Saturday, March 31, 2007

Same Eyes

It is so strange for me to understand how the same pair of eyes see things so very differently. Or in a way I can fathom it, because it is not the eyes that see, but the brain that process that image.

There are many scientific studies done about this and the subject is beaten to death. But I am not very sure, whether the difference is seen beyond the gender perspective. I am interested in looking at the perspective of how background of a person sees an image or an event.

Or the state of mind that decides how the information is processed! You are willing to be more accommodative in a peaceful state of mind, but sometimes the smallest of irritation inside the mind, flares you up on a seemingly silly image.

I was very much impressed about Rashomon in which Kurosawa captured the perspectives of four different personalities of the same event. The very word perspective provides an answer for that. It is not what you see, but it is what you want to see.

In this book, ‘Blink’, Malcolm Gladwell argues that even the so-called hunches are nothing but subconscious recordings. How true. I was for a very long time was scared of a calling bell in the middle of the night, because in the pre – mobile days, the telegrams were sent urging sales target achievements.

This morning I saw a physically challenged person playing cricket from his tricycle and but for the recent debacle of the Indian team, I would have been smiling, but I was angry about it. When I shared that with my friend, she was all thrilled about the effort of that physically challenged and his desire to overcome his basic obstacle. She is the one who sees a glass half full and am this guy who says, anyway we can fill some more.

I have this super girl friend who is my wife, about whom I want to write and my eyes about her on different times, but since I have vowed that it will be my last and magnum opus, I am just dedicating this to her. To you Runa Laila !!!!


Karl Marx said that religion is the opium of the masses and in India, since cricket is a religion, cricket becomes the opium of the masses.

It was so clichéd to even write about cricket. Everyone does. Whether they know about it or not! There had been reams and reams of papers written on how we are unrealistically passionate about the game That way I am a bit qualified having played the game for more than 20 years and doing some representative cricket at that. And fetching a first job as a professional cricketer way back in 1985!

There was this piece of action I witnessed in the streets today morning that prompted this blog. Normally it should have kindled positive spirits and look at how beautiful life is and how people do carry passion in their heart.

But I could not see it though. In the light of the recent performances of our team at the Windies! Here in a scorching sun, kids of all sizes are engrossed in a game that has captured their imagination. Spending their money on products endorsed by the stars and hoping to become one like them.

A vision of a handicapped person in a tricycle batting with a fluency that would put the Dravid’s of the world to shame should send warm feelings down your spine. For me it was loathsome. Still I had the temerity to stop and ask them for a pose. But more to showcase the stupid mania this country is afflicted with.

A team which is ranked 06th in the world losing to even lesser ranked team and slipping into the country like fugitives hardly gives happiness. And these guys despite their handicap are involved in the game. They should have been cheering hard for India a few days back and I will tell you, they will still do it when another country visits us and gets bashed up here.

Where exactly are we going? Are we going to allow this madness to continue? Are we going to live with this grandiose feeling? And still root for a shameless bunch of representatives who does not have the nerve and even if they have, don’t know how to hold?

I am pissed, terribly pissed off. I want to bring these nincompoops to my office and show my assistant who single handedly does more work than many. And I mean it. She lost one of her arms early in her life. I have never treated her that way and she doesn’t expect me to be either.

And these are my hero’s really… Not the wimps who sell coke in the idiot box.

Chase II

I had earlier written a piece about the Chase I embark in life and not knowing what it is. It was profound and melancholic. But this morning I discovered what the chase is all about.

It is chasing to find my comb. I have a special one, which I buy at Madurai in dozens. And keep them all in my draw. But they disappear faster than the dinosaurs. I never knew inanimate stuff could go extinct in world. Afterall they need to be somewhere. Not at my house though.

Whatever law of averages you apply, it doesn’t apply. I have my wife, 2 kids, 2 maids and a cook. That makes it 6 in all. Even if each one of them loses one, there should be 6 more left. But they don’t. Somehow between 6 of them they contrive to lose 12 combs. And where on earth a comb can go? We have only crows around the house and I don’t see them having a great mane that they need a comb for.

Anyway I can hear my folks shouting behind me asking so what’s the difference between you and crows.

But this comb business is getting into my nerves. Saving grace is that atleast that I have found what I am chasing. Either a comb or a shaved head.. That’s it ….((

Friday, March 30, 2007

Photo's, the real foe

I have this lousy luck with photographs. Whenever I develop one, I feel like just tearing them off into pieces. This is in no way to say I am done grave injustice in the photos as opposed to what I look in person. Just that, the camera hates and takes special effort to make me look even worse and like an alien to myself.

I have never fancied myself as good looking at any time and seriously improved my English vocabulary to define myself better while really not meaning good-looking, but less hurtful. I am certain that my friends would even possess a better vocabulary. But I make it up with how I carry myself and earn liberal adjectives like smart & stuff other than handsome. My wife religiously tells that I look good in some snaps. That’s the greatest proof of her love to me, to keep saying that for 16 long years. Because I simply stare at the camera as if, for generations, cameras and we have been fighting a hundred year war.

Sometimes, we will pick old snaps and say I looked great in it, as a consolation against how I look now in the snaps. But my attitude has always served me well and I have never been hesitant to shamelessly flirt and have a repository of pickup lines. Maybe the fact that I have very little to lose, is the confidence that makes me do that.

But, certain people are born for photographs. Like some of us say we belong to some Gothra, these people come in the Gothra of George Eastmann. A big lineage from him would have got created just to look awesome in photographs. Here also there are two kinds. One is the type that looks good in person and also in photo’s and some like our actors, looks good on films but scary in person. Any which way, these are lucky Eastmann gothra’ites.

They have their eyes speaking to the camera and it captures the very essence of the heart in that split second. And the posterity of the developed film is simply too good, to enable to run through what happened at that precise moment when they were being clicked. Like I read somewhere, the cameraman is the only person who can stop time. You are there, at that precise second and that never changes. And that light of that moment, which is a speck of a whole universe churning irreversibly, but providing its own meaning in a way.

And beautiful snaps are a joy to behold. The printed albums (the ones that are now dying thanks to digital photographs) are always a ‘walk down the memory lane’. My wife, my daughters, few of my friends is made for photographs.

Me, I keep my snaps in the attic. Atleast people don’t profess opinion about photographs of kids. No one tells that a kid looks like a monkey. But mine got screwed up there also. The one photo they took of me was in Full-Monty, that I cant even show to my own daughters. :((

I am seriously worried about another issue. This snap was taken in a studio. Don't know these jokers at my house carried me all the way nude to the studio or removed the clothes there. Can't believe them really, having done that photo cruelty to me, they are very much capable of doing this also.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Distress in Damsels

My wife is after me to write this one. Maybe she really believes it. People know about Damsels in Distress and there will be a knight in shining armour to save them from all the miseries of the world.

She thinks I bring out distress in damsels. Or rather sometimes I create them. First I am supposed to be a wailing wall and they find a patient and understanding person in me to listen to their woes. And even provide some manly advice.

Sometimes I really shock them by doing things that are almost impossible really, as if I am genie. Make impossible things happen. And stand out as a guy who is not run of the mill.Just break all the rules, demand , get stuff done and make 100 people run for them.

Then the trouble starts.I start getting too close to them. And I want their attention on me all the time. And I want all their time on me. Then starts their distress.

Well this is what she wanted me to write. When my friends read this, they are sure to dump me the next minute. I dont know whether this is what her vested interest is. That they should be dumping me.

What do I think then? I think some of what she says is right. The best parts alone. Rest is debatable.

I do spend all my time with them and talk non-stop with them as if the next day would not dawn. I really get into some issues only when there is something accepted and not done. Like planning to meet but turns out that there is a huge army meeting together, or something that can be avoided but not attempted, because they don't want to say that they are spending time with me/us.

