Jai Jawan; Jai Kisaan & 3 Idiots
If you have seen the latest promos of “Three idiots”, you will understand the irony of taking ageing stars in the role of college going youth. [What else did you think? Another preachy post?] one hand its about college-goers as confused as George Bush (Jr.) when they are on the verge of deciding about career and future life.. on the other hand its a paradox of having 3 people we won't readily expect to be casted in this film, leaving us confused about what we want.. Do we want younger guys who can aptly fit into the role looking their age ? or do we want real strong actors like Aamir, Madhavan and Sharman who don't really look college-guys but wont let us even feel their age while acting the script out... ? Ahhh, did I manage to confuse you too ?
Coming back to alchemy, ofcourse I was never really sure about what I exactly wanted in life. For I wanted to be so many things. Like.. being a doctor (paeditirican/psychiatrist), pilot, teacher, leader... or maybe a farmer.Yes, you read it right. I always wanted to be a farmer. Management happened by chance [MBC], or maybe is it a conspiracy of the universe to bring me close to my dream. Therefore, what the universe conspired, Facebook finally inspired.
Yes, this is about my latest addiction to “Farmville” on facebook. I can play this game for the entire day and night. Trust me ! It is very addictive. For uninitiated ones, it is a real time [can I call it that?] Farm game where you can grow crops, rear the animals, harvest the fruit trees, build architectures and can decorate your farm. Interestingly, these activities give you Virtual experience points or XP and coins. The XP determines your farming level and coins, your purchasing parity & there are some award ribbons which adds to the former two. There is crop mastery, mystery boxes, lost animals and lot of decorative items. The game is an interactive, Mutually Inclusive and collectively exclusive [MICE] multiplayer game where you can induct new/other players in your neighborhood to exchange gifts, clean their farm and fertilize their crops too. Interesting? Well you have to play once to know what I am talking about and why am I so addicted.
Well well this post is not about the “Dummy’s guide to Farmville” [unless their product team pays me to do that hee he]. It is a story of my addiction and it certainly tells you about my conspicuous absence from blogging. I was down with a web 2.0 fever and the name of the disease is- “Alpha-farma-dopamine” [a behavioral cousin of dopamine which explains the smoking tendencies of ppl]
“Alpha-farma-mine” is the new virus as spread by/on facebook. The virus got its name from three contemporary elements viz- 1. Alpha Pup 2. Farmville 3. Dopamine
Symptoms of this disease: You are down with “Alpha-farma-dopamine” when-
1. You are not preggers still you have constant cravings; for Internet and cannot wait to go online.
2. 90% & above of your holidays/ leisure hours is spent on facebook playing Farmville
3. You abstain from visiting places/travel which doesn’t allow you online connectivity
4. You make new friends only to add them as neighbor
5. Your communications- mail, SMS, scraps, discussions or even chat spells in or around F-A-R-M-V-I-L-L-E [like Hey farmgirl, how r u doing? You made my farm look so good; Tee How do v get flower bouquets in farm]
6. Your FB home page is filled with Farmville notifications
7. You forget your friend/family’ birthday but remember that you have planted “pumpkins” 8 hours ago in your farm and you need to harvest it before it rots off
8. Your personal experience [if any]…
The P&L of side affects-
1. Social risk: Decreased real life interactions or increased online friends
2. Physical risk: Loss of appetite and sleep [ a syndrome where you cultivate oodles of veg, fruits n grains but forget to eat ur own]; RSI aka repetitive strain injury due to constant mouse clicking
3. Financial Risk: Increased Internet bills, credit card spend
4. Information security risk: I ve FB password of two of my frens, how else should I explain this:)
5. Romantic risk: Suppose your girl friend ask you to join FV for the heck of helping her on farm and gets upset when you do not meet expectation. She even asks you to share your FB password so that she can log with ur account to help her in farming and you refuse!
6. Your personal experience [if any]…
The FV virus is fast spreading pandemic and does not need a personal touch to contaminate. It has the potential to infect almost every user who comes in picture. The 40% of the facebook junta that is not yet infested by FV germs are basically people who have not yet tried/tasted/heard about this game or are busy playing “Mafia war” on FB
So, I was down with “Alpha farma dopamine” or AFD and displayed all of the above symptoms and compliance until it reached level 33, and continues. There were no antidotes but the time, which, has once again proved that it is a healer yet a bad strategy. The fever continues but it had made me quite weary. A young girl like me who should ideally be jumping in her boy friend’s arms [doing zoobi doobi do baah], was actually sitting alone with a bulky laptop in her arms. It has made me do some strangest of things, for e.g.
The dreaded swine flu is a history now. It died a shameful death after tons of pharmacy & media houses made enough profits by capitalizing on its wave. [The new wave to rock the world is Google wave. This reminds that I not yet have my GW invitation yet.] However, it has almost similar symptoms as FV flu - socially contaminable, multiplies quickly and involves time-based treatment.
The prescription is simple and may be inversely proportionate to the cure of other dopamine related reinforcements like smoking, crying etc. Once you are diagnosed and self quarantined, you can either - invest the time in doing something creative like reading my blogs or continue playing the game till you reach a saturation point [Mine started showing already]
AFD as a tool for education, development & world peaceFarmville is indeed an interesting game and has exciting prospects in entrepreneurship, non-violence and world peace. It is far more productive unlike Robocop, Road Rash of the world. For e.g. If Miss Elsamma used it for teaching Math, science and economics, I had been a national topper lolz. If our erstwhile PM Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri has combined this software with his slogan- Jai Jawan, Jai Kissan, “Silicon valley” would have found a new threat from Indians in 'chilly-corn' valley AKA Agricultural industry. Imagine its contribution to world peace. We can win the war against terrorism by spreading the AFD virus in Pakistan and other Anti Indian military camps. Instead of dropping atom bomb & threatening with nuclear ammunitions, the warring neighbors could lawfully visit each other’s premise, help them in clearing weeds and even fertilize the crop. It has such a prospect of converting the entire bloody revolution to green revolution. Green ocean strategy anyone? MNS thieves oops chiefs, are you listening too?
