Once a newsman, now a 'was-man', G. V. Krishnan retired in 1998 as a Times of India correspondent. During his two decades with Times of India, he was posted in New Delhi, Bhopal, Chandigarh and Chennai. He was earlier with the National Herald, New Delhi, and on the news desk of The Northern Echo, a British provincial daily, in the mid-1960s. Krishnan, settled in Mysore, blogs at My Take by GVK. His email is
The thing about ageing is that we have much to blog about our past. When I mentioned it to Kini - a friend of 1960s vintage - he wondered if it would interest anyone other than the two of us. It depends on what we put into it, I said. If nothing else, our blog-to-blog could become a reference point for us to stay to connected, and bridge the decades lost in our mutual silence.
As it turned out, our blog-to-blog developed a nche readership, well beyond our circle of friends. And Kini, who wrote about his overland travels, had people writing to him saying they found his writings so engaging they always looked forward to his next post.
It all started with Kini's e-mail over two years back, saying he had shifted base from London (where he had spent over 40 years) to a chalet bungalow in Herne Bay, Kent -.a ' geriatric land where one is more likely to see dear old ones scooting around on electric scooters than young lads on noisy motor-bikes'.
The real message was in Kini's sign-off line, which read - 'Uncertainty and hope fills our lives at present'. My friend Kini suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
His other half, Catherine, decidedly,the better half, takes care of Kini, does the running-around in and outside their house, and still finds time for weekly Arts group meetings; and learning new skills as a water colourist. Catherine, he said, was enamoured with Herne Bay and Canterbury cathedral and spent much time there, hoping to become a knowledgeable guide to visiting friends and relatives.
Of her husband she wrote, "Kini's health is dire. He is now wheel chair bound and unable to walk much. With no diagnosis for his constant chest pain, leg pains and sleep problems, he is being advised by specialist to adopt a strict diet to trace food items that he is intolerant of, and vitamins, minerals and so on. ....He goes through weekly reflexology and counselling sessions. He has also seen a Homeopathic practitioner and has "healing" sessions with a healer. This has been difficult for a card carrying agnostic like Kini."
Such was Kini's health status. I didn't know quite how to react to his e-mail. I didn't ; and weeks elapsed in my guilt-striken silence, before I heard from him again - "I hope you find time to visit my blogsite, where I have put in a short piece
about you". Realising that further silence on my part would not just be impolite, but positively unfriendly, I blogged back
, with a suitably appropriate piece on Kini, and suggesting we stayed in touch through our blogs.
I suggested that we had much to blog about the time we spent in London. And through such blog-to-blog
dialogue, we might even reconnect with other friends, of whose whereabouts we didn't have a clue.
Kini and I had landed in London around the same time (May 1964?), though by different means. I took a boat from Bombay to Genova and from there, a train to London (later day Orient Express)..And Kini, with a friend (Subash Chopra) hitch-hiked all the way, from Delhi to London.
I have Kini's permission to cross-post his side of the blog-to-blog, so as to maintain continuity in narrative. "I just lack the energy," he wrote, welcoming my offer to do it for him.