Friday, September 19, 2008

Baba I miss you.. .

Such a small and cuddly, yet so strong! Baba, you were so tender and so, so soothing. I miss you terribly. Wherever you are.

You were there when we needed. You just gave and asked for nothing. Now you are gone, I feel a part of me has gone too.

In my youth I was horrible, yet you accepted me, when others were critical.

What have I given you? Nothing! I couldn't even come to your death bed and cremation.

How I try to solace myself saying you are so understanding and will not hold grudge.

But I feel guilty and helpless and angry at myself for losing such a precious person from my life forever.

Wound will heal, memories will fade, but world without you will be so much morbid and tiresome.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

 

Black like a brute

It lies there mute

When it talks in style

It flashes bright smile

It sings what they like

It stops when they dislike

It’s cared, it’s abused

It’s shoved, it’s refused

They call it an idiot box

And admit it’s like the stinking socks

It predicts unpredictable weather

And the coming price of leather

Some own more than one

Yet some have none

Wading infinite family moods

And spectra of routes

Say all at home

TV removes a vacuum

The ladies like the soaps

The males dismiss ‘em as dopes

They love the losing sports

Despite tons of ads it promotes

The kids like the toons

Others think it is a boon

Whatever said and done

The small screen will definitely run.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

EDUCATION

Wake up Rohan, wake up; today you’ve a test!

He eats up Calculus and Calorimeter in good jest,

Chews on mundane axioms one, two unto five

And belches theorems of geometry dead and alive.

Rohan moves to school in nonstop research and reveries,

Of his tutors with monstrous knowledge from mortuaries.

Oh! Does his face turn turtle or purple? Of course not gentle

As he taps, the electronic face spews out data that startle!

He ponders o’er not so green a “Green Revolution”!

He is rushed to the Pink City o’er the deep blue Ocean

He learns of blue litmus that turn rancid with acid

And suffers lessons on Yellow Fever and how things go placid

‘Rohaan’ calls the French Madam and goes on to grill

On this and that and ‘bonjour Mademoiselle’

She checks her watch set on patterns o’ Conjugation

And, yells to the class to take her petite translation

The great India history is a funny story

The boiling point of Hydrogen a great glory!

Geography turns so dreary with Mr. Pot-Belly Thomas

He irritates with his snide jokes and worn out smelly Atlas!

Rohan crams determiners and metaphors in spells

More idioms and pernicious tenses, and it tells!

What’ more is made up in radicals and molecules

While Benzenes, Al-de-hydes and Ke-tones stare in ridicule

He is at his creaky desk to the right, really, really a sorry sight

He stares at the queries on the paper until they fade into night

In his dream his teacher praises and rates him the best

Wake Rohan, wake up! You’re taking a test!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

THE SIN

He kept to the shadows

And walked across the meadows

Head bent, belly spent

Down the barn past the taunting primrose.

 

They say he’s a blackguard

And that, all must be on guard!

In the valley and the gully

For he’s sure to slice us without regard!

 

It seems he took the life

In fishy circumstances, of his wife

She’d pleaded ‘n’ even conceded

But in the end nothing got off the strife.

 

‘He’s crazed,’ they wail

‘Can’t be trusted’; ‘He should be in jail,’

None dare argue on this issue,

They brand him ‘no good’ and there’s none to bail.

 

My neighbour says it isn’t fair

For the man couldn’t hurt a hare

‘It’s a frame up they’d set up’

Now he’s hunted ‘n’ his kin is in despair.

 

They promptly sit on judgement

On others’ pathetic predicament

‘A sacrilege!’ they cry and ‘the man has to pay!’

And then walk off for a nefarious commitment.

 

In the dark, silhouette foreplay

The phantoms grin malicious and gay

Their eyes glow red like an eagle’s beak in blood

While he sat concealed hoping for another day.

 

Another fine day

It never came, they say

They led him to the gallows across the meadows

Alas! Dead and stiff, in silence he lay.

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

A sin it became

A curse they couldn’t tame

Their family broke up; their judgment turned a joke

And they repented in shame.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Science and Man

Science and modern life are irretrievably interlinked. Today’s world is unthinkable minus science and technology. As we have stepped into the twenty first century, all our functions, our work procedures, our scope of entertainment- even our very existence are all highly influenced by modern science and technology. As we celebrate this year’s scientific day, let us examine the modern life and the progress we made thanks to science and technology.

