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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Caring Michelangelo's_Pieta

If we look a little deeper, we are apt to find that lifestyle diseases not only represent a crisis in our lives. These also provide us an opportunity for a spiritual upliftment of sorts.

Take the case of a patient suffering from diabetes. The manner in which this affliction leads one to progress on the path of spirituality can be readily appreciated by considering what a hapless patient has to go through.

Surely, no one aspires to have a silent killer like diabetes as a part of the package of challenges life offers. But once known to be afflicted by it, it takes courage to accept the fact – internally as well as socially. One’s propensity to accept things in a courageous manner goes up.

Willingly having to forsake the pleasures of the palate, the patient learns the art of humility. Delectable sweets get banned from one’s dining table. When attending a social function, nerves of chilled steel need to be deployed, so as to be able to refuse some juicy items which one sees being gobbled up with much relish by those around. One develops sincerity of purpose.

Our scriptures postulate that of the five senses which help us to get connected to the world around us, the most difficult one to rein in is that of taste. This self-control is precisely what a diabetic sets out to achieve. The clock governs the intake of nourishment. One learns to persevere.

With advice coming in from diverse sources about management of diabetes, the patient becomes more receptive. One is willing, even desperate, to try any cure that would rid one of this affliction. One ends up becoming more receptive and open-minded.

Running into a fellow diabetic, the milk of human kindness starts sloshing about within oneself. Goodness demands that while serving food or snacks to the hapless soul, principles of equality, fair play and natural justice get adhered to. To be really benevolent and generous to the other, a singular lack of generosity has to be demonstrated.

Gradually, one imbibes all these qualities in oneself – courage, humility, sincerity, perseverance, receptivity, goodness and generosity. Inner peace prevails. Progress comes about. One’s capacity to look at the broader picture and to empathize with fellow beings improves. One’s ego gets flattened.

All diabetics need to manage their lives by remaining confined within a triangle of three lakshman rekhas – diet, exercise and medication. One ends up living like an ascetic. Self control becomes the norm. Spiritual Quotient improves.

A diabetic who feels despondent could perhaps derive some solace from the spiritual potential of her affliction.

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Here is yet another interesting post from Plumtopia.

The freshness of ‘Something Fresh’ is everlasting. To me, there are at least two reasons for it. One, the manner in which it showcases physical fitness. Two, the independent minded Joan Valentine who speaks thus:
‘You look on woman as a weak creature to be shielded and petted. We aren’t anything of the sort. We’re terrors. We’re as hard as nails. We’re awful creatures. You mustn’t let my sex interfere with your trying to get this reward.’

Originally posted on Plumtopia:

1915 Something Fresh collage

It’s a pretty special week for P.G. Wodehouse fans. June 26th will mark 100 years since the first Blandings story, Something Fresh, was serialised in the ‘Saturday Evening Post’. It was published in book form later that year (in the U.S. as Something New).

If Wodehouse had not gone on to write more Blandings stories, Something Fresh would be highly-regarded as a fine comic novel. Aside from the memorable central romance between detective fiction writer Ashe Marson and the enterprising Joan Valentine, Wodehouse gives us all the subplots and subterfuge we expect from a Blandings adventure.

And as the work that introduced characters like Lord Emsworth, Freddie Threepwood, Rupert Baxter, and Beach, Something Fresh holds a special place in many Wodehouse lovers’ hearts. It’s one of the books I often return to. The title Something Fresh seems particularly apt because the story leaps from the page, as fresh…

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We have already discussed the antics of some of the kids we encounter in Plumsville. Barring Edwin the Boy Scout and Ogden Ford, we have failed to meet anyone who can aspire to rise to the same heights of roguishness that Master Thomas achieves.


Master Thomas is the King of the Underworld. He is also known as The Shadow. He has carroty hair and a cynical expression. His manner is curt and supercilious. Annoy him, and he could arrange for a drawing pin to greet your fleshy parts when you sit on your favourite chair.

A tip from Captain Flint

In Jeeves and the Impending Doom (Very Good, Jeeves), Thos is being tutored by Bingo Little at Woollam Chersey, Aunt Agatha’s place, where Bertie has been invited over. Unbeknown to him, the aunt aspires for a secretarial career for Bertie, assisting Mr Filmer, the Cabinet Minister.

