Attempt @ Humour

The Chinese connection !

The Chinese are coming. I mean, they are already here. Here, there and everywhere else too. They are vending everything from toys to Ganpati statues, to high end Mont Blanc pens. It actually is a mistake to even get into listing stuff they are into, even if its for a sake of citing an example!

For, next to God, the Chinese are everywhere. I have no doubts in my mind, that they have a plan to upstage God too.

Their presence is markedly well known. Any wannabe powers that be, in the media or in the political circle will speak about the ‘China’ factor. The missiles, the economy, the border issue and such else! Which has been around for as long as China and India have been around and is not going to go away anytime soon, at least until some of our newspapers and news anchors are around !

So, lets talk about an even more pervasive Chinese invasion!

There is little space for doubt that the title of ‘national dish of India’ title must go for Gobi Manchurian. Across the country, wherever I have traveled, if there was one sign of national integration, it is Gobi Manchurian !

You could have different clothes, suffer from different politicians, chew and curse on completely different regional media, have customs as different as Orange, Blue and Green ! But ‘Gobi Manchurian’ : is ubiquitously present and unites us all.

To think that a land of a billion people is united by Cauliflower cooked in a Indo-Chinese concoction, taking the name of a geographic region in China can be mind boggling. But thats the truth.

We may fight over North India Vs South India. Or the East Vs West. Outsider Vs Insider! If the dosa scored over the naan. Or for that matter how Makki-di-Roti and Sarosn da Saag score over idly saambar. Those are arguments that never end. (Until the time, ‘Payasam’ comes into the picture. At which point, all discussions cease. At my home, that is).

But, mention ‘Gobi Manchurian’ at any forum! I have only noticed an evolved understanding. A seeming brotherhood of bonding. As people go silent and smack their lips ! Across the country !

It can have its regional variations and can taste completely different in different parts of the country. Ranging from the lovely to the lethal. Yet, the bonhomie it fosters is unfettered !

In one of my travels, I spotted this !

Gobi morphing into Gopi naturally caught my eye! I have a few friends who go by the name ‘Gopi’ and my mind wickedly went to think of sending this picture to them. I was wondering what would an appropriate message be, to accompany this picture ?

‘From Cauliflower to Hot dude – Made in China’. I thought, thinking of item two !

And then, looked at item three on the list. ‘Gopi, the single man jury’, I thought. Then, retracted from sending that SMS. My friend may not be offended. But the Chinese may be and knowing that the Indian governments strict policy is not to offend China, I sent only the picture.

‘Who is this ?’ came the response from two of the three people the message went to. The third friend sent in silence. My friends seemingly had disowned me.

I didnt think much as the Cauliflower settled in my stomach. It was a worthy cause after all. National Integration and all that. With Gobi Manchurian you see !

clicking shiking !

This is a picture Iclicked. O a falling rain drop, saying hello to streaming rain water running away from a tiled roof. This snap has very little connection to this post.

He crossed his hands and tilted his head, barely concealing a smirk. I had just replied “OF COURSE’ in a tone that could be mildly described as ‘violently affirmative’, to his question. Which was, ‘Are the pictures that you upload on Facebook, your own or do you have download them from somewhere ?’

How dare, I thought.

Within moments however, I quickly broke into a smile within myself while maintaining a stiff exterior. The thought that he, and his well ordained intelligence entertained the possibility that someone better would have clicked them, was a compliment aterall. I gloated with ‘orgasmic ecstasy’.

I trust you will indulge in my confessions on photography !

My dabbling with photography, started a few years back, when I first dabbled with blogging. In the first year of blogging I thought it quite a natural God given right to use any of the images that Google threw up in searches. Like how an average Indian male thinks of the whole of India fit to down the zipper or loosen his drawstrings of a striped underwear to empty his bladder. Naturally !

Life was good. Nobody read the blog, save myself. Or so I thought. I wrote for writing’s sake. Added a picture or depending on the whim of the moment, and shut the system down and reached out for a hot cup of filter kaapi ! I did this for what seemed like two centuries.

Until one day, someone wrote in. Asking a question, which I read in a rather polite tone. The question was simple : Should I not have the decency to check with the ‘owner’ of the snap, before using it? Or something to that effect.

My first reaction was of sheer delight! Someone was afterall reading the blog. I thought.

