Sunday, December 25, 2005

Till Death Did us Apart... And No More I Love You's

They say speak not of the dead but good.. And if anyone were to find a single person in this entire planet who would have a grouse to air or have a personal peeve about Appa in their interactions with him and be able to justify it, please make it known to me and I would willingly indulge in a long drawn conclave or an for -all -to -see -and -hear debate and dispel any such nonsensical rhetoric about my dad and make all such hearsay totally null and void. Rescind and recant, ye mortals, for a diverse jury has been out with a unanimous verdict from ages now about Appa's amicable disposition, the ceaseless do-gooder, the humanitarian, the philanthropist, et al. And I had to write this as early as possible, because the emotive vulnerability is at a high and I am still foible to believe that I can't live normally in his perennial absence. Devout husband, terrific dad, great friend, loving uncle, magnanimous brother, brother-in-law numero uno.. Nah, these words sound so cliche and it would be typecasting him...for he was unique in a myriad number of ways, something which can't be put down with ease or contemplation..and the insouciance he brought in during his better days to those who banked on him,young or old,will be legendary.

Just 2 weeks after turning 72, Appa passed away on December 22nd, 2005 at 7:30 PM in the Intensive Care Unit of the Bangalore Hospital, a place he unwillingly frequented like an inveterate gambler over the past year, succumbing to a prolonged illness and a multitude of complications that made him a wreck, physically and mentally. Diffident yet, he chose to ride roughshod over it till the end, as he so frequently did during various phases of his life, coping all that was thrown at him with an admirably stoic will , and at the same time, a man resigned to the inevitable, a fate and an eventuality that no mortal who has walked the earth has ever managed to hoodwink. When death comes calling, there can often be no rhyme or reason, no precursor, and certainly no bagpipes. In dad's case though, the writing was pretty much on the wall, but there were hopes and signs that he would pull through again, as he had done so miraculously over the past few years, and as the docs quipped, outliving the cat that has nine lives..! Alas, it was not to be and as I was privy to the final sigh and the heave of the chest of his, a gamut of emotions ranging from numbness, vacuous, to a vicarious relief that he would have to endure no more divine retribution in this lifetime surged through the mind. Good riddance to Duphalac, Lasix, Flavedon, Nitrocontine, Vitcofol, Pantodac, Augmentin, Aldactone and the ubiquitous IV fluids and Dopamine, Oflin, Acyclovir, Crocin..and a plethora of other pharma stuff.. and enough of me playing the quack, deciding on the amount of Lasix to give based on the water logging, the amount of duphalac based on his bowel movements, the discerning of his condition that I got accustomed to, the cleansing of the pungent bile..Yes, Appa lived life a moribund way towards the end, lived many days like he was dying, walked a fine line, yet sprang back many a time, flattered to deceive.. as he himself used to tell the doctors wearily ... " What doctor, its become an Aaya Ram, Gayya Ram" scenario.. And Dr Bhat would quip back " Atleast you are coming back to us, the Gayya Ram often makes himself scarce after a couple of visits " !!

No sooner would he get home, he would hit the account books, make the few calls and, dear me,when mom fell a bit sick a while back, even cooked for us and how ! It gave him immense satisfaction to be among the chores again, be it watering the plants, starting the washing machine or hanging out the clothes to dry..but most of all to see me off to work in the morning, packing my lunch box, dusting my helmet, hand me all my stuff and then upon return, greet me with the famous " Hello Mukundu Mari..." and opening out to the bear hug, which he lately started shunning from me.. Sakkamma, Nan Kyli Aagala Inna, please... and call out to Amma thus .. Vasantha, please free me from this Kalla Kulla ;) And the lines which will be etched in my memory forever.. "Hogole, I did'nt fear my Boss, didn't fear my mom, my wife or anyone.. but scare me sometimes.. Please Come, let's go to Vidyarthi Bhavan.. :)
So many minutiae come to mind, it would be impossible to put them all down here.. like Tom Hanks says in Sleepless in Seattle ..Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together....
And whenever I snuggled up to him at night (which was daily) and said "Appa I love you, he would quickly repartee.. " But, I don't.. I love only Mukhyapraana ( Lord Anjaneya) and I want to leave this bloody world .. God please take me away"and then sensing that I would be bemused, quickly pull me close and plant the priceless 3 kisses, one on each cheek and the third on the forehead and quip "Me Too .."!! Dad lacked none in wits and was as pragmatic as they come.. Guilt plagued him for all the trouble he felt he was subjecting us to, though we never felt the burden.. And he was evolved far ahead of the times he was born in and lived through, though he still wondered at technology and the stump vision camera of Channel 9 :)

Pulled out of a 7th grade exam, when he was just 13,(in1946) due to his father's sudden demise, life must have been tough for a large family suddenly thrust in the throes of penury and not knowing where there next meal would come from. Dad recounted that many a day they would go with rice ganji and milk and worry about the next day.. and learning to share, sacrifice and live became ingrained in him, a thing which he stuck by till the very end.. Living selflessly became his cornerstone and parsimony was not a word to be found in his dictionary.

Many were the friends and relatives who were helped out when in need and made to see better days. The magnanimity was not lost out on the animal kingdom as well and cows, dogs and the odd cat were avaracious recipients of many a meal. Before falling seriously ill, he would be up at 5 am, jump rope, warm up, swim from 6 am to 7 am, come rain, cold or sunshine, go to the market and buy stuff and be home even before I would be up.. His zeal for life never failed to amaze people and the indefatigable attitude towards many a seemingly unsurmountable task was something he became well known and appreciated for.. And so, he would stand in serpentine queues amidst cricket crazy fans at KSCA and get lathi charged, find mention in the Deccan Herald the next day that a heart patient was beaten up and walk away with a couple of priceless tickets..:) .. Cricket crazy was Dad and rubbed it off on me.. and regaled us with many tales and the great matches he had witnessed at Chepauk, listened to on the radio and elsewhere..

There was more to Appa than that met the eye and yet he preferred being inconspicuous, and shy away from all the spotlight. Simplicity and humility made sense to him and it didn't augur well with him to pry , he eschewed being nosey and took pride in being a natty dresser. Kids were all time favourites and my cousins Rajini and Murali would vouch for it, as well as the numerous other cousins who liked the gregarious Madhi Mama for a whole lot of reasons, many of which find mention in an earlier blog I had penned about appa. Married at the age of 41, I must have been everything to him and mom and the pampering that dad showered on me is no secret among frnds and relatives..! Mukundu Mari meant the world.. and it didn't help that I was a Problem Child.

The universal rule is all good things must come to an end.. and surely there's no exception to it. And so subtle can the difference be..From pouring water, syrup and milk down his throat and bathing and dressing him up when he was still alive, to pouring hot ghee, milk and curds over many parts of a limpid 'body' the very next day and set it alight, the dichotomy can be enervating and leave one completely befuddled with this unfinished jigsaw puzzle called life.

And when it was time to sift through the smoldering pile and gather the bones, I wished I could catch a glimpse of whatever was left of the cirrhotic liver, the CBD stent in situ, the stent in the UT, the malfunctional right ventricle and literally make no 'bones' about it.. Dad had become a 'stent man' as Dr Lorance joked once..and though the humour was lost out on appa, as his hearing had waned and his eyesight was none too good, he liked Dr Lorance the best for he always said he'll send him home soon and spoke kannada a bit funnily ;) Apologies Dr Bhat, but he kinda held you at an exalted level and thought it was better to ask Dr Anupama or Dr Lorance, lest he invited your ire !

Hepatic Encephalopathy can be a real gut wrencher to see, the faculties would have gone haywire, the right hand wouldnt know what the left is doing and the demented rage can mainfest itself into something surprisingly quite strong and you can often be the recipient of a few sound slaps ! Fettered to the bed, dad would shout out for release, berate the ward boys and the sisters, swear that I was responsible for all this and moan and groan the night away. If only one could buy a liver, bile duct and gall bladder in the market and ease it in as they do with parts for motor vehicles, life would have been so much easier !!

Yet, in a fuzzy cerebral state, dad had the wherewithal to sing and speak some amazing stuff.. A day earlier, he had sung beautifully, and loudly, ( leaving the sisters on the shift bewildered) from 3 AM for a couple of hours and I was stirred out of deep slumber as he continously clapped and chanted Hanuma, Bhima, Madhwa for a good 2 hours..!! He followed it up the next afternoon, for 3 hours straight about Purandara Dasa, Madhwa Philosophy and waxed eloquent about all the doctors for everything they did in fluent english and kannada... only mom got to listen to it though, and as luck would have it, she had no voice recorder to tape it.. "There was a saint...." he began and amma listened spell bound as he reeled off some heady stuff..Was he partaking in a seance in a different strata, the minutes of which he managed to leak out ? Maybe the departing get a premonition before they answer the last and final boarding call..and then after the storm bloweth over, the lull sets in, as opposed to the usual lull before the storm! But we'll continue to be selfish and fight till the very end, at times unmindful of the travails they are going through, yet the vision clouded by ifs and buts, we are prepared to run it up the flagpole and finally, almost as an afterthought, leave the rest to the almighty ! As dad would ironically joke many a time at home " Operation successful, but the patient died"..! Brevity is the soul of wit and it seemed to bounce of him many a time. When I asked him to read the blog I had written about him sometime back, he said " Nah, thats to be done/written after I'm gone "!!

And as difficult as it might seem, we have to learn to leave and let go.. and listening to the religious discourse called Garuda Purana at home, I feel it probably behooves us to accept, at times, rather reluctantly and ridiculously, that there is justice in death (?).. in whatever crude and unsightly manner it comes calling, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, truculent tsunamis, howling hurricanes, quakes, fires or bullets from lunatic missionaries ...all unmindful of the type of victims that are to fall prey to these vagaries of nature.. and the shock factor can be such that many are scarred for life.. Quagmires to be quelled, shards that no super glue can join..
The Truth shall set you free ? Death, a great leveller indeed, and to every seminal or germinal event a terminal call.

I think we should count ourselves real fortunate then, that Appa wasn't a victim of any of the above, rather 'nature' took its course, and that truce was called in a manner that made sense..
And the river ride on the theppa or the coricle at Tirumkundlur ( T Narsipura) to the intangible spot where the confluence of the Cauvery, Kapila and Spatika Sarovara occurs, had a concomitant in a balmy breeze, that served to dispell the cataclysm that I was confronted with. Appa, the water wasn't too cold, only knee deep and lucid..and I did what was asked of me... and we later fed the monkeys there too, as you so often did at H.A.L.!