Ostensibly, science has been instrumental in the quantum leap in our development and has played pivotal role in giving us a comfortable life. If human creativity is one side of the coin responsible for what we are today, science has rendered a catalyst for change. The synergy has given our creativity a momentous spurt. As we gaze into the TV viewing a myriad of entertainment soaps or we surf on the internet getting a kaleidoscope of visual experience or we travel in a jet half way over the world we thank our scientists for making our life more meaningful. Whether it is medicine, communication, industry and architecture or entertainment, education, meteorology and environmental protection, scientific researches and studies have spread its helping tentacles and touched common man’s life. What he used to do in a month’s time can now be done with fluid efficiency in a matter of 24 hours or even less. Thus, we live much more than our counter parts a decade or century ago. I take this opportunity to discuss here, ten of the most important achievements in science.

Agriculture was perhaps one of the crucial endeavors that made revolutionary changes in our social system. Agriculture was the only area of scientific study for tens of thousands of years. Green Revolution, seed technology, genetics, White Revolution and innovation in farming practices have now led to the transformation of agriculture from a mere ‘country job’ into a sophisticated industry.

Electricity, when discovered, made a humble beginning, but eventually turned out to be the most significant of the discoveries. We just can’t figure out how our world would be without electric current. Our whole life is integrated around this mysterious force. Thomas Edison’s life was a continuum of scientific pursuits and he is by far one of the most successful scientists of yesteryears. The inventions of such stalwarts had a far reaching affect on the humanity. Electricity has now become an interface platform on which several branches of science depend.

As we sit here and discuss about the scientific advancement, people travel millions of kilometres going from one part of the world to another! Travel has become instantaneous as flights constantly move right across time barrier and sometimes we can reach yesterday when we start tomorrow! The crazy dream of Wright Brothers had magically produced supersonic jets a century later.

While aviation was a distant dream automobiles were a reality, but the cars and contraptions have become speedier, safer and profoundly efficient in today’s world. Today cars work on renewable energy, produce zero pollution and works for healthier tomorrow.

In medicine, Joseph Lister’s antiseptic surgery, Alexander Fleming’s accidental finding – the penicillin, John Salk’s polio vaccine and Rongton’s X-rays have all saved innumerable lives and got our future generations healthier.

Such a discussion wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Charles Babbage’s prodigy. From the Eniac that he created as purely a calculating machine to the modern pocket PCs the development in computers has envisaged a rapid and mind boggling advancement. In this field, unlike any other scientific field, the rapidity continues unabated. Every breath we take has a software innovation coinciding.

Holding a 4 inch by 2 inch mobile we talk, chat, brows the web, send and read emails and get ourselves entertained. We are getting ourselves seen and heard in far corners of the world. We enrol in universities, do transactions from virtual banks, engage in e- commerce and business, using web browsers. If you are an entrepreneur in the Bahamas getting suntanned, no problem – you could teleconference and run your empire by remote mechanism. All these thanks to inter-net and cell phones

Many detractors and critics of science blame science for the environmental cataclysm and us living on the brink of safety. To them I ask: did you travel today by bus? Did you wake up to the cool breeze of your ceiling fan? Did you switch off your lights before leaving home? When you have become so dependent on science how could you criticize it so thoughtlessly? Look at Western Europe. It is the model of safe living. Not long ago its cities were as polluted if not even more polluted than perhaps India or Philippines. Charles Dickens immortalized the black hand of industrialization. In the next 200 years or so, science itself found effective solution to redress the problem and subvert the situation. We cannot blame science for our irresponsible behaviour and inadequate planning. Eventually we have to go back to science to find a remedy to the problems caused by human error.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Opportunism

Today we are proudly masquerading as free Indian, but we wouldn’t have got our freedom without the highly principled freedom fighters under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi sacrificing their lives for a lofty goal. The Mahatma was a person who lived, persevered and died holding his principles high. Every year the whole nation remembers this great son of India. We feel proud to inherit his legacy.

We do remember our Harshad Mehthas and shudder and cringe inwardly at the very thought that he was one of us. He did gain his momentous glory, but did it last?

As we stand on the threshold of 21st century, our priorities have become ‘high living and low thinking’. Our success is measured in our possessions, bank balances and the amount of dowry ‘Social Bigwigs’ pay. Successive compromises and incursion of western ideology have given a crushing blow to the Indian life style paved on integrity, instead we are seriously thinking of flouting principles and justifying! Bharath, the land of great epics Mahabharat and Ramayana, which has symbolically shown us the unprincipled go to their certain downfall, has a unique culture based on principles! Yet we are here thrashing out this issue of unprincipled behaviour. Who ever dreamed up the unprincipled ‘float’? Of course they may float on some rivers as unfortunate pieces of history!!!!

