Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I am a handyman. But the first fear with folks at home when things conk off is about this ability of mine. Instead of being encouraging and appreciative, I am often laughed at. They feel that if the gadget failing is a misery; my trying to repair it is an addition to that misery.

Just think of it. There is something that works well and suddenly gets into a non-performance mode. What will you do as a guy who grew up a steady dose of logic? Isn’t so natural to figure out what is wrong with the damn thing? I hate losing to gadgets. How can they get the better of us when on first place we make them? Treating them like Frankenstein is just not my thing. For that matter to any self-respecting individual!

So, I pick up my tool kit at the drop of the hat every time we have such calamity at home. Sure I apply logic and arrive at the culprit part. But before that, it is a question of having the right tools. You are not a qualified mechanic and not being one means that you don’t have the proper paraphernalia. But then if that is going to be a deterrent, how on earth you will progress in life as a handyman. So, I generally employ a single screwdriver to unlock any type of screw, be it star, hexagonal, straight. Believe me, it works. It is just a matter of attitude and a bit of a pressure. Anything gives in. Only problem is that you can't lock them again. The threads can’t take so much pressure. Didn’t I tell you that the gadgets are lesser than you?

Once I get into the heart of the gadget, sometimes when the diagnosis is not very clear, I apply some trial & error. It does not cause more harm. The damn thing doesn’t work anyway on the first place. Somehow I identify the problem, but once again your unqualified nature conspires and you don’t have the corrective tools. No soldering iron, no lead and despite having known the issue, you end up not fixing it. That’s the biggest pain in the world.

But, sometimes the issue won’t be that big and I resolve it easily. The gadget starts behaving and I put it back together. And then find a couple of parts being redundant. The stuff works without them. The reason is the cost of real estate. These days it is so high that the manufacturers don’t want to store unnecessary stuff occupying space in their facilities. So, they dump it in your gadget. And it also gives a heavy big feeling when you cough up thousands of rupees.

In all, I am just thrilled about being so proficient, but folks have a completely different opinion about me. Plain jealousy I think! But it is true that anyway the gadget goes for service to the shop again or I end up buying a new one. Hey, it is my money OK ?!!


If you ask, in today’s life what is the biggest challenge, I would unhesitatingly vote for Parking. All your life, you keep thinking that you want to move on. But the biggest hurdle comes in the form of parking the vehicle.

Wherever it can be, whether an evening trip to a mall or the mandatory trip to the office in the morning. The most uncivilized behavior of human beings is at full flow during these times.

This morning, someone in the office parking lot was in a hurry. Which on first place I don’t understand about. If only we were making millions every minute that we need to rush like that, then my name would have been Bill Gates. This character was in such haste that he parked in a slope in neutral and ran towards the building. I was parked behind and I could see his car following him on it's own. But he wasn’t turning back a bit and his car continued moving till it kissed another car’s behind. Maybe it runs in their family!! Worse was that someone in that melee parked his car in that slot which the fuzzy intelligent car vacated.

And the shapes of the cars, I will tell you, there is not a single day I don't rue having a big car. Some cars that appear like suitcases can actually get parked horizontally in the same space allotted to you in which you break your side mirror. It’s a different fact that these cars can be lifted in reality from any parking space and drove on.

Finding your car without a remote beep is tougher than making George Bush intelligent. In a mall with multi-leveled parking, you get to your car only if you ancestors have fed millions of needy people. Otherwise, you buy a yellow car.

And the valets are a breed unto themselves! In huge demand, they always meddle your seat position, side mirror, and rear-view mirror for that small drive towards a slot. And when you get in, you feel like you have robbed a car and sitting on that.

To get rid of all these troubles, I have always considered having a driver. But the parking troubles are lesser compared to them. First they screw up your car, second they all think that in the entire solar system they know about cars and driving much better so much so, they reply to you in such condescending manner almost meaning to tell you, how in earth you bought such a big car when you can be so stupid.