Appa - my philosopher, mentor, friend and El Capitano, thanks for nurturing me through all the 30 years, taking care of my schooling, college, dishing out pocket money, instilling core values, buying rasgollas and misty dahi at K C Das, making Xmas caps for school, making all the lovely banana and mango milk shakes for us boys, bearing painfully through my US sojourn, receiving me at the airport, no matter what hour or what condition you were in, and a zillion other things for which there's no payback... I tried my best, did what I thought was good for you, and even got to take you places in my new car... Marriages and other functions would have left you wistful perhaps, but I just couldn't pull that one thing off.. I'm so sorry, but I thought I was onto something and you would have liked the best for me.. and you have handed over the keys to a world that hitherto was all new to me, and I don't like booking LPG cylinders and going to the post office every month or standing in Q's at banks!! I wouldnt even want to go into your shortcomings, though you could go a bit slack on being recalcitrant :)

Yet, as I walked away after thanking the doctors at the hospital, I halt at the steps and realize that there were still questions that I didn't ask them (as usual) and half turn to do so.. would the efficacy of the stent in the bile duct been much more had we got it done much earlier, maybe 2 years ago ? Was removing the Double J stent a mistake that led to the sepsis ? Why did water inundate his lungs ? why did his K+ drop, what happened in the end ?... and then realizing that its an exercise in futility, I make haste for the exit and there's no looking back.. thnks to all the folks who served him, for without you all, I wouldn't have had the means to deal with so many things.. Thnks Nagendra Mama and co, Madhu Mama and Co, my cuzin Paapani and everyone else.. You all have been terrific and i'm indebted forever to you people now... and have no idea how I can payback !!

It will continue to be my folly then, or a fallacy, to harbour a thought that we had a relationship like no other father-son ever, that my loss was like none other and the nuance not easy to comprehend by anyone else.. and this myopism on my part will hold sway for some time, for better or worse.. and the placebo that is Father Time will have to work its charm all over again and purge me and amma of this ponderousness thats beset us. Its (time) got something to do about being an universal healer!

In many ways then , dad was similar to my ajji (his mother-in-law) about whom my uncle had written this eulogy. And if we can try and emulate even a wee bit of what these 2 great souls have done.. sigh.. It seems like a pipe dream surely, but then if we were to atleast try and aim for the stars, maybe we can get a wee bit close, what ?

And while I am at it, maybe Appa would come out in the wide open space once on a starry night and talk some sense into me.. just like in Lion King, when Simba gets a sermon from his dad out of the night sky.. an Aakash Vani with a familiar countenance..Aah, the visions I conjure up, the toon freak that I am :)

Amma, who's held fort superbly all the 5 years, asks of me quirkily " You love/loved him more than me right ? " !!! C'mon mom, I can do without this and I am not answering any trick questions. Let's heal ourselves first and you better have 3 kisses and hugs lined up every day henceforth !! Que Sera Sera..

Salutations then to a great soul, who'll remain in our hearts forever and will be venerated by one and all. May his tribe increase.

In closing, here's an email I'm producing verbatim which he wrote to me for my birthday while I was in the US during May 2001, while being sick and spent hours at the keyboard in the process !!
dear Mukund, trust this finds u in good spirits. keepcheerful come what may. u have the god`s blessing. tomorrow is yr BIRTH DAY. your coming into being with eyeswide open & with tiny fingers in the rosy mouth is green in my memory & it shall remain so for ever. godbless u for aother HUNDRED fruitful MAY soconds.tomorrow we have given for PANCHAMRITHA abiseka at our pranadevaragudi near minto. so we will not be available between8 amto 11 AM& in cace if we are not available even after11 AM u may try ch pet if necessary.. yr ever loving ammm/appa
IMHO and my six pence, if anyone is presented with an opportunity to take care of parents when in need or otherwise, don't shirk... don't think twice..,Illness, loneliness and the disillusioned mindset at that time is an anathema that they needn't court, shouldn't serve as a harbinger of an insipid dusk and needn't be an ivy they would cling on to in hope of a better tommorrow.. I faltered a bit, but made some ground towards the end...

For all those who have had the pleasure to interact with my dad in whatever capacity, please leave your comments in this blog itself, anything interesting, anything nice you can remember him by.. I have added a few messages I got by email... thnks once again for all your support and best wishes..

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Married to the Mob

**Disclaimer** :
This was originally put up quite sometime back,then stricken off the pages as it was perceived as perhaps disdainful or flippant to a section of the society. It was all but that, and meant as nothing more than a lighter look at quirky things that conspire, to transpire, and leave one bemused.. To folks out there, I hasten to reiterate, this is not to take a dig at anyone, no sexism intended,and not to be misconstrued as even being a lampoon..It is, essentially, just a very lighter view on certain things, nothing more, nothing less..

Amma :Mukund, take a look at this alliance proposal that has come in..

Hmm, here goes again…What’s new about this one? Have I met my match?Nonchalance reigns as I open up the envelope. A few more of these and I can claim to be a broker and pursue a career of a Wedding Planner.
Yep, meet me bwn 7-8 pm on Mon-Wed-Fri at Raayar matta, 6 – 7PM on Tue-Thu- Sat at Madhwa Sangha and on Sundays at 12 noon beneath the Big Banyan Tree.Yours for the asking, no purchase necessary, no registration, no fees, no sleaze.I deliver upfront, have no cronies, don’t know what sleight of the hand is, andam vicarious to your conjugal bliss. Here’s a good Samaritan, a Jerry McGuire.Plus I have my own PC (32 inch monitor), Color Printer, Scanner, Modem/DSL/Broadband, CPU, Keyboard, USB, Optical/Wireless Mouse, gizmo photo editing software, digital camera as well as webcam, can shoot in black n white or color, morph like a pro, add in surreal blackgrounds as I have seen in certain pictures . I can even scan negatives and make pictures out of them, there’s a new trick, damn it! I know the purohits and can make the horoscopes match if the dame likes the dude and wants to seal the deal.

I’m the best in the business, QED.
Back to the matter in hand:
Can’t understand nuts about the horoscope as usual.. Leave it to the wise men. Hmm, there are 2 of them, the horoscopes .. weird...

Next comes the picture… Hey, what is this, there are 2 identical pictures? Agreed that sometimes we get two slightly different pics, but these are so much alike, that if a spot-the -difference contest was to be run on them, I would be all at sea trying to figure out any discrepancies bween the two… Kamaal Hai Yaar..

But wait, there’s more to come… 2 bio-datas as well. This is getting weirder. Scratching my head, I query Amma..“Yenamma Idu, why have they sent 2 copies of everything? Do they own a Xerox shop?

Amma : Take a look closely will you ?Well, I do and I’m still at large and tell her thus.

She retorts “ Thu mundede, saryaagi nodu (dumbo,look carefully). They are Twins. "

Twins !!!!!! Whoa… why now, the sheer absurdity.. I'm completely flummoxed by the preceding events. How incredulous can this get! Sure enough, I look closer and the first names differ by a couple of letters, but that’s about it. Every other genetical trait is a spitting mirror image, both of them have attended the same educational institutions from childhood, done the same programming courses of VB, ASP, JAVA, Oracle etc, pursued the same extra-curricular activities et al.

Almost immediately, as if on cue, the devil in my mind comes into play. Visions of the Phook Yu and the Phook Mi Japanese twins from Austin Powers Part 3 (Goldmember),the Isabella Sisters from the pondy magazines we used to stack up in Miami, Seetha Aur Geetha, Ibbaru Hendira Muddina Police, Gharwaali Baharwaali, Aasege Obba Meese ge Obba… Groovy Baby…! My grandfather married twice, Saddam Hussein had his own harem….Would I be a Terminal Emulator…what a pj. Come to think of it, even George Castanza in Seinfield gets an invite for a monajatwa.

Amma, isn’t bigamy outlawed yet?
Amma : Ayyo, Pedd Mundede (idiot). You are supposed to choose 1 of them.

Oh. Huh? One of them.. But, with all due respect, why present both the profiles. And there’s so little to choose from, save for the names. Perhaps this is what they mean (or don’t) when they say “What’s in a Name”.In the background, Dad enjoys my misery and chuckles with mirth. Nice Dad, thanks!

What next I wonder?? Triplets, Quadruplets, the Pentagon, Cheaper by the dozen… Geez, disaster is in the air, that I know for sure.
It's a well known fact that women are or can be a fickle lot. They can indulge you in a lot of nice things, ask ponderous questions, call you sweet nothings, lose so badly at chess that you are embarassed and almost apologetic at having won, (ok, it wasn't GM Koneru Humpy), tell rules of Tennis that are so absurd it leaves you laughing,and then without any premonition, pen their own version of How to Lose a Guy in 10 minutes (let alone 10 Days), leaving one with a "I'm A Doofus" Calvin like expression writ large on the face. Vayoooow !

As a member of their clan itself humourously put it, many a time, they themselves don't know What Women Want, so we shouldn't be wasting our time shooting in the dark :) Point taken, Only Fools Rush In. Singing Kabootar Ja Ja and then shooting the messenger dove is acceptable :)

Simply put, It can be All About a Boy and a Girl..and Bollywood continues to capture it quintessentially from years now, the initial gaiety, the prancing round the trees, then the tear jerking moments, the seemingly irreconcilable differences, the absoloute NO-GO's and the No CAN DO's and then, hey presto, they hold hands and walk off into the sunset, forever and forever and forever after :)What's your muse Bollywood ? Love's Labour Lost, no, ? Go Figure huh!

Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein is playing on TV.. Maddy'Mahadevan'Sastry, has fallen for Diya Mirza..and she for him as it appears..Ha, but wait, along comes Saif, the US guy, an old time rival of Maddy on the streets of Mumbai..Things happen and the gal is caught in a vortex.. Just when it appears Maddy's made his case, Saif hands him his invite of his wedding with Diya, a staunch rebuttal to all of Maddy's claims.. Maddy's shattered, confronts Diya, shouts at her, berates her for falling for the Green card and the US$ (strings attached), and then goes and get drunk on the streets and waltzes to Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana, closely on the heels of the lovely Zara Zara ;) Cool Only !

Sobering up, he decides to seek a change of fortune in Los Angeles (why ? ), bids adieu to a Dad, whom he has said earlier means everything to him and won't desert him for anything, and a gathering of to-die-for-dosts.. and ya, the hopeless romantics at the theatre are miffed, some on the verge of tears.. but elsewhere, the gal can't handle it as well, Saif sizes up the situation, and presents her to Maddy just as is he about to embark on the plane.. the Last and Final Boarding Call for Maddy is never answered to, and Saif.. well, he walks off into a world that's at large again for him, but a role which he carries off well, inspite of having to play second fiddle in this chick flick.. and Bollywood scores its point again... There is, and, can be Love with no Strings Attached.. You just need to open out to things :)) I'll say 50-50.. instances of without strings attached abide in large numbers, a sparkling white, poignant, unfettered...and on a parallel runs the strings attached course, no less white too maybe!.. who's to say what's wrong, whats's right, it ain't worth it. Each to his own, horses for the courses if need be..

