Something to look forward to………,204,203,200_.jpg

A Suitable Boy is a massive (approximately 1500 pages) monumental novel written by Vikram Seth way back in 1993 and is now about to be released as a six part TV mini-series. I can hardly wait. In a nutshell ….

“A Suitable Boy is set in the newly post-independence, post partition India of the 1950s. The novel follows the story of four families over a period of 18 months, and centers on Mrs. Rupa Mehra’s efforts to arrange the marriage of her younger daughter, Lata, to a “suitable boy”. Lata is a 19-year-old university student who refuses to be influenced by her domineering mother or opinionated brother, Arun. Her story revolves around the choice she is forced to make between her suitors Kabir, Haresh, and Amit.”

Way back then I read the closing of the dedication ….

“Buy me before good sense insists / you’ll strain your purse and sprain your wrists”

With a dedication like I had to take him at his word. I could not simply put the book aside without reading it. Sometimes a big novel can turn out to be chore. But not this one It turned out to be a magnificent read about complex family, racial, political and cultural issues set in the newly independent India.  Added to that there were healthy doses of background material to feed my long standing interest in Indian music.

The book is still sitting on my bookshelf just begging me to take it down again and re-engage in that wonderful world created by the author Virkram Seth. I might just do that before the mini-series hits the airways.


Covidiots – Keith Baldry (BC Global News Commentator 2020/07/19)

“HOW CAN ONE SO CLEVER BE SO STUPID?” – The Dark Demon in Good Omens

I think it is a good question that should be  right up there with “have good citizens taken leave of their senses?” Or is it just the mass hysteria of people trying to deal with incredible circumstances?. These questions were all prompted by the spectacle on the evening news of public demonstrations against the wearing of masks.

I don’t understand it. Over the years we have spent buckets of money, time and energy on accumulating knowledge and the attendant education and training of experts to evaluate and interpret the data we have accumulated. We ask the experts to step up to the plate and offer guidance on dealing with such an event as a pandemic and when they do we react by throwing a hissy fit and behaving like children. It’s like a roomful of children wanting to go out and play in a dangerous situation and when restrained screaming “I’m going outside to play and you can’t stop me.” On top of that, as adults, they are not only screaming their objections to reasonable advice and precautions  but sprouting ridiculous conspiracy theories and equating reasonable public health measures to dictatorships and fascism. All because they can’t stop for a minute, take a breath, evaluate the reality of the situation and behave in a calm rational manner.

The wearing of masks is the case in point. The simple precaution of wearing masks in crowded situations is not an onerous request or task. It is not a hoax. It’s not a devious political plot. It is not even difficult. It is just a simple, wise precaution aimed at slowing the spread of the covid-19 virus.

So smarten up people and get with the program and wear a mask. The life you save may just be mine.


A Touch of Humor

A photographer on vacation was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read ‘$10,000 per call’.

The American, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for.

The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to God.

The American thanked the priest and went along his way.

Next stop was in Atlanta . There, at a very large cathedral, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it.

He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in Orlando and he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was.

She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God.

‘O.K., thank you,’ said the American.

He then traveled to Indianapolis , Washington DC , Philadelphia , Boston and New York .

In every church he saw the same golden telephone
With the same ‘$10,000 per call’ sign under it.

The American, upon leaving Vermont decided to travel up to Canada to see if Canadians had the same phone.

He arrived in Canada , and again, in the first church he entered, there was the same golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read ’40 cents per call.’

The American was surprised so he asked the priest about the sign.  ‘Father, I’ve traveled all over America and I’ve seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I’m told that it is a direct line to Heaven, but in the US the price was $10,000 per call.

Why is it so cheap here?’

The priest smiled and answered, ‘You’re in Canada now, son … it’s a local call.’