I wish there will be a day they invent cars, that can move like crabs sideways, or something that is so intelligent that it can go home on its own and return to pick you up, or something that can shrink and expand as per will, that you can stop, shrink and pocket them. Or just plainly walk!!

Shock of my Life

Electricity is a dangerous thing. We have heard it many times. I, in particular am so scared of getting a shock. So much so, while I was in college in the EE Lab, I used to switch off the mains every time I changed circuits. One professor was watching this with amusement and asked me politely what was I trying to do. When I explained, he retorted, why didn’t you think about going to the sub station and switch off the mains there.

OK, I once again got a big shock yesterday. That was not because of any indiscretion from my part. It was the bill !! It was 4440 bucks. I didn’t know how we missed out the 4 in the tens unit !! Could have been a great number then, 4444! Apart from this there was nothing funny about it. Can you imagine, your bill running so high? For a moment I thought maybe Sun has taken a holiday only at our place.

Then I knew! It was the daughters! My suspicion is that these guys eat electricity and am going to crosscheck the provision bill for the month. That should be lesser. Afterall there is only so much kids can eat and they can't eat both electricity and normal stuff. My younger one walks into the house after a long 3 Hr school straight into her room, switches on the TV and AC. Then it is on all the time. So much so, that when I enter their room in the night to say Good night, I feel I am in Siberia and maybe think of taking visa next time. How on next morning these kids wake up soft is a mystery. They should actually be frozen and on tripping they should break. Maybe one day we will create history by getting frostbites in a place like Chennai.

If that was one piece of the puzzle, the other is our AC. My guess is that the machine should be older than Julius Caesar. It drones and drones. It actually doubles up as an anti-theft burglary alarm also. That’s why I haven’t thrown it off still. It makes more noise than it cools, that anyone attempting to break in will think that everybody is awake and there is a huge war happening and out of sheer safety compulsions, he would not attempt the task. Now, can you ill-treat a machine which does something beyond it’s brief? Where is compassion then? Anyway, my conscience working this way surely adds up to the bill though. Point is that, this grand old AC sucks up life from all other appliances also. The rest of them, dim and start moaning and one by one start dying soon I am sure.

And, my folks are a funny lot. The kitchen faces the sea at my house ( that’s another story unto itself, the builder for want of maintaining the vasthu has tucked the bedroom in one remote corner of the house and provided a great view of the sea from the kitchen. ). This means that the Sun is right up there in the morning coming into the kitchen. You know what these guys did? Since it was so hot, they covered the windows with a dark sunscreen and keep it closed. So, the light & heat is cut off. To have it in the ideal level, they then employ the fan and lights.

And of course the TV! One day when the younger one wasn’t there, I was completely restless. Then realized that without the voice of Popeye, Johnny Bravo, squeaking of Jerry, Bob the Builder and the Ninja Turtles, I am a goner. These guys actually own the living room. And one day I am certain they all would be sitting on the dining table with my kids.

Leave the washing machine that eats our money more than cleans, the refrigerator that is completely stuffed all the time, but does not produce one decent thing for you to eat when you want, the PC that suffers from a delusion of working on a 24 Hrs shift. These are the side cast.

It looks like it may cost me lesser if I pay 50 bucks everyday to the EB lineman to switch off the fuse in the post that carries the supply to my house. But then I would be searching the light of my life perennially then!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I can’t understand our obsession with the film stars. For anything and everything we need them. Be it a Diwali day program on TV or a product launch, these guys are always there. And some of them would probably not know why they are there on first place. And absolutely ignorant of anything topical!

What are they doing in an event like a portal launch? Half of them would not know what Internet is!! Maybe they will seriously think that it has got something to do with mosquitoes. Not every star is so foolish, I know a few who swear by the Net; have their own blogs etc. But they don’t sell! The media doesn’t get excited. Or they will be 'out of market' actors who get qualified only for launching textile and jewelry shops. Prasanth and Laila are addicted to the Net. Maybe they can really add some real glitter to an event like this. But who cares? Everyone wants only Nameetha and how less she wears. That is if you want only stars for your event.