Two nice stories I got to read..

And I'm privy to the FAQs or MAQs .. "Got Married Yet ? What's happening, making any progress ?? Did you try the net,chatting up with someone, you never know " ?? etc etc.

" I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away....
And they were singing, Bye-bye, miss american pie."

I haven't zenned it yet and am saving the last dance for Bin Tere Sanam. And even Pappu Pass Hogayya, with Distinction, no less..Not that I was in the running anytime I guess !
Yen Samachara, Yella Nan Grachara :)

And oh, heard the Joke that's doing the rounds ??

Why are Women like Hurricane Katrina and Rita ?
- Because they moan and scream when they come, and take the house and car when they go :))
Who's selling Insurance for such ? Gimme a Holler..

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Writer's Block

That’s it… I figured it all out. I have had an attack of Writer’s Block. Gawk!!And I’m so scared, geez ! Blogging is fun, I miss it. How lame, huh.. ! It always gave me a channel to spool out some trash, exchange views with fellow bloggers, blog hop like crazy, chat up with the like minded, laugh etc.. Sigh, all for a price.. It’s been a bit tough these days, what with dad being sick and other activities that you are nonchalant to, taking up time etc etc.. But I admit, when I get down to write something, I’m like duh.. Like Saurav Ganguly at the batting crease, like Supandi at the market, like Smoke on the Water, like a shell shocked moose caught in the headlights bang in the middle of a busy expressway, like Zaphod Beeblerox in the Improbability Drive :)

That’s right,Zaphod, from the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy is to die for.. And as you read through it voraciously, you can be forgiven if you forget what commonsense is, laugh along at the utter absurdity, the zany, the wacko, the wry wit !!.. Great way to unwind at the end of the day, surely..

So I’m reading these days and I still blog hop to the same old sites that are saved in the browser, and an occasional new one, sheer laziness preventing me from venturing into newer ones and I could care a rat’s ass now,(even though they rule our world, Earth, which is nothing but an organic matrix, part of a 7 million year old experiment being run by 2 mice in outer space, to unravel the question, yes the question, to an answer which is 42!!.. And to think mice or their ilk are viewed as ‘lab rats’ by us. Makes sense? *** Get your copy of the Hitchhikers Guide, else if.. ) ..

And I notice they all more or less adhere to the pattern that identifies or distinguishes their blog from the others. But that’s where I stop, I no longer try to unravel or muse on their take. This must be Write –Read Block, need to get a techie support guy in Kormangala on the phone at 230 AM to unlock it. And I googled to read about Writer’s Block and went a step further and copied a humorous look at it below, at least that way, I am on the Write Line again !

Writer's Block: Myths and Facts By Steve Yudewitz

Anyone who has been around writers for any length of time has heard someone complain about Writer's Block. This article will explore the myths and facts that surround the disease that affects millions of writers. Much to my chagrin, it seemingly impacts every writer except for the guy who wrote that horrible book on leadership development that my boss asked me to read.The following are some frequently asked questions about Writer's Block and responses based on research and experience:

What is Writer's Block?
Writer's block, known by the name Muse Apnea in medical circles, is the term for a temporary condition that prevents writers from putting pen to paper and put sentences together.

Is there a cure?
Unfortunately, No.

Sheesh! Couldn't you sugar coat it or something? Surely, there must be a cure!
On the advice of colleague on low carb diets, I have decided it is not prudent to sugar coat anything. It will only cause your body to stop burning fat. I reiterate; no cure exists for Writer's Block.

Bummer! Is all hope gone?
Absolutely not! Most hope is gone. Just kidding. Actually, the way Writer's block affects you depends entirely on the way you (as a writer) come to terms with an obstacle that is a normal part of the creative process. If you accept the stoppage as fait accompli, you are doomed. If you have the mentality of an adventurer warrior, you will fight your way through the obstacle, all the way embracing the hardship and heartbreak of Muse Apnea as part of the magnificent journey that is the creative process.

I've heard that Writer's block doesn't exist. Who's right? You or a whole mess of best selling authors such as Robert Parker?
Me, of course. Actually, Whether Muse Apnea exists is either a question of semantics or theology. What many authors mean when they deny the self-evident existence of Writer's Block is that they simply refuse to let anything interfere with their ability to create. They do not believe Writer's Block exists; therefore, it cannot destroy the creative process. That said, my neighbor Bob may not believe that a nine-foot alligator patrols the canal across the street, but he will end up with teeth marks in his leg if he wades through the water at snack time.

I've heard that Writer's block is nothing but an excuse for laziness and procrastination. What's your take?
When a famous author at a writer's conference said that "the Block" is bogus, I became so agitated that I vowed that I would send him an angry letter, but at the time, I just didn't feel like it. That was a couple of months ago. I'm sure I'll get to it later this week.My take on Muse Apnea is that if it exists for you, then it exists, and it must be dealt with.

How do people treat Writer's Block?
Topical creams and antidepressants. Failing that foolish approach, several methods have proven effective. My next article will discuss some of these methods. In the meantime, remember that the creative process is a journey, a quest. Sadly, many will perish along the way. Don't be one of them. Drink plenty of fluids (I recommend water or a decaffeinated tea), remember that creativity ebbs and flows, and know that if you take the time, you will be able to write.

That was overdramatic! What's that all about?
Sometimes going a little over the top will help jump-start the creative process. I went over the top to bring out that point.

Wow, I can't wait for this article to end…
Thanks, you are too kind.

What I meant to say was "Wow, I can't wait for this article to end…so I can do some writing."
Good recovery. If you still need a jump-start for the creative process, I'll provide a writer's prompt.

Gosh thanks! What the heck is that?
Writer's prompts come in many forms. Usually they are a sentence or two describing a scene or a character. Sometimes it is simply a list of words or a single concept. Whatever style or form they are in, you are encouraged to write for 15 minutes or a minimum of 250 words. Generally, you are told not to edit what comes out. The goal is not to produce great literature; rather, it is to get words onto paper.

Here is an example of a writer's prompt:It's Two A.M. and Betty blames Bob for the crisis. Bob thinks Betty is overreacting. Both characters are neurotic Chihuahuas. The prompt provides the characters and the scenario. You, the writer, provide the rest.A short piece based on the Chihuahuas prompt might look like this:

Snap! The sound of the latch breaking echoed through the cold, empty halls of the animal research center. Betty shuddered. She knew that Bob's carelessness would send up an alarm. Again, their escape attempt would be cut short. "Fool!" Betty whispered harshly. "Didn't I tell you not to use the leash to try to unlock the cage? They'll catch us for sure." Bob's beady black eyes cut through Betty. "Will you give it a rest? We're fine. Even if the alarm goes off we have a good two minutes to make it to the outer wall."

Quick and heavy footsteps could be heard in the distance. Human footsteps. "You hear that, Bob?" Betty asked. "That's Zack. You remember what happened last time he caught us.""He's not going to catch us. But if we stay in this part of the hall, I'll catch one horrible cold. Let's move.""Quit barking at me." Betty grunted.

Bob and Betty ran quickly across the frigid tile. They made it past the third kennel and the sleeping night watchman.The footsteps were closer now and Bob's little leg muscles were burning from Zackustion. He wheezed and coughed, wondering whether Zack had put something in his dog food in the morning. He thought the new dog food tasted funny. Was it the beef kibbleser or some sort of experimental medicine in the kibbles?

"What's wrong?" Betty asked. "You're panting.""Did you have the kibbles this morning?""How can you think of food at a time like this?""Answer the question.""No!" Betty screamed."No, you didn't have the kibble or no, you're not going to answer?"Betty shook her head. "No. No. No." She raised her paw and pointed at the man standing between them and the outer wall.

Obviously, the above is not great literature by any stretch of the imagination. Nonetheless, it is a stretch of the imagination. And isn't that the real purpose of the writer's prompt?

I don't want to write about neurotic dogs. Can you give me a different prompt?
Sure. Lazlo and Mary are coworkers approaching deadline on a project. Mary is playing with a knife when Lazlo tells her a secret that angers her. There's your prompt. Go out and write the wrongs!
*I’m motivated now.. Will certainly pen by EOD... of someday** !

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dhaatri's Day out, KBC and the Saakappa Scare

Lil Dhaatheeee as she calls herself, is a year and a half now, but continues to astonish and delight us all with pranks, tantrums , to say nothing of calling others bluff at will , that would have made kids older to her by even a year, clearly pale in comparision.. No overrated stuff this, she is truly one of a kind.. Perhaps a tad bit big for her shoes or chooos as she puts it .. :)

She has now graduated to flipping cartwheels on a whim or at random, and isnt averse to indulge in gravity defying acts like flipping from the sofas as well.. TV remotes are handled with aplomb, Tom N Jerry loudly laughed at, scenes mimicked with flair, fans and lights turned on as if it was 'child's play' and a cat walk sashayed on request. Too cool ! Not to forget the scowls she can fake when reprimanded, squeal in unrestrained delight when tickled, imitating how a fielder stoops to stop a ball, and badger for pomegranate seeds during meal time :) And lets not even get started on what and how she talks now.. Wow !!It still is mumbo jumbo, by and large, but names take on weird pronounciations and Viji is Bijeeeeee and i'm .. hmmm.. mupooooooo..... :(

The latest stunt she pulled off was in the studios when the family went for a photo shoot. Skimpily clad in a skirt, she was asked by the camera man to sit cross legged on a stool..As she did so, she must have somehow immediately realized that she was short by a few cms on the dress and in a very cool manner, pulled the skirt over her knees, placed her hands over it and smiled for the pic ;) The cameraman, suffice to say, was completely baffled and asked how old the kid was !! See the pic, it says a lot, click on it and zoom in .. Sanji's daughter is a handful and then some..
And oh, Sharon Stone would be impressed !

And so it's time to shop a couple of days back, and I found myself waiting with Sanji outside his office for Veena and Dhaatri to come by around 530.. 530 turned to 6, then to 615, no sign of wifey and kid, and Sanji's countenance turned to a pensive one.. Was Veena done in by Saakappa ? Or was it Irrappa... gosh, what horrors... You see, of late, Veena has been heard exclaiming a lot "Saakappa" or "Irrappa" at home in the midst of her chores or tending to Dhaatri etc :) So much so, it has prompted Sanji to wonder if there is a beau or two by those names whom wifey is making eyes at while he is at work.. Besides, when confronted, Veena has gamely said that in fact there is a Saakappa, she wouldnt want to say anything about Irrappa ;)...Events in the Achari household can really resemble the Hungama movie scenarios many a time and those witness to it will testify the absurdity it goes to !! What Laughs ..:))

So, as 630 approaches and no sign yet of V, Sanji is more perturbed.. Saakappa or Irrappa must have surely worked their charm on his innocent wife.. Atleast she could have left Dhaatri behind with me, while eloping, wails the upright hubby :)) Achari, you should never get others to write luv letters to your wife.. and then circulate them arnd, asking frnds to be wary ...B***ard, I Kill You !!!