After a couple of nights of insane partying to celebrate the fact that the blog had indeed caught someones eye, deep remorse filled my heart and I went without food for three days. Ofcourse, I exaggerate. On both counts.

Truth be told, one of those days after receiving that mail, sitting in a hotel and diving into something tasty I wondered if I should click every picture that would get to the blog. Every picture that will get to the blog will be OWNED by me!

As a matter of propriety, I must confess here I also thought this ‘owner’ship of such pictures were perhaps one of the few ownership decisions that I could afford without a loan and an Equated Monthly Installment.

Before you could say, ‘in a flash of a few months’, I had migrated. From writing a post and clicking a picture to suit the post (which took a long time. Even Vajpayee spoke faster), to the exact opposite. Keep clicking pictures and writing blog posts on the photographs that catch my fancy.

So I clicked whenever I was in the mood. Or wasn’t. For that matter. From the photographs, came alive many stories. I ‘invested’ in a Canon S5 IS ! Which is the only camera that I have. A camera that I Iearnt to use by trials and errors suitably grabbing guidance from online well-wishers who now have heaps of karma in their account with the old man up there.

So I clicked whenever I was in the mood. Wrote whatever I chose. Getting filled to the brim with a deep sense of gratitude whenever people wrote in, appreciating the post.

On the same keel I was engulfed in guilt when people appreciated the photograph. And my protruding paunch ached with laughter whenever good friends asked sincere questions about something called ‘aperture’ or ‘focal length’ , ‘shutter speed’ and such else.

It was simple. I don’t know a goats horn about such stuff but for some bare essentials. There are well meaning colleagues who discuss their outstanding photographs through a set of numbers! ‘105 X 37 ?’ they would ask when I showed them a snap that took me some time to click. Or something to that effect. All numbers seem the same to me.

To my ‘picture seeking – story telling mind’, the moment they do that, they morph from being insanely articulate to inanely accurate. That’s precisely when I peer at cobwebs in the corner of the ceiling.

Call me hare brained, but let me confess to you and get it out my chest. To me, photography is about story telling. It is about inclusion and exclusion. To include in a frame and to exclude! That includes light and shade.

If an image, at the spur of the moment feels like it is a prospective story, the finger fiddles with the few buttons and bingo, there is an image. Ofcourse, I over simplify. But by and large, that’s the idea. Some of the outputs occupy the space that Zuckerberg chap created. A few come to the blog here with an appropriate post.

Some snaps swell my chest. Like the one that you see here. When rain water streaming away from the roof, said hello to a rain drop.

I told all of this to a well respected friend who listened to my meandering rant with an inebriated silence. After soaking it all in with several rounds of chicken tikka laced drinks he spoke at length.

The sum and substance was this. In his own dismissive way he has asked me to put an end all this ‘dramabaji’, stop this ‘clicking shiking’, buy a real camera and ‘go learn photography’. With another minute of silence and one more stiff drink in his system, said, ‘Your snaps. They are good’.

Since then, I have looked up real cameras and such else. Looking at their prices, I have now commenced looking for a venture capitalist with a kind heart.

First there are stories. Then ofcourse, there are stories of stories.

All stories.

Goats & apples !

There was a verbal volley with a definitive purpose that the ear was used to. When the marks didn’t turn up as well as they perhaps should have. When they were a marathon of a distance away from the swagger with which an extra hour with TinTin was devoured claiming that the math exam had gone off ‘beyond expectations’ .

This verbal tranche of insults and such else, were delivered all ofcourse, with the intention of somehow getting me more focused and ‘into’ the subject !

The assortment of words that made the sentence was remarkable for the sentence could masquerade as sarcasm, retort, insult, insinuation, motivation, display of anger. An extravagant paraphernalia of diverse meanings that I don’t have the patience to recount.

For that wide an array of interpretations, the sentence and its constituents were ( and still are ) remarkably pithy : “I’ll get you a few cows

It was supposed to be the ultimate insult to an average young mind. It meant, that the new depths the maths marks touched could fit the grand occupation of herding cows and goats. It was a singularly frightening thought. Completely inappropriate by a grotesque proportion to what caused this : the math paper !

For the math question paper would have had a question like ‘ A has five apples. Of which he gave one-fifth to B and another one-third to C……’ . Finally ending with some vague question like ‘So how many apples was A left with’ or something to that effect.