But if you are willing to look beyond, there are real stars like writers who have their Web-pages, written books in Tamizh about the Net, or involved in user’s associations etc! These guys can really lend some credibility and image to such an event. But it appears that Publicity means parading cinema stars, who capture the imagination of the media, make reporters come and write about their etiquette and attire than the event by itself.

I am really sick of this obsession. If you visit the page www.ted.com, you get all kinds of interesting video lectures from renowned people on various subjects on earth, but then who cares about all these, as long as we can see Nameetha’s thigh. Because that’s where the future of this country lies, for all you might know she could be our next Chief Minister.

Nice guys finish second

This term was beaten to death when Stefan Edberg was consistently losing at one point of time in his career. Superficially it appears to be true all the times.

We keep seeing all the guys who are something somewhere are not all that nice. Guys, who mean one thing and say another thing. A friend of mine had a theory about this, about one of our ex-bosses. He never used to open his mouth fully when he says something. My friend kept insisting that somehow I feel what he says is not honest. Which was proved more than once! And I used to tell, maybe his devil side says what he is saying and somewhere deep inside, there is a good side that stops him from telling completely, and hence subconsciously restricts the movement of his lips.

Well, not everyone has such good side in them. If they have, it is a well-kept secret, to even themselves. So, they all are pretty eloquent when it comes to telling stuff that they don’t mean a word about. The megalomaniacs we have seen in history are such characters. I guess they hallucinate and believe in their own lies. And I never cease to amaze about their ability to tell white lies. Anyway, these are people who reach places. Maybe they lose at the end. Whenever I get into the trip of how bad guys get all the good things, there are soul mates who never fail to remind me that ultimately whatever can be construed as real happiness is already there with me and the bad guys will lose at sometime.

I continue to argue saying that a villain in a movie has a great life all through the 3 hours while the hero struggles, so how does it matter if the villain dies at the end. You anyway don’t stay back in the cinema to see how happy the others were. That’s how it is in real life too. Bad guys keep winning everywhere and probably you won’t be around to see their downfall. Either you will change teams, or jobs or maybe even kick the bucket. What is the use in believing about ‘one day these guys will get their share’? Only way to tackle this is you also becoming a bad guy. But unfortunately for many of us, that’s not the way we have practiced our lives. So, we would never do.

But let me tell you one thing. Nice guys may finish second. But not all who finish second are nice. : ))

Me ( n ) & Cooking

There are many typecasts for men as much as it is for women. Like the whole Universe believes that women can’t reverse the car properly, men are seen as someone who can’t boil a decent pot of water. Not withstanding the fact that there are as many women driving cars as men and all the Chefs in the hotels are always men.

Me, I freak out on cooking. I call it therapeutic and get into the nerves of people around me. I get all kinds of rejoinders. How it can be therapeutic? Try doing that everyday! Try making the same stuff again & again! But I hold my ground firmly. Because that’s how I feel!

For me, it starts from chopping vegetables. I don’t allow anyone else to do that. And the main ingredient of all my cooking is Kingfisher. No, I don’t add beer to the recipe as they add wine in the west. This is for me, taken raw and cold. While I do the prep. If somebody else cuts the vegetables, I am somehow never happy.

And then I need some hundred people & pans for my help. An elaborate ritual of getting things set for the actual action. And then the creativity starts flowing. No recipe is followed as it is. It will always be stuff that I want to add. That’s all. So are the measures, they are always by feel. Then it is the fate of people who eat. So far no one has died and that’s good news. But I don’t know whether it could be something dormant and suddenly act up one fine day. I have never had a good taste of what I made. Either others gobble it up or I am well into my beer to taste really. But at the end of it, it’s great fun. I come out of the kitchen as if I have won a war and the place mercifully does not look like a horse stable. I am obsessed about that part. Only issue is that the sink is full of dishes that the maids need to use the sensory perceptions to reach the tap.