Think; think what all benefits AFD can bring to humanity. The boring management books will find a new lesson besides Mahabharata & Ramayana to teach strategy, decision making & analysis. May be some of the over rated IIM-IIT-ISB’ans will think beyond fat paychecks and “phoren” coolie-giris. May be we will have more people like agriculturists R Madhavan. It is after all only 30% tilling and rest is managements. I can envision Dr APJ Abdul Kalam addressing the entire world and saying we may not need million farmers, few facebookers are sufficient :)
Eeeeeeeeks I am spending too much of time writing this post. My crops in Farmville are ready to harvest and I must attain my target of reaching level 34 within 6 days without buying too much of hale bays like some of my friend do. See you. Bahbyee. BTW, I or my family do not remember the exact time of my birth. It was sometime early in the morning though-Brahma muhurat. Nor have they predicted my career path then. But yeah, ever since they have bought me lots of "runner shoes" though. And tab se "Bhaiyya All iz well" :)
The big picture
“What? Letters have come ? Wow! Finally”. It was mid-September and promotions were still unannounced. Some blamed it to the recession and some chose to keep quiet. She was positive. After all, it was the much-awaited promotion of her career, her first official promotion.
This time the company CEO called each candidate personally to hand over the letters. She sat with baited breath at her seat, which was just outside the chief’s cabin. This promotion meant a lot to her, to her career, her years of sincerity, her education, hard work, family, financial independence and her own personal motivation.
With every second name called, her breaths grew faster. With every second passed, she died a million deaths. She folded her hands beneath her table first in anticipation, then in anxiety and later in an attempt to control herself. Her teammate was called to collect his letter and he came back with couple of other letters in his hand. It was not hers. “May be boss is playing a prank on me and hand my letter later” she thought. Hours passed and she still waited with baited breath, fickle hopes, holding that little tear still inside her eyes. They blocked her sight but cleared her vision. She tried hard with each passing moment to hold them back but in vain. They fell down her cheeks to her desk. Some cluttered her key board; and some blocked her hands.
She sobbed silently for several hours and when she could not hold them back, she took steps to the terrace, sat in the lonely corner, and cried. Her judgment passed but her hopes failed her. Despite the assurance given, she was doubtful and her worst fears came true. She has been a victim of favoritism and politics earlier, but she thought this time it was different.
There was lot of hullabaloo in the office; smiling faces. People were congratulating each other. She was back on her desk, trying hard to conceal her disappointment, her bitterness behind her work. This time no consolation seemed justified to her. She looked back at her past years and regretted choosing tenacity over actual results. She opened her desk and took out the crumpled piece of paper that had earlier offered her a lucrative option outside. In last four years, many such papers have accumulated. She regretted choosing her faith over her experience.
T’was five in the evening and the promotion enthusiasm was still afloat in the office. "Congratulations", "well done", "treat" etc. were the most used keywords for the day. The place where she sits was the delivery spot of good news, the hub of celebration. People were discussing their growth while she was sitting as a mute outcast.
Many eyes were pinned on her. She was still struggling to hold that betrayal back in her eyes. She wanted to storm her superior’s cabin and thank him as well. After all, he promised her to give that much-awaited growth in her otherwise stale career with the company that appreciates her work, but still fails to recognize it. She was fearless now; as she was stabbed in each possible manner, leaving not much stabbing opportunity on her otherwise stronger frame.
Not all murders are planned, there are some accidental killings too. She could not hide the pain in her voice when a business-head accidentally congratulated her along with her other two colleagues who were promoted. Life is a series of relentless horrors with one following the other. She tried hard to smile, but failed miserably. She failed again when her superior tried to crack a silly joke with her. She plainly refused to reciprocate this time.
It was 7pm in the evening. She was sitting with her superior and HR in the former’s cabin, listening to their lame story of big pictures and big promises. Life is definitely a series of horrors. She was made to hear pessimistic stories of various high profile people who too had undergone the similar phase in their careers a [It sounded more like how certain organizations have failed to appreciate its resources], trauma of the Indian population who does not have 3 meals a day and organization’s focus on “big pictures”.
Big picture? Is individual injustice is called “seeing the big picture”? Is suppressing a potential under convenient masks of policies “the big picture”? Is talking big and doing petty what “big picture” is all about? On the other hand, is it just calling organizational politics and inefficiency by other name? Or big picture is just another jargon that some managements have mugged but not yet learned. She has heard them talk many a times and she hence she was not surprised on their empty talks even this time. She suddenly felt that she was speaking to deaf people and not just that, they are lame and blind too. They were nice human beings. She liked them but she cannot burden them with her responsibilities nor burden herself with their empty promises. She sat there for few more minutes, seeing two of her most favorite people descending away to clichés.
She came to her desk, finished her work and called the day off. On her way back to home, she pulled one of those crumpled letters and buzzed the direct no. given there. “Hi, I would like to re consider your job offer… Yeah, sure, I will be there. Thanks”.
