Friday, December 19, 2008
we recently had a good friend over for dinner. our daughter was going through a 'i don't like daddy' kind of phase... and took a great liking for the friend who had dropped in for dinner...
suddenly in the middle of our casual conversations she decided to declare that her mother was he mother and the visiting friend was her father! the three adults at the table decided to continue our conversation (i don't even remember what we were talking about!) as if nothing had happened... that only served to infuriate the little one, who was determined to get her message across... so she interrupted us again, made sure she had our collective attention and then proceeded to redefine her lineage!
as expected, there was some polite coughing and mumblings and 'ok beta' and laughter all around... and then everyone moved on... the little one smug in the knowledge that she had made her point... and the rest of us relieved that we were not subject to any more such revelations! :P
we went to matheran this last week-end... one of our weekend get-aways with a group of 6 other families.
we had a whale of a time (i will put up the pics soon) and the kids had a 'blue whale of a time'!
some of the kids got it into their heads that i am the resident narrator of stories and all things amazing! :P
(i have a feeling most of the other dads spread such slander among their kids so that they could lounge around and eat/ drink/ sleep/ play tt without having their spouses throwing daggers at them (just by looks, mind you!) about taking care of their respective kids!
so i was the chosen one to impart them some invaluable knowledge which included naming various species of monkeys and apes and other simians; as well as the various types of dogs... since there were a large number of both species of animals in close vicinity!
later over one of our soul-enriching conversations that i normally have with the 'big boss' i told her about how we also learnt how to identify the animals by just examining the spoor (or potty as the kids preferred to call it)! :P
the big boss gave me 'the look' and said, 'i am sure it was your idea in the first place to educate them about such an esoteric subject as animal droppings!'
the big boss knows me so well! :P
or the caterpillar wouldn't trap itself
i wonder and search for answers
that's when you walk across the banks
the caterpillar emerges as
now i wish
you were by my side
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
and although i still don't have a tv set at home i kept getting regular updates on sms and through the various web-sites i was checking regularly... (it was like some morbid cricket match that people were glued on to through the day!)
and now in the aftermath the city is on the boil... and a little of people are worried that the anger will cool off like it always does... and all of us will go back to our usual ways... and so will the politicians and the state and the police force ...
there are numerous smses being forwarded, online petitions being signed, candle marches being organised, signature campaigns being conducted... everybody wants to do something... some action to express their anger and frustration... hoping to send a message to the authorities ...
i am also forwarding all the messages i am getting, reading all the articles & blogs, signing all the petitions... but i am not convinced... i don't see any of this making any difference whatsoever... we have seen all this before and we will see it again... there will be a lot of public posturing and frantic behind-the-scene negotiations... who stays and who goes... a lot of announcements will be made... a lot of initiatives will be announced... and all of them will fizzle out before the year ends!
am i sounding too cynical? what do you expect?
is there something we can do?
here's a list of things you could do (thanks to mathatheist for sharing this with me!
- where voters can register - www.jaagore.com
- info on electoral candidates - http://www.adrindia.org/home/
- the right to go to the polling booth and reject all candidates - http://eci.gov.in/PROPOSED_
but that too might be too little and would take too long to make an impact at a national level... it would also require a lot of funding in today's age to come up with a viable alternative...
the other option would be for a forum to be created which carries on a dialog with all the candidates before elections and the office bearers after the elections. here are some ideas for such a forum -
- it should be non-partisan, not backed by any specific business house or media group or political party
- it should have representation from across various states/ religions/ economic backgrounds/ urban & rural backgrounds/ educational backgrounds/ age groups/ etc.
- it should be governed by a simple charter and should have its presence across the country in towns and cities
- it should define a list of specific concerns & issues of the public and engage each political party representative in each constituency in a public dialog; it should also be allowed to demand transparency from each candidate about their background, etc.
- this will help the public decided on the relative merits of each party and local candidate
- after the elections this forum would demand a quarterly review with the parties at a national level as well as at a local level to track the performance of each party and candidate
- a 'report card' would then be published which would help the ruling & opposition parties to focus on relevant issues and adopt necessary corrective measures
does anyone know of any such initiative being taken up by anyone? do you have any ideas of how this can be done? i would be keen to help in this kind of action!
p.s. also make sure we all pay our taxes to the government and demand accountability... let us all learn about the rti act so that we can use it effectively in our wards and areas!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
women sure have come a long way! (where have i heard this line before? :P )
i still remember when people used to talk about women being born as daughters of their fathers, then becoming wives of their husbands and then mothers of their sons! the idea was that women always got their identity in society through the men in their lives!
times have changed, and how!
most of us guys wouldn't such statements today! (actually we wouldn't dare make such statements for fear of being clobbered by the women in our lives! :P )
and most of the men living in our housing complex get their identities from their wives, who in turn get their identities from the kids... so i am known as the 'big boss's' hubby who in turn is P's/ S's mother!
what we are witnessing in our own lifetimes is the evolution (?) of man...
the man of the 70s bossed around and made it clear to everyone who cared to listen who was the boss! (most of the times he was allowed by the boss at home to project such an image to massage his male-ego in places where it mattered... which was usually in front of other bossy men!)
the man of the 80s was the cool, silent and strong types... (actually, most of the time he didn't know what to say! and he knew he would lose the argument anyway... so best to stay silent!)
the man of the 90s was the one who got in touch with his feminine side! (and not just his female friends & colleagues!) and that's when the male cosmetics industry witnessed a boom of sorts... and men discovered the pains and pleasures of waxing too!
but the man of the 21st century has reached the pinnacle... he now has found the perfect balance of the yin and the yang within himself!
look around you and you'll find men carrying babies, changing diapers, rocking them to sleep, helping do the dishes, helping with the kids' school-work, attending open-house at school... you get the idea!
