Saturday, February 28, 2009

The number conundrum

Long ago a Client came to my office. He had a very pretty girl with him. I was quite surprised when he introduced her as his wife. She was almost 30 years younger to him.
“ Age is just a number” she said cuddling him.
I thought maybe he was her retirement plan. But turned out that she was richer than him. I wished them a very happy marriage.
I slowly warmed to her as I liked her approach to life and we became quite good friends.
One morning, maybe even less than a month after her marriage, she came teary eyed and broke the news that they have decided to separate.
I didn’t know what to say really. So just mumbled. “ well days are just numbers. After all it’s the quality of the time you spent together.”
All I got was an icy stare. I am sure she mistook my sympathy for sarcasm.

Then there was this blonde who was chatting with my gym trainer. “ Well trainer. I want to hire you. But there’s just this problem. I like my ass. Is there a way that I can keep it as it is and just reduce my waist.” The bored instructor for the millionth time to the millionth girl said,” There’s no spot reduction. When you lose, you lose it all. Ass and all.”
She looked at me with hurt in her eyes.
“ Ah you look good. I must say you look not more than 21.” I said patronizingly.
“ I AM 21.” Her eyes bore into me. Only if looks could kill.
“ Age. Just a number.” Was all I could sheepishly muster.

Then there was this neighbor’s son who was watching TV in my apartment as his family were out. “ can I get you something to drink.” “ Hmm a beer would be fine.”
I said you will have to wait. The beer is still warm.” “ How long?” asked the excited young man.
“ Three years or more.” I said “ too young to drink kid”
“ Oh age is just a number!!!” he groaned.

But I don’t buy that anymore.

So coming to numbers, we have managed a hit of 2000 now. You and me.
I must also thank the wonderful students of BITS Pilani who have suddenly decided to patronize me. I always see at least a few of them always parked in my blog. Thanks guys.

A bored student from that school complained to me,” BITS Pilani is nothing but a procession of tests and more tests.
“Look at the irony. You take up one examination to enter this school only to get one every day ! .”

Another nugget was from a dear friend from IITK. stressed out with his Project and the continuous pressure of acads, as they call it, and also a bit nostalgic about leaving ,what was his home for four years, wrote this gem , “Getting out of IIT is far more difficult than getting in... !! .”

How true!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Children of a lesser God- Not really!

Long back I was reading in one of the communities on Orkut – there were many students from IITK – our brightest and most talented stars – who wanted to do some charity. I was overwhelmed. I had felt an enormous sense of respect and happiness.

Nothing wrong with our genex I thought. They have their heart where it should be.

I am somehow uncomfortable with the word charity. It smacks of snobbery.

Long ago I was a supporter of “ Make a wish Foundation”. It was a foundation for the terminally ill children.

Later when I was in UK, I arranged some charity balls for the Tsunami victims. I was proud to see huge Indian gatherings in the Hilton (which always was kind enough to offer generous discounts) every time there was such an event. I also knew some NRIs who adopted a child and paid for his education till he completed his education in India.
They never saw the child but only got pictures and reports of his progress.

Last year when I came to India, we accidentally stopped in a village while on our way. It was a very defining experience. The villagers were very open hearted and I felt that I could do so much for them. I have decided to adopt that village once I return from the USA.

That reminds me of a young Indian I met in Manchester when I was sponsoring an event there. He came and asked me would my company be willing to sponsor him for an Indian tour. I asked him the purpose of his visit and he said that his dad was a nuclear scientist and that though technically he was British but his roots couldn’t be denied and would like to do something for the Indian villages. I politely excused myself as I thought these were some lofty ideals of a young and impractical mind.

I am not ashamed to say that I was wrong. One day when I was casually surfing through various channels I saw this young boy now a little wizened delivering a key address in the ‘Pravasi Divas’ meet. He had been living in India for the last two years.
I don’t know how much difference his stay did but sure made me proud of his attempt.

The success of Slumdog Millionaire has brought the focus on these children. Some one described them as Children of a lesser God. I strongly disagree. All they need is an opportunity. Take a look at the video and decide. Isn’t he smarter than us? ( read me !!!!!)

This is my ode to the undying spirit and the resilience of these kids.

Guys don’t get enraged when a Danny Boyle makes such films. The problem is within not without.See how we can try and make it not happen again. our weakness is our huge population. we can make it our strength. we can all come together and contribute what best we can.
It is not impossible. Remember Surat. All it needed was a will.