It took her many years, multiple efforts to arrive at that decision but she was not regretful. She was instead happy that she has not failed her self. She had not given up in terms of time, effort and dedication before calling it quits finally. She happily accepted her anger, pain and disappointment, took them in her stride to move on. Non-wishful compromises are the shields of people who do not trust themselves or their dreams. One should never compromise on their dreams, dreams that are close to their hearts.
She neatly drafted her resignation letter, folded and placed in an envelope to take to her office next day. She tucked herself in to the bed and had a wonderful sleep after a long , long, time. Her 'big picture' was very clear now and she did not want to waste a single moment not chasing it.
Circle of life: [Part II]- The butter chronicles!!!
Yes, I said kitchen. From business management to dupatta management to now kitchen management, motley of numerous interesting, challenging, sad and funny stories have filled my travelogues. However, the crux of all of them is- No matter what you do, where you go and what you achieve- Home is where heart is. In addition, in the heart of the home, there is a kitchen!
It all started when my cook Kakuli didi handed me a bread packet, some eggs and no butter. I was miffed that despite my two reminders she had again forgotten to bring the butter. Typically, of overall instructions given, she will abide by only 40% compliance. Rest all is accredited to my patience, forgiveness or finally self-execution. Her explanation was as ‘gol-gol’ as her eyes. She claimed to have checked with all the grocery shops in the nearest EC market, labony etc and arrived at conclusion that butter is not available anywhere. There is no supply since last few weeks and it may continue to another month or two. What? Butter is out of stock? Dodo!
“How could this be possible”? “May be she did not check properly and is lying”, “maybe she checked but is not able to convey the right reason due to language differences” “May be she is correct”, “May be I am hallucinating”, I thought.
There is an exorbitant increase in commodity price but going stockless on Amul butter is unbelievable. The filmy mind started rolling- Lights, Camera, sound and Flashback! I was soon in to the black and white past.
My heart sank further when the shop wallah confirmed the banishing tale of the vanishing cream oops butter. I walked back home with heavy heart and switched the TV to divert with art.
Channel 1 – A young kanha singing “Maiyya mori mein nahi ‘maakhan’ khayo”
Channel 2- Bachchan & Govinda in melting moves with Miss Dixit- “Makhna o’ mere Makhna”
Channel 3- A young Meera with lord Krishna’s statue- Ye lo Kanha tumhara manapasand Makhkhan [mera bhi]
[Gosh, these Hindi channels are too much; switch to Punjabi channel]
Channel 4- A group of women churning butter and serving it in bowls with “makke k roti” [Adding fuel to my appetite, sadist]
Cut to Zee TV
Channel 5- Welcome to khana khazana today is our “butter special show” and our recipe for the day is- “veg Makhkhan wallah”, Butter Nan and butter scotch ice cream
Cut to news channelChannel 6- A full fledged Amul butter ad taking on its competitor nutralite fat free table spread
Channel 7- Welcome to XYZ health show with Anjali Eastwal and in today’s show, we will discuss how to cut that extra fat by cutting your butter consumption [Arre hai kaha jo cut down karoon]. The show began with sinful sights of butter rich food- parathas, pav-bhaji etc where the chef pours dollops of mouth-watering butter on the visually kindling cuisines. Crime, criminal, cardinal sin!
Cut to Movie channel-
A b/w Kishore Kumar movie was coming. I heaved a sigh of a comic relief until this scene appeared where the great thespian is greasing his boss’s face with butter. The scene goes like this
Boss: “Arre yeh kya kar rahe ho” [hell what are you doing?]
Kishore da: “Malik woh mere dost ne kaha agar pagar bandhani hai to apne boss ko maska laga. So, wahi laga raha hoon- Maska.” [Boss a friend of mine suggested that to get my salary increased, I need to butter-up my boss. Hence, I am buttering you.]
Trust me, even if I had switch any sports channel, there too some sadistic butter reference would/ve written all over. Like- “Makhkhan lal” cricket cup [Sponsored by Haryana CM fund] or Bhajji & Sreesanth patching up over friendly exchange of Bhajji’s Punjab da butter & Latter’ mallu coconut oil or Bhajji & Sreesanth further roughening up with a debate on which is more greasier- Punjab da Makhkhan ya Kerala ka coconut oil. Alternatively, if you can spare me the horrors- team India featuring in a butter product ad with their spiked hairs, even more stylish cars and overgrown bellies.
Nevertheless, my cook was right that butter is really out of supply and so do its poor cousins like table spread, nutralite etc. Is it the increased butter export that dented my bread or is it another strategy of Amul & co to fuel up the butter price. At Rs 22 for 100grams, it was no cheaper and if we give statistics a chance over yellow revolution then Amul butter has hiked its price by 47% since 2004. Is it price manipulation or something else? I wonder how come the visionary, sixth sense activated India TVs *& Aaj Taks of the world forgot to feature this upcoming national threat [They must be busy searching “swarg-nark ka dwar” or “a girl who turns in to stone” or analyzing one scene from a reality show over n again blah blah].
My “butter ki Pyas” was not getting any better. If someone said- toast, I replied yes I will have one with butter. News, television, super market I was let down by all. Teleshopping? Nah! They will send me everything that I do not need than the thing that I actually need. Think Ekta think! Do not stop until you find a solution & till then do not switch your television set on:)
Beta, mann mein ladoo phoota aur dimag ki batti jal gayi! An idea changed my life by making it butter oops better. My B-school experience reminded me of Amul’s supply chain management. Well there is an exclusive Amul store in city centre and I can check there. I put my shades on and rushed to the store. It was thankfully open and manned by two sweet looking chaps. Bonus!