(this is the point where most women readers will want their hubbies to read this post and convince them that they are stuck in some hoary past and that they need to do all this if they are to be considered an evolved man!)
but here's the real deal... (this is where i let the cat out the bag!)
- men with babies attract attractive women
- by attending open-house at school you get to meet the 'interesting' teacher the other fathers have been talking about!
- when you have a baby in your arms or a kid with you, you can walk up to the most gorgeous looking woman anywhere and strike up a conversation.. if they have not already asked you for the kid's name!
- going grocery shopping allows you to strike up a conversation with some of the 'pyt' mothers who just love helping men choose the best detergent and other things... (and your wife's wondering why you picked up a brand which was never tried before?)
- and helping out with household chores ensures you get fed your meals on time (with a few other perks thrown in for good measure!) :P
- you can buy clothes for your better half and ask for help again... and you can get away by making statements like 'yeah, she's about your size'... or 'do you think this is a good color or is too sexy?'
- and since we can't try on women's perfumes you can actually ask one of those willing, helpful ladies to dab some on her wrist so that you can smell it and compare notes!
.... well, i guess you get the general idea! :P
i guess the man of the 2020s will be a completely transformed animal while the woman would have completely 'arrived'... and it might finally become difficult to differentiate between the sexes any more!
Monday, November 10, 2008
he averted a major disaster in our household! no, we are not talking about him intervening in one of our squabbles... this disaster registered far higher on the 'domestic richter' scale than even the biggest temper tantrum the 'big boss' and i would have thrown at each other!
our 24-hour maid literally gave us notice when she was away visiting her family over the weekend! she was told by her well-wishers and family that she would get paid much better than what we were paying her! she personally didn't want to leave but the pressure on her to give us notice and leave was too much, i guess... and so she gave notice!
the 'big boss' is not someone to brood over such calamities for too long... after having fretted and fumed for a couple of minutes she promptly swung into action and discussed her plan A with me... which was to hike her salary by a certain amount (which was still way off from what was being demanded)... and as plan B, she start contacting everyone in her cell-phone address book asking for help in finding a suitable replacement...
while all this was happening our kids got the gist of what was happening and kept trying to get more information out of their mother...
today the 'big boss' was supposed to have a 'woman-to-woman' chat with the maid after she got back from work in the evening. but our son reaches home from school in the afternoon.
after she got back home, the maid told 'big boss' about the conversation our son (who's all of 8) had with her...
he asked her why she was leaving and whether it was because of money... she said yes and that she was going to get paid more elsewhere... he asked her how much we paid her and how much
she was expecting... he then told her that once we combine our houses (we had recently bought the neighboring apartment which we are leasing out) in the near future he would pay her more than double the amount she was expecting!
the sincerity with which he said this made her laugh and melted her heart!
and then when 'big boss' came back from work he also put up a heart-felt appeal to her on behalf of the maid!
the 'big boss' and i later discussed this and we felt quite amazed and touched at the same time... at the maturity and sensitivity he displayed in this situation... and we didn't for a moment think that he was acting 'too big for his boots'!
and so peace prevails for yet another day at the guruprasad household! :)
Saturday, November 08, 2008
why, you ask?
when you go for a bond flick, after sacrificing precious sleep, you expect to be entertained... you expect to get introduced to freaky gizmos and gadgets... you expect edge-of-the-seat action... you expect technical brilliance... you expect class and pizzazz and more... (and the women of course!)
and the least you expect is a classy opening credit sequence...
don't you all agree?
and the last thing you expect is a sentimental bond! and i just can't picture bond holding on to a dying man and feeling senti and all...
if you look at 'quantum of solace' in isolation i guess you would rate it as a decent action flick... like international khiladi or something!
but this flick did not have any iota of the class that one has come to expect of bond films! as one of the friends in the group said after the 90 minutes dragged itself to an end - 'i mean, how difficult can it be to make a good bond film? just put in some funky gadgets, some exciting stunts, some great chase scenes, some mind-blowing ladies, some torrid scenes, and some excuse of a plot! i can't believe they couldn't manage something as simple that!'
well the excuse of a plot was definitely there. no doubt about it! but the rest of the formula was forgotten completely!
i guess the producers and the director forgot one cardinal rule of sequels - if it ain't broke, you don't need to fix it!
so if you haven't seen the quantum of solace yet, i would advice you to wait for it to be shown on hbo or star movies! especially if you are a bond fan!
Saturday, November 01, 2008
i now understand
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
all parents go through this phase where they want to say something to each other and don't want their young ones to understand what they are saying... and we are not talking about the parents getting lovey-dovey or anything! we're talking about things like
- i need to G-O O-U-T for a while
- let's have some I-C-E C-R-E-A-M tonight
- please keep the C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E-S away from his (our son's) visual range
- etc. etc. (you get the drift, i assume :) )
well, like all other good things in life, this phase too comes to an end, when one fine day we have our son talking back to us and telling us firmly that 'i am not ready to S-L-E-E-P yet'!
we went through this phase once again. with our daughter this time. and this time our son too joined us speaking in code, feeling mighty proud of himself!
but history repeated itself again and we realised our 'speaking in code' phase has come to an end when our daughter (who hasn't started learning to spell yet) piped up the other day at the dinner table, when we were trying to reason with her older brother about when he could have his share of the C-H-O-C (a shorter code version of chocolate, of course) in the fridge, saying, 'oh, is the C-H-O-C in the fridge? can i have some too?'
