Saturday, July 26, 2008

Castles in the air! Really?

Airlines as we all know would cease to exist in the year 2555 A.D. Reasons are aplenty. Fuel is getting scarier and even the Arab sheikh’s talk about being “frugal” (recently introduced in Arab dictionary). Flying was getting dangerous and many other things as seen below from the extract of a science class of year 2751 A.D.

“These models on page 32 are from archives of our ‘Ancient modes of transport’. The specimens showed here called Airbus A340 and Boeing 747 was popular during the late 20th century. A special now-extinct kind of liquid called aircraft fuel was used to lift these instruments in space and transported humans across oceans. Our science teacher’s great great grandmother was one of the last few who flew in these devices and the ‘boarding pass’ framed in the principal’s antique gallery was the pre-requisite to enter these flying devices. They were operated by companies like....ahem… (Students go to page 46 naming list of outdated companies). Yes, AIR INDIA which primarily depended on hot air to carry it forward, Kingfisher airlines (which initially explored possibilities of making fuel out of Beer), AIR DECCAN (which pioneered the use of parts from old refrigerators, radios and television sets to fabricate airplane spare parts), Air France which was known to have aerodynamically shaped air hostesses and Air China fabricated entirely out of plastic.

But what finally stopped the airline industry was the fares which as we see from a sample ticket below in the early 21th century.

…..We squeeze to the Last Drop!!!

Fly with us for our special offer of 1 million tickets sold for 1 rupee.

Ticket price One Rupee ONLY!!!*


*Additional charges (font size 3) (reproduced in a bigger font in the blog for the benefit of the elderly.)

Airport taxes fees and other charges we mention separately just for the heck of it
1000 rupees

Insurance charges
Its safe to fly with us, but you know maybe a loose screw somewhere. You get the point right? We gladly accept 500 rupees for your insurance.

Weight levy
If the passenger weighs more than 75 kilos surcharge of 200 rupees apply
If the passenger weighs more than 100 kilos surcharge of 400 rupees apply
If the passenger weighs more than 125 kilo we offer special discounts in our cargo service.

Food surcharge
Unsold biscuits and peanuts which we repack and give it to you attracts additional charge of 25 rupees

Tissue charge
Passengers requesting for wet tissues are charged an additional 50 rupees.

Pilot’s happy hour allowance
This is a voluntary charge levied on passengers for a verbal assurance from the Pilot that he wouldn’t fall asleep during the flight even though he had 8 beers the previous night.

Air hostess house keeping allowance
This is a voluntary charge levied on passenger for a verbal assurance from the air hostess that they make sure the above pilot is after all awake

Airport ground handling Coolies federation(AGHCF)
Again voluntary. Reason’s unknown.
But the federation slogan is “Do you miss something in your baggage?”

Special charges
Pregnant ladies would be charged for two.
Special offer!! 1 month pregnant ladies are given a 25% wavier

First to disembark surcharge
Passengers wishing to disembark first on landing could avail this service for a surcharge of 250 rupees.

Aircraft Loo Frequent User card
On paying a surcharge of 100 rupees you don’t have to wait at the toilet in our long haul flights. Pay 200 rupees and be our Gold class frequent user card.

Air traffic controller’s wives’ welfare association fund
This will go for the honorable cause of a special manicure class arranged for the ATCWWA arranged by L’Oreal. Donate and take part in this noble cause.

Duty for goods purchased from duty free shops

5% of the cost of goods purchased

Flight announcement surcharge
For providing passengers valuable information on altitude, pressure and humidity somewhere above you don’t know where.

Flight entertainment systems levy
We charge 50 rupees for a movie.
Special documentary videos from Animal planet like "The Wild Lok Sabha Park " are free.

Your total fare is 18000 rupees.
Thanks for flying and while logging out please pay for our website maintenance team association.


Monday, July 21, 2008

In general...

I am getting poignant of late about many things..and life in general..its not a mid life crisis or something...just the ocassional phases in life when you have a relook in life and priorities...I am currently in Toulouse(France) on work....Its already 1 week in a hotel...working in the day....meeting new colleagues in office..hearing people crib about others...