When Thos is caught smoking and reported to his formidable mother by Mr VeryGoodJeevesFilmer, he starts looking for an opportunity to inflict some hideous revenge on the Cabinet Minister. He confides in Jeeves that he wants to model his own conduct on that of a certain Captain Flint.

‘But, good heavens, Jeeves! If I remember Treasure Island, Flint was the bird who went about hitting people with a cutlass. You don’t think young Thomas would bean Mr Filmer with a cutlass?’

‘Possibly he does not possess a cutlass, sir.’

‘Well, with anything.’

‘We can but wait and see, sir. The tie, if I might suggest it, sir, a shade more tightly knotted. One aims at the perfect butterfly effect. If you will permit me -’

‘What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this? Do you realize that Mr Little’s domestic happiness is hanging in the scale?’

‘There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter.’

Rest, as they say, is history. Mr Filmer, while visiting an island in the middle of a lake, gets marooned there in heavy rains. Thos, following the example of Flint, sets his boat adrift. An angry swan, which does not approve of this attack on its privacy, makes Mr Filmer seek refuge on the roof of a building known as the Octagon.

Mr Filmer gets rescued. In order to save Bingo’s tutoring assignment, Jeeves convinces the Cabinet Minister that it was Bertie who had set his boat adrift. Before Aunt Agatha can have an audience with her nephew, the latter resorts to a down-the-stout-water-pipe act and seeks refuge in the metropolis.

In love with Greta Garbo

We also get to meet Thos in the short story The Love that Purifies (Very Good, Jeeves). When competing with Sebastian Moon and Bonzo for the Good Conduct Award announced by Mister Anstruther, Thos comes out with flying colours. He walks several miles so as to fetch a newspaper for Bertie. When Sebastian gets a nail in his shoe, Thos carries him on his back all the way back home in hot sunshine. He loves Greta Garbo and proposes to spend the remainder of his life trying to be worthy of her.

Eventually, faced with Jeeves’ cunning, Thos loses his cool and the Good Conduct Award. Sebastian Moon, himself in love with Clara Bow, speaks disparagingly of Greta Garbo. An argument takes place and all hell breaks loose. Aunt Dahlia wins a bet and Anatole continues to serve her household.

The spiritual advancement of clergymen

Thos also puts in an appearance in The Mating Season. In this narrative, he has been left behind under Bertie’s care and is delighted at being accompanied by Miss Cora Pirbright, his Hollywood heart-throb, to see a picture. He manages to get fifty of her autographs, expecting to get sixpence apiece from the boys at his school. Eventually, he manages to fetch a bob for each of the autographs.

In order to avoid Aunt Agatha landing up at Deverill Hall and discovering BertiePGW MatingSeason masquerading as Gussie, Thomas is persuaded to vanish from his school at Bramley-on-Sea. He is charmed into spending a few days at the Vicarage where Corky is staying. The Vicar is none too happy, but Corky feels that it is good for clergymen to have these trials. Such encounters make them more spiritual, and consequently hotter at their jobs.

Of course, Thos runs the risk of getting some juicy ones on the old spot. Bertie belives that Aunt Agatha would be more hopping mad than anxious at her cub’s disappearance.

‘Thos,’ I said, ‘makes rather a speciality of running away from school. He’s done it twice before this, once to attend a cup final and once to go hunting for buried treasure in the Caribbees, and I don’t remember Aunt Agatha on either occasion as the stricken mother. Thos was the one who got stricken. Six of the best on the old spot, he tells me.’

A bright future for Thos

Imagine his plight when Esmond Haddock ends up defying his aunts, five in all, thereby sealing the prospect of his taking a saunter down the aisle with Corky.

‘Why did you sigh?’

‘I was thinking of Master Thomas, sir. The announcement of Miss Pirbright’s betrothal came as a severe blow to him.’

I refused to allow my spirits to be lowered by any such side issues.

‘Waste no time in commiserating with young Thos, Jeeves. His is a resilient nature, and the agony will pass. He may have lost Corky, but there’s always Betty Grable and Dorothy Lamour and Jennifer Jones.’

‘I understand those women are married, sir.’

‘That won’t affect Thos. He’ll be getting their autographs, just the same. I see a bright future ahead of him.’

This is one case where one is apt to concede that Aunt Agatha is more to be pitied than censured – for having to manage someone like Thos, who ranks so very high on the Richter scale of Roguishness.


