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Posts Tagged ‘Humour’

At the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the shareholders of the Global Corona Corporation (GCC), Roderick Spode, the Vice President (Operations) of the company, presented his Annual Report for the period from April 2020 to March 2021.

Here are some of the salient features of his report.

  1. Due to the aggressive marketing policies followed by GCC, brand Covid has captured a major share of the market during the year under reference. As of now, close to 136 million people have suffered from this onslaught, while as many as 2.94 million have kicked the bucket. This has reduced the pressure on the limited resources of our planet.
  2. If the world population is taken to be 7.8 billion, during the last year, GCC has touched a mere 0.02% of human beings. This shows the immense market potential which lies untapped for the products and services of GCC in the times to come. We have already trained an army of Red Shorts volunteering to help us expand our footprints across all the continents. The Honourable Frederick Threepwood, the famous marketing guru who is an expert at selling Donaldson’s Dog Joy biscuits, is already on our panel of distinguished advisors.
  3. Enthused by our success so far and its future potential,  several mutants of the virus have also got launched in quick succession, keeping the Homo sapiens in a continuous state of fear and stress, twiddling their thumbs trying to figure out ways and means of countering the pandemic.
  4. This has spurred a faster transformation to digital ways of handling transactions and led to a faster evolution of Industrial Revolution 4.0. Aunt Dahlia, who had always thrived on communicating by means of telegraphic means, is delighted at the simple life she lives now. Aunt Agatha now resorts to using video calls to give a piece of her mind to her errant nephew, Bertie Wooster.
  5. Reduction of Global CO2 emissions, leading to a cleaner environment, promoting healthier flora and fauna, making Lord Emsworth a happy man.
  6. Fault lines in managing economies have been exposed and the severe limitations of capitalism brought back in focus. Billionaires world over have improved their personal wealth by 54% during the period, while the poor are struggling to keep their body and souls together. Perhaps they followed what Ukridge preached that one accumulates only when one speculates. Those who believe in get-rich-quick schemes based on the stock market are also quickly learning to live with get-poor-quick outcomes instead. Office bearers of the Senior Conservative Club are appalled at the number of nouveau riche billionaires on their waiting list seeking membership.
  7. Globally, politicos heading the so-called democratic countries have been successfully nudged to shed their sheep-wool clothing and instead reveal their wolf-like dictatorial ambitions. Truth has been revealed for the greater good, though human rights and journalistic freedoms have been trampled upon ruthlessly. Taking a leaf out of my own outrage when a prized silver cow creamer goes missing, opposition leaders and intellectuals have been beaten into a jelly. One salutes such leaders who have nerves of chilled steel and would not mind either getting hit by a potato in the eye at election rallies or having to kiss babies dribbling at their mouths at Bonny Baby contests.
  8. Many countries have quickly learnt the art of covering up deficiencies in their economic growth and health infrastructure, keeping their statisticians busy perfecting their models of exponential smoothening. We live in an increasingly macho and muscle-flexing world, aided and abetted by our social media giants, devoid of noisy and argumentative democracies and led by leaders who decide policies based on window-dressed data submitted by Yes-persons around them. The prospects for an unbridled growth of GCC’s operations are indeed brighter.
  9. Companies in several sectors and specialists of hues, sizes and shapes are laughing all the way to their banks: pharmaceuticals, personal hygiene, immunity boosters, physical fitness, motivators, loony doctors, yoga-gurus-turned-business-honchos, management experts, mentors, internet service providers and online streaming platforms launched by the likes of Perfecto-Zizzbaum Corporation, to name only a few.
  10. A massive restructuring of jobs, highlighting the following needs of the businesses: (a) getting rid of the deadwood, (b) rapid re-skilling and (c) downsizing physical infrastructure while encouraging work-from-home. Mike Jackson has already helped organizations to go in for such changes.
  11. In turn, husbands reluctant to learn such home making skills as cooking, cleaning dishes, changing diapers and doing the laundry are mending their ways. They are realizing the true meaning of chivalry, as recommended by Bertie Wooster. Homemakers, overwhelmed by the continuous presence of a dominating spouse and naughty children at home are queuing up for consultations with such loony doctors as Sir Roderick Glossop.   
  12. Getting business owners and CEOs to hone their skills of Decision Making in Extreme Uncertainty, thereby making them hotter on their jobs. In turn, they enrich the syllabi of premier management institutes the world over. Rupert Psmith is now a much sought after consultant on the subject, even helping CEOs to respect values and ethics in their decision making, identify the core purpose of their businesses and thus making their organizations evolve into conscious ones.
  13. Improving the resilience of the hoi polloi who had so far been unable to handle the harsh slings and arrows of Fate with equanimity and aplomb. Reginald Jeeves is conducting some useful workshops to attend to this segment of our operations.
  14. Cupid is busy with his e-initiatives. Betrothed couples keep postponing a walk down the aisle, thereby keeping the tender flame of love alive. This has helped many of them to live through an extended period of intense romance, delaying the mummification of the corpse of love which often takes place after a marriage gets sanctified.
  15. Highlighting the effectiveness of the following anti-depressants: quality time with loved ones, an abundance of the milk of human kindness, literature, fine arts, uplifting movies and humour as effective anti-depressants.
  16. Promoting a healthier lifestyle amongst the couch potatoes by promoting Larsen Exercises, walking, cycling, partaking nourishment which would meet with the approval of Laura Pyke and feasting on tissue restoratives with such ingredients as turmeric, basil and the like.
  17. Spiritual evolution of the human species by allowing them adequate time to connect with their inner selves and practice meditation as well as introspection.

The Annual General Meeting was followed by a world premiere of the award winning movie The Corona Gladiators, presented by Mr Schnellenhamer, the head of the Perfecto-Zizzbaum Corporation.

The premiere was followed by a lavish spread dished out by Anatole, God’s gift to our gastric juices.

On the occasion, all the shareholders also received gift coupons of Eulalie Soeurs, the premium brand of ladies’ lingerie. 

(The GCC grapevine would make us believe that Roderick Spode could soon be promoted to head the company as its Chief Executive Officer.)

(Illustration courtesy Mr Suvarna Sanyal)

(https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/the-corona-gladiators-proposal-for-a-plummy-movie

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A 90 year young Peggy Mainwaring, a fan whom Plum would like to greet,

Still giggles and stares at speakers who forget speech and shuffle their feet.

 

As a friendly lion-tamer cast in the Aunt Dahlia mould,

Her steely gaze often demands perfection, though her heart is of pure gold.

 

Quite a few Berties and Angelas has she dandled on her sprightly knees,

 Brimming over with the feudal spirit, soothing the clan like a gentle breeze.

