Saturday, May 30, 2009

God Tussi great ho!

Folks, Life can’t be that bad. Granted we got recession. Granted pink slips are on. But I am sure there must be something to thank the Lord for! I am no Columbus. Yeah I have more geographical sense. If I leave for India I don’t ever land up in Timbuktoo. So maybe I can set on this journey of realization and thanks giving more confidently than him at least.

1.As I come out of my house , I feel a drop of rain on my head and I look up. Damn! I get a bird’s dropping right in my eye. And I thank god. This is my first thanksgiving.
Thank you lord that the cows can’t fly!

2.I fill a job application for a scientific company. To show off my knowledge and humor I mention Newton’s theory of gravity and how it needed an apple to fall on his head to make it work. And I find another reason to thank god.
Thank you lord that water melons don’t grow on trees. Else there wouldn’t have been a Newton and no Law of gravity!
( For those of you who don’t know what’s the law of gravity, its that part of Physics which can be blamed when you slip and fall on your buttocks. You could say something like it wasn’t my stupidity but Gravity that did it. Else I would have flown.

3.The body is god’s most beautiful creation. And our posterior the most unsung hero.
Imagine but for it, I would have been sitting in a forest and writing on a banana leaf competing with Rishi ved vyasa.
Think about it folks, if scientists didn’t bust their ass, the industrialists didn’t work their butts off and the inventors didn’t haul their ass, where would we be?
Also the English language would be that much poorer. The Americans cant speak three sentences in a row without mentioning that word.
So thank you lord for giving us ungrateful mortals that greatest gift. We don’t realize our most precious asset and sit on it. Silly people.

4.Lord, if you gave Newton and Einstein to the west, you gave us great scientists like Rajnikant and Mithunda who challenged their discoveries. The least the nobel prize committee could do is give them a life time achievement award. And this could be shared with the half a billion people who believed them. Science is half logic and half faith. We have faith double and so don’t need any logic.
Thanks indeed mighty Lord.

5.Thank you lord for giving us Mayawati, red brigade, the left front and the right front. They instilled the fear of god in us.
Suddenly Singh is King and no one is complaining.
I may even vote for him as the sex symbol of 2009!
Move Rahul Gandhi, you got competition.

6.Finally Lord, thanks for your kindness in granting me appreciative readers of rare intellect and amazing sense of humor. Thanks for making them so clever.
( and so gullible to believe every word of praise that I say! )

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The share market for Dummies

Guys, with the elections and IPL over , our season for illegal betting is over. So now we have to fall back upon our 24/7 casino, the Stock Market.

We were not considered Men till we started shaving in the good ole days. Now there’s a paradigm shift.
You are a man not until you have lost some Moolah on this Goddess of greed. Or is it God. Whatever!

Don’t question my credential folks. I take inspiration from Madonna. Yes ! if she can write nursery rhymes after her coffee table book SEX anyone can do anything.
( would love to meet all those kinky parents who bought her book – the nursery rhymes I mean.)

So Dear beginners. Here’s a lowdown on things you should know.

Free Market : Yes indeed. It’s a new term used when the boundaries between Satyam and ASatyam diffuse; A CEO can be a crook. A crook can be an MP. An MP can be a broker and a broker can be … I honestly don’t know what I am saying!

Dalal Street : No guys this not where Amar Singh lives. No not even Prakash Karat. This is the dream factory- the adult version of Disney Land.
A lot of dreams are made. And some quashed.
It’s a must visit once at least. I been to even it’s mother- the New York stock exchange.
So if you lose some money don’t despair. eat dosa on the other side of the road. The best I have ever eaten. It softens the blow. And if you lose in the NY exchange – eat hot dogs.

Sensex : For long enough this was the only word allowed in the homes of good middle class people with old world family values. A word with sex in it.
That is until a guy who answered to the name of Bill Clinton walked in. Then the TV salaciously started describing the tumbles of both kinds.
So guys always keep a watch. Nah not on Clinton or the white house.
The sensex - Yes the one with the sex in it.
It’s the most important organ in the stock business. I swear. No pun intended.

