Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mom and Dad

My dear friend Mayur has 2 posts in his blog which is simply beautiful. At least, I havent been able to forget those. A rich tribute to those who created us...


Girls Habits

For quite some time now, I have been wondering about some of the habits of girls - girls who are in their teens or even beyond their teens - such as keeping their childhood dolls, playing with balloons, gossiping, fussing about their hair, about their dress and the actual attire itself.

The attire itself is such a complex, mystic feature that I just couldn’t figure out why girls liked to wear skirts, the shorter the better, wear pretty low-cut neck-lined tops, and the emphasis was always on ‘more-skin and less-clothes’. The fashion industry too has understood this and hence, skimpier the dress, that much more expensive it is. I have also observed girls adoring the attire of heroines - which expose quite a lot – and wanting to try the same attire.

Not that its bad or anything, especially because ‘more-skin and less-clothes’ is a concept that girls like to try on and is a concept that boys like when more and more girls do try on! But, for me, it opened up a new line of psychological thought.

Did girls prefer to wear skimpier dresses to impress guys around or more for their own joy? Although there have been instances of gals trying to impress guys around in parties and hang-outs by wearing thundering dresses, I rather feel, as a first preference, the dress is meant for themselves and for their own joy and happiness.

But such dresses are not called as ‘provocative dresses’ for nothing. Not only does the guy get impressed but the bad lot use it as an opening and provoke the gals. Tragedy has stuck at many a place just because of the women’s attire.

So, getting back to the point, there I was, unable to decipher the habits of the girls. Why? I asked myself and I had no answer.

Interestingly, the answer came to me in an Agatha Christie novel (Nemesis, 1971, pg 201, Harper Collins publications). And the answer seemed perfectly plausible. Below is the extract of Christie’s portrait of a typical girl through a character in the novel:

Girls are said to mature earlier. That is physically true, though in a deeper sense of the word, they mature late. They remain childish longer. Childish in the clothes they like to wear, childish with their floating hair. Even their mini skirts represent a worship of childishness. Their Baby Doll nightdresses, their gymslips and shorts – all children’s fashions. They wish not to become adult – not to have to accept responsibility. And yet like all children, they want to be thought grown up, and free to do what they think are grown up things.

Ah. Enlightenment comes in many ways. Novel, too, is one such way.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quote for the day

"If you just keep doing things, you spend all your time justifying what you have done.
But if you dream and deliberate, you only do what you can justify."

~ Colleague who quoted from an article he had recently read

Monday, March 23, 2009

Three Hundred And Three

Well, well, well!

Third year anniversary of Kaleidoscope and this is the 300th post, following 200th post on 2nd year anniversary and 100th post on 1st year anniversary. Now, isnt that something, or what?!

To be honest, I really had no intention to hit 300 on 3, but the comments on the 200th post really made me go for it.
~ I wanted Guru's 3 cheers for the 2nd anniversary to really be 3 cheers for the 3rd anniversary.
~ I 'kept going' as Deepti advised me to, and indeed posted many 'Hubballi' related (read 'wife') posts, and yes, the small pleasures is what I really cherish in my life and post them as blogs.
~ Nikhil's comment really inspired me to go for it, come what may, and yes sir, it was difficult, with the partner of my new innings urging me always to 'Sleep! Its getting late!'.
~ And, last but not least, I have tried my best to paint that Dark land which is far far away from Mayur into a beautiful palette of colours that forms the real Kaleidoscope....!

Anyways, Happy Birthday to Dear Kaleidoscope!! I am happy!


Friday, March 20, 2009

I-Like-It I-Dont-Like-It

There is no one field which is completely likeable, is there? I mean, I was just thinking, if there is any field of life which is completely and wholly acceptable in its entirety. There always seem to be one tiny thing or the other which is kinda nagging and rather boring and somewhat unlikeable.

Take for example, Software Engineering in its simplest form. Sure, coding is great but testing is kind of not so interesting for some. It is the exact opposite for some others too. Yet, as a software engineer, one needs to be proficient in both.

Take Classical Music. There are some Ragas which is enjoyable and pure pleasure. Some are downright unhearable! Yet, to be a true professional musician, one must be versatile in all Ragas and styles of singing.

Studies and education in general. There are some subjects which are boring and some are very interesting. Entrance exams. Logic-based questions are very interesting but English-related questions belong to ‘I-hate-it’ category!

