Thursday, April 26, 2007

End of it, it's just a Joke

At the end of it, it appears to be a joke. All my writing I meant! I had these pretensions of being profound and leaving a mark in the world by my writing. I was already visualising a few folks having a meteoric rise in their life ( within a song sequence ) after reading my 'pearls of wisdom'.

And Sid broke the bubble. He could have minded his business when he was touted as a natural poet. Maybe a sadistic streak in him, or as a plain revenge on the quantity of my blogs ( mind you , he never was worried about the quality, he was sure that he was better any day ), gave me this link to take the test. On what kind of writer I should be. Now this website guys are another set of sadists. Or maybe distantly related to Sid. They just tell I should be a joke writer. Not a humorist even. May the soul of Wodehouse rest in peace now, he does not have serious competition yet. Afterall I am supposed to write just jokes. :((

I am also giving the link, for all you might know I maybe a joke writer, but not an easily forgiving one. I hope that my tribe will increase on taking this quiz.

You Should Be a Joke Writer

You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.
Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cheap Gazers & the likes!!

Nothing angers me more than keeping off stalkers when I am out with my family in a place like the beach. These guys are drunk and have this permanent stupid grin in their faces and belong to the most optimistic groups of the world. They would not have seen a bath or a mirror for a thousand years and they think they have a chance to score something.

What is this something only God knows. Maybe just have a sleazy look at victims, or come closer to just have a second of contact, or if it is some really hopeful jerk, he will make an attempt to establish a dialogue. Day befor yesterday I came across one such character. Been stalking us for a long time and I didn’t notice him initially. My folks did. And when we walked across to another shop he was following. That’s when I noticed and my blood started boiling immediately.

It has been ages for me to have really bashed someone up and the day was anyway a frustrating one on many reasons. So I could see anger welling up inside me and already started working out in mind, which tool I would use if I lose my patience. I stationed myself closer to a crate of empty bottles, which is what I zeroed in as my weapon of punishment to this sleaze. And I started thinking about whether to hand him over to police stationed nearby lest I get into some trouble. But somehow when I just barked at him once, he backed off and apart for furtive glances he kept his distance. I wonder why we tolerate such people in life. That’s what emboldens them. I kept thinking that I should have used the first available opportunity to give it pretty hard to him. Maybe it was some inherent decency or lack of confidence or plain fear that could have been there subconsciously in my mind, stopped me from doing it.

As I was just contemplating about our levels of patience or just ignorance about these cheap guys, it dawned on me, not many are different from that beach bum. The attempts vary as per educational level. But all are jerks anyway. If you are slightly better educated, you may probably throw some wisecracks and look for a response and if there is no resistance, you push a bit. And if you happen to be even better in intelligence, you use humor as a mask and throw the same wisecracks and look for response. It happens at all every place.

What is that with men? Why should they be such jerks? I don’t claim myself to be an angel. But I know atleast I am honest. Don’t resort to such cheap tactics. I tell what I feel. In no uncertain terms! No ambiguity, no pushing the edge of the envelope, no waiting to see whether my attempt is agreeable and by sheer ignorance, the victim chooses not to slipper me, then pushing the luck further. I also don’t claim this as a good or a better tactic, I simply feel that I am honest to myself minimum. But many even refuse that realization to themselves. They try and keep trying and when atlast they get a message the other way, they retreat licking the wounds and start looking for another victim when the first one heals.

Anyway, cheap tactics doesn’t get too far these days and girls are much smarter than they were during my times. They know when to give it back and they do. Maybe they have understood this well, after years of learning about how to stave off such crude attempts.

But I am convinced that men don’t understand unless it is spoken in a plain language. Like any other communication gaps between men and women, even in this, unless told to keep the f*** off, they won’t.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Shopping ! Me for a Home :(

It is a real miracle that my marriage is intact and I haven’t been thrown out of house yet. No, no, not for some reason which people would think. Though I may qualify for that too. The major reason however would be my aversion to shopping.

My wife is a very discerning shopper. Even before she embarks on the mission, she is pretty clear about what she wants and how much she will pay for that. She would have done a good research and analyzed the pros and cons of buying a certain thing. And also she is fairly single-minded about the task.

And I am just the opposite. I would maybe start shopping wanting something. The first one I like in that genre I pick up and bill. And then get desultory and buy all the stuff that I do not want or did not want on the first place. My theory is that, the moment I look at choices I get confused and that make decisions difficult. Invariably I end up buying all of what I see. And then they sleep in my cupboard.

And worse is that I don’t know the value of what I buy. What is paramount in my mind is whether I want to buy it, irrespective of what it would cost. Or irrespective of whether I already have countless number of the same stuff already with me.

And so, when I go shopping with my wife, I get very bored and tired. She doesn’t stop till she finds what she wants. And worse is that she would be willing to forego the purchase even. And that means walking up and down many floors of the shop or walking to different shops. And by that time, the knowledge bank also swells much bigger than what it was while we started shopping. So, the second, third shops become even more difficult. And invariably we end up going to the first shop and buy the first one we saw.

I never understand this psychology. Would want to know whether any man, any man at all would shop like how women do. If you want something and you see that, you should buy. Where is the ambiguity? But worse is the remorse after buying. There is always this perennial doubt about whether we paid more, could we have searched more and so on. I keep pushing people to buy branded stuff that can avoid this doubt creeping later, but there also colors, textures, styles, and many such blah blah as a time killer. And I hate those shop assistants who treat you like dirt or an alien with no knowledge whatsoever about things or as a killjoy who would simply turn away a potential customer. Some hope they have!!

Appears to me, neither my haste which converts Salwars to Nightie’s because I jump and buy, nor the elaborate ritual of picking and choosing stuff is right.Now their side is getting stronger at home what with my daughter being a chip of the old block and that block being her mother.

So, it has come to that I simply don’t go shopping. If I can’t be of help, I can atleast be of no hindrance. And she prefers it too. Between a respectable English speaking chauffeur who can haggle a bit in the shops and the pain that comes along with a sullen face adding to nervousness every second of a great shopping experience, the chauffeur loses. She goes without me.


I am unable to overcome my agony about air travel that I have to keep writing about it time and again. Or maybe because I had been doing too much of flying. This whole business of queuing up in the lavatory gets into my nerves.

Firstly I don’t know why so many people hold up for the flight to land. A plausible explanation is that the toilet in the aircraft is too small. You feel claustrophobic and can’t turn this side or that side. And maybe the vacuuming makes one feel that they can be sucked in. Or maybe walking the flight while it is at 30000 ft is scary. But somehow, they all wait. I can understand the pain.

So, the moment they land, they all rush to the loo. And the worse starts there. In all these standup urinals, you need to pick your spot and stand behind him to finish. Wish there was a common queue and whoever stands first, gets the first free slot. But it is not to be. You just identify a guy, as if you are finding a match for your life and stay behind him. And I will bet all my estate on this postulate. He will invariably be a guy who hasn’t pissed for about 2 or 3 years and almost leases the urinal for another couple of years. It happens to a couple of other guys also. And to watch their effort to jump into the other free spot that has already been eyed by someone else, or to watch their squirming like Peter Sellers in ‘The Party’ is great fun. That makes you forget your agony.

And when this 2-year pisser, ultimately finishes he also happens to be a guy who will do an elaborate ritual of re-dressing himself and vacates the spot. And you get your chance and then realize that this entire wait is what makes someone occupy the slot for such a long time. Maybe your predecessor was one who had a 3-year pisser in front of him.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Monkey Dolls & Attitude

Whenever I see these guys standing in sweltering heat in street corners to sell you those soft toys, I am thrilled. Amazing perseverance these people should have.

I run a large sales team of some 100 odd people and my biggest challenge with them is to get their attitude right. And in summer months, to make them do even the basics like going into the market. And these guys are paid well.

I wonder what motivates the monkey doll sales guys. Maybe they don’t belong to the cream and the money that is gained out selling is of paramount importance to them. I guess it can’t be anything else. But so could the AC room sales people be. I get motivated by so many things and of which one is surely money.

But I guess it has got more to do with the attitude. I have this poster in my desk that reads as follows.

We cannot change the inevitable
The only thing we can do is play
on the one thing we have,
and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is
10% what happens to me and
90% is how i react to it.
And so it is with you...
We are incharge of our attitudes

I am generally a non-believer when it comes to books & motivating posters and stuff. I have always thought that it is within oneself and you don’t really gain by reading about positive thinking. Particularly after learning that one of these guys who made millions by writing about ‘positive thinking’ committed suicide. Despite that I keep this poster. Because I almost felt that it captures what I have in my mind more than anything else.

I think it is all about attitude and then you never realize the pain. The motivator could be anything. Could be money, love, growth, proving a point, anything. But it is attitude that counts the most. I can see that in some of these sales guys’ eyes. Unrelenting in their follow-up, they make me buy almost any damn thing they sell, which I completely have no use for. Just as a toast to their attitude.

