Friday, December 19, 2008

Honeymoon Travails...Part 1

Its been a long vacation…
Its been almost more than six months since I wrote…Its been too long since I introspected, is it?
Ah…marriage takes away your space for introspection you may say?
I doubt that as I sit by the window of the Holiday Inn watching the snowing Boston street on a lazy Friday noon…
Its something about the rain or the snow that tends to tickle your imagination, expand the dimension of time and pull you back to words.. Or is it effect of the English weather subconsciously ingrained in your head by those English lessons in the Indian classrooms that opened your doors to the wordy world ??
Lets get back to the topic…
Honeymoon can be a very good way of knowing your partner well as these are the first few days and for some, probably the last few when you actually get to spend some quality time together, alone. So, a lot of time and effort should be put in to the actual planning which needs to be done months in advance. I started planning the same around three months in advance and decided to go to North East basing it on the following considerations and logical assumptions(engineering mind at work!!!)..
-She probably wont like to go to south..The only places worth visiting in south are munaar, coorg, ooty…she being a southie herself may have already covered a few of these..I am neutral here..
-She wont like the sea.. Its June man…Its humid there…I am neutral here..
-She wont like to go for a videshi honeymoon…You go out of the country you will spend more time knowing about the country and their culture rather than your partner..Moreover, she wont like it if her husband ends up bankrupt after the whole episode..she will prefer security.. I am neutral…
-She probably wont like to go to Shimla and Manali… Everyone goes there..Doesnt suit my intellectual capability(Remember, Iam an MBA..innovation & imagination, you know!)…Although, I was neutral, as always…
So, considering all the above considerations, I, dare I make decisions alone), we decided to go to North East and planned ten days around Darjeeling, Peling and Gangtok..
I however had a close friend from the college days who helped us with the planning and logistics…Both of us had a great time there although we had our own bit of adventure (getting caught in the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha bandh, driving with almost zero visibility in a dark stormy lonely night, sleeping at a petrol pump surrounded by dense dark forests of the Sikkim hills etc,etc).
Whereas Darjeeling is beautiful, crowded and a highly commercialised hill station, you will count the number of people you come across in the silent, serene hills of Peling.. Gangtok is just the perfect mix of both of the above…
Ah..when will it stop snowing??More, on how we planned around the ten days there, in the next post…Something across the road just fails to get off my mind..Need to check that out!!!

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Wedding Planner...

Tips..hmmm...STRATEGIES for saree shopping!!

One's Wedding, I agree is a once-in-one's-lifetime event- hopefully.So as they say, one must be as lavish as possible - spending to an extent wherein it takes another six months of your life to clean up the mess that you made while being lavish - repaying those expensive loans and credits..
However, like every other important-thing-in-life-gone-wrong,the realization of having committed such excesses happens only after committing it. Other's experiences as usual dont teach much..And why not??All the saints of the world are known to have learned from their own singular individual experiences...And who are We - just such negligible mortals!!
But then, I too like all those saints would like to preach, teach and spread my knowledge to my not-so-fortunate brethren, as i continue gaining experience and knowledge slowly treading towards that altar of wisdom and dhoom(letter 'h' here can be replaced as per your point of view and experiences after marriage) the day of my wedding!!
My teachings are solely based on my logical inductions and inferences of own I recommend the student to use his own discretion while accepting(rejecting) them..
The experience hot and ready for serving today is "Tips for Saree shopping?"The step-by-step guidelines are as under:
1) Decide on the minimum and maximum budget value for each saree you plan to buy based on the intended individual for whom its to be bought.
2) Announce that the complete shopping has to be necessarily completed on the same day as you may be busy on other days..
2) Make sure of the number of relatives who are goin to accompany youfor the shopping..You need to plan fairly high budgets for them accordingly..
3)The priorty and time spent on making choices should be proportional to the importance of the individual to you.for eg: Start the day with choosing the bride's wear and spend more time on it rather than on for some cousin from kodhamangalam..These come later on..
4) Now,you can consider visiting a number of shops..I would classify them into two types based on my experience:

Type no.1 : Seemingly large multi-storeyed shop, huge collection, lots of space to move around,shop and choose especially while relaxing on tempting soft mattresses sprawled on floor..

