Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Gespräch. Charla. Entretien. Colloquio. Talk.

I've got an IP phone!!!!!! :):):) So all you guys out there - start calling - +91-44-981230385 - Be fast guys.. i am waiting !! :)

Okay, so for those lay men, What is an IP phone ?IP Phone i connected to the internet via the broadband RJ 45 cable and i can make ISD calls at a very very minimal rate. Incoming calls from outside the country are also possible.

They have give me this phone for ten days for me try this out and hold your breath - has a pre paid pack of INR 1000 which i can use to call people!!! :)

The catch is this - if i like this, i have to pay a deposit of 3000 INR to keep this instrument :(

Earthfolk, start calling !! :)

All we have to decide...

Frodo: I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

The Fellowship of the Ring,
The Lord of the Rings.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Great Proposition.

There they were, a group of 6 sitting in a table near the wall, each one of them holding their own flavors of ice cream.

3 guys and 3 girls. ( I smile this as i write this :) ) I dunno what made me look at them, but there was something pretty odd about the group. One by one, small things started to piece itself together. The conversational pieces that i overheard was too formal for this to be a bunch of friends :) ( "So where do you live?" "And you?" "Oh okay! and you also work with her?" "Ohh ok - same shift?" "Cool!" etc etc ) But there they were, sitting and having ice creams at about nine in the night together.

I got the drift. It was a "fixing meet". :) This is a kind of first "date" of a guy with a girl to whom he would have had proposed recently. The girl apparently doesn't know what to say and want to get her friends opinions. So then comes the common date, a movie, dinner or an evening out with couple of his friends and couple of her friends and everyone trying to be their most jovial.

Let's try and meet the actors in today's play being staged there.

Male 1
Lean, bespectacled. Garbed in Jeans and White Shirt. Standing at the ice cream counter getting ice creams for every one in the table as we enter.

Male 2
Medium frame. Kolhapuri Chappals, Pleated trousers and a yellow tantra t shirt. Doesn't speak much. Makes sure that the girls get the first cups of ice cream before the men. Sitting in between the other two men. Makes sure he smiles for everything said!

Male 3
Medium frame. In Jeans and a striped shirt, not tucked in, full hands, folded at the cuff. The director of the conversations from the male side.

Female 1
Yellow Chudidar. Heavyset. The talkative of the womenfolk. It is her job to make the guys feel that they are not tongue tied shy female species, but rather the fun loving forward going and yet traditional females that every man sees in the movies and salivates for. Loud, open and brash.

Female 2
Sequeined ( is that the right spelling? :) ) red chudidar. Bespectacled and politely smiling for every coment said between the men folks and women folks. Most of the time looking down on her lap or trying to pck the imaginary dust from her bracelets. Long jasmine flower thread on her hair and topped with a white rose.

Female 3
The observer. Short, multi colored chudidar. Keeps observing the men folk in between their talks. Let the conversationalist handle the conversation, at least the lighter part of it, and jabs in only when she wants to clarify anything. The judge of the menfolk, she weighs every one of the statements to form opinions ( surely very highly valued by the other two ) about the menfolk.

The amused spectators of the whole show, with our ice creams on our hands. :)

The first question was who were the prospective couple for whom this drama was being staged. The strong observers of human psyche that we are, we guessed so much.. "Look for the man who speaks the latest and smiles for evry small remark that might be even remotely humorous and you have your man". Scan scan scan ... alright - that had to be the pleasted trousered fellow with yellow t shirt. Alright okay, so who's the female part of the couple... "okay that should be the one with the gaudiest dress and some one who is demure enough to smile for remarks every now and then." Scan again.. and - well - it has to be the girl with the red dress with the sequeins.

Only time could tell how right or wrong we were. After the ice creams, the girls walked a few steps to congregate near the water cooler "Hey he looks sweet and he also behaves very sweet. I think you can go ahead - That was the yellow salwar clad girl to the red sequiened clad lady :) So our guess was right as the female fraternity is concerned.

Ah well, it was easier getting our male side deduction justified. The man in yellow tantra t shirt and kolhapuri chappals was at the counter, paying for the whole ice cream outing. Our deductions were bingo! on the dot!

Sigh! Something's never change :)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Conspiracy against Modern Earth...

