Thursday, December 04, 2008

missing the canvas....

‘Mix the blue paint with yellow…and then add a dash of red….’
‘mm…yes…now color the portion of the eyebrows with this green pastel… No No...the pink is for the beauty dots on the cheek…be careful the smile is retained…yes yes…you can use the florescent for the tattoo ’


This would be more likely me giving an art lesson to a kid who found the skeleton in the biology lab, Ugly. Unfortunately as a kid I never had an opportunity to do that in our school inspite of unbearable desire to do so.

Admittedly as you can guess sometime in the mid eighties I was in love with colors.. I loved drawing and painting and often used to spend more time drawing the teacher’s face than listening to strange things like multiplication tables, acute angles(what’s so cute about that? ) and blah blah... I used to get scolded as frequently as it rained in cherrapunji for drawing people, dogs, cats and elephants in my maths notebook. Although I wish to claim my idols those days were Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt, they were not simply my league.!

Blissfully unaware was I of the fact that parents working in the same school were getting daily appraisal reports from villains (teachers) about their son who was doing exquisite art in his notebook instead of writing notes…Though son was aware of potential consequences and did diligently destroy the evidence from notebook before hitting home.

For fearing that they might use narco analysis (which must be like a dream come true for drug addicts) I was forced to explain the unnatural thinning of notebooks…I was so bad and uncreative at lying that probably Appa might have put his hands on his head and quipped in exasperation.

“Hell c’mon…you should be atleast good at this!!”

Well my thoughts was changing by the minute…and looking at him I though…

*bulb* “Waah…I like that pose … that’s something I never drew”. *bulb*

One day my dad thought enough was enough put me up for an extra hour at the art teacher’s classroom where I was allowed to draw and paint till I dropped dead…Though that was a wish that turned out to be false…I would get back home and still continue drawing or painting even at late hours in the night…And again I’ll get those warning to go sleep.

Think of the loss if Thomas pappan had admonished his bright son several years ago...

“Edison...switch off that damn bulb and go sleep …”


In almost similar parlance, I became an early victim which would have otherwise added a new genre of contemporary art form …something like Abstract Chekkuionism. A new level appreciated by only a select few, high on ecstasy and trance music.

Nevertheless I stuck to this passion and did occasionally win prizes in school camel color painting competitions… And that sense of pride when you see your painting up in the wall exhibiting the prize winners. I do not remember having felt so proud until months later , math’s teacher asked me to sit in unfamiliar territory in her class….

The bench.

It felt awkward after long being a permanent floor resident with fellow friends who though maths was invented to torture mankind.

In high school the passion for art dwindled. Though I never stopped drawing, subjects changed to beautiful amoeba’s , seductive paramecium’s and scenic digestive systems. While in college what I lacked in muscle power I managed to get even with guys by using creative skills to academic use. ….which meant morphing! Many of my friends have graced the torso of bikini clad actresses or found themselves in compromising pose.

Recently when a good blogger friend suggested to blog on my interest in art it's sort of making me guilty and sad that I have never painted on a canvas for the past 2-3 years…a passion which I held so close to my heart not so long ago…I was never trained how to draw or paint…sort of happy for it because when you become trained to a technique it ceases to be art…I ll stick to what art was for me as a kid...to draw or paint what I feel like and without rules and for my satisfaction…I am no exemplary artist…but I have immense peace of mind when I draw something...even on a notepad.....some kind off stress buster…

Now when I am busy buying stuff for trip and wondering what to buy for my kid nieces or nephew’s...its not hard to decide what to buy…the same stuff that I wished as a gift those days as a child….a box of color pastels …

P.S. I hope to reply to comments in a few days…..after I reach my good old city….till then auf Wiedersehen :-)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Don't forget those who left us..

And lets leave those who have forgot us.........

Achuthanandan:-
'But for slain major, not even a dog will visit his house'


Vilasrao Deshmukh:-
Bollywood tour with Ram gopal verma and Ritesh Deshmukh


Narendra Modi:-
Karkare’s family sources said Modi had dropped in on his own at the grieving family’s home, after the officer's kin had thrice told his officials that they had no wish to meet anyone
Karkare's widow and other family members have declined Modi's offer.

R R Patel
"Such small things keep happening in a big city."

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
"Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians spreading dissatisfaction against democracy. This is what terrorists are doing in Jammu and Kashmir."

When it comes to political arrogance, high handedness and incompetence all of em are the same…the same scumbags in different colors…They are not mere political leaders. They are the same people whom we have elected in the past…We must be blind if we elect any of these folks ever again…!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Indian Zeitgeist

Germany was brutally destroyed during the war. I don’t sympathize with nazi’s but its true that there were a huge number of civilian Germans who were killed during the war and its tragic proportions subdued just because they were on the wrong side of the battle…Not many know that 50000 people were killed in a single air raid in the city of Hamburg(source wiki ). Unfortunately people don’t talk about it in the same breath as what happened elsewhere.


Recently one of my good friends and a blogger asked me an interesting question.

“How did Germany become an industrialized and developed country inspite of the strict labour laws and destruction it faced in the war”


The rise of Germany post war is well documented and you can find details in wikipedia where it explains the wirtschaftswunder aided by american aid, currency devaluation and other measures. Besides these, having stayed here for sometime I could think about other german traits which might have contributed to phoenix-like recovery and the lessons we could learn from them.


Now the question is what makes the Germans special…Having worked with them and seen the locals I can make out drastic difference in work culture, ethics and attitudes. .

Law and order

To quote an example: - In the public transport system followed here, it’s not necessary for a passenger to show his ticket or pass to the bus driver. Neither do they have turnstiles in metro stations which validate your entry...

Why?

People here are expected to be honest.. It’s a virtue which is given extreme importance and people DO follow it most of the time. Ofcoz there are occasional ticket checkers in the metro but you would hardly find anyone traveling ticket less. I felt it was amazing that most people follow it inspite of the tempting scenario where you could actually travel without a ticket. Infact I have not seen this system in other European countries where the system wouldn’t enable you to board any public transport facility without a ticket. You may ask why Germans do it this way.

1) People are generally honest and obey the law.
2) The penalty on getting caught is huge. You could actually be denied a loan even after 10 years if your past record shows an indication of unlawful practice. It’s not a ‘one time pay the fine’ affair. A crime done, its baggage carries for a lifetime and people don’t think its worth to break the law.
3) Germans have a fascination for law and uniform. Infact they respect it so much which partly explains why Hitler managed to get people follow him with apparent ease.

Work Culture

There is no half baked approach to work here. Infact even the simplest of trade has to be mastered in perfection. To quote an instance, if someone has to start a saloon the person has to go through a three year full time course on hair dressing. It’s a system which makes you perfect at what you do. Infact here, there is no rush to finish school. They have 11 year schooling system instead of our standard 10. The result of this system is any work given to a german from painting a house to creating aircrafts is beau idéal.

In comparison the Indian instinct is to make things work somehow. The onus shifts from quality of work to how fast you do the job. Impressive in the short run but not long.

Another behavioral trait which is considered highly back home...”Not to say NO to anything” doesn’t work always here esp. as we Indians tend to overuse it to impress anyone. Germans expect you to be realistic and therefore it’s not considered offensive to ask for a pragmatic estimation. But they don’t appreciate if you don’t manage to finish the job in agreed upon time. A mistake often happening to many first time onsite software engineers.

This is an area where we need to draw valuable lessons. I remember our ministers blaming short life span of our roads on the monsoons. Our instinct is to put the blame rather than find the solution. Here, where the roads are punished even more due to the vagaries of nature, they still last for a lifetime because for them they perceive it as a challenge to create lasting quality infrastructure. Infact I could assume the german skills in heavy machinery was a result of shortage of manpower which forced them to innovate and create machines for every task. We are much better blessed manpower and weather wise and hence we haven’t been really ‘forced’ to innovate. At the same time the classic ‘our fate’ attitude for anything non-positive makes us settle in comfort submission zones.

Nationalism and Practicality

Germans have a unique sense of nationalism. They had consciously shed the German race theory and quickly resorted to nation building after the war. Ofcoz since a large number of Germans died in the war, they used auslander’s (outsiders... mostly Turks) for that. There was an inherent desire to catch up with the victors of the war and practical nature of Germans can be seen in subtle examples like the stark difference between the architecture in comparison to France if you notice comparatively newer design seen in Germany. France since it was less destroyed still carries the old European charm whereas Germans preferred the functionality over the charm. That doesn’t mean Germany is any less beautiful…Infact elegancy wise I think the squares and countryside here beats the French any day.

We still stick to beauty of grandiose designs than over practical use. We spend more money on monolith statues or pillars than the roads or public facilities. Sadly we even scuttle useful ideas from implementation under the clause of financial viability. Last year in the city where I live, they celebrated 100 years of the metro network (in a city with one sixth the population of Bangalore)… The price we pay for laid back and short sighted approach to infrastructure can be seen in our big cities. What they foresighted 100 years ago may not have been financially back then, but the results paid off. Our city administration should take cue from em and stop wasting years on “financially viability” studies for public infrastructure projects. Long term nation building should be given precedence over short term financial or political gains.

