Archive for February, 2015

A Prayer to the Lord


The dark blue color of your skin matches the deep hue of the late evening sky,
You are the light in the cosmos, you are the force which makes heavenly bodies fly;

You are the atom, you the nucleus, you the particle which goes around,
You are the invisible force which keeps the entire universe bound;


You reside in the sweet fragrance of the flowers, in the sap of plants,
You flow in the rapids, leap up in flames, you are in insects and in ants;


You hide in the melody of music, in the ether, in the tiny grains of sand,
You are behind all joys and sorrows of nature, in the rainbow, in the fertile land;


O supreme Bliss, who and where are you, we wish to know,
Words can’t describe you, thoughts can’t fathom your flute and bow;


We bow down to you but are fed up of this hide and seek game,
We beseech you to reveal yourself, to the able-bodied and to the lame.

(Contributed by Usha)

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February is the month of celebration of some of the greatest romances we come across in literature. Here is one some of you may like to revisit.


220px-TheClickingOfCuthbertP. G. Wodehouse gave us many romances that linger long in our affections. Each February at Plumtopia is dedicated revisiting the Great Wodehouse Romances to mark the anniversary of his death on St Valentine’s Day, 1975.


Cuthbert Banks and Adeline Smethurst

One of the delights of a Wodehouse romance, is the inventiveness with which he steers his heroes and heroines toward their first meeting. Some of these introductions happen ‘off-stage,’ especially in the Wooster narratives, but elsewhere we are privileged witnesses to some truly memorable meetings. Among his fruitiest is the moment when golfer Cuthbert Banks interrupts Raymond Parsloe Devine’s lecture to the Wood Hills Literary and Debating Society, in order to play his ball – with a niblick – from on top of the table.

‘I have dwelt upon this incident, because it was the means of introducing Cuthbert Banks to Mrs Smethurst’s niece, Adeline. As Cuthbert, for…

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PGWodehouseP G Wodehouse passed away on the 14th of February, 1975. Some of his fans celebrated the occasion by coming up with some unique posts dedicated to his memory. Here are some that you may like.


By Kishore M. Rao

Plum Pie
(or KhichDee, a hotchpotch Indian dish)

Galahad At Blandings,
Has many happy landings,
In fact, Over Seventy,
For many, that’s plenty.

A Gentleman Of Leisure,
Looking for some pleasure,
Pleads with goofy earls,
Saying, “Bring On The Girls”.

The Woosters and the Bassets,
Try to warm their well Frozen Assets,
Bobby makes hot water bottles squishy,
That’s certainly Something Fishy.

There’s Ice in the Bedroom,
Gussie may become a groom,
Even if it’s as Mephistopheles,
And it’s time to Ring for Jeeves.

Your counsel relieves,
Thank You, Jeeves,
Sometimes here and also there,
Blandings Castle And Elsewhere.

Jeeves, Meadowes or Purvis,
You always get Quick Service,
Always swiftly and with style,
That’s Service With A Smile.

When it is Cocktail Time,
The mood’s very ‘sublime’,
The men come in tons,
For A Few Quick Ones.

There’s Joy In The Morning,
With Jeeves in the Offing,
When the plot really thickens,
There’s Love Among The Chickens.

Young Men In Spats,
And A Damsel In Distress,
Are duly advised right,
By Uncle Dynamite.

Butlers may buttle and zip,
Sporting a Stiff Upper Lip,
Jeeves, but it’s tough when,
Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen!

The Coming of Bill,
Accompanied by Jill,
The Reckless starchy
Indiscretions of Archie.

The Clicking of Cuthbert,
Who chases every skirt,
With The Girl On The Boat,
Will certainly get your goat.

Intrepid young men,
Like Sam The Sudden,
And Bill The Conqueror,
Do their youth squander.

When The Small Bachelor,
Experiences Heavy Weather,
He tries, plans and gets,
Eggs, Beans and Crumpets.

When you are delirious,
Read Nothing Serious,
Just some morale boosters,
Like The Code Of The Woosters.

Let’s Meet Mr. Mulliner,
Who’s got Spring Fever,
From The Girl In Blue,
How?! I have no clue!

Show someone off a bridge?
Please consult Mr Ukridge,
And also Picadilly Jim,
(You surely know him).

But let us all be totally frank,
Tho’ there’s Money In The Bank,
You will agree it is rather funny,
That Big Money is Uneasy Money.

When exceeding the budget,
And in need of The Little Nugget,
Make enquiries, with thanks,
“Do Butlers Burgle Banks?”

Why is love synonymous
With Bachelors Anonymous?
For the answer forthwith,
Just Leave It To Psmith!

And If I Were You,
(That can’t be true)
I’d get into Hot Water,
With the Earl’s daughter.

I’ve got The Heart Of A Goof,
Do you demand further proof?!
I found the real reason,
It’s The Mating Season!

