Sunday, May 31, 2009
It was one boring day on Earth….Noah was on his way home after work at Apple horticulture Corp. which was a Fortune 500 silver coins company in Eden Park….The look on his face gave tell tale signs of someone preoccupied in deep thoughts...Would Mrs. Noah forget the capsicum toppings in the Pizza? He was ofcoz in agonizing curiosity….
And then out of the blue after a brilliant flash of light….the Lord appeared…
“Hey Noah...How you doin…seems like something is bothering you…You haven’t even bothered to shave for last 600 years”
Noah wanted to tell him about the pizza. But that would be stupid…
“Thank God...you finally showed up….I have been thinking of writing a mail …blame the slow bandwidth…..infact lot of burning issues down here…the Niagara project which you started is still incomplete and falling into an abyss…are you planning to leave it just liked that? And that sun…it doesn’t work after sometime…probably you could have a look at the timer…But I simply loved your idea of creating France...I was always confused where to go for my wine!! :) ”
“Noah….stop it….listen to me now...I need to tell you something very important…”
*clears the throat*
“Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens….”
That’s when Noah interrupted…
“ahem...ahem...excuse me lord…let me just get my calculator its kinda getting difficult…brb”
“OK…get it fast… I got to finish few planets in galaxy 747.”
“And thou shall thy….”
“Excuse me once again lord…Could you read the dossier in American English…am sure you know... err… how to…”
“Noah…this is absolutely ridiculous…how many time have I told you it aint cool…dude you need to grow up and behave like the captain of a ship….you have one damn big job coming…a few months from now you gotta build one helluva big ship and stuff it with animals….”
“But lord am not quite the engineer…Moreover the ship building courses in Cochin are very expensive…last time they asked for a huge capitation fees and a recommendation letter from Aramana ”
“oh...I ll take care of that...it’s my job…”
“But Lord what the heck is this all about…are we going for one big picnic or something?”
“LOL…you have no idea what’s coming… For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will destroy from off the face of the earth.”
Now Noah is all excited and beaming…
“Holy freaking……….you gotta be kidding...aren’t you?”
“Noah...I told ya before...no swear words….”
“oops...am sorry…this sounds all exciting…You know what? I think I just made a little rhyme after hearing your grand plan...I think I ll teach junior some day….RAIN RAIN EVERY DAY...COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY…hahaha...howzzat...”
“That’s nice…but I have no time for rhymes…let’s get to business….Before you board the ship any declarations…medical or otherwise...”
“Well...I kind off got sea sickness ...forty days out ..hmm…would have been nice if we could anchor somewhere in between...”
“Nope…But after forty days we would probably be docking at Cochin…”
“That’s suppa…actually I have one of my ancestral homes there…Noahparambil …you might have heard...…”
God was focused and he wanted to finish the task as soon as possible and update his excel.
“Yeah...one actually… I remember while casually looking at one of those “Plan 1900-2000 Earth affairs” you have mentioned a ship that’s gonna get stuck in a iceberg or something...Do you need a double hull steel protection in case you overlooked….”
“Noah...you are getting naughty by the day…how dare you peek into my future planning files..!!.”
Noah gives a wry smile which was though not visible under the mounds of overgrown facial hair …He swore in the name of Adam never to repeat the mistake…
The Ship was soon constructed and a pair of each living being was retrieved from Mesopotamia zoo, Harappan zoo and some rare species from the Trivandrum zoo… And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Day 36……….The alarm is struck…
“Sabbath …. Sabbath …Lord are you there?”
“C’mon Noah…Just four more days to go…”
“err…Lord…no….actually there is a minor problem….I had this virus attack in the Ark’s GPS system ...and had to run the anti-virus scan…”
“It warned me that it would delete all the Trojans…”
“And….And I agreed”
“C’mon Noah, get to the point…”
“I can’t find the horses in the stable anymore…”
“Damn it Noah!!” hmmph!!
*Ark program rebooted*
*post is tribute to Bill Cosby whose sketch on the same is here..*
If you like classical music listen to this awesome piece by Pachelbel
Friday, May 22, 2009
When I was a kid I used to look eagerly into the list of inventors in the year book hoping to find some Indian names in the long list sprinkled with western names and to my disappointment I rarely found any each time …
Now looking back I wonder ….Why are Indians simply not creators or inventors…Are we a people good only at re-engineering or reverse engineering? Are we proficient only at following instructions from others? Are we good only at adapting existing ideas and tailoring them to Indian needs? Does it surprise you that very few Indians come up with something original or something that changes our lives….Now I know we invented the zero and all that…But really??
Of late, I receive forwards about some Indian whizkid in the university of Stanford/ Harvard/ MIT creating something extraordinarily futuristic or one of them keeping the listeners spell bound in appreciation at one of those TED talks…They are inventors of own making and excelling in ‘American’ universities or research institutes….Creators of innovative ideas that capture the present day technology gurus!!
