Saturday, April 12, 2014

Whom to vote for ?

I have never shared my political opinions so far. In my house we were encouraged not to tell whom did we vote for even inside the family. I don’t know who my father voted for at all. I always used to think he was a Congress enthusiast. My brother was a CPI card member and as a 15 year old I had participated in rallies and labored to write voter slips at my brother’s insistence. For a long time I grew up believing that Communism is the answer to world’s evils. And the New Century Book house subsidized books only helped reinforcing those thoughts. That is till USSR collapsed and I became a capitalist myself. Whenever I have voted, I always out-voted a government. That much is certain. It has never been looking forward for a positive government. Come to think of it, India always votes that way. They want to send a message, they want to prevent some party from forming a government or returning to power. Maybe 1984 elections where people voted overwhelmingly in favor of Rajiv that too on a sympathy wave only.

OK, enough of this preamble. This time around I want to be open about whom I am going to vote for. Honestly there are only 2 credible options for us. Parties that can form a government. One is Congress and another is BJP. Unfortunately they are now UPA & NDA, yes unfortunately. Because this means you have the Mamta’s, Mayawati’s, Jayalalitha’s , Karunanidhi’s holding a card. And none of them can be PM’s either. No point in wasting our vote on them.

So either it is Congress or BJP. I have a huge laundry list of reasons on why one should not vote for Congress.
  • Corruption (In CWG, toilet rolls were invoiced at Rs. 4000/- per roll, in a labor rich India, we can get a person to wash our bum for a month at this cost. Even worse, if we are a politician holding some office, we can get scores of people doing it free of cost. )
  • Weak Leaders (There was a time Congress was still left with leaders who had self-respect. Indira Gandhi effectively killed it. No wonder D.K. Barooah said India is Indira, Indira is India)
  • Bad Governance (They have ruled for the major part of Independent India’s existence, and whatever good happened, it happened because of visionaries like Varghese Kurien, M.S.Swaminathan, Sam Pitroda and Abdul Kalam. The argument that it happened under their watch doesn’t sell. It was not a part of their strategy documents. Pitroda could be an exception in this list)
  • Not many achievements to boast about (A departure from Nehruvian economy is what changed this country and we should credit the current PM in his capacity as an economic advisor and later FM)
  • Their sycophancy towards a single family (A clear case of lack of personal identity to any of these leaders that they always wanted the crutch of this first family. It is atrocious to even think that we don’t have better leaders than Sonia and Rahul in this country of 1.2 billion people)
  • Their arrogance that it is their right to rule this country (Less said the better it is, they have always cried foul whenever they were not chosen)

Now let us take the BJP. I once again have a list of reasons about why one should not vote for them. Lucky for them, they haven’t ruled for long that one can cite governance and corruption as major reasons.

  • Influence of RSS (Now RSS may be a well-meaning organization, but their jingoism is completely unacceptable. Mandir is the last thing I want in my life. If possible I want a strong government that can do a state-sponsored demolition of many of the temples, mosques and churches we have, particularly the ones that are in the middle of the road )
  • The insecurity it can create to Muslims (Thus polarizing them towards the so-called secular parties who are really not secular. And encouraging people like Bhukari & Owaisi. Look for an article on Syed Imam Bhukari who has spoiled all the goodwill his family had since the time of Shah Jahan.
  • Possible jingoism towards Pakistan (Refer to their manifesto - about reviewing the ‘no first use’ policy of nukes )
  • What if Modi turns a Hitler? (Germany flourished under Hitler but it unleashed the worst imaginable crime against humanity)

The jingoistic elements in either of the parties scare me shitless. There was a tweet today by someone who used the word ‘orgasm’ and you should have seen the extreme reactions from the right wing supporters. And the secular parties are no less. Someone wants to hang women who has sex outside marriage. (the BJP cronies are celebrating Modi's celibacy as an argument, nincompoops)

The most difficult image makeover Modi & his team attempts is completely undone by these jingoists (I am not suggesting that he has changed or I totally believe in the Gujarat story of development). And he has his own party members who want Mandir to appear in the manifesto.

The AAP has been a clown in the circus. It is not the educated who don’t come to politics, it is just that they become illiterate the moment they enter politics. And all of us keep laughing at the no of times AK gets slapped. Just imagine what will happen if Modi or Rahul gets slapped. And thereby becoming illiterate ourselves. They are not an alternative yet. It will be like the DMDK being the opposition party in TN assembly.

I don’t have answers to my doubts on the BJP. But I somewhere get a feeling that Modi will ditch the party and RSS the moment he gets a foothold. He has done that to Advani and to Joshi. And if what he talks is true, combined with the fact that Congress should be booted, BJP deserves our vote this time.

Talking of bigotry, whenever people jump against the BJP, I keep smiling within myself because but for religious bigotry all other forms are actively promoted by the society. In Tamil Nadu, a supposedly advanced state, there are honor killings. A good friend of mine, in FB boasts that he is ‘----‘ racist (fill his caste there), none of us are exceptions to it. We align with our townspeople, caste people, sub sect people (Thenkalai Iyengars, gosh I think they are converted!!). All males are either active or dormant MCP’s but we will participate in a candle light march. Social media is there to establish ourselves are champions of outrage. But it is all bull crap. We need to give a decisive vote to a government. The coalitions have killed us where we are forced to live with regional interests, corruption etc. In my case, I am lucky. I have a good man to vote for. L. Ganesan from BJP. There are 42 candidates in this constituency, the highest in the country. The only time I will take is to search his name. Personally I don’t think he will be mute if minorities are killed enmasse. That’s a belief, I may be wrong. But I need to ride on hope.

Indian Elections is a miracle. Read this article. Nothing new in this. But this is what we are capable of. Go, don’t waste your vote. Let us try BJP this time (not if your candidate is a criminal or tainted otherwise). At least with 272 seats. Not forcing them to go behind the scam tainted parties. After all they are also a political party. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

Anger again

I don’t think I have met an angrier person than me. It appears to me that I am irreversibly addicted to indignation. Small things anger me, big things anger me and my anger itself angers me. I have many well-wishers who have time & again advised many remedies to it. Do meditation, start praying and a few cinematic ones like count from 1 to 10 (I need to then go on till 134367 or such number)

I am not suggesting that they are being flippant in advising me so. But one should understand anger as an emotion and the cause of such an emotion. There are no paintbrush solutions to anger management.

I get angry on two things

  1. When people clearly know what is my reasonable expectation and ignore that
  2. When people continue to rant on their point without importing the rationale I try to pass on

The other generic anger generation tools like Cab drivers calling 15 times before finding your house at 3.45 am, vendors not willing to find solutions for an impasse, service centers throwing a rule book at you without understanding only aggrieved customers call a service center, are completely out of one’s control.

Anger emanating from our perception of unfairness dealt out to us has a bias to it and hence disqualifies itself as a righteous source. Anger that has its genesis in social injustices and our impotence to deal with it, well the adjective says it all. We can’t rage about something if we don’t want to attempt changing it. People do that and sometimes it becomes a movement. The recent Delhi elections are an example of that. Stress, lifestyle, life experience and our own outlook of life are all possible sources of anger, but it is squarely on us.

So going back to the 2 points I outlined has its origins in this statement “The relationship we have with someone who makes us angry and our interpretation of their intent”. Typically then it boils down to just this. Relationships!! We became extremely angry only in such situations that involves a person with whom we are in a relationship and our disappointment about such a person doesn't understand either you or do not make their intent clear, by doing the two things I have mentioned above.

Here I am doing a very tough job and all I get is advice… J

OK, now I can be advised…. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Keep Walking?

If I only had I known a morning walk can give a lot of material to write I would have started it long time back. It is just an hour in a lonely stretch of 250 meters doing laps after laps. If this can give add so much humor to life, I will be soon moving to beach walks and enhance the experience multifold. 

Firstly, we think walking is an exercise that will keep you healthy and thus may let you live longer. You are wrong. It is the shortest way to end one’s life. Whoever said that dogs are man’s best friend is world’s worst liar. These animals don’t subscribe to your idea of living longer. They dream of a world where there no people and they are the dominant species. To me it appears they all meet the previous evening in a board room to strategize and plot the downfall of Homo sapiens. They then execute it to perfection. Teamwork, my God we should learn from them. They form a pack and threaten anything that walks on two legs. Once or twice I think I saw them having a villainous smirk on their faces. 

