Monthly Archives: December 2005

Quite Contrary

Jo was thinking of the day he had left his small town.. He hadnt been a happy man then .. his trade wasnt giving him the kind of money that would enable him to lead a comfortable life, it wasnt even giving him enough to survive.. and to top that he had recently gotten himself engaged to a beautiful woman. Not that it was bad in itself, but the shameless young men in his town had made it a habit to ogle at her, and the frequent fights he was having with them had put off several potential customers…he wasnt suspicious of his wife to be, but it was just that it wasnt in her nature not to smile back at anyone who smiled at her, and several guys took this as very suggestive…And he so desperately wanted to wed her, but he felt he wasnt financially secure enough to do so.. and so, one day, when she told him that she was pregnant, he didnt quite know how to react.. for all his friends knew how, inspite of his intense desire, he had been keeping himself in check… and no one would believe that there was a divine intervention in his becoming a father..
And that was how he had left the town. now several months later, here he was, in the small town of Jerusalem, looking at Mary, who would deliver the child any moment.. Here he could claim the child as his own, and celebrate its birthday every year in peace…He felt bad that she was going to give birth to the child in a stable, but he was a confident that things would take a turn for the better soon. Yes, Jo was a happy man now..

until next time, hope it was a merry christmas :)
PS: last year….

Marginal Utility

I can see all those with a fair knowledge of economics arch their eyebrows upward :).. to confess,i dont know it in depth… all i remember is the ‘orange’ example… and so (for the benefit of those who dont know the theorem) here goes, the satisfaction you gain by eating oranges decreases with each orange that you eat… and orange was only an example (for those who dont like oranges, and those who dont eat more than an orange at a time, i dont think you were considered while formulating the theory)… well, now since everyone is on the same page, the reason for the reference is to do with happiness… does the law of diminishing marginal utility apply to happiness..
i faintly remember the prof saying that it was only applicable to (thats when i slept off..)….and so, i will humor my thought… even though happiness can come through different sources -listening to good music, an appreciative comment, good food, pay hike, doing a good deed, landing a good job, a good spouse and so on and so forth, could it be that our chances of deriving happiness out of something- anything, could be decreasing.. if not chances, at least the amount of happiness that we derive…
if we keeping getting all the things that make us happy, maybe we start failing to appreciate them, which is perhaps what is happening to us right now… with so much of currency floating around, EMIs and credit card swipes may have changed the way we look at happiness, and made ‘happiness’ more easy, to the extent that even happiness is commoditised… maybe thats exactly whats wrong…
until next time, laws are meant to be broken…

Stop or my Mom will shoot….

Isnt there a movie by that name? But nope, nothing to do with the movie, but felt that the title is somehow appropriate to what this post says….
Its every Mom’s dream that her children grow up to be the best possible… and she will give them proper guidance and try to inculcate the right values.. she will make sure that the paths that they choose are the correct ones, and will not affect them, or the ones around them adversely.. if she has more than one child, she will shower on each, love in equal measures and make sure they are happy…
Sometimes, she will give a good spanking, when needed.. if they dont learn, maybe she will make them go without food for sometime… she will tell them examples of children gone bad, and how they had to suffer for it…maybe she will make sure that some of the stuff they take for granted disappear, so that they realise that they are doing something wrong…
she will be patient for a long long time, but if driven to it, she will be willing to take away the life she herself created… all the tsunamis, all the hurricanes, all the earthquakes, all the extra hot summers, and the extra cold winters, all the horrible showers, wonder if the children are learning…
until next time, hope we dont get shot…

Breaking news….

Its not exactly breaking news that the media industry is looking at a phenomenal boom in the next few months.. and thats across the verticals – print, radio, television and so on..which raises the question of how much ‘news’ acually happens in the world on a daily basis.. is it so much that the existing entities are not enough to make sure that all of it reaches the world, and if not, then what justifies the mushrooming of more of their kind? which is, i guess, when we get into creation of news, sting operations and overall sensationalising of trivia.. when a malayala manorama in kerala would carry the ‘news’ that your neighbour’s cow broke its tether and damaged your fence, and NDTV would get its video footage and classify it as ‘Breaking news’.. you would be happy, so would your neighbour, since any publicity is good publicity.. but will i, sitting hundreds of kilometers away and not having any specific interest in bovine revolutionary tactics, be interested in the news? i guess not..
the argument would be that ‘you dont like it, dont watch it’, but what if all the channels/publications think its worthy news, what option does that leave? nothing, and sadly we have only ourselves to blame, because we are less interested in reading/seeing Chidambaram’s fiscal policy than Nigar Khan’s physical policies…
but what prompted me to think about this entire trip was manorama’s week long front page coverage of the death of a malayali in afghanistan.. isnt that exactly what the terrorist group would want? extensive media coverage and a sublimal building of fear in the citizens? on a parallel note, a murderer would get much more prominence in coverage than a guy who might have saved a life..
by creating sensations out of every possible trivia that happens in every remote corner, isn’t the media encouraging a whole lot of wrong things? there is a thin line between right to information and right information, and it takes a lot of maturity to walk the line…and so it aint so strange after all that lives full of trivia would slowly but surely get converted into trivial lives, for who wouldnt want their 15 secondsof fame?

until next time, what news??