To borrow President Obama’s war song “ YES WE CAN”

I would request all the guys who want to help to come forward.

People, as usual. Your comments are always welcome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscars' Celebrates AR RAHMAN

There was nothing unusual last night. As the brightest stars of the galaxy came together to sparkle, we knew who will shine the brightest.
There was a feeling of Deja vu.
with him it never is will he , won't he? it always is 'when'?
Occasions dont decide him he decides the occasion.
and last night he looked at the oscars. " You are coming home!"
I doff my hat to this genuis. The jewel in our crown.

we always knew. Now the world knows.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Last night I crossed 1000 hits and I was pondering on what it means. To me it means that my family is growing. Also now I can see more comments on my blog. So its really now HAMARI chaupal!

But I am still learning. My first blog was only on 02/10/09.

“ Your blog reminds me of the crumpled newspaper they serve bhel poori on in chaupati.” My Mumbai friend writes. “if you were not funny even your mother wouldn’t read it. Are you visually challenged? “ ( yes he is the same report card guy)

Ankit and Hashir Tafail too endorse the same view. “ Make it aesthetical.” They both advise albeit in a more refined way!

But Smi , on the other hand , disagrees. She warns it looks simple and clean. Don’t mess.

Andy, A big thanks for your support.

Guys , Appreciate very much indeed.

Today I write this post on a somber note.

One young blogger who prefers to be anonymous says “I envy you. I see happiness and fun oozing out of your post. But you can remain happy in these hard times because you are in the USA. We are suffering. The future looks bad. And for no fault of mine.”

His father has lost his job and they are going through a hard time.

Dear Anon , the situation here is no different. Recession is a global phenomenon. Everyone is hit.
I am jobless, almost maxed my credit cards, my credit score is the lowest ever it has been and I was recently ticketed for $250 for crossing on an orange light. Could things get any worse?

For over a year I regularly went in the evening to sit by a big lake and watch the sunset.
It used to fill my heart with pleasure to watch the horizon take an orange hue as the Sun languidly descended.

Now I stopped.

I do not see any orange hues. Just darkness. Within and without.

Humor is the need of the hour.

My last post got 275 hits in one day. Because it was funny. Can you imagine even 27 hits for such sad posts?

If you want to retain your sanity, learn to laugh.

As I said before : ‘ When life dishes out Lemons, Make Lemonades’

You say it is not your fault. Well when your dad was doing good , you weren’t responsible for that either. Were you?

Family means rallying around each other and caring for each other. Give your dad the emotional support. Give him the strength to come out of this.

My thoughts go out to you and your family. I hope things get better soon.

On a pleasant note I also got this mail.

Bob is 63. A retired teacher and a very strong Indophile . He surprised me with his knowledge about the Vedas. “ Well I have read the Arthur Beda, the Sam Beda and the Yajoor Beda” for a moment I thought he was talking about some people he knew as he drawled in his native Texan accent.

It was fascinating to hear his story.

He had this recurring dream of seeing a river night after night. Every day he woke up trying to find the connection. He visited clairvoyants, gypsies, astrologers.

But no answer.

He even went to the library and saw every book possible.

And then it happened.

One day he was seeing some travel brochures and accidentally hit upon the Laxman Jhoola in Hrishikesh and knew that was it.

He suddenly felt a spiritual connection with India and since then he is on the journey of educating himself. And reading the four Vedas was a part of it. He is yet to read the Rig Veda which he wants to finish on the banks of the holy river Ganges.

He has been collecting money to visit India for the last few years.

Yesterday he sent me a mail saying that he was visiting my beautiful country in May.

Good Luck Bob.

My beautiful country will become that much more beautiful by you being in it.

That reminds me of another strong Indophile Claudia. She has visited India twice and always enquires if I can help her meet Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai!.

I always looked forward to her mails which always were embellished with some gems like don’t worry . Main hoon na or kaise hain aap?

I only used to turn red when at the end of the mail she used to sign off with a Chumma.!
Mind you I am no prude. But these were official mails and exposed me to a lot of ribbing!

Miss you Claudia, Kahan ho Aap?

It only strengthens my theory that today we are living in a global village which makes the political boundaries redundant. All that matters is Humanity and Universal Brotherhood.

Let’s all pray for the family of the Anonymous fan.