Gender disparity in endeavours of a roguish kind

Many a mom would confirm that bringing up boys is a far more daunting task than that of bringing up girls. Kids in Plumsville conform to this rule but Wodehouse paints his sweet little girls with a somewhat delicate but deadlier depth of character.

Allow me to come back to the ranking of Clementina and Peggy Mainwaring, in whose case, the jury awarding the ranks is still out. The reason for the jury being baffled is that the so-called delicately nurtured kids happen to be discreetly naughtier than their male counterparts.

Admittedly, their public behavior is above reproach. While being treated onPGWodehouse their birthdays or being given a lift in a car, they are at their best behavior. But leave them alone and they are found to be lacing ink-pots with sherbet or going AWOL. Stealing and relishing cigarettes comes easily to them. To make a guest lecturer nervous by simply giggling and staring is their natural tendency. When it comes to delivering mischief, they appear to deploy subtler methods. When playing a prank, they appear to be more delicate in their approach.

Not so for the kids of the so-called sterner sex. Their roguish tendencies manifest in a straight forward manner, in full public view. If they use paraffin to douse a fire, they simply look you in the eye and own up. If they nip the theater career of an aspiring actor in the bud, they tick him off openly. If they seek protection money from their would-be fathers, they do so unabashedly. Yes, their methods as well as the outcomes are pretty rough.


The mighty soft power of kids

In whichever narrative they appear, the kids exercise great influence on the adults as well as on the proceedings. By winning prizes, they ensure that their fathers get the courage necessary for them to squeeze their bosses for a raise. Making or breaking matrimonial alliances is the work of a moment for them. Wreaking vengeance is an art they appear to have perfected. Supporting their fathers and controlling the career prospects of artists of all hues comes naturally to them. 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.


Some lessons from the kids in Plumsville

The poet who said ‘The Child is father of the Man’ was not too much off the mark. Whatever their rank on the Richter scale of Roguishness, there is much we can learn from the kids in Plumsville.

  • Notice a colleague sulking because of not being able to squeeze the boss for a raise? We can get her to deliver a speech which is heartily applauded and appreciated. Or, wait for her kid to get a gold medal at school. See how her confidence level shoots up.
  • Competing for a coveted promotion? Like Prudence Baxter, we need to ensure getting noticed by a Jeeves-like senior who is good at spotting potential and is willing to place his bets on someone with our limited abilities.
  • Just like Oswald, let us learn swimming and surviving skills at an early age. When pushed into a lake of troubles, let us develop a capacity to be able to reach the shore on our own. If we keep waiting for a Bingo Little to dive in and save us, we might just sink without a trace.
  • Want to teach a lesson or two to a nasty colleague? Let us develop a supercilious gaze. When he gets up to make a presentation, tell him his tie knot needs to be adjusted. If possible, giggle. Stare. Keep staring till the time he fumbles.
  • When discussing our favourite silver screen divas, let us be open-minded.
  • Despise a politician or a boss? Let us find out the nearest lake with an island in its middle. Leave him marooned there. Let nature do the rest.
  • Let us try to be like a Boy Scout, dishing out acts of kindness to those who matter. When we goof up like Edwin, like by using paraffin to douse a fire, let us own up. We could earn respect and admiration.
  • Do we happen to know someone who could do with a higher Spirituality Quotient? Let us unleash a kid on the person for a few days. We shall be rewarded with excellent results. Kids provide this unique but much under-appreciated service at home to many amongst us.

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On the occasion of the upcoming International Yoga Day, managers of all sizes and shapes are all of a twitter, shuddering at the prospect of being called upon to celebrate the day by performing some complicated asanas, that too at the crack of dawn, on a day which, unfortunately, happens to be a Sunday.

It is not that people who pride themselves to be managers are any less patriotic. Nor are they any less health conscious. Those who believe that managers are forever thinking only of evading taxes while leading a sedentary life full of fun and frolic at star rated joints could not be more wrong.

The reason managers need not earmark a particular day for practicing yoga is rather simple. This hapless overworked breed is already devoting much of its time and energy to following yogic pursuits. This alone helps them to retain their sanity while riding their high octane roller coaster careers. By following yogic principles, managers are continually enhancing their mental and physical well being, living a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

A communion and a harmony

Most of us are well aware that yoga is a state of communion. Spiritual enthusiasts tell us that it is the science of unison of our finite self with the cosmic Self. Bhagavad Gita describes it as the art of perfect unanimity with right thoughts and action.

