Archive for January, 2009

h1

My dear Aeroplane….

January 30, 2009

 

My dear Aeroplane,

 

You have connected the whole world,

Like never before….

 

If today,

My friends and loved ones,

Can dream of education and career,

In the best universities of the world,

And top corporates of the world,

It is because of you….

 

If today,

I can go to Bombay and come back,

On the same day immediately after work,

It is because of you….

 

Thanks.

 

But,

You have also disconnected the whole world,

Like never before….

 

If today,

Most of my friends are living abroad,

And I have lost touch with them,

I can’t blame the time zone or their careers,

I can only blame you….

 

If today,

Most of my friends settling abroad,

Don’t want to take their parents along,

I can’t blame the recession or their intention,

I can only blame you….

 

If today,

A wife or a husband,

Who has to choose between,

A year of On-Site opportunity,

And a year of being with their little kid,

I still can blame only you,

When they proudly choose the former.

 

If yesterday,

I was able to finish reading a book,

On my blissfully long train journey,

To Bombay and back on work,

But today,

When I am not able to finish,

Even a hundred and fifty pages,

For a whole three months,

I can’t blame the lack of time,

I can only blame you….

 

But this time,

While I thought that you could only disconnect me from others,

You chose to disconnect me from myself.

 

 

Destination Infinity

PS: This is sort of a sequel to my earlier post. I am thinking of making it a trilogy 🙂

Advertisements
h1

The value of money

January 23, 2009

“Self respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price”

Everything we own has a value. Monetary value.

But the value of money in itself lies in the happiness that it is able to buy its beholder. What is the price of such happiness? Is more money = more happiness? Is it a simple direct proportion? Let us explore…

Dear Dairy, I saw an Aeroplane toy today at the exhibition. Wow, it was awesome! It also makes sounds and flashes lights. There is also a remote control to make it move around. I will pester mummy and daddy to buy that one. Just imagine how happily I could play with that toy. If only…..

Dear Dairy, Today, I saw Shakeel playing with the Play Station 2. There is a cool 3D Aeroplane game and you could shoot down all the enemy planes. You can also play multiplayer racing with friends. Looks real fun! And look at me, I am just having a boring remote controlled toy!! If only…..

Dear Dairy, My best friend is traveling by plane today! Just imagine – Chennai to Delhi in just under three hours! And the journey itself, so thrilling along with the airports, ambience, great food, air hostesses…. Wow! And look at me, all I can do is play with a stupid Aeroplane video game! If only…..

Dear Dairy, My boss always travels in Business Class. In the best of the brands. Just imagine, you are traveling and next to you could be Dhoni or Amir or anyone like that! Imagine the comforts and the services…. If you fly, you have to fly like a king! And look at me, all I can do is travel long hours along with hoards of people in eight seater compartments where the chairs don’t even bend back! If only…..

Dear Dairy, My client has his own chartered flight. Just imagine, he can fly anywhere to anywhere without having to bother about the tickets, schedules and all the other mundane things. And I am not even factoring the neighbor’s envy! And look at me, I spend almost quarter of all my available time on flights and airports – either waiting for them, or flying in them! If only…..

Dear Dairy, The Russians are sending people to the space on paid trips! Just imagine the thrill of being a space tourister. I mean, how many people can afford that? Just imagine, floating in a near zero gravity condition and looking at the earth from the space, what a splendid sight and opportunity that could be! That is what I would call a tour!! And look at me, I am still traveling in a plane! I mean, who doesn’t have a chartered plane these days? If only…..

Dear Diary, Today was my first space trip. No words could express my feelings when I was floating up there. And do you know how I felt when I first saw the earth from above there? At that moment, I felt like… I am not able to express my emotions through words… like a kid, who is presented with a toy Aeroplane with remote control, which he has been wanting for months! I was so happy!!

Such Creeps, we are!

 

Destination Infinity

 

h1

Cooking is too important to be left in the hands of women

January 17, 2009

I was like you, Guys. I was just like you…. For a quarter of a century I never went into the kitchen except for rare occasions to make the Instant Noodles. But we are a victim when it comes to the most important activity – Cooking. And we have been deliberately kept away from it!

Cooking, like any other art, is not so easy especially if you start late. You tend to make some mistakes. And learn it the hard way! When I decided to start cooking lemon rice, I asked my mother to help and she made three things – Rice cooked in pressure cooker, Lemon juice in a cup, the mustard/ gram etc cooked in oil. All she asked me to do was to mix these three things and eat! (Since I was new to cooking). Being the lazy guy that I ever am, I postponed this simple task for two weeks. After two weeks, when I opened the container containing rice, I got a huge shock! It smelled so awful and it was so much de-composed, that I had to throw away the container along with the spoilt rice!! When I did start to cook some simple dishes, I just left the vessels unwashed for a week. (While cooking itself is a task, you need to wash the vessels too!) Because of that negligence, it became harder to wash the vessels!