Bull : come on guys. He is not a bull. It was the cow and the calf, not the old ox who did it.
Granted folks Singh may be king but it wasn’t his Singh( horn) which exactly gored Advani’s butt.

So what is exactly a bull? Interesting question. Well I think it is someone like my friend. He bought Satyam shares even while Ramalinga Raju’s ass was being hauled to Chinchulguda. Sounds sexy? Well its where they keep crooks.

Ok. smart ass! You say its a bearish buy. Well I told you. The lines are hazy. To me he was a bull who didn’t listen. But any way he made money.
Jo chal jai wohi sher hai. Or rather bull hai!

Bear : That’s what you drink when you lose! Hick. Ask Mallya, the big big bear! . Or the entire Banglore team, the kid bears, who dropped the IPL like a pint of bear!

I hate writing at night. My eyes become hazy. Its not the bears.

Yup! Lets drink Mallya. Nope the king. Nope the fisher.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hope - Revisited.

This wasn’t a very happy mail. I would rather have not read it. Why is it that our most important mails find their way to the spam folders while such undesirable mails wait in the inbox screaming to be read?

In fact there were not one but two such mails. but I had to edit my earlier post because i thought the second mail was more important. may be someone somewhere can help . There is this young girl who is suffering from Chronic Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia. she had little headaches from october last year.. and as she was busy with her exams and studies.. she took some medicines and ignored it...but last 2 weeks me she had symptoms like she was unable to calculate the distance of the objects. vision was good but sometimes hazy. The reason is that the muscles which connect the eyes and brain are dying due to some abnormalities in she consulted doctors and found that she is suffering from CPEO and the disease is so rare that there is no cure
and she may eventually end up dying.

Well I am no authority on Medicine and have simple copy pasted most of the information. If there's any one a doctor there or with any useful information.It will be much appreciated.

Probably this shall be the third time in my posts that I am saying this. I never can shout enough. Please tell the people you love how much you love them. Don’t assume that they will understand. Show your appreciation in subtle ways. Small gifts. Spending more time. Whatever makes them happy.

On a happier note Susan Boyle is in the Finals of the Britain’s got talent. Susan was a small town village girl living in a council house with her pet cat pebbles. She is 47 and has led a very difficult life. When she appeared on the show, the audience just sniggered at her rather unpolished looks.
But only till she started singing.

As she weaved her magic, she was catapulted to fame and became a sensation overnight. Today she has millions of admirers including President Obama and celebrities like Demi Moore.
Many see her as a beacon of hope in these hard times. Any feel good story is welcome.
She has over 200 million staggering hits on her you tube video.
Her cheerfulness in adversity is infectious. The new found diva status has not changed her. If she wins, she will sing for the queen. But to me she is the real queen , the queen of hearts! She just rules at the moment. People laugh loud at her sometimes silly banter and cry when she sings. Its pure Magic. Way to go Cinderella! ! She sang this beautiful song ‘Memory’ from the Broadway Musical ‘Cats’. unfortunately it has been disabled for embedding.SoHere's Barbara Streisand.

Sample some lyrics:

All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Lyrics | Barbra Streisand lyrics - Memory lyrics

It’s a nice sunny morning. But I feel low. Another month coming to an end. Still looking for work. I feel a knot in my stomach when i think of this young girl.

Some times it needs more than a sunshine to cheer your spirits. More than Susan Boyle.
Am I too old to believe in divine intervention?

Monday, May 25, 2009


It has been raining since Friday. With nothing much to do, I decided to catch up with my reading. Just finished reading ‘ Roots’ by Alex Haley. Haley has traced the history of his seven generations and how his forefather was kidnapped and shipped from Gambia in 1776 and sold as a slave in Maryland, USA. Great reading indeed.

Now nothing so dramatic happened to my past generations. But suddenly an exciting thought struck my mind. Since dad was in Air force and we were always on the move, I too have complained all my young days of a feeling of being rootless. I am always horrified when some one asks me where I belong to. I am not sure if I qualify as a Goan by descent, or a Maharashtrian as we speak marathi, or from MP for being in that state for over two decades or Andhra since I have an apartment there or USA since this is my home for so many years now. I used to joke that I feel like a mongrel!!