To while away the time, we discuss the recent episode of KBC and mock at the inane participants... When queried with the number of states in India that end with Pradesh,the guy starts recollecting and counts AP, HP, UP,Arunanchal.. and stops there.. and says the answer is 4 ...Ayyo Bolimagane, all of Madhya Pradesh, so huge, yen RahamathullahKhan ge seridda ??
Dumbo :) Serves you right to lose ..

Zip Code in US is a trademark used by the postal system, designed to expedite the sorting and delivery of mail by assigning a series of numbers to each delivery area in the United States.
In India it is called - 1) Pin Code 2) STD Code 3) ISD Code 4) Bar Code
And the bozo can't figure it out !! He goes 50-50 :)

And finally, who rendered the historic speech in Chicago
"Sisters and Brothers of America.."
1) Swamy Vivekananda, 2) Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
3) R Tagore..And he has to take a life line and call someone !!
Geez, what a pathi !!

An auto pulls up and out alights Dhaatri, all pretty in pink, and a smile lights up her face as she surveys the vast expanse of the building before her.. Folks leaving work stop to smile at her and she rushes into papa's arms.. Veena mumbles something about a traffic hold up, but no one's buying it.. We head to the malls nearby ( first Central, later Garuda) and my newly found role of a baby sitter is literally thrust into my arms as the couple make haste to buy if being a scuba diver, a swim coach, a plain pandu etc wasnt enough.. ! And the kid can't have enough of the water fountain and the escalators and can't figure out how much loyalty needs to be shared between those 2 .. I might as well have ascended the Stairway to Heaven as we went up and down the esc'tor innumberable times.. I take it out on her by sprinking water on her lil face frm the fountain, which unfortunately made her ask for, and get, more..And she is trying to explain to a granny nearby what the fountain is all about and draws circles in the water and makes all strange signs and faces... Again, not surprisedly, granny asks, how old is this kid ;)

I carry her off and we trail behind her busy parents singing " Haina Bolo Bolo, Haina Bolo Bolo, Pappa ko Mummy se, Mummy ko Pappa se Pyar hai ?".... frm some movie..The lil one for once is mum !! Saakappa Saaku.. An admonishment is met with a scowl, then a slap, then she smiles and says sorry and plants a kiss on my cheek quickly.. sweet surrender..Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin :)

As we descend the stairs and head for the exit, she spots a toy store...Immediately she starts chanting " Anna, paapa beku, Anna paapa, Annna Paaapa "... Dad, whose wallet has just been made a 'mite' lighter, takes one look, turns away and makes quick to the exit.. Visions of Alpeinleibe Pappa Ghar Mey float across his eyes..and worse, his wife cant have enough of Sakkappa.. These are troubled days.. and sigh, to think he is revered at work and looked upon .. definitely out of bounds is the quote
" For Everything Else, there is Master Card " :)

Sukha Samsaarakke Hannerdu Soothragalu?
Nodi Swamy,Naavirodu Heege.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ashes to Ashes,Dust to Dust..And Only Fools Rush In

Aug 7th, Sunday saw the culmination of an extraordinary day for cricket. The game's most legendary battle between arch rivals, Australia and England took on such unprecedented twists and turns, and fortunes vacillated on a knife's edge, as first Shane Warne and the indefatigable Bree Lee, and later Lee and Kasprowicz, gallantly took on the Poms pace attack and threatened to spoil the Sunday Siesta for the whole of England in almost chasing down a 4th innings target of 282, after being on the mat at 190 something for 8. Even as Clarke was bowled by a ludicrous lollypop by Harmison that barely rattled his timber on the 3rd evening of the test match, so much so that he could be forgiven if he thought that the burly bowler was being unscrupulous in practising his trade, the whole of England erupted in joy in what they saw would be a cake walk henceforth to claim the remaining 2 wickets and level the series at 1-1. And not too far off, Yuvraj Singh and the redoubtable Anil Kumble, the Indian juggernaut, ensured India scrape through to the finals, seeing off a spirited last minute surge by the young Windies side..!!

Bob Willis and Naseer Hussain, palpable victims of many a Ashes bruising at the hands of the Aussies, let the euphoria get to them in the commentary box as they displayed an avuncular trait in their sum up of the situation, with Bob Willis going on so much to say that even rain wouldn't save the Aussies now, as if he was a pro at the met office from years, and Naseer Hussian chiming in with his own jab at the Aussies and all but saying that doomsday awaited the Aussies on Sunday. Only Beefy Botham and Mikey Holding seemed to have a more restrained approach to it, nevertheless, to a man they felt the writing was on the wall for Ponting's men.

Come Sunday, it was all but that. Shane Warne and Brett Lee strode out and started tonking the Poms to all parts of the ground and shrinking the target. Vaughan was no doubt perturbed, so too all the fans in the stands and the millions watching it on the telly and praying for an England victory. Flintoff unleashed some lethal stuff, Harmison more often than not went for the jugular, Lee got bruised, but they gamely carried on, the last men on the burning deck. The vagaries of the game is such, that it truly is unscripted drama, as a scribe put it. Warney strode onto his stumps while trying to fend off a Flintoff delivery and suddenly the game is wide open again... In walked Kasper and without much ado sent the cherry racing to different parts of the ground to reduce the target further! At the other end, Brett Lee stroked the ball cleanly, took the singles at the right time and shielded, nursed and talked his supposedly less capable partner into hanging out and take it ball by ball.. Frayed nerves set in and when 14 was required, Simon Jones dropped Kasper at 3rd man.. How costly would that be ??

The same commentators ( Willis and Hussain) were now fickle in their narrative. "A most Extraordinary day" Willis pouted bemusedly while Hussain tried to rub it in further by talking about tail enders penchant for run outs, loosing their calm, or anything that could possibly do them in. It was akin to walking into a Miami Strip club, you never know what you would get, good or bad, and they might just rub you the wrong way.. ! 3 runs to get, just a stroke away from an amazing come from behind victory, Kasper gets done in by a fast n furious short ball by Harmison and the whole of England are besides themselves with joy. The 2 Aussie foot soldiers are on their knees, unable to stomach the enormity of it all, even as the Poms jump and jostle on each other like excited school kids who have just been given the week off.. ! For many, the scenes and the preceding events that led to it were to die for, none wanted to say they missed out on this classic. That there's none greater than the game was only further vindicated, if it ever was in speculation by the Doubting Thomases, and there could be no better advertisement for test cricket than this gallant battle between 2 foes for the game's oldest trophy.. !!

Many were the heroes, sung and unung.. Warne, Lee, Trescothick, Flintoff, Giles figure top among them, but Freddy Flintoff clearly left the others behind by a mile with his dashing brawn -n -brain all round display in both the innings and walked away with the Man of the Match. Here was England's answer to the Aussies, they saw him as godsend, a marauder of the Aussie attack, the man with the golden arm when they were on the field. As one banner cheekily proclaimed to the Aussies " You say F*** Off, We Say FLINT-OFF " :)

It was Friendship Day too and as if to epitomize it, Flintoff walked up, and then knelt down besides a shattered Lee and put an arm around him, probably consoling and lauding his epic effort. Lee and Kasprowicz are the nice guys in the Aussie team. And they finished last. A case of so near, yet so far and they are left to pick up the shards and regress. They were never supposed to win in the first place, anyway..and the placebo that is Father Time will have to work its charm all over again. Its got something to do about being an universal healer!

Cricket can be a most fickle mistress goes the saying. And woe betide the fools who attempt to paint a rigid mural of the game and daub it with their own fallacies ;)
Gosh, its been an 2 exact years since I returned from the land of plenty and started working !!Time simply flies !! And it seems like yesterday me and Viji were on the plane together from London, binging on idlis upon arrival.. How do you cope with it all Viji ?? Its been a long n winding road , you've seen it all, been through the lowest phases, have ridden the crest, been in the trough and weathered many a storm.. Wow, you're truly a champion, may you bat again..!!

But me, given a choice, would rather go back in time now and be daddy's lil boy with the the curly hair and green shorts, to be petted and fretted upon, lean on his strong shoulders and swim with him at the pool and shout My Daddy Strongest and eat the popcorn and Vanilla Softee next to Plaza while watching a Disney toon flick, devoid of all burden..and mimic GRV in the long corridors and get lost in all the priceless books and comics I used to gather of Enid Blyton, Tintin, Asterix et al.. :))

* At the cost of sounding cliched and quoting Prather *

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes and I am left the same as I began. The more things change the more I am the same. It appears that my life is a constant irony of maturity and regression, but my sense of progress is based on the illusion that things out there are going to remain the same and that, at last, I have gained a little control. But there will never be means to ends, only means. Have to learn to K.I.S.S.

More often than not there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The rainbow is more beautiful than the pot at the end of it, because the rainbow is now and the pot never turns out to be quiet what was expected. And Brett Lee and Kasper will carry it to their graves to R.I.P.. Well done mates, you were just awesome.. Game On !

Friday, July 08, 2005


I remember reading an article in a local daily a short while back about the increasingly demanding (present day) careers/jobs that the youth and the middle age group of India are pursuing or are already metaphorically neck deep into and the subsequent impact of it on the perennial institution called family. So its not uncommon now then that both hubby and wife are working the universal standard hours of 9-5 or later hours and the house is usually a place for a stop over in the 21st century as a friend, read as rags, put it :) ..

So what impact does it have on the denizens of the land of Kama Sutra asks/says the news piece.. How are the couples, new, the saute, the old and the wannabes coping with it all..Does Sex get to have its share of the spoils, is it merely sought as instant gratification, nay as an aftermath to a make up session that follows a sparring match, or is it really an often conjugal sublime, of emotions that transcend understanding, of love that transcends infatuation... or simply platonic love:).. Open a can of worms, yet you wont find the answer, eh !