For the record, I have always believed that the impact of apples are best felt on the tongue. The teeth biting into fresh fruit, and the tongue swarming with tasty juice was all that mattered.

If you had five apples, you ate five apples. Obviously, Mr.B and Mr.C were non-entities once the apples were sighted. Even if the apples happened to be theirs.

To me, people featured in the question paper like Mr.A, were beyond comprehension. To subject something as tasty as a simple apple, to such a fractious assault was downright unnecessary, completely impractical and cruel to an imaginative test taking kid!

These and such thoughts would play in the mind. Before I knew, test would be over and the mark statement would have touched a new nadir.

Oftentimes holding the report card in hand with the math marks settling in a new marina trench, would send me on a imagination frenzy to see myself herding an assortment of cows and goats. Which obviously lead to serious palpitations to form on my forehead. And other parts too, but that’s besides the point.

No no. Dont get me wrong. Not for me the insult. Not for me the insinuation. At that age, I didn’t give goats horn about what people would think of me being a cowherd. Nor do I care much now. It was not that. The problem was something else.

It was keeping count of those goats and cows.

Beads of sweat transformed into enormous water streams just thinking of the proposition of losing two goats for no fault of mine. As a matter of addition and subtraction we were taught to ‘borrow’ ‘from the next digit’. Or in case of addition, ‘carry over’ to the next column was important.

After dutifully ‘carrying over’ or ‘borrowing from’ I would ofcourse gloriously forget that act of generosity and move on with life and other numbers. Until such a time, the math teacher made me write such ‘carry overs’ and ‘borrowing froms’ in such gigantic font size to enable recall.

If that was the case with random numbers, to keep track of cows and goats was a different ask, to my fertile imagination. To keep counting them and finding I was two short ( or three short, for that matter) would have had some serious explanation, I figured.

I fretted that I would lose count for no fault of mine. It would be comprehensively unfair if, say, the goats wanted to scratch themselves against a specific tree, or stayed back at the local pond, or sighted a far attractive mate and decide to have a good time!

I would be reduced to taking the blame on myself and my math skills.

Grotesquely unfair. Isnt it ?

Ofcourse this attempt at fear laced motivation, stopped getting uttered one day. One fine day, one of those ‘uncles’ was home to launch into moms cooking. Such genial uncles back then ( and these days too) have a set of questions which were simple to figure out.

Usually starting with ‘Which school do you go to and somewhere along the line leading to ‘what do you want to become when you grow up’. ( At a younger age, ‘what is your teacher name’ used to be one persistent such, which in hindsight, rises an eyebrow. Actually both my eyebrows. )

Just as he was finishing the question of ‘what do you want to become’, in a flash, my mind streamed an image of a proud me, managing an array of goats and cows without losing count of any.

Without losing a breath, I announced with a singular flourish that I wanted to become a ‘Cowherd’. Much to the blasphemous horror of all around, evidenced by the stellar silence that followed an intemperate bout of laughter from the genial uncle.

After that, the subject of ‘grazing cows’ as a default occupational choice, in case the math marks didn’t move north, made a quiet exit. I must say, the cows and goats haven’t been ever so thankful as then.

Do you have such recollections of your childhood ? Or were you the Mr.A type ?

Duplicate cops ?

The real thing about duplicates is that the duplicates are for real. Oh what a profound statement spouting out of the keyboard on to the monitor. Talk of an inflated chest, right now !!

Duplicates get by because they are so close to the real. In the seamless merging of the real and the duplicate, the gullible fall victim and duplicates live on. Or rather thrive.

‘Duplicate’ has very many names and forms. Counterfeit. Fake. Forged. Decoy. The internet has done its bit, by spawning : ‘copy-paste’ in students lingo firmly. A spot that was held by ‘xeroxing’ a while ago.

lets move on. Enough said that there have been cases of ‘versions’ of sweets, stamps, money, certificates, colas, paints, books and every thing that you could think of. Save the Sun, the Moon and such other imponderables.

Let me leave this here : If you are able to point to a few segments where duplicates are not present, well, I will personally write a letter to the prime minister, urging him to make use of such unmatched cerebral prowess. Original letter that is. Please don’t expect to hear from him though. But ofcourse.

If you find yourself cheated, God forbid, if at all that happens, what do you do ? Being preyed on for wearing your vulnerability on your sleeve as though it was an Armani suit, well, sometimes can have other consequences. As someone who sat through those civics lessons in school, you approach the cops. With a complaint. That’s when action starts.

