Around 17

Around his 17th birthday, I had some discussions with my elder son Sagar.  Then we went through some processes regarding education, society, life –currents and the shape of life of friends-family over the  decades-generations.

Xlendi- The tower guarding the mouth of the bay was built by the Grandmaster Juan de Lascaris-Castellar on 29 June 1650.

Xlendi- The tower guarding the mouth of the bay was built by the Grandmaster Juan de Lascaris-Castellar on 29 June 1650.


“The family meal is not an institution”, my younger son Sahil argued with me.

That made us all think.

In the past week, we had some revision of the definition of Institution.

Institution-Formally means- an organization founded for a religious,

educational, professional or social purpose.

Informally- a well established and familiar person or custom.

(Source-Oxford Dictionary of English)


As I searched for meanings of institutions, I went through this discussion we had about Walden pond, next to the small lake in Tripoli zoo…(Now closed)

Walden Pond Walden (/ˈwɔːldən/; first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods), by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance.





The Arch of Marcus Aurelius is a Roman triumphal arch in the city of Oea, modern Tripoli, where it is found near the northeastern entrance to the Medina.

It is a quadrifrons trumphal arch, surmounted by an unusual octagonal cupola,and was erected (entirely in marble) by Gaius Calpurnius Celsus, quinquennial duumvir of the city, to commemorate the victories of Lucius Verus, junior colleague and adoptive brother of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, over the Parthians in the Roman–Parthian War of 161–66.




My father instilled the love of cultural walks in me, when he would take me to museums and temples. The Parvati temple of Pune ,  was a favorite. The main temple, as it stands today, was built by the third Peshwa, Shrimant Nana Saheb in the year 1749 A.D.

See blog-Museum with the children


And Family photographs


END NOTE…As I refined my understanding of the meaning of Institutions, through the dialectic of discussion with my sons, I remembered one more great family institution (established practice or custom)…the historical walks and morning walks

As part of giving them a lesson on this – I told them of a living present custom which I follow-

Walks in Abosita-Ferasiya-Tripoli


..and we will talk about these, around the Family meal (without TV-I hope)




About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal :
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2 Responses to Around 17

  1. Bushka says:

    True! Some traditions can become ‘institutions’…..which can stifle growth…However, ‘institutions/traditions’ have that great advantage of affording stability…..amongst other things. Lovely post. 🙂

    • Institutions provide a framework, what we do with them -grow or stifle- is another matter. Always remember you in Tripoli, when I sit and read at the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, or have a cup of Green Tea at one of the Cafes of the Medina

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