Yes why not trace my roots too. But before that I had one small business of sending my picture to a school mate who suddenly came back in my life after over 30 years and wanted to see how I look now.

Seeing old pictures is very fascinating. They bring back long forgotten memories.
I started clicking old ones which I hadn’t seen for quite a while.

Suddenly I saw the picture of little Andy and I was transported to that day in UK in 2003 in train next to this sick Scottish boy and how I read a complete story book to him with as much imagination I could and how he listened with rapt attention. I remembered how he shyly asked his mother if he could kiss me as I bent to hug him at the Glasgow station. How when I asked him when do we meet again, he shocked me by simply saying, “ I am dying.” I feel sad as I remember how I cancelled all my morning appointments and we three went about gorging ourselves with ice-creams and doughnuts, laughing till we cried and sat on the bench soaking the afternoon sun and admiring the pigeons and how he later slept in his mother’s arms. When it was time to leave how his mother hugged me and said, “ I am glad Andy met you.” And I tonelessly replied, “ I wish I hadn’t.”

I look at Edward’s mother in Lome in West Africa smiling toothily and remember the sumptuous meals she cooked for her Indian friend. It was fit for an African Prince.

A smile crosses me as I watch my apartment’s house warming ceremony. I remember how my friend’s wife introduced me simply as her husband’s younger brother to the nosey telugu priest. And how he looked suspiciously at me and said he doesn’t look like us or speak like us. And her aunt piped in saying because he lives in usa. And how everyone including the priest broke into laughter as I enquired in chaste telugu , “ Manchi?” and how I fell down twice from the tiny pulpit and had a hard time handling my dhoti. My friend KC remarked to another ripple, “ this isn’t a ceremony. Looks like a four hour comedy show.” But I had insisted that I wanted the local customs to be followed as my apartment was in hyderabad. And how all the lovely hyderabadi guests had applauded. I truly felt that they were family.

I click some more pics.
Of trips to Thailand, Haridwar, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam and other places with friends.

Friends who accepted me simply for what I was and not because where I came from.

Then I saw the pictures of Miami, my home for the last so many years. Thought of the nice and friendly neighbors. Of their kindness during the hurricane.

Epiphany struck me then.

Alex had a reason. His forefathers were slaves. But what about me?
mine weren’t. or maybe they were. Who cares.
But wasn’t I trying to be a slave of my past. The past that hardly meant anything?

Alex’s family was grateful for his work. They thanked him for giving them an identity.
But what about me? did I need an identity? My identity came from these people.
Will all these wonderful people, who brought happiness and sunshine in my life, be able to thank my freaky, narrow minded bigotry. Is this how I was going to repay all of them. They didn’t belong to one state. They didn’t belong to one nation. Not even one continent. They just had one thing common

They all had offered love without any premises.

My mind is made up. Thanks Alex. Your book made compulsive reading.
But I would rather be a faceless rootless human being.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Farewell IPL - You will be missed

Long back they truncated the game to one day and a Guy called Kerry Packer commercialsed it. The media dubbed it the Kerry Packer Circus. The purists sniggered at it as Pajama Cricket. Wonder what epithet would be given to this shortened cricket that is IPL.
The Modi Circus or the Kacha cricket!

( Common guys don’t crinkle your uppity nose! its Indian Premier League. So it has to be hindi right! Besides, Kacha does find mention in The Oxford English Dictionary)

I would rather they call it the bikini cricket if they have to carry forward this apparel analogy.
Modi and underwear create an ugly image of a hirsute man in a striped Kacha!

Besides, the cheer girls were as important to the success as was Modi! The girls MAY have managed what Modi did but could Modi have managed what they did? I crack up even thinking that!

Well whatever happens to the test cricket, one thing is for sure. This entertainment is here to stay. And if Modi is to be believed , multiplied and milked till he can and he will.

But for its entertainment value it was pure fun.

I like this tournament. Its surreal. As Clinton would have said Its the money stupid!.

I can’t be jealous enough of Murtaza and Mcgrath though. They made more money sitting on their butts then we make working off our butts all our life. Seriously guys, haven’t their owners heard of recession and pink slips? !!!!!!!.

India was never a colony of Australia. But looks like some day Australia can sure be one of ours. Look at the number of Australians feeding off the curry train!