Maybe I should send a few guys in my team to sell monkeys in street corners and see how they fare. If they fail, I could make them one myself as a strange case of reverse evolution.

Workout's & Me

Really wished that I never bought this treadmill and the gym at home. I was acting as if I am going to burst in weight the next day and as usual bullied the vendor to deliver it yesterday. And it came and sat, nicely just next to my dining table. As if, the presence of it will be a deterrent for hogging food!

It was ok initially. Found all reasons about why one should spend 40K buying these equipments and work out at home. One of major reasons was, what if it rains! You will miss a day’s walking!! I knew I have some sense of humor, but this I later realized was the best demonstration. Think about it, investing 40K because I don’t want to miss one day of workout. Hahahaha!! I don’t remember the last time I touched them now.

I also was dreaming about building up my physique, kill age and things like that. But nature’s design is something else. It doesn’t work in the same pace as your dreams do. And worse is that, the improper estimation sets you back. Bloody hell, these machines just don’t care a damn about you and you really have to workout full time instead of going to office, if at all you intend to get any closer to what you want to be. The cost of paraphernalia for these workouts was also high. Bought a new pair of running shoes. iPod was a must.

Now, it is more a task to keep them from rusting because at some point of time guilt catches up with you. You spent so much; the least you can do is keep them in good condition. Think about this irony, these machines were bought to keep you in good condition and now I need to take care of them to stay in good condition.

Anyway, my well-wishers and friends contribute their bit to my laziness by constantly asking ‘how do you manage to stay fit’ and I started feeling, why should I even work out. I am ok as it is.

The real answer to their question is ‘ Providence’. I am plainly lucky to stay fit. And of course I do work out by cleaning the machines. That’s a very good exercise. You would say that they met their purpose one way or other. Wouldn’t you???

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Air Travel

This whole flying business gets into my nerves. While it is extremely convenient to travel from one place to another, the sheer effort that one should put in to get into the aircraft and thereof is one saga of a sad story.

Firstly, the airports are now very crowded. Almost no one appears to go by train these days. All of them are flying. So, there are long queues for everything. From check-in to the lavatories! If you are flying Indian Airlines, then you can be certain that, in your last birth you were a serial killer. Maybe you killed babies. Only then you deserve such kind of punishment. There will be two staff manning the counters for a million people. And they work in super slow motion. Either they are seriously afflicted with some nervous disorder that their limbs can only do 10% of what normal people do, or they just don’t care a damn about you. After a lifetime of checking and issuing the boarding pass (mind you they are Gods, they will not ask you which seat you prefer, they have been generous enough to consent flying you in their aircraft) you then proceed to the security check.

This is another drama. Many people are first time flyers and there is no proper help. I am seeing atleast every 3rd person being turned back to check in what they are not supposed to carry in person. The checking while being perfunctory is once again super slow. They enjoy your discomfort of standing on a platform with arms spread. Maybe they are recruited from Yamaloha straight. And this damn metal detector beeps for everything. For me atleast!! I don’t how on earth they make out which beep is a bomb–beep. And I get very nervous as it beeps when it travels down on me. It is the belt buckle honestly, but as the Sardar Kushwant has written, something made of steel could be there. :p I meant the coins! And then you go back to collect your bag which is unceremoniously thrown somewhere.

Then starts the fun. Our hasty heroes come into play. The rush to pick up Economic Times could beat Carl Lewis in his heydays. The way they run and grab the copies convinces me that we evolved from animals. Darwin need not have sweated if he had seen airport behavior of Homo sapiens. And the second rush to catch the bus.

After that, once again your luck is based on your previous birth’s vocation. If you are really that serial killer, you get a middle or aisle seat. And the heaviest two creatures in the country are specially seated next to you. And worse is that these are heavy incontinent creatures. They need to piss every 5th minute. And they squeeze you to get out and in the process, damage your bladder irreversibly that you also start suffering from incontinence yourself. Then you also get to know the recent life history of other creatures around you, because till the doors are closed these guys speak loud in the phone about all silly stuff. It is an ugly sight to see funny looking not so gentlemen cooing in the phone, which makes shouting more acceptable. Somehow they stop and you start feeling you are now settled and believe that your parole is imminent. But it doesn’t end so soon. If you are dozing and your neighbors also manage to do that without pissing, the air hostess will wake you up to find out whether you want to have that stupid fresh lime juice served in a bottle that pygmies use. I intend to flick these ‘Do not disturb’ signs from the hotels and hang it on my neck next time I fly.

Or you will have your neighbor peering either into your laptop or what you read. Worse is that my yesterday’s co-passenger wanted to borrow my phone. Or they punish by serving food. And the whole aircraft starts stinking of what is supposed to be a fragrance from good food. Or the captain punishes you with incessant talking with an accent deliberately put on, giving us useless information about whether we are flying with easterly or westerly winds. How many times he would have attempted showing Tirupathi to me only God knows. (I have not been lucky even once to really see it though, maybe the Pilot suffers from an illusion that he sees the God, which we can’t)

When the ordeal finally gets over, you are by then used to hasty heroes and their attempt to get home like Superman. And the phones get flipped the next minute and there is cacophony. And you are also used to negotiating the trolleys while picking the baggage.

And to my dismay, the entire flight all you get to see outside is the clouds like balls of cotton, as opposed to the lovely & scenic train or road ride. But for the time constraint, I guess trains are better any day than flights.

But one needs to fly anyway. So I have decided to become the President of India to make this agony more bearable.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today Man

I keep telling fancifully that I am a Today Man. Actually there is not as much fancy in that. I am being pretty forthright about it. I neither care about yesterday nor care about tomorrow.

I am generally seen as a person with no sense of long-term orientation or as a guy who simply chooses to ignore lessons of the past. Neither of these opinions about me is true.

When I say I don’t care about the past, it does not mean that I don’t remember the past. In fact I remember many things photographically. With dates and time. What I really don’t care about is the bad stuff about those times and in a really elated mood, I do recall the nice moments and relive them with a smile. And in the bad things I do remember what I learnt. Barring a few occasions I have never repeated a mistake. Maybe done a few new ones! But repetition is rare. Unless it is something that drags me like a moth to a flame!

When this is a style I have set for myself, it is even more rare that I spend time knowing about the past of people around me. Much to the chagrin of them! True that the past is what fashions today. But my logic is that, when I get to see the present why am I interested in knowing about the past that makes someone be what he or she are today. Letting it happen can cloud my judgment of them during specific times, because I can form preconceived notions about why and how someone acted on a particular situation. And maybe alter my reaction to it accordingly. That’s not being fair to myself and to them too. I should be saying what I feel. And don’t get into an analysis yet about people and events. As I fondly say, everyone is entitled to my opinion. Arrogance apart, if each one of us can have this as a philosophy, then it is even.

And the worst is about tomorrow. I am not a fatalist, but I have seen enough in my life to actually fashion today’s action hoping for tomorrow’s outcome. I have seen parents giving all their money to children only to get ill-treated at the end. People opposing to ideas based on what others will say tomorrow, only to find out that the same others pursue the same idea they discarded. Buying houses too early when one can’t afford spending almost 30% of the salary as EMI to live in a pigeon hole only to realize when they have more money later, that they can’t live in that pigeon hole and maybe even earmarking 50% of the salary would still keep you comfortable on the other needs. I can go on and on.

Many a time I feel we unnecessarily complicate our lives by foregoing simple pleasures of today for the greater pleasure of tomorrow, which never comes because of the simple reason there is nothing called greater pleasure. There is always something you keep wanting. And if you don’t, those that you want are so very simple, for which you need not have struggled so hard yesterday.

Being a today man is plain convenience to me, but it makes great sense too. Just to be what you are and hog all the great moments of the day and wake up just to find another great day waiting for you.

Prisoners of our own devise

Whenever I hear this verse in the song Hotel California, I cannot help but marvel at the truth it holds. How many of us are trapped in rules that we choose to follow! How many of us are engaged in arguments on making others stick to the rules that we don’t want to follow!

In my mind, I think all the miseries that are inflicted upon us in this world are self-done. Either as individuals or collective as a society! We could keep quiet and let something go by, but we don’t. We participate in that without invitation and get ourselves heard, silently cursed or sometimes snubbed. Even in a tough time where only cooperation would help, because our own trappings we tend to ignore the greater good and stay with the petty gains we get as individuals.

While it is inviting trouble not to keep quiet, keeping quiet when we should not is another crime. There are many an occasion I have felt that I should stand up and put an end to the nonsense I face in the office or in general in the environment I live, but the so-called social pressures stop me from doing that. So, the charade continues.

Many of us are like this only. We hang on Kashmir like dear life, but in a way neither Pakistan nor us can lay a rightful claim to the land if we have a sense of honesty. And by devising this problem, we are stuck with it spending millions of dollars on arms to let America flourish.