As for me.

Maybe I have seen enough of sunset.

From tomorrow I should watch a new Dawn!!!!!!!!

Guys , Your mails are a source of joy. Keep them coming.

Blog Marketing- A new concept

These are depressing times. Its never pleasant to see someone unhappy.
But as I never tire of saying “ When Life dishes out Lemons make Lemonades”
We must take this as a challenge and an opportunity to act smart.

Recession has hit us all. And we have to find ways of augmenting our income in whatever small way is possible.

I present here one such opportunity I came across. Hope it helps.

I have come across this unique market place where the bloggers and advertisers come together to a common market place and where everyone wins. The advertiser gets an advertisement for a much cheaper rate and with a wider audience reach. The blogger gets paid for his services and the readers get to know about a product which they would want to buy without much effort.

Let me give an example. I have written a post about how to crack an interview. Now you can see some ads popping out on the right side which may give you information about the job portals, or tips on how to get prepared for an interview or many such details. The advertiser benefits by getting a target audience – a niche market which would otherwise have taken more efforts and more money.

The important thing is finding the right company . I came across one which looks to be the right one for me. But I am just starting for them. We can exchange our experiences as we go.

You can visit their website and get more information.

Lets make an honest effort to alleviate the pains of recession.

Hope this information helps.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Once bitten Twice shy!

Its always a joy to receive Indian visitors to Miami. The biggest attraction is the sweets they invariable bring. I baloon with pride when I go to India and hear stories about how good a host I am.

I told you guys I am vain!

Although I try to make their stay as comfortable as possible, things can sometimes go horribly wrong.

I always shudder when I have vegetarian friends. Not that I hate animals and get a sadistic pleasure when people eat them. But its pretty hard in Miami to get a proper vegetarian meal unlike a New Jersey where a Delhi Durbar can vie with a Madras Express.

I remember the first time when a friend asked for vegetarian sandwich. The Spanish girl took a long time to understand what he wanted. Then she nodded her head in perfect understanding and went in and brightly came back with a plate full of lettuce and tomatoes.
" No Bread No Meat" She said glowing with pride.
My friend felt like a goat looking at the rich foliage.

Once I took one to Saw grass Mill , Florida’s largest shopping mall. He enjoyed his shopping and couldn’t stop talking. Not until we sat for lunch.

The waiter in that posh restaurant was a sharp young student earning his school fees.
“ well sir, we can do one thing. “ said the Maths Major “ I will bring the whole dish and you can pick the vegetables and leave the meat.” He beamed as if he had found the perfect solution to an esoteric equation.

My petrified friend ordered plain rice which he said he could manage with French fries.

But the waiter wasn’t majoring in Mathematics for nothing. This is time he came with a complex problem for a change. The so called plain rice was boiled in pork broth!

Another hilarious incident happened when we all went with an American friend to Chilis for a drink. The American was informed about this gentleman’s vegetarian habits.

When his steak and Portobello arrived, the gracious American kept picking bell pepper and mushroom from it and offering my hapless guest assuring that it was cent per cent vegetarian. No meat in it he assured wiping his fork everytime.

Finally one guy found his perfect food. “Baked potato with sour cream “.
The bar tender in Flanigan joked that my friend had got his coronas and potatoes mixed up as he gorged them hungrily one after the other leaving his corona untouched.

he was elated. he knew what to eat now.

Alas, his happiness was short lived.

While waiting for a flight connection at Houston Airport, he smugly asked me to get him a baked potato.

Now the Texans are a hardworking and proud lot and justifiably like to show off their large farm products.

The chef picked up a large Idaho potato, scooped it expertly and generously filled a large helping of shredded beef in it.

Needless to say my friend went hungry till we reached our destination.

This time he didn’t want to take any chances. So he ordered French fries.
“ Go for potato wedges for a change. ” I offered.

He almost fainted when the wedges were served with delicate slices of fried bacon!!!!!!

We had a good laugh when he sent me a mail saying that in India the waiter looked at him strangely when he asked him what do they cook the plain rice in!!

“ Water ! and that’s why its known as plain rice. But we also serve Mutton and Chicken Biryani! “ was the laconic reply.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pay Forward

I am very happy today. Vineet has been selected! And he shall now work for the mighty Tatas.

He sent a very touching mail giving me all the credit for his selection.