Yes, hubby in one land, the career wife in yet another part of the sphere, exchanging calls, meeting on fortnights at a venue other than home, catching red eye flights, not seeing each other for a few days even though they work in the same town etc seems to be common and mutually acceptable by both.. Gym sessions have to be adhered too, the doc has to be seen for the mild throb in the head, bills paid on the net.. The Wheel of Fortune has to keep rolling, corporate ladders seem to be getting taller with more rungs to ascend... The Pay off ? Kids and the popcorn at the movies can wait, let alone relatives and the leisurely stroll in the park..I dont know, is it really so much as the newsprint proclaims ?? That too in India .. hmm.. They have to write something, so there.. To dwell upon this, it goes on to categorize the people, read as couples or singles into groups based on some amusing acronyms... So then,broadly put , we have the following, based on the premise that all this is caused by the rigors of the job dictated life, the net you can't get out of and if left unattended to, it can grow into an ugly acme and have repercussions
(None of them my views) :

1) DINS/TINS - Double /Two Incomes, No Sex
2) SINS - Single Income, No Sex
3) DITS - Double Income,Total Sex ( mischievously modified to TITS )
4 ) SITS - Single Income, Total Sex .. The Real Winner, The Dude(or the Dudette) eh !!

DINS/TINS group:
Miranda Warning is on, the moment has passed and it aint happening ! Pepul , pls you should hold back on some of your really critical tasks, take a stock of the situation so as to say and talk to some damned counsellor or Madam Ruth who makes a quick buck often, merely by telling 2 ppl to get cannon loose on one another and make up for lost time.. Seriously, whats the world coming to..
2 adults going to an older(wizened ?) adult to be told to mate.. !!
Heck, and to think there are others who just neednt want to be told not to :)

But its imperative its done.. Be gung ho on this as you are about work.. Make it Happen.. Read and try whatever, take a break, renew erotica vows, hit the boondocks, even resort to ajji leha.. But pls drop down to a milder zone maybe... Here I coin new zones/groups that I am patenting .. DILS, DIMS, TIMS etc... L for Little, M for Moderate.. Bless your souls though if you make it to the DITS zone :))

Well, what can be said.. there are so many reasons to go into.. the archetypal Indian Male would be an avowed celibate till suhaag raat, a thing my roomie in Miami, Nikhil Iyer,called as hopelessly unfortunate, singular to one of the most populated democracies in the world and a cause -effect perhaps .. :)) .. Of what it is to tell repeated phirangi dates that at ages 25-27 and above that we are total greenhorns and to be giggled at and asked incredulously if anything was wrong..Why now!! Else to draw away befuddled, a mountain of ethos imposed on the conscience by the holier than thou angels ... if one were to get that far.. !

So he'll contend himself with making love to the tonic and gin, nights of bacchanalian revelry, the ogling, the wistful glances and the darned net search where most gals want a "educated, well behaved, employed, not hypocritical, proper background, intelligent,self confident, caring, fun, should not have any bad habits" etc etc... ! All fine and understood, no offense meant.. though, who in his right senses would proclaim that he's a hypocrite of the nth order, has no civility, has distant filial links with Veerapan's clan, is a complete dud in many aspects and cant get his eyes off the Stocks N Shares every day..Hmm, moot issues..Is there a complete package and then some ?? Vayoow.. what Women Want!

Else, there's the liberal guy ever looking to make his mark, but sadly not happening:( Single Income ya, Freudian Philosophies, (pls click on it) just doesnt know the right moves, can't get the chastity belt off yet.. Keep at it dude, apna haath jagannath, life's a highway, keep gunning :)

Or just the plain and married pandu whose missus wont have anything to do with it, the separated folks, the married guy working in a different country, place and being the breadwinner etc.. I have no idea about the SINS women folk here.. ! :)

SINS guys, you need Love Potion No 9 , you should be good soon ..

You guys rock literally :) To be looked upon to be emulated, to walk the walk and talk the talk.. Need no counsellers, no fixed time, impromptu, evangelic to the cause perhaps...Is there anything called too much of a good thing ?? You could care less.. DILS, DIMS sometime maybe..

Again, if single in life, the guy is on a bandwagon and those are the best days of his life.. If betrothed or married, well, it ain't bad either and no one's complaining.. Dream On, Dream On. SILS, SIMS sometime maybe..??

ZENS: ( Zero Income, No Sex)

The definition of a Zen frm the dictionary.

A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition rather than through faith and devotion and that is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Also called Zen Buddhism.

To figure out something by meditation or by a sudden flash of enlightenment. Originally applied to bugs, but occasionally applied to problems of life in general. "How'd you figure out the problem?" "Oh, I zenned it."


Assuming they are looking for employment, the ZENS might at first glance look the sorry type..But no, they can be cool, savvy, great to get along with as a rule.... Coz I was one of them for a looong time and I kinda liked being the tapori.. well, we are trying, so please spare a thought.. and a few dimes.. and its not like they werent in SINS, DINS, DITS zone.. The wheels might have just come off for a lil while, or heck they might be on a sabbatical... Dont judge em yet, they are the bestest many times.. !! My vote's been with such types frm long ....somethin to do with the common take of rooting for the underdogs..Go, ZENS...!

Hmm, so much flippant stuff to bawl out on a weary Friday...
20 hrs straight, no sleep...

Whats with Women though ?? What do they want !!

Quotes frm ppl :
"Muki,10 yrs aaythu madve aagi, i know better half still 10 % only..!! "
"Maga, 3 yrs aaythu, inna I think I need to learn lot about her "...
"Mukunda, ninge artha aagala adella, halakke bidre gothagadu "..
This wise guy was very cryptic , didnt reveal a tad !!
" Experience maama, no substitute for it... Im still understanding and I cant.. Huh..??".
" 3 months aste guru, it feels like a lifetime and i feel the heat "
"Ayyabba, yaak did god create them such..Parallel lines atleast might meet at infinity,namdu avrdu mindset, sigh... divergent"

etc etc etc ....

O Reilly's- Women: The Complete Reference,
Sams -Teach Yourself Women in 21 days,
A Step-by-Step guide to Women by Rose Mary Maaro....
nowhere to be found, not happening at all ?!!

Right now, im in SINS mode and none the worse off..
none the better off too :(
sixpence richer maybe, but none the wiser :)
On conditions of anonymity or otherwise, care to poll your zones/groups here .. ?? :)
Or whatever opinions.... all in good fun ONLY, no insinuations on my part at all, ditto with u...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Of Likes and Dislikes .. and then some.

Hmm, got a forwarded sorta questionare, that for once, has been interesting to read,
hasnt made me averse to fill up and set me off on a trip down memory lane.

Here goes ..

The last movie I borrowed (rather last few movies) :

1) 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag - This is gold, Joe Pesci and David Spade rock.. Laughs all the way !
2) A Fish Called Wanda - Jamie Lee Curtis dons many hats as she is 'fishy' as can be :) Wanda! 3) Bourne Identity- Matt Damon, all brawn and a brain in disarray.. Still, good to watch..
4) Mary Poppins - Got it for Dad, never got myself to watch it !
5) Munna Bhai M. B. B. S - Sanju Baba flexes muscles and runs the show !

The last film I watched in Theater :
Hitch : I Need you Maan !

Which five (maybe fictional) characters in B/Kollywood have you had a crush on?
1.Salma Hayek in Fools Rush In – Ok Movie, but there's something about her!
2.Charlize Theron - Devil's Advocate, The Astronauts Wife, etc...
3.Helen Hunt– As Good As It Gets, What Women Want!
4.Sushmitha Sen – Sexy, Sultry, Sizzler!
5.Heather Locklear - Spin City... Chic !!

Five Hollywood films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:
1. Jackal – Classy, an ATG in my opinion..
2. A Few Good Men – Jack Nicholson is superb..the theme too, food for thought..
3. Pulp Fiction – Sam Jackson,John Travolta all the way..!! Can watch re-runs..
4. Mask – Jim Carrey has to be in a fav'ites list.. and Mask was like nothing before !!
5. Indiana Jones Series…Part I and III...
A charming proffie getting Hitler's autograph on the book that leads to the Holy Grail:)
6. The Usual Suspects - Kaiser Soze.Kevin Spacey is cool only.. Verbal Kint !
- How do you shoot the devil in the back? What if you miss?
7 .Forrest Gump - Life is like a box of never know what you're gonna get.

Five Bollywood films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:
1. Parinda – Sooper Ulti.. Madhuri's ethereal countenance, Nana Patekar's maniacal moods..
2. Sholay– Perfect 10 score plate held up by all members of the Jury !
3. Hungama – Laugh Riot!! Paresh Rawal simply dazzles .. the entire cast, on second thoughts.
4. Andaz Apna Apna – Too funny as Salman and Aamir pair up like Dumb N Dumber .. :))
5. DDLJ - SRK/ Kajol... enough said !
6. Sarfarosh - Holds sway all the way through.
7. Dil Chahata Hai - Lovely foray into a hithertho unexplored area in Indian moviedom..

Five Hollywood/Bollywood types that I can't stop slurping over:
1. Sharon Stone – Sexy, Savvy, suave..
2. Madhuri Dixit–
"Madhuri Dixit Milli Raste Mey, Usne Kaha Mere Ghar Aaja,Mey boldiya Na Baba Na :)
3. Sushmitha Sen – As detailed above.
4. Dimple Kapadia - Sagar Jaise Aankowaali..? Bobby Bhool Ja ?
5. Jennifer Anniston - Friends, in the early seasons..

Dudes I think have no right to be this cool / hunky:
Keanu Reeves, John Travolta, Jack Nicholson, Amitabh Bachan, George Clooney,Sean Connery, Tim Robbins, Joe Pesci, Rahul Dravid, Roger Federer, Saif Ali Khan, Al Pacino, Robin Williams..

H/B/Kollywood people I'm supposed to be impressed by, but am not:
1. Halley Berry
2. Brad Pitt
3. Julia Roberts
4. Robert De Niro
5. Dustin Hoffman
6. Dharmendra
7. Dr Rajkumar.( Ok, I asked for it, hit me Dr Raj Abhimanigala Sangha)
8. Raj Kapoor - For some reason, he aint getting my vote..

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Just Another Day in Paradise

This posting might end up like the work of a scribe who has to turn in his daily column, be it about the demise of a sewer rat or something as sensational as finding more rivers on Mars, so that he earns his daily bread and pleases the lady as well at home. Yet, I have the privilege of doing neither :) And I'm so bored on a Saturday Night !!

Weather :

Bangalore was awesome, splendid and nothing short of a balmy day. Sooper Ulti!

Event :

Got pulled along by Viji to Infosys, where he was invited as chief guest to preside over the prize distribution to the two finalists of the Corporate cricket tournament. He still enjoys great patronage as was seen from the people who walked up to him and exchanged pleasantries, took pictures and his speech was honest, yet succinct , extoling the spirit with which the corporate teams took part in the tournament, money not being the main reason, but mostly to have good fun..No beating around the bush, no digressing off into a ramble.. Neat stuff Viji, I hope you dance again, like you used to a very short time back, down the track, destroying the spinners at will, taking on the speedsters with aplomb.. and aah, those cover drives which even Harsha Bhogle once commented that it was a sight worth watching in Indian cricket. Cmon bro, Cmon !!!

