Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Who Moved my Phone

I have moved to our new office building and am already feeling nostalgia wistfully take form outta unknown unassuming crevices. I miss the quaint house we called an office [sigh…. sobbing sound effects out here].

Being in my element, it suddenly hit me that amidst the cube farm and the prairie hopping I wasn't receiving a mobile signal at the place I had parked my derriere. Then it hit me again, what if you desperately need to get in touch with me and your life depends on it, or you are craving to talk to me [sigh…. sobbing sound effects out here again], or you want to just get some work done through me being the nice guy that I am, or want to hire some manpower to beat up someone, or want to invite me out for a treat/trek/play/musical concert/movie/free lunch… ooohhh free lunch... nooooo I can't miss that.

So after a bit of playing detective I was apprised about the places in office where I can get a mobile signal. We do get signals close to the window but the voice breaks cause of multipath effects. You also get good signals near the flat screen in the cafeteria. Then someone told me that we get good signal reception in the loo. Invariably when you enter the loo the phone rings cause the person who was trying and trying and trying to get intouch with you finally gets through. Err so basically I take a seat out there and talk to glory and discuss about that free lunch??? And if you do hear some unusual background noise then please don't ask me,"What was that!" [flush sound effect out here].

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fixing Broken Flowers

I've played the messenger boy before and I must say its a nice warm fuzzy feeling, just to be there; in the moment, as it unfolds :-) I have carried messages when mobiles didn't exist, have packed and parceled a house made of ice cream sticks and have roamed the streets of bengaluru in the rain, searching for 12 red roses.

A friend, Goli, decided to start this thing where he would sing songs on ppl b'days and bake them a cake and stuff... would charge them something but wanted to do it just for kicks.. so he got a GIG sometime back... not sure what else to call it :-) anyways he invited some fellow blogger friends to provide moral support in his endeavour.. so four of us jobless ppl went to this particular place ... a café type place on 100 feet road in Indranagar.. this girl's sister was giving her a surprise for her b'day... Goli knew the girl through some common friends and the common friends knew about his b'day singing plans... so we went there and sang and made merry... Goli played the guitar and there were two girls (blogging friends) with us who sing decently... he also baked a cake and stuff and we improvised with the cake decorations... I had a lot of second, third and fourth thoughts before going but it turned out to be a really nice experience... :-) it was fun... like being one of those ppl who deliver flowers just to see the expression on the receiver's face... :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Will We Ever Rise

Excerpts from "The Fall", a novel by ALBERT CAMUS, Nobel Prize Winner


"In a certain way I am sticking to my subject with all that about friends and connections. You see, I've heard of a man whose friend had been imprisoned and who slept on the floor of his room every night in order not to enjoy a comfort of which his friend had been deprived. Who, cher monsieur, will sleep on the floor for us? Whether I am capable of it myself? Look, I'd like to be and I shall be. Yes, we shall all be capable of it one day, and that will be salvation. But it's not easy, for friendship is absent-minded or at least unavailing. It is incapable of achieving what it wants. Maybe, after all, it doesn't want it enough? Maybe we don't love life enough? Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings? How we love the friends who have just left us? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth! Then the expression of admiration springs forth naturally, that admiration they were perhaps expecting from us all their lives. But do you know why we are always more just and more generous toward the dead? The reason is simple. With them there is no obligation. They leave us free and we can take our time, fit the testimonial in between a cocktail party and a nice little mistress, in our spare time, in short. If they forced us to anything, it would be to remembering, and we have a short memory. No, it is the recently dead we love among our friends, the painful dead, our emotion, ourselves after all!" pp 32-33

“The day I was alerted I became lucid; I received all the wounds at the same time and lost my strength all at once. The whole universe then began to laugh at me. That is what no man (except those who are not really alive--in other words, wise men) can endure. Spitefulness is the only possible ostentation. People haste to judge in order not to be judged themselves. What do you expect? The idea that comes most naturally to man, as if from his very nature, is the idea of his innocence.” pp. 80-81

"Some people's problems is to protect themselves from men or at least to come to terms with them." p. 27

"It was not a matter, mind you, of the certainty I had of being more intelligent than everyone else. Besides, such certainty is of no consequence because so many imbeciles share it." p. 29

"Life became less easy for me: when the body is sad the heart languishes. It seemed to me that I was half unlearning what I had never learned and yet knew so well--how to live." pp. 42-43

"You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question." pp. 56-57

“Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself.” p. 81

“What we call basic truths are simply the ones we discover after all the others.” p. 84

“One plays at being immortal and after a few weeks one doesn’t even know whether or not one can hang on till the next day.” p. 105

“Yes, one can wage war in this world, ape love, torture one’s fellow man, or merely say evil of one’s neighbor while knitting. But, in certain cases, carrying on, merely continuing, is superhuman.” p. 114

“Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man that tells the truth.” pp. 119-120

“But when you don’t like your own life, when you know that you must change lives, you don’t have any choice, do you?” p. 144

Monday, March 12, 2007

Children of Men

It was Sunday and I found myself in a grocery store, a short distance from church. As usual, I greeted this man with the warmest of greetings. Like me, he and his two young kids follow the Sunday ritual; church then the grocery store. I do not have a name to his face but we always exchange a few words and a warm greeting.

