Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beginning of an Era??

What a few weeks we had?
The highlight being the awesome response by the citizens of our country on mumbai issue and terrorism as such.It helped India Inc to stand up to it and unite us.
Politicians are atleast sounding reasonable and are awakened by the people response.

Sheila Dixit's victory in Delhi is a testament to the growing intellect among voters, which must be worrying the politicians. Of all the terror attacks and back stabbing politics (modi's speech in front of tajmahal which was still under attack) people voted sheila dixit on her mission to fill up the basic nessecities among voters in delhi, which still is 'roti,kapda aur makaan'. Whether the NDA,UPA,3rd Front let anybody come terrorism cant be stopped by a simple change in government.

But when his disciples are in astray god appears and spend some time to pacify the broken heart... these are not my line. But few verses from
BhagwadGita or the underlying fact about 'Avataars'. Such was the arrival of Diego Maradona in calcutta. He could not have timed it better and graced the occasion with such applomb. And Sachin's century and match winning innings in chennai, it soothed those millions of hearts. To add that he dedicated this victory to all those brave people in mumbai. Some people grow up and reach those unassailable heights but the ones who stand apart in everyones heart are the ones who are gracious to share it with others. Also a big thanks to Kevin Pietersen and the English team for letting world know India is still a safe place. It takes a bold step to come during this turmoil and even more bravery to bring your troops. KP reminds me of 'Maximus' in gladiator. A picture of resolute bravado..hats off to you sir.

Read another article on proposing Ratan Tata for presidency, remember he is stepping down from his position as CEO by next year. Me personally think he would make a good choice, and when was the last time we saw an enteprenuer a president of our country. I know they can get into rajyasabha (ask anil ambani how easy it is?) but people like Ratan tata, Narayanamurthy who face the roadblocks for growth in our country are the best to remove those roadblocks. Those thoughts are foregone when u think businessmen will use power for their growth. What are we seeing right now??, politicians come in as servants of citizen gradually turn into business men and final stage is the blood sucking mongrels we see daily. Come on india we need a change!! Talking about ratan tata, here is another factfile for you in case you missed it: after the relocation of Nano Plant from singur, the attack on tajmahal (insurance for it is covered by tata-aig) and to add salt in injury
the global economic meltdown he is the 'heaviest hit' enterpreneur of the year.

Then there was an insulting incident when a reporter threw a pair of shoes on American President George Bush.As a reporter it sounded gross but as an iraqi we can't more agree to him. My boss said "the guy had a good arm, 5 inches to the right he would have nailed him!!" After 15-20 years may be it will be asked in 'Kaun Banega CrorePati" "Name the only president in the world who was thrown a pair of shoes?"Coming days you can see reporters attending press meet without shoes :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Country needs us..wakeup and take guard

Shocked...was i? nope
Am i frightened?? hell no...
My mind is now saturated with a feeling of pitiness or should i say a sorry state of mind. I am aghast to know that how easy it is to attack my country, i am upset on the current cult of youth calling themselves mujahuddin's or warriors of the mighty allah..
i say.....no religion or god would agree this heinous deeds.
i dont wanna join the bandwagon...by calling them religious fundamentalists..these are core terrorsists and terrorism is never a religious or social act...they use religion to brain wash those corrupted youth.

So,Where are we heading towards??
Given the history of our country and the current high profile vulnerbailities the first thing we must avoid is pointing fingers at our government. No government in the world welcomes terrorist to dance on their chests, neither do they wish to point fingers on other countries its we who faltered to foresee these mis-deeds.
Our intelligence and 'porous' coastal lines need to be strengthened..more budgetary allowances on national security and many more steps to which we have been turning our faces.

As a country we must begin a process of social awakening sending sms and lighting candles all are good for the media space but do they really matter??? A handful of youngsters may be of my age in their mid twenties marauding streets in my country - this is not i want my country to be known for in other corners of earth. We have seen this in movies, heard of it happening in Africa but never in my home soil..naah could not imagine a brutal attack at country's financial capital.

You know what given a chance i would love to kill them, kill these terrorists.. yes shoot them at point blank face to face...like many of us here would have already imagined. But will it resolve..the ongoing crisis?? Hell No!!!
One 'Coward' of Terrorism spills bloods of hundreds of innocent people and
he gets what he expects 'DEATH'. Institution backing him would have provided a better environment for his family and may be promised 10 virgins in gods abode.
The social awakening part comes here , i mean a revolution of a sort,
My muslim brothers and sisters there is never a feeling of minority amongst us if you do not have one. Everyone loves their religion but killing peace and tranquility of our nation must not be the way to achieve glory for your religion.
There is an element of backing from some angles..from some where...some hideous resources are backing them. Much like the 93 Bombay Blasts..some high profile backing up...Its a prevalent sense of revenge that might be running the whole episode of attacks in various parts of our country...but aren't WE(me and you, ram and rahim) done yet? why do we need to pour more vitriol in fire and let others benefit from it? Because in the end we are the losers..i lose a brother so do you..Its a Lose-Lose scenario but our grudges are not willing..
These elements in our country need to be outcast first.


My intuition is on the various probes by CBI,ATS and police force on the bomb blast probes. Dont you think this looks like and eyewash to protect the meaner souls by sending out a few grenades and AK-47. Every 3 weeks one part or the other of MY country is blasted. Government should still keep the probe going on, and please hasten it. Its pitiful to see accused of 93 blasts getting punished in 2008 and some set free for no proper evidences.

Youth of my nation need to arise in this regard, its time to screw them back.

I plead you not to read this just as any other blog and erase it from your memory.
I suggest we make this an open forum to discuss matters...bring out more ideas...excercise your grey areas.


Me and my friend Ben discussed this matter in a high octane discussion with no ego, no blind patriotism, no general talk but a serious discussion on something good for our country.

Some points i adapt from our discussions are :

Beefen up our security in our country, we have no dearth of human resources. More trained force and avoid dependency on an ultra thin polic force with no siege training. A vast and spread up national guard system for better co-ordination of police force. Moreover a secure nation itself is the best asset for us to attract investors across the globe.

Engage Uniform Civil Code - no religion, no caste, no tribe, no region supercedes the citizen.Every true indian must be ready to accept this as it paves way for a uniform india in coming generations. Atleast no speak of minority or relegated thoughts.

Ban the use of term 'minority' in media for muslims. In a country with 13.6 crore muslims no body should dare to call them a 'minority'. They are a part of this country as well as everyone. Something like the ban of 'nigger' or 'blacks' in public.

Issuing state identification cards for every citizen. Make it mandatory and maintain a track record of each and every government and non-government transactions.
For eg: To buy a sim card you provide a state id, but do we do the same to book a ticket in train or hotel or plane. I know my friends who for fun book train tickets as 'Gonzalves' sounds funny but serious implication comes when a terrorist has the same capability. For this to happen voters id needs to be issued to every single citizen, quite a magnanimous step but inturn provides a more coherent system.

And...
Yes we need more ideas and thoughts from intelligent people like you...
Our country needs you..
I hope we can usher a much awaited change...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One night @ the Lincoln Tunnel

Chetan Bhagat will forgive me, as i am daring to steal this cheeky 'unpatented' name for this blog(in the lines of one night @ the call center). It was one helluva night.. with sinu blabbering, sandeep shivering and dhanya as always praying and me? i have no idea i was being stupid or idiotic but i was damn lucky to say the least. November 13th is devutty's birthday and we were all there in NJ to celebrate at a party organised by her dad & mom ( my classmates anuroop and lakshmi). So i get to know that Sinu is in NewYork some 30-40 minutes drive from anuroop's house. Me and Sandeep go to pick her up at the Newark Pennstation. It was raining heavily all the way and it was difficult to drive not to mention the heavy traffic in NewJersey. So we somehow reach there pick sinu up and drive back to anuroop-lakshmi's house. After an illustrous play time with devutty and a sumptous dinner (b'day cake,onion bajji, payasam, cutlet, mango juice, hot idly with no salt, and chutney) its time to drop off sinu at the hotel she is staying. So anuroop knows the routes of NY in and out and as an honourable guest he comes forward to drop her. But we were 5 if we include him so i convinced him to be at home with lakshmi and me,sandeep(as driver), dhanya and sinu will go in sandeep's car though with anuroop's GPS(global postioning system). So we start at around 12:30 am ( the ideal midnight hours for any adventure) with sandeep on wheel, me as navigator, sinu and dhanya as kids in wonderland(as they were looking out of the glass window with much amusement).

Intro on persons in the car : Sinu, she sounds tomboyish and can beat the crap outta you on any discussion. Has amazing skill on speaking on anything with 0 knowledge. Afterall she sells icecubes to eskimo's ( i mean she is an MBA). Dhanya aka gunds, was the holy power in our car as she will pray for anything. Once gireesh told me about her prayer skill-set i never believed that..man i believe it 200% now. Yep, she is that kind a very ignorant,naive person with 100% brain cells unused. Sandeep aka Sandy is a bit short of confidence in driving as he generally is a bit 'tension party'. In college days he used to sweat like a wet turkey on a grill if he fails to keep a record or assignment on time. And finally me, as this being my blog lets keep me as the hero [:)].


Now we are in route I-95 and traversing as per our GPS-bhai tells us to go. Sandy's eyeballs are rolling around every where was a funny scene. And in between dhanya ask's some question on traffic and route in NJ and compared to her adopted home town Columbus.Offlate she has acquired a US driving license, so to show off basically she was trying to guide an already tensed Sandy. Sinu was 'pushing' about her life at WallStreet last 2 weeks, all traders/equities/hedgefunds/creditcrunch etc etc ( Pushing is a our college term for boasting). And i was on phone talking to another friend minu and making her jealous about the superb birthday party and food. Now we are about to enter the Lincoln Bridge which leads us from NJ to NY and from there it should be simple to sinu's destination hotel.