In Powai, Mumbai there is something interesting happening.

Even before you could rush to the cops to complain, the cops are all over street corners letting you know to beware of duplicates. Beware of duplicate versions of cops themselves! Eh!

The first, time this ad met the eye, it was but natural to dismiss this as a work of a piqued smart alec. It didn’t take long, actually not beyond the next street corner, to realise that smart alec was in no way connected to this. For the next street corner had a similar board. A copy of the first one that is.

What does it take to be a cop ? A whole lot I am sure.

But that’s a wrong question. What does it take to LOOK like a cop? Not too much, perhaps. A crew cut and a burly look will perhaps get you close.

If some ingenuous chap with a crew cut, burly look and accompanying personality accosts you and catches you pants down, speaking to your surreptitious girlfriend, pause my friend and ask for ID. Or whatever. Establish he indeed is a real cop.

A few questions that come to the pea sized brain that nestles in a balding head are these mind are these :

Like who is the home minister? Which station do you come from?

Who is the inspector? Who is the commissioner of police?

Quite obviously, many of you would think of this as a rather juvenile list. Well, thats about what you can get for free.

The Amitabh Bachan KBC baritone is hesitatingly not recommended, for it could provoke thoughts of ‘crores’ at the end of it all, with no mention of lifelines.

The bottomline : Keeping a list of probable questions ( and answers) to test out the veracity of a cop is downright important. If nothing else works, then, asking ‘do you know who I am’ could perhaps be tried.

All these would work, as long as the chap who has accosted you is indeed a ‘duplicate’. If he does happens to be ‘real’ / ‘original’ and you end up asking all these questions with a tanker load of impunity, well, that could get you face to face with a discommoding peril of your life !

Whatever you do, people in Powai and elsewhere, do make sure you device your own means of separating the wheat from the chaff. The real from the duplicate.

Good luck. May the force be with you. The real one, that is.

Loo contraptions !

The last time i wrote about pictures from the Washroom, it received so much applause comments that it was reliably learnt that the google servers tripped.

Yeah. Sure.

The missus of course opines that this was the was the audience’s way of showing me ‘my place’ ! That was incontestable. It was from the missus.

Work takes me to fancy hotels once in a while and recently the eye caught a contraption sleek looking machine in the men’s room. Any of you frequenting hotels that have a ‘star’ tag to befit the charges that go past the moon, will take offence to these mundane ‘everyday elements from the loo’ ( as a friend called it) making it being a blog subject !

Tissue paper ( a.k.a just as ‘tissues’ ) that are placed in artistic boxes that could well find a place in a middle class living room and a noisy ‘hot air blower’ to dry your hands, that can emit so much noise that they can compete with one of those Apollos or Sputniks are de rigueur.

Perfumed hand sanitisers, shiny floors, sparkling lamps and spotless mirrors and such else are far more basic in the star hotel loo!

“But this one is far more ‘energy efficient’”, said a pinstripe type as he dried his sanitized hand using the shiny new pristine contraption machine. ‘The hot air is contained in this cavity and thus your hand gets dry faster….Wow, what innovation’. Adding, in some time adding, ‘even the machine’s noise is far more refined’

The chap next to him was obviously a junior as he announced his position in the hierarchy and the relevance to the gentleman through nodding of the head in agreement, mildly describable as ‘vigorous’. In a hierarchy induced vigour, proceeding to talk about global warming and Mr.Pinstripe’s ‘energy efficiency consciousness’ as Mr.Pinstripe himself held grand court.

All this in the loo.

In a brief while, Mr.Pinstripe, reached out to the tissue paper with a flourish, I presume after the hands were sufficiently dry (if his eloquence on the machine was anything to go by). Dabbing his dermis on the hand off the dormant germ and the evaporated droplet !!

Mr.Pinstripe and his junior were soon gone.

It was my turn to use the energy efficient hand drier and hear ‘the refined purr’, as they called it! The contraption machine purred away singing glory to refinement and technology!

We live in good times. Don’t we ? A hand drier to steam away dormant droplets and a sophisticated tissue to dab away whatever remains are evidences to that. While uninterrupted electricity is a mystical promise that gets spoken of at election time and environmentalists are ‘bizarre’ folks !