Honestly I understand that there are limitations with people and that too when you are friends with someone of the opposite sex. But I am not somehow able to digest that. The limitation is because of what? Is two people spending time with each other an issue, just because there is a possibility of sleeping together?

Whenver I get that stupid look or grin from someone, I would want to walk up and ask 'Buddy, how are you so sure about my sexual preference, what if I was gay, then you are not safe with me, because I am gonna be wooing you in the next available time alone'

Me Turns Forty

This is one year too late to write. Well I was not blogging then firstly. And I was too busy being young to notice that I had turned forty. And this rhymes with ‘Dave Barry turns 40’ which is one of my favorite books.

But today it was inspired by the blog of my best friend, kindling thoughts on the subject, which otherwise was not very special barring the fact, everyone talks forty and it is an artificial milestone. Surely not in a man’s life though, haven’t heard of andropause at 40, and certainly not from a lineage in which I was made (when my dad was 47)

But yes, it is an artificial milestone. In Tamil they have a saying ‘ Nappathula Nai Gunam’, which translates as ‘At forty you turn a dog’. This surely didn’t apply to me, because I didn’t wait to be 40 to hit at that behavior. Any other veiled reference, if there was one, well maybe its true :P

I was impressed no end about the piece by Kushwant on his turning a nonagenarian. He talks about grandioseness of waking up with an erection, which is nothing but a prostrate problem. And how one fall in the tennis court could as well mean the end of him forever.

But forty is just opposite. You may still wake up the same way, but don’t blame it on prostrate. If you ask me, forty is the age to be in. Because, that’s when you really become a man! You have all the desirable things in life at your hand then. Money, Power, Increased charm, Good family, huge confidence and respect in the society and the circle of friends.

Only thing is that a bone creaks here, you continue to do believe that you can do a 5 min mile and you fall flat, you sometimes get tired and want to sleep, the youngsters continue to drink well after you thought that the party is over and so on. You suddenly are not even counted at the movie is planned in the office, or you are given a mandatory health checkup by office.

But then, when you just sit back and look at people you have around you, friends and family you also realize that, there can’t be a bigger party than just being with them.

Even for me, it is kind of irritating to keep telling that, I had that nick, this trouble , insomnia blah blah blah.

Whenever I even have a fleeting thought of being forty which if construed as old, all I have to do is pick an English novel.The Hero is invariably a smart, tough , good looking 40 plus guy who beats the world nonchalantly with a 20ish girl in his hand. Now that’s being forty !!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I have been immensely lucky when it comes to friends. I have had the best in that. In my life, if I don’t have to complain about one thing, it is about not having great friends. And I am so blessed to live with one in my life.

My friends at any time are more important to me, than my own kins. And they always knew me better than anyone around me. They hit me like a storm and stay as a peaceful & serene lake all around me always. They had been a source of strength to me, at all times and just a thought of them makes me smile and sometimes cry.

I used to wonder what makes me a good friend to them. I am not great in socializing. I can be utmost be called as user-unfriendly. I have my idiosyncrasies and have only extremes as emotions. Whatever it could be, love, hate, helpfulness, resourcefulness, I always am at one end of the spectrum. Never in the middle! I fall in friendship late and when I do, in just a matter of few days they almost become everything, sharing from a stupid event at road to what happens at office. My wife and daughter know the whole day as if they had watched ‘Big Brother’

But, I don’t know why, whether it is them, or me, many of them drift apart. With no rancor, no obvious reason, no pressure, no fights, they just move apart. Those times I want to scream my head off at them, asking all uncomfortable questions on why they behave the way they do. But I don’t. I laugh and talk as if nothing has happened at all. But I have anger simmering inside. Sometimes I use an impersonal medium to tell what I feel. But, I am just simply incompetent to carry on that resentment. Maybe that’s what real friendship is.

Still don’t know whether it is right. Your friend should know that you are unhappy about what they did and they should make amends. Otherwise what are friends for??!!! If they don’t it is even more painful, you feel wretched and depressed and you feel that you had been taken for granted. It is as if telling to you, ‘hey this is how I am, so you better adjust’.

But God that way stays kind to me. For every one I lose, he gets a better and superlative new friend.

Here is one of favorite poetries on Lost Friends and this is a toast to all the friends that I had, have and will have.

Friendships Lost
(Scars that never heal)

I see your smile
I know your mind
No words need be said
I understand.

Focused on each other
We listen and we care
Laughter ripples like water
Together, we are.

Others are here, yes,
And we value them, yes,
But a special bond remains,
A line between us two.

Each friendship is special
Each is unique
And so is ours
We know.

And then time begins to roll
and rear it’s ugly head
Change begins
Now a little less than before.

Slowly, surely,
Not knowing why
Faster, stronger, without care
Our world shifts and shimmers and splits.

Shattered shards cascade down
Spurred by angry, lashing words
Contorted faces, stone deaf ears
Outside the whirlwind,
We die inside.

The scars run deep
Jagged clefts in our souls
We have suceeded in hurting
And hurt ourselves.

So you move on
And I remain
We keep on living
Turn our faces apart.

Now I glance across
At you from outside
Shaded eyes dry with tears
New friends, new life.

Laughter, smiling (clenched teeth)
The flippant toss of the head
The enclosure surrounds you
I cannot come near.

From behind my glass window
I know more than those within
I see the hurt in your eyes
I know the pain in your smile
I have been there before - I love you
Why do you pretend?

I hate to see your pain
And I cry inside
Tears deep within my soul
I cannot help you anymore.

What we had once
We can never have again.

The scars run deep,
But I still care.

You ARE my friend

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pehla Nasha

There is nothing like the first crush. People get it at different ages. I am not talking that much about the one you had on your teacher when your schoolbag was taller than you. I am talking about the age where you were supposed to have a decent crush, even if it was on the ugly ducklings.

My first decent one was while I was in 09th std. It was on a girl who went to 10th std. One year older to me. But she was simply awesome. She was almost everything I thought I would want in a girl. But I never had the courage to even walk up and talk to her. Used to stand in street corners just to see her pass by and nothing more than that.

At last somehow I picked the courage to talk with her. In a stupid pretext of asking for a geography book! She was a year senior to me anyway. But then realized to my horror, that it was the most sought after geography book in the whole school and I was beaten in that quest, atleast by a dozen guys.

Life was never the same after that. There had been second, third and some million crushes after that. But the first was the shortest-lived crush on the world. No not exactly, it was there alright for long, but got killed the second it was trying to fructify.

Now, after so many years when I see my daughter’s friends I can't resist a smile in the corner of my lips. Little guys who are not taller than my car would one day be writing a blog like this :))

Imsai Arasi's

This can be loosely translated as Trouble Queens. You should have by now guessed who it would be. My two daughters are the ones obviously.

Have you heard of the term ‘Eating my head’? These kids do it. The older one has this dimple in her cheeks that is a deep pit you fall for your life. Guys should be beware of that. With one all conquering smile, showing the dimples prominently, she will ask the most atrocious thing so very casually. Like this thing when she was a 4 year old, when even buying the first secondhand car was an achievement. She asked ‘Dad, can we not manage two cars?’ Because our car was not purple color! And now she is planning a Singapore holiday. And with exams around the corner, she will put her best pantomime actions to escape for a 4-hour dinner. And try saying no to her. The face will become so small that you need a screw gauge to measure it. And what, it is a Xerox of her mother’s face that you fell in love with. How will you even attempt saying no?

