Monday, September 29, 2008

No more clog's in Blogs..please

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

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.

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


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’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…


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.


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