Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why do People fall in Love???

There are many theories that float around about why people fall in love. Someone once wrote that it is because of excess secretion of phenylethylamine in the system. Sigmund Freud said that ‘Love and work are the cornerstones of humaneness’, but at the same breath said that ‘One is very crazy when in love’.

Psychologist Zick Rubin proposed that romantic love is made up of three elements: attachment, caring, and intimacy. Attachment is the need to receive care, approval, and physical contact with the other person. Caring involves valuing the other person’s needs and happiness as much as your own. Intimacy refers to the sharing of thoughts, desires, and feelings with the other person.

John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel. Just as there are three primary colors, Lee suggested that there are three primary styles of love. These three styles of love are: (1) Eros, (2) Ludos, and (3) Storge.

Continuing the color wheel analogy, Lee proposed that just as the primary colors can be combined to create complementary colors, these three primary styles of love could be combined to create nine different secondary love styles. For example, a combination of Eros and Ludos results in Mania, or obsessive love.

Lee theorized more styles out of the three primary styles namely 1. Eros – Loving an ideal person, 2. Ludos – Love as a game.3. Storge – Love as friendship & Three secondary styles: 1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love, 2. Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love, 3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

There is also a triangular theory of love by another psychologist, once again a combination of 3 factors of intimacy, passion and commitment.

Enough of the theoretical aspects and definitions of love! It is just beyond my head. I don’t think that love is something that can be defined so precisely and it is just one crazy stuff like Freud said. It just appears from nowhere and occupies a major part of your thinking, giving sanity a long holiday. But at the end of it you feel so great being insane. That seems to be the beauty of love. As John Dryden said, there is a pleasure in madness which no one but madmen know. And, love looks like a perfect fit to endorse his quote.

But, what bothers me is a small thing. Maybe something to do with the English language! And that is ‘Why do people fall in love’ and not ‘rise in love’???

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fishy Stuff

I have been always a character who came across as someone who held some intrigue. That’s for people who don’t know me really. The closer folks know that there is no secret in my life and am as open as they come across. So there is actually nothing fishy that I am going to write about. This one is different.

I had always been fascinated by pets. And when I say pets, I don’t have any bias. Anything that knows it should not bite the master will qualify as a pet for me. Though not to the extent of Steve Irwin, I have always fancied myself to be closer to animals than the Homo Sapiens! I have never feared them. On the contrary my dream job as I claim is to be a zoo-keeper. Live with the animals day in and day out! Maybe because they don’t talk back! They give one look at you, sometimes if they are feeling friendly, may offer a gesture that you can presume as a smile, or most times they ignore you and mind their business. And I see it pretty close to my character. And amongst accepted peer groups, friends and families, they are as friendly as anyone can be.

I am mad about dogs. I think I can understand what they express without fail always. A dog Dr Dolittle!! And more often than not, I had been right in my guessing and with Gabriela I lived a charmed life. She is a very funny character. I sometimes called her as MRP, standing for Mentally Retarded Pet. But, a fiercely determined one! No one can express as much as her and here I include the human beings too. Maybe we had a common language, which mostly could have been love and hence there was never a need for words. When she died, it was a very bad loss. But I thought that it could be repaired. Had another couple of dogs, Anbu & Maggie, but both of them never turned out to be Gaby. And there were more difference of opinions than agreements and I felt very tired having them. Luckily for them, they found a good home for themselves and are having a fabulous time.

My destiny with pets, I guessed was at wit’s end. Kept dreaming about getting into a villa and have a pack of dogs and maybe find another Gaby in that somehow. When the desire got the better of me and I make a feeble attempt to bring another pup home, I face fierce resistance from stronger species. And then it happened. Our servant maid’s son landed up with a fish tank and left it at my place.

The fishes were so tiny that I needed an electron microscope to see them. And they were such boring creatures. The ones in that tank was dull colored and generally floated around almost looking forward to their date of death. I started wondering about my philosophy of managing my life with any animal species, because these guys didn’t even acknowledge my presence and they were swimming in my home. But anyway I was curious about them. Out of the 4, one fish ended belly up one morning. The second one disappeared without a trace. Broke my head on finding that Houdini fish and gave up! Maybe it committed suicide by jumping out or just didn’t bother to come back to the tank when the cleaning happened.