Lincoln bridge itself is an architectural marvel, its basically a pipe kinda tunnel underneath the hudson river. Instead of a high flyover or bridge americanos preferred the direct way..yes a 'pipe'. Suddenly it happened, our gps stopped working and we had no idea where to go once the tunnel ends. We reach the end of tunnel and still no movement in GPS. But being confident souls we set straight forward..immediately GPS says "Turn Left" but 2 trucks were blocking our way in traffic. So we had to go straight and find another exit. But we learn that GPS is taking us on a long road trip. It gets turned off in between and comes up again, the huge buildings were obtructing the signal strength. The traffic was a bit less so we had time to turn at somepoint. Gradually we came to know, GPS is taking us back to the old route..i mean a huge U turn. We were infact heading towards NJ. So there we were infront of yet another tunnel and GPS-bhai said Go straight some 1 mile and take a U turn. Sandy asked " U turn again??" I gave hime the logical (stupid) explaination on the road systems in US and my prior navigation experience. The moment we crossed the tunnel GPS said 'Take a U turn'. Sounds so simple right?? Infact the barricades were open at that point and there was not a single soul around. Without any hesitation we all chorussed into Sandy's ears "thirikkeda vandii" Sandy obliged he took a u turn schumacher would have been proud about, it was a neat U and we were on other side. With a smile Sinu said "Ini prashnam onnum illa nere vitto".
The moment she finished her sentence ('dhaande kidakkunu' i said in my mind) here come a few cops inside the check post on the tunnel. A few means 3-4, coz of my tension i did not count them. They were on our car like you see in hollywood movies. One on the passenger side, one on driver, one checking the boot, two on other window, another one standing infront of the car. Sandy slided down his window glass with shivering hands. The cop was furious and his eyes face was red.
He said "Did you take a U turn now? I mean how can you take a U turn on a 60 miles/hour freeway and that too on a rainy night"
"are you insane, eh?"

Sandy said " Sir, we were on our way to battery park..err..to drop my friend..and we lost our way..and..."
Cop says "Do you have a license?" and as he speaks he checks with his fellow cops if everything is fine and gives a quite obnoxious looks at people in the car.
Meanwhile i was still of the notion that we have not done any thing wrong so i was looking what the fellowcops were upto? And Sandy takes his license and gives to the cop..he checks it and he goes again ranting
"You have a NewJersey License and i dont understand how you could foolishly take a U turn on a freeway?? Are you Stupid??"
Sinu interrupts infact her voice was loud a mild yelling "As we told you we lost our way and we have been trying to find our way back to battery park near wallstreet".
Here we go cop again says " But that doesn't explain it, there is no way you can do this. Its dangerous. Do you want to be a part of an accident or some. you cannot take a U turn on interstate.."
Enough is enough i felt i thought its high time i say something or we'll end up in jail or a ticket with some 200$ fine. I said "Sir we are sorry, but the gps told us to take a U turn" and pointed my finger at the GPS.
This made the cop furious as hell, until now he thought this was an honest mistake now he learns that we are fools as well. He looks at me and says
" you dont have a brain?? you believe on a damn computer??" Then i said "Sir, look it says U turn here"
And he replies "You belive in a computer? What if it said take a right into the river?? Will you dare to do it??"
Uh Oh!! then it rang a bell..luckily by gods grace he did not book us or punish us..he let us go and asks us to be careful in future. Had he gone for 5 more..? Man i cant think.

So this time we are on another tunnel called the Holland Tunnel. We cross this one and yes 'GPS Bhai' does not work. We parked the car in a cut-road alley looked spooky at night. Walked down to a cop car standing there and asked him the route. He said "Battery park is 5 minutes walk from here, you can park your car here and go". In a world of all high technologies with GPS and HiTech Cars, we had to depend on a our able "Ask Anybody System" (much more efficient than GPS in NY). We walked and dropped off sinu atlast. It was an unforgettable trip in all senses, meeting sinu after a long time, conversaitons with a cop and last for the worst 'U' turn of our lives. Bolo NYPD ki jaiii...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obamarama a new "Barack America"


"If there is anyone out there...
who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible;
who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time;
who still questions the power of our democracy,
tonight is your answer."

These are the words by Mr.Obama when he was elected as the president of USA.
I remember it was one of those late night browsing hours i came across an article about a senator from chicago winning grammy award. Next day evening in Barnes & Nobles saw this book by him. Already sold millions of editions. Barack Obama did not ring a bell in my mind to be candid about it.I knew former US President Bill Clinton had won a grammy earlier. But never in my wildest imagination or logical permutations i would have believed obama to be an american president soon. One day via TV i came to know about Barack Hussein Obama vying to stand for democratic nomination. Since then there has not been a day obama has not been on media. Either for the long feud with Hillary Rodham Clinton for Democratic nomination or for the presidential election campaign against John McCain.

But all the way Obama had a charisma around him that made me read more and more about him ''on what he is? what he does? is he for real or how genuine is he?'' so many questions about an american president nominee was the first time in my mind. Maybe its more due to my awareness on world politics these days also the first US election am witnessing live. Obama is a seperate class altogether and some kinda persona alive in him makes millions of people believe him. A person with middle class background and only a good education to boast about has achieved what was impossible some years back. Though we dont say out aloud (like Lord VoldeMont in Harry Potter) 'black' was always a factor against obama. Full remarks to the republican counterparts even they ceased to mention the ill-word. But neither did he use it for his vote banks. May be this is what the other african-american community in the world need to learn from obama. You need to be 'unblack' yourself your mind and thoughts first.Andrew Symonds i hope u earn this trait soon. Another trait that i find refreshing is his approach to his personal life and the transparency in it. Doesn't mean he invites to the dinner table right away or takes you for a drink but many recognize him as a good father, a loveable grandson, a chap who likes to play basketball every week with his friends (His friends call him 'O'bomber for the shooting abilities check out the youtube video on his basketball skills). Also not to forget, he is unbelievably articulte not an ideal thespian for a politician but he talks in an attractive manner you would love to listen him whole day.

Obama is no fluke or mug that just happened after bush's tyranny for 8 years. He was calculative, pin point decisive and he had strong policies to back his abilities. Though a first time senator but he made his debut counted by the reforms he brought about and the positive outlook on politics. A politician breed of different kind world has seen so far , he paves for a new generation of politicians with an 'audacity of hope' in them. Although his inexperience will be clearly exploited in coming days but given his amicable resume he is the one not to get bogged down.

At this moment, How i wish politicians of my country campaigning for a 'change' rather than their 'caste'? But every country has its own way of functioning, but so did america. Until now the biggest day of democracy was when an old man with a stick walked 400kms also known as the salt satyagraha. LandSlide Victory of Obama stands somewhere close to it 'for me atleast'. In a democratic country this leaves you with nothing else but hope for a better dawn to descend upon us. Barack Obama you make 'common man' like us to think that extra boundaries we need to extend ourselves.
Nothing is Impossible...Yes We Can! Yes We Can!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Seat Number ' 7B '

"Continental Flight number CA7640, NewJersey to Columbus passengers are requested to board their flight from gate C54".Ohh atlast the time for the flight to arrive on a snowy day, have been stuck in the airport for last few hours. My laptop out of charge so could not play FIFA anymore, so sat there and dozed off in the airport lounge. Walked to the gate C54 as they had announced. There was already a big crowd and a long queue. Monitored the queue thoroughly as i was looking for a hot chick preferably brunette amongst them. If in india i would have checked the reservation chart stuck outside the train compartment to see if any girls with the age 19 to 26 near my seat. May be i have a record of not travelling a single time with a pretty woman.I always end up with old woman, snoring bullies, crying babies, prankster kids etc etc.

Ahha!! there she is, a tall brunette with a tattoo on her arms. She is deeply involved in her ipod music and forget me she is not bothered abt all those stares at her.I must admit she is a 'hot chick' looked like catherina zweta jones ( a little exaggeration is of no harm). As i stood there with mouth wide open the queue grew longer and longer, suddenly regaining senses i went there and stood far behind her in the queue. As i approached the gate the stewardess said 'Seat number 7A sire'. May be its the climate or just was my lucky day even she looked adorable and cute. Giving a wink i replied 'Gracias' as she looked puerto-rican to me. She gave me this 100 million$ smile 'Have a safe trip Senor' came the reply. As i entered the flight and as if i cant find '7A' which is right in front of my eyes i was infact searching for the brunette. Ohh not again..i just missed her she was in '8A'. And the fat old man sitting next to her had the sparkle of 'Colin Farell as The Alexander King' in his eyes. I felt a bit dejected but its been a habit now so i parked my luggage and retired to my seat half-heartedly. Passengers kept coming in, i wonder where they are going to?? The flight was not so big..atleast not a Boeing 787 for a small 2 hour journey.

'7B' is still empty, i dont know which moth**f***er is gonna take this seat. Why do i care? Its time for a small nap try to forget the 'hot brunette'. May be atleast in sleep i will get a good seat or why a seat? May be she will not get a seat and she travels on my lap. God!! thats too much to ask. With a smirk on my face i adjusted my body to get a good sleep. There was a pillow on my seat, when did this all come in short flights for a damn cheap rate i wondered. Again 'what the hell, why do i care its cheap and its free just go on with your sleep'. I took my mp3 player out of the bag plugged it in my ear and clicked 'Shuffle All'.Lathaji started singing 'Mera jeewan Kora Kaagaz'..please no not this one. Clicked 'Next', 'Zindagi jab bhi teri..' another sad song. Man!! my mp3 player started playing for my mood or what?. Screw it even am not gonna give up, Selected Music->AR Rehman->'Play all'. what next?? you wont believe it was 'Ae ajnabi thu bhi kahin'.Are yaar..!!please dont make me feel even worse. Swithched off my mp3 player and tried getting some good sleep. Could hear passengers getting in (where the hell are they all going? looks like an UN conference happening inside the plane).I could hear the brunette giggling on my back, the old pig might be raking a few scores there. I wished his wife called him now and reminded him his age.

