Saturday, November 21, 2009

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?

Raj Thackrey
We Really don’t care if the chicken crossed the road as long as it’s a marathi chicken and it knows how to cuckoo in marathi.

Madhu Koda
No! the chicken never crossed the road! Show me proof that there was a chicken that ever crossed the road. Baseless Allegations!...The chicken is lying.

Barrack Obama
Yes! We can ! If today, a chicken can cross the road, so too can we , tomorrow. Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can.

Hu Jintao
Oh..That road was already ours, so the chicken dint need to cross the road at the first place.

Mayawati
That is excellent news indeed! Lets erect a few monuments and memorial sites in honour of the chicken that crossed the road.

Rahul Gandhi
That’s just a start. We need more and more young chickens who would cross the road. I dream of an India where all chickens can cross the road safely.

Shashi Tharoor
Oh yeah?..what’s with the world.??.first it was the about the cattle and now its about the chicken..and btw..I paid for my chicken.

HR Executive
I am the one who's asking the questions here. You tell me.

Operations Manager
WHAT??? the chicken crossed the road? ..you are fired!

Remo Fernandes
Chickennnnnnn….hjut hjuytr dertu gty jk! Yutr wioqg zsadlp tyerui aqerwill ?

• err..sorry don’t ask me to translate what Remo said, I dint understand either*


Shahrukh Khan
So what if it crossed the road?? Now, even if the chicken is detained at the other end of the road for a few hours, that’s fine. Why is it getting so sensationalized by the media? And I have no movies with chickens ..

Kevin Rudd
We welcome all chickens crossing the road. We even have new policies for chickens who are crossing the road. All chickens will be safe, I assure you.

Bill Clinton
What??? I was never with THAT chicken the other night! And I crossed the road alone.

Asif Ali Zardari
We have concrete proof that there is India’s involvement in the chicken crossing the road and we will present the evidence at an appropriate time.

Jagjit Singh
You should have advised the chicken to first look to its left, then right and to its left again before crossing the road.

Robin Sharma
The chicken was just following its dream. You know all chickens have dreams and it was just the inner urge in that chicken that made it cross the road. I urge all the chickens to cross the road.

Rakhi Sawant
No one told me that the chicken was going to cross the road and that the media was supposed to cover it. Can you ask the chicken to cross the road again ..and this time inform me prior!

RAW(Research and Analysis wing)
We have more than enough reason to believe that there is a chicken somewhere and we are still contemplating on whether it has plans to cross the road.

Chicken
Glad you asked me. I just wanted to get to the other side of the road.

P.S:- I pass this on to anybody who finds this interesting to try it out on their space:) Any takers?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ITS THE TIME TO DISCO

“24 women commited suicide in Cochin. The reason being I had switched off my mobile for a short duration of time.” Right!! Now that’s One of those sample Goodmorning SMS’s that I receive everyday in the morning between 06:00am and 08:00am without fail from one of my friends, Thambi. Alarm clocks, Cell phone alarms, buzzers or any other electronic gadgets are usually incapable of waking me up in the morning, but Thambi’s sms’s invariably wakes me up even if I had kept my cell phone in silent mode..Dont ask me how! But then again, it was one of those days where I was thankful to the SMS which woke me up as I had to meet an old friend of mine who had returned from US and we had to meet at this so called Discotheque/pub/bar.

Ok..So we met up. After the customary bear hug(which almost crushed my bones and caused the normal respiration process a few problems) and the mutual exchange of swear words, ( The meaning of some of those words are unknown to both of us, but the sheer sincerity in our voice added with our expertise in intonation, made those words sound terrible..Mission accomplished) we settled down to have some beer..some sanity atlast. My friend is not a philosopher but then the amount of beer entering his body is directly proportional to his philosophy. Lets just say that he gets philosophically enlightened as and when mugs of beer is gulped down his throat and he gets visions on the purpose of life and its inner meaning. All that said about my friend, he’s a lot of fun to talk to and be with ..trust me.

So after a few mugs of beer, I could just sense that My friend wasn’t really listening to me..I mean we were having a conversation on whether ISRO’s discovery of water on the moon was really valid or not. I could see no reason on why he or for that matter anyone, should not be listening to such path breaking, intellectually stimulating and brain enriching conversations. But anyways, that’s besides the point ..the point was, there was this song playing in the background “Masti ki paathshala” and we could also see a few disinterested souls dancing to that tune. All of a sudden my friend turns to me and says “ machu! This is not happening da..nammuku policham!..( Lets break it ..literal translation) come..lets do the paathshaala!! “..which ofcourse in English means, lets dance! As soon as he uttered those magic words, I went through the following emotions/reactions :-

1. Shivers went through my spine
2. Absolute look of horror in my eyes
3. Anxiety, nervousness, tenseness, uneasiness, apprehension, worry, distress,
4. Despair, hopelessness, gloom, glumness, sadness, unhappiness, grief,sorrow, woe, misery.

Oh..I forgot to mention Anger, contempt and disgust. My friend was pulling me with all his strength to the so called dance floor. I not only used my hands but also wrapped my legs around the table from being pulled to the floor. But then ..all in vain. So here we are, both of us on the dance floor. Lets just say that dancing cannot be counted as “strengths” where both us were concerned. I am better, because I would like to believe that I am athletically good..which would mean that I can run faster and jump higher. Masti ki paathshalla was still on and all of sudden I realize that my friend was furiously rotating his hands and hips and jumping 360 degrees in between. Peer pressure is something that I hate, and so I had to do something fast. I started off by showing traffic signals which would indicate “Stop”, “Move on”, “Stop again..bump ahead” and then on to ducking imaginary bouncers thrown at me by Shoaib Akhtar. In this short span of time, we managed to grab the attention of other fellow dancers who I guess, had already developed an inferiority complex by then and had decided to stop and watch the masters show them how to do it.

Then the most incredible thing after the discovery of water on the moon happened. My friend had this vision that both of us may be making a fool of ourselves on the floor and that its time to stop the dance and allow our fellow dancers some much needed respite to get out of the inferiority complex (its ok guys, not everybody are as gifted!)
Long story short..(alright it was never short..but then still u know..) we bearhugged, exchanged swear words and parted.

P.S :- Love you brother..

P.P.S:- I will email you the post only after you reach US.

Monday, November 9, 2009

CRICKET AND CELLPHONES

Date:-November 5th 2009
Place:- Sweet Home
Event:- India Vs Australa, 5th ODI at Hyderabad

I guess there comes a time in every person’s life when he/she is faced with one of the most demanding prospects of multitasking while watching the great Sachin Tendulkar bat. Unfortunately, that moment of truth had come for me. Among the many values and principles which I strongly follow, the one which I follow religiously is “ Multitasking while watching Sachin bat is a sin . Not missing even a single ball while Sachin is at the crease is a virtue which eventually would lead to moksha/spiritual freedom". But thanks to technology and cell phones, we are now mixing sin with virtue.

Scene 1:- India chasing a mammoth total of 350 set by Australia, are fighting back through Sachin Tendulkar. The great man is making it look so ridiculously easy that the game is now, Australia Vs Sachin Tendulkar. Let me use no more superlatives to describe Sachin’s innings because I am incapable to do justice with words and would be belittling the man’s batsmanship. You had to see it to believe it and if you dint, big loss man..BIG BIG LOSS!.

