Monday, January 31, 2005

The Amazing Race

He woke early, as he did everyday.. and as usual the first thing he did was to clean his bicycle..he wanted to win the race today, for he wanted the prize badly... he finished all his morning rituals, and checked the time to be sure that he was not running late.. he pedalled fast towards the group of houses where the other kids stayed, this was his warm up exercise. in the distance he saw the kids ready, on their bicycles. this was where the race started, everyday, and they raced all the way to school, almost 3 kilometres.
his presence was acknowledged by fleeting smiles on the other kids' faces... he could feel the excitement in them too. they finished saying bye to their parents... the parents, of course, had no clue about the mutual consent, the race began...there were five kids totally, including him.. but he knew that only a couple of them were a serious threat to his winning.. but sometimes he felt they performed as a team against him, perhaps because his house was slightly away from theirs, and he didnt play with them in the evenings...
the road that was the 'racetrack' had steep climbs, rough roads (if you could call them roads)and steep descents, all of which made it exciting to all the participants. and towards the last stretch, was the steepest climb and one could see the finish line, the school, in the distance.and this was when the kids pedalled extra furiously in a final bid to win the race on that day.
but it was he who won, like every day till date, having outsmarted and outpedalled all the others on the way.. a feat more remarkable because his cycle was an old one, as compared to the others who got new cycles every year.he smiled broadly and waited at the finish line, the school entrance, for the others to catchup. they smiled at him, as though acknowledging his skills, and told him they would give him his prize in the evening. he waved to them as they went in.
he had a kilometre more to go, to the market, where his mother waited for him. together, they would sell vegetables all day. in the evening, while the other children played, he would sit with the prizes he had won - old books and newspapers. as he pedalled the last kilometre, he was happy at winning the race, but he wondered who was actually winning every day in life - him or the kids.....

until next time, winning isnt everything, and its definitely not the only thing...

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Invasion

As he stood facing his troops, he felt a surge of excitement, and pride. excitement because he was exploring new frontiers and pride because, in his mind, this was the best army anyone could hope to have under command - seasoned warriors who performed like a well oiled machinery, whose teamwork was the stuff legends were made of. Indeed, the commander was excited, because today could be a day of landmark achievements, for today he was trying to make inroads into the enemy territory that could be strategically crucial in the long run, a foray that could decide their very existence. and so, though there were potentially landmark achievements to be accomplished, there was also a chance of complete annhilation at the hands of the enemy,for the enemy were no pushovers.
The enemy - they watched the army from far. in fact had been watching them for days now, trying to detect any strategic move from their side. they had a feeling that today would be the big day,but they didnt want to do anything that would precipitate an all out war. for they were generally non aggressive folk. but no man could stand for it when his home territory was being invaded. yes that was it, an invasion - inch by inch, area by area, territory by territory,the army marched on. the invasions were carried on at night, and the enemy forces usually were in for a rude awakening, literally.
but now it had gone too far, and the enemy were preparing to retaliate. though relatively peaceful folk and smaller than the invading army in sheer numbers, they boasted of an arsenal that ranged from brute physical strength to chemical/ biological warfare. and that was the very question they were grappling with, what to use in case of an invasion.
and at that precise moment the commander ordered the invasion to begin.
'the chemicals might harm us too" warned one among the enemy.
'hmm, yes', said the other.
but in the end, it didnt matter, the commander must have thought, as the battle lasted all of five minutes, and his tiny army of ants was no match for the two pairs of marauding bata soles, which eventually annhilated them.
until next time, the fittest will survive.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Shock and Awwww!!

