Friday, April 29, 2005

Ant-i Climax


Ansal Chiti and Gori Chiti were two ants who had run away from the colony of the queen Badi Chiti and got married to each other. Since Mrs. Chitti was sterile, they adopted two ant kids from a nearby colony where the queen had laid more eggs than was necessary and and there was not enough food to feed all of them. So that's how Munnu and Chunnu and Mr. and Mrs. Chiti started living inside the door of a lovely house in Sarita Vihar, Delhi.

So did they live happily ever after?

No.

A beautiful house inside the door of house #255 in Sarita Vihar.

One morning Mr. Chitti found that Gori was still in bed and had not prepared their usual honey breakfast. He felt that she had changed a lot from the romantic daredevil wife she was during their honeymoon to the bakery at #220 in Sarita Vihar. He was very much in love with her and it pained him to see her lamneting like this. He believed that there was no problem in this world that could not be solved by talking it out.

"Gori darling, what’s the matter my dear. You don’t look too well."

"Oh. Well. I am tired of life Ansu. I don’t feel like living anymore. As it is I am 25 days old and past the prime of my life.<>"

"What’s the matter my dear? Aren’t you happy with me?"

"Well …………."

"Gori, tell me what is it? Aren’t you happy with me? Did I do something wrong Gori? <>"

"<> Ansal, I know we had a perfect wedding and an even better honeymoon. I still remember how my friends from the colony were jealous of us during those days! But now I am getting bored with this life. "

"Bored? Why are you bored my dear? I’ll bring you some picture books laced with honey to chew on. Or maybe I’ll take you and the kids on a boating trip in the nala nearby!"

"See, this is what I am sick of. The same things again and again. You know what Ansal, I want to be a queen. I am tired of being an ordinary ant who can’t have her own family. It hurts me so much. I want my own colony. I want a thousand workers feeding my kids. I want to live like a queen, Ansal. You can’t provide me such a life."

"Well, my dear. You are right, I cannot. But I can love you like no one can.<>"

"Bah!….what is love-shove? I want power. I am tired of this life."

"Well my dear….you can’t become a queen now. You know you don’t the ability to…."

"Oh yeah, go ahead and rub it in. I know I cannot become a queen in this life and this life of mine will drag on for 25 days more, unless……"

"Unless what?"

"Unless I die now and take birth again and become a queen! Yes, that’s it. It’s so easy!"

"Die! Are you out of your mind Gori!? What will I do? I’ll become a Devdas ant and drink nectar and go mad. You know how made-for-each-other we are? I used to know what you were thinking without even touching your antenna! …..and what will happen to the kids? Please think about all that."

"I don’t care Ansal. I have decided. I want to die. As soon as possible. You can do whatever you want with the kids and the home. "

"Well, if that’s the way you want it, let me also join you in this my dear. There is no life for me without you. I cannot even think of getting up in the morning without you by my side. Allow me to die with you my dear."

"Oh well, whatever. Let’s go then! Oh my Mother of Ants, I am going to become a queen soon! I can’t wait.<>"

"Let’s take the kids also with us. I don’t want them to become orphan ants and go work as slaves in that evil colony. Let’s all die together. <> Chunnu, Munnu….come beta. Daddy and Mummy are going to take you on a picnic"

"Where are we going daddy?"

"Someplace you have never been before.<>"

"Wow! Let's go Dad!"

"So Ansal, where are we going? Railway track? Or we go smell the shoes? or nibble on the nearby caneten daal? Or you got any other idea to commit suicide?"

"No no. I want it to be quick and painless. I want it to happen in an instant and to all of us together. We’ll go to the jogging track in the park. There it will be just a matter of time."

Jogging track in Sarita Vihar’s park.

Lakshmi, a beautiful but slightly overweight girl, is on her usual morning jogging-panting-walking-sitting routine in the park, indulging in her favourite past-time during this one hour – watching other people in the park – a lovely couple dressed in similar Reeboox tracksuits holding hands and walking, a cute grandma in a pink salwar walking slowly, two sardar kids taking a shortcut across the park to go to their school, a shady looking couple talking about how to set-up an Snow-fall environment on Yahoo IM, three big-tummied middle-aged women sharing on gossip while walking along the track, an obese businessman-type-guy talking on his phone about a half a million dollar dear on his bulky nokia, a lovely young girl with pink shoes walking along and listening to RadioMirchi……..

