Saturday, August 30, 2008

Things I think I think

- I think Barack Obama will not become president.. Much as I would like him to be the President of the United States, I would be very surprised if he did. Probably because it's his race or his inexperience, but the fact that he's still neck to neck with John McCain, even when everything is going bad for the Republicans, means that he's probably not going to beat the establishment. Would be something like our Indian Olympic Boxers, who normally fight hard, beat the World Champion and then gallantly go down fighting to the eventual winner.

- I still think I ought to contest the next Lok Sabha elections from Pune.. I think that's easier than getting my voter ID card done.

- I think there ought to be a penalty on false marketing, and companies should be audited on their advertising authenticity. I went to ICICI to start a joint account with Annika, and I was greeted by their ad which says that they will sanction a loan in 30 minutes flat. It took me roughly 43 minutes to get to the counter. You think they can do a from scratch loan sanction (from raw material to finish product, as we say in our line of work) inside 30 minutes, if the waiting itself is 43 minutes?

- I think when God (if he / she exists) sends us to this earth, He / She should also say "You'll have a good life... Conditions Apply"

- I think Ratan Tata is in serious need of visiting a Baba Bengali.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Observation

A single man approaches his colleague with an invite for his wedding.

A female colleague…

...always speaks with him to get more information about the wedding, the time, the bride, the education. Some even get personal and ask more about how many siblings, where parents work etc. All in all a good time is had by one and all for roughly 20 minutes.

A male colleague…

.. if single, says "Congrats" (or some version thereof)
.. if married, says "All the best" (or some version thereof)

Monday, August 25, 2008

An Old Fogey Post

Every generation has it's distinct features.. The 60's had their independence kids, and the 70's had their revolutions.. The 80's generation had the weird haircuts, and probably the worst movies ever.. and general boredom.. I keep telling D as to how people who were teenagers / early 20s in the 80's were probably the unluckiest in Indian history. Most of them are abroad now, trying to get over the ennui of the 80's in India..
I belong to the 90's generation.. I'd like to know what we have distinct about us.. I'd like to think we owe more to Manmohan Singh than we'd like to admit.. We are the generation who knows how dreary life was in the 80's to appreciate what we have today.. The amount of growth and prosperity all around is stunning to all of us, simply because we have seen life where getting a landline number was a 5 year wait, and a Bajaj scooter was the prize possession of the family.. We know what a ration card is.. We were also lucky to be around at the start of the internet concept.. I think it would have really bothered me if I did not have my name as my email id.. My generation was lucky.. Almost everyone I know my age has their name as their primary email..
The 21st century generation is quite simple to define.. It's the internet generation.. It's the Orkut generation.. The SMS generation.. In a sense, it is the true independent one.. No baggage of the pre-liberalization India.. You want it, you get it generation.. Not bothered by their what their email ids are, as long as they have a page on facebook or orkut, which they keep changing any way...
Probably that explains the Bindras and the Vijenders and the Sania Mirzas of today..

Friday, August 22, 2008

Marriages are made in the mind..

I am told in rural India, people directly ask what caste you belong to. I don't know, but I am told it happens. In urban India, they don't ask this to your face. But when they find out you're a Konkani guy, and your wife is Mallu, they do ask you this..

"Sir, you have a love marriage??"

Maybe they live their secret desire vicariously through my married life. Maybe, it's a symptom of how suppressed we really are in terms of expressing our love openly. Maybe it's just their amazement, to how our parents agreed to it. I don't know, but I have heard this so many times, that it's not even funny. The funniest thing is that after almost 5 years of marriage, and having seen many marriages work (and not work), I really don't if there's any difference in the married life of those who have had a "love" marriage and those who have had an "arranged" marriage. I know a guy, whose parents went against his wishes and got him married to someone of their choice, that didn't work. So, they gave in to his wishes and let him marry someoen of his choice and that didn't work either.

There's no such thing as a soul mate, in my opinion, you have to understand each other, and that's more important. The phrase soulmate must have been devised by some greeting card marketing manager, I think. If you are not willing to change, it's never going to happen, love- / arranged-/ or whatever other type of marriage. A Marriage is something where both partners have to give a little, take a little, and come up wiht the best there is for all concerned. It's been a blast for me personally, but while most credit of that should go to the boss, I guess I should also get some brownie points.

That's why my standard answer to this standard question is:

Self - Arranged

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I think... therefore I am ...fake

They say that man is superior to animals because of his ability to think..
I beg to differ...
I have a four month-old who really cannot think.. She smiles at anyone and everyone when her sleep is complete and she is fresh.. She screams and cries with anyone and every one when she's sleepy.. She's got the biggest smile in the world (Using some Daddy Exaggeration Factor) and there's no motive behind it.. If she's happy she shows it, and when she's sad, she shows it.. Whatever it is, it's genuine..
How often would you hear the phrase "genuine" when referring to adults??
Isn't there always a motive behind what we adults do??