The answer definitely points to our education system…We might be good at maths...our kids might memorize the multiplication tables at the age of 5 …our kids might know all the chemistry formulas…our kids might spell “competitiveness” before they enter school…. but all those glorious statistics pales in front of the creative endeavors our students indulge in…Rather the creativity was never encouraged during the formative years of a child’s education. In our system it’s all about the marks…all about the ranks…a mad rush to climb a ladder!
I am not sure how many of you feel the same way…But I believe our education system has become passé….A system which needs to be revamped extensively and shed its current emphasis on text book learning and memorizing capabilities…We are not allowed to think or challenge or reason with current science…How many students do get a chance to visit an industry in their school life…? How many students in our schools are encouraged to choose a vocation of their choice? How many schools give a child the chance to explore ideas of their own…? We have educators who plan our education policies which still rely on systems which are relics of the past!!
Our schools would do a lot good if they have a dedicated session for children to identify their interests and inculcate passion in them to explore areas which are truly their vocation…When a friend of mine told me that in Germany after school the students, the teachers and the parents have a meeting where they collectively help in identifying the career a child aspires to do, I wished we had such a method in place. Our colleges should encourage and reward innovative thinking besides the sessional marks or attendance…Simply the focus of our education system is on meeting cosmetic targets rather than real knowledge…I must admit myself as a product of such a system …
It also would need lot of changes in our teaching methodology…Probably our stress on competition is resulting in creation of half baked graduates….I remember the engineering entrance coaching days when everything was about short fixes, formulae memorizing techniques and very little stress on core science concepts….lab experiments would be a cliché if you think instead of experiments it was more of adjusting results to standards…Our engineering labs in college have machines older than 30 years and yet give the same graphs over the years…Ever wondered about wear and tear?
Its easy to say that Indian IT guys are dominating the world…Quite a lot of it is exaggerated. We merely have the numbers and at the end of the day we are in service industry…We are not product creators like Google or Apple…Great economies run on the backbone of strong product strengths…Just like cars are for Germany, Electronics are for Japan and arms for Americans (bad choice I know) there is an inherent core competency of these economies…Our IT strength has so far been service oriented and our product strengths are not definitely best in the world….when the Chinese are exporting cranes and heavy machinery we are still sticking to export of Banana chips and Mangoes…We export our steel to china and they make products out of it and make the margins…We are still the supplier of raw materials to the world and others are raking in the benefit..
As years pass by and the economy move forward breaking the shackles of recession we might progress with an impressive GDP growth. But I believe probably we would end up as a near developed economy which would be the World’s own human service provider. It would be frivolous to assume that we would one day stand among the most developed countries in the world with our current education system. That would need more than factory made children trained to memorize stuff and whose creative original ideas are nipped in the bud. I wonder whether our education planners are sitting comfy in the comfy stories of some Indian kid winning the spelling bee contest and thinking all is fine.
As our politicians and media praise the Nano for example and though no offence intended inspite of the revolution that it would bring to the average person in general I feel it would be farcical to rest on such laurels…Even if we can’t, we need to encourage the next generation to think new…to invent stuff which can make our country an incubator of new products and trends…When multi-national companies set shop in India with their R&D centers I wonder how much benefit our country is eliciting out of it...The system indeed needs drastic changes which unfortunately is brushed aside under the carpet of “everything is fine so far” belief…. The system needs to change the complacency we silently encourage in our kids…I hope someone is listening…
Monday, May 18, 2009
Bro had to be out of town for a few days and had told Amma to pull out the power cord to the computer in case of thunderstorms…And when he came back after a few days away he was glad to see mom had pulled off the cord as he had reminded…Our computer has a history of going kaput during such times and such precautionary measures are often followed…But then he was in for a shocker of a remark…
“edaa…njan aa wire oori ittu irrkuvaa…pettannu plug cheyyu…”
“chettan aychaa mail onnum vannu kaanilla…”
“edaa..plug oori irrkivaayirunnello…engane veraanaa..!!”
That is followed by a period of silent regret and speechless stupor by bro….
After a few min…
“edaa..nee athu ithu vere athu kuthille…”
And after she forced him to get all the cables right, goes back to kitchen triumphantly and satisfied that the next mail would surely pop up in the mailbox without any hindrance…And bro was smiling inside as this incident was fodder for the next call we have…;-D
And did I mention the new car mom seems to have discovered in our roads…
“Edaa…aa carinnu oru velaathei perru aayirunnu…”
“ethu car amma?”
“Aye Aye Oooo”
My bro pondered over it big time..researched car sites and still couldn’t figure out…Few days later…while driving through the city Mom points out to a car speeding by…
“The Hyundai AyeAyeOoooo!!!”