Type no.2 : Deceivingly small looking shop, multi-storeyed again!, decent collection,crowded with great service.
Now the best strategy would be to take the gang to visit the type 1 shop in the first half of the day and to the type 2 shop in the second half.The logic is quite simple, during the first half they being quite fresh and restless..are usually not happy with the collection, choose quite a little few and are eager to move on to the next shop.By the time the decision to move on to a different shop is made..its lunch time. You take them out for a grand lunch..feed them as if its your wedding party they are attending and then proceed them to shop of type 2. By the time you reach shop type 2 they are already heavy and relaxed.Also, remember this is not a shop with mattresses to rest one's tired ass andheavy tummy..So you know what happens next...exponential improvement in productivity..given the fact that there s a target to be finished in the allotted time i.e by the end of the day...And remember this is a smaller shop and hence comparatively inexpensive too..and so you are managing your bottomline too!!!Hai na patey ki baat??
P.S: Pl. note that the above strategy has been devised purely from the perspective of a desperate groom whose sole aim at the point of time is tosave his fast diminishing resources to the best possible extent....
For your info, those from Mumbai, type1 shop i took my folk to,was "Bharat kshetra" and type 2 "Silk Museum", both located at Dadar...

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Death of a Dog....

source of the image
He was a bundle of flesh and black fur when I stole him from the litter of eight, all comfortably snugged together and dozing under the shade of the jamun tree in the ajith's compound.The mother had probably gone out to look for food around..I managed to sneak, commit the crime and not get caught...I was just not guilty..

He was still and did nt even whimper when i got him into my bedroom, hiding from mom- busy talking to the neighbour across the garden...Using an old T-shirt which i dished out from my cupboard, I made a warm bed for him, put him on it and patted him back to sleep...I pushed the make-shift bed with tipu- thats what i decided i would call him...Names like "Bravo" sound so videshi na- under our own cot hoping that mom would never ever notice..Everything went on perfectly as i could manage to smuggle in some milk into the bedroom and keep the pup engaged and content...
As was usual at ten thirty, we were all into bed..Trouble started at around quarter past twelve, when parents woke awake stratled by yelps from under the bed...Hell broke loose when they realized the source..Dad's four "chooral" hits on my calf and half an hour of tearful cajoling was all that was needed to convince them to allow me to keep Tipu...No cost benefit anlaysis or techno-economic feasibility report was needed here..
From then on, Tipu became the fifth member of our small family...

Those days,we used to live in the defence colony quarters .The establishment had to be protected from the enemy air raids and was so camouflaged using a lush green forest cover and surrounding hills.Added to this, life as such was insulated from the outside fast paced world. So ironically though close to the metro, we lived a country life, breathing fresh air and relishing leisure...So we had this big garden around each house and a tiny scalable hill in the backyard which we used to explore every evening after school hours...We were a team of four..Four weeks into- Tipu became the latest member of our daily explorations.But as time passed we realized that it was us who were members of his explorations...An old water tank built by the British was his favourite exploratory lab. The huge tank although looking rusted to ruins, stood still strong, reflecting the strength of the British Engineering fundamentals.The name metaphored him so well, for he was a real bravo leading us to so many of those explorations through thick underbushes, narrow paths and some real dark scary structures.Such explorations usually do not yield anything tangible but to the explorersits just the thrill of discovering things new that drives them to it..Bushes, flowers, fruits,spiders,lizards, snakes, butterflies, animal skeletons and what all....

Months passed and whether any of us fell ill or had to change the routine Tipu never grew tired and made sure he never missed any of these explorations.

It was on one such routine evening just before the summer was to start thathe broke his routine...He looked tired and clearly to be under some pain and enquiries to mom led to the fact that he had been avoiding food for the past two days..The neighbour who himself had a pet dog diagnosed it a result of worms and prescribed a tablet which we crushed and fed him with some rice which he ingested very unwantingly..The medicine started acting fast and seemed to tranquilize him. As usual he sat at my foot as i watched TV and slept....

He never woke up for his daily routine..

We took him to the hills and buried him near the tank...

It was different that night..
I think I heard Dad weep that night..

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

A lone stand....

As I gaze out on to the barren misty fields through the tinted half-open glass window of the company bus,I somehow get this strange feeling of brotherhood and empathy with - as those tall posts carrying the eleven kv lines glide past my vision. Like tall knights, with limbs outstretched and carrying the weight of the ever tense thick strands,they stand braving the odds of the sun, wind and rain- accepting all quietly, never complaining.

In a larger sense most of our lives resemble those towering structures, i wonder?

Like them, we too stand tall - braving it all - braving the fury of nature, of time, the pressures of change,age & society.

Like those knights with outstretched limbs, we stand carrying the weight of those invisible strands- what we call "relationships" - connecting us to others- a few heavy and delicate while quite a many light, hollow and weak.

Like them,powered by those strands, we too stand- our existence forcefully defined by our relations.

Like them,we too stand there not alone, still lonely.

Like them, we too stand there seen "through" and known by all, but understood by none.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random Sightings....

