussed. Maruti had already won the heart of Indians but die-hard Ambassador fans were still looking Maruti down!

You were of course very busy managing careers, family, children and trying to attend to the general responsibilities of life, so time had been at a premium. Before you realized that you were around 50 your son had moved to the US. Your daughter had already decided to join dentistry. But you guys could find some time for your children, supporting their extra-curricular activities when they were younger. Already 500 MB hard discs were fitted on pc’s.

Make a jump to 2017, you are now around 70 but you could have been around 40 had you been born in 1979! Now the real tussle has started in your mind. Is 70 or 40 good age to be in 2017! At your present age of 70, you would have been an also ran if you had not retrained yourself in IT related technology. Techno phobia would have really pulled you back but those who have retrained are having fun. Cell phones, tablets, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube are fun things and there is no time restriction. There are no parents to give lectures. You can give a lot time to your grandchildren on equal footing, with modern gadgets, which you did not have when your children were growing, and really enjoy.  Your fun quotient is very high because you have traveled in a bullock cart as well as in Boeing Dreamliner 787!

If you were to be born in1979, at around the age of 40, you would be very,  very busy! You would have grown with all the new technology around you. But not enough time available, all the time work, work and work. Working life in 2017 being very hectic, you would have had everything except time! You have never traveled in the bullock cart so conceptually  not many big changes for you; your fun quotient would not have been really significant! Your children are still young. You have to take them to gymnastics, judo, art class, dance class and so on. So, time available is further cut down. You would have jokingly said, ” Now I have regular day job and run taxi service to take kids around after coming home!”

Pramod I can see you smiling and coming up with an argument. I know what you are going to say. In 50’s/60’s you saw Waheeda & Devanand from 20 feet distance, shooting for a movie!  You met Mukri, Ashok Saraf on a train while coming from Bombay once. You also met Bapu Nadkarni test cricket all-rounder in a train journey to Bombay, another time. In your 79 avatar such events would be only in dreams! Celebrities and hero/heroines are humans like us but human touch is getting lost for this generation because of changing times or is it because human touch is out of fashion?

Pramod went into nostalgia when he heard Genie talking about Waheeda! He forgot the golden rule and said,” Genie you will never understand the naïve 60’s but those were the days! I am good to be born in 1949 enjoying best of the both worlds!”

With this statement Pramod broke the golden rule of silence that Genie had locked him in.  At that instant Genie slipped out of Pramod’s grasp, Genie’s speed became equivalent of 2 G and system hung!  Genie could not help but make a passing remark before escaping. “But Pramod whatever you may, I know that Virat Kohli, Priyanka Chopda and Ranbir Singh are your current favourites, though you are not openly accepting!”

Make your bed when you get up!

I heard one inspirational speech on the net and this is how the speaker started the speech, “Make your bed when you get up!” Obviously the audience did have a hearty laugh. But he was talking on a very serious subject. I remember, that my father on waking up, would make his bed, brush his teeth and comb his hair. I asked him once, “Hey Dad! Who is going to look at you so early? Why comb your hair?” His reply I still remember, “Pramod, I want myself to be presentable to me, forget others!”

Now what is the big deal in making your bed when you get up! Well, it is the first task you have completed during the day and done it successfully. So your day begins with a successful activity. During the course of the day there will be many small and big activities you will be doing. Your first successful activity, though very minor, will give you confidence that you may be able to do other activities successfully too! Your day starts on a positive note and if you come across any hurdles in any of your activities, you will try to find a way of completing it successfully. There may be real bad day in your life and all your important activities may not get completed, or you may face failure while doing these activities e.g. you may lose an order, which you were very sure to get. On such a bad day, you can always come home and lie down on your bed, which is already made; it is there to receive you comfortably, as you had made it when you woke up!

Getting your mind organized to do things on time and successfully, prepares your mind to approach everything, for successful completion; it will teach you to tackle the problems, till you are able to get a proper resolution. It will prepare you to accept setbacks and teach your mind how to overcome the setbacks. Making your bed when you get up is a thought process. You had gone for a movie and slept late, you had a drink or two more than your usual quota, so you were tossing around and slept very late, your neighbor had a minor emergency and requested your help after midnight so you went back to sleep at three o’clock; but you had to get up at five o’clock to catch a flight. There will be many such variations, and many excuses in your mind not to make your bed when you get up! But that is where the discipline comes into play. You wake up and make your bed! This simple action in one’s life, forms the work ethic of that person. This work ethic is contagious. Very rarely you will find family or a group of people where some have different work ethics. Those who make their bed on waking, know how it helps the ecosystem to perform better and more efficiently.

I will share a couple of stories from my own home. My son Sachin was in the 12th grade, of course ages back. Now his son is in 12th grade! One of our family friend was his physics teacher. A few weeks before final exams, he started solving old exam papers (for practice) as if he was appearing for the exam. He would complete the paper in stipulated two hrs. He solved one question paper in the afternoon and immediately got it checked from his teacher. He had done ok but he was not satisfied. Immediately after coming home, he solved second paper in two hours and got it checked. There was improvement but he was still not happy. He came home, solved third paper and got it checked. He almost got full marks in that and then he went to sleep that night.

My daughter Priya was studying for her Master’s degree in Dentistry. She had her exams the next day at 9 am. At one am, she came and woke me up. Her cell phone was on silent mode but when she checked she saw nine missed calls from parents of a three year old child, whom she had treated, a couple of days before. She said, “Daddy, that child is bleeding since 9 pm and I have to treat him. Will you please come with me?” Also that family did not have a vehicle, so we picked them up on the way. We took them to the hospital, the child was successfully treated (parents had not followed the instructions Priya had given them, hence the bleeding had started). We dropped them home and by the time we reached home it was 4.30 am! She slept for an hour, revised for her exams and appeared for her exam at 9 am. Before going in the hall, she coordinated with her colleagues to recheck the child at 10.30 am!

I don’t say that it was big deal what my children did but it proves what I said above is true. They have both been watching Jaya and I make our bed, when we woke up, everyday!