Thursday, July 29, 2010

Games children play

My neighbourhood granny was possessive about baby Sunita. I used to pinch the baby on her chubby cheeks and run away to college. One day when I tried the trick, the old lady poured hot water on my hands. I stared at her and she warned she would pour hot water on my face too. Grrr.
My younger daughter was a tough infant. She will refuse to sleep. My wife had started working as a teacher and hence forced me to baby-sit most of the time. Add to this, my duty hours in the newspaper were mostly evenings.
One day, the grocery man delivered the goods and advised me: “Your wife, poor lady, is so hardworking. You are always sitting at home. Why don’t you try and get a job?” The man always delivered the goods in the morning hours and hence thought I was jobless.
To make my daughter sleep, I would often invent my own songs, one of which was Jo jo jo jo ju ji ma, chella kutti (dear one) joo ji ma. Hey, don’t ask me the meaning. It’s just a lullaby. But it often created problems with my neighbour. The Malayali aunty would come rushing, “Stop braying. I feel sleepy and I have lots of work.”
My elder daughter was more cooperative as an infant. All I had to do was give her a pinch. She would cry for two minutes and then fall asleep. To think that she is now doing her PG.
OMG, am I that old?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

From ripples to tsunami

Got bored. Picked up “The leader who had no title” book by Robin Sharma. Guess what! Got more bored.
Nevertheless, sharing what I felt were interesting quotes from the book:
• We generally take the people we love the most for granted. Until we lose them. Then we take long, silent walks and pray for a second chance to treat them the way they deserved to have been treated. Don’t let that sort of regret infect your life.
• The average life has only 960 months.
• If a man is a street sweeper, he should sweet streets as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed. He should sweep so well that hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great sweeper who did his job well.” –Dr Martin Luther
• Daily ripples of excellence – over time – become a tsunami of success. Every action has a consequence. Doors you did not know existed begin to open.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trends and bends

Talk of fashion and I love to see people in different styles.
As long as they are modern and not vulgar, I admire them.
Like my good friend whom we call “captain.” He likes to wear low-hip jeans. There are occasions where it looks like the jean would just drop down, but it never happens, thank God. Girls like him and I envy him.
There is this Egyptian friend who changes the colour of his hair often, looks slim, leaves his shirt buttons open and wears funny coloured shirts. But nothing attracts your attention more than his smile. Vallah, through him I have learnt: Even if you are the best dressed man, if you can’t smile, you are as good as naked.
This girl loved gold. Her hands were covered with bangles. Afford she could, because her hubby was CEO of a giant media channel. I found her tense most of the time. Does money buy happiness? God knows.
About me? I am fond of jeans and T-shirts. I love to wear the “Kada” (silver coloured ring) Sardarjis wear from the Golden Temple. I had one for several years, but misplaced it somewhere. I asked a blog friend in Dubai from Amritsar to bring one for me. He decided to stay off my blog ever after.
“This ear ring you are wearing. Is it original diamond?”
“I have to ask my wife,” replied the man.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time pass

Former Indian PM Morarji Desai was old when someone asked, “How do you pass time?” He shot back: “Why should I pass time, it will pass by itself.”
“Time pass” is a common word in Mumbai.
Ask someone what are you doing and the reply mostly will be “Time passing.”
“Why are going to that movie?” “Just like that. Time pass.”
I complained to a colleague: “Most of us forget that life is just not about time passing, but about passing time – fruitfully and pleasantly. Every now and then if we ask ourselves whether we are enjoying what we are doing, we get better answers.”
“Oh philosopher, what do suggest for me?” he asked.
“Do what you enjoy doing,” I lectured. “If you ask me, I enjoy writing. If I manage to do some exercise, I love it. If a caring friend drops in, I jump with joy. And if you give me a treat, I will go gaga over it.”
“Wait. Why are you giving this sermon?” he interrupted.
“Just time passing ya.”
** A woman was giving a speech, but realized she had gone on for too long.
“Sorry, I forgot my watch,” she apologized.
“But at least you could have seen the calendar next to you,” shouted someone.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A taste of desert heat

