Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When the Kids Smile

You do different things when your loved ones are out of station. One of the things that I regularly practice and end up getting bashed from my friends is the fact that I go in for 'surprise dates and parties'.

You must be wondering how come I end up getting dates if I term them 'surprising'. The reason is I plan it up in such a fashion that the ones going out with me assumes its a surprising but to me is a planned one. Yes, I know I am a cheap guy. But hey, don't we Indians boast being the nation of cheaps? :)

This fine Sunday, when the Scorching sun beamed on my back, I lazily took a glance at my wrist watch. It showed 13:00 hours. My so called friend from Mount Carmel had again decided to be late. I don't blame people. People staying at far off places like Jayanagar, JP Nagar & Banashankari are very unpunctual. :) I know I am for some BIG trouble now.

At that point of time, I saw a couple of kids, aged between 5-8 years playing Cricket. I am not boasting, but I just get a turned on by a girl's songs and Cricket. So here,I decided to play a game of Cricket with these kids. I am a good batsman and an awesome bowler, and a lazy fielder (that can be understood since I stay most of the time in the dormitory of my office).

My roomie, immediately went to the room, took the camera and clicked some pics. I left afterwards only to realise that I had a back pain. Yes, I am getting old, and should stop celebrating birthdays, but that's me :)

Since then, these kids have been pestering me for the snaps. And so, I decided to get them the snaps today. When I gave them snaps, I can't express their happiness. They leapt in the sky and kept on saying "Uncle, thank you, uncle Thank you". I saw a gleam of smile in an old person sitting besides. He said that Son, you made them happy.

As I receded back to my abode, I saw them still jumping with joy. I understood children are innocent and certain acts in life can bring so much of happiness. You really don't need to do something great; just small acts and life would be so wonderful.

I heard someone pressed the door bell. "Uncle, could you get the shuttle cock from that roof?" Well, I am in for some trouble, now. Explain it to them :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sex and Economy

Two visible things have remain etched in my 'mediocre' brain from my hey days. Both of them has to do with my teenage years. I am referring to Sex and Economy. The 'Sex' and 'Economy'-distinct and yet much true are the two things, which according to me balances and stands as a major pedestal for any youngster in his or her growing years; I wasn't immobile to the same.

I was of the fact and had a general consensus that both of these things were 'gifted',and only the'lucky' ones were entitled to the same. It is where I take and draw a picture of a small town, where I grew up and feel has its own advantages, and though it seems immodest for me to deny it outright now, the fact is at that period the town sucked for I missed both Sex and Economy.

Board exams meant you have to put in all your efforts towards studies. It also meant no Television(Chitrahaar or Rangoli on DD National Network) or any sort of entertainment that you could possibly think of, forget Internet in 90's. I am not against all these,but when it comes to - glorifying your parents prestige by doing well in the examinations, I get all psyched up.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to gauze how is that answering a 100 marks question makes Jack,healthy, wealthy and wise? Anyway, to cut is short- you can make out the Sex factor was NULL, and Money- well if you have read it till here, continue reading.

I think I owe a lot to my parents for they inculcated in me a certain discipline in terms of using money. You see, unlike most of today's youth, I used to never receive a something called 'pocket money'. I used to earn my monthly expenses either by writing a short piece for a college article or contesting in a Quiz show. My eldest brother, whom I consider to be a role model, and that has not changed yet today, took care of my finances at any day. But that, didn't mean I had money to buy something for my girlfriend.

Honestly speaking, when I look back, I don't see that I had a remote chance with any girl. I was not tall (am still the same), lean (imagining 6 or 8 packs), nor handsome and was mediocre in studies. So the chances of matching any of the criteria for a girl to fall for me wasn’t there. But I was definitely talkative. I could speak on anything be it music, sports, religion etc. I just needed a topic to speak on.

The Catholic institution provided me the required impetus to show case my latent talent. I don’t know as to how many of you’ld be aware of something called ‘Bible reading’, but I did that. It is a sort of reading of a certain section of Bible in front of an August gathering at a chruch, and am happy that this was noticed by all.

You must be all wondering how do I even manage to get a chance of have a girl friend lest talk about sex. You are not mistaken completely; I believe at some juncture I had overshadowed to have the 'cool' tag, for I knew it's insane to think about it. And then it just happened.