Have a great week ahead friends….am still doing the KT sessions before she tells someone!!
Listening to Dancing with Myself..
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Every man at some point in their lives has to face this difficult question… It’s a question that scares almost every man walking on this earth….A question that has ruined several live cricket matches and soporific post lunch newspaper sessions… A question that no man has ever asked!
“Would you come shopping with me?”
MEN HATE SHOPPING!!!
I can see the ladies nodding in agreement….duh
Well here is some news for you…Men LOVE shopping!!! Ask any guy out for a visit to a car or bike showroom or an electronics shop and bet you will never hear a nay for that!! We like shopping…just different stuff…
Infact it’s the fairer sex who doesn’t allow men to shop back in my place…Last week I heard in a phone-in program the desperate soulful plea’s of a man just coz he was restrained by his wife from visiting a nearby shaap*…The guy was talking to the counselor about how much an uplifting and healing experience shaaping is for him…His wife says she is not surprised considering the chap was often brought home lifted over someone’s shoulders or tied to poles.
And this is not just a stray instance….A newly wed friend of mine was aghast when his wife frowned upon despite amorous overtures…
“Darling…Let me take you to some place romantic tonight...”
The wifey blushes and replies…
“That’s lovely…I ll get ready soon”
“Hurry up…I am not sure how long it stays open”
“Quilon Radio Service darling”
Friend whines there is less of darling used after that.
As men all over the world remains clueless about the heartless treated meted out to them I ll share why men are emotional with regards to shopping…esp. cars…
When we want to buy a car we first plan it…And we plan by listing the cars we wish to buy…Note “wish” to buy…
This is usually our target buy…
Now we add up some more cars to broaden the choice…
And after a list of 120 cars we are ready to make an excel document with all the columns explaining horse power, CC, brake systems….etc….well all details except the price... That’s something we forget for strange reasons.
Now begins the critical part where we reason with ourselves on which car to choose…
*Porsche Carrera: Too small for a family of four, trunk is small... (So freaking expensive…)
*Ferrari Enzo: schmuck!!...I believe in numerology... Could have bought it if was spelt Enzzzo (So freaking expensive…)
*Skoda Laura: I don’t like Czech products. It reminds me of the Bata shoes I wore in school (so freaking expensive…)
*Honda Accord: Japanese…No way I could have that after they took part in World War II (still so freaking expensive…)
*Maruti 800 (lemme check my balance sheet...uh…still freaking expensive)
*Tata Nano: Perfekte!! :-) Can take four people and carry enough rice in the trunk (and wow...so delightfully cheap!!)
Now that the dude had decided on the Nano he will announce it proudly at home…
“I think I ll go for the Nano... Damn there isn’t much choice in the market…can’t find anything else that suits my demands...I am choosy you know!!”
And he leaves the room amidst the giggles …
But the man walks away contented…Just the feeling that he did aspire for those cars on the top of the list would keep him happy…After all those cars were his “rejects”….You want to see a contented face of a man...Just say...”Wise choice!!”
Talking of buying a car it reminds me of when we bought a car a decade ago…During the deliberation stage heated discussions happened on which car to buy or rather from which showroom we will buy the Maruti 800… Mom had a stake too. She being an early and ardent advocate of GO GREEN was particular about it…and had chosen the color henna green predictably…
And when it finally arrived at home…bro and I pooh-poohed in unison…
“yikes...it is chaanakka pachaa**!!”
*Niche lounge bars in Kerala
** Cow dung green
Listening to Ciao Bella...
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
When you were a little kid and given a pencil most of you must have started with drawing simple shapes like a square…a rectangle or maybe a circle…Your parents might have held the tiny hands of yours and helped you feel the beauty of holding the pencil and the power of expressing yourself.
Drawing a circle is often what most kids start with….The flower which you first drew with the little bud in the center…..The iris of the eye which you drew on fresh papyrus …..But drawing the circle was tricky…Most of the time you wouldn’t end up at the starting point as you curve the circle into shape… otherwise it turned out into an oval or any abstract shape….Even the finest of artists cannot draw a perfect circle without leaving little smudges somewhere…
You must be wondering what’s my point anyways…Well there is a lot more about the perfect circle I want to tell you about….
If you want to draw the flawless circle you would use the compass anchoring the sharp end to the centre of the paper…Anchoring yourself and gripping to the focus is crucial….If I can take the liberty of analogizing its more like anchoring to your faith or religion….I am someone who believe every religion enunciates the same values ….Just like how your Math teacher taught when you were young, its very important to have a firm anchor around which you move and which can guide you as you shape the arc…Once you finish the circle the center is not visible to the naked eye, but its decisive to give you the necessary direction and guidance. Just like God whom you cannot see and yet the presence which is important as you shape up.