 

Her lair is full of hearty laughter, joy and dollops of Plummy bliss,

 Lavish spreads of Anatole-kind greet visitors before they get a parting kiss.

 

Melodies of the likes of Madan Mohan and Salil Chaudhary waft in the air,

Insightful poems of famous poets get read while she rocks in her chair.

 

She follows the Laura Pyke regime when it comes to her frugal diet,

Lining of her intestine stands her by, she thinks twice before taking a bite.  

 

Oh, what a transformation she has witnessed in these 90 years,

Wars, acts of terror and news of genocides have reached her ears.

 

She may miss fountain pens, LP records and telegrams,

Not to forget a cell-and-internet-free placid life, noisy cars and trams.

 

She has witnessed a man landing on the moon, a space mission to Mars,

The tragedy of having the time to network with the world but not with ours.

 

She has seen shrinking TV sets and shorter global hauls,

Several generations passing by, sprouting glitzy malls and highway tolls.

 

A transition from the rustic sophistication of Varanasi and many a boat ride,

To the hustle and bustle of a metro she has taken in her joyful stride. 

 

Time sits lightly on her mind and has certainly made her more wise,

Family and friends can lean on her shoulders, despite challenges that arise.

 

She continues to be young at heart, in her inspiration we find, 

As always, her advice is practical, objective, frank and kind.

 

With a chin up attitude, the elixir of eternal youth she has already found,

Drinking deep from the rivulets of life, a spirit of joie de vivre profound.

 

She is just short of ten to hit a century, surely a result of her positivity,

We all salute you, eager to learn more secrets of your longivity.

 

(Ms Sushama Varma is an avid fan of P G Wodehouse. Her permission to share this composition here is gratefully acknowledged.) 

Related posts:

My dear Clarence

Dear Jasper John, Happy Birthday!

 

 

 

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ashokbhatia

As ever, Jeeves entered the room at the exact time. Neither too soon or too late, but just when I was about to begin to open my eyes, the honest man shimmered into view holding the salver with the invigorating cup of morning tea.

‘Good morning, Jeeves’, I said.

‘Good morning, sir’, said Jeeves.

‘What’s the weather like, outside?’

‘Extremely clement, sir. A balmy afternoon can be expected.’

‘Just the thing to encourage a chap to go for a constitutional around the park after breakfast, preparatory for a good lunch at Simpson’s, eh, Jeeves?’

‘Under usual circumstances, most definitely, sir.’

There was a clearly unhappy undertone in that. Almost imperceptible to the untrained ear, but definitely there. I decided to probe further into the matter.

‘Is anything the matter, Jeeves? Is the park being drilled for oil? Is the Serpentine being converted into some sort of dam to generate electricity…

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Oh, Woman, Woman, I said to myself, not for the first time, feeling that the sooner that sex was suppressed, the better it would be for all of us.

(Bertie Wooster)

Jane Abbott

We run into her in Summer Moonshine. A girl of spirited nature, she is courageous herself and is an admirer of courage in others. She is fair minded and does not like reneging on her promises. She is a small, slim and pretty girl of twenty, with fair hair and a boyish jauntiness of carriage. Often, in her cornflower-blue eyes, there is a tender light which comes into the eyes of women when they are dealing with a refractory child or a misguided parent.

Her conscious but perplexed soul is torn between two love interests. The manner in which she goes about making up her mind is a quality for many of us to emulate. Analytics and mindfulness does not help her; a heartful approach to problem solving alone does.

Jill Mariner

We get introduced to her in Jill the Reckless. She is portrayed as a sweet-natured and wealthy young woman who, at the opening, is engaged to a knighted Member of Parliament, Sir Derek Underhill. Her journey through life is depicted as one through financial disaster, an adventure with a parrot, a policeman and the colourful proletariat, a broken engagement, an awkward stay with some grasping relatives, employment as a chorus girl, and the eventual finding of true love.

Lavender Briggs

Secretary to Lord Emsworth in Service With a Smile, Miss Briggs is a tall young girl, with a cold, haughty eye, harlequin glasses, and what her former employer Lord Tilbury describes as hair like seaweed. She becomes the bane of Emsworth’s life with her haughty efficiency. Requiring capital to start her own typing business, her schemes to acquire it by stealing the Empress gets her fired from her job, but her friendship with Uncle Fred sees her through.

Her character has hidden depths. If you happen to know of any teetotal bar, do please convey the details to her; she would much appreciate the kind gesture.

Whereas Lord Emsworth considers Miss Briggs to be worse than Rupert Baxter, Galahad Threepwood, as of Galahad at Blandings, believes that she may not have been as intolerable as Rupert Baxter, but she had come very close to achieving that difficult feat.

Rosie M Banks

Rosie M. Banks is a fictional romance novelist. A tall, lissome girl with soft, soulful brown eyes and a nice figure, she is devoted to her Pekingese dogs, owning as many as six at one time.

She is the author of works such as: All for LoveA Red, Red Summer RoseMadcap MyrtleOnly a Factory GirlThe Courtship of Lord StrathmorlickThe Woman Who Braved AllMervyn Keene, Clubman‘Twas Once in MayBy Honour Bound; and A Kiss at Twilight. She also wrote the Christmas story “Tiny Fingers”.

According to Jeeves, her books make for a very light, attractive reading. But Bertie describes her writing as some of the most pronounced and widely-read tripe ever put on the market.

She is a fine husband-tamer. Bingo Little, who, in his bachelor days, kept coming under the spell of as many as six females, gets transformed into a highly devoted husband in his post-nuptials phase of life. When it comes to keeping his lady-love happy and contented, there is little that he leaves to chance. When his sporting spirits make him blow up a month’s allowance on an animal which refuses to live up to his expectations, he even takes up the onerous task of tutoring someone like Thos. He quietly bears the dietary deprivations and disparaging remarks in the presence of Laura Pyke, Rosie’s school chum.

 Sally Nicholas 

She is described as a small, trim, wisp of a girl with the tiniest hands and feet, the friendliest of smiles, and a dimple that comes and goes in the curve of her rounded chin. Her eyes are a bright hazel; her hair a soft mass of brown. She has an air of distinction and carried her youth like a banner.

A democratic girl, pomposity is a quality which she thoroughly dislikes, even if it is her brother who is the guilty party. She works in NY as a taxi dancer and vigorously pursues her theatrical ambitions. A role model, indeed, for business leaders and start-up founders of our times. (Adventures of Sally)

Dr Sally Smith  

She is an American general practitioner in medicine, with abiding interest in golf. Her skills at the game impress even someone like the nerve specialist Sir Hugo Drake.

