Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Wishing u all a great year ahead... :-)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A bit of security

Renu had just moved in to Bangalore to join her new job. These days, the first thing one would do after shifting her location is to get a cell phone connection; even before finding a house to settle in. Thank God, most of the service providers gave out corporate connections which made the task of getting a new connection much easier. Also the corporate connection would save her from giving huge deposits to activate STD facility to call back home and a company letter to surrogate local address proof.

The company had a representative of a famous mobile phone service provider visiting their campus every afternoon to assist people take new connections. Renu was more than happy when she came to know about this. The very next day she joined her company Renu went and saw the sales representative and enquired about the formalities of taking a new connection.

The ever obliging sales guy replied with a pleasant smile on his face. “Madam, please give me your passport size photograph, a copy of your company ID card, a photo copy of your credit card; both sides, a cancelled check leaf of your salary account, your address proof or company letter and your pay slip. Your connection will be activated tomorrow itself.”

‘Hey, isn’t he asking a bit too much of a requirement? Especially copy of both sides of my credit card and a cancelled check leaf of my salary account! Anyone who is seeing the copy of my credit card can note down the card number and the CVV number and do online transactions using that and in the check leaf, my account number and bank name are there, which are like confidential information. Also you don’t know who all see these photocopies.’ Having thought about this, she decided to ask the sales guy.

“Why do you want copies of both sides of my credit card and a cancelled check leaf?”

“Those are required madam.”

“But why? They are confidential information and can’t be shared.”

The sales guy’s face started to change. Bit annoyed, he handed over one pamphlet to Renu. He also showed a few photocopies of both sides of credit card given by some employees of her company. Some of them haven’t even darkened the CVV number on the back side of their credit card!

The following were written under various plans offered by the provider.

Documents Required
1. One passport size photograph
2. A photocopy of the ID card
3. Photocopy of the credit card for SI (both side) OR cancelled check leaf for ECS
4. Local address proof or company letter
5. Pay slip photocopy for STD, ISD and Roaming facilities

She started asking doubts one by one and that’s when things started to unfold.

Credit card photocopy shall be asked when one wants her bill to be credited to her credit card and it also serves the purpose of signature verification. Whereas a cancelled check leaf shall be asked when one wants to enable auto debit of her bills from her bank account and it also serves the purpose of signature verification. By having these details, the cell phone service providers mitigate the risk. On inquiring further, she got to know that the signature verification can be done by giving photocopies of her driving license or passport. By not choosing her bill to be auto debited from her account or credited to her credit card and with a refundable deposit of Rs. 400 she can even do away with the cancelled check and photocopies of credit card!

She gave one passport size photo, a photocopy of her ID card, a photo copy of her license, a company letter as she hasn’t taken a house yet and a deposit of Rs. 400 to take the connection. She gave a copy of her offer letter in lieu of salary slip. She wondered what she would do with those people who have already submitted their credit card and bank account details.

Most of the times, we just need to inquire a bit more.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


We call her akka.
As I write this, I am trying to recollect her name. After a while I realized that I didn't know it because I haven't asked her that anytime. Oh man, our maid, she has been cleaning our house and washing our clothes for about six months now and still I haven't asked her name! On second thoughts, it shouldn't come as a surprise to me as I hardly know the name of our maid while I was at Mumbai and that too in spite of my stint of about two years there. Probably I wouldn't have asked her name too!
We called her baai.

When we came to Bangalore and got bumped into our current house, we were looking for a person who would keep our house nice and clean. We were more than happy when akka, who used to clean the house for its previous inhabitants, agreed to continue the post.

Akka, like many other akkas who work in various houses of the IT city Bangalore (Those who read this post after November 1st, read it as Bengaluru), is also from Tamil Nadu. Most of them have come to Bangalore for a living and usually go back to their native once or twice a year. Many of them have settled with family in one of those shady alleys of Bangalore. In semblance, bai like many other bais who work in various houses of the economic capital of India, Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay), comes from Bangladesh.

Many a times I have felt that they are the most underpaid group. I guess their wages range from 200 – 400 for a one bedroom house a month. Most of them work in four to six houses and earn around 1000 – 3000 bucks a month, well set to meet all the expenses of their families including food, clothes, children's education and all such. Sometimes I wonder how they manage it out in the costliest city of India! Hmmm… everyone is happy with their own means...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blog Tag

Thanks Quills for taging me with this.

1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blog, with its content and look? Does your family know about your blog?
I am not. I want to write like blogger A. I want my blog to look like blogger B's. I want as much number of readers as blogger C. But in the end, I realize, I am just Jithu and I can't but be me!

I think my brother knows it. And I told my parents quite recently that I have a blog where I write stuff.

2. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?
Neither I feel embarrassed nor I consider it as a private thing, but I like keeping my identity known only to a chosen few.

3. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?
I don't think so. Probably because I haven't seen blogs that instill such thoughts.

4. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?
Previously, when I had time, I used to blog hop a lot. But now, I mostly confine myself to the blogroll I have. To be frank, anyone will have a natural interest to see who has commented them and how is the commenter's blog. I am no exception. So those who comment me, I guarantee you, I will visit your blog. But people who get comments from me, you are indeed privileged! :p

5. What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?
Yes I do have a visitor counter in my blog. Initially I was concerned about the count, but now, I care it less.

6. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
Kandathu manoharam, kaanathathu athimanoharam (Seen are beautiful, unseen are more beautiful). I don't try to see my fellow bloggers, unless I am that interested to see them or they force me to see them. Only a chosen few know me by my face.

7. Admit. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?
Yes Ofcoz! Other than personal benefits like improving writing skills and the like, it gave me a chunk of friends most of whom I haven't even seen in person but I can very much identify myself with.

8. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?
Except having access to the internet world, which less than 1 in 100 Indians have, I don't think the bloggers are a privileged lot. They are much part of the ordinary world. But retrospectively, most of the bloggers don't think so. So they are isolated from the real world and mostly avert themselves from interacting with the common populace.

9. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it's a normal thing?
Depends. Sometimes yes. Sometimes I take it positively.

10. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?
If it is a political blog, I won't avoid it. But I hardly find a political blog which is not biased though the author claims it to be unbiased. Majority knows the bias, a few understands it!

11. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
Nah! Suspects can be questioned and they may not always be criminals. In the recent blocking of blogs by the India government I have seen bloggers who abused the block and had sought out methods to overcome it. I felt, who do they think they are? Do they think they are above law? Sometimes in the advent of national safety, governments have to do such things. But everyone knows that once the situation is over, things would be back to normal. And so did the ban. I felt the attitude of some bloggers as plain arrogance!

12. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?
I hope someone will comment on my blog telling others that I am dead. Also I'm not that good a writer to have my scribbles known for eons after my death. So I prefer my blog shall also R.I.P with me! But I don't know how I can do that. Can we automate this process? :p

13. What do you like to hear? What's the song you might like to put a link to in your blog?
I like to hear appreciation for my posts! :p

If for songs,
Bryan Adams, Everything I do...
Achuvinte Amma, Enthu paranjalum nee entethalle...
Vaastav, Mere duniya hein tujhmein kahin...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Identity Crisis

'Nikunjam', to 'C 103' to 'No. 36'
'Kottarakkara' to 'Sector 10' to '17th Main, 14th Cross, 6th Block'

I know, I know. You haven't yet stopped wondering what crap I wrote above right. Well, let me explain it a bit. ' Nikunjam' is the name of my house back at my native and 'C 103' and 'No. 36' are the figures or names (?) that label the flat/house I stayed after I left my native. 'Kottarakkara ' is what we call our native and my later warrens were 'Sector 10' and '17th Main, 14th Cross, 6th Block'.

I can't but be thinking about all these a bit. The word Nikunjam in Malayalam means a house made of climber stalks and bushes. It's a small dream house where one can ease out his/her soul. The word itself is so sweet and thinking about it makes one feel cool and relaxed. It's symbolic to a warm and pleasant home. Where stands C 103 and No. 36? The word ' Kottarakkara' also has a meaning and origin to it, but 'Sector 10' and '17 Main, 14th Cross, 6th Block'?

The numbers are given to houses and places for convenience. Yes, it's quite easy to locate the house numbered 36 in 17th Main, 14 th cross in 6th Block. From the tenderness of yesteryears we moved on to the fastness and ease of use of modernity. I am not saying whether it is good or bad. But am I losing something here? Is it for good?

I am becoming skeptical here. I doubt that I myself would be named after some such number in future. Already it's showing some signs. I have an employee code in my company. I don't know when my boss is going to call me like,

"Hey 14019, why don't you come here for a sec?"

I being the polite subordinate as ever, "Yes Mr. 6788, I am on my way!"

Man, I have an identity and that is my name. But then, so do the house I stay and the place I live. I can voice for my identity, but what will my house do? The place I live do? Do they want to be known through a number? Hold on, where are we heading to in the name of modernity?

Last week I went to buy something for which I had to give my permanent address. The shop guy looked amazed on seeing my address that he asked.

"No Number, No Main, No Cross, Sir?"

All that I could tell him was, "I have a home out there and not a house, buddy!"

I don't know whether he understood the difference between the two. Life just goes on...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Lost Holidays

The rain was settling down. Some infrequent droplets and those were it. A wind undressed the sky from the clouds and exposed its bare blue residue. The heavens were turning lucid. Taking help from a gentle breeze, trees and shrubs of the earth swirled away the water droplets clung to their branches and leaves. The day was all set to welcome a pleasant, bright and fresh afternoon. And the indistinctly misty evening added itself to the serenity of Maale-Nag, a hamlet on the valley of the mighty Himalayas. The village stood afresh; with a new life imbibed in it. After all it had been raining continuously there for the past two weeks. And little did the rain know that it had spoiled Vyomketan, the yearly harvest festival of the villagers that ran over the last one week.

A couple of hours were still remaining for the nightfall. The last bus from the city down below the plains was to reach the village in a short while. In a small shed near the bus stop sat an old man who apparently was waiting for someone who would come in that bus. Though he seemed so fragile, his age hadn’t have stolen the sparkle out of his eyes, which were filled with hopes.

“Is he coming today?” Asked a passerby who seemed to have known the old man for quite some time. As with the case of any other village, in that village too everyone knew each other.

“I hope so”. The old man replied him without taking his eyes off, which were set at a distance, on the road where it bended and disappeared behind the mountains.

“You should go home grandpa. He is not a child. He will come home alone once he reaches here.”

A long pause was the reply from him. But still he didn’t take off his eyes from the road.

*        *        *

Two weeks back, at an office in the IT city of Bangalore.

“Boss, I am done with my pending tasks. I don’t have much to do now. Can I take a leave and go home next week? It’s our yearly harvest festival that is coming up”. Navin was sure about his leave getting approved when he asked his boss for it.

“Sure Navin, you can go home. But keep yourself ready for any unexpected tasks that would come up during that time.”

“Sure boss!” His joy grew to new bounds. He thought about going to his village and meeting his grandparents after one long year.

*        *        *

The rain had completely stopped falling down. The pleasant evening gave way to a cold dusk. The sky had put on a colorful gown. Red, green, purple and various other variants imprinted on it! The glory of a splendid day was evident in that painting the nature had made on the skies.

At a distance, the sound of a horn was heard. The bus was approaching the village. The old man stood up from the bench with eagerness filled in his eyes. He seemed to have reinvigorated from all his ailments, when he heard the growl of the bus. He moved ahead and got out from the bus stand.

The bus stopped in front of him. Only a few passengers were there inside the bus and they started getting down one by one. Few moments later, the last person disembarked from the bus. With that, the old man’s face turned to disappointment.

No, he wasn’t there. The person, whom the old man was looking for, wasn’t there in the bus. A cold breeze caressed his face followed by a few droplets from the sky. Another rain was starting to grow.

*        *        *

At the same time, in the same IT office at Bangalore, Navin looked at his watch while the tele-conference was going on.

‘By this time I would’ve reached my village’. He thought.

He also knew that his grand father would be waiting at the bus stop for him now. Though he used to tell him to not to wait for him, his grandpa did that every time he went home. After all since his father’s death, it was his grandpa who took care of him.

The client in the US didn’t want to know about all these. They just continued the meeting, as scheduled...

Monday, September 11, 2006

A day's wait

Tears started conquering her eyes. As it sheltered her eyes, I saw my face growing big in those. It hurt me...

Many things hurt me. It hurts me whenever she sits late in her office. I want her to go home as early as possible as I know Bangalore is not a good city after twilight. The third page of Times of India and The Hindu say ludicrous stories each day. It hurts me when she gets even a simple cold as I know she has no one but me in Bangalore. Despite me staying quite far away from her place, I was there for her all the time, I still am...

My friends used to ask me this question. How can you be so close to each other? Obviously they weren’t in love anytime in their life. All I could tell them back was,

“Feel it to understand it
Be in it to believe in it”

“I feel it, hence I understand it
I am in it, so I believe in it”

“Do you?”

Love, that’s a feeling beyond words. It can make the biggest of the odds come together. It can bridge all the differences. When I get something that I really want from her at a particular point in time and I get that without asking her; when she does what I think in my mind; when we call each other the same time and get number busy alerts; when I see her and it assures me that she is the one for me in this life; every time; I feel it. And it makes me believe in it.

Tears started conquering her eyes. As it sheltered her eyes, I saw my face growing big in those. It hurt me...

I was busy at work and I couldn’t talk to her that day!

In the park near Jaya Nagar, with her head on my shoulder, I finally heard those retrieving tears...

I too was getting calmed down inside...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What happened to my city?

