Friday, December 15, 2006

The year that went by

It’s too early for this piece. Atleast 2 weeks earlier! But I presume, nothing much or bigger can happen in the next 15 days, that will overshadow the 350 days that went by. And I hope not too. Looking forward for a sedate time.

How exactly this year had been? Well its mixed I should think. One way to look, life has never been so good. Things that I had only dreamt earlier happened. Things I had been wishing for ages happened. If I make a balance sheet of good and bad things that occurred, then good column should be bigger. So no complaints!

Let me list out all the good ones first

  • Found a best friend.
  • Got some real good money.
  • Bought a new car.
  • Shopped till I was bored.
  • Collected footwear and shirts like women.
  • Got promoted to a meaty role.
  • Daughters as usual loved me more than the previous year.
  • Had a big holiday.
  • Did a few good things for the needy.
  • Good stuff happened to friends.
  • Wifey landed up doing what she always wanted to do.
  • Partied as if it is end of the world.
  • Started writing (apart from blogging, which also started this year)
  • Collected more number of books than what I already had.
  • Read more books than the previous year.
  • Lagey Raho Munna Bhai happened.
  • Chatted, sms’ed, mailed, spoke more than ever.
  • Made useful expenses as much as frivolous ones.

Now the bad ones

  • A visit to the ICU and popping up more tablets than ever.
  • More people quit at office.
  • Bitten by a loneliness & wanderlust bug.
  • Friend’s dad passed away.
  • Everyone got busier.
  • Saw lesser number of movies.

I am now prompted to think, that at any given point of time a balance sheet of this kind, will only have more good things. There is good all around and if we trained ourselves to see those, life appears to be good. But, it is also true that bad things when they do happen are big in magnitude. Or maybe, we don’t even remember small bad things, which is good in a way. Our mind wants to keep more good stuff than bad stuff and that’s good news.

Pain & misery seem to be there, but then how else we can recognize the good things?! In this book ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff….and its all small stuff’ by Richard Carlson, there was this wonderful lesson. If something bugs you so much, just stop and think whether it is going to matter so much the next year and then you know you don’t have to sweat.

But , ‘Easier Said than done’ Richard ……..

Thursday, December 14, 2006



Would not be surprised if this happens soon !!!!


I recently read that toys always fascinate men. For older men, it is the gizmos. As much as a girl would fall for a teddy bear, boys will fall for anything that works in some mysterious way. Be it a simple stapler, a transparent one with dials & stuff will excite a boy.

Mine was the iPod Nano. Should have bought this long time back, but somehow good sense dawned upon me a year back to postpone all gadget buying (though a worldspace or two just slipped in). It was primarily because I was buying all new introductions in the market at a vulgar price which later sells at half the cost and my service expense are always higher the new piece in the market. So I decided not to jump and buy an iPod.

My daughter has been bitten by this bug of surprising my wife and me on our B Day’s. Invariably she needs the support of either one of us to execute that. And we both can’t keep things from each other. And we make a mess of this surprise thing and disappoint my daughter no end.

Few days before my B’ Day, my daughter wanted to go out and I screamed at the poor thing for always wasting time when the exams are happening. She was mighty disappointed and was crying. And she happens to be my life. This prompted my wife to once again break the surprise. Apparently, she wanted to go check out on the gifts. So, I suggested we go and not tell her that I know the purpose.

And I landed up first in this gizmo shop. And itched to buy this Nano. But could not, as I was told by my wife that it is supposed to a surprise to me. We walked out without buying. Not before getting the number of the shop-wala. And for a week, it was my turn to be waiting and practice surprise. It is a pain waiting for something you want and that too when you know you can get. Well I had no choice and I was gathering all the songs that I want.

At last it was given. And from then onwards, even while brushing I am wearing that and some songs have gone into the bloodstream by now.I suddenly realized that there were new sounds in the old songs that I have heard a zillion times. And I am hooked. I would say it is an amazing find, this iPod. Just to carry around so many songs on you is simply awesome.

Maybe one day the interest will wane. But by that time, I should have become deaf.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Following Sea

There is this concept called ‘Following Sea’. A huge wave that chases a boat in the sea is called as the Following Sea. It is such a sight to behold while one is in the sea. I had this experience when I ventured inside on a Red Flag day. The flag itself means ‘Don’t Go inside’, but anything forbidden is always tastier as it tastes of sin, like they say.

