Friday, November 28, 2008

Open letter to the PM


Sir, you did it! The same empty rhetoric! “We will not bow down to terror”! Fantastic respected Sir. But, may we know which country you are talking about? If it’s India, then you are afflicted with some deep hallucination. The terrorists haven’t bothered about whether you will bend or not. They have already bent you at the waist and having an orgy at your backside. Maybe you can charge them under Section 377 of IPC. If you are not aware what the section stands for ( as you are hallucinating anyway ), it is against sodomy. ( afterall you and your party want less stringent laws against terror )

You and cronies should be hanging yourselves by the neck if you have any shame at all. But then why would you have shame? You look like a puppet in the TV screen and on most times, I have to pinch myself to believe that you are a human ( not humane anyway, that we know, with the blood of so many Indian citizens in your hand ). For God sake, next time you appear on TV, do two things. One, move other parts of your body apart from the lips ( despite the fact you may be agonizing in pain at your posterior extreme ) and two, don’t use the teleprompter. Make some effort atleast to say it straight from the heart. Don’t read out reassuring messages to us. We are anyway much better equipped to handle grief and anger without your help.

Are you really serious about terrorism? If you have proof about foreign involvement, why are you not crying hoarse? Did someone promise you a ‘Best Diplomat’ award or what? If underworld is involved, why are you not making a demand on Pakistan to extradite Dawood? That’s the least you can do to add some bravery element to your stupid empty speech?! Why are you not unleashing fury at POK? Are you scared about the reaction of Pakistan and their nukes? Or is it that, you are suddenly concerned about our lives? If the second thought is true, Sir, please don’t worry about us. We are braver than you and we prefer getting nuked to getting shot by one bit, two bit terrorists.

Your inaction and weak knees have sacrificed many of our fellow citizens’ lives and some of the finest officers. If you need some inspiration to act firmly, shall I advise you to watch some TV? See what’s happening out there. The bravest of our men, getting airdropped and taking bullets for your cowardice!

Don’t you really think that you should have stayed with academics? Maybe write a paper on the Economic Impact of Terrorism than trying to deal with it? Why your cabinet committee meeting? Why not an all-party meeting? Why not ask Modi on how he managed to defuse bombs at Surat instead of giving speeches and announcing solatium?

The least you can do now, is to shut yourself at 7, Racecourse road. We don’t want the additional task of saving you and given our mood, we may forget that we have to.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Shame on us


Shame on us! A country of a billion people! Claiming to be a new power in the world! Boasting endlessly on what all we can achieve in the next 20 years! Maybe I should add ‘If we are alive’

How long this tragic situation will continue, we would never know. Maybe as long as we treat Indian lives as a cheap commodity. The US, UK and Australia governments have already issued bulletins advising against travel to India, their cricket tours cancelled, all for the few hundred of their citizens who may possibly be affected.

If you are in any of the Metro’s save Chennai, can you honestly say that you are not running the risk of getting killed any day? It just doesn’t sink on us. The famed Indian tolerance comes to our rescue here. So does our Karmic philosophy. If you gotta go, you gotta go! A dialogue that is drilled into our heads to accept any shit that is trashed upon us.

You could be in a train, in a cinema hall, dining with your family in a restaurant, stand in a chaat stall you could be anywhere! Sorry my friend, you aren’t safe! Because you are an Indian and you are dispensable. Mayawati has 350 policemen saving her and almost all our neta’s. You and I are second-class. The Home Minister will anyway condemn the attacks and we will go back our idli, dosa and vada paav’s. We will have some nice live TV action and debate and wait for another day to get killed if we already are not.

Maybe Chandrayaan will help us. Maybe we can find ourselves a safe haven in the Moon where we may hope to live longer. Maybe we can spend a few more billion dollars to amass weapons, which we will dust up on the Pooja days and lock them up.

How the f*** we are so shameless? How the f*** we celebrate Pirabakaran’s birthday in a high court complex bursting crackers? How the f*** we cry over the Tamil’s across the border and just don’t bother about cracking down on terrorists on our own soil?

If there was a plot to insult India’s sovereignty, this is it. Terrorists coming through boats from Karachi and strike at will at the very heart of the country. You think we will wake up now? Never!! One strike at them, a country got annihilated and for 6 years they are safe. For us, we cant survive if we don’t see blood in the newspapers as a daily diet. We will shake hands with the enemies across the border, play cricket matches and throw mud at Modi.

As long as Congress runs the country, your life isn’t yours. They are so weak and they make the country weak. We are having a cabinet committee meeting and the PM will address us at 7 pm, almost 24 hours after our country was invaded. I know what he will say. He will say that he condemns such attacks on innocent civilians, he will say that India won’t tolerate such things anymore and he will say we will crack down on terrorism and to added measure he will add it is cross-border. He will say that we have sufficient proof that it is a foreign conspiracy. And none of us will ask what the ‘F’ he is doing if he knows all of this.

And the people of Mumbai, will once again demonstrate their indomitable spirit and we will start trading first thing on Friday. Left to me, I will change the concept of that trade. I may sound jingoistic and I will have a hundred guys who preach on more tolerance. But I am not in a mood to listen, not when we spill blood on our streets.

Let us trade blood for once..


Thursday, November 06, 2008

I am back


There is something about October. Could be a coincidence, but it is true. I just don’t write anything in October. Just went back and checked my postings. As soon as I had started two years back, just in the second month, I went into a shell and came back with a vengeance. Now after two full years, for the first time I haven’t posted anything at all. Not sure whether I feel vengeful now. But, thanks to Obama, one came out like flash in the pan and as if it is an addiction, next one is now being made.

Come to think of it, this is really an addiction. With no defined withdrawal symptoms or a detox program! Maybe you quit for sometime, but when you start, you start from where you leave. Just now, I saw one of very senior colleagues smoking. I knew he had quit long time back and suddenly he was back at again. And he said after 2 full years, he restarted when his dog died. Certain habits die hard. You don’t know when and how you start, but when you start it just doesn’t stop. Maybe writing is like that.

I was into too much reading and some of them real good ones. And maybe I wanted to drop the pretense of ‘I also write something’. And every time something strikes my fancy, I always felt that it has been written about in the previous blogs or just plain indifference took over.

Now I am back at it. Again, read it the Times on Sunday about writer’s block and on how the sheer thought of having to write something does not make one write. As it is claimed there was no pregnancy of words in me waiting to come out and if it was, guess it was akin to an elephant’s pregnancy. Just not wanting to see the outside world.

But when it starts, it gives a good feeling. Appears that I need to cram in stuff about all the things I saw and read in the last one month, be it an essay of Arthur Koestler or Dave Barry’s ‘Guide to Guys, or the fantastic movies like ‘A Wednesday’ and the US elections

Come to think of it , maybe there is a lot to write. I am back!! .


Hope



I have often wondered whether the Times of India takes journalism seriously and it is just about sensationalism!! The times guys don’t impress much, particularly if your diet for the last 25 years was ‘The Hindu’ and filter coffee in the morning. I often used to complain that, on all my tours the watery hotel instant coffee and some other newspaper is a sure formula to my constipation. And then Times invaded ‘Namma Chennai’ too. Don’t ask me why I subscribe! I generally don’t rationalize when it comes to English letters printed in paper. Anything goes with me. Constipation maybe, but indigestion never!

But Times actually arrived today. Not in full, but just by printing one small piece in its coverage of Obama’s ascent to the throne. It was a song from Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Titled ‘Ebony & Ivory’, it goes like this.

“Living together in perfect harmony, side by side on my piano keyboard, Oh Lord, why don’t we?”

Nothing can aptly sum up the mood of the world at this very precise moment. As if God has listened to such sort of a prayer! It is almost like a personal triumph for everyone in the world. A black man becoming the most powerful person in the earth! And a real life heroism story playing in front of your eyes! Hollywood coming alive in the biggest theatre that is world!

When the world is split in fragments racially, religiously, financially, a black man from a middle class family, with Indonesian step-siblings, with a Muslim middle name triggering celebration in a small Kenyan village is something like God’s prescription to the suffering sinners of the world. It is like giving a message to us, saying ‘Hey guys, I haven’t given up on you yet’.

This is not the time to ask questions like he was after all half-white, he is not a descendant of the real African-American slave, he didn’t have the courage to stand up and say that ‘so what if my name is Islamic’, he is going to be more of a protectionist of American interests than the world’s interests etc. He simply gives Hope. That’s enough.

Hope to millions of people who believe in democracy, the power of ballot, to his race, hard work and people who have nothing left for them but Hope.

His first name means ‘Blessed’ and may God bless him really, for on him rests a million hopes.

Amen. !


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Offbeat


All the offbeat news that appears in any website has got something to do with sex. Every now and then you may get a rare piece of a dog eating the cell phone. Even that is not offbeat for me. The dogs are intelligent creatures and they know the enemy when they see one. But this preoccupation with sex is baffling!

Or the fact that is termed ‘offbeat’ is even more baffling. Today’s headlines are the following

Fidel Castro has 'bedded 35,000 women'!

See what I said? 4 headlines and all have sex in them. I don’t know what this is all about. The other day I read a survey that said that skimpily clad women in advertisement make men overlook the prices and go for the product. There is something really screwed up in our head. No, it is not one prude speaking. My collection of porn stuff would give a run for everyone’s money when I was young. But why is this offbeat? If everyone seems to be interested in and that’s what is read and if sex sells, it is mainstream! Maybe the bomb blasts are offbeat. The frequency of that anyway is fast making it mainstream too.