The Gods fear as the power of Big One returns. The immortal fear of the Mortal One taking over the reign of the immortals above is so clear.

My Internet Connection was repaired yesterday. And when I started to once again let my creativity stream though the key boards into the wanting minds of you, my ardent followers, there was rain. Lashed with loud thunder and streaks of fearsome lightning, the Gods leashed their fear on me through the heavy downpour. And then humanity gave in. Electricity went kaput due to this rain!

But don’t you worry - the Big One shall not give in that easily. We will overcome these small hurdles and the Big One shall shine as the morning sun. And there would be light in your lives.

Oh, I'm definitely full of it!!!!
(Still holding my little tummy to laugh!)

PS Agnostia - And no, my I don’t have a tummy. I use it as a figure of speech :P
(Ah but then, sometimes, I do have to breathe out, and during those times, well, it’s a different story :) )


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The King Shall return...

Unstoppable downpour of mails at office and a broken internet connection at home for the last days has caused my small stint of absence without official leave from the domain of blogging.

I know the people want more and I wouldn’t let you drown in despair, the ardent followers of the Big One. Before the cacophony drowns the world in it's asynchronous humdrum, the King would return.

And bring with him, the harmony, the charisma and everything else that you've been wanting. Keep calling!! :)

Oh, I am so full of it, amn't I ? :)
(Holding my little tummy to laugh)

Monday, July 18, 2005

The weekend that was!

It's a bright and shiny Monday morning! And here I am in the same office, in the same seat, with a bright yellow shirt and a khaki trousers. The weekend was good -

- and I want to write a lot more - but Monday morning mails have started to pour. Will take this up later during the day.

The highlight of the weekend was that I had no internet connection for the whole weekend. Something about the hub being replaced and some one not giving permissions to do the same.. Or something of that sorts.

Catcha guys later!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

If God would grant me one wish...

How do you sketch a man who is larger than life? One, who makes so much impression on you that your heart and soul goes to him totally?

For me, he was everything. That smile on his face, framed with very few snow white hair on his head. Tall, trim body, always dressed in Khadi, White shirt and white mundu. A Pocket watch in the shirt pocket with a chain tied to the shirt button hole. (Memory was not his strong points. :). ) Strong hands holding you with all the safety and security in the world.

I was all around him right from my childhood. Whatever else he could remember or not, he could recite every story of Mahabharata, every shloka of Narayaneeyam at any time. There could not be anything more than I could wish for during my nights, to lie next to him, hugging him, my tender arms trying to reach across his wide white haired chest. And then, he would start with the stories. The stories of Gods, of demons, of good deeds, war and everything else possible. It would only end, if I sleep off or if he sleeps off. Now when I look back, my face breaks into a smile knowing the number of times, I have shaken him awake from sleep asking " And then what happened?"

My cousins would come in for their summer vacation and they would intrude into my lifestyle. I could never understand how can they just come in one day and take my place lying next to him with their arms around him. And they were two of them so both sides would be occupied. But little nasty me, wouldn't be beaten. I would jump on him and lie on top of him, having conquered the world :). Well, they could have only their hands around him, I was on him! :)

The only thing that he could not take was the movies. The only movies, I remember him taking me voluntarily was the movies about Lord Narayana, Lord Vishnu and Dasavataaram. For the other movies, he would give his endearing laugh and ask us "What are they doing?". For us, the ardent followers of Jayan, Mohanlal and Mammootty ( especially when they are bashing up the baddies on the screen; or running around trees in mist clad mountains with the heroines), this simple comment would cause us to glare at him :) And his animated responses would be at the highest, when he would sit down to watch serials based on the great epics and they show wrong stories or misdirected scenes. It was what could irritate him the most.

Ever ready to travel and ever ready to visit new places, the distance between Parli, Kerala and Ranchi, Bihar (where my parents and I were located then) did not deter him from making that trip. And that too somewhere near the famous Winters of North. Clad in sweaters and shawls, his spirit would make such a huge impression on me. Looking back, I would love to relive that life again, just to hold his hands and feel his warmth as he walks next to me. But then, time was playing it's usual tricks. I was growing up and it was that time of the life, when you would want to go out with school friends and walking with family start becoming 'un-cool' :). But I am sure, that did not deter him from enjoying his stay with us, as for him, being with his children was joy enough.