It was just like any other day. Laskhmi had finished her fourth round around the track and was about to start the fifth when she noticed something.

A bunch of ants standing still in the middle of the jogging track. One of them was even looking up.

Weird sight. You never see ants standing still unless they are nibbling on something. Even then they would start scuttling around in a few seconds.

Lakshmi noticed all this in the middle of her jogging and her right foot was poised in the air exactly above those ants. One more step and the ants would be reduced to tiny shapeless black dots on the track. But Lakshmi quickly changed her direction in order to avoid the mishap. Squishing ants weren’t one of her favourite things. That was when she lost her balance, fell down and sprained her ankle.

That was when the handsome hunk came to her rescue.

Hey looks like you are hurt. May I help you? By the way, I am Vishal.<>

Thanks Vishal. I am Lakshmi. I think I have sprained my ankle. <>

Ouch that can hurt. Here, let me help you till your house. There are so many ants in this park these days. Two of them climbed inside my shoes when I was doing my stretching yesterday.

Oh yeah. But don't you think they are cu....

Look, here is a bunch of them <>. There you go, you useless creatures. I should get a social service award or something for doing this. Let’s go Lakshmi?

<> On second thoughts Vishal, I think I can make it on my own. Thanks for your help. Bye.

And that is how I sprained my ankle and came across another 5-minutes-hero hunk.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Role Reversal

SCENE 1 - 40 years ago in an Iyer house in a small town in TamilNadu. A conversation between a mom and her 10 year old daughter.

Mom - Janu, where are you? Dinner is ready. Come and have it when it is hot.


Daughter
– No amma, I don’t want it now, let me finish reading this story.

Mom < a little angry> – You better listen to me di. If you don’t eat properly you wont have strength to read your book. Moreover If you don’t read books you will end up being very stupid and we will marry you off to someone just like you.

Daughter< not sure whether to believe it or not, but decides that it’s better not to take chances> - ok amma. I will have dinner. But I don’t want curd okie?

Mom – You and your nakre! By the way, switch off the lights when you come. Money doesn’t grow in trees.


SCENE 2 - Now…….

Same people. But the daughter is married and settled in Delhi now and is a mom of 2 kids and is at the verge of menopause. Her mom stays with her. The past 40 years have taken a good toll on the mom. The upper part of her body is completely bent. It is so bent that she can’t see the ceiling unless when she’s lying on her back. She has a room of her own, complete with facilities like an A/C and a TV.


Daughter
< busy in the kitchen, talking to herself> - Its 9:30 already and nobody in this house wants to have dinner today?

Daughter < goes into her Mom’s room> - There you are. Engrossed in your serials. Due you know that it’s late already? Khana nahi khana hai kya? If I don’t call you for dinner you would have araam se forgotten all about it!

Mom gives a sheepish smile to the daughter and goes back to watching her serial.

Daughter < a little angry> - I want you in the dinner table in 5 minutes. No excuses.

Mom < decides that she better oblige her> - Okie, I’m coming.

Daughter < serves food for her mom> - Here, have one more helping. You are eating very less these days. Remember what the doctor had said? Moreover if you don't eat properly where will get your strength from in this old age?

Mom – No ma, this is enough. My thoppai is full. < looks at her daughter pleadingly>

Daughter – Nothing doing. You have to eat this. Just because you had two bananas during tea time doesn’t mean that you’ll have a skimpy dinner. I know all your games by now ma. Have some more rice now.

Mom – okie.

They both eat in peace for 5 minutes. Mom sulking a little bit.

Daughter – Amma, how many times should I tell you to switch off the lights in your room when you come for dinner.

