Members arrived with their monsoon gear and for a while there was much animated talk on the new weather pattern that defies reliable forecasts. The daily weather report still gives delightfully vague statements like “One or two scattered showers, heavy to very heavy in some parts, accompanied by thunder and lightning in isolated parts” and so on. Cleverly crafted by some legal expert and hemmed by excellent principal and subordinate clauses. Dore said that reading such a forecast before stepping out is of no use as he for one could not say whether he stands in that part of the city where there will be isolated showers or heavy to very heavy rains. So he looks up the sky and opts to decide to take his umbrella giving the benefit of doubt to the weather blighter.

The reason why Dore has to step out, rain or shine, is the stubborn silence of his land line for the last three weeks and the telephone company has been doing nothing about it. He met the telephone company linesmen, supervisors, managers and several others up in the hierarchy but they were all  frank in sincerely saying that nothing can be done about it as the diligent digging of several kilometers around by the Metro underground rail project had struck a fatal blow to the phone cables below and many a junction box has been ripped apart. The end result was that over 1500 phones were laid to rest and so severe has been the damage that there is no saying when the lines would be restored. Every morning and nightfall Dore says a silent prayer and lifts the receiver to check if the patient is showing even feeble signs of breath or recovery or any faint mutter or murmur but the silence persists. Wodehouse, in his place, would have said, “Tombs are chatty in comparison.”

A member observed that, in the last decade or so, hair care and hairdressing has been a preoccupation for thousands who are challenged by falling hair and growing bald silently at the back of the head. It starts with a circular patch, the size of a rupee, quietly increasing (owner unaware) until it reaches the size of an average papad noticed by the family and neighbours. This sets off a crisis and a hectic search is launched for a quick cure. The member said that his next door neighbour received by VPP  a large size pack at a rip-off price in response to an advertisement in the back pages of a magazine in praise of a hair oil that guaranteed excellent results. The neighbour was maha-impressed by a warning in the instruction pamphlet to take care when rubbing the oil on the head not to touch it lest hair may grow on the palms. He purchased soft gloves and commenced the treatment. Daily he checked whether there was any growth by standing in his balcony in the bright light of the morning with a mirror, moving it to different angles to get the light and shade effect. By the end of the month he realised that he was the victim of a fraud but the seller could not be contacted as there was no such shop at the address given. Not one to to be defeated easily he researched into the world of wigs. Now wigs, it appears is an old device and much in vogue in India and abroad. Human hair was collected from the heads of corpses, stored and processed for making wigs even from the mediaeval times. Reference was made to an extract from Charles Nicoll’s treatise on “Shakespeare on Silver Street”  where the immortal Bard’s lines were quoted:

“The golden tresses of the dead,

The right of sepulchers, were shorn away

                      To live a second life on second head….”

Strange thing, this love of people for hair, for promotion of healthy tresses  and classy clinics for tonics and treatment. At this point, a member narrated how his friend had sported a wig after buying it at a fairly exorbitant price and was, in fact, using it for quite some time. Was his friend comfortable using the wig? “Not quite.” He admitted. It appears however that even the wig was not comfortable though seated imperially on the crown. This was evident when during a ride in a car on a windy day while negotiating a bend round a circular garden, the wig dislodged itself from its HQs and took off in a North-North easterly direction and vanished without even a vote of thanks. Relieved of the foreign body sitting on his head, he did not go for a replacement. He merely wiped his head and thanked God for small mercies.

Then there are those who dye their hair and the market is crowded with  modern clinics and expensive stylists with their patents and promises. Anyone who holds out a hand of hope is always welcome to the young and the old. All these in the trade of hair, skin and products of beauty are prophets of hope. PG recalled how in a factory the GM’s steno-secretary one Mr.Nathan who had a basket of white hair on the head went ahead and dyed his hair with the darkest shade of black and turned up for work. The GM who on a normal working day dictated more than 20 letters by noon did not send for his secretary as he was under the mistaken impression that the chap did not show up, even though he was seated as usual in the general office. Late afternoon and the GM was restless and on enquiry was told that Nathan had come in as usual. Nathan was summoned and the GM was aghast to see the unrecognizable revised avatar of his steno-secretary, half smiling and half smirking, after “the alterations and repairs”. The GM, amused but also quite upset, shouted “What! Do you want to join Hollywood now?”  Much laughter around defused the situation.

Well, these days if no one is around to make you laugh, you are advised to keep a pet. In his novels Wodehouse used a variety of pets (often to the discomfort of the characters around) from Eustace the monkey in Uneasy Money to a snake and an alligator (Wilfred) belonging to Lotus Blossom. Was this yet another masterly stroke of the author in calling upon his imagination to practical use? Well, it appears that reality is not far behind. In Melbourne a crazy fellow kept a one metre long crocodile as his pet but left his house open. The reptile wandered round the streets on Christmas Day and settled outside a Mall leading to some lady stumbling over it with her shopping bag. The croc was sitting quietly on the footpath and it seems the Police are frantically looking for its owner.

