Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The arm in question is temporarily out of service..

Inconvenience regretted.. (i regret MY inconvenience.. heh heh..)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Of bey blades and shindles

He’s 4 and he goes to prep 2. He says they’re all babies at prep 1. They cant even count – what a shame! He can not only count, but you ask him what comes after 7, and he’ll tell you it’s 8 – in no time. And he can tell the difference between a whisle fart, a truck fart, the knock-knock fart, and a boat fart. Aint that great?

He calls me big brother. There’s no mal translation.. he just calls me big brother, and he has me in his family picture he made in his drawing class. (Now his mom had a great time trying to explain that no, he’s the only son, and that me, I was her cousin, but how can her cousin be his big brother? Well, don’t ask me that, I have no clue myself.. heh heh..)

Amma, when acha comes back, we’ll ask him to get a good job like big brother, and then he’ll have a mala and card like big brother, and he can buy me seventy three bey blades! (You don’t know what a bey blade is, GO PLAY! This one had one hundred and thirty two sophisticated parts that you have to assemble by hand, and once you’re done doing that, he’ll put it on what he calls a shindil (must be a spindle) and says Go beyblade, Go!! Let it RRIP!!!, and it spins like a top for 10 seconds.. and the damned thing costs anything upward of 200 bucks! And is guaranteed to break in 2 days.)

He sleeps on my bed, after he watches cartoon network till 11 in the night and then you have to take him for shoo-shee twice in the night, and he promptly wakes up at 6 in the morning and licks your face! (Trust me, kid-mouths stink no less!)

Once I was reading paper on a Sunday morning, and this dude tells me that girl’s bad!
Aha? Why?
They girls kiss the boys..
And then they take the clothes off..

(Everyone at home turn around and give me that really nasty look.. NO, I am not responsible!! Seriously.. No!)

Now there’s another side to the coin.. you take him out to a shop, and he finds the best girls there, and tell them, hey, I came with my big brother.. He’ll buy me that truck there because he’s got a good job..

The girl looks, smiles.. What a great introduction.. the world’s best pickup line could fail, but not this.. Boy, isnt he a darling!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The happy post

I’m having a happy day today.. One of those four happy days in a month.
Okay, I get it.. These are different.. these are really happy days..
I don’t need no reason to be happy! Aint that the silliest thing ever said? Why would anyone need a reason to be happy?

A lil less conversayshan/ A lil more aakshaan!
All this aggravation aint satisfaction in me!!
Hold your mouth and open up your heart and maybe satisfy me..
Comeon baby I’m tired of talking!

Hey do you mind turning down the volume, please?
Well, I didn’t mean to be nasty.. I thought everyone liked Elvis..

Sorry Bob, I’m gonna put it on ma headphones. I’m sorry, okay..

Hell, the monsters from outerspace – They’re taking over!!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Camaraderie - ca·ma·ra·de·rie : a spirit of friendly good-fellowship

WARNING: Readers discretion advised. The following matter is of a slightly graphic content, It is advised you ignore this post if you find such matter inappropriate.
The subject matter pertains to recent activity in certain other blogs, and this single post may not present a whole picture.

This is to express solidarity with a fellow blogger who has been crucified at a certain private blog for all the wrong reasons. The poor boy has been mercilessly gang raped (pardon the rather uncouth expression) there not long ago, and I can see he’s all bruised, and he doesn’t like it one bit!

Now I am standing up for this fellow blogger not because we went to school together a lot many years ago, no not one bit out of blogger-blogger love. I just realized, although our views differ a little bit, this one has a point somewhere. That with readership comes social obligation – That although you have your right to free speech – public or private, it becomes your moral responsibility to mean good.

Hell, I have no problem with some female sleeping with 4 different men in a day (hey can I have your number?), everyone has their right to their own personal space (which includes your friends, your prospective boyfriends, but not a blog that gets quite a few hits).. , but blowing your trumpet around about the whole thing in a public space – well, I beg your pardon, but I’d say “What a slut!”.
Naturalmento, senorita…

PS: My real concern however is the fact that you have not at any point mentioned rubber. If the porn movie industry could be so supportive of the cause when the government instructed them to use protection when they went public, don’t you think, senorita it becomes one’s responsibility to mention rubber, at least in a fine print disclaimer?
(I’ve got a twisted red ribbon on my shirt – don’t you see it?)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I call you '?'.
So when you call, my phone says ' ? calling... '.


