Do Not Disturb

Even when the whole world goes berserk out of economic turbulence or a sudden onset of apocalypse or even a nuclear holocaust, some blessed lazy souls never give a tiniest of a botheration during their half draped blanket and a humming AC, cradling them to an eternal sleep on a Saturday morning. On one such occasion of my serendipity in travelling to far off places with chicks around, I felt a sudden tap on my bums, yanking me into the naked reality from my dream, flipping me to my back, left me gaping at the ceiling fan which gave me back an irate stare. Only moms have special privileges on their kids to tap on such ‘awww’ places.

My mom in her mission to shoo away the sleep monster, had her presence in my room equipped with broomstick. Her innate ability to wake me up was commendable. It was 10.30 am when I felt it’s too early to bid adieu to my bed. We spend most of our ‘precious’ time in bed, sometimes in the couch and the in dining table. I felt such preciousness is less valued by moms and dads when they wake you up for getting Odonil or Urid Dal from the nearby departmental store on a Saturday morning.

This time it was a different scenario altogether. I disengaged myself from my bed, brushed my teeth, performed my morning ablutions sincerely, drank Boost flipping the pages of TOI (Yes, I read TOI and I can still tell you that Pranab Mukherjee is the recent president of India, Mary Kom won bronze in the ongoing Olympics for India and also discriminate between the amount of fairness ranging from lowest value of school uniform washed in Tide Detergent to the extremities of Anushka Sharma’s underarms, courtesy Nivea White, without reading The Hindu newspaper!)

I kick started my bike and my dad hopped into the pillion seat.

***

As I parked my bike in front of the old dilapidated building situated in the intricate corners of the road, with murky waters by its side, bearing the name board – Life Insurance Corporation of India, I recollected the number of times I had asked my dad to open an online account in the bank for the ease of all financial transactions. I still go blitzkrieg on the idea of standing in the long queue in a building with puddle walls and messy counters.

The large hall was uncomfortably pregnant with umpteen number of paper files all over the tables, old computers running Widows XP with CRT monitors, the noisy fans suspended from the high ceilings, bespectacled large bindi, nose-ringed women, men in their dullest of the formal shirts and pants with slippers, their forehead adorned with markings of all colors covering most of the wavelength of a light spectrum – connoting their religious inclination towards all gods, caged in each counters with stuttering printers and monitors, counting the currency notes – frequently salivating them for friction. My dad appended himself in one of the queues and I was asked to join another – age old technique to advance faster in the concurrent queues!

I sometimes wondered the advancement of IT in our country and its reach to common man. My own dad was a standing example of how few people are still not comfortable with the IT and other utilities. One online banking account and one debit card – could have solved this weekend agony. I was slowly advancing in the queue and my dad was still in the same position in the other one. I had never given company to my dad for such visits. He still does all the electricity bill payment, Insurance premium or sometimes money withdrawal by paying a visit to the offices/banks located in the oldest of the buildings in the city.

“Why don’t you just pay it online using net banking or Debit card payment?” This must be my all time declarative mood when in confrontation with my dad on such matters. “I don’t know how to use it”, should be my dad’s all time reply when in confrontation with me on such matters.

As I handed over the cheque along with the premium payment letter to the lady in counter, with the details of the premium such as the policy number, policy maturity date, amount assured and next date of premium payment etc etc and etc, she gave a quick look into the letter noting down the policy number and started updating my details in the computer having a policy management software which had the boring grey application interface developed in Visual Basic 6. I know they couldn’t afford to procure softwares developed by CMMI level 5 firms. Such is life in government offices.

LIC premium successfully paid.

***

As I entered my room after an hour drive, in the scorching sun of 1.00 pm, I released myself from the Tee and jeans, leaving me just in my jockey, in front of the mirror. What I witnessed in the mirror couldn’t match euphoric cosmic display of celestial bodies.