He is mighty effusive in his praise and I must admit I am slightly prone to vanity. So I lap all of it hungrily. Read the mail many many times. ( 17,20 maybe 25) I read all the adjectives that have never been associated with me any time. Vineet I love you.!!!!!!!!!

Now I belong to the old school of Mathelogic. ( In case you haven’t heard about it , the author is a prominent personality and it has been followed by only one equally great personality. Yeah you guessed it right- ME. Alas this was long before the Intellectual Property Rights became a fashionable word. And if you see someone claiming to be the owner don’t come rushing to me. I cant even sue him.) it is a combination of mathematics and a little logic - instead of doing 90% of the work and taking 1% credit out of it , it is better to do 1% work and take 90% credit out of it!

But even according to my lofty standards , my help to Vineet doesn’t even make it 1%.

So sorry Vineet, I beg to disagree! The whole credit of this goes to you and you alone.

Well done boy! I am really proud of you.

He further adds that he was wondering how could he ever repay me.

There’s only one answer – PAY FORWARD.

I will explain. Getting a job is easy. But making a career is tough.

it needs a lot of shaping up. many tangibles and intangibles, lot of perseverance and dedication and lot of help and guidance.

During my career , I met some kind souls, my unsung heroes, who came out of nowhere, helped me chart a part of my career and again vanished into obscurity.

It wasnt my intellectual brilliance or my smartness - I had none.

it was these fine men who helped me at the right juncture. Their able support and their invaluable guidance.

I am narrating two such stories just to show how lucky I have been.

The one was a man in a known land, with a legal status and no visa requirements and the other in a foreign land, with no legal status and with no visa to his name. But both came in my life when I really needed support and support they did give admirably.

I shall narrate only one story in this blog. We shall have to wait for the next story- My London one. I am warned that the concentration span of an average reader is not much. So I ration my words.

Guys picture Me in a visitors’ room in an Air Force Hospital among smartly dressed officers. Me a skinny , pimply awkard collegiate wearing a worn tshirt and equally worn Jeans among spick and span immaculately turned up officers. Yes I felt like a bull in a china shop there. Waiting for my medical examination.
I was in the pre-final year of my Mechanical Engineering and selected for the Air Force.

The general consensus in my college was that I was making a mistake. I was young then and yet to learn that majority generally consists of fools! At that moment I was not in the majority and i was the fool!

I needed advise and i thought why not ask the guys who are IN the forces. I looked around.

I always look for an inferior adversary. and i saw them. they were in no way inferior to me. but when i looked at the senior ones they looked more approachable. Young Pilot Officers and Flying officers- Young , smart but less intimidating.

They were very nice , self effacing and humorous. They were back benchers. Did BA in III Div. and had nothing better to do. And so they joined IAF. ( their words).

I was a front bencher doing BE in first Division and had nothing better to do!.

I felt like an idiot and was none the wiser.

Slowly they walked away as their names were called , wishing me all the good luck. And I was left alone.

And in comes this dapper Indian Airlines Pilot. During those days the Indian Airlines did not have its own Hospital so they used to come for their annual check ups here.

And we became friends. and I told him that i didnt want to join. My future felt dark!

Guys picture this!

Here I was a Mechanical Engineer. And there he was. Some one who didn’t even know the difference between a Monkey Wrench and a Monkey’s ass.

And yet I , stupid I, was seeking professional guidance from him.

And he took the role of my guide , philosopher , mentor , financier all in one.

He gave me his address. He was posted in Mumbai. And then followed a series of exchanges of Posts. ( Computers and Internet wasn’t in our vocabulary then.)

Writing letters was a tedious process. Buying Inland Letter writing legible and coherent text ( many people have complimented me on my calligraphy by asking me “ Doctor” ?

I cant read my own handwriting. Did Bill Gates have pity on people like me? )

He wrote beautiful prose. Very encouraging letters. Almost every second letter used to be an envelope with cuttings from Times of India or Indian Express which he thought were useful to me. He would ask me if I needed money. Offered to come and stay with him in Mumbai and search for a job. In fact everything within his limits.

He slowly helped me charter my destiny supporting me , discussing my options, reading and talking to his engineer friends, allaying my fears and instilling a positive energy in me.

He steered me deftly through those difficult times as deftly I am sure as he did the planes.

And I got my first job.

I never met him again in my life.

This is a tribute to Capt. Kumar.

My way of saying Thank You Sir.

