When it comes to making a choice between characters of all sizes and shapes created by P G Wodehouse, one would be left twiddling one’s thumbs. A sense of bafflement would overwhelm us. Our minds boggle. Not so for the jury which declares the winner. They happen to be used to a pitiless analysis of characters and situations. They have nerves of chilled steel.

Originally posted on Plumtopia:

Having taken the obligatory swigs of orange juice, it gives me great pleasure to announce the prize winner of the ‘Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party’ competition. Judging was more difficult than expected. I’m only sorry there aren’t enough prizes to go around.

The entries deserves some discussion, beginning with Sally — what a wonderful name for a Wodehouse lover. Sally was quick off the mark in suggesting Cakebread, butler of Shipley Hall in Money in the Bank. A fine answer. Even the name Cakebread implies calories. Those of you who’ve read Money in the Bank will also know it’s an alias. Cakebread isn’t Cakebread. He’s not a real butler either. But he is large.

‘The newcomer, as the sound of his footsteps had suggested, was built on generous lines. In shape, he resembled a pear, reasonably narrow at the top but getting wider and wider all the way down and…

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Professionals need to step back every once in a while and check if their brand image is bright and shining. Keeping one’s brand value burnished helps in career progression. It is also an immensely satisfying slice of life which promotes self-worth and boosts self-confidence.

Here is a checklist of the kind of inputs which go into keeping a professional’s brand value burnished.

1. Under-promise, over-deliver
Being aware of our core strengths as well as limitations helps us to assess our chances of success in delivering on a project. By ensuring that we commit conservatively but deliver zealously, we build up a reputation of reliability. There are indeed times when a polite ‘no’ could save us from denting our reputation.

2. Practice honesty and openness in relationships
Our colleagues and team members are equally smart. They are quick to sense a touch of opacity on our part. They detest a lack of transparency in us. Dealing with those around us with honesty ensures that they repose their faith and trust in us. As a result, our capability of getting things done improves.

3. Be a friend, philosopher and guide
All of us have some expertise which may not be directly relevant to our Key Result Area. It could be an insight into theTEAMS realm of alternative therapies which a colleague can use for one of her family members. It could be about handling rebellious teenagers at home. If we put such expertise to use by helping others around us, word goes around and others rush in to seek our counsel. We might have the image of a tough task master, but this softer aspect of our personality helps us to build a unique brand for ourselves.

4. Network
Whether within the organization or outside, networking goes a long way in building up our reputation. The trick, however, is in avoiding those with a negative outlook, while promoting ties with those who have positive vibes.

5. Keep learning
Keeping the saw sharpened always helps. By refreshing our knowledge pool continuously, we remain a leader in more ways than one. Often, a dash of humility is all it needs to remain ahead of the curve.

6. Be genuine
By being ourselves, we enhance our dependability. Others feel reassured and refreshed after each encounter with us. They do not mind confiding in us. In turn, this helps us to understand and address their anxiety and concerns better. Our ability to deliver improves.

A brand is all about reliability and dependability. It offers good value for money. So do professionals who work on the basis of deliverables. Smart ones realize that an image is merely a matter of perception. It needs to be backed by real inputs so one’s brand value remains intact and is kept burnished at all times.


If ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, ‘Bhaag Milka Bhaag’ and ‘Mary Kom’ had you in enthral, here is a line up of future biopics from Bollywood. As always, a thoroughly informative post from the stable of ‘My views on Bollywood’!

Originally posted on My Views On Bollywood:

By  Sharada Iyer

The box-office success as well as critical acclaim of recent biopics Paan Singh Tomar, Bhaag Milka Bhaag and Mary Kom celebrating the spirit and determination of our sportspersons seems to have spawned a plethora of biopics in our industry. We are attacking this genre with a new found vigour and enthusiasm.

In fact this year on 23rd October, 2015, the biopic on our very own Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Indian Cricket Captain is going to hit the theatres. Titled M S Dhoni: The Untold Story, the film is directed by Neeraj Pandey and young Sushant Singh Rajput will be essaying the role of the Indian Captain while Alia Bhatt will play his wife Sakshi. The link below shows the stars who will be playing the other members of the Indian squad.