Scene 2:- I am nervously fiddling with my cellphone while watching Sachin bat. I usually keep my mobile at a safe distance but I guess, destiny had its way today. So to my horror, I accidentally pick up a call from a friend at half ring ! No way out..I say “Hello” to which she replies “ Hey..I dint know you were so desperately waiting to hear my voice..U dint allow the phone to ring even once!

Me:- err..hmm…err…look, can I give you a call back ..I am watching cricket (Yeah..on hindsight, “I am watching porn”, would have been a far more effective excuse)

Friend:- No, you cannot..its important and don’t cut the call ..I wont call you again…its very important( Though that was an open invitation/encouragement to cut the call, I exercised restraint and decided that I would get out of this call soon..)

Friend:- What do you think I should do? Should I go tell the boss that I want to be in a different team ?

Me :- (Sachin just danced down the wicket to hit Nathan Hauritz for a huge six !) OK..tell the boss ..(Controlling my excitement by furiously taking long breaths )

Friend:- But won’t he ask me why?

Me:- Ok..

Friend:- Ok? ..Ok?..What Ok?

Me:- err..hmm..be in a different team ..be happy and u know…let there be peace and tranquility in Asia

Friend: Che!..I am asking what would my present team think ? wont they feel I am showing attitude..? Also, Since I was in a different process before, wouldn’t adapting myself to the new process be far more difficult? What do you think? Do you think my boss would understand what I’m trying to tell him?

Me; hmm..hmmm..yeah he would..I mean ..they would ..everybody loves peace and tranquility you know ..

My head was spinning..Sachin just danced down again to hit Nathan Hauritz for another six! The telephone conversation painfully reminded me of my 10th std viva voice exam

Questioner : Why is the emf of auxillary battery greater than the emf to be measured?

Me:- err..hmm..errr..(faking the “Oh I knew it..just not remembering it now look on my face)..hmm..batteryyy..

Questioner : Why is the emf of auxillary battery greater than the emf to be measured?

Me: Zeeman effect? Electrostatic law?

Questioner:- No..and he proceeded to write down something on his paper with a look of disbelief on his face

Me:- ( Trying desperately)..Newtons apple? Theory of relativity?..

Coming back to my friend..She did not seem quite impressed with my answers either..
Friend:- ( Getting progressively irritated) ..Rohit, you are not listening..what do you think they would say?

Ok.just then , MS Dhoni, is brilliantly caught out at point, by Adam Voges and is walking balk to the pavilion. That was it! I couldn’t control my agony and despair..

Me:- Ok..ok( breathing furiously) look..go tell your team mates in your present team that they Suck Big Time! And then, immediately run down to your boss and tell him that he sucks as well..and that you don’t want to work in a team full of suckers and that you want to be in a different team. This would be the best method to communicate as you would be leaving no scope for confusion and misunderstanding.

There was silence from the other end of the phone and then heard the click sound of the call getting disconnected.

P.S:- Please don’t blame me for this episode, Blame MS Dhoni for getting out at the wrong time!

P.P.S:- Don’t fiddle with your cellphone while watching the match, fiddle with somebody else’s

P.P.P.S:-There is a good possibility of close to 80% hanging up if you say that you are watching porn, but there is always another 20% who might ask “Which one?”

P.P.P.P.S:- Nothing related to the post. Way back, when Sidhu was commentating, it so happened that Sachin hit a six and he said “All that comes from a cow is not milk”. For the life of me I couldn’t understand what it meant and how was it related w.r.t context. If there are any enlightened souls who know the answer, please feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

EMPATHY-A LOST MEANING

A daily glance through the newspapers would actually be more than enough to effectively learn how to empathize. Now I am not trying to be critical of any political party in particular, because quite frankly empathizing has not been any one political party’s forte..every party is quite good at it. This, is in no way am I suggesting that empathizing is not good. But if you look around, I just feel that there is an overdose of empathy with no solutions to back it up. The Thekkady boat tragedy where almost 40 lost their lives is a fine example. Everybody expressed grief on hearing about the incident and the Kerala CM announced a compensation of 5 lakhs each for victim’s family. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (Kerala tourism minister) came out with preventive measures for such boat accidents in the future stating that all boats at tourist destinations in Kerala would undergo a safety check to ensure the vessels are in good condition. It was also decided that henceforth all those under the age of 15 must wear a life jacket and those above 15 who do not wear one have to give an undertaking as to why they are not doing so. A rescue boat with all medical facilities at each boating destination and for every 25 passengers on a boat, one life guard would be employed. A friend of mine just returned after a vacation in kumarakom where he went for a boat ride. In spite of the writing in the boat ticket which says that wearing a life jacket is mandatory, there were no life jackets available. Lets take Thekkady, It’s been more than 4 weeks since the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary shut down following the boat capsize and tour operators, hotel owners and locals are now urging that the popular tourist spot be reopened soon as their livelihoods are at stake. There are over 40 resorts and more than 10,000 people make a living out of tourism activities and everything coming to a standstill is not a solution. Everybody empathized with this situation as well. Now, that’s a surprise.

The 2002 Godhra communal riots can pull up so many cases where most of the empathizers might have forgotten why they empathized in the first case. There was a talk show in one of the news channels regarding the survivors of the 1984 Sikh riots after the assassination of the then prime Minster, Indira Gandhi. The khalistan movement is still brewing in India and all it needs is one small spark to flame it up. It has been close to 25 years that successive governments have been successfully empathizing with the victims of the 84 riots, but there has been no hope of justice even today. It’s not good enough to say that “your heart goes out to the victims”. As the saying goes, Justice delayed is justice denied, Empathy cannot replace justice nor can it replace solutions. People who have lost their families do not need empathy, they need justice, and they need solutions. One of the participants in the talk show stated that we should reverse the norm that “Every party is innocent until proven guilty” and change that to “Every party is guilty until proven innocent”. Though, that’s stretching it a bit too far, but its far better than saying “We understand how difficult this must be and our hearts go out to them”

Empathy is the quality that lets you “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” and with empathy comes understanding and with understanding comes solutions. I don’t think empathy is a virtue, it’s just ability. It can be used for the good and for the bad as well and there’s no point in showing empathy without any intent. Some times it’s better to interrupt the speaker, than pretend to listen to him.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DISCOVER INDIA

Television advertising started about 60 years ago and advertisers and advertising agencies soon grasped the magnitude of this powerful medium. Companies realized that branding could be taken to the next level as, cleverly thought out creative commercials could easily connect with the average consumer. Moreover, commercials have the advantage of associating a product or service with emotions such as trust, reliability, prestige, ease of use,,desire, envy ,pride so on and so forth.