If you still don’t buy my theory of the perils involved in walking, hear this out. The dogs are partial to killing men it appears. Because they have formed a secret pact with girls in their twenties! These girls are natural born killers. They don’t meet or scheme. They simply enroll in a driving class. Take a battered car and try to mow you down. You can sense it 200 meters far. Yet you ought to be lucky to survive. Because rationally you think you should move out of the way of a speeding car. That’s where you are wrong. You presume the car will stay in the same direction and miss you. Well that could be true if the intent is driving. When it is killing they take just only your direction. Chase you in all direction with the hungry pack of dogs awaiting you licking their lips. 

If that day you are lucky to survive, then you are treated to various sights. The end of my walking stretch has a graveyard. I am 100% certain that every morning atleast 4 of them get out of their graves and start walking. They should easily be 236 years old. And later drop dead again. The only thing that scares them off is women in their 50 are wearing camoflauge print ear muffs at 25 degrees. Some of these women are accompanied by their husbands who are non-stop chatters. And I realized on the 3rd day that the muffs serve a different purpose. And then there is this man who wears a neatly pressed shorts and T shirt & permanently has a growl in his face. Somehow I get a feeling he works in Finance. Don’t ask me why. He has that look, suspecting eyes with a serious mission of catching fraudsters. He has this permanent wedge in his forehead that comes out of wearing a Sree Soornam for 40 years. But he talks about prawns in his phone. 

And then there are 2 women with their dogs (no these ones don’t belong to the pack). One of these women is walked by the dog. And another guy with a grotesque nose has some issues in identifying various attires. He mixes up bras and T shirts. Mostly he wears bra for running. And one girl is walking because she wants to have a peaceful phone conversation. She is always on the phone speaking. Whoever in the other end is a poor soul who wakes up at 5 am to listen to this endless rambling! And there are some old couple who come with a plastic bag hunting for wild flowers not minding the other risks, they simply dive into the bush and come up with a triumphant look and a tiny flower in their hand. One small boy is coerced to walk I am sure. He has this forlorn look in his face, carries a skipping rope which he is going to soon use to strangle his tormentor. And walking styles, what do I even say about it. I am certain one woman there is surely rehearsing for the Republic Day Parade. 

Well, I think I should be providing entertainment to them too I guess. Because I am the thinnest guy in that circuit. And they should be wondering whether I am carried by air or I am really walking. Or maybe they think I could be one amongst those 4 grave-walkers. Let me soon get to the beach.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Measured Steps

Each step is measured now
Unsure of where it lands next
Never been the case
In all these years

When all it mattered
Was where I wanted to go.
Unmindful of pits or craters
With reaching as the only aim

Can’t recall how I was a toddler
And there is no Mom to tell either
I am sure she would have said
They were never weak knees but

Is it just ephemeral?
This cautious tread that
Play games in a confident mind
But is the fear eternal?

If there a life’s story in this?
That the spring in the step
Is a child of youth, and
About the strength of mind

Now steps are measured
In a known turf
Will it carry the burden
To the uncharted grounds?

With so much time to think
Possibilities are endless
But I know one thing: I’ll
Just keep walking ……

The Valley of Masks

Tarun Tejpal has weaved magic in ‘The Valley of Masks’. It is allegorical to whatever one thinks it needs to be to. It could be Al Qaida, LTTE, RSS or sometimes in a subdued level even our very own systems and practices that we blindly follow without questioning its necessity but always striving to be a singular grain in the meal that doesn’t spoil the taste leave alone adding to it.

Every march has a cause and it germinates in a very just fashion and need. The challenges lie in the systems that are created because not everyone understands the larger cause. But the rigidity in enforcement of discipline that later degenerates into an irrational habit digresses the march so far away that at one stage no one remembers why they are marching and what they strive to achieve. Is it perfection in following the systems or the path it leads to??

And a much larger question is that of the messiah. Is the messiah we flock behind pursues his own idea of a righteous path and if so who questions the modus operandi of the same? In business we talk about strategy and tactics with strategy being the long term objective and tactics being short term. Tactics invariably are broken down to smaller action items that would ultimately lead to fructification of the strategy. Invariably in an organization many of us agree on the strategy after endless cups of coffee in a boardroom so far removed from the actual battle scene. While there can be questions posed on that approach, for argument sake let us choose to stay away from doubting the wisdom of the messiah on choosing the path. Then it leaves us with debating the modus operandi which is loosely bound by a set of rules in a business, the fate of which is determined by a handful of line managers who have their own limitations and interpretations. Precisely to side-step such anomalies, a rigor in introduced in a system with penalties and rewards.

Now going back to the messiah, if he happens to be a megalomaniac or an ardent & narcissistic fan of his own philosophy the rigor takes to the extreme. Leading to a systematic annihilation of individualism! And that’s where uniforms come. To think of it, all fascist organizations start with uniform attire. You are no different from the guy who stands next to you, because both of you exist to serve a set of principles someone else drafted for you. And then uniform is equated to discipline, extending the theory to untraceable lengths that creates a paradox at some point of time. Which came first? Uniform or Discipline?? And then the myth & immortality of the messiah that needs to be cultivated for the sake of rigor merchants.

So who is really achieving what? In a loose environment like business, there are no exit barriers. But one step ahead, you can only desert the brotherhood and thus the philosophy. But that is fraught with dangers starting from social imperatives being trampled (atleast in the eyes of the believers) to getting penalized for the transgression sometimes through giving up one’s own life.

From the advent of mankind, we have never challenged the idea being one in the flock. And the shepherd was searched for, followed, eulogized and deified. Why is that you are not that shepherd? Unfortunately teachings on these lines by the real messiahs are misinterpreted by the false ones for their own needs. We have craved and begged for the uniform by our behavior. We are comfortable in our cocoon that is protected by the crustacean shell of ignorance and apathy.

And it is apathy ‘The Valley of Masks’ deals with. The relentless pursuit of the pure which creates a casteless, faceless, parentless, music-less robotic society that drools at the mention of the Messiah Aum and his exploits! Infants are pried way from mothers; everyone is fitted with a mask so that all look alike, only teaching is the tenets of Aum and unquestioned faith on Aum and his path are implanted in the brain. The infirm are sequestered, the romantics are quashed and a terrace of many steps, a climb of which is coveted by any man in the society, there is apathy sprinkled in great measure all over.

This is a book that can be read a million times over and still find new stuff every time only to marvel at the unerring similarity to the society we all belong and the apathy that is traded, albeit in a less dramatic manner but equally painful nonetheless.

2011’s answer to George Orwell’s 1984 …..

Monday, May 31, 2010

No Smoking

There are certain things that never cease to amaze me. I feel it is not an exclusive thought. Guess everyone thinks so. In fact one of the many questions that Yama asks Yudhishtra is ‘what is the most surprising thing of all’ and his reply that pleases Yama was, ‘When people die everyday, each one believes that they would live forever’. For each, there is some surprise!!!

This sudden pearl of wisdom occurred to me when I was thinking about smoking. Actually, I smoke. And I am not proud when I say that. As a person who claims to be very intelligent and as one with arrogance that the world is infested with fools, I can never be proud making such a statement. I am aware that it is a dirty and unhealthy habit and the world has come too far from the days when it used to be advertised ‘Majority of the Doctors prefer smoking Camels’. Neither it is macho anymore to smoke. For that matter, I don’t ‘macho’ matters anymore at all. Girls would love to see a guy with a cooking apron on him than him straddling a horse. Nobody is a cowboy anymore.

So, but for the addiction I have developed, I don’t smoke for any other reason. The dangers of the ugly habit are well known to me, but then there are so many such misadventures in one’s life. Whenever, an article appears with the life threatening effects of smoking I cringe unto myself and pretend that I haven’t seen that, as much as one does not see a credit card statement when it is received, as if not seeing that would make the expenses vanish. But as it is in both cases, the damage is already done. The constant reiteration of what wrong one has done does no good. It makes one feel being punished for crimes committed in the past. You may ask me. Why is that you are cribbing about all these? There are plenty of answers to that. But a couple of them are relevant to this subject.

No 1 is that, yes I am still smoking but why is that you are a judge? How frequently do you play the judge role in your fraternity on other issues? Assuming that there was a womanizer in your group, considering the fact that this habit has also become life threatening apart from the moral scrutiny one can apply, would you ask him while being in a group on why he is womanizing? Would you preach him about the evils of that habit while you are sitting in a group? The only thing you will ever do is hide your sister away. OK if there was some reservation on such a sensitive subject, why don’t you ask such questions about drinking? Would you sit in a meeting and talk about someone’s drinking habit?