oh well... it was good till it lasted! :P
Saturday, October 25, 2008
you can't help but get the feeling that you've just watched a slickly made bollywood production... except that it was dubbed in english! :P
bollywood's arrived in hollywood!
there's drama & melodrama, romance, music, songs, dances and a wedding! no i am not talking about 'hum aapke hai kaun'! :P
the movie, mamma mia and not hahk, is a 'stage-to-movie' adaptation of the 1999 west-end musical by the same name. the plot revolves around a bride-to-be (amanda seyfried) who's living with her single mother (meryl streep) on a greek island. she wants her father to attend her wedding. she finds her mother's diary and finds out that there are 3 possible candidates who could be her father!
she invites all 3 of them for the wedding using her mother's name hoping to identify her real father immediately... but she can't... and then the rest of the movie is all about a lot of songs and dances and the story unfolding! the plot is weak and limps along between the songs...
most of the songs used are from the successful pop group 'abba'! these include the popular ones like mamma mia, dancing queen, i have a cream, money money money, chiquitita, etc.
the cast includes pierce brosnan (of james bond fame), colin firth, stellan skarsgard, amanda seyfried and others... all the actors have played their roles quite well and have even lip synched very realistically! :P
but the show-stealer is most definitely meryl streep! even at this age (she's close to 60!) she packs so much energy and life into the role... she runs around, prances about and dances with abandon like a 20s-something-year old! in once scene she actually jumps up on the bed and manages a split (i am talking about a leg-split as done by dancers)...
she carrys almost the entire film on her shoulders!
so go for the movie only if you are an abba fan! its a must-see for you...
for the rest of you, its not a bad movie... worth watching even if you are a bollywood movies fan... you will identify with it! :P
and its definitely better than most of the bollywood movies currently playing!
p.s. did anyone guess who's the real father? i don't think even the script writer knows! :P
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
i am talking about this strange phenomenon of birthday parties we organise for our kids... our kids who become completely involved in the game of one-upmanship (or one-up-womanship, if you prefer that) that gets blatantly passed off in the name of birthday celebrations!
my son recently attended a pool party... yes a birthday party celebrated in a swimming pool! i was very keen on accompanying him for this one... i put on my most innocent face and told the 'big boss' that i could lend her a helping by taking him to this party... but she always manages to see through my tricks and promptly informed me that none of the kids' mothers would be in the pool... it would only be the kids... that was when i suddenly remembered i had some other urgent work to be done! :P
birthday parties in malls and fancy restaurants are so passe! so what if it puts back the poor dad's (or mom's, before i forget!) finances by a significant number of rupees, the weakening notwithstanding!
i've heard of birthdays being celebrated where the kids are taken for a movie... you say what's the big deal? i'm talking about the entire hall being booked! and then there are birthdays where the kids are taken on a cruise...
gone are the days when a party meant a birthday cake being cut, playing passing the parcel, and then eating potato wafers, a samosa and the cake with a soft-drink to wash it down! this was only on those rare occasions when the birthday was actually celebrated! and there was no concept of return gifts!
these days our kids sometimes walk back home after a birthday with a return gift that is more expensive than the gift we gave the birthday boy/girl! :P
and talking about gifts! the kids get flooded with so many gifts that they don't even manage to open all the gifts before their next birthday arrives! therefore it is not surprising that some gifts make their way around a couple of times and sometimes come back at our own doorstep, like the proverbial bad penny!
and the 'gifting' problem reaches epidemic proportions when you are living in a complex like ours where you have at least 2-3 birthdays every month! with an average of 10-15 kids being invited for each birthday party the numbers of gifts and return gifts can become quite mind-boggling! and as you can imagine, a few local gift shops are doing thriving business! :)
p.s. the big boss and i are trying to organise a group of friends in our complex to get together and give a meaningful combined gift to the birthday boy/girl after consulting the parents.
do any of you have any more creative solutions?
Saturday, September 27, 2008
and boy, was it a good film!
this is one of those movies which made a relatively quiet entry and has only gathered momentum over the past few weeks! and i think many people are watching because of sheer 'word of mouth' publicity and it is slowly acquiring something of a cult status already!
if you have not yet watched it, you must! you will enjoy every minute of the film, take my word for it! (there was only logical loop-hole i found in the film... and if you have watched the film already then i'd like to know if you spotted it too? write in with your answers and i'll reveal the flaw in a couple of days! :) )
the best part of the film is the powerful message delivered by two equally powerful and towering actors (naseeruddin shah and anupam kher). nothing preachy, just a simple message delivered with a punch.
the story line is kept taut throughout the film... there are a few surprises thrown in and some questions left unanswered...
the complete package is almost perfect, the music enhances the mood of the film (no songs in the 120 minute film), the cinematography keeps you engrossed without going overboard!
the characters are very well etched, and all the actors deliver... the dialogs are very well written and there are a few humorous moments as well!
all in a all, this is film-making at its best! a total 'paisa vasool' film... go and watch it... you can then thank me later by writing in :)
p.s. check out more details at http://www.awednesdaythefilm.com/... though the site didn't load when i tried! :(
Monday, September 08, 2008
this is a logical puzzle that struck me when i was waiting at one of those traffic signals which take inordinately long to turn green!
some of the signals mercifully have a digital counter which counts down the seconds between the signal color changes. and as i watched, i noticed that one of the digital digits was showing me a weird set of numerals as it was counting down. it was obviously because one of the 7 (3 horizontal and 4 vertical lines) lines of the figure 8 was not working.
this got me thinking up this particular problem -
which of the 7 lines of the figure 8, if it was not working, would still cause the counter to display the longest sequence of valid numerals, albeit not in logical order? (irrespective of whether the counter was counting up or down)
1. top horizontal
2. middle horizontal
3. bottom horizontal
4. top-left vertical
5. bottom-left vertical
6. top-right vertical
7. bottom-right vertical
also list the sequence of valid numerals.
