Kids… when they were actually kids!
Few days back, I was at one of my known’s place when his 14 years old was sounding quite depressed and dull. Knowing him, it was a bit unusual, so I tried to dig him, and guess what I came to know... The Einstein could score ONLY 2nd rank in the unit test for some IIT coaching. Gee, are you nuts, I asked him, its just a unit test and further more, you are just 14! IIT??  He gazed back at me as if I have challenged his virginity. Almost similar expressions were shared by his mommy dearest, and then followed a long lecture on how important it is to start preparing now, and how sincere the child is, while spending 15-16 hours a day in the studies. Uhhh.. From what I can remember about my childhood, when I was 14, the biggest concern in my life was to somehow get my hands on the new BSA-SLR bicycle of one of my class mate and then convince my dad that my present ride is good for nothing and how unkind, unfair and lots of other words starting with “un” it will be if I dint get a new one. 

Further more, even by standard 11th or 12th, if somebody used to ask me, so what are you gonna be when you grow up, I was like uhmmm.. and then stare at mum with a look on face that said “what do I say.. what kind of question is this..“ but today.. you ask a 10 years old and he/she will shoot back with the career/profession which half of the average Indians have never heard of.. How very contemplative and forward thinking, but ain’t it a bit unfair with the kids? Parents try to fulfill their dreams, desires and wishes in their children and somehow end up in forcing the child to be some one which he/she is actually not. The childhood which is supposed to be most innocent, stress-free and simply the best time of a persons’ life, gets lost somewhere in the unfulfilled cravings of the parents.

Then, there is my 2 years old niece. Getting her ready after bath or when going out is as herculean task as making Pakistan admit that they are behind the terrorist attacks in India. Kiddo will simply sit on bed while her mom will show all dresses and then ma’am will choose what color and what type of dress she is going to wear that day. Sweet as it might sound but its not, ask her mom when going out, while they are all dressed up for a party but the kid is dressed up in an old and strained sweater coz that is her current favorite at that time. If you ask me, I used to be all happy in a diaper with a loose home made vest. And colors, not even heard of them at that time.. o boy.. time is surely changing! 


Encounter, plain and simple. err.. kind of..
Disclaimer - When reading this post, if you find the dialogs from one of the lead characters familiar, its purely a coincidence and its definitely not you. You have the option to close the window right away or believe me on it, that ITS NOT YOU :)

Now, this is no more a secret that I am the next prey for the hunt called marriage in ‘Great Gupta Circus’. Hence the most integral part of my life these days is encounters. Though this is the popular term how gang calls it but ‘interview’ looks more appropriate to me coz that is how I feel, appearing for the post of husband. Nevertheless, one way or another, I am inclined to believe that I am one of the worst candidates, which can come across in the life of an interviewer (the girl in this case).

So, living on to the true spirits of an unemployed soul’s worried parents, they keep fixing me for these interviews and on popular demand, I am up with the transcript from one of these interviews. I leave it to you guys to decide, if there are any chances for me getting selected or I (read ‘my folks’) should stop trying.

This particular interviewer was from the capital with a master’s degree in management and hence they found it a pretty good prospect and a telephonic appointment was fixed.

After initial introduction

She – so howz weather there.
Me – its quite hot. Rajasthan is basically a desert area, especially these days when its summer, its really hot.. say 43-45 degrees.
She – oh, that must be very difficult then.
Me – well, not exactly, you get used to of it.. so..
She – oh yeah, but you must have got AC in your office.
Me – hmm, yeah
She – and you got AC in your home as well?

I thought she was going to marry me, but looks like she is more interested in an AC as a prospective groom

Me – hmm (thinking, what is coming next)
She – not disappointing me for a fraction of moment, and you must have got an AC car..

wondering… we are speaking for the first time and all she wants to know is if I am well insulated with ACs or not

Me – yeah, got an AC car as well… (in the most polite tone, I could manage)
She – okay, but then the hot weather doesn’t really matter. (oh... so that was the point). BTW which car do you have in your family?

How precise, she definitely does not believe in wasting time

Me – well, we got two SX4s and a Zen here (I was so tempted to tell her the actual cost, insurance expense, registration number, loan details etc., but somehow suppressed the urge)
She – wow!! so you drive a SX4, then I will marry you…
Me – excuse me
She – giggling, nah, nothing, just kidding.
Me – thought so…
She – if this place is a big city, or a town kind of thing
Me – not exactly a metro but not a town as well
She – so you get clothes there…

by this time, I was ready to slam my head in the wall as that really looked like a less damaging option, but the gentleman hidden somewhere deep inside restrained me. But unfortunately, it couldn’t convince me to avoid the scorn

Me – clothes!!! What is that? You know, we have got plenty of those date tress here and thus its no problem… we just use the large leaves from the tree as a wrap on and that does the trick.
She – giggling again, oh, you are pulling my leg. I just meant, if you have got those malls and shopping centers there.
Me - in the most innocent tone possible at that time, oh, that ways… yeah we got that..
She – okay.. so is it all desert?
Me – not exactly, but yes, if you go to outskirts, you see these sand dunes and large areas covered with nothing but sand.
She – then it must be difficult with water and all, how do you guys manage?