When Bill nervously confesses his feelings for her, he gets a rather unemotional response. Sally says she still has not met the right man. Sally continues to turn down Bill until she sees him do some paperwork for his dairy farm. Seeing that he does in fact work, she ends up falling for him.

She is described as a small girl and as being extremely pretty.

Sue Brown

A chorus girl, Sue is the daughter of Dolly Henderson. A tiny girl, mostly large eyes and a wide smile, she has a dancer’s figure and catches the eye of many a man, including Percy Pilbeam and in the past Monty Bodkin, to whom she was engaged for a spell, but when we first meet her in Summer Lightning, she has been fiancée to Ronnie Fish for some nine months.

Galahad Threepwood, who adored her mother in his youth, has a fatherly affection for her, and aids her considerably in her hopes of marrying Ronnie; although his sister Julia at one point accuses Gally of being her actual father, in fact Dolly Henderson married Jack Cotterleigh, an Irish Guardsman, while Gally was in South Africa. After her mother’s death, they moved to America for a time.

 

Veronica Wedge

The daughter of Lady Hermione and Colonel Wedge is a spectacularly attractive girl, a fact which never ceases to amaze her doting father and attracts many a fashion photographer whenever she appears in public. She has a direct way about her, and invariably follows her parents’ instructions to the letter, even when it comes to falling in love. Her extreme beauty is matched by her extreme simplicity of mind, a fact which does not put off Tipton Plimsoll when he meets her shortly before her twenty-third birthday, in Full Moon.

Tipton cashes in on her love for jewelry, eventually persuading her to elope to a registry office in the climax of Galahad at Blandings. 

 

Of Female Empowerment

Staunch advocates of gender parity will be pleased to note that Wodehouse has created women characters which not only call the shots in their men’s lives but also pursue their own career interests with a single-minded devotion, alacrity and aplomb. They make a wide range of career choices and make a success of the same.

Of course, his men do make unkindly comments about women. But they also recognize women’s enablement of the human race going. In any case, Wodehouse is not like Nietzsche, who warns the better sort of reader not to venture out among the ladies without a stick or a whip. Some clans may drag their women about by the hair, but Wodehouse’s gentlemen are far too inhibited. So far from going after women with whips, they can’t even go back on incautious engagements—a man’s word is his bond, and it wouldn’t do for a preux chevalier to refuse an offer made by someone from the tribe of the delicately nurtured. Nor do they believe in bandying about the name of any woman. Even if they are aware that they happen to be merely a stop-gap arrangement in the scheme of things of someone like Bobby Wickham, who, by quoting their despicable candidature to their discerning parents, merely wish them to approve the alliance really intended. We end up realizing that Wodehouse agrees with Macbeth’s witches, at least when they say that fair may be foul: he presents men as sorely tried by the fair sex.

Even conscientious men, duly frocked in the service of the Lord, find that women are apt to bring them as close to the peril of being defrocked as would be humanely possible. Stiffy Byng tries to get her man to pinch a policeman’s helmet to even a private score.

Women are not like gentle­men, who have a code in these things:

She was fully aware that she was doing something which even by female standards was raw, but she didn’t care. The whole fact of the matter is that all this modern emancipation of women has resulted in their getting it up their noses and not giving a damn what they do.

A Unique Therapeutic Proposition

In a way, there is much in common between Wodehouse’s works and those of Jane Austen. Both happen to follow strict codes. Both play out as movies rated under the category ‘U’, thereby making them a family affair. Sex is taboo.

In Plumsville, friendly romps and jocular embraces are taken a jaundiced view of. Impersonation and white lies dished out in the course of a boat ride meet with approval; So do the pinching of umbrellas, policemen’s helmets, scarabs, silver cow creamers and such members of the animal kingdom as cats, dogs and pigs. Bunging in a policeman into a cooling stream is not scoffed at. One is forever living in a world which is essentially decent, uplifting and far away from the kind of trials and tribulations one faces in real life. Practical jokes do get played, albeit within limits.

Plum’s works happen to be an effective balm for a weary and wounded soul. Women of all kinds, irrespective of their Goofiness Quotient, contribute in no small measure towards building this unique therapeutic property of his works.

(Related Posts:

Some More Shades of Women in Plumsville 3.0

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville 2.0 (Aunts and Seniors)

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/different-shades-of-women-in-plumsville

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/of-bertie-goofy-females-and-the-wooster-clan

https://honoriaplum.com/2017/02/20/money-in-the-bank-review-by-john-lagrue

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/some-tips-on-the-art-and-science-of-courtship-from-rupert-psmith)

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You know, the more I see of women, the more I think that there ought to be a law. Something has got to be done about this sex, or the whole fabric of society will collapse, and then, what silly asses we shall all look.

(Bertie Wooster)

 

 

 

Aline Peters

Freddie Threepwood’s fiancee in Something Fresh, Aline is the daughter of J Peterson Peters, the American millionaire. She is a gentle, kindly girl who dotes on her father to the extent of starving herself to support his struggle with dyspepsia, and is in turn adored by George Emerson, who she finds too volcanic and over-dashing for her tastes.

Her old school friend Joan Valentine thinks she has been spoiled by too much ease, and that having to fight a little for her independence would be the making of her; Emerson, on the other hand, thinks her perfect. She eventually realizes her long-standing love for him, when he shows signs of weakness and brings out her mothering instinct.

One of the interesting aspects of life highlighted by Plum in Something Fresh is the personality contrast between Aline Peters and Joan Valentine. One is born with a silver spoon in her mouth, so to say, whereas the other has to struggle through life to survive and do well.

 

Anne Benedick

Her laugh is so musical and silvery that she evokes deeper emotions in Jeff; something he realizes is nothing but unalloyed love. Her laugh conjures up visions of a cozy home on a winter’s night, with one’s slippers on one’s feet, the dog on one’s lap, an open fire in the grate and the good old pipe drawing nicely.

We meet her in Money in the Bank. She is 23 years old and a secretary-companion to Clarissa. In secret, she is engaged to Lionel.

For Jeff Miller, at the first sight of Anne Benedick:

There was something about this visitor that seemed to touch some hidden chord in his being, sending joy bells and torchlight processions parading through the echoing corridors of his soul. Romeo, he fancied, must have experienced a somewhat similar, though weaker, emotion on first beholding Juliet.

When Jeff gets hit on the head during a tussle with the Molloys, Anne cries out for Jeff’s sake. The two get engaged in a cellar. The true location of the diamonds occurs to Lord Uffenham and he retrieves them from that spot. Anne agrees to marry Jeff.