It is all because we as a group draw ourselves limits and try to stay within them, or as an individual we have scruples that are subjective that makes us choose the path. The day when we can ask ourselves the question of whether we are being honest to self, we can break these shackles and set us and others free. Because I am somehow certain, around 90% of the population always does something that it does not want to do. Maybe for a time complete anarchy will prevail if everyone chooses to act the way they want. But I am sure that not many would do and the ones who do would not be stupid enough to let it go out of control.

As long as we stay prisoners and that too prisoners of our own devise, we would be moaning all our life. Maybe, it is time to unshackle.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sudden Delights

Yesterday morning, the sky suddenly opened up and that too during peak of the summer! These sudden rains are extremely happy ones. Somehow I feel it comes to be with you and share your happiness than the torrential seasonal rains.

The charm is in the unexpected timing. Maybe you keep wanting something or expecting something, but they don’t happen. And all of a sudden, you don’t really expect it to happen, it does. And even your own senses are not too ready for this unexpected pleasure. But the fact that what you had been wanting happens is a huge bonus.

As youngsters, my cousin and me had rain-watching as a serious vocation. Their house had this balcony and to sit with a hot coffee and watch the rain drops falling down would be a great delight. We almost became an expert in the subject that we could tell how long the rain would be falling based on the distance between two droplets. Not rocket science it was, but the point is that we were watching it closely.

But the city life robbed this charm. The rain is more a nuisance in a place like Chennai. With an awful addiction to concretize everything we see, we deprive the earth of its lifeline and thus ours too. And the water logs all over the roads and that great smell that used to emanate out of the soil, is nowhere to be smelt. All you can smell is sewage. And you want to quickly get back to comfortable pigeonhole and stay tucked.

Me, I am kinda lucky. I have the option of watching rain. Thank goodness I chose to stay away from the crowds. And I still can relive my childhood days and the joy of rains. Yesterday, I was sleeping so missed the actual rain. But the telltale signs of rain having visited were all over when I woke up.

The leaves were greener because the rain has washed them. The sand in the beach was browner. The sea itself was calmer and the folks in the hamlet had a boat race. It started to swelter pretty soon. But the rain stayed in the mind for a much longer time.

Homage to my Stomach

I am dead certain that my stomach is going to burst anytime soon. Been outing frequently and having feasts. But that’s not the reason why this would be happening. It is because, the words I have to eat back is what causing this flatulence and hence the fear.

I thought 41 years is decent enough time to form opinions and you can hold firm to that. Appears not to be. Some of them are getting changed now. Worse are things that I say about insomnia and all are coming apart.

A while back I was moaning about lack of sleep and waking up at odd times. And I even made an elaborate plan to keep me occupied during those times. And I was so excited at that prospect because some of them were pretty naughty thoughts.

But I am now bitten by a tsetse fly. I sleep as if I will somehow make up for all the lost time. Been doing anywhere between 8 to 10 Hrs and on a typical weekend I add it up with another 3 Hrs of afternoon siesta. I should be happy about it, isn’t it? But I am not.

I am not happy at the fact that I alternate between insomnia and over-sleeping. It affects my routine. I was doing so many things during my insomniacal period and all that’s gone now. My unhappiness is because I haven’t written much these days too. These periods were either giving me ideas or lot of free time to write.

Sets me thinking about what changed. Maybe I am not restless anymore. I am fairly settled in my thoughts that nothing begs immediate release. Maybe something was bugging me and I have come out of that nagging feeling. And this relaxation also makes me sleep better.

Anyway, I was hoping to stay awake at odd times and get bitten by a sexy fly, but it happened to be the tsetse fly. To hell with the stomach, let it digest whatever I eat. Afterall one should keep changing to get better!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007


In an old interview, one quarter of the famous Beatles, Paul McCartney said this “I believe in the spirit of goodness, so I can sympathize with Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims. I think essentially they’re all saying the same thing: You ought to choose between good and bad. Something I thought about years ago is that, God is the word Good with an ‘o’ taken out, and devil is the word evil with a ‘d’ added. So they are personification of forces. I don’t subscribe to any one religion, but I do a feel an oneness with a spirit of goodness. But I don’t know whether there is an old man with a beard in the sky”.

I think nothing can be truer than what he said. With an addition of how goodness happens to you every time you practice it on others. William Blake said ‘Everything that lives, lives not alone, not for itself’.

I personally believe that ‘Quality of Life comes down to the quality of one’s contribution’. No matter how many cars sit on your driveway, how many homes you own and how much you have achieved, it all comes down to what did you do improve the lives of the others. For me, it all starts from choosing between the Good and Bad. Not everyone needs to consistently provide something for others in terms of contribution. By being plain good, we do make a lot of contribution to the world we live in.

There is a bit of God in everyone. Our philosophies suggest that and our religion preaches that. So, if only every single of us, lead a full day at a time, without causing heartburn and pain to others, we would have made a lot of contribution to the world. Need not necessarily one should perform of act of contribution. Not causing pain is the highest form of contribution.

An ancient Chinese proverb says, “ A little bit of fragrance always stick to the hand that gives you the roses”. When you work to improve the life’s of others, you indirectly elevate your own life in the process. When we practice random acts of kindness daily, our own life becomes far richer and meaningful. To cultivate the sacredness and sanctity of each day, one should serve others in some way.

The moment one stops seeing oneself as an individual and sees as a part of the collective, the paradigm changes. What one can do can vary from taking a sabbatical from work and do social service to letting a couple of cars pass by in the signal.

In this movie ‘Pay it forward’, when the class teacher gives an assignment to the students on ‘What action they would perform to make world a better place to live’, a student comes up with a very simple and genuine idea of performing three acts of kindness, with a condition that they pay it forward to three others. When the student does not see obvious results in his three acts of kindness, the boy is very upset of it, unaware of the movement he has created. ‘Pay it forward’ becomes a big movement, which even contains, a brand new Jaguar car gifted away by an attorney (generally seen as exploiters).

Maybe we serve in a small way, we would never be aware is the impact it would have and most importantly the way it gives back learning and happiness to one’s own self.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

3 Indestructible Things

I always believed that three things in the world are simply indestructible. They are Atom, Cockroach and Ass. The first two are almost conclusively proved.

The atom can utmost be split, but never destroyed. And the cockroach is supposed to be around for billions of years from the time of dinosaurs. Plus the fact that, however hard I try I don’t seem to be successful in eliminating them at my home! Guess the Pest Control business is one that will never die too. No stagnancy, no obsoleteness, and ever growing market.

The last is just a postulate. Haven’t been proved. But I think, someone should take a serious research in this subject and get my theory right. Or worse come worse, wrong! Let me warn you, one sparrow doesn’t make a summer. I would demand a fairly strong substantiation that the Ass can afterall be destroyed.

I had always doubted that, there is a secret short passage ( with a lightning processing speed ) between the stomach and the backside of a person. Because, whatever you eat, it just straightaway goes there and parks itself as gluteal muscles. And with some amazing permanency! This theory also is a fallacy.

Women particularly try almost everything, from prayers to starving for some three full years. But it still grows. So, I have started thinking that they thrive on oxygen. Even if you don’t eat anything for ages, they will suck in air from atmosphere and continue to grow. And once it grows, never leave the host. Vacating a Mumbai tenant from premises is child’s play. Here even the underworld can’t help.

So, if I am asked for tips, I would say, get yourself locked in an airtight container. Its ok if you die in the process, but you would be the first one to have destroyed an indestructible thing. Or maybe repatriate to some other plant where oxygen is not needed for living.

Some cheek these VLCC’s of the world have. Atleast the pest control guys kill other small insects. Here the primary purpose is defeated. Anyway, I am kinda convinced that prayer is the best method to employ!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How do you find time to write??

Let me confess, I don’t pretend to be any writer at all. All I do is blog and according to me, even the blog is one big collection of my ‘what’s running in mind’. It is almost like keeping the thoughts in an external hard disk. Suits me well, as the internal one gets cleaned, compacted and more storage gets created & done.

Now, everyone asks me this dumb question. How come you find so much time to write? To the point of almost driving me guilty! I am either accused of ignoring everything else in life, letting others do all the work for me and I sit and only blog, or in an ‘almost but not quite’ fashion tell that they will also write, if only they had the luxury of time as I do.

Buddies let me tell you one thing. All of us have time. If time were the criteria to write, then the greatest writers would have come only from prison, or the bums or the pensioners. So don’t for God sake, ask me this question. I will be tempted to help you write by throwing you in a jail.

Agent of Denudation

This has nothing to do with the impending Social Studies exam of my daughter. For that matter, if it is her SST exam, I sleep early. Just because I love her too much and can’t stand to bear the pain in her face! And anyway I suppose they don’t teach this topic so early in school, but you can’t really say though. My younger one at Junior KG knows more about a few things than me. She was talked about immigration at school. I don’t know whether she has applied for a secret visa yet.