Alas! The store also ran out of it's butter supply but the chaps were delighted by my general knowledge on butter invisibility. Why me god? Why me? Khush to bahut honge na aap, ab kya? But Beta, mann mein doosra Ladoo phoota! The charm that pleased “hard to get” chap like Shahnawaz, worked wonders here too. The attendants disclosed the next supply date which was 2 days away i.e. on Tuesday, when they will have stock replenishment, limited though. [Is it case of hoarding/ blackmarketing, my mind moves in different ways and the experience of reality took precedence over my age of innocence.] I need butter after all, let the way whatever is. I can write letter to Mr. Kurien later.
I am getting old, my charm did not work much on the two butter scotch oops butter shop guys. In the age of pre-paid, they refused advance booking. Tuesday 4:00pm is the D-day page in butter chronicle and I cannot afford to miss it.
Monday afternoon I literally counted the minutes so that I can quickly go to the shop and get my share of utterly butterly delicious! Taxi, City centre please. Humph-Humph, rush-rush and here I am, just two step away from the nooky Amul store. Oh, you just pointed out that I ve written Monday whereas the store wallah asked Tuesday! Yeah, in over excitement I actually forgot that fact and made such a butter fly oops butter fool of my self:) [If AMUL CEO is listening, pl hire me as your brand ambassador and you will be hit on Viral marketing, word of mouth marketing & Customer loyalty] well you cant except any MBA To not talk in jargons anyways.
So, if you are wondering that whether this grown up Ekta MBA finally got her share of butter or not, yeh dekhenge “hum log”.
Come Tuesday and my mathematically challenged mind started calculating. Project Operation Butter, Venue- Amul Shop at City Centre Mall, time - 4:00pm; approx time to leave office 7:00pm. Risk involved-High. Mind is a very devious devil, it starts working once you are out of office. Now, can I do without Butter? No. Can I scoot out from office at 4:00, pick the butter and back to work? Nah, business non value added cost/activity. Can I risk it till 6:30 pm? Umm- High risk; low return; uncontrollable market dynamics. Can I ask someone else to pick it for me? Viable; feasible and cost effective.
Project BRBU: 'Branded Retail Business unit' AKA 'Branded retail brotherhood utility'. Who says women cannot read map? Women do not waste time in reading maps; they believe in networking. Vrooom I took a reverse gear and turned “Aagey se right” towards my light [read knight] at the end of tunnel- my True Value Hub store. I have switched to Tata Indicom and experienced the difference.
Our store manager came handy. I told him how brotherhood can visit neighborhood at 4:00pm Tuesday afternoon and help my butter crisis out. Guys, you just pick the butter and keep with you. I shall pick it up in the evening after office hours. Agreed, nodded and delivered. Mission accomplished and a new feather in cap for Amul's supply chain management case studies and me with all my fingers dipped in butter. I am loving it:)
Oh! If you are still wondering the relation between grass and the butter, here it is-
At the time of entering the coach, I saw this weird old man sitting in the corner seat of the bogie. He looked very different with his eyes popping out and his skin a manifestation of unhealthy colors. He was very awful to look at, very appalling and smeared. He sat right opposite at the passage window seat. He stopped the hawker passing by and purchased a cup of tea in exchange of a shining 5-rupee coin. The hawker despite the sordid appearance did not bother to loose his customer and handed over the beverage quietly.
The leper indeed was a bad sight to look at and definitely posed as a big risk of airborne infections as such. While I was contemplating to change my seat, a woman came inside the bogie with two police guards and directed them towards that old person. She apparently wanted those guards to chase him away. The police guards happily obliged the lady or, whatever you call her.
The woman who called the guards to chase him away heaved a sigh of relief and despite of having a place well enough for 2 people to sit in, almost sat on me. For once I wondered whether who is more disgraceful- the woman or the leper.
Feeling disgusted, I tried to move to the other side of the bogie, and found that leper person lying on the floor near the washbasin. No, the guards did not take him out of the train to some place to quarantine. They made the leper to sit near the washbasin on the gate. Another look at that person and you may sense that he looked more distressed than dangerous. He looked like a person who needs urgent medical help and restoration. If not, at least, a comfortable place to sit.
My new seat was not too far away from the gate and I could hear many passengers crossing by that basin area. They cursed, humiliated and ignored the leper and moved away to pursue their own interests. None of the passerby seems to have shown concern towards the person’ condition. No, I am not talking about showing sympathy and saying, “we do care but we are helpless”.
My station came and I tried to get down without having to see that person again. I did not see him but I could not forget him. He made me to think that how beautiful is the world we live in.
We expect sun, moon, plantations, earth and skies to give us everything that we as a human want, but do we bother about expectations on us to sustain the balance of humankind and universe. We clean our house but dump the garbage on road or at neighborhood. Sometime, we do not even rise beyond the parapet of our homes.
In a way, all human beings become a leper or treat others, once or many times in our lives. Leper not by the virtue of skin disorder but by semblance of- old age, gender, lower financial status, physical injuries, caste, any disease, accidents etc. Our most loved possessions, becomes tradable. From our lenses to our vision, everything is disposable and subjected to secondary approvals. We discriminate, sympathies, make faces, draw conclusions and then start cutting corners. It does not end there. It is just one instance of “social contamination”.
Social contamination is another form of leprosy and unlike the latter it does not just corrupts our skin but our minds, our souls too. Those too without being in the same direct contactable area. No matter the techno scientific advancement, people still considers it as dreadful as an avoidable nightmare. They not just discriminate, conclude or cut corners but they also start spreading this germ of “social contamination” to many others incl the sufferer. The social lepers count their leprosy to be a beauty, and take delight in sins, which in the sight of God is far viler than the worst disease of the body. They associate with other social lepers and form a confraternity. A confraternity that equally hates cleansing and do not show any faith for healing.