The next one is even better. Afterall it is a later version. So much more feature packed. Small sized but more potent than the earlier models! The whole face is some 5 sq inches. In that there will be a fight for placement of eyes, nose and a mouth. But expressions, you will have the whole world in that. The eyes look like grapefruits twinkling. That one, if it comes up to you and keeps playing pranks and pulls and pinches you, you know that all that is needed is permission to watch Disney channel. The moment you give up fighting that charm, you cant even see her. Would have flown like a fly to her room. Then it is only next day. I named her a Free Thinker and there is not a single day I don’t regret it. Nothing can be gotten out of her without her will. But there is nothing you can keep with you that she wills too. Will sleep; literally sleep with the new thing she gets for the day. Will give one huge smile and strip you off all your estates. And won’t tire unless she does it.

These two Imsai Arasi’s would sometimes, just sometimes allow their mother to talk with me and literally occupy all my time. I get a deep suspicion that it is an evolutionary conspiracy. To make daughters looking like your wife to whom you can’t say No and they enjoying your discomfiture. I need to barge unannounced into my home one day and I am sure I will see a terrorist training camp with ‘you know who’ as an instructor.

But all said & done, what a lovely little trouble they are. : ))


This whole drinking business is funny. There is an elaborate process about convincing the wife that you need to have a drink. Which she never understands! She keeps asking why are you so hung up on beer. They don’t even stop to think that we men don’t ask such questions about chocolates.

It invariably goes with the sweetener like’ Hey, lets all go out for dinner’. I can see pupils dilating and I have a one-person fanatic support group in my eldest daughter. Then the decision about which hotel to go! All hotels at Chennai are run by females is what my guess is. They conspire together not to serve beer. Or maybe they cut a separate bill to the wives to say so.

At last you figure out a place that does and you land up there. The first drink is accepted without any rancor. The second one comes to you without the wife realizing and then the issue starts. Rather the count starts.

Women fail to understand that the whole drinking business is about drinking silly and making a fool of yourself and talk, which does not happen if you are going to be prudent about the count. A huge canvass of expression then starts in their faces. Starting from pleading to telling to screaming to angry face to an untold expression of ‘come home let us see’. By that time anyway you are drunk enough to ignore potential dangers that lurks you in an hour. Looks like all men are Scooby Doo’s. Great Danes but cowardly ones!!

But what pisses me is the question ‘ How many has gone in?’ And the superlative memory of when did you drink last and how much you drank then. And they suffer from selective amnesia on daytime events. And their amazing ability to figure out what mannerism means how many has gone in. You scratch your elbow; you are in your second bottle. A silly face, unseen exuberance and meaningless smile mean that you are on the way to glory. Fiddle and remove your rings, then you are beyond redemption.

With so many telltale signs why bother to even ask the question? You anyway know. What are you expecting? A confession from us! Have I been read my Miranda rights? What it is the guarantee that it will be not used against me tomorrow morning or even tonight at home? Can I call my lawyer? Do I get a plea bargain deal? How long is my probation then? I have so many questions running in my mind as reply.

But I just reply saying, I am in 3.1 round. Because after 3 rounds, it only progresses in decimals for me!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crybabies, Girls & Mars

Something is happening to me these days. And I am worried like a deadbeat about it. At 40 plus, I guess there should be worries.Its only natural. Why am I cribbing like this I dont know? Maybe I like cribbing.

Let us face the issue. You know what bugs me? Girl children are mighty scared of me these days.The moment they have one look at me, they start crying non-stop.It all started with my nephew's daughter of 1 year. All I said was a well meaning Hi to her and there she started. And it is about 6 months now, whenever she sees, just sees me even in a 3000 sq ft open lawn, she starts crying. I thought something is wrong with my goatee, so I shaved it off. But she still cries.

And then the fan club just started getting bigger and bigger. Next was my BIL's daughter from US.I thought kids there should be ok, as they get to see more frightening figures than me. But, just don't hope man. You are in for it. All my expectations about the Americans coming to rescue is just a pipedream. Only thing different was that she was pretty clear about her action. With some funny accent, she told, I don't like Shrikanth Mama.

And then this kid next door. She is in preschool. All I asked was her name. She told that and I had some difference of opinion about it. And I called her something else.And then she started crying non-stop.

Maybe, some aliens came down and planted something on me, that is visible only to girl kids. And I appear with a couple of antennae and misplaced organs and stuff like that. But I thought kids would laugh at it. Only I should cry really.

Anyway,there are 3 kids who dont cry. My 2 daughters and another kid of my SIL. That one lives in a world of her own and has consented to include me in that. These kids on the contrary have huge fun with me.

So life goes like this.There was a time kids would just jump on me. Now after I have become a Maritan, things are different.

You know what, different with some saving grace. Older girls are liking me ;) I have issues only kids lesser than 20. Cross that, I am acceptable. Why acceptable ?? Some of them adore me. And it is proportionate as the age goes up. :)) And thats great fun. Thanks to the Mars.

Who cares about kids afterall???

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I had been having some fun and wisecracks about colors lately. About the color of dresses I wear, the cars friends have and what not. Honestly I am a misfit to comment on that. Because I am color blind. More often than not, I take comfort in that fact to justify my dress sense, when my wife is not around.

OK, first about color blindness. People think that if you are color blind, the world looks like a black & white cinema. And they really feel so sorry about me and I am certain that their imagination runs wild about how my world looks. Well, it isn’t that bad. Its plainly that I can't tell between lighter shades of color and a few other colors get mixed up, like I cant tell between Blue & Green, Green & Gray , Red & Pink , stuff like that. But that doesn’t mean that all of them look similar to me. I can understand that they are different, just that I am not too uptight about telling their correct names and use them properly. I do what appeals to my eye. Seriously thinking of finding a color blind friend and ask them what they think about the dresses I buy.

I am told that there are worse cases than me in color blindness, who can’t tell between even primary colors like Red & Blue. Well that would be something. Could that be, they can cut signals and bump into other vehicles, I don’t know. Guess it won’t be that bad. But if it is, then it is an issue; still it won’t be a black & white movie though.

Psychologists make best use of colors to tell your personality and stuff like that. And what colors to use and what not. Interesting I read that sometimes fast food restaurants use Red & Orange paints to make people not stay too long there. A friend has been teasing me that my choice of car color means that I am pseudo macho, Dark, Evil, Junglee. How I wish I were? Or am I really? Either way I don’t think it would matter to me. But I think there should be some truth in what the shrinks think. But there is also something called as early association. As a kid, if you fell from a pink crib, then maybe even that’s a tough color on you when you grow. I guess I didn’t fall, coz I like pink now.

In a short story, the narrator tries to explain about colors to a visually handicapped person. He draws parallel to how it is like music, the seven notes / swara’s combining to make a riot. I thought it was the best way to explain colors. The seven basic colors coming together weaving magic for our eyes.

A little lesser bit of magic for few of us!!!

If you are born, it's too late

Well, this is the cheeky and quintessential reply from Hobbes, when Calvin is pissed off about the loss of free range. He is worried about whether this can be changed and Hobbes comes up with this reply. Fun apart, I was thinking about the truth in that reply.

Many of the stuff you want to undo, it’s already too late. I can’t be mourning as if we had a choice in some stuff. But a few others we sure had. As they say, you never get to choose your parents and boss. And, invariably we get to love our parents despite the lack of choice and hate our boss for the same reason.

Many other things that you can choose and you did, how often do you think that it could have been different? Or rather you felt that you never have even looked in that direction? I had been wondering about how when we want to do something we keep looking only at the positives of that side and refuse to be objective.

My sister enlisted my help to freeze a house and when I knew the deal, I felt it was written ‘cheat’ all over it. And the house was not great shakes either. And such a poor reference about everything, owner, area, neighbors and the broker. I shot it down in one stroke. But all the while my nephew, who is quite capable of taking decisions on his own, was insisting that we anyway buy it and listed all the reasons why we should.