(p.s. you can send in your answers as comments or by email. the contest closes at 12 mid-night IST on 14th sept 2008)
p.s. in case you like such logical puzzles, click here to check out the previous one!
quite a few people got the answer correctly... though some of them interpreted the problem a little differently...
the correct answer is option 5, the bottom-left vertical segment.
if this segment is defective then the longest sequence of valid numerals that result are - 3, 4, 5, 5 (instead of 6), 7, 9 (instead of 8) and 9!
i have posted all the comments received so far! manasi (http://forevermanasi.blogspot.com/) was the first respondent with the correct answer! :)
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
so if she's sacrificing her sleep and doesn't grumble about missing her sleep for some nonsensical get-together or movie or something, then you can be rest assured that the reason she sacrificed must have been really worth it!
we watched 'rock on' last saturday! very late show... the movie ended at 1 am! we both loved it thoroughly! she actually said that this movie was definitely worth losing sleep for!!!
the movie has a 'dil chahta hai' feel to it! the best part of the movie for me was the music! the actors were perfect for the roles they portrayed, the story was simple and stayed true to the theme, there was a very gritty and natural feel to the entire film, nothing was over-the-top... very highly recommended if you have not already seen it!
i got a late sms the same night after the movie from an ex-colleague who also must have just seen the movie... let me reproduce the sms here as a short review of the film :
"Hey friends, do watch ROCK ON... its a superb flick! Its a sensitive movie with music as a metaphor for life... with delightful little nuggets of humor & realistic dialogues. The movie is refreshingly witty! The music is great, true to a raw band type. Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal & Luke Kenny have done a great job but my personal favourite is Purab Kohli. I loved the end of the movie as well! Take aways -
1. Pursue your passion, no matter what because the happiness & satisfaction you get is beyond measure.
2. Never let a small misunderstanding injure a great friendship... good friends are forever!
3. Life mein compromise karna padta hai!
4. The journey is more important than the destination.
ROCK ON completely ROCKS... Go enjoy the MAGIK!"
yeah i know, quite a long sms!
but it hit the nail on the head and it saves me the effort of reinventing the wheel and writing a review! :P
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
the school bus picks up the bus-load of kids from the complex gate in the morning. most of the kids have their mothers or maids helping them onto the bus. and there are a couple of dads too, yours truly being one of them!
but the 'big boss' firmly believes that there's nothing noble about this early morning exercise i dutifully undertake! she believes that my morning excursion has more to do with my wanting to meet and chat with the group of mothers at the gate than with seeing off my kids. i guess she knows me pretty well after so many years of living with me! :)
but then i am usually not the lone dad at the gate. there are at least one or two others to give me company. now i don't know about their 'intentions' but then i can't paint everyone with my brush, can i? :P
one of the most memorable incidents i remember tells you a lot about us dads and how we deal with our kids (before i get flamed by the numerous mothers who read my blog, i am not saying that we guys do a better job or anything... on the contrary! read on to find out...)
there's this friend who has normally already left for office before the school bus arrives. he has two angelic daughters. its usually the kids' mother or the maid who drops the kids to the bus.
now one day he happened to be leaving a little late and so was downstairs with his younger daughter, presumably to drop her off to the bus.
when i was reaching the gate with my own younger brat, i noticed him bent over trying to having a serious conversation with his 3 year old. she was intently sobbing while he was doing his patient explaining. as i reached closer i understood the situation a little better. she was very clear that she did not want to go to school that day. and he was trying to explain to her why it was very important for her and her future that she go to school.
but you know kids (actually mom know kids!), they know a sucker when they see one! she didn't relent and if anything upped her decibel level and got the desired effect... his heart melted and he asked the bus driver to go ahead without her.
suddenly, out of the blue, the little girl was lifted off her feet and carried away! it was the mother who was watching the spectacle from the window . she knew where this was headed and that it called for some drastic measures! she hollered at the bus which had just started, and managed to deposit the kid into the bus. the kid realised that the game was up and promptly stopped howling!
the father walked away sheepishly towards his car while the mother face displayed a mixture of smugness and irritation on her way back home!
all of us had a hearty laugh as we headed back home to our respective morning chaos! :P
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
who had found the perfect pearl,
i drank in the sight
and i would have no reason
so now, i keep diving
the guruprasad family watched the kung-fu panda a few weekends ago! mr. guruprasad junior was treated to the movie separately... the rest of the family promptly went and saw it the day after that! (the excuse the seniors used was that ms. guruprasad junior could not obviously be deprived of this movie! :P )
(the murky truth lies in the fact that the parents would go to any lengths to watch such animated movies! in fact the big boss liked it so much that she was keen i post this piece here about the movie... so now you know who to thank!)
well here's the verdict to anybody out there who's still not watched this movie - WATCH IT NOW!!!
and it doesn't matter if you are single, married, divorced, separated, with/ without kids, celibate, etc. or if you fall into any other category! this movie (one of the few non-pixar ones) which ranks right up there with the best animated films! (my list includes finding nemo, the incredibles, monsters inc, the lion king, shrek, aladdin, jungle book, the little mermaid, etc.)
