Monday, October 31, 2005


I was tagged by Milo for this quiz. It is to write 20 things about me. So here you go!

  • I am a slow eater. With a book and TV ON, once I spent around 4 hours (this is my record) eating my lunch. These days I can’t manage such long hours for food and hence I eat less.

  • I love books. In fact I have a personal collection of more than 200 books. When I was in Mumbai, the major part of my salary was used up in that way.

  • I am a perfectionist. I don’t mind spending hours and hours to rectify the smallest of the faults in something which I am doing.

  • I think a lot. In fact my mind can’t stay idle. Something or the other will tinker in my mind every time and I keep thinking about those; on and on.

  • I love solitude. I had a favorite location near my flat in Mumbai where I used to go when I become emotional.

  • I am committed in all my relationships. I stay with my friends till the end. And I can’t stand it when I realize that nothing of that sort is there from the other side.

  • I forgive but never forget. When I face something awful from a person, similar things he/she had done to me in the past come to my mind all of a sudden.

  • I am child like. Many of my friends say so and sometimes, I don’t think they are wrong.

  • I am a brand freak. I like to own branded items and I don’t mind paying a premium for those.

  • I am a lazy person in general but when I am faced with really demanding situations, I slog my ass off to achieve that.

  • I am a sensitive person. But yeah this changed a lot these days; may be due to those experiences which I had gone through.

  • I am friendly with everyone. I have very good relationships with others. People find it comfortable talking to me. And usually I am approached for favors.

  • I am sarcastic and witty and I bring smiles in gatherings. I have a very good sense of humor.

  • I am caring & believe me; my PM told me many times that I will make a good husband ;-)

  • I am candid and I like others also being open. I don’t mind others saying things openly to me even if it is for denying me something.

  • I am one damn lucky guy. Whenever I feel like my way is blocked, something or the other will happen and I will be through.

  • I like to learn new languages. This was my craze when I was young and I maintained a diary of alphabets and words of many languages. I tried to learn Arabic, Russian, German, Greek, Kannada, Marathi and Japanese but failed half way through. I know Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, English and French.

  • I hate contests because I hate competing with others and hence I had always kept myself away from competitions. In fact I am trying to change this now.

  • I know cooking. Well, I just start making dishes and somehow it will turn good at the end. Once in a while I cook dinner in my home, giving a break to my amma.

  • I am a leftist in my ideologies. But I don’t believe in left politicians or in fact politicians of any kind. Why doesn’t India be ruled by an able CEO and a bunch of zealous managers? India would’ve been one of the top most countries in the world then. Now you know my take.

  • I was a social activist and will be one, after this hiatus.
People I would like to take this quiz are, AF, Invincible, Sinusoidally, Geo and Chips. Guys its not binding. But I wish you people shall take this... :-)

Monday, October 24, 2005


“Chetta, can u give me some ice?”

I was having my daily afternoon nap, and was engaged in a not so bad day-dream on the sofa in the verandah of my house that this spongy little voice from outside the door woke me up. With a modest discontent ascribed to the damage of my dream, I looked outside for the origin of the voice.

A small kid of age some where around five or six with a tanned dusty body, wavy hair, a guiltless smile and a pair of breeches torn at a few places stood at the patio with a small aluminum tumbler in his hand. Dust had drawn gradients on his garments in the same way as it did on his body. But his eyes had this striking innocence concealed in it, which was trying to break free. And that gave him a remarkable charm.

“What? What do you want?” I asked him with an added seriousness.

“Chetta, can you give me some ice from the fridge.” I realized that his words also veiled the same innocence in it.

“Why do you want ice?”

“We want to make ice-cream from it.” He replied with a feeling of pride on his face.


“I and my sister. She is there at our house waiting for me to come with the ice.”

“Oh! But ice-cream is not made that way kid.” A splash of melancholy wavered through his face. Even though ice-cream is not made like that and it doesn’t matter to me whatsoever as to what this kid is going to do with the ice cubes I am going to give to him, an afterthought made me feel the disappointment he would have felt when I said that. And I felt bad.

“Don’t worry; just give it a try and may be you will settle down with something similar. Let me see whether there are some ice cubes in the fridge.” And I walked inside my house just to find out that there weren’t any ice cubes in the freezer.

“Can you come back after an hour? I just put some water in the fridge and it will take some time to form ice.” I was back telling him this.

“Ok chetta, I will be back in an hour. Shall I keep this tumbler here?” He kept the tumbler by the side of the doorsteps and dashed off to the gate. I looked at that tumbler. It was filled with hopes; hopes of making ice-cream out of ice cubes. Hopes which I am sure were not going to get materialized. I took that tumbler inside my house.

He came to my house after an hour. I was still at the verandah, on the sofa, skimming through some magazines.

“Chetta, ice is ready?”

“Hmm… Let me have a look.” And I went to the kitchen. The ice was ready long back. I returned to the verandah and handed over the tumbler with ice cubes in it, to the child. His face brightened all of a sudden, as if he got a treasure.

“Thanks chetta.” His happiness reflected in his words.

He was about to leave that I continued. “Hey actually when I made that ice for you, the fridge kind of over-cooled some of it and here is something I got as a result.” I raised my hand towards him. It carried a small aluminum bowl which contained the ice-cream that I bought from the nearby store a few minutes back.

“It is some ice-cream. It is of no use to me. If you want you can take it” I said with a puny little smile on my face. “But yeah you have to return this bowl okay?”

“Ok chetta.” He took that bowl from me and ran towards the gate, towards his house, towards his little sister, who was waiting for the ice cubes for making ice-cream out of it.