So trying to erase the brunette out of my memory and to get a good sleep. My eyes close put tightly, some thing different happened. A sweet aroma encapsulated me, my olfactory sense were in mayhem. I could not resist the smell and my anxiousness to find the source system.It felt like the smell of a fresh 'sharbath' on a hot summer with lemonade essence on top. Reluctantly i opened my eyes i could see her coming.
She was dressed to kill nimble hearts like mine. And as always she carried her 'close up' smile in a superior way.I wished there was a tsunami behind her and she will fall right on me. I would say "Bhagwaan jab bhi detha hei, Chappar Phaad ke Detha hei". Anyway she was dressed in jeans and a blue top. The stitching of her clothes fit her as a 'T' and she had a big bag on her shoulders. Big enought to pack the old man from back seat.She also had a ticket in her hand and she was looking for a seat. In my mind a 'mantra' echoed 7B,7B,7B,7B..an infinite for{} loop of '7B'.
She stopped at the 5th row and talked to the stranger over there..Yes yet another old man who looked like 'Sean Connery' was sitting there. God have all these old men formed a 'League of Extra Ordinary Gentlemen' against me the 'paavam'. I could not bare this, i closed my eyes said to my self "aaj mere paas ghaadi hein, paisa hein, property hein, bank balance hein..magar thoda sa bhi luck nahin hein'.Out of nowhere i hear this sweet voice of 'Excuse Me'. I opened my eyes to see 'Asin' standing next my seat.For the ignorant souls out there, Asin is a tamil actress with quite a good movies and roles in her resume. But main point she is a malayalee like me.
i could not believe it was she standing there, but hiding my anxiety i replied back in the best baritone my soundbox could provide.'Yes, can i help you?'. She said "my seat is '7B'....."aww atlast its monsoon in my orchard as well. I felt a long beep in my head whatever she said afterwards didnt matter to me. Even if she said 'I am wired with a time bomb across my belt'. Regaining my senses i tried to focus on what she is speaking..(ohh her lips are awesome by the way). "....so i think its your luggage can you please help me adjusting my bag near there.Pleaseee..". "Ohh sure why not?" I replied. Opened the overhead deck and shuffled all other luggages here and there to make space for a Honda CRV to park. Yeah her bag was that big..I wonder how they allowed it to carry inside the flight. Maybe she gave that killer smile to the flight attendant.


After the herculean task of arranging the luggage we both sat next to each other. I was pinching myself to believe its all true.Her phone rang then for the first time, but she is not picking it up. Jaane Kyun?? Anyway i was preparing here for a long conversation with none other than 'Asin' herself. Clearing my throat and a wicked American Desi accent i queried "You travelling to Columbus?". She turned at me sending her hair astray in all angles possible..throwing me off the hook."No, infact to Chicago. My flight to chicago got cancelled this flight will take me to cleveland. From there i have a connection flight to Chicago." was her prompt reply."Ohh Chicago nice..windy city it is..must be real cold these days. Its Barack Obama's state Illnois you know." i started giving her my wikipedia answers to her. Some people never change, u have a beautiful lass sitting next to you and you tell her the traffic and climate of chicago??. From first look i knew it was asin ( as u all know) but did not want to bring her heroine image here and my inferiority complex to multiply. I started again with a cheesy campus pick up line "You know what, you look very familiar? Are you from Palakkad?" again for the ignorant soles palakkad is my 'home town' a prosperous land in kerala. With a smile she replied " Ohh Ok, not from palakkad. But am too from Kerala. Cochin to be infact." Hmmmm she is intelligent more than i guessed. She hides the fact that she is into movies and maybe i have seen her there."..you know even you look pretty familiar. You look like my cousin brother." 'Cousin Brother??' i said in my mind..no not brother please. Of those forgetful incidents in college days the worst one is when a girl i have crush on says 'You are like my brother' nothing can be worse than this for a man to digest. With a smile i said "Ohh ok thats nice!" Her phone was still ringing but she has no idea to pick that up in near future..'Girls!! you know they make you go around their ankles a million times to atleast get a whiff' i murmurred in my mind.

From no where a cute girl appeared right next to us. In the most cute voice i ever heard in my life she said "Asin Chechi, oru autograph tharuo??".Asin replied "Yeah sure baby!! Entha molude peru?". "Anjaly" the girl replied. Asin duly autographed and gave a kiss on each of anjaly's rose cheeks. I wish i could cry there, i should have asked for the autograph in first place after carrying her 1 quintal bag.And for sizz the kiss was mine written all over. Anjaly's mom and dad came just then. Oh my god is she gonna kiss them too?? Man i felt like jumping out of the plane.I heard anjaly's mom saying "We all are a big fan of yours, your acting in Ghajini was superb." Now this dialogue took me to heights of redundancy, the same ghisa-peeta dialogue.Of all the other flops every one recognizes the one single role to get a quick autograph.I kept on staring at the family who all were discussing movies, kerala, ghajini and god-knows-what with asin, looting my special time with her.Anjaly's mom now upped the tempo a bit high, looking at me "Is he your boyfriend?" she asked asin. With a volatile giggle asin looked at me and said "No chechi, he is a friend". My Armageddon moment, atlast 'friend' from 'cousin brother' status. I was happy, it was as if i won an oscar.

After they went i polished my acting skills, with an ignorant face i asked her
"You into movies? thats why you are so familiar.." Asin said "Yeah, I have acted very less into malayalam movies. More into tamil and telugu. Thats why you must not have seen my movies" I knew everything about her movies to her first movies to her car she owns and what not? But acting as an ignorant/innocent mallu, i said "Yeah may be!! And i prefer watching more hollywood movies. You know like Robert De Niro's, AlPacino's, Spielbergs, Martin Scorcese etc". ( yes no doubt i was bragging).
Still her phone was ringing and she does not want to pick it up. Its better if she does not pick it up, i didnt want another hindrance between us. I must tell you she was quite down to earth and seemed nice, as she was deeply involved in our conversation. I felt a radiance of magnetic flux pulling towards her, i did not want the flight journey to end.Just then i overheard pilot announcing flight is about to land. I wanted to get her email id, phone number or something to remember this 'date with asin' and obviously boast to my friends. But i decided to go for the jackpot. I asked "Can i get your Autograph please?". She giggled and replied "Ohh sure why not Shabbu". I knew kiss on my 'cheeks' was around the corner. But then as i searched for pen lying near me, a noise deafened me. It was a deep shrilling noise something unpleasant to say the least. It was my mobile alarm had been ringing for quite sometime now. Asin was lying next to me smiling on my laptop wallpaper. Aww my gawd!!sleeping in the comfy bed at home with a pillow by my side this was one helluva DREAM. I guess too many 'heinekens' the night before had its own side effects Ehh??.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Connected via Web

Sitting in a comfy couch at an apartment in columbus infront of my laptop. My eyes eagerly monitoring all the messenger windows.Vendor aint matter here, i had all the versions 'Active' gtalk,skype and yahoo. As discussed earlier i was waiting for my friends and family to come onlineand spend one helluva time cracking jokes and teasing each other. With webcam my mom feels the presence of me at home, everytime she starts with one line - "you look weak, are you ok?".My dad on other hand is really excited and the same time feeling sleepy coz of the odd hour. Shyama, my sister she shows off her typing skills also she is the co-ordinator for all these chats.But am not alone in this flux of virtual gettogethers. A big % of software engineers here in US, my roomies, my friends, their friends altogether its one big big group. Everybody is logged in on a saturday morning or evening probably adorned with a headset.Recently i saw the movie 'Border' and the song 'Sandese aathe hein..now this sounded so meaningful to me.Think of a hiatus without letters and phone calls and what-not? There will be no point in all this.
Now the worrying part is when your favourite cousins getting married one after the other, you want to go and attend this marriage alone and be back.But then starts the 'logical engine of brain' calculating the leaves, task of fighting for leaves, expenses and the list goes on and on.And at an age when your friends start getting married you dont wanna miss the marriage either for them or for the big band of friends you might miss.So we end up missing that too. This cycle starts and starts eating up your mind on "am i doing the right thing?".But in a dooming economy and the impending personal agendas in life we are bound for sacrifices. The consoling part will be that 'soon i'll be back inthick of things'. Until then life is like a rolling stone......

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pasame Amigo............

Football!!!

Anybody who knows me must be aware how big a football fan i am.Every ounce of clairvoyance in me for the game of football, thats me in short.I dream about football matches, consistently trying to analyse this game.Getting involved in an adrenaline pumped discussions on football with all and sundry is one of my favourite timepass.Most of my dear friends in my college days were a large group of football maniacs or ultra modern hooligans.After coming to US i am playing a lot of football(or soccer as they call it here), atleast in the summers. After college days, work had taken up most of the time in my schedules but still did not allow game to take a back seat. In chennai the weekend beach football and thiruvanmayur cricket matches are some of my cherished moments.Playing soccer in beach has its own advantages coz its purely skill and stamina game and cool breeze over the indian ocean keeps you refreshed.But here in US am playing every week, once in a while with my colleagues.League matches every wednesday with a group resembling world conference.And not to forget playing with a group of mexican guys(i still dont know their names) in my neighbourhood.

In our college, football was always a hot topic. Playing or watching this beautiful game is considered divine by a few of us.One of my bright spots in my college life is playing for my college football team. The number '13' on my back at center of defence made me feel i am the local version of 'alessandro nesta'. Football discussion were always hot and lively, the number of hours that i spent discussing football in andimadam room with gireesh, sudeep and ashok is somewhere close to infinity.The MIB(Men in Blue) team formed by us which reached semifinals of the hostel football tournament is still lingering in my thoughts.

In one of my beautiful memories i remember Jim Joseph handling a bunch of freshers and nomads in electrical department to the finals of inter-branch football competition. If i would have to vote for brilliance outside pitch, it will go to him. And the best orator to Anish aka HOD.The MIB captained by Binu John was also one among the best days in my college life.The team meeting in his room and those inspirational speech or punch dialogues he delivers.I remember binu and pradeep climbing on top of me when i scored against 'Sakhavu Viay's team'. Jayju and Kanjan running all around causing any team to unsettle and cant forget vava's outside foot corners. I spoke to Binu's father on his First death anniversary. Uncle asked me 'Are you binu's classmate?'.'No uncle we play football together. We are friends' that was my reply. For many that sounds like the most absurd thing to say but it felt great to say that.