Relation with other European countries

I guess most of you might think that I have been supporting the Germans over the French in this post. I agree partly due to the fact that I have been living here and my friends here are Germans who have historic hatred for the French and that feeling is mutual. ;-D
Most Germans are sad that they are the portrayed the classic villains in Europe. But historically speaking almost all European countries have their shades of grey. Racism is prevalent in shallow mindsets just as much we would feel for other Asians living in our country and probably its least in Germany. If you go further back in history the supposedly peace loving Swedes and Norwegians were equally brutal during the thirty year war which most of us are not aware of.

There is still a rivalry between all the European countries which is not much in open ever since the European Union became functional. The practicality of co-existence dawned on them which keep this rivalry in small talks over a beer.

India needs to find the solution to the Kashmir problem. What we now have is a peaceful existence of co-hatred for which we spend hell lot of money and yet to no real solution.

Future

I must admit this country is not what it used to before...There is a huge disconnect between old timer Germans and the new generation. The new Germans did not have to struggle or work hard as the old timers…They are threatened by Indians and Chinese who are fast catching up and trying to excel in what they did previously. But am sure they will re-invent themselves considering this is a country which gave birth to people like Nietzche...Goethe...Einstein and Porsche.

We are almost in the same situation like the Germans were in late 50’s... There is an Indian dream in most of us to be successful. But the dream is restricted to a small percentage of population and a vast number still haven’t moved much between the 70’s and today. There was an inherent desire among germans after the war to be a dominant force in the world albeit in a different way, which the succeeded. What we need do to is mature as fast as they did...in thinking and practice with a zeal which goes beyond our definition of a multi-religious democracy which we are justifiably proud of. A nation which should be able to survive based on what we make, what we can offer and beyond fluctuations of currency conversion which we are currently heavily dependant on. Although we have made a progress over the last decade, it still got a lot of change to happen to be a force to reckon with.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Join the Room!

One day when all the world leaders were tired of the wars…economic crisis…summits...and shortage of scandals they decided to enter the yahoo chat room for some fun…It all started when the new prez elect installed yahoo messenger in his new HP laptop (window vista and change inside!)

Barack Obama joined the US chat room

Obama: Hi fellas.
Hillary: Hi mate…long time no see.
Obama: Yeah...and hopefully not for another 4 years.
Mc Cain: Good luck buddy...btw is Joe the Biden online?
Obama: nope...he is chatting with Sonila.
Mc Cain: Why do you have an Indian in your team…?
Obama: Dude she is VHP…I need her.
Mc Cain: VHP?
Obama: Very Helpful for President.
Mc Cain: Cool…Btw where do you plan for you first state visit?
Palin: Mr. Prez you should probably visit Alaska…a country of strategic importance for us.
Obama: John...thanks for all your support in the election…You know I mean it!!
Obama: I am actually visiting India…a place called Kerala.

Bush enters the chat room.

Bush: Hi …you guys in there?
Obama: Damn him again…what do we do?
Mc Cain: No worries...just tell him we are not here.
Obama: No one here…myself and Mc Cain are in invisible mode…Can’t you see that...
Bush: oops…am sorry!

Bush leaves the chat room

************************************************************************************

Achumaaman joined the Kerala chat room

Achumaaman: Comrades the new American prez is visiting our state.
Achumaaman: Since he is a socialist we need to give him a wonderful welcome.
Politburomember: Yes, Sakhaavu …I have taken care of it…I have even put banners throughout the state…
Politburomember: though there is a slight mistake with the spelling...we have a ‘B’ missing and a couple of A’s missing and mixed up.
Achumaaman: WTF?
Politburomember: it says ARRACK TODDY…anyways in his fast entourage he would read it as BARACK TODAY!!
Achumaaman: What happened to the ‘B’?
Politburomember: Sakhaavu...all of em were used in the recent Bandh.
Achumaaman: Oh never mind…chill.
Achumaaman: Guys did you see the new movie twenty-twenty
Politburomember: Nope...we boycotted it...Mammootty is no more ‘left’…The posters shows him in the middle.
Achumaaman: Damn…Let’s suspend him…

***********************************************************************************
As usual folks in US chat room got bored and they joined the International politics chat room

Obama: hey Zardari please clean up the mess in Pakistan asap
Zardari: How can I do…Don’t you understand that we have troubles with the Indians as well
Obama: Don’t worry dude...I have got MS word on it…
Zardari: I agree you guys are good with computers…and got MS word…but we have had three bloody wars!!
Obama: I mean Manmohan Singh’s word on it…He won’t trouble you…
Zardari: High fives Obama!!
Zardari: Hi...Sarah…

*Sarah clicks Report Abuse.*

Sarah Palin has left the room.

Zardari has left the room.
Gadaffi has left the room.
Sarkozy has left the room.
Akhito has left the room.
Nazarbayev has left the room.


Brown: Where are all the folks going?

Sarah enters Alaska chat room.
Zardari enters Alaska chat room
Gadaffi enters Alaska chat room
Sarkozy enters Alaska chat room.
Nazarbayev enters Alaska chat room
Akhito enters Alaska chat room

Brown: aaah...OK...I get it.

Putin enters Alaska chat room

Sarah has left the room.

Zardari has left the room.
Gadaffi has left the room.
Sarkozy has left the room.
Akhito has left the room.
Nazarbayev has left the room.


Putin: Hello any one there?
Putin: “KNOCK KNOCK”


Meanwhile similar things were happening in another room.

Raj joined the Mumbai chat room

Venkataraman has left the room
Colonel Nair has left the room
Balbir Singh has left the room
Mohan Yadav has left the room

Yahoo Alert: No one is still left in the room. Do you want to stay?

Raj has left the room.
Raj joins Indian Politics chat room.

Indian Politics administrator declines access.


*Inside Indian Politics chat room.*

Karunanidhi is sharing the song “Tamizha Tamizha”
Rajapaksha declines the file.

Thapar: Isn’t it amazing the Americans have finally voted a Brown leader to power.
Laloo: arey but we have been electing brown leaders for last 60 years!!
Gordon: And it has happened in UK as well for the first time 2 years ago!;-P
Laloo: LOL!! Gordon bhaiyya too good...Do visit Patna sometime.

Meanwhile Bush was alone in the US chat room.

Al Queda: Hi…asl?
Bush: asl….what does it mean.
Al Queda: Ammunition shotguns and launchers.
Bush: You see...am currently de-facto president. I ll check with the new Prez elect...btw what was your name...Could you spell it?
Al Queda: Al as in Al Gore…Q as in Kuwait…U as in urgent...W as in war…A as in America…D as in destroy…and A as in asap!
Bush: Thanks dude…I ll let him know…Cool name you have btw…would love to meet you.
Al Queda: me too.

Suddenly a virus attacks all chat windows. The virus was spreading like wildfire….A stranger started visiting all chat windows.

God: Your appraisal is coming soon. Due to economic crisis in heaven we would have to send few of you to hell. Please be prepared for the lay offs. Your role change would be communicated shortly after reviewing appraisal presentations.

It echoed somewhere in a voice chat that was still open…

“RUN LALOO RUN!!”

P.S. Please take part in this for a cause..its fun too..

Charter For Compassion

Friday, November 14, 2008

An 'ism' misconstrued!

I have been tagged by Cris and quite a serious tag it is... No rules to list, it’s about writing your opinion on feminism.

Now this was a really foreign topic for me.I first heard this word in Suresh Gopi movies where he would be accusing a lady IAS officer/ journalist of being a feminist blah blah…and more blah…
Later on I began noticing these words on the covers of magazines like Femina, still having no clue what was this all about…

And finally when I am tagged I began wondering what the heck is this all about!

I checked in wikipedia and it says Feminism is defined as the belief of the political, social, and economic equality of women. Well I couldn’t find a fault with what was written there and I wondered why there is so much hue and cry about it…

Feminism in principle is noble and necessary but it seems that the society due to radical feminism have given negative connotations to the whole idea. Men often look at feminist as someone who doesn’t trust them. Men often think feminist are after domination over men…These concepts are probably due to the wrong approach followed by many feminists...Its not having the large scale social agreement, as say a concept like “NO to racism” which is universally agreed. Coz the idea of feminism itself is skewed.

My idea of feminism largely agrees to the posts written by Cris...Pareltank and Silverine. I think the essence is in principal, equality and mutual respect. Atleast from my knowledge reading blogs, I have felt the crux of the problem for most Indian woman are generally restricted to work sharing at home, concept of dowry (which I wholly detest) and equality in office.