Mom < Doesn’t know what to say. Has the helpless look that small kids give their moms when they are being scolded. The look between trying to be cute and also pleading not to punish them and that they are sorry.>

Daughter – Today our meter has been changed to a digital meter. It’s already 8 units now and it scares me to see the meter running like this! And you are not helping me by doing all this ma. You will go back to your room only after 40 minutes and all this time the meter will be running, don’t forget that. Please switch off the lights from tomorrow okie. Lets not waste money unnecessarily.

Mom – okie ma. I won’t leave it on again.

Daughter – Okie then. My darling mom. Finish your food now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The AJaX effect!

If you have ever used Gmail, Google Maps, Google Groups, Google Suggest, Flickr, Orkut etc. and wondered why they are so easy to use and so unlike the usual web applications, wonder no more! The answer is a bundle of technologies called AJaX. Or rather Asynchronous JavaScript + XML

So what's it got that the others havent? The Ajax engine makes the interaction between the user and the server happens asynchronously compared to the synchronous nature of the conventional web applications. Simply put, this means that the waiting time for the user is almost completely eliminated.

Sounds cool? Read more about AJaX here.


PS: PJ for the day

If you, for some weird reason decided to name your son Ajax (no questions in the middle of a joke please!), what would you name your daughter?

You would name her Ajay!

(No questions after the joke please. If you didn’t get this joke, most probably you wouldn’t enjoy it too.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dilli se Dil se

I realised that I can get depressed just by listening to Dil Se songs on the way to work.
Even though it’s a beautiful day outside and a just-rained-in-the-middle-of-the-summer-Delhi can be so much better than Delhi.

A dog fell in love with me (or was it with the cookie box in my bag?) today and followed me all the way to the cab. Never letting me out of his sight! Brrrrrr….I hope he won’t be waiting for me in the evening. Stalker doggie!

Shopping is an instant cure for headache.

Especially shopping for books and cookies :)

New sneakers, especially if they are white, can be so bright that you have to get a pair of dark shades to block the glare.

And of course you also need freshly baked cookies from Cookie Man after all that running around in the shops – I spent one night doing the case study on a cookie-making enterprise in OM I and so don't I deserve to try them out?
I like their punch line - "For over forty years we have been turning dough into dough."

It’s not a good idea to eat a half a kilo of yummy cookies all at one go without sharing. You may love it, but your tummy may not. The day after can be depressing too.

I like Delhi. Don’t be jealous Bangalore. You come first.

Limp handshakes can be a major put downer for the day. I don’t want to be a handshake consultant, but dude if you are reading this, do think about it. I mean well.

Riding in a tonga can be depressing too. Especially if the guy starts panting mid-way and looks like before-part of a Glucose ad and all you can do is curse your 50+kg of body baggage.

The Will Smith starrer Hitch is a very predictable and so-so movie. But thank god for malls and multiplexes, you can have a good time even if the movie you went for didn’t deliver like you had expected.

It was the 15th birthday of Hubble Telescope yesterday and here are the party pics.

Am not depressed anymore. Final credit goes to the new game on the block – Guess the Google!

Monday, April 25, 2005

OMG!

E-mails a big threat to IQ!

People who constantly write e-mails / text messages and attend phone calls suffer a greater loss of IQ and concentration than those who smoke marijuana, says a report in The Guardian quoting a recent study.

Dr Glenn Wilson, a psychologist at King's College, London University, who conducted a survey for technology major Hewlett Packard, says: "It is obvious that full concentration is impossible when we have one eye on e-mails or text messages."

"We found that mental performance, the capability of the brain, was also reduced. Workers cannot think as well when they are worrying about e-mail or voicemails. It effectively reduces their IQ," says Wilson.

This 'infomania' distracts workers, lowers productivity, and causes a reduction in mental capability equal to a loss of ten IQ points as the brains suffer from information overload, says the study.

The tests conducted on 1,000 volunteers showed that tapping away on a mobile phone or a computer keypad knocks ten points off your IQ, while you drop only four points on smoking marijuana. More than 60 per cent of those surveyed admitted to being e-mail and text addicts.

Wilson also suggested that the 'modern culture of information could cause a permanent drop in intelligence.'

"The impairment only lasts for as long as the distraction. But you have to ask whether our current obsession with constant communication is causing long-term damage to concentration and mental ability," says Wilson.