And suddenly, I announced that I will have an aquarium at home. Wanted to provide the best of the environments for the fishes to live! I never knew that setting up one could be so costly, but having decided there was no going back. It was one big learning process. What all goes into an aquarium, the fishes & the works. Blowing a fortune, I have now built one. Got about 5 pairs initially, as the fish doctor advised! I really wanted some 20 pairs because the aquarium could hold all the fishes in the Pacific Ocean, but the fish guy wasn’t too keen. He warned against two things. One is the adaptability of fishes and second is their peaceful coexistence.

The naming ceremony was big fun, they are called

Manjula & Jaldi Haldi,
Neelambari, Sigappi, Azhukki & Dirty Harry
Kallan & Kullan
Karuppasami and Mundakanni

And then my understanding about them changed. These fishes are amazing. Never knew that they had a mind on their own. My perception about fishes was limited to what you get at the restaurants. But 10 days with them now, I realize they could be real good pets. Each one has its own idiosyncrasy. The mean black sharks display maximum cowardice. They are scared about people’s voices. How come they are going to survive in a veritable zoo my home is, I don’t know. The yellow ones are extremely social and they can’t stand any fish being morose. They keep poking the out of mood fishes and encourage them to join the mainstream. The other bunch which the fish guy claimed to be friendly is living up to the name. Jumping at each other and generally swimming around as a school, they make the entire aquarium colorful.

The sad story is about the other pair, Kallan & Kullan. Third day on arrival, one of them died and I will spare the graphic details. And for the next 7 days, the other one has mourned for it, just staying at the same place only breathing. Never knew that they were so sensitive. And all of a sudden, I have started seeing them as real pets, the ones with real heart and care.

Now, I am worried. About the welfare of them! And going by the trend at home, it won’t be too long before a fish doctor is spotted and keeps visiting for maintenance. And we go thin because these tiny creatures don’t eat. :(

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Change of Address

Hi Guys,

For a while I am hanging out in Sulekha. Check me out there.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

To Fix or Float

No this has got anything to do with my wanderlust nature. For that matter, if I ever thought in these lines, my choice would have been pretty simple. I prefer to float. Fixed is not my thing.

But if life’s philosophy by any chance is guided by home loans, I guess I may never float. Think about this. I was a happy-go- lucky guy who was peacefully staying in rented houses. Lived in 13 houses in 13 years! My job was the primary reason, but then staying in a rented place gave me the flexibility. I coolly answered that I am mobile. Since I never had the worry of renting my own house, adjust in a new place blah blah. And every time it was a change too. A little bit of an expense here and there in changing furnishings, but nonetheless a welcome change from the faded window screens and curtains that you convince yourself to live with in your own house. And in a way rented houses helped fueling my imagination about what my own house could be. And always stay optimistic that one day life is going to be great.

Then all of a sudden all this changed. One day I ended up seeing an advertisement that offered 110% loan for homes. Now that was my kind of loan. With just about 60 bucks in the pocket and a sizeable credit card loan, owning a house was a pipedream to me. And whenever that fancy occurred to me, I was brutally tossed away by the realities of real estate markets. 30% black money and in the balance 70%, you can get a loan for only 75% of that amount. In effect I needed to have atleast 45% plus of the property cost as my own funds. This was possible, only if any Nigerian royalty bequeaths his estate to me like it is claimed in the spam emails. So, I gave up my dream as soon as it cropped up.

And this 110% thing brought some real hope. I thought that maybe that Nigerian royalty has reincarnated as a Marketing Manager in IDBI bank. Jumped at the offer and mind you, my payslip was really respectful to fetch me a handsome loan. That is because payslips are not bank statements and they don’t tell the story of your credit-worthiness. Once I got the loan sanctioned, I started hunting for a house and found a real dream house which was just about 30% above my budget. Well it is a different story that I stayed dreaming big and eventually managed to buy the same property with 60 bucks in my hand, with a kindhearted friend buying tea for all the folks who turned up in the registrar’s office.

The bankers were also present to handover the first installment cheque to the builder. And in the melee, I don’t remember what I signed on. Not that I was an expert that on carefully reading the loan document, I would have taken a learned decision. My knowledge in money matters doesn’t really matter at all. My child can give me a lesson or two. ( OK, this was an exaggeration, being my child she also is zilch in that. Maybe some other child would be better ). Apparently I had chosen a Floating Interest rate.

That’s where the trouble is now. Things were ok for a couple of years and one fine day I got a missive from my bankers. They kindly asked me to make a part prepayment of the loan to retain the EMI amount and period as such. Couple of year’s progress only meant that instead of 60 bucks in my hand, I now had some 180 bucks in hand. And 180 bucks was not considered as part prepayment by my bankers. I took their alternate suggestion and increased my EMI amount by about 10%. Then life returned again to normalcy.