Respectable are the people like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dr. Ambedkar and many others who have fought some of these social viral and set new standards. Unfortunately, they were just handful. Fortunately, they did not let this fact daunt their cause.
Would you agree that social contamination is like leprosy? Would you also agree that it is curable, needs treatment, and not just raised eyebrows and illogical objections? Would you agree enough to adopt the same in your life? Finally, after so much of agreement, it would not be surprising if many of us back off in name of many excuses to not adopt and be able to bring the change. Agree? Congratulations, you are “socially contaminated”. We are the contributory generation, which carries hi tech gizmos, labels and nano age living but failed social structures.
“Complaint I, as I had no shoes until I saw a man with no legs.
Complaint I, as I had no legs until I saw humanity with legs, shoes but sans spine, sans compassion.
Le embrouille Tag and Two awards
Friday, October 09, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009 Personal Blogging 20 Comments
Oh yes, let me also tell you that I have to respond to multiple tags that my kind friends bestowed on me. I am bad with tags, a trait that I am trying to work on. So, friends if you have tagged me in past, pl revive my memory. Meanwhile, LEB this is for you [Hum awards lene ke liye kahi bhi ja sakte hai]
Besides consoling myself helplessly, playing “Farmville” and “Restaurant city” on facebook.
4. What is the last thing you bought? Scented candles & bath oils
Chorbazari do naino ki pehle ki aadat jo hat gayi [Love aaj kal]
Aaoge jab tum ho sajna, angna phool khilenge [Jab we met]
6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
He has not yet added my blogs to his blog list. He he…
7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be? India, home is where heart is.
8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot…
9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
The house that you promised me in the question no 7, I would like to see if it is for real and if I can build my home there:)
10. Which language do you want to learn?
Ahoy Kudiye, ning ki galla korchis? Saru che, Gheun tak.
Stop wondering, it is a sample of multiple Indian languages and then some French, Italian and Chinese.
11. What is your favorite quote?
1. Veni, Vedi and vici [ I came, I saw, I conquered]
2. A joker never smiles. He has tears in his eyes but smile is painted on his face.
The "hum-tum" couple, heard they broke-off.
13. What is your favorite color?Black [makes me look thinner & fairer] & Red [for its festivity elegance and bridal value]
14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?My long T-shirt & my pink bathrobe. They are really cute.
15. What is your dream job?
Some one said- Dream and job just do not go well together. Well said..
16. What is your favorite magazine?None
Buying an epiletor/digicam or going for a soothing body spa
18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas? Wardrobe not malfunctioning
19. Who are your style icons? Bongs- Kurta, chasma and jhola!
20. What kind of haircut do you prefer? Mid length, feminine and low maintenance
21. What are you going to do after this?Post it on my blog and inform the person who tagged me
22. What are your favorite movies?
No favorites, I like a lot of them. I recently saw “Love aaj kal and loved it immensely. Such an underrated movie
24. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you cannot live without?Everything is manageable except dry skin. Therefore, I would say- moisturizer
23. What inspires you? Love & comitments24. Give us three styling tips that always work for you: A simple dress, clean skin and a warm smile25. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
I go for a “retail therapy”
26. Coffee or tea? Tea, but tere sang ek simple si coffee bhi kick deti hai [its a song].
27. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
I get myself drown in to some work or shed tears or talk to God.
28. What is the meaning of your name? Unity29. Which other blogs do you love visiting?All my blogdosts and their blogdosts
30. Favorite Dessert/Sweet? Hot chocolate brownie with roasted nuts & vanilla Ice cream31. Favorite Season? Winter-spring
32. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?
Anything from rajma chawal to parathas, noodles, omelet, pav bhaji, finger chips, soups to ahem sandwich!
33. My question: Do you really want me to come up with a question?
Provided they are something better and unique
34. Ekta's question: What do you want me to write more on my blogs?
PS: this question is applicable for all my visitors.
Tagging time now. Here is my list-
Anupama [the wordsmith], Akash [cutie pie has different take on things], Comfortably Numb [deep thinker], Spike [very naughty chap], Aditya [interesting projects], Kanuga [multi faceted writer], Hary [Cartoonist from UK], infracaninophile [discover yourself]
Rules for those who are tagged: Respond and rework – answer these questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add one more question to the list. Then tag eight or ten other new set of people.
PS: I am yet to understand the importance/ objectives of tags n all. All I know that they make interesting time pass and fillers.
Wake up Arun!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009 Creative Writing 48 Comments
9:00 am: “Arun, Pl wake up it is 9’o clock in the morning and I‘ve already re-heated your coffee for three times chellamma*. I have to get ready for the office re. You know the new broadband that our company has launched, is bringing so many “impatient” customers complain. I must reach early so that I can come back early. My day is going to be tight today, Honey”.
“Arun, honey are you listening me? [Giggles] No baby, not now…Oh god, why do this phone has to ring all the time and at all the wrong times”?
“Hello, hi Anuja nalla iriken, ning eppadi irikinga? [I am fine, how are you doing] Off course, I am fine, trying to wake Arun from his beauty sleeps. I am glad that you remember his birthday. What happened why you are distressful? Now do not start the same nonsense again Anuja, why? Arun is here only. For heaven sake, why are you crying? What forget Arun? What da, what are you talking? Listen I am in hurry and have to let the line go. See you later”.