Rule No.1: While cooking, don’t postpone any activity related to it.

Then I did learn to make rice (in a pressure cooker cum frying pan). So, one day I thought I will make the lemon rice myself. So, I invented a new procedure – without planning anything, I started to heat the oil in the pan. Then I put mustard, the grams and the groundnuts into the pan and started frying it along with the oil. They seemed to become black instantly (Which I learnt was because I had kept the flame in full) and in order to protect them, I put the turmeric powder, salt, Kothamalli, rice(!!) – and almost everything in my sight into the pan! Then I remembered, I was doing lemon rice and hence I searched for the lime, cut it, and directly put the juice (along with the seeds) into the pan!! Then, I started re-cooking the rice in the pan along with all the other things that I just put in. This is called the chaos theory in kitchen – butterfly effect! How hopelessly related incidents lead to the biggest incident – of having to eat what you just cooked!!    

Rule No.2: Plan what you are going to do. There has to be a sequence!

By now, any pro-active person would have rushed to the nearby restaurant to grab what is left before they close for the day. But I decided to cool what I have just cooked under a fan (as if cooling would make the taste better!) and then started eating it after fifteen minutes. The fifteen minutes (which I spent listening to songs) where the most crucial, which I didn’t realize at that time, because – the nearby restaurant close by that time! But alas, since we advocate learning by the hardest way to sink the lesson into our minds, we have to eat our own pills!       

Rule No.3: Have a back up. Have instant noodles packets ready, but since everything that could go wrong, could actually go wrong – like the gas running out or the noodles over cooked, have bread/butter/jam or something like that, ready. Now, it is also very important that you finish cooking BEFORE the neighborhood restaurant closes!!

 

Coming back to the title of this post – you thought, we could remain experts in eating alone, and the sarcastic remarks made by women (Like ‘My son never even enters the kitchen, he never helps’) are to force us to cook? Nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, we have been kept away from kitchen while they (Look at the no. of comments in this blog post where the author has invited recipes on some theme and it is almost all women – each having a cooking blog!) improve their skills by collaborating and keeping us out! Even in the parliament, if not 33%, there is some considerable no. of women MP’s!! (Still worse, you thought there were no cooking blogs on the net?).

So, “Arise, Awake and stop not ill the goal is reached” And to remind you, eating is not the goal – It is a consequence of cooking, which is the ultimate goal. So, you guys start planning something about this, while I am off to eat the Gulab Jamun made by my mom! J

 

Destination Infinity

PS: This was supposed to be humorous post. Alas, we men find humor even in such ironies of life!

h1

Nasha ye beer ka nasha hai

January 11, 2009

“Nasha ye beer ka nasha hai…

Ye Meri baat yaar maano…

Nashe mein yaar doob jaao…

Raho na hosh mein deewanon…”

“What would you like to have sir?”

“Bring two pots of beer. Strong”

 “Today, one passenger got into my Auto. By his looks I could make out that he was new to the city. He wanted to go to a nearby locality. But I took him around for 5 Kilo Meters before dropping him in his destination. He didn’t notice that the meter started at 14 Rupees. I told him that the meter started at twelve rupees and showed him the 12 to 14 rupees conversion chart, which we used before fixing the new meter. So, I charged 100 rupees for a ride that would have cost him only 30 rupees”

 “Two more pots of beer, please. Didn’t he argue?”

 “He did, but then I raised my voice. After all, I am dealing with such passengers’ day in and day out. So, how was your day?”

 “Of late, I have been telling the motorists that they need to get their vehicles emission certified, twice a year. And they have not done it. Almost everyone gets stumped by this. Even though they have all the other documents, we don’t leave them without paying the ‘subsidized fine’ “

 “Two more pots of beer please. I guess, being a traffic constable comes with much more benefits than a normal auto driver like me. So, you should have made a lot today, that too with zero investment…”

 “Yeah, but I can’t take everything for myself no? There is always a hierarchy which needs to be ‘respected’ “

 “Two more pots of beer please. I think, as long as there are people who could be cheated, people like us can always keep cheating them

 “And that will enable us to keep celebrating throughout the year. So, I toast this last glass of beer in memory of all the people who have ‘donated’ enough so that we can have fun”

 “Cheers to you too”

 After some time, both of them left. The owner of the pub and the bartender were listening to their conversation. They started exchanging their opinions.

 “Sir, look at the ways in which they cheat people. How bad all those people, who have been cheated, would have felt?”

 “Yeah, they might have felt bad, but would soon forget all this”

 “But the fact remains that they have been cheated of their money”

 “What do you think we did just now? Do you know how much this beer costs outside? Do you know what my buy price is? Do you know how much margin I make per bottle and the snacks?”