Dear faceless,
I suppose you come around here often. I would rather you stand up and identify yourself.. Makes things a lot simpler, both for you and me, you know..

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Update hate-list; insert RAIN

The newest style statement:
3.73 meters of clinical gauze around your left arm.
The more you have blood stains on it, the better..
Hey what happened? They ask..
Hmm… I fell from the bike..
Aw.. how’s the bike? They ask..
The bike’s okay.. Miraculous escape..
(Another reason why I should find myself a girlfriend soon.. I’ll set a reminder…)

Chennai gets rains.. What a nice thing.. But why does Bangalore have to suffer from the darn spillage?
I guess the north-west monsoon’s got to learn to hit targets properly..
The target is Chennai, sucker.. The target isn’t me.. Do you hear that? Do you?

So I get home wet.. totally wet (That includes the dressing which was not supposed to get wet) So what do I have to do? Redress..
TRRRRK.. (that’s the closest verbatim recreation of the sound that issues from pulling at the dressing that’s got biologically glued to white flesh) No I’m not Rambo – The TRRK has to be immediately followed by a really loud AAArrrgh!
Red beads on white flesh.. where’s the aftershave? AAAAAARRGGGGHHHH!
Cotton, betadine, gauze, adhesive tape. Now that’s a work of art – beeeauty!

Does anyone know how to kill rain? Cause I’m gonna take the mfhussain out.. I’ll take him out if I have to do that again tonight!

PS1: Rmu, mnty, vja are not allowed to post any comments which has the any of the words doctor, clinic or screams in it.

PS2: The graphical details of the arm in question are not available at the moment. The snaps will be posted as and when they come in.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Where's that first rung? Where's the damn ladder? Give me my ladder! (Part2)

ATTENTION: This article is not career advice!The author makes no representation or warranties with respect to the contents hereof and shall not be responsible for any loss or damage caused to the audience by the direct or indirect use of this material.

[Scene 1: Wednesday 11 AM, hero still in the pentagonal room, on the phone.]

Tring tring..
(music, Welcome to XYZ press1 press 2, or press 9 to speak to the operator)
Yes Sir?
May I speak to someone in HR please?
This would be regarding?
Hmm.. Well this is business.. Could you connect me to someone there soon, please?
Okay Sir, Please hold on..
Hello, would you be dealing with recruitment?
Oh okay.. if you don’t mind, could you transfer the call to her, then? Oh thank you so much.
Hi, I was wondering if you’d have an opening available for a fresh graduate.. O that’s no problem.. So I’ll call you post lunch, is it?
Okay, can I have the direct line please?
Okay Maya, thank you very much.. I’ll do that..

Hello,… and he would be? Okay, I’ll talk to him then.
Hold on.. [music on IVRS]
… alright, tomorrow then?
Hold on let me take that down. I’ll email it right away..
8.30 AM corporate office.
Thank you very much. Good day!

[Scene 2: Board room, XYZ solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Anxious, spectacled, mustache grown, growing, shaven, genetically absent faces sitting around a long mahogany table with conference equipment.
A particularly obese man in t-shirt near the door with a bunch of freshly Xeroxed sheets tucked under his arm. Puts the stack of paper carefully on the table. Smiles.]

Man: (fundamentally nonsensical speech) .. Now it is most important that you take this with a relaxed mind. Gentlemen, could we do this small exercise before proceeding to the test..
Breathe in.. sloooowly.. [two fat arms going up in the air.. a fat belly getting inflated under the shirt.. sloooowly..]
Now breathe out.. [the arms come down.. the belly deflates… sloooowly.. but doesn’t regain the original size… stops somewhere in between.. the smile appears once again across the face, the terminal ends of a long mouth forming two large blobs of flesh on either side]

Pssst.. man, do you think they’re gonna mark wrong ones negative?
[A nervous, busy head shaking, looking the other way..]
Hey that’s good.. I’ll mark all bs then..
[no response]
30 mins… 50 mins..