the story is fun for kids, and carries a bag of laughs and a few good hard-hitting messages for us boring oldies as well. its all about a 'fat' panda (do they come in any other size?) who wants to be a kung-fu warrior. and then becomes one in the end, despite all the 'heavy' odds, without any 'secret recipe' for success.
its a fairly simple straight-forward story which is presented very well. the action sequences are a delight to watch. (frankly i didn't pay much attention to the fact that the voice-overs were done by some heavy-weights including dustin hoffman, angelina jolie and suchlike.)
my only advice is that it wouldn't be a good idea to watch this movie before going to the local stamp duty & registration office... whatever inspiration you gained from the movie would be effectively sucked out of you there! but then that's the gory stuff for another post later :)
p.s. read this great review cum career advice post - http://youthcurry.blogspot.com/2008/07/kung-fu-style-career-advice.html
p.p.s. i also happened to watch the latest sequel in 'the mummy' series - the tomb of the dragon emperor. my only comment is that i hope the mummies are well and truly buried this time and are not resurrected any further!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
the 'big boss' and i went to watch a play called kabir.
it is a mono-act play by acclaimed and multi-talented shekhar sen who has written, directed, acted and sung in this play.
the play takes us on an interesting journey which describes kabir's life. born around 1398 as an illegitimate son of a brahmin widow, raised by a childless muslim couple, a weaver by profession, kabir is greatly influenced by the religious mood during that period. he then finds answers to most of the questions tormenting him when he meets his preceptor, ramanand, and then goes on to become one of the greatest revolutionary philosopher-poets ever in india.
his dohas (couplets) in vernacular hindi are a treasure trove of some of the highest philosophical declarations with some of the most practical and simple ways of looking at life.
in his two hour long play shekhar sen uses very very simple props but weaves powerful magic on the audience through witty, hard-hitting dialogs (where he enacts the roles of more than 30 other characters using different voices), melodious music (pre-recorded sound tracks) and over 40 songs rendered in more than 30 raagas.
the passion, the energy and the sheer power of the message of kabir as delivered by shekhar sen in this play will not fail to move the audience and make an impact. irrespective of whether you are agnostic, an atheist or a cynic! he manages to get the message across even if you do not understand the vernacular version of hindi that he uses in the play.
i would strongly recommend this play to all of you who are interested in kabir and his teachings, theatre, music, philosophy and all things indian!
p.s. i am now eagerly looking forward to seeing his other two mono-act plays - vivekananda and goswami tulsidas!
Saturday, July 05, 2008
its been ages... and i've a lot of people checking if everything was ok and if i would start blogging again any time soon!
i've been gaining some knowledge during this period of blog-abstinence!
did you know that the virus that causes chicken-pox also causes shingles? and that you are typically immunised against it for life once you get the disease? that adults are affected much worse than children?
the 'boss' and the kids played tag with each other and had the pox in turns! and the boss came down with the pox just the day after i left for a week-long tour... most people who knew me were sure that i scooted the battle-field since i knew it was coming... others who don't know me will believe i was completely in the dark about this :)
prasann, my son, was aghast. he accusingly asked his mother whether she had consumed chicken because of which she got a pox by the same name! when she couldn't convince him that it had nothing to do with her diet, she logged on to the internet and showed him the explanation on some site which then reassured him... that's the power of the www on our generation for you!
i also learnt that most communities in india believe that this version of the pox is a manifestation of the angry form of the 'devi' or goddess... its amazing how this belief cuts across all regions, states and communities.
another amazing learning was that none of the doctors prescribe any medicine for the pox. they just ask you to go through the entire cycle and assure you that it will heal by itself. at best they will recommend what skin creams you could use post-healing to reduce any pigmentation left behind by the scars! :P
and the leaves of the 'neem' tree are the most popular traditional medicine used for the pox. our maid would religiously tie the leaves above the door to appease the angry goddess... but i think the leaves were hung largely to inform people that there are people in the house who are afflicted by the pox :)
the leaves and twigs are spread on the bed to alleviate the itching and burning sensation caused by the blisters... but i think it just serves as a better tool for scratching the itch especially your back... and its far safer than using your hair brush for the same purpose! :P
but i'm glad the guruprasad family is over and done with as far as this pox is concerned! i would rather keep the goddess in good humor than have her pay us a visit in a 'fowl' mood again :P
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
she walked in and opened a door,
and as i went deeper, it kept leading
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
its been ages since i last posted!
actually thats not true... i've been posting... but not the regular posts. i've been going through a poetry phase! its been ages since this bug last bit :)
and i've been posting some of them on the blog.
but i have not been emailing my usual mailing list about these postings. don't ask me why!
but some people have been able to track these poems and have been commenting. while most expressed surprise at my poetic inclinations, others were appreciative.
but the most common underlying vein among most people who commented was what i found quite hilarious!
to quote some of them, there must be 'something in the air'. some wondered 'what was up?'
well i guess its not a 'normal' thing to do. but if try explain too much here they will also say that 'i doth protest too much'!
so i think i should just respond with a straight face and say that the poetry bug was in the air :P
you could check them out in the blog yourself. comments and brickbats are welcome.
i hope to resume my regular blogging soon.
adios till then :)
Friday, May 09, 2008
it was a full moon night
and each gopi could see him
in my mind each day
and each thought is in a trance
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
you calm the storm raging within
this is a pilgrimage i would
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
like one would walk barefoot
across a glass-strewn floor.