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Somethings are just beyond your control...

Mohan was a normal kid growing up.. Very normal for someone born in the mid 19th century.. His mother, Putlibai, the first three wives having apparently died in childbirth. Growing up with a devout mother and the Jain traditions of the region, the young Mohan absorbed early the influences that would play an important role in his adult life; Didn't have too many friends around, but then since his dad was the "diwan" in the Porbandar court, he was pretty good friends with the son of the crown prince of the state.. Good friends as in, he was in the same class as the prince's son, Diwaker Saaheb, so most of his needs were taken care of... Not everyone his age had the privilege of being in the same class as the prince's son.. So, along with the son of the Naib Subhedar of Porbander, Mohan was in the inner circle for Diwaker Saaheb.. As a student, he was mostly average, and that was anyway a blessing in disguise, since you never want to score better than the prince, now do you?

As was custom, Mohan was married off at the age of 13, to Kastur Makhanji. By 15, they had their first child, but the child survived only a few days.. However, God had good things in mind for the young couple, so they were blessed with a baby boy soon. They named him Hari, in praise of lord Krishna. Now that he had a family to look after, Mohan required some occupation.. Diwaker Saaheb's father was now the king of Porbunder, and so Mohan was able to become a courtier in the court and would help the state treasurer with the accounts of the state.. He was no flash with numbers, but he could do his sums, and that's all that was expected of him.. Raje Saaheb, tragically came down with tubercolosis, to which there was no cure at the time, and Diwaker Saaheb ascended the throne of Porbander.. He was in need of trustworthy people and he knew Mohan from his days gone by.. Mohan became part of his inner ring of people..

As Mohan's "career" grew, so did his family.. His wife and he were blessed with 3 more children - Manilal, born in 1892; Ramdas, born in 1897; and Devdas, born in 1900. He was able to provide for them quite well and the family lived in a large enough house right next to the royal palace..

And so the story went. A normal, unheralded life. Lived and died all in Porbander.. Never had to go so far as the bigger state of Vadodara..

That was the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, in a parallel universe. A universe, in which the British never came to India.

Somethings, are just beyond your control...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Cogito ergo Sum

Babboo writes in response to my previous post..

God's in the little thing.. He's in your Annika and he's in your thoughts and in your beliefs and your conscience. The only clothes he needs are those

No? :)

God is indeed in the small things.. In things which cannot be explained, but you know are there.. In things which make you go WOWWWWWWWW.. In things where you know there is some scientific explanation to it, but it cannot be designed by current levels of human imagination.. As I write this, the TV is playing a serial, where all we are getting is an entire religious ceremony of Sri Datta Maharaj.. And it all feels so forced..

The problem I have is not as much with God, but more with the CEOs of the GOD industry.. The guys who have dressed Him up in clothes which suit their image of Him.. Clothes, which keep reinforcing people's image of God, but are nowhere near capturing the essence of what God actually is.. Clothes, which only help these CEOs get rich and no one else.. Clothes which keep adding falsehoods to what God actually is...

I have a confession to make here.. I go to temples, often - but not as often as some of my near ones would like.. However, I have no idea what to ask for.. For a long time, I would pray diligently like told by my elders.. Even believe that prayer would be an added help to achieve what I wanted.. But as I started to think about it, it really didn't matter how much I prayed.. I had to do what I had to do to get what I wanted to get.. At that point, to me, going to a temple became more of an exhibition of publicly displaying how pious I was.. I wouldn't say I got a brainwave or anything.. Nor am I saying I am perfect.. but slowly I started analyzing myself.. and I all I found was that if I started concentrating on what I needed to do, and concentrate well enough, I would get it... And even if I didn't, it was proportional to my efforts.. And, that's what I do in temples..


God lies in me..

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Can someone answer this?

Does God wear clothes?

If so, does (S)He change them?

If so, how often and what does (S)He wear as a change of clothes?

What about underwear? Can you imagine.. Billons of years, and no underwear??

At least does (S)He wear something fashionable, or something out of the ordinary?

And what about shoes?? If God's a woman, she ought to get a good pair of heels for herself, right??

All the folks who wrote mythological serial scripts.. How do they know what fashion trend God follows?

If everyone knows that there is a God, why do we call it "Mythology"?

Why is it always Hindu Mythology, but never Christian Mythology, or even Islamic or Buddhist or Sikh Mythology?