Half of my arms covering the elbows to the fist have taken a dark form compared to the other covered regions of my body. Exactly at the point where my Tee’s sleeve ends, I could find a clear demarcation line. The skin tone above the line heading to my shoulders and the torso were as clear as milk (!) – Fair and flawless. The region below the sleeve line including the elbows, leading to my wrists and fingers were dark and shadowy. It looked as if I had dipped both my hands into a drum full of black paint, just above my elbow and had pulled it back. The afternoons are just effing hot that it tans your skin so badly and now I have to keep my sleeves covered for a week or so to get back the uniform distribution of my skin tone in the arms (Yes, guys too worry about this at times!) I didn’t want to feel like a zebra when roaming around in any of tam-brahm functions topless!

I’ve decided to wear my full sleeved Tee whenever I go out in the day time.

***

With advancement in the technology, there should be a better way to convince parents to chuck off the age old methods of financial transaction by filling out challans to withdraw money and to deposit in cheque to transfer money to someone and maintaining a passbook for all those transactions. The ease of net banking and fund transfers should be imparted to them somehow. Though I strictly adhere to internet for almost everything  – booking tickets – for bus or a movie, to transfer and receive money from friends or colleagues, I am somehow finding it a herculean task to cascade it to my parents as they are so insecure about the online frauds and malpractices. Thanks to the Dina Malar, Dina Thanthi, Mangayar Malar tamil dailies/monthlies which inflate such news and present them in a form of articles.

My mom warned me one day, ‘You are using Facebook right? Be careful in Facebook, it seems girls are conning guys by putting ‘beautiful photos’ and in the end killing them in a remote place. I read in this magazine. These days guys need to be careful’. I didn’t know whether to appreciate her affection towards me or to curse the non-awareness of her social networking usage. I remember my sister being warned for FB usage sometime back as putting a girls’ photo in the internet may invite more guys. I accept their concern but the way the information is falsely reported or incorrectly projected is definitely creating a false paradigm on things. One or two bad examples are subjugating the whole system in gutter. Exceptions cannot be examples.

Such cases have left a subterfuge in them about the internet way of doing things. I showcased my dad how it is easy to pay online and would take just 5 minutes for the whole process, by paying property tax online from the website’s net banking facility. My dad was also kind of elated, seeing the payment receipt which was generated in PDF and was available for quick download.

***

When will they learn and not disturb my weekend sleep!? 😉

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Why This Kolaveri Di? – A musical anecdote

Persuaded by the sudden leakage of the audio of numerically titled Tamil movie ‘3’ (Moondru) with Dhanush as lead and the singer himself, I had this quintessential urge of a typical twenty five something tamil homo sapien to plunge into the musical ocean and swim across the much hyped song bearing the title pregnant with a British English heavily doped with southern dialect madras slang ‘Why this Kolaveri di?’. I express my heartfelt gratitude to my friends, for the FB wall shares, who diligently leverage the social media to tout their avid inclination to family and kinship, proclaiming their consanguineal roots by listing them religiously under the Family category. The shortened URL shares on Twitter as well, did extend a warm hand to gratify my urge to reverberate my Tympanic membrane.

The song in itself is a celestial incarnation of the mythological hymn that echoed the golden walls of heaven, sung with music emanating from the holy harps and ethereal melody from the chimes, supplemented to lutes and gongs. This song promises to accentuate the very fact that, music is a form of tacit cognizance, which can be understood only by the individuals who can perceive the real nitty-gritty of such aural delicacy.

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Shhh – The Secret Desires

Shhh!!

Who doesn’t have a secret desire or rather a desirous secret!

Back in kindergarten, a small boy would have had the secret desire to deceive the teacher’s eyes and run back home, escaping from the torture of repeating every line of rhymes, sung horribly by the teacher or writing A, B, C in those multicoloured four lined notebooks in a devastatingly tedious cursive handwriting. He also had the secret desire to escape from his mom’s wrath, when he playfully, carelessly loses his Geometry box in the school premises, even sometimes flicked by a notoriously naughty brat in his class.