The bizarre tastes of our fellow men, in the end, make up the puzzling fabric of life and laughter.


— PG.

From the archives – Vichanna’s Corner


By V. C. Doré 

Tandoori Tales from Tamil Naadu

I have been reading a lot on Hindu mythology of late and this Khushboo (yah Nasha!) and Suhasini controversy made me look back on the different epics. The subject of sexuality and pre martial and post marital or extra marital sex has been openly depicted in many and unlike other cultures ( present-day Tamil Culture!) , have never tried to hide it or put it under the carpet. In my last articlce I gave only a few examples. Indeed such instances of “licentious” behavior and sexual expediency have been culturally honored in ancient India. Pre marital sex not a big deal any way.! When girls and boys reach puberty at 14 and 18 respectively and pursue profession and higher education and do not marry till nearing 30 or above , do you expect then to be virgins!?

Take the case of Urvashi ( the name given to a exquisitely beautiful woman )or another damsel Rambaiy. In the oldest Indian Book in the RigVeda, the King Purvaras ,incidentally. a married man had an affair with Urvashi, without a purohit! And saath pheri. In one of the passages it is claimed that Urvashi copulated with Purvaras three times in day even without the aid of Viagra! The commentator narrates that this misadventure?) befell Urvashi because of ever handy mystic device Saapam . The rishis Varuna and Mitra excited by the charms of Urvashi , both ejaculated, simultaneously! That must have been an great engineering feat!

This act produced Rishi Agastya. Because of the Unfair curse Urvashi was sent to earth to be mortal beings – Aishvarya rai or Kajol You can guess!

The above are little known episodes. But here are well known stories of Vishwammitra’s Tapas to become brahma rishi ,was spoilt by Gods ,when they sent the proverbial Menaka(not to be mistaken for sardarini Maneka wife of late Sanjay Gandhi) to get Vishwamtira aroused .The result was Shakuntala .She had a premarital sex with King Dushyantha. They had a son Bharat. The BJP can proudly call our country India that is Bharat .In our religious ceremonies we chant Bharatavarshe Bharata Khande. It seems we Indians never had properly married relationships/.The forbidden fruit always tastes better.

I will be accused of blasphemy when I talk of the main character of Bhagwat Gita. Pravin Togadia and other Hindu stalwarts will protest. I admire Shri Krishna Bhagwan for his extraordinary strength and prowess in seducing 16,000 Gopis .Among the Gopis the most prominent Radha—a married woman. In Today Laws She will be charged with adulterous relation even with a God under the Hindu law( applicable to only Hindus!).Radha is so well acclaimed that in many part of Benares and UP it is common way of greetings Radhe Shyam. Against some religions and even in Hinduism sex was meant only for procreations is all hogwash- it is evident from the mythology that sex was primarily for pleasure .

I will now say something for which I will be —-? Did any of you know that Vishnu had two wives. One was Laxmi the goddess of wealth .When Vishnu looked for a good hill station he chose Tirumalai ( Tirpathi) No doubt a wonderful cool place. When he was searching for the right spot he fell for a local beauty and wanted to marry her name is Padmavathi. But how could Laxmi agree to stay in the same place with Padmaavthi ? So Vishnu made home for her at the foot of the hill Tiruchanur.. However Vishnu had to pay heavy price for this compromise .Laxmi(goddess of Wealth) would not part with any money for this illicit deal. So Krishna had to borrow from Kubera ( the federal bank!)That is how a Hundi( the tall white bag) at Tirupathi which daily collects crores of Rupees.,Vishu still paying Kubera for his indiscretion. For every story there is authority(?) This you will find in one of the small books on sale at Turpathi –Sthaalpuranam. All this only proves the tolerance of Hindus which the Tamil are unnecessarily talibanising. Laxmi was willing to remain married to Vishnu but Padmavathi had to stay in a Chinna veedu officially recognized for the second woman. in Tamil households.