His life was totally interlinked with the realization of God. You could never see him without a Narayaneeyam or, if sitting idle, chanting the verses of the same which were inscribed in his heart thousand times over. He would never see the world as we could. There would be the ultimate belief in god and the insurmountable faith in Him to ensure that things will definitely work out for the better. From the smallest factor to the highest one, this feature was so clearly visible. When we asked him to rush one day as we saw a bus leaving the bus stop, we requested him to hurry up to catch the bus and with his characteristic smile he said" That is not possible for me at this stage. If the bus has to go, let it go - we will take the next one". On another instance, he was being wheel chaired into the operation theatre for a critical operation at that age. With his children around him holding his hands and smiling around him, some one asked him - " Aren’t you afraid?" It was with the same nonchalance and the unbeatable smile that he replied - " Why should i? My Lord Krishna is here with me near my bed.". Call it delusions, faith, stupidity, whatever. But the strength in him that flowed to us through his smile, still lingers.

His wife would have a lot to say about his nonchalance, which was more of a challenge to this lady who handles life in this world that rotates not on God's vision but on the axis of day to day life. But all the scorning and complaints would be diluted and adorned with the sincere regards and love the little lady had for him all through her life, even now! He had never any doubts on prioritizing goodness and all the good qualities over anything else. Selfishness was not a part of him at all. I remember so many times, while traveling on a crowded bus, he has woken me up to gently ask me " Why don't you get up to give place to the old man standing there?" And I could never say no to that question. It was not a question, but a request which I would always consider honoring. It was that impact that person had on you.

The house became home with his laughter, his presence, his voice and his mannerism. When you walk into the home, the typical way of his hugging you and holding you would strain all the fatigue out of you. He had the trademark way of grasping your hands hard and semi hugging you. It was enough to welcome me beyond anything else! When the lights go off in clockwork routine ( Kerala has the wonderful routine of load shedding ! :) ) He would sit down and tap his fingers on the bed making rhythmic tappings on the same. While watching news on TV ( which was one of his routine activities ) he would slowly doze off to sleep. If woken up by any one of us ( which was a routine activity for all of us :) ), he would smile with embarrassment, say " I am too tired", start shaking his legs perched straight on a leg rest to ward off sleep, try to concentrate on the TV again and let his eyes doze off again.

'Achaachan' - that's what I call him. Or rather, painfully to realize, used to. I am extremely lucky to have had him as my grandfather. He was so nice, we wanted him to be with us, always. On the other side, God also wanted him to be with Him.

God won the tug of war.


Monday, July 11, 2005


"a girl with glasses, she would have a denim handbag, kind of ok to look at. Nothing grand."

"a gold-plated watch on her left hand"

"one gold ring on her left hand. two on her right. "

"unpainted nails - toe and hands both. nails on both hands."

"Hair - black, chest-length. Half-pony."

"Would wear a gold-chain, and a bead-strapped slippers."

"dress - grey salwar kameez with plain band gold border."

Landmark Literature section. Saturday 4:00 PM

This was all I had to locate this mysterious person who has been a regular visitor to my blogs and made me addictive to her comments (rather than she getting addicted to my blogs)

I could see myself walking through Landmark looking closely at women's hands for gold plated watch and golden rings. And not so far ahead in the future, I could also visualize a case of eve teasing and a good bashing up by the burly landmark security guys. And the clues! Ah the clues! - could anything be more distinctive than "Nails on both hands" - Now, that, is a rarity! :)

Have you seen the movie 'Sliding Doors' ? The director tries to tell story lines in parallel. I am going to try and do the same here. The two tracks being mine and the Agnostiac's before the story collides with our meeting.

I was in double minds to go to Landmark that day, as I was not sure of what was waiting for me. Was it any of my friends who was playing a prank on me? Least likely, for the simple reason that they could not make a blog name called agnostiacal hedo… etc etc even if they had wanted to. Okay, so then possibility two becomes slightly more probable. A bunch of college or just out of college girls playing a prank. Have a "stooge" ( for want of another better word :) ) meet up with me and then have a prank-y fistful of fun at my embarrassed expense when the truth can be revealed by them.