Right thing always happen at the right moment. Some love guru said once physical desires are very hard to control, and it is understandable that youngsters commit things unknowingly or knowingly. I believe it is a sense of Freedom. We all love freedom at that period, at that age, and when you grow up and suddenly see that 'Mom,I am going out, and will come late" or arriving at 9 in the night are not treated with same nerve or tension as earlier, youngsters feel that they are grown up. You enjoy that freedom.

I have still my parent's favorite, and of course enjoy my mother's love, but there is another love that we identify is that of a girl. When I went out with my first girlfriend, all I remember is that she smelt wonderful; in college parlance,it is just the extra pudding for tiffin. The first Kiss that we shared scaled heights more than Sachin Tendulkar's first century. However, we couldn't get further as her dad, a cop chased with me a lathi.

Years have rolled by and I have grown up (physically only!!!). But I sense that when you realise that how many years you have been running for Sex and Economy, you need to ask yourself, "are both of them interrelated?" and "did I over run myself in the run for same?" The mobile phone starts ringing. Guess, I have couple of miles to run before I sleep.

The Last Kiss

For a moment nothing moved except for the few leaves that were falling down from the old Banyan tree. The hustle & bustle of everyday activities' seem to prey silent to the mohican adventure of this place. The place located in the confines of Rupert street is often an anonymous adventure, a loafer's den, and some gossip stories's inception. But this day, it is different.

The place, known as Baltizmer's graveyard welcomes another daughter to its abode. Mrs. Smith is no more. She has left for her abode leaving her daughter and son.

As the coffin donned Mrs. Smith with flowers of varied colors, a beautiful Anita Smith in a spotless white gown, eyes closed, nose tilted towards the yonder sky and lips closed, laid. The nose portrayed severe emotion tilted towards the Heaven. It has to be heaven, everyone said.

Anitha was such a sweet child," "oh! she was an angel in her days, said her friends. While everyone spoke and ushered their condolences, Diana kept silence. It is a silence that pervaded her for a long time. A reason that most of the mourners linked up to her mother's sudden death. But it isn't

Mom, I want to get married to this guy. I love him". He is not suitable for you. These words kept on repeatedly on Diana's mind as she had her first child aborted. Philip, her husband could not bear the fact that she had given birth to a girl. He had openly laid two options in front of her- either get the child aborted or leave him.

She loves Philip, She always did and she could not bear to lose him. In times of motherhood, its believed a girl suddenly gets an extra energy to give a new birth, the creation of a baby born itself makes her feel infallibly good. Perhaps, that's why they said "a girl has turned into a woman."

Anitha could not take the news of aborted child shock. She cannot face the news that her daughter has killed someone since she liked her husband. Anitha suffered a stroke, and perhaps in her last moments, she wished her daughter and son could be there. Perhaps her efforts to raise the kids had gone last. She had raised the kids when their father had passed away of a dreaded sickness. Anitha worked endlessly in her role as a teacher.

The priest asked Diana to say her prayers and have a last conversation with her mother. Diana knelled towards towards the coffin. Her hands were covered in black gloves. The same hands that once Anitha caught Diana falling from walking, were today cold and unmoved. Diana looked into her mother's eyes. Anitha is beautiful.

Even in the last few hours of death has not been able to disrupt the beauty of her mother. She smelt so good. Diana remembers how she used to take her mom through out a ride, and she said stop, stop!! How she wish Time stops.

Even at death, people learn a few lessons. Lessons that teaches you how important death can be at times. It instructs you that life is the beautiful creation of God, and only he is entitled to take it at his own right. Diana had no right to abort a child who did not even see the light of this world. And, her she is weeping for her mother, whom she longs to be alive. Such is the adversity of this world.

As she locks the last kiss with her mother, she suddenly feels that her mom said something to her ears. "Diana, I forgave you; I'll be born again as your daughter". Please don't kill me again". Diana shudders this time. Could it be her mom. But her mother lies in the grave. Who could it be? It had started raining.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Striking a Conversation at a Party

Times have changed. People have changed their approach. Their lifestyles and norms of living. But a thing that did not change-FLIRT. People still flirt, and for obvious reasons. You can call it by name as you wish to. Socialising is the new name for it, I heard Neha telling me the other day. Suzzane said that guys have lost ways of reciprocating and approaching women. Really!! I beg to differ on this.

Flirting- ok first of all, leave that nagging thing behind. It is not a taboo and people are open to it. But, flirting is not cheap advances. Here, you are going to address someone with a bit of style and of course with their attitude intact.