Good lord!!! Please help me, this is not happening to me… Please..

Me – you don’t watch movies? We have this well around 1 KM from the home, so in the morning, we just go there with buckets in hands and get water for our daily use. (Trying to find the other phone)
She – Hey.. you started again.. why do you keep pulling my leg.
Me – what are you talking about! How can I do that.. (Dialed my desk phone from the other phone)
Me – Hey, hang on a sec., got a call on other phone, shall we speak again in a while?
She – yeah, sure…
Me – slam

Next morning on breakfast table, not knowing that dad has already spoken to them after this incident

Dad – so did you speak to her…
Me - eyes firm in to breakfast plate, hmm
Dad – so how was it
Me - eyes still in the dish as if it will run away from the table, if I stopped staring, it was okay, she is kind of strange.
Dad – loosing the temper, what is it with your cocky attitude… is there any girl which will fit in your so called criteria?
Me – silent…
Dad – so what exactly do you want?
Me – silent…
Dad – okay, fine.. do whatever you want to.. left the table
Me – left for office

Made for each other!
It is quite an old story and I have heard it numerous times, but somehow it always held me spellbound and fascinated. Looks like a fairy tale at times and an old romantic classic at others.

I don’t think, I will be able to do justice when narrating it, but would still like to give it a try.

It all started in early 70’s. H was a typical Punjabi gal. Delicate, fair, very sweet 22 years old, freshly out of college with simple and innocent dreams in equally innocent eyes. Dreams to support the family, do some thing respectable out of her education and of course get settled in life with a loving husband and kids. At those times, education of girls was not a common phenomenon, especially in the smaller cities, let alone the jobs. However, parents allowed her to join a job till things get finalized, not having a slightest glimpse of what future has stored for them. H started in a school as an English teacher and there met M.  

Speaking of M, he was just the opposite pole on the planet, belonged to a bania (agarwal) family, serving in the same school as a political science teacher. 6 feet tall, dark, handsome in his own ways, and of course quite popular amongst the other female staff members of the school. H was duly warned on the very first day by some concerned fellows (probably the broken hearts) to stay as far as possible.

H saw M, decided, she can’t stand him for a second, and chose to dwell on different path. But… cupid plays funny games, and as expected had some other plans this time as well. Being in same school, same shifts, meetings were inevitable. They met again, gradually started liking each other and thoughts of staying together started coming in. But it was not as simple as it so sounds… we are speaking about 70s when a love marriage that too inter cast, was considered as one of the most disgraceful act in the family and society. It was an equally reluctant situation with both of the families but they kept firm on the decision and the parents had to surrender. H’s family was traditional “sardar” so her dad asked M to grow a beard for the marriage so that he at least look like a sardar boy. 

For H, it was not easy to get adjusted in altogether different circumstances, new atmosphere and a large family as opposed to her fun loving Punjabi background , but together they faced every situation, good or bad, simple or complicated. Changed the mind set of other family members who were always unenthusiastic to the alliance, made this small house with whatever they had, sacrificed on so many incidents but planned best of best for their children and above all, lived the dreams together. 

Today… I feel blessed to have them as my parents and would like to thank god for being kind enough on me. This December they celebrated their 34th marriage anniversary and whenever I think of them, it makes me believe, that there is true love some where. It is not always in romantic novels but its in our every day life. They are so different on so many things, like mum is a movie buff and dad goes to theater only for an uninterrupted sleep. Mum likes to have fun, travel around and dad is kind of serious guy but they definitely beat the odds together… 

God bless them !

Insanity.. at its extreme!!

Some one remotely known to me calls up…

He - Hey.. this is 'Z’, remember we met at this place with Mr. ‘X's reference.
Me – Ohk.. Please tell me how can I help you.
He – Actually I need some assistance, so I was wondering if you could please spare some time tomorrow or may be one of your guys.. I am stuck with this software problem and need your help to fix the code. 
Me - oh sure but its quite a hectic schedule these days as we have a deadline. Can we make it some time next week.. you know.. if you don’t have any problems
He - Well, it is a problem for me.. so let us do it tomorrow. I know it would be like wasting up your time but I think I have that much right on you.