Some of these statistics and survey are seriously challenging. Some of them are mathematical puzzles. If Castro bedded 35000 women, if you go by a simple stat of one a day, then it would have taken 95 years to accomplish this feat. Going one step ahead if it was two a day, it is still 48 years. Now when was he running Cuba and what was the US afraid of. Their women!? Everyday 2 new women for 48 years! This is as good as the size they write about in porn magazines. Will give an inferiority complex to the Obama’s and the McCain’s of the world.

How exactly they collect this information God only knows. Maybe Castro would have told. But to me sex news seems to be an industry. There should be hoards of reporters with the mike thrusting out (no pun intended) asking people what is the kinkiest thing you have heard or done. Or the imagination is so very fertile that someone can concoct a piece like a 2 cm fish slipping into a boy’s penis.

Really sickening!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Paid to Piss

I almost decided that the World has lost its sense of craziness and become straight. I had a reason to think so. Usually it is the newspaper stories that give me dope to blabber something on the blog. And mostly they are some crazy stuff like robbery of a sperm bank or some unique survey happening that stokes the imagination in me and a few smiles. But recently all I was seeing was morose stories like Biker bleeding to death blah blah. When I almost gave up hope I got this gem. And the relief that after all world is a still a good place to settle down.

Listen to this story. Apparently at Tiruchi, people are paid to piss. Yes, I am not spinning a tale here. I read this in the Times. ( well Times by itself is a big humor, but it is that sick kind of humor ). The idea is to collect the urine and test it for its efficacy as a fertilizer. And the queues are getting longer by the day in the town.

I was wondering how nice it would be that this kind of job. Getting paid to piss! It is a different kind of thing that many do that in a corporate scenario. Strutting around from desk to desk pissing on and on! In fact if there is a selection process for this, I know of a super guy for this job from my earlier organization, but then he is capable of messing that also.

Coming back to the Paid for Pissing story, I am wondering how they would have marketed it on first place. Would they have sent people on a door knock asking if they feel like pissing? Or would they have given an advertisement in the local newspaper saying ‘You got the Piss, We got the Pay’? Or would they have told a few locals and depended on ‘word of mouth’ ( can’t imagine my neighbor coming to me asking whether I would like to join the noble cause of Science research by agreeing to piss ).

Second confusion I have is that, what is the logic of this payment? Will they pay as per volume? Which means they should do it in a container?! Understanding the Indian psyche, I would not be surprised if a few guys adulterate that with pure water (they may not as it would make bad economics, buying water & mixing it with urine to make money, of course it depends on the price per ml ). Or will they simply pay them on a ‘pay per visit’ model? That also is dangerous with so many walking in and shaking but at the end of the day not much of volume being generated.

Assuming it was really a remunerative process, how people will work hard to piss? Drink gallons of water and rush to the payment counter! And fight to get ahead of others in the queue!( now that will be some real urgency ). Actually like our BPO’s and the KPO’s, this could be one area where we could be world beaters. As much as the software skills and the English speaking skills that put us in the world map, in this area of research, we can beat anyone hands down by the sheer volume.

Anyway, I got to piss now, but I am holding back till my next Tiruchi visit. Certain things are worth holding!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Surveys

The world never lets you be good. I am certain about it. While at one side, your parents bring you up or atleast try to bring you up as a model citizen and drum into your head about the good & the bad, the scriptures talk about the battle between good and evil, there is also something called reality. Or should we call it as research?

I don’t know how these research results reach me ( actually I know, in fact I hunt for them, but a disclaimer is always safe ). But they do! Now tell me, what do you chase in life? While we keep harping about peace of mind and stuff like that, major part of our life we chase money, power and pleasure to ensure that at the end we find peace of mind. All the wars that had been fought are either for Wealth or for Women. Somehow, all of us manage to attain some wealthy position whatever that could be. But this women thing is different. We get, what, one woman? It is a different thing altogether to get into a moral debate of whether polygamy is evil and things like that. One needs to be respectful to what elders have said and not get into any such debate. You should simply do what you want. Arguing is wrong! It is a greater sin.

But look at this research. It says bad guys get more sex. Apparently men with antisocial traits have a prolific sex life. And what do you do? Listen to elders and be a good boy. And get what? Yeah you are right! One woman! On the contrary look what our friend David has got to say. "It is universal across cultures for high dark triad scorers to be more active in short-term mating,'' News.com.au quoted David Schmitt, of Bradley University in the US, as saying.

Now really what pays? Be a good guy and chase hopefully all your life or simply take a leaf out of the new learning and become a bad guy. Of course also get the perk of a prolific sex life.

Not a tough choice. As Fido Dido says ‘Normal is boring’

God’s own survey

One more study and one more confusion! These studies are conducted with an express purpose of creating confusion in one’s mind is what I feel. Now this one is even a bit blasphemous. All along we dabble with harmless subjects like Sex and now suddenly there is God.

Apparently University academics are less likely to believe in God. So it is like this. Intellect can get you good grades, job, and boost your attractiveness but God? Sorry! Only 3.3 of the royal society believe in them as opposed to 68% of the general populace. So God in reality gives you better brains to have a pop at Him.

This survey wasn’t that confusing or it didn’t put me in a dilemma and all. I know I am religious!

While speaking about surveys, I want to add a few more titles atleast

  • High Heels putting 20000 women a year in hospital ( A tall claim I would say! )
  • Having a fling could save your marriage ( Marriages have got to be saved )
  • Men's armpit odour biggest turn-on for women! ( What about foul breath ? )
  • Sexual appetite leads men to seek immediate rewards ( One should have a good appetite always )
  • Pretty girls more likely to be bullied: ( What a beauty! )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sex & Shopping

Back to my favorite topic again! Of course which part is my favorite is something I would let you folks ponder about. Read a survey result recently! Apparently young men think about sex every 52 seconds as against young women who think about shopping every 60 seconds. It also says that ‘Assuming eight hours of sleep a night means shopping trips consume women’s thoughts an astonishing 960 times a day and 6,720 times a week’. Well mercifully such calculations were not made about men thinking of sex.

What is disturbing is that the survey says that 50% of women ( young that too! ) prefer to spend time shopping as against sex. Now this is an issue! The converse if it is true, how can a man have sex without a partner? Just as women simply indulge in what is called as ‘retail therapy’, how can a man indulge in ‘sex therapy’? If you are a woman, you simply walk out of the house, go to the nearest shop and buy something irrespective of whether it is 10.00 pm at Chennai and you are only shopping for haldi. A similar thing can’t happen for a man though. Just imagine you going out in Chennai and walk into a supermarket at 10 pm and look for sex. And if you are a heterosexual, the only one that can probably help you in that therapy is already shopping there for haldi.

What a cruel injustice to men? And on top of it, shopping something is perfectly legal and what men would want to shop becomes illegal. The survey also says that credit crunch doesn’t come in their way of shopping. 62% swipe their credit cards and indulge in what they want to do? And sex is a pure cash transaction and that too advance payment. I don’t think you can swipe cards there atleast here in India. And that is assuming that you only need to pay for it, because normal women prefer shopping to sex anyway.

And it also says that 40% of them are shoe addicts, which means that they keep buying different ones and try them out. Do you have that luxury as a man? World is simply unfair to men. Maybe that is why it makes perfect sense for someone to go shopping along with women thinking that the favor will be repaid immediately. Or just buy shoes and go home everyday. Even that won’t work really! They need to pick it up from the rack, they need to choose. So, when did you get such a luxury? Do you ever pick sex from the rack?

For all the talk about how brains are wired, this is some skew that cannot be accepted. How can you compete with shoes for attention? Unless your face is shaped like that! And that too knowing pretty well that it is a one time passion, because they will buy a different shoe next time! Now I understand why men sometimes have this fetish about shoes Maybe it is not fetish really! It is a well though out strategy or survival instinct. You love shoes and I love sex, better I make love to shoes could be an argument that can pass muster.

So guys, life is tough on us. Pretty tough! If you think you will ever get to indulge in your passion, better go to Shopper’s Stop and sit on a rack. And change to some other place the next day. Otherwise your life is doomed!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Car, Carrier & Career


Took the car after a long gap to drive myself! There are sick jokes about how about men love their cars more than their women. I was never one of these men at any time. For me a car was something that takes you from place A to place B. In fact I don’t even remember the numbers of the previous cars that I owned. I have never got attached to the machines so much. But, all said and done, since it is something you drive on your own and when circumstances force someone else to drive it that creates a lot of trouble.

First is when I take the position at the seat! I feel like someone has shrunk me in size, or I am traveling in a space shuttle seated in an embryonic position. That’s because the drivers adjust the seats and while driving suddenly look at the rear view mirror, all I see is the back seat. And the back seat is full with no one being there. That’s because in my absence the kids use the car for their classes. We will come back to that story later.

Another huge irritation is the odor in the car. I think drivers as a breed are hydrophobic. They probably take bath once in a lifetime when events like Y2K happen. And they spend their rest of their lifetime inside cars sweating to glory. Any amount of deodorant can’t kill that and I always wish that the office is closer than what it is, because I want to jump out of the car at the first possible opportunity. And the amount of newspapers that is tuck in all gaps that are available in the car! Between seats, in the doors, you name it and you find a newspaper. And drivers in general also come with a handicap of lacking a major apparatus in their body. That is called as brain!

Coming back to the kids, because of them one day I am going to become a millionaire. Sweet ones! Why I am saying this is because, they are heavily investing in a commodity that will become the rarest in future in a place like Chennai. Every time they venture out of the house, each one carries a water bottle I don’t know for what. And when they return they don’t bring it back into the house. Currently I have some 27594 gallons stored in my car and obviously it is greater than the quantity of petrol which is stored. One day I will sell this water to the masses and become the millionaire I dreamt becoming.

