“It’s still a New Year!” sang out the sun as it rose over a sleeping world, “It’s only twelve days old!”

And from every tree a collective caw, a chirp and a cheep of joy rose in crescendo, as they were warmly awakened by God’s own herald, the sun.

 And when they had in full throated exultation greeted God their maker, they turned and with joyful eyes looked to go about their daily businesses.

Three sparkling white buildings!

A guest house with grounds!

All housing one hundred and four orphans!

And yet I remember when all of this wasn’t ever there, not on the ground nor also in the mind of the founder. He had come to me on one of his donation collecting rounds many years ago. He was living under an upturned boat caring for four destitute children.

Though I have visited and holidayed with family in quite a few of the hill stations, the visit I remember so well was the Rohtang Pass in Kulu Manali. The sudden appearance of the mighty Himalayas, peak after peak after peak, like old sages of wisdom, grouped together, not concerned with petty problems below, quiet and solid and reassuring. “Don’t worry Bob,” they seemed to say without looking in my direction, “there’s nothing to worry about that can’t be handled higher up!”

A friend sent me these gems of wisdom penned by a grandpa, and since I’ve become one again two days ago, I thought I’d share them with you all, so have a laugh: Whether a man winds up with a nest egg, or a goose egg, depends a lot on the kind of chick he marries.

Trouble in marriage often starts when a man gets so busy earning his salt, that he forgets his sugar.

In India, you can build the broadest roads, but it’s such a waste as I found out as three trucks drove abreast on a highway with my poor car unable to overtake, “I’m sure there’s a plot to keep us slow!” I thought and then imagined a ‘Go Slow Driver’s Association!’

The President of the Go Slow Drivers’ Association, a burly truck driver walked slowly to the podium to conduct the meeting as the secretary, a scrawny looking autorickshaw driver ran giggling onto the platform, “The Aims and Objects of our association,” he squeaked. “To drive as slowly on our roads and slow down any driver who tries to overtake us.”