Vodafone and Bajaj have always been my favorites when it comes to commercials. The zoo zoo ads(Vodafone) have been a phenomenal success and infact they are the most watched ad’s in youtube and even have a fan following in face book. I saw another commercial couple of days back for the Bajaj Discover bike and I thought that was a pure delight. They have started their advertising campaign under the theme of “Discover India with the power of 1 litre” and currently have three TV commercials under this campaign which are being aired now. The Ad’s talk about the bike’s mileage(100kms/litre) which enables the consumer to explore little known places in India. I have seen a couple of their ad’s and instantly connected to it. Like for example one of their ad's have a guy riding the bike, discover a place called Mathur about 100 kms from Mysore, where the local language is Sanskrit. Another one had the guy in the bike discover a place in India about 100 kms from Ladakh where you don’t need fuel to run the bike because of the presence of a Magnetic hill. These are fascinating pieces of information that I was completely unaware off before I saw this commercial. I am assuming that I am not the only one around with a poor GK and that this would be new information to many. A lot of credit has to be given to the creator of the ad for the concept purely because of the ad’s ability to connect with the brand in a unique manner.

Creative advertising not only aims at selling a particular product or service but also connecting the vision of the company with its consumers. It should be able to penetrate the public mind with information and desire.

Monday, September 28, 2009

SPORTS AND CURRICULUM

As an ardent admirer of outdoor sports, I am really happy to know that sports in Kerala will atlast be getting its due importance. Considering that Kerala has been churning out world class athletes consistently over the years keeping in mind the lack of class facilities, infrastructure and support is a huge achievement in itself. The ray of hope comes in the form of a new decision taken by Education Minister M A Baby and Sports and youth affairs minister M Vijayakumar. On November 1st 2009, Kerala will become the first state in the country to include sports and physical education as part of the school curriculum.

Lets give credit where its due. I think this is a fantastic move to encourage sports at a very young age because sports in general not only helps build character in a person but also help the child deal with failures as sports, always is a great leveler. You have good and bad days at sports. The major challenge here will be the availability of facilities and infrastructure. Well, its one thing to arrive at a decision and completely different responsibility to back up the decision with resources.

I hope the govt sticks to its decision this time and we start seeing it getting implemented unlike lots of other unkept promises. If nothing else, the move will ensure that we have happier and healthier children .

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WHAT'S YOUR RASHEE?

Tea and cigarettes have always been a great combination for lengthy conversations for me. Biji and I had a similar talk a few days back which started at about 11:00 Pm and continued till 03:00am. In between all that, also got myself booked by the police for smoking at a public place at 02:00am. We were talking on astrology, not that we are astrologers but, on the believing Vs non –believing part. Is Astrology true ? Can somebody predict our future based on the position of the planets at the time of our birth ? So what happens if tomorrow some scientist finds out a new planet ? Does that mean what ever predictions that has been made were all wrong? Its always like a chicken and egg debate. There can never be a conclusion on whether astrology is true or not. Lot of people cite personal examples of predictions coming true and some argue that it’s a numbers game where in some predictions turn out to be true while some don’t. I am no astrologer but I am fascinated at the concept astrology is based on . Well, to think that your personality and your life may be dependent on the planets which are light years away from us may not seem logical to many but is definitely intriguing. To be honest I want to believe that there is some truth in astrology in terms of predictions because how can you explain the some of the predictions which have come very true ( ok , there are lots which have not as well). But then again, If there is some truth in astrology , shouldn’t we also believe that our destinies cannot be changed and is not in our hands ? Some say there are remedies which astrologers advise which can change / avoid what may be indicated in our destiny. Stretching it a bit too far ? maybe . If you really want to think about it, Its filled with contradictions piling one after the other whether you are a believer or a non believer. But despite the fact that there are no rational explanations there are many who accept astrology and its remedies because it seems to work for them .

It is left to us to decide as to how far are we willing to let our circle of acceptance stretch, regardless of the perceived or actual truth in astrology. As for me, as someone who does not know astrology, it is difficult to accept that our lives are governed by the planets at the time of our birth( If only mom would have looked at the planetary position before giving birth to me !) There are a lot of things in the world which are unknown and not explained. Probably it is meant to be like that, but validating those with planetary positions just does not look right.

P.S:- I dont believe in Astrology. I am a Cancerian. Cancerians are always skeptical!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

THE CHECKLIST

“One of the arts of getting things done is to know what things can remain undone" This was what one of my ex-very senior manager who I admired (still do) a lot used to say. I really liked that, and I usually pass that valuable piece of wisdom to anybody with whom I happen to share a conversation. Yeah..thats like my killer punch line …You say that..and it makes you look really cool..yes, it depends on the timing as well..but then you get used to it with some practice.. (Put a pinch of sarcasm in it, and YALLA..”WE HAVE A WINNER!). Ok so last month, I actually decided to implement what I say because as they say (I do not know who “they” are, but they keep saying) “Always practice what you preach”. So I decided to have a checklist of “to do” things.

Here goes :- though they are not in any order of priority, but these needed to be done.

1.Start going to the gym :- hmmmmmmmm….I have always post poned that. I have put on some extra weight over the last few months . Yucksssss..yeah, as bad as it sounds, the truth is out ..I have put on WEIGHT. Now before you start to visualize my physical structure, let me try to halt any such attempts. I am NOT fat! And at the risk of sounding humble, let me also say that I am ..err..very sexy as well. So, that’s about that.

2. Exercising:- Ok not so different from point 1. But you know, that’s the loop hole, If I don’t start going to the gym, at least do some exercises at home (heh heh..smart..yeah I know). Infact once I started jogging. But sadly by the time I realized that I am not 25 anymore and was not in supreme physical condition for jogging, I had covered a lot of distance and it was way too far to walk back. That’s when I realized autorickshaws are a blessing to mankind.

3.Calling up friends :- Few of them are pissed off with me because I am not keeping in touch . So a call was absolutely important to ensure my social existence.

4.I had brought a book on 6 sigma a looong time back. But even though its been a while, the book stills looks new and even has got that new book smell to it. As logic would say, Buying the book isin’t good enough, you have to read that as well. Making a start was another one on the list.

5. Buying a pair of speakers for my comp. Quite self explanatory I presume. Ok, if you do want an explanation on that, here you go :- I wanted to buy a pair of speakers for my computer.

6. Going to the Courier company to collect my credit card. Long story short, I lost my credit card- called up the bank- bank issued another credit card- courier company never finds me home- They got tired and gave it back to the bank- I called up the bank again- bank got tired, send the credit card again- The same courier company got the card- Courier company never found me home, well, again- Got tired -gave it back to the bank- I call up bank, the bank then tells me the courier company got the wrong address!- wow! now , they have send it to the courier company and asked me to collect it from their office. So, the point that I was trying to make was that, this was on my checklist as well.

7. Ofcourse, How can I forget..I have an office to go to as well in between all this. All this to be done before 02:00pm as that’s the time I have to leave for office.