And currently apart from this investment, I have some 10 kg of snacks strewn around, 2 kg of books and notebooks, 2 bags and a 1000 audio CD’s. My suspicion is that the elder one lives in the car only. I obviously can’t find that out because she will be hidden by these treasures. The second one strongly believes that the car is a place where one sleeps. Guess she will become a driver by profession in future. But one promise I will extract from her is about daily bathing. The moment she gets in the car, she sleeps. I have planned to gift a caravan to her when she gets married, because then if there is a fight between her and her husband, all he has to do is offer a drive around the colony and she will fall asleep. And he can escape.

I am seriously considering renting my house and moving into the car completely. Anyway all our possessions are always in the car, the first one already lives there and the second one would not mind sleeping her life through. That way I earn some money by rent, keep off the drivers and keep my car mine in all respect.

After all I am a man and I love my machines!!!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Real Life Heroes

Whenever I feel bitchy about life, there is one story I go back to read. And it is not fiction! I have always theorized that I have no need for books about positive thinking. They keep beating about the same thing again and again. And in fact there are many who had read Stephen Covey after I used a few quotes from his books, but somehow I have never felt charged up in finding effective ways in doing anything, as I felt that I anyway do it myself. Many books stand in my rack which has the collective brain of people who had made billions of dollars, but only few really enthuse me. And they are invariably first person accounts of how one built an empire. Books like ‘Made in America’ and ‘Winning’ have more impact on me than books like ‘Beneath the Arches’ or ‘Execution’. And of course some gems like the ‘The Go-Getter’ which charges me up tremendously. And movies like Lagaan which I see whenever I feel down.

But this story I talk is about the one whom I will qualify as a real hero. There are many rags to riches to story. Some of them on the business side and some of them from the tinsel town! The second one about the movie stars is still readable; somewhere I feel luck plays a part in those stories. The Superstar once slept for 3 nights straight in the platform near LIC and from where he has reached where is definitely mind boggling, but beyond all the blind fanaticism I have for him, I can’t fool myself that there was no luck involved at all. Yes, he is sharp, he had talent, he had the humility when he became successful and he is honest, but there could be a few other souls who possessed all these qualities too. But in the business side, there is surely a lot of planning, foresight and execution skills that creates a rags to riches story. Agreed that there are a few who made use of the loopholes in the system and made it big, but more often than not, it has been honest work and zeal that takes them somewhere.

Out of all that, I admire this person. He is E.Sarathbabu, the founder of FoodKing. His is a story that should be a text book lesson. And he according to be deserves Bharat Ratna. Sarath lived in a hut in a slum with his mom and 4 siblings. 2 older to him and 2 younger: His mom had a job in the Govt midday meal scheme at a salary of Rs 30/- per month ( and this was not long back where 30 buck could mean something, this is so very recent ). She supplemented the income by taking two other earning opportunities by making & selling idlies in the morning and teaching in an adult education program in the evening. And she educated all her kids. Sarath was a topper in school, but he confesses that when one does not know where the next square meal would come from, one does not think about career. All he was interested is to get a job and help mom. That he did even while he was in school by binding books and other odds & ends jobs. And then he got admission in BITS Pilani. He obviously had to borrow heavily for studying there and from there he got into IIM-A. Here is where he showed tremendous character and vision. He spurned down offers that paid 8 Lacs and decided to become an entrepreneur. He started FoodKing catering services and after initial months of losses now he makes 32 Lacs per month which is almost 4 crore turnover and he employs 200 people and that’s what he claims as his inspiration. To touch the lives of 1000 people indirectly. He has his dreams high and for a person like him, dreams wait to come true.

And he still lives in the same hut because he feels that’s where he gets the energy from and the money is anyway needed for the business. What a man he is. And he is all of 29 years old now. These people never cease to amaze me. My own CEO is a similar story and the way they practice humility is an abject lesson to everyone. After reading the book on Rajni, I thought I could have done a better job at that and was wondering who I can write about. And now I realize there is no lack of Superstars, real life ones.

I would want a book to be written about these home grown heroes and let more people read about them, particularly the kids who are in rich families but their parents were never so rich. At 67K an year, I now worry what my daughter learns. And Sarath studied with the help of kerosene lamp.

But it’s always the first generation people who go through the difficulties. After all it is only to ensure that the others don’t have to go through the same difficulties, isn’t it?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Petrol, Oh no it burns!!

There we go again. Petrol cost is up by 10% or Rs 5/- per litre. While I was at Dubai, on academic interest, I asked my colleague how much petrol costs there. And to my surprise he said, he doesn’t know and he drives one behemoth of a SUV. He nonchalantly said ‘I just fill the tank every time; I really don’t see how much a litre costs’. That would probably rank as a statement of highest order ever made that had made by stomach burn out of jealousy. Then I found out that it costs the equivalent of about Rs 16/-. And today’s news fuels the fire and some smartass has also made a slideshow in one of the portals on how much petrol costs where. And in Venezuela, it is apparently the equivalent of Rs 2.25/- per liter. Who said Petrol is highly combustible? Should only garland that person; so much is my irritation!

I can recall that when I first had some form of a fuel driven vehicle with me, the petrol cost was around Rs 6/- per litre and by the time the moped was delivered to me, it went up by a couple of bucks. Folks were teasing me about my luck even then. And in just another 3 years, the first Gulf war happened and the government in all earnestness introduced a ‘gulf component’ in the price and promised to roll it back after the war ended. The war actually brought down the International Oil Prices down, but the Indian Govt that had a administered price mechanism, retained the cost going back on its promise. After all the noise is only when the price goes up and when the people get used to it, there are no big repercussions for the government.

From there till today, the price in India has gone up 7 times and so are the international crude oil prices. In fact they have gone up even higher, so there is no use in really blaming the government now. There is only so much a Govt can subsidize. And as we keep drawing more & more of the natural reserves, we will only find the going tougher and tougher. I used to have a pet theory that there is always a balance that will be created by God at all times, so as the fuel costs go up and travel happens only on necessity, the cost of bandwidth will keep coming down and all of us have videoconferencing and other such communication facilities, without having to venture out of home. But, it is just a fantasy. Maybe in another 50 years we may be forced to eke out a living like that.

I made a quick calculation on seeing whether the standard of life has improved for me and should I qualify myself as a successful person if lifestyle is any yardstick for that. In 1990 when petrol cost 8 bucks, I had a bike that gave me 62 kmpl, so the cost of my travel per km was 12 paisa. Now at 56 bucks and a big car, I spend 7 bucks on traveling per km. 54 times more than what it used to cost me then. Has the salary gone up by 54 times? Sorry, post tax it is less than 54 times. So, in a way my salary increases have managed to beat inflation and keep me at the same level as 1990. This comparison can be made most of the commodities, though not in the same scale. It is a kind of treadmill effect that one has to keep running to remain at the same place!

Now, we will see a domino’s effect everywhere. This evening when I have to pick the rickshaw, the cost would have already gone up, so would the essentials because of transportation and mercifully it is the start of the FY when a hike is due to meet these costs. And the dreams that you wanted to pursue last year, get a long lease of life as they would still remain a dream.

So what has civilization and advancement done to us? Nano is now going to flood the streets taking a toll on the infrastructure and the fuel demand. The city officials keep introducing more one way streets, more traffic jams and thus more fuel burning. And we bring down the ozone layer along with this. And we will wage billion dollar wars for oil !

Sometimes, we look like barbarians. But if cavemen could read, they will kill me for this comparison!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

She once had me

I get a message suddenly one day! It read ‘They have a 40 day old baby at their home’. The message was from Aruna and the ‘they’ were my cousin’s family. I was shocked for a minute. I haven’t heard of someone making babies in such short span as I have met these guys a month back and if she was pregnant, that would have been the most secretive pregnancy ever. And I started thinking whether they have adopted a kid. Anyway the suspense was short lived as I could not hold back for long and I enquired.

It was a pup. I kinda knew that my cousin had shifted to an individual house from his apartment as his daughter wanted a pup, but could not make the connect when I got the message. Then he called. The call lasted for about 20 minutes and we were two dads talking about child rearing. And while I was talking I realized how much I was an instinctive parent, albeit for dogs.

I had one! Or like the Beatles sang "I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me". Gabriela was my life. She was at home even before our first daughter was born and did we dote on her? Gaby was a selectively intelligent girl. Unlike others of its ilk, it never used to display wanton behavior, rudeness or courage even. She was the most scared dog in the Universe after Scooby Doo. She will run behind me if there was a noise in home. But she was so doting on us too. She treated my first daughter as if she was her own and she dutifully traveled to all places my work took me, without whining one bit. After a terrible first experience of a break van travel when an infested tick bit her and we almost lost her, it was always a first class coupe or by road in the car. She was so very fond of car travel, that when it is time for bath and she instinctively realizes and crawls under the bed the only thing that can bring her out was the sound of the car keys dangling.

She never learnt to eat rice all her life, so she was on a diet of Nestum the baby rice food. She started off on Farex and graduated to Nestum. It was always first on the provision list we drew up every month. Maybe the shop keeper was wondering whether we had a baby factory. She had a peculiar mannerism of lifting both her front legs and jump with her head rotating. Used to very funny sight! Never once she will walk into the kitchen and if she was hungry, she will promptly stand outside the door salivating. She loved us more than her own kids. In the 4th day of delivery, she dumped all the pups and crawled under our bed ignoring the pleading sounds of her kids. Got into anxiety when my second daughter was born, because by then she was old! Would never eat for a couple of days if we went out of town!