The only guys whom I listen to on this subject are people who people who quit the smoking habit and that too when they share that with me in private and not get into a preaching mode about why I should quit. Not every robber turned holy and wrote Ramayana. And these guys also overdo their part by being suggestive about their ability to quit. Well of course it is a great job, but why are you saying that in a way that the people who haven’t done that are jerks? You were one day before yesterday buddy!! And how come suddenly you think it is a platform to showcase your will power which was zilch till a few days back and it continues to zilch even today in many other habits? These converts sometimes are more dangerous than the original fanatics.

No 2 is that, please try to understand the habit. It is an addiction. Brain cells get addicted to Nicotine and when there is short supply there is a craving and when the supply is made it quietens. What starts as a artificial high initially becomes a dependence and it so happens at one time that the absence of nicotine causes trouble than the presence of it giving a high. A classic addiction story! More and more is required to maintain what you felt at the beginning. Sometimes it is also a physical habit. The thrill of lighting it! As it is with me! I throw half my cigarette away and I act as if I am in a rush to die. Well maybe yes or maybe no. But the fact is that, it becomes a habit. And it becomes such a part of your being, the very thought of letting it to go, pains.

At one end there is cold logic and at the other end there is this blind love. It is similar to what a young girl would go through when she has to choose between her parents and the guy whom she loves. The love for parents is definitely strong, but at the same time the prospect of letting go of love appears disastrous. Whenever I think of quitting, a drama plays out in my mind as if I am losing a part of me which surprisingly is not preferred as against losing the whole of me. The quote of Epicurus comes to my mind ‘Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come and when death has come, we are not’. So, all the scary images on the cigarette cartons, articles about the evil stick is so distant when it is being read, because currently it is about letting your love go. Somehow you believe that your parents will understand and in this case somehow you will escape from death. And the illogical and impossible fight between brain and mind takes place where the mind wins most all the time. And I know the mind and brain are the same and that presents the classic Smoker’s Dilemma. To quit or not to quit!

Now, coming back to advisors, there are two kinds of preachers. One who think that this is an unhealthy habit and are true when they advise you to chuck the habit! The second set that has the moral high ground of not smoking and look at me as if I would run off with their wives because I smoke. This is not a frigging Menthoplus advertisement right? If at all that happens it would happen because, she doesn’t want to be with you and not my moral ineptitude that lures her way.

Anyway, the crux of the matter is that whoever advises about the ill-effects of smoking should also understand about it as a habit and as a chemical dependence that has been created. It is something like one of your friends proudly proclaiming that he is a 100% non vegetarian. He is addicted to meat. Simple! In fact this is a guy whom you need to be careful about!

But I am aware that I can’t speak my way through. It is an unhealthy habit. It is bad for me and also people around me. I can die. But just that you don’t kill me with your advice before cancer catches up.

If at all there is some motivation for me to quit, it is to stop listening to advice from every kid to peer.

And I am going to…

Friday, April 09, 2010

Two Dogs & Hindi

I am generally seen as someone who has been made out of anger. Though it surprises me personally, I don’t think the belief is too far from truth. The only editing liberty I would take in that statement is to rephrase it as ‘I am someone who is afflicted by righteous indignation all the time’. Being a hardcore fan of Amitabh Bacchan, this angry young man image pleases me; despite I am now an ‘Angry Not So Young Man’. But then so is Big B!

I will get displeased at the drop of the hat but still I claim that I am not made out of anger because if I was one, I would have put the Charles Mansons and the Ted Bundy’s of the world to shame. By this time my victim account would have been in thousands if not millions. The reason I am not a serial killer is because I got enlightened pretty soon in my life. I realized the fact that I deal with a world full of ignoramuses and I can’t punish them for that. So the anger or displeasure is euphemistically transformed into righteous indignation.

Having set the platform right, I should tell about my latest inglorious tryst with language chauvinists. I use the term Chauvinist because they are so. Who else will find a guy like me who bats for his mother tongue as a Chauvinist? A fundamental thing like me slipping into Tamizh while I speak or arguing against the fact that Hindi is our national language makes me appear so to them. Well didn’t I tell that I deal with ignoramuses!!!

In one of my earlier posts I have accepted myself as a chauvinist and that was 2 years before. And when in 2 years I see nothing has changed and I see more and more of such actions, it dawned on me that, it is they who are chauvinists and not me. Well the driver in that episode was a certified ignoramus, but the latest episode was with some of the best minds that work with me. It was a meeting between 5 of us, all at the level of Directors. One out of them doesn’t understand Tamizh and the rest of us were original Agmark TamBrams. I as usual slipped into Tamizh and I was pointed out that there was one member who didn’t understand the language. I promptly apologized and switched to English. And inadvertently I repeated the mistake and there was another reminder. Then came a wise suggestion by one of the senior members. He said ‘Irrespective of who is present in the meeting, we should stick to English as a language and not talk in Tamizh’. That triggered the famous rage in me.

I told you I am not Charles Manson, so obviously I controlled the anger and merely pointed out that we guys are never returned this favor when there are Hindi speaking people in the meeting. In fact it has even become fashionable to speak in Hindi deliberately in a feigned ignorance about everyone would know Hindi anyway. This is what I call as Chauvinism!! The assumption that all of us Indians would and should know Hindi! And looking down upon people who don’t know Hindi like illiterates! What can one talk about such kind of ignorance?

About people who display jingoism & fanaticism without knowing the facts? The fact is that Hindi is not the national language of India. I could bet that 90% of the population doesn’t know this fact. There are only 10 states in this country of 28 states where Hindi is an official language.

Of course Hindi is the official language of the Union of India along with English, but then the constitution has also said that any language that is recognized as an official language in any state of India would be given the status of National Language. And there are 18 languages that are recognized as Official Languages by the Constitution. Approximately 40+ % of India’s population has Hindi as mother tongue and that is the argument the Hindi fanatics place for making Hindi as the National Language. The late DMK leader Annadurai famously quipped that if that is the case, our national animal should be Rat and not Tiger. On hindsight, watching the national animal becoming extinct, we should have accepted Hindi as a national language and killed it completely like the tigers.

As a matter of fact, Tamil Nadu even opposed to Hindi becoming an official language in 1950, leave alone that being National Language. Once again Annadurai gave the famous two dogs & Hindi story. It goes like this. A man had two dogs. One was a large breed and the other one was a tiny breed. He wanted to create doors for these dogs in the main entrance, so he stupidly built one large door and another small door when even the tiny breed could very well use the large door. Like that when English was functioning very well as the Official language to cater to a select part of the population (just about 40%), Hindi was also added as Official Language. Graciously providing 15 years for the non-Hindi speaking population to learn Hindi so that in 1965, Hindi could become the sole official language! If this was not imposition what else could be? Why should a new federal state that was a combination of million princely provinces not long ago, should force a fanatic law onto its population to learn a new language.

That was the first act of systematic annihilation of other languages and races in India. A race is decimated when its language & culture is destroyed. At Sri Lanka, during the peak of Sinhala-Tamizh struggle the Sinhala fascists burnt down the largest Tamizh library in the world at Jaffna. Since Hindi became the official language, the advantage of Government jobs went to Hindi speaking people because the UPSC was given in English & Hindi, so one group replied in its mother tongue and the other in a foreign tongue. So in your own country, you become a loser because you don’t know a language which is not your mother tongue. Because of higher job opportunities, these days people make their children learn Hindi also and in most schools in place of Tamizh. This would mean, Tamizh cannot be read by a generation and when a language cannot be read it doesn’t grow because it will not be written either.

Everywhere through central government machinery and stealthy by laws Hindi is being imposed upon the non-Hindi population. For example, if you are flying out of Chennai, if you don’t know Hindi or English your safety is compromised because the announcements would only be in those languages. Even the private airlines are copying this pattern and I suspect that there could be a clause governing this. And to think that the first language to have been accorded the Classical Language status was Tamizh and was later followed by Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada! Hindi is nowhere to be seen here.

The government in a reply to a RTI query has stated that “there is no provision in the Constitution to declare Hindi as the national language’, yet many of us believe Hindi is already one. That is because of plain hegemony. They have slowly occupied many domains through the central government propaganda sidelining rich languages like Bengali and the other Dravidian languages (the CBSE 10th std Social Studies book carries just one single mention about Tamizh in its lesson about Literature in India, while there are pages about Hindi. That is when, after Premchand I haven’t heard of a single Hindi author!!!)

I can go on and on. But it is of no avail. As long as I have fellow Tamizh’s who think less of talking in the language they called their mother first. Unless people wake up to realize the slow imposition and help the country evolve a 3 language policy, we will continue to face discrimination.