Have you heard of the fox that tried to drink the blood dripping from the goats’ foreheads when they were furiously bumping their heads? The opportunists can never be complacent for moment, because if they become they will have the fox’s fate. If one is an opportunist he will succeed only if the majority of the others are principled. It will only be a matter of time before someone like him/ her comes along and knocks him over.

Proponents of opportunism may say that it is much easier to forget our principles and ‘make hay while the sun shines’. I do agree it is easy to be unprincipled, but can they really have such an easy time? Majority of us are idealists; we can’t think of others being selfish, greedy and inconsiderate, neither can we tolerate when others throw integrity to the wind, but when it comes to our own self the criticism disappears, instead we just compromise and say ‘never mind’. It may be true that it is difficult to uphold the lofty principles in this unscrupulous world.

Yet we have our Mahatmas whose ideology we are a part of.

Twist of Life

Life has twists and turns and scores of surprises and shocks in store. For a person to have started a career in Hospitality services and ended up as an Admin. Manager in a Projects Company is merely by chance may be a tall claim, but that is the truth. People like me will always be carried by the tides of twists and turns and face a lot of shocks. On the other hand, those with a scheme in front an ambition to fulfill will move in a single stream with a definite goal and destination.

 

But, what the hell!! Both get on with their lives with a moderate level of achievement. Well, that might depend on what you consider achievement. Even so, I feel my path is ok, because we don't need to be on guard and have any goals whatsoever. Also one doesn't have to be stuck to the same routine always. I for one enjoyed being a squeeky smart travel executive for the time I was employed thus. Then there was a longer stint as marketing / sales executive, which too gave me lots of thrill and greater chagrin to many others. For a decade I worked as a teacher and now this.

Looking back I feel I have learnt a lot of trade, tricks of the trade and never got bored by the monotony. I don't think many will share my enthusiasm.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Dear Bro!!

A witty guy- my bro-

In math, he was a pro!

His pluck I did adore.

His laugh was a roar!

To Joke he said right-ho!

To misery he said NO!

He loved us all more!

He was never slow-

To wipe tears of woe!

 

I take a memory tour.

I stood near the door.

He lay on the floor!

I was not sure how to go.

He was pale, I saw!

Was tragedy in store?

Later I came to know-

He was no more!

He died in a snore!

To us it was a blow!

 

My mom sounded hollow.

Gone was her sweet fellow-

She cried into the pillow.

Dad was all mellow.

No more did he bellow.

Pain came as sharp arrow!

In agony they did wallow.

 

Tears and time go-

As his cancer did grow!

Many a remedy did he swallow!

Nothing could slow-

It gored all the more!

In pain, he swore!

Our heart it tore!

Our spirit it stole!

 

He is no more!

We feel so low-

The pain is slow!

At times tears flow!

Or feel our minds soar!

Memories are in store!

On our face they glow!

Amid tears that furrow!!

Teaching is Learning!

Kuwait is green and beautiful! What an impossible dream! To a dreamer like me landed fresh and full of passion, it brought in a free flow of pheromones. It didn’t take me much time to discover the truth.

Once I was called to a rich Kuwaiti Sheikh’s sprawling mansion and given the part time duty of tutoring his recalcitrant sons ever so elusive, lessons on English equally elusive. The recalcitrant duo was researching on wild mischief and had perfected the art of spitting in each other’s face, for one. They were in the process of compiling an international dictionary of swear and four-letter words. They would practice such words without inhibition on their close circle of friends, family and much to my chagrin even on their teachers!

Why a teacher would wear a large panama hat indoors while teaching, may raise curiosity and eyebrows in some. The Arab siblings having parked on either side of me would often end up in a fight. After flinging back and forth a string of groovy words, they would invariably start a spitting match. It was for this that I wore the hat; to avoid the spit missiles landing on my crown. All the while the tirade went on I had to sit bent low. The class continued for a while because the money was good, but then all was not well when it ended.