Well the power to bring this equality is in hands of woman…and they can be done in an eloquently silent way. I generally believe a person who influences us most as a child is our mother. At my home we have a certain set of rules (which ceased to exist as rules and became voluntary practice when better sense prevailed) which we follow…We all wash our plates ourselves after dinner…a habit which was inculcated as a child…We did our little job in the kitchen like dehusking and grating the coconut…making tea…cutting veggies ocassionally and like that…We washed our clothes ourselves until the washing machine arrived…and while my parents worked elsewhere we managed the home ourselves… For all these things I suppose I must have put up a fight as a kid and even tried to blame parents for child labour…;-D

But I guess more or less these were implemented by dad for two reasons…

1) To help reduce the workload on Mom
2) Just to make us prepared for the future…

And seriously am grateful for what he did there…And its not a stead and fast rule…we were never asked to do these during our exams...And I know that at times when we were going to kitchen to wash our plates Amma would try to come and do it for us because for her the motherly instincts ingrained over time (from older generations) was making her probably guilty!! . Thanks to Dad he never entertained it.

This is the whole point because I think any future parent should try to inculcate such habits in children... I remember that I used to find it demeaning when dad used to sweep the verandah in front of our house because that’s what dad’s were not supposed to do…Atleast as a kid I was probably a male chauvinist coz the society told me how it was supposed to be…Men don’t DO IT!!
And now when I look back I think it was pretty cool to clean your own house…or wash your own plates …and that’s the way it should be done!! All the ideals of feminism can be implemented by raising children properly and making them realise that you as a boy doesn’t entitle you to be pampered...neither a girl should shy away from having some grease on her fingers…


Many of the things shown in media like a husband cooking for his wife when she is tired from office is just exaggerated romanticism …Its shown as if the husband is doing something extraordinary...unfortunately woman generally glorify it by calling it ‘cute’… Stranger that a guy who knows to cook is even considered as bonus in a relationship. I rather thought it was a minimum standard and not anything to say hallelujah about…Well the point is things like cooking or cleaning the toilet is not cute for the average person and is a chore. So I wouldn’t blame if a partner says work should be shared….its natural extension of a good relationship which would be followed without even having to mention it….


Ever since I have come abroad…besides the place...culture etc...One thing at struck me here is how woman in general are so different here...They laugh as loud as men do in the buses or trains…They go out alone in night…Do all the shopping themselves…so many of em are cab or bus drivers...They are simply equal…I don’t think they have ever felt like given a second fiddle status which unfortunately is the case back home...One of my colleagues (her husband works in the same site as ours)accompanies us for lunch usually and her husband goes for lunch with his friends…I think it something of a taboo back home where a husband and wife is supposed to have lunch together…I thought how mature and sensible the guy was too…trivial things but a massive difference in perception the society has.

At the same time woman should learn to distinguish between men who are simply chivalrous and men who do it for you coz they think you are the weaker sex and out of pity…I think its tough to find who those sort of folks are…Don’t mix romanticism with own self respect!!

Probably the onus is on woman to define their ideals of feminism…I sincerely wish the woman of this generation brings the change taking into confidence men who must be scared or who have wrong notions….


Anyone who is interested can take up this tag!!

P.S. Listening to song from Hum Dono..If there are oldie fans out here...listen to another of my favs...damn they copied the jingle for om shanti om.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Indebted

This is a humble attempt at writing a story and its pretty long too...Do read when you have all the time in the world....and the story is heavily flavoured in malayalam...Please excuse coz this is my longest post too..:-)

************************************************************************************************


As he woke up to the rings of palli mani * , Appachen had as usual made kattan kaapi ** ... Almost every day as he lazily pulled the bed sheet below half open eyes and turned towards the teapoy he knew what awaited him…The glass of kaapi glowing under the sunlight glimmering through the window and wafts of steam swaying and then disappearing, drunk in that daylight glory. Appachen knew, he loved it.

Joemon also knew Appachen would be back soon and he ran towards the nearby brook armed with Ummukiri*** secure in his cuddled palm. On his way he plucked a fresh coconut leaf which he would need to fashion a crude tongue cleaner like most people in his village did.

"Appachennu tooth paste medichaal enthaa?"

He asked himself while spitting out the salt flavored Ummukiri.

"hmm...chilappol Appachennu Colgate ishtallayirkkum "

He kept murmuring to himself…


Feeling bored with the usual routine he began twisting his head against the fingers stationery in his mouth and soon started laughing thinking how silly it was to brush that way. In a few minutes he was done and cupping his hands into the stream he splashed water on his face. After wiping with the thorthu he walked leisurely back home.

He forgot to drink Kaapi that Sunday.

***********************************************************************************

Josekutty is a sturdy man with a frame that was slender yet tough, although he was way beyond his youth.... Farmers all look the same, he tells anyone who comment about his excellent physique.. As he walked back home from the church he was greeted by Thomas who was sitting in the chayakkada(teashop)..

"Josekuttyee…How are you doing…Christmas is coming soon."

"hmmm"

Josekutty answered back with disinterest, eager to stop any further conversation…
"Christmas is coming soon" That was a statement and a reminder at the same time.
He kept wondering as he walked briskly towards home.

"Appachaa am here…." Joemon yelled.

Joemon was crouching near the hen roost and playing with the colorful pullet in it.

"Ah….are you still there? Get ready for the Sunday class..."

He ran towards Appachen and looked inside the bag he was carrying. There was just some muringa(drumstick) which he plucked on his way home. Joemon wondered how long it has been since they had some fish for lunch on Sundays but he didn't want to ask Appachen...

He held appachen's hand and they walked towards house.

The spartan home tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the town was abode of Joemon ever since he remembered….There was nothing much to say about the house which looked like a artifact of past while neighboring houses were adapting to modernity of life….There was no television ..no mixie…and no telephone…

Appachen went straight to the kitchen and started fire in the aduppu…After putting rice on the aduppu he went outside to the parambu…He had more mouths to feed. But he was interrupted by Joemon…

"Appachaa…ente uduppu thechitilla"

Joemon was getting ready for the Sunday class and Appachen hurriedly went inside and took the shirt from his hand to iron …It was taking lot of time for the isthirri petti to warm up…it seemed like an indefinite wait just like his life.

"Christmas is coming soon."

Why were those words still ringing in my ears? Appachen mulled over as he bid goodbye to Joemon. While he stood on the verandah watching his son walk away, he twitched when he heard the rice boil and threatening to dislodge the lid. And he hurried back to the kitchen.

After making lunch he set out to the parambu to feed the other two in their house. They started bleating as they heard the master walking towards them. Malutty the goat and her little lamb Appoos. He collected fresh leaves soaked them in the gruel and fed them.

There was lot of work to do…Wash Joemon's clothes…plough the fields….sell the jackfruits and ground the coffee….And he set out to what was most important...because Joemon had school next day.

It wasn't long before he came running from the class. He threw his sling bag and ran to the parambu to meet two of his best friends…

There was the obvious bleat and Joemon smiled as he ran towards Malutty and Appoos.

"Appoose…ninakku Kanji kittyo"

Before he could ask Malutty the same, both began licking his sweaty hands…the salty sweat was probably a dessert for the lambs…Joemon began giggling because it tickled him.

He began caressing Appoos head and looked into the eyes of Malutty. Malutty looked back in satisfaction and understanding. She knew Appoos was always safe with Joemon.

"Mone….Don't waste your time…Don't you want to have Kanji?"

"Appachaa…I am coming!!"

Joemon bid goodbye to his friends and ran back home.

"Mone…Don't waste your time like this…if you want to go to SB College like Paul chettan"

"What will Paul chettan do after that?"

"He will work and make good money…He can buy anything he wants after that"

Joemon paused while Appachen said that during the simple meal Appachen had prepared...Kanji with muringa thoran and chammanthi podi….There was a lot to aspire for!

The next day after Joemon had left for school , Josekutty started his work in the parambu as usual…The usually silent neighbourhood was interrupted by the horn from an ambassador across the narrow road…

Two kids came running from the house and hugged the suitcase which the driver was unloading…Peter was back from gulf for his Christmas vacation…His wife and ammachi radiated in happiness…and his children seemed to already figuring out ways to open the suitcase.. Before getting inside the house Peter glanced at Josekutty…


"aaah...Josekuttyee pinee kaanam…innyum samayam ondello"

"yes…yes"


Josekutty went back to plough the ground but his thoughts were elsewhere…As he dug harder into the ground he mocked himself in wonder to unearth a nidhi !
Across the house Peter was enjoying a splendid meal set for him…

"hmm…aa Josekutty ithu verryum pacha pidichilla alle?"

"Well...he is a man of self-esteem...Do you think he will ever ask for a loan…I don't know how he is managing after the crops failed this time"

"Hmm…maybe that's why he still walks with his head held high in spite the troubles...Josekutty is a different man".


December was half way through and Joemon was happy with his school closing for vacations… He ran as usual to meet Malutty and Appoos for his daily conversation…

He promised Appoos that he will spend more time with him after the vacation begins…Joemon took out the banana which he had concealed in his pockets and fed it to his beloved Appoos…He had to occasionally turn back while Appoos relished the fruit, wary of Appachen who might be out in the Parambu…His lunch was not supposed to be shared.