Vineet , I may not be that great influence in your life like Capt. Kumar was to me.

But You sure can be in some one else’s life.


There may be a hundred Vineets waiting for someone to hold their hands and steer them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Sardar or a greater human being

This whole journey is overwhelming. The whole business of writing a blog. It makes me walk down the memory lane. Pick up gems of rare brilliance and present to you all; YOU- who are slowly becoming my larger family. And this family is growing. Much faster than I had envisaged. And the credit goes to your magnanimity. You take time out of your precious vocation to read and your valuable comments make me decide the next blog.
So I am just a medium. A mere paint brush in your hands. and its your deft touches and powerful strokes that give this blog a meaning.

I received a very charming mail from one young fan. And he has narrated this funny incident. : “Dear Sudhir, I am glad that someone from the earlier generation has a funny bone. I am narrating one incident which happened recently. Trust you take the fun part and leave the lecturing part for my Dad. You can’t match him however hard you try. He’s the most boring person I have ever seen. He can even make the Coffee sleep. And he’s most gullible too. Yesterday my results came. And as expected I did badly in Maths and Physics. I knew I was in for a big time out. But the Mumbai rain came to my rescue. Luckily my class teacher is old fashioned and still uses a fountain pain. So I put some raindrops on the report card and made a big blot in both the marks.
Imagine he readily believed that my report card got wet in the rain. And he’s beaming with pride that I scored distinction! Any such incidents to share? (BTW I love my dad). “

I do not honestly know where do I position myself. It is quite funny and it shows that you have ingenuity. Put that to use in a more constructive way and you will just do fine.

you did bring a smile on my face

But cant decide - do you get an award for your humor or a pumkin for your self goal?

(btw I am sending you a seperate mail. and no coffee will go to sleep i promise!)

Pranks are fine. but we should see that they do not threaten our career. theres nothing funny about that!

Yes I do remember my young days. here 's a nugget. Just to show that I was like you too. and hey! your mail was much appreciated. dont be grumpy. I did say it was charming didnt I?

I had a close friend who was a sardar. His father was a doctor with a great sense of humor. The good old doctor cut his hair cause he was going to UK. His prized possession was a photograph on which his friend had written this precious comment : To my dear friend Dr. ..…. Who was earlier a Sardar and now a human being!!!!!!!!.

But in reality, the Doctor was a Sardar first and then a doctor. And so naturally he enjoyed his drink. And always had a stock of some of the finest whiskey.

One day we were curious as to what was so special about whiskey and came up with this ingenious idea of using his syringe. We took out some whiskey from the bottle with his syringe and added equal amount of water with the same inside the bottle and tried when the parents went for their farewell party. we congratulated ourselves on our smartness.

That spark of brilliance , however,failed when we were unable to handle our drink and were sprawled on the sofa when the parents returned from their party.

He ribbed me even when I met him in London when I went there as an adult.

“ Oye syringe se nikal kar peeni ya waise he paa doon glass main? “

Sadly he is no more. I wanted to add one word in his friend’s immortal comment - “GREAT” . Uncle, I lost my father one more time with you.! God doesnt make men like you anymore.

and BTW I too loved my Dad. Alas, he’s no more. You are fortunate So love him as much as you can while he is there. And do tell him how much you love. before it's too late.

My Kaleidoscope is churning. I am like a child enchanted.

But my advisor is furious - “ KISS”

“Keep it short and sweet you idiot!” so I reluctantly sign off.

Guys - Your mails are a source of inspiration . keep them coming.

Girish from Pune and my elder brother Anil have posted their comments.The first on my blog.

Thanks guys. Much appreciated.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cracking the interview - And getting a father in law if you fail!

There is a SOS call in my mail. It is from Vineet from Kota. “ Help me please. I have an interview on Monday. I am a small town boy. And I lack self confidence. Can you give me some tips please? Also what is this Myers Briggs test? “ I promised to write to him once I smell my coffee. The thoughtful guy said write a blog so others like me too can benefit. so here we go!

First of all, Vineet, perish the thought that you lack confidence. I find you pretty bold. The very fact that you had the courage to seek help shows that. Confidence is a state of mind. You can be confident if you are well prepared. And remember its just an interview not a war. No one is going to bloody die! So why be nervous? Just give it your best shot. Its OK if you fail. But I would be disappointed if you are under prepared.