The most inspirational person from college football would be jineesh, though junior to us he had lot of potential and believed in the passing and movement game.Hell!! i improved a lot playing with him and i learnt a lot from his humilty and kiddish smile. Also cant forget the 'big' lecture he and jamal gave me when i almost hit Kiran for his tackle on me from behind.Football is an absolute team game with everybody pulling the strings behind the scenes, but there are a few folks who had the charisma to stand apart.Arun aka Madan had this in him in huge amounts. As a person he is pretty much silent and into himself but with a ball in his legs he is volatile and vivacious.And great part is he can play in any positions and keeps nagging the opposition all around. I love my buddy goalkeeper dinesh whose eyes gets wet every time we win a match, though he says its coz of the dust.

In football language is not at all a barrier. Why to restrict it with language, it doesnt look for cast creed or religion. In the pitch nothing else matters, its the most democratic game.No wonder its a hit even in the impoverished countries. I would say if you play together for a while an eye contact will get you going.It was like this for Kora, he is from arunachal pradesh and even his hindi sucked big time.But was one of the best footballers around had a sound left foot and probably the best stamina around. But could get along with every one in the team, also improving your game too.Same was with personal differences as well, me and a bunch of my friends were avid opponents of communistic ideologies. Honey used to play in defense with me and was a fanatic SFI(communists students wing)supporter. Outside the ground we were fierce rivals whether its election time or not. But inside the ground we were to believe each other and play together as a team. I have enjoyed every tackle and headers with him playing along me.

This aint a testimony by diego maradona or johan cruyff but by me. I aint no legend but football is such a big part in my life.I prefer watching football to kill my sombre mood. Like many amongst us i attach my personal life with the ups and downs of the club or country i support. I remember liverpool winning champions league in 2005 and somehow i associated that with a personal victory of mine. Me being placed in TCS and getting a move on and all, after a torrid year with unemployment,jaundice, breakup etc. Still to keep my spirits up football is the best medicine for me,as i write this today evening again i am off to play with my homies from the hood. And hear them yell out 'pasame amigo' (pass me the ball my friend)!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Salman Ka Dum

"Shahrukh ya Aamir? " asked my friend angesh. This was way back when i was in 9th standard. Another friend of mine Ashish was looking at me with curious eyes. I knew this could be another chapter of groupism in the class like "Sachin or Azhar", "Mohanlal or Mammootty", "Aishwarya ya Sushmitha". This time i did not wanted to be pulled into another verbal-assault and point proving. I thought for a while and answered "Salman Khan". Both of them gave me a puzzled look, I continued "I like Shahrukh for his energy and he is from delhi, aamir is like everybody's heartthrob and extremely chullan (mallu lingo for handsome)". My diplomatic answer would have pleased them, ashish said to me "Correct, salman is good too. He is like gym of the world". I think he meant salmans extreme good physique.
After that though not with a big backing up i silently followed salman. Those endless hours in the gym and dum-bells at home hoping to be like salman. But salman is salman, from one controversy to other he maintained his cult through out. But every once in a while, there was this one movie of his which kept him close to me. I virtually cried when he bid farewell to Ash in HDDCS. The other khan's meanwhile had become giants of indian movies though by different means. Salman kept going on relentlessly the way he had started.

Recently i saw Salman's "Dus Ka Dum" episode video in internet. My general perception was this would be like any other show trying to copy KBC-Bachan version. And in the end he would join the almost band of SRK,Govinda,Manoj Bajpai, Madhavan, SarathKumar(tamil),Mukesh(malayalam). But here he proved me wrong, he was stylish, he was himself and ravishingly different. When other stars are posing a media friendly always smiling faces with a grin inside, salman was refreshingly frank. One episode where he frankly tells about hus life in jail, his fight with SRK etc. Above all the dancing rikshawala's. The show is an absolute cracker and the creators have used salman's image in a well polished manner. KBC rejuvenated Amitabh Bachan's dented personal and film life. May be 'DKD' turns out to be the lucky mascot for Sallu Bhai.

Now he has been issued a 'fatwa' for performing ganesh pooja. To hell with them, salman you are our modern day icon "Karo jo Dil Kahe". Crazy hair style or Six pack abs or Singh-Is-King keep coming but dudes like you rock in our hearts.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mr.Sambhar

If you ask me what is my favourite dish?. Well its a tough question to ask an epicure, but after analysing hundreds of dishes my answer would be 'Sambhar'. Though chicken curry is a happy runner-up. Sambhar wins it coz of the aroma and the 'X' factor which am yet to understand.I always liked sambhar from childhood days especially the one amma makes. She used to say proudly that'Sabari just needs Ulli-Sambhar(onemade with small onions) to keep him happy".I still remember my grandmother, grandfather all cook sambhar when we come from delhi on vacations. In palakkad where i grew up our food constituted Idlis, Rice or Chappathi's and all 3 and many others went well with Sambhar....Bingo!!There are times when i go to my aunts house to escape from my mom made idli's.Such was the frequency that i was a bit fed up of idlis. But any number of times i could take sambhar, some times i drink it in a glass.Now you would have understood, sambhar is my close ally in food department.

When i was posted in chennai, for a few days we tried out all the near by hotels. Ofcourse 'Sambhar Saadham' was the primary in my hitlist.Gradulally we decided to cook ourselves.Which i would say is a big challenge, as all of us were damn lazy and with '0' experience in cooking. My roomies Jabri, Sree and Nallapa had a faint idea of cooking though atleast to turn on the gas stove. And we always had 'phone a friend' option, usually my mom or sree's mom/sister. First time i tried cooking Sambhar it turned out to be rasam. I still remember nallapa laughing his gut out and asking me in a telugu-dipped accent."Arre what man, how can you call this Sambhar?"But i was not the one to give up, next time i went back home for vacation. I took short notes from amma and she also gave me some powders she used for cooking. Hmmm may be that was missing all this time..Next 3-4 times the story was same, it turned out to be a disaster and we used to order food from the nearest hotel everytime.Then my roomie termed my sambhar as Sa-Rasam. As it was now an eclectic mix of Sambhar and Rasam. But still more of Rasam though.

The week i started for US, every hotel we go acha will say 'Order sambhar you wont get it there'. For first time in my life, my mind agreed to him.Once i came to columbus, it was like i almost bid adieu to sambhar in my mind.From whatever i heard and read about US. Sambhar and US ...no way, its like Mohanlal dating Angelina Jolie.But irony being that my first day in columbus, Deepa gave me Sambhar for lunch. Wow did i enjoy that!! Then most of the days deepa made sambhar and i used to stand next to her and try to learn it.My first attempt in columbus is a very famous one as its called the one and only 'Carrot-Rasam'. Maman and SreejithEttan still make fun of me with that. After so many trial and error, now a days i can make an 'OK' Sambhar. For a bachelor may be its a good sambhar, but if you compare it to stalwarts of sambhar i know in my life..its a good head start.Guess what tonight again it was sambhar for dinner....My roomies brene and dev are gonna have tough times ahead for sure..its gonna overflow Sambhar in 8249, Gradington Drive.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Terrorism is it an Islam-INC brainchild??

After 911 bombings, Muslims around the world are having a tough time. That i would say is a 'public secret'. For a cruel act by a set of irrational terrorists world looks at a 'follower of islam' with a shadow of doubt in his mind. In my personal experience i see most of us asians screened at airport for security measures. Though sometimes its uncomfortable for the end result called'Security' its a welcome act. But recent bombings in india by a chapter of terrorist wing called 'Indian Mujahuddin' has cast a shodow on us Indians too. Every time a bomb is burst a few muslim clerics are questionned and a few muslims are arrested(after which they are released with no evidence). People like us and the media agree to it, its the trained mind that acts during those junctures. Are we travelling through the same lines as in US where security classified as red,amber and green?

As an eye opener here is a small statistics for you, there have been 11 bombings altogether since 2001. The butterfly effect of such cynical act is that a common musalman has to go through all the pains. I have a lot of muslim friends both in india and US. Sitting in a same couch watching a telivision programme, where everyone(as in media and newspaper) questions the integrity and patriotism of my friend. The perperators of bombings talk about(e-mail) revenge, opportunity and what not. But is this what father of our nation dreamt of? Thousands of muslims believed in secularism and decided to stay in our country. Ram-Rahim could stay together, it was the so called dream. But the tribulent acts of cowardice has brought government under huge pressure to bring an Anti-Terrorist act. Which in turn will be virtually like burning your house to kill a few rats.

If the so called islamic-jihadi's could use a bit of common sense above their religious spirits and intelligence, on a long run they are defaming their religion, their own country and their brothers more than ever. Government needs to be stringent in action as well not alone in media interviews (like our home minister). I cannot understand why people like Mohammed Afzal still not hanged for the parliament attacks in 2001. A clear message need to be sent to all those who dare to denounce themselve for 'jihadi acts'. Or else you would see a deluge of terrorist activities in hot spots around india. But blaming everything on them will be sheepishly ineffective. Lot of changes needs to happen from top to bottom of our democratic setup. Ministers with vast history in bloodshedding and killings are in pivotal positions in the government(like shibu soren).
Every government plays the caste and religion politics and further divides the society into millions of pieces.

And to my heading of this topic "Terrorism is it an Islam-INC brainchild??". My heartfelt answer is "Hell-No". Two hands join together for a clap, similarly hundreds of reasons that have happened and are happening in india which now is instigates a ravaged group of youngsters attacking parliaments, capitals and common men. These men cannot be classified under any religion or caste. Prophet Mohammed's beautiful religion is now misused by a few hell-broke extremists even around the holy month of ramadan. What more can we say?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Columbus Pillars

What on earth is he talking?
Is it some kinda architectural wonder in columbus. Here the pillar i mean is in line of support and a bit of guidance too. In our software industry one of the upbeat part of our career is onsite. The reason being economic and social freedom. But altogether for most of us the reason is economic. Some say it is the best time to make money, some see it as a best opportunity to look around the world and gain more mileage. Me being one among those N1000 software engineers vying for an onsite, but did not think it as a recipe for success. Its just you get a chance to move on in life and open up another dimension. So my travel date was fixed, december 31st night i am to travel to columbus from chennai. I was asked a million questions by my parents, sister, family and friends. And the most common was food and accomodation. But was i worried? Hell no!! I had a number (6144323859) this was like answer to any question asked. It was sreejithettans number. No matter what i knew he will be there at onsite to pick me up at airport. A blind faith or its more like a confidence on a person.

