Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year !

My New Year Resolutions

Make a New Year Resolution!

Make a New Year Resolution that I can follow.

Stick to my New Year Resolutions

Remember my New Year Resolutions.

Make sure my New Year Resolution last at least a month.

If possible two months!

And if possible….

Stop getting obsessed about my New Year Resolutions.

Is there any way I can break my New Year Resolutions?

Can I make half-a-year New Year Resolution?

If I break my New Year Resolution can I start afresh?

Or do I have to wait for the next year?

Can not making a New Year Resolution be my New Year Resolution?

Is New Year Resolutions accepted by the law? Then please can I not pay taxes?

If I make a New Year Resolution to be on time for office, do I have to do it the whole year? ( oh my gawd!!! )

Do I have to make ‘good’ New Year Resolutions? I cannot always be nice to people when they tell me how much I look like my grandma every time they meet me.

Can I make ‘bad ‘New Year Resolutions like letting my dog on my pesky 10-year-old neighbor every time he bursts a cracker just when I am passing by?

Any ideas on New Year Resolutions?

I hate New Year Resolutions!!!! hmph

Have a great year dear blog pals. Hope to read lots more posts from you and I hope to post more often too. Now that’s a New Year Resolution to begin with!!!!

Happy New Year 2006!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Feel gifted !

The first gifts of the Season from other family members have started trickling in. My aunt gave me a beauuuuuuuuuuuuuutiful pack of heart shaped candles with glitter on them. I absolutely love them!!!!

Second gift is from a cousin brother. Hold you breaths girls. Trumpets sounds, cymbals clash as I open the gift.



( but the thought was nice)

Ok, this is it. That was the last straw on a gals fast sinking faith in the ability of most guys to buy a decent gift. I am now convinced that most guys are not gifted with the art of gifting ( corny line I know!! ) So here’s a guide for guys who are gifting-ideas-challenged and want to surprise the women* in their lives with that Perfect Gift. (* moms, sisters, girlfriends,wives, cousins sisters, colleagues etc.)

Warning: Please do not try this on men!

1. We do not like non stick pans. Please do not remind us of the drudgery of cooking for you.

2. We do not like crockery. It is a constant reminder that it needs to be filled with food.

3. But we love cookery books. Especially glossy ones with colorful pictures . Don’t ask me why Point No. 1 and Point No. 2 is disallowed when Point No 3 is allowed.

4. We like kitchen implements if they operate electronically and we are married ( or else you are in trouble, leave scene immediately).

5. We like candles. The fancier the better. Don’t ask me why! Just buy it!!

6. We love flowers, but stick to roses if you do not know about our likes and dislikes among the 200 other varieties available in the market.

7. We love artificial flowers, that is if you are onsite in the US or Europe.

8. We love perfumes, but please DO NOT BUY perfumes for us. We dont wanna smell like an oil slick! (Hint: Gift voucher)

9. We do not like aftershave. I know it smells wonderful.

10. Ditto for men’s deodorant. I know it does the same thing that a ladies deodorant does. grrrrrrrrr

11. We do not mind sarees if we are 21 and above. But please tell the shopkeeper that we will be coming soon to exchange it.

12. Ditto with books. But a subscription of Femina, Reader's Digest or Cosmo will be just fine.

13. We love jewelry but follow Point No 8 (Gift Voucher). Please remember a Rs 500/- Gift Voucher will not even get us an entry into a jewelry shop. The Gift Voucher should be in multiples of Rs.1000/- only!

14. It's true, Diamonds are indeed a girls best friend. (hint, hint)

15. We love gems but please tell sales girl our birthmonth so that she can give you our birthstone. We are very particular about this. However whatever our birthmonth, Diamonds are always welcome ;)

16. Everything that glitters is not gold for girls. So please go easy on glittery tops, shoes, handbags, lipstick and eyeshadows. Point No. 5 can be repeated here too.

17. We are extremely particular about our lipstick shade, so repeat Gift Voucher /Certificate here too.

18. If you are planning on buying lingerie for wife / girl
friend then “God help you!!!” Play safe, don't get caught consulting a Lingerie catalogue. Read it someplace safe.