[Hung up the line, walks down to Arun]
“That was Anuja with her usual… hey you still sleeping? Hmm ok my lazy baby; enjoy your beauty sleep. I have made some porridge for breakfast and kept it in microwave, pl reheat it before eating. The juice is in fridge. Do not forget. Shanta bai will come by 12:00 to cook lunch. Yes baby, I shall eat in office. Now, need not worry about me…Oh fish, this coffee is spoilt; shall I brew a fresh one? Ok baby take care. Do shave today; it was so hurting last night”.
[Door closes; Priya calls for a cab for the office]
“Driverji, how many times do I have to tell you to wash the upholstery? You know Arun has a dust allergy. What? Yes, Arun sir is there, sleeping inside. Now you just clean it in case if he wants to use car today. I will take a taxi, no issue. Oh God, I said na- “No issue-driverji”.
10:00 am: “Yup honey, I have reached office. Do eat your breakfast and take care. See ya”.
4:00 pm: “Oh these customers, why on the earth are they so ‘impatient’ all the time? Renuka you are lucky that you are handling the payment desk. Not that I am complaining, after all this is where I first met Arun. Arun oh! Gosh in all this mess, I forgot to call him. He is not well you see- later Renuka, let me first ring him and…stop talking rubbish about… Hey, baby, what are you up to? Why did you take so much time to pick the call? Had your breakfast on time? What shanta bai did not turn up today? Let me come back in the evening, I shall handle all her increased absenteeism these days. Oh, you have sent the car to pick me. How sweet of… Honey, let me disconnect now, Renuka is coming back and if she see me talking to you, she will once again start her lectures”.
“Oh Renuka, I do not understand what is wrong with all my friends? First Anuja, now you. Listen dear it is Arun’ birthday today and I must rush early. You know na what has happened last year; it was our Mehendi and Arun has to suddenly leave in midst for an urgent call of duty at Taj. I was so scared when we saw all those firings on the TV. With mom’s crying, me fainting, gosh it was such a dreadful evening. Thank God, that Arun came back next evening. These heartless terrorists, they have soiled all his uniform with blood. I still am struggling to wash off all those stains from his uniforms. First that damn hepatitis and then this attack. Wish we had not left Bangalore and come to Mumbai. Renuka…Oh fish, I need to rush, Arun would be waiting for me. You see, it is his birthday today. Bye”.
-On way back to home-
“Driverji, stop once at the Kormangla Signal, I need to buy some flowers and stuff. Come on stop giving me that puzzled look and hurry up; Arun Sahib will be waiting”.
-Back to home-
6:00 pm: “Sorry baby, this BTM traffic is gone to dogs and to top that this Renuka too has lost her marbles. Same old rubbish that stop thinking about Arun, Arun has left you and blah blah. She is crazy or what? I have even asked her to come with me and see from her own eyes that we are still together and happy too; people talk rubbish”.
“You won’t leave me na? Please do not leave me. No baby I will not cry again. I know that you are not like those men esp. the breed of my father. I know you will never abandon me. We shall build a home together and start our family soon. Let us have at least two children, a girl and a boy. Twins? Wow! We then will buy everything in pairs for them- two pair of pram, socks, feeders, rattle-tattle etc. Blue color for the boy and pink for the girl child”.
“Yes, we will have children. I want both of them to look like you, their father. Ok, the girl like me and the chap like you! Happy? If its girl, we will name her ‘Suhani’ and the boy ‘Sooraj’- Captain Sooraj Thapar, s/o Captain Arun Thapar”.
“Wow! Oh yes, I know am dreaming once again but it is a beautiful dream. Moreover, after ma’s demise, these dreams have become my family. Daddy was always away that I never knew what a father is until I met your dad. Your dad and mom have filled the gap of parents in my life. They have made me so much at home, with family that I could never ask for more. Sorry I am not going to cry again but I am missing them so much. Hope, they return soon from their trip to holy shrine. I could not join them as I do not want to leave you alone on your birthday”.
9:00pm: “I still remember our first meeting and our first ride. Oh Arun, I am so glad that you came to my life. A life where men had no place, no trust, you came as a fresh breeze, a blessing in my life. No pain seems visible, no problem appears difficult ever since you walked in, held my hands and we walked together. Let us celebrate this over the wine that I bought today and some nice pasta. Here, toast to our love, your long life and our unborn babies”. Cheers!
Next morning when shanta bai came inside the house, she saw Priya half-lying on table with an empty wine bottle and two glasses, half-empty. The silver candle stand was still holding the residue of the burnt candles. As Shanta bai leaned over the table to erect the stand and escort Priya to bed, she heard Priya whisper in half slumber- “Shanta Bai, why did you not come yesterday, Arun Sir had to eat outside. You know his present health does not allow him to eat out”. “Shanta bai I do not want to be awake now, I want to sleep for some time”.
Shanta bai nodded in approval with her one hand holding Priya and other hand wiping her tears.
Circle of life: [Part I]- Soil Erosion & The Fat Cow Theory!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009 humor 47 Comments
Original Answer: Heavy grazing causes land stripped of vegetation and rain hitting the barren land cause significant run-off, hence causing soil erosion.
Ekta’ Answer: We should not…because it causes soil erosion, a phenomenon where rain washes off the weak soil that is supported by grass roots.
Next day after tests, Miss Varghese came to our class with test copies and another big stick in her hands. She kept the stick on the desk and dropped a bomb in the room. She said everybody passed in the paper but one student. My heart started beating fast. The classroom was looking like one big blackboard. Once I looked at the miffed expression on Miss’ face and next to the sharp stick on her table. Suddenly "past tense" made my present tense and I turned black & white, I mean flashback.