Fatman: you have 10 minutes more...

Hey excuse me..
Do you mark wrong answers negative?
Well… I’m not sure.. But I think they do that.. yes.. they do that..
[aside: Oh SHIT!!]

[cuts the bs in a vertical line. Oh shit, I shouldn’t have done that.. DAMN!! Forget it.. next time, maybe]

Fatman: Okay, pencils down please..
Fatman: Hope it went well. Thanks for coming. We’ll give you a call in 2 days..

Moral nugget#1: Do not give up!

Quick inventory check: lots of direct lines to a lot of people.
[end of inventory list]

Tring tring..
Hi this is Bala..
Tring tring..
Hellow, this is Bala.. okay I’ll call you tomorrow then..

Fact: there is something called a threshold. Every individual has one, and if you pester them beyond that, they can do impossible things.. Just to escape the torture!

Scene 3: A table, two big chairs, a grumpy looking man and a not-so-grumpy looking man on the farther side.. a smaller chair, me on this side of it.

We understand you’re a special case, and we don’t know exactly what kind of interview you’re expecting..

Oh well, I am pretty new to this.. I keep myself informed, though.. So if you ask me questions that go deep down on specific things, I may not be able to answer, but I’m a quick learner, I think I can catch up soon.

So why do you say we should hire you?
(oh you don’t want to hear all that crap do you?? Skip.)

Okay, I suppose you know pointers?
mm.. I suppose I do, a little.
So, what are they?
Well, they point to a location in memory.
That’s all I know. I can catch up, however..
Alright, you’ve ever written code?
Yes, I have.. in school we had basic, and in college we had a sem of C.
[A face looking I give up]
Okay.. you’ve worked on windows I suppose?
[vertical nod]
And unix?
[vertical nod]
Can you tell us the difference between the two?
Well, unix doesn’t have as much color as windows..
So unix is like dos, you mean?
No, it’s tougher!
Hmm. Ever heard of muti threaded architecture, network operating system etcetera?
[frantic vertical nod]
That’s what we meant..
We’ll I was being totally superficial..

That’s all I remember.. but I’ll never forget those two faces across the table, and the way looked... That was my interview into that first rung..
And yes, I guess I’ve caught up pretty well… ;-)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Where's that first rung? Where's the damn ladder? Give me my ladder! (Part1)

ATTENTION: This article is not career advice!
The author makes no representation or warranties with respect to the contents hereof and shall not be responsible for any loss or damage caused to the audience by the direct or indirect use of this material.

Shall we turn back the pages a little?
I said a little, fuzz head, a little means by a small amout. No by a small amount is not page 1. Alright where are we? Hmm life after college will be just fine..

So there I was, I had got my first job, and had lost it already. Having been initiated to a 20k spending and suddenly put on a 0k income is a sad state.. You have to be there to know it.
Well that wasn’t the most tormenting thing at the time, however. Have you noticed how people suddenly seem to get concerned the second Monday you’re there at home? “Son, don’t tell me you lost your job!”. Uncle didn’t your momma teach you that it was a really rude thing to ask somebody? Maybe you’re from a different age – Hell, that explains it - You uncivilized rat!

And so on a Tuesday evening I decided I needed a job. And I needed it soon. But would someone call me and offer me a job? Well I didn’t quite believe that, I guess. Why? I had my own reasons..
a) My previous employer hadn’t given me a pink slip, or a blue, or a green one for that matter. I was waiting for a contract reconsideration, which would mean that well, that I wasn’t fired yet, well, not technically at least..
b) Somebody told me that one-marks-card-per-subject has suddenly got out of fashion – That employers don’t appreciate a 4 inch thick bunch of marks cards anymore. It must be the logistics. They must have run out of space in their filing cabinets! Darn the small filing cabinets!
c) Because there is something called C. And another thing called Java. No this C isn’t A-B-C. I confirmed with him. He said it was different – had something to do with computers. And all this while I thought Java was a motorbike company. Hell, this thing too had something to do with computers and one needed to know at least one of these to get a software job. The goddamn HRs! when will they get some sense in their heads!
d) Because they said 52.17% wasn’t good enough. They needed a minimum of (Okay hold tight) 70% !!! Is that a lunar mission you’re taking me on, mister?