The biggest entertainer to me was John Buchanan. He started entertaining us even before the King declared, “ Let the games begin.” He was the Mogambo of this edition.

Can you imagine Fake IPL Blog without Buchanan? Chappell or Buchanan , the Australians sure make their presence felt. So thank you Buchanan. Hope we don’t ever see you again.

What was this game without Fake IPL Player. His legion grew by the day. I can hardly imagine an Indian who was not hooked to his blog. we enjoyed every post. So thank you stranger.

Then there were those pretty cheer leaders dancing into the hearts of the viewers specially the Genex with their raging hormones. For the first time, the spectators were choosing their favorite teams for other reasons than cricket or local affiliations. You integrated India more than our politicians Girls! Thanks very much indeed.

And then to those old warhorses. Sourav and Sachin, you have shown that even gods have clays of feet and no one is immortal. Age takes its toll but your service will be cherished.It takes a man like Sachin to say that they lost because he goofed! Wow.

Thank you guys. If you can fail so can I. sounds music to my ears!

Dravid and Kumble , you have proven to us that good boys don’t necessarily finish last. Kumble, we all know you are a great cricketer but few of us know of the amount of social service you do. We must applaud you not just for your game. That would be selfish. We must applaud you always for what a splendid human being you are.
Thanks guys for being perfect role models.

Also the mighty guns from Australia. Shane Warne, Hayden, Gilchrist et al. We hated you when you marauded us. But your genius still has to be appreciated. Thank you. Now get lost!

To the young Indian guns who came out blazing. The Pandeys and the Rohit sharmas and the Rainas. Well done.

My friend Sundeep advised me to write about the zoozoos. I thought I was too old to write about teletubbies. But I trust his intelligence.

Now what the heck is Zoozoo? I searched the modern day encyclopedia , the Youtube.

And I really enjoyed.

I marveled at the creative genius of that ad. It was as entertaining as the IPL itself. As entertaining as the fake blog.

I watched all the ads, how they were created , the interview of the guys who created it and wow!

I am hooked.

So thanks Zoozoos. And thanks Sundeep.

By the way did you know that Zoozoos are not animated cartoons but real people dressed as one!!! Amazing isn’t it?

Some of you may be curious. Why this ode to a very daft commercial enterprise.

Guys, I am a Mechanical Engineer. But I can’t distinguish between a Monkey wrench and a Monkey’s ass.

I claim that I am a writer. but I can’t write to even save my life.

At least IPL is doing what it promised. It entertained us .

Giving the devil his due. That’s all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rain Rain go away

It is raining since morning here. Cant do much but admire the nature at its resplendent best. The roads have a washed look. The grass looks emerald green and with that heavenly redolence. The clouds are ominously black and the digital sounds of lightning means its not yet over. So what does it mean for me?

Well, my long weekend is suitably screwed up. In fact can’t put the blame totally on the showers though. Satish was planning to visit and we would have gone to Key West. But long weekends mean obscenely expensive flight tickets. We had already dropped that idea.

I had a back up plan of spending the day on the Miami beach. But with this weather like this, I guess it spells more like B I T C H.

So as the rain drops elongate like elegant pearls just before their languorous fall from the roof top, taking just that brief moment to decide whether to fall or not, I open the blinds and walk down memory lane.

Maybe because I am a Piscean , I take to water very naturally be it swimming or simply walking in the rain.

When I look back , Rains bring back a lot of happy memories from my childhood.

I still remember how we used to walk in the rains wearing tiny raincoats and caps jumping in the puddles of muddy water oblivious to anything. If it rained heavy , the school used to declare a holiday. Our favorite sport then was throwing flat pebbles in the pond and see who managed it to jump on the surface most.

We used to be totally drenched by the time we reached home.

We laughed with delight as mom used to fuss over us rubbing our heads dry and giving us hot ginger tea.

The smell of hot fritters and juicy Jalebis still fill my nostrils. It was an unsaid rule in the house when it rained.

Since we lived in Cantonment area where there was a lot of forest land, we used to find a lot of peacocks behind in our kitchen garden. Our favorite hobby was looking out for their feathers and collecting glow worms in match boxes.