As the last water droplet was banished into evaporated state of invisibility by the contraption sleek machine with a refined purr, the day of a good clean handkerchief that I learnt to use when my mother used to pin one on to my school uniform, came whizzing back to the mind.

But hey….

We are an emerging economy. With fancy words / phrases used by all. Emerging tiger. BRIC country. Growth story. Middle Class. Incredible India. GDP. FII inflow And such other glorious words and phrases. Of course, we need better cars, clothes, ice cream, paints, computers, mobile phones and such else.

We need such pursuits to keep us particularly chuffed, the economy to keep growing while fat salaries provide a comfortable numbness to stifle any memory of the simpler times. A simpler time when a good clean hand clean handkerchiefs ruled, with no hand drier and tissue paper in sight.

Come on, what am I complaining about…

These are instruments that help people hold grand court in the loo if not anything else. Not to think of providing a below average blogger a topic for his blog. Amen to that.

PS: A better post and some pictures from the mens room, here is the earlier post !

Awesome dude !

The other day, we stopped for tea.

I was traveling with a bright young man, whose verbal dexterity seemed confined to ‘awesome’ , ‘sucks’ and ‘dude’. That’s when he exclaimed, ‘isn’t she beautiful’?

My heart started beating at a faster pace than a sprint champion awaiting his dope testing results. I could have passed for a father who heard his toddler say ‘dad’ for the first time !

I looked around. Who was this beautiful woman, which caused such a sudden leap of language proficiency? There were three people, who I could see. The burly security guard. His wife, who seemed wanting to prove that she was burlier than him. And there was this chap who was serving tea.

Surely, the young man wasn’t referring to any of them. Furrowing my brow and summoning powers from all over, the focus was on finding this lady! Lucky for me, I didn’t say anything more. For in a brief moment, my young friend said more.

‘These Germans. Awesome man. They know how to make these babes….Dude’.

The pea brained Sherlock Holmes in my head, sat up. (Readers are requested to picture a laborious act played out in slow motion, of getting out of deep slumber). As far as I knew, making ‘babes’ and the rest of us, wasnt the purview of the Germans. Alone.

Which was when the eyes spotted a swanky BMW.

“But of course” I said. ‘of course’.

From whereon status quo resumed. The words that I heard for the rest of the journey, were random monosyllables with a strong emphatic ‘awesome’ ‘sucks’ or ‘dude’ thrown in every 17th second. Yes. I was keeping time.

When I got bored of it, and realising that there was some distance to go, the mind declared independence from this mundane activity. Wandering into another time, that a car became a lady. Of sorts.

This banner had appeared somewhere close to where I live. I thought of this Nitin guy as having got lessons from a Warren Buffet or someone.

A quick look and a quicker conclusion later, I was so happy, that you could have spotted my yellow teeth from three miles. Here was a guy, who I thought, was providing customers with a car to get to the beauty parlour and back. This was the mind. My own mind.

Don’t fault me. My own tryst with a beauty parlour is to ferry the missus to one, and sit in a bookstore until she gets her job done! Quite obviously I thought there was a market that this Nitin guy had thought of.

Nitins business acumen wouldn’t have been ephemeral in my mind, but for his English. It started with wondering what was ‘Teflon Coting’ ! What would they do in a beauty parlour that would warrant the cot to get made of Teflon ? You know where that train of thought would lead a pea brained Sherlock Holmes sitting in a corner of the mind.

Not to forget ‘Intirior Cling’. That sounded like love potion !

The world of marketing ! ‘Garage’ marketed as a ‘Beauty parlour’. I know of a ‘Beauty parlours’ that was marketed as ‘Stairway to heaven’. Even as I contemplated taking that stairway, the billboard there said, ‘Stairway to heaven shifted to second floor’. It seemed to be a cruel trick. My eagerness went under the basement.

“ ‘Ossome’ isn’t it ?” The young man said with a jerk, that I half suspect he gave it a special energy to wake me from my trance. I realised that i had been in Nitins world for sometime now.

With a new found insight under the belt, that its possible to have a complete conversation with a bright young man of today, with just three words, I said,

‘Yes. Ofcourse. Ossome’. As an afterthought, added ‘Dude’.

I felt powerful.

Realisations at 30000 feet !