The cold war was over long ago, but being the dominant country had its own set of disadvantages, chief among which was being the primary target for all the terrorist organisations that wanted to make a bold statement.And being the head of such a country, especially when the world considered your iQ results negative, was definitely not the high that many people could live with. but whoosh (the name had come from the hot air currents that were said to be forever blowing inside his head) did, twice over,and was extremely proud of it.and today he would get one more chance to prove his might, whoosh thought, as he was being driven to the bentagun (the name had come from the physical prowess of the personnel) hq.
for tonight, he had received the news that bentagun had located the person whom many had considered would be his nemesis - pin laden (the name had come from the enormous amount of grenade and other explosions he had master-minded).for having badly hurt his country's pride, whoosh had chased p-l to distant lands, but p-l had been elusive and escaped capture. in fact p-l had pissed him off so much, that whoosh didnt even want to capture him alive, like he had captured another mortal enemy of his - sodamn insane. (the name because of his crazy antics) he wanted to blast pin-laden from the face of the earth. thus were his thoughts as he entered the room...
the room, which had all the necessary buttons to blast the earth off itself, if the earth were ever a threat to his country.
"have you confirmed his location?", asked whoosh, as soon as he entered.
"3.4 NORTH 95.7 EAST", answered the nervous aide.
"sir, there is a possibility of some collateral damage, could we discuss...", squeaked another.
"i dont care, so long as i can nuke that b****** , and we can discuss all that after i press this" said whoosh
so saying, he pressed the button, that could annhilate a small country.
"show it to me on the screen, quick", shouted whoosh
the aide, still nervous, pressed a button, and the image of a tranquil ocean appeared on the screen.
"thats my pool, show me the region of impact", said whoosh
"er, thats the indian ocean, sir, and that is the region of impact"
"what!!", exclaimed whoosh
" p-l was hidden in an underwater lair, you will see the impact on the surface soon, sir"
"ah, i see, he must be history by now... i can see the impact now.. wow, thats a gigantic wave"
"er, yes sir, thats the collateral damage we warned you about"
"a few fish, thats what was bugging you?.. all i'll say is that there must be some lucky surfer around", laughed whoosh.
"not exactly sir.....once the wave reaches the coastline.."
" it would have become so small that it would be insignificant, ha"
"thats not exactly the way it works, sir....", tried the aide.
"oh hush, stop ruining my great moment....."
the aide gave up.

until next time, this is just a story, so dont be shocked or awed!!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

All in the name

M had always known this would happen. it was all because of her name, it was so bad that she rarely mentioned it.....that plus what was in her husband's genes, the craving for whatever was bad and evil. and although she had been fortunate and had a stable marriage thus far, this time she knew that she had a big challenge on her hands...
the other woman was beautiful and her husband was completely besotted. M's sources told her that he used to travel huge distances in his private jet just to catch a glimpse of the other woman.
it had all started because of M's sister in law and one of her infinite affairs.. that was when M's husband had first seen the other woman.. oh, god rot that damn sister in law of hers, thought M.. earlier M had felt a strange kinship with her, because she had an equally bad name, S, but now all the kinship had vanished.
S's problem was that though she had powerful and doting brothers (including M's husband) and millions in her name, she was not much to look at. but that didnt stop her from trying to launch herself at any poor unsuspecting male she came across..
in this particular affair, S had gone overboard in her desperation and the guy had been forced to get physical with her to bring her to her senses. but S had not taken it in the right spirit and her ever ready brothers had immediately started poking their collective noses in the affair. but the guy was from a well to do family himself, and though he was not in great terms with his family, he, along with his brother, had enough clout to thwart all of S's brothers' efforts.
finally M's husband had taken matters in his own hands and gone to meet his sister, and that was where he first laid eyes on the other woman.later, M's sources said, he had coaxed/cajoled/duped her (according to various versions) and had now set her up in one of his palatial residences in the same city as M. He had asked her if she wanted him to throw M out and let her take M's place.oh, the audacity, thought M!!.
but thankfully, M had heard that all was not well with her husband and the other woman. the other woman was sulking, well , she bloody should, considering that she was supposed to be a respectably married woman, very much in love with her husband. and more thankfully, last heard, the husband was on his way to meet his wife and settle matters, hopefully he would just take her back, and would give M another chance with her husband.
it was all because of her name, thought M. couldnt her parents have given her a decent name like the other woman - Sita. God curse her parents who had named her Mandodari and God curse that sister in law of hers - Shoorpanakha!!
(PS: this is a reworked version of a famous book by an ex-con
turned bestselling author, Mr. V)
until next time, m is for manus.. uh, no..m is for mogambo khush hua .. bless him, wherever he is...