I guess I cook well. My daughters don’t stay in their grandparent’s place if they know I am getting into the kitchen and Krithi surely is extremely decent to give nothing but good feedback. My wife is more relieved that the ordeal is over, but neither has she complained much. Sorry she also has said that I do cook pretty well ( I don’t know whether there is some hidden agenda in there ) Afterall I think cooking runs in my blood. My mother is a great cook. But then she is a woman!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Progress of Politicians

No, no don’t think I am a dreamer. For using a phrase which is contradictory in terms! Politicians won’t progress. That I know clearly. I was coming to something else.

The Printing industry in the country has seen tremendous advancement in recent years as much as others. That’s what is causing this progress. There was a time when any announcement on public meetings, functions were done is cheap materials. The supposedly larger than life politicians were all just stencil drawings. And then slowly it started improving and anyone who was willing to spend money wishing the leader a million years of life was duly noticed and rewarded with some posts that promised a lot of potential. So it was a rich man’s exclusive sycophancy game.

But now Vinyl’s are so cheap. Almost anyone can spend a little and put up huge billboards etc. You anyway don’t pay the corporation fee if you are in politics, so just making charges alone. So much so that even a family function like a girl attaining puberty is advertised big time with all the mug shots of what we call in Tamizh as ‘sutratthar & uravinar’ ( meaning Relatives & Neighbors ). Even I am tempted to erect a cutout for myself in front of my house when I get a new job. Just putting some names wishing me well and claiming me as the lifelong occupant of the new position and savior of the world. Only thing that stops me is the pathetic condition of these vinyls after a few days. There was this poster in which half the face of a guy got peeled off and it was extremely scary to see at nights. I would be damned if he would have maintained his self-esteem had he seen that.

Coming back to Politicians, didn’t I say that they have progressed? Now it is time to explain. All I meant was that their faces are clear now in the announcement. They are not that cartoons anymore. And not at the mercy of the painter’s hands. And that’s progress. And on the other hand, since everyone can play the bootlicking game so easily, now it is time for his or her creativity to capture the imagination of the leaders. Like fire-walking, padayatra’s etc. And that’s progress too!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007


There is a news item in today’s TOI that it is a miracle that planes land safely in Indian runway’s, enlightenment dawned after the Brazil tragedy. Many times I have shared my thoughts on how air travel itself is a tragedy in India. However, I should accept that this has put a strong spoke in my travel plans that were anyway a non-starter because of weary legs and lack of motivation. I am not traveling. Period.

But coming back to miracles, my favorite anecdote always has been this dialogue between the Yaksha & Yudhistra in Mahabharatha. He says that the belief of people that they will live forever, when they see people dying all around them everyday as the biggest miracle. I thought I would list a few that I encounter myself.

  • Brainless people controlling the fate of millions. Sometimes even a few hundreds!!
  • Jayalalitha and her survival as a politician still.
  • Belief of the financial institutions that they can sell loans through telecalling.
  • Belief of hardcore optimists like me that things will eventually turn out to be good at office.
  • People who behave as friends but do not have a single honest thought spoken out.
  • Nice guys always finishing second.
  • Ability of my erstwhile team to laugh and stay happy while under extreme duress in reality.
  • Tamilnadu Congress party and their belief that they mean something to us.
  • The Directors who always think that their movie is different from others.
  • Folks who put up with me

In fact this could be an endless list, so much so that I will kill the sanctity of miracles themselves. But I should stop somewhere. I need to get busy creating a miracle. To stay focused on my seemingly important task.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What resides in the head???

Read today that some larvae have taken up residence in a man’s head at Dallas. Apparently it looked like a bump, but a bump that was moving under the skin. Obviously our friend was shit scared.

I don’t understand what the hoopla is all about. I keep meeting many people everyday who seem to have everything inside their head but brains. Luckily for them since they had been living like that for eternity they don’t get too suspicious or worried about their condition. And they also lack the fundamental part of the human body to even take cognizance of that fact.