The places were the same. The ones we used to wait for trains in the past. The ones we used to get out from the packed Metro and became a part of the ocean of people. The trains too were the same as I couldn’t ever tell between two trains of the Mumbai Metro except differentiate by three different colored stripes, red, blue and green on a common yellow background and yeah, the three lines, western, central and harbor. The people too were the same. I didn’t know their faces or names, but I knew they were all like me. Trying to reach the safeness of home, carrying victuals to their children, meet their beloveds, after a hectic work day.

At first it was the rains that soaked my city. It had already shown its clout last year but I feel there was something left on its hoard. My people suffered. Ok agreed, it’s not in our hands to control a natural calamity than to prepare and face it, but what followed after that?

What if a person’s wife’s statuette is sling with sludge by someone? Were the thousands of people who suffered due to the subsequent hooliganism responsible for that? Were the BEST buses which were ruined and the bus that was set on fire would do any better to the smudging? Time has come for us to extirpate human gods, who provoke innocent but brainless minds, from the face of earth. So, that was two more days of sufferings that got added with the rains. And here comes the valedictory rite, hopefully!

7 blasts, 147 dead, 400 injured! The death tolls are mounting. All in the flash of 30 minutes! I’m sure someone would be laughing somewhere. Let’s give all the dead bodies to them to eat and slake their hunger!

I believe all the people I know in Mumbai are safe. I’ve been trying to contact you guys since I came to know about this.

May the souls of the killed rest in peace and God give courage to their near ones!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Have a Nice Day!

In a different place, with a different set of friends, I guess my non-academic bachelor days are back into action. That means so back are those leg pulling sessions which we used to have in the past. Every evening, from different corners of Bangalore South, we get together in one of those umpteen Malayalee restaurants in and around Koramangala for dinner. Fortunately as of now I am able to get out from my office at 6 pm itself primarily because these are my initial days in the office. So here is something which came out in one of those dinner sessions.

One of my friends, lets call him O, works for a bank in Bangalore. His main job is to sit idle most of the times a year, ogle ‘attractive’ customers, and then fire up his ass to meet the revenue targets end of the year. So according to O, its hell of a time when it nears March since March 31st is the end of a financial year. Meeting targets, if not approaching people like me and coax us to take loans from his bank, employing people having muscle-packed body to collect money from defaulters and what not. Even for a guy like me who has zero banking knowledge and who thinks the much hyped ‘core banking solution’ sums up to not more than inserting a card, catch the money thrown on your face by the ATM machine and clean your hands with the paper that pops out from the machine as if using a tissue paper, it all seems to be so very eventful.

To continue the story, lemme introduce one more friend of mine to you. Let’s call him J. So one fine morning, close to 12 pm, when J reached his office, squeezing his bike through the Bangalore traffic, fully worn-out and marginally escaped from Lucifer’s hand at times, and opened his mailbox, he saw a forward from O. Since the subject of the mail was ‘Have a Nice Day’ J didn’t think twice before opening it. That was where it all started.

The first slide of the presentation was really interesting. Well, if a beautiful girl with a much more beautiful smile holding a bouquet in her hand wished you good day then even if it’s a photo, no man could say that it wasn’t interesting. J wasn’t an exception either. And he fell for the trap.

The twist happened in the next slide. It said that you would become lucky and would get all the material pleasures you wanted if you take a loan from the bank where O worked!

The third slide was even worse. It said “If you don’t wheedle five people to take loans from the aforementioned bank within two days then you will get injured in an accident with in the next five days!”

These followed in the subsequent slides.

“If you don’t cajole five people with in the next three days then you will die after falling from the terrace in the next six days!”

“If you discard this mail and don’t forward it to 10 people then you will lose 1 lakh from your bank account. Or else you will be raided by the income tax department!”

Heard that from the next day onwards there were long queues in front of O’s bank! He got a promotion this year for exceeding the targets! And J is paying EMIs of two loans!

PS: Purely a work of fiction.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Two Milestones

I totally missed this. I forgot that a year back it was on a May 6th that I started this blog. unCERTAINty is a year old now and is up and running, obviously with a nip of unCERTAINty.

Btw I joined my company and am going thru the induction proceedings before I start with my work. Lots of things to do, like finding a house and stuff like that to consider myself settled.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tags are from Venus

Here's a tag from Venus!

1.Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.
its an engineering mathematics text book. u really want me to write that triple integral equation on page 18 line 4?

2.Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.
i tried. cudn't reach the door though.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
F1 - repeat telecast of the grand-prix in which Shumi won.

4.Without looking, guess what time it is?
10:30 am

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
11:57 am, oh no.. just miss! :-(

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
the sound of the refrigerator.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
two days back. my friends came to see me and we went to the nearby lake side.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
mckinsey report - managing next generation IT infrastructure!

9. What are you wearing?
half pants. yes thats all. ;-)

10. Did you dream last night?
i think yes. don’t remember that though.

11. When did you last laugh?
while watching some comedy serial on TV.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
a calendar that shows 2005 june!

13 Seen anything weird lately?
my class XII mark list is missing! i donno where the hell i kept that. have applied for a duplicate mark list from the university :-(

14. What do you think of this quiz?
venus is a nice girl, so! :p

15. What is the last film you saw?
a very long engagement. its a brilliant film.

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
i will start a company.

17. Tell me something about you that I donno.
my first job was that of a teacher. i taught IT for 8th standard students in Govt Higher Secondary School Punnamoodu. i still keep my entire first salary; the same currency notes so to say. since i worked for only 2 weeks i was paid only Rs. 500 out of my monthly salary of Rs. 2000. btw my students still greet me :p they are in +2 nw.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
go back in time. kill the maniac(s) who started caste system in India, before they begin with it. even inside the same religion there are umpteen classes.
coz then,
the underprivileged, they wont b underprivileged today.
the privileged, they dont have to word against reservation.
across religion and region, no person of a particular class, which he/she belongs to not by virtue of him/her, which he/she just happened to take birth without a choice, wud consider himself/herself superior/inferior to another person of a different class. i want a world were everyone is equal in the true sense; not just in writing or in talking.

19. Do you like to dance?
yes yes yes.

20. George Bush.
100% bush. 0% brains

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
appu-kuttan (appoottan)

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
wherever i go, i will b back home in the end.

24.What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
dude, can u be my successor?

25. 5 people who must also do this meme in their journal.
:-), :-), :-), :-), :-)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Raining Thoughts

It is raining. No. It has been raining and the rain is silently receding now. Sitting inside my room, I could feel the chilliness brought in by the cold breeze that was playing in the rain all this while and then intruded into my room through the semi opened window. I felt jealous of that breeze because I too wanted to play in the rain but I was not able to do that. Suddenly the breeze gave way to a pleasant wind which brought a thousand tiny droplets of cold water along with it. They fell all over me. I felt a quiver of excitement run through out my body, tickling each and every muscle on its way; all in the flash of a second. I felt the iciness spreading my entire body. Man, being in such a situation is a delight. I closed my eyes.