Yes so he is the first pillar i am speaking about, Sreejith. We were team mates at offshore. A workaholic to core and a person who finds inerests in most wierder things of life. I cant imagine me getting acclimatised to columbus without Sreejithettan (thats how i call him) and deepa. They were more like my dad and mom columbus version. Dont try to read between the lines its just that they took care of me so well. I mean getting rice and sambhar daily with one sidedish is a luxury any bachelor cant say NO to. Also the initial days of pick up and drop to office, to football ground. '592 Stransberry Ct' the house i stayed with sreejithettan and rohit was like battle of wits day-in-day-out.

Then comes a person who is one of a kind , yes the second pillar by any means Rohit (or maman as we all call him). We both have similar interests from movies to cricket to you-say-it. So there was a big frequency match there and a big-big comfort zone which you are waiting for away from your friends and family back at home. Anybody here knows the maman-shabbu battles at playfield it doesnt matter the sport we are playing either of us will pick up a fight. Some scientists said, like poles repel in our case it was like explosion. But somewhere there was a big brother in him guarding me and giving wisdom lessons on life (especially love life...ooh i must admit i am way back to him at this subject at least).

Then there was Alibhai, popularly known as Neaz. I call him Alibhai coz he is like somebody out of a mumbaiyya-apun-ka-bhai movies. He is there for everyone for everything from buying groceries to chosing the right attire on a plane journey to argue with the bowling arena waitresses. You get lost somewhere in columbus, call@neaz he will guide you back to polaris. And the best part comes at farewells where he gives this long speech about 'THE' person.

But now theres a brief hiatus, one by one each one of them have left to india. There is a popular saying in polaris that, 'neaz takes everybody to walmart, and rohit takes everybody to ballmart'. After them nobody has replaced these two gentlemen so effectively. After all everyone is making their move on with their life. In the extrapolation of the cycles of life i am sure some where our paths are meant intersect. On that day it transcends down to the good time we all had with these awesome people, till then let there be a short memoir on them in my blog.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Independence Day



August 15th is the most important day for indians around the world. Independence day for us indians is a big occassion like any other festival. Once my dad took us for an independence day celebration in his office. The airforce office were all decorated and with all the jets and helicopters for us youngsters to gaze upon. That day my dad was in a parade, and it was so proud for us to see him in uniform and march along. In my School we all used to come dressed in white uniform standing in line and singing various patriotic songs in unison. The first few years i failed to understand the value behind it, i could not understand us standing under scorching sun and listen to some special guest giving his long long speech. But the sweet which were waiting for us were the usp for the day.


Once in our history(one of my fav. subjects) lessons we started to learn about the freedom struggle and the 'n' number of martyrs behind this divine cause. Now this day had much more importance for me as a person. The independence day parade which happens in redfort(laal kila) New Delhi honoured by the Prime Minister and President of India is one of the most eye-catching scenes you will ever see. It is telecasted in national television across india, and i used to adore watching the parades. Every State showing their glory and flourishness as a theme on top of a big truck. The armed forces exhibiting their skills and weaponry. Young students parading with pride and giving the big salute to the president of india.It still remains as one of my biggest dream to attend this function live.

In our neighbourhood, early morning at 7 we used to celeberate independence day too. Our ward councellor used to hoist the flag and give speech about Gandhiji and freedom struggle. The freedom fighters in our locality are honoured and they too do not fail to speak a few words of wisdom to us kids. Years have gone by, still independence day has not lost its glitter and importance in our heart and souls. One of the reason that shows our country is in right direction.


Jai Hind!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Listen to your Heart....

Another year goes by, another birthday looming around. Time to rewind another year that passed by and reminisce and plan for the feature. Years go by, but i never felt a big change in me. Ask my school friends they would say am still the same (not physically though). Some say its great not to change and be yourself, but the way i see my life is just stale and stagnant. Mankind thinks about growth by virtue of the money he earns or the big career move he makes. Some even say the car a person owns says his change in life. But ask me i would answer, Bullshit!! God gave me this wonderful family and friend circle who do nothing but support me. I am grateful to them to the core, but the point is as a person i dont see or feel any change in me after all those years.

It is an evasive mechanism my mind takes to be lazy and loom around the present. My dad used to called me an escapist, because i never ever liked responsibilities. I was happy to fool around and show off. Now you might think why i have to think about it now?? I feel kinda bored at this colloquial speeches, and wanna really do something different. But am confused to say the least, as the fun am having is not less either for a common person like me.

Last week one of my friend said on phone "There are certain moments in life where you gotta be selfish and just listen to your heart..." I could relate to this one easily, as every decision in my life ever had been from my brains rather than my heart. A song says, "My heart said Yes but mind said No". ...yeah guess what i went for 'no'. I could relate to what he said, there was a moment long time back where we seperated saying "In another life may be.." it was a mindful thought. Had i listened to my heart, i may not be writing this blog. I may not have escaped (or ran away) to where i am now. May be i would not have been an emotional wreck. May be life would not have been stale...searching for milestones....

Mind is a big cauldron of emotions where everything just burns and burns and bursts out at the most inappropriate moments of life. And my jovial mind is tortured by this so called remembrances. I regret at certain things, but i am not gonna sit and wimp about it. So what am i gonna do? I am gonna try to listen to my heart...lets see the future in a different angle may be.
Some say never let out your birthday wishes, before blewing off the candles on my cake...My wish is ...you know by now...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Attaboy Heath!!

I went for a movie at a theatre near by after a long break, am a big movie freak but i prefer watching in a cozy environment lying lazy at my house. Being a restless soul i hate to sit hands tied at a moviehouse. So once in a while i go to theatre, i want the movie to be that special. Special need not be hit, a different movie in all angles thats what i want. So i went for this movie - "The Dark Knight", yeah the Batman one. Though the movie was a bit too long for my liking, a deluge of action scenes and too many stars for the smallest of roles. I liked the movie for its darkness, and for the quintessential reason 'The Joker' a psychopath villain enacted by Heath Ledger.

The movie had everything a superhero/comic movie wanted.The well shot action scenes, lots of explosions, kidnapping, superhero who cant kill.But joker was one par above them. His introduction was good with an obscure make-up. A small glimpse of his face and he says "Its simple, Kill the Batman"The tongue clicking, the unsure body language, an appalling walk..you would never see any villain of this craziness. Its not the charisma but its something more of in his performance that attracts you to him. Not to forget the voice modulation. There is an ominous pause between the words, making him that bit extra clear to audience. The 'Joker Clap' also is a key attraction in his tantrums. He was able to generate a voice and tone with no empathy, but he was too stylish in his own sense. Yes, there were a lot of comparison with previous jokers in other batman movies, especially with Jack Nicholson. But Nicholson was more about his persona, style and charisma which made joker a bit attractive to ones liking. Heath makes it ultra sure that you hate him to the core as a person. There is a moment when he unleashes his dogs on to Batman. While the dogs attack batman mercilessly he too joins the bandwagon like a tenacious dog. I can write and explain each moment of the heath in the movie.
But may be my writing wont pay the due dividence to it.

Performance wise, i always preferred to watch the anti-hero. I think that brings out the best in actors. Thousands of indian movie fans are still drooled over after they listen "Arrey ohh Samba, Kithne aadmi the??" Gabbar Singh from sholay is considered as an acting manual for villains.100's came after Amjad Khan, but he still shines like a star. How many of us can forget the scene in taxi driver where robert de niro stands in front of the mirror and evokes"You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here". Heath ledger has given a similar performance in that strata. Mixed with chaos, schiznophernia and humour he is an unpredicatble villain you can ever see.And given this a super hero movie, the joker has no magical/scientific skills. He has a liking for destruction, is not lured by money he just finds thrill in killing.

As i told you before i do a lot of homework before i watch a movie in theatre, to make it that bit extra special. Heath Ledger apparently isolated himself from his family for 2 months in order to prepare for this what-he-calls a ''lifetime of a role''. The maniacal laugh is not developed by any sound effect, but toned by heath in his own voice after trying different modulations. Director Christopher Nolan added no "digital effects" to alter Heath Ledger's actual performance posthumously.

Its unbelievable and sad that heath ledger is no more in this world. Among lot of pranks god plays on us, lets add this one too i guess. As one of the video in youtube said 'Ledger you live in our Hearts'.
"Lets put a Smile on this Face!!!!"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Malayalee a.k.a Mallu

The funniest and funkiest word these days is "Mallu". At one point it was "sardar's"....like "sardar ka barah bhaj gaya" was a general terminology in school days.Now we mallu's have taken over the mantle. You wanna find one in the group, its easy wait until he speaks english.I remember my school english teacher Kurup Sir made a funny statement at our mallu-ite pronunciation. He loved british english more than his wife and kids.The extra effort he takes to pronounce each and every word would tickle our humour bone. Infact he was our comedian in all our skits and mimicries.Now i understand why he was stern on that point.

Once out of college, i hear my friends speaking english and compare it with mine...man we guys are funny. But may be this mind set to laugh at ourselves makes us stand out of the crowd. We speak fast, we give too much importance to vowels especially "O". If there was no "O" in english we would better learn portugese.My ILP co-ordinator Shainu varghese tried very hard to make me say 5 words in english properly. The whole class was laughing, but shainu was in no mood to give up.Atlast when i made it, the look on his face was like "thera kuch nahi hone waala". A sympathetic look at a loser to say the least. Now a days even movies have started taking a dig us at malayalee's(Hyderabadi Zaffrani Biriyani in "Cheeni Kum"). Man, i love that movie coz of this.