And when the rainbow appeared we shrieked with delight.

I hardly remember ever falling sick.

One of the fondest memory of my earlier career is when once we had a meeting with the bankers. I and the Managing Director were dressed in suits and just as we walked out , it started raining. My MD was normally a very somber guy. But that day suddenly he was a young boy. We removed our shoes and put them in our plastic bags along with the files and walked barefoot from Nariman point to our hotel in Ballard Estate as amused passers by watched us.

We had a warm bath and then scotch with warm water as a precaution.

Yet we both fell ill.

It was an indication that age was catching up. The heart maybe young but the body isn’t.

Today rain is something you just watch from inside.

I remember Charlie Chaplin, that delightful genius who made us laugh till we cried.

Today I only cry when I read what he said , “I always like to walk in the rain as no one can see me crying”.

I can no longer see an actor I just see the man.

Go away rain. Or bring me back my childhood.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Proud to be an Indian!

Last evening I had a very heavy work out in the gym. Since I was going after a long time, I went for 5.5 mph and then switched to an incline of 4 on the treadmill. That was awful. It was gymming with a vengeance. No surprise then that my legs just felt like lead.

So when I was in the sauna, I folded my legs below me to relieve some stress. Just then an American came in and exclaimed, “ Hey you are an Indian aren’t you? I could make out from that brilliant yoga posture.” I tried in vain to explain that it wasn’t a yoga posture and that I was just bone tired. But that set me thinking on the numerous times when I have been identified as an Indian in a proud start of a way.

I remember once at the Euston station in London. There was the usual evening crowd returning back to their cities. I was sitting on a chair waiting for my train to Manchester. I had then developed a severe backache which didn’t allow me to stand for a long time. Just then an elderly English couple came. The chivalry within me wouldn’t allow me to sit and I offered my chair to her. The couple presumed that I may be leaving because my train may be due. When they saw me standing there, the old man approached hesitatingly and enquired, “Sir are you from India?.” I was taken aback. But then saw the triumphant twinkle in the old lady’s eyes. “ I knew.” She said. “ I can always expect such pleasant manners from an Indian.” Needless to say, I felt two inches taller.

The immigration officers in USA are trained to elicit information in a very benign sort of a way. They banter and exchange jokes with you even as they gather information. Last time the officer asked me where I was coming from. India I replied. Smart people he responded. Are you one of the hot shot IT brains? “ Well” I said “ we try to balance our smart people with some real dumb guys like me”. The officer leaned forward and conspiratorially whispered, “ We too get a few real dumb ones .we send them to the White House!”

I am proud to say that every Indian has contributed positively in raising the image of India abroad. On BBC I heard one old British lady defended Indian immigrants on a show on curbing the foreign invasion (as they called) citing the Indian corner shops ( over 90,000) owned by Patels. And all the guests on the show agreed. They remarked about the great jobs the Doctors, the nurses, and the software professionals from India were doing.

President Obama has many Indians on board too.

But my favorite anecdote is in Caracas, Venezuela. The hosts took us to a very charming quaint theme restaurant in a small village. The entire restaurant was decorated with the old 1900s things like newspapers, momentos etc. To my pleasant surprise I saw the picture of Mahatma Gandhi prominently displayed.

The owner came to personally supervise when he saw us foreigners. I enquired through our bilingual host if he knew who was the man. The old man crinkled his face into a smile and said he is the greatest man I know. He is not just an Indian saint. He is a treasure for all of us who believe in humanity.

Needless to say, the wine never tasted so good and the food never so delicious!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

And the winner is - INDIA!

The Indian democracy is remarkably robust. Just when we start looking down the barrel, the electorate suddenly throws a surprise!

Well! The results are out and a resounding verdict to the congress. Our nightmares were just that! Now we can sleep peacefully. We can be assured of a stable government for the full term.

This has been a very freakish election. No single important issue dominated. But the wheat has been separated from the chaff. The voters were decisive. Only the two national parties have been accepted and the good performers like Nitish, Shiela Dixit and Shivraj Singh have been rewarded. That’s a very welcome change.

Another pleasant change has been the dignity post election.