I told my cousin life will never be the same after a dog. And it is absolutely true. Maybe I should have added ‘Life will never be the same after the first dog’. Because when Gaby died, it was huge blow for me. I was traveling and came all the way back home for her burial and returned. My sister, who had one with her, suddenly stopped talking with people when hers died. We tried having dogs again, but they were dogs, cute on their own right, but never Gaby. After 5 years of her death, words about her flow without difficulty whenever I think about her.

Felt like posting the blog below as an eulogy to her again

http://tsganth.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/09/gabriela.htm

Blood

Four blogs half-written, so many things running inside the head, but nothing finds completion. Anything I look at, there is some kind of emotion that rushes out , be it the Aarushi murder or the debates that ensue about how stressed children are because of that, IPL, Mallya, SRK, scams and then my own Dubai experience, all of them together have plenty to write about. But my own rule that I will never resort to chronicling just for the heck of Blogging prevented me from writing anything.

And one big source for my blogs was the offbeat news that I read, which I don’t see a lot these days. And posts about my daughters and every B Day that brings up warm memories about that bundle of joy that has transformed itself into a big girl have been done enough. And so are blogs that were written complaining about lack of ideas and a block that has appeared from nowhere. So, its literally quitting time for a while! Hang up the boots and just watch things around me without professing opinion about all of them.

But one guy here and another guy there promptly send reminders saying it has been a while since I wrote anything at all. Actually they are right. It’s been a while since I wrote even a cheque. Even my fellow bloggers have kinda dried up. Nair was blogging as if the world was coming to end the next day but now he stopped, Sid apparently is concentrating on work, and Manoj is recovering from the Dubai hangover.

But there was just this small thing; a sight that could have been missed by the thousands of people yelling around has made me start this rambling again. I was in the IPL match at Chepauk between the Super Kings and the Royals. I went to the match with some trepidation. I was eagerly backing the Super Kings, but the way those guys were playing was getting a bit tiresome and on the other hand, there was this real Super Hero in Shane Warne whom I would cheer for anytime, even if he was bowling against the Indian team.

Now Shane is the tabloid’s favorite whipping boy as much as he is a poster boy. I always used to wonder how on earth they land up with snaps of him partially nude and in bed with hookers. And his lurid text messages and his incorrigible womanizing nature that reminds me of the character in the comic ‘Monty Python’ that says ‘Man has two major organs, brain and penis, but only blood enough to run one at a time’. Shane epitomizes this conflict or the apparent lack of enough blood. But then it appears that he has to hold the ball ( pun intended ) for us to see his genius.

Maybe India being India, a straitlaced society which buries controversies of this nature under the carpet, our hero is yet to get stuck into one, though he has already smoked in a place where he was not supposed to and drawn the ire of few. Or he was really using all his blood into leading the side so admirably!

The sight that I was mentioning was about the short practice session in between innings on that game. He quickly walked out with his boys, planted a couple of single stump and placed a few balls in different lengths and was seen asking the bowlers to hit at those lengths. And at the end of the session, while everyone was getting back to the dugout, he diligently went to pick an old ball that was discarded at a distance by his teammates. A guy who has around 1000 international wickets, enough and more fame and one who would be worshipped literally wanted to gather that single ball too. And that is dedication. It’s not easy to see one of our icons doing this. How much ever one may love Dhoni, I can see a perceptible difference in his body language post Australia tour and he talks and walks arrogant. He made Dada wait for the toss and someone saw that as giving back to Dada forgetting that by the time Dhoni could walk, Dada was belting tons of runs.

But Shane was absolutely humble. Makes me think, what has a man’s habit and carelessness got to do with his persona. Why are we so keen in knowing what messages Shane sends instead of only bothering about what kind of deliveries he sends? Is it our lower self–esteem that makes us look at the flaws of a person instead of plainly enjoying the genius? Why is there an association always about what a man does and what he is? And as if we were in those positions we would behave differently! His team was clueless without him yesterday, looking up to the other Shane even for a standard field changing between the left & right hand batsmen. If a person could command such awe and respect from people around him, I guess we have no business to sit and comment from a distance.

For now, I wish Warne all the best for the semifinals and of course a bit more blood!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Feel Guilty

I had been giving a lot of thought on how much of stress and responsibilities people take these days. While it looks like a fairy tale run to land in a good job, earn lots of money, pursue dreams on getting themselves a nice automobile, home, be with the friends during their hard times and fun times, suddenly it is all too much to handle. And in a way unnecessary too!

Life those days was far simpler. The urge to excel in all formats of life is creating undue pressure on the system. Suddenly you wake up one day to realize that all this running is for nothing. Reminds me of a small story! There is this lazy bum who doesn’t do a thing in life, always resting under a tree and eat whatever comes his way. One guy who thinks that he should put some sense into this bum, asks him why he is wasting time! The bum replies by asking what the other guy was doing. He explained that he spends his life with a great career, earns doodles of money and he is working hard towards settling in his life early. The bum continues his questioning by asking what he intends to do when he settles, the career guy says that he will rest and be happy. The bum then says, that’s what he was doing already!

One big chase you have in life caring about folks, yourself, and all this is for to get rid of every single worry one day. I am certain that 90 out of 100 people will talk about their dream retirement. If that’s what the point is, why have all the worries now? Why can’t we simply throw in the towel and say I will create the retirement that I want right now? No not by becoming a bum, but by having some clarity of what we will bother about and what we would not! I am thinking of my own case. The past 15 days has been hectic, floating between one meeting to another, one city to another, throw in an odd ‘out of country’ visit and as if to optimize the foreign trip, sleeping just about 4 hours a day and then come back with a lot of goodies only to remember that you have actually forgotten many folks to whom you could have bought stuff. And only to realize that your office and your country was still running while you were away and you have so much backlog to catch up with before the next tour starts. One day I yearn for when I can sleep without having a thought of what I should be doing the next day.

And all this urgency and pressure doesn’t give too much of happiness either, because there are still millions of things that are left undone. Kids have their summer holidays and they want to be freaking out, whereas I am already freaked out. Mom is about 2 km away and the prospect of driving to meet her is an ordeal, leave alone telling the stories of how your life has shaped up in the last week. In midst of all this, your folks whom you never knew that they existed, who in peaceful times would not have spared a thought about you, suddenly have some idea about you should conduct yourself. A novel which was running at breakneck speed is not being touched by me now. The guitar has become dusty. Movies unseen! These are things I used to think as something that gives happiness and for that there is no energy, just because every bit of energy is spent of things that I don’t want to do.

I don’t understand why this happens? While being branded as selfish, what is that one selfish thing one does for himself or herself? Come to think of it, it never occurred to me that I should buy stuff for me when I was abroad. Just as a memento, bought a sleeveless T shirt! Looks like we are simply incapable of being selfish, how much ever we would like to be! We fashion our lives not as what one is, but as what one is to others?! What are you as a husband, father, boss, subordinate, son, friend, sibling etc is what is appraised. Not just by others, but yourself too! We are so entangled in mire of relationships that we judge ourselves through that role alone. Why feel guilty if you can’t go to office, if you can’t take folks out, if you don’t want to entertain guests, if you can’t say yes to your mom?? While in this process we forget an essential person to feel guilty about which is you!

Why aren’t we thinking that we give a raw deal to ourselves? Why aren’t we feeling guilty that the body & mind that does running and playing roles is not being considered? Why is it a shame if we indulge ourselves?

Folks, I tell you, better start feeling guilty. Towards you and for what you are not doing to you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Watch your Crotch

Can you believe this? A guy stole 101 vials of sperms from a lab and tried to sell it to a doctor for 25000 bucks! Don’t know where we are heading to? No, I am not bothered about loss of values, ‘look what people steal’ blah blah. The degeneration in terms of brain is what bothers me. You need money, you can’t make it yourself, you want to steal, and it is your problem. But why sell it for such a low sum? And the worse is that, the doctor tipped off the police because he felt he was being overcharged!!!

From human trafficking to baby thefts we have come a long way. Now steal them young!!! Maybe in future, we will have different rates for different sperms. I suppose atleast mine sells at a good rate. Will they then start kidnapping males, because it is easy to steal the source itself? Imagine what will happen if someone abducts you and in a gun point demand that you deliver sperm! My guess is that you won’t be able to. Unless Sushmita Sen or Aishwarya Rai happens to be the abductor. If that’s the case, you won’t think twice isn’t it? I will actually look forward for the kidnapping and get mighty upset if I am not kidnapped. Will probably haggle that you are the best in the business and why you need to be chosen over the other prospective kidnapee! Maybe then cite your track record on why you are the best choice and how many times you were kidnapped before and you have performed up to expectations. And even quote some significant achievements.

Anyway, these bums do not seem to appear so intelligent. They will always break banks, sperm banks I meant. Should appreciate their honesty in a way! They have not caused anyone any harm. Worked hard to earn their money by stealing sperm and may well have created a new industry, ‘Sperm for Sale’! Then like blood banks being frequented by the donors, we may even see people hanging out in front of fertility clinics selling their wares. But there are many dangers associated with this sperm stealing profession. Assuming this guy has sold successfully, being at Aurangabad he would have attracted the ire of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray. Because no one can confirm that they are Maratha sperms. Imagine the dilution of Great Maratha identity and the calamity that ensues for this country. Maybe they should start labeling the vials, classified as per religion, caste, region etc. Only 20% of the sperms stolen should be non-Maratha ones etc could come later.

I am dreading to imagine what all can happen because of this silly theft. Like the police asking you to keep your sperms safe, or boards in suburban trains saying ‘Watch your crotch’, it can go on and on.