Of-course we were all dressed up in Life Jackets and there were 3 locals who accompanied us. I didn’t have hell of a hope to swim out if something happened, life jacket or no. And added to it, I really didn’t know how to swim also. But sometimes, there is such a lure, and adrenalin flows in full and you catch the bait.

Going into the sea is always more challenging as you hit incoming waves. There is so much skill with these fishermen, who sidetrack the waves most of the times and you zip through a wall of water on both sides. But there were a few moments of scare, when we rode a crest and came down with a thud. Its one thing with men, in a group, everyone is foolishly brave and whatever fear one has, it is all kept inside. You aren’t a man, if you show fear. Back to the primitive days of a hunting group with the terrain as your enemy.

After a couple of km’s, fear got the better of us and many of us nonchalantly suggested that maybe its time to go. After all we were there in Temple Bay for a training meet, the trainer would be waiting for us. Then started the saga of the ‘Following Sea’.

All these waves that we were braving to go against, were now behind us, or should I say ‘after us’. Easily 6 foot in height, they chased and chased. It was a question of who is faster, the boat or the waves!!! Felt such a rush inside, but with no resistance forward it was also an extremely pleasant ride being pushed by the force of the tides. The chase lasted all of 7 to 8 minutes and we were back to some still waters.

Then you know what would have happened, we were men really and promptly some of us jumped into the sea, floated for a while. And started the trek back home.

I could see a great relief in many of the faces. Me ?! There is a term in Tamil called as ‘Prasava Vairakiyam’ ( it means that , when in labour all kind of resolutions like ‘never again’ even for pleasure will be taken and of course promptly broken later ). It was the same. I was scared to death and vowed not to be so foolish ever again while we were going in. But when I reached the shores, I was thinking maybe next time I should kill fear and enjoy the sea more. :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Womenfolk... Read only if you can handle it ....

Why a man should not marry??????

Every man should get married some time; after all, happiness is not the only thing in life!!

Bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others. -- Oscar Wilde

I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years. -- Sam Kinison

Men have a better time than women; for one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier. --H. L. Mencken

"A man without a woman is like a fish without a bicycle." - U2

When a newly married couple smiles, everyone knows why.

When a ten-year married couple smiles, everyone wonders why.

Love is blind but marriage is an eye-opener.

When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: either the car is new or the wife.

I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.

I asked my wife, "Where do you want to go for our anniversary?"

She said, "Somewhere I have never been!"

I told her, "How about the kitchen?"

We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

She ran after the garbage truck, yelling, "Am I too late for the garbage?"

Following her down the street I yelled, "No, jump in!"

If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first?

The Dog of least he'll shut up after you let him in!
"Marriage is a romantic story, in which hero dies in the first chapter".

Truth & Lies

I have always been fascinated by truth & lies.

The way people tell lies!!

Some are pathological liars. Can’t tell truth even by accident. Some liars believe in their own lies. Some are suave liars. They actually never tell a lie themselves. But ensure that what is understood is a lie. Some have no regret whatsoever telling lies and strongly believe it is for the good (whose I don’t know). Some are pathetic liars. Don’t even realize that their lies are being laughed at, while they are even saying that.

Debate about truth has been there from Vedic times. Aadhi Shankara asked ‘ If there was no one to see, is the sky still blue’? Anything becomes truth only when there is some one to endorse what you say. Truth is always corroborative. So, if one can find many people endorsing what they say, they can very well make lies sound as truth. Like Goebbels, or some of our own politicians.

But sometimes, lies help. If they are sweet ( you look very beautiful ), If they really help others, If they can save people from misery, If they can build hope ( Don’t worry, everything will be alright tomorrow )….

I am just giving a few tips on how to tell lies (they are not mine really, I read them somewhere ). Here they are
  • Don’t tell lies for small things.
  • Objective of the lie should be very important.
  • Tell lies when it is unexpected.
  • Before telling a lie, analyze chances of success of that lie.
  • Be careful while telling a lie.
  • Tell Fair lies (don’t tell lies which are totally unbelievable)
  • Your lies should satisfy the listener in some way.

But my advice, if there is anyone to listen to it. Don’t tell lies. More than for the moral side of it, truth is just very very convenient. You don’t have to remember what you told, if its plain truth.

Trip to ICU

Now, it is not great fun being in an ICU and sometimes could be terrifying. I can imagine a few loving folks chasing me with whatever they could lay their hands on, as they sat outside worried, praying and wishing me well.

But I am tempted to talk about it nonetheless.