 “Is it high?”

 “Much higher than you think. People come to a good pub like this for the ambience, the music and of course for the alcohol – It is the whole experience that matters to them. No one has questioned me why the prices are so high”

 “At least, they have fun”

 “If they come here once in a month or once in two months, then it is fun. When they come here three or four times a week, it is more due to the fact that if they don’t come, they find it uncomfortable. That is called addiction. Not fun. Well, as long as there are people who cheat others and make money easily, people like us can always take advantage of it

  

Destination Infinity

 “There are two things to aim at in life: First, to get what you want and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second” – Logan Pearsall Smith

 Also read this story I wrote sometime back, on the same subject.

h1

Participative Democracy

January 9, 2009

This post was already published in Youth Unite

Participative Democracy

He was in his third year of college. And since the semester examinations were still one month away, he and his class mates had nothing much to do. Since they had nothing to do, they wanted to do something. But what? There was a brain storming session during the lunch time. And they decided on three things. Since, the interviews and campus placements were just a year away, they wanted training on group discussions, presentations on stage and other personality development related activities. They wanted to be trained at least two hours per week by a professional trainer. Second, they wanted to learn at least one foreign language. German, French and Japanese were short listed. They were ready to stay back after the college hours, and if required pay some extra fees for it too. Third, since all work (!) and no play makes Jack a dull boy, they wanted some empty land near the college to be leveled and made suitable to play cricket.

So, now they had decided on what they wanted to do. But how to get it done was still to be addressed.

“Macha, let us all go to the HOD room together and ask him to take it up with the principal”

“Yes da, they collect so much fees from us, and they should at least do this much”

“But I am telling you, all this is a time waste da. The management is only interested in how much money they get and what percentage of results they are able to achieve. They will not even look into all this”

“Then, let us go to the Chairman directly and talk to him. If he doesn’t meet us, we will go on a strike”

“All you guys will talk now. But when the time comes for action, all of you people will come back to the class rooms if the management doesn’t allow you to take up the semester exams. I know about you guys”

And so, they were not able to come to a consensus on how to get what they wanted. The lunch time banter was forgotten pretty soon.

After a month, while going back from the college in the college bus, a neighboring department HOD was casually enquiring with him on what the students in his department felt about the college. Since he remembered the lunch room banter incident one month back, he told the HOD about the same. Including the three things that they wanted from the management.

“So, did you guys write all this in a piece of paper and put it in the suggestion box?”

“Which suggestion box?”

“Haven’t you seen the suggestion box outside the office?”

“I am not sure”

“How many times do you go to the office?”

“Once in a week….”

“Then you should have noticed it. It is right next to the entrance. Anyway, write it in a piece of paper and drop it there tomorrow”

He told about this to a couple of his classmates, but they advised him not to waste his paper and ink. Still, he dropped it next day without even writing his name and department.

To his surprise, the first two suggestions were implemented the very next semester.

This is a true story.

And if you think the title doesn’t match with the content, think again.

 

Destination Infinity

 

h1

Blog Etiquette

January 3, 2009

 

premio-dardos
the-award-cup1
butterfly-award1
proximidade_blog_award

I have received the above awards (The Cup, Butterfly and Proximidade awards from Nita and Premio Dardos award from Renu) and as per Blog etiquette, I need to pass them on to fellow bloggers.

So, I give the Premio Dardos award to the following people:

  1. Diary of Think Tank (Rahul): This is a blog hosted in Rediffiland, and the kind of writing he does is quite thought provoking. Excellent writing.
  2. A Wide Angle View of India (Nita): A responsible Blogger who writes lot of unbiased views on serious topics. One of the blogs, where the comments can go up to even hundred, and hence a very healthy discussion happens on most topics.
  3. 1000 Petals (Axinia): I have always wordered how someone born in Russia and brought up in East Germany and Austria can write on Eastern philosophy so well! She also writes on great people from Russia, Germany and also India.
  4. An Alien’s thought’s about our planet (Raj): His analysis of major issues goes really deep and he does not hesitate to call spade, a spade.
  5. Sit, Relax and Watch (Raman): He has this ability to write articles on so many different subjects, and yet, extract some morality out of it!
  6. Meditation Photography (Suresh): Balanced perspectives with a touch of philosophy. And some of the best photographs, I have seen in his blog.
  7. I love life So I Explore (Prerna): Interesting and frank analysis.
  8. Nivi’s Space (Nivi): Some of her stories, are really good, especially when she conveys some message through them.
  9. The life and times of an Indian Home Maker (IHM): Though I don’t subscribe to all of what is conveyed, her perspective on sensitive issues is too good!!