The reason I was thinking about ‘agents of denudation’ was because I was thinking of myself ( well, that happens almost all the time ). Past two days, there had been huge fun. Again, there is always huge fun in my life. This one was official though ( Now, don’t start reading between lines, what I meant was that this is about office get-together and the ensuing fun ).

My entire team has come down to Chennai. And we spent whole of Sunday at a farm and a beach resort having a rollicking time. The guys were simply delirious and it was almost like going on a college tour with all kinds of silly jokes, teasing and endless singing and dancing. We really didn’t want the day to end. It was such an amazing time; we literally had to herd folks back to the bus. And I was toasted big time!!

And then, we were back at office yesterday. In different attire, or rather completely dressed. And inside the attire, different people also. It was another kind of riot altogether. Had steam blowing all over the boardroom and whenever I asked something, there was a pregnant silence that stayed pregnant throughout. I started wondering whether people lost their voice after so much of shouting the previous day. These folks were surely not the ones who came with me yesterday.

Then it struck me; maybe that’s what they are thinking about me. Maybe as a person with a multiple personality disorder!! One of the agents of denudation that creates geological wear & tear is ‘Alternation of heat & cold’. That’s precisely what I had been doing. Blowing hot & cold. I kick started a party the previous day that ended for them, while I alone continued it the next day at office.

Now am up as usual at a stupid hour of the day, sitting and introspecting whether this is what life is like, for people around me. I am sure that my wife will subscribe to it, only the day before, she was telling a friend that her biggest complaint about me is lack of predictability.

Well, when I sit and think peacefully, I find no reason whatsoever to have acted differently at different times. That was needed. Sunday was fun and the folks to party. And yesterday was work and folks had to answer some questions. Simple!!

Maybe, just maybe I could have restrained the intensity of either occasion. I am surely not a person with MPD. And if was getting predictable, what will happen to the great me? I am not a cliché.

Withdrawal Symptoms

My palms were itching, there was palpitation, my tongue got dry, there was this craving at my brain, there was some unjustified anger and irritation written all over me. As far as I knew, I wasn’t addicted to anything.( as long as I get to define addiction ). I really started getting worried. Didn’t know what these symptoms were for. Got tempted to quickly visit a doctor and get some drug prescribed and get all right.

Then it dawned on me. It was almost 72 hours since I wrote anything at all. And then the pieces started to fall in place. Picked the laptop, typed junk and practiced ‘asdfasdf’ and like a magic the symptoms disappeared. Well, I was joking. I really don’t type junk; I write some serious stuff and if it appears as junk in the blog, then blame it on google. It wasn’t me.

Guess even in the strictest liberal standings I set for myself, this would get termed as addiction. Sitting out and writing at 4 am and posting blogs! People give plenty of reasons about why one writes.

An eternal chase of a wandering soul is one of the prime contenders for the topmost position. I think the chase is about the words and not anything else. I was churning out words like a factory lately.

I suddenly found myself short of them for 3 days. Or maybe I was speaking too many. And I was exhausting my word stock. Point is that, it resulted in all these symptoms and here am I, blogging to glory again. Maybe I will speak less today. Good for the guys at office.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Vanity of Blogging & Sour Grapes?

Lately, I have started fancying the thought of taking writing a bit more seriously than what I had in the past. That is because; suddenly I have started believing that I write well, a few faithful’s endorse it and people who love me even fan that fire greatly. I should confess that, keeping myself in the circle of blogs; I tend to get that extravagance myself, of being a good writer.

If I remember right, it was Updike who once said that ‘ Writing is nothing but speaking to oneself, and if we are lucky, through our writing we can speak with like-minded people’. Have never heard a statement truer than this. Leaving complete fiction & published works, in blogs surely this is a major consideration.

Which is what gives that vanity. You are read by probably a few and then if they happen to be like-minded they understand what you write and comment on it and then you want to write more. Thus starts the vicious circle. If you can keep your head to the ground maybe you can differentiate love, respect and genuine adoration you can stay there, otherwise quickly soar up to touch the skies and fall with a thud. Did I say thud, well I don’t know whether a million pieces will make that sound. But, I am darned sure that the fall will be gruesome. But the nice people around won’t allow that. They have their methods of giving you feedbacks and if you are smart enough, you can pick the cue and slow down the journey up, towards bungee jumping.

That’s for the real friends ( who blog themselves & don't ), but it is the other bloggers that worry me too much. There is so much of good reading in the books & magazines and I was pretty contented with that. Having started to blog I started reading other blogs. I was pretty impressed about the quality of some of them. Few of them, I wanted to call up and say ‘Hey what you doing here, you should be in journalism?’. But it is just a few of them. Rest is a one huge junk load.

Even the ones who somehow contrive to get recognition and get know in the circles. They get away with cataloguing & chronicling most times. Some of them report, don’t write. Some of them even write about their laptops, with no story in that. Might as well have published the Instructor's Manual of Toshiba. Anyone who has filled ‘About Me’ in the blog page with too much of seriousness warrants an attention. You better take them to a shrink. Or like lawyers being ‘Ambulance Chasers’ the shrinks could become ‘Blog Chasers’. That’s a market with huge potential.

These are the guys I am worried about. They enhance my vanity to an unbelievable extent. Leaving aside the faithful’s, these bloggers might make me seriously think that I am a good writer and become vain. I just need to be cautious only about keeping sanity in such situation. Keep probably counting from 1 to 1000 and say; you are not yet there and if you really want to be there, it is not the way these guys are.

But for now, my bigger worry is something else. I hope guys at Google really don’t read blogs. If they do and suddenly realize most of them are junk, they might as well pull the plug and I am dead. All my pretensions of being a writer will then be in thin air. Or maybe I can claim, all my best works were sabotaged.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Mother Tongue, Kid's Babble & Emoticons

We all are supposed to communicate, but each one of us, somehow picks up a style to do that and stick on to it as dear life and don’t know whether the one on other side even understand what we communicate. There are a few things that happened in the last week or even slightly even before and this post has been jumping inside my head demanding & begging release.

I don’t know what is it with me. I am utmost comfortable with a language that is not really my mother tongue. I am good in my mother tongue also, but when it comes to speaking I invariably choose English. I read in both languages, Tamizh & English, but if I need fluency in communicating my thoughts I jump over to English. People tease me that, I keep repeating the same words in Tamizh, having a looonnggg preamble, but invariably say some stuff that does not mean anything. And I quickly jump over to English and continue the conversation and feel like I had been pulled out of deep waters and I can really feel oxygen in my lungs.

Some say that it depends on which language you think, but what I think is that, it also depends on the subject that you want to talk. My daughter and me are extremely comfortable with each other in Tamizh and my Madurai dialect.

But I am absolutely angry about something that happened 3 days back ( don’t ask me what’s new in that ). At I was at the receiving end and at the other end was a Patna dealer. He called me in my mobile after 9 PM and I don’t entertain that because there is no problem in my business that can’t wait till the next day. The business itself is in one state that however hard we try we cannot screw it up further, so we have stopped attempting. Now this Patna guy has urgency. Leave his impropriety of calling at that time; this joker had no sense in him that he spoke with me in Hindi, a language I don’t understand. I tried telling him that if he expects me to solve his problem, he needs to make me understand that on first place. He had the audacity to then tell me, why are you in Senior Management if you don’t know Hindi. X-(

You should have imagined my anger by now. But I was fairly composed comparing to my standards because he was a business partner. I didn’t even ask him how come he does business, if he is such a stupid ***hole. I didn’t tell him that Tamizh as a language has thrived for more than 5000 years and it is one of the classical languages and the only one that is spoken even today. No use telling these nuts about the glory of the language, when they don’t know what it means by 'seat reservation' in trains, coming from a state like that. I simply started replying to him in Tamizh and the conversation had to stop eventually. And don’t ask me what I did to the dealer later. This is not about power abuse; this is about recording my indignation.

Now it is another story communicating with my 5-year-old daughter. She has this swing-sang tone to her speech. For that matter, all kids do. This girl has completed her Annual Concert ( don’t call it annual day, OK? ) some 3 weeks back. But I am yet to hear the full composition of her team. Whenever I ask her, she starts, Naaanu, Saaambhhhaaavi, Saaaaaadna, Tejas, Ddddeeeevvv …… I don’t know how on earth a 3 letter name takes 3 weeks to be told, but its true. In this she will also miss out a name, then start all over again. I am determined to get the team members correctly before the next annual concert and I have applied some 2 weeks leave for that. Take her to Shimla, slowly get one name a day and complete the team somehow.

And then the sms!! My friends tell me that I write better or talk even better when it is sms. One of my guys has warned me that my future is at stake, because I use my fingers so much to type that the fingerprints will disappear and I cant find out what will happen in my life. Without sms, I somehow can’t talk. I guess I send messages to people inside the same room. I wonder how I am still talking with my wife, when she has a number for herself. And in sms, my use of emoticons.

