Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I want to melt

I want to melt
Melt, so I won't be

So, I don't see this world as opaque as it looks
Only light!
Because Opacity is never all light

I don't want to be seen melting, or molten
By them,
Because 'They' is all I want to melt away from

For, what is the point in being seen melting?
For, what is the point in being seen?
For, what is the point in being?
For, what is the point?
For what?

I can't sleep, can you?

I sleep peacefully in nights..

Because my India is progressing..a lot of infrastructure, service industries, medical science. So, here's a little quiz on India's progress:

This morning, I saw these 4 headlines in a leading Indian newspaper's site:
  1. Indian IT takes a stride, tops entry list in IT contest
  2. Strapping NRI doc shines in US Navy
  3. Office of profit issue : All parties unite
  4. Doctor jailed for girl abortion scan
Which do you think is the most revealing fact of our progress?

1? wrong, 2? even worse! 3? don't even go there..

The answer is 4. "Doctor jailed for girl abortion scan". Read further and found that this was the first prison sentence of such kind in 12 years, since this law has been made!

This is even more revealing of our progress - it shows that we Indians are either always producing boys in our maternity rooms. I don't doubt that, as given that our 'strapping' doctors are shining all over the world, its fairly possible that they've invented some kind of 'boy-gra' pill.
Or, it shows that we all Indians are happy with our baby girls! We are broad minded, believing in equal-oppertunity and are far off from the orthox 'the boy carries my lineage' thought. Isn't that a sign of progress?

Now this happens to be the first couple in 12 years, who (out of the blues) decided they'll go for a sex-determination. And there was this doctor who happened to think alike, and agreed to help them.

So, leaving such once-in-a-blue-moon cases out (I mean, its okay to have such cases once in 12 years, right?), I can sleep peacefully tonight, proud over my fellow Indians that we are progressing

End of quiz....or is it?

Before calling ourselves developed, or even developing, we should look into dirts of our own minds. Forget rural India. Don't we all know that even in "big cities" like Delhi, its a child's play to determine sex and get the female baby aborted? I mean c'mon! you have seen signs reading "500/- for abortion", haven't you?

"big cities" my foot!

Delhi's eve-teasing has taken the dangerous shape of daylight-rapes, and sexual assaults. A girl can not travel in the over-crowded city buses because they are nothing less than jungle of predators looking forward to 'carrying their lineage'.

For a girl, waiting on a bus-stand after work is like sitting like a 'bait' for the drooling 'hunks' who just can't hold their manhood in them. You'll get a ride offered from anyone starting from an executive placed in his merc, to the brave two-wheeler jokeys

And did I hear that 'dowry' is history? Get a life! I know in some parts of our country, the grooms are weighed with gold while getting married. Even our familiar computer-engineer (who happens to be the backbone of our $50-an-hour 'service' industry) appears on a 'dowry menu' as follows:
  • Green-Card (GC) holder: Rs 1 crore ($200,000)
  • H1 visa (still 3 years to go, so he'll manage to get a GC): Rs 50 lac ($100,000)
  • Employed in India (well!): Rs 10 lac ($20,000)

The sex ratio in some states like Haryana and Punjab has dropped to as low as 600:1000! I once saw on news, a haryana youth complaining people his age are not getting brides in their state to get married. I guess he'll take some time to figure that his (could have been) bride is already dead in one of such 'rare' foetus-murders!

When will this end?

..would I ever sleep peacefully in night?


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pain in the neck

Have you ever heard people complain about 'having to' wear neck-ties to work. Many don't say it, they just...well, show it...

The pain they have gone through each day, trying a knot has given birth to some patterns over several decades. Here are a few inventions we owe to these people:

There's one that I call the 'cabbage-knot'. The exact process of tying this knot is not known (I am sure the inventor is trying to get it patented) but it seems wrapping the tie around your fist is a key step somewhere.

I recommend this knot for people who are kind of low on the personality scale, as this knot is so big that it tends to completely take over your personality. I mean I can never take my eyes off such a knot when I am talking to the guy. When such a guy sits across me in a meeting, I think he might as well just leave his tie-knot on the table and leave - his presence is not going to be any mightier than that anyway.

Then there's one that kinda resembles a bib. The key is to start the knot on the widest part of the tie. So that all you are left with is a six-inch peice of fabric, flapping over your chest. Too good for people with a drooling habit.

Some of our inventors seem to have taken the 'dimple' thing a little too far. Their invention is what I like to call the 'japanese-fan-tai'. The idea is to have as many 'pleats' on the tie as possible. And then spread it wide over your shirt. In summers it gives you a feeling of wearing a skirt on the neck.

The 'pant-savers' are my favorites. The tie has to be hanging at least a foot down from your belt. Leaving the knot above as flaccid as possible. And in case you're still guessing, the name comes from the boon the tie can be if you ever left your zippers open.

Some knots, I have not been able to christen yet. Although there are many versions available, the common feature is: when looking at the knot, you should feel a strong urge to hang the guy by his tie, in the middle of the square. Please let me know if you have a name for it..


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Calcium Sandoz

How about a little trip down the memory-lane today? Don't worry I am not going to turn pages from my high-school history book - it is about an incident (somewhat funny incident) of my childhood days.

I must have been 6 or 7. And Sharlie (my sister) 4 or 5. We used to play for hours after coming back from school - especially on Saturdays when there was no homework-pressure.

It must have been one of those Satuday afternoons. Ma was out for some time, so we both were 'in charge' of the house. Especially me - the big brother. We had friends playing in the common varandah - I forget what it was but must have been the game of 'Stapu' or 'Pitthu'. When we were playing together, we used to play more 'gender neutral' games as opposed to street-Cricket or park-soccer (this is not to say that I was good at any of these sports, but I've played them just enough to have some memories)

Whatever the game was, that day was something special - firstly, Ma was out for a while, and secondly there was a bottle-full of 'Calcium Sandoz'. We still remember that white dog-shaped plastic bottle - the dog with a blue-nose..