This happens all the time and in everything. I plainly refuse to think about the other side. Somehow it is anathema to even be objective, because I want to keep looking at positives. And how many compromises, sacrifices for getting stuff done and then mourn about it later. And it’s already too late by then.

Guess, it just doesn’t matter, whatever you do; it’s already too late. Right or wrong, it’s just late. That’s all!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Anti Universe

Back my favourite crib subject. Men & Women! The more I read about how our brains are fashioned or how they have evolved, I cant help but shout from a roof-top asking ‘why is this not curriculum in school?’

We try our best in school to read about stalactites and stalagmites and the image is still vivid in my mind, which I first thought as mushroom growth in a cave. But that was the last I heard of it. After that in my life, there was no role for them. And many other such stuff also. Totally unwarranted as knowledge unless you want to specialize! But despite its funny shapes the stalactites did not make me a geologist.

As Arthur C Clarke once put it correctly, (when 75% of the earth is still unexplored, why go to space) we kind of know and strive to know about many things apart from what we really need in life to survive.

Go to school, they cram a Tamil rural child about Wordsworth and Keats, whereas he can’t fill a railway reservation form properly (which is now changing a bit). What’s the real point in crying about Lucy Gray or Solitude when you have to cry about your own ineptitude of filling a reservation form?

OK enough of meandering, back to the subject. These studies clearly would make one understand about the opposite sex. On how a simple statement on what a wife wants, can be construed as incompetence of providing something by the husband.
There are many such transaction level understandings / misunderstandings that can snowball into a potential divorce at later date.

When there are two genders that are made diametrically opposite and have to live with each other without killing each other, I guess it is better we teach at school about the new language. Leave Wordsworth, let us try and understand and appreciate what the other side of the bed says.

Endless Affair....

Maybe if people are looking for synonyms for this word ‘Bibliomaniac’, they can put my name against it. Been completely addicted to books and the legs stop by itself if I pass through a bookshop, be it a roadside one or the airport one. My affair with books is an endless one.

Just that I can’t stop reading one, I can’t stop buying many too. Till I read Robin Sharma, the guilt of having so many books in the shelf that are unread was weighing heavily in my mind, but now I am OK. I have also started reading faster that I cram up more books per month than what I used to.

I have built more shelves in the recent past than anything else. And I was so obsessed about running out of books in a trip that I carry more books than what I can read in a month for a 2-day trip. Now I am better. Don’t stock that much in a tour. Just keep telling myself that if I run out of books, I can always buy one in that town and that prospect is even more enthralling.

So, last Sunday was no exception. Bought books as if the world is coming to an end that day or reading is going out of fashion the next day. But only on coming back I realized that I not only read books, but I read a huge variety of them. The topics range a fair span. Just to list what I bought on Sunday

  • The Last Mughal (could be termed as History)
  • Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps (maybe sociology??)
  • Thuppariyum Sambu (a collection of Humorous Sherlock type stories written in Tamil 50 years back)
  • Restaurant at the End of the universe (sci-fi)
  • Why men stray & men stay? (Once again sociological, psychological)
  • Humour me (a book of Humour by an Aerobics practitioner)
  • Bloods (a book on how African Americans were forced to fight the Vietnam war and how racially prejudiced the losses were)
  • Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon pickle (collection of modern verses)

And, I just bought ‘In spite of Gods’ by Edward Luce a few days back, which is about Modern India. Earlier there used to be a thrill to have these kind of books in the shelf. More to show off about what all I read and have! But it helped in a way; I started reading many of them. And anyway I wasn’t letting people even see my books, as I was obsessed about not losing them. Now I am beyond all that, by this time people around me know of my addiction and hence no real need to show off.

But the point is, there are so many books that makes very interesting reading! The Net now has almost everything and it is my best companion at anytime and it helps me read better. (Otherwise how will you even know what is Anhedonia in the middle of the night). But they can never substitute books. There is a charm about printed books. And in the net, barring blogs, it is all information and nothing is opinion or an author’s thought, which is what books are.

And there is no feeling like getting a great bargain on a book of your favourite author or subject which no one in the world care to read.


I had been reading this book ‘Last Mughal’ and I have mixed feelings when I read about the treatment meted out to Bahadur Shah Zafar. Sometimes I feel nauseating and angry at the audacity and inhumanness of the so-called civilized British. But sometimes I feel fairly blank as if I am reading a story.

As William Dalrymple says, the history about the 1857 riots is always one-sided depending on who writes about it. It is either a Mutiny if the British historians do the writing or the First War of Indian Independence if the RSS types write it. Truth is somewhere in between. It was a culmination of many events starting from religious unrest to urban riots.

Anyway, the riots ultimately happened to end as a power struggle for Delhi (a city according to Kushwant Singh has seen more blood on its streets than any other) and so everyone was ultimately marching towards Delhi to either defend it or win it. This is what is anathematic to the Hindu nationalists and to a great extent to me also. The Hindu nationalists could not bear the fact that people were rallying behind Bahadur Shah Zafar to restore the glory of Mughal Empire.

So am I unable to bear it, not because I am a Hindu myself. But because I could not understand the logic behind it!! What makes it ok to back the frail old king against the British?? Is it the frailness, lost glory, familiarity of an old foe than a new one, or is it the Stockholm syndrome?

According to me, both the Mughals and British are invaders. They never belonged to this land. They came from somewhere, claimed ownership and governed the country. Neither of them were religiously tolerant, though there will be claims about the British being so. Both had their interests foremost in their minds, which is the Indian wealth and the grace and charm of the land. Both believed that the locals were unfit to govern themselves and were infidels with their idol worship etc.

As much as the Mughals were willing to mix races, there had been British – Indian marriages too (it will make an interesting research to see the original cross marriages, the British were marrying the Muslims more than the real locals) The British that way were still unwilling to look at the natives, as the Mughals were willing to.

But the point is, as I said both were Invaders. Just because one did it 500 years earlier than the other, does not make it better or them as the rightful owner of the country. And what kind of loyalty or attachment would make the natives fight against the British to restore the Mughal throne I can’t fathom.

Reality is somewhere in the midst of all these. Bahadur Shah was more a figurehead in the first war. He was anyway incapable of rallying people for a cause, good or bad and as all Mughal Emperors were, he was more run by his Empress who was 50 years younger than him and he was smitten on.

But prompts me to think what kind of a tolerant society we are. Despite all the skills and power, even now we are being treated in a biased manner. There are match referees who punish a humble and true guy like Sachin and the Australians who are nothing but forest inhabitants go scot-free on all crimes they commit.

If Victors wrote History and they can get away with their crimes, then it is time to rewrite History. Because we are the Victors now and the Jallianwala Bagh’s and the 1857 Delhi riots were nothing but war crimes committed by the British.

We should be fighting these now; demand and get an apology from the throne and the Kohi-Noor back symbolically. Otherwise, in another few centuries we will have new masters and we can do what we do best. Be Slaves.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bomb with me

These security checks are a big parody. Wherever it may be!! Airports, Software parks, Malls etc. Everyone employed in security agencies do their job mostly because they just want to do a job and not save lives etc. Afterall this is not an army job right?!

I can’t help but laugh at the insipid attempt to spot terrorists at these places. If these are the people we trust our lives to, then I have a huge issue. And if they really spot one and stop him, then the terrorist should be a fool of a first order himself.

I always secretly harbored a thought that the airport security guys are gays. Just imagine what a nice job then it would be. Day in and day out, keep on feeling someone. But that’s what they do precisely. A cursory feel-over and they know you don’t carry a bomb. Awesome, isn’t it?? These Einstein’s are what India needs.

Now this morning, I had a full experience of how silly security checks and arrangements can be. Last night I left my car at the office and got myself dropped home. Went to pick the car this morning. I asked my wife to come with me. I had my ID card and these guys won’t allow my wife with me.