So finally it was upto me. My future was in my hands! My own dirty hands.
And then around 9.30pm lying on the bed in a pentagon shaped room a sinister plan started to take shape in my mind – slowly but steadily. In an hour I knew what I had to do.
So at 11 pm on a fateful Tuesday evening I sat on my computer, jotting down numbers from the A-Z listing of companies on

[next part, next post]

Salvation, Alas!

I guess my who am I series has finally come to a pretty satisfying end.. (which who am I series? Oh I forgot, you guys don’t know.. I’ve been writing this series of five parts. I have not been able to make up my mind whether to post them or not..)
After looking at my who am I questions closely , I found out that almost all questions read by another person would invariably be followed by a “Why the hell don’t you go ahead and do it, then?”.
Yes my good child, the answer lies right there! I am who I am - The procrastinator.

“Never keep away for tomorrow what can be done today!”. “Oh is it so?” I ask.. I hate my brain.!! Guys can you hurry up the research please??
Forget putting away for tomorrow – consider this..
Reader, do you have any idea what it feels like to ride a bike on a busy road on a rainy day at an average speed of 2.6 inches a minute with a hopelessly inflated bladder? FOR ONE WHOLE HOUR!!!
All because I didn’t piss when I should have pissed. After I had finished my breakfast - before I headed for the door , to be precise.

That’s just one procrastinating accident. But if you ask me, everything in my life has suffered from this bad trait of me.. and I don’t think it’s going away.. Guys can you hurry up the research please??

PS: This goes out to all the girls..
“What’s wrong with this guy? Why doesn’t he say it? “
Quit asking yourself that – Now you know why! And the chances are that I never will.

Now you know what you have to do! ;-)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ask the doctor - He knows!

This post takes it’s roots from nothing-else-to-doness .. No it’s not joblessness – There is a very definite difference between the two. I am on the job.. otherwise I wouldn’t have been sitting here in the office typing this on a Saturday.

Nah, don’t ask me that question.. What else would I do? I would go out with a friend, of course, have some quality time out! Don’t you give me that questioning look… Haven’t I told you I don’t like questioning looks? If I haven’t, I think it’s time you knew I most definitely don’t! What? Yes Of course I have friends who would skip their weekend shopping to go out on a walk and coffee with me..
Or if no one does, I’ll write a letter to the doctor n the health magazine, and save the columnist some trouble.. at least he’ll be thankful that the had to write one letter less this week!

I am writing this with a burdened heart. I don’t know since when, but I have been having this feeling that I am somehow not normal. I don’t do a lot of things that people around me do, and I feel so strangely left out .
I don’t dream much.. In fact the last time I had a dream possibly was a good 5 months ago. I guess I stopped dreaming the day I made mental note of remembering them - is that a problem doctor, that I don’t dream, and that I almost always wrong my own resolutions?
Doctor, would it be normal for someone not to feel any pain about a dear one’s death, only worry about the people left behind?
Doctor why is that I have a problem letting go of things? Like this woman from so many years ago who keeps popping out of people’s faces at lunchtime, and leaves me thinking about the striking resemblance through my entire lunch; Like my quest for good music, and the way what sounds good one day seems nothing less than tormenting the next.. Doctor, Just why don’t I let go when I should?
Doctor does a set of artificial teeth look as good as the original? I don’t care if I’ll be able to chew with them – I’ll manage with soup.. but they’ll look fine, no? I just have too much reason to believe I’m going to lose quite a few of them soon enough.
Doctor, do they pay you well for imagining that you’re a doctor as well?
Bala Murali

PS: Doctor, I understand if it was just the question, you’d have to read through that whole load of crap, and write a reply too.. As my intention was to save you trouble, I have written the reply as well. You can graduate into the IT age.. The stepping stone to the techie seat.. Ctrl+C , Ctrl+V !!!