Lunch :

Woodys at J P Nagar and tucked into Jeera Rice, Channa Batura, Curd Rice and BBBath with gusto.. Not to mention the 'just cant keep away from it ' Strawberry Milk Shake which is so much a compulsory buy everytime we go there! Whoa Woodys, but none the richer for the stuffing we undertook.. Lighter Wallets, heavier stomachs :)

Rendezvous at City Institute :

Swim Time.. Students Raghu, Sanji and Lakshman practise the strokes earnestly and diligently.. Sanji's made good progess, Raghu's getting better.. Laxman though needs a lot of proper training and unlearning the wrong stuff.. Sanji's all ga ga over his newly learnt underwater glide, the efficacy that a pair of fins bring about to his strokes and the now intrepid dives he undertakes in deeper waters and surfaces with lil trouble and swims to the other end ... Atta boy, way to go... June end, you should be all set !! The ocean beckons ;)Raghu's more accustomed to diving, surfaces well, even gets stones from the deep end floor, still is stiff around the arms/legs for the front crawl.. You'll get there.. Keep at it...

SLV Satiation :

Post swim universal rule is to stuff oneself and replenish the carbo loss and the muscle atrophy :) SLV Chamarajpet just about answers to the plea-bargain of the stomach and the varied cuisine goes a long way in pleasing the most refined palates of 5 famished swimmers, the crisp vada promptly being ordered a second time around ... Shavige Baath, Idli ,Khara/Kesari baath.. All down'ed. Aaha, what joy !! Imagine what/how much we can eat after a Triathlon :)

Lil Dhaatri :

Sanji's daughter is just 1.5 years, yet she has become a lil brat to handle.. Impish, always with a ready smile (She smiles in sleep, smiles when she wakes up,smiles at anything !!),fiercely competitive and protective of her dad whenever someone tries to take him away from her, she dawdles the hours away, babbling quite a lot of mumbo jumbo and interspering them with some coherent words and vigorous nodding of the head in any direction that pleases her. Never shy to give a flying kiss, a boxing fist ( her dad taught her that) and an " I NEED ATTENTION" scream, she's the lil bundle of the joy in the family and there's never a dull moment with her around.. You'll be getting a cousin soon, so behave!! But she gels great with mua and we mutually laugh at each others antics :))

Movie Time :

Ride out with Sanji, rent DVDs, return home. DDLJ is playing on Sony Max. And it still is nice to watch in many parts, the first of its kind in an era that spawned of a lot of NRI typecast films and overseas love stories.And as a bloodied SRK stands at the door of one of the bogies of the departing train that would take him back to some airport enroute to London, his eyes refuse to accept defeat.. or so it appears. Enough to make even a stoic and stubborn Ambrish Puri release his iron grip on Kajol's wrist and she runs away to grab the outstretched hand of her beau. JIT too.. The Great Indian Railway has done it again.. Its an ATG, its a classic.. Small wonder then, 500 weeks and still running...Many are the vignettes that make this film such.. Whats the line about Bade Bade Desh Mey aise Chotte Chotte baath .. ..

Its been just another day in Paradise and Sunday and Tini's awaits !

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Triumph at Tini's

The last weekend cricket session at Tini's was one to savour. Life was infused into the proceedings with the return of key players like Vijay Bharadwaj, Shashi a.k.a Shahid Afridi, the mercurial L Ganesh and last but not the least, the ATG 'Counter' Uday. What can anyone say about him ! I have been reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown from the past few days, where religion is faced off against science, the Big Bang Theory is proposed and its stated that God created everything in symmetry/opposites.. Hell and heaven, light and dark and the most rudimentary thing - matter and its opposite, anti-matter. Somewhere along, I am convinced,that on a quirky note, as his wont, god also created 'Counter' Uday. Just like that. A third juggernaut that has no deterrent.

Uday C Madhyastha, as his name goes, is the anti-symmetry and opposite to everything he comes across in his life. Much like an Universal Opposite. Tell him anything and he has an opposing,counter -point of view, even if they are well established laws of math and science and have been accepted by even the most sceptical. Suffice to say he simply drives everyone nuts ! Why, the other day at SLV, he was eating Kharabath and when our chairman MRS asked him Yelli, ond spoon haaku, he took an empty spoon and threw it,clang, into MRS ' plate :)) ..Chairman's face became so red and he could have easily killed Udi ! Realms can be written about Udi like his Chris Tavare batting at Tini's ( where out of 6 overs available, he blocks 4.3 overs and then decides to slog) or choosing to bowl on a dead track in a league match where the rules stipulated that was an innings match with no limit on the overs. Result ??The Oppn batted for 84.3 overs, sweated Udi's team out and let them bat the last 5 overs :))

Anyways, the play almost never took off, the leg side area being rendered slushy by the rains and thanks to the Lions Rotary people who have broken down a portion of the wall running along the conservancy so that vehicles can come in and park.. The result is a sorry state of affairs as car, bikes, autos ride in and leave deep gashes in the ground when they go through the slush.We need to salvage Tini's again, but how ?? Solle, are you listening ?? swalpa nin hava kalsu maga..

Thrust into the relucant role of El Capitano ( a role with which I have enjoyed unqualified success though, always getting series wins), we found ourselves chasing 26 in the first match.The role of skipper seems to have placed additional responsibility on my, at times, otherwise ridiculously wild batting ( well Shashi maama bettered that ) and I found some terra firma with a few shots and placements. Its always difficult with Size Sundar pounding away , unleashing thunderbolts and baying for blood. It boiled down to 6 of the last over, to be bowled by katte.

Its a golden rule, never bowl to Muki on his legs and at full length. Vonde Shot hodyodu avnu :))But dear katte did just that. A flick was whiplashed for 2 with such elan and power and it even beat the slush on its way to the fence ! 4 remaining.. Katte thundered in, again straight and just short of good length, but there was enough width in the delivery to swing my arms and instinctively drive it straight and uppish.. The yellow cherry crashed into the hoarding,take 4 mates !! Game over, we are one up !! Sabash captain.. !!

Size Sundar can't stomach defeat easily and must win at all costs to keep the series alive. We were batting first and he let loose a string of cannon balls that just thudded into the keeper's hands in next to zero seconds. The moment of the innings though was Gunda's counter attack.Sent to open the innings, he picked upon Sundar and hit some astonishing strokes, one so hard and fast, that it beat a bewildered Raghu on the mid off boundary line, whose reflexes havent been the greatest anyway. Fast N Furious being met with equal pomp, waah ! To rub salt into the wounds, another thunderbolt frm Sundru was crashed to the cover fence by me, and the genial giant he can be, Sundar came up and shook hands for the shot ! We set a target of 26 and the match was all over in the 4th over, when on a master ploy, I bought back Gunda and he bowled a peach of a delivery to have VRB caught behind...Sooper! Series wrapped up 2 -0.

Hmm, and what can one say about the madcap Shashi Afridi ?? Sent to open the innings in all the matches and told to play for singles in no uncertain terms, he wallops the first ball he faced in both the innings into the school with no rhyme or reason.. Booming shots.. Then has the gall to come up and say "Mukku, if it had gone for 4, I would have hit 2 more man " !!

Sigh, how do you catch and pin a cloud in the sky :)

Now we know how Inzamam feels when he talks to Afridi and gives him instructions on how to bat and he does everything but that !

Monday, May 23, 2005

Frittering Away...

"There is a part of me that wants to write, a part that wants to theorize, a part that wants to sculpt, a part that wants to teach.. To force myself into a single role, to decide to be just one thing in life, would kill off large parts of me. Rather, I recognize that I live now and only now, and I will do what I want to do this moment and not what I decided was best for me yesterday." - Hugh Prather.

Muddled yet today, will jot down all that comes to mind .. Over a day..

Romp Home, Watch a Sunset, Eat a burger, drive a porsche, Crack a joke, Kill a joke, Bite the dust, Grind the Axe, Cut your teeth on glass, Caught in a drunken punch up at a friend's wedding,Munch a Banana Nut Muffin, Blame it on the Devil, Bring out the Best, Hung the best, Remember the Titans, Run the long mile, Swim the Nautical Mile, Dive the Abyss of Christ, Fly over Everest, Raft the Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Alakananda.Rappel the Hampi Boulders, try and understand sci fi.

Don't shoot the messenger on first principles. On second thoughts and principles, WTH, just wax 'it' dead with a bullet,not to leave Staines behind.

The Last Nail in the Coffin always eases in, all its predecessors having their task cut out.The proverbial last straw on the camel's back gets it crashing down to the arid earth (n-1 OK).
Of all the things in the world that money can't buy, to wit, the wag of a dog's tail.
Rake the spring leaves, trash the pessimism, Stoke the embers.
Play with lil Dhaatri.

Ride the Great Indian railway, sip the chai, crumble the cookie, Salsa in the rain.Play the national anthem on the keyboard. Shouldnt have let the molehill become a mountain, now its more than a mite big..If one swallow ONLY did make a summer, never to happen so.Only gaze at the stars, never reach out, its better that way, burnt fingers are nasty.Incredule at the Impasse. Blame it on the unseen forces who always divine best and customize. Be patient at the turnstile to get into Lalbagh, never do a complete circle. Run with the wind behind you.

Bemoan Bangalore's roads and traffic, yellow journalism and over aged, puffed up movie stars. Laugh along with George Carlin. Dream Freudian. Catch a frisbee in mid air as you crash into the water, evoke gasps and claps. Learn the flip and the butterfly. Listen to Pehla Nasha frm JJWS.Watch DDLJ and SRK woo millions of teeny weeny itsy bitsy college cals as he says Palat, palat on some bridge in Europe and she turns, to whistles and a plethora of small change hurled by an audience gone berserk .. So much to cajole Kajol ?
Go to Madame Ruth and get Love Potion No 9.

Revel in Sholay, Sathe Pe Satha, Madhuri's ethereal countenance, Nana Patekar's maniacal moods, Jackie's cold angst, all in Parinda. Ponder wistfully about Gauthami, Kamal and Revathi in Thevar Magan, chuckle at Revathi's naivete as she sings to Kamal. Get vicariously behind Vishnuvardhan as he blows hot and cold in Nagarahavu and croons Baare Baare and jumps off the cliff with his lover . Laugh with Dad and Mom watching Padosan as Kishore Kumar and his entourage (including an artless Sunil Dutt) take on a wacky Mehmood !