"DO you really think he would come?" Agnostiac's friends were constantly asking her. Annie ( as I got to know her name later ) was the down to earth thinker who thought it pretty much improbable that a person could walk up to this rendezvous. Vinaya ( as I got to know…. ) wasn't really sure of the kind of guy who would turn out. Would this guy be a weirdo ? A guy with weird hair do , flashy accent and a lot of piercing including of the ear on him ? With all these doubts playing in the background, Agnostia dragged her friends to the Rendezvous point.

The sleuth in me had not died. Among all those distinctive identification tags given to me so generously ( "Nails on both hands" I ask you!!! ) I had given them only two identification marks "That I had fingers on both hands; and; my mobile number." My mobile, the Mobile - ah what a perfect ruse. The plan that was forming in my mind could compete with the master plans of Sherlock Holmes the sleuth! :) I would walk in to the point apparently immersed in a phone conversation and not evidently looking for some one. And with my keen eagle eyes, take the scenario in and behave the right way :)

I called JC. Told him about my ESOP. How long can you hold a call with your boss?

I called Prats. She was sleeping.

I called Shaju. He was in the Radio station. ("Anything important? If else, can I call you later?")

Satyajit. Driving, phone with wife.

Mayur. Not reachable.

Dustin. Sleeping

Home. Sleeping.

Karthik - He picked up my call, God bless him. I am sure, he is still wondering, how and why did I call him on a Sunday for chit chatting. Sometimes, my height is quite an advantage - especially, when you want to "overlook" through the racks. First glance to the café - nope - No one sitting alone in any table. Lots of people around the racks though! - Which one of them would be she ?

The gray chudi clad Agnostiac was meandering through the Literature racks not knowing what to do. The mind, sometimes has this ability to go blank, right? And Annie asking if she should just call "Me" up. Can you just be patient, Annie? And Agnostia returns to the book shelf slightly far from Annie and Vinaya. Agnostiac turns back to look a Annie and Annie mouth " Can you see him?" Agnostiac mouths "No", turns around and picks up the Scarlett, the sequel to Gone with the winds.

"Me" is a silent spectator to the scene. With a phone to the ear and apparently deeply engrossed in the call, he watches Agnostia, as she takes the book and walks to the steps leading to the café and sits down there, trying to read the book. Time sets the motion in action. I say bye bye to Karthik and take a book from the shelf My phone receives an SMS. I walk to the café, with the book and sit down next to Agnostia, and told her": Hi Agnostia, I guess your friends can’t see you when you are sitting and you should stand up"


A surprised, scared face turns from the book and looks at you. Bespectacled, the face doesn’t know whether to be comfortable that the wait is over ( That the issue of " I told you he won't turn up" needn't be addressed :) ) or to be shocked ( surprised, perhaps ) at the sudden realization of what was till then, only a possibility. :) . Astonishment, was the primary emotion though. She did say something at that time. I still can’t remember. :) Then she said - yeah right, let me get them; the wiry frame rushed to her friends. I walked up to the Café and realized that there were no seats.

I vaguely remember a SMS tone just befor this small tsunami ( :) ) of activities began. I looked through to see a new unidentified number. Annie had come to the end of her patience and decided to get in touch with my phone :). I looked up to see two more polite smiling faces along with Agnostia's. Annie and Vinaya along with Preeja came to be known to Jay.

It wasn't really difficult being a sleuth! ( But still, "Nails on both hands", i say!!!! :) )


Saturday, July 09, 2005

Conflict un-managed!

I assumed the conflict was over with the apparent show of strength of the interesting people that night.

I was mistaken.

Yesterday, there was a visit from their PL / PM to my floor - wanting to see Apoorva or Jay. Apoorva was in station and Jay was in a training. Hence this man got re-directed to Pradeep, the manager. What followed after that apparently was a movie style conversation about how things would have been different had he been on the scene. It was apparently a mingle of subdued personal threats about being a hero himself and also threats about how he can spoil people's career inside the organization.

Pradeep, being a guy with the same wavelength as me, stopped him in the middle and gave it to him with no vague terms that he has had his share of rough life also, and let's not have any qualms of that too.