As of now let me anyway be safe!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Limping Business

By this time, all of you with your neighbors and their dogs know about the famous surgery that I had a month back. Post surgery period has been a pain. Some serious pain!

Because when you walk around with the braces the story goes beyond traditional audience. Everyone who recognizes you as a human form asks you what happened. I dutifully narrate the story and the second part of the story gets more reception and audience. Because that involves titanium screws! I have by now narrated the story to a million people and the auto drivers in the stand near my office are now equipped enough to conduct their own surgery in case the auto meets with an accident. I remember seeing a slogan in one such rickshaw that ‘free surgery, if they crash the auto’.

Just think of this sequence of narration.

  • In 1990, I fell down from a bike in the thick of the night because I believed that I was an owl or a bat and in reality I happened to be a human being.
  • There is no fracture but just a swelling because fracture makes the knee looks like a Halloween pumpkin in the next nanosecond.
  • I was not aware that it is a ligament tear because I was also one of those ignorant folks who thought muscle & bone are one and the same.
  • I proceeded to start playing when the swelling came down because I always wanted to be on the field and cricket happens to be my passion for which I will sell my estate with all the loans.
  • And I managed to fracture the leg because, I simply was bored having two proper legs.
  • And I repeated the feat 2 years later because boredom can hit anytime.
  • I believed that the ligament tear repairs itself because any damn thing in the body is supposed to do that.
  • And people warned me about not opening the knee, because the people I talk about are medical representatives who go through 3 week training and believe that they are better than doctors.
  • I lived with this problem surfacing every now and then , but I thought I was still a hero because no one seemed to think of me so.
  • Then one day I had this mega fall that resulted in tearing all the ligaments in the knee along with the neighbors’.
  • I decided to go for the surgery because now arthroscopy is not half as bad as open knee surgery and the orthopaedician needed a living.
  • They graft and reconstruct, but leave a couple of screws because the doctor is in a hurry for a date with this paramour.
  • And I have to take rest for 6 weeks in all because I hate going to office.
  • But I am also one restless character who tried to escape my mother’s womb in 6 months, so I am back in office earlier than scheduled.
  • Yes it pains like hell because my knee forgot how to bend and I am supposed to keep altering the posture frequently because otherwise you will start thinking why can’t I be regular to office.
  • No, there is no issue going closer to large magnets because of those screws.
  • Yes I would make a spectacle of myself in the airport security with the metal detector but then they are smart these days and despite the beep they know I can’t bomb as well as I fart.
  • Should all be well in another 3 weeks and I hope so, because it is so damn tough acting like a cripple for more than 6 weeks.


Ok this is what I tell to a million people everyday. And that’s what has prompted me to do something. I am sick and tired of this narration and I have decided to make a documentary movie about this whole episode depicting real life incidents. This movie is going to be played continuously wherever I am, or maybe I will decide to have more prints than a Rajni movie so that I can distribute effectively and quell all the doubts in a single day and continue my attempt to walk like a normal human being.

The only saving grace is that the guys in the team seem to work harder and smarter when I am not around to advice. But my boss threatens to break the other knee as business is limping when I stopped.

Just Chill

Yes, it is a forward, can't help but posting it

  • Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed.Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver." -- Jack Handy
  • An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. -- Ernest Hemingway
  • I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning,that's as good as they're going to feel all day.--Frank Sinatra
  • The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober.--William Butler Yeats
  • Reality is an illusion that occurs due to lack of alcohol. --Anonymous
  • When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading. --Henny Youngman
  • Life is a waste of time, time is a waste of life, so get wasted all of the time and have the time of your life. -- Michelle Mastrolacasa
  • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?--Stephen Wright
  • When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit nosin, we go toheaven.Sooooo,let's all get drunk and go to heaven!-- Brian O'Rourke
  • Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. -- Dave Barry
  • The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.--Humphrey Bogart
  • Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer. --Dave Barry

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hundredth Monkey

I have always been amazed whenever I think about 1977 when Indira Gandhi was ousted from power. From 75 to 77, the Gandhis ruled the country like royal power and what they wrote was rule and what they said was dictum. But my surprise is not about the power that they wielded at that time. It was about the way they were made to lose it.

There are accounts that the emergency period in India had its own share of good things. The Babus were at office sharp in time and they feared going to tea leaving their umbrellas back. The government machinery moved in an unknown speed and prompted a few to say that India is still not matured enough to be a democracy yet and a benevolent dictatorship will what suit India. Did they open their mouth too soon? Appeared to be so! A bunch of geriatrics who had experienced British imprisonment, created a movement and how? To the extent of a rookie defeating Mrs. Gandhi in her own fort! It is a different story that old men were plainly old and not wise. Within 3 years their personal agenda overtook the cause of common enemy and they lost power.

But the story is about the movement they created. India is a not a place where we can claim that we have a literate franchise. There are still some pockets in the country that believes that Mrs. Gandhi and MGR are alive. If that is for the uneducated, I saw a question in a magazine yesterday that asked ‘where is osho?’ and these guys can supposedly read. To rally around such a bunch is not an easy task. But they did that.

It brings the point about the ‘Hundredth Monkey’ phenomenon. It refers to a sudden spontaneous and mysterious leap of consciousness achieved when an allegedly "critical mass" point is reached. This was initially proposed by a scientist called Dr Lyall Watson in his book Lifetide. This is in the same lines as the ‘Tipping Point’. A very interesting observation made by him watching the Japanese monkey ‘Mucaca Fuscata’ that washed the sweet potatoes before eating and how it spread across islands at a particular point.

I tend to subscribe this theory. Based on our own internal tipping point moments! Well, internally it is argument that happens continuously about the merits and demerits, but I believe when a particular decision is taken it is more about that moment than the rationale that drives it. Because the rationale was always present. We needed that time to arrive to accept the rationale. Still it is a marvel that this can be communicated outside when it comes to movements like what JP Narayan started.

Sometimes it appears that you just stay still thinking and doing what you want to and what is supposed to happen will eventually happen. The tipping point is not something you define. Looks like Fatalism is true after all. But then, my previous sentence can never be wrong if fatalism is true. After all, fatalism rejects bivalence of sentences. : )

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Globalisation & it's ill effects

Let me warn you upfront. Just don’t get fooled by the title.

Dichotomy exists! There is no doubt about that. As a dad of two daughters ( of course one is too little to cause worries but I might be a tad early in saying this ) , you always start wondering who calls home and what transpires in that conversation which happens at a sound even grasshoppers famed for their ears can’t listen. But then deep in your mind you know that you were doing the same thing when you were young. Since phones weren’t there when you were young, it was standing in street corners for a fleeting glance which moves away faster than Mach 3 speed. But now you are bugged.

The elder one will be 14 in a couple of months. And already looking like an adult girl. And starting from a boy who is shorter than my car door who waves good bye religiously every day after school to a guy who has the voice of a girl, there are plenty. One day when I went to pick my daughter up from school, I saw her waving back to vacuum. I was mighty worried thinking that she has started seeing ghosts and not only that; she is also friendly with them. When I was thinking about the caspers of the world, I accidentally peeped out and saw this ‘world’s smallest boy’. He was shorter than the car window and it was he who my daughter was waving to. And mind you she is 5’ 3”!! While I was relieved that it wasn’t a supernatural issue, this smallest boy still remains to be a mystery to me. He can’t even be seen and at that age when we were quite tall we were dying to be seen.

Anyway, there are other characters too in the plot. For almost about a month, I was passing on calls to my daughter from a particular caller thinking it was one of my daughter’s girl friends. And later I realized that this boy talks like a girl. My criminal mind says that he fakes it to get past me and then speak with my daughter like Amitabh Bacchan. And then there is a Sardar! He apparently is an excited electron and gets kicked around by everyone and gives it back too. Adds a comedy value to the class, and fortunately he doesn’t have my home number yet. Though small in size, since my general knowledge suggests that sardars will grow to the size of earth movers, there is a bit of concern. As a dad & ex felon, you convince yourself that this is all part of the game and you are anyway there and sardars might not grow overnight.

But do you think your problem stops there? This is the age of globalization. The world has shrunk into what they fondly call as a global village and the sub prime loans of USA hits your sensex. Do you think the globalization effects stop with economy? Wrong mate, you are terribly wrong.

My younger daughter goes to an International School and her boy friend is called Jong Ming Park. He is a Korean boy. The guy who religiously gives Dora stickers to my daughter! And there is Sonji Wan who luckily is pronounced a girl. I anyway could not find out, but I am not prepared to think guys at Senior KG can go to that level to masquerade themselves as girls. I am not that much of a skeptic. It is plainly a Korean problem. I am thinking seriously about putting her in an Indian school before we start a world war. And my general knowledge could be good about Sardars, but I am not that good in Korea. Plus, the possible influx of many other nationalities with the government going out of the way to woo foreign investments!!

Anyway, I haven’t got into a guilt trip that if only I had been a nice guy ( even though I was taller than a car ) I can breathe easy now. No, it’s never that way. Atleast I had my share of fun young.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grave Gravity

I am a waging a battle these days! All alone and none of existing strengths and skills would stand me in good stead. And the army of well wishers and friends that I have can do nothing about it either.

This guitar thing was a dream. The image of faded jeans with a guitar in hand and playing it like Jimi Hendrix is what perfect fantasy is made of. And if you didn’t have one like that, they are already searching for you in mental health institutes. Well, I am not one of the fugitives. I had this fantasy even before I had I grew hair in my chin. But then, fantasy is one thing, making it happen is another thing. Sometimes it was a distant dream to even think that it might happen.