I will tell you why I am being so certain. I see people act in a manner that is just exactly opposite to what commonsense would demand. What else but botfly larva would reside in their head? Even a fossil presence of what we call as brain would make them aware of what they are doing. But they don’t. Seemingly straightforward stuff eludes their understanding.

But if you look at them, they look like normal human beings. The head is not in a hexagonal shape or something because there is nothing inside. Looks fairly OK to me. So something else is filling the vacuum up. Before I got too restless to know what could be that filler, this larvae news came. And now I am relaxed. I know what it is. Maybe the change in behavior between two stupid people depends on the fly. Like if it is butterfly larvae it is one way, it is another way if its botfly.

The only thing that still eludes me is how these larva heads reach where they have reached!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rocket Science

The famous refrain in sales meetings is this statement ‘It is not rocket science’. Well, guess I have become adept in that science too. These are not real rockets though, but paper arrows.

I never had to worry about the raw material for these rockets. There is a steady supply of them anyway on all days. I am talking about paper inserts that poor souls like me distribute after considerable expense of brain & money. Originally I have never been a strong proponent of this kind of communication exercise. I always complain that they are useless and they fall in the toilet ( if you are someone like me who can’t crap unless you see the typeset of ‘The Hindu’ ). So I have argued against using this mode for reaching out to prospective customers. However, at some point of time I also had to swim by the tide.

But the child in me, or the hardcore consumer in me never changed. Every Sunday the favorite pastime at my home along with my two daughters is making paper rockets out of these inserts and fly them. This is going on for quite some years that as of now I am a certified expert in making them and determining flight paths and also a good trainer in teaching others to fly these rockets.

I will tell you, nothing can match experience. By now, I know which company’s insert is good for rockets. It depends on the thickness of the insert. 90 GSM can’t fly far. While it takes off with considerable promise it invariably loses steam and crash-lands. 120 GSM is ideal for rockets. It can traverse the entire distance of my living room. And has this grace while flying. But best is art paper, though it has a weight problem. If the weight is not spread, sometimes the aerodynamics gets screwed up. Like this morning: when it landed on my cook’s eye ( don’t ask me about the expenses in treating that, when you are innovating there are bound to be some unforeseen expense and damage ). I remember a time when my rocket crossed the sit-out of my house and with ultimate precision got stuck into the hairdo of a passerby.

The guys at IIHT would win hands down anytime in providing the best raw material. Their inserts make the best rockets. The Pizza companies come a close second, but the offers that accompany, saves them from becoming a rocket most times. Hathway is the worst of all. And the cheap ones like your local plumbing works etc is pretty moody!! Could be good sometimes, could be disastrous some other time. All in all its great fun on a Sunday morning! With daughters making abortive attempts to fly rockets and me teaching them, it is quite a nice ice breaking and camaraderie creating session.

But I should agree on one thing. This does not happen without a small heartburn, when I realize that whatever paper insert exercise I do with my limited marketing budget could also meet this fate in someone else’s hands. It is not funny at all to imagine your money flying. Not funny at all :(

Learn to be a Real Man

You don’t need this advice first thing in the morning, do you? Thanks to Spam, I did get the advice. They probably were trying to sell some stuff to me, but then they have actually ended up irritating me. The whole man thing I guess is a pressure to modern day men. And worse is that being connected to some apparatus and what it can do.

What exactly is being a real man? I don’t think I know it. For that matter I don’t think there is anything different between real man and real woman. And typecasting something as man’s thing is an issue these days for sure. A woman does every damn thing a man does too! Barring the typical MCP joke of being not able to piss 2 feet away from the wall.

Honestly, everyone on earth has inherent fears. Men just don’t show it. That’s all. You can be a hero with people who either out of goodness or fear don’t tell you that you are an asshole. Otherwise, even the so-called hero’s do not have the courage to speak the truth. And disagree to things that are clearly not fair. They also have the same fear of things not going good for them, fear of losing. They also look for support, a shoulder to cry, reassurance and miracles. They also nurture a secret dream of all problems getting washed away when they wake up in the morning. They also are always a child getting carried away by small things that can cause sadness or happiness. It is just that they don’t speak out.