And they deliberately employ people from deepest villages of Bihar, so that whatever you talk, you don’t strike a decent conversation with these higher primates. They insisted that I get a visitor’s pass for my wife.

I wrote a request form, saying that she is there to meet me and signed her name. And I was with her. These jokers stamped it and gave me. Bingo…

They do all these elaborate arrangements to check the car underneath with a mirror and all, but you can easily carry a bomb in the boot. That they wont open the boot. Afterall they want to really work hard to catch a terrorist.

Anyway, with that stupid visitor’s pass we walked through easily and no one after that checked us.

But my million-dollar question is that, how come they knew that my wife is a bomb??

Friday, March 16, 2007

Taxing Really

Come March, I have this peculiar problem. It is the taxes. Not what I have to pay. That’s all beyond redemption now. My issue is that the Tax guy at office shares my name. And the initials!!

I get mails after mails, giving some detail or other. And I am in a predicament always, whether to dutifully forward it or trash it. One part of the mind says, poor souls should be helped, as a few thousand bucks would mean a lot to them. But then, I can’t be coordinating on taxes for a 2000 strong company.

I usually junk them, because there is a separate mail ID for the tax guy, which is not his name. If someone is going to take extra care in finding out the wrong name and mail details, then they should be taxed.

Now it has gone one step further. They somehow get my mobile number and start discussing their tax problems. Well, I am not an expert in tax matters, but when a pretty young thing calls you and shares her woes, you can’t really ignore her. Can you? What will happen to chivalry then!!

But this time around, one PYT dialed my number, just called my name and said, ‘my mom wants to talk to you’. Now, PYT’s are one thing and their mothers are another thing. I don’t even talk properly with the mother of the PYT I live with (not exactly young, but ‘pretty old thing’ doesn’t sound complimentary and also the abbreviation comes as POT, and that will be a taxing problem for me at home, despite me genuinely meaning the first letter)

I started wondering who this mother could be?? And tax my brain to figure out what I did so bad to get a mother speaking with me and to whom. Anyway mercifully she started saying ‘I saw her LIC papers’ and then my heart went back from my mouth to where it belonged.

But I thought, if so many girls are going to be calling you, you might as well be a tax guy. So, either I am going to change my name now, or become an expert in tax issues and offer some consultations and get to know them better.

And start liking taxes!!!!

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings !!!

I am fed up with meetings really. Just because there are too many of them!! Life is one endless story of meetings. I will tell you why I am bugged about them.

Firstly, only around 20% of the guys have brains. Of that only half is positive and are willing to look at what should be done than what has happened in the past. Rest is Sherlock Holmes. To tell why things do not happen. And with no solution on what should be done if the situation is so bleak. That’s not their job. They will find out, that’s it. Someone else should solve the problem.

Ok somehow you can be Enlightened Zen monk and stand these 20% guys. Try to atleast stimulate their brains. Others are my big issue.

In that 80%, worst is the set that believes it has brains. Make one fantastic PPT, that I wonder what their job is?! Jokers should find a job at beauty parlors, as that’s the only thing you can see in their presentations. No content, absolute zilch in what they are supposed to say. And with the presumption of having achieved something really great!! And they will have backers too. Similar hare brained creatures.

And then the balance are ok, can be suffered. After all they disturb only the krackjack and coffee and busy with their sms.

And all of them invariably have the life-threatening issues spoken only at these meetings when they should have called attention long time back. And feel so cheated for having been made to operate in such conditions and still deliver.

And after all this, there will be reams and reams of paper minuting actions that will be opened only in the next meeting. No one will implement anything of what is spoken and agreed. And you will be called again for meeting for reviewing what we failed to do on the last meeting’s action points.

Normally I try to look at things humorously, but I am so bugged about meetings that I can’t see anything humorous at all.

Only wish I have, whichever place I go, heaven or hell, there are no meetings atleast there. Because in this lifetime, I think I am destined only for boardrooms.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Honey I shrunk myself

I am afraid I am shrinking in size :( It is kinda crazy. Haven’t yet bothered to find out when this happens. But I know it happens. Worst is that I expand too.

I say this because, my shirt size ranges from 40 to 42 at any given time. I was thinking that I was 42 and bought a lot in that size and suddenly felt it was hanging on me and I was walking inside the shirt before the actual walk. So, I shifted to 40, which seemed to be perfect, meaning both me and shirt was walking together.

Everyday it has become an ordeal. Like a man possessed I have amassed clothes and shoes. And me being as fashion conscious as an African tribe member, my wife goes through the ordeal really, when I have to choose what to wear. But despite my color blindness and lack of trendiness, I sure have an opinion about what’s good looking and what’s not. The issue gets compounded only here.

She will pick a pair, but that day would be a Size 40 day and I would look like a homeless bum in that dress. So, we have a huge ruckus about it and she ultimately gives up vowing not to be my fashion consultant anymore, till next day morning.

But I am a quick learner you see, so I label that pair as a bum pair and I don’t try that again, till curiosity gets the better of me. And when I do, if fits :( . This is what the issue is. I don’t know what size I am on which day. How can I even try hundreds of shirts before starting to office everyday?

Maybe I am wood and I expand in winter and shrink in summer. Or some such stupid stuff!!

Added to it, there are presuppositions about colors men should wear and what they should not. Pink, Lavender and such colors are crime I guess. But all my shirts have one line or shade of pink that it can be spotted only by the eagle-eyed women at office. And I don’t understand why on earth they make shirts of that color if we are not supposed to wear. I surely don’t buy them at Bollywood; the Van Heusen’s and the Arrow’s sell them.

There are many men who go through this issue and they solve it the best way possible. They wear whites & blues. I hate it. But, I don’t know why I feel eyes at my back when I choose an abnormal color to wear. Who cares afterall? It is my choice anyway.

But if the pressure gets too much to handle, I am gonna find a unique solution which surely would be unpalatable :P But that choice will be better than a Pink color, hanging shirt on a homeless bum.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bridges of Madison County

I have never been so moved by a work of fiction as much as by reading ‘Bridges of Madison County’. I have seen the movie earlier and with Clint Eastwood being my most favorite director, I immediately fell in love with the movie. But, it was later I got a chance to read the book. Pretty late that was.

Somehow all through the book, I was feeling that I was there at Iowa watching Kincaid and Francesca go through the pains of love. It was as if, I was wanting to butt in at some point and say, ‘Guys, enough is enough, please get the f*** out of Iowa and go somewhere’. The pain was so terrible.

The book was just not about love between two people, but more about the pain of a parent / spouse who needs to make a choice between love of her life and the institution of marriage.

Marriage sometimes gets into inertia. A protracted custom! All marriages, or for that matter all relationships are susceptible to that. Custom brings predictability and thus comforts. So it is a kind of internal struggle between comfort and breaking the monotony. The reasons that Francesca gives are so very right that even the last Cowboy ‘Kincaid’ could do nothing but yield.

The last letter is a work of art and I don’t think there could be a more tearful and honest account of oneself expressed elsewhere anytime. Somehow I was also moved because I felt I saw a lot of similarity between myself and Kincaid that the book appealed to my inner senses more than any other book.

Like Kincaid I also

Value Privacy and am a loner by nature
Like Dogs and Outdoors
Mourn about the loss of “free range”
Occasionally write
Believe that am an artistic and intelligent soul
Always wanted to play a guitar like him, but yet to though.

I feel can also call myself a Last Cowboy. The book is so earthy and characters are ordinary who actually grow big later because of the deeds they do or what they stand for at the end.

Robert James Waller could not reproduce this magic again, though ‘Slow Waltz in the Cedar Bend’ was fairly close, only issue being that the book runs for 30 more pages after the story ends.