I realise. I realise that the last time i wrote a blog post, was a period in history called ‘long back’. Or perhaps ‘So long ago..’. Giving it a stone age kind of feel. Stones. Deer skin etc ! Now that is stretching it too far. Yes. I realize.

I sit here on this airplane. With such realisations and impressions.

For instance, there is this grand realisation that people can stretch their vision far and wide. The lady sitting next to me has been reading all that i type onto the screen. It feels a little odd, to put it mildly.

I realise that typing that sentence has had no effect on her.

I realise. There are people in this aircraft, that are rude and crude. Like life. In general. As though there was a prize for being so. And there are people that are nice and neat. Like there is a prize for being so.

I realise. That if you don’t get the window seat, the chances of the one that did get it, wanting to get to the loo will be high! Almost as soon as the seat belt sign is switched off. You almost think, that the seat belt was the cause.

I realise. People can think no end of their cleverness! Like the gent who just refused to shut down his phone. ‘This is an important call’ he said. Sure pal. The rest of us are traveling in aid of the airline industry ! I realise that i sometimes rue my not having pursued some martial art technique or the other. Preferably something in the vicinity of ‘Gaze Kill’ !

I realise that nobody pays attention to airline safety demonstrations ! And of course, airline safety demonstrations are so vapid that they give vapid a bad name !

How about something like the air-hostess announcing “as soon as I am done with my demonstration, three random passengers could be asked to do the demo as a surprise test. If you fail, you would travel in the cargo compartment !”

I realise that air-hostesses and their names are getting my interest. With names like ‘Honey’, ‘Ruby’, ‘Pretty’, ‘Sweety’… well, first name basis seems to be one heck of an interesting arena !! When all of them are in the same flight, that could be providence doing a sun dance. Flights of fancy. Of course!

The lady sitting next to me, is getting restless now. So am i. This post has been thoroughly supervised by her ! Not that I am new to supervision per se.

Especially, when I have been married to her for a while.

Ah, that’s one more realisation ! Or perhaps admission ! Heights, you see. heights !

High 5 ? What 4 ?

On a bright sunny morning, a cuckoo flew into my mobile and congratulated the five years of
blogging. ‘Five years ! Phew !’ Said the mail from the kind soul, amongst other things. ‘Kavi’s Musings’ and five years ?

An extraordinary act of kindness for the cuckoo to look into my archives,keep track and reveal the score.

Ambivalently feeling both like a fossil and a lost in sea survivor arriving to a Republic Day welcome, the eyes popped and the heart beat surged. But five years? I wast sure. Toes and fingers aided counting and as has been the case from second grade, the result was inconclusive.

Profusely thanking the cuckoo and staying comfortable with that confusion, the mind went on a celebratory sepia tinged trip down memory lane.

It all started one Bangalore weekend. With my brother in a act of great kindness teaching some basics of blogging. Armed with fledgling knowledge and feeble know-how and delusion du jour, the tentative steps rolled out. One by one. And have rolled on.

It started with writing for a voice. Meandered to counting comments and then rested on counting ‘hits’! It didn’t take long to baulk at the meaninglessness of one more set of numbers of think of !

These days, its more about just being myself and having fun ! In some sort of surreal dance of joy to see the posts from fellow bloggers and my own insipid attempts at insight ! (Did i hear you say ‘fossil’? )

But hey, its been one heck of journey. One that would not have been possible without readers and co-travellers who have come back for more ! So a big thank you. If you are reading as far as this line of this post !

Given that this blog has side stories for its main story, coupled only with my own amateurish attempts at photography from half a camera, well, gratitude is mandated ! And the writing, well, writing…well, that slope is as slippery as a public toilet !

But, hold on. Am still lurking. Still learning. Still alive. This blog may not be setting the back-alleys of Bombay, Bangalore or Boston abuzz. Heck, it doesn’t even light the bulb in the balcony !

But then, it isn’t in the lighting up business. What has mattered is the love of friends around the world who have been found, established, rediscovered. The power of ideas exchanged. Calibration of the mind and whiff of what lies on the other side of the green ! Attempting pulchritude in the midst of pervasive pessimism !

Over filter coffee, sepia tone and beaming pride in tow, the missus was informed that the blog completes five years today. Only to be told, with ample evidence and enough proof to send defence lawyers to perpetual retirement, that that the blog is only four !

‘Not five’.