Have you ever heard of King Vichitraviray? He died before he could make his two wives conceive.—Ambika and Ambalika. Vichitravirya’s mother Satyavathi (what a perfect name for Truth!)who was keen to “vamsahvriddhi” asked his own son(?) Veda Vyasa ( also illegitimate—son of Parashar and the fisherwoman Matsya kandi- Like father like son! to impregnate the two women !.As dutiful son Vyasa did as he was told-( How I wish we had such convenient mothers!).As opposed to normal Yoga this is known as Niyoga This resulted in two sons. .Ambika was so afraid that she closed her eyes- Drhritarashtara was born blind. The other,Ambalika shivered and the son born was with skin trouble. Then the mother sent the maid servant who enjoyed herself and Vidura the wise man was born( proves that the best progeny is born out of pleasant and satisfying sex!),Among Reddi communities in Andhra, even today, it is custom to send maidservant to the prospective bridegroom to check his performance!. All of them were born out of boon bound deities and not their mother’s husband.! I have already stated in my last article about Karna – like present day examples of unprotected sex results in unwanted pregnancies. Today’s Tamil operas state even in unwanted pregnancies, they want to keep their boy friends child-, against pressure to abort see Asai ,Anandam, Kolangal

Adi Sankara who was truly enlightened who wrote many treatises on Advaita Philosophy and Vivekachudamani on Self and non Self has written a beautiful book Saunderya Lahiri- I could not imagine how Sankara who never had sex or liaison with ay woman could write beautifully the charms of a woman in his sensually lyrical verses on Devi .

The temples of Khajuraho . is a classic example. The child widow Hemavathi was ravished by Moon God and that is the start of Rajput dynasty Chandela.

Hinduism is a very frank and liberal religion and talibanisation is indeed very shameful

Yatha bhootha prajanathi. See the Truth as it is.


Gippy’s Galatta

G. C. Dore Business Game At Siemens Kalva- Mumbai  :

Mr. Giri Dore oldest CT ( 83+) conducted a business game (TABU= Taste of Business ) for the latest batch of CT’s on the 6th and 7th of June 2018 at Kalwa, It had all the adventures and upheavals of today’s business world, like demonetization, inflation, Brexit, GST etc. The game covers 8 business years. The trainees made losses in the first 4 years but bounced back into sunshine of profits in the next 4 years. The Programme concluded with music played by Mr. Dore on the Hamonica.


Sasikumar Menon

Shali Scoop

Mammoth Lakes Film Fest

I was on the jury of the Mammoth Lakes film festival. There are some photos of me from that on this link.

4th Annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Announces Award Winners
International Features Jury: Shalini Dore ( Variety ), Alonso Duralde ( TheWrap ) and Vincent Spano (Actor). Shorts Jury: Ana Souza (Sundance Film Festival) and Scenery Samundra (Tru Thoughts, NTS Radio).


Members recalled the glory of P.G.Wodehouse, the greatest humourist, who like the arab quietly folded his tent on Valentine’s Day and disappeared over the sands of time. In the echoes and parallels of eloquent prose it is vain to seek such elegance of language laced with a rare filigree of humour. He wove on the roaring loom of Time with the warp of imagination and the weft of humour till his last breath. Truly a blessed soul who wrote 90 plus novels in a life span of 90 plus years. A miracle indeed! Since his demise we have had a long winter in the world of humour. We tipped our hats to Sir P.G.Wodehouse.


We all know about Wodehouse as a cricketer but we have in Giri Dore another in our midst at Wodehouse Corner. Giri Dore, as seasoned as a cricket ball, was invited to Kolkota to be the National Match referee for Siemens teams across the country. With his years of experience on the field this was not surprising and soon Giri, recalling his sunny days in Calcutta between 1959 and 1965, winged his way to Kolkota. with the latest Cricket Rules in his hip pocket. On arrival, after much wading at the airport through a crowd of Chatterjees, Mukherjees and Bannerjees Giri was escorted through Tollygunge, Ballygunge and other outlying bally places to the sports ground where there were more Chatterjees and such of their ilk, besides an assortment of persons with appellations like Ghosh, Das and Sens. There he saw a delightful crowd cheering away. In one corner a chap was coaching a section of the crowd in hissing and other sounds to unnerve the players. The elite and the well bred sat at the far end away from the noise makers. Amongst them were delicate fair hands that elegantly held fans that opened now and then to wave off the flies or the rising heat. Their plunging necklines and pearl necklaes stamped the hallmark of class and affluence. Even in such gatherings there are class and caste shades, each segment coexisting seamlessly though, together but apart. The matches were hectic and on quite a few occasions disputed issues were referred to Giri, who with his balance, diplomacy and tact left the players satisfied with the final decision. By evening, the crowd stood tired and subdued, listless “with the drooping of their collective necks.” When it was announced that the session would conclude with a song by Dore they became attentive and were astonished to hear Giri sing a Portugese tune with Spanish rhythm followed by music on the harmonica. The audience gave a deafening applause which still rings time and again in Giri’s memory long after they faded.