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Cycle

D wants a cycle. D rarely wants anything, but this one she wants bad. this post is to explain to her, why we are not buying one now.. yes, it makes sense writing it !!
A long time ago, when others wanted alphabets and numbers to be my priority, a bigger priority entered my life, a cycle, to be more specific, my neighbour's cycle... and thus a little human had his first lessons in the vast human emotion of envy.. and theonly other requirement that was in my mandatory list was that it had to be more horny,er, the horn had to have more sound than my neighbour's cycle... since i was not a very demanding child, materialistically that is, i got the cycle... the envy lesson also took with it a lil bit of innocence... but i was very happy.
a few years later, i realised the importance of balance in life, no, not the work-life one we talk about now, but the balance required to drive a two wheeled contraption..that balance was quickly mastered and armed with that, i made the demand for my second cycle, of course, the trigger being the envy felt for the peers who already had a bigger,better cycle... a little more innocence lost, but a new cycle gained.. and i was happy.
a few more years later, i needed something that i could use for transportation to school,and the old cycle obviously didnt fit the bill, that was the functional excuse i used...and i got a new cycle again.. a few road rules bent, a lil more innocence lost (yup, by that time, there was hardly anything to lose ;) ), but after all i had a new cycle, but there was nothing to be very happy about.. it was as though i had to have it, so i had it..
now i have a cycle thats hardly a month old.. every morning, i curse the damn thing, wake up and cycle a few kilometres... i am not exactly happy about it but theres loss of weight, clothes that come fitting right back and a whole lot of other advantages... all said and done, a much better deal than the other cycles..
D shares this cycle with me, but this is an execycle, it doesnt move..she wants one that moves..she isnt grumpy when she uses this one.. she is, in fact, quite, tell me, what kind of husband.. human being!!.. would let another innocent human being go through all those other cycles of life that take away your innocence and leaves you sad??especially when she has by passed all those other cycles and reached this one directly?
thats why we are not buying D a cycle!!
until next time, lets use karmic cycles

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Imitation of Life

He was a fixture at the campus.. it was difficult not to notice him if you had stayed at the university campus for a decent amount of time... beneath the tough exterior he tried to portray to people he wasnt familiar with, was a kind hearted gentleman. when i knew him first, he was in charge of the university's security, a routine job, because at that time, kerala was not called "god's own country", and therefore it existed as one...
but i knew him better as the man who used to do a whole lot of jobs for us - paying water and electricity bills, getting my dad's license renewed etc.. his 'consultancy' fees were fixed and not at all exorbitant.. and it came with a broad grin. the reason you noticed him was his mannerisms, they were funny, and i used to be able to imitate him pretty well and everyone had a good laugh over these performances, little goodnatured fun...
a long time later, when i had to get my license done, it was the same man who did it for me...i learnt that, as far as liasoning with government personnel went, he was the best and could get practically any job done with his contacts.. his modus operandi was simple, based on a huge network of people for whom he had done little jobs for, and who wouldnt mind doing him a favour.
i also learnt that his two sons were well educated now, and settled abroad. they had repeatedly asked him to stop doing his odd jobs, but he had refused. it was clear that he didnt need the money, for his rates were even more nominal now, sometimes as ridiculous as a diary or a folder. besides he had a good pension and his sons regularly sent him money.someone once asked him why he still did this, specially since he was getting old. he flashed his trademark grin, and said that it made him happy to make other people's life easier.
in a world where the lunches were becoming increasingly costly, he was a man who gave buffets almost for free... an old man, with old school values... i still imitate him, better than i did earlier.. sometimes i wish i could imitate his spirit too...
until next time, dont imitate, innovate..

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Room

He sat in the room and looked around - lovely view, clean and neat, soothing ambience,but he was still not at peace.. for it was a hospital room, and the patient was his wife..
they had been married for several years and were a model couple to everyone around them -rich, good looking, famous, with friends who were devoted to short everything anyone could ask for... until disaster struck in the form of a terminal disease. It was as though even the Gods were jealous...
Though the disease was terminal, he hadnt yet given up... he had tried all the methods of medicine known to man and all the holy men whom friends had referred, but to no avail..he told his friends that he was willing to do anything to get a cure for his wife, andthey nodded in sympathy, helpless against what seemed to be the will of God.
That was when he heard about the room. although no one had any proof of its existence,rumour had it that in the remotest parts of the country, in forests so deep that even an animal planet or national geographic had not been able to penetrate, there existed a room. it was believed that if anyone manged to overcome the obstacles and reach the room, the romm would automatically fulfil his greatest desire.
his friends tried to convince him against the idea of going there, for the jungles had already devoured many who had set out to get their wishes fulfilled, but he was adammant.for weeks his friends waited for him, but there was no trace of him... many thought he was dead, but he had survived, not only survived but also managed to reach the room and get his wish fulfilled....
once he got out of the forest, he called his closest friend, to get the good news... "i am sorry", said the friend.
"what happened?", he asked, surprised..
"your wife is dead. in fact all the major channels covered the funeral, and many have even asked me whether you will be interested in a series that showcases your devotion to her. you couldn't find the room, could you?, but at least you are alive....", said the friend.
he kept quiet, for he suddenly realised what his deepest desire had been...
until next time, clean your room.