That was our favorite. Well, what was not? Cookies, Cake, Candies, Chocolate and if nothing else, Sugar. For those who can't picture someone popping spoonful of sugar in mouth, sugar in India is crystals - as compared to granular in the U.S. And when eaten a mouthful, it melts gradually down your throat while you can still feel the crystals in your whole mouth (slrupp!)

The Sandoz used to be sweet and flavored, but still not sticky. I as a child, used to think they were perfect for someone to get addicted to. So, anyway - the calcium pills were in. And that too a brand new bottleful! Moreover, I was incharge!

Every once in a while me and Shy (Sharlie) used to have an eye-contact. We'd decide to go in the house, grab one calcium pill each, and come back to play. I would make sure the bottle is re-placed where it was..

I was very good at this. And also with hiding the whole incident. With transparent jars, after stealing stuff (Cookies, Cake etc), I used to tilt the jar sideways, and gradually put it back upright - this would give an impression that the jar was still filled up to the brim!!

So it was my duty to put the bottle back carefully, closing the closet and closing the doors. Here, I have a little confession to make, which even Shy is not aware of to date. I used to pop an extra pill in my mouth before closing the bottle. I think I accounted for that in my mind as a 'tax' for being the 'in charge' that day. Afterall, Ma was out for a while, right?

And after this little 'episode' we both used to join back the game, and pretend nothing happened. This went on for i don't know, 10-20 times, or may be more.

Now a standard 'Calcium Sandoz' used to be what, 50 tablets...60 max? So in every other 'trip', we used to be considerate and took half-tablet each. We had a code-word "हो जाये?" (hindi, for "what do you think?") and we hopped in the house, closed doors, stole the tablets, and came back. With those 'considerate' trips we had "half-half हो जाये?" ("a half-each this time?")

I don't think those other kids could have had a slightest idea what we were doing. Poor innocent lads, might not even have known what calcium-pills tasted like....

So, there came a moment when I opened the bottle and it only had 3 pills left! So, as usual we popped one pill each in our mouths. I took the last one as 'my tax' and closed the bottle. I even re-placed the bottle in its original place, and we came out, again, as nothing had happened.

The 60-pill bottle was being digested in our 4-year and 6-year old bellies. Still, nothing had happened!

Eventually Ma came, and the game ended. We all kids dispersed and we both joined Ma back to home.

Now, as a habit, Ma used to give us one pill each every evening. Of course, she wanted her kids to be strong and, she opened the closet. This was always the moment I used to dread! I mean, why do moms have to open your case in front of you?

But she did. And to her surprise (not ours, although we pretended to be shocked at the sight), the bottle was empty. Ma had a hard time finding out what had happened, none of us (and we both were very good at it) assumed the responsibility. Nor, did we blame each other. The standard line was "I don't know!"

Finally when we confessed that we were in the process of digesting approximately 30 calcium-pills each (officially, since I never admitted I took that 'tax' pill each time) Ma got very worried. I mean really worried. She didn't know what to do when your kids wash a whole bottle of calcium down their throats.

She immediately rushed us to the doctor. The doctor, I am sure must have felt like rolling on the floor - laughing, but somehow he resisted that and assured us that nothing was terribly wrong with an act like this. And suggested some first-aid solutions for Ma to do.

We all came back home and lived happily everafter. Although I don't think we got any calcium 'suppliments' in the house again. I guess, Ma must have thought we two got supplies enough for a lifetime...


Saturday, March 04, 2006


Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary to Ma and Papa!

I wish we were with you right now. Its the moments like this you want to be together - the whole time...

And you know what? Pragya is 3 months old today :)

Rain, Rain go away!

We came back last night from a dinner, only to find our apartment in a mess. It was the water-heater, throwing out a heavy gush of water.

The carpet was all soaked wet - with the brown rusty stains on the edges. You know how it swishes when you walk in a lawn after it has rained all night?

It just doesn't go well with the sight of your living room!

Our laundry baskets were floating in the closets - inches high in cold water! I wish we left the laundry on the floor. With detergent spilled over it. At least the clothes would be generously rinsed!

They just send a guy to have a look at it. Draining the whole thing out, fixing the 'leak', drying the carpet. And they say the have to cut the carpet and replace the pads...

And this is what we have for our weekend-fun - a 3 speed "Namco" carpet blower. Can't imagine what our weekend would have been like without this little noisy monster!!

Thank heavens for water-heaters!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Who's your daddy?

I never understood the depth of it, when people said their lives changed after they had babies. Until of course Pragya came along.

This is specially true with filling forms - with a new baby around, chances are that you're filling forms for her more than anyone else - stuff like: Birth Certificate, Social Security form, Passport et al.

I was filling the Social-Security form for her the other day. I sat down to fill all those "sections" on the form, begining with "Name (First & Last)" and quickly realized it is her name being asked for, not mine!

It's funny how your own context changes now - you are not "the One" anymore! It's the kid...hmmm, okay, let's move on

Now come the "Father's" and "'Mother's" names. The names that you were taught all along as "Papa's name" and "Mamma's name" will have to take a back-seat now - it's your name in the "Father's" and your wife's in the "Mother's" names (!!)

Thank God, the "Address" remains the same, so you don't have to think twice before filling that. Same goes for the phone-number and cellphone-number (until she wants her own flip-phone one day, of course)

And finally, remember that last section that said "If this form is not filled by the applicant..." that you always ignored? Not anymore. You got to duly sign that section declaring that you're that "Other guy" in the kid's life (at least as far as those forms go) :)

So, welcome pals, to the world of "3rd Person"