The epilogue he attempted for ‘Bridges’ through ‘ A Thousand Country roads’ was a disaster. As it is, if you have landed up with your magnum opus on your first work of fiction, you are going to fall flat in the other works. But choosing to do an epilogue is actually suicide.

I felt like I lost Kincaid in that book. He was not the same guy he was in Bridges. The only romantic moment being the potential chance meeting of Francesca and Kincaid at the Roseman Bridge, which never happens and the tragedy is mercifully allowed to continue.

As Times aptly reviewed the book, ‘Roads has none of the pounding passion of Bridges but twice the pathos--it's a book about aging, a reprise in a minor key. Or put another way, it's less about the bridges, and more about the water under them."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Aromas of tenancy is a special thing. A home has a nice & warm smell. That’s what keeps them special. It could be anything, starting from the Phenyl in the floor, to the smell of food, flowers, burnt wick from the pooja room, oil paints in the kid’s room, room freshener, soap, powder, perfumes and sometimes even the discarded socks. : )) But that’s what makes a home.

Compare it to an unoccupied house or an office building. I remember a distinct smell of ledgers in my father’s office still. Or the lack of smell at some offices!!

An unoccupied building just smells of fresh paint and gives an eerie feeling to me. It keeps reminding that there are no people yet in that place.

Smell has a very deep association inside the mind. I have had some very bad experiences with incense sticks, because we once burnt dozens of them to keep away the smell of a friend who drowned to death. I used to hate it for ages. Or the antiseptic smell of clinics and hospitals remind me of my first job as a medical representative and the tyrannical Boss I had then. Or, I get a very warm feeling when I come across the smell of a burnt wick when I enter home, which somehow is a kind of a reassurance to me that God is around somewhere. Or the smell of the salty sea that reminds me of home if I am away somewhere. Or the soil’s smell just before it rains that is typically Madurai for me! Thank goodness I liked Chemistry that I withstood Ammonia and the professors.

I still get a sense of deja vu when I use a particular perfume I had while I was at college. Suddenly your mind is transported to distant places and time and all the happiness and miseries associated with that time. The air of Kodaikanal is filled with eucalyptus and as we climb up, before a few miles and invariably I get a smile in my face.

Even today, I go out to the terrace to get a few flowers of a variety of jasmine we grow and put them near the AC. I can still tell from miles away, the fragrance of ‘Lily of the Valley’ that my wife used when she was in college. : ))

When I was in Pattaya recently, whenever I crossed a firang I had this peculiar smell, which later I discovered as sunscreen lotion.

But nothing gives me greater pleasure than the fragrance of a baby mixed with the smells of baby powder, lotion and a uniqueness that is only babies’.

I douse myself with perfumes & aftershaves before I leave home and after I reach home as if I am man possessed with it. For me, it’s all about how it plays in my mind. And I bet I can even be hypotinised with the right fragrances. Pretty dangerous!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Walk to Remember

I was very happy with my psycho-thrillers as I decided earlier. I vowed not to touch James Redfield and other brain stimulating writings. These psycho-thrillers were fitting the bill perfectly. Stories of badly mutilated bodies in car trunks suit me fine!! As long as I don’t get into analyzing the dark side of human minds that would do such stuff.

And then, I screwed it up. Picked up Nicholas Sparks’ “A walk to remember”. He along with Erich Segal, Robert James Waller owns the patent for lachrymal glands of all the English reading human beings in the world. They normally pick 10000 words, take a tank full of tears, dip each word into that tank and then print them.

My wife can actually cry at the excitement of Beauty Contest winners. And with these books around at home, I sleep in a swimming pool everyday.

The story by itself is fine, in fact I would say too good even. Almost like ‘Bridges of Madison County’. Written so very well that, you will get out of home and fall in love with the first monkey you meet in the street. Love is so glorified. Am not against love stories as such, I like them and two of the authors mentioned are my favorites too.

But these stories appeal to you, as per your state of mind while reading. If you are really cheerful and happy and in love, such stories stoke your imagination so highly and you start falling in love all over again. But, if you are in a depressive mood, you really start getting irritated about such glorifications.

Anyway, the worst is that, the book turned kinda preachy. God, Bible, Letters to Ephesians, Book of Job and stuff like that. And that was precisely I was running away from. But, on the whole, Nicholas Sparks has a wonderful style of narration; he almost speaks with you and makes you a feel a part of what’s going on. In a right frame of mind, he would appeal to the deepest of your senses.

Finished the book cover to cover in a Chennai – Mumbai flight and now happily back to Jonathan Kellerman’s book called ‘Monster’. It’s about a prophetic loony house murderous inmate. And all his colleagues are big time killers. Now that’s my kind of story!!

Going to Ibiza

Come March, the buzz starts at home. My elder daughter’s motivation to go through the final examinations is the ensuing holiday trip.

Every year, first there will be a list of exotic destinations that will drawn up. And the Internet will be researched for all the great places we can go and we can do. All places look great in the Net. I am sure about that.

But what looks better is the sparkle in my folks’ eyes. They are already there in mind. They are already choosing the dresses and making up the shopping list.

My daughter though this time, has grown older. Nonchalantly & unilaterally she decided to go to Malaysia, Singapore. Don’t know whether I am invited yet. But she is going nonetheless. : )) She has scouted for the best deals, pushing me to endorse it.

Actually there is nothing like being on a holiday trip with the kids. It is a pain for my wife though. With the constant crease in her forehead on what will the younger one eat, waking them up, readying them and what not? Used to think that she never has a real holiday herself.

That will be the day, we all leave on a holiday and she stays at home. Maybe that’s the best holiday for her.

Saving Faith

It is slightly a long gap considering the recent spate of postings that I do in the blog. Was for once, totally occupied mind and body in activities that needed me. Started a few, left in between, just because I didn’t get the 15 minutes that I need to write or someone has something to ask me. Now lets make it up.

Last evening, I was in two school functions, both of them in contrast to the other. One was my daughter’s, which is an international school with children of many nationalities performing for an aptly thematic program called ‘Colors’. Another was my wife’s school, where she and many others have toiled to train ‘special children’ to perform on the stage.

I could not help but wonder about the divide between these two and also about the cruelty of God.

The first one is a pompous and rich show, so much so that we as parents had to pay 500 bucks to see our own kids performing. No photo’s, videos allowed as if it is a military secret, the real ugly reason behind it being, footage is a serious money making opportunity. Some of the patrons of the school would be potential BCCI office-bearers.

And it was also a stark reminder of how culture & civilization does not grow with money. Mine, a Chevrolet was the smallest car, then you could imagine how rich the parents are. But, they too behave like illiterates by blocking seats for someone else who will walk in late. Absolutely silly, after all any parent would be keen to see his/her child performs. Nonetheless, the show by itself was amazing, what with all the kids in myriad hues and various stages of reproducing the newly learnt art. When one sits, the other one will stand, when one looks at the right, the other will look at the left. But the imperfection in their performance was what so very appealing and on the whole, we had a gala time.

Next was my wife’s school day, where special children performed. These kids are either Autistic, mentally retarded or with some learning disability. Now, it is almost next to impossible to make them listen to you. I keep seeing it when my wife takes them for coaching at home. Very tough to make them reason out, follow logic or even get them interested in doing anything. But, music has a universal appeal and all of them somehow are interested in performing for music.

Considering their disabilities, it was a great show and the enthusiasm they showed was unparalleled. Some of them were even over enthusiastic and could not stop what they were doing.
It was a touching moment when all the teachers who made this a reality come up on the stage at the end for ‘Healing the World’.

It kind of made me feel very sad to look at the parents, who were confused between emotions of whether to enjoy their child’s performance or about why they had to suffer with these disabilities. It is at these moments I start questioning Faith. These people invariably go back to God asking for mercy and consideration. But should not they be equally angry with Him for having made them go through this unhappiness. Why were they chosen amongst the millions? Why should they even save their faith???