When I opened my eyes, I saw a shining droplet of water precariously clinging on the tip of a gleaming green leaf. The droplet was about to fall. I looked at myself. Omg! I have turned into a child. The old, small and naughty Jithu! The rain has just stopped and I ran outside my house shattering the muddy water on my way. I went near that dangling water droplet. I wanted to stop the droplet from falling down because it was so beautiful when it was hanging there. I was amazed by the way with which I could see the entire world in it. I doubted whether a wind is on its way to defeat the water droplet from its efforts. I suspected whether my breath would move the leaf thereby making the droplet fall down. I slowly placed my hand beneath the water droplet to hold it if it falls down. Suddenly a wind came from somewhere. It moved the leaf and the droplet lost its grip. It fell on my little index finger. It was no longer beautiful.

Meanwhile I heard my amma calling me inside. She told me that she has made black tea for me. My favorite tapioca fry was also there, she said. It’s great to have this combo when it’s raining. A cup of hot black tea and crispy chips! I forgot about that little water droplet on my finger and ran back into my house. I took the cup of black tea and the small bowl of tapioca fry to the verandah. In between I took some extra tapioca fry from my father’s share and put it in my bowl. I used to do something when it rained outside. I used to take a bed sheet and cover the chair on our verandah with it. That was my instant toy house and I soon made one; a house of my own! It felt great to be inside the coziness of my toy house when it rains. I crawled into my newly constructed house, into the small area between the bed sheet and the seat, with my black tea and the fries. The window or small opening of my toy house opened to the courtyard. Suddenly there started another downpour. I was inside my little house drinking steaming black tea, eating chips and enjoying the rains. There would be a thousand water droplets in each of the leaves now and a thousand beautiful worlds displayed in them, I thought. It made me happy.

Suddenly there was another wind which again brought in water droplets with it. The droplets were so big that they fell right on my face with a lot more power. And it made me open my eyes. The little Jithu disappeared. Hmm... That was a nice reverie. And I felt so melancholic. I know that those moments are gone. They won’t come back again. I am going to be in an office in a few days. I will be in a new city. I hope there would be rains there and there would be leaves to hold water droplets and show me that innocent world in it. I’m not so sure about that. I gasped it off. I looked at the water droplet which I saw hanging on the leaf a while ago. It was no longer there...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I am Sanjiv. I work for a BPO firm situated in the Mumbai suburbs. I earn a five figure salary which was the dream of my father. Even though I come from a lower middle class family, once I started earning, I happened to be a spendthrift. I end up having weary bank balances during month ends. I like loneliness and hence I live alone in a single room accommodation located in one of the congested streets of Dadar. I am not satisfied with my life. And this is about an evening from my monotonous life.

It’s been a week that I am put up in the night shift. I sleep when people are busy with their work and I work when people lighten up at their houses. I hate this work but I don’t have any other options. For the company, if not me, someone else will do this job. Also, I earn much more than what a government employee does these days. So even though I am forced to hear a lot of crap through my headphones, the mascot of a call center job, I am kind of okay with my job.

Today is Tuesday and today is my week-off which falls on Tuesdays and Wednesdays due to the special nature of my project, unlike Saturdays and Sundays for a normal project. Still on my bed at 2 in the afternoon, the incident which happened yesterday hasn’t yet gone from my head. By the way I didn’t go to my office yesterday and I boozed heavily last night.

As usual, yesterday also I woke up at 7:30 in the evening for my 10 to 6 night shift. I left for my office after a quick bath. It took considerable amount of time to reach the office due to the heavy traffic at that hour of the day and in between I had to eat something as well. I reached the nearby bus stop after having my break-fast, err, dinner.

The bus stop was crowded as usual. Almost all the buses were full owing to the return of people from their jobs back home. Near the bus stop, there was a man who was selling grapes and oranges on a push-cart, yelling sporadically at random pedestrians, “Oranges, Rs. 30 for a dozen!” Noisy, crammed and clammy; it was an archetypal Mumbai evening.

“Hey you ice-cream boy!” The man who was standing next to me, hollered all of a sudden. In response, a small boy who was standing close to the grape seller with a small wooden box hung on his shoulders came near us.

“How much for a kulfi?”

“5 rupees sir.” He replied with a gentle smile.

“Give me one.”

The boy took a kulfi from the wooden box, gave it to the man and collected the money from him.

He lingered there for a while and then to me he asked.

“Fresh kulfis sir, shall I take one?”

I looked at his face.

Aged around seven, he seemed to carry more responsibility than a child of his age would usually have, on his shoulders. And the resultant maturity was evident on his face.

“Ok, give me a kulfi.”

He opened his box and gave a kulfi to me. While paying the amount, I asked him.

“Don’t you study kid?”

“Yes sir. I’m in second standard. And after the class time I sell kulfis.” He replied swiftly with an innocent smile. He was smart.

“What is your name?”

“Ramesh, sir.”

“Where do you live?”

“Over there sir.” and he pointed towards the slum located at the opposite side of the road.

“You have kulfi?” another person in the bus-bay called the boy and he went towards him.

I was soon back looking for bus number 521 as it was becoming late for my office.

Suddenly I heard a commotion erupted from my side as the people at the bus-stop circled around something at the other end of the bus stop. Something might have happened there. Even though it was time for me to catch the bus, I set off to see what has happened over there, simultaneously keeping a watch on the incoming buses. After reaching there, I budged towards the center pushing the crowd around me. Some one was lying on the road. From the wooden box near him, I could identify that person as the boy whom I had talked to a minute ago.

In the meantime someone brought a cup of water from the nearby tea stall and sprinkled the water on the child’s face. He opened his eyes before long, only to start shivering severely. After getting up he sat on the pavement. Someone got a tea for him from the tea stall. He started sipping the tea while the crowd dispersed from around him. And soon the situation was back to normal.

I was back at my place but something was pulling me back towards that boy. I looked at him. He was still shivering. Even though it was late for me to reach my office, I strongly felt that I should take him to his house. I went back to him.

“Come-on kid, let’s go to your house.” I told him while helping him stand up. I took his wooden box and we both walked across the road towards his house. After a bit of walking we entered into a narrow alley of snugly packed one room houses. My first experience of a slum! It was crammed, it was filthy.

“That’s my house Sir”. His feeble voice had already lost its power. I took him towards the house he had shown to me. And we reached its door.

Aaaii, Aaaii, I am back.” He called his mother while knocking on the door. Someone opened the door after a while. It was his mother.

“Sir, please sit down. I will be back in a minute.” He said. I sat on the small stool put opposite to me by his mother.

“Ramesh is a smart boy” I started the conversation with his mother. She just smiled.

“I think you should not send him to sell kulfis when he needs to read his lessons.” Again she smiled. It seemed she was agreeing to what I was saying.

“So what do you do for a living?” I asked her.

“A massage for Rs. 25, a blowjob for Rs. 50 and a night for Rs. 100, Sir” She replied with the same smile on her face.

I was stunned when I heard that. Not even in my worst of the dreams did I think that she would say something like that. I sat there like a robot. I didn't have any idea how to handle that situation. I just turned numb.