she wouldn't want him to quote her
out of context or read between the lines
or misinterpret her words for
the declaration of some undying love!
and he watches her with an amused look,
as she fumbles as she tries
to mouth the words she doesn't believe in.
but her eyes give the game away!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
what is it about you
that makes me
swing across the spectrum thus?
sometimes i grin idiotically
and then sometimes i'm
working myself into a frenzy.
you seem within arm's reach
and yet the chasm seems
too wide for me to span.
and like a caged beast
i pace tirelessly, waiting,
for the gate to be opened
you clasp the key to freedom
tightly in your palm,
moist with the knowledge
of the power of the choice.
but you know better than to
unleash this caged beast.
and yet you move closer
inspite of yourself,
driven by the faith you harbour,
that the beast without is but
a reflection of the one within.
and by freeing one, the other
would lose its ferocity!
you take a deep breath,
and then pause
Monday, April 07, 2008
i can smell the approaching rains
the parched earth within me
its been a long drought
you had saved me
Monday, March 31, 2008
its twice in the last couple of days that i have been part of a discussion involving the younger sibling in families with two kids. (i am sure this is equally for people with more than two kids :P )
ok, here's the theory.
the younger of two siblings is always tougher, more independent, more assertive and more aggressive than the older one. they seem to have a mind of their own and typically will not get bullied by the elder sibling. on the contrary, it is more likely that they are the ones terrorising the older one!
do you also agree with this theory? if you are a parent of two kids do you believe this is true in the case of your kids? even if you are not a parent or a parent with only one child, have you seen evidence around you which proves this theory?
i was trying to understand why this is the case? and here's what i could come up with -
1. the parents of the second kid are usually are usually self-proclaimed veterans at child rearing and are far more sacked-out! (have you seen at any gathering, when kids play and end up fighting or bawling, the single-kid parents are usually on their feet trying to resolve the problem. while the two-kids parent continue munching on their bhajias or sipping their drink... confident that whatever the problem, the kids will sort it out among themselves!)
2. the older sibling is told by the parents that they have to protect the younger sibling. what the parents don't realise is that they take this very seriously but it is the elder ones who typically need protection from the younger!
3. the younger ones learn all about life (which basically means getting their way around and knowing the weak spots of the parents, siblings and friends) pretty quick and usually from the elder siblings.
like i said... the young shall rule the world. how do i know, you ask? well i should.. i was the eldest among three kids!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
and i knew
that today is the day
i'll meet my destiny.
how do i know, you ask?
i'm going to light up
we were destined to meet
Friday, March 28, 2008
or would we just be strangers?
or would we still connect
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
his son, who's in the sixth grade, was waiting for him to come back from office because he wanted to tell him something. and this was apparently one of the first times he wanted to share it with his father and not his mother!
he then explained that one of the boys in his class had proposed to a girl in the same class that day. and he went on to add that this boy (let's call him P for proposer, for clarity) was part of his (and we'll call him S, as in colleague's son) group. all the groups members had helped him write out his 'love note'. so it was some kind of communal effort with the entire group trying to play cupid.
then came the issue of belling the cat, viz. reaching the note to the object of his desire (let's call her O). now P might have wanted his romantic correspondence to reach O but he was not so that he would want to hand it over himself.
so now for the messenger they requested a girl (and lets call her M) from the same group to do the needful. i guess they must have impressed upon her that it was her bounden duty as a group member to do such tasks for the sake of the emotional well-being of another groupie.
so M went and dutifully handed over the note to O. but the story doesn't end there! M then proceeded to go up to the class teacher and inform her about what had just transpired! :P
we can only imagine what P and O would have gone through! but the teacher apparently did not make too much of a fuss about this incident and only told the entire class that they have enough time for such pursuits later on in life. and that it would be far more sensible to use their time in studies and enjoying life!
talking of love notes in school, i remember the amazing innovations some of my class-mates used to adopt to declare their undying love to their lady-loves when we were in school. (obviously i never did no such thing, and i'm not saying that just because the big boss reads my blog!!!)
the most hilarious one was when a good friend thought he could make use of some basic principles of aero-dynamics to do the job. so he wrote his note and converted the note into a paper aeroplane and launched it towards the lady in question across the row of desks in the tuition class.
but aero-dynamics was not my class mate's strongest subject and he had forgotten to factor in the cross-wind and the impact of the bent ailerons on the flight pattern of his love-missile. suffice to say that the missile crash-landed on the maths tutor's shoulder instead of soft-landing onto the lady's heart!
and to rub salt into his wounds the tutor decided to read it out to the rest of the class!!!
Monday, March 24, 2008
with a smirk
and all i could manage
was a wry smile in response.
i don't even remember
when we started sparring
and why and who
had started it?
this is a game i'm
no good at playing,
but play i must.
i'm not playing to win,
for in losing you
there is no victory.
but if by winning
i win you forever,
then losing to you
is not an option!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
its that time of year
when tender mangoes
hang in clumps
in the mango groves.
and the fragrance
of the blossoms
hangs heavy in the air.
the plaintive cries
of the koyal and the mynah
rent the air
as they are driven
by nature to seek their mates.
its that time of year
when all of nature
waits with bated breath
with me as i wait
for a sign from my beloved.
a sign that will
make me complete
and rejoice my second life.