But, almost as if there is an unwritten answer given by God then and there, we see hundreds of people who had come forward sponsoring and helping the school and the kids. God has been greatly magnanimous in sprinkling kind-hearted people all over the place and almost in the right places too. This is some design!!!

I can always hear my mom let out a sigh of relief and cry a bit, whenever she talks about us. Being a big family, the last few of us were really unwanted. So, in the first trimester, our mom had tried her best home remedies to get rid of us, but we being we, stubborn even as an embryo, refused to be eliminated. And then, she says it was a very painful time for her for the next 6 months thinking whether we will be out as a full baby, physically and mentally. She was always scared that her misadventures would result in some handicap in us. Mercifully it was not to be.

Now I thank God, just for letting us live in this planet with no disabilities, leave alone money, fame and happiness.

Selective Hearing

Looks like the ear has a mind of its own. You only want to hear what you want to. Maybe the mind trains the ear to do so.

Somehow everyone hears the bad stuff only when you speak and you hear only the good stuff of what you want to hear. Real Murphy’s law stuff.

If I murmur that her saree looks like a curtain cloth, my wife can hear it loud and clear. But not once she has heard what I say as something that should be done. I never can understand how that can happen.

People have a tendency to smell disastrous stuff and hear what you really don’t mean. It happens with everyone. There are guys at office, who can keep asking me what they want, but never hear what I want.

My daughter can get glued to TV and never hear what I say. But do you think its good? She can jump at something I say which I am not supposed to.

You generally float around in the world, training the ears to listen to potential nuclear fission information, sharpening them to pick up bad news, which even CIA & NASA are still trying to perfect yet.

Come to think of it, I guess we all are insecure ourselves, that deep in our mind, we keep saying that, what we do, wear, act is not good and sniff around for such comments.

Am not like that though!!! I don’t hear the bad comments and that’s the issue with people around me. They can’t understand how no advice ever gets into my head and am so self-centered. A different kind of 'Selective hearing'

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Women in Kollywood

You can classify the roles women actors get in Tamil movies in a fairly simple way. They are either mothers or sisters or vamps or lovers.

Nothing can glorify a mother, like Tamil movies. There is so much of sentiment that is displayed that it is nauseating. They are the embodiment of all good virtues and gets treated badly in the climax to get the hero realize his courage, stand up and fight. All of them I suspect will be paid some 100 litres of glycerine as salary. Because they cry, cry and cry and make the whole cinema hall slippery and wet. They will love their sons so very much and invariably get a bad husband as a deal. It’s like saying ‘ You want a good son, then you can’t choose having a good husband too’. They need not worry too much about it, because the sons anyway carry them, bathe them, feed them food and cry with them, when the going gets tough. This is irrespective of the fact of whether they are rich or poor. The most died character in movies and provide tremendous scope for the sick & graphic scene of cremation.

Sisters are the next. If there was one hero who doesn’t love his sister, then he is a Martian or something like that. Their primary KRA is to get molested by the villain, secondary KRA is falling in love with a bad guy. The second gives tremendous scope for the hero to display his sacrificing abilities, as he will fall at the feet of the bad guy and suffer indescribable insults to demonstrate his love for the sister. The sisters can also sometimes be helpful in having friends who can be loved by their brothers. Sometimes they may die for the cause of the storyline including some gory fights. They are banned from wearing sexy clothes and mostly will be seen in a half-saree.

Lovers are the worst. Atleast the sisters & mothers can pretend to have a useful role. They may contribute to the movie’s progress, by crying, dying, getting raped etc. But this lover character is the ultimate. Invariably she will be a rich & arrogant girl who gets humbled by a 3rd standard dropout of a hero. The guy would have nothing to charm her, but she still would be charmed. Will get some scope for flying out to exotic locales and do some jigs in stupid Indian costumes in a very cold Scandinavian country. They will be an epitome of vulgarity and they get handsomely paid just because they do some intimate scenes with a stinking hero. I think a percentage of their earnings will go into makeup stuff for their public appearances. Couple of times I have seen a few of them without makeup and my kids were mighty scared.

My choice always is the vamps. Invariably they are most good-looking, sexy and they carry some attitude. They care a damn about guys, and treat them like a piece of dirt. Some of them screw this up, by turning good gals in the end. But most don’t. They stick to their bad virtues, have a super cool time, don’t get raped, don’t dance around trees like monkeys, wear awesome costumes and freak out totally.

There are rare, very rare exceptions where women will be something in Tamil movies, but even in that they will somehow contrive to find a guy with better virtues.

So my toast for the ‘Women’s Day’ is for all the vamps, in and out of the silver screen.


There is this sudden blankness again. Not about what to write or stuff like that. Some kind of emptiness on the whole!!

This keeps happening every now and then. It will appear like everything is going well and suddenly nothing will mean anything anymore.

I think life keeps moving forward in a continuous march towards some deadline, goal post or an event. If something was to happen, lets say a week from now, the entire time preceding that moves with a sense of purpose towards that event.

It could be a B’Day that is coming up, or a holiday or a meeting. Something to stay focused at, for the next few days. When there is nothing of that sort, the emptiness creeps in and rears its ugly head.

Maybe this happens because the regular life looks too mundane and flat, that you have to set some artificial milestones to look forward to.

But everytime, you look back and realize that there is so much time that has passed through, you get a feeling that life is willing to go on without your participation.

I am wondering what will happen if I really chase my dream and get into an idyllic village, doing nothing and try to spend time reading and writing. On hindsight, it looks like a very depressive situation.

I think I should stop reading James Redfield, Paulo Coelho, Robert Fulghum and Robin Sharma for a while. Life sometimes is better off without thinking about God, Philosophy. Just not think too much and keep running it simple and straightforward

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Home Theatre

“All the world is a stage” is what Shakespeare said. And when your world is just home, the home becomes the stage & theatre unto itself.

Now my home, or what I call as home are all of 3 other people. My wife and 2 other wonderful daughters. There are many other characters too in my stage. But these three are the protagonists.

Each one a different character by themselves! My youngest is the best of the lot. Most times, I think she is a pantomime. And someone holds the strings somewhere to move this lovely puppet. Her roly-poly has me in splits and the eyes are a revelation. I wonder whether we can ever get that innocence and brightness ourselves again. Her eyes speak a million words. And one charismatic smile that will sweep you off the feet! How can such small non-speaking part in a stage make such a profound impact beat my imagination greatly! She will appear as if, if love had a form walking around, it would look like her. And the pantomime’s role is not all humor and love. You should see the anger in her eyes when we say something she doesn’t like.

Next in line, is an advanced pantomime. The elder one, with her childishness and an inherent motherliness is all you need in life. You don’t know what to love really, her childishness or the resemblance of your wife whom you stopped saying you love. Or some parts of you as a stupid kid that you seem to love yourself about! She has a world and stage of her own and I am probably a speaking part in that, albeit beyond his prescribed dialogue.

The hero of the stage is my wife really. Did someone tell you that there are only 9 different emotions in a person? If you find that guy, let me tell you, beat him to death. The sheer range of emotions she can display will put Marlon Brando and Sivaji to shame. And the fact that, emotions are displayed in a very logical manner is a fallacy. I told you before; a leaking tap is my villain (always believed I was worth more). Afterall you don’t get to direct the play. You just play a surprise part with no pre-defined dialogue and script. And if you think your actions will only elicit an appropriate emotion, then again you are a fool. The stage today is different buddy. Learn that first!!!

And for me, did I say I have a role?? I just was self-indulging. Humoring me. A clown needs inspiration afterall. I am more a spectator and a stand-up comedian who never really stands up. : ))


“Whatever I write, is purely a figment of my imagination and in no way resemble any living thing. And resemblance, if any is purely coincidental”.