 

 

Cora Starr

When it comes to her Goofiness Quotient, Cora (‘Corky’) Pirbright can easily be treated at par with the likes of Roberta Wickham and Stiffy Byng. She does not boast of having red hair, but would always approve of anything that seems likely to tend to start something. Alas, we get to meet her only in The Mating Season. 

When Constable Dobbs gets bit in the leg by Sam Goldwyn, thereby obstructing him in performing his duties to the Crown, she puts the animal’s case extremely well, pointing out that it had probably been pushed around by policemen since it was a slip of a puppy and so was merely fulfilling a legitimate aspiration if it took an occasional nip at one. When Dobbs refuses to accept her view and takes the animal in his custody, all she has to do is to snap her fingers and egg on one of the men around her to go about strewing frogs all over the chokey concerned.

Her uncle Sidney may not be chuffed at the prospect of having someone like Thos around the vicarage, she believes that it is good for a clergyman to have these trials. These make him more spiritual, and consequently hotter at his job.

Though differing from Aunt Agatha in almost every possible respect, Corky has this in common with that outstanding scourge, she is authoritative. When she wants you to do a thing, you find yourself doing it.

Bertie describes her as being one of those lissom girls of medium height whose map has always been worth more than a passing glance. In repose, it has a sort of meditative expression, as if she were a pure white soul thinking beautiful thoughts, and, when animated, so dashed animated that it boosts the morale just to look at her. Her eyes are a kind of browny hazel and her hair rather along the same lines. The general effect is of an angel who eats lots of yeast.

Corky is said to have been wowing the customers with her oomph and espièglerie since she was about sixteen. She distinctly took the eye. Two years in Hollywood had left her even easier to look at than in her earlier times when she used to attend dancing classes with Bertie.

When introduced to her, Gussie Fink Nottle’s thoughts are along the following lines:

It’s extraordinary that a girl as pretty as that should also have a razor-keen intelligence and that amazing way of putting her arguments with a crystal clarity which convinces you in an instant that she is right in every respect.

Esmond Haddock, who is in love with her, thinks she is an angel in human shape. Old Pirbright introduced the two of them. Their eyes met. And it was not more than about two days after that they talked it over and agreed that they were twin souls.

But Esmond’s aunts did not like actors. In their young days, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, actors were looked on as rogues and vagabonds. As to the aunts, her stock was plainly down in the cellar and the market sluggish.

Corky refuses to consider the idea of hitching up with Esmond unless he defies his aunts, and he very naturally gets the vapours at the mere idea. She thinks he has allowed them to oppress him from childhood, and it’s time he threw off the yoke. She wants him to show her that he is a man of intrepid courage. Her matrimonial plans thus hit a snag, since there is not even a remote chance that Esmond would ever stand up to Dame Daphne Winkworth, and the Misses Charlotte, Emmeline, Harriet, and Myrtle Deverill and make them play ball.

But Bertie and Jeeves conspire to ensure that the two end up walking down the aisle.

 

Dolly Molloy

The newcomer was a girl in the middle twenties, of bold but at the moment rather sullen good looks. She had the bright hazel eyes which seldom go with a meek and contrite heart. Her colouring was vivid, and in the light from the window her hair gleamed with a sheen that was slightly metallic.

(Sam the Sudden)

This is Dora (“Dolly”) Molloy (née Gunn), a young American woman, known to her friends as Fainting Dolly, from her practice of swooning into the arms of rich-looking strangers as a prelude to picking their pockets, hence her alternative nickname of Dolly the Dip.

She is brassy, golden-haired shoplifting wife of Soapy, the brains of the couple. Unlike her husband, Dolly is a firm believer in direct action: in Money in the Bank, Jeff Miller considers her to have the executive abilities of Lady Macbeth.

 

Elizabeth Boyd

She is a hard-working beekeeper in Brookport, Long Island, where she lives with her irresponsible brother “Nutty”, Claude Nutcombe Boyd. A letter from Jerry informs them that Nutcombe’s money went to someone called Lord Dawlish.

When we get introduced to her in Uneasy Money, Elizabeth Boyd is twenty-one, though with her hair tumbling about her shoulders she could have been taken by us to be a child. It is only when we peer into her eyes and notice the resolute tilt of the chin that we realize that she is a young woman very well able to take care of herself in a difficult world. Her hair is very fair and her eyes brown and very bright. These are valiant eyes, full of spirit; eyes, also, that see the humour of things. Her chin, small like the rest of her, is strong; and in the way she holds herself there is a boyish jauntiness.

In New York, Bill sends a letter to Elizabeth offering to split the money, but she sends a reply refusing it. However, circumstances eventually bring them together and love blossoms aboard a train. They plan to get married when the train reaches New York and later run a big bee farm together.

 

Eve Halliday

In Leave it to Psmith, Eve first catches Psmith’s eye while sheltering from the rain under the awning of a coal merchant’s joint opposite the Drones. She takes up an assignment at the Blandings Castle, cataloguing the library, a feat which has not been attempted since the year 1885.

Eve gets by on a small annuity from a late uncle, but frequently has to find work due to tempting but expensive hats, gloves and other necessities. She is a person of dash and vigour. Gazing into her soul, one is apt to find such finer sentiments there as honesty, sympathy and intelligence.

She is a girl of medium height, very straight and slim; and her fair hair, her cheerful smile, and the boyish suppleness of her body all contributed to a general effect of valiant gaiety, a sort of golden sunniness – accentuated by the fact that, like all girls who looked to Paris for inspiration in their dress that season, she often wears black.

A highly attractive young girl, Eve is adept at deflecting proposals from young men like Freddie, but finds Psmith’s advances more difficult to fend off. Capable and efficient, she works hard at her cataloguing job despite Psmith’s attempts to lure her away; a faithful and reliable friend, she does much to help her friend Phyllis get the money she deserves. By the end of the narrative, she is engaged to Psmith.

 

Honoria Glossop

Most of us are already aware that Honoria Glossop is the daughter of Sir Roderick Glossop and the elder sister of Oswald Glossop. Large, brainy, and athletic, she has an assertive personality and a forceful voice. Her laughter is said to make a noise like that of the Scotch express going under a bridge.

She plays every kind of sport, and Bertie suspects she may have boxed for her university. She has a strong presence; Bertie notes that there is something about Honoria which makes almost anybody you meet in the same room seem sort of under-sized and trivial by comparison. She is interested in intellectual pursuits, and reads Nietzsche and Ruskin.