“You want some water Sir?” I felt so relieved when I saw Ramesh back in the room. Yes I was sweating all over.

“Yes, I want.” I replied.

“My mom is not well, she is mentally ill.” He told me while handing over a cup of water to me. I looked at her. She was still staring at me, with the same smile. After drinking that water I left his house. On my way back I was confronted by a person.

“Sir, why did you go to that mad woman? I would’ve given you a better deal. By the way she used to be a prostitute before she turned mad. She doesn’t have a husband and she and her son live on the income that child earns by selling kulfis.”

I didn’t have the mood to go to the office that day. I went to the near by liquor shop and bought a bottle of whisky. I went home and drank the entire bottle myself. But the blues didn’t leave me. I was thinking about my life and the child’s life and the contrast between the two. I just couldn’t sleep...

PS: Aaaii – Marathi word for mother.

This is the best tag I have done so far. Thanks Anoop very much for tagging me to do this and to tell you, it really sweated me out to make a story using the words I, me, blowjob, grapes, random, power, loneliness, water, robot, and blue.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tommy – I, II, III

If you misunderstood the title of this post to be the hierarchy of medieval monarchs from the 14th century who ruled their kingdom to glory and subsequently to debacle, then let me tell you, you have got it wrong. Tommy is the name of the dogs we had over the years and since we were too lazy to find new names for the successors of Tommy the First, we christened each of the dogs we had henceforth as Tommy itself. Well I was a history freak that time and since I didn’t want to give the names of mighty European/Asian emperors such as Kaiser, Caesar, Tippu etc. anymore to such silly (forgive me SPCA guys, mere pun intended when I call dogs silly) creatures as dogs, I thought that let Tommy alone handle the entire twinge. So there were three Tommy’s we had till date.

Tommy the First
He was the one who started the great Tommy Empire in my house. He was brought home when I was in second standard, as a puny little creature that perfectly fitted in my father’s palm. A true torch-bearer of his genre, Tommy the first used to assault me and my brother whenever we tried to pull his tail or knock his head or take away his meals. We used to find rescue by clambering up the window grill or climbing the shrubs outside our house or sometimes going near the tap and opening it to full throttle in less than 2 seconds. Tommy feared water. Whenever he was given a wash, he shrinks beyond imagination, difficult even to see, that we felt ourselves humiliated thinking that we ran for our lives panicked by this skinny skeletal figure.

My quest towards knowledge wouldn’t have materialized if it wasn’t for Tommy. I learned simple harmonic motion when I dangled a bread piece to a stick using a twine and swayed it in front of him. His head followed the same simple harmonic motion. I varied the length of the string and noticed the change of pace in Tommy’s head movements. Once I made an arrangement of a battery and a LED bulb and went near Tommy. I placed the two wires on Tommy’s cheeks and with a loud scream, turned the LED ON and right after that I heard the first ever cry from Tommy. It took him three complete days to come out from that shock. Later whenever I show him my two hands pretending that two wires are there in my grip, I find Tommy becoming restive.

But he was a great dog. No one dared to enter our house when he was there. On his last day I saw him going out the gate, talking to another dog, coming back to his kennel and then drowning silently towards the depths of death. What he probably told the other dog was, “Friend, I am going, take care of my masters!”

Tommy the Second
He was a master tunnel maker. The dream project of interconnecting all the coconut-tree pits in our house by an underground passageway was accomplished by him. During rainy seasons, when the soil is wet and I and my family members, who have the least idea about these tunnels, walk over them, we sometimes succumb to these subways. We feel like soil has eroded from under our feet. And we collide into these tunnels. Thus we were able to relate ourselves with the emotions of an elephant when it falls in an elephant trap.

Tommy – II served the added responsibility of an usher. He used to lead me and my family members when ever we go outside the house. It was on one such mission that Tommy surrendered himself to the front wheel of a truck.

Tommy the Third
He was a traveler par excellence. There is not even a single village in Southern India that he hasn’t paid a visit to. He disappears on one fine day and come back after a week or so with travel sores and bruises throughout his body. He was the kind of dog whom you call ‘here’ and he manipulates the word ‘here’ and prefixes a ‘t’ in front of the word ‘here’ and act accordingly. Yes, he had a strong command over the English language and literature. He was not as efficient as the other Tommys due to which the Tommy Empire came to an end at my house. He passed away suffering from the repercussions of one such journey, in which he was out-rightly battered.

We haven’t had a dog in our house after that. And we are planning to get one. Let me try for a new name this time. Since I changed to a corporate freak now, I won’t be giving it names such as Bill (Gates), Jack (Welsh) or even Henry (Ford) for that matter. So Kaiser, Caesar and Tippu; here I come...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Romancing my Hamlet

I am back at my native place. In the last two years I could visit my house only twice. So you can imagine how much I look forward to this one month I am here before I join a company in Bangalore.

After having a refreshing bath (I still feel the wintriness of our well-water in the summer heat), I roved outside my house for a while wearing a pair of half-pants and tees and no sooner did I receive gawks from our neighbors and passerby. For them, humans wearing these kinds of dresses would be a drunkard who had lost his outfits during his endeavors or a psychopath who unknowingly threw it off or else, aliens. I don’t know whether they assumed me to be the first two. Man, my marriage prospects!!! :-( Anyways, never ever in my life I caught this much an attention from people, especially girls! Needless to say, I became world famous in my village in no time!

On my visits to my village during my studies (I know there were only two such) I was often confronted with a question. Though there were several versions of the same, the core is the following.

Any person: “Jithu, heard that you are studying at Ahmedabad for some course.”
Me: “Yes, I am studying for MBA at Ahmedabad.”
Any person: “MBA? Ahmedabad? Kerala University has courses on MBA. You didn’t get an admission for that? You should’ve studied well for getting an admission somewhere here itself.”
Me: “Well, this one is better. It is India’s number one business school.”
Any person: “I guess you have been fooled by someone. And do they give you any job after studying there?”
Me: “Hmm... Yeah I think so.”

While I move ahead finishing that conversation I used to hear murmurs like this where the aforementioned “Any person” tells to someone near him.

Any person: “Poor guy. He is suffering a lot in a foreign land.”

There was this branch manager of Canara Bank who rejected the application for educational loan to a friend of mine saying that he hasn’t heard about an institute called The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and hence it is very unlikely that he will repay the loan.

Coming back to my village, in the evening I took my bike and went for a ride through the village. As far as I’ve explored, nothing has changed here except for a few extra shops in the junction.