 I give The Cup to the following people:

 

  1. Whatever Matters!!(A Bhutanese Blogger): You would definitely like to know the happenings in this near to perfect place, from a near to perfect Blogger. This blog is innocently blissful!
  2. Awakening(Suchitra): Though she has stopped writing, you could always visit her site for the poems.eg. http://suchithewriter.blogspot.com/2008/09/perversion-of-poetry.html I have never read poetry written like this! Also read the ‘Muktha’ short story on her last post.
  3. Daily Blog Tips (Daniel): An expert on SEO and things like that. His question answer series is very popular (In fact, I learnt how to link, from him!)
  4. Maami’s Weblog: Be it her stories, her articles or anything else, it is just excellent. I have never seen an account on Chennai so beautifully written.
  5. Jabberwock (Jai Arjun): If you are thinking if there is much of Indian writers writing in English, visit this site. You could get an interview or review of almost all the English books published in India!
  6. Soliloquy(Aditya): While his writing is not extraordinary, his commenting is. He can argue on any point, persistently and convincingly!!
  7. My Story ISB and Beyond(Ram’s Abode): A classical music treat, especially some of his lengthier articles on the nuances of Carnatic music.
  8. Punchinello’s Chronicals: This author, has a very balanced sense of analyzing the society and everything else that matters in the United States.
  9. Arjun Somanchi’s Blog: If it is about perspectives – he’s definitely got the right one. Nice articles that give you the alternate (truer) perspective.

I give the Butterfly award to the following people:

 

  1. Doing Jalsa and Showing Jilpa (Krish Ashok): Humour, can never get better than this!
  2. Mashed Musings (Amit): When he doesn’t write about Bollywood, he writes great stuff – but the number of awards at the Avant Garde, should tell more about him.  
  3. 18,000 RPM (Dinesh Babu): He writes on normal topics. But makes the stuff so interesting to read. His proposed story for ‘Robot’ was really good.
  4. Su (Sri Harsha): What ever he writes, he writes with authority. Even the comments. When he comments on other sites, he puts a lot of effort into it.
  5. The Light Shines the brightest (Vishesh): Too mature for his age! He writes long poems with some exceptional implications and understanding (And he himself knows that his poems are long!)  
  6. Rinksnbitts (Renu): A Blogger who not only writes responsible things, she also comments responsibly.  And she speaks her mind straight.
  7. Straight Drive: I was impressed initially by his cricketing posts, but now following his entire blog. He writes frankly.
  8. Redifining Oblivion (Rakesh): His pursuit of meaning and purpose of life through travels, book reviews etc. is evident in his blog.
  9. My Experiments in Kitchen (Sahaja): The only cooking blog I follow. Her blog teaches the simpler dishes like Semiya upma and the likes, which are practical, more popular and easy to cook. She can read and understand Sanskrit – a rarity.
  10. Anniyan (Pavan): I just read one of his articles – On the Aethist’s point of view on God, and was mighty impressed. Keep going!

 

Destination Infinity

h1

Peace

January 1, 2009

“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence” – Dorothy Thompson

Adhiyaman, was the king of Thadagur. A neighboring King called Thondaiman wanted to wage war on him. Adhiyaman, didn’t want the immense losses of a war. So, Avvayar, who was a very famous poetess, decided to go to the court of Thondaiman, as an emissary. Thondaiman, who had a great deal of respect for her literary works, showed around his palace, with pride. He also showed the huge stock of weapons he possessed which were new and shining. On noticing that, Avvayar told him that Adhiyaman’s weapons are all broken and are being sharpened, implying that Adhiyaman was more experienced and his expertise was tested in battles. Thondaiman, was quick to grasp the meaning and averted the war.

“Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of faith, strength, energy, will, sympathy, justice, imagination and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved through passivity and quietism” – Dorothy Thompson.

Artabanus, was the uncle of Xerxes. He thought that there was danger to the Persian army going into Greece, and he tried to induce his nephew Xerxes not to war against Greece. Xerxes answered him as follows: “There is reason in what you say, but you ought not to see danger everywhere or to reckon every risk. If whatever comes up, you are going to weigh everything alike, you will never do anything. It is better to be always an optimist and to suffer half the amount of evil, than always to be full of gloomy anticipations and never suffer at all. If you attack every proposal made without showing the right course to follow, you will come to grief as much as those whom you oppose. The scales are evenly balanced. How can a human being know certainly which way they will incline? He cannot. But success generally attends those who wish to act; and it does not attend those who are timid and balance everything. You see the great power which Persia has attained. If my predecessors on the throne had held your views, or without holding them had had counselors like you, you would never have seen our kingdom become so great. It is by taking risks that they made us what we are. Great things are achieved through great dangers” – This conversation is dated around 500 BCE.

“They have not wanted peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war – as though the absence of war was the same as peace” – Dorothy Thompson.

 

Destination Infinity