Enough said about our english, another featuristic characteristic in us is our liking for football. You see a football rolling you can expect a mallu around it.Every wednesday i play a league, after every match i meet up a new malayalee stud(stud as in imagine a malayalee stud with lungi). Yeah and we are quite interested in meeting another mallu.I dont see this in others except us and gul-tee's(dont confuse it with plain-T's or Striped-T's just simply Gul-T's aka Telugu). I have met people running across the aisles of Walmart and Kroeger hearing a mallu voice. Today coincidentally one of my colleague sitting 20 yards away came to me hearing me speaking malayalam on phone.First question is "Malayalee aanalle?"(I think you are a malayalee?) If the answer is yes, then "Naattil Evideya?" (from which part in kerala?).

Once i read in an article that most regionalistic people ever are spaniards, we indians are not back either.We have tamilian annachi's who form a core tamilian group speaking tamil alone even if others in the group dont understand (islandophobia) its very difficult to get in or get out of this group. Kannadiga's who speak hindi and hate tamilians coz of Cauvery river issue (this hatred is the bread and butter of the media and politicians). We have the big annayaru from andhra who them selves are split into Telenganas,Andhrites,Hyderabadians. And we mallu's we tend to dissolve into any group easily, coz most of us speak tamil and hindi.If you know these two you are a bread winner in bharat mahaan.

Another thing we own is communism and unwanted ideologies. Communism though is not unique, we share it with our fish eating brothers from bengal.Any mallu you pick will have an ideology and political principle of his own ( requirement is he/she should have done their college in kerala). Ideology strictly adhering to political ones though, A mallu sitting on Tea stall with a beedi in his hand and reading newspaper aloud is a very common scene in Kerala.

Back to our slang, we cannot just leave our 'O' and 'T' (mostly it will be "ttt"). Once i used the word 'honoured' which still no one understood, i had to virtually write it down in a paper and tell them. Think of a scenario when a Mallu becomes the PM of our country. His oath taking will be the most funniest video in Youtube.
I, OmanaKuttan Menon , do solemnly affirm that I will faithfully execute the office of Prime Minister of Repulic of India and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Republic of India.
Imagine a mallu saying Some thing like this.

Enough said, my point is we are a funny lot. But bring it on we are just loving the leg pulling.

Oll the Besttt...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hospital Diaries

Sitting midnight in a hospital, am gazing at nurse taking care of deepak. He is admittedfor tooth infection here in ohio medical center.So we have volunteered ourselves to take turn to stay with him in the hospital.Yes here it is, today is my turn. Apart from giving good company to deepak, gobbling his food+juice+icecreams, watching pretty nurseswalking across... my main motive is to bring up deepaks good old spirits. Deepak by the way is the only person i know in this world who became a bit tipsyon drinking huge amounts of Tropicana Orange Juice.The utmost care and attention that he receives from the doctors and nurses are truly remarkable.They make you feel like home to say the least, am sure the bill in the end doesn't.
So does this reminisce me through some old days?? Yes, sure it does. First time i went to hospital for a friend was for our great unnikuttan.Who apparently blocked a guys uppercut by his nose. Sounds funny eh?? he was bleeding like hell, the funny part was in the 'n' number of college fights ihave witnessed or heard this must be the strange one. Coz until 2-3 days unnibhai had no clue who boxed him down. Yes he was our batch's firstmartyr(just namesake) and is proud to shovel it through everybody's throat.
Next in line the war heroes Pacheni Pradeep and Dhobi Binu John.Man this was not funny, this was scary shit. You dont wanna see this again in life I can promise you that.Binu had a broken jaw coz of an iron rod blow and had to pass away with liquid food for 2-3 weeks. He would take lots of time just to eat an orange grain.Lying next to him, pacheni. With his Parx shirt drenched in blood, his mom and uncles sitting around that-weird-look towards us. Yeah those were the bloody days. We felt proud about our heroes, who fought for friends and party.God only knows what kind of troubles and problems they and their families had to go through. Binu John for that matter is no longer with us. April 2006, he passed away without stuttering a word to us.And for the many good things he did in his life, from poems to football to cricket to being a good brother to all of us. Sad that this still remains as a black mark to forgetin his life chapter.
And here comes Sudeep, my friend who sent me home that absurd evening warning me of a fight that might happen.I reached home and in a few moment i got the news sudeep is in hospital.I had to tell all the lie in the world to get out of house that night, teenager going out late night in kerala is equal to pouring him toddy some say. Suspicionwas the key word and if your dad is ex-military, life is just B-E-A-utiful. So sudeep had injuries everywhere in the back,arms and shoulders. But boy he waswas strong, mentally as well as physically. He was sitting stoutly like ever. He and mandan vava discussing about real madrid and barcelona. Girish and thotti werethe worrying souls reminding sudeep of medicines, injection and what not??
Not to mention when my dad was in hospital, gastroentritis and some kinda cyst growth in his small intestine. He was in utter pain, and a strong man like him seeing him crumble isa nightmare to all of us. He was rolling all over with pain and sweat, his adherence to spicy food was the killer i guess. Once he was recovering, he was back to his bestcracking jokes (most of them targeted at my mom),occassional flirting with nurses, giving lectures to doctors on his airforce heroics. Every one lending an ear to his stories is an absolute delight to watch. Mom was saying there were lot of people near our car to see him off and bid adieu. My sister says he changed his hospitalization into a vacation.
Its getting late, deepak is getting into a sound sleep. I would not want him to wake up by my keyboard clatter. GoodNight Tropicana Deepak!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

What on earth is Blogging?

"Shabbu went to U.S and started blogging, guess he is bored there",

"He has no work, he just sits and blogs ",

"Never knew you write, blogging gets me to know you better".

"Oye kis ladki ko impress kar raha he saale, blogging-vlogging??"

These are the few funny statements i got from my friends in last few days. Yes, i blog these days a lot infact a part of my daily curriculum. So why do i blog? Just for the heck of it...hmm probably not. I just love blogging, i have no definite answers. Its like smoking for a few people, no idea why they do it even after knowing they are virtually in a morgue everyday. On the hindsight this one has no after effects apart from less sleep. (By the way now the time is 4:53 AM an early sunday morning of 29th June...just wanted to say it..)Its like i always fancied writing but am not good at it. Blogging gives peanut-brained fellas like me a chance to show off by just scribbling some crap, i do think it may be true. I write loads and loads of blog, most of the times i delete them all. It might have a good start but nothing to expand upon. Some have big promises but do not withstand the final moment. But i make sure i scribble something. In my office laptop i have a file blog.txt. You never know when great ideas might strike you. Its always important to let people know about your thoughts and ideas. Earlier days we used a mode called friends, unless you are famous enough to write an article in some leading newspaper. Blogging is an all & sundry affair, everybody is welcome. Its like a democratic news channel working for you.



If you have not explored the power of blogging, you are not late yet. Its just takes matter of time to start an account and take a dip inside. As far as i have noticed there are many facets of blogging. Stories, Poems, Pictures, Videos you can collect anything to everything in it. Some might be your travel blog, photography, life experiences etc. Me? I dont have a particular style, and i dont want to. More than killing time, it lets a few of my reader to know me more as a person. Some intricate inconsistencies in me or flaws which am personally afraid to discuss in public. Blog is such a medium for me. It simple, there are things you wanna let every one know but you dont wanna say it. Catch 22 huh? Yeah may be that, but blog gives you that tender freedom you urged for.



So is blogging a life time activity? I would want it to be even if google starts to charge me, just kidding. From my mom to my colleague(friends included) everyone reads my blog these days. Infact i read there blogs too. We are all part of this big blog-mafia which we wanna expand. It feels good when some one encourages you, even though you are not good as you want to be but still the encouragement matters. Today my friend Neaz told "I read your blog machi, It was good". One line, he just said one line that felt like heaven. I had no words to reply back. Another friend of mine Rohit, once in a while pops up as 'Anonymous' commenter. Then there are my college friends, especially gireesh & raghu who own my blog as i do. There is a general outlook most of my blogs have a darkish tint in it, and now its changing to a pleasant ones. So radically it depicts my emotions as well, its what i feel at those times. Especially our college/school day pranks & memories which i miss so much these days after being chewed up a corporate entity from morning 9 to evening 6. So blog takes you through the path of reminiscence?? Absoletely Yes Sir!! No doubt about it.



Keep your fingers crossed, this means more blogs from me to come. I am not gonna let anybody out soon, because shabbu-wishes-to-heard not loudly but in a timid manner....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Home Automation System

Hello everyone, Do not worry at all.
I have no intentions to bore you all with my project topic. Infact if you find it interesting i have no idea what to say about it. But the story here i am gonna tell is about my project group. Every thought about it makes me laugh and think of the mischiefs we masterminded. OK, It all started from the brains of Shajean Jaleel also known as "Mocha",infact only known as Mocha. I knew his real name only when i saw his driving license while raiding his empty wallet. Everybody in the world calls him mocha (am sure his to-be-wife fiji too) for that matter my sis calls him"Mocha-Ettan". One fine morning this fine gentleman come to me and says, "Where are you doing your final year project??"As usual i gave him an irritating answer "Final year project is done in final year, we are in 3rd year now. We have solid one more year to go." Then mocha started explaining, "Eda, in final year we all will have lots of back-papers. So thats the time to study. Now anyway we have back papers, and we cant do anything about it.So without wasting time, we should do our project now." Never in my wildest dreams i thought this monkey had brains inside his 'head shaped thing'. But i liked his plan, i said "I am in,what do we do?". So the team of 2 started planning, though nothing happened. Then we saw other groups were also getting formed parallely. I was telling him "dont you think we need more people in our team??" With a grin he used to say "Any body with a sane mind wont join with us..dont worry". He did not get me, my idea was to bring 2-3 girls in the project. Coz as i saw one of our friend from'A' batch had teamed up with his girlfriend and 2 other girls for a project in Cochin Refineries.(Please donotask me the names, i MIGHT tell you.)