19. We love chocolates. But we may not like chocolates as a gift because it is fattening. So it’s your call.

20. A weighing scale is not such a good idea of a present and can be potentially harmful to your skull.

21. We love paintings, but no nude women please... and vice versa.

22. We love crystals, especially those cute animals figurines in crystals.

23. Talking of crystals, we also like crystalware.

24. Teddy bears are acceptable if we are 12 years and below. Dolls also fall under this category!

25. Just because we are middle aged ( 50+) does not mean we do not appreciate flowers, so go easy on the Hot Water Bottles,prayer books and Shawls.

26. We love music CDs but who the heck is Laffy Taffy???? And Black Eyed Peas...? Is this some exotic vegetable? Please enquire about our taste in music from our friends before buying that CD.

27. If we are above 70, forget about the gift.....we would love to have you visit us.( ok senti rising to dangerous levels here, grandma I miss you * sniff* )

28. And ....the only brass that we wanna see, is on guys in uniform ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The joys of Christmas Shopping !

Ok I made some grandiose announcement about not being able to blog etc etc. But being away from the comp and the office is working wonders and this Christmas season I have so many tales to tell!!!

Christmas is here and as usual I get the noble task of buying the gifts that the family wants to give each other. A typical day before Christmas shopping goes like this.

Dad: Ok, so what do you think I should give your mother?
Me: How about you both taking off to Lourdes as you promised her 7 years back?
Dad: Sure, You will get leave right? You and mom can have a nice pilgrimage.
Me: But Dad she wants to go with you!!!! She has been looking forward to this for so many years. ( I use a very senti speech here)
Dad: I know, I know, but the guys were just telling me that we haven’t had a party like the one you organized on Father's Day! So you go with Amma and don’t hurry back. And if you go with Amma then as additional bonus you get that zoom lens for your camera!

Eldest Brother G: Now tell me what you want and what I should get for all of you.
Me: Ok, I want perfume, I think you should give mom a saree and Dad needs new shoes for his walks and M ..hmmm I think you give him what we all have been giving him for the past umpteen years, a nice tube of hair gel !!!
G: Ok, and get a nice handbag for your to-be-sis-in-law.
Me: She will think you are a miser. Give her something expensive!
G: Ok, how about a purse?
Me: She may call off the wedding.
G: You women are so hard to please!!!
Me: You are learning fast!
G: Oh my God, now I will have to think of gifts for her birthdays too????
Me: Yes! But it’s too late to cancel your wedding so I will get her something and you can tell her that you looked high and low for this perfect gift for her. She will be very pleased.
G: Fine and don’t forget to wrap it and put a nice message too. But don’t let your creativity get the better of you. I don’t want her thinking she is marrying a lech !

Second Brother M: Ok what do you want this Christmas that won’t be thrown on my head or will not be given to the gardener.
Me: What else do you expect when you present me with a monkey cap?
M: That was a Monte Carlo monkey cap!!!!
Me: yeah, the gardener looks very spiffy in that.
M: Ok then your highness what can I get for thee this year? Ok wait....I know what I will buy for you? ( with a gleam in his eyes), I get that awful sinking feeling when M goes shopping. He walks away whistling. I KNOW I will get a Hot Water Kettle! (of course it will be a different brand and color from the one I got the year before last and the year before the year before last)

Mom: I know what I will buy for everybody!!! (with triumphant smile.)
Me: er...what will be that Amma?
Mom: You will look really nice in a Salwar!
Me: But amma I have so many that I don’t wear!
Mom: Don’t argue with me. And for M, I will get a nice shirt. He looks like a beggar at weddings.
Me: Amma he rather look like a beggar than a pansy in that lacy shirt you bought for him last time.
Mom: Don’t argue with me. And for Dad also a nice shirt...
Me: But ma he hates shirts, he always wear Tees.
Mom: Don’t argue with me! And for your Chetan a nice wallet.
Me: But ma, he already has 25 wallets!
Mom: Don’t argue with me. Now come with me and show me where I can get these things in those new malls. And don’t forget to carry a big bag so that the guys don’t see what we have bought for them.

(Like they don’t know already)


A couple of incidents that happened over the last one and half years.

