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?