So what’s being a real man? It is all bull crap. The moment one accepts a stupid position and compromises on it, this entire man thing becomes hogwash. And even when the fog clears, out of sheer escapism no one touches the bad time even in thoughts and just steel themselves to look forward. Satisfy themselves by telling, what is the fun in revisiting it, everything is good now, so lets just move ahead.

In my lifetime I have never seen a real hero who was not afflicted by the stuff I mentioned earlier. And I don’t think of myself as a hero either, unless I make a collage of all great things I did in life, my audacity and my fearlessness when it was convenient etc. But only I know that I have been scared.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Read somewhere as a joke. As what earns you points with women. But, I can’t help but amaze at the profoundness and also the practical wisdom the joke carried. OK, now I know that I tread into dangerous waters. Maybe, there will be a retort, gentle or violent or maybe lots of lots of minus points. But then, men by nature take risks. Don’t they?

Well the joke starts like this.

“In the world, one single rule applies for men. Make the woman happy. Do something she likes you get points! Do something she dislikes your points get subtracted! You do something she expects, you don’t get any points. Sorry mate, that’s how the system works”

I have skipped the guide for the rating system. That’s purely subjective I guess. But this is how my list would go, only about coming home in time. If I touch upon everything then Google guys might jump at me for using up all their server space.

  • Come Home early – 5 Points
  • Come Home late – Minus 100 Points
  • Come Home after a few beers – Minus Million Points
  • Come Home late and still offer a drive for eating out – 10 Points
  • Come Home early and read a book without talking – Minus 100 points
  • Come Home early and tell that you want to eat and what is available is not something you want – Minus 1000 points
  • Come Home early and want to have sometime for yourself – Minus 1000 Points
  • Come Home late and sleep fitfully – Minus points for a lifetime which compounds everyday.
  • Come Home early and be too very chirpy and play with children – Minus 1000 Points ( There I got you, you would have thought what is wrong in that , buddy please understand that Daddies spoil kids , they make them indiscipline and hog the only time they will study and so on… )
  • Come Home early and just behave – No Points

OK, now you see, you can utmost scrap some 15 plus points in a day by one action that has the potential to incarcerate you in a dungeon for a lifetime. Which is better, come home early and get 15 points or just avoid the risk totally? No wonder I am late to home everyday. I am a very wise guy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Too Late

Looks like I need to get up from the slumber. It always appears to me that I am too late for anything. Or also too lazy for anything! Never been so self-deprecating in recent times. But, now these thoughts weigh on me pretty heavily.

I wrote my first piece a clear 4 years back. It was a translation of a single page from one of my favorite Tamizh books. And in bits & pieces I wrote. And kept all of them safely hidden in my hard disk. Dared to show it to a few friends who felt it was good.( I am bluffing, both the guys actually reported to me, no wonder what I wrote was good, should have been appraisal time! ) But still, I never had the inclination to try the second page. The very task of doing the entire book was daunting and I kept postponing. But never failed to dream that some day I will complete it and even publish. Well, now it is published. But by someone else! And now, the only OK effort I did for a page is also wasted.

I was already into my 5th year of Internet-aware stage then. But still didn’t blog. Don’t know whether I really knew about blogging then. And then started to write what I thought as my last work, if & when it gets published. Some pace it took and then again went into hibernation. I specifically chose the subject that is close to what I experienced, because I didn’t trust my imagination or creativity to complete any work of writing. But still, despite having enough content, I am dragging. This time smartly I have kept myself a deadline, but I am personally not so sure.

OK, why am I blabbering all this now! Simply because I had been visiting a few blogs in the past two days and everyone seems to be a mixed bag! Rare pieces of good humor, sensible writing appears in a deluge of crap. So, I get into this trip! Thinking how it would have been, if only I had started writing long time back ( maybe they would have visited my blog and searched a rare good piece in the crap-deluge ). People just write, irrespective of what they think that others would think of what they write. And I keep cribbing about having lost time, without actually writing.