Of course the rest of what was said with an arch of the eyebrow, a sniff of the nose and oodles of love, vaguely in the domain of : growth is a slow process and that someday she does hope that i too will grow up, shall remain confined to the safety vaults of harmonious matrimony and world peace.

Heck. So what. Its an anniversary for this blog. Four years is no small time either. Before the missus lands in the scene, give me a High-Five people.

Quick. Before she asks ‘What 4’ , i must thank you for coming back to this page for more. Such acts of kindness keep the world spinning, i must say. If someone consents to be a chief guest, next year we’ll have a party !

(Presiding over a five year heap of posts from a blog like this would require courage, kindness and hope in equal measure ! Think about it. We have a year to go).

For now, i have been holding up my palm in the fond hope that someone will slap my palm and not aim anywhere lower !

Mistakes or Right-takes !

A mistake may not be a mistake. Even though it may seem to a mistake. A mistaken mistake is more the mistake of the mis-taker than the mistake itself.

Phew. Thats about the distance that can be travelled on this blog to sound profound !

Coming back to the mistake domain, survey this signboard, seen somewhere in Tanjore.

How profound. Wouldn’t you think so ?

Speed breaks heads ! Reckless speed breaks many heads! The Superintendent of Police of Tanjore has better things to do than comming after you with his pet lathi and pocket revolver to split your head, when you exceed speed limits. This is pretty much a do-it-yourself excercise !

Or take this signboard from Lonavala.

Rickshaws these days with run the streets with colourful seats, hanging beads, and broken silencer pipes, that can roar down the Ferrari in all departments.

Throw in a fretting driver, who will haggle over the authenticity of the meter reading with a ferocity best otherwise seen of a screaming TV channel going after an insipid cricketer ! Add a dash of driving ( acrobatic ) skills that would have Schumacher and his tribe cowering in the bushes.

What would you have ? RickShow indeed ! 🙂

Or for that matter, sample this, found on every other wall in a fancy apartment complex where fancy heavy duty friends live. Every attempt has been made to let this blogger know that these are two different instructions on one piece of paper.


The complex is fully loaded. With four wheel drives, high profile designations and pockets that run deeper than the Pacific ocean ! And sometimes people with more jewellery on them than clothes. (The last part was an exaggeration, but you get the drift. Don’t you?)

Of course, there is not much of room for humour with the dour security chaps out here. With their stern looks, dry instruction and menacing walk, you must be out of your mind to spit and drive slow !

If you must spit, drive fast ! OK ?

Mistakes huh ?

Big Deal !

There are some parched seasons. And some floods. And there are inbetweens. That’s the case with everything. Money. Happiness. People. People, this seems to be the season for travel. No. No complaints at all.

Travel took us to Tanjore. Down in the deep south. A kind friend and unfettered kindness meant we got to see some fabulous heritage monuments ! As usual, they left an indelible mark.

What the kings managed and accomplished in the past is no mean joke. They built tall buildings out of single rocks. Multiple rocks. Different buildings. Layers of architecture. Architecture with waves, folds, dramatic cuts and sincere corners. Without safety helmets, cement, mortar, B.E degrees or capitation fees.

Like this temple : The Brihadeeshwara temple.

This tower for instance, all of 216 feet tall. Made of granite. A 1300 odd years ago ! No cranes. No nothing.
Some splendid architecture, that deserves a separate blog. Leave alone a post.

But, but….‘One more post on architecture and history….’, the missus had remarked the other day. It has been my experience, that whenever she let silence to do sentence completion, the effects have been, well rather loud !

So, lets talk about something else. Like the chart that the amiable chap who showed us around at the Big temple. He insisted on speaking English, had such charts to show. Infact many such charts to show.

On that note, please do well to notice, Raja Raja Chola, the chap that built this temple, had 14 wives ! ’14 members’ he says ! Now, that sounds like a committee! Fourteen! FOURTEEN ! Imagine.

But then, suddenly the Brihadeeswara temple suddenly seems to be no big deal. The one woman in my life pushes me enough to get up from bed, go to work, get back and powers my completion of a sundry assortment of errands that makes my chest swell with pride often ! ( Notice people. I say ‘My’ chest )

But with Fourteen times that push…. well the big temple, is a sure possibility !

In other news, the big mouthed me, let that thought loose in the vicinity of the sharp ears of the missus. She has let silence do the talking since then.

hmm !