13th May 2016 will see the release of Azhar, the biopic on cricketer…

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Life is replete with hierarchies of all sizes and shapes. Those who happen to be rich look at their less fortunate cousins with some derision. Those who happen to be highly educated view the uneducated with some scorn. Those who have a great job with a famous blue chip company, when introduced to someone who has to be asked oh-which-company-did-you-say-you-are-working-with, treat the party of the other part with marked contempt.

All of us appear to be on a ladder of sorts – some perched above and others struggling to catch up from below. The ladder could be either materialistic or spiritual in nature.

The hierarchy of wellness

Some of the sick and the infirm also suffer from this ‘ladder syndrome’. Many could be secretly delighted upon Caring Michelangelo's_Pietarealizing that the best of physicians have no clue as to what precisely the nature of their affliction is. Those having AIDS and cancer could look deprecatingly at someone having, say, a viral infection. Those suffering from a heart ailment could gloat over the fact that they are consulting a world-renowned cardiac expert, whereas the other person, given his limited means or his station in life, has to remain content with a mere local doctor.

To a person diagnosed with a pancreatic cyst, someone suffering from acidity could appear to be a being which is yet to transcend several stages of evolution. Someone who has had to undergo an orthopedic surgery might treat another complaining of knee pain with a dash of scorn. A diabetic whose daily dose of insulin is in the range of, say, 50 units, could treat the other one surviving on 15 units as merely the dust beneath his chariot wheels.

The difference in the realm of wellness is that the ladder works both ways. An insulin dependent diabetic could also feel a gnawing dissatisfaction within that life has been patently unfair only to him. A person having a heart ailment may consider others around him luckier, living a fuller and happier life. It is felt that when life dishes out such harsh sentences, without the option of an anticipatory bail, our Guardian Angels are busy elsewhere, not bothering to protect us from the perils of life.

Listen to a conversation between two patients, or their attendants, in a hospital ward and both trends become discernible. Some would be happy, others would be complaining. This unique facet of wellness shows us the importance of our attitudes. When we are afflicted with an irreversible condition, how do we look at it? As a bane, or as a boon?

The perks of ill health

If we think of ill health as a bane, we enter into a vicious cycle which keeps depleting us of our positive energies. The mind absorbs negativity. The body responds by a further decline in its immunity levels. It is like a downward spiral which does not allow us to look at the sunnier side of life.

How could one treat a long term health challenge as a boon, you might well ask? Well, barring accidents and cases of a special medical nature, this does sound like a workable proposition. Especially in the case of what are known as lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments and the like.

Better preparation

One, it helps us to check the healthcare eco-system around us. Efficacy of doctors gets assessed. Clinics and hospitalsCaring Michelangelo_pietà_rondanini get evaluated for the kind of care they provide. In case a further challenge comes up, we are better prepared to handle it.

Better habits

Two, we realize that the body revolts only when it is pressed beyond a point of its tolerance. Abuse of a particular organ over a period of time comes into sharp focus. Corrective steps get taken. Introspection follows. Better habits follow. Better health comes about.

Fulfilling pious intentions

Three, a critical intervention, say, like a coronary arterial by-pass graft, gives the patient a good time to relax, recuperate and introspect. For that matter, any surgery affords us the luxury of listening to good music, catching up with books on our to-be-read list or with movies on our to-be-watched list. In other words, several pious intentions of ours get worked upon.

Acquiring a specialization

Four, we end up becoming a subject expert on the affliction concerned. Now, what could be more gratifying than people coming up to us to either confide their health problems with us or seeking our advice?

Handling planned obsolescence

Five, a realization dawns that, much like modern automobiles and white goods, our bodies also come with an in-built feature of planned obsolescence.

Cars and washing machines have a definite life span. Warranties are limited. Once the warranty period is over, an annual maintenance contract kicks in.

Likewise, human bodies have an upper limit to their time spans. To keep them going longer, regular maintenance is necessary. Healthy nourishment, regular exercises and a positive attitude alone help. Howsoever hard we may work upon ourselves, we realize that our physical bodies come with a date of expiry. The date, of course, remains a mystery of sorts.

A sunny disposition

As life advances, we realize that each stage of life offers its unique mix of advantages and disadvantages.

When we enter a phase of our lives which offers us relative peace and an opportunity of fulfilling some of our pious RETIRINGintentions we have secretly harbored all through our lives, we could instead fall into the trap of complaining about the health challenges we face, thereby robbing us of the exquisite joy of this part of the journey.