So let’s start from the very first. When you enter the room , the first thing that catches the eye is your Look. So personal grooming is very important. See that you have clean nails, properly shaved , well combed and your shoes are sparkling. In short, if the interviewer has a daughter, he must feel ah, he’s the right guy for her!!!! ( Chances are the girl may reject! Oh my God. Papa ko pasand aya . nerd hoga)

Your dress need not be expensive but clean. Remember this is not the Glad rags. It’s a serious interview. So go for a dark trouser and a light plain shirt. I would go for a white or a light blue. Go for a matching tie. When in doubt dress conservative. If you don’t know how to tie a knot, just give me a shout, I will email or call you and explain. A mild perfume would be the perfect finish.

Remember , smile is the perfect passport ! Be natural. Don’t look like Meg Ryan after her botox treatment. Ooze confidence. Show positive energy. But avoid like you had an attack of epilepsy!

A firm yet light handshake is enough. Never offer a limp hand nor clutch the interviewer in a vice grip. If he winces in pain, don’t except any mercy when he gives you marks.

Sit straight yet comfortable. I would underline - be NATURAL.

Look straight into the interviewer’s eyes. Keep a smile on your face and reply crisp. Don’t get verbose. Also don’t make it a question and answer session. Engage him in conversation. Try to steer him to your strengths. The interviewer generally asks a question based on your previous answer.

Avoid any negative comment. If there is a panel see that you look at everyone. Not at just the guy who thinks you are right for his daughter.

Read your resume a hazaar times till you know every word. And remember finally its your technical knowledge that counts. So prepare hard. Most questions can be expected from your project.

Make a research on the company you are applying for. You will get all of it on the net. Let them know that you have done the homework by casually dropping information about the company.

Think as an interviewer. Think what he could possibly ask. Write your answers on a paper. Be prepared for questions like why do you want to join our company. Never give very flattering answers. They are experienced and can detect phony answers. I would rather you say something like my project was on Materials handling and I see a great potential in your company. It looks credible.

Since this is your first job try to show that you are a team player. Try to remember the memberships of various clubs you were a member of.
They don’t need leaders at this stage. Maybe you could show them some leadership qualities like say you were the Captain of your Cricket team. But try to focus on team player. I would rather have a player than a Captain if I interviewed a fresher.

Don’t be scared of rejections. When I first went to UK, I joined a Marketing research Company. It involved door to door interviews. Trust me I had more door slammed on my face in a week than you will have rejections in your entire career. I still remember the cold and blustery nights. One night I forgot to take my gloves and I returned home without a single interview but with lots of frost bites!

And I survived ! I see no reason why you wouldn’t.

Another time I walked about 4 miles to go for an interview. The hiring manager was a black man. A very kind hearted guy. His words still ring in my ears. He said , “ I am going to recommend you as highly as I can. But I don’t know if my company can afford you. You have recently arrived from India. All I want to say is just don’t give up. You have far too many skills for this country to ignore.”

Trust me. You will do well too. All you need is sincerity and perseverance.

Now about the Mayers Briggs test, well it’s a psychometric test which is now mandatory in the west in all interviews. They give you a set of questions and try to judge what kind of personality you have. So there is no right and wrong answers really.

Good luck Vineet. I may have missed a lot of things. If I remember it I will email you.
Aur kya kahoon? “ Chak de phatte!!!!!!!”

Last night a dear friend dropped in from Orlando. So took him to a bar called Hooters.
My eyes caught a board , Park your bike in the parking space and your butt inside.

That led me to think about the American’s fascination with their derriere.

Everyday I used to wake up hearing my neighbor marching her three sons to school
, “ come on Kids move your ass. We will be late for school. “

My trainer in the Gym is also very literate and very flowery in his comments” Bust your ass, Suddeeeeeeeeer. That fat wont just go away” And my Insurance agent has a unique way of apologizing whenever she doesn’t understand something.” Hey forgive me for being a pain in your ass but …… …”

i know guys your are all busy BUTT give this a thought! and as for me.....

I have been sitting on my most precious asset for long . need to give it a break.

So long.!!!! And join me in wishing Vineet Good Luck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


A friend from India sent me a card. The friend is a HE. :P

It read “ Happy Valentine’s day”. I could feel St. Valentine squirming in his grave.

A HE sending a HE a card!!!!!!!!!! God bless the marketing . No one wants to feel left out.