Dear Bala,
From what you have written, I think you are going through an identity crisis. Try taking a trip to the Himalayas for a change. If your problems persist, please consult your local psychiatrist.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Another piece from the book - unfinished and unpublished in public interest

Chapter 4 – A walk down the memory lane

A home video of my childhood would give the world an inside view of the population explosion in India. There were people everywhere.. on the beds, on the verandah, under the dining table – just everywhere.

My ancestral house stood tall in a huge compound with no compound walls, except for one in the front. I suppose the only reason it was there was that some wise man (or woman) thought a house needed to have a gate, and for the gate to be there, a wall – it didn’t matter if it was only on one side- was an absolute necessity. The only thing I still can’t comprehend is why the wall was built a good 100 meters from the road, the piece of land between the two overgrown with plants which sprouted and thrived there, only out of sheer negligence (that is where my house was built later on, and we promptly built a wall facing the roads on either side).
The whole day, there would be people moving in and out through this gate, and the non existent walls on the other three sides- sometimes bringing milk and provisions, for miscellaneous labor, or most of the time without any reason. No one would stop anybody from coming in, nor would people on the inside be asked questions about why they were there. Probably that is why when I hear about nations discussing open borders, the first thing that comes to my mind would invariably be my house and it’s imaginary walls.

just a piece of the pie

This miscellaneous labor I mentioned earlier most of the time had something to do with the coconut trees- either watering them from a stiff back hose connected to a makeshift kerosene-powered pump, climbing them to cut down the coconuts, or to tap toddy from the young shoots. I am sure the coconut trees used to share a very intimate relationship with the ponds in the compound as well, for it were these that supplied water to the watering pumps, and these were where the coconut climbers washed themselves and relaxed after a tiring day climbing the trees.

That's where I live now

Apart from the coconut trees, there were so many mango trees, and cashew nut trees, jack fruit trees, and numerous other trees that I don’t know the names of. These fruit bearing and other tees in turn harbored a host of birds, small animals and insects, and they stood there littering the whole place with dry and semi-dry leaves floating down in mini showers every time there was a breeze. There would also be other things falling of the trees at regular intervals which wouldn’t need a breeze to come down, and these most of the time were droppings of the little inhabitants.
Where the trees weren’t, there was fine white sand, and the house took a central position to this piece of land.

It wasn’t huge- just above the average size of homes of the time, with no gaudy appendages to it. I remember it had blue pillars(now they are painted brown), built only to support the roof – there was no artistic reason whatsoever as to why they were there. And it had floors of red, white and black oxide, with signs of little cracks here and there. At any given time, the floor would be covered with a light coat of soft sand which people carried in and out in small installments under their feet every time they transited through the house.
The largest and the most populous was the living room, with an old wooden TV on the farther end, supplemented by a long dining table, and followed by a sudden burst of unorganized chairs and couches of all shapes and sizes.

It is this room that accommodates most of my memories of the period. It would always be full of people, noises, paper and would never be neat.

7 in the evening was when the TV station would start transmission. About half an hour prior to this, the TV would promptly be shifted to the verandah, where all the village folk that had been working in the paddy fields, rearing cattle, spinning out coir ropes or doing nothing at all would be waiting anxiously for the program on black and white birth control, or black and white national integration (It was not until so many years later that Doordarshan started color). The programs would be in Hindi – it could as well have been in French, Latin or Afrikaans – there was not one person in the audience who could figure out Hindi any better.

By the time the TV was shifted back in, the couches would be occupied, and the bedrooms (except for a few which had people with permanent rights to them) would be accommodating at least one person extra than what they were supposed to seat (or lay).
There was one uncle of mine – who was much younger then- that had a very vocal right to the rectangular area under the heavy mahogany dining table, partly because that was only place he could assert his claim, and partly because it was bound never to be taken by anyone else. He would however, more than happily let me sleep with him at times.
Later on after he had graduated to sleeping on one of the beds, he would tell me the same story of the ET more times with the same exaggerated tone more times than what I can remember. The important thing is that I never even once got to the end of the story, because either I would sleep off listening or he would sleep off telling.

I owe a lot to this enormity of the number of faces and voices in my childhood. Thanks to them, I have never got lost in a crowd, or felt threatened by a grim situation - never felt like a fish out of the water – Well, at least not too much, and not too often either.