Now, firstly, I don’t understand how they decide at the hospital that one should be admitted into the ICU. My best guess, as the reason is ‘Mediclaim’. If you are insured and if it is for a healthy amount (ironical, healthy amount), then you get into an ICU. Otherwise, maybe just a room, or a ward. I don’t think at my age, it was purely medical reasons only. Well, anyway, I managed to get into in.

Secondly, I can’t just understand, why they strip you completely as if you are taken into Gitmo, Cuba. Stand-alone, if a female asks you to strip completely, you should be delighted and jump at it. Not at an ICU though. You are sick, mind you and you are not allowed to jump. And then they depute a matron who will probably retire or drop dead the next day, to make that all-important statement. My guess on this is that, they don’t want you to escape.

Third, I climbed up the stairs in the hospital to see the cardio, but an hour later they want to put a nasal catheter for breathing. I was afraid that it would block my breathing more. Politely informed my interest in continuing to live and declined that honour.

And then all these Heart Meters and latest high – tech equipments attached to you and if you really were sick, you can see the Pearly Gates at the sight of these machines. It is just like the movies, a blue colour LED display running and to my great disappointment, I was not being chased to be murdered or so. I plainly sat waiting for the food, which apparently is the real murderer employed. Maybe that’s a psychological ploy. Patients for want of better food, will themselves to get better and walk out. Who knows?

And then your bedfellows!!! One was a very old lady who kept to herself most of the time. The other guy next to me looked like as if he was staying there permanently. He knew all the attendants by name in all the shifts. One poor patient’s helper disappeared for the whole day. And there was this other guy who had be fed through a funnel. They all were really sick I guess. Me, I was sitting, watching, waiting for some excitement. Nothing happened. It was status quo.

One solace is when they take ECG, applying cold gel can turn you on, provided it is a drop-dead nurse and not a dropping dead one.

Otherwise it is pretty boring. But by the time, I decided that I will spend my time usefully flirting with one of the good-looking nurses, they let me out :(

Friday, September 22, 2006

For the weekend

Been out of action for a long time, still no time to sit, reflect and write. Anyway , one for the weekend

Have a nice weekend :))

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Great Short Stories

Thought I will list out of dozen of the Great Short stories I have read. Each unique in their own way.

1) Do you Remember ? -- Earl Reed Silvers
2) The Open Window -- Saki
3) Lamb to the Slaughter -- Roald Dahl
4) A Dog from Nowhere -- Havilah Babcock
5) October and June -- O.Henry
6) Miracle of 15 Murderers -- Ben Hecht
7) After the wedding -- Hugh Cave
8) The Man who liked Dickens -- Evelyn Waugh
9) Mr Know-it-all -- Somerset Maugham
10) The Selfish Giant -- Oscar Wilde
11) A Question of Taste -- Roald Dahl
12) Verger -- Somerset Maugham

There could many more to this list added, but these 12 according to me can be rated as the Top 12.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


There has never been a time when I have thanked the power of Net this much than now. I went into my college ( that I passed out 21 years back ) and met up with the old Prof's and shared my number. And they promptly posted it in the Alumni website.

And I was found !!! First call came in last week and a few more followed and we all resolved that we will certainly meet the next weekend. Now that was another thing. To keep up with the resolve. Maybe the fact that some of us haven't met for so long made it happen. This evening. Just 5 of us .. But , it was still some 70% of the gang. 5 out of 7 people. Its a miracle that we were all in the same city in this flat world. Mala & Suresh are in Australia & US. They would have given the right arm to be with us I am sure, if only had they been there in India.

It was left to me , Mani , Tubby , Geetha & Chitra to have all the fun. By God, was it fun ?!! Never before in life had I felt so delirious. These are guys who know you or atleast knew you were stupid. :)) All your air about what you are today just doesnt strike you or others. These are people, who know the real you.It kinda brings you back to earth and at the same time makes you proud that you have done decently for yourself growing in life.

Now the talk itself was big fun. Tried catching up with a few names finding out who is where. And then some funnier stuff about who had a crush on whom. Its so easy today. To accept and laugh at it , 20 years back this would have either a scandal, or a heartbreak story or a big mess. Now it was laughter all the way.

And , men !! do they ever grow ?? :)) the boy inside you never dies and just not that, it waits for the first available opportunity to take charge. 40 plus !! so what ?? You are still that guy who the Prof's hated , went around with girls , knew the trees more than the classrooms. Can you believe that we all still can be the same. Chitra is the same girl whom we used to tease and make her cry. Geetha with that 100 mph talk , Mani & Stephen the same moderators and sense infusers. Me, the same dramatist.