*sigh*

Back in college days, every guy would have had a secret desire to win the pinky rose and cute heart of that-one-girl-from-city who never ceases to amuse them with her round inquisitive eyes and her sweet little lips which slips, dips and pouts at instances which guys never forget to remember. The desire to secretly encroach her heart, by helping her out with the for-loops, structures and polymorphisms in the computer laboratory periods with frequent ‘groundnuts’ charring in the conversations as if indigenously borne in each one of them, leaving others to gape in flaming awe and to many’s dismay.

*sigh*

Back in corporate training days, every single, yeah read as ‘single’ guys, who have failed to experience those sweet secrets – koo-chi-koo talks, late night SMS-ing her, weekend ‘enjoy maadi’ to Mayajaal, Satyam and Mahabalipuram, would have had a desperate desire – a secret desire rather, to get clandestinely committed to that one chick in the hall, who always completes her assignments in time and spends the remaining time in her mobile phone sandwiched intact in between her palms and ears. They even have a desire to walk casually with her to the office Food courts, Canteen, Coffee Machines, Coffee Cafe Days and to building lobbies to read newspaper and to hold their head high with pride and fall into the prejudice of incinerating their friends’ and onlookers’ stomach. Little did they know that, they are one among the many who hang out with her and not the only one hanging out with her!

*sigh*

Back in real testing times, when work piles up and tortures you with the ‘Kumbibaagam’ retribution as in “Garuda Puranam’, you have a secret desire for the client to drop a mail to you informing that he doesn’t want that particular functionality to be implemented in the module which is torturing you to hell. You even have a secret desire to show case to your manager, your extent of putting ‘extra efforts’ to fulfil the year’s goals by stretching more than one’s capability.

When the project gets implemented successfully and mails float to and fro from onsite to offshore, you have that ‘secret desire’ to find your name in the mail with a special mention for your dedication and commitment. Little did you know that few months later, some unfortunate cursed soul will be banging his head, to fix the fatal bug in the code cursing you – the code which you had worked day and night, invariably adds to your adversity.

*sigh*

Now, every blogger will have a secret desire to get 100s of comments in his blog for all the crap he writes and would refresh and check his mail every other second for the mail alert from the blog. The desire even secretly builds up to such an extent that it desires a dedicated Facebook page for your blog and 1000s of people ‘Liking’ it multiplying your fame to infinity!

Desires are easily mutable. It exists in every form and in every place. They are not controllable and acts like an unstable Uranium isotope. It is up to us to use cadmium or indium control rods of common sense well ahead, to prevent the uncontrolled fission reactions bursting later on!

So what’s your recent secret Desire?

She – in a stranger tide!

Silhouetted on the shores of Marina, she walked along in a revealing attire. It was a sleeveless top with small, above-the-knee skirt with patches of open stitches here and there. I looked at her as she walked holding a big plastic cover full of assorted materials. Her hair, left open dangling and swaying in the air. When she walked past me, the silhouetted image just came to light revealing her face and she let out a smile in which I became a captive.

To many, it can be an awesome experience, but to me it was a pitiful sight – the sight of a 10 year old rag picking girl, who picks up random stuffs from the shores of Marina for her livelihood. Every item that she picks up, it creates a profound value in her life. The life that needs to be sustained and survived is controlled by the litters of those, who throw things, which do not make any value to their life. She doesn’t complain. She has no regrets doing that. The only concern she has is, of the food that she gets when needed and a safe shelter. Education doesn’t mean anything to her. Neither is she aware of the sanctity of education nor does she have the financial support to uplift her economic stature.

There is an array of huts and houses built just with thatches, with no bricks or cement. Every morning, as my office bus passes by the Marina Beach Road running parallel to the beach behind the light house, it gives me a dual view of the cavernous mighty Bay of Bengal on one side, whose shore is impregnated with homeless destitute souls sleeping on the sandy shores, an assortment of painted fishing boats, in whose interiors, sleeps a lazy dog, scattered papers, plastic bags and torn pieces of clothes, tents under which the child sleeps hugging the stinky fishing net and the sands sticking all over their dark and tanned skin, random people from huts walking aimlessly on the sands.

