Wednesday, August 29, 2007


“Hurry up, man. We are getting late”, screamed Boss (my friend and roomie), as I was struggling to push all my dirty clothes into the bag. After that disastrous weekend spent trying to cook food; both of us had decided to head home for some real home cooked food. If I am writing a blog on this, goes without saying that we got screwed trying to get home; anyway here’s what happened. ---Hurry---

On reaching Majestic Bus Stand, Boss learned that he needed to go to Mysore Bus Stand to catch a bus to Salem. Bidding him goodbye as he left for the other bus stand, I grabbed a bun for dinner and headed to the place where the buses to Coimbatore were usually stationed. Could find buses to every imaginable place in Tamil Nadu, but my own. What’s that saying about every bus but yours arriving on time. Cursed my Manager for the last minute leave approval. ---Frustration---

The bus finally came an hour late. Using my superior negotiation skills, I managed to convince the driver of the Coimbatore Bus to give me the only unreserved seat in the Bus (For a smooth 50 additional bucks of course). Yeah! But FATE deemed otherwise. Soon a lady with a baby tucked away in her arms came to talk to driver. I realized that there’s no way I am going to get that seat over a contender of that sort. The driver gave me a sideways glance as if says “Sorry Mate”. “Atleast a seat in the cabin” I quipped expectantly, he nodded. ---Expectation---

Then came along two college girls with beseeching looks in their eyes(pretension no doubt) . The driver melted, I cursed. “Middle aged men and ladies sentiment!” Deadly combination. I stood no chance at all. He once again gave me a sideways look which pretty much meant this: “Cut from cabin; paste on top of engine”. I then learnt that the bus door would not close. Precariously balanced on the engine I realized that there was nothing between me and the hostile road but a single bar that I clung on to with desperation. As the bus moved forward amidst the heavy rain, I knew there was no way I could sleep that night. “Do not let go of the bar. Die if you do!” my senses screamed. I held on to the bar and dear life, literally. ---Dread---

The engine heated up soon enough, and so did my butt. I thought wistfully “ Fifty bucks for this privilege. Damn! At least ‘ice-cool’ Boss would have things at his end under control.” Little did I know that what I faced was only the tip of the iceberg? Boss was about to face the thing that brought down the titanic!!! ---Hope---

Did Boss really reach Salem that night? Or even the Mysore Bus Stand? Did any of the buses reach Salem that night? For all this and more, kindly bear with me until I tell you the rest of the story in my next blog. ---Intezaar--

P.S: BTW I am suing the Government over employing too many male drivers who drool over woman. Hoping I can convince them to employ some woman instead. Any lawyers interested?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Will the left withdraw support to UPA???