Me – stumped! Jeez.. I don’t even know the chap and he has got some hold on me to be confident enough that his problem is worth messing up a deadline. Wow!!

2) A customer calls up 

He - I have some issues with this system, so could you please have some one look at it and fix the things.  
Me - Umm, how about Monday (3 days from now) 
He - No, its top priority, I needed it like yesterday
Me - I understand but Monday is the best I can do
He - I insist.. I need it tomorrow
Me – Okay.. let me see what I can do

As obviously, it can not get done tomorrow coz we are not in a position to do it.. 

On Monday after the issue is fixed, calls me again

He - You know what the problem with you guys is…
Me - Well, not sure, what happened.. 
He - If you don’t have resources to do it in time, then you should have told me clearly.. that okay, this will be done on xyz date. We just keep on waiting and it is not fair.. no?

Me – stumped!! dint I mention that in the first place.

3) A friend’s friend calls up.

He – Hey M.. I need a favor. This guy (some one known to him) is an engineering student so could you please arrange a summer training for him in your office. 
Me – We don’t usually do this trainee thing, so its quite difficult man.
He – Please, if you could manage it…
Me – okay, have him speak to ‘X’ (my PM)
He – Well, I was thinking if you could speak to him.. he is a bright kid so may be you can guide him.
Me – Hmm.. okay.. 

The bright kid calls up 

after the initial introduction

He – so you have this company for this software thingy
Me (annoyed with the tone) – Yes
He – you know, you guys should really make a policy for these trainings. They can help you with lots of things and its no harm after all.. You will get some stuff done for free. 

Me – stumped!! Look at the guts man.. and I thought, I was doing a favor to him.. 


I wanna…

As the New Year is approaching, it’s the resolution time again... Ever since I can remember, I take some time to make certain resolutions every year and then break them in the very first hour itself, but okay that is what resolutions, rules and conventions are meant for... no? Indians after all, so its actually in our genes.

Okay, so this is not exactly a list of resolutions, but its more of a wish list, like what I want to do, how I want to change myself… from a better to worse person… I am kind of narcissist some times, so I know it can’t be better than what I am right now, and thus it has to be the other way around. 

- First of all, I really need to change my routine. If there is actually some thing like a biological clock in our bodies, mine must has been exploded long back… and you can’t actually blame it, what else do you expect, when you sleep at 4 in morning, wake up at 9, lunch at 3 and dinner at 12 in night.. I definitely need to get myself back to humanly courses man!

- Then there is the biggest problem in my life. I am sick of being nice all the time (okay, not that nice, but good enough). There are times when you really get pissed off with certain things but just for the sake of being nice you don’t react, and on top of that, the other people start taking advantages of this.. so I really wanna say “fuck off” when I feel like it.. and trust me it happens quite a lot these days. God knows why the world is full of insane people, or its just that they come across in my life so often! 

- Next is another equally big crisis… the whole family is on a mission to get me married by any means! And when I say “any”, I mean it, be it by hook or by crook. Dad is like, either you get settled, or leave my home, mum is busy looking for prospective bahus (daughter in laws) and all other budha log (old chaps) have made this kind of national issue. On the other end, poor little me feels like running away to a remote island at times. In the safe zone where I can live with a little peace without the constant nagging and regular morning chants about it. I know I can’t do it but I really wish I could :(

- This one is a little contradictory to the previous one, but at times I feel that how good it would be to have that some one special in life, a partner in crime kind of mate, with whom I could share my joys, confess all my guilt, go for a long walk in cold and dark nights while holding the hands together, dance crazily while shaking my legs and head wildly till I fall down for the last breath… but then the reality stings back hard and it looks like straight from an old Hollywood classic.. so I roll back to my previous wish.

- Finally, there is a very small and trivial kind of itch and that is, I wanna learn to play Guitar. Don’t know why, but I was always fascinated about it, and for this one, I tried as well… but again, if only I could keep a routine in my life, it would have been a lot more simple. But okay, I am sure, am gonna do it in coming year, so get ready for a Rock on concert coming to your city guys!


I vote nobody!!

Found this interesting info. on web. Worth reading and trying I guess.. 

49-O in Constitution of India - "I VOTE NOBODY"...

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section " 49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth,
Confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone!

Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these leaders have never disclosed it.

This is called "49-O".

Why should you go and say " I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way; of our whole political system.... it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.... obviously they are working under instruction as there would definitely be scarcity of good candidates for all well known parties who are admissible by public as OK.

Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India ... show your power, expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting... so don't miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on...

Use your voting right for a better INDIA.