Me decided that I will start the checklist with point 3 by calling up a few friends. The first one I called, ate up more than an hour. So I decided, to avoid the next and move on to point 6 and get my credit card. Well, as fate may have it, if it was the courier company who couldn’t find me all this while, it was me this time who couldn’t locate the courier company. Found it atlast only to find out that I forgot to carry any Id proof with me to get the credit card from them. Ok, lets buy the goddamn speakers atleast! The sales person at the shop perhaps was way short of his monthly sales targets because he seemed desperate enough to sell me the entire shop, leave alone the speakers. Got the speakers ! ticked the checklist..Now off we go to the gym ..lets atleast say Hi there and let them know that I will start from tomorrow (Yeah..let the poor souls have something to look forward to in life) . Btw, the gym looks cool and all..But I was forgetting something. Yes ..the time ..Looked at my watch , it showed 03:30 pm . Oh yes..I needed to go to office today ..can’t now ..hmm..work from home. Classic case of checklist going wrong OR Classic case of the wrong checklist!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A DOG'S LIFE

I have always loved dogs. As they say, there is no one who appreciates a conversation the way a dog does: because what ever you tell him, it always licks you. I have a dog and absolutely adore it. My sister adores him even more and the adoration has even reached to an extent where she at times, mistakes me for the dog and calls me chippy.

I guess, we had similar minded neighbors who loved dogs and yes, cats as well. So we had a situation where in a stray dog gave birth to 5 puppies and a cat gave birth to 4 kittens at my neighbours place. They were kind enough to feed all of them regularly. Now they moved out and all the 5 puppies and 4 kittens moved out as well. Only that, they moved to our place.

It all happened very quickly ; I mean just come to our house any of these days and you will see a mini zoo! You have dogs and the puppies having a gala time and so are the kittens .All of then enjoying themselves. We tried different methods in getting all of them out because frankly it was getting quite tiresome . Needless to say, all efforts were in vain: 5 puppies and 4 kittens are still there. So I was sharing my sorrow with a friend of mine and asking her any new techniques to get all of them out of the house. She gave me a completely different response. She was telling me “Che! Rohit , paapam kittum, you should never hunt those animals away . They might be your ancestors who are reborn .So you should take good care of them” Even though she said that with a lot of purity at heart, I couldn’t help thinking that “my great grandfathers are now dogs and cats ?”

Last month, One of the dogs got hit by a bike on the road and was severely wounded. Though I felt sad at the sight, my emotions were restricted to that; sad. It couldn’t even move as it was unable to even lift its back leg and so was crawling its way in pain from the road to our house. Just by looking at it, it was quite obvious that the dog wouldn’t last long and that it was just a matter of time. If ever there was an instrument that could measure compassion levels in humans, I have a strong feeling that my sister would top the charts. Her dedication and sincerity in taking care of that stray dog had to be seen to be believed. There was so much concern when the dog was not showing signs of improvement and so much relief when it finally showed some good signs. The dog is now able to move better and is healthier..bless my sis !

PS:-In between, Because of compulsion from my sis I approached various institutions like SPCA in Trivandrum and nobody bothered to help(Guess Menaka Gandhi is busy trying to protect her son). Intrestingly, I also met a lady in Trivandrum(Saramma) who runs a similar trust for stray animals(if I can use that term) called “Action for distressed animals” in Thirumala, Trivandrum. When I went there, I figured that the lady needs more help in taking care of the animals.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Smoking

Before I type anything else, Let me state that through this post I am in no way encouraging anybody to smoke nor indulge in any kind of drug addiction. These are extremely harmful and dangerous to the human body. Ok ..let the crap begin..

I had always wanted to quit smoking (Ok not always , but at least now I do) but for various reasons couldn’t really get myself to do it. “Da you are killing youself", “dude, your days are numbered”,”you are smoking cancer in to your lungs” are some of the kind words that I usually get to hear from my colleagues and friends. In the middle of a very interesting conversation today, a friend of mine just asked me “why do you smoke da?”. That was quite unexpected to say the least. Why do people ask such questions which requires me to think a lot to make up an answer? Quite frankly I did not know the answer and told him “give me some time , let me think “. While in doing so, I lit up a ciggy and immediately it dawned on me that I smoke to think !!! Eureka ! that’s it. Well, to be honest, smoke breaks give a much needed time out to reflect, to reflect on the days happenings, to reflect on absolutely anything. Well, any sane person can argue that you can reflect on a days happenings without a cigarette, but for me it seems, to do that, I need an external force.

Pscycologists say smoking and alleged reflection is just an escape from reality that our reasoning uses, as well as drinking and is a sign of degradation.

I don’t like Pscyologists any more !

Thursday, June 4, 2009

WHAT'S IN A NAME

What’s in a name you ask ? Well, If you get the name right, you get a gold ring worth 15grams! I was going through one of the news websites last day, when I came across an article there. In an attempt to promote Tamil language and culture, Tamil nadu government has started a scheme under which babies born in the city corporation hospitals would be given a gold ring if they are given authentic tamil names.This is also like an add-on to commemorate the birthday celebrations of M. Karunanidhi. I also believe that they have also set up a committee of Tamil professors to verify the authenticity of names before giving away the gold rings.

Fine gesture indeed as far as the gold rings are concerned since they are being given to parents using the corporation hospitals. Money going to people who actually need it and at the right time.Now Authentic Tamil names,I can think of a few when it comes to Hindu names but are there any authentic Christian names(Tamil, that is ).?

Well, I am all for being proud about our country, our state, our language and our culture.Having said that, there is also a very thin line that demarcates promoting a language/culture and maybe, overdoing it resulting in accusations of language chauvinism. I guess, more than promoting a language or a culture, more relevance should be given to being open and tolerant to all languages and cultures. This, is in no way, am I Suggesting that anybody who promotes their language/culture are not open/tolerant to other cultures. But somewhere down the line we get closed out, we fail to interact enough with people from different cultures, we feel more inclined to mingle with people who speak our language and hail from the same cultural background.Although there is absolutely nothing wrong in interacting with people from similar domains (as there is a comfort factor involved) however the problem is, when we restrict ourselves to only that.This can be ideally be felt with Indians or for that matter Asians abroad. Many mingle only with their own communities and there is this reluctance to open up, reluctance to take the initiative and talk to the locals, reluctance to move out of their comfort zones.

Monday, June 1, 2009

IT IS A SMALL WORLD

A friend of mine called me last month over the phone and told me that he wanted a new job starting tomorrow. I said “ok, just go to sleep and everything will be allrigt by tomorrow and no, you really don’t have to see a doctor now .Its just the starting stages, maybe sleep would do”.Needless to say , he dint find that amusing at all. A few minutes in to the conversation, I realized that he was indeed troubled and his tone was getting increasingly desperate.

So I called upon the wiser, mature philosopher in me to respond to such a situation.Well after a lot of calling I realized that the wiser, mature,philosopher in me never actually existed..it was a mythical creature!(But the ever optimist in me would like to believe that he was down with fever). Ok...so we discussed about how recession and getting a new job does not exactly go hand in hand and that he should stick on to his present company (Which again, is an MNC ) and not give up so easily.He responds by asking me very politely to keep my advise to myself and instead channel all that energy in helping him find a solution to his problem. “k..dude..that is my solution..dont quit your job..unemployment is not a good state of mind” I seriously endorse that point of view on Unemployment ..and infact the problem with being unemployed is that everyday you wake up in the morning, you are on the job!