Then I made it happen. The fantasy almost came true. To be precise it came 66.66% true. I bought a guitar and faded jeans. After all this is not an appraisal. There is no weightage associated with this. So 2 out of 3 is 66.66% anyway. The only thing that didn’t happen was the Jimi Hendrix part. The first guitar I bought served me right in the first two, so I carried it around with me to parties and somebody else would play that. And it broke one day. I have already written about my suspicion of that being a suicide by the guitar.

After 2 long years, I managed to find a master who would teach me at home and was I delirious? It is a different thing altogether that the string broke on the first day. I don’t believe in bad omens. For that matter I didn’t even think of that as a warning the Goddess of Music. I restrung it and bought another one and also got gifted another ‘out of the world’ guitar. The problem started when I had to learn.

The master insisted on carnatic music. I was very thrilled. And I thought Prasanna is an easier thing to emulate than Hendrix. And in carnatic they start with a simple lesson of Sa Pa Sa. Can’t really explain the nuances! You sing these 3 swara’s up & down if you really want to do something meaningful in carnatic. And after all this drama, I can sing that while going up, but I miss the Pa when I come down.

That is some serious gravity problem. It kind of becomes a free fall. I am simply unable to reproduce even such an elementary stuff. And that dashes my hope about me being anything in music. You may ask why I am bugged, after all I play the guitar and I am not going to sing. But then who knows. I haven’t shown how I play that to anyone who knows music. What if they find out I do similar mistakes in that too?

I have some serious thoughts. I am convinced that this has got something to do with gravity. So, I am going to stand in a pendulum type device when I play and some one else will turn me upside down when it is the turn of coming back. I am approaching MGM and other theme parks to get that kind of device built for me. Alternatively, I can consider settling down in Moon, where they don’t have such silly gravity issues.

After all, in the Moon there are no living things and what I create is what would be music. But if guys in NASA pick something up with their snoop satellites and you still suffer from my music, please remember one thing. Gravity is earth’s problem and just don’t blame me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Long Live Shobha

She is an amazing woman. Who I rate as the one of the sexiest in the country! And this could be an affront for her, for she is more known for her candid writing, outspoken nature, being an iconoclast and everything what is a traditional Indian woman is not. Haven’t thought of her writing greatly, but what she stands for and how she can bravely say that, in a most backward nation when it comes to women, is a lesson for many. Despite our glorification of women as Shakthi, we keep them where the Goddesses of the country are kept. A dark and a dirty enclosure expecting divinity but by staying as a stone! We managed to chase Taslima out of the country because the country is run by pseudo secularists and the government just doesn’t have balls. Given this context and state of affairs, being Shobha De is an achievement unto itself.

And she turned 60 this year! I am sure she would not mind it when I say that the beauty of her self exudes in her looks too. As if, she dares nature against aging, as she had always dared many an opponent in thoughts and her views. And as the old joke goes, she lives with her husband and 6 children, 2 each from previous marriages of her and her husband and 2 of their own.

Long Live Shobha and the tribe you built.

Anger

Oxford dictionary defines anger as ‘a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility’ and the synonyms for the word are acrimony, animosity, annoyance, antagonism, blood of a bitch, blow up, cat fit, chagrin, choler, conniption, dander, disapprobation, displeasure, distemper, enmity, exasperation, fury, gall, hatred, huff, ill humor, ill temper, impatience, indignation, infuriation, irascibility, ire, irritability, irritation, mad, miff, outrage, passion, peevishness, pet, petulance, pique, rage, rankling, resentment, slow burn, sore, stew, storm, tantrum, temper, tiff, umbrage, vexation, violence.

My guess is that currently I have all the synonyms put together. I am in such a rage. If the one word ‘rage’ can explain my state of feeling! And worse is that I don’t know why am I angry and what I am angry at! At this precise moment, I think there is nothing good that happens on earth. Or atleast I am not around in the place where good happens! And I am sick and tired of cheating myself looking at all the positives and give myself lollipops to restrain myself from screaming my guts out.

Maybe there is one trigger that makes me angry at everything I come across, but I am yet to find that trigger. Whatever I come across, there is imperfection that hits me straight in my face. At workplace, sometimes I feel I am in kindergarten class, looking at guys with thick moustaches complaining about the pinching of the guy next, or they go around pinching everyone. Some of them religiously leave behind their brains and get very uncomfortable if I carry mine around with me. My driver instead of waiting on my daughter in her class takes my car that gives lesser mileage than a space shuttle to see his mother. Whatever money I seemed to earn seems to vanish in thin air. All friends who call have a sob story to tell. There are assholes who seem to happily live in earth with no attempt whatsoever to be fair and get their way with absolute meanness and selfishness. The first word anyone seems to speak is a lie. The house seems to be a direct descendant of Augean stables and I am in search of a Hercules. Small good things that happen are often succeeded by awful stuff. All the books that I read seem to have the same message and however hard I try to play the guitar it sounds unpalatably the same. People seem to be dying like it is World War II. This list can keep going on. But I feel depressed if I read it myself.

And there is copious amount of advice on how I should be looking at the world and replace such thoughts with positive ones. There is someone who tells me that I breathe in a particular fashion, I am going to feel on the top of the world. And since then, breathing has become one more task that I do. If I dig deep or think silently, I may draw up my reserves and create a list of good things also. But then it is an effort. I don’t know why it should be one.

More than anything else, if all of us are going to sit and think the positive ones, ignoring the ugly ones, who will teach the bad guys a lesson? Isn’t it time that you simply stand up and go give a few whacks to everyone who pollutes the earth with their behavior?

I really want to. But whenever I think so, two beautiful faces flash across my mind and I stop myself from doing something crazy. As long as these daughters of mine move around the house like a pantomime, guess I am going to be in control.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cheers to Beer

At last some reason to cheer!! My belief that the world is not devoid of good guys completely has been vindicated. While there are more doomsayers in number, once in a while you see a bunch of guys who are like the three wise men of Bible, carrying good news. And when there are universities that do research about the certain destruction of earth some 6.5 billion years later, there is one research that has happened in the last decade silently and has come up with astonishing findings. I am tempted to doff my hat to them, but I don’t have a hat on my head. These guys would be in my dinner invitee list anytime and I would probably spend a major part of my earnings in constructing a shrine to the guys who were involved in this research.
OK, enough of the preamble! The title of the article I read today is ‘Eight Healthy Reasons to drink Beer’. Now you know why ranted and raved this much. The article goes on and on about how beer is so good for health and apparently it minimizes all kinds of illnesses starting from a stroke to diabetes. I guess we need to give more grant to these guys and am sure they will find out that beer is the cure for AIDS. I am cursing myself now for drinking water all the time. And that too knowingly that I can catch a bacterial infection, the moment I sip water that is not from Coke or Pepsi. What a fool I must have been? On the contrary, beer does everything good. It apparently gives brain a boost also! No wonder I am so very intelligent! The beers I drink works all the time on boosting my brain. I now know that for sure! They say that beer minimizes the risk of cardiac arrest, men who drink for 120 to 365 days a year have 20% lower cardiovascular death rate than others. I will sound very biased if I reproduce the article faithfully, so I am practicing restraint here.

And all this is apart from the regular reasons of feeling good, loose tongue, shamelessly making an ass of oneself, delusions of being a singer, thirst quenching, and excuse for having fun at the drop of the hat and so on.

Now I cannot help but laugh. I don’t know why I am doing all this substantiation. One should just indulge in beer. Period.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Death be Damned

It has been a season of deaths. Sometimes it happens that way. 4 years back, I had to contend with deaths of close ones back to back. As if it happened by clockwork precision. It was my closest friend & colleague in January and my ex boss the next month and my dog ( which I hate to call so, but calling it first daughter in this context is so very painful ) in March.

Now it kind of repeats! It started off with Sujatha. And now on a single day Raghuvaran and Arthur C Clarke! The first one was apparently 60. Who knew that? For me when I was 22, he appeared as if he was my contemporary. Much like Shah Rukh ( with whom he even shared a resemblance & of course with Benecio Del Toro ) he started in an amazing TV serial and all of us went around shaving our moustache trying to look like him and ended looking like monkeys. Later he understood Tamizh cinema so very well that he gave necessary doses of overacting in popular movies and went along silently with awesome performances in real good movies. He was in constant search of something starting from liquor, drugs, great love, guitar, divorce and at last spirituality. Just as I was thinking he made it somehow, he just walked off into death.

Arthur C Clarke was another guy! He created that interest in me for sci-fi unlike the others in the world who swore by Asimov. And later moved over to explore the sea, when he candidly realized that there is 3/4th of earth that is still unexplored and he had no business imagining about space. But his story about the notice to destroy Earth by superior aliens to build an inter-galactic highway smartly juxtaposed with our officials doing the same thing for constructing a flyover lives in my heart.

Certain guys really don’t die. They just cease to exist for you to believe that they did.

My homage to these two great entertainers is an ode that follows.


It has this uncanny knack
Of hitting you with shock

Long hands that can reach anywhere
Pauper or king you go nowhere

Makes you think how much you miss
Just when you are sunk in bliss

You dismiss it as no big deal
But bites you with astonishing zeal

You never sit and think about it
But it’s never far, this exit

You think you are racing ahead
Isn’t it always to meet it head to head?

It’s all pervading and powerful
But haven’t it always been sleightful?

Death let it be damned to hell
You just want to yell

When it takes away loved ones
Letting you grieve in tons

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Atavistic Regression

I think being a man in today’s world is a challenge. A challenge that is relished by men who can stand up and get counted and something that is dreaded by men who belong to a different century! Plenty has been written about how the brains are wired differently and how men and women differ. Going by these articles one is tempted to accept traditional roles and think that men go out to bring food and women stay back to procreate, rear children and socialize within the community.