And here I was thinking that the root cause was my age!

A Matter Of Choice

Something that I had always believed in and got ridiculed several times for voicing the same. Read on...


The Law Of Attraction

One of the most wonderful abilities we have is the ability to make choices. We can choose to think positive thoughts or negative thoughts. Likewise, we can make an effort to ensure all our actions contribute to positive outcomes or we can convince ourselves that negative outcomes are inevitable. Such choices can then have a profound affect on your life, for they are the seeds you sow in the universe. Your words and deeds, even the thoughts kept hidden in your mind, contribute to your experience by attracting similar words, deeds, and thoughts because of the Law of Attraction. It is a natural law, as easy to understand as "like begets like" or "what you sow, so shall you reap." It means that what you give to the universe will come back to you, giving you a huge measure of control over the direction and quality of your own life.

If you are patient, you will no doubt be able to see the Law of Attraction at work in your own life. To give a simple example, a smile freely given to a stranger or coworker often nets a smile in return, while a scowl directed at the same individual will most likely cause them to scowl back. On a larger scale your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to people and situations subtly change your aura. These changes in energy can act like a magnet, pulling similar energy to you, be it positive or negative. As you walk your path, you can use the Law of Attraction to help you create the life you want to live by making a conscious decision to emit positive energy. If you are experiencing unpleasantness at home or work, perhaps analyze your own treatment of others. If you find yourself under a great deal of stress, ask yourself if you have been focusing on the expectation of stress. Remember that your thoughts, too, can attract positive or negative outcomes.

Will you choose to focus on beauty, peace, happiness, and love, or to dwell on the faults of others or the world? It's up to you. Because of the Law of Attraction, your focus can easily become your destiny. Learning to alter your reality by attracting only positive people and situations, or, indeed, anything you desire, will open an infinite number of doors.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Delhi Darshan – Trip 1 Part 2/2

Qutb Minar

Qutb Minar, the victory tower of Qutb-ud-din, was everything and more than what I had imagined it to be. But what I liked the most about the place was the other lesser known structures that surrounded the minar and the Iron Pillar – the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the tomb of IItutmish, Ala ‘i- Darwaza, the unfinished Ala'i Minar – which looks like an obese coconut tree stump hit by lightning, the concentric cylindrical structure of the minars with a staircase running on the surface of the inner cylinder all the way to the top – could see this in the Ala’i Minar, lots of small small structures erected with the carved columns and stones from Hindu and Jain temples which were demolished by Qutbu'd-Din Aibak – one can see the hindu symbols and writings in all these stones, which was a very sad sight – I had this image of Mr. Aibak dressed in his gaudy emperor clothes, blood dripping from his sword, demolishing and looting each of these temples and bringing the stones and just stacking them up around Qutb Minar – all the while growling a vile victory laughter.

Delhi Haat

Had heard a lot of raving reviews about this place even before I had landed in Delhi. But what I saw there disappointed me. Maybe I was there at the wrong time when not much was happening, but even then there was enough to see.
This place evidently setup by Govt of India to promote tourism and it also does the extra bit of bringing together so many cultures together in such a small place! There were vendors displaying exquisitely embroidered cloth-material from different states, handicrafts, lots of other curios, craftsfolk from different states and of course the food stalls that offered various traditional cuisines – called ‘Foods of India’! Some other things that caught my eye were the very colourful Rajasthani dolls, the Bihari art paintings, miniature sculptures of Ganpati in different poses, a very interesting cigarette case and Rajasthani women putting mehendi designs for obliging customers like me.

India Gate

The last stop was the India Gate. A War Memorial dedicated to 70,000 Indian martyrs of World War I and illuminated with very strategically placed golden lights, it looked really classy in the night situated bang in the middle of bustling Delhi traffic. Walking along the rajpath, I couldn’t help but think about the thousands of walks I had taken on the NIT C Rajpath :)

So that winds up my first sight seeing trip around Delhi. At the end of the day I had – beautiful mehendi patterns on my hand, loads of pics on my camera, a song in my heart and the taste of bhelpuri and gola in my mouth.