A sunny disposition, acquired early in life, can work wonders in keeping illnesses at bay. Ageing gracefully is an art as well as a habit which can be consciously cultivated to fend off the W-shaped depressions we could face when the yoke of family and career responsibilities falls off our no-longer-sturdy shoulders.

It helps to have a small circle of close friends. Pursuing a hobby we are passionate about keeps our neurons in good shape. Being in touch with the younger lot makes our system keep running on all six cylinders. Simply looking back at the high points of our life keeps our spirits buoyed up.

The silver lining

Setbacks in health occasionally hover over us, much like ominous clouds which cut off the sunlight of the simple joys of life. But, like all clouds, these have a silver lining which one can focus on. Armed with a chin-up attitude, one can face the harsh slings and arrows of life better.


Pottering about in the garden, placing owl statuettes at vantage points, paying homage to the Empress of Blandings, attracting a bunch of hungry ponies……these are but some of the perks of retired life, recounted in this leisurely blog post.


Originally posted on derrickjknight:

On a largely overcast and humid morning I took an amble down to Roger’s footpath and back.

Parsley and fennel

Parsley and fennel are now flowering in the bed opposite the kitchen window.


White nicotiana spreads its scent across the patio.

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

The Absolutely Fabulous rose now bears numerous fresh flowers.


Violas suspended from the entrance arch to the back drive soak up the sun’s fleeting rays.

Owl and petunias

I found that a snowy owl has been sneaked in.


Small, ground-hugging, convolvulus now straggles the verges of Downton Lane.

For the purposes of rearranging the furniture I was permitted to enter the shed this morning. If truth be told, I was probably more hindrance than help, although the Head Gardener was too kind to say so. I was taken back, however, to my very early childhood when, asking my mother if I could help with the housework, I would receive the response: ‘Yes. Sit on a chair and…

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The Curl, oil pastel.

Here is a lovely blog which showcases a facet of fine arts in a unique manner. Each painting is captivating, to say the least.


A saunter down the Gallery of Rogue Kids in Plumsville leaves us amazed at the innovative skills, cunning and resource of the children we come across in the works of P G Wodehouse.

Some end up boosting the sagging morale of their fathers. Some treat their step fathers with as much scorn as theyPGW PiccadillyJim can muster at a tender age. They do not spare them while out to collect protection money. Their antics could make or break matrimonial alliances in a jiffy. Souring up business deals comes easy to them. When they burn down cottages, guests are forced to seek shelter in garden sheds.

When seniors devise a Good Conduct award, they leave no stone unturned to prove their mettle. When infatuated with celebrities, they devote their lives to being worthy of their affections. When in the company of clergymen, they end up making them more spiritual, thereby making them hotter on their jobs.

When it comes to wreaking vengeance, they do not discriminate based on one’s wealth or social stature. A Cabinet Minister has as much chance of spending a rainy afternoon out in the open marooned on an island inhabited by an agitated swan as you and I. If we have reported their misdemeanours to an unforgiving mother like Aunt Agatha, we are bound to land in a soup sooner or later. If we have decided to kick them on their backsides, we are bound to find hedgehogs in our beds at night. Retribution is invariably swift and harsh.

When delivering mischief, kids of the gentler sex appear to be deadlier than their male counterparts. But they deploy subtler methods. When playing a prank, they are more delicate in their approach. Not so for the kids of the so-called sterner sex, whose roguish tendencies manifest in a straight forward manner, in full public view. Methods as well as outcomes of the pranks played by them happen to be rough.

Rankings on the Richter Scale of Roguishness

When it comes to ranking them on a Richter Scale of Roguishness, one has to evaluate the evidence available in somePGW MatingSeason of the narratives of P G Wodehouse. One sifts it based on three broad parameters. One, the gravity of the kind of pranks played. Two, if the pranks were of an ingenious nature, perpetrated by self-motivated souls, entirely of their own. Three, the goofiness of the methods deployed.

Based on the above, one would endeavour to grant them the following scores.

Ogden Ford

Here is someone who can manipulate his kidnappers with much aplomb, change the rules of the game at the school he joins and even tick off his step father. If there is a spoilt and unpleasant brat who is overindulged by his wealthy parents, it is Ogden, the supreme fiend in human shape.

