Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How soon Vs How Deep ?

I read somewhere that a blogger should write often, and write small - so that people would visit and would read the posts. I've been thinking about it.

I tried to do this - from articulating about things or people that i felt strongly about, which makes my blog slightly longish, and not so frequent - i forced myself to write in pretty much frequently and with brevity.

Now, I definitely do have more posts in my blog, but i have less depth. How do we analyze things without writing long posts? Am not sure if i want to follow this new paradigm. I think i would revert to my olders self. :)

(Btw, has this post become long ? :) )

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas - Down Memory Lane!

**All Characters mentioned in this post is real and living. All relation to living claracters and examples are definitely intentional!! :)

Last night, I was walking through T Nagar ( Ensuring that my dear wife does not pick up too many things when she shops ) and I saw this street vendor selling the red color X mas caps. It immediately brought some fantastic memories and got me smiling.

I remember the Chris-ma, Chris-pa game ( and all the other games) that we played in our Office at Elnet. Dinesh being made to go from person to person with instructions ( all for just one chocolate!! :) ), Sharon stealing the banana from Divya’s Pongal bay decorations, Prabhu hiding under the table trying to escape from Deepa’s bashing and I having to distribute Christmas chocolates wearing a santa claus cap – come to think of it, I think we were total nuts!

It always leaves me with immense wonder as to how indelible some of the memories remain. I can still remember, the recipe instruction that Anusha had got from her friend to make bisi bele bath for one of our pot luck celebrations… I think it went something like:

1. Take cooker, add rice, and togaribele ( I still have no clue what this is :) ) and cook in cooker till three whistles… ( Ppl in anusha’s flat was telling later that they could hear Anusha trying to whistle. )
2. Take tamarind equal to one big lemon ( Imagine telling Anusha about “big” lemon – I heard she took and orange ) and …..
3. ( This is the best part ) For vaggaaarani ( this sounds like a queen’s name :) ) – little oil + Sasive ( sounds like some calling our SAsi.. :) ) + Karabevu
4. Add 4 and 3 and mix….

And to imagine – we had to eat whatever came out!!! :)

Ayon’s excuses for becoming fat was also amazing! – He blames it on him not having the refrigerator – reason? whenever he buys chicken, he has to eat the whole chicken prepared in the same night- and if he has to eat so much chicken, he must have enough rice also… :):):) So, you see, he is not to be blamed for getting larger :)

And of course, how can we forget apna Sharon – who even distributed sweets when Pallikarani was included in master_location table :)

I guess, Laks’s promise of getting a “vaira odyaanam” to Anusha is still not done!!!

I could go on and on….but the best thing to say about those times are best said by Bryan Adams in his ever living song – Summer of ’69:

……. Oh when I look back now, That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice, Ya - I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life………

…………….Man we were killin' time, We were young and restless
We needed to unwind, I guess nothin' can last forever - forever, no………..

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Car!

My friend gave his five year old Honda City for sale to a dealer. It's wonderful how we suddenly realize the attachment that we have to someone or something just when we are about to part from it.

Suddenly, we remember all the good things we have done together. Even those bad happenings suddenly get remembered with humor and an attachment we never felt before. Even the fact that we cursed when we had a puncture is recounted with a smile on the face.

We shifted our houses some months back, and we took a conscious call that we will give away all those knick nacks ( is that how it is spelt ? ) that we seem to have accumulated through the days. It actually came up to about 11 backpacks or so ( including the backpacks themselves :) ) I had given the job of checking to my wife to see if there was anything of value ( economic, not sentimental - i was clear ) in those bags. After she delcared it okay, we went and donated the whole lot to an orphanage.

I know that my old camcorder, our old dvd player and a lot of my old gadgets was sincerely given away, but somehow, the first silly heart shape that she bought for me, the photoframe which was never used ( but was intended for a specific photo), some nice handiworked gift sent to us from China and the only wall hanging that i had when i got married seem to have been left behind...

I know how they got unpacked. But everytime i pick one of these up and raise my eyebrows, her sheepish smile makes me give up.

But then, aren't these a verys mall price to pay for that smile, that small bit of happiness ? :)

The PGSEM Gang Dinner

One of the biggest worries of any college kid is that once you are out of college, you dont get back to your old friends. But for us, the gang of us who did our PGSEM in IIMB, this was last of our worries. We are all working professionals and fortunately, in the same company too!

So it was not too difficult to just get together for a dinner.  Teacher was as usual, the decider. And no one dared say no to her mail :) Dishes were decided, time was decided and menu was decided. She came with her lovely daughter.  And as usual, she came first!! :)

Mani - was apna PGSEM brand ambassador, wearing the new t shirt. But the center point of attraction was Mani with the latest addition to his family - Mani Jr. :) He looked so lovely.

Ashish babu came in a paukka gentleman with his sweet wife Sejal. They made such a lovely couple. They even had matching dresses. Ashish wore a yellow shirt and we all think it was because he wanted to match Sejal's dress color.. Sigh, what marriage can do to strong bachelors :)

Anand Babu - nothing has changed for him. He as usual started late, reached ur place the last. His dinner was punctuated by his status updates to his mother and his yet to be elected home ministry ( and to add to that - to update Teacher anout what he spoke on the phone :) ). And to prove nothing had changed, after dinner, now he is back to office!!