Missed the other 2 wild guys though. They would have added more colour. Kids were there, maybe they were laughing at their madcap parents.

Feels like it will take a lifetime to talk all we want. And a lifetime to change what we feel about each other.

Chitra's innocence ( BTW, she is a strict teacher .. ok :)) ) , Geetha's big laugh and great singing , Tubby's stateliness and Mani's subtle sense of humour and capability to get away with doing what all I do :))

May God bless their tribe... And guys, we will keep seeing together till we get bored of each other, which is unlikely.


The Sea never ceases to amaze me. It always appears to me , that it tries to communicate something to us. And sometimes to me personally. I live so close to the Sea looking at it day in and day out, that I feel it has a special character. And its moods and appearances change as per the time of the day.

Sometimes its so rough and angry and sometimes its so silent and gentle. On a bright moonlit day, the Sea would give me all the reason to go on and on in this life.

It will funnily become silent between ferocious waves sounding. And it will change colours as it wishes. Sometimes brown , sometimes green , sometimes blue and sometimes very dirty and grey.

Close your eyes and catch the rythm of the waves, you would be in heaven. I used to get stoned by a piece from Hariprasad Chaurasia called ' Ocean & the Creek '. That composition uses the sound of the waves as a background and slowly as it progresses , grows bigger and bigger till it takes over completely. That will be a journey unto itself. Always had been dreaming about living by the sea. And I have kinda done that.

But I mostly choose a Beach Resort for my holidays still :))


Once again, back to a translation .... Well not exactly a perfect translation. Maybe we will call plagriased.


Gulping food in haste
Catching a crowded bus

Hang on the footboard
Rush to the office

Escaping the growl of the boss and
Pestering of the colleagues

Clarifying a million doubts
For a buxom typist

And slide into the seat
To push pencil .... and

Lunchtime arrived

When I came close to the window
Opened the Lunchbox

Like always, peeped in the Baby squirrel.

The original is fairly old , about 2 decades maybe, wish the poet saw life today. These all are still there, but ... Only no space for the baby squirrel to peep in ...

The Verger

'Romance at short notice is her speciality' is how the short story 'Open Window' ends. This is by Saki (a.k.a ) H.H.Munro. I sometimes wonder whether this applies to all the writers too.

The idea of a story making a story at the last sentence has always appealed to my own romance. There are many such stories. What stands in my mind though are a few. Like, 'Open Window' , 'There are no snakes in Ireland' , 'The Verger' .....

Verger is the best of its class though. I am tempted to give a synopsis of the story.

" I can tell you that Sir , said Mr Foreman , a little smile on his still aristrocratic features. ' I would be verger of St Peter's, Neville Square. "

This is how the story ends. Now to the synopsis.

Mr Foreman is a verger in St Peter's church. The authorities suddenly spring up a rule that all Vergers should be literates. Foreman is not though. But the church is pretty keen. It is clear that, he either becomes a literate in 3 months or he leaves.

Time comes and Foreman hasnt even made an attempt and on the day of reckoning, he has no choice but to leave. With a heavy heart he quits the place he has worked for 12 years. Crestfallen , he decides that he has no future thereon.

He walks down the street and looks for a cigarette for comfort. And he doesnt find a single shop. It strikes him as a flash that he has a window open afterall and decides to set up a shop there.

Soon this shop grows into a chain and in 10 years, Foreman becomes a rich guy. His Bank Manager seeing so much funds in his account, suggests that Foreman should invest in some securities for better returns. After much persuasion , Foreman agrees and asks the manager to prepare the papers. The manager obliges and brings it for Foreman to sign them , which Foreman has learnt in these 10 years. He insists that the manager reads that out for him to know what's written.

The manager is surprised and asks Foreman why he should. He replies that he doesnt know how to read or write.

The manager then asks, ' And you mean to say that you've built this important business and amassed a fortune of thirty thousand pounds without being able to read or write ? Good God, man what would you be now if you had been able to? '

Now, go back and read the beginning and read the answer. :))

" I can tell you that Sir , said Mr Foreman , a little smile on his still aristrocratic features. ' I would be verger of St Peter's, Neville Square. "

And this story is by Somerset Maugham , one of my all time favorites.


This was written by me on 08th May 1989. I was 24 , guess good enough to fall in love and write stuff like this. Looks very amateurish now, but I dont have the heart to infuse my intelligence and vocabulary on this now. That wld be unfair. Really, really unfair.