[Flashback]Nani told me to stop playing the video game and prepare for the social study test next day but I did not listen to her and continued jigging the Mario and his brother Luigi on my TV set. Then there was Miss Varghese who the other day scolded me not to play ink-ink with Shahnawaz khan and concentrate in her S. St class. [But this shahnawaz boy you know, actually you do not know him. He was the class topper in studies, sports, good looks and almost every girl in the class “lobhed” him.
[He was from section C that merged into our section B. Like nanaji’s business that often takes over the traders under his umbrella, we have taken over them…so snob ka sawal hi nahi hota] Every second girl in the class had a crush on him. How boring! It seems Miss also use to like him a lot and envy all girls who liked him. She made him sit next to me, making me an object of envy of all those stupid girls in the class. "Ek to waise bhi ladkiya mujhse kum baat karti thi, ab to aur bhi kum karegi". The teacher was so clever, she put both of us in the same "orange group" in the whole class whereas all other Red, blue and hee hee Green. You know the day when Miss was re-arranging the seating arrangement, ok that is a long story and irrelevant like Anish’ answer to the “soil erosion” question. Besides, Shahnawaz was not the snob he meant to be and we began to be good friends, having lots of fun in class. He loved my bicycle too but hey we are not talking about bicycles here, else Kanu will give me another award on writing extra long blogs..he hee]
A sudden thump on the table spelt off my past tense into present participle when Miss decided to read out ‘that’ funniest answer in the class. Oh no! Miss pl no. I will not talk to Shahnawaz again [in front of you] nor would I tell him the math’s sum a day before you teach it in class. Please do not call my name in front of the class. Thump-thump 1, dhak-dhak 2 and there she read the answer-
Ques: Why we should not allow cows to graze on the same land for a long time?
Answer: We should not allow cows to graze for more and more time on the same grass as the more and more and more the cow eats the grass, the more fatter and fatter cow becomes. Cows should not become fatter and so we should not allow them to eat more grass.
The Rain Song
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 poetry 14 Comments
The sound of thunder did not bother her, for she had too many noises going in her head. She struggled for hours, days to keep them away but they refused to leave her alone. The sound of thunder did not scare her, for could not decide which was louder, which was more dreadful.
With her hands folded in prayer and her eyes looking furtively at the window, at the door, she has been waiting there for what seemed like decades now. She was not dead but she was helpless, hopeless.
She gently wiped her teary face and walked to the fire mantle. She lit the fireplace with some wood, some papers and some fabrics. Yes, the pink dress in which she looked stunning will no longer touch her. She gave it away to fire along with the red wedding sari she bought for herself. There were some dried manuscript, pictures, poetries and letters sent to the fire as her homage, as her attempt to come abreast with the blazing truth.
It was hard to see them burning but she did not want to stop it. She did not want to try preserving it anymore. It is not so easy to weave dreams and then see them falling apart; it is difficult to sustain the injury stab after stab. She accepted that the fate of the waves does not change when they hit against the rocks. “If fire is my destination, I shall fuel it” and she started tearing her diary in which she displayed the beauty of love, life and dreams in form of poetry, in forms of intangible words. The diary, which was once her best friend, her surrogate mother and guide, to whom she used to share all her inherent feelings, has now started bothering her.
She was tearing all the pages where she had poured all joys. Joy of a phone beep a lingering voice, a much-awaited meeting, her first touch and that everlasting peck. Joy of stolen kisses and silent cuddles, joy of affable admirations in his eyes, the half asleep morning hours; joy which were beyond words or expression. With one hand, she was wiping her unbroken tears and with other flipping, the pages of joys that now dig her broken soul even more.
He never promised to marry her but he always said he wanted to. He wanted to dream with her and she started weaving it with him. In his eyes, she saw the face of their unborn child. In his arms, she felt peace, security and his presence she felt that she is alive. She wanted to have a home with him, and he promised her, a home made of love. There she was madly in love with a name, an expression, a face that lit her world. She was on top of the world with his love.
The glaring fire was coming to a halt. The flame took away everything she endeared and returned back only ashes. Ashes of her dreams, their collective dreams. Ashes do not have roots to lean on but fly wherever the strong, coarse winds take them.
Before I begin, let us assume that- we all have studied economics sometime and we are patient readers who appreciate humor over grammar. So taking ceteris paribus as the baseline, let us take a random sample of 10 people and ask- Bhai Sahib Kya aapke paas Rs 100 ka ‘change’ hai?
99% of the responses so generated would be-
# 9.555 out of ten responses says “no” [Closed economy]
# 2 out of 10 will too claim to have Rs 100 only [Perfect Competition]
# 1 of 10 retorts to have only Rs 60 or any lesser amount [inelastic demand]
# Another 10% confesses that they have just given it away or deposited in bank. [Institutionalized Monopoly or economy of scales or restrictive practices ]
# 25% of respondents guides you to another shop, store or even Taxi Walla [Globalization]
# Eight out of those 10 redirected sellers will apply-
Well that establishes correlation of change-o-no-mics with market efficiency. How? Consider this-
1. No one can be made better off without making someone else worse off: Almost true
2. More output cannot be obtained without increasing the amount of input [refer point no 6 above]
3. Production proceeds at lowest possible unit cost [Try to get the change for Rs 500, Rs 100 and Rs 50 and you will understand]
So what is "Changeonomics"? In economic terms, it is a social choice theory, which works on the “compensation principal” of matching the dynamics of “what is in my pocket” and “what is in my mind. Therefore, whether it is recession, or inflation, the flow of ‘change currency’ as in medium of exchange is a mutually exclusive event. This type of heterodox economics aims to explain how economies of asking “change money” work and how its agent interacts.