Monday, March 17, 2008
it happened at the dining table and in the middle of his description of some arcane cricket fundas. he suddenly asks his mother, 'mom, who is a girlfriend? isn't it just a friend who's a girl? thats what i told k (another boy in the complex who's one year older) but he told me that a girlfriend is someone you love'! before the big boss could allow this to sink in and collect her wits to come up with some meaningful response, he had already moved on and was asking her if she knew who played 6 down after chaminda vaas the sri-lankan one day cricket team!
big boss and i looked at each other and raised eye-brows :)
he brought it up with her again soon after. and asked her the same question. he's also been getting curious lately about marriage!
this time the big boss was much better prepared and she patiently explained to him that he was right when he said that girlfriends are only friends who happen to be girls. but once people get to a marriageable age, then they might develop a special relationship with a girlfriend and then want to marry her. this explanation seems to have resolved whatever doubts he had internally because he is now back to his non-stop chatter about all things cricket!
i have this theory (actually everybody has the same theory, so its no big deal!) that girls grow much faster and are a lot smarter than guys at that (its a different matter that they remain smarter for the rest of their lives. but thats not the point i am making here, so don't bring it up and confuse the issue here). and i saw concrete evidence of this fact in the same week the above conversation took place.
i saw two young girls, who are my son's age, playing badminton while i was on my way to the garden in our complex. i saw them suddenly stop, point, whisper and giggle. i innocently asked them what they were up to. one of them, without missing a beat, said 'nothing uncle' (please ignore the 'uncle' reference here) and moved away. the second came up to me and said in a conspirational tone, 'we were looking at that boyfriend and girlfriend. we see all of them but watch from a distance.'
that's when it hit me that these girls were aeons ahead of my son (and i think this would true of most boys of his age) about their understanding of friends and lovers and the distinction.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
i am sure you haven't.
not the kind of anguish
i'm talking about.
the kind which
rubs your nerve-ends raw,
and every breath
a painful reminder.
while i wait
for a glimpse,
anything that would help
me get through this day
and make it to the next.
with a dream to span
Saturday, March 01, 2008
i am thick-skinned... nothing shakes me. (the boss prefers to be more direct and says i am incorrigible and hopeless! )
i used to be a skinny guy in school. and i used to be embarrassed with my own body. and i used to keep fantasising about putting on a few kilos. and i did :)
well, maybe more than a few kilos. but i'm still proud of myself. it took a lot of hard work... eating, sleeping, lazing around, and not exercising....
the big boss kept trying to pierce through the thick skin with well aimed barbs about the bad shape i was in! i even agreed to wal every morning if she gave me company since i am pathetic company to myself! and this just didn't work out, which suited me just fine :P
and then disaster struck! and how!!!
my daughter, all of 3.5 years, and my own flesh and blood made the unkindest cut! oh how can i ever live this down? let me explain and then you will surely sympathise with me!
my daughter is friends with another girl in our complex where she spends time almost every other day. (her parents are good friends). they were expecting their second baby and the expectant mother was visibly pregnant.
now my daughter's friend, with a lot of pride in her voice, announced that her mama's tummy is big because there's a baby in it. and my daughter (oh the shame of it!), not one to be left behind, promptly piped up and said that we too are having a baby because my papa's tummy is also big! and this is in the presence of my friends. well you can imagine the ir reaction to this announcement. and then this obviously reached the big boss' ears who lost no time in relaying the news to me.
and she expected me to see the humor in this situation!!!
well, that broke me and my resolve completely!
its been about two weeks now that i have started walking every morning with the same friend who gives me company. (so i don't even the excuse of not having company)
Thursday, February 28, 2008
do i get to start afresh?
why do i not get it right
the first time around?
and three days
i burned in hell
before i could admit
that i need you more
than you need me.
and it would take me
seven lives before i am
freed from your clutches
and that is what
gets my goat!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
no i don't draw this conclusion based on my the intelligence levels of my conversations or the topics of my posts. but most people tell me that i must be sleep-deprived. but for most part of my life (which is quite a bit.... but i am not about to tell you) i have always been up so late that i'm convinced that i'm a direct descendant of an owl!
staying up until 1 or 2 am everyday was understandable during your college days which meant that you were carefree and footloose. either that or you were up pining for some girl in college and you were sitting up all night scheming on how you are going to pass on your 'love letter' to her the next day! you did this for a couple of weeks after which the letter seemed a bit lame and so you drafted another passionate one and then fretted all over again... you get the picture?
but i still stay up till 12.30-1 am, on an average. and no i am not writing 'love letters' and scheming! i am usually writing such posts or watching some movie or reading a book.
but what gets my 'big boss'' goat (actually many things get her goat, this being only one of them :P) is that when i have to read a bed-time story to my kids i doze off mid-way into the story! it is such a chronic problem that my kids protest violently when i suggest that i read them a bed-time story! they believe that their mom is the best story-reader in the world (apart from being the best mom/cook/masseur/doctor/hugger/kisser/...).
but she's not easily fooled. she's convinced that i've purposely and very carefully built this image that i suck as far as story-reading goes.
but that's not true at all.... in fact i think i have cracked the problem. the point is, the minute my head hits the pillow i feel drowsy! i think i should put this theory to test and try doing it differently.
will keep you all posted :)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
"i'm hungry and three and need some done room. can you get of something to numbi on up way good? or maybe u can tops up a quick neck? what about u? u know what i'd love. smart dual. he u order at the deli they'll deliver it good. i'll in good n take a quick shower, bomb my hair n them get ready for my neck. i want u to john of for an enjoyable neck."