I had a call today. The log of short of the same is in the lines below:

Me: "So what is the purpose of this call? What is it that you want? The whole issue is not worth so much of fuss. Assuming that he had used such a word in the conversation, it is a very easily forgivable 'offense' considering the stress and him being a fresh resource of college. And beyond all this, considering that I had made profuse apologies on professional standpoint, what is it that you want now?"

Caller: "No, it’s not that we want anything, but what he did was not right"

Me: "So why are we having this conversation?"

I was clueless. Why, at all, were we having that conversation? Was he trying to prove some point that he was Don Corleone? Or perhaps Luca Brasi? Why would I care? And are we on the streets of new York ages ago? I work here. He works here. Stress is not an uncommon fare. Work comes on top. But for them, no. Apparently some one had spoken to one another of my team member that he can screw up Apoorva's career or appraisal or whatever.

Shows the quality of the recruitment policies of this great organization. Like one of my friends say, "Well, yes, if u start to top every way farer and ask him whether he has a BE under his belt and if yes, pull him into this company with fat pay checks, this would bound to happen". He is right. And this attitude is not among the new programmers or lower grades, here we are talking about assistant managers and mangers!

I refused to prolong a conversation with him. On insight, if he had any sense, he should have sensed what was going on. Have you ever had a fight when you were a child when u knew that you wanted to fight, but didn't want to be blamed for starting one? I had a simple technique. I used to slap or hit the opponent lightly.  The opponent would retaliate. If he does not retaliate, then you do the slap thing again. And then he retaliates with higher strength and a more fatal blow. Its fight club then. And of course, he started it, you didn't , you were just playing with him!  You provoke him. You never, ever hit your opponent first so hard that he buckles down. You let him hit you.

Provocation. That is what it is all about.

And now professionally, I am clean where as the team and it's lead on the other side are darkly in shadows! I would love to provoke them and let them give me a chance to escalate this. Anyways, this is the kind of people who work with me. Now, I have lost all respect for this organization as the whole.

I was the Associate of the year for 2004. I got the certificate last week. I have been wanting to laminate and frame the same. Now, I do not want to. I have dumped the certificate inside the deepest nuances of my almirah. Just another document along with the others as I go ahead on my career.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Black and White Memories

It is about 3:00 AM.

Sleep eludes me. I had bought a photo frame from Odyssey yesterday. An interesting frame that can hold 9 small photos within itself as a collage. And i have filled the same with couple of my old photos.

Now, as i write this, 6 of them are filled. Faded black and white pictures smile at me from them. Frozen moments from the life of those who are so close to me. My grandfather holding a very very young me in his arms. Small Me and my brothers posing with huge flying glasses. My grandmother caught unaware during one of her busy day routine. My uncle trying to make the baby me look at the camera. My mother in her early teens with her friend. ( I have to struggle to make this out from the faded photo). My grandmother and her sister, much younger than the current energetic lady that she is :), and much much more beautiful than many girls of this age.

These form the majority of the people who give me colour to my life. Who paints my life with the colours of nava-rasa. Who taught me to smile, to hug, to love, to learn, to fall and to get up and start walking again.

A very young and a very curious me (i think i was in my 4th of 5th std) had a doubt to be clarified from my grandmother one evening.

"Ammamme, how do people get AIDS?"
(Ammamma is the malayalam word for grandmother on mother's side - Amma's Amma :) )

After moments of thought marked with a smile, that beautiful lady replied
"Thonniya pola nadannaal AIDS varum"
(Literary Translation: If you walk without following any rules, the way you want to, you would get AIDS" What the reply means "If you live your life without any rules, you would get AIDS"

I bent myself at my waist sideways and took couple of steps, walking 'the way i want to'
"Ingane nadannalo?" :) ( Would i get it if i walk like this? :) )

She had a hearty laugh. The laugh of a person whose life is full of sunshine, cheer and happiness. Years later, that source of happiness is still as full as it ever was. I draw from it everytime i want inspiration.

And i live.


Conflict Management

It's been a long day at office.

I'd been away on the wonderful training for the whole day. And the organization had had some defaulter's list circulated. Of course, once the list was out, none of the projects wanted to be among the list. So majority of the seven hundred odd projects hit on the application developed and maintained by my team to upload their data.