I like to call Valentine’s day as the festival of Archies, Hallmark and other card makers. They have branded it and marketed it in such a way that today it’s a billion dollar industry in India.

On this visit to India, I saw a very young boy working hard in a shopping mall in Hyderabad. He grinned when I asked him his age. “ well I want to buy a gift for my girl friend.” I just remarked that she is lucky to have a boyfriend like him”.

Bless the shopping malls. They give with one hand and take away from the other.
This boy will work hard in one shop only to spend in another shop there.!

Last year a friend from India. asked me what I was doing on Valentine’s day. I remarked working! Well I didn’t have a daddy whose name spelt Gates or even Tata !!!! So if I had to bring food on the table, I guess I had to work.

She was disappointed. Well you are in the US of AAAAAAAAA.

( Well young lady! The man up there in the sky makes the rule. You work , You eat! USA or no USA!)

And I must say that THE USA has lapped up the Slum dog millionaire. It’s the flavor of the season.

Every American I meet is disappointed that I am not a Slum Dog or from Mumbai ( not being a millionaire was expected I guess. ). And its not offensive in any way.

Far from it, they have taken the movie in a very positive way. Americans love the dog tag stories. And nothing excites them more than a rag to riches stories. They are very impressed that with all that poverty we have become a software nation( not my words!)

I have now mastered the whole narration. Well yes, there is poverty. But there is talent too. Raw Talent. And this talent is hungry. The poverty acts as a catalyst.

To prove to the world that this poverty is just an aberration. I tell my spell bound audience.

The young boy from the shopping mall sent me a touching mail. The Mumbai attacks have made his perspective change. He wants to donate the money to charity and can I suggest a good one?. I ask him what about his girl friend. And he says she’s sitting right next to me as I write this mail. I am unable to read further as my eyes blur.

And I feel that we need not worry about anything. We can face the world unabashed of our poverty. We can face the cultural invasion.

This is a smart generation. They can decide what is right or wrong. There is no cause of worry.

But we have to be wary of the moral police. The sena of any type. Who are they to decide whether going to pub is right or wrong. And how can you say that girls visiting pubs are sexually promiscuous. Who are they to say watch this or that.

I may not condone the young girls going to the pub. But I will support their right to do so.

Girls just one point. Don’t drive after drinking. We know that you are bad drivers anyway!

One discerning reader asked me when is your next blog and what is the topic? well, I am a maverick! I feel like i grow wings when i write. and i want to fly straight into your hearts.
Alas! this flight is like our Air India. the only thing we know is it will fly.

As usual your thoughts are always welcome.

Guys have a great weekend. And yeah , Happy Valentine’s day. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pappu pass ho gaya!!!!!!!!


I am overwhelmed.It's just been 24 hours and I am deluged with mails! I had thought of waiting for a week for your responses and then decide whether to continue blogging or quit.( I could have created a world record of being the shortest blogger!). But you guys have given a resounding yes.

Couldnt help but write. kehte hain na naya mulla jyada pyaj khata hai!!!!!!!! :)

Many mails. and thankfully none critical.:) A big thank you to all of you.

Allow me to share some of them.

I received one from a very young admirer. He's in XIIth. requested me to withold his name. and this is what he writes " I felt like you are my friend. you didnt seem old at all. But please don't mention my name. My elder brother is studying Engineering and doesnt like my using net. but i liked your blog very much." Thank you young friend. I am deeply honoured. This is biggest compliment I can ever get. you calling me a friend. I can simply say WOW!
However I support your elder brother. This is the time to concentrate on your studies. Get into some decent college. This is the most important year of your life. And You should be proud of your brother. He loves you so much. For You Big Brother, trust your lil boy. He listens to what you say. He will prove it to you. Just wait for his results!

Another one this time from Jamshedpur , Aditya enquires," Is recession bad in India too? I am doing my final engineering and am worried. will i get a job? please advise.

Well Aditya. i am sad to say. But yes. Recession is here to stay for some time. and jobs are becoming scarce. so what do you do? Charles Darwin died many many years ago. But he keeps walking out of his grave to remind us of his theory of survival of the fittest. so try to be the best in your field. get good scores. and prepare well for interviews. The Corporate world, recession or no recession, cannot do without good people. and I am sure you are one of those. so good luck! But remember Aditya. Life gives us all many chances. so if you initially fail, it isnt the end of the world. just wipe the dust off your seat and start all over again. Victory is not far.