Not many may remember Wodehouse having received an Honourary Doctorate from Oxford University in 1939 for his English but it turned out that he became equally adept as a doctor as many a depressed soul has recovered from a reading of his novels. In his writings, Wodehouse prescribes the cure for insomnia. Briefly stated, :

Breakfast: After toast and marmalade,
Jeeves and the Hard-boiled egg.
Lunch:      After cauliflower and lamb cutlet,
Jeeves and the kid Clementine.
Dinner:    Clear soup, chicken en casserole,
Jeeves and the Old School Chum.
Before Retiring: Liver pill followed by
Jeeves and the Impending Doom.

Actually, holding a Doctorate in say, Physics or Philosophy can be a social disadvantage. The physicist Dr. Millikan, famed for his accurate measurement of the diameter of the electron, overheard his charwoman answering a phone call in his apartment telling the caller, “No. the professor is no good for giving any medicine.” PG narrated an incident about his Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences who had a doctorate in sociology. His neighbours often rang his doorbell at night in quest of medicines and no amount of explanation would convince them of the fact that he knew nothing about medicine. They persisted in being given asome harmless pills, potions and powders. A powder to cure cough, a tablet for headache, a pill for fever and some mild purgative. What he thought was mild was perhaps too strong for the patient who never turned up thereafter.

On PG’s request to Ranju for a brief, precise narrative of his (Ranju’s) meeting with Krishna Mohan at Hyderabad he received a long, verbose, and detailed affidavit (designed not to omit any detail whatsoever).Attempts to condense it met fierce resistance as the stuff was tightly packed traversing history and geography enmeshed with sequenced  details. Any change attempted was like trying “to paint a lily”. So PG  thought let the readers have it thick and undiluted. Here it  goes:

“I met OMH Krishna Mohan Gabbita in the lobby of Hotel Taj Vivanta in Begumpet, Hyderabad on Wednesday 7th Feb. He arrived at 10.15 am sharp and I appreciated his punctuality.
Over coffee at Viva, I asked him if he had brought any PGW novel written by him in the Telugu. I had forgotten to mention this when I spoke to him that morning. I was curious to know how he had replicated the flavour and nuances of the written word and phrases in the English language by the Great Master. Some of my classmates ( many of whom had left that morning for the airport to return to respective destinations after the 5 day reunion ) had remarked that it is very difficult to capture the essence of Wodehouse humour and play on words in any other language other than English. Lost in translation was the phrase that jumped to mind.
OMH asked me if I had some time to spare. Our former neighbours from Mumbai had invited us for lunch at their home in Motinagar but when OMH requested me to visit his house, a ten minute drive away, I could not refuse. He said we would spend ten minutes at his place and his chauffeur would drop me back at the hotel.
I am glad I visited his home in Somajiguda where I met his wife. I am the proud owner of a large collection of books and novels but was amazed on seeing the contents of his library. An Ayn Rand novel caught my eye. OMH also showed me one of the eleven volumes of a Historical Compendium which he acquired after parting with a king’s ransom. I was tempted to count all the 92 books of PGW but lack of time and a sense of politeness came in the way.

Six novels of PGW have been written ( or transliterated ) by Krishna Mohan in Telugu language and these have been well accepted by his faithful readers. Each print edition is for 1000 copies and all have sold out***. He is now writing his 7th book. Krishna Mohan has to seek permission from the Wodehouse Estate and pay them a royalty for every 1000 copies plus three hard copies of each book printed. He has a group of PGW fans who meet regularly in Hyderabad. OMH talked about the late Bapu, a renowned artist and film producer who designed the covers of his books. He also spoke about B S Prakash***, an authority on PGW. All his friends have now re-christened Krishna Mohan as “Gabbita Wodehouse”.

I had a quick photo session during which I captured most of the contents of his library. Links to these pix have been sent to you.

I was most impressed with his achievements during his career with DRDO and BDL, particularly Krishna Mohan’s role in the development and production of the Prithvi missile used by the Indian Armed Forces. I just had to take his picture with a model of the missile, naively asking him to stop me if I am violating any Official Secrets Act!! “

During his visit to Hyderabad, one bright morning PG met Krishna Mohan (OMH) or KM at his residence. The meeting (just like the one Ranju had with him) could be called a mini-Wodehouse get-together. There was a nice interaction with KM on the travails of a translator, right from the start in selecting a novel that would be amenable for translation, the torturous struggle in adapting to the cultural milieu, the challenge of searching for the right word and phrase while keeping the humour alive, all this with an eye on the commercial imperatives and the petty cash of the cash register. A strenuous effort and kudos to KM for keeping the vernacular flag of Wodehouse flying. We carried our discussions to the lunch table. It was time for the wine cup and the guitar. The melodious strains of the guitar were not audible bu.t then as Keats said, “Heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are sweeter”. This was followed by a sumptuous lunch and it was merely stating “The food is tasty” “Exceedingly tasty” as we consumed calories far beyond the limits permitted by the quack.

— PG.