Beyond straining the existing infrastructure, thus spurious activity spiked the helpdesk enquiry. Calls list grew longer and so did the tempers start to run wild. On hindsight, it looks interesting to note how people behave to service desks, when you are in the middle of it all it ain't that funny.

Especially when you realize how education has no relation with cultural, moral and ethical values of a person.

Late in the evening, Apoorva came to me "There's been a problem"

Me: "What?"

"Someone called up on the phone. He spoke to me as though the helpdesk was his servant. His PM/PL is not there and they say their data is missing. And not only that they have a very arrogant tone and they started advising me on how a helpdesk should be." The complaints were endless.

Two minutes later, the project team was in our location. I was surprised. It was like a local tamil movie. A bunch of dark heavyset guys walk into my wing looking around like goons. All they were missing were some hockey sticks. They look for Apoorva. And i stand next to Apoorva. They want to speak to him in the meeting room in private. I am in too. Then they tell half of their team "Thanks machi... naange paathukkurom (Thanks dude - we will manage it ourselves ) and the rest leave.

We get in the room. It took me by surprise that the entire team had come up not to get any isue resolved, but because , apparently , my guy had used the word 'Hell' while speaking to them and they wanted to settle scores. Now these are software engineers and leaders earning handsomely and who are expected to educated highly. And they are here, 8 guys to settle scored with one guy because this guy had used one word while speaking to them and they wanted him to apologize.

I had and will never have any doubt that Apoorva did not use that word. He is not capable of that. But he might have cut the conversation abruptly by keeping the phone down. He would do that, if you cross the limit. Anyways..

Apologize my foot - was the first thing that came into my mind. Rationale took over immedietely. What would have been the purpose? That i could come out as a hero? that i would prove a point? To whom? To four guys who think that it is more important for them to get an apology for using a word than anything else in the world?

What was really surprising was their attitude. Assuming that such a conversation including the word had taken place also, such a reaction as what they had had would have been expected only from uneducated people who had no values in life. It is only them who could have misplaced morals and ethic system as these guys.

I forced myself to smile and had nothing to say, when i realized that the whole conversation was going nowhere. Profusely apologizing, if their egos had been hurt, showed them the door. indicating that we all had better use of our time. After few hmms and hos, raised voices and faked accentual english statements, couple of them got my hints.

They say, you should never wrestle with pigs. You get dirty. The pigs also get dirty, but then, they love it.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

For Agnostia :)

Hey, i've been having visitors and poor me, did not notice this at all!! :) Welcome Agnostia! - Instead of replies to those wonderful comments - thought i would dedicate some lines in this space of mine in due thanks to our time spent on my editions :)

Am a big fan of monsoons, agnostia. I can love the light drizzle to the lovely wonderful downpour.. And that night, the drive to mayajaal was lovely, as it was raining out there and the rain only got heavier as the drive went on. Have you been to the ECR road in the night? Save the oncoming headlights, that road has a wonderful soothing effect on me. Especially that night. A smoothly driving car, wipers swishing past your line of vision and Kishore -da with Boss's ( Boss kaun hein, maloom hein kya ? :) ) music playing at a soft volume inside the car. The tarmac rolling under my wheels, crushing the water droplets and squeezing them out of the way with the lovely sound.

Trees and landscape rush past me in wet blur and in silent darkness. Once you cross the civilzation belt nearer to the city, you hardly would see residential lights on your side, save those glittering blinking lights of the restaurants on the way. And if you go during late hours ( which is what we wre doing that day) even most of those are switched off.

Smoothly purring machine, your senses humbled by the lovely consistent downpour - the strangely endearing sound of the wipers on the glass as the proof of that , and your heart leaping to joy with every modulation of kishore-da. Life cannot be better. It was a lovely drive all the way to mayajaal.

But the movie was a let down. I am not a big fan of SRK. Neither am a i a complete commercial movie nor an art movie critique. I take in movies for the sake of movies and enjoy every kind of movie. But this was a little too much for me. The story is simple - a very uncomplicated love story from the folk tale collection of rural rajasthan. A ghost in love with a lovely just-wed-wife. A husband who prioritizes money in front of marital companionship. Husband leaves town in business for 5 years. And the ghost lives as the husband in the household. The husband comes back, who's the real man fight arises and the Ghost finds a way to stay back with his lover by getting into the husband's body.