Luckily Josekutty was relaxing on the chair after a tiring day and cooling himself by spinning the thorthu over his torso…

"How was your school today?"

"It was nice Appachaa….Father Vadakkedathil told us to enjoy the Christmas and pray for a good next year"

"Appachaa...Is Peter uncle back? I saw Rini and Varghese fighting over a ….."


Joemon paused…That was none of his business to check neighbours and he ran back outside…
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December 25th

After the midnight mass…Josekutty and Joemon were walking home…
The little village was lit up and the christmas stars hung outside homes tried to fight in vain with glory up in the sky….Ladies hurried home and Joemon could hear them discussing about the spread for breakfast which they had planned…

They reached home and it was 3:00 am…But he was not feeling sleepy after the long walk..

Joemon ran inside the house while Appachen waited to close the gate…Probably he was too shy to watch his son..

"Appachaa….Cycle!!! oru Cycleoo!!!!!"

Joemon's excitement was implicit...It was a gift which he never expected….however he secretly wished…But a Cycle!!!!

He ran towards Appachen and gave him a warm hug…Appachen's happiness knew no bounds as tears tricked from his face which he quickly wiped off before Joemon could see them..

That's when Joemon took out the Cycle and ran outside to show it to his friends…He heard the familiar bleat in the darkness…But did he miss one…

"Appachaa….where is Appoos?"

"Appoos poyyi mone…he wanted to stay elsewhere...so he left…You have Malutty anyways"


That's when the world came crashing for Joemon….Appoos is gone…

The next day morning he went again to the Parambu...Probably Appoos might have comeback…But all he could see was the sullen face of Malutty…He hugged Malutty and asked her why Appoos had left.

He did not understand her bleats for the first time...

**********************************************************************************
Josekutty was a proud father today…He thought that he was like Peter now….And Joemon would be proudly showing his cycle to friends when the school reopens…

Few days later Joemon was walking towards the church when he heard a familiar sound..

And that came from Chacko uncle's Yerichi kada

"Appoos ee"

He yelled as he entered Chacko's shop.

"hmm…yennaadaa.?"

"Appoos…Appoos akathu ondu"

"hmm…ninte Appannu kaashum kodithittum ondu"


Tears broke as Joemon began trembling...His feet went cold and his mouth dried…
Chacko could kill Appoos!!

He couldn't bear it and ran home...

"Appachaa…" he cried as he entered the house..

Hearing the desperate plea Josekutty came out from the kitchen…

"enna patti?"

"I saw Appoos….at Chacko uncle's shop…please don't kill him"


Josekutty was stunned and expressionless…He had sold Appoos for a Christmas gift…He just wanted to be like any other father…

Was he not? He wondered…

He hugged Joemon who was still crying….

"I ll get Appoos back…are you okay "

Joemon was now silent and just hugging his dad and resting on his shoulders…He did not speak..

The lingering silence was making another question in Josekutty’s mind very vociferous. He had attempted to ask it many times. He perceived intuitively – this is the moment.

"Do you want a mother…Mone?"

Joemon was still silent…and it was excruciating for Josekutty..

"Mone…then what do you want?"

Josekutty asked him again…

And Joemon lifted his face and with the faintest of smiles replied to his dad..

"Appachaa…I only want Appoos to have his Mother"

Josekutty stood up , and walked to the bedroom….He opened the suitcase and glanced at the photo of Theresa which he had kept beneath it…He smiled at her…almost murmuring…"Your son"

After putting a fresh shirt…He walked out towards Peter's house…It was time for a debt…

A debt worth having.


********************************************************************************
* church bells
** black coffee
*** flavoured charcoal

Folks do read this post in pareltank..

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A future with memories of past and moments of present!

I have been tagged by evergreen lady of blogosphere...Silverine…

The Tag

Two questions from the past, present and future. Answer them and then tag your friends from the blog-o-sphere. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and you are all set.

Yesterday

Your oldest memories...

I was probably 3 or 4 years old…and Mom was feeding myself and bro, rice and paavyakka (bitter gourd) thoran each urula(dumpling of rice, curry and sabji made into balls) at a time in turn to both of us…Those are the faintest of memories I have of me as a kid. I am not sure what was the curry but am sure there was paavyakka…We must have looked like hungry dogs trying to grab each Urula!! ;-)


What were you doing ten years ago?

I was at my XIIth grade at school and concentrating in my studies. Hours of preparing myself in anticipation for the class next day with a list of doubts to clarify with my teachers. Filling ink in my three pens (black, blue and spare blue) and sharpening pencils for the geometry class... At the labs I did all experiments thrice to verify the results and checked in library for the latest trends in the world of science. Used to hurry from home after skipping breakfast so that I could sit in the front bench at class...

Oh!! Damn my classmate is a blogger too!! (Pooja you are tagged and please say this is all true.;-P!!)

Today

In office time had fun chatting with german colleagues while they were finding delirious pleasure blasting French colleagues.. .aah...how much they hate each other ;-P
Called home...Marked the day off from Calendar lying near my desk in anticipation of the trip home...And today the countdown meter says just 30 days more… :-)
There is an underlying excitement which I guess all people staying away from home would understand.

Tomorrow

Should try again to cut the chicken which was not possible today because it was frozen too hard…Damn these german chicken's work out it seems!!

What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?

Obviously I ll be having approx 14 kids and I ll be diversifying my investment…A couple of Mathew Jr’s. would be trained to have domain knowledge in engineering…another couple would be motivated to become doctors…a couple would made to do accounting in home...and rest would be asked to paint...swim or blog….Juniors who don’t do good at appraisals would be send to church camp and given a warning about lay offs from the family.

If you build a time capsule what would it contain?

I think such a time capsule would preserve memories of childhood and my collection of photographs and old drawings…Besides I ll have a can of Budweiser and all videos from YouTube downloaded in a hard disk..

I tag,

Pooja
Praveen
How do we know
Cris
Abraham

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Above the ‘Law’… Not me either.

*Over a crackling radio*

Five, Four, three, two, one………

*And the rockets fire. *

India's first cosmonaut takes off on a mission to moon…

"Aaj Tak TV camera zooms to cosmonaut Yuri Chekku who was sitting inside the lunar module of Chandrayaan 111. Pyaare deshvaasiyoon dekh lo hamara garv aur abhimaan oopar jathe hue…manzil ki aur…Bharat ka pehla cosmonaut Sriharikota ke janata ko haat dikaathei huei nazar aa raha hein."

Over the mission radio in lunar module:-

MN: "Yuri...Yuri Chekku...Cobra 1 2 3….craft deviating from path…Mission to be aborted"
Yuri Chekku (desperately):"Pleaaaaaaaaaaaase….Madhavan uncle pleaaaase….Don't exterminate me…"

Madhavan uncle clinically presses the red button.

*A massive explosion up in the sky…and the GSLV rocket falls crashing down into pieces*

"Ente Ammmooooooooo"

*A massive thud and Yuri Chekku falls from his bed after the frightening dream.*

Damn again….another childhood dream comes crashing down…Why I have to take all the risky jobs!!

Space flight is a dream of every child. But in my case I knew it was not a possibility coz I think a roller coaster ride itself is one of the most dangerous feat done by man which requires years of mental preparation and physical training. Moreover I was not exemplary at school in science subjects like Physics and Maths. Though not that bad, considering I was quite good at multiplication esp. with zero which my Math teacher did not appreciate due to strange reasons. And my physics teacher taught students, Force= mass * acceleration by displaying live the force generated while the mass (read ME) was accelerated (read THROWN OUT OF CLASS).

Probably the mistake lies in the way we teach our kids subjects like Physics and Maths... How can you expect kids to believe in the strangely named Greekish and Romanish laws…? Personally I never took Pythagoras seriously coz I was under the impression it was some sort of a dinosaur. And again it was hard to believe Newton's law coz a normal kid would just eat the apple if it fell on his head. Moreover I never stopped watching Tom n Jerry per se and the cartoon was consistently proving that there were no laws as such, which made it harder for me to believe folks like Archimedes.

I tried my best to appreciate these subjects as I reached high school. But for me Pascal was always a rascal. I never understood that law…During engineering studies I was forced to study Heisenberg's uncertainty principle...uh...a law which even Heisenberg is uncertain about and yet Kerala University expects me to memorize it!!…Besides, there were no movies where they showed mathematicians or physicist as heroes, while all woman drooled over Indiana Jones who was merely a nomad with no particular aim in life…And when finally Hollywood made a movie about a Mathematician it was called "A Beautiful Mind"…as if there is so much romanticism involved in formulas and equations .What an irony!….No wonder by end the of college I knew more of Max Payne than Max Planck..

But no one can blame me for not being scientifically inquisitive…I have had my fair share of science experiments trying to squeeze the dough (which mom had prepared for the chapatti)into empty toothpaste tubes…My idea of a sandalwood flavored toothpaste did not go down well with folks though…Further scientific exploits like attempts to "cool" television set using ice cubes only ended up in blown remains…That was a humble attempt to prove parents that I was not wasting time watching television while they were away…Neither were attempts to study electromagnetic inductions by giving minor electric shocks to bro consider research worthy. Not successful experiments...but you learn from failures too...right?