Team up with boys to watch Andaz Apna Apna, Hungama, Dalapathy, Badshaah (Tamil),Sarfarosh, Govinda's antics, Forrest Gump, You've got Mail, Jaggesh howlers and Kashinath's hilarious (at times below the belt) lines... and eat at Dwaraka, VB, SLV,Brahmins Coffee Bar..

Admire Jack Nicholson in Few Good Men and As Good As It Gets, laugh along with Jim Carrey and Chris Tucker, delight in Sam Jackson and John Travolta's chutzpah in Pulp Fiction, the cold eyes of Bruce Willis in Jackal, Al Pacino in the Godfather Series and Dog's Day Out... Sing along with Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and the Temptations.

Play the old classics featuring Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews et al such as Roman Holiday, Sound of Music, How to Steal a Million, The Man Who Knew Too Much, An Affair to Remember, Guns Of Navarone, Mackenna' s Gold, The Good, Bad and the Ugly, Love Bug, The Wizard of Oz etc for Dad and interpret.
Get lost in Jungle Book, Finding Nemo, Lion King and Tom n Jerry.

Try and play more cricket, drop less catches, bowl fuller, stun Rahul at Tennis with scorcher backhands, coaxe Raghu that there it too early to hang up the racquet, rack the brains at Chess, overcome gaucherie at Carrom, read the lifeguard manual, practise the tired swimmer tow, the submerged victim retrieve, refresh CPR training, sign up for First Aid training from Red Cross, dream about nitrogen narcosis, petting a dolphin, riding on the back of a whale :)

Go Home Now ! So many things to do, no time to fritter..

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Diamond Gaffes and Car Pick Up Lines.


What would you say when a member of the fairer sex says " You are a Diamond".. ?? Thanks, wow, thats sweet.. maybe even wittier... say " Diamonds are Forever, Diamonds are a Woman's Best Friend, or if the situation warrants, maybe something even virile like "Rough diamonds may sometimes be mistaken for worthless pebbles. "

Anything, anything that you could look back upon and swell with pride or have nice memories .

But no, I faltered. And How ..

She : You are a diamond.
Me : " Hehe, Oh No.. I am Thagdu ". Exact words.
She : Whats Tagdu ?
Me : scrap metal is called Thagdu in Kannada..
She : Ok... hmmm..
She : :))
Me : Slaps Forehead, shakes my head and thinks " You'll never get it will ya, dikhead "

And I'm like WTH was I saying.. realization always dawns late !! Dude, What were you even thinking ?? You could have atleast said somethin less inane about carbon atoms bonded together.. but no, ure Tagdu.. .. Faux pas, Faux Pas !!

And I feel like Chandler Bing in Friends when he gets stuck in an ATM Vestibule in NY with a Victoria Secret Supermodel when there's a power blackout.When he gets weak in his knees, his heart skips a beat and he blurts out baloney :)
I quote below
[ Jill Goodacre is on the cellular phone. ]
Chandler : Oh my God, it's that Victoria's Secret model. Something... something Goodacre.
Jill : Hi Mom, it's Jill.
Chandler : She's right, it's Jill. Jill Goodacre. Oh my God. I am trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre! Is it a vestibule? Maybe it's an atrium. Oh, yeah, that is the part to focus on, you idiot!
Jill : Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just stuck at the bank, in an ATM vestibule.
Chandler : Jill says vestibule... I'm going with vestibule.
Jill : I'm fine. No, I'm not alone... I don't know, some guy.
Chandler : Oh! Some guy. Some guy. 'Hey Jill, I saw you with some guy last night. Yes, he was some guy. [Chandler strides proudly across the vestibule and Jill stares at him.]

Chandler : Alright, alright, alright. It's been fourteen and a half minutes and you still have not said one word. Oh God, do something. Just make contact, smile!
[Chandler smiles at her, she smiles back sweetly.]
Chandler : There you go! [He continues to smile like an idiot, and she looks frightened.] Chandler : You're definitely scaring here.
Jill : [awkwardly] Would you like to call somebody? [offering phone]
Chandler : Yeah, about 300 guys I went to high school with. Yeah, thanks. [takes phone, calls Joey]
Jill : Would you like some gum?
Chandler : Um, is it sugarless?
Jill : [checks] Sorry, it's not.
Chandler : Oh, then no thanks. What the hell was that? Mental note: If Jill Goodacre offers you gum, you take it. If she offers you mangled animal carcass, you take it.
Chandler : You know, on second thought, gum would be perfection. [Jill gives him a stick of gum, and a strange look] 'Gum would be perfection'? 'Gum would be perfection.' Could have said 'gum would be nice,' or 'I'll have a stick,' but no, no, no, no. For me, gum is perfection. I loathe myself
Jill : Well, this has been fun.
Chandler : Yes. Yes, thanks for letting me use your phone... and for saving my life.
Jill : Well, goodbye Chandler. I had a great blackout. [she kisses him on the cheek] See ya.
[She leaves. Chandler presses his face to the glass door after her, stroking the window lovingly. He then turns to the security camera and starts talking to it.]
Chandler : Hi, um, I'm account number 7143457. And, uh, I don't know if you got any of that, but I would really like a copy of the tape.
And now, Vinu, Raghu et al will laugh till they hurt everywhere.. But thats the pact, always reveal such gaucheries to thy bretheren.. :)

And I'll continue driving a Ferrari, blindfolded and just 'looking' for the Scent of a Woman:)) And if one were to fall off a cliff, then breaking the fall would certainly make me quite weak in my knees, my heart would palpitate 200 beats/min and I would be at a complete loss for words !

Sunnyvale, 2003

Raghu and me return from a car wash and his shiny, 2 door Black Acura Integra is gleaming in the sun. Its an awesome sight. We park and as we get off the car and head towards our apartment, along comes a decent white chick clad in denim shorts, returning to her apartment after emptying the trash. She stops, takes a look and exclaims " Nice Car " !

And I think Raghu will not slip this time, there's an invite.. Thats a subtle pick up line.Surely, he would say " Care for a ride, how about some coffee sometime," or something chivalrous that would set the ball rolling...

Alas, we are living in a world of fools, breaking us down.

Raghu, him the tyro, the quintessential greenhorn, quips " Yeah, you wanna buy it ?? "

I gape. She gapes. Turns around and walks off without a word.. Too numbed perhaps :)And Never to use that pick up line again !

Dude, you wanna a potential date to buy your car ?? Are you even for real.. you ATUL.Chal, lets go on chow on the Haldirams namkeen and watch the Salman Khan DVD we got, for thats what behooves us. And the tale is conference called across the States and to India and laughed at :)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Birthday Bashings - Miami

Its your Birthday, Go Katte... And amidst that popular refrain, it would start off, a night to remember, no to forget maybe, unfailingly for 3 years frm May 2000 - May 2002. At the fore-front of things and marshalling supplies and stuff would be my confidante, ally, foe yet and Ye Tu Brutus - Vinu.

I remember those 3 parties as if it was yesterday. The junta would pour in, a slow trickle at first, then more of them by the minute as the zero'eth hour (May 2) ticked closer.They made no attempt to hide their intentions and would look at me as if to say " mincemeat".And then the cake would come out, with my name glazed on it in italics, a little ornate frill running around its border. Sigh, how much of it would I actually get to eat though :(( Spare me brothers would be the plea even as they were received at the doors, I'll do anything for you.. I'll drive you to Walmart, the malls, teach you driving, drop you to school, take you to the temple, lend you my car et al... Unmindful of it, they would pat me on the back and file past.

Resigned to my fate, I would recall whatever bad I had done to any of these guys and roomies over the last year. Fought with them at tennis, at cricket, fought over cooking turns, cleaning the kitchen, taking out the trash, buying groceries, paying bills and dues, waking them up at 10 am, finishing up the juice on the grounds that I don't drink alcohol, eating too much of Banana Nut Crunch cereal and not stepping out of the shower for a long time... Geez the writing was on the wall, I asked for it. And Vinu's name figured in all the above misdemeanors. Junta dreaded his wackiness and innovations at Bday Bashes.. Especially if he was dear to someone. Vengeance would be top most on their minds, here was a sitting duck. And the girls would pool in a corner to witness the carnage that was to unfold and utter sympathies and then laugh with the crowd.They were all in it together.

"Ok Katte, time hogya chal, shuru kar.. Jyaada time nahi hai, we have school tomm and stuff..Err, is it.. uh, ok ... You guys can leave, its alrite.. Abbe, whom are you trying to fool, start kar.."The strength of the wolves is in the pack. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. And like a African tribe ritual, the singing and clapping would start as the knife scythed through the cake, everybody joining in the joyful chorus as the prey was being softened up before the kill.
There, that was neat.. and the cake looks good.. Nothing happening yet, maybe they had a change of mind at the last moment.. Heck, its my bday, least I can be is optimistic.But this ? A tad too much... Along comes Shanty, the old rogue, the IIT'ian PHD ( Pretty Huge D***), whom most people can't simply comprehend or simply dread. Here's an iconoclast, a sadist, a misanthrope, unabashedly,vehemently, vituperative at his most modest and a sucker for rocks and the earth's many stratas and tectonic plates. He's a best friend though and we team up to bash the newbies everytime... Surely, he'll just wish me luck and go away ?? I always argue with him about the relevance about Laplace and Fourier in our daily lives, what do those incredulous curves and distributions on his blackboard mean... so many X and Y' s, so many unsolved equations, so much rigamarole.. Lets just keep it simple, shall we ?

He takes a large slice of cake and makes no pretensions about trying to make me eat it.Its too big a slice anyway, you cant have the cake and eat it too :) Whack, full frontal, its on the face.. and the smearing ensues, white circles around the eyes,icing on the eyebrows, hell's broke loose.. Gasps and delighted shrieks emanate from the audience, they want more.. Throw him to the lions, do whatever, vengeance is ours..As if on cue, the whole pack converge in and get into the act. They grab the legs, the arms, the necks and hold me up.. Please feel free to kick this guy, he loves em .. and they count out the age loudly and always get it wrong towards the end and give a few extra blows.. Flogging a dead horse is as close at it gets here. Hold it, who's that ..Giri.. you too !! I can't believe it.. I just dropped you yday to school, picked u frm the airport when you landed, consoled you when you cried like a baby about being homesick... And now you, baddimagane... %^&$$*$($ ....