I think Yahoo killed my mother tongue, and has made these symbols, Characters as the main words in my dictionary. I find it very difficult to have a normal face to face talk with someone because emoticons are not available. Or atleast cant be used, but for a few ones! Just imagine standing in front of a girl talking with her and suddenly putting your tongue out. They will think you have gone bonkers ( which they will eventually anyway think, but why do you want to advance it yourself ). In sms, all you have to do is type :p , ain’t it easy? Or can you really allow spit flowing through the corner of your lips. Hello, it is extremely good-natured and it means drooling, which is what you do anyway. But an emoticon can easily help you in that, which a talk can’t.

And now I have made my friends addicted to these emoticons, that if I receive a sms without the ‘tongue out’, I start getting seriously worried whether she is suffering some dreaded disease that has afflicted her for some 10 seconds. And breathe easy when the next one has an emoticon in it.

Anyway, I sometimes really don’t know whether with all these compulsions one has a conversation at all. But who cares? Action Counts, isn’t it ?! ;)

Crime & Punishment

Whenever I take the car out in the evening a massive rage attacks me. I feel like just getting down from the car, catch the errant guys by the collar and smash them to pulp. My wife keeps telling me that I am made out of anger and not flesh and bones.

I am by nature an angry guy. But I always felt that my anger was fairly justified and my father-in-law helped me redefine that as ‘righteous indignation’. How true he is!

I get thoroughly pissed off when people get away lightly with crimes. And increasingly keep asking the question to many others and myself about how the bad guy always manages to skip the punishment.

I have seen really slimy guys do one elaborate ritual of being decent with women, but use their position and power to behave diametrically opposite. I have seen guys who talk like their words are dipped in honey, but not mean even one of them. There are many such characters. For me, the anger stimulants could start from a PTC bus driver who just doesn’t care about lanes and blocks your green signal, indecent honker, to liars & rapists.

In Vishnu Purana it is written clearly about what kind of punishments that awaits at Hell and who would get what. Just for academic interest I have listed them.

Rowravam: Torturing through an animal called Guru
Sooharam: Torturing through Pigs.
Rodham: Place where one is made to stand still.
Thaalam: Pushed from a palm tree and cut through its leaves.
Visanasam: Cutting by a short blade.
Mahajwaalam: Burning in a huge fire
Tabdhakumbam: Boiling in hot oil
Lavanam: To cut part by part and apply salt in that.
Vilohitham: To suck the blood
Rudhirarambam: Immerse is simmering blood
Vaidharani: To cross a deadly river
Kirumisam: Drilled by worms
Kirumibojanam: To be made to eat worms
Krishnam: To walk in the sharp iron thorns
Dharunam: Biting cold place
Sandhamisam: To pluck the tongue
Asibathiravanam: Walk over sharp knives
Booyavaham: A very smelly and unbearable place
Krishnasoothiram: To tie up tight from the toe all around the body.

But I have my special list about who gets what and the list would read as

PTC Bus Drivers: Tabdhakumbam
Telemarketers: Thaalam
Jaywalkers: Krishnam
Brain Conservers: Rodham
Sycophants: Mahajwaalam
Liars: Lavanam
Parasites: Kirumisam
Double tongues: Sandhamisam
MCP’s: Sooharam
Guys who don’t stock KF Beers: Dharunam

I am looking at really growing this list and any contribution would be extremely welcome and I would make a list of good things that would await them at heaven.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Big Boys play at Night

This used to be the caption that Kerry Packer first promoted what was called as Pajama cricket. Lights, Colored Clothing and aggressive cricketers who had an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation! It also captured the imagination of the lewd part of the cricket watching public, because of the sexual connotations it had.

Well, it always remains a connotation. I am a fairly big boy now and I hardly sleep. 5 Hours a day seems to be a luxury and some days I become a compulsive insomniac. No, no, please I am not moaning about lack of games or play. Just that I am using a nice title to talk about the lack of sleep. Like what they use in discount sale. Upto 70% discount they will scream, but upto will be in the finest print.

There was a time in life when I could sleep for hours and hours together. But during then, I screwed it up by keeping myself awake by reading, watching movies and what not. Now I almost sleep but not quite. I get into the bed and make a laborious attempt to catch sleep and sometimes get successful. But the luck doesn’t last long. I wake up invariably somewhere in the wee hours and start strolling. I try to avoid picking a book or iPod lest I keep myself awake for more time. After a stroll, and a couple of swigs of water I make another attempt. If my stars were favoring me that day, I sleep again. Otherwise the torture begins.

I walk up to the living room and switch on the TV. Skip channels indiscriminately and land up in some program that can hold me for a while. Problem is that, early in the morning, all TV channels pay homage to God, as if it to make amends for the previous day’s crimes of stupid programs. Guys in all shapes and looks, hog the screen with invigorating prayers and telling you why you need to choose the righteous path in life. I almost feel like strangling them and tell them ‘Look, my righteous path in life right now is to find the way to sleep, can God be of help?’

By that time, I am fully awake and the brain starts gnawing me for a coffee, but making my own coffee and drinking would be adding insult to injury, so I wait for the cook to wake up. I make plenty of noises to make that happen. And atlast it happens. These days, this blogging bug is also pretty active. So, I start writing some stuff or the other. And when it is really sunlight, I feel like sleeping.

There are people who has suggested me all kind of remedies from switching off the fan to meditation. But I think I am going to spray some chloroform in my pillow and crash everyday. Nothing else would work. If that also fails, I have a few ideas to keep my nights interesting

  • Rob a bank.
  • Work as a call center guy as a second job.
  • Pick my binoculars and start peeping into windows of other flats.
  • Become a fisherman and go for a catch by 2 am.
  • Start calling all my friends whenever I wake to get myself some company.

Now, it’s somebody else’s issue. The guys who need to worry or the Banks, Call Centers, Fishermen, Friends and ‘The still active neighbors’! Who said insomnia is a problem. Looks like it can throw some pretty interesting options in life!!!

Summer interns, but it ain't summer for me

Some guys are born lucky. Or atleast they have some real nice connection with HR folks. And I am not too amused about it.

Guys at HR send a promising mail to offer you summer interns, who are nothing but workhorses that will slog during the toughest months of the year, think that they are making a real decent contribution through the project and use all kind of tools that you studied when going around with Kotler was fashionable. And at the end give a summary that you knew anyway. But Corporate responsibility demands that we entertain these interns, walking a very thin line between sadism and CR.

But that’s where my issue starts. I also ask for some interns. Afterall who doesn’t want workhorses and a reassurance of what you thought as a hunch is right?! And then I get them. But, if I find the guy who does the matchmaking, I will lynch him.

Firstly, they send all the good-looking kids to people with very little gray matter. I tried offering a fairly decent bribe to siphon a few my side, but nothing seems to work or these HR guys have a mistaken notion that I am gay. They send two boys. And my neighbors would have the cute kids. I don’t know what the cute kids do, but having embarked upon the noble cause of CR, I need some motivation, don’t I? These sadists atleast should maintain some parity and send the cute kids to the other block, but they kinda irritate you by sending them to your neighbor. Absolutely no sense of internal corporate responsibility! They not only screw up my motivation but also screw up the cause of the organization, because I know I am not gay and am not gonna spend time with these boys giving gyan. Let them come up the hard way buddy, that’s what I did in life.

Second, my project was to analyze consumer behavior and the boy is doing that paper next year. Voila, he is not even going to use the tools now. You then teach them the core subject, your need and expect him to come and reassure you. Some project it is!! Guess it is written on my face that I am a fool, as the original guy allotted to me brings another one, asking for guidance whereas his real mentor is relaxing. He innocently claims that I can guide him better.

And the boys are leechier than the girls. I almost get a feeling that I am pregnant because these kids are hanging around me all the time. And I am sure to have morning sickness and not come to office one day.

It happens with the MT’s also. The cuter girls always get allotted to some jerk and you get to mentor the unwanted. Guess they book them at the campus itself. This time around, come what may I will even cancel my annual holiday, but go on the campus interviews and book a couple for myself too.

I say all this, but me being the nice guy I am, always do more to the cause of the organization by treating these kids so hard that when they come on rolls, they feel that the job is a honeymoon and do well. Afterall I have some responsibility too.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Press Release

Dave Barry has been one of my favorite authors. I think of him as the most humorous writer I have read, with due apologies to PG Wodehouse fans. Dave is more of the spontaneous variety of humorists and he is outrageously funny. His forte is exaggeration.