Well learning science has become a lot easier now. When I was a kid the only motivation for me was to win a Nobel Prize the chances of which dwindled each passing year…and that I had sworn at my physics teacher that I ll see him again only after I win the Noble prize was a bad bet after all. Poor old man might be still waiting. (Or is he..:-P).

However physics laws have evolved over the years.The other day I saw a kid trying to memorize Thackeray's third law of Reaction.

"For every Bihari there is an equal and opposite Manoos reaction."

Inquisitive me asked him what was the first law.

"A politician continues to maintain its state of rest or of uniform lethargy unless acted upon by an external election force."

Sigh…Kids now know a lot better!!

******************************************************************************************************************
Today is the third anniversary of this blog…A big thanks to all readers who have motivated me to write this long…Dedicating one of my all time favorite song to all of you…

This song is also an advanced badminton learner video mastered by only a select few players in the world.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Its party time...

Last Saturday I was invited by a malayalee uncle for a party at his house and as I am obliged by German law (which roughly when translated means “Free food don’t say No”) the offer was gracefully accepted with an emphatic YES.

And years of training and rigorous practice has taught me two things:-

1) Starve yourself four hours before any party for maximum utilization.
2) And two, your stomach already knows there is a party coming, so it’s your duty or karma to meet the hype.

And so after emotionally preparing and giving sufficient time for the afternoon mutton curry to digest, myself and my beloved stomach waited in anticipation for the clock to strike 6….

And precisely at that moment I embarked on this noble journey for a worthwhile cause. After an uneventful ride till the house I reached the party place and was graciously welcomed and as always during such events the inbuilt sensors in my nose activated and began a complicated process of analyzing.

*chicken fry...CLICK…mmm smells awesome…set Priority 1...CLICK…search alternatives…mmmm…Fish curry…doesn’t meet CMM level 5….priority 3…CLICK…..ALARM...ALARM…..sensor detects presence of dangerously attractive substance….sensor match analysis in progress…CLICK….search matches history…CLICK…Budweiser detected….High priority…Shortage detection software launched…CLICK…Safe supplies confirmed...CLICK……Human recognition sensor requests activation…Humans around you ….Activate basic courtesies program…CLICK*

Note that this complicated process caught over a slow motion camera is over actually in .00003 seconds after a performance improvement program was initiated recently. This has helped in quick launch of BCP (Basic Courtesies program) which in circa 95 did not work most of the time according to Mathasree Pithasree Cyber Patrol (MPCP).

Me:” Haa…Kuttiachen uncle…what’s so special about the party? Your son got married is it?”
Babu Uncle: “mm…my son got married in 1997…and btw did Kuttiachen really ...”
Me:”uh…my specks…all these dust…uh….where is Kuttiachen uncle”

*SAVE YOURSELF program activated….high intensity blunder…last adavvu to be used…Pretend nothing happened. Pretend nothing happened. CLICK*


*Navigate to aunties’ zone….less risk area…*

But all hopes were dashed when a peculiarly talkative aunty creates mess in the ceasefire zone.

TA: “aah.…mone…I finally bought the computer”
Me:” great... So hows your new PC, aunty?
I guess by now you are an expert.”

TA: “oh yeah…its all fine…am so good at it…aunty virus um install cheythu.”
Me:“WHAAT?...aunty virus um install cheythoo?? :-O”
TA: “athe mone…aunty virus install cheythudei...every one says aunty virus install cheyenam ennu”
Me “aah….how can you...how did you…how…..!!”
TA: “computer medichappol those guys gave me a CD too...Norton inte anti virus aayirunnu”
Me: “duh!!”

*complete failure day….complete failure day…..navigate to German zone*

And I finally met the beautiful german wife of young german-mallu guy for whom the party was hosted.….

Me: “Hello Catherine….congratulations”
Catherine: “Danke schon…Das...ich Bitch...Ich bin…@#$#@%@#%.”

“Thengakolla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Where is the food...my good lord…save me!!”

HAPPY DIWALI TO ALL!!!!!!!



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Professionally angry..

In office sometimes our work life influence how we speak even for personal questions ,so much that last week one of my managers’ asked a pregnant colleague when the deployment date was for her baby and whether all milestones have been passed.

She replied back saying a visit to the doctor confirmed that the product was free of bugs and would be deployed as scheduled and probably ahead of schedule. That was when the configuration manager wanted to know more about the configuration of the delivery and she replied it was Boy.

It also often happens when we don’t get things done our way we resort to shakedown testing of errant colleagues. One person was even ignominiously asked to go get a patch!! The person changed for good and is a completely different version now.

Well this is probably not restricted to just one industry as I hear from colleagues working elsewhere like:-


In the Hospital, furious anesthetist 1 to anesthetist 2
“What kind of a person are you...How could you be so numb? “

Overheard at the psychiatrist’s conference
“You say another word and I ll split your personality!!”

Dentist’s over a brawl
“I ll fight tooth and nail to get it from you…Mister!!”

Between Politicians
“WHAT…WHAT did you call ME? A common Man!!”

Overheard in NASA.
“And who do you think you are…Mister Asstronaut!!!”

Pilots trying to be civil
Take off!!

Teachers
I ll teach you a lesson that you ll never forget!!

God’s not in a good mood.
To hell with you!!

Desi Electrician’s first day in USA
It was a cultural shock!!

Plumber to another Plumber
“And you beating me…eh. Talk of pipe dreams!!”

Upset plastic surgeon
“No point saving face here...I ll come after you anyways.”

Chef fights
Now you cook up some story...but it doesn’t cut any ice with me.

Nuclear scientist
Your reaction was way unacceptable Dr.Mehra.

Wall Street guys
I ll surely give you a run for you money!

Swiss watchmakers
I ll give you a hard time…

Ophthalmologist
We don’t see eye to eye on this matter.

Weather man’s curse
I forecast a miserable life for you.

Municipal worker to Boss
Rubbish. Rubbish…This is all what you talk! Uh!!

It seems we need to split our work life and personal life.
And I realized it even more when my colleague told me she delivered a baby boy and exceeded customer satisfaction of his Dad and Mom...Duh!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

In the name of the Nair, and of the Papoos and of the Aboobacker!!

Besides the sound of cluttering knives and spaghetti that was more interested in giving me an Italian facial than navigate towards the mouth, lunch was going fine until someone thundered….

“Could you pass on the salt, NUMB ASIAN?”

Wolfgang didn’t bat an eyelid while requesting, though it did mightily offend some ayyo paavam guy in the lunch table. Later in the day with profound feelings my colleague expressed regret at the racial slur which he seemed to regularly face from Wolfgang…

NAMBESAN WAS ONE HURT GUY!!

As was done in college's back home, he began considering ways to import his Chettiar uncles to teach the Wolf’gang a lesson or two…Thirunelveli style!! Thankfully it cost me only two Budweiser’s to get him back in good spirits and ofcourse comfortably numb…Needless to say, as a country blessed with surplus of names ranging from Mukherjee’s to Chatterjee’s and Venkatapathy’s to Chakrapani’s, we have often the most mispronounced name’s in the world. And this was no mere flash in the pan.

Infact many folks in office have asked in hushed tones whether SubHash did really trade in it… or why NiThin was not really thin…mea culpa, partly my fault I taught european colleagues how to pronounce Indian names...

Banerjee became B-energy
Nambiar became Numb-Beer
Naidu
became N- “I Do”

As a result one fine day, B-energy, Numb-beer and N- I do did give a nice sermon to this madrasi…what to say, they got it wrong…Madras is just one of our little offshore colonies thampi!!… Kadavulei …all my fault!!!

Talking of names, I have a name that sounds great only if you have a Dr. besides it like in Dr.Drake Ramoray and my brother has a name which he should have shed by the time he was three…But then its in our genes to stay young forever and it was a greater plan by our forefathers to have a dozen kunjumon’s, a couple of kunjachen’s and a sprinkling of kuttitachen’s maintained in police records of changanasseri every financial year…a well executed family tradition for the frigging old to stay young forever… In our household even Sarah Palin is fondly called Sarahkutty!!

As people often are reminded more of unusual mallu names which actually are derived from ancient Sanskrit sloka’s (for eg. Sunny Thomas comes from the sun god), we often miss the gems from other states…Other day my roommate told me about his cousin who is apparently called ‘New Begin’…
Yes, it’s a name with all due respect to his bro must have come from parents who were not happy with the elder one and all hopes were on a ‘new beginning’ in their sordid lives…
If there are heights of creative names. This is it!!
Thank god, he did not have a younger bro who would in all probability might have been ‘Apocalypse Now’!!