Well, 60 minutes in this conversation, I decided to do some root cause analysis..I asked him “Why do you want to leave your job”(Brilliant question isin’t it? Why on earth dint I ask this question an hour back ?)I got a very abrubt answer to that question to which he said something like”work pressure”.The famous thumb rule in a corporate environment states that when ever a man wants to quit his job desparately, its either a bad reporting manager or a broken love affair.On probing further I realized that, with him, it was a case of both ..his Ex is now his boss! Ouch !..Man that should be a bit tough.All my attempts at reasoning with him with statements like “need not mix professional life with personal life, If you run away now, you will have time only to do that” were treated with utter disdain and hatred. Even the common job sites agreed with me ,they were pulling out comparatively lesser jobs when we searched(This, after we were squeezing the life out the sites to spit out any jobs they had!)Its amazing what desperation can do, as, we even applied for a fashion designers job!(Well, absolutely nothing against fashion designers, its just that my friend’s job profile dosen’t have anything remotely connected with fashion).By this time, both of us had reached a consensus that quitting the job is the way to go and because of the sheer sincerity of our thought processes we were atlast able to find a job opening in a very reputable firm and managed to schedule an interview for my friend.Again, with his skillsets and experience he got through and today was his first day at the new office.Today evening I receive a call from him with the same desperation that he called last month and guess what , even his Ex changed jobs and she is now his new reporting manager in his new company ! Phew! It is a small world after all….

PS:-Well, Nothing connected with above post. Cigarette packs are supposed to look more dangerous from now on (with the mandatory regulations coming in)Me decided not to buy the packets, cigarettes alone would do.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MY SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

Before you start to wonder what the heck does the title of this post signify; let me spare you the trouble of googling.”Six degrees of separation” is a concept that I came across in the internet a few months back and I was quite fascinated by it. Well what it states is “Anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.” To put it in more simpler terms, you name anybody in the whole wide world; we would connect to that person within a chain of 5 more people .The theory was actually formulated by some Hungarian and to prove this there was an experiment which was done in which, few individuals were selected randomly and they were asked to send a package to a complete stranger somewhere in the world . The senders were given the recipients name , occupation and general location. The senders were instructed to pass on the package to a person they knew on a first name basis who they thought was most likely, out of all their friends, to know the target personally. That person would do the same, and so on, until the package was personally delivered to its target recipient. Long story short ;The experiment was successful it only took (on average) between five and seven intermediaries to get each package delivered.

Well , its often said that nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool .I convinced(begged would be a more apt word) a few friends of mine to try this out. I selected the “target recipient” who is a native of Trivandrum (another friend of mine ) and also selected a few “random individuals “(also friends of mine, 3 in number ).Both the parties do not know each other and are complete strangers (perfect isint ?).Now the worst thing , to get a package which should be delivered to the target ; we bought 3 packs of “Cadbury Temptations “and gave all them the following info:-

1. Name of the target
2. Occupation
3. District

Now the senders were supposed to give this package to a person they knew pretty well who they thought was most likely, out of all their friends, to know the target personally.Well, the process started and and all I can say after 2 months is “the process has ended” and we don’t know where the packages are(somebody somewhere must have eaten it I guess!).

Moral of the sory :-An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.

Monday, May 25, 2009

WHITE TIGER

I was in two minds on writing a review on this book written by Aravind Adiga .This was mainly because I wasn’t too sure about whether I liked the book or not and more importantly It took me some time to have an opinion on this book.The author won the booker prize for the book in the year 2008 and had received mixed responses from readers. One section saying that it was anti-india and the other saying that the book was brilliantly written. To be honest, I brought this book to hate it(well , you cannot like or hate a book without reading it ,can you?)mainly because I hate these anti India , image bashing books/movies or anything remotely conveying the same.

The author, Aravind adiga, completed his school education in India and then emigrated to Australia for further studies and then going on to become a journalist of very good reputation. This is his first book and I have to say that the Adiga’s style of writing is intense, sarcastic and is hard hitting(infact cude)and I really liked his narrative .Having mentioned that, I did not like the content and feel that its just another attempt by an Indian writer to play to the gallery of the western audience.

The story is set in one of the Indian villages where the protagonist, Balram halwai takes us through his life . Infact the story is set as a series of letters being sent to the Chinese premier by Balram where he is telling us his entire story ;how he started off in a tea shop and then his rise as an entrepreneur in Bangalore.He even expresses his thoughts on the Indian caste system and the corruption in the political levels.

The book touches a lot of detail about the Indian society and I am not sure how Adiga manages to do that. For someone who has spent a major chunk of his life outside India, I am doubting the authenticity of the details/situations he has mentioned( admitted that all characters are fictious and blah blah ..but then still).Though I really like his style of writing, I have to say that whatever Adiga has written only reinforces the West’s idea of India. Maybe he was just trying to sell his book ! (And unfortunately I see another Slumdog millionare in the making.) For example, Adiga talks about Indian Gods and religions which many may find degrading.Sample this extract from the novel :- “I guess, Your Excellency, that I too should start off by kissing some god's arse. Which god's arse, though? There are so many choices. See, the Muslims have one god. The Christians have three gods. And we Hindus have 36,000,000 gods. Making a grand total of 36,000,0004 divine arses for me to choose from". The novel is filled with such takes on different aspects of Indian society.

Cultural and religious differences is what makes India .Somebody ought tell Mr.Adiga that even if he dosen’t think too much about those Gods, there are some many others who do! Women is this novel are limited only to mere objects of desire and left to be used for the obvious.

In one of his interviews I believe, Adiga has stated “At a time when India is going through great changes and, with China, is likely to inherit the world from the West, it is important that writers like me try to highlight the brutal injustices of society (Indian). That's what I'm trying to do -- it is not an attack on the country, it's about the greater process of self-examination.”

I classify the above mentioned as a marketing gimmick and nothing more than that.What self examination is he talking about? Infact in the book , the protagonist is a murderer and at the end becomes a successful entrepreneur. Is Adiga implying that to become a successful entrepreneur in India, one has to be crooked,sly,with no values and last but not the least, a murderer? I do not know what Azima premji, or Ratan Tata would have to say to that.Taking a moral high ground is easy but if he really means what he writes, then he should get down and start working for the same.

My honest review of the book is :- Read it because it won the booker prize and for the style of Adiga’s writing which is refreshingly new. But do not read it for the literary content.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NOT SUCH A GOOD IDEA SIRJEE?

For all those people who think that they are lonely and feel that nobody in this planet cares whether they are alive, well I would say, think twice. Just try missing a bill payment for the month and you will realize that a lot of people do care about your existence! Infact they would care so much that you might get a bit overwhelmed by their love and affection over the phone.

I was a bit overwhelmed by the love and affection shown by “idea cellular” because my bills were overdue and had to be paid.So I decided that I cannot handle any more love and so went to the idea office in Vellayambalam ,Trivandrum to pay my bills.On reaching there, I also decided that since nobody was using that connection anymore, I might as well cancel it. So I asked the executive as to what is the procedure to cancel and this executive, well lets call her Vidya, told me that I cannot cancel here and that I had to go to one of their other outlets (In Sreekaryam) to get it done. I dint argue, and just went back .On the way back, I call up this idea manager (who has been calling me to pay the bill) telling him that I wanted to pay and then cancel and I was told by this executive that I cannot cancel in the Vellayambalam branch and that I had to go to the other branch .The manager was surprised and he immediately told me that You can cancel it in the Vellayambalam branch itself and that I needed to go back .