To a conscientious manager, though, the communion is that between one’s individual value systems and those of the organization and the boss one works for. As long as harmony prevails, one is able to discharge one’s obligations while remaining in a state of bliss.

The yogins in an organization

Organizations have an eclectic mix of professionals with yogic propensities of different kinds.

There are the intellectual kinds who follow Jnana Yoga. Usually, they gravitate towards R&D, product design, market research and planning kind of careers but could be found in any stream of an organization. Those in the higher echelons of management often believe they practice this kind of yoga.

Karma Yoga is rigorously followed by those who implement and execute plans. Often, they are found performing unattached service to their organizations and bosses. The genuinely committed ones continue to perform, without waiting for promotions or increments.

The mystic path of devotion gets followed by quite a few. They practice Bhakti Yoga. They hang on to the coat tails or skirts of their bosses till the time the latter’s career advancements result into their own climb on the corporate ladder. Organizations keep devising imaginative severance packages so as to ensure that their bloodstreams do not remain clogged with deadwood which entertains a misplaced sense of devotion.

A manager’s yogic postures

Those who place a greater emphasis on the different kinds of yogic postures try to devour the vast repertoire of such experts as B K S Iyengar. They look up Larsen exercises (popularized by ‘Something Fresh’ of P G Wodehouse fame). They try to unravel the mystery behind Sivananda yoga. They try to differentiate between Bikram yoga and Anusara yoga.

After brooding over the various alternatives on offer, managers become better aware of the kind of posturing they have to indulge in so as to be able to survive and do well at their places of work. Whether employed in the public or the private sector, here are some of the popular yogic postures deployed by them.


(A Child’s Posture)

Yoga BalasanaWhile sipping the morning dose of their favourite tissue restorative, when the better half is interrupting their devoted perusal of the morning newspaper and is handing over the list of domestic chores to be completed by the end of the day without fail.

(“Balasana” by Iveto – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons )


(A Cock’s Posture)

Yoga Kukkutasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelWhile rushing through peak hour traffic, managers inhale and inflate their chest cavity to full when handling errant bikers whizzing across their path; they exhale and deflate their lungs when accosted with buses and trucks pouncing upon their humble means of transport. At all times, while driving, they maintain a hawk like vigil.

(“Kukkutasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )

Ardha Chandrasana

(The Half Moon Posture)

Yoga Ardha-Chandrasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelWhen the task assigned is impossible to achieve and the boss needs to be convinced that a divine intervention alone could help.

(Ardha-Chandrasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Ardha Matsyendrasana

(Half Lord of the Fish Posture)

Yoga Ardha-Matsyendrasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelWhen a situation calls for a look-in-the-eye confrontation, making the party of the other part wilt and run for cover.

(“Ardha-Matsyendrasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Wheel Posture)

Yoga Chakrasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelWhen presented with a problem which has wheels within wheels – or multiple implications – the manager takes some time off to perform this asana. Soon, the mind is stilled and an out-of-the-box solution emerges.

(“Chakrasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Bow Posture)

Yoga Dhanurasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelManagers practice it when called upon to either announce or execute unpopular tasks, which could range from closing down business units to handing over a pink slip. The unpleasant arrow, conceptualized and designed by the top management, is shot. The manager graciously offers himself as a bow from which the arrow is finally shot.

(“Dhanurasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )

Ek Pada Koundinyasana

(Koundinya’s Single Foot Posture)

Yoga Parivritta_Eka_Pada_KoundinyasanaA task which was on the back burner for the past six months suddenly needs to be executed at a lightning speed. Going off on a vacation is not an option.

(“Parivritta Eka Pada Koundinyasana” by Jemasty – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Eagle Posture)

Yoga Garudasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelHandling either a supplier who, despite repeated warnings, fails to deliver on time or an employee who continues to under-perform.

(“Garudasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana

(The Single Foot King Pigeon Posture)

Yoga Eka-Pada-Raja-Kapotasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelMeeting either a politician or a government servant, with an attitude of abject surrender and servitude.

(“Eka-Pada-Raja-Kapotasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(Lord Hanuman’s Posture)

Yoga Hanumanasana_-_Hanuman's_Posture_-_in_Diagonal_ViewAttending to an urgent task dished out by the boss at the last minute.

(“Hanumanasana – Hanuman’s Posture – in Diagonal View” by lululemon athletica – Flickr: Yoga Journal Conference. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Head to Calf Forward Bend Posture) Yoga Janusirsasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelTackling the CFO and answering some ticklish audit related queries.