(You may like to count the number of Wodehouse’s works covered in this composition!)

By Sukanya Lakshmi Narayan

An Ode to Plum

What does one say of Plum, this Valentine
In honour of humour , in his every line
No words of praise can ever be enough
Its a task that’s dauntingly tough.

His characters, for us are alive and kicking
They have us in splits, sometimes rollicking
Bertie Wooster leads a privileged life
But its the hardest job to find him a wife.

Aunt Agatha eats bottles for breakfast
Dahlia is loud but surely steadfast
Jeeves is his valet and angel saviour
Saves Bertie and friends from many a quagmire.

Lord Emsworth and his beloved Empress
Kid Clementina is no less a princess
Sisters galore, and Gally the brother
McAllister , gardener, efficient like no other.

Ukridge, Psmith, Mulliner and Baxter
Even Cat Webster has so much character
Regaling his fans, his characters befriend
And to us, laughter , and joy, always send.


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By Ragini SGH


By John Dawson

Gilbert Wilkinson illustrations


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Rashtrapati Bahavan

The denizens of Delhi have cast their vote and shown the way,

Indians now have a new App downloaded, keeping voter fatigue at bay;


Considerations of caste, creed, sex and religion no longer count,

A clean image, humility and performance on the job alone count;


The age of the political party no more entices, nor does a dynasty,

Use of religion to polarize voters is an attempt which turns nasty;


What counts is the delight and empowerment of the common man,

Absence of graft, delegation of powers, with corruption facing a ban;


Transparent political funding, good governance not a myth but a reality,

Tangible returns from the citizens’ franchise, a non-criminal polity;


Better life, time-bound delivery of services, safety on the road and street,

Hopefully, the new government lives up to its promises and does not retreat;


Meer slogans and jingoism would not do, nor skillful media management,

Gone are the days of a rag-tag coalition and an underhand arrangement;


For all other politicos across the country, the writing on the wall is clear,

Be transparent, be sincere, be innovative, and hold the common man dear;


Sixty-seven years after independence, on this Valentine Day,

Mother India has been rewarded with the AAP App bright and gay;


The crucible of democracy has yielded a new ray of hope,

Upholding the torch of the Constitution, in the darkness of ignorance we no longer grope.

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/a-16-point-agenda-for-the-16th-lok-sabha-of-india

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Other than the topsy-turvy romances of younger couples, P G Wodehouse also regales us with romantic affairs of those who are advanced in age and young at heart. An affection which was discernible in a couple’s younger days – whether declared or otherwise – survives the harsh slings and arrows of life. A chance meeting unearths and rekindles the deep buried embers of love. A well seasoned romance bears fruit. The Valentine Spirit prevails.PGW Man with two left feet

One such couple we get to meet is that of Joe Danby and Aunt Julia, who make an appearance in the story entitled ‘Extricating Young Gussie’ (The Man with two Left Feet). This is how the narrative unfolds.

An inconsiderate Aunt Agatha drags Bertie out of bed ‘in the small hours’ (perhaps around half past eleven in the morning!), much before he has finished his dreamless and sipped his first cup of tea. She is most distressed that her nephew, and Bertie’s cousin Gussie Mannering-Phipps, has lost his head over a ‘creature’ in New York who is on the vaudeville stage.

Bertie recalls the fact that his Aunt Julia, Gussie’s mother, was also a vaudeville artist once. His Uncle Cuthbert saw her first when she was playing pantomime and decided to make her his wife. The family had resisted, but to no avail. Aunt Agatha had then pulled up her socks and groomed her impeccably. Twenty five years later, one could not tell Aunt Julia from a genuine dyed-in-the-wool aristocrat.

Gussie had vaudeville blood in him, and it looked as if he were reverting to type, or whatever they call it.

‘By jove’, I said, for I am interested in this heredity stuff, ‘perhaps the thing is going to be a regular family tradition, like you read about in books – a sort of curse of the Mannering-Phippses, as it were. Perhaps each head of the family’s going to marry into vaudeville for ever and ever. Unto the what-d’you-call-it generation, don’t you know?’

‘Please do not be quite idiotic, Bertie. There is one head of the family who is certainly not going to do it, and that is Gussie. And you are going to America to stop him.’

In New York, Bertie runs into Gussie, now going by the name of ‘George Wilson’. Gussie is determined to win the approval of the father of the girl he loves. The father, one Mr. Joe Danby, used to be a well-known stage artist himself. He would not hear of his daughter marrying anyone who is not in the profession.

Helped by the ‘creature’, Gussie’s first show rolls around. Gussie has stage-fright and starts badly, but halfway through his second song a pretty girl beside Bertie joins in, bucking Gussie up and getting a big round of applause from the audience. It turns out that she is Ray Denison, the girl Gussie loves.Bertie image

Bertie, worried by Gussie’s unwavering affection for Ray, telegraphs Aunt Julia for help. Aunt Julia arrives. Bertie does not explain the situation to her but uses the novel technique of letting her sense the problem of her own. He first takes her to see Gussie’s show. Then he takes her to Ray’s show. Thereafter, they call on the girl’s father.