A few months ago while me and my colleagues were crossing the road a car driven by two teenagers, both blonde, (probably some expats kids) nearly ran us over. They stopped the vehicle and cheekily peeped out of the window to see our reaction. However they accelerated off recklessly at dangerous speed when some guys from my office who witnessed this incident ran towards them in rage.

Last month, just as we were nearing the Cubbon Park traffic junction, the traffic lights turned yellow. A bike with two guys who were near the signal slowed down and stopped on seeing the yellow lights. Right behind them was a Tempo Traveller driven by a foreigner. The vehicle was carrying four Great Danes, probably his pets. The white man was furious when he saw the biker slowing down. He pulled down his window and swore at the bikers fluently gesticulating obscenely. He was angry that the biker didn't jump the light thus holding him back too.

Last year in Mumbai the head of a large MNC abuses an Indian who overtook him by calling him a “bloody Indian”. The incident was reported in the papers however the foreigner got away with an apology.

Earlier this year in Ooty a rashly driven Scorpio (again a white man) nearly ran down a lady carrying firewood on the road. He too stopped to abuse the poor lady before driving off in rage.

In Kodaikanal last year while trekking we came across a huge house amidst a fruit plantation. We were warned by the locals to keep away from the fortress like house as the people who owned the land (Germans) owned ferocious dogs (to keep out the “natives”). The dogs had apparently grievously injured a kid and another woman who had gone to collect firewood in the Estate. Collecting firewood in the Nilgiris is not considered encroaching. In fact quite a few foreigners have bought land in the Nilgiris and you can make out their property with the imposing high walls and patrolling dogs.

On my recent Goa trip, I was witness to yet another incident. After browsing through the famous Flea Market my brother and me came across a Pizza joint. As we sat with our beers waiting for the rest of the family to join us the other tables soon filled up with foreigners. The topic of discussion at the table next to me was about the “awful lot of Indians coming to Goa!!” Many of these foreigners here were “service providers” for the foreign tourists. They ran tattoo parlors, hair braiding parlors, organized tours etc etc. We were told by the owner of the pizzeria ( a Goan) that the locals rarely interfered with these foreigners. The tourism industry here was run by the foreigners for the foreigners with the help of a few Indians.

A disconcerting scene at the same pizzeria. An old Frenchman covered in Rudraksha with a small girl in tow and that of another young man with another small child. Both kids looked like laborers kids.

Another incident in Goa. A religious procession carrying a statue of some Christian Saint is being carried to another house in a procession. A group of foreigners all youngsters, hoot and jeer at the procession.

Go to the outskirts of Bangalore where foreigners are farming huge tracts of land. The produce of these land range from flowers to fruits to vegetables is flown out of the country by private cargo aircrafts. The seeds and pesticides bought in by these people are unregulated I am told. (But this is an unverified report)

I have nothing against foreigners in fact there quite a few of them in my company and they make excellent people to work with. But when I was in Goa I was told that the tourist industry has been virtually taken over by foreigners and was dangerously out of control of the State Government. The main reason behind this was the strong network that these people establish exploiting the loopholes in the system. In fact the newspapers in Goa were simmering with reports of foreigners running illegal businesses in Goa leading to a lot of local discontent. (Please note the word illegal)

Our people have found jobs abroad when opportunities were scarce here. So we should extend the same welcome to people from other countries too. But the haughty attitude towards “natives' is disconcerting. Besides we have a virtually non-existent system of keeping track of foreigners and their activities here.

So India is a land of opportunities now? Opportunity for what?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ghosts of Christmas present

I just read somewhere that a movie called Pulse will be releasing next year. This movie is a story of a guy who dies and then starts sending his buddies e-mails.

I apologize to all those folks on my floor that I scared silly by suddenly bursting into laughter after reading this news. It took me a good half an hour of giggling to recover from this news.

What cracked me up was the thought of a ghost using email!!! After battling with spam and forwards now we will get unsolicited mails from ghosts too?? :-p I tried to conjure up a hypothetical situation wherein a ghost sends emails and the resultant turn of events. Now imagine that one day you get a spine chilling e-mail from a ghost: “I want your credit card numbers!”