(“Janusirsasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Fish Posture)

Yoga Matsyasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelWhen reversing an earlier decision dished out to the team members, the manager needs to be as slippery as a fish only can be.

(“Matsyasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Tree Posture)

Yoga Vriksasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelWhen motivating team members to undertake a task which sounds impossible.

(“Vriksasana Yoga-Asana Nina-Mel” by Kennguru – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Yoga Ado-muka-shvanasanaWhen the boss decides to reprimand the manager, hopefully in private.

(“Ado-muka-shvanasana” by Joseph RENGER – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Bharadvaj Posture)Yoga Bharadvajasana1When a junior approaches the manager seeking either leave or an undue favour.

(“Bharadvajasana1 (cropped)” by Iveto – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Downward Facing Tree Posture)Yoga AcroDanceHandstandWhen the manager herself needs to seek either leave or an undue favour from the boss.

(“AcroDanceHandstand” by Lambtron at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )


(The Lotus Posture)

Yoga Tanumânasî_en_Meditacion_Loto_PadmasanaAfter listening to the end of the day woes of the better half, this posture, if performed, leads to mental peace.

(“Tanumânasî en Meditacion Loto Padmasana” by Jesús Bonilla (Tanumânasî) – Retiros de yoga. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons )

With all these postures already a part of a manager’s daily life, is there a need for them to do some yoga on the appointed day as well?

Well, on this International Day of Yoga, I am toying with the idea of taking a dip in the Bay of Bengal nearby. To a busybee like me, it is a more exciting activity than Surya Namaskar – a set of twelve asanas for those with a lot of time on their hands.

Yet another option is to simply perform my favourite one only – the Shavasana.


(The Corpse Pose)

Yoga ShavasanaShavasana involves shutting down one unit of one’s body after another like a factory in the small place where I live, and then again turning them on one after another like the well heeled women at a ghazal concert.

Most managers would agree with me that this is the coolest thing that yoga offers.

(“Shavasana” by Joseph RENGER – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )

Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/a-new-year-resolution-for-couch-potatoes

Bingo Little Junior and Prudence Baxter earn a negative ranking on the Richter scale of Roguishness. However, there are several others who deceive us with their apparent innocence – Kid Clamentina, Oswald and Peggy Mainwaring, to name the ones we have covered in the last post.

Here are a few more who deserve to be considered.


Bonzo, the son of Aunt Dahlia, has a sound reputation as a pest. But if Thos sets a gold standard in devilry, Bonzo is merely a good, ordinary mischief-maker. His proud mother compares the two as follows:

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

When Bonzo is in love, his nature gets altered. He tries to lead a finer, betterVeryGoodJeeves life. When tempted to climb on the roof and boo down Mr Anstruther’s chimney, he refuses to oblige. When prompted to burst a paper bag below the chair of a resting old man, he merely walks off in a huff.

We get introduced to him and also to Sebastian Moon in The Love that Purifies (Very Good, Jeeves).

Sebastian Moon

Sebastian Moon has goggle eyes and golden curls. He has a breezy candidness about him. Few years junior to both Thos and Bonzo, he happens to have long nourished a deep regard for Miss Clara Bow.

Except for his presence in the short story mentioned above, more details of his escapades are not available.


Kid Blumenfeld

Here is a dish-faced kid who, despite his tender age, controls the theatrical productions of his father.

A king maker

In A Letter of Introduction (The Inimitable Jeeves), he wrecks the career aspirations of Cyril Bassington-Bassington, much to the relief of Aunt Agatha and Bertie. He is a stoutish infant with a lot of freckles. He has one of those cold, clammy and accusing sort of eyes. He looks at you as being an unnecessary product brought in by a cat after rummaging through a trash can.

Having been taught by his mother to be brutally frank while expressing hisPGW Inimitable_jeeves opinions, he tells Bertie that his (kid’s) father happens to be richer than him (Bertie). He has no hesitation in telling Cyril upfront that he is fish-faced, thereby inviting a scuffle between the two.

The father believes that the kid has the IQ of an average audience’s, and can be relied upon to certify the suitability of any play. Conversely, what he does not like will be too rotten for anyone.

This is how the scene unfolds at a rehearsal.

‘You got to work good for my pop!’ said the stout child, waggling his head reprovingly at Cyril.