Turning 35…

No, you evil people, not me. It’s still a decade away, okay, 8 years away. I was referring to sachin’s record breaking 35th century. During the initial years of his career, i had always been a skeptical ‘okay, how long before he burns out’ observer. A bit later, when his schoolmate joined him in the team, i was supporting him – vinod ganpat kambli. (i have this default thingie of supporting the underdog). Ironically, it was kambli who burned out, and never played to his potential. Well, almost never ever. And then the match fixing controversies made me less of a keen observer of the game…

But while all that was happening, my admiration for the ‘little master’ was growing, grudging at first, but growing nevertheless. I even remember a friend during my post grad days, who was a die hard fan, whom i used to chide whenever sachin failed to score. Times had begun to change from when i used to counter his high scoring with the point that he never clicked when we needed him most to applauding his efforts. I still remember the two matches against Australia in Sharjah ,centuries in consecutive matches – match winners. But wait, before i digress and throw off the non cricket aficionados, this isn’t about the game, its about the man…

I think what makes him great (yes, IMHO) is that he remains untouched by his greatness. On the contrary, it has made him better. It takes great character to resist the temptation of letting yourself talk instead of your bat, especially when there are jibes and barbs hurled at you by people far inferior to yourself. And so, when the man finally silenced yet another group of question marks after a year (between #34 and #35) it’s definitely an occasion for a post.

I couldnt help but notice the contrast between the two men occupying the crease – Sachin Tendulkar – an all time great who had just scaled another height, and yet the epitome of humility… and Sourav Ganguly – who has fallen from heights, and who is perhaps just realising that in the path to greatness, humility is indeed a great asset…

until next time, bowled over…..

Sikandar

Its one of the names i have a fascination for… from the Indian version of Alexander’s name to Anil Kapoor in Trimurti, it conveys (to me) someone who can conquer all, someone who is on a plane above normal humans… the reason why the name is the topic of discussion is because i happened to dine in a restaurant by that name sometime back..

while i dont consider myself competent enough to put together a food review, i can safely say that it lived up to its name..of course, i could have been extremely biased because it offered me the opportunity to indulge in another of my fascinations.. sitting at a height and watching humanity move along on the roads below… walking, driving, just moving on, into the night…

i bet thats one of God’s favourite views..wonder what freud would have made out of this… a desire to be above current levels in life? a need to be objective all the time? at a subconscious level, perhaps these could be factors, but at the conscious level, to me, it is a humbling experience, like looking at a starlit sky and us humans below, because it is moments like these that seem to tell me that i am a small part of a huge canvas, an experience that i have no idea about…


until next time, ‘We are all made of stars’……

Seasons…

Its chilly in Bangalore… not the bone numbing chilly, but the kind of chilly that gets taken care of by a jacket, the kind thats pleasant, the kind that i associate with a hot tea, a good book, snuggling under the blanket.. and reflecting about the seasons…yes, we are talking about the weather :).. because the pleasantness of it makes it interesting… well, okay, maybe i didnt have anything else to write about… :)
but theres definitely something about it that inspires a post.. its one of the times when time makes us objective, step outside ourselves, and reflect on the things that have been happening,things that we have been doing unconsciously in the daily rigmarole of living, and get reminded of when we actually start thinking about it…
the last three months of the year…. in some places – winter.. in chennai – the time when it takes exactly 3 more seconds for an ice cream to melt (pleo, was it, who wrote that), in kerala – the time when the one and a half hour non stop bus journey to the engineering college early in the morning became all the more unbearabale, and your beacon is the hostel loo, at the end of the journey, a time long long ago… the time spent in writing mock tests to land up in a good management institute, the rush to beat the three hour clock, a time long long ago….in goa – amidst all the sun and sand and scary tests and assignments, counting days to the christmas vacation when you could go home, a time long ago…. back to kerala – balancing sales targets, and a desire to be in bangalore with the wife to be, sometime ago :)…
and finally bangalore – listening to ‘Walk of Life’ and smiling away at the post that just got written…yes, seasons, i guess it is just nature’s clock ticking away, reminding us of the good and not so good times that have been happening to us, and around us…. long long ago, long ago and now..

until next time, nice clock, no cause for alarm….:)