Mail comes back to ghost with this message: “this user does not exist!”

Ghost resends mail to your other email ID

Mail comes back with this message: “sorry, this user has exceeded his quota.”

Ghost tries your office ID, mail returns with this message: TRANSACTION FAILED - Unrepairable Virus Detected. Please contact your mail administrator.

Now what can a honest upright ghost do in such a situation? He has tried all legal routes to haunt you but failed. So he does a Patrick Swayze act to intimidate you by typing this sinister message on a MS Word document on your PC.


I want all your credit card numbers. Or else....”


Mr. Ghost

Suddenly an ugly talking paper clip materializes from nowhere, blinks and enquires: It looks like you are writing a letter. Would you like help?

Ghost jumps out of his ectoplasm in fright at the sudden appearance of the ugly talking paper clip.The ugly talking paper clip looks awfully like his skeleton back in the grave. He doesn't like the ugly talking paper clip. He tries to scare ugly talking paper clip but ugly talking paper clip stares right back at him unfazed smiling and blinking. Ghost tries to close document to get rid of ugly talking paper clip but ugly talking paper clip enquires : Do you want to save changes to the document?

Ghost retreats in haste, thinks for some time and tries new tactic. He opens Microsoft Outlook. Ugly talking paper clip reappears. Now it is the ghost's turn to feel haunted! He clicks on ugly talking paper clip in trepidation. Ugly talking paper clip asks: What would you like to do?

Ghost types: Get Silverine’s credit card numbers.

Ugly talking paper clip replies: Listen buster! I have been trying to get her credit card numbers too for the past two years, now buzz off!!

Ghost makes New Year resolution never to mess with technology again.


Ok folks, I will stop here for now. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2006. I don’t think I will be able to blog till month end as I have a very noble duty to accomplish! And that is to ensure my chetan ( my eldest brother) reaches the wedding altar willingly or unwillingly ( even if I have to drag him there). My to-be-sis-in-law is paying me big money for this.

So take care, have a blast partying this Xmas and New Year. Don’t drink and drive, observe lane discipline, tip the traffic cops generously etc. etc. ( this is a FREE public service message for which the cops have agreed to pay scant attention to my traffic misdemeanors for the next one month! Yipeee)

For a sneak preview of the movie Pulse click here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I turn 50 today ! Er... I mean this is my 50th post. This post is a reply to Leon's Tag where I am supposed to list 20 facts about myself.I really enjoyed doing this one. And like other tags I wish there were more than 20 points that I could list about myself. So here goes...and if anyone gets bored halfway through or earlier please click here and here for some light reading.

1. I am the youngest of three kids and was born a month premature. I spent the first month of my life in an incubator. The doctor told my Dad that I was perfectly normal enough to be kicked out of the incubator but he had to follow hospital rules and keep me in there. He advised my Dad not to wear off his knees kneeling and praying in the hospital chapel as I was doing better than most full term babies. My Dad sighed as he realized that he had missed a perfectly good opportunity to yarn to friends and family about how he pulled his daughter out of the jaws of death by kneeling down and storming the heaven with prayers. ( He can spin enough yarn to weave a blanket over the Himalayas)

2. I am a very forthright person and brutally frank too. I do not mince words. With these characteristics I do not know how I ended up in the communication business. I handle Communications for an IT company.

3. I have a curious mind and must get to know how things are done. So I learnt to cut hair, to make wines ( I am not kidding),embroider, knit, bake, carve vegetables, make candles, cake icing, flower arrangements, Bonsai, Ikebana etc. And if there is anything else out there to be learnt I will do it. And after I learn these stuff I buy books and try to learn more on these subjects. I try to perfect most of the things I have learnt. I have actually gone into restaurant kitchens befriended cooks and got recipes out of them. It is this passion for learning that made me pick up Photoshop, Corel Draw and Dreamweaver in weeks. I cannot bear to not know stuff.

4. I am a Crossword-oholic! I cannot sleep till I have completed every grid! ( I need help!!!)

5. My Dad is very liberal in his outlook; my Mom is a very conservative Pala Achayathi. I was never allowed to sleep over at friends house however my friends were always welcome to do so at my house. That’s the way my parents struck a balance between their views. I am glad I have little bit of the modern and little bit of the traditional in me. However my Mom still remains my best friend.