Egged on by Aunt Agatha, Bertie reluctantly agrees to get married to her. While engaged to her, Bertie ruefully describes the time spent with her as follows:

….not a day had passed without her putting in some heavy work in the direction of what Aunt Agatha had called ‘moulding’ me. I had read solid literature till my eyes bubbled; we had legged it together through miles of picture-galleries; and I had been compelled to undergo classical concerts to an extent you would hardly believe… I had just been saying to myself, ‘Death, where is thy jolly old sting?’

But when the eminent doctor pops up for a spot of lunch at his place, the presence of few cats in his bedroom ensure that he is saved from the gallows.

To Bertie, she is simply nothing more nor less than a pot of poison. One of those dashed large, brainy, strenuous, dynamic girls you see so many of these days.

Plum has left behind for us a wide spectrum of women characters. Each one is a unique specimen, even though some of them might sound like duplicates of each other.

 

(Few more women characters to follow in the next post on the subject!)

(Related Posts:

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville 2.0 (Aunts and Seniors)


Of Bertie, Goofy Females and the Wooster Clan

Bertie, Jeeves and the Internet of Things

Some Tips on the Art and Science of Courtship from Rupert Psmith

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville

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In an earlier post on the same topic, we had considered a wide range of women who dot the Plumsville landscape. Here are some who happen to play the roles of loving as well as obdurate aunts and seniors.

It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.

(Bertie Wooster)

 

 

 

Aunt Agatha 

To residents of Plumsville, she needs no introduction. She is the one who chews broken bottles and kills rats with her teeth. When she issues orders, one simply fulfills them, there being no court of appeal.

Generally formidable in appearance, Aunt Agatha is five-foot-nine, with a beaky nose, an eagle eye, and a lot of grey hair. The mere fact that she brings up someone like Thos, her son – a fiend in human shape – is sufficient to reveal that she has nerves of chilled steel.

When it comes to Bertie Wooster, Aunt Agatha calls the shots, making him an expert at sliding down water pipes or even going off across the Atlantic so as to escape her wrath. Towards the end of The Mating Season, one finds Bertie apparently mustering up the courage to stand up to her.

She is a matchmaker who never quite gives up on Bertie, who has been intimidated by her since he was young. However, partly thanks to Jeeves’ cunning, her plans invariably fail. In Pearls Mean Tears, the party of the other part proves to be a thief, leaving her red-faced. In Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch, the presence of cats in Bertie’s bedroom scratches his fixture with Honoria Glossop, thereby saving him from the gallows.

If it is a matter of protecting saving family, Bertie is often her favoured nephew to go to. In Extricating Young Gussie, he is sent off to New York to ensure that a cousin does not marry beneath the family’s stature.

She does not approve of family matters being placed in the hands of a menial like Jeeves. We even get to meet her pet dog McIntosh, an Aberdeen terrier, in one of the stories.

 

 

Aunt Dahlia

Dahlia Travers happens to be a large, genial soul, and Bertie often praises her humanity, sporting qualities, and general good-eggishness. Though typically friendly, she is capable, with effort, of going into an authoritative grande dame act if the situation calls for it, assuming a serious expression and cold, aristocratic tone. There are occasions when she could even resort to such methods as pinching silver cow creamers, getting cats kidnapped and hold out blackmail threats in order to achieve her goals. The threat which often proves to be the most effective is that of denying her nephew access to Anatole’s lavish spreads at Brinkley Court.

She is short and solid and has a reddish complexion. According to Bertie, her face takes on a purple tinge in moments of strong emotion. She wears tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles for reading. She has a loud, carrying voice. Riding in her youth for years with such fox-hunting packs as the Quorn and Pytchley, she tends to address Bertie as if shouting across ploughed fields in a high wind. Expressions like “Yoicks!”, “Tally ho!”, “Gone away!”, and “Hark forrard!” happen to be a part of her vocabulary. One also runs into her sleepy black cat called Augustus.

Dahlia dandled Bertie on her knee when he was very young, and once saved him from swallowing a rubber comforter. When Bertie had measles as a child, Aunt Dahlia played tiddlywinks with him for hours and let him win, though Bertie maintains that his victories were due to his own skill.

The exchange of telegrams between her and Bertie are the stuff of a legend. However, the vagaries of time have made telegrams and postal services vanish from the public’s mind, depriving us of any pleasure of that kind in the present internet-driven times. On one occasion, Bertie had contributed an article about men’s dress trousers to her publication Milady’s Boudoir.

She is devoted to her husband Tom Travers and is always keen on touching him for a spot of money to keep her publication alive and kicking. Deeply concerned about the lining of his stomach, she does not display a sense of even rudimentary morality when deciding to pinch Anatole from the household of Rosie M Banks and Bingo Little.

(Why does she deserve the honour of being repeated here, despite having been covered in the previous post? Well, when an informal survey was conducted by yours truly within two of the several groups of Plum’s fans on Facebook, she was the one who was remembered most fondly across the board, miles ahead of Bobby Wickham, another all time favourite amongst those who add a dash and a punch to the proceedings in Plumsville!)

 

 

Lady Constance

She is Lord Emsworth’s most formidable sister, a strikingly handsome woman, with a fair, broad brow, and perfectly even white teeth. She has the carriage of an empress, and her large grey eyes are misleadingly genial.

She has an interest in fine arts and frequently invites writers, poets and other artists to Blandings Castle. She expects her brother to pay better attention to family members rather than either in pottering about his extensive gardens or fussing over the Empress of Blandings. She also admonishes her brother on his poor dress sense, expecting him to wear tight collars and top hats at the height of summer while giving speeches at local events. Often, while speaking to her fluffy-minded brother, she suffers a swimming sensation in the head. She connives with the gardener to convince her brother to give up his fascination with a yew alley covered with mossy growth and have instead a gravel path constructed through it but fails.

She strongly disapproves of anyone in her distinguished family marrying inappropriately, and spends much of her time trying to keep nieces and nephews away from unsuitable matrimonial prospects. She is rather fond of Rupert Baxter, the secretary of Lord Emsworth for some time, whom she considers highly capable and on whom she calls whenever she is in dire need of practical assistance.

Towards the end of the story Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend, one finds her brother having the courage to stand up to her.

 

 

Lady Hermione Wedge

Lord Emsworth’s short and fat sister, who resembles a cook, albeit a passionate one. The wife of Colonel Egbert and mother of Veronica, Hermione has all her sisters’ fear of one of the family marrying beneath them, and is incensed when Bill Lister, unsuitable suitor of her niece Prudence, mistakes her, as so many do, for a cook, in Full Moon.