The communists score again. And as usual it is an own goal (or in this case a goal against our nation). The civilian nuclear deal has been in public purview for a long time and the leftists’ raising a hue and cry after the deal is done and dusted doesn’t make sense (at least to me). That America is willing to circumvent the NPT to clinch this deal with India shows its desire and sincerity on the matter (at least to a certain extent!).
So will the left withdraw support: Only time will tell!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Everything was planned. After much debate the dies were cast: I was in charge of the curry and washing of dishes; my friend, nicknamed Boss, was to take care of the rice and sambhar. Our resumes in the cooking front were not something to be scorned at: Boss was not called the master of eggs for nothing and neither was I a dummy at making upma (Khara bath).But this was the first time since moving to Bangalore that we venture outside our comfort zone to do something we crave from the depths of our souls: cook and eat a traditional south Indian meal.
We decide to start early and I was home by 7 p.m. on that fateful Saturday after buying brinjals and potatoes for my beloved curry. As soon as I starting cutting them, other items that I forgot flood my mind and I immediately call up Boss to add them to his list. He swore but acquiesced. By the time Boss was home with one of his colleagues I remembered two more items. “‘Kadale bale’ and ‘Udina bale’”, I say to him, indicating that these are types of dhal. He scowled and began muttering the two words like some dark oath to an outer world power, on his way to the provisions shop.
May be the gods in heavens were surprised at our enterprise and let forth a drizzle (that soon became a torrent) as if to mock at us. Determined men that we were, we went ahead despite the warning from the above. Things went along smooth for the next 20 minutes. Three spoons of oil, dhal and then the vegetables with a sprinkling of salt; the curry was on course. “Was the curry not done in that time?” You might ask in ignorance. Well for starters, it was a slow electric heater. To finish it all, the blow we had not anticipated: a Power blackout. God of Gods Zeus must have himself wielded his scepter to stop our sacred quest.
The next desolate hour was spent swatting mosquitoes in the darkness and hoping the electricity would be back before too late. Unable to bear the agony of the wait, I went to the terrace hoping to catch a glimpse of any of the third floors girls and possibly engage them in a lively conversation about the significance and finer points of using smaller quantities of garam masala in vegetable curry to improve taste. No luck in that front either. Finally we gave in to the pangs of hunger and went to a hotel and ate the usual mini-meals that we despised so very much.
No wait, wait! That’s not the end of the story. After dinner, Boss decided to go with his colleague to cool his nerves and escape the mosquitoes. I couldn’t blame him, poor lad. Firmly believing I was made of sterner stuff, I bought a mosquito coil and trudged back home. My half fried, half boiled curry was still on the heater and hoping I could savage some of it for tomorrow; I poured all the water from a one of the bottles we use for storing water.
Come morning and I woke up with my usual optimistic “Let’s go conquer the world” mantra. Spent a long time in the bath hoping to forget the previous day. Boss was home before long and I opened the lid of the pan to show him my cleverness at saving our curry. The pan was brimming with oil and insects that I wish never to see again as long as I live. In the darkness, I had poured oil to the curry instead of water.
That was the final straw. I decided to go to office (in spite of it being a Sunday) to commiserate with myself. Boss thankfully disposed what was remaining of the curry and then as if remembering something important, turned to me with a flourish and said “Don’t you go anywhere without washing the dishes”. As I was washing the dishes ( the second task of the complete plan), my only feeling was "Life cant get worse than this!!!"

P.S: If anyone really knows how to make good curry, please send me the recipe. I want to try it out next week!?

To be continued...

Friday, August 17, 2007

English! English!

God! Where would we Indians have been if not for this language??? Sixty years of English in Independent India and me thinks its time for some introspection to determine its status.
Would like to begin with one R.K Narayan’s short stories where he personifies English as a prisoner and independent India as a judge who determines the fate of the language after independence. “Why don’t you go back to your own country” orders the judge. “I have been here for 400 years. This is more my country than yours” quips the prisoner. For good or bad: ENGLISH is here to stay.

Following is the argument (monologue more likely) that I have with one of my sterner uncles

Him (with a touch of philosophy): Youth today don’t know any language properly. Neither are you guys (pointing his stubby finger at me) well versed in your mother tongues nor do you know English beyond a certain point.
I (thought): Why on earth do you care! Let me get on with Jakson* heights I had just reached.
I (said): Purpose of language is communication and if the English generation with a spattering of English and not so perfect mother tongue has ushered in the IT era; then I would more than be satisfied with it.

Him: Satisfied? Would you ever know the pleasure of reading the scriptures or the joy of reading the Vedas in Sanskrit?
I (thought): Why would I even bother reading them. Thank God my parents enrolled me in an English medium school. I really can’t imagine both of arguing about English in Sanskrit.
I (said weakly): There are good translations.

Him: Pah!? I think youth have lost much by not mastering the regional languages.

He then went on to give me a stare indicating the conversion was over. All my conversations with him end in this manner! With him hoping that he’s given me some “gyaan” and with me feeling “What was that all about?”

If given an opportunity these are the agrs that I would have presented him with:
The JOB factor: Unless you talk some fancy English, most companies worth their salt hesitate to hire you. Fluency in English assures, if not guarantees a good job. Why else would most parents insist on English medium school for their wards
Agreed that it’s not the language of the masses, but it’s probably the only true national language of India.
Regarding not being able to read literature in mother tongue and not being proficient and competent enough in the mother tongue; I must admit that my uncle was right. This is not surprising since regional languages have been relegated to second position in most states.

All said and done, The English Juggernaut roles on, oblivious of whether or not blogs like these argue and discuss its significance in modern India. The English may have lost but English certainly rules our nation.

* Jakson heights: Third stage of NFS Underground. For the benefit of those unfortunate souls who haven’t yet played the game.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Into the world of Blog

Blogging caught my fancy a few days ago. So here I am.. A small step into an endless ocean. Will start the actual blogging as soon as sth fancy strikes me.