It happens only in India!

-  We buy a new car and then keep the plastic wrappings on seats, red ribbon on hood and some times even the paper mats under the carpets intact for several months… just to keep the feeling and of course showing off that its a new car!

- Any smartass will grow a beard, wrap himself in saffron cloth (with potbelly hanging out) and start preaching on stage or a TV channel about any damn thing from yoga to religion to moral values to traditions and culture. We the people start following him staunchly and then one fine morning we come to know that the so called guru jee is involved in a sexual harassment case or with a terrorist group in backyard of their hermitage.

- A crazy driver does a hit and run accident and people come up on road while putting buses, building and other public properties on fire. Government will do nothing to find the guilty, but create an additional speed breaker (no matter it is a highway) at the place of accident and get rid of its responsibility. 

- A scam or scandal for thousand millions (of course the hard earned money of the tax payers) or a dreadful gang rape or a horrendous murder happens and every news channel go crazy with their breaking news for few days, then a new scam appears and every body forgets about the previous one like it never ever happened. Can you remember what was the verdict with “Harshad Mehta”, “Amarmani Tripathi”, “Telgi” and so on. 

- Political parties choose a veteran movie star as election candidate instead of a devoted worker, who has spent years of his/her life in the party while doing some thing worth for the region. On top of that, the star will win with a historical difference from the nearest opponent and then go back to the show business while never coming back to the region where he/she was elected. Lively example – “Dharmendra” won from district Bikaner (Rajasthan) and then never came back for next 5 years coz he was too busy with scantily clad “Mallika Sherawat” sitting in his lap (This is not fictional, it was an actual statement by latter during the shooting of a ‘B’ grade movie.

- And last but not the least, we spend millions of dollars (not INR but dollars actually) in the name of armed forces, security bureaus and law enforcement agencies but 10 eunuchs come in with tons of ammunition and no one even notices them. They attack on the most sensitive and important places of country (even parliament) and kill hundreds of innocent people. During all this time, our leaders inhabit themselves in the safe zone of ‘Z’ grade security, only coming out to declare a compensation money to victims, give canned statements on how it would not be tolerated and of course making provisions to increase the security for themselves!! 

Mera Bharat Mahaan indeed... 


Ah.. the sheer pleasure of doing nothing!!

Though I, in fact all of us, love to imagine ourselves as very organized, hardworking and no time waster kind of persons but no matter what, there are times when we really feel like doing nothing. You know when the brain cells (or germs) are so stressed or lethargic or just too apathetic that they start dancing on a threatening tune. Now the problem is, we can do that for a while (in my case, the record is half an hour) but after that we can not really sit idle. The mind wants to be idle but rest of the body does not actually want to cooperate. 

To deal with such critical situation, it was required to derive some really neat and innovative techniques (at times, I also imagine myself as a very good planner, thanks to the company of my brother), so after carefully working on several hypothetical notions, I have come up with this sophisticated white paper (sounds classy?) on killing time. All of these techniques are proven and tested (courtesy me and my brother), however, you are suggested to try them on your own risk and make sure you have read the last section (Side Effects) of this post. So here it goes… have a happy time killing session :)

1) Chat with a Tele Caller while making him/her believe that you are really interested in product and in between bring up dumb questions like “so you mean I will be able to withdraw cash from my credit card with any ATM” or may be “oh really!! So you will also be delivering hardcopy of a statement apart from e-bill, you know I am really bad with this computer thingy”. The key here is to keep your expressions and tone full of innocence and/or enthusiasm.

2) Play an imaginary instrument with your lips and fingers, making ablub, bub, blub noises.

3) If you have the luxury of a couch or sofa in your cabin, you can sit there while specs adjusted on an angle when your eyes are not easily visible, keep an open book or magazine or office document in your lap and take a quick (depends on how much time you have or how far can you go without being caught) nap

4) If your laptop or desktop has a webcam, switch that on, check out your face for best expressions (for meetings when you try to look serious, for dating when you try to look intelligent and witty at same time, when smiling and so on) you can also try different sitting positions like legs crossed, different positions of your hands on your face and so on.

5) If you are in office or a place which is suitably crowded. Try to look around and start staring people. In offices, this has been proved as a very efficient trick coz most of the people around will think as if you are so occupied and involved in a thought process. Some of them might try to stare back at you but don’t loose momentum and keep on staring and they will break it in no time... For better effects, make a pile of papers on your desk, keep several windows opened on your desktop and while staring, try to play with a pen or pencil in your fingers or mouth…
6) Close your eyes and try to feel the things around, imagine how it would be for blinds and how good is your sensing abilities (with touches). This one has a positive side as well, when working in dark or really difficult corners where you can’t actually see the things, you can rely on your fingers. It proved very helpful in my previous office when trying to plug in cables in my computer which was located in a place, only an interior decorator/architect can think of.