When we meet her again in Galahad at Blandings, she is for a spell acting as a chatelaine at the castle, in the absence of her sister Constance, but gives it up in the face of her brother’s impossible ways; we learn that once, as a child, she struck Galahad over the head with her doll, laying him out cold.

Breeding tells. Lady Hermione Wedge might look like a cook, but there ran in her veins the blood of a hundred earls. She overcame the sudden, quick desire to strike her nephew over his fat head with the nearest blunt instrument.

A Chunk of Baloney is how Tipton Plimsoll is apt to describe her as.

 

 

The Five Aunts

In The Mating Season, we get introduced to a bevy of aunts: Charlotte, Emmeline, Harriet, Myrtle Deverill and Dame Daphne Winkworth. They exert undue influence over Esmond Haddock, despite the fact that it is he who foots the weekly bills at Deverill Hall. They come in different sizes and shapes. One is in the habit of soliloquizing to an extent that one comes to believe that if  Shakespeare would have ever come across her, he might have just liked her.

One of the aunts happens to be deaf, one dotty, one Dame Daphne Winkworth, and all of them totally unfit for human consumption on an empty stomach…

(Bertie Wooster)

They happen to be a family rooted in old customs and ways of life and do not take a kindly view of their nephew falling under the influence of Cora Pirbright, a Hollywood diva. In any case, they take a jaundiced view of actors, considering them as rogues and vagabonds. They judge everyone by their narrow county standards.

Having won a resounding approval from his audience at a public performance, the spineless hero eventually musters enough courage to stand up to his aunts, declaring her love for Corky unabashedly. Here is a part of the final words of Esmond Haddock to his aunts:

“…I really cannot have any discussion and argument about it. I acted as I deemed best, and the subject is closed. Silence, Aunt Daphne. Less of it, Aunt Emmeline. Quiet, Aunt Charlotte. Desist, Aunt Harriet. Aunty Myrtle, put a sock in it. Really, the way you’re going on, one would scarcely suppose that I was the master of the house and the head of the family and that my word was law. I don’t know if you happen to know it, but in Turkey all this subordinate stuff, these attempts to dictate to the master of the house and the head of the family, would have led long time before this to you being strangled with bowstrings and bunged into the Bosporous.”

 

Aunts and Spiritual Growth

Whether good and straight forward or bad and manipulative, aunts and senior ladies in Plumsville perk up the proceedings no end. They display a unique sense of loyalty to their families and can often be blamed for playing spoilsport. But their feudal spirit stands out.

But is there really a point in blaming aunts for any of the challenges faced by their nephews and nieces? At a given point in time, they might look like being worse than fire-breathing dragons. But this is perhaps their way of testing our mettle and the level of passion we have for what we seek. In childhood, they might have dandled us on their knees physically. In adulthood, perhaps this is their way of making us grow into more conscious, more persevering and dashing coves.

In other words, much like the many villains in our lives, they help us to evolve spiritually; to always have a chin up attitude and face the charging dragons and ferocious hippopotami we encounter in our lives with courage, equanimity, tact and resource.

 

Related Posts:

Different Shades of Women in Plumsville

Of Bertie, Goofy Females and the Wooster Clan

Bertie, Jeeves and the Internet of Things

Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend: A Visual Version

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On the first anniversary of the strict lockdown imposed in India on this day, a year back!

ashokbhatia

The 24th of March, 2020 dawned upon us as any other normal day. Denizens of India were going about their daily chores with as much zombiness as they could muster. Flowers were in bloom. Birds and bees were going about doing whatever they normally do. Trees were swaying in the gentle breeze coming in from the Bay of Bengal. In other words, God was in heaven and all was well with the world.

However, by 2030 hours in the evening, our world had turned upside down. The Indian government imposed a comprehensive lockdown across a country comprising 1.3 billion persons. The Prime Minister himself appeared on our TV screens and announced this decision. By the time he finished, a mere three and a half hours were remaining for the decision to take effect.

This sudden whammy left all of us twiddling our thumbs trying to figure out as to…

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Here is what my dream soul mate would sound like,
He may or may not be tall, dark and handsome;
While handling Life’s harsh slings and arrows,
I merely expect the young prune to be agile and lissome.

A blighter like Gussie Fink Nottle would surely not do,
A newt fancier and a teetotaler is bound to leave me cold;
A chappie like Freddie Threepwood would also put me off,
Someone like Spode I would stoutly detest, truth be told.

A lack of interest on my part in flowers, pumpkins and sows,
Rules out any dalliance with the ninth Earl of Emsworth;
A rugged and handsome Esmond Haddock may make the cut,
But his domineering aunts would vitiate matrimonial mirth.

Having a whack at any bloke’s millions is not my idea of fun,
An abundance of the milk of human kindness would do;
His frequent visits to an all-men’s club…

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constantscribbles

A soothing humorous tale

Wodehouse’s works are always fresh isn’t it. Even though ‘Something Fresh’ isn’t as good as Psmith or Jeeves tale, it still is soothing in feel. I’m not really a fan of humor but the way Wodehouse does humor is so ingenuine, where no one would be hurt. Even in this story, in spite of knowing all the twists and turns, the flow is just lovely. Maybe it’s not Jeeves funny because the protagonist is just a common man unlike a superhero like Jeeves. But overall, it marks for a wonderful read.

Wodehouse’s works feel like Crazy Mohan’s works. There will be lot of characters, comedy at unprecedented times, there will be chaos, there will hell lot of funny dialogues but none would be hurt. And that’s the best part. I read this book around ten years back but didn’t remember a thing. Only when I was…

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(Non-statutory warning: Reading the article below could be injurious to readers’ mental health and leave them a wee bit depressed. Caution is advised.

The author is reasonably certain that this article is not an outcome of the kind of wholesome pessimism which is believed to envelope one in advancing age.)

There is a mood of despondency which descends upon my frail grey cells once in a while. Dark clouds which have gathered upon me are accompanied by sinister rumblings. Lightning streaks of a menacing kind keep lighting up the sky, duly followed by thunderous howls which pierce my ears. One peers into the future and one shudders to think of the kind of world one would leave behind for our progeny to live in. Tectonic plates of our society appear to be shifting, causing major upheavals.

No, one does not allude to the pandemic stalking us these days. Nor does one refer to such universal problems like global warming, economic disparities, widespread poverty and illiteracy etc. Instead, one refers here to tectonic plates of a different kind – the ones which impact our value systems, human values, social harmony, honesty, fairness and justice, norms of democracy, absence of truthful and factual information, materialistic progress, and the like.

Consider what is happening around us these days.

Some Ground Realities

The Lack of a Conscious Approach to Business Goals

Businesses continue to be driven by greed and avarice alone. Hapless CEOs have no other option but to keep delivering results from one quarter to the next.