Apparently the election heat is more than the summer heat here. Politicians blabber about their achievements and other parties’ mistakes and give promises to make Kerala a heaven. This is the instance where the sentence, ‘crowd has the weakest memory’, comes out with all its relevance. No one remembers, or conveniently forgets, that last time also the promises were the same. After all who said that promises are meant to be put into action?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My new love

It was love at first sight ;-)

General Motors’ Chevrolet Aveo hits Indian roads tomorrow, March 23 2006. Priced at a lucrative 5.54 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) for its base model, this premium mid-segment sedan will compete against existing cars in its category such as Honda City and Ford Fiesta, the segment top-two. GM, having a tough time to uphold their global number 1 position against Japanese car manufactures like Toyota and Honda, is aggressively targeting emerging markets such as India to maintain their revenues. The car is available in 4 variants with a deluge of advanced features. I particularly liked this color. :-)

In between I found this article about the history of Honda Motors. It’s an interesting read.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Holi Crap!

This photo appeared in Hindustan Times on March 14, 2006, released by PTI, taken somewhere in Gujarat during Holi celebrations. For some it may seem to be the efficient artwork of an unknown photographer who successfully captured the essence of Holi in all its vividness using his camera. But for a few it may seem to be the colorful flare-up of immorality unknowingly captured by the photographer, unnoticed by PTI and inadvertently published by the newspaper. After all it’s Holi. It’s a religious festival. Its fun! And no one has ever defined the boundaries of fun. So what if some had gone for a six!

Post-Navaratri abortions’ (a rise in the number of abortions past Navaratri celebrations) were something which was a serious concern to the officials till recently. But this year the number of abortions came down drastically, only subsequent to a ‘25 ~ 50%’ increase in the sales of condoms during Navaratri period. Well, people are more aware of ‘such’ things these days. TOI also says, If this is not enough, volunteers deployed by NGOs at garba venues are only waiting to hand you that free sachet tied with a 'red ribbon' to drive the message of safe-sex, right home. In fact, this is the first time that HIV volunteers have put up stalls inside garba venues where they don't mind handing out a condom along with those leaflets. Can't quite believe that this happens in a religious festival!

Reading these somewhere it feels that religion and religious practices had turned to nothing but a meager wrapping to depravity. Donno when the self proclaimed moral police of India, cosseted under the umbrella brand of the leading political party would realize these things in their spree to deport Valentines Day celebrations from India. After all it happens only in India, where irony has become nothing but a buzz word these days!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

And it ended

Today I had my last exam. With this my two year course in management has formally come to an end. Looking back, I should say that it was an interesting ride that I had in the last two years. I have gone through lots of experiences, learnings, self-realizations etc. Yes I have changed a lot. But not quite sure whether these changes are for good, as it already started reflecting adversely in a few things I care about. But then lemme see what future has in store for me. I already have a job offer from a company through laterals and I am quite happy with the kind of job profile they offered me. So I accepted that offer. I won’t be sitting for the final placements. I don't want to feel the pleasure of owning multiple offers playing with someone else's chance. So, over and out. :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

On a Valentine's Day

“Dey, I’ve to do a small shopping. Are you coming with me?” When Shaks asked me this at 5 in the evening, I was just woken up from a not so small slumber which I started after my morning class at 8:45. With quasi closed eyes I was contemplating about the possibilities of starting a ‘non-Valentines’ day from this year onwards. Might be the aftermath of a dream I had in which I was riding on a black stallion with 14 red roses in my right hand and seven in my mouth, but not finding anyone to sell those. Yes! You read it correct. Sell it is! Actually in that dream I was a sales guy who sells red roses to valentines! Too much of a dream and I felt it as an insult on my conscious mind by my subconscious mind, which generates all such arbitrary dreams! And then I decided to start a ‘non-Valentines’ day. Don’t know why St. Valentine forgot about such a huge majority in his shore up for people who love each other. We, the majority were always there, but still.

Shaks and me left our dorms within half an hour and we reached the factory outlet in another 15 minutes. He did all the actual shopping and I engaged myself in checking whether the shop owner had applied all the retailing and layout principles taught in our retail management elective.

“Hmm... not up to the mark” I told to myself.

“What?” a lady who was busy selecting shirts near the shelf, shot up all of a sudden.

“I mean, the shelves are not up to the mark.” I replied and then with a sheepish grin moved on to where Shaks was standing.

He was trying to make a choice between two shades with the same checks and in between, haggling on the discount they were offering for that particular range. Anyways he didn’t take much time to arrive at a decision.

It was at that time that Shaks noticed the lady whom I just had an eye-fight.

“Dey, she is a TV actress. I have seen her many times on television.”

“You sure? I haven’t seen her anytime.”

“I’m sure yaar. Ok let’s go and ask her.”

“Hmm… wouldn’t that be too much?”

“You should always be proactive man.”

Next second I saw him near the lady, about to ask her something.

“Are you an actress? I have seen you on television. I am a great fan of yours!”

“What? No I don’t act. By the way, I have seen both of you at the institute. I am wife of Prof. R. P Bhatia.”

Had I got a camera that time, I would’ve taken a snap of Shaks' face. It would've definitely won popular photography awards due to the presence of the maximum number of expressions in one face at one time.

Incidentally Prof. Bhatia teaches us Retail Management.

Monday, February 13, 2006

An Interesting Situation

Got this picture while surfing the internet for images of skateboards. The question is simple. If the power cord is connected to a plug and the fan is turned on, where does the skateboard go? Towards left or towards right? Ok lemme make it simpler. Whether the skateboard move or not? Assume that both the screen and the fan are fixed on the board. Once again, think and answer. :-)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

An Elegy

She is no more. But why should it hurt me so much? Well the main reason is that I am aware of the fact that I haven’t done justice to her at least once in her life. I didn’t give her a chance to be happy. She came to my house with a promise to live with me for ever, till eternity separates us. Initially I didn’t like her much because it wasn’t a relationship where in I knew her for a long time and then we got together which was what I wanted in a long term relationship. It was Nazim Khan, my music teacher, who introduced her to me. He said she was the perfect one I could get in the entire world. When I heard her singing, I was more than sure about what Nazim Khan said because I carried an interest in music especially towards vocals. I didn’t think twice. A few days later I brought her to my house without having a formal house entering ceremony.

Initially I found it difficult to understand her. Because it was my first time being with her or in fact anyone like her. I didn’t know anything about her. But then something from inside my heart was yelling out that I wanted her more than anything in my life. Later I started liking her and we spent the most of our free time together. Initially she was too shy to sing for me. When I came to know more about her and we became close, what I heard from her was the most beautiful sounds of music. I thought I have made the right choice in my life.

I left my job and we both came to the place where I joined for my higher studies. Well I have to agree that the first signs of incongruity started from there. It wasn’t my mistake either. I didn’t get much time to spend with her. Educational systems are made like that. Not allowing for anything beyond books making people nothing but bookworms. I knew that she kind of missed me but I tried my best to spend the maximum possible time with her. In fact I also missed her very much especially her pearly voice. But with time and the heftiness of the academics, our trysts decreased in frequency. And somewhere it stopped. She would’ve felt bad as I was the only one for her in this whole world. I knew this, but I was helpless. And now when she is not around, I feel the emptiness engraving my mind.