As New Begin is currently onsite in New York I have to stick with names here. But again germans have a weird sense of humor coz someone like George Fock doesn’t have the best surname in the world for a pleasing ‘Good morning Mr.…..”
As a matter of fact, I am now used to an office having boring Boris and wonder Gunther and such names don’t scare me anymore!! Hitler though does…

But who am I to blame about names…After all back home our people understand this catastrophic problem and I have learned to know that most kannadigas are either a boss or a helli saar….most malayalees are aliyan’s and machambi’s and most north Indians are baap of someone!! Who cares about real names anyways!!

P.S. watching my city video..:-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lover's path*...

I have been tagged by Cris and '4sometime' I have been reading her musings in the wonderfully designed blog of her’s…. a tag on little something’s about love….:-)
One of the most used four letter word in the English language(probably overtaken by another four letter off late) and this tag couldn’t have come at a better time…but then tag’s are like the bailout packages of the blog world and it helps to move on…

RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.

1. If your lover betrayed you what would your reaction be?
I’ ll run as fast as possible to the bank...probably she is still using my credit card!!

2. What’s it that you see in an ideal partner?
Expertise in making a good fish curry besides honesty.

3. What, according to you, is the perfect date?
Go for a romantic Adoor Gopalakrishan movie and go to a park and discuss about it. . I make good first impressions…;-P

4. Would you like to have children soon enough? Or would you wait till your mid-thirties for the first child?
Ofcoz .at least a dozen….

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
I don’t know what to say… Nelly Furtado says she doesn’t mind.

6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
To have it both at the same time… :-)

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
I don’t intend to wait anymore.

8. If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
Ofcoz arrange goonda’s to thrash the guy to pulp and kidnap her threaten her parents...his parents…*wicked grin*
On a serious note…appreciate and respect the girl if you genuinely like her…Be a gentleman and wish the couple all the best…

9. If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
Help hungry people have a meal.

10. Do you lie?
Yes...on the couch.... ;-P

11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I should be older by 10 years…must be on my way to nearest store to buy Godrej hair dye…

12. What’s your fear?
Fear of not falling in love.

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
A smart independent girl who has a mind of her own…

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
Married to a poor Nelly Furtado…I have no choice!! :-(

15. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
Pick one which falls first….Good mangoes fall first on the ground…

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
Giving ‘all’ in a ‘relation’ is a necessary’alteration’ to keep the relationship moving…

17. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?
You forgive to give the other person get one chance to make you forget it.

18. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
Currently prefer sticking to single life…though aspire to have a relationship sometime…

19. Your all time favourite song. Only ONE. And why?
For a change going with the tag, I ll share a video from wonder years..


Tagging
1. SM…a new blogger I came across..lovely poems
2. Deepti .. blogger block victim.
3. Abraham….sense of humour is not nonsense here..

*a popular trail in a Kottayam college..

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

original photo credits...dallaspeacecenter.org

modified to suit what we need to learn from him today..

Monday, September 29, 2008

No more clog's in Blogs..please

Warning:
This post is not going to give any positive vibes. People who are here for that please drop in another day because I am going to write a post that is very unlike me...Infact forgive me if it doesn’t sound civil enough because am a newbie writing such a post This post is about few incidents in the blog world that has shattered and pained me a lot. I could never imagine blog space could cause so much anguish in me.


The people whom the blog is for could either correct your ways and be a better person or rather remain the pseudos you are now…The choice in entirely yours…


When I started of blogging I was amazed by the media and the ability of bloggers to connect, share ideas, inspire people and spread happiness amongst the ordinary Joey’s and Phoebe’s…And I always believed in that . People who I mean when I talk about such bloggers know who they are and how much I like them. Unfortunately many of them don’t blog now for different reasons…Then my close friends started reading the blog and encouraged me and chided me when I deserved one…only the best of friends would do that for you…

I might have been quite narrow minded back when a few months into blogging, I was curious about how many comments I got or how many linked to my blog...Those are natural feelings that as a novice blogger I went through…But then few months in the space it is expected that you as a blogger matures as much as you as a person. The blog should eventually evolve beyond the self importance of the blogger.

Recently there was a post in a very popular blog which attracted a potpourri of opinions from the very own diaspora of people it identified with…My personal judgment did not agree to the entire content of the post… But what I vehemently disagree even more is the nature in which the comments in the blog turned out to be, where instead of a sensible discussion turned into a ugly war of words where few were trying to impose with their emphatic statements…I appreciate difference in opinions and infact agree very much to some points mentioned there. But then you to tend to loose respect when the pseudo hot blooded personal attacker in you overwhelms sensibility and the intend behind your comment…I was a victim of such narrow thoughts too where I failed to appreciate the post from a subjective manner and the malayalee in me overwhelmed how I was interpreting the post. Did commenter’s presume the blogger was having delirious pleasure writing that post?? And wondered whether the blogger might have been as much agonized while writing about a place which he himself feels so dear about…?? Why the hate mongers are not mature enough to realize the greater and noble intent behind that blog??

Another blogger is constantly bombed with hate mails just because the blogger has an opinion...An opinion which you and I may agree or disagree , albeit in a manner honorable …But then again I have often seen people forgetting that and resorting to personal potshots.. What has happened to all the civility of the civilized world you claim to be part of? I regret almost being swayed by opinions of bloggers and commenter’s who have no idea about what the essence of blogging is about…I repent succumbing and patronizing to some of those opinions too. Every blogger worth his conscience should realize that your blog, your blog persona, your comments, your web hits and your popularity in blog world doesn’t make you a different person than what you really are. If you want to become a different person or bring a change to someone, do it in action, in real life…I don’t know whether you would realize what I mean if you have already started reading this post thinking of ways to counter and comment in exceptionally thunderous eloquently worded statements to put yourself in a superior standing. Frankly I don’t care. Because you might stand on higher pedestal in your imagination but not in mine….not because I am offended by you ...coz I am sorry for you…

And lastly folks who think they have become heroes and geniuses by commenting as anonymous and creating dummy blogs to malign other bloggers personally…Maybe you are an expert in mouthing the most rhyming obscenities in the world and do it with élan of a Mozart… Why byte more than you could chew because such fake bravado might be appreciated by a coterie which you think you are part of. You might have LOL and ROTFL moments and glorify amongst yourselves thinking how great it was when you pulled it off…What do you gain in creating such groups for a despicable reason...? Think about it... Maybe you can hurt people for a few seconds…for a few hours or maybe a day…But how far? All what comes to my mind is somewhere there must exist an ‘Animal Farm’ of bloggers!!

Stop being a propagandist blogger and being part of “lets-diss-someone” together group!! Don’t we have enough of those in real life?

I wish and pray blogger’s realize and enjoy blogging for what it was originally intended for…. To introspect…To invoke thoughts…To share a laugh…and to see the funny side of life

P.S.
I have had enough introspection on this topic myself and advices are not solicited. Comments are moderated for the same reason.
I have never felt so bad writing a blog and hope this is my last.
I badly need a smiley now…
If someone itches to call me names…same pinch...and I wouldn’t publish your comments…;-P

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Battalion Bajaj!

Ours is a very close knit family …so close that several years ago we often ended up crushing each other...

Well then, it was in the late 80’s and my dad had just bought his Bajajmobile. And often it was a ride much more spine-tingling than the real batmobile if you appreciate four souls precariously hanging to an engineering marvel called the Bajaj chetak. The sight in transition though was not exactly elegance personified…

The scooter itself stuttered on a feeble two stroke engine and to a large extent on pure luck…Petrol had to be spoon fed to the engine and it was devoured with sheer delight of a customer that always wanted more. If you are wondering, yes! one of the scooters that infamously consumed like half the supplies from Cochin refineries. The two kilometer ride from home to school was a feat which both Dad and scooter were fiercely proud of!

By the way I missed telling you that inspite of me finishing college several years ago with flying answer sheets at my face, my parents still go to school. Well they are not exactly weak in academics that still make them hurry from home with textbooks and lunch boxes in early mornings. They teach and instill intelligence in already intelligent people like me. For around five years four of us used to hurry to the same school and attend different classes in our beloved chethak.

As years went by, myself and bro had grown tall enough that made dad an exponent of something quite close to blindfolded scooter riding...Infact magician Muthukad was one of his first students. As we grew taller and bigger the chances of mom being pushed out from the rear end of the scooter increased alarmingly and therefore in a brilliant foresight from Dad to make me health conscious and for the greater good of the scooter(later on Mom and Bro was added to the list), he bought me a bicycle.

I had learnt cycling on a palukaaran* cycle at my native and folks who have learned cycling in one of those might know that if you ever fall from it, even the best buns in the world wont save you…A palukaaran’s cycle (brand?) is quite a monolith for 10 something kid and you are often not tall enough to ride while sitting on it. So when I got my Hercules MTB 2000 it was a sleek machine that allowed the Lance Armstrong in me to come out in full flourish.

The cycle was my companion for six years taking me to school, tuition classes, church on Sunday’s and errands for home…Hercules was no Greek for me but a good cycle buddy!