I knew that what I said didn’t make any sense at all. Water over-cooled and became ice-cream! But it didn’t matter to me. What did matter to me was the happiness on those two petite faces; faces of that boy and his little sister. And I didn’t want that to disappear and give way to disappointment...

PS: Chetta(n) is a Malayalam word used to address elders.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Tale of Panchvan

Panchvan is a part of the eastern hills. When the monsoon blesses the dense forests, Panchvan assumes an inexplicable allure. Long back, when one such monsoon rained heavily and sunk the low laying plains, the people who stayed there lost their beloveds. Those who remained prayed to the God to stop the rains and grant them a safer place. The God was not satisfied with the entreaties. Kuttuvan, the brave son of the village chieftain, did a holy sacrifice to please the God and save his village. On the altar, in front of the angry flames, he cut his little finger off. Blood oozed out from the wound and he offered it to the God. When the last drop of blood trickled down from his body, the God was pleased. The monsoon ended all of a sudden. And Kuttuvan’s body fell on the altar motionless. His body was buried near the village. The next day a knoll was seen at his grave. In a few days it grew to a massive hill. The villagers shifted to that hill. And they were permanently saved from the floods. Kuttuvan’s tomb rose with the hill and remained at its summit. The villagers made a small shrine above it and since then they have been worshiping him as their God.

Seasons passed. The low laying plains were occupied by people from the north. They converted it into an industrial city. Factories mushroomed and started spitting out smoke. A new culture evolved there. But Panchvan remained as serene as it was before; the populace of Panchvan as peaceful as they were before. And the people of the city called them aborigines.

The government sanctioned a paper plant in the city. They said that it will bring employment to thousands of jobless people in the city and the nearby areas. Someone said that the main reason behind the plant was the dense forests of Panchvan and the trees which grew there which would serve as the raw material to the plant. Meteorologists opined that the demolition of the forest may bring in floods to the city during monsoon because it’s the forest that prevented water from coming down to the city. But unemployment was the main concern, always, even to an employed man.

Huge butcher-vehicles assaulted the forest. The deep dense forests slowly started showing their dry roots. The tribe of Panchvan was forced to migrate to a new place. Some of them couldn’t adjust with the new environment and died out. For the rest, there was no Kuttuvan to save them again. The shrine at the hill top was demolished. The entire forest was slashed off in three years. And it was time for the next monsoon.

The meteorologists were proved wrong. It didn’t flood that year. It didn’t rain either!

PS: Thulasi has pointed out the commendable effort by this visionary named Abdul Kareem from Nileshwaram, Kasargod, who converted 36 acres of barren land in to a lush green forest. Hats off to Abdul Kareem and hope you will read that small write-up on him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

neW yeaR @ railwaY platforM

“How about going to Juhu beach to celebrate the New Year?” The idea came from George. Well, since it came from him, who had a proven track record of coming up with ideas which end up in scrapes, we were kind of reluctant to show the green flag. New Year happens only once in a year and wise men say that a bad New Year will have its effect on the entire year, made us think about it a bit more before jumping in. This coupled with our pathetic situation on the work front with more number of night shifts and heavy work load all under the swathe of an emaciated wallet; didn’t allow us to take a risk. But George was so convincingly propounding that it would be a nice time and we would get a chance to see the real chicks of Mumbai and so and so; we finally decided to give it a try.

By 6 pm all of us were ready. Everyone was dressed up in classic macho man attires to drive in the attention of the fairer sex. We moved towards Juhu beach which was like one, one and a half hours journey from our place. En-route we managed to have a heavy dinner also. Once we reached the beach, our usual leg-pulling sessions started. The baton got circulated several times and each and everyone in the gang got a chance to experience it. We did that relentlessly; without neglecting the “crowd” around us.

Came midnight and the crowd cheered themselves to welcome the New Year. Someone started the countdown and everyone else repeated it in one voice. Who knows whether the timing was correct or not! The moment the count down ended, a cracker went up the sky and exploded into a beautiful sea of light. Then there were a foray of them; of different colors, in different shapes and sizes.

At about 12:30 we decided to return to our flat as the metro train service of Mumbai stops at 1 am. Now came another suggestion from George, which was about taking a promenade to the railway station? He said that it would be interesting to walk to the station on a New Year eve that too in the night, having “fun filled” talks. He also reminded that we had 30 more minutes to catch the last train. We wouldn’t have agreed to his words if not we had seen the group of girls who started walking in front of us. In such situations, you don’t need someone else to guide you and make such strategic decisions.

Well, the stroll was interesting and all but realities nibbled us and let us realize that the distance to the railway station was more than what we had expected and by the time we reached there, the last train had already left the station. Kurla railway station, 1:30 in the night, seemingly empty platform and a few beggars here and there and then there was our gang. A few police men were roaming around and luckily, despite us making such loud noises, they didn’t turn towards us. The conditions were ridiculous and we had to go to our office the next morning. But all we could do was to spend time at the station in one of those old wooden benches and wait for the morning train to come. And the wait started by giving bumps to George for coming up with such an awful idea. The bumps sessions continued periodically.

But yeah it was fun. To spend a night in a railway platform that too on a New Year, engage in insane talks that too in the late night and have the occasional bumps sessions. Next day in the office I was doing coding that someone clouted me on my back. It was my Project Leader. I was wondering why the hell he did that even though I was busy in coding. Later I realized that I was doing coding in my dream. Actually I was dozing on the chair due to my lack of sleep the previous night. Gosh! That night-out at the railway station...