Jul 8, 2008


It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. Kids of all ages, and from all backgrounds, playing cricket on the road. Mother is overseeing the garden. Daughter is giving her company.

Bang! Thud! Whoosh!

A green bolt from the blue whips through the air, hits the compound wall, ricochets from there, and in one swashbuckling move, sweeps Mother's favorite plant off its feet.
The breathless sapling bends in double, and becomes a hybrid creeper.

Mother is furious. She commands daughter to confiscate the weapon of this destruction. Daughter scrambles amidst the brambles, and finally emerges with a 'Ah-ha, Gotcha' look.

The little and not-so-little fellas crowd near the gate.

"Ball, aunty", one of them says.
"Balla vathu, keelavathu" (doesn’t need translation, and doesn’t have one. Merely added for rhyme and emphasis.) " Onnum kedayathu. (Nothing doing.) ", Mother retorts.

"Where is your house? Bring your parents. “, Daughter adds, just in case, some of them in the motley gang didn’t understand the vernacular.
"Sorry Aunty", apologises one.
"Pleeeeeeese Aunty" , pleads another.

Mother and Daughter are stoic. No relenting this time. This has gone too far today.
"Yarukavathu adi patta , enna pannuve?" (What will you do, if someone got hurt?)Mother uses rhetoric.
Heads lowered in shame. Or supposed- to- be shame.

Just then, father seizes his commercial break, and tears away from the TV. He had been fidgeting in his chair, in two minds. Whether to miss a ball in the India-Pak ODI or to put in his two cents in this altercation of serious concern.

Seeing Father finally realize his responsibilities, Mother gives a wide smile. Daughter is confused, and looks up, searching for any rain clouds. This event demands a thundershower from the skies.

Father picks one tiny tot, with a cricket bat that towers over him by inches. "Hey You", he begins in typical Class of 1960's English. Mother eyes glow in expectation. A long sermon is definitely due to follow. Those brats deserve every bit of it.
Daughter debates mentally, whether gray can look white, still craning her neck towards the heavens and concludes that it is an optical illusion.

Father straightens his shoulder, and gathers height. Makes him more intimidating, Mother beams.
Father clears his throat.
"Don’t you know any other shot? Why do you keep swinging in one direction? You are not a good cricketer if you play the same shots. In the real field, they would have real fielders. Not this Aunty, who can’t catch hold of a balloon placed in her hands. You should play a variety of shots. Next time, keep the bat straight, Man. Straight Drives make a Gavaskar."

Father triumphantly glances at his clan. Clan throws back a murderous look. Daughter stops craning neck. Those clouds are indeed white.

"Bring the ball and give it to these fellows. They needed someone to tell them how to play", Father orders and marches back to his throne in front of the TV.
"The Maharaja has spoken, go do his bidding" Mom mumbles. As daughter hands back the tennis ball to the smirking lads, Mother reflects aloud "God only knows how many windows your father must have broken, in his younger days. Only guilt can prompt such a show!"

Jul 1, 2008

Just Wondering -9

An optimist's view of a pessimist:
Coming to think of it, atleast a pessimist never gets any rude shocks in life !

Jun 23, 2008

Of Hawks and Eagles.

Whenever you have a problem in life, become a hawk. Soar into the sky.
Zoom out.
Zoom out so much that the problem becomes a tiny little green pea.
Stay zoomed out at this precise altitude for a while.
Till you enter a stupor.

Then zoom in again. Zoom in so fast, that everything around you is a blur.
Stop. Brake at a height where the problem turns into a piece of cake.

Now hover for a while. Stare at the problem. See the connections. Check for any dynamite remote switch properties that the problem may have.

Now, continue to zoom in.
Make a dash, headlong, eyes closed.
And land spread-eagled.

Jun 8, 2008

A hello from Never,Never Land

A fortnight ago, I caught myself parting with this piece of worldly wisdom to a younger cousin of mine. He was slipping into crib mode, lamenting on how he was forced to take up a course in Information Technology by his father, whereas his own personal choice was to do something linked with life sciences. I told him:
"Its too early for you to crib over crushed dreams. If you look back after a couple of years, these very dreams would appear childish and silly. You would have higher and bigger dreams, that would make everyone happy, and seem more realistic, than dream-like. You would value your dad’s move as sensible. Life never gives you what you want. It only gives you what you need. ”
Circa . a few years back. All hell would have broken loose, had the same advice been bestowed upon a certain star-in-the-eyes individual. Really appreciate the kid for the patience with which he recieved it.