I was blissfully asleep at 4am when suddenly I woke up to find myself soaking in sweat.
I could not see anything in the darkness, not even my specs, but immediately realised that the damn power cut has struck again in Sharjah. Thankfully, the AC turned on at 6am again.
But the happiness was shortlived. At 10 again the power went off.
I wanted to follow the Salman Khan way by going half nude, but there was a family sharing my flat. That option out, colleague Raghib suggested reaching office early.
“Lemme grab some grub and join you,” I told him and rang up Agnel.
“Lunch at Bombay Garden,” I told Agnel.
When I reached the restaurant, the sight of Agnel was more pathetic. Fully drenched in sweat, he said there was no power supply there either.
We almost emptied an entire tissue box, slapping tissues on our forehead, shoulders, hands…everywhere.
By the time I reached office, an Arab gentleman commented: “This is just a taste of hell.”
“Is it? I had already tasted this before,” I said.
“I used to travel regularly by 2nd class train between Mumbai and Chennai with family. There is a huge Andhra stretch we cross where the mercury remains relentless. I survived that. I may survive this too,” I just smiled, though fuming inside.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Speaking, no laughing matter

“I invite RR on stage,” declared the speaker.
What? On stage? I shuddered. What will I talk? As my mind struggled in the conflict zone, someone literally pushed me onto the stage.
“Buddies. I can’t speak. See, already my legs are shivering,” I started.
“Ha, ha,” one fellow laughed.
“Hey, not joking. See,” I lifted my leg like a donkey.
“Ha, ha, ha..” five fellows laughed.
“Come on, why you guys laughing? Can’t you see me trembling?” I almost did a twist dance on stage.
More of them laughed.
“Thank you,” I went back to my seat.
This is the beauty of humour clubs. Audiences are told to laugh and clap for anything and everything. If they don’t, others won’t clap for them.
To break my stage fear, I had joined a prominent public speaking school in Mumbai Fort area years ago. I wanted to beat the childish voice phobia. Surprisingly, during the entire session, no mike was used and the purpose was defeated. Also surprisingly, I came second in the class. The first was grabbed by a good-looking doctor. Unfortunately for me, she had great skill too. The master praised me more for my body language than speech skill. Maybe I had danced better during those sessions.
Heard this joke: A speaker told the audience: “I won’t bore you with a long speech.”
“Ya, you can do that with a short one,” replied one.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Veg soup for soul

I have great admiration for fitness freaks and bodybuilders. After all, health is wealth.
I went to a friend’s house in Dubai and could not lift the heavy weights at his home gym. This aircraft engineer climbs 24 floors at times to keep fit.
“I would love to be strong like you,” I said.
“You poor veggies. What can you do? Better start eating meat and tandoori chicken,” he teased me.
“Do not forget that robust animals like elephants, hippos and horses are vegetarians,” I countered. A hippo can run at speeds of over 20 miles an hour.
The engineer walked towards me in a circle and passed an awkward look.
“What are you looking for?” I asked him.
“All the three animals you mentioned have a tail. So wondering about you,” he replied.
* I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, it's because I hate vegetables: Woody Allen.
* Hey, just read a non-veg joke: “Can you remove something from my skirt?” asked a pretty girl.
“Sure, sure. What?” reacted the thrilled guy.
“Your eyes, idiot.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