Well as years passed and while I was done with school I aspired for meaner machines…As all good son’s do it , I went to dad and asked for a car….And like all good dad’s who show their son’s their rightful place which I until then thought was a Merc, gave me the keys of the vintage, crippled and barely alive scooter…And for four years that beloved piece of relic instilled fear among Yamaha’s and Pulsar’s in the streets of Trivandrum….She often was the cause of dilemma’s and I remember once friends coming up with the preposterous idea of stripping her to create a two stroke engine test rig for our engineering project. Doing such a crime to someone who had always stood by me inspite of her punctures and occasional mood swings (during which she would refuse to start up). I couldn’t...I couldn’t do it to the sparkplug of my life.

And today four years later, I aspire for a bigger four wheeler. As I see young families with kids going through the same 'cycle' of aspirations as I went through several years ago it leaves a tinge of nostalgia...of Hamara Bajaj and the rides bygone..

P.S. Both the scooter and cycle was sold off…I sort of wish if I could ride them one last time.
*milkman

Listening to Maksim

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Avant-Garde Life!

Every morning as I ease out from the warmth of the blanket, that I involuntarily try to resist by wrapping my toes deeper into the fluffy quilt, it holds a wonderful question besides where is my mundu?!

How is my day going to be like?

Sometimes this question catalyse beyond the day, beyond months, beyond years and ultimately resting on the famous philosophers question…What is my life all about? This question must have driven many an Aristotle insane isn't? As I woke up and walked towards the balcony that was already getting filled with premature fall leaves from the nearby maple tree, I began asking myself the same.

After all in our daily rat race of waking up, going to office, chattering about politics and sports, blogging about life in general as am doing now, enjoying good food and wine and hitting the rack there might be some point of time when we question the routine…and when we ask ourselves what life is all about? When I look around people going through their catalogued lives everything seems to run like a synchronized system of living or maybe just existing…. I felt something was missing.

As we all know, men from time immemorial have been motivated by aims and ambitions. As a kid probably the aim would have been as a trivial as overtaking the neighborhood kid in the race to school from home…As a young man it might have been to get a great job, make money and splurge…And as an adult it might be to be a great father or mother. Everyone needs one of those…Aims and ambitions.

But is there something beyond that?...Probably we are in pursuit of something more substantial than what maybe rabbits want in a lifetime. Probably we might leave this world with kilobytes of useless codes written for some obscure bank …And maybe, we might have made an impact on lives of our parents, siblings and our loved ones…But underlying all is the fact that you and I are mere frail mortals.

And that brings the question of how we can make a difference in our brief existence. If you think about, what we regret most in your lives now...It might be that we could have worked harder in school or college and got better grades. Or we would have regretted not having a better relationship with someone. But imagine ourselves 50 years from now and I guess we might be regretting something else in the fag end of our lives.

Because as we get closer to the stairway to heaven (let us be optimistic here) I guess we would look back and ask just one question. Have I made the world a happier place and spread smiles or accomplished tears or anger amidst people around us?


I think there is no greater calling in our life than to make a fellow being smile...So the next time you step out of the bed , walk towards the balcony and stretch your hands just think about how you could do that. Because today as a whiff of cold air blew beneath my ears and send a pleasant shiver down my body...I felt it was nature’s way of saying I am alive and a reminder to spread warmth to people around me.


p.s .listening to numb piano.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

No Red Carded Welcome for Machos

“YHESSSSSS…………YHESSSSSSSSSS…YESSSS”

I heard him thundering from the other room…Well ofcoz, I wondered Joe wouldn’t be audacious enough to make love with someone so blatantly oblivious of others in the same apartment. And as I glanced half awake at my watch it showed a time which I was surprised to know still existed…
4:00 am it said.
Normally I should wake up at this time only if disturbed by minor disturbances like an earthquake or a nuclear attack or say a loud Mamata Bang…But this was real loud!!

So I walked to his room to see him clenching his fist and punching in thin air.

“Edaaa…is everything OK…You must know that with your weight you wouldn’t even qualify as a feather weight boxer’s dumbbell”

“Oh yes…I am fine...it’s just the game”


And then I realized he was in a state of temporary teleportation to some place called Copa America watching some ‘Silvia’ score in a game called Football!! And that was a bloody repeat telecast!!

Oh boy I was so mistaken. Hollering about a guy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid to name his child, Valderrama. Little charming name from the beautiful game.

Football is like what sandals are to woman and that’s like the only conversational topic known among men, besides woman of course. But unfortunately are all men blessed with a golden boot? My foot!!

My passion for football started with world beater teams like Kerala Police and State bank of Travancore. Due to sheer delay in the cable television reaching home in time I was outdated soon while friends began talking about Tottenham Hotspur or West Ham which until recently was some kind of ham from the west. Poor me watched the Turning Point in DD on Sundays, I knew more about UFO’s than UEFA back then.

And by the time I reached college I was completely shattered when I came to know that those guys who wore the red jerseys were not communist’s but fans of a club called Manchester United!! Friends were encouraging and approving when we used to call our beloved professors names like Vella Paata or Centrifugal Kamil…but you don’t dare disrespect the football managers. Many of my ‘education allergic friends’ shockingly took offence for not addressing a Saar appropriately…Sir Alex Ferguson was like the most respected HOD in college!

It was sudden realization that I couldn’t survive anymore on memories of I M Vijayan or V P Sathyan…It was time to move on to Ronaldo and his name-likes whose families supply half the football clubs in the world…And as one of my friend’s say, out of sheer peer pressure I started watching the game with renewed interest…But I never got the gist of names like “Weirder” Bremen or “Bolton Wanderers” who were not gypsies of any sorts…So I pretended to be a big fan of the club which usually would be the team standing in top of the league. But it doesn’t end there coz in football discussions people end up talking about the goals someone scored against someone at someplace in some prehistoric time. And only thing you could possibly say in such dilemma’s regardless of topic...Yes Arsenal ROCKS!! That’s what always worked you know!!

Then came a time when it was not cool anymore to wear check shirts stitched at “Babu fashion tailors”….You had to wear a Football Jersey or else you are like one of the mummies in Egypt !! Though I adequately made my parents frown, wearing colorful Barcelona jerseys to funerals and weddings, it was worth it...Because it always gave a sense of ‘clubiness’ at such austere events! Hey couple, this representative from Barcelona Football Club wishes to convey greeting on your marriage!!

It is funny how people get passionate about the whole club thing… Chelsea fans from Champakulam to Valencia fans from Vadakancherry…You come across them sooner or later and they make sure you regret not being supporter of their clubs.

“What you don’t like Peter Cech”

“Nope...I prefer Dollar cheques, Do you have one?”

And then I realized it was better to stick to my idea of favourite sport...Caroms anyone?


P.S. I am a St Pauli and Arsenal fan.. :-P

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

War on terror

This post is dedicated in loving memory of men and woman who were victims of the terror unleashed by a violent and cold-blooded enemy. Let’s pray for the victims in this moment of grief and pledge that we won’t leave their crimes go unpunished.

Excerpts of a speech from President Bush to the world.

“Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom -- the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time -- now depends on us. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not fart err falter, and we will not fail”

******************************************************************************

If you are wondering what Bush was talking about, YES, it’s about spiders, cockroaches, lizards, rats and other such terrorist group of animals who have put at stake the very existence of human race. Dear friends, this is a “rat race” we can’t afford to loose!

As one among the brave men of 21st century I am not the kind of person who will shy away from demanding times. I prefer to face the enemy, man to insect. And that’s why I have one of the world’s most lethal arsenal of cockroach repellants and anti-lizard ballistic sprays at home...

It all began several years ago…

Flashback…..

The countless times I met face to face with this enemy of our lives in bathrooms or while searching for an old pair of chappals in the attic …That day of tribulation , I saw one distant cousin of the tarantula near the soap box…But they say real men rise to the occasion in adversity and when alone…
And I ran for my life …

With all due to respect to Spiderman, I hate you for glorifying this dangerous animal to the levels of superstardom. In school several friends of mine caught spiders with a hidden ambition of becoming Spiderman someday, only to end up with gooey rashes and severe fever. Would these guys have been a bit realistic or sensible….Spiderman for godsake against Phantom...talking of matches…eh!!

Talking of another if not equally dangerous predator are the cockroaches who with their winged capabilities have given me countless sleepless nights. I remember running out of home for approximately 3 kilometers when I heard mom asking me to bring a broom when she supposedly spotted one of them in a dangerously combative position…It was the sheer bravery of my brother who apparently have a fascination for killing cockroaches that saved inhabitants of the house on that fateful day.

Often my humble expectations of a safer world are put off by another of them called the lizards whose only occupational hazard seems to get jammed at door hinges. Lizards though seemingly harmless are like a disaster waiting to happen. They would evolve into dinosaurs one day and outgrow their current size to turn into behemoth animals that could create disasters, as proved by Steve Spielberg in one of his famous movies. Do we stay quiet about all these…?

Part of the blame lies in our faulty education system. Even the widely respected source of knowledge for kids i.e. the cartoon network have made saints out of anti-human animals like Jerry who as we all know continuously harassed Tom….we are setting the wrong examples for our future generation… Ratatouille was not even banned in Iran!!!

