Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Hundredth Flower

This post is the hundredth flower in my garden.

My first post was published on the 16th May, 2010. I was encouraged – nay, prodded – by one who was later called by a fellow blogger,, as his ‘Blog Mother’. After reading this, I had commented that she is my blog mother too, although biologically she is my daughter whom I call ‘Daughter !!’. I must confess that I was a little – indeed, very - shaky to traverse the arena as I was –and am still - only a marginally literate person as far as computers and internet are concerned.

I still silently laugh when I recall the day when the head of the Circle Office of my Bank called me and told me, “From tomorrow you will be the TOE of the Circle.” I was at a loss to understand what he was saying. Then it occurred to me that TOE meant ‘Technology Overseeing Executive’. The earlier TOE had been transferred, (His earlier designation was DM-IT, Divisional Manager – Information Technology, and teasingly he was called “Dam-It’) and I was to step into his shoes and oversee the Technology Management of the Circle, in other words, look after the computerization of the Branches and Offices of the Bank under our Circle. Much earlier, I had once headed a partially computerized Branch but there were so many trained youngsters in the Branch that technical matters hardly came to me. This first brush of mine with computers did not rub me much. But I had now no escape and so had to accept the Big Boss’s diktat. Even then, my personal handling of computers was confined to sending and receiving e-mail. To my relief, my official duty was to ‘manage’ technology and not handle it much.

I used to send long e-mails to the daughters and these were narratives of my experiences, of the places I visited and, some times, my views. After my retirement, during a visit to Daughter II, she suggested a way for filling my free time. “Why don’t you start blogging?, she suggested. To dilute my fear of computers, she retrieved one of my old e-mails to her, chiseled it and posted it as my first blog-post. Then she prodded me to edit and convert some of my e-mails to blog-posts. Since then, I have progressed a little bit in the area and so here I am, releasing my hundredth post!

While doing this, I am reminded of the fact that a few months ago, Sachin Tendulkar scored his Hundredth Century and the cricket-world went ga ga over it. He has scored Centuries in 51 Tests and 49 ODIs, making a total of a hundred. Of course a few odd critics said that you cannot add 51 potatoes and 49 oranges and call it a hundred! In their view, a person can be credited with a hundred Centuries only if it is in either 100 Tests or 100 One Day Internationals!!

The late Chinese leader, Mao Zedong once said, “Let a hundred flowers bloom.” This was to encourage emergence of a lot of ideas. In the course of a speech in February, 1957, he said, “Letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend, is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and sciences and a flourishing culture in our land.” The slogan was used during the late 1950’s when the Chinese intelligentsia was invited to criticize the political system and bring to the surface, its flaws. However, it is suspected that the initiative was a deliberate attempt to bring out the secret dissidents into open by encouraging them to show themselves as critical of the Government. Such suspicion arose out of the fact that many of those who put forward views which were unwelcome to Mao, were executed.

This slogan is commonly misquoted as, ‘Let a thousand flowers bloom.’

However, the misquotation improves the idea of letting a number of ideas emerge.

To celebrate my 100th post let me a get a thousand Chinese hands dance.