Delhi Darshan – Trip 1 Part 1/2

Itinerary – The Yellow Chilly restaurant, Lotus Temple, Qutb Minar, Delhi Haat and India Gate

Thanks to Sapna and Kulwant Singh for driving me around and showing me all the places far better than any guide could have and of course, also for all those countless jokes!

The Yellow Chilly restaurant

They say that when you are hungry, anything that you put into your mouth would taste delicious. Though we did hop in for a very late lunch at the Yellow Chilly in Noida, I am pretty sure that the food that we had there was out of this world! I have had typical north Indian food at so many places and if I have to choose the one that I enjoyed the most – it would be this. Simple no-nonsense food with just the right amount of everything. Hats off to Sanjeev Kapoor and the chef of Yelow chilly in Noida.

Well, I was checking out Sanjeev Kapoor’s site to know how many restaurants he operates (which seem to be quite a few), but I was in for a pleasant surprise. Though this restaurant cooks up a real delicious feast his site cooks up some real whacky english usages.

Some lines directly lifted from the site:

“The best way would be to describe him(Sanjeev Kapoor) as someone who at the young age of forty has reached the top of the food chain!” Top of the food chain? :D

“To put Sanjeev Kapoor in a nutshell is indeed a difficult task”. Absolutely :)

“Sanjeev Kapoor's unwavering vision for Indian Cuisine sees him as an entrant into FMCG category with a range of tongue-tickling pickles”. No wonder my tongue was in splits after the lunch!!!

Lotus Temple

Breathtaking. Even more so, inside.

Since one has to walk for about several minutes before reaching the temple, the Delhi heat was the only dampener in the entire experience. But Kulu bhaiyya’s enthusiasm was so infectious that I survived the 3:00PM heat without any casualty. :)

My companions being architects, we ended up discussing mostly about the architecture of the building and Mr. Fariborz Sahba rather than the aesthetic appeal of the temple. Bahá'í Mashriqu'l-Adhkar or more popularly called the Lotus temple, it seems is the seventh and most recent Bahá'í house of worship in the World and was completed in 1986. Aha its younger than me!

The charm of the structure is that it is nothing by a skylight - a very complicated one at that!

The interior dome, devoid of any idol or religious symbol, was breath taking. The dome is spherical and designed like the innermost portion of a lotus. Sunlight enters the hall in the same way as it would have entered a lotus. The dome is built with 27 petals in 3 levels. Though it is supposed to be a meditation hall and visitors are supposed to be quiet, one could hear the usual giggles and whispers and claps by small children to hear the echo. But there was something so soothing and unexplainable about the interior of the temple – the effect it had on me.

There are small pools of water around the temple, completing the picture of a lotus in a pond, but it seems the water has a technical reason for its being there. Considering the heat in Delhi, an oven-like hall wouldn’t be a very desirable place to meditate. The water outside is part of a well orchestrated cooling system. The lotus temple was designed to act like a chimney and the air that is cooled by the pools passes through the openings in the basement and enters the dome and warm air is expelled through the orifices between the petals. Cool, isn't it? No wonder I didn’t feel like walking out into the open once I was inside.

But it was strange to see foreigners working as the peace-keepers or helpers in the premises of the temple. I have nothing against them and the Bahá'í faith, but it was strange.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A love-nest in New Okhla Industrial Development Authority

I loved the movie Alaypayuthe (Saathiya in Hindi). And I get to see such a lovely couple and to live in their lovely home daily. Sapna didi and Kulu bhaiyya – perfect for each other and perfect with each other!

But the best thing I felt about staying with them is – it’s just like staying in a bachelor pad.

No rules. Nobody forces you to eat spinach for the iron. You can sleep till whenever you want. Junk food (like chaat or pizza) will be counted as legitimate dinner. You can go without food if you like. You can watch cartoon network and F.R.I.E.N.D.S and will have great company for that too. No one scolds you when you feel like eating some chat-pata just before dinner. You don’t have to feel uncomfortable and switch channels when something hot comes on TV and people don’t try to hide behind newspapers. And of course the charm of home-cooked food can’t be lauded enough! And the warmth of the love and caring of a very lovely couple.