So our search for a project topic,company (far,far away from palakkad) and few more members went on. Mocha took about the former point, and me being a better HR guy opted for the latter point (to find girls). Anyways mocha planned for a project in C-DAC Trivandrum, through mocha's brothers contacts. We were thrilled and even carried some textbooks. As we discussed with the 'brains' aka Project Director there we understood this was going way above our head. It was something about a Solar Panel connected to some chip to generate power and in the end to run some motor. Ahhh some times engineering can be very boring..Yawn!!All the time the project manager who was discussing about solar energy as a renewable source of energy and every house is gonna utilise this system. My mind was meandering through the thoughts that "what will we do in rainy seasons?? or a SOlar Eclipse??".But still we wanted to give it a shot..coz both of us felt this will help us in understanding our core subjects& atleast learn something out of it. In the end the PM said, "all in all you will learn a lot, this is absolutely interesting,register today itself. You have to pay Rs.8000/-in the accounts section down the lane right hand side." We both looked at each other, as including all expenses with stay and etc etc ...our budget never crossed Rs.5000/-. I promptly answered, "Sir,this is a great project and we both are eager to do it. But right now we do not have that much cash with us. Why dont we come back in a few days with the cash and then register."After this believe me,i have not even seen that green building again.

Trivandrum, that was the first time i have ever been there. I was kind of exploring the city. Thats when we found one more group is in TVM searching projects. I cannot tell them as a team,coz 3 were entirely different and never cohesive. You put them in a room, chances are one might not come alive..not in a hatred way.But in mallu terms "Choriyal" an act of teasing loaded with sarcasm and vendetta. The best specimen was Rakesh Unnikrishnan also known in another 100 names, but the most popular one being 'unnikuttan' . He is 'THE' funniest guy you will ever meet. By the way he is not at all trying to be comical. His every actions and speech's are in-born funny. His stories, his voice and a cranky NRI tone....can fool any girl for the first 5 minutes. Then every one realises a bit later that they are speaking to a 'joker in disguise'. Next person is the heart throb of electrical department. Raghunath aka ShanthaRam, the story behind the name (shantharam) is a long one may be i'll ask him to put a blog for it. Anyways this friend of mine speaks a lot about cool attitude,charisma, life-is-to-enjoy, chill-out etc. Never misses a chance to portray his talents whether in dance, fashion shows, singing, cricket, football. He always was a disaster. Also to add all this woes he was our Class Representative, technically though he has been to the class once in a bluemoon(so do we).With all these clumsiness in hisattributes, he still was a heart throb (his love=life 'kochu' can shed some light on that).And the third 'ONE' is Vivek aka kanjan. When he was born doctors injected a virus in him, a virus that made him never to smile. Yes. he smiles at himself and also when nobody else smiles. Basically he gives the look of a psychic killer at hunt, cant be more descriptive am sure.If there was ever a movie dedicated to him it would be "Silence of the Lambs", he was psychic and he was silent. Recently he was engaged to 'Sinu aka englishkaari', in the engagement ceremony pictures he smiled just once. Need i explain more about him??So it was dinner at vivek's house, when the treaty was made 'unity is strength'and we decided to join hands and become a 5 member group. Viveks father works in the VSSC(Vikram Sarabhai Space centre), but to do a project there we need to book it earlier enough.So then it was finalised project has to be done in Keltron(Kerala Electronics) a Kerala government subsidiary. We paid for the project and talked to the engineers and scientists out there. And knew right away, our frquencies match - not intellectually. But, Rhetorically it means project will come to you, u dont have to run behind it.The approach in Keltron is like a laid back approach, no tension at all. "Jeeyo or Jeene Do" attitude.

Project itself is an ordeal, so we decided to weigh up our options on the surroundings.And aha!! we found things we wanted, Me and Raghu liked that canteen provided lunch for 6 Rs(unlimited rice +curries) + 1 Re Omlette.Vivek and mocha liked the availability of cigarettes near by, just outside the building. And unni, he was behind those girls from REC right from the beginning. He even told them his name was 'Rakesh Kumar'.The best part of the project is we had complete freedom,tea breaks at any time. We need to go there by 9 am but can come back around 4 pm. And basically everything were only discussions. There was a discussion which raghu still claims was a 'brainstorming sesssion' which no one understood.The project manager was a geek by all means, the terminologies he used were highly technical and pretty much difficult for us to understand.Raghu as most of us know was always interested in technical discussions, though he had no idea about the topic he would still contradict and brag about it. Vivek had other things in his mind running, why VHP and BJP were seperate entities? What is the news on Pravin Togadia?Swami vivekanda, buddhism..and helluva stuff burning in his cauldron. Mocha as always was restless and fiddling with those capacitors lying around or teasing me and unnikuttan. Though my favourite time pass was to mock raghu or tease vivek, i could not help noticing unnikuttan. What was he doing?? well, the answer is nothing. He was just sitting and nodding for everything.He was not at all aware of the project, he would just answer 'yes' for everything. He was the least interested in this amongst us. And the funny part is he is an Electrical Design Engineer in Dubai right now doing stuffs way too complex than our project.

As i am unaware i am not getting into detail of the project. But would like to surmise one thing. When this project started,3 people used to torture me and unnikuttan explaining the "inexistence of true love in life".Basically we used tospend more time discussing about love-life and girls, than our "home automation system". The 3, vivek/raghu/mocha were so adamantly blind that they used to rag mine and unnikuttans romantic souls. Height of irony is that, these 3 gentlemen are clean bowled by lady love. Me and unnikuttan are still 'not-out' continuing our bachelor innings(god knows how long??).And we both are eagerly waiting for that moment, where we will be explaining the respective 'lady loves' what these 'love-haters'were publishing.Unnikutta lets kick some love-sick-malayalee arse!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Love burns Your Heart, but Alcohol extinguishes it

From the days of devdas its been a general understanding that the best way to forget your broken memoirs of love is a little help from a small quantity of alcohol. Now its spring in here, after a dead cold winter people rejoice this part of year. The rains, wind and a bask in sun are the bright spots of this otherwise sleepy life. So most weekends there are bound to be lot of parties either for birthdays, farewells, gettogethers you name it. And in all parties some are permanent invitees - Mr.JackDaniels, Mr.BudWeiser and one Ms.Bacardi. (bacardi being a miss coz of her sexy shape). Leaving the jokes and endless stories one common thing i noticed is everybody has a love story to tell. Are we indians such a big group of lovesick people?, no wonder our population statistics are astronomical. As always am doubly interested in listening to love stories, and when the orator is drunk he turns into a thespian. Wow!! i adore those moments, in real life he will be a project lead with tons of responsibilities. But this moment his heart is torn and open to everybody. A certain friend of mine here ( again no names) explains the idiosyncracies of love as if he has seen it all. He cries, he whimpers he does it all that would make even Dr.Sivaji Ganesan proud.

And this all reminds me of college day, where drunk romeos go to ladies hostel and start calling names in malayalam otherwise known as theripattu. There have been many such incidents, but the funniest of them was when a miser friend(no names please) of mine sponsored whisky to everybody just to call names on a particular lady. Love sick or not no body knows, ehem!! after 4 years they both are now engaged...certain things in life can never be predicted i say!!! Then there are friends of mine who get drunk and start helping others love lifes, explaining them the brave heartedness to express or to distress.... they know it all(again no names).

Whats with C2H5OH that gives us born losers at love a big threshold god only knows... Sometimes in a group i see one guy gets tipsy and starts his love story (true or untrue) there are 1000 ears to his story..its funnier than cartoon network at that moment. Then its like as contagious as yawning, every one starts their bits and pieces of love stories...i may sound sarcastic but i really enjoyed most of it.



Back to columbus, these days every one is in look out for weekend activities, some kinda gettogether, battle of wits, lots of jokes, cricket discussions, women discussions, movie talks....whatever it may be our dear friend alcohol nests in the core of all these discussions. Now dont get wrong that we are drunkards, we drink but we drink sensibly.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A warm and different politician..

My grandfather is a very respectable person in our locality. Though he is no more, our family is still known to many through his names. His involvement with Indian National Congress too is a big factor in his fame. I remmber during summer vacations we come to meet him in his room i could see pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Chacha Nehru's black and white photographs framed and hanging in the walls. He used to tell me and my cousin unni the freedom fight stories and how congress party as such built the back bone of democratic india. After his passing away, we missed all those stories. Things moved on many corrupt politicians tarnished te image of congress party. The more and more i read about it, i felt that the congress party lost its purpose. It was just a huge cauldron full of filthy politicians waiting to loot the country and sell it. And this was a general feeling amongst the public. Years later many political parties took this as their selling point and worked as independent political parties. Governments moved from one coalition to another, we even had a prime minister who could not speak hindi (supposedly our national language).

Now is what i feel the era of change, voters dont go for big names or charisma spilled by a celebrity. They are in look out for youth and excuberance. All the recent elections indicate us that, its not that voters are in look for a change, the simply want young blood with purpose injected into our democratic machinery. Ok, this doesn't means any ram , rahim and peter will contest and win elections. The election manifestos had to be well sort out and rigid with lot of study involved.

This brings us to the main person leading the revolutionary, Rahul gandhi. Yes it rings a bell doesn't it? He has no big victories or an encouraging support, but he is hitting the sweet spots. Me personally did not give any hope in him when he was introduced into the arena. I felt he was always pushed more than he launching himself. Maybe his last name was making his shoulders bend coz of the huge expectations wound around it. Gandhi clan always were the usp of the congress party, but with some out of the box thinking rahul is entering those areas which is giving many sleepless nights to hundreds of politicians including our own behenji. He was always criticized by opponents for not coming to the grass root level and mingle with the common man. But boy did he do that in last few months. He is starting a new revolution and giving hopes to a millions of helpless people out there.