But think of it this way, this is true as long as you stick to the roles. But the issue starts when women are increasingly expected to don male roles outside and also the women role inside the house. It has always been difficult for people who had power in their hands to relinquish that. Very few men in history have demonstrated that capability when it comes to greater good. Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the dissolution of the Soviet Empire when he pretty well knew that he himself would be a victim of his action. But then he knew that it was mandatory for things to move forward. So it doesn’t surprise me when men who want women to earn do not want to give up the traditional role as the figure head of the family.

But some men take it to extremes. At this point of time the only difference between men and women is that men can’t bear children. So actually it is one up on women in reality. They can do everything men can do, but men can’t. Maybe that’s what is hitting the men hard. So, they are tempted to keep women in perspective ( according to them ) by primarily seeing them as sex objects. And that thinking transcends various levels. From a highly educated senior management person to the lewd men on the streets pawing on women at new-year revelries! Men talking to subordinates about their experiences in nude bars and be shameless to ask whether they own a bikini to men who wet themselves up and down by looking at women.

They can’t bear the fact that women could be equals. If their wives can’t stand in front of them with bated breath and whispering humbleness, serving food and finding undergarments for them when they return drunk, men find it difficult to accept. But they want the money they earn for improving lifestyles. And worse is that some men still believe that women can’t survive single. True that more men will hit on women when they know they are single, but I have the theory for that. Women become single by divorce are best suited to handle the situation. First because they have experienced how bad men can be, otherwise they would have managed to stay in the marriage, second they would have survived a mean man for a long period and handling other mean guys outside when nothing at stake will be cakewalk to them.

It all boils down to Atavistic Regression. The tendency to revert to ancestral type! Whatever you are, you tend to revert to being archaic and hold on to the views fashioned by your ancestors. But strangely, I don’t think women suffer from this. They look forward. Maybe repression is an antidote to regression.

Going back to the challenge men face today, it is nothing but, about being civilized. But then it was always men who waged war and raped women of the enemies, and for them civilization is a tough ask.

Homage to Sujatha

How do you pay homage for a prolific writer who fashioned your thoughts and life in more ways than one? Maybe just attempt writing something yourself, hoping that atleast in such taxing situations, your thoughts and words would not fail you and you can manage to transfer the heaviness in the heart into words! That’s the way I feel now. When I woke up at the news of Sujatha passing away!

Generally news of death doesn’t disturb me much. I religiously read obituaries everyday as if it is an attempt to reassure that anyway people should die. When my father died, though there was a sense of loss, I didn’t manage to cry till I went back to see the empty bed. His physical absence had to be harshly reminded for understanding the loss which is hardly physical. But, now the feeling is strange. Here is a man who has lived for 73 years, and in my life I once managed a glimpse of him in a meeting and later by the good grace of my friend, had a private audience for almost an hour and came out as if I have achieved immortality status myself. The interactions have been just this. But I feel so very heavy and the loss seems to be personal. Truth is that I have interacted with him almost all my adolescent and adult life so far, maybe even more than what I did with my father.

Studying in an Anglo-Indian school where the Tamizh standards are appalling with the liberty of answering in English for Tamizh exam, my initiation to the language which is my mother tongue was pathetic. Didn’t have the current awareness that Tamizh was a great language and I would lose plenty if I didn’t know how to read and write was not much of a scary thought then. Till Sujatha happened!

From the moment I picked my first book of him and till now, the journey of amazement hasn’t stopped. Lately started collecting all his works and he had to confess to me that if I knew one of his works was not available, maybe it never was there. The obsession knew no bounds. Every single work would have been read a minimum of twice, if not more. Even if it was a half page snippet in a weekly which even he cannot remember! So much was his impact.

At this moment I pause to think what made him so special for me. Why do I feel a personal loss now, when I make light of deaths? Why this should haunt me no end and break my inertia to pick up the laptop and start typing first thing in the morning? How well do I know him? Why is it that whatever he wrote was like Veda to me? And why is that I feel that he can never be replaced, though I am certain that anyone who writes Tamizh, even just plain alphabets cannot do without his impact?

I understand that he just didn’t write. He had been a teacher all though my life. It is strange that how much you can learn by reading even plain fiction. His was always intelligent. And if distance education needed a mascot, it was him. Maybe the IGNOU’s of the world should have contracted him to write lessons. The content I have picked from him into making myself had been enormous. About 10 years back when I didn’t know the difference between a TV monitor and a Computer monitor I managed to get myself employed with an ISP. And as it is my wont, I assumed that I am a master of basic Internet in just about 3 months and lectured a couple of colleges. Well, all I had to do was pick his book on Internet and talk what he has written. Started feeling proud of being a Vaishnavite after his books on the subject! So much so that I feel that I know Mahavishnu personally now. Anything he wrote I felt there was something to be learnt in that.

His life was a lesson in terms of time management when I read about his scoffing at folks who ask him how he finds time to write. His life was a lesson in telling you how versatile one can become. His life was a lesson that constantly reminded you that whatever you maybe, you still have scope to learn. His life was a lesson that despite being a hardcore science believer, you can never speak with a certainty of an atheist. His life was a lesson in telling you that you grow young as long as you think young. In more ways than one he has been my guru. I find it strange myself to give so much credit to someone else, but I know inside that it is not a eulogy that comes in the wake of a fresh death. I am certain that I would acknowledge all of this anytime again tomorrow and in the future.

Talking of death, his best was about his own father’s death. I am sure he died a contented man in all respects, but for the yearning to read and write more. Reality sometimes makes you so cruel that you start thinking that why there are so many people who we can afford to let go live and the ones you want to live, go. There ought to be some reason! He wrote that he would want to go to hell when he dies, because he hopes to meet interesting personalities only there and he can’t stand the peace of harmony of heaven for more than an hour. But I know one thing for sure; wherever he choses to stay, that will be heaven for the rest of the folks there.

A stanza from Wordsworth's 'Intimations of Immortality' can very much sum up my thoughts

And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a newborn Day
Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober coloring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.


I feel kinda strange and queasy when I dwell more into this. Maybe I just drop the thoughts and pick a couple of his books and read again today.

He will continue to live.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Save the Earth

Just imagine this! You are on the verge of becoming the hottest thing in the Universe. And someone with a generous and ample butt is nudging you all the time that would eventually make you less hot! Completely baffling isn’t it?

Well that’s what is happening to Mother Earth! The guys at Sussex University are plush with funds I reckon! Someone has been giving them unlimited access to money and these guys are busy figuring out when Earth will destruct itself. Noble cause I would say! Only issue is that these guys have too much of a forethought. They are suggesting solutions for an eventual catastrophe that will occur 7.6 Billion years later. It is a different thing altogether that the Erath will become too hot anyway in a billion years and the planet will be completely inhabitable for any life form. And after that will have an inexplicable slow march towards the Sun for 6.6 billion years and commit suicide. Our friends are worried about that period. And are proposing solutions!

Thank Goodness it is not some kind of counseling to the Earth that it can’t commit suicide and really have a lengthy dialogue through a goatee bearing therapist who will dig deep into the billion year past history of Earth and find out what is that single devastating instance it had in its childhood. Or maybe try sending Bruce Willis or Will Smith to re-lay the orbit of earth with some heavy earthmovers ( or should I say spacemovers! )

Apparently there is a drag that causes Earth to start its journey towards doom. Tell me something I don’t know! Haven’t we all experienced this drag already? You meet a girl, she drags you like a moth to a flame and very very late you realize that it is doom. You are by that time anyway completely insane and in the same condition as Earth. Nothing grows in you!

So our friends suggest that we use a large asteroid to nudge away the Earth from the Sun eager to consume it. That’s where the first sentence comes in. You are trying to get hotter and someone nudges you away. In this case, it is all for good so they say. We humans are a funny lot! Always trying to redesign the grand scheme of things!

Anyway, I can sleep peacefully from now on. Because I know that the Earth won’t get destroyed. It is a different thing altogether that I have a target to meet and the month is dying is another 2 days and the destruction that would ensue is far greater.

Maybe I can give a call to the Sussex University!

Pays to Stay in Shape

Had always been convinced that taxes are fat and particularly when March arrives. But this news was appalling even for my standards. In Britain, they are proposing a ‘fat tax’!! Insurance firms are contemplating about levying a tax for obese people.

If your BMI is greater than 30, then you are dead. Well not literally, though that’s what the insurance firms seem to believe. Your premium would be up as high as 400 percent. Could have some funny impact! If you are going to be paying such a high premium, then you end up a pauper and thus have nothing to eat and automatically cure your obesity. Then what’s going to happen? Will the insurance guys reduce the premium or refund the amount? Why would they? They will be a bunch of happy guys because of the premise of you dying soon because you are obese and hence I have to pay is gone. So, they would not care much! Now look what all problems obesity causes!!

As usual I went on an exaggerated imagination trip and was wondering whether the premium will be proportional to the BMI of a person. And you may simply ask a person what is his premium and decide whether he or she is fat. For many of the worried people about whether they are over weight, they can now have a second opinion from the insurance firms. They ask you to pay normal, and then you know you aren’t fat. Invariably it appears being fat is a costly affair. You first maybe hog all the creamy and high calorie stuff from the junk food places, so you spend money. Then you go to a gym to reduce your fat or invest on exercise equipments. And later the premium also goes up. Hazardous to guess really! Some of the people who I know would probably have to take personal loans if they insist of having an insurance cover. I am looking at a possible positive point here. Are they going to be charging less if you are underweight? A thin person would then be lucky.