And I will stay a fool for now knowing Hindi! Would it not be a coup? Someone with my IQ, becoming a fool for refusing to learn a language which 40 of my distant neighbors in a 100 member colony speak?? !!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pericope Adulterae

It has been bugging me for a week now! This collective fascination about pornography we have as a tribe in Tamizh Nadu! This is not to mean that I am a cut above the rest; just that I don’t want it to be aired on TV and discussed amongst everyone secretly envying Nithyananda. The man has some cheek and he was playing it right in front of our eyes. He anyway calls himself as Nithyananda and has found the way for everyday bliss, only that we were looking up the skies for God to deliver that to us!

I am surprised that educated people fall for such con artists. One may get into some pop psychology and blame the fast paced life that we have and our penchant for instant gratification in a fast-food world. But why such Godmen?! One should look at Swami Parthasarathy, well into his 80’s still having a good game of cricket and with same equanimity talk for 10 days on a single chapter of Bhagvad Gita.

I read somewhere this morning that wherever you go , you are only taught Yoga, Meditation and Breathing exercises, but why this fascination for branding within that beats me! If I ever get motivated to learn these 3 disciplines, the first thing I am going to do is become a Swamiji like this! Solid job it seems to be! Money, Women, Fame and Blind devotion; even Mukesh Ambani cant dream all this together!

Jokes apart, I am fuming at the flagrant violation of individual rights in this country and no one seems to be worried about it, because everyone on their own right plays moral police. It is one thing that someone wanted to expose a fake Swami but who gives them right to malign a woman. What crime did she commit? She just seemed to have slept with a man whom she liked and since when it is a crime? And if someone was to make a statement like Jesus Christ did, when he asked people who haven’t committed any sin to stone the girl, where will we keep our face? Who amongst us are sinless that we can condemn such things?

And to think that the whole state including the Ministers drool at the site of an actress, yet have no great opinion on them when it comes to morality is a shame. We seemed to think that any actress will sleep with anyone. Even if they did so what is our issue about it? Shall I tell you? Our issue is that she is not sleeping with us! It is a display on one of the seven sins from our side. Envy, that’s what it is! If the lady with the Swami was someone lesser known, there would not have been such a voyeurism and much of a commercial gain too. So what will you call a TV channel that airs soft porn featuring two known personalities for the sake of money? For me that is what prostitution is!

And such thoughts and people are so marginalized that barring one journalist no one condemned this ugly act of exposing the woman too, not supported her to stand up for her rights. And that is not even from the circle of her friends who are supposed to be the elite of Tamizh filmdom!

Looks like there is only one rule that governs life! And that is ‘If you get caught, you get dropped’. And till you don’t, I will look at getting my share of the pie. I only wish Ranjeetha stood up and sued these guys!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Chip off the Old Block?!

Debuting Tejaswini Shrikanth à “No More TV”

‘No more TV, you have to study’ says Mom!!! Inside me, a voice asks ‘Huh, when did I watch TV?’

What could be the worst fight you could expect in a family? You think it is the fight between a husband & wife, brother & sister, mother-in-law & daughter-in-law….. Then you thought wrong. It is always for the fight for the Remote!

If X is watching channel A, then Y has to intervene and shift to channel B, while Z may want to just skim through the channels. This mathematical equation is a constant at home. And then come the men of the house, whose life is for cricket and kah-boom the remote is in their hands.

So now can someone tell me where have all those advices of ‘TV not being good for you’ gone? Adults can sometimes be so selfish.‘ Why don’t you watch TV?’ in a extra sweet tone is just an indication that they want us out of their way. But do you think you just need permission to watch TV? Sorry to say you thought wrong again!

Come to the picture of your grandma who is dying to know what happened to that girl in the serial. The fight is different now! Once you settle in the couch with the remote, it will be “Oh dear, don’t you have your exams coming up?” And those are the last words you want to hear when your favorite song is on. And then comes your sister from nowhere demanding the remote. Battle with her for an hour and come to an understanding of sharing the remote, your mom returns home!

Could life be worse? And you know what will be the next sentence without being told aloud.

‘Mo more TV, you have to study’

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It is sometimes surprising to think what it takes to make me write after a big lull. This was a simple SMS. The one which Kamal Haasan receives in the movie ‘Azhiyatha Kolangal’ . The message in that movie is from one of his classmates announcing the death of their Indu teacher. And then starts the flashback. A story laden with incidents which are typical of adolescent boys!

Mine wasn’t any different either, only change being this was not a story that had discovery of condoms and stealthy reading of Tamizh porn replete with spelling mistakes and severe lack of imagination. This was announcing the death of KVS , a doyen of Madurai cricket, if one may use the term liberally.

Sundararaja Mama was a typical Iyengar. Big in size, so big that I used to look at the waist size of his pants with awe! And the mandatory hawkish nose of Iyengars making one wonder whether Iyengars alone descended from Garudalwar instead of monkeys and Darwin had it all wrong when it came to us. KVS was always flanked by two of his brothers, both a far cry from what a cricketer he was, but enjoying the patronage of the brother who just breathed cricket.

And KVS himself, didn’t know what kind of a cricketer he was. One day, he used to be a fiery pace bowler defying all the science about the craft and the next day, a beguiling leg spinner who never knew about how much the ball will turn. Or suddenly he will wake up to discover the hardest hitter of cricket ball in the world in him, hell bent on punishing the ball as if it they had an enmity running through generations. I don’t clearly remember any great exploits of him in the cricket field and I may daresay that there weren’t many. Occasions of him winning a match with his bat or ball are very rare, but the rest of the story would probably say why I and maybe a few like me would mourn his death 20 years after we last met him.

KVS had an oil trading business and it would be right to call that as his hobby. His office was MDCA and as a treasurer he would have sunk so much money in the association, so much that had he employed a Texas driller to excavate, atleast one of his vocations would have benefited. Either Oil or Money! He was a man in the middle in a figurative sense running his own set of clubs in between two sworn enemies of Majestic and the TVS group of clubs.

And unlike the other two clubs, his club was a ragtag bunch of cricket enthusiasists plus a few kids like us who had never seen a red color cricket ball. When we saw one it was already some 500 over’s old and blackish-brown in color. None of us had the money to pay for a club however meager it was. But KVS never bothered about money. If he could invest money for an association, sure he can for his own club. So, we all got a chance to practice and play in the late seventies & eighties when matted cricket was a luxury. He liked us all or so I used to think, but then he would have liked anybody who showed a liking to cricket. He was not a coach and if he attempted being one, he would have killed careers. He never believed in techniques and I suspect that he never knew there was one. But what he had was loads of passion to the game and that was infectious.

In a way he used to be a stepping stone for many cricketers, two of them going on to play for India in the senior and U-19 level, but then later shifted one of the two biggies. KVS won’t bother about it. He would either be providing an opportunity for another youngster or busy organizing a felicitation for the two boys who made it big.

I don’t know how old he was when I played with him and how old when he died, it never really mattered. But if someone told me that he died on the field hurling a cricket ball at 120 kph, I would not be surprised. Or handholding a young boy who can’t afford a kit!

May his soul rest in peace and I am sure it would if there was a Cricket Association in Paramapadam and there is a young God wanting to learn cricket.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Srilankan Tamizh Struggle

As they say, history is written by winners and so this will become too. A genuine and rational demand of the Tamizh people of Srilanka will go down in the history books as the story of a terrorist organization vanquished by the state army. Losers will also write history sometimes when they are left alive, but then when cultural death has already happened and Tamizh will cease to exist as a language because of the Srilankan Govt’s ‘Sinhala only’ policy , even if someone writes , there will be no one who would know how to read.

I don’t know whether it is still sedition in this country if I eulogize about the armed struggle of the Tamizhs and their leader Prabhakaran! But in the current mood I don’t think I would mind if I am charged so. It is a shameful thing to realize that how people are capable of seeing the same stuff in the way that suits their fancy. The Srilankan story is one such phenomenon.

Everyone in the past and present have just used the legitimate aspirations of the Tamizh people to their benefit and played politics. And the biggest complaint about the LTTE is that, it was an organization that did not mix militancy and politics. What a joke! The whole militancy situation rose because of the anger which the boys had on the politicians. I wonder whether even the seasoned politicians in this country would know about the genesis of the Srilankan issue. About how the British who put India in an eternal mess by dividing the country into two, created the same mess by uniting two different countries! The Tamizhs and Sinhalese were two distinct kingdoms and the Portuguese, Dutch before the British and also British for a while, administered them separately. And suddenly for the comfort of administration made it one and handed over the whole place to Sinhalese when they left.