Mmmm.. A very colorful movie, a sensational Rani moukherji, double SRK and the magical charismatic screen presence of the Big B himself does not make a wholesome movie entertainer. Almost a continuous track of songs and story thinner than Lays wafer, made me start fidgeting on my seat quite soon! Even the songs that keep coming your way at the drop of every pallu or every sneeze are nto remarkable, so to say, i don;t remember the tune of even one song now :( My bottomline is , it is not worth spending your time on the same. For me though, the whole trip was worth that one drive to Mayajaal though - through the rain!

Have you ever chased the monsoons, Agostia? During those younger days, me and couple of my friends dared to do that adventure. We were leading the monsoon. We we re on the bike and we we driving on the same path that the clouds were traveling. We would go to a village, and within max 24 hours of us being there, it would start raining and then we would move on again. It was an amazing experience. Sometimes, i wish we could be more footloose.

I was in Kumarakom, last year, i think, in the middle of a hot summer season. The planned ferry ride to the sea was a welcome relief. We were in the middle of the sea, when, it rained. It was a complete reversal of natural systems. Within seconds, the skies darkened and the clouds poured. Most of us, except for a team member and me, ran to the shelter of the covered place inside the boat. The whole expanse of the rocking boat's terrace and it was just two of us facing the raindops.

On the whole, that was one rain i would not forget for a long time. Water was all around us. The expanse of the wonderful sea horizontally all around us, the sea under us hungrily devouring every single drop of rain amongst its small waves and the small crests and the clouds above us showering us with chill streams of pure aqua. I looked up and instantly my face was under a barrage of tinklinf incessent drop of water. I could have stayed there for ever like that. The rocking boat was almost adding to the trance. But what made it magical was the fog. Among this rain, the mist had swirled in to cover the shore all around us. All around us, all we could see was the expansive water land and nothing else. Water is almost all ifts forms - the sea, the clouds, the mist, the rain. It was as though were encompassed in serenity and simplicity. 10 minutes of sheer absolute bliss. I wish time had stood still there ( Ironically, for me, it had - my watch had stopped working about 10 minutes back due to the rain :) )

In the middle of a rollicking sea while rain lashes the water around you.
On the sands near the beach while rain spaks the timelsss sand grains around you.
On a terrace looking at the wind blows sea waves.
On the bike, wiping the rain drops that snake you face as you ride on
On the car, wipers swishing the water off your windscreen, never really succeeding in completely doing it.
Inside the house, holding the cuppa cappuchino watching the rain swash buckle outside the window.
Walking on the road, getting drenched right down to your bones and loving every minute of the same, fighting for a cup of yoghurt with your friends
Standing, shivering, under the Nair's tea shop sipping the best cup of tea from the shop with hot "parippu vada" or samosa

Monsoons come in varied flavours! :)

It's monday morning and i hope you have an fantastic week ahead of you!


PS: I've replied to your comments too. :):)

Sunday Evening!

Alrite!!! So it's been two days since i wrote the previous blog about being the nice fresh and sunny Saturday morning.

Almost 36 hours, 8 hours of shuttle, 300+ rs. on saravana bhavan breakfast, and 3 washing machine full of clothes later, here i am - on a Sunday evening. Don't know where time has gone.

Mmmm.. Let me see - Saturday morning was good - After the lovely breakfast with the friends of mine, i went around doing the usual chores - tel bills and usual bank visits. But this time, the bank visit was slightly longer than usual - am gonna open an account for my dear amma to get her some cash - wud mean more independance ( and more shopping ) for her :) and then it was hitting the shuttle court for some time. It has been quite some weeks since we played shuttle and it showed in the rustic movements that we had. I guess, i am growing old :):)...

Lunch was indulgence. Me and the other bachelor have discovered this dish called Special Andhra Chicken in a restaurant and we ravaged with phulkas and thoda sa rice. Since we did not have anything to do at home, Reddy Sr. suggested we go to Anniyan. Mayajaal was the only place where tickets were available and that too there was this major fuss they made about coming there early to pick up their tickets and stuff. I fell back to Anusha - the PR expert in my team. She seemes to have a great network already up and running and the guys in mayajal easily agreed to hold the tickets for us.