On the other side of which consists of the untidy huts and stinky slums, with children bathing in the open, under the hand pump, an array of colorful plastic pots to be filled with the ground water – the only source of clean water for them, the construction site half built and half completed, completely revealing the red bricks and cement pastes in between them, for holding the bricks intact for eternity until demolished by a bulldozer from the government for illegal construction, a hand drawn caricature of local heroes implicit of the ‘Narpani Mandrams’. Few small children clad in maroon or blue trousers and skirts with white shirt walking uninterestingly towards the government school situated in some corner of the dilapidated roads and buildings, just for the sake of free mid-day meals scheme.

‘She’ belonged to one of those – who hates schools, who hates homework, who hates being commanded by the teacher, who doesn’t care about how a Garnier Fructis or a Elle-18 can affect her, who does not even think about entering a boutique and prefers staring at the skimpy clad mannequin bearing an apparel from the brands of Arrow Women, Levis, Sanaa, Hugo Boss, Benetton or even Elliza Donatein. She only cares about next course of good food, an untiring day of work in a nearby construction site or surprisingly good items savored to her from the roads and sandy shores of Marina and lastly a peaceful sleep at night.

It gives me an extreme twinge in mind – a spasm that conducts through every nerve endings and sparks in the cranial hollow space, filled with blood and flesh. This pain recuperates for a time period until unexposed from them and sets back again when passing through them. When speculating their lives and its progress, the intellect guides me to its very own programmed fact – the way of life – way of their own life.

It’s merely a line which divides the economic condition of every Indians. A line that demarcates the financial well being of every individual, decides the very fate and destiny. Once someone falls in the range, they continue to be in that range and their very conscience never ever accepts the idea of upgrading their economic condition. Upper-class of people continues to stay there, the upper-middle class strives to cross the boundary to attain the upper-class status and a middle-class never ever attempts to cross any line. They just sustain themselves in that scale and protect themselves from falling below the line. The poor cadres as defined by the line, curse their fate and live their life in the mud ridden roads and pavements.

Everyone in this world belong to some scale of that ‘holy’ line and also gets an opportunity to watch, stare, ogle, gaze or see such a ‘stranger’ in their life – each one of them belonging to some scale of the ‘line’. Everyone desires a position but very few are destined a position.

I’m wondering how many other strangers are desired, destined and most importantly a blessed one. She is definitely a destined poor dark-skinned financially fragile little rag picking girl.

She complains only of mosquito bites at night and torn patches of stitches in her dress and we complain of number ‘Likes’ in Facebook! *sigh*

100 posts of blogging!

OMG I didn’t realize my previous post was the 100th post & I’ve been awarded. This is the best thing that can happen to a blogger! All along I’ve been blogging one post after the other without noticing the post count or the comments count.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for patiently reading my blog without much bothering about me nagging you sometime or the other to read my blog or the story which I’ve scribbled. Without you and your encouragement and some discouragement from few other people, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to reach this milestone in blogging. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to each one of you – random strangers, frequent visitors, and dedicated followers to have helped me reach this height.

As all of you and I myself know I’m very much lazy, I just wondering how can such things happen. See 100 posts is not just some target. It needs some constant source of persistence and patience to consistently think and write things.

After several hours of thinking and speculating about the source of inspiration and determination to write 100 posts, one thing that clearly hit my conscious which was none other than my blog reader’s and my friend’s encouragement and criticisms that throttled me to achieve such things. I sincerely bow to you all for giving me an opportunity to explore the inner self and unveil or rather unearth my talent to churn out stories and random thoughts that sway in my brittle mind.

Here are some stats

Graph representing number of visitors in each month from Jan 2009 to June 2011

Number of visitors in each month from 2006 to 2011

Average visitors per day in for each month from 2006 to 2011

Hmmm!

In this occasion, I would like to give you all some insight on my blogging experience till date.

How it all started?

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