A score of 8.2 would perhaps be the mot juste.


Master Thomas is one of the star attractions in the Gallery of Rogue Kids. He is the King of the Underworld. He is alsoVeryGoodJeeves known as The Shadow. He has carroty hair and a cynical expression. His manner is curt and supercilious. The only person who appears capable of outwitting him is Jeeves.

A score of less than 7.9 would be undervaluing his unique capabilities.


He is the younger brother of Florence Craye. When he tries to catch up with his acts of kindness, human life is imperiled. His acts of mercy include burning down country cottages, nipping his father and others with a Scout’s stick when mistaking them for a burglar, mending egg boilers with perilous results and pasting press clippings of ‘Spindrift’ upside down.

He deserves a score of at least 7.7.


If you do not cough up protection money when called upon to do so, things could happen to you. The fact that you JoyInTheMorninghappen to be an aspiring step father does not get you off the hook. Using butter slides to trip one up is one of the tricks he can teach us. This is how Bertie views him.

‘In my Rogues Gallery of repulsive small boys I suppose he would come about third – not quite so bad as my Aunt Agatha’s son, Young Thos, or Blumenfeld’s Junior, but well ahead of little Sebastian Moon, my Aunt Dahlia’s Bonzo, and the field.’

A score of less than 7.3 would be unjust.

Kid Blumenfeld

In the world of theatre, he is an undisputed king-maker. Besides nipping the career of aspiring artists in the bud, this dish-faced specimen is also in the habit of walking off with a guest’s pet. When he takes a fancy to McIntosh, Jeeves has to intervene so that relations between Bertie and Aunt Agatha continue to be cordial.

Here is someone who deserves to be awarded a score of at least 5.1.

Sebastian Moon

The boy with golden curls has hidden depths which deserve a further investigation. He tends to be direct and blunt. PGW ThankYouJeevesWhile in love with Clara Bow, he does not mince words when criticizing Greta Garbo. Jeeves is convinced about his proficiency in matters which might get classified as pranks in our civilized times.

A score of 4.6 would surely be in order.


Details about his escapades remain fuzzy but the opinion of his mother, Aunt Dahlia, does carry some weight with us.

‘Whenever it comes to devilry, Bonzo is a good, ordinary selling-plater. Whereas Thomas is a classic yearling.’

A score of 3.8 might do him justice.

Peggy Mainwaring

She is a red-haired young girl with a snub-nose and an extremely large grin. She could impart lessons on unnervingPGW Inimitable_jeeves the best of public speakers by using such techniques as giggling and staring.

A score of 3.6 would perhaps be in order.


The brother of the formidable Honoria Glossop, Oswald happens to be one of those supercilious souls who give you the impression that you went to the wrong school and that your clothes do not quite fit.

He deserves a score of 3.3.

Kid Clementina

She teaches us the art of going AWOL when under the care of Miss Mapleton, the female lion-tamer.

A score of 2.1 would perhaps be in order.

Prudence Baxter

An innocent kid, she secures the fifth position at the local Egg and Spoon Race. However, thanks to Jeeves, she getsPGW CarryOnJeeves declared as a winner.

She deserves a negative rank on the Richter Scale of Roguishness: -1.8

Algernon Aubrey Little

Bingo Little Junior wins a bonny baby competition, giving his father the vim and courage to demand a raise from the proprietor of Wee Tots. When left in the custody of Oofy Prosser, his Godfather, the latter sees the futility of getting married in life and decides to remain a bachelor.

He scores -2.2.

The hapless parents of all the kids who score higher than 5 on the Richter Scale of Roguishness obviously have our full sympathies.

1. This list does not purport to be exhaustive in nature. Nor does it claim to be highly objective. In case of a demur of any kind, a consultation with Reginald Jeeves would provide better satisfaction.
2. This summary has been compiled for the benefit of those in a tearing hurry. For a leisurely review, the reader is hereby exhorted to either refer to the original narratives of the Master, or to look up the detailed blog posts listed herein.

Sourced from:
-The Little Nugget
-Piccadilly Jim
-The Mating Season
-Very Good, Jeeves
-Joy in the Morning
-Thank you, Jeeves
-The Inimitable Jeeves
-Carry On, Jeeves
-Eggs, Beans and Crumpets

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