6. I rarely watch TV. And if I do watch it will be only comedy serials, English movies and Malayalam movies. I still love to put my legs over the sofa backrest and hang upside down on the sofa and watch TV (don’t ask me why). My mom is convinced that I was a bat in my last life.

7. I can actually make people puke their lunch out with my one-liners. Ask the crowd that sits with me for lunch in the cafeteria.

8. I can size up a person at first meeting. But I do not let first impression be the last impression. Every person in my mind is an open book. I just keep adding new chapters.

9. I once spent an entire day in Ooty following a Malabar Whistling-Thrush .I can identify over 50 different bird species. I can spend an entire lifetime watching birds with my Canon binoculars and not be bored with it ( the feathered kind mind u guys). Next birth I want to be reborn as a bird. ( ahem..the feathered kind guys!)

10. I rarely lose my temper except when someone treats me like a kid. This is what made me snap at two commenters on my blog, for which I am deeply remorseful.

11. In school and college I never confined myself to any group. I was welcome in all the groups from the literary types to the constantly-applying-makeup-types to the sporty-types to the nerdy-types.

12. I am too forgiving. I cannot hold a grudge for long. I am too cheerful a person for that.

13. I live in eternal dread of losing any member of my family. I rather die before that happens.

14. I am fastidiously neat. Cleaning up is my stress therapy. I am also a very organized person. At work it is me who usually plans out every Quarters schedule.

15. I work at break neck speed. That's because I work with utter concentration and the ideas flow thick and fast when I am faced with a creative challenge. I did this months Internal Newsletter including content and design direction in 3 hours flat. I need to slow down sometimes for the sake of my team mates.

16. I believe that it takes all kinds to make the Earth. So it is no point getting irritated at differing opinions or viewpoints. I believe in the live and let live philosophy very strongly.

17. I am a religious person, but constantly got into fights with the nuns in school and college over matters on religion. I still disagree with a lot issues in the Church, but remain steadfastly a Catholic.

18. I do not believe in love at first sight. I am too much of a realist for that.

19. I am equally comfy in my own company or with others. I can never get bored because I will always have something to do.

20. I hum 24 /7/ 365 days of the year. I love pop, reggae and country music besides old Hindi and Malayalam songs. At work you will never see me without my headphones.

Whew that was quite a job. I cheated by inserting more than one aspect of my personality in one point, but I still feel I have so much more to say. I am supposed to pass on the tag so I am passing it on to whoever would like to attempt it. Try it guys, you will be amazed how much you will enjoy it.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Close Shave!

One of my most enduring and endearing memories of Goa.This is a mobile cam image of a board outside a barber shop on Baga Beach Road. I was ROFL after seeing this.I particularly liked the logo i.e. the shaving blade with the legend 'Close Shave' emblazoned across.You can see many such hilarious boards and notices if you look around.

Close shave anyone? ( you know where to go) :))

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Selling Snow to an Eskimo

How would you sell snow to an Eskimo? This was a question that a couple of people in my company asked me the other day at lunch. Though I do not handle marketing I have watched my marketing brethren in action to be fairly able to answer the said question.

Selling snow to an Eskimo is a piece of cake (according to aforementioned marketing brethren) if you follow the laid down marketing principals of giving your customer a new product, value for money, accessories, distribution system, pricing, promotion blah blah blah.

Now... our Eskimo is surrounded by snow. Tonnes and miles of white snow. So we add a dash of value-adds to the snow, package it attractively and pray for suckers er...customers to buy it from us. (Besides, inspirational pep talk by your Manager that you either reach your target or go back to your old job as door to door salesman in Bansiwalah Papad Company also works wonders.And such pep talks give the team that vital burst of energy and motivation to attempt the impossible like selling infrastructure bonds to Bangaloreans. )

For aspiring marketing executives the conversation below will act as a curtain raiser to a career in marketing. ( I know no one aspires to be in Marketing, but then people with a glib tongue and no life need to be gainfully occupied too.)

Marketing Guy ( MG)to Eskimo: Aksuse!! ( greetings) I am from Icy Snow Company.