I feel like writing something frank and to heart, but that stays there and doesnt transform into words...Sometimes I am afraid I am getting too judgemental of people...I feel guilty of it..

Yesterday I went to Lourdes...It was such a re-livening experience going there..maybe it helped travelling alone out there..I felt liberating talking to god about how bad we are inspite of trying to project otherwise...I was planning the trip as a tourist, spend a few hours there and visit a few mountains in the pyrenees...But I ended up spending up all the time there, as the place somehow helped me shed many a baggages i carried in my heart...It was relieving...As I splashed my face with holy water I felt a freshness which I thought I had lost long ago..

The place was touristy outside the shrine(I even saw zippo Lourdes lighters in the place that was thriving on the brand "Immaculate conception")...But inside the shrine, I sensed amazing faith...Throngs of sick people..young and old....seeking blessings..some personal...It was very moving to see hundreds of old people in wheel chairs near the grotto...Several years ago I had promised myself to go to Velankanni once I cleared my never worked out...I am glad I made it till chance though..

Today my great grandmother passed away...although i never felt close enough her to instill immense sadness in me today, I somehow feel numb..She was quite alone in a generation much younger to her and she had lived her life the fullest...It reminds me of how a closure is required for everything..even for life on earth...

I am reading ""The diary of a young girl" for the second time...What a girl Anne Frank is..isnt?
She was way ahead of her age...I even feel a strong urge "if she was alive"..

A particular passage inspires me now..

"Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again"

May God take care of Pala Ammachi and Anne Frank...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A'men to the creations!

Recently like all civil responsible condoler’s, I paid a visit to a tragedy struck friend of mine at his home. Sporting a gloomy black suit and deep in mourning, he looked quite distraught and shaken. So was I when I saw the relic house of his that resembled some sort of archaeological site and an insect park rolled into one. The solemn mood prevented me from offering him a realistic proposition to declare his house as a wild life protected area. As people of remarkable intellect (which means people who read this blog) will interpret that this friend has a strong allergy towards hygienic surroundings. However on this day, there were his friends who had come over to share his moment of grief. Well as a matter of fact I had not even prepared any condolence message and was feeling a bit awkward facing a shattered man.

“Reghu…I am so sorry for you…It was Jeev who called me up yesterday and told me…”

“Thanks for coming man…It’s just that, I never expected it to happen so soon. I have lost everything...every single ‘bit’ of it… I was promised…huh...I was...”

*A heavy sigh and then he started bawling uncontrollably*

His wife rushed over to him and lends a shoulder. She gave him a self assured look of “We-will-overcome-this-together”.

Every man in the house feared the same could to happen to them too…A hard disk crash is potently the last thing a man could face besides impotency.

He had trust in the 80GB hard disk of his and hadn’t prepared himself for what untrusting men do…BUY A BACK UP HARD DISK!

Losing critical data (EPL stats/Monica Belluci videos/cocktail recipes), missing out the football final, finding the nearby bar closed and not being able to start your bike are those that you call major tragedies in a man’s life. Otherwise life in general is quite happy and routine for a man.

Research at the secret Behavioral studies lab at Minnesota has revealed that men indeed have a different approach to tragedy or shock and even seemingly positive news for that matter. Check out a few sample test cases found in the secret dossiers…

“A cat died. It was run over by car”

Clara: ”OMG….awww...poor little must have hurt”
(After a few minutes) “I hope that bumper didn’t get dirty”

Response even varies for positive news too…

“See that baby is smiling…See that baby is farting…Oh…See the baby is crying”

Any Girl: “So chweeet...chakkara…umma…cuteee naa”
(It’s like when you talk about our politicians its grammatically incorrect not to prefix with words like 'corrupt/tainted/imprisoned/caught on tape')

Whereas in a similar scenario the guy would probably say:
“Jeez...this little thing smells…and why does it cry...where is that plug??”