An author. Story-telling is fun and enjoyable if it is stuck to the point. But, a good novel is one that describes in detail about the character of the person, about the places and about nitty-gritties that go on skirting the main theme, the sum total of which actually adds to the overall picturisation of the novel.

A shop-keeper. The security guard. Waiters in the hotel. Tension-less jobs for the most part, yes, but it is oh-so-boring when there is no one around, isn’t it?

Doctors. Operating is challenging and interesting. But along with it comes the boring part of documentation. As in so many other tasks, such as investigation, police-ing, etc.

Building a real bridge, a fly-over is so much fun. Doing the same thing first as a model using cardboard is such a turn-off!

Batting or bowling is so much fun but fielding is so tedious. Serving the tennis ball is amazing but receiving is not so.

And so, it goes on and on. Every field of life has its own set of positives and negatives, its own set of pros and cons, ‘i-like-it’s and ‘i-don’t-like-it’s.

But then, there are always a set of people who like every thing about a chosen field, and nothing in their field is a turn-off. Its like they are born for that field of life. No avenue is a ‘stay-away’ zone. Every bit of it is wholly enjoyable and so, they would easily be the “experts”.

What am I born for?!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thought for the day

Practice doesnt make Man perfect.
It just tries to make Man almost perfect.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What makes it all better?!

My wife and I were sitting lazily in Jayanagar 4th block complex this weekend as dusk fell, in one of those innumerous benches that are generally occupied by the elderly during the weekdays. It felt nice to be there, the environment somewhat comforting. A popcorn in hand, idly chatting on the week that was, passing humorous comments on passers-by - it was all just perfect. The nice cool breeze under the huge arms of the huge trees, the blazing lights of the shops, the kids playing around and the general charm of life at its supreme best and simplicity.

What, I wondered, has made this setting so good? What if something in this setting was not there? I tried to imagine the environment subtracting the environment's crucial elements. What amongst those that constituted the setting so crucial to add charm? What makes one sit there for hours and hours together and yet not get bored?

The trees? The lights of the shops? The street vendors? The kids? The people?

Sure, its a combination of all, but the most crucial of all the above is 'People'. If people exists, so does kids. So does street vendors. So does shops and their lights. Trees exist by themselves, but places with just trees and no people do not have the same setting as a place that has people.

New York's Manhattan suddenly looks great after days of living in a small town in US because it is crowded with people. People love Mumbai because of the human population. A beautiful looking place will have its charm added if there are people milling about.

I recently got a photo album shared by a friend of mine from some US place. It was a beautiful garden, excellently flowered and nice bridges over small streams. My friend was in most of the snaps but there was none other for miles together. The whole park was empty but for my friend and her gang. It seemed so depressing!

Thats when I felt, its the people who actually add charm. Add soulfulness.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


As India piled up 201/0 against New Zealand today and won the series, I had this sense of dejavu. While this victory for no loss was scripted by the right-hand, left-hand opening pair of Sehwag and Gambhir, some time ago we had a similar deadly right-hand left-hand opening pair in the form of Sachin and Ganguly who used to win matches for India in the same no-loss fashion.

Below is a synopsis of the similarities:
1) Sachin:Ganguly :: Sehwag:Gambhir.
2) 6 letter word : 7 letter word
3) Starts with S : Starts with G
4) Right Hand bat : Left Hand bat
5) Goes Great Guns while batting : Finesse and Timing while batting

History repeats, huh?!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mineral Water

"Is the water in the drinking glass mineral water?"
"Is the plate washed in mineral water?"

The consolation statement

Almost a decade ago when we visited Kalhalli, some 50 odd kms on Kanakapura Road from Bangalore, our car – which was recently serviced - broke down and it had to be towed all the way back to our home. I would not want to emphasize on the drive back in a towed car – easily one of my toughest ever – nor do I want to elaborate on the place Kalhalli.

But, after we reached home, and handed the promised Rs 800 to the driver who helped us tow in his tempo, the villager said something which to this day I have not forgotten. He said it when we spoke to him in bereavement of what Fate had done to us on a recently serviced car:

“This money that you are giving us today won’t last with me forever, sir. One day, my vehicle too will break down and I will have to hand over the same amount to some one else. It’s the destiny. We are just a part of it.”

It was a great consolation statement. It really touched a chord within me. And I was never able to forget what he said.