All for a reason

His words sounded like great philosophy.
Seeing me a little down in spirits, my colleague said: “There are certain things beyond our control. Worrying over unavoidable events is like throwing petrol on fire while attempting to douse it.”
“I was just thinking, not worried,” I replied.
But he went on to tell the story of a rat.
Repeatedly troubled by a cat, it went to a sage and told him about its plight. “Don’t worry, I will turn you into a cat,” said the sage. The cat was happy for a few days, but was haunted by a dog. “I will turn you into a deer.” The cheerful deer was chased by a lion. “There you go, now I turn you into a lion,” the sage told the deer. The lion was happy for a few days until it was caught by men and dumped in a circus cage. “Please make me a rat again,” it pleaded with the sage.
“Interesting,” I told him, and remembered an incident that boss SB had told me. He had asked a tiger reserve chief, “Why protect tigers? Let them perish.” The reserve official replied, “The ecological balance is like a jigsaw. You remove one and the entire structure is shaken. Tigers have their own important role.”
We were walking back smiling when I noticed my female friend stare at herself wherever there was a glass door or elevator mirror.
“You look good,” I told her and she replied, “Of course, I always do.”
I did not dare to dispute that, though I was not too sure.
After all, just a minute ago, I was also looking at the mirror and feeling the same way.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Healing words

Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.
- Leo Buscaglia
I do not have words to thank fellow bloggers, my precious friends, who sent in touching words of consolation after my brother passed away. Wish you and your dear ones much peace and good health.
In a contemplative mood, I came across this Q&A where Yudhishtira (Truth representative) offered the answers. Thought will share with you.
“What is the most absurd thing in life?”
“We see millions of people around us die yet we never think we will die.”
“What rescues man in danger?"
"What is happiness?"
"Happiness is the result of good conduct."
How can one earn money? Of all the riches which is the best?
What is true wealth?
Money is to be earned by hard work. Learning is the best
of riches. Health is wealth.
What is faster than the wind? What troubles a person always?
The mind is faster than the wind. Worry troubles a
person always.
Who is a great man?
One who practices non-violence.
"Who accompanies a man in death?"
"What is that, abandoning which man becomes loved by all?"
"What is the loss which yields joy and not sorrow?"
"What is that, by giving up which, man becomes rich?"
"Desire, getting rid of it, man becomes wealthy."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear brother

Lost my very dear elder brother - heart attack. Plz keep us in your prayers.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Take it easy, buddy

“Gypsies hardly die of heart attack as they have a hearty life free of materialistic worries,” said my colleague.
“Oh, really?” I responded.
“As a child we smile 200 times a day, but as adults we hardly smile,” he said.
“That’s funny,” I smiled, and asked “What’s the reason?”
“Simple man. Tension. For everything we get tense. Just drive across the city and see every other motorist grim-faced and angry. The motorists who do not look angry are those who keep chatting on their mobile phones while driving. After all, they know it’s just the pedestrian who will die and not themselves.”
“Shucks. We should never get tense for any reason,” I told him.
“Ya true,” he grinned, but then immediately changed his expression. “Oh God, I forgot to ring up the bank regarding the credit card.”
“Buddy, we promised to remain cool.”
“Shut up, you don’t know when to joke and when to be serious,” he was running away from me.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tailored trouble

I picked up a jean, found the regular size tight and told the tailor-friend at the mall to alter it.
“So you putting on weight,” he mocked, asking “How is Rajesh?” “Oh, that tinku (shortie)?” I asked and instantly noted a frown in the tailor’s face. Shucks, the tailor himself is a “tinku,” shorter than Rajesh.
Realising the blunder, I changed the subject, “People prefer readymade garments; how do you tailors manage?”
“We are going great,” he said. “As long as there are women, our business will thrive.”
“And as long as there are women, husbands will suffer,” I told myself.
Friend A told me she almost slapped a tailor who ruined her party dress. “Don’t ask about that idiot,” she said angrily, and I shut up worried she will throw her mobile on my face.
Our own tailor in Chennai used to have a trademark pencil on his ears, inch tape around his waist and half folded pant. He was notorious in ruining dresses. Once a nephew’s full pant had to be used as shorts by my tall brother.
A politician went to a tailor to get his pant stitched. “No worry, I will keep the pocket long,” said the tailor knowing about the corrupt guy.
“Make it normal,” said the politician. “These days they send directly to my Swiss account.”