It is a long story of systematic annihilation of Tamizhs, betrayals from within and outside and a violent end to the dreams. Just for the ignorants’ sake, a sample of two statements made by the President and Prime Minister of that country in 1983.‘We will break their (sic) heads. & We will teach them a lesson, are those statements. And the Tamizhs were supposed to have a peaceful dialogue with them!! Which also the Tamizh politicians did when they got elected with the mandate of getting a separate state! It is surprising that many people who complain about the LTTE’s policy of killing even the moderates, do not talk about how the very same moderates used these militants for their use and discarded them. A classic Frankenstein story! Haven’t we seen them once too often? Whether it is Bhindranwale or Osama Bin Laden or the local thugs who get killed in encounters every day??

How many are aware of the fact that India simply used the very same militants to trouble the Srilankan Govt because they were worried about Triconamalee becoming a US base! How the Indian Intelligence officials trained these boys at Indian camps? How Rajiv kept Prabhakaran under house arrest (in Hotel Ashoka, Delhi) while he flew to sign an accord for solving a country’s internal strife!!!

None of these arguments mean that I defend the killings of innocents & moderates by the LTTE, but it is also true that some deserved the killing. Atleast in Srilanka! Where there is a war going on, that too! People should realize that the Srilanka ‘Prevention of Terrorism’ act is one of the most authoritarian, vengeful act that even allowed detention without trial and cremation/burial in case of a suspect dying with no accountability whatsoever. So, people who pass such laws will die by a similar jungle law passed by another powerful animal. In modern history, this is the most blatant colonization that has ever happened! In modern history this is the most uncondemned pogrom that has ever happened!

And we live in a country that will peacefully conduct elections (albeit with money & muscle) and pride itself to be the largest democracy, but no one can do anything about these Tamizhs who were dying. And we have some assholes who neither know history, nor bother to grow brain will comment on all the articles that are published, condemning the Tamizhs for seeking a separate state. These good for nothing jingoists (the same guys would want us to draw blood in Pakistan, despite that being a sovereign state) would not even know the plight of the Plantation Tamizhs who were called ‘Tamils of Indian origin’.

India agreed to take back 5 Lac plus Tamizhs by the Srimavo-Sashtri pact (who the British took there for plantation work). And as of today the Tamizhs who repatriated after 100 years of living in the Srilanka have not been integrated yet in this country. They all are working as daily wages and still being treated as foreigners by the locals when their Govt has thought otherwise. And the politicians who observe fast between breakfast and lunch are not even concerned the status in the refugee camps.

And all the peace loving, straightforward souls in this country should stop to notice the celebrations in the streets of Colombo while remembering that India didn’t celebrate in the streets after Khalistan movement crashed or when Mizo Independence movement stopped in 1975. Is that what is happening there in Srilanka? If someone here can think that the Black Tigers sprung out of orphanages there and the children were put there on first place simply because the Govt killed their parents, then some part of the heart can beat for these souls.

The whole shortsightedness from many of the world countries including us because we thought that LTTE and the Tamizh issue were synonymous! And after 9/11 because a couple of planes crashed into high rises, terrorism was a bad word and they didn’t want hear of any more deaths. Definitely not when it was unleashed by the State! In the current world situation, even if you die you need to die as a white. The other colors are expendable.

There are a lot of arguments that one can place against the LTTE for which I may not have answers. Nor do I intend to find one. I for one do not want to confuse between the original cause and the means to achieve them. And if one sees this as a war between two states and not as a struggle between an Army and a terrorist organization as I see, many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fall in place. When a moderate who wins on a mandate/plebiscite of getting a separate state accepts the Govt largesse as an opposition leader with all the perks, then he is definitely a traitor during a war. Would we accept any of our leaders doing a similar thing with Pakistan? Even a pro-Pakistan statement is considered as one against the state here.

Just for the heck, as an argument, had the Srilankan landmass been attached to the Indian mainland and the British partitioned us as Indian, Pakistan and Srilankan based on Hindu, Muslim & Buddhist divides, we would be still fighting for Northeast Srilanka like we do in Kashmir now. We would be the occupation army in that part of the world. But an indigenous army is a terrorist organization according to us. An outfit that had 50 cadres and 30 weapons in 1983 and grew into a well-oiled army is no joke and it doesn’t come because one jingoistic megalomaniac. It comes because of a genuine need. It comes because of aspirations and it comes when people get fed up on the peace process that was supposed to give its due. A country which secretly hero worships Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and Bagath Singh should have a different view about this struggle!

If a freedom struggle should die because one of the fighters/ leaders has his skull blown off, then there is no hope in this world. But then history suggests that it never works that way. After 21 full years, General Dyer was killed by Udham Singh for the Jallianwalabagh massacre.

The Sinhalese will pay and pay more. But then the blood of both the Sinhalese and the Tamizhs will be on our hands. We could have stopped this from happening!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Celebrating Women's Day

I have my own discontentment about such special days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Women’s day etc. This is no different from the day when I decided to stop my monthly rituals for my late father. I was all keen and pious initially because I thought that those 30 minutes I spent on the rituals was the homage I pay to my dad and also stop to thank and glorify him for his achievements. And all of a sudden one day I realized that I never had to stop and think about him! He was always in me. In my thoughts and deeds and the unfailing genetic traits! In fact I was more working to lead my life the way he wanted which he would not have been successful had he been around instructing me what should I be doing.

In essence this one day dhamaka just doesn’t cut any ice with me. What’s the fun in wishing your mom on Mother’s day when you miss her all the time, but terribly impatient when she is around. What is the point of remembering and gifting the lady on a particular day when she gifted you with her blood, sweat, tears and not to mention her OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

So is this Women’s Day! As a self-confessed Masculinist (opposite of Feminist ???!!), I have my complaints about Father’s day not being celebrated with the same verve as Mother’s day! Maybe I don’t sweat too much about Mother’s day either, but hey there should be justice after all! And to think of it, was there a Men’s day ever? And don’t start on me about the clichéd refrain of ‘all days are men’s day’! Not if you know a man who can do everything a woman can do barring pregnancy.

But, does all this stop me from Celebrating Women? Hell no! My life has been surrounded by women, starting from 5 sisters to the extent of only rearing dogs of the feminine gender. So much so, that I doubt sometimes whether my thoughts were fashioned in the feminine way only. And each of these women who had been in my life is simply outstanding. These days when there is a measurable parameter in terms of salary, women are getting noticed and being appreciated as they prove that there no less than men, if not better.

But what about women like my mom? Someone who had changed cities every 3 years, reared boisterous children like us with my father being in the bank all the time, and ensured that each one of us had not only great education but also good manners. And to manage a house of 10 people with a paltry salary and get all the daughters married by saving within the monthly salary. And all the while, manage relationships with in-laws, getting herself updated all the time about what’s happening around the world and stay modern in her thoughts. Could there be any salary paid for all these? Well if so, then she could be one the highest paid in the world.

I had been watching one of my Harlequin Parrots laying eggs and hatching it. This is happening for the past 4 weeks. She simply didn’t even venture out of her little pot for food, as she had to keep the eggs under her feathers all the time. The tremendous resolve and strength that the tiny bird shows is an abject lesson on passion and strength due to that. Now when I see the little one getting the shape of a real bird flapping her oversized wings, do I also see a hint of pride and satisfaction in the mother’s face? I could not detect anything obviously. And that’s I think is what is womanhood.

The one difference that cannot be made up between men and women! I am not over glorifying the concept of child bearing and rearing here, maybe one day there will be a possibility of childbirth without the uterus. But the instinct of a mother can never be recreated. The fundamental sense of nurturing and natural leadership within the confines of a family has been there for a million years and nothing can change that.

There will be a day when the differences might vanish ( as it is almost now ) and we will stop celebrating such days, but the reason for why they should be celebrated would never get over.

There are many MCP jokes on women, but as a tribute to the women on this day and forever, I will give one here.

There is this couple and a visitor is asking the husband who takes decisions in their household.

The husband replies ‘Oh, we practice equality at our home and the decision making is shared between me and my wife’.

Visitor- ‘Oh this is very good to hear, can you tell how you freeze on who decides on what?’

Husband- ‘That’s very easy, all the big decisions are taken by me and the small ones are taken by my wife’

Visitor is taken aback a bit on this fake equality and asks whether he can have an example.

The husband says ‘I actually decide on who should be the prime minister of the country, what are the tax rebates the finance minister should give, the whether we should postpone IPL or not, and my wife decides on which school the children should go, what course they should take, what we should spend and save and where our investments should be and all such matters at the house. J

And here is tribute to all the women who take such small decisions….