It’s got the best of both worlds – lovely feeling of being at home and the freedom of being on your own.

Home sweet home indeed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What would you do when you see a person standing bang in the middle of the traffic light, open his fly, adjust himself without a care in the world and then zip his fly up and cross the road - all the while humming the latest item number?

Wish that your camera phone had video recording capabilities?

Pretend not to look at it but mutter under the breath – chi chi! it happens only in India!

Wake up your sleeping friends in the car, so that they don’t miss something as entertaining as this?

Feel jealous of his carefree lifestyle? Feel J that he doesn’t fall for rules created by the society?

Tuesday morning perfect

What can be better than listening to the husky crooning of Lucky Ali, while travelling to office?

Only to reach in office to know that even the watchman works in felxi timings – and I am the first person to arrive in the office.

Thank God I always carry an emergency kit for situations like this – a novel. Am reading Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and I am so much engrossed in the powerful writing style by Marquez that I prayed that the security guard should be stuck in a traffic jam and should come late to office. And he was :)
It seems he was stuck in a maze of tongawalas.

Vibu, the book, Love in the time of Cholera, that I bought from Cosmo seems to be defective. Couple of pages missing. Can I have it replaced please?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Random thoughts from Delhi

Topviews
A topview of Kerala from the window seat of an airplane looks almost like that of a lady’s head with lush hair and with a mushroom cut and several meandering partings. It looks beautiful.

The same view of Hyderabad looks like that of a bald head with dandruff.

And delhi looks like a crowned head – the huge crown full of sparkling diamonds.

Some more....

Air Sahara has very cute male flight attendants who don’t dare to look you in the eye.

At time, nose bleeds are to be taken lightly.

All company guest houses need not look like 5 start hotels. There are very humble ones too. The ones where you share the room with a zillion cockroaches and which serves the worst coffee I have ever tasted.

There are die hard free-riders who don’t even bother to make a 7-slide ppt which was a mandatory requirement by the summer intern firm.

A room with 10 half-MBAs from all over the country can be something like a lost-siblings meet. Same lingo, more or less same kind of thoughts, same college stories, same whinings - We gel instantly.

Not everyone who looks and acts smart is smart.
But most of the people who look and behave dumb are dumb.

Everything that looks like a paratha need not taste like a paratha.

There are some people who have typical look-alikes in all parts of the world. And you always get fooled for the first one minute when you meet the dupes.

The housewife profession is no less challenging than that of a Project Manager's.

24 hour A/c can cause disastrous headaches.

Some people here don’t take bath 3 days in a row – and since it doesn’t sweat in Delhi, they manage; And I manage putting up with them too.

A coffee vending machine that serves coffee perfect to my liking is the best thing that has happened to me in the last 4 days!

Oh yeah, the other best thing is my consultancy summer project :)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Capital attraction

They say that Delhi has a beguiling charm on visitors.

They say that I can't survive in the heat.

They say that Delhi metro rail is something to see.

They say that Delhiites are big show-offs and snobbishness at its best.

They say that the light and sound show in the Red Fort should not be missed.

They say that choodi bazaar is a girl's shopping dream come true.

They say that at Connaught Place I'll go mad with all the books for sale at dirt prices.

They also say that I'll have to bargain well, which is not my cup of tea...or coffee!

They also say dont miss holy Ganga and Varanasi when I am in UP.

One of them has also has been kind enough to be my e-guide to help tour the city :)


So here I come Dilli. Keep the red carpet ready.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

How to Marry the Man of Your Choice

An introduction to the book says….
This is a book filled with proven strategies that helped thousands of "nice" women get to the altar. Now completely updated to lead a new generation down the aisle, this timeless yet thoroughly modern guide shares the successful tactics used by other singles, and reveals:

The keys to male behavior and how to use them to your advantage.
How to recognize love when it happens.
How to interview a man for the job of husband before you audition for the job of wife.

And many more such VERY entertaining things :)

At times, stifling laughter can be painful.