It happened on a midnight, two weeks back, while I was reading something on my computer. She was near my desk looking at what I was doing on my computer. She used to do that whenever I work late night; that is everyday. I had a glance at her. It seemed she got used to the dodging from me and I continued with what I was doing. I was surprised when I heard some crackling from the side. I couldn’t understand from where it was coming. Initially the noises where less frequent but it increased with time. Then I heard some sharp breaking sounds piercing through the air and my ears. Six in a row; one followed by another. It was the kind of sound when something which is under great tension breaks apart to relieve the strain. After that I heard a big cracking sound. Don’t know why, but what I felt was that somewhere someone’s heart had broken down into pieces. And then I saw her lying on the floor frozen, relieved from the entire trauma she had undergone.

It was difficult for me to believe that. But reality stared back at me. I lost her. I can’t listen to her beautiful voice any more. I feel alone.

My guitar is no more...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My Perfect Love

Thanks Tarni, Silverine, Quills and Divya for inviting me to do this wonderful tag where in I have to write 8 points about my perfect love.

Before I start,
Patni, where I worked, had a library and I happened to read this book borrowed from there whose title I don’t remember now. In the book, the author asks a lady her expectations about her lover. She says a lot of things like; he should be intelligent, smart, handsome, caring, tall, fair, rich and much more. When she was over with the long list, the author asked her a question. ‘Consider that you got a guy with all these qualities you have mentioned, what all will you give him in return?’ And she was answerless. I believe this is the same with men as well. I can’t expect anything from my lover which I can’t give back to her. Coz I know that I have limitations. Hence any of the following 8 points about my perfect lover is not sacrosanct.

1. She is simple in every aspects, be it in her dressing, be it in her talking, be it in her behavior or what ever it be.
2. When I look at her and see her smile, hear her speak, feel her touch, my entire stress, tension etc. come to an end.
3. She is dim-witted when I pull her legs, she is a mentor when I seek her advice and she is a solacer when I look for consolation.
4. I love the food she makes, not because she cooks it well, but because she serves it with love.
5. Every night, she tells me whatever little things happened in her day and I being more of a listener can thus do away with my talking.
6. She doesn’t stop me from anything I do because she believes in me and knows that I won’t do anything off beam.
7. She is candid and disparages me when I do wrong and encourages me when I do right. Her worries are my worries, her secrets are my secrets, her happiness is my happiness and she is mine.
8. Thinking about her reassures me that I have someone in this world for me that I can say anywhere with pride.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Paheli – Behind the screens

Chaos is off the hook and I can’t help myself from blustering a bit about Paheli, the online puzzle which I made for Chaos Moksha 2006, our annual cultural fest. With 9821 (7125 unique) page loads in just 17 days; average of 577 (419 unique) page loads per day; 1389 (888 unique) being the maximum page loads on any particular day; more than 1600 comments on the blog that discusses clues which is after deleting 200 odd comments that contained more-than-explanatory hints or offensive words; threads in different discussion sites like Pagalguy, Orkut etc; a few blogs dedicated to clues, Paheli was an unexpected success; it rocked and is still ON!

The concept of the game was taken from Notpron of and Klueless of IIM Indore and was duly acknowledged. I had to do a lot of simplification in the game concept from the above sites as the people we expected to play Paheli weren’t geeks who go through a source code check and URL renaming for cracking a level.

While designing the game, I had to keep in mind that each and every level has to be more challenging than the previous one, with an increasing level of toughness. It shouldn’t be that easy to drive people away subsequent to a cake-walk feeling about the game and in addition, it shouldn’t be that tough to kill their interest out of frustration. One of the levels had a flaw in it, which was corrected at a later stage. Except for this I think Paheli performed well. DD helped me when I ran out of ideas for new levels.

Spanned over an exigent ** levels (I am not disclosing the total number of levels as it may kill the spirit of the game), Paheli is enough and more to set one’s gray cells on fire, till he/she finishes it and preparing such a battle field was one of the challenging errands I have done off late. I didn’t know php coding before I started Paheli and our server supported only php. So I had to learn it with the help of Google, design the game and implement it with so less time in hand. A few nerds of my institute put me through tough interludes while the game progressed as they cracked levels before I added more, which resulted in a lot of night outs conceiving new levels. But yeah, at the end of the day, I have to agree that it was fun making Paheli.

We plan to keep Paheli online for a while. If you haven’t tried it yet, this is done exclusively for you. :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Four days to New Year

It is almost an hour now and I am still staring at the screen in front of me which has an opened MS Outlook in it, yearning to type in a few words. It was not so long that I heard from one of my friends that Neena is going to get married tomorrow. When we met the last time, I had decided not to attend such a function of hers for any reasons whatsoever. Nevertheless, I had this continuing thought in my mind to send her at least an email that I ended up with this freaking mail window staring back at me. After all we were together for a year and we enjoyed a great time being together though we broke up almost two years back.

Four more days to the New Year and my inbox was already snowed under New Year greetings from my friends. Purns, she worked with me and was kind of a mentor to me, sends emails regularly; better call it forwards. I hardly replied to her and sometimes didn’t even open those forwards. I was not like this before. But like my other friends Purns also knew that I was busy here in London looking after a particular account of my company and I usually didn’t get time to reply to the emails from my friends. But due to some unknown instinct, I opened the latest email from her. New Year resolutions, it read. What does Purns had to advice me on a New Year? I wondered because I knew Purns knows that advices usually face a rebuff from me.

Seven things you should do on a New Year! That’s its heading. Holy Crap! I hate such forwards. But still, it’s a New Year. I gave a skim read to that forward. A particular line in it caught my attention. It’s not because that line was so great. It’s because that line had something to do with what I have been thinking for the past one hour. It read “Call someone whom you didn’t talk to for a long time”. And the first person that came to my mind was her, Neena. Was that a spur; a stimulus to call her on her marriage!

I still remember the day on which I met Neena for the first time. It was the day on which I got a confirmation letter from my company saying that my one year probationary period has come to an end and now I am a wholly owned fraction of the company. You can’t forget dates like that. They become a part of your life due to their sheer importance. I couldn’t forget my first meeting with Neena due to the coincidence of our tryst with that date. The one year rotational policy of my company marked the end of my tenure in my first project and re-implanted me into another project on the same day. That’s where I met her where we happened to get close.

Well, time has its own way to change things. Things happened in succession and it changed our relationship so drastically that it took a turn from a point where it was so difficult for us to not see each other and to not talk with each other to a point where thinking about each other was the most painful thing in our lives. The umpteen missed calls that traveled to and from our cell phones, which reminded us that we thought of each other whenever we got that, eventually stopped! And then it came to a formal end, at the jogger’s park in Vashi, on the old wooden bench by the side of the track. We went there past office hours and we both were in a hurry to somehow end it and go to our flats. I left the place, didn’t turn back, got into a metro which took me to the station near my flat. I didn’t know how she felt that time. I didn’t feel sad because I was in a haze. I didn’t realize what was happening to me, to her, to us. I never went to that park after that.