Soon after chucking that one I was confronted with another one. This time I was wiser, so decided to take only one person at a time. One on one- was far better! At least that’s what I presumed. The boy was just going into teens and was mostly placid. All he was interested in was eating, which he did all the time, I guess. He never stopped munching even during class. While I got richer he grew fatter. He would order a whole burger meal with nearly a litre of Pepsi and to top it five scoops of Baskin Robbins- various flavours and polish off the entire pile without a pause while I did his home work and assignment. It was a compromise which I readily accepted. I feared his tantrum. I had the misfortune to be there when he really blew his top. He yelled for nearly five minutes calling abusive words to his mom, siblings and the maids. The maids got all types of whacks from him all the time, whatever the mood he was in. If he was friendly, they would be whacked on the butt, when angry whichever place his fist landed! WHACK! WHACK!

He fancied himself to be one of the wrestlers that come on the television and was into wearing weird costumes and head gears. In addition, he kept a large baton with steel studs which he said he used in fight. It seemed he liked to fight in the street and boasted of being a member of a gang. His driver (he had a separate car and chauffer at his disposal) confided in me that the chap went for fights alright but got walloped most of the time. He did agree that the boy horded all sorts of weapons like chains, clubs and even knives in the boot of the car! Just imagine!

When teaching Kuwaiti children we have to follow some unwritten rules:

They are always right.

Never anticipate any gratitude or proper relationship expected form a student, relatives and parents.

Their time is important; yours is not.

Never complain about the student to the parents.

While instructing, please note the child understands English as he wants, so avoid instructions as far as possible.

Keep yourselves at arms length to avoid physical abuse.

Never show any emotions on your face; if you smile it will be construed that you are laughing at him.

Never joke, for they don’t understand.

Beware when they are nice to you.

Ali was a unique specimen. His chauffer called him ‘Rubber Boy’. Ali was a roly-poly good-looking chap, but was crazy to the core. He was like one those exotic pets that don’t match their benign looks with their manners. His chauffeur would pick me up from my flat and drop me after the class. Ali would hop in during some of these trips and scare the wits out the children playing outside by waving his gun filled with plastic pellets or brandishing a large stick which he carried with him at all times. Sometimes he would shout out “PAAGAL HEY!” “PAAGAL HEY!” The onlookers would wonder why this kid was sticking out his head and screaming his head out. “THUM HI PAAGAL!” they would shout back. He reveled in his ignorance, but posed himself to be a swell guy. He was into eating all sorts of seeds. I felt he must have got a bird’s brain from all his nut chewing!!

The stint there continued for quite a while!! I don’t know how! But as long as these dumb guys are around people like me can make money without much effort if you don’t mind bending your principles.

There were quite a few interesting characters that came to me yearning for some knowledge. I learnt a lot of four-letter words in Arabic from them, but I wonder if they managed to learn anything from me!!

Nokkuji

Yesterday I got an invite to a programme in my daughter's school. It was addressed to Mr. & Mrs KP.

We had registered our daughter's name in the school rolls as Gayathri. K. P to avoid them having to call all those unpronounceable parts and embarrass the little one. The teacher's sense of humour of dumbness must have prompted her to address the invitation thus.

This reminds of the episode of the Vellodis. Back in the 60s when my Grandpa was still alive Mr. Vellodi was posted to the finance department of the central government as a secretary. Delhi was a modern metropolis even then, but the Vellodis were naive village folks. In those days a wife never addressed her husband by his name. Instead he used to be referred to as "Nokku" meaning look here!

Many people used to visit the Vellodi couple. One among them was a Sardar and on such visits Mrs. Vellodi used to nudge her husband and say "Nokku" whenever she had to take his attention.

On one occasion the Sardar and his wife had called on them to invite them for their daughter's wedding. The ivitation was addressed Mr. and Mrs. Nokkuji!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Death

Death is the second absolute truth.

Yet, when it comes no one is prepared.

Physical death precedes brain death.

Brain death preceded memory death

Memory brings alive the dead

Death becomes a reality when history dawns.

The dead are blessed.

Those left behind grieve.

In death a villain becomes a hero

The dead are seldom disrespected.

In death "He' or "She" becomes "It".

In death all materials become worthless

In death we part.

In death we become whole.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sometimes people think they are great and can run the world. I feel they are like the garden lizard trying to bloat its muscles to challenge the car tires that are about to crush it!

As humans we have enormous vanity which make us close our eyes to reality. Consequently we break our heart, scream our head off and push our chest out in false prestige.

We have very limited ability compared the nature. One small heave or sneeze can destroy millions, yet we say we are trying to save nature! HA HA!