Amongst the bustle of people in the store, two young girls entered; the elder being around 6 and the smaller one, around 2 years. As they entered the little one bumped into someone and fell to the ground having lost her balance. People around her looked into each others eyes exchanging glances; searching for signs of claimant to the post of guardian of the young one. But as we were doing so, the elder sister picked the young one up and told her, "It will be ok". The two of them went about their business, as people started to smile and ruffle the little one's top. I asked the elder sister if they were ok and she replied in the affirmative, whimpers still emanating from the little one; the elder sister trying all that she could to cajole her younger sister. And then they left the store.

I then saw a lot of children at this other place; smiles on their faces, dark questions lurking in the twilight; like dormant volcanos on a mid summers dawn, waiting to erupt, waiting to be heard.

While on the road I came across some more little children at the back of a car. So I decided to wave to them and they returned the gesture through beaming faces; the smiles getting bigger with every subsequent gesture.

And then I got to where I was heading ? Well... err not yet.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

An Ode to Sorpotel


For the hotch potch known as Haggis
Let the Scotsman yearn or yell
For the taste of Yorkshire pudding
Let the English family dwell.
For the famed Tandoori Chicken
That Punjabi's praise like hell
But for us who hail from Goa
There's nothing like SORPOTEL!

From the big wigs in Colaba
To the small fry in Cavel
From the growing tribes in Bandra
To the remnants in Parel
From the lovely girls in Glaxo
To the boys in Burma Shell
There's no Goan whose mouth won't water
When you talk of SORPOTEL!

And Oh! for Christmas dinner
Don't you think it would be swell
If by some freak of fortune
Or by some magic spell
We could, as they have in Goa
A bottle of the cajel
And toddy leavened sannas
To go with SORPOTEL!

--- anonymous

Friday, March 09, 2007

Letters from Mt Everest

Gist: My cousin climbed till Everest Base Camp a couple of days back. I wanna climb Everest someday. Go till the top, sit there and take photographs :-)

What I intend to capture here is the excitement, fear and thrill that one feels when climbing a majestic mountain. Posted below are her emails, verbatim. She emailed from various places while on the trek.

Subject: Namaste
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 20:21:42 +1100

Hello from Kathmandu!

Arrived here this morning (Nepal time) and am settling in to the familiar sights and smells of this region. On the way here, from the plane, we saw Everest poking through the cloudline - dwarfing peaks around it, with a plume of ice being blown from it's summit. Amazing.

The weather in Kathmandu is fine at present - a balmy 16C and sunny - not as chilly as expected. Spent last night in Bangkok. The new Suvarnabhumi airport wasn't as chaotic as the media reports lead you to believe. It looks kinda spaceage from the outside, particularly at night with all the lights on.

Have been eating my way through some culinary delights in the last 24 hours - will likely go vegetarian from here on in, just to be on the safe side and minimise a bout of the trots:).

Tomorrow there is a tour of Kathmandu on the schedule and then the trekking adventure begins on Monday with the flight into Lukla! Can't wait!

Am enjoying every minute and everything is going very smoothly.
Will sign off for now.
Take care,


Subject: Hello from Namche!
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 15:36:12 +1100

Hi All,
Have made it to Namche Bazar. We were lucky to make the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla on Monday. No planes had been flying for the previous 6 days due to ice on the runway. The flight into Lukla appeared death-defying, as we decended onto an obscure airstrip nestled among monster mountains. When we landed we realised why there had been a cancellation of flights in the previous 6 days - snow was everywhere. The trek from Lukla to Padking took about 3 hours and yesterday's trek from Pandking to Namche, ascending 800m to 3400m in snow took 8 hours (abit more than the usual 5hours). Was pooped, tho slept well and am ready for some sightseeing in Namche today. Fortunately the weather has been clearing now - with the sun shining for the past three days - so the snow is melting, making trekking abit more easier. A week ago the route to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Ri was impassable due to the weather. While things a looking alot better now weather-wise - the completion of this trek will rely on the weather staying good from here on in.

Anyways - that's about it for now.
Take care!


Subject: Back from Base!
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 20:14:59 +1100

Hi Guys!
Well, despite the uncharacteristic weather (i.e. snow, and lots of it) - the Gods have been shining and permitted a window of opportunity to allow us to reach Kalapathar (5545m) and Everest Base Camp a few days ago. The trek to Gokyo Ri is still unpassable, so here i am, back in Namche Bazar and ready for my first shower in Kathmandu in 2 days time :) I've climbed, trekked and walked through a snow blizzard - all in the name of a holiday (some one please talked some sense into me the next time i take leave). The weather has generally been below freezing and the trekking path icy, slippery and dangerous (are we having fun yet?!).
Nevertheless, it's been a big challenge and I'm on the home stretch as the weather begins to clear and i head back to Kathmandu in two more days time (i can hear that hot water running now:).
Anyways, hope all is well. Talk soon.