One of the funniest bits I read of him was about ‘Press Releases’. For the sheer charm and audacity of that, I wanted to reproduce it here. This despite the fact that my friend is in Corpcom, who will be up in her arms against me on seeing this and I want to see that genuine laughter at the sheer audacity of this attempt. Audacity of Dave, not mine. Me, I am just a courier. I treat this as one of the Press releases that I stumbled upon or being forced to circulate. Now, over to Dave…

For the benefit of those of you have real jobs and are not involved in the news business, I should first explain that a ‘news release’ is an article that has been typed up by a Public Relations professional hired by a client who wants to get certain information published, which is then mailed out to several thousand newspapers, almost all of which throw it away without reading it. If you ever really commit a horrible crime and you want to keep it out of the papers, you should have a public-relations professional issue a news release about it

You ask: “Wouldn’t be more efficient if the public-relations professionals simply threw the releases away themselves?” Frankly, that is the kind of ignorant question that makes us journalists want to forget about trying to inform the public and instead just sit around awarding journalism prizes to each other.

Wasn’t it pretty funny, I thought so. Well I was talking about the writing. Other than that, I don’t think I have an opinion about what Dave has written. He is entitled to his opinion. Who am I to even comment? Afterall all I want is some good laugh.

Sorry to disturb you Sir

Actually an article in today’s Hindu pipped me to the post before I could make this blog. Really by a few hours as I was about to do this first thing in the morning even before the paper arrived.

One day, there was this lady who called and said ‘Sir, I am sorry to disturb you’ and I was in midst of something very important when this call came in. My immediate and natural reaction was ‘If you were really sorry why do you want me to disturb me on first place?’ and banged the phone down.

Instead of getting elated that, like never before I am offered all kind of loans, discount cards, insurance, mutual funds at my doorstep, I am plainly irritated. There was a time I was running behind banks for money and now they are running behind me to give money. This should be some poetic justice. But it bugs me.

I honestly feel sorry for these girls. Atleast one a day gets really gets a mouthful from me. It’s such a shame to shout at people who are trying to make a living out of these exercises. But how come I find the guy behind these plans? I have done my share of telemarketing too. But not in such an unabashed manner!

Firstly most of them don’t even know your name. You are called in your mobile and asked your name!! How is that for starters? Then by the tone you know it is selling money and you say you don’t want a loan. They ask a dumb question like ‘Why Sir’. I am going to say one day that I am dating a girl from the Ambani family.

Or I am going to say, ‘Yes I need some money, but it will be some 1000 crores’. Had been tempted a few times to say that, but what stopped from doing it was because I wasn’t too sure about these guys’ sense of humor. They might as well take that seriously and send someone with documents lending me 1000 crores based on a collateral of 10 bucks. Can’t say really.

Couple of times I had told them, ‘yup I will take the credit card, only if I don’t have to pay it back’. But nothing works. They sniff you and your number out like a Labrador in a bomb squad and chase you endlessly. I think if one guy gets a new mobile number, he first sends it to the entire pack of hunters and celebrate it in the evening on a beer.

This species is now also evolving with a little bit of intelligence. Earlier they recruited amoeba, but now they have graduated to higher form of living things, which tries different openings like a chess game. ‘Sir, based on your spending pattern on your HDFC card, we have decided to offer you a home loan’. I am going to say, ‘Oh yeah, how sweet of you, a second home for me, how about coming and living with me there?’ Again what stops me is that I don’t know much about amoeba and its lifestyle that I don’t risk such a proposition.

You are supposed to register yourself in the ‘Do not call’ list of each of these hounds, I am told. You will be doing it all your life. I really don’t know whether they make a sale out of these exercises. There is more animosity with the person called. I think it is more a ploy of the Telco’s because they get talk time. The day a Telco announces that we wont get Spam calls he will become the No 1 Company in the country.

I am going to make a list of nasty words and indecent proposals that they will crouch in shame when they go back home or they will kill their bosses. Or just employ them to call my dealers.

Stiff Upper Lip

Maybe I have one or rather both the lips that are stiff. Some people are pretty effusive when it comes to compliments. They can just tell you with all warmth that you are doing well and be extremely liberal in their compliments.

It could be on what you do, a small thought or a word here, an act there. But they will remember it and while being complimented you yourself may not remember it. Well it helps me nicely me in my vanity.

Me, someone has to literally pluck words out of my mouth to get something decent as a compliment. I may be thinking to say that, but by the time I decide to say, it would have been already too late. Or when I do it, I overdo it.

I think I used the right word in vanity, as it is nothing but a conceited behavior that accepts compliments while being guarded in giving one. My mom always complained that when the food was not good, my dad always had something to say, but when it was good, he never uttered a word. His explanation was, if I don’t say anything then it is understood that it’s good. I am a true chip of the old block. We, Thirumalaiswami’s have lips glued to each other when it comes to appreciating good work done by someone. Sometimes it is also that we feel it could have been better.

My wife can do more things than me much more proficiently, but I am the brand of the house. My friends who are better than me can get lost in a race with me, just because I am born with this incredible piece of luck of finding sponsors who can compliment me.

But I do show people that I appreciate what they do. In a small or big way but so very silently, not saying so much but expecting it to be understood. I am the right wing proponent of clear communication at my house, better I start it when it comes to complimenting others.

Evolution & Other stories before

One of my earliest favorite books was ‘Unexplained Mysteries of the World’. This was a Readers Digest special edition book, sold while they were still foolish trying to sell ‘1000 bucks plus’ books in 3 EMI’s through VPP. And 1000 bucks for a book 20 years back was unheard of.

My salary at that time was very much lesser, but love of books weren’t though. Always took the predictable route. Ordered the book, paid the first EMI, collected the book and ignored the repeated warnings for balance payments. I don’t know who was a jerk, me for not paying the rest of the money or them, who were pricing the books so high. Afterall citizens need to buy books and read! I don’t know whether it is one of the fundamental rights in our constitution, but I assumed it as one.

Anyway this is not about the meanness of either of us, but about this particular book. This chronicled all kind of unexplained events in the Universe like Ghosts, Bermuda Triangle and folks losing mobile signal when you call your team about achieving sales targets. Ignoring my last diatribe on my fellow salesman ( I also lose signals most times when my boss calls ), this had several comparisons from our own Puranas and Epics. About how the after-effects of a nuclear war has been exactly captured as an outcome of the 18-day Kurushektra war. And how in Ramayana, the take-off of the Pushpaka Vimana is so vividly explained like a modern day take-off. Then I used to be proud about these facts or atleast the fertile imagination of our ancestors ( the writing ones particularly ) and also it served a nice talking point in a drunken stupor of extravagance.

But I myself on later days have wondered about the Dasavatharam or the 10 incarnations of Mahavishnu. Maybe I read it somewhere or Vishnu Himself planted it in my head! The entire sequence of the Dasavatharam is a plausible explanation of the evolutionary development of living things.

The first one is Fish form, which we all know was the first bigger multi celled organism. The second one is the Turtle ( or the amphibian variety ) that is a natural progression from water to land. The third one is the Wild Boar, which is a complete land animal. And then the fourth was the Half Animal – Half Human form and the fifth was Human form, albeit a very short one ( maybe the early pygmies ). Then came the full human form, but an angry one at that, almost like carrying the remnants of the animal behavior. And then came the perfect Human with all the desirable qualities. And the Eighth avatar was the same Human with qualities so degraded like the modern man with full of lies and deceit. The last two always have been debatable, with people counting Buddha as one and Kalki, yet to happen one. But Buddha can be once again called as a development per se, which is nothing but rediscovering the better qualities.

While the charm of comparing this to the evolution still holds me in awe, the story behind the progress is not lost though. If thousands and thousands of years before somehow, someone could write this, we should have been something really.

I don’t know how to figure out where we have failed to record this intelligence in the current evolutionary process of ourselves. We had been rocking Man…

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Strayed Sheep

I recently read a very moving piece by a fantastic actor in Tamil movies. In fact I had been wanting to call him up and get rights for translating his works in English. Whether he would agree I don't know! But, I am sure it will make very good reading. Just because what he has written so far has been pretty good and however hard I try I may not be able to spoil that and am pretty hopeful that I can capture the essence of what he has wanted to say.

I have always liked his writing because of the candor that he displays and his admission of follies and the realisation today. Which is what more or less I do in my blogs I think! He does not hold anything back, he has not been afraid of his image as an actor ( maybe it does him good to be a bad guy in the movies, expectations are set right to a great extent that way ). And he just tells what he wants to tell.

This one that I am refering about his mother who has always spoken about the Lord and Good Shepherd and how He gets us together when we scatter. And the lamb on the Lord's shoulders. But what moved me was his interpretation of his mother's love and how she showered more love on him while he was the rotten apple of the family amongst all.Her substantiation would always be that, this son who is the scattered sheep is the one that needs direction than the others.

And he admits that he still scatters. But he reasons it out so very beautifully. He says ' It is only the scattered lamb that gets the glory of Lord's shoulder' . Maybe it is a smart arguement to justify one's folly, but I feel if your heart is large enough to admit what you do is not good, right there you open up yourself for God and He opens up his arms for you.