Ok, the fun starts when I get back to their office.Vidya is all heated up and and then has the audacity to create a scene there telling me that she never ever mentioned that I cannot cancel their connection in this outlet!! She even tried to gather crowd support there by telling the other executives and a few customers there that she never mentioned anything like that and that you cancel any idea post paid connections at their outlet. For a minute, I dint realize what hit me , I was at a loss of words to respond. I couldn’t believe that in a matter of 10 minutes, how can someone back track on what they said with so much of confidence?After some reciprocation from my end, I felt ridiculous at the way I was being treated and even more ridiculous at the conversation I was having with Vidya.I mean she was saying “No I never mentioned that at all” and I was saying “:Yes,you said that because if you dint, how would I know that Idea had an office at Sreekaryam?”After all this hassle. I finally managed to get my hands on the cancellation form, which I happily filled and settled the pending amount.

Well, I decided that I will send a feedback to the “Idea” team regarding my experience and sent in an email. They responded back in 24 hours . here’s their response:-

“Dear Mr. Rohit Krishnan,
Warm greetings from Idea cellular Kerala and thank you for writin g to us.

With reference to your mail, it indeed saddens us to part with this relationship. Mr. Rohit, since you are one of our valued subscribers, we would like to suggest you a few options to retain the number and continue our association

• You may transfer your connection to your friend or relative.
• You may convert the postpaid connection to Prepaid and retain the mobile number.

We have taken a note of your feedback regarding the intricacy you faced with our executive when you visited Trivandrum showroom . We are constantly updating the feedback received from our subscribers and using it for improving our service.We urge you not to form a lasting impression of our services based on your unfortunate experience”

Well, For all the hassle that I had to go through to cancel a connection, I may not be looking at any idea connections in the future. God made relatives, but Thank God that we can choose our Mobile connection providers!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NERVOUS WITH KIDS

I ‘ve always found children very hard to deal with and interact with especially kids in the 5-10 agegroup .Infact ,I’ve put it mildly; I get quite nervous when a kid stares at me because I don’t know what its gonna ask me now ! hmm..yeah as much as I hate to admit this fact ,there it is , in the open !

There’s this kid who stays in the same building as mine ;his name is Rahul and he’s in 3rd std.When’ he’s around , I always try my best to dodge him and then get in to my house (Indian black commandoes can always approach me on free tips on infiltration!)I would like to believe that I was pretty successful in my operations ,but then good things in life never lasts ;It always has to come to an end . I got caught today ! OK I thought,just smile to the kid, say byeee and it will just be alright ..dont panic…Its amazing that at times of distress or panic ,your brain tells something and you speak out something completely different . Dread of disaster actually makes you act in a way that increases all possibilities of the disaster.I asked him “entha rahul,ennu school ille?”(Don’t you have to go to school today?) Bad question! He had taken a leave .Rahul asked me “Uncle , have you played spiderman games”? ..another thing that I find so common is kids these days start speaking English at a very young age and they speak quite well .His mom is very nice lady and because she got fooled by my confidence levels, asked her son to force me to have a look at his new video game .

Ok , I decided to spend a max of 10 minutes(Not that I had a choice) with the video game and get out.So Rahul took me to his room and in no time was explaining to me how to play the game .Well , it dint take him long to figure out that video games are not my cup of tea.I tell you, kids these days are very smart ,they read you very well from your body language.Immediately, it struck me that I am the adult and not him, and so I needed to push the conversation. So I asked him who is his favourite cricket player (safe question I thought..I mean ..cricket , boys ..it should connect )Rahul just looked at me with complete disdain and going by the look on his face, I even started to feel guilty .There was this uncomfortable moment of silence and then he asked me “Uncle , you have girl friends ?”I said no and pat came the reply as “Why , uncleinu tune cheyan ariyille (yeah basically asking me if I don’t know how to tune a female)” Ouch ! kids can ask you the most embarrassing questions with a lot of innocence. I was just smiling and kind of waiting for any kind of help .

Help came in and in the form of his mom and that too with a cup of tea ! Thank God for small mercies! So now all of us shifted to the drawing room and we were watching TV .Just then Rahul changed the channel to MTV to watch his favourite “Splitsvilla”.Splitsvilla is one of those reality shows where a bunch of young boys and girls match each other to win a game .So you do hear a lot of abuses for free! Just at that moment one of the girls in the show abused another saying that the other was a “whore “.Again OUCH!..not something you would like to hear now (infact anytime ) but definetly not now ..My worst fears were realized at that moment when Rahul again asked me “Uncle , what is the meaning of Whore”I initially tried to ignore Rahul and concentrated very strongly on the cup of tea..but the kid was persistant . I just gave an uneasy smile , and his mom gave me an even better version of an uneasy smile .So there were smiles all over ..but definetly NO TALK. Trapped ! No way out…
In minutes ,we heard a few more abuses on TV and few more uneasy smiles were exchanged . Sanity prevailed ,when Rahul’s mom snatched the remote from Rahul’s hand and for the love of God and all things Holy, changed the channel.

This episode today has got me thinking about the impact such programmers have on kids .Rahul in due course of time will definitely know the meaning of “whore”.The question is how soon is an acceptable time ? Is there an acceptable time or should kids know things as they are when they ask ?But the whole aspect of growing up is so fast these days ,that somewhere down the line a kid ceases to be a kid after all .His innocence lost some where .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ELECTIONS AND MANIFESTOS

Election time , that time of the year when your valuable vote makes a difference! Well Election days are on and are reminding us once again that we are living in a democratic country (Not that we needed any reminders anyways !). Good old democracy!

Media,and television,in particular has made dictatorship almost impossible but it has also made democracy unbearable at times . With all the campaigning going on and election manifesto’s released by different political parties, the one that caught my attention was Samajwadi party’s manifesto(albeit for the wrong reasons )

SP chief ,Mulayam Singh Yadav released his party’s manifesto last week which according to me (and hopefully many) shouldn’t have been allowed ;but then again,its democracy . http://elections.ndtv.com/news_story.aspx?ID=NEWEN20090090458&

Below mentioned are three main points of the party;s manifesto among others

1. The use of computers in offices is creating unemployment problems. Our party feels that if work can be done by a person using hands there is no need to deploy machines," Mulayam Singh said at a press conference after unveiling the manifesto.

2. The party is also against the use of agricultural machines and high corporate salaries.
"A harvesting season brings employment for the labour class for at least six months but these harvesters will snatch their earnings.”

3. The party's manifesto also mentions that it will work to abolish schools providing expensive education in English medium and provide free education for girls till graduation.