Two years can change many things. The gigantic green tree near the bus stand died off leaving a big blue hole in its place. All of my friends left to different places, more scattered than before; across the globe. My office changed from a congested cubicle in Thane to this cabin in the 45th floor of Skyline Plaza, London. And here I am, thinking about my first love on the previous day of her marriage, about which I came to know only an hour back.

So I am going to call her today. Yes I think I should call her. After all, once I loved her more than anyone else in this world and her smallest worries were my largest concerns. I closed the mail window and took my cell phone and went outside to call her. I still store all the telephone numbers associated with her. Her own, her residence number, her dads’ and her moms’. I wanted to delete it all from my phone to stop myself from thinking about her but somehow I kept it till now. Did I still love her? Can I expect a miracle when I call her? That she will come back to me. What the fuck! What all am I thinking? It’s her marriage tomorrow.

A gentle breeze caressed the balcony while I stood near the parapet with my cell phone. I pressed the number key 3 for quite sometime. Shit! Though years passed, my thumb still remembers the shortcut I made to her number! The phone on the other end kept on ringing for some time before it was taken, as was the norm with her and then I heard a voice.


“Hello, this is Hari here. Am I talking to Neena?” I replied while I was trying to recognize her voice after a long time.

After a brief silence, she replied. “Hari… Yes it is me!”

“How are you, Neena?”

“I am fine, how are you?”

“I am fine too. It’s after a long time that we are talking to each other”


“What is his name?”



“So Hari, have you married?”

“No I haven’t”. My mind took me back time, to the table at the corner in our office canteen where Neena was asking me this.

“What will you do if we can’t get married to each other and I got married to someone else?”

“Hmm… difficult question; I’ll leave the country and won’t come back to this soil then” my reply was as careless as it could be.

“Oh I’m sorry.” Her reply brought me back to the present.

“Sorry? Why? I am outside the country now” I replied all of a sudden.

She was silent. Was she remembering our conversation at the canteen?



“I called you to wish you a happy married life. I came to know that tomorrow is your marriage”

“Thank you, Hari. But my marriage happened three weeks back”

“What” I was in a shock.

“But still, the wishes hold” I didn’t realize what I was saying. I was in a haze. The same haze I was in, two years back at the park in Vashi.

“Ok then, Bye”

“Bye”. And she kept the phone down.

And that’s it. There was no office or balcony around but this demented flat in the Mumbai suburbs. I finished my story which my friend, my editor, Rohit has been asking me for more than a week to be published in his evening tabloid. Tomorrow it will go to the press and will come out as those murky lifeless printed alphabets which lack the power to convey feelings. After all who wants to read it with that passion? The four pegs of Bacardi are still active in my stomach. And its heat added with my emotions put me in to a bizarre state where there was only me. And at a distance I saw a disappearing shadow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


IIMA’s annual cultural event Chaos – Moskha hosts this online game, Paheli.

Based on the clues in a picture shown, one has to guess the answer to reach the next level. It is similar to IIM Indore’s Klueless.

Enjoy Gaming people! And yeah PLEASE spread the word around! :-)

Monday, January 09, 2006

How do I measure up?

I am pretty much engaged in a lot many things these days. One of its outputs can be seen in this blog a few days from now. Meanwhile here is something I did for kickassso a while back. He did this serious crime of tagging me for which he has to suffer now; by reading the following patiently. I know you people are also pained due to that but puhlease bear me and vent out all your feelings, if any, in his blog ;-)

An ideal child
10. Thou shall study your lessons daily and go to the best tuition centre in the town.
9. Thou shall listen to melodious Mallu and Hindi music. Your taste may go up to the extent of listening to pop songs like that of Westlife, BSB etc and like the songs liked by your peers. Hardrock and Metal are strict no-nos.
8. Thou shall see good mallu movies and hindi movies. Only the hyped up english movies shall be seen.
7. Sports and games are essential only in theory. Thou shall take part in it at your free time and your vacation.
6. Reading is a good habit. Only if you score a lot of marks in your studies and you have set aside some time for reading. Thou shall read only goody goody books or the hyped books in the media like Harry Potter.
5. Thou shall respect your teachers and follow every word they say and write notes and complete your assignments before everybody else.
4. Thou shall not swear and berate others. No drinking and smoking.
3. Thou shall follow your parents wishes and their fantasies. Thou shall study hard and score 90+ in Xth, 85+ in XIIth and 80+ for graduation.
2. Your aim should be to do well in entrance exams and get into Medical College or CET. Then the ultimate aim should be to get through your campus placements and secure a job. Write CAT as part of a fad.
1. Thou shall not fall in love. If you do make sure the girl is your caste, not poor etc. Marry a girl of the parents' choosing and have kids. Then raise the kids on the above principles.

How do I measure up?
10. Study? (Yes I wanna ask that first and then) Daily? You kidding me? I was a one day batsman till the last exam of engineering; one who comes into the field only on the previous day of the exam.
9. I don’t go for a band/film first and then its songs. It’s always the other way round. My likes span over a range of songs. From instrumentals when I am in good moods to heavy rock when I am in tension, but yes somewhere in between, I am a great fan of Eagles, GNR, MLTR, AR Rehman, Yesudas and Carnatic songs.
8. It's been ages that I saw a Malayalam movie. I watch all sorts of movies. Well, don’t stress the words ‘all sorts’ too much. ;-)
7. Kuttiyum Kolum was my favorite game until father Thomas banned it in the school. Then it was too late for me to venture into cricket and make a mark there and hence I settled down with football, particularly at the strategic location near the goal post, well, as a permanent goalie. Then I gave up that since the opposite team got good forwards. Sport was never my cup of tea dear. But yeah I can give anyone a tough time in Carroms, BadD and tennis, off-late.
6. There is a lot to be written on my reading experiences. The two library memberships I owned were frauded. I got memberships by saying that I am of a higher age than I actually was at the time of registrations.
5. Teachers are great. Notebooks are treasures. So I keep the same one for the entire year :-). How can I complete assignments before others do, when what I am gonna write is what others had written?
4. I have tried drinking and smoking. But don't know why people continue it as a passion. Couldn't understand the pleasures behind it quite well.
3. Ciao. Someone’s calling me on the phone. Be right back ;-) Ok I think here I lived up to my parents' expectations; if what they expected of me was less. Roughly I measured 0, -5 and -10 in this.
2. Thank God, I thought I was scared of seeing blood till I was in X (I joined II group and then shifted over to I group for that single reason) that I ended up in CET instead of MC. CAT: Yes I took it and then life was in hell. Till now I couldn’t get out from that shock and I don’t know whether I made the right decision or not! :-(
1. I’m sorry you caste, wealth, religion and all such nitty-gritty’s. I don’t believe in you, when it comes to marriage. You are bugs in the social system, preventing minds from getting together.
0. I know my parents are not gonna read this, else instead of writing this, I would've done what kickassso’s name says, to him for this tag. :-)