And to my Harlequin Parrot called ‘Darling’ and the one woman I idolize the most for her strength of character, courage and immeasurable love.. My Mom..

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hope over Fear a.k.a Jai Ho

There are plenty of things that can inspire one to let their conscience wake up with probing questions. Life generally is a bitch as they say it just takes you where it wants to go and somehow you accept that it is where you wanted to go. But mind is an animal of its own cognizance. Here and then it questions the things which you choose to ignore because life’s path doesn’t tread into dangerous areas. You ignore the misery that unfolds in front of your eyes and as long as it is not personal you are OK. But it happens when your mind has traveled the distance and inspires you to dream that one day you will ‘Teach India’ or do a ‘Turtle Walk’ or sometimes more realistically, just cross an old man across the street. But then you don’t attempt any of that, because you are busy ‘rightsizing’ the organization putting a few more people to misery. Arre yaar, Life is a Bitch, didn’t I say that?

But certain stuff goes beyond that non-linear thinking that you have. It makes you real. And at these times, you just go one step further. Write your thoughts down. No, sorry you are still not going to do something drastic that will alter the course of events or improve the social fabric. You just record them for posteriority’s sake. So that you can feel good and hopeful that things will be better. This is just one such attempt.

I can’t call this as coincidence. The raves that Slumdog receive and Obama taking over as the most powerful man in the world! In a way, I think the reactions the world reserved for both of them are the ‘waking up syndrome’. Or the indefatigable hope that all of us carry. Someone once wrote that India’s malaise can be summed up in a single sentence, which will be ‘Can someone do something about this?’ No Sir, not me!!!! I am busy rightsizing, can some one do that. But I also hope that someone will do it. This is a standing example.

Someone has done it. Someone has conquered fear and chosen hope. Both the real life scene of Obama on top of the world and Jamaal winning 20 million bucks! They are hopes come true. But someone has done it for you. Never mind the charming smile in Obama’s face or the bubbly eyes you see in the diminutive actor who plays Jamaal junior.

Folks, actually some really did it. They said they can!

Like ‘Virgil’ said ‘They can because they think they can’!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Open letter to the PM

Sir, you did it! The same empty rhetoric! “We will not bow down to terror”! Fantastic respected Sir. But, may we know which country you are talking about? If it’s India, then you are afflicted with some deep hallucination. The terrorists haven’t bothered about whether you will bend or not. They have already bent you at the waist and having an orgy at your backside. Maybe you can charge them under Section 377 of IPC. If you are not aware what the section stands for ( as you are hallucinating anyway ), it is against sodomy. ( afterall you and your party want less stringent laws against terror )

You and cronies should be hanging yourselves by the neck if you have any shame at all. But then why would you have shame? You look like a puppet in the TV screen and on most times, I have to pinch myself to believe that you are a human ( not humane anyway, that we know, with the blood of so many Indian citizens in your hand ). For God sake, next time you appear on TV, do two things. One, move other parts of your body apart from the lips ( despite the fact you may be agonizing in pain at your posterior extreme ) and two, don’t use the teleprompter. Make some effort atleast to say it straight from the heart. Don’t read out reassuring messages to us. We are anyway much better equipped to handle grief and anger without your help.

Are you really serious about terrorism? If you have proof about foreign involvement, why are you not crying hoarse? Did someone promise you a ‘Best Diplomat’ award or what? If underworld is involved, why are you not making a demand on Pakistan to extradite Dawood? That’s the least you can do to add some bravery element to your stupid empty speech?! Why are you not unleashing fury at POK? Are you scared about the reaction of Pakistan and their nukes? Or is it that, you are suddenly concerned about our lives? If the second thought is true, Sir, please don’t worry about us. We are braver than you and we prefer getting nuked to getting shot by one bit, two bit terrorists.

Your inaction and weak knees have sacrificed many of our fellow citizens’ lives and some of the finest officers. If you need some inspiration to act firmly, shall I advise you to watch some TV? See what’s happening out there. The bravest of our men, getting airdropped and taking bullets for your cowardice!

Don’t you really think that you should have stayed with academics? Maybe write a paper on the Economic Impact of Terrorism than trying to deal with it? Why your cabinet committee meeting? Why not an all-party meeting? Why not ask Modi on how he managed to defuse bombs at Surat instead of giving speeches and announcing solatium?

The least you can do now, is to shut yourself at 7, Racecourse road. We don’t want the additional task of saving you and given our mood, we may forget that we have to.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Shame on us

Shame on us! A country of a billion people! Claiming to be a new power in the world! Boasting endlessly on what all we can achieve in the next 20 years! Maybe I should add ‘If we are alive’

How long this tragic situation will continue, we would never know. Maybe as long as we treat Indian lives as a cheap commodity. The US, UK and Australia governments have already issued bulletins advising against travel to India, their cricket tours cancelled, all for the few hundred of their citizens who may possibly be affected.

If you are in any of the Metro’s save Chennai, can you honestly say that you are not running the risk of getting killed any day? It just doesn’t sink on us. The famed Indian tolerance comes to our rescue here. So does our Karmic philosophy. If you gotta go, you gotta go! A dialogue that is drilled into our heads to accept any shit that is trashed upon us.

You could be in a train, in a cinema hall, dining with your family in a restaurant, stand in a chaat stall you could be anywhere! Sorry my friend, you aren’t safe! Because you are an Indian and you are dispensable. Mayawati has 350 policemen saving her and almost all our neta’s. You and I are second-class. The Home Minister will anyway condemn the attacks and we will go back our idli, dosa and vada paav’s. We will have some nice live TV action and debate and wait for another day to get killed if we already are not.

Maybe Chandrayaan will help us. Maybe we can find ourselves a safe haven in the Moon where we may hope to live longer. Maybe we can spend a few more billion dollars to amass weapons, which we will dust up on the Pooja days and lock them up.

How the f*** we are so shameless? How the f*** we celebrate Pirabakaran’s birthday in a high court complex bursting crackers? How the f*** we cry over the Tamil’s across the border and just don’t bother about cracking down on terrorists on our own soil?

If there was a plot to insult India’s sovereignty, this is it. Terrorists coming through boats from Karachi and strike at will at the very heart of the country. You think we will wake up now? Never!! One strike at them, a country got annihilated and for 6 years they are safe. For us, we cant survive if we don’t see blood in the newspapers as a daily diet. We will shake hands with the enemies across the border, play cricket matches and throw mud at Modi.

As long as Congress runs the country, your life isn’t yours. They are so weak and they make the country weak. We are having a cabinet committee meeting and the PM will address us at 7 pm, almost 24 hours after our country was invaded. I know what he will say. He will say that he condemns such attacks on innocent civilians, he will say that India won’t tolerate such things anymore and he will say we will crack down on terrorism and to added measure he will add it is cross-border. He will say that we have sufficient proof that it is a foreign conspiracy. And none of us will ask what the ‘F’ he is doing if he knows all of this.

And the people of Mumbai, will once again demonstrate their indomitable spirit and we will start trading first thing on Friday. Left to me, I will change the concept of that trade. I may sound jingoistic and I will have a hundred guys who preach on more tolerance. But I am not in a mood to listen, not when we spill blood on our streets.

Let us trade blood for once..

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I am back

There is something about October. Could be a coincidence, but it is true. I just don’t write anything in October. Just went back and checked my postings. As soon as I had started two years back, just in the second month, I went into a shell and came back with a vengeance. Now after two full years, for the first time I haven’t posted anything at all. Not sure whether I feel vengeful now. But, thanks to Obama, one came out like flash in the pan and as if it is an addiction, next one is now being made.

Come to think of it, this is really an addiction. With no defined withdrawal symptoms or a detox program! Maybe you quit for sometime, but when you start, you start from where you leave. Just now, I saw one of very senior colleagues smoking. I knew he had quit long time back and suddenly he was back at again. And he said after 2 full years, he restarted when his dog died. Certain habits die hard. You don’t know when and how you start, but when you start it just doesn’t stop. Maybe writing is like that.

I was into too much reading and some of them real good ones. And maybe I wanted to drop the pretense of ‘I also write something’. And every time something strikes my fancy, I always felt that it has been written about in the previous blogs or just plain indifference took over.

Now I am back at it. Again, read it the Times on Sunday about writer’s block and on how the sheer thought of having to write something does not make one write. As it is claimed there was no pregnancy of words in me waiting to come out and if it was, guess it was akin to an elephant’s pregnancy. Just not wanting to see the outside world.