It would also be interesting to know the kind of education the sons/daughters of the SP leaders are undergoing /have already undergone .Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions,it only guarantees equality of opportunity. But I strongly feel , there should be conditions or parameters based on which atleast an election manifesto should be handled. If manifesto’s do not pass some kind of a quality check,those shouldn’t be allowed nor published.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

VADA WITH VINODH

Vinodh and me met up today and we decided to stop by at a hotel to have a cup of tea and some vadas which happens to be his favorite snack .He never misses a chance or opportunity to eat vadas Infact he even considers eating vadas to be his birth right.So while we were waiting for the vada to be served,Vinodh as usual was giving me some gyan sessions ;he was telling me “Rohit ,as you say in engineering ,distance gives perspective “(For the life of me ,I couldn’t recollect anything of that sort being told in my 4 years of engineering ,but then I was seldom in classrooms when such valuable pieces of wisdom might have been shared ;anyways that’s another story altogether)Vinodh continued , “da , look at what you want to calculate from a distance and from different perspectives ,you will see that efficiency is directly proportional to optimal work load “He was basically answering my question on calculating workload and I was just wondering as to why wasn’t the vada arriving ;it was high time you know ..

The conversation some how got diverted to the economic crisis and the recession and both of us were off the opinion that nothing has changed much .I mean where is the recession?I still see theatres running to packed houses , jewellery shops still crowded , new cars being launched and cars being booked,Still see all shopping malls in Cochin buzzing with people and shopping happening (The newly launched Oberon mall is a prime example ).I still find it difficult to find parking space for my car during weekends .Levi’s registered a record number of sales for its brand of Jeans last month .Go to any Archie’s showroom , you will still see teenagers spending ,Exhibitions still finding takers .My friends in Bangalore say that the pubs are still crowded .So was anybody talking about the global credit crunch ?How long will it take to hit us (Not that I am desperate!)

Infact, it dint take long to hit both us though! Our wait ended and the guy served us vada and almost immediately, things started to fall in perspective (well, as you say in engineering, distance gives perspective!).Holes in the Vadas were larger, the chutney was thinner and sambhar looked and tasted more or less like colored water .When we asked the guy for a second serving of the chutney, the guy just stared at us .Infact the look on his face gave us his explanation; allow me to read out his mind “Respected sirs, please find a coconut tree, climb it, take the coconut and make the chutney yourself”
Anyways, the vada triggered our thought process at Godspeed and we concluded that recession is everywhere around us. Look at the number of layoffs at work , number of pink slips being given to employees , land prices coming down ,incentives and appraisals in most work places being stalled, interest rates being cut down ,the sales numbers of all the major car houses have taken a dip ,the “opportunities “section of “The Hindu” being limited to a page or two and even in those two pages they end up giving advises as to how to hold on to your job during the recession.

Anyways , we finished our tea and vadas and decided next time we come, we’ll have Masala dosas because at least you don’t have a hole in it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

FLASHBACK

An HR over the phone asked me today“How many years of employment have you completed?" Well a harmless question to say the least . I said “five and half “ and immediately after I said that , reality just sank in . Its been 5 and half years since I am working !!?(OK ,not that people stop working after 5 and half years ..but then still ..You know ..) Well , it just seems like yesterday when I passed out from college after attending quite a few supplementary exams (that will be another post ,”My experiences in writing supplementaries”). My employment years have been a true roller coaster ride and has been been nothing short of exciting (well I guess, you might need to define “exciting” a bit differently though). The companies that I worked for , the people that I have met , The various aspects of work, First day at office , processes that I studied from my colleagues ,last day at office , periods of uncertainty(which I absolutely hate , when you don’t know where you are heading ) , The different places that I have been .well when I began to type this post I dint think I would have much to write ..But now I think I would have to exercise restraint in order to not make this an epic.

My first job in Reliance InfoTech in Trivandrum which lasted for barely 10 days .I remember Pradeep Sir (Senior Manager) who used to take the time out to train me on the process.. Well For someone just out of college that was freedom unlimited.

I got a good break on my next job which was in Accenture, Bangalore .I still remember Keshav and his witty one liners. I remember Vandana for her guts to speak her mind and for her completely twisted philosophies (ehh..sorry Vandana ). I remember Venky for his sense of humor and for using the "F" word in almost every sentence that he spoke.I remember Arnab(still in touch) my roommate for the brother he was ,he is and hopefully will always be and also for having a crush on a girl every second day . I remember our Mysore road and vijayanagar days. I remember the frequency with which we used to visit brigade road just to make sure that none of the babes missed us! I remember Anna for his tongue in cheek humour,mostly making fun of himself and yet digging out a lesson to be learnt. I remember Avinash,who fell in love with Renu,and then decided it was actually Rekha who he loved and not Renu . He broke up with Renu and united with Rekha only to realize that she was not the woman in his life and that he had this huge crush on kavitha .I remember Lovely for her mischief and for her straight forwardness.I remember Suzanne for her bluntness when she asked me “Rohit , tell me , have you had sex ?” I remember Hari when he blasted the manager in a heated team meeting . I can never forget when he shouted at the manager saying “you know what , you are a F*****G mistake of the F*****G condom factory “That was hilarious and the look on the manager’s face was priceless.That was one of the most innovative abuses that I have heard for a long time .I remember dada for his always tensed look . I remember Chaitra for her looks , she was very cute .I remember Chaitali for her honesty and for her “don’t give a damn attitude”.I remember Manoj for his eagerness to check if he has received any emails from shaadi.com .I remember Vinodh for his daily dose of moral lessons(I used to love that )

I remember Anuj(Still in touch) for his imperious talent in connecting real life characters to the story lines of popular Malayalam movies and for his unmistakable sense of humor .I remember Deggi for his innocence and his anxiety to reach Ireland .I remember Anand(still in touch ) for his famous dialogues (infact there are a lot) like “valaree “ and “aaja meri bulbulll”I remember Harish for his spontaneous dialogues .I remember Jacob(still in touch) for his comic timing and his witty chalus .I remember Rajiv for his “koi cigarette pilado yaar” line and Anil for the days we spent in cochin together .I remember our cricket days and the loser treats the winner with lime soda (and it was religiously followed) I remember our north tea shop days and our days at infotips .I remember Asha for her simplicity and Cathy for scaring the daylights out of me when she used to tell me "Rohit , I can see your future in my vision". I remember Sharath for his cheerfullness and Mayesh for the way he hused to talk .I remember Biji (Still very much in touch) for his sheer willingness to learn and for his episodes with Asokan (name changed for security purposes) later on . I remember Antony(still very muc in touch) for his talent with females and for his sheer audacity in handling 5 or 6 at a time .I remember Mathew for his courage and for his drinking .I remember Thambi(still very much in touch ) for his innocence and for his talent in slipping and tripping .

Its turning out to be an epic I guess .I wanted to write so much more ..I think have to come back with a Flashback -part 2 ..

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

Slumdog Millionaire

Last time when I posted, I thought that I would be more regular with my blog but then again if everything goes according to thoughts, I would have been a millionaire by now. Well, I am writing this out of utter disgust, shock, frustration and pure unadulterated hatred which is directed at the entire cast and crew of the movie “slumdog millionaire” which I happened to watch the other day. I would rate this is the second worst movie that I have watched where India has been degraded (the first one being Indiana Jones and the Temple of the doom)

Well, the Movie starts off with Jamal (the male protagonist) being tortured in police custody because they feel he has cheated in the famous game show, “who wants to be a millionaire”. Jamal had answered all the questions right and has won 10 million .The story then moves in a flashback cum present mode where in Jamal takes us through his life from his childhood (which was spent in a Mumbai slum) and then as a chaiwalah in an Indian call centre .