Conceding the immense contribution of changenomics in my life, I shall dedicate last week as the “changeonomics week”. Having proved that “changenomics” has little to do with Economics and more with human dynamics, we shall be moving our right side of brain keeping the left side still engaged, marveling the theory above.
So last week, one funny incidence incurred over other. I had an appointment at VLCC for hair fall treatment and the moment I stepped outside my building, it started raining. Irony is that I cannot let my hair wet, as it would affect the kera procedure to the extent of getting electric shock. I initially planned to take a bus as the clinic was nearby and hiring a taxi would be waste. Accordingly, I had Rs 500 and Rs 20 plus some coins in my pocket. The rain got dense and for next 15 minutes, I stood hopelessly with my matching blue umbrella at main gate. The bus became a no-no option, so I settled on taxi and that was the second mistake I did. I took the cab a colleague came in, continuing the same meter, letting her to pay her share later. The moment I realized that cabbie does not have change for Rs 500 and I Rs 50 as change, I asked the cabbie to get a change from nearest petrol pump. He first refused, blabbered and after some resistance, parked in middle of road and walked to the pump. “Madam change nahi mila”.
We stopped at the venue in middle of market place, IDBI bank and eateries. I spent solid 10 minutes while experiencing all those six responses above. We finally received mercies at 4th floor of the institute where a faculty decided to help me with Rs 56 to pay the fare and release the cab. Phew! If you think the matter settled then read further. I did not remember the vehicle no and accompanied the office boy back to ground floor. Paid and settled? No. Being the other smartest fellow on earth [first one is me off course], the peon boy went around, packed all the food orders and then came back to state that he could not generate a change for Rs 500. Gosh! He did all this while I waited for another ten minutes on pavement. Moreover, this all for a net amount of Rs 12, which I anyways was carrying in my pocket. That also explains 500-56-12.
Incident no2- One morning, I landed at office gate holding the Omnipresent Rs 100. Once again, the cabbie ditched me. The local chai-pan wala ditched too and office motley is as good for nothing as often. This time my messiah was the main gate security guard. In incidence no 3, my rescuer was a female colleague who, apparently got very amused with my “accounts management, bad debt recovery and cash flow theories”.
Kolkata Blogger's Meet - 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009 Events 25 Comments
Venue: CCD; RDB Adlabs Sector V, Salt Lake City, Kolkata
Entry fee: Nil
You may also like to read: (1) Kolkata Cyclone Aila (2) RCFC Children
Our introduction was set to share each other’s company, to cheer strength in her struggle to establish force with life again. She was lying in hospital bed in excessive bandages and great pain, a pain, which she tried to camflouge behind her, fragile, warm smile. “Hi Ekta” she said. And from there begun a small journey of a quite unique friendship. I often went to her cottage to meet her. Ginner uncle, Dr. OP Sharma & his orthopedic team and Plastic surgeon Dr. Malti Gupta were our second common links, and all used to be very delighted seeing us together. The last time that I saw her, was the day when she discharged from Swai Mansingh Hospital, Jaipur.
Gitanjali was a victim of a road accident. She was driving to her college in a two-wheeler when her dupatta [part of a dress] stuck in a truck, which pulled her mercilessly on the road, injuring her entire front side of the body. She had undergone major surgery and admitted in Hospital. She was almost fixed to a bed where she could barely move her limbs or eat anything. All she could manage to gulp was mango frooti, apart from the glucose bottles plugged to her body through intra venous.
In few weeks, she was discharged and taken back to home on stretchers. Her pain was somewhat reduced but not completely cured. Doctors said she will take time but will gradually convalesce back to normal life. Only thing I could not realize that some pains are not allowed to be cured ever.
Last heard about her was that she has started moving using a wheel chair/ crutches and has resumed her college. I planned to meet her on one of my trips to Jaipur; however, I could not make it. Then, it was too late. I heard that she committed suicide.
She committed suicide and I failed in helping her to live. The world has killed her and none of us could do anything about it. I was so busy in my own battle that I could not be around her at that time when she was moving towards that decision. For many years even today when I think of her, I blame myself for not being around or in position to help her in her struggle with life, the world, its nasty ostracism, ostracism towards physically challenged, esp. girls. I blamed myself for not being present to fight with detractors, people who showered masked sympathies but could not nurture a bantered branch. However, blames unsupported with resolutions does not helps anyone.
She was a young, cheerful girl with many dreams for life. I have not envisaged in my wildest thought that she will take this step. The mighty step to take her own life, to kill herself. . I even do not blame her for that. Somewhere I can understand her decision.
It was early nineties; Internet & telecom were not as advent then. It is there today and still people fail to communicate. They speak, they hear, they interact but they do not communicate.
I felt bad that I could not stand by her side but I feel worse for our society, which could not stand by her side. To this day, am angry with myself for not being able to anticipate and revert her decision. I am angry with all those people who were responsible for her sad fate, people who with their nasty norms, repulsive remarks, and unjust judgments made her struggle harder.
Those people if come to my path, I am not going to forgive them. I do not want to sound unreasonable or hypothetical but I want to ask one question- why our ostracism is bigger than our soul or our inner conscience?
I also want to ask that- Was physical pain the real reason for Gitanjali to commit suicide. Why do we have a society that only talks of living up to its norms, its ‘man-made’ norms? Why have we created a society that preaches but not heals? A society, which breaks the soul of a Gitanjali Khandelwal and leads many of her to take that lethal step. Why?
I still am angry, dejected and answerless.
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