'So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever,in Never Never Land’. - Peter Pan

May 27, 2008

Dusty Pages

I get this inexplicable delight whenever I spot a best seller or a famous book, at the pavement book hawker’s.

Call it a vestige of middle class upbringing, but the day is made if I manage to steal a deal after hours of harangue, fully acknowledging in a remote corner of my mind, the unprinted pages, the typographic errors and other minor flaws that lurk within those glossy covers.
This sort of mutated into a mild addiction, a couple of years back, and I began to amass books. Books that were neatly stacked in my cupboard, amidst a hoarde of other miscellany; books that were never read beyond the blurb and the preface.

Books that were lent to friends and relatives, with beaming pride in recollection of the bargaining mastery behind their possession. Books that were dutifully reminded to be returned, with a statutory warning of not revealing the contents, for they were yet to be read by the owner, and would be read someday, sometime.

Not that I am a poor reader. My reading speed is average,and my attention span can hold for alteast a couple of days. The longest book I have read was of 1200 pages. The genre of my reading is decently wide, and I read a range of authors.
Although I have always liked reading, I have never really owned books. I used the library, or liberally borrowed from everyone I knew.

Maybe the lack of pressure to finish a book (now really owning them), or sheer intimidation by the length of printed matter made me put them them away for later.
With this hypothesis in mind, I began to feed on a staple of short stories, various collections borrowed from the library. I read them whenever I could find a moment, once even dropping a book into a bowl of sambar that I was stirring.

Revitalised by this exercise, I began to plod through those books I purchased. But, sadly they got tucked under the pillow, stashed beneath the bed, and a few even found their way to the attic. They had began to symbolize a lapse. They sent me on a guilt trip whenever I chanced a glance.

Then my mother started nagging me about the clutter they were making, and threatned to throw them away along with the old newspapers. The thought of the fruits of my labourious bargain being reduced to meagre change spurred me into action, yet again.
On a fine lazy Sunday, I locked myself up with one of those seemingly innocuous ones. I drew up a chart, with the targetted no of pages, Vs an ambitious time estimate. I set the alarm for the first chapter. And began to read.
The alarm rang. And I woke up. Chin deep in page no 5, chapter 1.

I still wage my war against the dusty pages. Managing to cajole extra time out of my mother, now and then.

My current (will always be current) list of dust collectors:
1. Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenence
2. A collection of Shakespere’s tragedies
3. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
4. Some Irving Wallace novel (forgot the name)
5. Bourne Series (Read the Ultimatum, from the library)
6. And countless e books (my battle against e books deserves a seperate post)
What’s yours ? *:)

P.S :
* : A desperate measure to absolve myself of all that guilt.

May 9, 2008

Economies on Rice.

On a sultry summer evening, with the humdrum humming of the ceiling fan coping up with a low voltage, as the background score:

A live and let live policy seemed to have established itself wordlessly in the household.

Both mother and daughter are deep into their magazines, daughter curled up on a chair with a film review; mother squatting on the floor, lost in a vernacular women’s weekly.

The head of the family, reading the moods of his subjects, cautiously mutes the TV, and is mentally transported to the cricketing stadium, replete with lights, action, dancing girls, crying sportsmen, slaps and claps; but sans the sound effects.

Peace prevails.

Mother suddenly looks up from her tips-for-anything-and-everything magazine and says “You should get this special herbal rice for me, they say it is good for keeping down blood sugar levels.”

Father, his eyes still glued to a swashbuckling Dhoni, replies in all earnestness, “Oh no! If you should start consuming like this, then food prices in USA would hit the sky. Then my niece in Virginia would face the brunt. Bush was right. The Indian middle class sure has a growing appetite.”

Daughter chuckles as mother makes another entry in her growing list of unsettled scores.

Apr 27, 2008

Just Wondering - 8

Chris Srey Kant
Has Krish Srikanth become one among the "US Re-turneds?" Or is he working part time at a call center?

P.S : Was watching Chee-ka twist and roll his tongue at the Set-Max Studios, as the CSK thrashed the KKR at the IPL match yesterday. Missing his inimitable cheeky Chee-ka Chennai commenting ishtyle. :(