L K Advani was gracious in defeat. His phone calls to the PM and the Party President were the right thing to do. Manmohan Singh was equally gracious.

So was the comment of Rahul Gandhi. He praised L K Advani for a hard fought election.

This augurs well for future. The Opposition must check the government. But constructive opposition is the need of the hour. The government and the opposition must work together.

The congress has some remarkably talented young men. Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Jyotiraditya Scindia and even Rahul Gandhi are very articulate and photogenic. The BJP must do something fast in enlisting some youngsters soon if they have to stay in contention.

We are the denizens of a global village. Living in different time zones is an occupational hazard.

As India wakes up to a new dawn, I sleep here in Miami with the happy thought that in these hard times, with the specter of a long winter looming, people losing their jobs and some real hard days ahead, we at least have a stable government.And the best person to lead. No one has a better understanding of Finance and Economy than the good Doctor. He has impeccable credentials.

We love our country.

We may not support a party. But we must support our Government.

Finally a prayer

Lyrics | John Lennon lyrics - Imagine lyrics

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yeh Dil Maange More

Last night I was surfing Youtube for some good music. I wanted to hear Yanni again. As I keyed in nostalgia, I found this sweet little song which brought back some beautiful memories.

Even today when I look at the surfeit of channels, and the unending silly sagas of saas and bahus and realty shows, I feel the most creative and eminently watchable shows were provided by the Doordarshan.

I remember the first TV that we bought. It was a Bush Baron black and white. No TV ever seemed better! Our house used to transform into a theatre on Wednesdays for the Chitrahaar as all the neighbours gathered and we ended up serving tea and snacks as all settled comfortably. We looked like one happy family.
There used to be some fifty urchins from the nearby hutments, friends of our maid servant’s son perched on the boundary wall and peeping through the window.

The doordarshan was in its infancy and very clumsy. Every few hours we used to see
“ sorry for the interruption” and that too invariable wrong spelt. That brought a lot of mirth.

The jingles were melodious and even the advertisements were a delight. Today we see cricketers advertising almost all products. But I cant see a more delightful one than Kapil Dev’s earthy “ Palmolive da jawaab nahin.” Or “ yeh dil maange more”.

Who can forget the cute Rasna Girl or the Maggie Noodles or Lalitha jee of Surf.

Can any one match the melody of ‘ Mile sur mera tumhara’. Give me a better song on national integration!

I long for serials like Hum Log. You could relate to Lala Haveli Ram and his family in Buniyaad. The Sundays had such amazing serials like different strokes, are you being served and the classic Yes Minister. I may be confusing the days of the transmission though. And then came the mothers of all serials The Ramayana and Mahabharata.

We used to wake up early morning to listen to the melodious signature tune of DD and sleep when she said good night. Even Krishi Darshan was fun.

The news was eminently forgettable though. Those were the times of our desi empress. And the news began and ended with Indira Gandhi. No opposition leader was ever shown for long. I have never seen a more paranoid person than her. The emergency were the black days. The news to be telecast used to be first sent to her notorious son , Sanjay Gandhi and it was shown only after he said yes.

The English media , it seems, still carries the hangover. Look at them fawning over the Italian empress.

I had a joke that we were lucky that Indira Gandhi doesn’t play cricket. Else she would be in the sports page too. Or some day she will come with an umbrella and even read the weather report. It used to be embarrassing to recite this to every visitor who came.
That was my last official joke when I was young. Later I grew and didn’t need any jokes. Life itself became one!

Coming back to the past ,this news time was used to eat dinner. That was the only time that the TV was closed. The whole family ate together sharing the day, joking and laughing. It never was the same again.

I think I owe my discipline a lot to the 9.00 PM News.

Well, that was nostalgia. Not that every thing new is not worthy.

I swear by Youtube.

The You tube is the best thing that happened. Look at the amazing speed with which you can get any news there.

Ex. Dy. PM of Malaysia is being hounded by the current regime. He was allegedly tortured and interrogated but refused to be photographed naked. His retort brought a guffaw in his press conference. He said I don’t trust this regime. Why tomorrow you could see me naked on the Youtube!

What better compliment!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Audacity of Hope.