But when it starts, it gives a good feeling. Appears that I need to cram in stuff about all the things I saw and read in the last one month, be it an essay of Arthur Koestler or Dave Barry’s ‘Guide to Guys, or the fantastic movies like ‘A Wednesday’ and the US elections

Come to think of it , maybe there is a lot to write. I am back!! .


I have often wondered whether the Times of India takes journalism seriously and it is just about sensationalism!! The times guys don’t impress much, particularly if your diet for the last 25 years was ‘The Hindu’ and filter coffee in the morning. I often used to complain that, on all my tours the watery hotel instant coffee and some other newspaper is a sure formula to my constipation. And then Times invaded ‘Namma Chennai’ too. Don’t ask me why I subscribe! I generally don’t rationalize when it comes to English letters printed in paper. Anything goes with me. Constipation maybe, but indigestion never!

But Times actually arrived today. Not in full, but just by printing one small piece in its coverage of Obama’s ascent to the throne. It was a song from Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Titled ‘Ebony & Ivory’, it goes like this.

“Living together in perfect harmony, side by side on my piano keyboard, Oh Lord, why don’t we?”

Nothing can aptly sum up the mood of the world at this very precise moment. As if God has listened to such sort of a prayer! It is almost like a personal triumph for everyone in the world. A black man becoming the most powerful person in the earth! And a real life heroism story playing in front of your eyes! Hollywood coming alive in the biggest theatre that is world!

When the world is split in fragments racially, religiously, financially, a black man from a middle class family, with Indonesian step-siblings, with a Muslim middle name triggering celebration in a small Kenyan village is something like God’s prescription to the suffering sinners of the world. It is like giving a message to us, saying ‘Hey guys, I haven’t given up on you yet’.

This is not the time to ask questions like he was after all half-white, he is not a descendant of the real African-American slave, he didn’t have the courage to stand up and say that ‘so what if my name is Islamic’, he is going to be more of a protectionist of American interests than the world’s interests etc. He simply gives Hope. That’s enough.

Hope to millions of people who believe in democracy, the power of ballot, to his race, hard work and people who have nothing left for them but Hope.

His first name means ‘Blessed’ and may God bless him really, for on him rests a million hopes.

Amen. !

Saturday, September 20, 2008


All the offbeat news that appears in any website has got something to do with sex. Every now and then you may get a rare piece of a dog eating the cell phone. Even that is not offbeat for me. The dogs are intelligent creatures and they know the enemy when they see one. But this preoccupation with sex is baffling!

Or the fact that is termed ‘offbeat’ is even more baffling. Today’s headlines are the following

Fidel Castro has 'bedded 35,000 women'!

See what I said? 4 headlines and all have sex in them. I don’t know what this is all about. The other day I read a survey that said that skimpily clad women in advertisement make men overlook the prices and go for the product. There is something really screwed up in our head. No, it is not one prude speaking. My collection of porn stuff would give a run for everyone’s money when I was young. But why is this offbeat? If everyone seems to be interested in and that’s what is read and if sex sells, it is mainstream! Maybe the bomb blasts are offbeat. The frequency of that anyway is fast making it mainstream too.

Some of these statistics and survey are seriously challenging. Some of them are mathematical puzzles. If Castro bedded 35000 women, if you go by a simple stat of one a day, then it would have taken 95 years to accomplish this feat. Going one step ahead if it was two a day, it is still 48 years. Now when was he running Cuba and what was the US afraid of. Their women!? Everyday 2 new women for 48 years! This is as good as the size they write about in porn magazines. Will give an inferiority complex to the Obama’s and the McCain’s of the world.

How exactly they collect this information God only knows. Maybe Castro would have told. But to me sex news seems to be an industry. There should be hoards of reporters with the mike thrusting out (no pun intended) asking people what is the kinkiest thing you have heard or done. Or the imagination is so very fertile that someone can concoct a piece like a 2 cm fish slipping into a boy’s penis.

Really sickening!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Paid to Piss

I almost decided that the World has lost its sense of craziness and become straight. I had a reason to think so. Usually it is the newspaper stories that give me dope to blabber something on the blog. And mostly they are some crazy stuff like robbery of a sperm bank or some unique survey happening that stokes the imagination in me and a few smiles. But recently all I was seeing was morose stories like Biker bleeding to death blah blah. When I almost gave up hope I got this gem. And the relief that after all world is a still a good place to settle down.

Listen to this story. Apparently at Tiruchi, people are paid to piss. Yes, I am not spinning a tale here. I read this in the Times. ( well Times by itself is a big humor, but it is that sick kind of humor ). The idea is to collect the urine and test it for its efficacy as a fertilizer. And the queues are getting longer by the day in the town.

I was wondering how nice it would be that this kind of job. Getting paid to piss! It is a different kind of thing that many do that in a corporate scenario. Strutting around from desk to desk pissing on and on! In fact if there is a selection process for this, I know of a super guy for this job from my earlier organization, but then he is capable of messing that also.

Coming back to the Paid for Pissing story, I am wondering how they would have marketed it on first place. Would they have sent people on a door knock asking if they feel like pissing? Or would they have given an advertisement in the local newspaper saying ‘You got the Piss, We got the Pay’? Or would they have told a few locals and depended on ‘word of mouth’ ( can’t imagine my neighbor coming to me asking whether I would like to join the noble cause of Science research by agreeing to piss ).

Second confusion I have is that, what is the logic of this payment? Will they pay as per volume? Which means they should do it in a container?! Understanding the Indian psyche, I would not be surprised if a few guys adulterate that with pure water (they may not as it would make bad economics, buying water & mixing it with urine to make money, of course it depends on the price per ml ). Or will they simply pay them on a ‘pay per visit’ model? That also is dangerous with so many walking in and shaking but at the end of the day not much of volume being generated.

Assuming it was really a remunerative process, how people will work hard to piss? Drink gallons of water and rush to the payment counter! And fight to get ahead of others in the queue!( now that will be some real urgency ). Actually like our BPO’s and the KPO’s, this could be one area where we could be world beaters. As much as the software skills and the English speaking skills that put us in the world map, in this area of research, we can beat anyone hands down by the sheer volume.

Anyway, I got to piss now, but I am holding back till my next Tiruchi visit. Certain things are worth holding!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


The world never lets you be good. I am certain about it. While at one side, your parents bring you up or atleast try to bring you up as a model citizen and drum into your head about the good & the bad, the scriptures talk about the battle between good and evil, there is also something called reality. Or should we call it as research?

I don’t know how these research results reach me ( actually I know, in fact I hunt for them, but a disclaimer is always safe ). But they do! Now tell me, what do you chase in life? While we keep harping about peace of mind and stuff like that, major part of our life we chase money, power and pleasure to ensure that at the end we find peace of mind. All the wars that had been fought are either for Wealth or for Women. Somehow, all of us manage to attain some wealthy position whatever that could be. But this women thing is different. We get, what, one woman? It is a different thing altogether to get into a moral debate of whether polygamy is evil and things like that. One needs to be respectful to what elders have said and not get into any such debate. You should simply do what you want. Arguing is wrong! It is a greater sin.

But look at this research. It says bad guys get more sex. Apparently men with antisocial traits have a prolific sex life. And what do you do? Listen to elders and be a good boy. And get what? Yeah you are right! One woman! On the contrary look what our friend David has got to say. "It is universal across cultures for high dark triad scorers to be more active in short-term mating,'' quoted David Schmitt, of Bradley University in the US, as saying.

Now really what pays? Be a good guy and chase hopefully all your life or simply take a leaf out of the new learning and become a bad guy. Of course also get the perk of a prolific sex life.

Not a tough choice. As Fido Dido says ‘Normal is boring’

God’s own survey

One more study and one more confusion! These studies are conducted with an express purpose of creating confusion in one’s mind is what I feel. Now this one is even a bit blasphemous. All along we dabble with harmless subjects like Sex and now suddenly there is God.

Apparently University academics are less likely to believe in God. So it is like this. Intellect can get you good grades, job, and boost your attractiveness but God? Sorry! Only 3.3 of the royal society believe in them as opposed to 68% of the general populace. So God in reality gives you better brains to have a pop at Him.

This survey wasn’t that confusing or it didn’t put me in a dilemma and all. I know I am religious!