Subject: Heading Home
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 16:17:20 +1100

Dear All,

Well, am back in Kathmandu, where i have been shopping, eating, sleeping and roaming for the past two and a half days. The trek from Namche to Lukla was very different without everything blanketed with snow - and was alot faster.

The flight out of Lukla to Kathmandu eventually arrived once the sky cleared enough for the twin otter to land. As for that first shower in 2 weeks in Kathmandu....what can i say...you probably heard me singing!

The holiday is coming to an end as i am heading to the airport in 30 minutes to begin my homeward journey. (Am happy to report that all my fingers and toes are coming too:)

It's been quite a 'holiday'. Not sure i'd recommend the experience, as over the past 2.5 weeks there have been a number of times i've been completely out of my comfort zone. On reflection now though, it's something i am really glad i have done.

Anyways, i'd better sign off for now!
Take care,


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Blank Noise Project

Blank Noise Project is a blog for awareness about eve teasing in some of the major Indian cities and whats being done... I have added some stories below.

Here is a wish list of what many want to be able to do… One of them read...
I want to be able to walk down the street naked. I want everyone else to be naked too. Stark naked. There will be no room for an issue.
- anonymous
Reading it the first thought that came to my mind was,"I’m sure a guy wrote this… :-)". Ok I'm sure there were nobler intentions being thought but that one amused me. After the giggles settled down I thought about the person who felt that this is the only option. I was trying to think of why someone would even consider that everyone should move around naked and couldn’t come up with a reasonable thought flow… and then I just went yikes!!!! which only means that there needs to be a lot more awareness…

Whats the project all about ?
share. talk. inspire. understand. tell. speak. hear. be heard. narrate. voice. throw open.

When did you flip a situation so you could resist, when did you give back as hard as you got? When and how did you choose to confront? When did you become an Action Hero?

Being a 'HERO' is relative . We are interested in knowing how you challenged yourself or didn't feel victimised?

This is an attempt to understand how different women ( across age groups/ cultures/ communities) have dealt with street sexual harassment in their everyday lives. Male bloggers are encouraged to share stories of women in their lives and how they have dealt with street sexual harassment.

So I thought to myself why not. I'll tell you two stories from the few that I have.

Story 1: Walk the Night
This happened during my early engineering days, when I used to stay in a place with a lot of relatives around. We own this huge area with houses all around and a squarish ground in the centre. I have played on that ground since my childhood and at night we would sometimes have bonfires late into the night. Basically what I want to convey is that my sense of security was within that entire enclosure and not just within my home.

My mom would sometimes go for her walks even if it was late in the evening. Along the border of this enclosure there was some construction work going on and some workers were making merry and in high spirits. One of them threw a bottle from the top and it landed about 20-30 meters away from him, with the intention to startle or target my mother. My mother came home and told me about what had taken place; my dad was not at home at that moment. I then decided to confront them armed in a short pant, a baniyan, rubber chappals; with a baseball bat in hand. We climbed up to the second floor where the workers were and finally I stood face to face with them; about 7-8 lean, well-built men. The reality of the situation then hit us, with my mother standing behind me, and we froze. They didn't have weapons but there were rods/bricks lying around which could serve the purpose. They could have easily over powered us if the need arose and then through the fear in my throat, words started to flow, trying to make them realize their wrong doing and bring some sense to their actions. They listened while I spoke, the baseball bat ready for any eventuality.

But then things went out of hand. A third person who was living in that building came to the terrace and tried to get involved, having a previous history of friction with those workers. 'SPLAT!!!!' he slapped one of them across the face. Realizing that the situation was now out of hand I took my mom home and then people, relatives started to turn up from everywhere. In the minutes that followed three groups were formed; the other group on our side against those drunken workers and their friends. People phoned people and the crowd started to increase and after a bit of shouting and yelling, people decided to beat up a few people. We were arguing about the bottle, the workers were arguing about the 'SLAP' and the third party was also arguing for something. In the heat of the moment, things happened :-) as you didn't know some of the people who were on your side. Finally the contractor in charge of those workers arrived and we spoke to him and things were settled, our sense of security still stretched to the limits of that entire enclosure and not just our homes.

Story 2: Flash Light
I was out for a late night movie with friends at Symphony Theatre in Bangalore; three guys, including me and a girl. We were coming out of the movie and crossing the road heading towards our vehicle; myself and the girl behind the others. A car that was parked was heading home and he slowly moved towards the road as we passed in front of him. Then out of the blue that guy in the car increased the intensity of his headlights as the girl passed in front of him. I didn't realize what was happening... in fact I only thought about it when I saw her angrily stare at the guy in the car and the smirk he had on his face... she was wearing an ankle length skirt, made of cotton material. It took me sometime to figure out what had happened but by then we had already moved ahead. The incident took just 2-3 seconds, the others never noticed anything and the girl also chose not to mention anything to us.