I concede. Those four words have been made famous by a certain Obama.
But when he moved in The White House, he took the laughter away.
He doesn’t knock his head while entering a plane, doesn’t pat any lady’s butt , or mix the names of the President of Pakistan with the PM of India.
How boring! The Jay Lenos , the David Lettermans and the Bill Mahers have to work that much harder.

President Bush ensured that they never starved.

Luckily, India is not that entertainment starved. We have two great shows going on. The IPL and the general elections. Sometimes I get confused which one is which.

The Congress is like the KKR. Both can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
PM Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Chidamabaram are trying hard. One fluffs the Quotracchi affair, the other the LTTE.

And if you go by the entertainment quotient, can DMK leader’s T20 fast provide less entertainment than Mccullum trying to keep wickets.
Karunanidhi gave Fast a new meaning! Mccullum couldn’t.

But the star who has emerged is undoubtedly Rahul Baba.

Rahul baba is the Buchanan of Congress. If we have a snap poll, I can bet he will have more fans in the BJP than the congress.

I watched his press conference and honestly I liked him. But when he opened his mouth I simply adored him. He injected life into the dreary election. After his conference, no one really knows who is his allies and who is the opposition.

Perhaps his mom can teach him a thing or two. He may learn from her that silence may after all have its virtues and in politics articulation wouldn’t necessarily make him look smart.

Better look dumb and rule instead of looking smart and lose.

He has two cute dimples. And when he smiles, he can make a lot of girls swoon.
Just as when he opens his mouth, he can make the daddies of his party swoon.

Einstein died a long time ago. But his theory of relativity lives on. Its this relativity which makes George Bush look like Einstein himself when you compare him with Sarah Palin.

Suddenly age looks that much more attractive.

We don’t know who will be our PM. Mr. Tweedledum or Miss Tweedledee.

Or one of the grand old men.

But I am not going to lose sleep.

The results are still far away. And I can still hope.

For both the Elections and the IPL.

The Audacity of Hope.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

No Clocks please! we are Chinese

When the Americans invaded Iraq, they were losing the heart of the Iraqis even as they were winning territories. The simple reason that they failed to study their culture. The army entered their mosques with their shoes on. That was blasphemy!

I have lived long enough in USA to say with conviction that the Americans are very tolerant and respectful of other religions. I was once pleasantly surprised to see the picture of lord Krishna on one of the American’s table. He very charmingly said , “well if it is your god, its mine too!”

Even Oprah keeps an idol of Lord Ganesha on her table.

One bright side of traveling is that you come across delightful customs and traditions from various nationalities. It makes your life that much colorful.

While working in London, once I was surprised to see the Chinese stiffen when we gifted them clocks. These were extremely beautiful tiny miniatures of Big Ben. I was later to learn that the Chinese never gift a clock because it connotes death. Like someone clocking the time left to die!

The Africans are one of the friendliest and the liveliest people I have ever seen. When in Togo, a tiny country in West Africa, I was shocked to see my host taking a sip from my whiskey before offering it to me. They show it as a mark of respect.

Speaking of respect, never enter a Buddhist temple in Thailand in shorts and t- shirt. You must be fully clothed.I was indeed lucky since we were meeting some businessmen after visiting the temple.

We, maharashtrians , have a very charming custom. Whenever we leave the house , we say , “ Yeto me” I will return. we never take leave by saying that I am leaving. The closest in English would be , “ So long.”

Never show the sole of your feet to an arab. You will never get business from them. Its like you are treating them as dirt. The best way is to sit cross legged.

Miami is home for most of the south Americans. So, Spanish language is the common language spoken here. Even the traditions of south America are followed here. So , you shake hand with a man and hug and kiss the ladies lightly on their cheeks.

We had a very warm and friendly client who unfortunately was on the heavier side. Perhaps twenty stones more than a normal woman. Our Indian consultant was a tiny and reed like character who was very shy but had a great sense of humor.
When confronted for the third time, he complained that he almost felt molested when she hugged and kissed him. Talk about reverse sexual harassment.

Well, lots of my respected readers complain that my posts are too long. But its hard to narrate so many experiences in so few words.
So reluctantly I bow to them and say , “ Yeto me.”