While speaking about surveys, I want to add a few more titles atleast

  • High Heels putting 20000 women a year in hospital ( A tall claim I would say! )
  • Having a fling could save your marriage ( Marriages have got to be saved )
  • Men's armpit odour biggest turn-on for women! ( What about foul breath ? )
  • Sexual appetite leads men to seek immediate rewards ( One should have a good appetite always )
  • Pretty girls more likely to be bullied: ( What a beauty! )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sex & Shopping

Back to my favorite topic again! Of course which part is my favorite is something I would let you folks ponder about. Read a survey result recently! Apparently young men think about sex every 52 seconds as against young women who think about shopping every 60 seconds. It also says that ‘Assuming eight hours of sleep a night means shopping trips consume women’s thoughts an astonishing 960 times a day and 6,720 times a week’. Well mercifully such calculations were not made about men thinking of sex.

What is disturbing is that the survey says that 50% of women ( young that too! ) prefer to spend time shopping as against sex. Now this is an issue! The converse if it is true, how can a man have sex without a partner? Just as women simply indulge in what is called as ‘retail therapy’, how can a man indulge in ‘sex therapy’? If you are a woman, you simply walk out of the house, go to the nearest shop and buy something irrespective of whether it is 10.00 pm at Chennai and you are only shopping for haldi. A similar thing can’t happen for a man though. Just imagine you going out in Chennai and walk into a supermarket at 10 pm and look for sex. And if you are a heterosexual, the only one that can probably help you in that therapy is already shopping there for haldi.

What a cruel injustice to men? And on top of it, shopping something is perfectly legal and what men would want to shop becomes illegal. The survey also says that credit crunch doesn’t come in their way of shopping. 62% swipe their credit cards and indulge in what they want to do? And sex is a pure cash transaction and that too advance payment. I don’t think you can swipe cards there atleast here in India. And that is assuming that you only need to pay for it, because normal women prefer shopping to sex anyway.

And it also says that 40% of them are shoe addicts, which means that they keep buying different ones and try them out. Do you have that luxury as a man? World is simply unfair to men. Maybe that is why it makes perfect sense for someone to go shopping along with women thinking that the favor will be repaid immediately. Or just buy shoes and go home everyday. Even that won’t work really! They need to pick it up from the rack, they need to choose. So, when did you get such a luxury? Do you ever pick sex from the rack?

For all the talk about how brains are wired, this is some skew that cannot be accepted. How can you compete with shoes for attention? Unless your face is shaped like that! And that too knowing pretty well that it is a one time passion, because they will buy a different shoe next time! Now I understand why men sometimes have this fetish about shoes Maybe it is not fetish really! It is a well though out strategy or survival instinct. You love shoes and I love sex, better I make love to shoes could be an argument that can pass muster.

So guys, life is tough on us. Pretty tough! If you think you will ever get to indulge in your passion, better go to Shopper’s Stop and sit on a rack. And change to some other place the next day. Otherwise your life is doomed!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Car, Carrier & Career

Took the car after a long gap to drive myself! There are sick jokes about how about men love their cars more than their women. I was never one of these men at any time. For me a car was something that takes you from place A to place B. In fact I don’t even remember the numbers of the previous cars that I owned. I have never got attached to the machines so much. But, all said and done, since it is something you drive on your own and when circumstances force someone else to drive it that creates a lot of trouble.

First is when I take the position at the seat! I feel like someone has shrunk me in size, or I am traveling in a space shuttle seated in an embryonic position. That’s because the drivers adjust the seats and while driving suddenly look at the rear view mirror, all I see is the back seat. And the back seat is full with no one being there. That’s because in my absence the kids use the car for their classes. We will come back to that story later.

Another huge irritation is the odor in the car. I think drivers as a breed are hydrophobic. They probably take bath once in a lifetime when events like Y2K happen. And they spend their rest of their lifetime inside cars sweating to glory. Any amount of deodorant can’t kill that and I always wish that the office is closer than what it is, because I want to jump out of the car at the first possible opportunity. And the amount of newspapers that is tuck in all gaps that are available in the car! Between seats, in the doors, you name it and you find a newspaper. And drivers in general also come with a handicap of lacking a major apparatus in their body. That is called as brain!

Coming back to the kids, because of them one day I am going to become a millionaire. Sweet ones! Why I am saying this is because, they are heavily investing in a commodity that will become the rarest in future in a place like Chennai. Every time they venture out of the house, each one carries a water bottle I don’t know for what. And when they return they don’t bring it back into the house. Currently I have some 27594 gallons stored in my car and obviously it is greater than the quantity of petrol which is stored. One day I will sell this water to the masses and become the millionaire I dreamt becoming.

And currently apart from this investment, I have some 10 kg of snacks strewn around, 2 kg of books and notebooks, 2 bags and a 1000 audio CD’s. My suspicion is that the elder one lives in the car only. I obviously can’t find that out because she will be hidden by these treasures. The second one strongly believes that the car is a place where one sleeps. Guess she will become a driver by profession in future. But one promise I will extract from her is about daily bathing. The moment she gets in the car, she sleeps. I have planned to gift a caravan to her when she gets married, because then if there is a fight between her and her husband, all he has to do is offer a drive around the colony and she will fall asleep. And he can escape.

I am seriously considering renting my house and moving into the car completely. Anyway all our possessions are always in the car, the first one already lives there and the second one would not mind sleeping her life through. That way I earn some money by rent, keep off the drivers and keep my car mine in all respect.

After all I am a man and I love my machines!!!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Real Life Heroes

Whenever I feel bitchy about life, there is one story I go back to read. And it is not fiction! I have always theorized that I have no need for books about positive thinking. They keep beating about the same thing again and again. And in fact there are many who had read Stephen Covey after I used a few quotes from his books, but somehow I have never felt charged up in finding effective ways in doing anything, as I felt that I anyway do it myself. Many books stand in my rack which has the collective brain of people who had made billions of dollars, but only few really enthuse me. And they are invariably first person accounts of how one built an empire. Books like ‘Made in America’ and ‘Winning’ have more impact on me than books like ‘Beneath the Arches’ or ‘Execution’. And of course some gems like the ‘The Go-Getter’ which charges me up tremendously. And movies like Lagaan which I see whenever I feel down.

But this story I talk is about the one whom I will qualify as a real hero. There are many rags to riches to story. Some of them on the business side and some of them from the tinsel town! The second one about the movie stars is still readable; somewhere I feel luck plays a part in those stories. The Superstar once slept for 3 nights straight in the platform near LIC and from where he has reached where is definitely mind boggling, but beyond all the blind fanaticism I have for him, I can’t fool myself that there was no luck involved at all. Yes, he is sharp, he had talent, he had the humility when he became successful and he is honest, but there could be a few other souls who possessed all these qualities too. But in the business side, there is surely a lot of planning, foresight and execution skills that creates a rags to riches story. Agreed that there are a few who made use of the loopholes in the system and made it big, but more often than not, it has been honest work and zeal that takes them somewhere.

Out of all that, I admire this person. He is E.Sarathbabu, the founder of FoodKing. His is a story that should be a text book lesson. And he according to be deserves Bharat Ratna. Sarath lived in a hut in a slum with his mom and 4 siblings. 2 older to him and 2 younger: His mom had a job in the Govt midday meal scheme at a salary of Rs 30/- per month ( and this was not long back where 30 buck could mean something, this is so very recent ). She supplemented the income by taking two other earning opportunities by making & selling idlies in the morning and teaching in an adult education program in the evening. And she educated all her kids. Sarath was a topper in school, but he confesses that when one does not know where the next square meal would come from, one does not think about career. All he was interested is to get a job and help mom. That he did even while he was in school by binding books and other odds & ends jobs. And then he got admission in BITS Pilani. He obviously had to borrow heavily for studying there and from there he got into IIM-A. Here is where he showed tremendous character and vision. He spurned down offers that paid 8 Lacs and decided to become an entrepreneur. He started FoodKing catering services and after initial months of losses now he makes 32 Lacs per month which is almost 4 crore turnover and he employs 200 people and that’s what he claims as his inspiration. To touch the lives of 1000 people indirectly. He has his dreams high and for a person like him, dreams wait to come true.

And he still lives in the same hut because he feels that’s where he gets the energy from and the money is anyway needed for the business. What a man he is. And he is all of 29 years old now. These people never cease to amaze me. My own CEO is a similar story and the way they practice humility is an abject lesson to everyone. After reading the book on Rajni, I thought I could have done a better job at that and was wondering who I can write about. And now I realize there is no lack of Superstars, real life ones.

I would want a book to be written about these home grown heroes and let more people read about them, particularly the kids who are in rich families but their parents were never so rich. At 67K an year, I now worry what my daughter learns. And Sarath studied with the help of kerosene lamp.

But it’s always the first generation people who go through the difficulties. After all it is only to ensure that the others don’t have to go through the same difficulties, isn’t it?