I am just sick and tired of the west stereotyping India and Indians in particular. I am not really sad because the movie depicted Indian poverty and more importantly the slums because I am not averse to the fact that 40 % of india’s population is below the poverty line (10 years back , it was 60%). Though we have improved ,40% is still unacceptable But there is more to India than poverty The movie potrays Mumbai slums , portrays hindu muslim riots , portrays prostitution , portrays absolute cruel and inhuman torture towards kids and more importantly portrays western superiority and strengthens the” third world concept.”

The movie is an adaptation of a novel “Q &A”(unfortunately written by an Indian ;Vikas swarup ,forgive me If got the name wrong , I just searched once as I dint feel the author deserves any more time and dedication from my end ).We have Anil Kapor , Irfan Khan , Devpatel , Freida or some Pinto(dunno ) and as the main cast for the movie And A R Rahman for the music (Oscar nominations for him , right ! if AR Picks up a lottery now , he might just win it !)

Am I being an Image conscious Indian who conveniently wants to hide the reality under the carpet ? Because many say that that is what reality in India is , poverty and slums .Yes I am being Image conscious because there is more to India than poverty and slums . How can you generalize people living in slums are eye plucking , girl selling , killing machines ?Slums In India are improving . Even the Mumbai slums (Dharavi) where the movie is picturized ,people are being linked to factories nearby and they are earning their livelihood . Even the Director has admitted in one of his interviews regarding the same .The movie portrays, the only job women do in slums is prostitution !! come on if this is not stereotyping , then what else is ??

In one scene , there’s this kid who is acting as a tourist guide for an American couple . This kid gets beaten up by some goons and with all blood in his face , he tells the American couple “Do you want to see the real India ? Here it is “ and then The American replies “ Son , let me show you the Real America and hands out a $100 note in the kid’s hands “. I found this scene to be absolutely offensive , abusive , Sarcastic , stereotypical ,pathetic and completely uncalled for .

The fact that the movie has been nominated for the Oscars is beyond depressing. I strongly believe that these kinds of movies will have an adverse impact on NRI’s and their children . It would be difficult especially for Indian children abroad as they will be an object of ridicule .Children can be cruel at times and I can imagine indian children in the west being being nick named and even teased as “Slumdogs “ . Some say that there is nothing bad /insulting about the title .All I would say is if you are teased and if you are called as a “slumdog”you will not like it .You can say that it’s a work of fiction and “just a movie ,“ but “just a movie” can change perceptions .

Having said all this , The fact that saddens me is how can Indians be part of this movie ?How can they be proud of being associated with this movie ?Leave the director , I mean, he will not have any emotional attachments (and he need not necessarily have it ) I can also understand his point in taking a subject like this which would be walloped by the western audience .But how can Anil kappor , Irfan Khan , A R Rahman be part of this movie ?All of them being such eminent personalities and ambassadors of Indian cinema ! Isint there something called as moral responsibility ? or is it only money ? or is it that being part of a Hollywood movie so tempting that they can compromise on their morals ?Anil Kappor and A R in one of their interviews stated that it is just a “rags to riches “ story of an 18 year old boy and that they have no regrets in being part of that movie .I can understand if any small time Indian actor or musician being part of this garbage , but for someone as big and famous as the people mentioned above , you have to question their priorities .As insignificant as my post may be , as little traffic that my blog gets ;I have lost all respect for the Indians involved in this movie and I will never ever watch movies of Anil Kappor and Irfan Khan and will never ever buy CD’s or listen to songs composed by AR .

Monday, January 5, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR????

As much as I hate to start off the New Year by posting something negative, but it seems that my new year has started off with a bang to say the least. I lost my credit cards , my purse , my pan card , my debit card , my drivers license , some money and my ID card .I had always wished that my new year starts to get a bit more exciting and happening and not as dull and boring as it often turns out to be . Well, did somebody say to be careful on what you wish for as your wish might just come true! Traveling via bus from Cochin to Trivandrum is expensive and requires a lot of courage.

I am trying my best to take out any positives from this episode and my best just aint good enough. I initially tried the “whatever happens happens for the good “philosophy and it failed. I just couldn’t find anything good in loosing my driver’s license! For that matter, even my debit card. Well, maybe time will tell (that’s a better one).A very close friend of mine in a desperate attempt to console me pointed out 5 positives out of this episode:-

1. Loosing the drivers license:-Maybe an Accident is avoided since I will not drive the car for a few days .He also went on to say that it has spared cochin of a few traffic jams !!
2. Loosing the credit card: - My savings are increased and a much needed break for the swiping machines in and around Cochin and Trivandrum.
3. Pan card:-It would give the person who stole (my purse) an insight in to Pan Cards and he would change his mode of living and transform himself in to an ideal citizen.
4. Purse:-It has given somebody else an option to put their money (I don’t know what good is that to me ...but what the heck!! My friend told this with so much of conviction that I dint want to break his heart by asking the logic behind it)
5. Money: - Ok; now this one takes the prize! According to Newton’s law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so if I lost some money, I would also get it back!!

Coming to think of it , finding positives wasn’t that difficult but I guess you need to be at your creative best while searching for it .Lets back to ground reality and the truth is , its gonna be a pretty hectic schedule in trying to apply for a duplicate license . Well as far as the credit cards and the debit card are concerned it’s comparatively easier. The Hardest thing to come to terms with is to realize that this is my second drivers license that I have lost in a matter of 3 months !Ok , again the positive out of this is , by now , I am well versed with the procedure of applying for a duplicate license ;if that is any consolation(So much so that if you wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me the procedure to apply for a duplicate licence ,you can bet your bottom dollar that I would get it right !) .

Hey I almost forgot to write about my experience with the Police (Thampanoor station) when I tried lodging an FIR /complaint (as you need a copy of the FIR to apply for a duplicate license) .Well , somebody had to tell me thrice that the physical structure opposite to where I was standing was the Thampanoor police station ! Lets not get in to the nitty grittys of it; in a nut shell, it dint look like a police station. As soon as I entered it (had to wait for about 5 minutes before entering it, as the passage way leading inside allows only 1 person to walk at a time due to space constraints!) I was greeted by a female officer and in perfect Trivandrum slang asked me “entheranu parati?”.Now as soon as I gathered my strength to tell her what happened, she just dint bother .instead just directed her hand to the SI’s cabin asking me to meet the SI . Ok...now after a bit a wait , I entered the SI’s cabin to realize that he was busy watching the Australia –Southafrica test match .I must admit that for a brief while, even I was watching the match as I almost forgot what had happened. Anyways, he asked me the same thing;”etheranu parati”? After I narrated the entire incident, The SI just coolly asked me to lodge an FIR else where as they do not have the time to come to my house for inquiries .hmmm..Some people are alive only because it is illegal to shoot them.

I guess there are lessons to learnt and adds on to the experience .Its often said that Good judgment comes from bad experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Well I don’t quite know how the above mentioned one liner fits the context , but since I heard it yesterday from some one, I liked it so much that I was just waiting for an opportunity to use it somewhere ..So that’s about it.

Having mentioned all this crap...let me also wish anyone who happens to read this post a very happy and a prosperous new year! And be careful with your wallet and belongings when you travel.