Was in Bhopal a few months ago conducting a workshop on writing and public speaking, and having an extra day before heading home, was offered a sightseeing trip by a few students. There was a lot of Bhopal to be seen and I must have whispered, “I’m getting old,” once too often when Navya said, “Stop thinking that way Bob. It’s all in the mind!”

It was a few days later, I chanced to read General Douglas Mac Arthur on ageing:

There are many who fight shy and even condemn technological and scientific advances in our world. But by doing so they’ll become dinosaurs in our modern age. Here are some funny stories of those who struggled to catch up:

A writer who used pen and ink was persuaded to change over to a computer. The tutor teaching him called out the instructions on the phone: “Now type the letter ‘P’ to bring up the Program Manager.”

Two months ago, Krystyna Pyszkova from the Czech Republic clinched the Miss World 2024 title at a grand ceremony held in Mumbai, but today I remembered my Miss World:

She lived behind my house in a hut for just a year. She was the leader of her little gang. I’d watched from the window as she led that gang. They walked cautiously past ant hill, where she told them wide eyed, a snake lived, she walked first, bravely, but I knew her heart was in her pretty mouth. She showed them nests where strange birds tried to blend themselves into thick foliage, but her quick eyes spotted those evasive feathered friends, and her gang gained from her keenness.

Have been watching our foreign minister, with serious, unsmiling, professional face, meeting world leaders, and having our newspapers report, how he’s told some world leader off, or put some other diplomat in his place, and we applaud, forgetting our news will never report the response he’s got, or mention how other countries view our policies.

And he’s been making some strange bedfellows; two of them, Russia and Iran.

Singing in one of the best choirs in the country and under the illustrious Coomi Wadia, I think I have been spoiled silly. A point she emphatically enforces is that in case a choir member makes a mistake during rehearsals or even during a performance no other member is to turn around, correct the person or even show disapproval. With this beautiful, but simple rule, members of this secular choir sing out, make mistakes, get corrected only by the conductor and learn to sing vibrantly, harmoniously and produce great music together!