But then bankers are a different tribe. They will first allot sub prime loans, meaning they will provide loans what you don’t deserve and then come back at you heavily. I don’t know what kind of a honesty that is. So they started again. This time around though they knew I would be incapable of making part prepayment, what with the qualifying criteria for the amount not changing. So unilaterally they have just decided and informed me that my loan tenure has been extended by just another 13 years. I initially was overwhelmed with their best wishes of me living for another 13 more years than scheduled.

But then it pisses me off also. I was a happy-go-lucky guy. Didn’t I tell you that? Now I am worried. I don’t know whether my children will inherit the home or the loan. And I am also cursing myself for not being smart to choose a fixed interest rate. I don’t know when this ordeal will get over. I am certain that in another 2 years I will get one more letter stating that my tenure is now 120 years and I should nominate my grandson for repaying the loan.

One saving grace is that, they say that not a single bank offers a true-blue fixed rate and always retains the authority to change the interest rates as it deem to be. And 90% of the loaned population floats. Irrespective of whether they have read the fine print

Afterall I am an intelligent guy and I know I would not make a mistake. A dream penthouse with a 140 year loan tenure is not easy picking ok ?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Irumbukkai Maayavi

In my first post I reasoned out that I am going to blog because someone will reach out to me and give information on ‘irumbukkai maayavi’. And after almost a year, I did get some dope on this. Of course on my own! No one really reached out to me. I wonder about what these search engines do in life. But anyway now they helped me.

A bit of history before going further! There was a time in this Planet Earth when the television did not exist. And entertainment during that time was either playing out in the streets without wasting a single ray of the Sun or if the going really gets tough ( I am not talking about the Sun, but the heat that is generated at home because of my wanderlust ), one invariably land up with some comics. Well, I was still struggling with English and that meant comics were not the Tintin’s and the Asterix’s. They were Tamizh comics.

And Tamizh comics were of two genres. One was serialized in magazines with India and Indian characters as the base. My favorite there was ‘Moondru Manthirvathikal’ ( Three magicians ). One guy was capable of crossing 100 miles in one step, other guy was capable was drinking the whole ocean and the third guy I don’t remember. Their exploits to save a princess from an evil guy whose life was secretly vaulted inside a small flower that resided underneath an ocean which is beyond a million mountains blah blah, was simply awesome and I was really empathizing with the princess was mighty worried about her life ( Now I know why I am worried about the welfare of women and get friendly with them , it’s all because of the comics ). It used be great fun.

The second genre was comics translated from English. We had Phantom, Magician Mandrake, Irumbukkai Maayavi, David & Lawrence etc. While in most comics the characters just appeared as it is with the same name and just translated, irumbukkai maayavi alone had this special name. Was he any good!!! Don’t even ask, all my life I only wanted to be him. He had this steel hand from the wrist and if he put his finger into an electrical socket he will disappear. In the seventies, I guess there was nothing more exhilarating than this. Book after book I read and still it was always insatiable. And even after I grew up, I still have this craving to read about his exploits and been researching in the Net to figure out more.

And I hit pay dirt recently. I learnt more about my hero. He is Louis Crandell a.k.a Steel Claw. A British secret service agent at a later date, he starts as a Lab assistant who loses his hand in an accident and the metal prosthetic he fixes makes him so powerful. He gets invisible when he comes in contact with electricity. He becomes a crook first and does evil stuff with his newfound ability and later becomes a good guy. Now I am hopeful of getting some Louis Crandell comics from the US and read to my heart’s content.

Come to think of it, I guess these are the stuff that forms you as a person. What you read, what you believe while you are very young. Sometime so na├»ve to believe everything ( I once tried putting my finger into a socket like him and had a huge shock and thrown a few feet off . Hasn’t told anyone about this foolish exploit till now, then because of fear, till now because of shame.

Most times these days when I see my daughters glued on to the TV, I start cribbing that they miss all the fun in life, maybe it is the Parent ego state in me talking. But somehow I am certain that it was more fun then than what they have now. Graphics simply has killed the imagination of the kids.

Even now sometimes when it is kinda depressing I wish that I could become Maayavi and become invisible for a while. Or when I come across stupid but lucky guys, I wish I could just scorch them to ashes as a Maayavi.

The boy in you never dies!!! Or the idealist in you never sleeps!!!