‘I don’t want any bally cheek from you!’ said Cyril, gurgling a bit.

‘What’s that?’ barked old Blumenfeld. ‘Do you understand that this boy is my son?’

‘Yes, I do,’ said Cyril. ‘And you both have my sympathy!’

‘You’re fired!’ bellowed old Blumenfeld, swelling a good bit more. ‘Get out of my theatre!’

Thus ends the artistic career of Cyril, much to the delight of Aunt Agatha. Jeeves is equally contented, having taken the liberty of gifting Bertie’s favourite purple socks to the lift attendant.

A fancy for Aberdeen terriers

The kid also puts in an appearance in Episode of the Dog McIntosh (Very Good, Jeeves).

When Blumenfeld Sr comes over from New York to check if there are any plays worth buying, the kid is brought along to put his seal of approval on any good play he comes across.

Bobbie Wickham, in her keenness to get her mother’s dramatized version of a novel of hers, allows the kid to walk off with McIntosh, Aunt Agatha’s Aberdeen terrier, left in Bertie’s charge while she goes off to Aix-les-Bains to take the cure.

A sense of Noblesse oblige restrains Bertie from dashing off to the Savoy and demanding the pet back. As always, Jeeves comes up with a solution – a look-alike replacement is arranged for the kid, whereas Bertie rescues McIntosh after sprinkling his trousers with aniseed powder. Aniseed has an aroma which appears to speak straight to the deeps of the terrier’s soul. The innocent subterfuge works. Peace prevails.


Seabury of the Butter-slide fame

Seabury puts in an appearance in Thank you, Jeeves. He is described as a smallish, freckled kid with aeroplane ears. He has a supercilious gaze which leaves you wondering what you had done wrong.

‘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.’

If you run into him, he is apt to demand protection money. If you decide not toPGW ThankYouJeeves pay up, things could happen to you. There could be a lizard in your bed, crawling up the left pyjama leg when you slip between the sheets for some well-earned sleep.

Unpleasantness ensues between Master Seabury and Master Dwight Stoker when the latter refuses to part with a sum of one shilling and sixpence for protection. A brawl follows. Lady Chuffnell behaves like a tigress out to protect her cub. Pop Stoker kicks in on behalf of his progeny. Diplomatic relations between the two families get severed, thereby putting the sale of Chuffnell Hall in jeopardy. Prospects of Chuffy proposing to Pauline Stoker nosedive.

Another romance which gets threatened in its embryonic stage by Seabury is the one between his tigress mother and the renowned looney doctor, Sir Roderick Glossop. Having failed in his endeavours to extract a sum of ten shillings from his future stepfather, Seabury plans something in the nature of a reprisal.

‘He wouldn’t have the nerve to do the dirty on a future stepfather, would he?’

‘Young gentlemen are headstrong, sir.’

‘True, one recalls the case of my Aunt Agatha’s son, young Thos, and the Cabinet Minister.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘In a spirit of ill-will he marooned him on an island in the lake with a swan.’

‘Yes, sir.’

A butter-slide is laid as a trap. Stealthily followed by Mary, a parlour maid of a somewhat frivolous nature, Pop Glossop takes a toss with some heaviness. A rift ensues between the two seniors. The tidal wave of an injured motherly love scores over the affection felt by Woman Chuffnell for Sir Roderick Glossop.

Eventually, the mother realizes her folly and laments her having been too harsh on the looney doctor, who, in act of unparalleled magnanimity, had blackened his face to merely amuse the fiend in human shape – Seabury.


Edwin the Boy Scout

Like many of his contemporaries listed above, Edwin plays a key role in shaping events in the life of Bertie when he lands up at Steeple Bumpleigh on an errand of mercy for Uncle Percy. Even otherwise, when Edwin tries to catch up with his acts of kindness, human life is imperiled. We get to meet him in Joy in the Morning.

Edwin is a small boy with a face like a ferret. He is a conscientious Boy ScoutJoyInTheMorning who insists on keeping his score of charitable acts up to date at all times. The list of his charitable acts includes cleaning up cottage chimneys using gunpowder. If a chimney were to catch fire, he rushes in to douse it with paraffin, thereby making the whole cottage go up in flames.

When he finds a brooch meant for his sister, Florence Craye, he loses no time in handing it over to her, claiming it to be a birthday present from Bertie. The sister returns the true love of her life, Stilton Cheeseright, to store and decides to get married to Bertie, leaving him all of a twitter.