Is it too late already ?! Don’t know really. Sometimes I land up in certain blogs and start wondering about why that person hasn’t been writing big time already. And I set myself back in time for a while. Or know about Amit Aggarwal , who apparently makes lakhs of money by blogging and get a feeling that I am just plainly too lazy to do anything. Even things that I love doing!!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Men do Talk

I have been an ardent proponent of the theory that women talk more than men. And at some point of time, the theory gained huge credence when Dr Luan Brizendine in her book titled ‘Female Brain’, said that women spoke an average of 20000 words in a day against 7000 of men.

I had an audience when I talked about how we men exhaust these 7000 words at work and even if the wife has expended same number of words, they still had 13000 to go and try to empty them on you. And you were obviously overdrawn. And it is generally grunts and nods after reaching home. Some lucky day for them, they lose their cool on us and get a chance to spend the 13000 on screaming and calling us names.

I have read an evolutionary substantiation for this theory also in other books, that said men in prehistoric times were forced to be silent, because they were chasing animals for food and noise means hunger for them. Whereas, the women who stayed back at the caves, had to socialize with others because they weren’t sure that their partners would come back alive.

But now, there is another set of guys who has researched this and debunked the theory. They say that there is a mere thousand-word difference between men and women. Both use around 15000 words, this side or that side. So, all my gyan on this subject is now dead.

But even if the theory is proved wrong, I am certain of one thing. My wife speaks those extra 1000 words only when I get back home exhausting my quota.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


In my life, I have never been afraid of heights and neither about going up. Provided it was my way. Easy ways don’t appeal to me. I believe that one should work hard to go up and any shortcut is unfair.

Well this has been my story when I refuse to take the escalators. Truth is that I was shit scared about it. Happened because once I tripped and immediately thereafter there was this small girl who died in the Delhi airport. Since then, I had seen them only as killing machines and I developed a morbid fear.

I was an object of ridicule, I know. Because this apparently strong man, would take a circuitous route of stairs! And inside me, I was feeling so wretched because my daughter of 5 years had this as a game in all malls. She plays with them. And I was running around to find staircases.

There was this funny character who claimed to be my friend, who talks only in hyperboles and exaggerates everything. He came to me and said he will cure me of this fear. And gave a gyan about all fears & pains come due to subconscious invitation from us, so I should be telling myself “I didn’t invite you fear, please go back”. Honestly I wish I did that to him.

Anyway, a month back I broke the fear myself. Went to city center and realized that it is just not easy to take elevators or stairs. Prayed to my family deity and jumped into it. And then it was child’s play ( no pun intended ). After that, now every week, I laugh at the guys who come close to the escalator, have this nervous look and back off.

Afterall, one should be courageous in life, can’t understand these guys who are scared of escalators. Crazy bums!

German Blinov

Did you hear about this guy? He should probably be the unluckiest guy in the whole world. He did something and got fined by a Chicago court an amount of 4802 $. So, what’s new about it? Everyone gets sued in the US!!

Well this guy has got fined for stealing someone’s wife. Apparently, he has had an affair with a married woman and her husband sued and the court has fined him. I guess everyone in the US has gone nuts. I am wondering whether that woman is going to share the fine, as she agreed in the court that she had sex with our Blinov guy. And this husband character, why would he go to court! He should have either worked to keep his wife with him and otherwise walked out on her or probably act like all mad husbands do. And again, the judge!! I don’t know the basis of fine and the amount! Will the amount change based on how beautiful this lady is or how many times they had sex or what it is? Now this also gives me another perspective. If the court collects the money and pay a part of the damages to the aggrieved husband, what exactly you call that business? In our part of the world, it is something!

So folks, if you were planning to follow my earlier post by letter & spirit ( Thou may covet thy neighbor’s wife ), please be sure that you take a personal loan and keep. You may never know, anything that’s American is fashionable in India now and you would end paying hefty fines. And, increase your credit-worthiness if you plan to be active in that stealing business!