Well, I am forced to put this disclaimer on my blog. My wife has been threatening to leave me, if I continue writing all stupid stuff. (well, its again a joke, don’t ask me why I am not jumping at the offer)She says that, on me making such a drama out of the incidents and a character out of her, which is completely ‘out of character’ of her.

One of our uncles in all his books writes in first person narrative and main characters in the books are an existent wife and a non-existent brother-in-law. Thocchu & Kamala are fixtures in all his books.The only thing that is really common about the character and the real Periamma is just the name. I just could not imagine then, how she became fodder for his humor. Now I can. You just pick a personality and make humor. That’s it!!

And humor is mostly exaggeration or over-simplification. Something out of place in real world!! Like Disney’s four -legged creatures walking in two legs and talking. Or a misplaced word in a most opportune time, or a right word in the most inopportune time!!

Not all humorists are PG Wodehouse’s, who to quote one of the other uncles, ‘Had a logic in humor".Honestly, the criminal in the blanket stuff could be me. But then, the blog is mine too. Hahahaha…

So, please, please, let the planet understand, what I write is just a figment of my imagination and any resemblance, if any is purely coincidental.

But how come, it resembles someone I know is a million dollar question that bugs me consistently. :))

Tom & Jerry

I had been getting rave reviews on what I write these days. Particularly the ones I write about women, the difficulty in marriage, being a male etc.

Now I don’t take them to my head and bloat in ego. I completely understand that it is not about writing; it is because I seem to touch an emotional chord with my fellow males.

There are many males in this cruel world, who seem to suffer the same fate as I do. But the male pride is not allowing them to bitch and moan about the fight for a blanket! Or betray their incompetence in dealing with simple and straightforward problems in real life.

Problem with a dealer?! Ok no issues, it will be handled! Haggling for the best deal?! OK no issues, it will be handled! Odd time of the night, something is stuck, absolutely no issues, we have the mindset of Zen Buddhist monk. Nothing ruffles a male mind.

Males are a walking encyclopedia of ‘How to fix things yourself’. But for God sake, don’t ever think ‘things’ include owning a blanket, understanding your partner of 20 years, growing up etc. These are unreal things. Stuff for aliens to handle!

We, men can just probably fix business problems, but not the one in an apartment complex. Can sweet talk colleagues into doing the unthinkable, but not daughters into accepting what we say.

We men would know what is right and what is wrong in office. But have we ever dressed decently, or have we bought the right vegetable? My dad, visited subzi mandi’s all his life, but the brinjals he bought never met my mom’s approval for 50 long years. He will innocuously say to mom ‘She (the vendor) told the brinjal will be good’ and cut an extremely sorry figure. The incredulous look that my mom gives him, which would say ‘How can this man be so naïve’, while he had 100’s of people waiting to serve him and for his word!!!

I am certain that all women think that the entire corporate world should be full of fools, to hire nincompoops like us and pay us money too.

There are completely two different worlds that exist. One of males and another of females! And sometimes they are like anti-universe to each other.

And it should rate as the greatest wonder of the world that we can’t co-exist without each other. Like Tom & Jerry!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Blanket Business

I just imagined myself being interviewed in a show for couples, and asked what is the worst thing about marriage. My answer was waiting in my lips as if the question was leaked earlier.

It has got to be sharing a blanket. That is the worst. Nothing compares to it. Any other discomfort in a marriage can be put up with. Can be compromised. But not the blanket for sure!!

Think about this, you are a person who is a born insomniac. I know you can be. Because one of my friends during a surgery, after being administered the anesthetist’s concoction was asked to count 1,2,3, which is the normal practice to put them to sleep. When the doc came back, he was counting some 1000 or so. Certain people just can’t go to sleep. I am one like that, with the only exception being flights.

Now you understand the difficulty I undergo to sleep. On a typical day, when at last after a battle of about 2 Hrs I doze off, I wake up with my toes getting chilled. An extremely feline & gracious movement of my wife in the bed would have just rearranged the blanket. And there it goes. Another 2 Hrs of battle again!!

And the next time around, the movement will not be that feline. A sudden tug at your side of the blanket, you start all over again.

When you get lucky again and sleep, there will be a violent action that will completely take your blanket off. And to add to the misery, it will be firmly tucked underneath her and you may have to enlist the help of Arnold Schwarzenegger to really get your rightful share of the blanket.

After such battles with your wife, around the wee hours of the morning when you manage to doze, you will have one of your grievous sins creeping into the bed. I mean the kids here. I don’t know who on earth teaches the kids to sleep horizontally in a bed.

Even in the extreme good fortune conditions of having vertically sleeping kids, the size of them is too small that they are sunk inside the huge blanket and basic survival instinct for such a small creature would make the blanket being pushed down to suit their body.

Now the toes will be laughing at the torso like a villain with room temperature IQ, as if meaning to say ‘I know you will get your turn before the night ends’

Those days, when the huge battle ends and I start sleeping, I will have my dog licking me in the face warmly & sounding like a pregnant cat as it is her time to get out.

I will tell you what; this time around I figured a solution. I am going to buy a blanket, take it to the best tailor in town and ask him to stitch it around me, head to toes. And sleep under the bed…

Friday, March 02, 2007

Spam, Self Esteem & Humpty Dumpty

Everyday I get spammed to glory. Some of them improve my self-esteem to an unbelievable extent.

Who on earth will just like that grant a loan of some .3 Million dollars for a mortgage? Or for that matter, Nigerian kings bequeathing millions of dollars for an unknown Tambram should be something, isn’t it?

And the marriage bureaus making me feel like I am an eligible bachelor all over again. Malls selling me gifts for all kinds of festivals, Jobs pouring breaking the skies. There is one guy who says ‘start earning the salary you deserve’, as if I don’t want to!!

The sheer range of offers screaming at you like ‘ you have the freedom to choose’ etc, makes you feel almost like you are a king and your self-esteem shoots through the roof.

But the ones that chase me no end, is on improving my performance, you know in what? Starting from extensions to staying power, there is a solution. Looks like whoever has used their services should be doing something the whole day with time for nothing else. That’s the promise they make.

In the midst of all this, there could be a mail from your spouse asking you to do a certain stuff which will get missed and then all these spammers together also cannot help you any which way. And you are nothing but Humpty Dumpty.


Just got prompted to write this, when I received a ‘forward’ this morning about what a man should do to please a woman. The list was some 53 items long. Starting from being a friend to being a plumber. :))

And it also ends up saying what should a woman do to please a man. The answer is pretty straightforward and simple. ‘Leave him alone’

OK, I am not being sexist here. But having said that, I think all men are invariably sexist as much as women being sexy.

I could not help but wonder about the truth in the statement though, no debate about the 53 items. For a man, the best you can do is leaving him alone. That’s when he is at his happiest. Read in the book, ‘Why woman cry and men lie’ about how our brains are hard-wired differently for millions of years that any attempt now to change it will only be futile.

It comes from the need of men going out to hunt those days and it warranted total silence, lest the game gets scared away. So, even when you are amongst a group of people, if you are a man, you never spoke. (Unless there is too much beer in the system, but then there is nothing called as ‘too much beer’)

On the contrary, women were never sure about the return of the partners that they felt it was imperative to socialize. So, even after millions of years, men speak 1/4th of the number of words in a day as women.

There are funny examples about how men can spend 4 to 5 hrs with a friend and still not collect any worthwhile information about his life, family etc. Maybe that comes one own ‘Leave me alone’ attitude.

I hunted whole of Pattaya to buy a T Shirt that said ’Leave me alone’. I can’t help but marvel at the truth of the statement so.

Sometimes gems of revelations happen through mere forwards!!