Don't be someone else. Rule no.1- Be natural, be yourself. Even the greatest love guru's would say this to you. Girls have this amazing nose. They can easily track down the vileness in your character. It is essential hence to be at ease, when you confront the opposite sex for the first time.

Rule no 2- Get the signals. Yo don't need to be a traffic constable for that. At a party, if you tend to like a girl, give her a glance. Look into her eyes, and not somewhere else. If she likes you or has an interest towards you, there will be a flash of a smile crooning somewhere between the lips. Catch it!

Once you caught the smile, it is turn to approach. Be well-groomed and strike a good opening line. Try to check if her glass is empty. If yes, maybe its time you can buy or get her a drink. See the glass is clean. Girls are born hygienic. God knows, why!

Don't rush towards her with that glass. She is a lady and she is to be treated with respect. Walk softly, all the time looking into this eyes, and a smile beaming (not that full). Go near her, take a deep breath and say "oh! I just figured out that the job of a waiter"...she says "what!" and than you cash in with "to never keep beautiful girl's glasses empty".. You may laugh at me now, but it works.

Next confidence. If she finds that you interesting, she will ask you to seat besides her. Now, don't just sit immediately. Thank her first, and ask her what is a beautiful girl like her doing at this moment?

Converse more. Ask about her and see if she reciprocates. If she doesn't, quietly leave. If she does, she will ask about you too. Your job is more easier if you have a good sense of humor. Trust me! having a good humor breaks the ice faster than anything else.

If you are a good dancer, than maybe you can ask her for a dance, but if you are like me, than talk about her interests. From that interests, try to see if you can be good in it.

Once the talk gets over and she checks watch, ask her if you she is waiting for someone and you should leave. The main factor is being polite. Girls love if a guy is polite and shows immense respect to them. If she has another person coming in, she will definitely let you know.

Once you guys have struck a rapport, take the lead-in. Ask her cell no. These days, people ask "do you have an Orkut ID?" Adventurous girl might give you the number straightway. Some girls might like to check you a bit-maybe not their number, but their email ID.

It's polite to ask her if you can drop her home. I don't think, we in India the success ratio is that higher, but nevertheless, you can ask. Don't forget her to text her when you go back home. Tell her you had a wonderful time. If the text comes within 5 minutes, she is on.

Watch out for the next article-"What should you do on Date"...till than happy dating!

Saffronizing Satyam

I am not a political activist nor a media tycoon nor a police commissioner or a judge. I am Raj, a middle-class citizen who just celebrated his birthday, with his meager salary. I am writing this piece because I feel I have a duty to express my thoughts as a citizen of my beloved country India. In no way, it relates any political parties views or anyone as such.

Where do I work? I am with an Information Technology company based in India. Nope, am not with Satyam. It should not stop you from asking me questions about my work and the various clients interact with. Satyam case in which Ramalingham Raju has disclosed that he cheated the board and employees.

I am going to share the expected treatment of the clients and the so called saffronizing us for the debacle of Satyam.

Firstly, clients are angry. They should be. If they find that the people with whom they are in business have their credentials in deep suspicion, they will be worried. It is their worriness that will result in anger. The client's anger may eventually cancelled the work order or pervade it from dealing with the company in future. This leads to time and a lot of money wastage. And, mostly the reputation of the client is at stake.

I read in some forum of a comment posted by a CEO of an mnc that Indian IT companies would be looked with suspicion after the Satyam lie. My response to that is very simple- let's not be biased. Did we forget the Enron and Worldcom fiasco? these were the companies based out of India and looking to do businesses with India.So, you see the history of companies that have a major catastrophe are not limited to Satyam alone. And some of them have not even declared their blames for it.

The West has always propagated the Asian nations are under developed, and whether they like to see it or not, development of these nations are scrutinized. In the mid 90's and post-Y2k, the IT sector saw a dramatic trend with more and more jobs outsourced to India. Obviously, the lesser cost and the quality workforce is an eye catcher for businesses in India. India flourished in leaps and bounds and the country is talking about businesses from the world market.

Mr. Raju has been one of the influential CEO's of India, and during his stint he has made quite a few high-ranking business friends and associates. He may find them to be a major catalyst in his triumph for survival. The so-called political parties may try to take a political mileage of it.

The IT companies need to understand that the crisis is not engulfed alone to Satyam alone. The need of the hour is to rise above all the petty differences and earn the trust of the customers again.