Monday, July 02, 2007


I was sitting under tattered false roofing surrounded by spit covered walls, when my enlightenment happened. Not a Bodhi tree it is. But for mere mortals like me, the fact that enlightenment happens itself is a big thing and I don’t think I am going to complain about the environment & circumstances.

The preamble was necessary because when I explain the circumstances, you are sure going to laugh. Before that let me tell you what did I realize about life that I harp so much. It is fairly simple and maybe millions have known already this. But I realized it now. “When expectations are less, the satisfaction is always more”, this is what was my enlightenment all about.

In your life, you always want a few things. Some badly, some as a fantasy, and some as a dream that can be chased! But human mind has this great vacuum. That refuses to be filled up and wanting more. Or so you think and hence set your wants also more. And invariably, end up not getting satisfied.

Sivaji, the movie is like wine and its hero. Tends to get better with age. Saw it the second time last night and realized that the movie is super. That set this thought process. I am a diehard fan of Rajni and saw the movie on the 4th day with raving reviews from fans and magazines. And I was very disappointed. Prompted to even write my own story for the actor, to justify his image and potential. Yesterday, I went again with a clear knowledge that the movie is not going to be engrossing and then again I was disappointed, rather elated. Because, it was engrossing!!

Then I realized it is all about what you want in a certain thing in your mind. Best of relationships are in trouble, because there is always some small extra thing that is expected more. Many a time, you feel that things could have been better, if only!! But there is no end to “if only”. 90 things out of 100 happen well and you are worried about the 10 things that don’t. For e.g., when there is an amazing time spent in a restaurant or a movie hall, what preoccupies the mind is a waiter who has a face that betrays constipation or a kid that runs here & there blocking your view in the hall. Not the fact that the movie or the food is great.

You have so much of leeway in your relationship that is simply a pipedream for many others, but for you it is about what is not going right. I have never been like this in my life is what I thought. But it’s only on certain things. Like shopping, where I pick up the first good things I see, rather than get choosy. Because then I say comparisons will start and also cloud judgment. But, in a few others, I never get satisfied.

In a group of young executives, there was one guy who with the help of 6 larges of rum was delirious about his performance in the previous quarter! True he was a hero. But I was an unhappy guy having been forced to preside over a dwindling business. The revenue overall is 20% lesser and here is this guy who was harping about his success. Then it all erupted suddenly. I excused myself of any misbehavior and blamed it on his ‘old monk’ comfortably forgetting that Kingfishers can also be culpable. I used the choicest of my Madurai language and left the executive crying for the rest of the night. Started feeling bad about what I have done and tried to make some amends immediately, but then it was already too late, the damage was done. When I sat yesterday to reflect upon what happened, I realized that what is good for someone is not just good enough for me, because I have an expectation that is not met yet.

If only I am willing to set my expectations reasonable, then I guess I would be happy most of the times. Not worry about how much my time is being exploited when a friend is on phone while I am with him or her, about how much of increment has been given when the market value for me is atleast 30% more & so on and simply get happy about how I have got all the best things in life.

But then how do you chase dreams, how do you define what is reasonable? Is there any yardstick in terms of deciding that? Is it that you decide to stay happy and set expectations low, or you listen to your mind about what exactly is going to make you happy and set your expectations as per that and take a risk? What about dreams? What about fantasies?

What I understood yesterday was an answer to this! It is about defining a manner in which you interpret the results. Expectations from Rajni made the movie not so good for me. When I decided to see the movie for itself and consider Rajni as just an actor, the movie was good for me.

You may still have all your dreams and goals. It is just about on what % of that you are going to feel satisfied or at what milestone of that you are going to feel satisfied. You may then probably stay happy or maybe if you don’t, you just know that you could have planned better.

Any which way, I guess it pays to have low expectations. Unless someone shoves a gun down my throat and force me to expect more. Or simply go and meet all expectations that you set for things that you can do and keep expectations low in things that involve others also.

Maybe I should see Sivaji once more to get more enlightened! Huh, at last, I have justified what I was about to do. See the movie again!