In order to get de-Florenced, Bertie decides to deliver a forceful kick to her favourite brother in her presence. Edwin educates Bertie on the behavior of ants, ex-members of the Hymenoptera family. Upon stooping down, he does receive a juicy one from Bertie. However, rather than getting annoyed, Florence is appreciative of the act, because Edwin has been pasting press clippings on her latest book ‘Spindrift’ upside down in an album of hers!

When he finds burglars on the lawns in the middle of the night, he promptly tackles them using a Scout’s stick. UncleWodehouse characters Percy gets biffed on his trouser seat. Bertie gets sloshed on the back hair, leaving him with a golf ball sized contusion.

When he decides to mend an egg boiler, a hapless egg kept in position flies off like a bullet, catching a prospective egg consumer like Boko on the tip of his nose which continues to bleed for a few hours.

Yet another act of kindness he does is to place a hedgehog in Bertie’s bed. While doing so, he notices a policeman’s uniform on the bed and promptly reports the matter to Stilton, who has been missing his own after a swim in the river. Bertie comes very close to getting pinched, being saved at the last minute by his Uncle Percy. The latter refuses to sign on the warrant authorizing Bertie’s arrest, ticking off the officers of the Law who forget their sacred obligations and bring trumped-up charges right and left in a selfish desire to secure promotion.

This revolting exhibition of fraud makes Stilton resign from the Force, thereby removing the barrier between himself and Florence. Bertie avoids the peril of walking down the aisle with an ace spiritual reformer in his life.

Ogden Ford, the darling of kidnappers

Here is someone who could give all the other kids a run for their money. He is fourteen years of age, round andPGW PiccadillyJim overfed. If there is a spoilt and unpleasant brat who is overindulged by his wealthy parents, it is Ogden, the supreme fiend in human shape. Here is a juicy description of his.

Years of grown-up society and the absence of anything approaching discipline had given him a precocity on which the earnest efforts of a series of private tutors had expended themselves in vain. They came, full of optimism and self-confidence, to retire after a brief interval, shattered by the boy’s stodgy resistance to education in any form or shape. To Mr. Pett, never at his ease with boys, Ogden Ford was a constant irritant. He disliked his stepson’s personality, and he more than suspected him of stealing his cigarettes. It was an additional annoyance that he was fully aware of the impossibility of ever catching him at it.

He thinks nothing of ticking off his step-father. Forever in the eyes of kidnappers, he loses no time in introducing numerous vices to the boarding school he is sent to. We meet him and his mother, Nesta, in two narratives – The Little Nugget and Piccadilly Jim.

Both Edwin and Ogden compete with Thos for the top ranking on the Richter scale of Roguishness.

(To be continued; caricatures of characters courtesy www)

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During 1950s and 60s, TB played the role of a villain in quite a few Bollywood flicks. Cancer soon took over. Movies like ‘Anand’, ‘Safar’, ‘Mili’ and ‘Ankhiyon ke Jharokhon Se’ had scripts which were centered around some form of cancer or the other.

‘Anand’ remains a Bollywood classic in more ways than one. Hard hitting socio-economic messages well-couched in scintillating humour gave us enough food for thought. Hrishikesh Mukherji conveyed some profound thoughts on life and the need to have a positive attitude.

The illness from which the hero suffered became engraved in our memory cells. Here is an interesting post on the illness.

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Originally posted on Mr. & Mrs. 55 - Classic Bollywood Revisited!:

Your average non-Bollywood viewer will probably read the words above and feel nothing. They will also probably pronounce intestine with a normal emphasis on the second syllable and won’t make it rhyme with “shine.” But ask anyone on the streets of Bombay who knows a thing or two about life from the silver screen, and you’ll be amazed. For Hindi cinema, the dreaded diagnosis “lymphosarcoma of the intestine” is synonymous with unavoidable impending doom of a most serious and scientifically complex nature. How did this all start and Bollywood folklore aside, what is lymphosarcoma of the intestine? Let us step back in time to 1971 to the film Anand when the hysteria all began…

Amitabh Bachhan and Rajesh Khanna both can’t pronounce intestine in Anand (1971)

Anand is a film about a life-loving cancer patient whose optimism touches everyone he encounters. The film’s writer, Hrishikesh Mukherji, had majored in chemistry…

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