I was told by an insurance sales person that the last & lingering statement they leave with a reluctant buyer is ‘I am sure you do care about your family’. Now if this true, I guess the obese citizens are going to be one lot of irresponsible people!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Skills

Just how many of the skills that we acquire we manage to forget? Your guess would be that we never do, we just are a bit raw initially and then in a matter of time we get back to the fluency that we were known for. In fact it is an oft-used point that, though we don’t cycle or swim for ages, if someone throws us in the water, we will draw our reserves and manage to float.

My knee seems to have a different idea. Two weeks I had been in braces that didn’t allow the knee to bend. And when it was finally removed, my knee forgot how to bend. Mind you, I had been using it for ages and two weeks I don’t, it simply ditches me. I had been dragging my foot literally to take myself from point A to point B. And when the physio demanded that I walk as I would normally do, I forgot how I was walking. He had to demonstrate how to walk. This upsets me terribly. The physio had his explanation about the small bag of lubricant which stops performing its job once it is not used and now the joints are rickety rackety. But I am not convinced. You don’t forget how to walk.

And in your life you simply want to forget many things and you can’t, but the brain takes the liberty of forgetting essentials. This is not a welcome state. We have got to do something about this anarchy. What if it suddenly chooses to forget other essentials? Let’s say that you don’t sleep for a while and the brain decides to transfer that essential to the recycle bin, then you are in deep shit. On the contrary, you would wish that you don’t want to remember that you are married, but the brain chooses otherwise and constantly reminds you. This is complete indiscipline.

I can’t hazard the eventuality of such kind of anarchy. Maybe everything would turn out to be reverse. You forget to walk, but not to drive. You forget to eat, but not to feel hunger and so on. The physio says that it is raw and he can manage to teach walking. Maybe he will give me a license too certifying me walkable.

In a way, I feel it would be fun to see how far it can go in terms of indiscipline. I can use that excuse to put the worst of my behavior up and later claim I wasn’t in control of what I was doing. The devil in the mind is working and let me prepare a list before I forget or the brain takes over.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Soccer Balls & Knee Balls

At 42, you feel that you are at the peak of your life. You have seen all, you now have power, you have youth and your audacity can be backed up with actions and you aren’t scared of anything. You feel that you have enormous self control and the pain is never shown in your eyes unless it is extremely destabilizing. And then you break your knee. You are somebody else from that moment. You are the one who moved on your feet like a gazelle and in a TV commercial when John Abraham does a body maneuver dodging a bunch of kids off a soccer ball, your legs pain and you tell that guy, just be a little bit careful buddy.

But till it gets destabilizing you don’t accept it fully too. You would fly to all parts of the country, take 150km drives on a single day for customer calls but just look like an sorry a**hole when it is time to climb the stairs of the aircraft with your luggage. Guys who look like modeling for Rice Barn oil breeze past you, throwing a contemptuous glare at you that means ‘you youngsters’. That’s the time you decide you will fix it once and for all and agree to be on the operating table. Now that is a positive move, so you know that whatever incapacitation is, it’s just for a brief period and proceed. Being a creature of habit, you make a list of what all you want to carry to the hospital. It was almost similar to a work trip sans the formal attire and the jackets. You pack your ipod; you carry enough books for the entire stay which includes the time at the table, you carry all kinds of chargers and your bag appears as if that is being admitted for labor.

You start off warm and flirt with the sisters ( sounds like incest, but then they are younger than your daughters which makes it even more incestuous ) and make life miserable for all of them till they utter the word preparation. All of them are trained to say that in a somber voice befitting a British funeral parlor. Surprising they wear white and not black when they say that. They bring a bagful of disposable syringes ( a bag that is bigger than your pregnant one ) and place it behind you, but you know that they are intruders of your body and they outnumber the cells in your body and you start wondering how they will manage to use them all, maybe use some of them on the attendants. That’s the easiest part actually. They just make one big hole and dump everything through that.

But the prep is not about that. A guy turns up ( he is supposed to be brother, ok ! ) and tells that he wants to shave the entire hair of your body. Normally I am given to exaggeration, but this one is not, he left the hair in my head, but suggested that I remove my Frenchie ( ok even that too ! ). You are appalled, a sparse growth at your chin is surely not going to hamper a knee surgery for sure, but he is just an implementer, he just told that he was under orders from the sister to do so. Maybe the sister didn’t like the frenchie or the surgeon has a bad superstition about this. You are categorical that you would want them to reconsider that decision and if it is upheld you would rather use your Mach3 and shave rather than using the skin hair remover that he brought with him. You need to give into this, that guy does a thorough job of shaving, barring a small nick in the shin. Your earlier blood clot test suggested that your blood doesn’t bother to clot soon and you are wondering this new development would set back the surgery date by a day. And then he springs a surprise, he asks you whether you are A1 blood group, you are amazed and reply in affirmative and he casually tells that all A1’s clot late. Fine you think, you should have asked this question before nicking, my friend. But, you turn around and look at your leg and have images of Levers calling you for modeling for their skin removing products. And it sucks to see yourself plain and bald in areas you loved with hair always. The ordeal does not end there, the sister turns up and runs her hand on your leg ( unfortunately only on the leg ) and finds out that there are strands are hair that can’t be permitted. You beg for mercy and promise to be even smoother in the morning when the surgery is about to start, after all hair grows was your logic.

You start thinking whether we make more doctors than what you need because as of then, your life history is just known to a million doctors as they troop in and out for the interview. And at last you manage to shut yourself to get some sleep. You don’t even know whether you slept before a duty doctor wakes you up at around 4.30 am, wanting you to sign a document that bequeaths your life to them. This I know is thoughtful. I have read in novels that the elite special commandos always attack at this time of the day, because they apparently believe that the resistances are lowest then. You don’t give up so easily, you read them thoroughly and later regret why you did it. Because just after you read, you start thinking about your mother, childhood friends and everyone else who is not around you. And decide that the only thing you will regret is the unfinished Dave Barry book. Then you don’t sleep again. Not that you don’t want to, but remember I talked about those million doctors, they have million counterparts for the morning shift starting from that undertaker.

The anesthetist troops in and he gets annoyed because you are brushing your teeth as if you are going out on a date with him. He asks all kinds of questions which your mother would not have known about her mother and you make a honest attempt to reply each one of them. Actually he could have tried this interview for a longer time, because he was anyway making me drowsy and that’s what his mission was. He agrees to add a valium to your drugs, because by then you are anxious and all that bravado vaporizes. And the ritual starts again, the brother comes again and checks the new development in the hirsute areas and tosses a gown to you that could be the skimpiest you will ever get to wear and yet look grotesque.

Then one single shot and you know nothing. You had prepared carefully for the recovery and promised to ask the clich├ęd question of ‘where am I?’ and your friend who is in an officer at that hospital leaks out a question which the anesthetist would ask showing two fingers expecting your reply. The before surgery you wanted to reply that with a single finger ( you know which one ) , but nothing you remember. You are warned that in the post operative recovery period there is a chance of you blurting out state secrets and leave the nation in peril apart from the names of all your girlfriends leaving yourself in peril. But neither was a problem, as you don’t know any state secrets and you yourself have forgotten the names of your girlfriends. You wake up like a heavily made up hero in the movies and tell that you want to go home. There you go!! Training always helps. You are then touted as the best person who has ever undergone Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction. Then next you talk about the Builder meet and tease a friend. They all know that you are back. But that was a teaser. It takes enough and more time for you talk anything coherently and remember whether your daughters visited you. You are in a state of haze.

Everyone is happy barring me, because the next day the sheets are all bloody and with the leg like what you have, you start wondering what gender you are and what they cut off from you. Someone you manage to take a peep and convince yourself it is only the hair that is missing and go back to bliss. But the doctors and the paramedical have their KRA, the weightage and priority is as follows:

1) Patient should not sleep for more than 10 minutes ( while you understand the ulterior motive about checking whether you are still breathing, you think there were better methods.
2) Patient should not even feign happiness, because they then unleash a physiotherapist on you whose target is measured in the quantity of tears you shed.
3) Sisters should have prior experience in archaeology, as they would be needed to dig deeper into you for placing an IV cannula and excavate for that. ( once it comes out through your mouth and you start wondering that they could orally feed you medicines if this was the case ) and their results are in depth and size of your thrombosis.
4) The brothers on the quantity of urine you pass ( every time I topped beyond 700 ml there was a cry of joy from the brother because it was a new hospital record)


Was a fine bunch of guys who met their KRA always! But then you are used to this ritual pretty much yourself that you wake up every 10 minutes and press the buzzer and report that you are alive or hoard your piss to collect 700 ml plus and quickly cry when the physio walks in.

And after they get used to you as a victim, they quickly bored and wean off from you and that’s when you start missing them. You start realizing what all they did for you and their absence, and lack of smiles around you hits you hard and start waiting out for their arrival. You almost become a baby again and act like a puppy and wag your tail when you see one of the known faces ( not withstanding the fact that they show that you knee looks like a hardware shop and you have a lifetime supply of staples when they are removed and handed over )

And when the D day arrives ( in this case the Discharge Day ) you don’t want to go because you were so very confident about these guys and you are suddenly afraid to be alone without them.

You still wake up at 5 am, but miss the undertaker, you do your physiotherapy much easier, but cry when you realize that the therapist is not around who made a hard job pure fun and showing you birds in the marshland ), your symptoms of thrombosis fades but you smile at their attempt to find a vein in you and you know that these guys out there put you back on your feet. And you start looking forward for the review day and you start preparing another list which reads out the mementos you want to give them.

And you tell John Abraham in the TV, ‘just a couple of months buddy’, just that!!!