(hint : assume this was an sms from a technologically-challenged hubby to his wife on his way back from work.)
ok, here's the solution :
I'm hungry and TIRED and need some FOOD SOON. Can you get me something to MUNCH on UR way home? Or maybe u can TOSS up a quick MEAL? What about u? U know what I'd love. ROAST DUCK. IF u order at the deli they'll deliver it HOME. I'll GO HOME n take a quick shower, COMB my hair n then get ready for my MEAL. I want u to JOIN ME for an enjoyable MEAL.
(solved using predictive text option on a nokia phone :P )
ziah cracked it fully (almost!). and the people who came close were prats, thinking aloud, and tys on ice. the funny versions were from gazal and preethi! and some of the others who wrote in include ~nm, swati, and jayashri.
let's all hear it for ziah! (there ziah, you just got your prize! i'm such a cheapo :P )
thanks for participating. that was fun! now let me think up something equally inane in another post :P
Saturday, February 16, 2008
one of the biggest challenges faced by public administrators in indian cities (and also by the superintendents responsible for cleanliness in trains and by the members of the 'cleanliness' committees in countless housing societies) across the vast indian sub-continent is the scourge of defacement of public property. specifically the literary outpourings of sundry love-struck romeos on numerous walls that stand stoically while such above-mentioned mischief is being perpetrated!
while i whole-heartedly agree with the view that defacement should be discouraged and that such defilers should be penalised, i cannot help but appreciate some of the most humorous and insightful messages that i have come across over time. in fact, there is also a branch of graffiti including street/sidewalk drawings which is viewed as art.
the majority of the graffiti that we see all around us (lifts/elevators, public bathrooms, public transportation) can be classified as lewd and 'not for family viewing'. but the best graffiti are the pithy, humorous and politically incorrect messages that are like rare gems.
one of the best examples that i have come across (on the net) was about a line scrawled in a men's room which read : 'marie, if you can read this, its all over between us!'
and graffiti in school bathrooms sometimes aptly communicate the not-so-kindly feelings of the students towards their teachers. one of the best i came across reads - drive carefully - don't kill a child. wait for teacher.
sometimes the angst felt by the student community to the prevailing political situation also is reflected in these scrawls. i remember during the highly volatile situation in colleges during the mandal commission protests reading a message in my college men's room - (next to a line drawn horizontally) if you can reach this line join the fire brigade! (and next to another line drawn about a foot below the earlier line) this one is for sc/st!
and there were graphic ones which were usually designed to shock the viewer. some of them did have their humorous element.
one of the classic ones which i used to find in most schools and colleges was the one where you were asked to follow the arrows drawn in front of you while you were relieving yourself and which progressed up to the ceiling and even behind you sometimes. and then right at the end there is a line which says - watch out you fool! you are tinkling on your shoes!
so i guess i must confess here that i am a fan of graffitti and the pithy humor and wisdom most of them hold. but i prefer grafitti which doesn't deface public property. i prefer them on unused surfaces or on t-shirts and websites :)
p.s. i always used to wonder whether the girls in school (and the women in general) were as expressive and creative on the walls and doors of ladies' rooms? (i remember reading an article about men getting 'creatively expressive' on the walls of the ladies compartments in the local trains in mumbai and offending the sensibilities of the commuters. i still haven't come across a case of the reverse happening! i wonder why?)
Sunday, February 10, 2008
the bands, like every year, were really classy. this year the line-up included joe bonamassa and the robert cray band on the first night. and gold spot (read what ultrabrown has to say about them here) and jose feliciano on the second night.
what i like about the one tree festival can be summarised as follows -
1. the music is not for kids. and so you will find yourself in the middle of an audience which is comfortably middle-aged (or should i say 'right-aged'). it helps when you know you fit the median on the age bell curve of the audience :)
3. i get free passes every year (i'm such a cheapo :P ), thanks to a dear friend. these music shows (including the teeny bopper bands and burnt out pop-stars) almost always cost a bomb!
but i've always wondered why these visiting bands always get a lot of big-name sponsorships (the one tree festival is sponsored every year by johnnie walker) while local bands and indian classical music have it much tougher?
Thursday, February 07, 2008
1. the software sales executive is usually carrying a laptop and wearing worn jeans and a cool shirt.
2. the senior executive is always checking his blackberry and is usually wearing casual formals (or is it formal casuals?).
3. the punju trader from delhi is usually wearing a loud shirt, carrying on a louder conversation with his fellow-traveller and is guzzling whisky and water like its the last bottle on earth.
4. the gujju bhai is usually wearing a safari suit and is calling up his wife before they shut the door asking her to send the driver to pick him up and also asking her to cook some good dal khichdi and roti saag for dinner!
5. and if the flight is from some gulf nation and if there's a mallu lady on board, then she's usually wearing enough gold to cause some serious overloading on the flight. (they get away because the airlines haven't begun weighing the people yet!)
and the usual expats that you will find on the flights to india are :
1. the tourist on a budget trip and who looks and smells like he's just landed up on the flight straight from bed!
2. the ubiquitous old white man with a young oriental girl wearing a skimpy outfit. and no, thats definitely not his daughter! (i guess i'm just jealous.)
but the person who never fails to amuse me is the tam-brahm mama (an elderly tamil brahmin gentleman) who will board the flight wearing a full suit and tie and the works! but he's either going straight from the airport to his hotel or has just checked out of his hotel and is on his way back home! (i think they do this because most of the tam movies in the 60s always showed the hero travelling by air in this fashion! but i might be way off the mark here. maybe one of you could enlighten me.)
and each of the flights, i have taken, always has a professional rip-van-winkle who can sleep off the minute the wheels leave the tarmac and wake up just as the plane is touching down. and that is i :)