One day at Tanjore railway station

I was sitting on the Tanjore (aka Thanjavur) railway station, happy to oblige to a swarm of mosquitoes feeding on me, reading a novel, when I saw a well-dressed and educated man throw an empty container onto the railway track. He had just finished the can of fruit juice and it rattled me to think that a man of his culture resorted to throwing things at a convenient location as against basic human habits of throwing things in the dustbin. I mean it is so easy to throw wherever one wants to throw, isn’t it, but if the same person was in US or UK or Australia, he would ensure to throw only in the dustbin.

In any case, I didn’t say anything. I kept on reading. Until he threw again! That was too much for me to control! With a restraint on myself, lest I blasted him, I kept myself to myself. Thankfully, he opened up the conversation. He spoke to me asking if I was waiting for the same train as he. I said yes, and grateful that an opening had been provided, I asked him,

“I noticed that you threw two cans on the railway track. The dustbin is just a few feet away, there,” I said respectfully and pointed it out to him, wondering if he had any genuine reason to act the way he had done.

He was suddenly all remorse, and ashamed. He apologized profusely for the mistake he had done and said he won’t ever do it again.

I felt glad that I had told him. I felt good that he felt sorry. I felt happy that I had changed one person. I remembered something that I had read:

Many starfish washed up on shore. A saintly man started picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean. Someone saw what he was doing and told him that it was pointless, that there were too many to save, that it wouldn't make a difference. Throwing another starfish into the sea, the saintly man responded, "It makes a difference to this one".

The hound of Padmanabhanagar

The time was 11 pm. There was no one on the road. For reasons better off not delving into, I was barefoot, I had no cell phone and I smelt of food. I was walking on the mud road carefully, avoiding the stones, and was just fifty steps away from my destination. I could see the light and the merry-making in the house that I was supposed to go to. Just a few strides, I thought.

Suddenly, a street dog, which was lying on the side of the road in between where I was and where I had to go, woke up. It had either heard me or smelt me or smelt the food in my hands. I was a foreigner on the road, and for all it knew, I was a thief and he was the cop. Or, it was an intelligent dog knowing where and how to get easy food. It stood up.

I quickened my pace, hoping to beat it before it blocked my way. Alas, the beast was faster. It fixed its eyes steadily on me and stood at the center of the road. I had nowhere to go, and I stood too. Both of us stood there, staring at one another. If we had rifles, we might as well have been the actors in a Wild West movie!

I looked beyond the hound and saw agonizingly how close the house was. I wished I had the cell phone to call for help. I wished my hands didn’t emanate the smell of food. I walked a few steps more towards the house, and the dog started growling. I stood standstill. So did the dog.

I then walked to the side of the road. So did the dog. I walked to the other side. So did the dog. And then, like a prey, the dog started walking towards me. As if saying enough is enough.

It was absolute terror. I felt the sweat on my brows. I had no idea what to do. For all I knew this hound would lunge at me and rip me apart. Just a bite wouldn’t suffice it.

Its amazing how a human being can think on the spot when his life is at danger despite the panic. I picked up a stone from the mud road and raised it high over my head, with a fiery face to go with it. The dog, which was coming towards me, suddenly realized that I wasn’t such an easy prey after all, and backed away to the side of the road.

Finding the path nice and clear again, I briskly walked on, with the stone still in my raised hands and the fiery face still blazing on the dog. I continued looking over my shoulder at the dog and found it again lying down on the side of the road. Within a few seconds, I reached my destination and relief enveloped me like never before.

It was the most terrorizing experience of my life.

The country

Visited a few country houses and traveled through villages this weekend. Observed several interesting things. Jotting down a few:


Before the three year old could have his breakfast, he was asked by his mother to give a banana to the cow that was in the house’s back yard, which also was the cow-shed, and genuflect in front of it.

Realized how sacred the cow still is, especially in remote places of India.


My mother asked the lady the name of the lady’s husband who had passed away. The lady just smiled. It wasn’t that she was dumb nor was it that she got annoyed at such a question being asked. She just sat there, smiling. Then, the son, who had heard the question across the room, answered on her behalf.

Realized how sacred the husband is, especially in remote places of India and even more especially in orthodox household, that a wife is not expected to utter his name, even after his death.


While I was passing through a small hamlet of 3-4 houses on the main road, with the streetlight lit only by a few bulbs, dirt everywhere to be seen, pigs scattered around a few feet from playing children and the stench of the stagnant drainage, I saw people sitting on the doorstep, talking away to glory, with mobile phones…

Realized how the web of mobile phones has caught onto villages which do not even have the basic hygiene!


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Moment of the day

When I presented my wife,
For the first time,
In typical old Kannada movie style,
A Mallige Hoova!