There are no guarantees that Volkswagen will not soon come up with yet another technical trick to befool the regulators and its customers. Boeing may yet again secure approvals for launching a model which might put air passengers’ lives at risk. Financial scams will keep tumbling out of corporate closets at a standard frequency which might put an atomic clock to shame.

Think of rising inequalities. Consider a report presented by Oxfam at the January 2021 World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda, titled ‘The Inequality Virus’. It says that the 1,000 richest people on the planet recouped their Covid-19 losses within just nine months of 2020, whereas the world’s poorest could take up to a decade to recover from the pandemic induced setback. I am certain that philanthropic initiatives of the richest have not suddenly seen a proportionately higher uptick.

So, every crisis that humanity faces turns out to be an opportunity for the well endowed to amass greater wealth. Is this the kind of Materialistic and Unconscious Business model that we wish to continue following? Our answer would of course depend based on whether we are from the ‘haves’ side or the ‘have-nots’ side of the society.

The Monkey Business Called Politics

Probity and decency in the public life of our leaders is long since buried. Gone are the days when vibrant democracies needed a strong opposition to thrive. These days, even the President of a country can himself turn against the hallowed portals of democracy and send rampaging mobs braying for the blood of those out to declare him defeated in an election. In other words, it is one of those promotional offers – you vote in a President and get another one for free!

The aforesaid top boss’ term has revealed enormous gaps between the ideals of American democracy and the reality. Even before he exhorted his followers to attack the Capitol and the legislative branch of government, he ignored watchdog rulings and constitutional safeguards, pressed to overturn the outcome of an election, and pardoned those who covered for him, all the while funneling taxpayer dollars to his family business.

In yet another country, the main adversary runs the risk of not only being poisoned but also getting imprisoned on some ground or the other, while those in power brutally suppress dissent marked by men’s underwear and gold-painted toilet cleaning brushes.

World over, there is no dearth of leaders who have dictatorial ambitions but mask these well with democratic credentials. Speak of transparent political funding and all one gets is the silence of a tomb.

In yet another country, lies, obfuscation of facts and clever data management seem to have become a norm. Photo-ops, positive optics and feel-good media feed by devout followers keep the entire nation in thrall. Attempts to stifle dissent and to paint anyone not toeing the rulers’ line as unpatriotic continue unchecked. Getting offended by comments made by those living thousands of miles away appears to have become a national pastime. When a stand-up comedian speaks up, our clairvoyant nature allows us to guess what offending remark he is yet to make. Prompt legal action gets taken, nipping the intended mischief in the bud.

Building physical infrastructure is simply great. So is the drive to embrace technology to make life of a common man simpler. But when this comes at the cost of demolishing social harmony and making a democratic country free of any kind of opposition worth its while, the long term price of a ‘progress’ of this kind is rather high. I am not an economist, but I wonder if an economy can grow while the society itself is getting fragmented.

World over, quite a few governments have even used the pandemic as a cover to suppress dissent and cut short processes to introduce laws of an unpopular kind. In the process, their soft power is bound to dive down.

The Rudderless Social (and Anti-Social) Media

During 2020, in India, when our northern neighbour had encroached upon our land, and when the media should have been doling out useful health tips for people to stay safe in the midst of a pandemic, the only ‘breaking news’ was the suspected suicide of a Bollywood actor and the activities of his girl friend.

Social media, duly backed by smart algorithms, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, keeps shaping our thought processes, our choices, our preferences, our perceptions and our beliefs. We are already living in a fish bowl where the law makers as well as the private players are hands in glove to sell detailed information about us to the highest bidder. Privacy concerns and personal liberties be damned. Pretty soon, it may happen that government support is available only to those who have a pro-government presence on various media platforms.

The whole idea is perhaps to help a lay person evolve into a dumb chum of the first order, unable to use his own judgement in matters of public importance; essentially, to numb the person’s grey cells. In other words, we all become zombies (or jack asses, if you prefer) of the first order.

Little do we realize that there are no free lunches in life. Any service available to us free of cost over the world-wide-web we have spun around ourselves only means that ‘We, the People’ are the product on sale!

If our social media czars do not come up with a realistic code of conduct for themselves soon enough, governments, to salvage their public image, may soon have to start dishing out harsher laws.

Perhaps, one of the czars will soon set up an academy to groom many of our whizz kids into becoming ethical hackers and algorithm developers.

Neglecting Half of the Homo Sapiens

If they stay at home, their contribution to society is never even acknowledged. Rather, it is taken for granted. If they venture out of their home and hearth, lustful gazes disrobe them mentally. If they get violated, they only have to take the rap. In war zones, they are the instruments used to inflict deep wounds on the psyche of the other.

Yes, I refer to the tribe of the so-called delicately nurtured. They are the ones upon whom Mother Nature has conferred the unique capacity of keeping our civilization alive and ticking. They may be as tough as nails and proving themselves to be better than the so-called sterner sex in all fields of human endeavour. A fact which was reinforced yet again when a deadly pandemic arrived at our doorsteps. In public, they may get put on a pedestal and revered. But in private, they often get treated like a doormat, treated as mere objects, only to be used and abused.

Doting lover boys, upon metamorphosing into husbands, often shed their chivalrous masks and start behaving like dictators. If a family breaks up owing to mistreatment, ridicule, abuse and violence at the hands of their husbands, it is the lady of the house alone who gets the entire blame – for being obstinate and uncompromising. The general view is that she is a gold digger of sorts.

Such a patriarchal mindset is not an exclusive prerogative of the poor alone. Nor does it respect geographical boundaries. Education levels also do not make much of a difference. Take couples across different countries, economic status and education level and one is apt to find this to be a universal phenomenon. The Chivalry Quotient may vary across all these parameters, but a singular shortage of preux chevaliers is felt all over our planet. Religious beliefs and even some spiritual tenets reinforce such derogatory views.

In respect of the legal framework, our experience in India has been a mixed one. The females have learnt the art of terrorizing their husbands and their families by foisting cases of imagined harassment, with the sole aim of securing better settlements while seeking divorce. Surely, the training in chivalry truly begins at home – either in the kitchen or at the dining table. Laws can play only a limited role.

The tectonic shift taking place here is that of divorce rates going up and couples preferring to remain friends with perks. Upwardly mobile wives who can stand on their own feet detest drawing husbands who refuse to wear skirts and help out with domestic chores. Once the family structure crumbles, there is a higher probability of the value system of the next generation going for a toss.