I would like to print all the mails here but my adviser warned "KISS " -keep it short and simple(or was it stupid! not sure)

Just one request. why cant we share our views on this forum instead of sending private emails.

Let's really make it Hamari Chaupal instead of Meri Chaupal!

Thanks Guys once again. Appreciate it very much.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


He had a six figure income. And today he works in Starbucks. And he’s 62. He says he still sometimes gets his Lattes and frappucinos mixed. But he feels hes good in cleaning. He can mop the floor squeaky clean and shine the toilet like a Ferrari!

Welcome to the new world of recession! The Great American Dream in reverse!

Strange things are happening. I saw one old man at the publix staring at a punk who looked more like a plucked Turkey. Only He had a Mohawk painted in blue and green. “ what’s wrong with you fella? Haven’t you done anything weird in your life? “ oh yeah. I once had sex with a peacock when I was young and I was wondering if you are my son born out of that association!!!!!!!

“ But why a blog? what have you achieved in life?” My nephew enquired derisively.
“ Nothing ! precisely why I want to write. The young generation can take lessons from where I went wrong and take a U-turn from there. it could be as educating as what they dont teach you at Harvard”

“ Take my advise.” The guy advising me was a school drop out! “ what did you read?
“ “ Engineering” “ well catch the smartest kids in your field, toss your idea and see their reaction. “ and what if they reject ? “ well at least you will have the satisfaction of being rejected by the best “ he said smugly and left.

It wasn’t that I didn’t try for any other job. The old man with a six figure salary was my inspiration. And a kind friend helped me find a gas station. And my luck! The owner was a Pakistani. “ He’s from your region! “ The american friend said enthusiastically.

How little do the whites know!

There was no love lost between us as we shook hands. Beleive me guys.. The pakistani's mouth was connected to the sewer. I bet he could make a lorry driver blushand that too someone from Karachi or Lahore. But I needed the damn job.

So we kept chattering. That is he kept talking and I nodding.

He kept telling me how great country Pakistan was. How democracy thrived there. How weak was India. It couldn’t even protect its citizen. How they nicked us in Kargil and how good they were in cricket and hockey.

I kept nodding. Finally after 30minutes of monologue he asked me if I had any questions. I said three. Go ahead he said generously.

“ Are your parents alive” he was taken aback. He must have been over 55. “ yes “ he said tentatively.

“Do they live with you “ aham." He nodded.

“ is there any mosque nearby? “ Now his bushy brows furrowed. Why?

“ Simply cos I want to get them married.!!!!!”

It took him a while to understand and then he exploded. “ You bloody Indian , you calling me a Bastard.”

I gave him a mischievous smile,” For a Pakistani, you are not that thick are you?”

I have the instincts of a cat when I see danger.

So I mustered all my charm and keeping an eye on his big frame said, “ hey don’t worry about the protocol. I will see my ass out of the door.”

And suddenly as if I remembered something I peeped through the window. “ Sir, one more thing?” “ I winked and said “ khuda hafiz “ even as I was running.

Now I may have won the battle but still losing the war. I am still unemployed and looking for work. So guys help me with this blog!!!!!! Maybe someday Google will buy it!

The Chaupal is the common ground for all the nithallas :) . Its kind of the unofficial club in a village.

So I thought. Why not a chaupal for us? An interactive site where we discuss the important things in life. Or what we think is important and Learn from each other.

We can laugh at ourselves , weep at our miseries, Share our victories and mourn our losses.

I took the advise of the drop out guy and tossed a few blogs to the IIT Guys- some Mumbai, some Kanpur and some Chennai and waited for them to reject. But surprise! The IIT guys liked my idea.

So now I am putting this concept before a larger audience. YOU my dear readers YOU!!!!!

So here I am head bowed, hands folded, sitting on my knees." Guys love me or hate me. but dont ignore me. If you like me hit me. if you dont like hit me still. I am still the winner. and your suggestions are always welcome."

And use the F word as much as you can.

( Fantastic ! You pervs. What were you thinkingJ )

Also remember guys life can sometimes be hard. Take it with a smile.

“ When life dishes out Lemons; make Lemonades!” Say that to yourself everyday in front of the mirror everyday when you wake up. ( Trust me you will need it!!!!!!!)

So till we meet again. Its Ciao!