The strong spike
The spike or the long arm of the compass is like your conscience which is pivoted to your faith...which helps you define what your values are….It encompasses what our ethics and ideals are and the inherent humane feelings which makes us a social being. Just like a good spike which is made of steel, our principles give us the strength and ability to link with our faith. Most of us have these ideals but sometimes we end up in situations questioning them or weighing whether to hold on to it…Maybe the compass leg is made of steel…but holding on to it is more worth than its weight in gold….
The pencil is you….
There is no point in having the right anchor or the perfect compass unless you tighten the pencil well…. Eventually the artist who etches the circle is you and how good you can do it depends on how well you hold yourself to the compass.
The center, the compass and the pencil together creates the wonderful synergy …There has been times in my life when I thought I could draw the circle just with the pencil…And I failed…Then I thought I could be the atheist….a compass with a well tightened pencil but without dropping the anchor anywhere….And then I wondered If love could happen without a reason why do I need to seek reasoning in the existence of god….And I sought for the anchor…Well it is no good either if you have the focus and a nice compass and yet the pencil is loosely held…a pencil which is clinging on and yet wobbling around...That what many of us are like...really!
And when you have everything right...the faith in your anchor…the paragon compass and you are secured well to it like a kid holding tight to its mother…you get it…you grow from the little kid who started with a flimsy pencil to a fine person who can draw the perfect circle….the perfectly meaningful circle of life....as god himself conceived ….
P.S. In case you are wondering I have caught the Aristotle flu... ;-)
P.P.S. pictures courtesy flickr
Friday, May 01, 2009
“Why is industrial productivity so low in Kerala?
Because 86% of the shift time is spent on lifting, folding and re-tying the Mundu “
‘ha ha ha’
uhhh!!!! What a preposterous joke!!
I mean, how someone could get it wrong when everyone knows it is 76%!!
Its high time creases are folded ,some dust is kicked, scores are settled and the rest of the world understand some of the finer points about what the French might describe as, joie de vivre …
The mundu is not a mere piece of clothing…it’s a statement...It’s a way of living…and in post life heaven, when the recycled ones arrive at the pearly gates you would hear them thumping their chests and say…
“Proud to die a Munduian!”
The Romans knew about the Mundu but they did not know how to wear it and as patience ran out they finally pinned it behind their shoulders like the dude Commodus in popular gladiator movies … But we malayalees actually have a good laugh watching what they have done with our Mundu!! In our ‘costly’ opinion anyone could pull off in a mundu and look smart….except Shaquille O’Neal!
And ofcoz not many realize that Mundu is something which can express itself emotionally…Do you know a piece of clothing which can give ‘the signals’ based on how its worn? An excerpt from Sigmundu Freud in his famous psycho-analytical journal gives rare insights…
‘The slightly above-the-knee folded state indicates ferociousness, anger and combativeness...And a full bloom mundu indicates tranquility, friendliness and peace…Needless to say a state without the Mundu would mean someone is pretty drunk!!!’
Amazing isn’t it…eh…
Remarkably Mundu is the only piece of clothing which you could wear and clear airport security check without a whimper of a beep…And even if they want to strip and frisk, you could probably do it faster than an average Las Vegas striptease act!!…That’s why Airport Security and frisking staff have declared Malayalee men as the most preferred travelers across the world...
Mundu has been the subject of several unnatural phenomena’s too…There are times in the morning I have practically seen my mundu lying several meters away making me wonder if it is haunted…and occasionally due to my sober state I have walked into the living room sporting floral printed bed sheets to the chagrin of unassuming guests or relations. Collateral damage I would say….and a small price to pay for uninterrupted air supply….
The practical use of Mundu though sarcastically ridiculed is indeed serious research material. Many sport enthusiasts swear by the practical use of Mundu in adventure sports like rock climbing and Para-gliding. Consider a scenario where your parachute opens and is found torn during the descent…For the love of good lord the only thing you would wish handy is the humble mundu rather than a levi strauss jeans...make knots at the fours end and glide down effortlessly to safety…And technically walking down the street on a sufficiently windy day, the Mundu can generate enough drag to allow me claim that I have a high-flying career….you never thought you could claim that until now...isn’t?
Mundu hoisting used to be an ancient custom in gothic Kerala which over the years have evolved to modern ways like flag hoisting ceremony across the world…The cultural impact of Mundu has not been realised to its full impact unfortunately.
And probably the detractors may not be aware of the fact that several nations around the world look unto the mundu with deep respect as in the case of Germany where they have even a city named Dortmundu in honor.
Hmm…I am getting emotional here and I might ‘start’ exaggerating things….before that let me warn you next time I see someone who doesn’t respect our national dress….be prepared for this
Enjoy the long weekend......... and this beautiful song..
P.S. Do check the tale of this letter boy..;-D