The Silence of the Lambs

In many of the issues brought out above, are we ourselves not responsible for the mess that we are in? The silence of our intellectuals, the self-centredness and public apathy of the middle class which more or less upholds values in society and the mute surrender of the common man – are these not some of the factors which have enabled this situation to have come about?

Many years back, I vaguely recall having read a satirical story in Hindi, written by a well known humourist in the language, Hari Shankar Parsai. A herd of lambs is made to believe that few wily foxes alone can solve all their problems. Pretty soon, foxes get voted in. One fine day, a ruling comes that to save the ruling foxes, some sheep should voluntarily surrender to be sacrificed each day so the patriotic fervour is kept alive and the nation is run effectively!

I am not a political science buff. Thus, I am not qualified to say if democracy as a model of governance is failing us. But one of its enabling factors is the presence of conscious leaders who are not shameless and still have traces of humility, empathy, decency and a concern for genuine overall good.

With No Malice towards Anyone  

Educated youth who have no means of earning a living, will they not have a raw anger simmering within them? Will the poorer lot not take a jaundiced view of grand government schemes the benefits of which do not reach them?

Perhaps there is a feeling of helplessness within them. Perhaps they have dollops of patience.  May be they realize that they are too small to bring about any change and feel it is better to accept things as they are and continue wallowing in misery and self-pity, blaming God for all their troubles.

But is a meek acceptance of murkier developments in the world around us a better approach? Can we not dissipate the seething anger within by at least saying what we find to be reproachable? Can we not break our silence of the lambs and speak up?

With Whom Does the Buck Stop?!

Are we ourselves not a part of the problem? Why have we, reasonably educated and rather wise people, decided to outsource our thinking processes and have instead opted to become zombies?!

Do we not keep patronizing companies even we know they have been cheating in the past? Are we not the ones who get swayed by propaganda and cast a vote for a particular party or a particular leader? Do we ever boycott a media outlet which acts as a mouth piece of those in power?

If we are addicted to, say, WhatsApp or Facebook, can we really blame their inventors for the issues that we face? Don’t we find it convenient to remain in touch with our friends and family members through these platforms?

When we notice a female being harassed, are we not likely to look the other way? Is the onus of ‘adjusting’ not always put on the female? Can we take a pause before we make a victim the facilitator of a crime?

Overall, by remaining a mute spectator and witness to acts of corruption, misinformation, lies and half-truths, do we not become accomplices to such misdeeds?

It is not wise to altogether point a finger at others only. A knife kind of a tool is given to us. Let us use it to prepare a juicy dish and not to hurt someone. The choice of usage is with us.

Our endeavour therefore should be to stand up, be courageous and outspoken. This alone can get us counted. Even if there is one sane voice amongst all the noise and din, it would resonate with other like-minded individuals out there.

Our salute needs to reach out not only to those who are already raising their voices but also to the decision makers who might eventually get around to listening to us.

Some Silver Linings

All this is not to say that there are no silver linings in the dark clouds hovering above us. As P G Wodehouse puts it, even when the air is pregnant with V or W-shaped depressions, there are always silver linings on the clouds. We shall do well never to repine, never to despair, but to work upon our own selves and on others in our sphere of influence. It is good to remember that, no matter how dark the skies may be, the sun is shining somewhere and will eventually come smiling through.

There are business houses which keep following good values and ethics in their day to day operations. There are leaders who respond well to challenges like social disharmony and stalking pandemics with a dash of human values. They treat dissent as a valuable input for their decision making processes. We also have very few social media and gig economy barons who are being forced by their own employees to either shape up or ship out.

Lawmakers and pressure groups in USA are already reported to be thinking of ways to bring in a wide-ranging overhaul of ethics, laws, the likes of which have not been seen since the post-Watergate era.

Perhaps, eminent legal eagles in India can also take a leaf out of the USA experience. As a country, we had experienced suppression of dissent even during the 1970s, when an emergency was declared. Can some more constitutional safeguards be brought in so that a popular mandate does not give the executive the right to ride rough shod over other arms of the government, thereby increasing the probability of the country being taken in a direction which is not the same as what our founding fathers had envisioned?

Above all, it is the man on the street, busy keeping his body and soul together, eking out a living for his family and even helping others in distress. When the scales from his eyes fall and he wakes up to a life threatening situation at hand, he reacts. The farmers in India are already showing their resolve following the strategy of peaceful protests and civic disobedience used by Mahatma Gandhi many decades ago.

Then we have lone wolf professional bodies. World Without Corruption in Belgium gives businesses a voice in fighting corrupt practices. The Conscious Enterprises Network in UK speaks of conscious leaders leading their enterprises in a holistic value-based manner in all spheres of human enterprise. The Center for Business Ethics & Compliance in Russia is focused on best practices in the realm of ethics and compliance.

Likewise, in India, Spandan Foundation is passionate about human values in organizations and even plans to set up a centre dedicated to the cause. Shakti Leadership highlights the importance of using feminine traits like empathy and compassion in decision making and assists individuals and organizations in their quest for conscious evolution. The Association for Democratic Reforms keeps relevant political issues alive and kicking in public eye.

I am sure there are many others scattered over other continents. Their attempt is to bring like-minded people together and keep the embers of a pious fire aglow, focused on values and ethics.

The Mighty Churning

The society is always in a flux. These days, it appears to be undergoing a mightier churning which reminds one of the episode of Samudra Manthan (The Churning of the Sea) in Indian scriptures. The churning throws up poison as well as the nectar which grants immortality. Those who believe in following the path of righteousness end up securing the latter.

It is easy to see that we have a leadership crisis on our hands. Since a situation also produces a leader, one hopes that more and more conscious leaders keep emerging, nudging us in the right direction.

Admittedly, the silver linings appear to be like a pale parabola of joy, to borrow an expression from P G Wodehouse. This will remain so till the time a bevy of conscious leaders – whether in business or in politics – do not appear on the scene and convert this into a shimmering parabola of bliss.

The solution is not to keep sweeping issues like hunger, poverty, economic non-inclusion and prejudicial animosity under the carpet. Nor is it to raise the existing walls, whether political, commercial, attitudinal or religious. It lies instead in a truly global view based on the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbukam: The World is One Family.

Being a born optimist who believes in having a chin-up attitude, I do hope that some of these tectonic shifts can at least get retarded, if not altogether reversed, in the years to come.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/06/17/why-the-wren-is-a-patriot-and-not-a-nationalist-guest-post-by-prof-badri-raina

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2020/11/23/jeeves-and-the-social-media-challenge

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/bertie-jeeves-and-the-internet-of-things

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/bertie-social-media-and-blogging-blues

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/jeeves-seeks-a-placement)

 

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