Spent some money picking up some new clothes and after thatthe evening was inside the illusions of mayajaal. I had seen the movie already and i guess i was lucky that way. Some wierd instincts of the theatre owners made them play the audio at an extremely high level. So much so that for every sond, i walked out searhching for excuses - pop corn, egg puffs, coke, mens room - all of them were viable excuses for me :)

Monday morning were almost a repetition of the prev day. SAravana Bhavan - and a lovely session of Shuttle. There was no one else in the cluba nd it was us 4 who had the court for ourselves and it was fun playing the competitive doubles. Need to get the habit of hitting it straight to the other man's racket out of my system though ( But me and Dustin won the higher no. of games though :) )

Lunch, a lovely nap, the wonderful Wimbledon finals and a nice dinner at Amaravathi past, here i am! - tapping away streaming bits of characters in this keyboard. This week is going to be crazy - am in a training session for the whole of this week - about OOAD - can u beat that????? :(

Hope all you guys have a great week ahead of u too - Hey all those on the other side of the globe ( i do have an ego, don't i ? assuming that ppl on the other side of the globe also read my posts :) ) how was the 4th of July fireworks?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Saturday Morning!

It's a nice sunny wonderful Saturday morning... GEtting ready to get to my shuttle game now. I feel the day is going to be the same as every weekend.

The ritual breakfast at Saravana Bhavan - its been going on for almost 4-5 years now. And then playing shuttle for about 4-5 hours. Lunch between the two bachelors ( Reddy;s wife and parents being in Hyderabad ) makes him a bachelor now.. A Worse one than me right now, he is not even accustomed to bachelor hood ha ha

Oh yeah - i've got to go pay my tel bills.. that;s gonna take some time though. :) and might decide to meet Kripa in the evening... She is prob bored out of her skin.. but dont know if i wud be able to entertain her and wondering if i wud be a big let down to her :)

Alriteee.. gotta go.. catch u guys later!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Look ma, it's a new dress!!

I've changed the look and feel of the blog.. Hope it's for the better !


For the lesser mortals who do not understand Webdings - the language of the heavens, well the above the scripture means

"I've changed the look and feel of the blog.. Hope it's for the better ! "

Writing in Webdings makes me go ding-a-ling with smiles :)

Calls from Yonder

Last evening, the insistent ringing of my mobile phone made me look away from the screen that I had been gazing for almost ages now. It was a number that was not stored in my device. Usually, such numbers are either credit cards sellers or wrong calls and I tend to ignore the rings. But this was a mobile number and an outstation number at that. I was almost sure this was a wrong call and as I pressed the green button to answer it, I was almost feeling sorry for the person calling, as he would lose money just to realize he had dialed a wrong number. But the voice that answered by 'Hello' brought a huge smile to my face.

It was Atticus Finch.

Well, not really the character from the timeless book, but the man who is so inspired with the book that he dons that identity in the cyber world of blogging ( and who knows where else ! :) ). The most remarkable attitude about this Atticus is his humility. He has scaled a lot of peaks and yet remains bow headed. From a self proclaimed basketball playing small town boy from down south in TN to an IIM graduate associated with the Tata Administrative Services, his journey has been one of achievements and no mean feat this! But on all this, he remains, to this day, the most humble soul that I ever knew.

I have seen him, pained by the hypocrisy that we call acceptance of Life. I have seen him miserable seeing the pain of others and the desperate want and need in him to somehow contribute. And contribute he does, with his time and most of the resources that he has. And to top all this, he has this unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He can debate about anything under the sun from occults to atheism, from mythology to nuclear physics ( well, prob not nuclear physics, but pretty near! :) ), from ethics to management! But among all this, what I will and can always remember is the humility.

I was not able to meet him yesterday. His time was completely booked by the professional responsibilities that he had. And all I got was a message late in the night that he had pack up for his travel early in the morning so, probably next time. I am not a childhood pal of his. I don’t even know, what I would have talked to him had I met him last night. But I did want to meet him. To see and feel unabashed admiration in the peaks that my friend has scaled and continues to.

This small bit of time and space is dedicated to the wonderful human I know.