By the time this piece gets published, a new Satyam board comprising of three eminent persons have been formed. This is a fantastic development. I hope the board will first find out the root cause of this great fiasco, and see that in no way, the employees of Satyam are caused any evil. The customers need to be addressed and appraised of the situation.

Let's see how it evolves. But this blot needs to be taken care of right away. And, it's not just India that have been affected. The NASSCOM needs to take a stand, and yes dully get back to its righteous away.

And huh! for those of you who are wondering why did Mr.Raju surrender. I may be incorrect, but my take on is the US clients have already filed a complaint against Raju. We all know he will be under deep stakes if he has to face the trial in US. Atleast, Indian law would allow me to face the trial. So, you see.

I hope all goes well. May the truth prevail and yes one thing for sure, this incident will definitely make accounting department more agile. Chances are we just may have a blessing in disguise. Amen!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


I am speechless, stunned and obviously mystified by David Boyle's narration of a movie based on the plot of the television game show Kaun Banega Crorepati or Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. Yes, one thing more- it has no Mr.Bachchan.

Very few films have left me stunned with their script, drama, romance, cinematography, background music, art direction and everything.

to date it captures a slum boys' dreams and sets it to a pedestal of a coveted crown.

It surely is a movie that has shades of Mira Nair's SALAM BOMBAY, but this movie is set in 2008 and dealt so differently and brilliantly.

As a kid, I used to whistle in the streets across often collecting marbles, and play with my friends in rain. Some things change with the times, but the memories lingers somewhere, and the visuals depicted in Slumdog captured my childhood so well.

At no point of time, I was apprehensive that the characters Jamal and Salim would not make it big, but that's the beauty of the movie's screenplay.

Jamal rises to the hot seat of KBC front, and each answer in the KBC tells a story of his life. His age of innocence as a kid when he stays in a slum and overleaps in joy at the very mention of Amitabh Bachchan. His childhood love, Lalita stays afresh in his mind and inspite of the various odds and journeys, the love still lingers.

A touch of Bollywood masala, which Boyle dutifully doesn't miss for he knows that the Asian audience needs that cream.

Salim, Latika & Jamal are the three principal characters in the movie, and you are engulfed in these characters that the poverty and smugness of Mumbai lets you never down.

At no point in the movie, did I felt that the director was trying to humanise the slums of Mumbai. I felt Boyle narrated the story with a pinch of humor everywhere. That's why a character like Mahesh Manjrekar existed.

To me there are plenty of scenes that stands out,and the movie itself conveyed a messaged to me. It says at no point of your life, feel that your life is planned. Life is unpredictable to the core, but if you are confident and believe that you can chase your dreams by being honest and upright, no one can stop you. Pessimism never won a battle.

SLUMDOG is not a movie to be missed. Go and watch it with your loved ones. It will change a thing or two. Hats off!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Golmaal in 2009 New Year's Party

"Disaster, disaster" yelled both of us. 2009 New Year night party at Bangalore has left me dejected. I am unhappy because this isn't the first time, and am sure it won't be the last.

I won't take the names of people who has made it bad since they are my friends. But if they go through this piece someday, folks: I am really angry with you both, especially on my ex-roomie.

I don't remember the exact situations that led to a brawl. But let me tell you when you are with opposite genders, it is better to be calm and composed in trying situations.

We also saw how cops who find it amusing to get bribed during the normal working hours, interestingly starts beating people post-midnight on New Year's eve.

Hats off to a friend of mine, who got us at his residence safe and sound. He also suggested that while he prepares dinner for me, I should get some rest. After some time, when I realised that there was pin drop silence, I went to the kitchen.

I found no one. I found one of my friends very nearby to the bathroom sleeping, while the other slept on the chair. I had my food in the wee hours of the morning.

Numerous SMSes flooded my cell. I sincerely thank all of you for the best wishes.I also made some calls and scared a few people. My actions have been treated with much anger and one of them have decided to crush me beneath her treadmill :). And that, too with close eyes.

On a serious note, let us also see that we strive to make this messages (peace & prosperity) into concrete plan. Together we need to make a stand to fight against terrorism in any of its form.

It's not just Mumbai. Let us fight to wipe it out from every place on this earth. The baby born on the New Year's eve should breathe in a world of harmony. I pray for it, and hope that we all can celebrate Diwali, Id-ul-zah and Xmas and various festivals together in unison and peace. Are you with me on this?