So how does it matters us?? His Raison d'être is to curb the middle men and bringing voice to aam aadmi. I have hundreds of friends saying to me "My country need me only to pay taxes and cheer for indian team". Rahul works for the former part of the sentence, by opening up contact centres across the nation. This is a new facet in india, by involving more people he is slightly winning their confidence. For all the people in my countrywho wish for a change, brace yourself and look out for rahulji( as he is known inside party).

This blog by means has no inclinations or opposition to any party. Its just a whole hearted compliment to a young man, who is willing to break the shackles which many of us are not.

Jai Hind!!

Patriotism and its gimmicks!!!

Patriotism, ehem!! I can speak of whole day about it,thats what i felt initially. I consider my self very patriotic and stubborn about the ideologies behind them. A few weeks back this infact was the hot topic for discussion, and guess what??Though all of us were of same nationality our theories were different. After all everyone is influenced by the environement and the surroundings. Mine is militia to say the least. My father, grandfather, uncles most of them part of the defence services in india. For me patriotism is like give your life for your country, the coveted 'param veer chakra' (honorary medal for martyrs in active military), the elevated feeling during 'jana gana mana' and many more. Certain times cricket too gave that effect, it gives great pleasure in cheering for your country. The tri-colur waving across and lot of fellow country men supporting our team.Now as years go by i just see it as a 'bloody sport' and nothing else. A money churning machine is what cricket is to me, and being from kerala my natural inclination towards football.


So working in an alien country (though for an indian firm) makes you question your patriotism once in a while. Yes, sometimes it does pinches you. Are we doing enough for the country that has guarded you with all the aminities, education, infrastructure? May be not. I notice one common thing about people working abroad, they never waste a chance to point a finger at our countries drawbacks. They compare with the likes of US, UK, Australia, Canada and keep going on with typical hysterical tantrums like 'is desh ka kuch nahi hone waala', 'humare desh ko govt or politicians saath milkar loot rahe he'. Most of the time i make my self available for a verbal warfare with these guys. But now i feel i cannot force my beliefs into them. They themselves are not having the courtesy not to pinpoint their own country.

As ever i have lot of faith in our country and the way it functions. Things are changing for good and we are raising the bar everytime. Support and a bit of patience is the buzzword. Remember the proverb 'Rome was not built in a Day'. A country with 100 billion and 40% of them uneducated we are still a long way to go. Before we compare with other countries, think about our limitations and real chances.
Its easy to point finger at others, when you do that your other 4 fingers are pointing at you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Story of a lunch box

First day to Engineering College November 20, 2000. Amma and acha were excited for their son starting his graduation. My amma was so relieved that her son is joining an institute near to our house, a "day scholar" in our dictionaries. Like school days she woke me up early and was behind me to speed up things to catch the 8 am bus to college. After getting blessings from acha and ammumma i was ready to leave, suddenly amma stepped into the picture and gave me a "tiffin carrier" (an indian term term for a lunch box). My friend raman was waiting for me at the front gate and gave a ridiculous look at me which said "bloody nursery kid". I felt a bit embarassed but didn't want to disappoint amma so took it along and hid it deep inside the bag. On the way to bus stop i learnt that raman had a similar box too. Sometimes two is a company isn't it? Reached college and met a lot of new friends most of them stayed in a hostel who had their lunch in hostel mess ( it really is a mess!!!). And others went for lunch in the college canteen where chandrettan (proud college canteen owner) purposefully added more masala that day to seduce the hungry stomachs out there. He said to me with a grin "Todays special is Garlic Chicken". Man it looked so inviting but kya kare i have a genie in my bag too. Went to the class room to fetch the lunch box, no one was around and i did not feel like eating alone. A walk past the college verandah saw a lot of girls sitting either side of an aisle that led to a room and eating in their lunch box and as always chatter box in full volume. Went to raman even he did not have lunch, and said to me "Only Girls bring Lunch Box da!!!" that was the sucker punch dialogue my ears wished to hear it sounded like hotel california to me. i decided to skip my lunch, for sure not from the lunch box.

That day evening amma opened the lunch box and saw it returned the same way she packed it. Not a grain of rice moved. She asked me "If you dont want rice i could have packed roti for you". Busy with my PC i replied "I did not get time ma, also no body brings lunch to college." She felt bad and her face became pale. I added "Amma, from tomorrow raman is also not going to bring lunch, he says only girls bring lunch to college." Amma adores raman a lot, coz of his honest and simple nature. Sometimes she thinks if raman does something it should be correct. This gave her a bit relief, but still she asked "Is food good out there? ". This interested me, i started explaining her all sorts of thing about the canteen. The food, the smell , the crowd in the canteen, even the big moustache of chandrettan which reminded me of Ravanan himself in teleserial ramayana. Though amma was not convinced, acha knew the fact that more than the food its the teenage pride is what at stake nothing else. With a smile he said to amma "If he wants to have lunch outside let him have it, he is old enough to think about himself. And more over how many days he will eat your curd rice and sambhar". Next four years that old lunch box was secluded into an old almirah of ours. No one disturbed him for ever it still sleeps there, or else amma would have given to some kid in her school.

Things changed, life went on....am a software engineer now(unknowingly), working in a distant country far from my home and country in the United States of America. Recently i joined a new office in Easton, Columbus. Its about 17 miles from where i live, so i cannot drive back home for lunch. And food in the cafeteria is not suiting my tastes. A lot of cheese in all food items doesn't get along with my taste buds. Tried restaurants and fast food places around the office, options are limited as i can see. This is when i returned to my old forgotten friend my "lunch box". Not the same one i had in india, but its distant american cousin i would say. As it served the same purpose. Now daily morning when i fill my lunch box with rice/roti/paratha/bread i remember the day i said 'NO' to my mom's sweet lunch box. I wish i could get back to that day and have a hefty meal from my mom packed lunch box, until then its a not-so-good-self-cooked-food in a tiny lunch box of mine. Sometimes money cant buy you everything right friends??

Friday, May 2, 2008

An Autobiography of a Software Engineer from India Inc

Warning : Before reading this Be prepared. Coz while writing I was not.

My boss has a very good sense of humour, here is one such incident that happened recently.

In a busy day with endless conference calls, same time meeting, code reviews, test plans etc etc.
He asked me "How old are you kid?"
I was thinking what bad timing to ask a stupid question. Still I replied gleefully "24"
He asked "really??" he looked puzzled by every means.
To confirm I said "Yes Sir" .....though behind in my mind i was calculating.
After thinking for a while he said "Do you know what a birth certificate is??"
I smiled and said "Yes sir we do have birth certificates in india and 90% of times they are true"
He was at his best teasing, but he continued "i really cant understand at this age how you chose a career for yourself? My son is 25 and he is finding it difficult to think on what he needs to do?"
After a pause he said "you might be producing engineers in a factory, not in a college" :)

That day evening i came back and was thinking about the circumstances and environment that makes us poor indians nothing but a software engineer. A very venomous breed as my dad says "you guys have everything in life hefty paycheques, sporty bikes, cars, friends, freedom...but no idea on what so ever about the work you do" i tend to just see of his sarcasm always but this punch line somewhere was bothering me... Upon thinking on it i feel, We software engineers are a dangerous lot. Here are a few pointers to guide you through.

Money : compared to the previous generation of ours we are making quite a dime out here. Most of us have no idea what our salary is, though we speak about ctc's and take homes we dont give a shit about 100-200 rupees less/more. We are the biggest reason for inflation in our country, i cant say its buying power its more like "shit load of money" any time in a month we are rich/poor no guarantee upon it.
LifeStyle: Our motto is live life king size, groped by the tarantino and bond flicks we tend to spend on all useless things from leather to steel to god knows what. A party or a treat is a must, even if cat in your gave birth to a kitten sometimes its that ridiculous.
Time: Ohh you said it, "Time can i get some of it". We dont have time for anything at all. "Sorry my friend i could not call you on your wedding day was kinda busy with some deployments" .."Ooops dont think i forgot your birthday..was just a bit busy(you bet)"... "Look dude i dont have time to listen to you..i gotta go some testing to be finished" "Ohh dinner this weekend...hmmmm..sorry boss..i have prod call this weekend..DR testing you know..shit!!" I can quote all day if you want, the fact is we dont have time. Software engineers just have 12 hours a day not 24 like you.
Work: The kind of work we(i must admit in this context we is "most of us") do just needs common sense and experience. But we like to boast about it a lot, touch wood if one day google.com goes down or the copy,paste functionality goes away in computers we all are doomed. I would love to see the share values of all software biggies that day...
Love: This one is not only the girlfriend/boyfriend in our lives but its the complete package that includes dad,mom,bro,sis,doggy,uncles,aunties all of them. Because of the above factors and a predominant pressure cooker environment at office our love-nerves are very weak. Most of the time in a busy schedule we speak to our loved ones on phone, we speak so much on phone that we are in love with our phones. My room mate sleeps with his mobile on his chest that has jyothika's picture in it. He feels his SonyEriccsson W800i is his jyothika. So our love is nothing but our mobiles. Some call their mobiles their soul partner coz she knows it all.

Having said all this 0% bullshit, i think my skillset were always aligned and synchronous for making me into a good software engineer.

Following two attributes we own and improvise a lot at office and these are the same skills (luckily) i had in me from childhood :

First one is copying. The biggest amount of work we do is "Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V" which means copy code from some website and paste it in our application code. I was always good at copying, ask all my classmates i would even copy their names at the end of the exams in the test papers. My buddy ramakrishnan can tell you a barn full of stories about my copying skills.

The next one is marketing, its not like "selling icecubes in iceland" its even difficult. First you need is a poker face and a vocabulary that can confuse anyone. Chew up your daily dose of technical geek terminolgies.....you are there. One such sentence is "The logic is to leverage the sustained rise of accounts in a post processor environment". Gods of ours will find it difficult to understand it let alone our clients.

My Software Engineering Teacher Mrs.Sheela taught us "Software Engineering is a complex subject, Its a systematic, disciplined approach to make softwares". A few years in this lane you will understand she was correct its complex for sure rest of it am not pretty sure.

The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and among other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague.--Edsger Dijkstra