This was a book that was kept right in front in the popular books section in a book shop in Trichur. The way it was positioned suggested that it was a very fast moving book, just like all the other self-help books.

I browsed a little bit more and found that just behind this book was another book titled ‘How to use your brain’.

Couldn’t help but wonder – how appropriate!

NIIT scientist wins........

.....Dewang Mehta Award for Innovation in Information Technology. The award was given for a study that spanned over 15 years and this study proved that incidental learning with minimum human guidance is effective.

Well in some cases the students dont have a choice. This happens in almost all Engineering colleges...especially the Computer Science departments, for want of experienced profs in the subject.

I did have a couple of young and dynamic professors who were very passionate about what they taught and were good at their subjects and I think a little bit of that passion did rub off on the entire batch. I’d have bunked the whole of software lab if it had not been for those rays of light! But then still wondering whats the purpose of conferring a BTech degree in Computer science without teaching anything about the basics of Software Engineering!

And now a computer science engineer is going to learn Software Engineering principles in her MBA!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Can't believe this!

Have been sitting in this room for almost an hour now and I didn't even notice that the fan was not on! This doesn’t happen in Trichur on a normal April day. I must be one of the happiest souls in Trichur today. Yeah…....along with all those people who were crying about water problems.

Today is a beautiful halcyon day, thanks to the rains yesterday.

It poured for an hour. And it was cool and breezy and I maximised my utility of the situation by accompanying the petrichor with a special strong steaming cup of coffee and a Jayaram comedy on TV.

Today the sun is still hiding somewhere behind all those oh-so-welcome clouds. Trichur feels and looks just like Ooty today. Hope it stays like this at least till this Friday.

The fact that I am feeling fat today and that have to start working on my summer project cant spoil my mood today. Thanks to this lovely weather. But I still can’t get over the shock of a discussion I was part of yesterday! (I seem to be running into or eavesdropping or overhearing all sorts of interesting discussions these days!!) This discussion was initiated by a muslim mom of a 2 year old baby and the topic was the Sunnath ceremony of her son. The fact that she brought it up in public right after topics like the width of someone’s saree border and the salt in the fish curry was what surprised me most. I almost choked on my food!

I was even more surprised that everyone joined in that conversation and it went into a detailed discussion which was very informative for a very startled me. I had to remind myself that this was not a usual Group Discussion and it was OK even if I don’t talk and make some style-wala points. God! the things CAT and GDPI does to you! I played the role of a very good listener and made sure that I heard all the points made by both the parties (of course there were the usual for and against parties!) and the mom describing in detail about the entire procedure and how they even celebrated it afterwards. More than the topic of the discussion, it was a nice surprise to see people talking about these things so openly. Something not many people can do. Especially in a conservative place like this.

And also the fact that I could get in touch with a very dear friend of mine (or rather she could get in touch with me! :P), a chubby girl who used to be my partner in crime during schooldays has made my day even more enjoyable today. She has grown-up to be a big girl…and is now a Math teacher! There was a time in my life when I thought that there was nothing better than Math in this world. I considered all my Math teachers to be Gods! Well I guess engineering made me forget all that. Never felt so passionate about anything like that in recent times. :(

Anyways it was great talking to you SS. You still have a heavy but very cute Trichur accent :) Remember Light of Asia and how scared you were to ride pillion in my BSA SLR and later on my Kinetic!!? :)

But you too ditching me and joining the wives’ club! Well at least don’t rush in to join the mothers’ club so fast.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The in thing…………

A conversation overheard intentionally in a popular beauty salon in Thrissur, Kerala.

Participants: Two girls of 20-25 years of age(whom I’ll call G1 and G2) and another girl of about 10-14 years of age (whom I’ll call B1).

G1 is wearing a heavily embroidered salwar kameez and atleast 1Kg of gold ornaments.
B1 is most probably her sister, dressed in tights and a short top and wearing 5 inches heeled sandals which is apparently very uncomfortable.

G2 is dressed modestly and is most probably from a middle class family.

G1 and G2 have been sitting together for sometime now and they start the usual girly chit chat. Things take an interesting turn after around 3 minutes into their banter.