P.S.. the current edition of "outlook" has a wonderful article by Sandipan Deb. this story idea is from a little paragraph in it.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ownership Issues- A non ambani story

When the police knocked on his doors one fine morning, he didnt know what hit him. the story made the first page in the days that followed. He still remembered the conversation with the policeman who first questioned him.
Policeman : are you the owner of this apartment complex?
He: not exactly, but i am paid to look after it.
P: are you related to the owner.
H: no, but i have full authority in all matters pertaining to it.
P: so you are liable as well as accountable.
H: yes, but why these questions?
P: do you personally know all tenants?
H: not all, but my office makes sure that all papers are intact and we give it out only to good citizens.
P: do you know the tenant in 6A?
H: not off the cuff. but let me look at the records.
(after a quick look) ah yes, the schoolteacher, he has been here for quite a while.
P: can you explain why he has so many schoolkids visiting him?
H: well he offers extra tutions to help out weak kids.
P: oh well, the kind of tutions he has been giving, are not for the weak of heart. he has been running a pornography racquet here.
H: you must be mistaken.
P: we are not, and we have come to arrest you.
H: Me?! what did i do? why dont you arrest him?
P: he is absconding, and by your earlier admission, you are
accountable and liable for whatever that happens here.
H: well, i have been a law abiding citizen. i have his permanent
address and i can help you trace him.
P: thanks for the help, but thats beside the point and i'd still
have to arrest you.
H: but i didnt do anything.
P: legally you facilitated the base for the operation.
H: but i didnt know what he was upto.
P: again, by your own job description, its your liability to have found out, and if you didnt, you are accountable for it. sorry, but you are under arrest.
H: i am a respected citizen and the community is not going to stand for it.
P: sorry, but no one is above the law.
As they took him away, he wondered what would be the scenario if a similar issue had occurred in the organisation in which he was CEO, an online bidding site.

until next time, be a responsible owner!!

P.S: for an alternate version of this template, please check this out and tell me if i should use that one.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A Bubble of plans

They met at one of the Bubble Cafe chain outlets. They sat near a window, and so could see the sea down below.... not a sight which many people were comfortable with.. but they were, for they were quite confident of their role in the scheme of things..and if still something happened to them, well, it would happen for a reason..
They were meeting to review the plans that were being implemented as part of the legacy that had been handed down to them a long time back.. some of them were people whosevoice mattered in business and society, and some were normal people.. but it didnt matter,between them, it was their job to make sure that everything was done keeping the plans in mind.
the origins of the legacy was at a time when mankind still couldnt grasp the significanceof the messages being sent to it by the system in which it operated.. and therefore earthquakes, cyclones etc ravaged the lands one after the other.. each time a calamity occured in one part of the world, it was seen in isolation and mankind's typical response was two fold - one was "god, whats happening?" and the other was "lets all pool inresources there to help those affected"...
between these calamities, people moved to 'safer' locations, and those unaffected continued to lead their normal life after 'pooling in resources', feeling smug about having done their bit. the normal life included massive felling of trees in tropical areas to overtaking from the wrong side and everything in between...
sometimes consciously, and sometimes otherwise, the million year old mankind and the billion year old system fought each other in a 'who blinks first' contest till the system left mankind with nowhere to run, literally.. fortunately, a few had begun to understand the significance of what was happening around them and had begun to try and set things right.. from trying to inculcate values that were longforgotten, back in to humanity, to designing alternate habitats and lifestyles that didnt harm the system, they tried to make peace with the system...
and thanks to the way of life advocated by those few, and followed increasingly by others,the system stopped its war with its favourite creation... what was lost couldnt be regained,but mankind had learnt a lesson it should have never had to learn- humility.......
and thus they sat in the Bubble Cafe, uncorked the water they had specially ordered for the occasion, and toasted the few, who ages ago, had revamped mankind.... the few who used to have meets then too, the few who knew each other only through their words, and thoughts...
until next time, make a plan

P.S : with regards to the template i have 3 ayes yet (pleo, stone and blues) and 5 vehement nays (cynic, pallavi, wings, austere, coolcat) :).. have made some changes to make it better looking at all resolutions (as part of my new year resolution).. so, can we wait for a few more responses and a few more days, before we take a final decision on this? :)