Probably there is just one question that could potentially make a man go thunders…

“Are you by any chance gay?”
“GAY?!!!...I am as STRAIGHT as a German autobahn...freaking hell!!
”(Thwack… Thud...Dishum…thwack)

Man and woman!! ...many a book, thesis papers written about it...But I am yet to find a book like ‘Woman deciphered- from Jagmohan and Sons ’ . And ofcoz there wont be a book like that about man, because you don’t need to think hard to know much about men!! Even the old genesis has its flaws…I don’t buy that Adam and Eve story of bone transplant and ancient cloning techniques…How could it possibly happen when there was not even a decent incubator back then? None of the pics in the Bible show Adam wearing a bandage because of his surgically removed ribs!! But there is one thing what explains the link with the shopping genes when Eve went for weekend shopping at the Local nature fresh fruit market and bargained for the apples that were NOT FOR SALE!! ;-P

In the modern era men like sales too…Men will go anywhere where there is a sale for branded sports clothing’s for example...It makes us feel athletic…We can miraculously transform into Roger Federer or David be precise in our dreams…

But there is another critical reason why for example men like Nike jerseys…It makes us and others feel we are always correct…When a woman sees a guy wearing a jersey with a Nike logo she thinks..

“He MUST be the Mr. RIGHT!!”

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Deal ya No Deal? its a TAG!!

While our country is facing dire straits politically, it is time for us to get into serious business like doing tags…

As we see the Left is pursuing a “Karat and Split policy” with the UPA because for them Nuclear is NO CLEAR!!!

I don’t know whether the deal is good for us or not…but you can’t bully the government sitting outside the fence and yet wanting to call all the shots….Well I don’t want to talk much on this and let me get back to this simple tag from Saphire ..Danke schon!!;-D

8 things I am passionate about

  • India (When you are staying abroad you become more conscious and proud of your country)
  • Jews/World War 11
  • Being Honest
  • Fair Play
  • Water (that’s a passion for beaches, river sides..or even beer ;-D)
  • My family
  • Do more and preach less
  • Staying happy

8 things I want to do before I die

  • Travel places (Brazil/ Norway/ Kenya)
  • Help a kid have things which I missed out in my life.
  • Change my job (It aint that easy..i need tonnes of motivation there)
  • Learn a musical instrument (preferably the Piano)
  • Build a house of my dreams
  • Get Budweiser to open outlets in Pattom
  • Have a coffee in CafĂ© Nervosa with Dr.Frasier Crane and Dr.Niles Crane
  • Meet Jodie Foster

8 things i say often:

  • Jeez/ Ente karthaavei / Eeshoyee
  • Aahsooo (OK in deutsch)
  • Shytzeeii (another therri which my german colleagues taught me)
  • All Right!
  • were u saying?:-I)
  • Spaari/ayyoo/edei/nanaavilla alle?(lots of em not used these days coz of scarcity of mallus around)
  • Chao/ schuss
  • Yaa....yaaa...

8 books I last read (not reading much of late..)

  • My Name is Red
  • Anne Frank’s Diary
  • Lufthansa In-flight magazine
  • Air France In-flight magazine
  • Any body Out there

8 songs i could listen to over and over again(I like this part though found it tough to list just 8)

8 people i think should do this tag

  • Anju (I have talked to her manager and she has been given a day off for doing this tag)
  • Philip (now take a break between your beers ;-D)
  • Josmy (What say about a jinx break)
  • Neena (The Bower is getting more exquisite there..)
  • Emmanuel (das perfekte social observer with a dash of sarcasm)
  • Ann (A passport-less Indian fugitive on the run)
  • Srijith (The poet and story teller can take a tag too)
  • Jina (The doc says she has to undergo 599 tags before attaining salvation)

P.S. I ll be off travelling again..this time for work… :-( .Hoping to catch a leisure trip in between..Hope I get lucky!! ;-D

See what some bloggers go through..Plagiarism is common place in blog world..some are accidental...some correct it...but some have the least bit of guilt ...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

‘One Whopper Menu please’

‘One Whopper Menu please’

‘To GO?’


‘With cheese or without cheese’

‘With cheese’

‘Ketchup or Maayo’




Well this conversation is quite familiar to most of you and shouldn’t have startled anyone...After all most kids these days say Daddy, Mummy and Mc Donald’s though not necessarily in that order…But this conversation is indeed SCANDALOUS considering the person who was answering to these questions was my DAD!! Now that’s like spotting Che Guevara in Las Vegas!! It is an incident that could potentially provoke midnight calls in family circles…”Kunjachen cheythathu arinjoo…”

Yes am seriously thinking of sending the video to Ripley’s Believe it or Not!!

