Thursday, February 28, 2008

second chance

how many second chances
do i get to start afresh?
why do i not get it right
the first time around?

four nights
and three days
i burned in hell
before i could admit
to myself

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!


this morning i woke up
to a completely new world
from the wrong side of my bed
and saw a new face in the mirror!

and had no clue if
i was dreaming or
if i had just woken up?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

am i sleep deprived?

i think i must be 'sleep-deprived'!

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

mind-bender quiz

here's a mind-bender. can anybody decipher the following message?

"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

pssst.... creativity in 'full flow'

this post is inspired by 'writings on the wall' by 'tys on ice' and 'why'' by prats.

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

one tree festival!

i was lucky to get some free passes to the 'one tree music festival' on the 9th and 10th of feb in mumbai.

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 :)

2. these bands are classy acts and not like the used-up, burnt out popular bands which tour india since they don't get invited in any other part of the world!

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?

p.s. i also attended the 'heartbeats' show organised by 'every tuesday' where the six gods/giants of indian music (zakir hussain, sivamani, viku vinaykaram, u shrinivas, selvaganesh and shankar mahadevan) performed together on stage! awesome experience. (and the organisers had managed to get a good line-up of sponsors too!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

suited and booted!

put me in a plane with a bunch of indians coming back from any of the asian countries and chances are i can tell you which community each one is from. if not his community, then i can tell you about his profession. and if i laid a wager with the chinese sitting beside me in each of these trips i would be richer by quite a few yuan! (no matter which flight you are on and in which part of the planet you will always find a chinese and an indian on the flight! check it out yourself!)

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 :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

education redux!

this post was prompted by a comment from 'thinking aloud' and a post by amit varma in 'india uncut'.

the most common comment i hear when people (usually the ones without kids) are debating about our education system is that 'it sucks' and that it needs to be completely revamped! and that this system does not generate leaders and that it smothers the creativity of the children!

i beg to differ!

school days were the best days of my life! though i used to count down to my vacations when in school and then count down for the first day of school during my vacations.

and we learnt our lessons in life, both, inside and outside school. and the manner in which we learnt most of the basic concepts in math and science are being abhorred today. but i'll never ever forget my multiplication tables which we used to chant by rote between periods (i mean, between the class-room sessions. that's what we used to call them, so don't blame me!). and i'll also never forget the fact that if the blue litmus turns red then the liquid is acidic. (my friends taught me the mnemonic 'bra' - blue-red-acidic)!

and i remember having this major crush on this one teacher. this was then later redirected at her daughter. you think that was being fickle? well how about this girl who i sent a note to (i think it was poetic version of 'can we be friends'?) who wrote back saying that she found my friend cute! now that's what i call fickle! (just a case of sour grapes, i know. so don't rub it in.)

this was also around the time when i suddenly discovered my love for music and choral singing. i was not able to convince my friends that it had nothing to do with the fact that the practice sessions were held in the girls' convent across the street! philistines and uncouth they were, my friends.

i definitely got a well-rounded education through this education system (though my wife will say that i need to lose a few pounds around my waist and around my head!). and i'm none the worse for it!

Friday, February 01, 2008

the quirkier (not murkier) side of me!

prats from 'Retrospections! Emotional ecology...... ' tagged me and i am doing something which i had promised i'll never ever do! but since this gives me an opportunity to rave about myself officially i decided to break the rule :P

The Rules:

- Link to the person that tagged you.
- Post the rules on your blog.
- Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
- Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
- Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

well, about the rules, i don't think i can stick to them since there's nothing about me that i don't consider important! so instead of playing by the rules, i'll just wax eloquent about my quirks.

and about tagging six random people, i mean why i would them to think that i consider them 'random'? :P

but what i'm going to do is this - i'm going to do a google search of bloggers and tag complete strangers! lets see what happens. and if anyone sues me, i don't exist ok? i'm just a robot blogger spewing out 'random' posts here!

1. i count the steps on any staircase and i try to land on the last step with my right foot!

2. i always lift the plate when i'm at a restaurant to identify the brand! (infuriates my wife, but i can't help it!)

3. i can't remember dates to save my life! read here.

4. i don't like to miss the ads or the traliers before the movies. even in the old days when they showed news reels, remember? its not only about 'paisa vasool', but i feel i missed out something really important. (i think my wife also shares this quirk... no wonder i think we are made for each other :P )

5. i want to try out all the modes of transport whenever i go to a new place. so i've travelled by bullock cart, horse cart, buses, trains, planes, gliders, bicycles, bikes (in some places you can pay people on bikes to take you from point A to B), auto-ricshaws, trams, jeepneys, tuk-tuks, hand-pulled rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, trucks, etc. (have i missed out anything?)

6. i button my short alternate buttons from the bottom-up and then do the rest top-down!

so there it is... take it or dump it, but thats how the chips fall with me!

ok, now for my tag list :

1. anita bora from bangalore
2. anantha from new jersey
3. jaina from uk, i think
5. twisted dna - an indian-american
6. the mad momma - from bangalore?

lets see what happens now ;-P