The only consideration is for the carpet, so they push me out to the portico. Plonk, the first of a dozen eggs is on the head and the yellow liquid is streaking down my back.. God, my janwaara/sacred thread is being abused ! The second is cracked on the forehead, smack and I cant stand the taste/smell.. "Ye le, you want more, take it dudes, give it to him.." And I turn defeatist..Like the hilarious scene / guy in the laugh riot Hungama, I shout" Maaro logo, Maaro.. Maey ek mandir ka ghanti hu kya.. maaro " :))

Vinu has just started.. There comes the toothpaste, the gilette shaving gel and some water... Happy Bday Bhenc***, hope you remember us forever..Oh, here's the sambhar you cooked, we decided not to eat it today out of considerationfor you.. You can have it... Skullduggery at it best..the dal is simply emptied on the head, all my cooking efforts rendered wasted in a second.. Or, probably the scoundrels already had eaten :)Not to miss a trick, them.. Coke follows, fizzed out at godspeed on to my face..Oye Bubbly..Is there anything in the house left ?? Garlic Ranch ?? Sure, he likes it anyway with fries and potato wedges.. I would be sporting a new funky hairdo for a few days.. ! Just as abruptly as it begin, the carnage ends, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.. I would have to clean the portico as well later and there's no water outlet there :(

And I tiptoe to the bathroom and wipe off the muck as much as possible.. and enter the shower, draw the curtain and let the jet rinse the hair.. There's no shampoo on earth that washes off egg, paste, gel, sambhar, cake and what not efficiently.. None at all, I can vouch for it !
They must be done, how long can they sustain it ? Loud Music is blaring, they must be eating..Too optimistic again.. Its a decoy, they have seen Jackal too many times and how Bruce Willis uses music to nail his victims.. The bathroom locks at the apartment are faithfully compliant when it comes to being picked. A pin does the trick.. The shower and the music drown out the stealth operation and suddenly the shower curtains are drawn apart ! They have upped the ante !

WHAT THE F%^(%*&*^ !!!!!!!!! How did you get in here ?? No, No, No... Please leave me..Vinu, I seriously will mutilate you soon.. Hehehehehe, laugh the hyenas.. "Say Cheese,Katz or whatever you want...Idhar dhek, dont cover your face, smile dude, its your birthday .. there's a happy guy .. You'll be on the net a la American Pie in a few hours from now, we promise.." And they troop out triumphantly.. Digital cameras have so many uses..:(

When God shuts a door, he opens a window... ?? WHERE, WHERE !!

A lil while later, I am mostly clean and step out to the hall to accept the greetings and eat some cake/chips and indulge in banter.. And should be forgiven if I thought it's all over..Hey Katte, actually, we forgot these.. Happy Birthday.. A few more eggs were left over, they hadnt put it all in one basket.. Plonk, plonk, Plonk... !! Again !! ??? This time its a fight, a tussle, a wrestle.. No match, outnumbered, but the will to fight from within.. Bruise a few of them..Its a defeat nevertheless and I cant care anymore.. I just want to eat garlic bread and rice and black beans at the 24/7 Latin cafetaria.. !! And wait for the next bday in our apt..:)

2 more, equally effective bday bashings followed for the next 2 years, I was a Veteran of War, also POW by then.. And to think this time around, at my cuzin's wedding, the same day as my birthday, they announced my name over the microphone, called me on stage and made me cut cake in front of a couple of hundred people !! Fat chance you'll do it anytime eh, Vinu :))

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Haalu Hampi

Today, I just want to go back to Hampi. What a great trip it was.Absolutely smashing weather(In December)made the trip all the more memorable. Derelict, dilapidated, ruined, the many monuments stand testimony to the ravaging,rapacious act of the Muslim rulers as they wreaked havoc on almost every conceivable structure, which had been so painstakingly built, no, hewn out of stone with amazing intricacy, artisans who had the Midas touch. The Virupaksha Temple,where the pin-hole camera effect is to been, the saasve kaalu ganapathi,the Ugra Narasimha (a stunning monolithic),the Vijaya Vittala Temple and the musical pillars (what astonishing deeds), the inimitable Stone Chariot,the Mahanavami Dibba,where the courtesans used to gather in the evenings, Sita Serugu which shows a good resemblance to the trail left behind by an abducted woman,and a myriad of other small monuments, palaces, elephant stables etc are all to be savoured and to muse about the tyranny of those who destroyed it, possibly not even with a wee bit of regret. Why,Oh Why ..!

The Vijayanagar Empire was the richest, and it is said people never closed doors of their houses in fear anytime, such was the opulence abiding everywhere.And after the carnage, 6 months of looting with the help of thousands of elephants, only half the wealth or lesser could be taken away !

Quietly flows the Tungabhadra, but deceptively,for its taken many a prey through its whirlpools. The Puranadara Dasa Mantapa is on its banks, where the great Dasa sat and penned many a melodious song. What it must have been !

And as we glide along the river in the theppa( coricle) ride, the magnificient granite rock formations appear gigantic in front of you, standing witness over the centuries to all that unfolded. Hampi is a challenge to rappell and rock climb.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Yanthrodhaara MukhyaPraana Temple is a very sacred place on the river banks and as we sit on bank and enjoy the 'Baale Yelle' meal served right on the rocks, there's an unique feeling of the serene and the tranquil. One which I never quite had experienced, though I have travelled so many places. It must have something to do with the presence of the divine nearby, the sounds of silence and the merry gurgling of the river as it flows over many rocks and embankments and leaps into tiny crevices and the like. Too beautiful.

Picked up this quote abt it..
"If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi"

Monday, April 25, 2005

My Seduction Ishtyle

Looks like I'm the Fall Guy, and am letting the fallen ones R.I.P. Hard to comprehend now, hard to find, not :)

Your Seduction Style: The Natural

You don't really try to seduce people... it just seems to happen.
Fun loving and free spirited, you bring out the inner child in people.
You are spontaneous, sincere, and unpretentious - a hard combo to find!
People drop their guard around you, and find themselves falling fast.

Aiport Waits & Musings on Arrivals

By some quirk, people arriving from the West ( Europe, US) are always subject to landing in the wee hours of the morning, anywhere between the stroke of midnight to 5 am.. Maybe's it's a ruse after all, I feel, agreed upon by our wily-nily govt and the airlines and all other cahoots in the fray. For upon landing, the first timers to India would drive through quite deserted streets, wouldnt be accosted by the mendicants at the never -say- go traffic lights, not have to choke on the dangerously high level of pollution that would emanate unfailingly during peak business hours, stop and wait for cows to cross the street, not be subject to total chaos of the driving disorders that abide here and last but not least not to wait patiently as processions, protest marches, ministers and rath yatras of every religion hold sway over public streets, in brazen affrontery and callous disregard,devoid of even a modicum of civility even, and troop through like Hitler's cavalcade.

Lets bring it on them slowly, shall we, lest they never make it a mile out of the airport and decide to return !

It was time to pick a cuz bro from the Airport, the carrier being Air India. Notorious for its timings, a second thought call confirmed it as much.. "Sir, its coming at 215 AM only, yes we know its supposed to arrive at 255 AM sir, but it left Bombay early and will be here in the next 10 minutes !"

Now now, cheat us on time and go by IST, we can cop.. But to go backwards in time and launch off early and land even earlier ! Is the bedraggled govt airline trying to make a point here ? Hoodwinked, we make haste..

Blore Aiport sucks when it comes to waiting. Even buying a ticket and going inside to wait offers no solace as the mosquitoes get to work.. And there's jostling as usual by the free-loading cabbies, ever looking to call some lame guy's bluff and rip him off at the onset..It's all become commonplace now, it doesnt even evict a sigh or a sideward nod of the head.

Over the years, I have been witness to a whole range of emotions that emanate on the sight of a near n dear one.. Shrieks of delight and disbelief, you have grown so much, oh is this the baby, choo chweet -come to me putti, welcome home bouquet, hugs and laughs, arriving students walking with a kinda swagger that is usually a concomitant of youth, a whole lot of questions asked in one shot, complains and grievances at the onset about the airlines/immigration/custom officials/food/toilets at Bbay International Airport/ weather enquiries and what not.Especially, if its been some time since the last trip.. India spells trouble !
On the other side are the sad ones, sobs n tears, consoling and solaces, quiet walk offs into the night and the waiting cars.. Just in Time or perhaps never could make it on time, the aftermath of whatever shocks slowly setting in..difficult to stomach..

And the mind almost always reels back to the personal experiences, 2 of them I was subject to, visiting once during June 2001 ,half way through school and returning for good in 2003 Aug.

June 2001, dad gets himself discharged out of the hospital just to receive me.. And the sight is a very difficult one to take in.. Where's the rest of you, Appa? Ravaged by a complicated surgery and subject to a lot of suffering, resembling a man much older than he actually is, dad stands at the arrival gate, a minnow of the man he was, staring thro his glasses, trying to spot me. And I have to blink hard and understand that it is actually him. The bags are dropped carelessly and a dash made to get to him.. Hugs, tears, laughs too.. How he must have waited ! Mom's greyed a bit and has held fort superbly.. Its a reluctant return at the end of the trip, what with doing the mistake of sitting with parents and watching America, America just a day before the return.. ! A Masters scroll needs to be got, thats all there is to it. A Jaggesh movie though, immediately after, changed the mood to cheer :)

Aug 2003 - 2 1/2 years later, this return is for good..Its been a fun trip though, timing and booking my flight from NY so I could join Viji in London as he returned from the India A Trip, thereby able to watch much of current India's cricket stars at close quarters and get to shake hands and make small talk with some of them on the long flight from London to Bbay.. Hemang Badani, S Sriram, Irfan Pathan, Balaji, Shiv Sundar Das etc, best of all Viji himself ...

And the arrival is much better this time at Blore, much of the Tinni's gang is there, we have 12 huge pieces of baggage between us ( mine 6 suitcases, i'm relocating sir ), his huge cricket kits..Again, dad stands at the gate, refusing to stay home inspite of the cold, and has shrunk further..Pheww, it must have been daunting, old and lonely.. and mom's again held fort awesomely.. Can't thank her enough.. there are 4 cars to choose from and everyone's hungry at 5 30 AM.. Parents are bundled off into unc's car and sent home.. We Boys take a different route, go through shankarpuram and park right in front of Brahmin's Coffee Bar on Ranga Rao Road, famous for its idli vade and eat Idli/Vade/Kharabath at 6 am, greeting the morning.. Mom can't believe it .. You landed and headed virtually straight to the idli hotel ! :))

And as we headed home, the kinda helpless, frustrated feeling that was on the flight back home was all gone. Sure, the return was decided long back, but as I left JFK that day, it was like I didnt make the grade.. the last frontier wasnt conquered..Visiting Boston and MIT/Harvard didnt help, watching students kayak on the St Charles River, getting drenched in torrential downpour in Times Square /Wall Street ( reminds me of a cold send off)and hence missing a visit to Central Park the day before departure .... All of them vanished in next to nothing as the new job and setting the house in order became the top priority...

I digressed, again.. Thnks for putting up if you got to this line !!