Young age and the ignorance has its own charm and I dont feel one bit ashamed about chasing the butterflies or the ice cream vendor. About this ofcourse I am more than proud.


Hardly ever I've felt like this
This extra phenyl ethyl amine

Someone kisses me in the earlobes I feel
Sending shock waves all through

The most serious offence in my dictionary
Gets a pardon as a verdict

And wasting a minute without thinking about her
Makes the newer offence

Thousand stars smile at me
For only celestial bodies are not envious about me

Relativity is understood now
Walking with her for a while
Is magnified a million times, and
Talks with my boss sounds poetic

Yet God, please freeze them all
Freeze time too

Let relativity be reality

I am looking at the mirror at midnight
Is that what is falling in love
A poetic term for getting schizophrenic

But no one told me that
It will be so pleasant

Will there really be that HER in my life ?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Women with Glasses

Dorothy Parker said, 'Men dont make passes with women who wear glasses'. I dont think this generalisation is right. Atleast I dont fit into that generalisation. In fact , its the contrary. I get attracted by them.

Was wondering what could be the reason , she says so or people think so. Maybe, it gives an intellectual look and men stay away from intelligent women, scared of the bluff being called !!! Or not looking directly into the eyes of women , does not give comfort to them.

Whichever way I look, it is the insecurity of men that would subscribe to such thoughts. Is it really true ?? What Dorothy says ? Maybe the rhyme part of it appealed to her. Someone should conduct a research on that. :)

I atleast know of one Director , K.Bhagyaraj who invariably makes his heroines wear glasses. Remember him being asked this question , dont remember the answer though.

And I as I said, turn back atleast once if an woman wears glasses. What makes me do that, I dont know. So, the reasons are as inconclusive as on the other side.

Jillendru Oru Kaadhal

Love has a freshness about it. Told a million times even, it still creates interest in a viewer's mind. Jillendru Oru Kaadhal is no exception.

Releasing 3 days before the lead pair's marriage, the movie has its own external charm. But, as a movie by itself, JOK doesnt disappoint either.

I will spare the story.The movie is all about love, before marriage and after marriage. Of course with two different girls. The director has made a taut script almost. I say almost because there are sections in movie that could have been shorter and the pace of narration maintained. Nonetheless , the treatment of the subject is worth appreciating.

Surya is getting better by each movie.These days, actors do take a lot of time, do not churn out movies like factory, work on the character and give life to it. He easily potrays both the roles, one of a father of a 6 year girl and another as a colleger in a flashback. He is convincing in both areas.

Jyothika, it is a pity that she is not going to act anymore. Emotions are child's play to her. She can be everything. This is true to most actors who impress from the word go.

Bhumika, god is she hot!! I had always felt that she carries a face of a martyr , which is tailor made for loving a hero one-sided and give that up. She starts with such a doubt in JOK also, but comes back with a vengeance.

AR Rehman leads a music riot and all songs are extremely hummable and some stays hummed. SPB Charan definitely has done his father proud. And ARR himself in the song 'Newyork Nagaram' lends a mystical touch to the song.

All elements of the movie are good, and it makes one feel with a talented team and a reasonably good script, a good movie can be made easily , unless the director willfully botches it up.

A simple straight-line story , clean narration , good performance by artists makes JOK worth seeing. But you could not help getting a feeling that the second half could have been shorter and the some cliches broken etc. But then, movies these days have to tread a safe path and any adventurism in the director's part is playing with fire.

Dont miss it though.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Thought I will start blogging with one of the oldest translations I made from Tamil. And maybe use the space for unleashing the creativity : )) Afterall, in the Net , no one knows who you are :))

And also to figure out folks who had read the tamil comics ' Irumbukkai Mayavi' ... Want to see one soul of that genre who would have wanted to attempt being invisible, by pushing the fingers into an electrical socket :)

And to find out from people whether , there is any writer in English who had done a series of ' Crime Investigation' stories , with a pair of guys in lead ( forget the Sherlock Holmes , Dr Watson types , apart from that )

Now to the poem.....

Deserted street will lengthen
Streetlights will be in a trance
Like an unwinking eye

Not only my heart and eyes
Even breeze will wait for her
Swinging the leaves , clothes
And as if it isn’t enough
Swinging my mind too.

If not for today
Would you not be coming one day

When you come
Don’t stumble on the way

My heart will be waiting In the middle of the street.