G1: Did I tell you that I am getting engaged next month?

G2: Oh really?

G1: Yeah …I am. The guy is from GULF. I always wanted to go to GULF and settle down there. Finally my dream is coming true. You know, chettan says that one should start the preparations one month before the function..….So I am going to be here whole day today.

G2: Oh good. Even I am going to be here for a long time today. So I’ll have company.

G1: Yeah. By the way did you see the Opel corsa outside? That is part of the dowry and it is…...

B1 to G1: chechi…is it over? I am getting bored here. I want to go home and watch Cartoon network.

G1 gives B1 a Filmfare to read and pacifies her. B1 tunes her world into Bollywood gossip for awhile.

G1 to G2:This is my bridesmaid. We are going to have matching hair cuts and matching makeup. That’s why I have brought her with me. It was the idea of my would-be in GULF.

The expression on G2’s face is worth watching at this moment. She looks and nods at G1 the way a person buying Rin detergent powder will look at a person buying Ariel Front-O-Mat! Finally she makes up her mind that two can play at that game.

G2: hmmmm.....well I don’t like gulf much. My engagement was over 2 weeks back. And my would-be is in the U.S.

G1: I see…..

G2: yeah…I had lots of proposals from GULF…but I turned them all down. I always wanted to see America.

G1: Oh well even I like the U.S. But after the Iraq war and the falling dollar my father felt that Gulf was better anyday. And there's the Dubai shopping festival every year!

G2: Well well…you never know what a person is really doing in GULF. My friend got married to a supposedly big-shot in GULF last year and after two long years she came to know that he had a very menial job there. And before she could get a divorce he got her pregnant too! Poor thing!

G1: Oh well…all my cousins are settled in the GULF. And my would-be is a blah-blah-blah-blah relation of my blah-blah-blah’s cousin. He is very close to lots of Sheikhs and all there. And he is head of a a big company there. He has been searching for a girl for 2 years now. He din't like anyone till now it seems, he tells me that he didn't find anyone good-looking enough until he saw me and he wanted a housewife - so it matches my plans perfectly. And you know, in GULF I’ll get to watch all my serials too.

G2: Oh that’s not a problem for me since I watch only English sitcoms. Mallu serials are oh-so-boring. There was this proposal from GULF for me 3 months back...…guy was very handsome..earning good enough…respectable family…he liked me too…dowry was also settled…but I had to say NO to him just because he was not from U.S. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity....…you cant compromise on these things, can you?

G1: Oh yeah. You took a very bold decision. These days its always better to wait for the right person rather than jumping the gun.

G2: Yeah…this guy in US is not very good looking and I have talked to him only once. But those things don’t matter, right? Once I get to U.S. I know I’ll be happy. He has said that we can buy a computer and I can chat with my parents in Kerala every night. Now I am learning how to use a computer and have to teach my parents too.

G1: Oh we already have a computer. I chat with my would-be daily for atleast 2-3 hours. Oh by the way my wedding is in June. Give me your contact, you should definitely come.

G2: Oh mine is in June too….here take down my mobile number. This is a gift from the U.S.

G1: Oh its lovely. But isn't it an old model?

G2: Hmmmm…..... see that girl over there? The one in the red sari? She was in my college. Poor thing…her life is a big tragedy.

G1: What happened?

G2: Oh well…she got married 2 years back. Even she wanted to go to the U.S. The guy’s family told her that he has joined XY-BRO and would go to US any day now and she can also go along with him. It's been so long now and she is still in India. Poor thing doesn’t even smile these days.

G1: Oh how sad. You know, these things are God’s blessings. Thalavara venum.


I couldn’t hear the rest of the dialogue as my hair cut was over and I had to leave the place. Couldn’t help wondering while walking out – arranged marriages in Kerala has moved on to a new plane now. It seems to be more like a ticket to go abroad rather than for a happy married life.

Whatever happened to the arranged marriages of yester-years where the most important criteria for the girl's family was finding a life-partner who earns well and fits well with their family? Now the deciding criteria seems to be the free Visa that comes along with the mangalsutra.