This is how the scene plays out:

‘Joe!’ cried Aunt Julia, and staggered against the sofa.

For a moment old Danby stared at her, and then his mouth fell open and his eyebrows shot up like rockets.


And then they got hold of each other’s hands and were shaking them till I wondered their arms didn’t come unscrewed.

Between the reunited lovers, back-falls on the stage get discussed. Buns and ham sandwiches offered to Aunt Julia get recalled. Seed-cakes lavished on to her by Joe Danby get fondly recollected. Her singing ‘Rumpty-tiddley-umpty-ay’ in a double act called ‘Fun in a Tea-Shop’ gets remembered.

Both undergo a transformation which leaves Bertie twiddling his thumbs. Aunt Julia sheds her grande-dame manner completely, blushes, smiles and even giggles. Danby, ‘a cross between a Roman emperor and Napoleon Bonaparte in a bad temper’, behaves like a school boy.

Old Danby made a jump at her, and took her by the shoulders.

‘Come back where you belong, Julie!’ he cried. ‘Your husband is dead, your son’s a pro. Come back! It’s twenty-five years ago, but I haven’t changed. I want you still. I’ve always wanted you. You’ve got to come back, kid, where you belong.’

Aunt Julia gave a sort of gulp and looked at him.

‘Joe!’ she said in a kind of whisper.

‘You’re here kid,’ said Old Danby, huskily. ‘You’ve come back……Twenty-five years!…..You’ve come back and you’re going to stay!’

She pitched forward into her arms, and he caught her.

‘Oh, Joe! Joe! Joe!’ she said. ‘Hold me. Don’t let me go. Take care of me.’

Meeting Gussie soon after, Bertie hears that Julia and Danby are to be married, as are Gussie and Danby’s daughter.

The narrative ends with Bertie receiving a telegram from Aunt Agatha.

‘What is happening? Shall I come over?’

Bertie resolves to avoid England for a long time and responds thus:

‘No, stay where you are. Profession overcrowded.’

When it comes to Cupid’s machinations, age, caste, creed, profession and social status do not really matter. Love may remain dormant for a long time, but can get revived in a jiffy – much like a Psyche getting revived by a Cupid’s kiss!

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss

Yet another mature romance we come across in Plum’s works is that of Piggy and Maudie. We get introduced to this couple in ‘Indian Summer of an Uncle’ (Very Good, Jeeves).

Aunt Agatha, eager to protect the family name, plays a spoilsport in both the narratives – ‘Indian Summer of an Uncle’ and ‘Extricating Young Gussie’*. In both cases, she fails, much to the delight of the romantics amongst us.

In both the cases, to escape the fury of an aunt scorned, poor Bertie has to stay away from England for a long time, missing Anatole’s delectable spreads, rave parties and the Drones Club!

*(A century back, this story was first published in The Saturday Evening Post of USA in September 2015).

(Related post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/piggy-maudie-and-a-seasoned-romance)

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Undergrowth and Fungus are just two of the several terms used by Plum to describe beards. There being a positive correlation between beards and melancholy, it follows that a humorist of his stature would be a stout supporter of clean-shaven men.


P.G.Wodehouse, creator of dapper drones like Bertie Wooster (who once wrote an article for Milady’s Boudoir on ‘What the What the Well-Dressed Man is Wearing’) was not a beard lover. His leading men were clean shaven, taking to false beards only in times of crisis.

Writing of his own experiences in a German internment camp during WWII, Wodehouse said:

A lot of us grew beards. Not me. What I felt was that there is surely enough sadness in life without going out of one’s way to increase it by sprouting a spade-shaped beard. I found it a melancholy experience to watch the loved features of some familiar friend becoming day by day less recognizable behind the undergrowth. A few fungus-fanciers looked about as repulsive as it is possible to look, and one felt a gentle pity for the corporal whose duty is was to wake them in the morning. What…

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Time to meet Piggy and Maudie again and wish them a long innings together!


In old age, lust gets mellowed down and wisdom acquires a brighter shade of orange. Holding hands and physicalVeryGoodJeeves contact gets relegated to the background. Instead, common ailments and related medications and therapies rule the roost. At times, the lining of the stomach paves the way for a couple to start sharing the trials and tribulations of life together. One of the stories where P G Wodehouse puts this across succinctly is the one titled ‘Indian Summer of an Uncle.’

Uncle George is unduly attached to the pleasures of the table. The lining of his stomach is no longer in a good shape. Twice a year, his liver lodges a formal protest and he goes off to Harrogate or Carlsbad for some rest and recuperation.

He is contemplating a matrimonial alliance with a much younger Miss Rhoda Platt who happens to be a waitress at his club. Jeeves…

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