Billboard over the Powai-Knjrmarg flyover-

"Die while saving lives in a ship wreck and not for want of a seat belt" -------Road Safety Drive

Sticker on the rear of a car -

" Keep safe distance, I work for Fevicol"

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Spit on thy Grave!!

What is one common thing between the dashing Jhonty (of the Rhodes fame), yadav ji- the local politician, mishra ji- the government official and shambudada - the auto rickshaw wallah?


They all spit for no obvious reasons at times at the most public of the places.

Spit : expel or eject (saliva or phlegm or sputum) from the mouth;
"The father of the victim spat at the alleged murderer"

What is it that makes the country turn a blind eye to one of the most basic social mis-behaviour and a disease which carries a potential to carry and spread some of the worst contagious of the other diseases like TB , Hepitatis etc.?

A smoker in public is glared upon and treated with such disgust whereas a spitter is hardly even noticed, let alone challenged...
Now, then Which is more dangerous:
Passive smoking
Compulsive spitting

One can see this phenomena repeatedly repeated at almost every other public place. Be it in building staircases, on railway platforms or bus stops or roads or even in public shared toilets...

Boss...whats it that u dont like abt ur own urine that makes u spit at it with disgust?- an act shamelessly performed by even the most educated of the senior officers in many organisations ..

Spitting while something awful(as ur own urine) is seen is like adding an awful more stuff to the already awful existence..huh..

The government or the politicians would not like to get stricter on this as "they have to practice to a large extent what they preach", aint it?
Why is no government or non-govt organization ready to take up this cause while they were all gung-ho and loud when pushing for the public smoking ban?

Is it that they dont realize the ill-effects or is it something to do with the general national culture and unclean nature as such, the way they say usage of the "mild" term "bastards" as quite alright to the australian culture...

Foren law----

"Sec. 15-36. Spitting in public places.

It shall be unlawful for any person to expectorate or spit in or
upon any paved sidewalk or footpath of any public street or public
square in the city or in or upon any part of any public building
under the control of the city, or upon the floor, platform or steps
of any public vehicle carrying passengers for hire or upon the floor
of any depot, station or other common carrier, or upon the floor or
steps of any theater, store, factory or any building which is used
in common by the public, or upon the floor of any hall or office,
in any hotel or lodginghouse which is used in common by the guests
thereof. Violation of this section is declared to be a municipal
infraction. The penalty for violation shall be the sum of twenty-five
dollars ($25.00). (Code 1953, § 12.38; Ord. No. G-80-21, § 1, 7-17-80)"

Desi View

"A press note issued by the Kerala Government said spitting,
spitting of pan, blowing of the nose and sneezing without covering
the nose were harmful to the health of the public. Diseases such as
tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia, chicken pox, diphtheria,
endemic fever and whooping cough were spread by phlegm and spit.

The bacteria or virus of these diseases spread infection among the
people. Tourists viewed such unhealthy surroundings with revulsion,
it said. ""- Just to appease the foreign tourists it seems..

Hmpf..yaya..i know its no use cribbing at this stupid,disgusting, F#$%ing system...thuuuuuuu...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Bench.....

Another furtive glance at his Timex - the third time in the last five minutes.. an absent-minded unproductive look, a ritual which he believed would shorten those moments…those moments before he gets to see her…
He had never seen her although he had always felt her close during those long sweet late night pillow-conversations..
She would have been feeling the same- he believed
Six months is a pretty long time or is it?

“ Creamish coloured churidhar with green florals running through” was her kiddish description of what she would be wearing for the day.
His eyes were fixated at the office gates and were continuously scanning with rapt attention, funneling and filtering the regular outflow…
They, his eyes did not fail him, neither did his thoughts. She looks every bit the same in his thoughts.
He raises his hands and winks at her.
She slowly walks towards him. Her hundred watt smile lights him up and relieves him of his uneasiness.
She doesn’t greet nor does he. They have been too close all the time for all that.
Slowly they walk on to the garden, they had decided earlier on…She hates restaurants..
He feels awkward at his inexperience…She looks confident…
She guides him to a bench at one end.. which happens to be the only one un-occupied then.

“So what do you think of me?”
“What does that mean?”
“I mean do I look the same that you expected?”
“You know that I never expected anything, you idiot!!”…Re-assurances, is it just the women who need them all the time??
“Now.. now.. idiot again?”…
Casually she nudges his shoulders…her first touch..
Encouraged he pulls her to him, his fingers playing with her nails and his face sinking into the sweet aroma of her hair…
They just sit there silently communicating…his fingers tracing hers…talking to them…relishing those moments of togetherness…those few and only moments of the lifetime and companionship on the bench….

PS: Image source