There could be a lot of things when seen from someone else's perspective that can be seen as wrong or right. But it is the person who does those things, judges it. And so does the Lord on judgement day.

I have never feared about what I do or what I say. In my life, I may have stopped saying a few things, not because I am afraid or shy to say that, but more so because the ones who hear me, should not feel hurt. It was never about what others will think of me, it was always about what others would feel about what I say.

And thanks to my stars or the people who understand me so very well,I am always treated with more respect than the slimey ones when I say what I want to say. Guess they would be hurt if I don't say it.

Sometimes it pays to be the sheep that strayed.

Monday, April 02, 2007

As my Guitar gently weeps

Ok, don’t get carried away by the title. It may sound poetic. But I am not a drug induced Eric Clapton. Nor I am trying to capture a romantic moment or a lost love.

This is just a fact that, my guitar should be weeping. Gently because I don’t hear it! The guitar is fair to weep. It has reasons.Atleast two good reasons!

One is that, its neck is broken. Almost for a year now! Don’t know whether it was murder or suicide. Could be anything. My wife used to tease me that I chased all the fish away playing near the ocean and the hamlet is complaining.Either one of the forced listeners broke its neck because I am strong and they can’t break mine. Or the guitar hung itself and broke its neck, because I have abused it.

That brings the second reason. I bought it one night as if next day I am going to be Jimmi Hendrix or Santana. Would never bother to take the car out after reaching home for any reason. But, on that day literally called all music shops from the yellow pages, found one that was open till 10 pm, rushed by driving some 15 km and bought it paying some decent amount.

And that was it. Went for a few classes, graduated to a couple of lessons, told myself that I am afterall a natural guitarist and I can play very well very soon. Showed off with girl friends and family about the thickening of the skin in the fingers due to strumming. And that was it. Never touched it. It was a fantastic showcase item after that.I am certain that the guitar would have felt like committing suicide.

I can repair this one, or can afford to buy a new one, get a little more disciplined and learn though my new fancy is to make name as a drummer like Sivamani.I can do anything. But nothing is going to take the rankling in my mind of the fact that I never allowed my nephew to touch that piece despite the fact he was a self-taught good guitarist who loved music, but only I had the money to afford to buy one. I acted like a wimp and now I realize it.

Actually I should cry for that. Or if the guitar weeps now, it would be mostly because I was such a mean guy. But I hope I can make amends by buying a new one for him and surprise him. Maybe then I would make a good guitarist.

My 100th Post

Let me confess. It is my daughter’s idea. She is a keen reader of my blog and she suggested that my 100th Post should be about my blog writing. Not wanting to disappoint one of the 5 or 6 readers I have, I am honoring her desire.

It’s not to say that I don’t have a secret pride. I do have. I can already hear 'show off, show off' from a distance. But,I am extremely happy to have started blogging and more than happy to have pursued it this far and have a decent count against my name. Considering my meandering ways, I would say this is a great achievement. Maybe because I like writing! But surely because I have these 5 to 6 faithful readers!

I didn’t have a clue about what to write when I started. So, kicked off with one of my old poetries and rambled something on that post. Doing some stupid stuff like defining an objective or giving a substantiation about why I started the blog. I received 3 faithful comments. Kind one’s encouraging me to continue.

Then it was hunting for some topics, wrote on a movie I saw, then a translation I made of a poem 20 years back. Atlast after considerable starting trouble managed a couple of posts that were my own thoughts.

Then came a lull again. Put some fillers like images. And once confessed that I don’t have anything to write and made it as a post. This was on for about 3 to 4 months.

And then somehow the bug bit me. Bit me strong and hard. So hard that I now write if there is a smell from the kitchen, a sneeze, or a morning or just being and don’t wait to get dizzily pregnant with ideas ( ok , this sentence is a clear lift from my critic, not very original ). Anyway the point is that I did start writing about anything and everything. To the extent that my younger daughter telling that she will buy me a laptop when she grows big, while she could not graduate beyond ear rings and vegetables for others.

Anyway here I am and I want to dedicate this post to these guys

  • My wife Aruna who is extremely faithful that she has never said one word bad about my posts when I myself know I have posted many a trash.
  • My Daughter Teju for whom I wanted to write more and more
  • Krithika, who commented on my first post and till today reads it almost the next minute I publish and a very able critic, good writer and tough competition.
  • Siddarth, who claims to have started his blog inspired by me, but puts me to shame by writing so very well and made me a huge favor by making me stop attempting to write in a rich and flowery manner
  • My Brother in law Subbu, who started late, but went through all the posts in one night and gives me more and more dope in the form of weblinks.

Thank you guys. You have made my day. And almost made true my fancying myself as a person who could write. And to the person who encouraged me to start blogging, but these days do not have much time to read what I write.

Matrimonial Advertisements

Matrimonial advertisements have never ceased to amaze and humor me. I find the whole idea of advertising to discover your life partner very amusing. It could be a premature statement being a father of two daughters, but I have so much hope on my kids that they would not make their dad suffer this ignominy. In fact I find the whole idea of struggling to find someone to marry itself as a comedy. But that’s another story.

Anyway, some people can find no other way but to advertise and find their partners. Let them do it. But, I am fairly annoyed to pay extra dough on a Sunday paper that carries their aspirations, when I don’t even approve of the idea on the first place.

The irritation is because of the kind of advt’s I see. You can ask me why I read them. I don’t have an answer for that. Or maybe I am very keen to know how many of my countrymen are stupid enough to embark on this journey of match finding.

Look at the advt’s, just look at them. There is one guy who wants a ‘Most Beautiful, employed, educated Brahmin girl below 40’. This bugger doesn’t care to tell us whether he is educated, employed or even remotely good looking. But I am sure he would have had plenty of responses. People are that desperate.

People want girls with wheatish complexion!! What for? Or they going to marry or make roti’s? Another advt reads like this ‘CSI AFF 28 182 vf hsome SWE UK Assi 80K seek vf tall slim prof BP’. What the hell do you make out of this? Why on earth you can’t spend a couple of thousand rupees more and tell clearly about what you seek? Afterall it looks like you seem to be in UK and earn some decent money. And he wants a slim girl. What is he going to do if she becomes fat after marriage? I am not saying that people should not care about looks and stuff, but for God’s sake don’t advertise it.

There is another ‘Majestic Teetotaler Broadminded’ guy who seeks a girl. And who says that? They themselves. Majestic. I thought they used this adjective to describe kings or lions in the jungle.

Some seek people with family values. I don’t know what that means either. They should surely come from a respectable family. As if disrespectable families would immediately shy away from responding to this boy.

Some are fairly specific, they ask for spinster. Maybe they got a bad experience earlier getting responses from already married girls. Are divorcee’s not spinsters? Or is my English kinda screwed up?

Not a single guy dares to put his photograph. That will be the greatest deterrent then. Anyhow, I don’t think this madness will stop anytime and till that time I will have my share of humor and anger.

Yellow, Yellow, Dirty Fellow

Well, this piece was written by me quite sometime back and as the blog would say, since I dreaded a severe backlash I held back from posting. Though I did show it to a few people, particularly THE friend and did have a severe backlash. I have since changed my opinion about several things and look forward to see the strolley first thing in the morning and having a ride in that sometimes. But me being Cheeky ( u ) thought will post it for sheer academic interest. Here goes the original blog

OK, I can already smell and dread a trillion more minus points for me. Looks like there won’t be any redemption whatsoever in this life and few hundred life’s afterwards too.

Now, do you think that you ever control what your tongue speaks? Somehow I don’t believe so! It has a mind on its own and it would go on saying what it wants with scant respect to the person who owns it on first place. As if it just doesn’t care what kind of issues it can create by not keeping shut.

I can visualize one big tongue chasing me like Anaconda, wrapping me up and crushing my bones and slowly digest me over a six-month period. It puts me in such kind of trouble.

So what if you don’t have a number stored in a new phone? Why cant you simply act as if you know? Why would you even ask who are you? And now that’s some 10000 minus for you. Don’t try to be rational and assume it is someone and start having a dialogue. You may honestly end up with some 100000 minus points. Because your tongue anyway is your sworn enemy and it will ditch you by telling the wrong name. Guess I should become smarter like a nephew of mine, who called all his girl friends ‘kuttima’. So endearing and so mistake-proof!! What an infinite wisdom with someone almost half my age?

OK, then your tongue finds a friend in the TV. Guess its time they made some good audio outputs from TV. They believe it is all visuals and not much of sound. Yeah right!! Till you tell the girl that it doesn’t sound like her voice and it is dubbed and you are seriously pissed off about someone screwing up with a lovely voice. Now what’s wrong with that? Genuine concern and admiration right!? It is, till you realize that the voice is not dubbed. Can you now imagine the repercussion? You actually mentioned that the voice you heard in the TV is not good. Period. Forget the TV that would have played a villain, forget your genuine care. All you said was the voice does not sound good. Did I say that? Now it looks like the tongue apart from ‘lack of control’ also lacks finesse and vocabulary. Already into a billion minus points!