7) If you are in home.. try to relax on bed, roll over, crack your  ankles while making strange noises like ohhoo.. ho ho ho..  ahh god.. and please, don’t start racing your minds in the dirty directions. I didn’t have had any such intentions. If its night, try to stare at sky and draw imaginary shapes from clouds and/or stars. There is a fair chance that you will see a falling star (if you believe in that theory) or if you are luckier then probably a UFO hidden some where in clouds and aliens starting at you (come on they might also feel the urge to do nothing)

8) Write an email to president or PM office or even your MD while stating problems and of course solutions to the poor state of facilities, employment issues, your PF a/c statement mismatch, salary policies or an damn thing under this sky. Make sure that you DON’T post it otherwise you won’t even need to read the side effects section of this post. 

9) Invite your friend on a messenger with whiteboard access for a Tic Tac Toe game. Skype and Yahoo has got pretty good add-ons for the same. (Tried and proven approach you see ;)

10) Read this blog, post comments, refresh on every 5 minutes to check updates, repeat step 1 

Side effects/Warnings

1) If you boss is also reading this page, there are fairly good chances of your getting fired.
2) If your wifey or GF knows that you have this much time to kill, you are very likely candidate to accompany her on next shopping spree.
3) You might start finding these activities so interesting that you will intentionally try to find time to waste.

So guys, I seriously hope this post has successfully wasted 5-7 minutes of your time and probably suggested few more ways to cleverly invest rest of the same. Feel free to add more ways oh sorry techniques and keep posting in comments!! 

Cheers !! 

P.S. – only tried and proven techniques will be accepted here ;)

Why o why!
This is going to be one of the shortest posts I have ever read or written, and probably does not even deserve creating a separate post (but okay, who cares.. its my blog, right!)

Back to the story… From last couple of days, I am almost bed ridden and thus nothing productive to do, apart from devising some really ridiculous plans (like inventing a motor driven embedded system which can be plugged in to USB port and LCD of your laptop and then scrolling the mouse wheel will allow the user to flip up and down the LCD), coughing like a 90 year old who has smoked like a chimney for the whole life and cursing few of the really insignificant (at least looks like that) entities created by almighty.

All this started as an innocent looking cold which soon became a cannibal while eating up all of my energy. On top of that, every body was like, its just a cold and runny nose, why the hell are you stick to bed. Huh.. If only I could exchange half of my runny nose with them…

To justify the title of post, my question is, why this damn cold and cough was created in first place. If it was supposed to be JUST cold, then it should have some decent effects on poor human beings like me, and if it was supposed to be this horrible, then god should have put in some more sympathy in to the other persons’ hearts :(

The next question is, what is the significance of mosquitoes on this earth? When in school times, the old bio teacher used to tell us that every creature on this planet has some important role to play and one way or another they are doing it without even our knowing. But still, why mosquitoes? What role they have to play here. Mr. Darwin, are you listening? I want my answer now otherwise I am gonna put a counter theory on “origin of species”. Told you, I have nothing better and productive to do these days…

Cheers !

P.S. - Oh, did I say, it was supposed to be a short post?
Me, T and the so called vacation…

Date – 07th Oct. 2008 (Evening, India Time)

Place – My Office

- I am about to leave from office for an out station trip… enabled the auto responder on email and signed off.

Date – 07th Oct. 2008 (Early Morning, Eastern Time)
Place – Far away, some where in USA

- T leaves the bed, though still half asleep and red bull banging in head. Bound and forced with the routine, some Spiritual (read Satanic) super power brings him to the PC and first thing is to write an email about the updates on project, some new requests, some new conclusions from brainstorming last night and what not.

- Auto responder comes in action and throws away a canned response immediately.

- T rubs the eyes in disbelief and reads it again… mutters some silent curses and replies “What the hell, how can you go like it.. you can’t go for a bloody vacation at this time”

- Auto responder is still prompt and vigorous and catches the mail in between to throw away another canned response.

- Some more curses, audible this time… some abuses.. tries to find his cell phone and composes a text message, as politely as possible.

- No response. More abuses, loud enough to wake up the chick in bed [sorry T ;)]

- Sends again

- I read the message and scratch my head. Can’t think of any thing which will cool him down. I knew this was going to happen but still… I couldn’t avoid this trip so.. I call names to the inventors of the cell phones, email and the revolution which has made it impossible to live in this world without all these tiny boxes.

- More threats from T, more excuses from my side and this goes on and on for next 4-5 days.

Now, I know most of us are very familiar with above scene but two things come up in my mind.

First is, I feel that I am quite an important person on this earth, not just another insignificant walking talking structure of bones and flesh. Argh… I know its not true but the second one is very true and worth a thought, and that is, if we were happier when we didn’t have these gizmos in our pockets, with access to email, internet and all that crap, or we are happy today with such an easy and quick access to each and every information (wanted or unwanted). There are pros and cons of every thing but ain’t it going over our heads now? We can’t go for a vacation in peace, can’t spend some private moments with family and can’t even concentrate on our work because there is always a high priority email waiting for our immediate attention.

There can be an argument, that I should not have gone for a trip when the project was in such a state (mind it that I am not using the word “vacation” coz it was not) but then what, even if I would have skipped it for 1 week, it would have been some other client, some other urgent matters and some other project…

Remember the times when we could go for a vacation without even knowing and hence not worrying about the offices. When we used to come at home at 6 PM and then the next connection to work was next morning. I really miss those times.. do you ?

Cheers !

P.S. – T, I know you are going to read it and scream at me but I am prepared and all ears :)