This animal has to be destroyed under all means and I wished the United States government did give a deal for the state of Kerala where I come from, so that I could leverage the latest insect sprays from Wal-Mart to decimate these perpetrators of crime against humanity...

Fellow countrymen…Isn’t it time for us to ACT? Isn’t it time for us to do something about these infidels who create havoc at homes and especially. for certain guys like me who are genuinely protective by nature. Its time for us to exercise our rights to self defence and eradicate all of them for ever.

Regards,

Mathew
Chronic sufferer of Arachnophobia, kastaridaphobia and Scoliodentosaurophobia

Sunday, September 07, 2008

34 bubblegums and candies

One of my favourite blogger Preeti or popularly known as “Just a mother of two” is doing something what most of us would put in the list of “Things to do before I die” list…Yes...She is going to be author of a book!! :-)

34 Bubblegums and Candies’ would be a collection of anecdotes which would allow the readers to enjoy the journey called life in its essence…in its tribulations….in its surprises...and its beauty! As the author herself puts it…

“It is only in fairytales that there are happy endings and the Hero always wins. Real life is rarely like that. It is mostly imperfect. There are times when some things happen that are so embarrassing that you wish you had the powers to escape like Houdini or you could change things with the flip of a switch like changing channels when you don’t like a TV programme. No such luck. You just have to grin and bear it. But the good thing is that no matter what it is, it always ends. Just like candies that melt and fade and the bubblegum that you spit out when you are done with it. "


Having read her posts for quite sometime I am eagerly looking forward to it and enjoy it in the same way as her blog which readers would vouch for as one of the best feel good blogs. You hardly ever finish reading a post of her without smiling over it or empathizing with characters in it...Wishing her good luck and all the best for the new author in town.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Deutschland Days...


Today I finished two years of my stay in Germany. It is still fresh and vivid in my memory the day I had landed here...Old readers of the blog might remember me sharing the first impressions of the country as a novice first time overseas traveler...It seems the other day I wrote about that flight and subsequent glimpses I had of this magnificent country.

The first month when everything was completely new and futuristic to me. I was in awe of the people, the modern infrastructure, spic and span roads and the air-conditioner like weather. It was ofcoz the period when my personal “blunder graph” hit the peak with countless mentionable and un-mentionable incidents. Now looking back I sort of miss that child like curiosity with which I looked at this place. I still remember the first day when I had to visit the main central station in Hamburg. A friend of mine had written in a slip of paper the German word for the main central station--> HAUPTBAHNOF…It was not funny when I was asking a passerby the way to….

“HO”...”HO”…”HOO”...*ahem* HOOOPPTH…..”

Before I could finish, the gentleman showed me where Hauptbahnof was…This happened to a guy who could say Thiruvananthapuram 100 times in a minute…I was floored by the language on day one itself. Considering that, worthy of mention is my current project to pronounce Fingerspitzengefühl and Streichholzschächtelchen which by the way I hope to complete by 2015.

Staying here for like such a long time has allowed me to have a close perspective of the country and the regular Germans. I have got to see the good and bad in them. Most people in the world are used to negative portrayal of the germans for obvious reasons...esp the older folks. I never felt the same coz for me the early impressions of this country as a kid were pictures of autobahn or Audi’s and Faber-Castell Pencils. But unfortunately, many stereotype the germans as an evil race even now. They say the French are romantics, the Italians are stylish and the Germans caused the World War II.

Having interacted with Germans for quite a fair amount of time I can assure that the cynics are wrong. In a personal way the typical german qualities are perfectly in sync with my ideals and it helped to fall in love with these people. Germans respect time and law, two qualities which I admire a lot. Trains and buses running late even by a few minutes is a rarity here, people jumping the traffic light are frowned upon, cars follow the driving lanes to precision and the system is so perfect that you almost miss chaos in this country!!

German work ethics though may look drab, as it gives stress on the quality of the product than the speed with which we finish the job. It is the perfect antithesis of Indian work style. Coz we give more stress on finishing a job quick rather than create a defect free product. Our style gives prompt results but to see why the German style is better just look at their products!!! The stress on quality of a product is evident from the fact that even the cheapest of gadgets bought here have a warranty for two years. And the penchant for precision is evident everywhere , be it in the higher end engineering works to a regular road construction to the way in which a person arranges the files and folders in his office. Efficiency is the second name of a German.

The people

I have a small but close circle of friends here. Two weeks back I attended a barbeque party at one of their house. Of the dozen attendees, I was the only non-German. I was amazed at how the entire group spoke in English during the party for my sake. It was heartening to see even folks who were not exactly fluent in English trying the same to make me feel not left out in the party.

Camaraderie is not generally associated with the Germans. You don’t make friends with them easily like say with a French or Italian, but you build the friendship over time and once the trust is established the germans are the best friends you could possibly have. They are very open-minded and go over the board to help you. They are brutally frank and you can take whatever they tell you in face value and that is one quality which I hope to possess someday.

The War

As I mentioned before, for most of us it’s the war that is synonymous with the germans. The fact is that the current generation (a huge majority of em) in Germany hate the Nazi’s far more than rest of the world does. It is an unfortunate baggage which these people are carrying for a crime which an entirely different generation did. It is interesting to note that the children here are actually consciously made guilty of it to avoid future mistakes...

What I don’t like

Sometime ago while I was traveling I saw one old lady trying to get down a bus from the exit near the driver’s side. (Here the passengers are supposed to exit through the middle door). As she was waiting for the driver to open the front door she was ridiculed by this young driver showing no respect for her age. The lady probably around 80 years old was asked to go back and get down via the middle door. Even more shocking was the apathy the fellow passengers were showing to the whole incident. This country gives probably the best of facilities for old and handicapped people like special seats in the bus, remote controlled wheel chairs and other gadgets. But these people are simply ALONE!! At least back home we may lack in the hi-tech, but we still respect the old and what we lack in tech is more than made up with love.


Two years is longest I have stayed in a single city since Trivandrum. There are several people who helped me here so that I didn’t miss home. My Indian colleagues and malayalee families , few European friends who made me love the people here, many of em who invited me to their parties or family events. Olaf told me that he was amused when I started arguing with a French guy who was saying something about Hamburg which I did not like. I realized then I was suddenly vouching for his country... almost as if I had fallen in love!! Living in a foreign country helps us learn a lot…I don’t think I can write all that in a single post…It helps us realize the value of our country...It helps us realize of things we are lacking in...And above all it helps us realize that no matter how good the foreign land is, there is nothing as good as to feel like “in my own country”!!

Pic: Elbe River, Hamburg...I cross this river daily to office.
P.S .Listening to this beautiful song by Dido

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ethan and Joan


Nibble oak nubbins and honey cake nuggets
Climb chestnut trees and eat bowl full of courgettes
Hop down haselbrook and sit near a chapel
That's what I like coz I am a cute little Squirrel


Ethan the teeny squirrel lived with his mommy squirrel in the giant oakwood tree colony. The colony that was the abode of sparrows, giant red ants and many others...The red ants who industriously worked and made castles out of leaves and stored the warehouses with food for the winter. Ethan tried making friends with them but then the ants never liked anyone else. So he went to mommy and asked her.

"Why don't I have any friends here?…Seems like the ants don't like me either. :-("

Then mommy squirrel took out a drum made of barks and oak leaves...She hopped towards Ethan and sang…

Down in the meadows listen to grasshoppers
Run behind dragonflies and ask out for butterflies
Play em your song and come home before sun set
And like I always say don't forget your favourite walnuts



Unfortunately the grasshoppers got scared of him, the butterflies never listened to his song and all he had was a few walnuts and no one to share …Sad and gloomy he walked back home and cuddled near the cushy tail of his mother…His mother tried to comfort him but Ethan was deep in sorrow.

Life is unfair and my heart is in despair
Smiles are rare and friends are nowhere
These days, even skylarks have no time to spare
But then, who seems to care?


Few blocks away lived Joan the kid. Joan just had a fight in the playground because his friends called him a "loser". If there was one thing Joan did not like it was calling names. Why was Joan such a mis fit? Was it coz he was the rich kid of the block and the spoilsport who would run away with the football when he was offended. So that Saturday morning, Joan walked away in anger...

As he reached near the oak wood tree, he threw his cap away and rested beneath the cool shades. The sky was brilliant blue and the air smelt of spring…The meadows across was lively as he saw the butterflies in a beautiful ballet of their own and the honeybees flying away with their precious nectar …Across he could hear his friends continuing to play without him…He was feeling left out.


Another lonely Saturday and I'll sit here all day
Until somebody home come and say
Let go coz you are no castaway
when all I wanted was a friend for every day



When Joan realized that he needed a good friend he first thought of going back to the playground. But they rather liked his football…And he wondered would there be someone, somewhere out there who was like him…some one just eager to be happy for each other…

Few branches above someone did wait indeed
As they glanced each other both eyes agreed
In silence and smiles a spark was born
And there lived forever two friends Ethan and Joan