The tongue doesn’t learn. One of the most egg-headed appendages I have known in my life. It goes out and tells, you look better in the TV. Was it a compliment? Of course it was, only issue is that instead of using ‘Great’, the tongue used ‘Better’, which actually means in real English that you don’t look good in person. Now, an appendage that lacks control, finesse also happens to hold opinions and profess that with the limited vocabulary it has. Now it has gone into trillions already.

I have strictly instructed the tongue never to even breathe a word about a small, yellow car. After all, yellow is sunny & bright, a color that spreads so very well. It has everything going for it, this yellow color. Only thing I have asked the tongue to exercise caution is not to mention about ‘not having seen yellow strolleys moving on road’ by itself.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Me being the cynic I am, have many things that turn me sick in the stomach. I have strong views about almost everything and I don't hide them either.

The one that irritates the most though is the advertisements for fairness creams. Sick to the extent that I always had wanted to file Public Interest Litigation against these companies and I pray that I should never get into situation of promoting these products in my career.

I am someone who swears by black, almost to the point of even being certified as a reverse racist. As much as people unfairly look down upon people who are dark and I used to look at firangs like that. A point of view that I am changing now; P

Coming back to the subject, I felt so strong about these advts because somehow they contrive to sell the concept of being fair is being successful. Which is an affront to the whole human race I would say. What is wrong if someone is dark? Aren’t they equally good as the ones in whatever they do? Firstly where is the f***ing need to even talk about one’s complexion?

How can a country that prides itself as tolerant society even allow such products to be sold? Haven’t we heard enough about slavery in the US and ill treatment meted out to the African Americans? Wonder whether they are promoting such fairness creams there? And what would a company like Levers do there and Africa? Would they equate fairness and success there also?

I can go on ranting and raving about this grave insult to people who are dark. But, for once I am thinking of really doing something as a campaign to stop this charade.

Joy of Giving

There is a great joy in giving,which none but the one who gives know.I remember the old days when my brother would come back from his work, buying a thing or two, ofcourse for all of us and the excitement we had about that. My father was one. He always had to give. He lived his life giving, be it anything, but most of all, plenty of love.

I can recall Amul creating a campaign in the early 80's , positioning their chocolates as a 'Gift to someone you love'. And Titan later adopted it. Someone had to remind the country about giving.

I am writing this now suddenly, because after a very long time, last week our family was flooded with gifts. One was a a very new and special friend who seemed to have perfected that art. She, I suspect has it running in her blood as much it does in me and my wife's. And almost a compulsive gifter.Everytime she walks in, the kids have something from her. And I am certain that she derives her happiness in looking into the eyes of the kids when they open the packs. I know that, because for me it
is like that.

We have another cousin of my wife, who simply doesn't tire buying stuff for my kids and me and my wife are already drawing up a list of what all we could buy when he gets a baby.And I again suspect that he and his wife has only our kids running in their minds all the time they are out shopping.

And I am married to an obsessive compulsive gifter. Will tirelessly go around buying something for someone always. And me, dont ask, I just dont even know what I buy for whom. Sometimes getting carried away a bit too. It is just not about things. It is about many other stuff. Giving could be even a thought , call or a smile. Something that matters to the one who receives it and who can value it. It is not always money.

My mom as I have mentioned plenty of times before always told love is one thing that gets multiplied when divided, as we were so many kids at home and she had enough and more love for each of us. Now when I realise that all of us just have one or two kids, I keep thinking how much of an opportunity we are missing these days.Last year that way was very kind to me, I had enough money to buy whatever I wanted to whomever I thought of.

The biggest treasure I have and carry always in my bag is a letter from a foster home thanking me because once, just once I sponsored the kids to a amusement park. Compared to the guys who run that and shower care & love , what I did was so less but it is so gratifying when you understand that there were kids who were happy.

We have shamelessly adopted so many western cultures, some of them not even good, why havent we jumped and gathered the concept of gifting from them I fail to understand. And my all time favorite story 'Gift of the Magi' is a perfect example of what 'Joy of Giving' is.

Come let us all give. There could not be a better way to live.

Plants, Stones & What not ? Ssshh, they are Gods

Erich Von Donken in his books has very funny explanations about God and how they would have come into being. Starting from they being a super intelligent alien race that had the technology to visit earth and went back. And comes up with some interesting substantiations like why we pray looking up at the sky. Maybe then Kalpana Chawla & Sunita Williams would be Goddess Sakthi in the future for some evolving organisms in the space. (Despite my cynicism on this subject, I can’t accept a firang God)

I have also read almost enough Puranas and Stories that glorify God. I have never felt an immediate need to go to temples anytime or for that matter even pray for something. God actually is my next-door neighbor, as much as I live in the seashore and don’t go the beach, I ignore my neighbor also. And I am not an atheist. I respect God and in fact I think and thank Him for every meal I get.

But a rational science student in me is unable to accept the forms of worships. This morning, while I am sitting at the terrace, I am watching my maid do an elaborate ritual and prayer for this plant called Thulasi. Simply incomprehensible for me! There are exactly 12 other plants in the same terrace and some of them are so very beautiful too with vibrant colors and flowers. I don’t know what sin they have committed in being omitted like this on the prayer. Why could not they be included?

And living near a fishing hamlet in the shores of Mahabalipuram, an erstwhile Pallava seat for sculpturing, I get to see funny stuff. They built these huge shore temples that were washed away by the sea centuries back. And these temples did have a lot of figurines and they take their own sweet time to get washed back to the shore. And immediately attain God status!! Afterall the sea has given it!! Bloody hell, if the sea takes it, it might as well give it back. These villagers immediately erect a small shack in a porampoke land and that surely grows into a nice little temple providing a stealthy livelihood for the trustees.( what an ironical choice of a word ) These trustees literally declare a fiefdom of around 5 km in the beachfront claiming that to be God’s land, as if He came with a stamp paper from the sea , maybe issued by the blue whale.

And these so called trustees collect a share from everyone who wants to construct there and nicely build themselves a palace leaving the God to languish. The fights that I see everytime on distributing the stolen dole make me sick!! If only these stones were really Gods they will go back to the bluewhale and surrender the patta. Some craziness this is. There was also some quick buck made when suddenly they declared that my next-door Goddess was shedding blood in Her eyes. Maybe trustee was short of dough.

Why can’t people see the God in themselves? Like it comes in the beautiful song

“ Aathikam pesum adiyarkellam, sivame anbahum
Naathikam pesum periyorkellam anbe sivamahum”

We will learn this one day, but there were 4 temples washed away into the sea and that should count to some hundreds of figurines and thus so many Gods to go yet.

Innocence of Mornings

Morning times are pretty innocent, as if the previous day’s sins are washed off in the sleep and you wake up a fresh and new man. And fairly hopeful that the new day is a different one!

I have never been a morning person myself. I am completely nocturnal. I have slept late always. Maybe it came as a practice because I belong to a small little dusty town that never slept. Or because, we all lived in a small house that had one place for living, dinning and sleeping and with 10 of us to complete these chores and settle down it was always late.

I continued to live that way till now. I had a sense of power to be awake when the whole world slept. As if I was ruling the world then and could do what I wanted. And that great silence that accompanies a night, with even the birds back in their nest. So never missed the mornings.

But I live in a place that warrants early mornings. Right on the seashore, to look at the sun coming up, different birds hunting their breakfast and the catamarans coming back after the catch! Never been tempted to capture these charms as opposed to my late nights and books.

Today happened to be an exception. Now let me tell you, the biggest motivation to enjoy these mornings, come with a conditional clause. That should be a holiday. A typical working day is a deterrent. So what if the birds, boats and brightness are there. It is anyway going to be followed by shaving, pressing and rushing.

But a Sunday gives a different perception. And I am seeing new things. Firstly, irrespective of whether its day or night, you can still rule the world. Secondly, there is nothing to ruminate about what happened during the day and how it could be different. If at all there is something, it is about how well the day can be spent, which is future. Any dream of the future is better than an autopsy of the day goneby. The wine of yesterday is already a gone thing and we are not going to discuss it anymore. (And the filter coffee of the morning is anytime better than the wine) The huge gap of the night, sheds the ‘not so happy’ events of the previous day and you can vow to be make this day better. A sleepy chinky eyed daughters are always more beautiful than the tired chinky eyed daughters. The typeset of ‘The Hindu’ and the crispness of the newsprint.

I read somewhere in Tamizh a term called as ‘Suriya Dhairiyam’, which means ‘Courage because of the Sun’. Fairly accurate! Even when you are down with a flu tossing and turning in a bed during the night, you start sleeping peacefully at the first sight of the sneaky sunlight into your bedroom. As if the sun has come up and it is going to keep death away.

So, the mornings have it in for them. I am going to be a huge morning fan from now on, every Sunday…