Although I was guilty of underestimating there, I knew something’s that would never change…Amma wearing western formals cannot be even called hypothetical because it simply cannot happen. Cajoling from Indian westernized ammachis who graduated from chattayyum mundu-->saree-->western formals did not work! Anyways the Germans took it as an exotic oriental dress from the east.

The trip involved a lot of ‘First time doing’ and ‘First time seeing’ and other earth shattering events... Mom indulged in something offbeat and took part in extreme sports like "escalator boarding"!!...Needless to say by end of the trip she was a certified professional in Escalator Usage. Rookies back home at the malls would look in envy as she effortlessly wades out of an escalator , unlike the Anju Bobby George inspired leap that used to land her a few feet away… As mentioned earlier they did try some very exotic food called the BURGER and the PIZZA!! Thank god we have Indian restaurants everywhere in this world, you just have to follow the smell of the curry…That’s the best part with Indian restaurants…You don’t need directions to find it!!

Btw dad found the botanical garden (those unspeakable biological names) near my home as impressive as the Eiffel tower…Ugh!! Visits to the Vatican and Louvre museum though was interesting was at times boring. I mean you see something like a 3000 B.C Egyptian pottery. It doesn’t look much different from the overused meen chattis back home…neither can you impress someone with surrealist paintings of Van Gogh!!

Of coz there was the much anticipated faux pas too when Mom took the kitchen knife along in her bag to cut apples…We were waiting in the queue at the Eiffel when I came to know that her bag did contain a 'potential weapon' which I 'surrendered' to the security guard before the beeps went off. As he threw it away she was aghast...My pep talk on security, terrorist attacks did not cut any ice, talking of the lost knife…
Nevertheless we were lucky to after all get inside considering very few actual visits Eiffel tower with a knife!! Sigh…I have never understood the fascination woman have with knife!!

And If there was a Gullibility index or something I challenge anyone out here who can beat my Mom…I had perfectly made her believe that a city bus which we got into in Rome would now stop only in Venice and that we apparently got into the wrong bus….In Vatican any priest remotely walking by would be called the Pope…and I had fun making stories out of Berlin wall that extended till Great Wall of China long long ago…Well the Mumbo Jumbo that I blurt out had to be simply believed..;-P
Since I was alone this time around it did not reach the much hallowed heights she is capable of. Normally with bro and cousins we have a field day scoring points over the gullibility index of our aunts...

On seeing Mc Donald’s outlet at one of the malls, her highness Amma did say she did see one in cherthala, which I later figured out was an ad for Mc Dowell’s…Not to mention the height of insult when I wore a Arsenal jersey gifted by a friend...”Edaaa ithu ninakku Emirates fly cheythappol free kittiyathu aano”….My friend (a arsenal freak) says his club hasn’t been humiliated anyway like this before in his life.!!

The last few days of their vacation was indulged in shopping…As I told mom one of the best kept secrets of all foreign returnees…The gifts!!...a carton of facial tissues that cost only a few cents that would be split into packets of 100 each and given to all aunties along with a Dove Soap…a huge packet of snickers and Mars bought from Wal-Mart which would again be split (It is like what the Lord did with 5 appams and a fish, here the returnees do it with Snickers)... Though these tricks don’t work now as most people can make out Mars from a Lindt or Ferrero Rocher...A carton of shaving blades that would take care of the shaving needs of entire Kerala for a couple of years….I had to step in to stop the buying of goodies that looked like a relief package of sorts for a small country!!

Well the trip was memorable as much for me as for them...And as they left the shores (I mean the airport) back to old routines back home, I understood why everything in life is not constant….Happiness and joys are accentuated by periods of dullness and sadness…Love becomes what it is because of sacrifices...that’s what makes it worth it..

Like I mentioned in a old blog as we grow older we sometimes fail to recognize that everyone around us does too…As I saw their balding hair lines and saw how difficult it was for them to climb stairs after some decent walking around, there was nothing I could do about it…I took this chance to forget or rather accept these changes…Because what ultimately remains are just good old memories…

P.S. ..Listen to this classic Beatles..