Anyways, the PGSEM gang remains THE Gang - absolutely nuts, absolutely cranky and "jolly good fellas" :):)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

We, The People, Part 2

Someone forwarded me this pic of the Mumbai rally participation.  And if this is the face of India, I am scared. Forget the himsa-ahimsa debate, here's a picture of what we, at large end up doing. Trying to hold up for a common cause, a national cause, but still immersed enough in our personal world so much that it takes precedence. (If you dont understand waht i mean, try seeing an enlarged view of the pic - the guy in the pic is busy with his cellphone!!! :) ) This pic is a fantastic image of our larger image. It shows clearly, where our preference lies.

Prbably i am being too harsh. Probably the lensman clicked when someone was genuinely trying to reach this guy.. and i happen to pick on just this one photo in the middle of so many. Who knows?

Btw, i have no right to the pic. This was forwarded to me as a forwarded mail. If there is any copyright on this pic, please let me know, and i shall remove this from here.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

We, The People

I was reading the report on Rediff, "After the terror, now it is the rage". There is ( or should i say, was - the report is on 4th Dec ) action all around. People saying that it is time we took some action, it is time we did something. And now everyone is thinking of doing his or her own bit. On Dec 2, Rediff seems to have run a feature, "How do YOU plan to make a difference?" Over the last six days, we have 327 posts there.

Interesting. Even heartening. But in the heart of hearts, i still have pessimism. Forgive me to be a dampener. Is a change really possible as soon as this ? Can we, like the movies, diffuse into a mellow yellow sunshine scene and print "End everything went well from then ?". I doubt. It takes a long time for change to happen and to make an impact. Will we be able to sustain our anger, our energy and our josh till then? Or will our day to day lives pull us back ?

I dont know where, but couple of days back, i read ( in one of the internet articles ) that the ppl in the citizen's rally were considering ( or contemplating ) non payment of taxes if they were not being used for our security!!! Would that help ? Is that the solution, or isn't that just a knee jerk reaction?

What we should be doing is to actively participate in the govt. When we make ourselves a participant of the govt, we will automatically be responsible for the functioning. Take one section of our sity, where we live, look at our own roads, and actively involve and follow the proceedings in the govt related to your area. Is the road condition being discussed ? Who are the contractors, what are the tendors? How much is it being quoted for ? Can we go and ask specific contractors whom we know as truthful to quote? Can we be involved in following up for the payment?

Can we participate in the recruitment of teachers in our schools ? Can we make recommendations to set the slaries of the teachers to make it more meaningful ? Can we audit the financials of the govt.?

One individual or a small group of individuals might find these tasks extremely difficult and painful. But if the combined energy of the citizens rally could be channeled into such activities - sustained, persistive activities, then, slowly, the wheels of change would start setting in.

The point is not to set up a parallel govt. It is to participate in the current govt. When there is participation, there would be more accountability and when there is more accountability, slowly, there would be straightening. And there would evolve leaders, who have the right education and the right attitude. And then, they would drive this country.

If not I, if not my children, utleast my grandchildren, could then hope to live in a much better India.

Gandhiji once said, Be the change that you want to see. I hope i will persuade myself to go beyond my selfish life to act on these activities. And i hope i will sustain.

I cannot pledge. I am not that strong yet. But i am on the path. I hope.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I Pledge

Everyone's talking about terror.

SMS, tickers, blogs, twitter - everything talks about how we can take it. Aren't we supposed to have reached our limits of accepting terror ? We should give it back? How can we be not prepared?...

Emails are flying. Lets spread the message. Lets get all Indians together. terror is at our doorstep and we have to stand united.

We forward this to hundred people and then, log out our systems, and walk out into our world. Then we spit on the roadsides, we jump signals, we bribe the policemen to escape a heavy fine for traffic rule violation.

In Chennai, OMR has probably the largest traffic by educated drivers. All the software companies attract all the big colleges and talented people. So are the roads the safest? Are the roadsides the cleanest? Nope!!!!!

I decided, i would simply delete those forward mails, and would silently make one resolution. To pledge. to be responsive and good to the country.

I Pledge.
Not to litter or to make my country dirty.
Not to jump signals and violate traffic rules.
Not to bribe policemen toescape from hefty fines.
To vote.

I Pledge.
To respect India.

For that is the first step in respecting the sacrifice that the brave policemen are making in Mumbai. and all over the country.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What are People?

Some of them are just names. Ramanujappa, Ravi, Paul....

Some of them are faces, they twist into a smile when they meet you. But when we don't see them, we don't miss them.

Some of them are words, they make you see and hear them.You know them, you interact with them. There is this space that they occupy near you.

But few of them, are identities. People who make you feel them. They talk to you. They are with you. You change with them. Sometimes, for them. You smile with them. You smile for them. They make you smile. They point this way and you see a part of life. They point that way and you see a differnt life

And then one day, they die.

And then you ask yourself. Why did this happen to me? It was so comfortable having them around. Couldn't they stay with us for some more time ?

There is a story of a Yaksha who asks Yudhishtira this:
Qn: What is the most wonderful thing in the world?

And Yudhishtira replies:

Each day there are many that die and yet the rest of us watching believe ourselves to be permanent. That is the most wonderful thing in the world.

Poignant, and yet painfully true.