Eskimo: You come selling snow to me Eskimo ??? You either crazy or from marketing. ( shaking head)

MG( plastic smile and well rehearsed speech in place): We don’t just sell any snow, Sir. We sell Icy Snow, the leading brand of snow in the world.
Aren’t you bored with same old snow you see very day? The same old white, reindeer dropping dripping, husky pee smelling snow that you use posing serious heath hazards to you are your family?

Eskimo: My ancestors use same snow, I use same snow. Nothing happen. Now scram pest, before I let my Huskies on you!

MG: You have Huskies? How cute; we give free castrations for 8 Huskies with every purchase of $10,000 worth of snow from us.

Eskimo: Whaaaa? You castrate my Huskies? I will castrate you if I see you near my Igloo again!!!! grrrrrrr

MG:(hastily) er... Or you can take the 8 pack of absolutely FREE copper bells for your Reindeers Sir.

Eskimo:(suitably mollified) hmmmmm that sound good.

MG (wiping sweat from his brow): Glad to be of service Sir.

MG starts a presentation on his Laptop.Impressive music fills the air as a Flash presentation of squiggly lines weave and curl over a world map. A clich├ęd commentary accompanies the presentation extolling the company and its snow.

MG: As you can see sir, we are a well-established company with an office in every country. We manufacture tonnes of snow and our sales in places like Ice Land and Greenland is at an all time high.

Eskimo is not impressed. He says “We Eskimos no fools like ‘em Icelanders and Greenlanders, Shmucks!!!! Baah!”

MG:(smoothly) Of course you are not. But then do you use Vitamin enriched snow for your igloos?

Eskimo: Vitamin enriched snow? What do I need that for?

MG: For a healthier lifestyle and bounding energy for your seal hunting Sir. Imagine sleeping in an Igloo that is slowly releasing essential Vitamins and Minerals into the atmosphere, so that you wake up healthy and raring to go!

Eskimo:(puzzled) Go Where? I go hunting once a month. Rest of the days we eat.

MG: Er… well sir let me rephrase the sentence for you. Imagine sleeping in an Igloo that is slowly releases essential Vitamins into the atmosphere, so that you wake up healthy and raring to eat.

Eskimo: Will the vitamins make me eat more?

MG(confused but learning on the job): that good or bad? I mean an increase in appetite?

Eskimo: hmmmm well I can’t afford to eat more cos that means I have to hunt more...

MG: ( cutting in smoothly) Well Sir what I actually meant was that it will effect your ahem...libido!

Eskimo:(petrified) No no no... that mean I have more children, which means I have more mouths to feed!

MG: And many more hands to help you during hunting Sir.

Eskimo(scratching his beard):That sounds interesting.

MG:(triumphantly removing a glossy brochure from his briefcase)...And our snow comes in different colors too. You can choose from a wide variety of Pastels and Browns besides the regular colors. You will be the envy of the neighborhood Sir. Infact Mr. Akkituyok, your neighbour has just ordered a batch of purple snow for his new Igloo.

Eskimo: Well, if Akkituyok has ordered then I must have this new fangled snow too. That son of a mountain skunk, rotten seal eating bastard will not steal the march from me.

MG: That’s the spirit Sir !! I shall process your order ASAP. That will be $7000 dollars Sir, will it be cash or card?

Eskimo: Dollah? What dollahs? We Eskimos pay in seal skin ONLY !!!!

MG: aarrgghhh !!!!!

Well... he nearly sold the snow.

It was a catch 22 situation. MG is caught between the deep sea and Bansiwalah Papad Company. He was last seen jumping off an iceberg.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

War Games

Troops Who Burned Taliban Face Discipline says the yahoo news headlines. Now that is an interesting thought. Imagine a soldier who has burnt a dead Taliban man being court martialled.

Enquiry Officer (EO): So, how many Taliban men did you cremate?
Soldier: None Sir!
EO: Bad boy!!!, tell the truth or I will confiscate all your matchboxes.
Soldier: Ten sir!
EO: Ok, now for that voluntary admission you do 100 sit ups and no Playboy magazines for one whole week.

Is that how they plan to “discipline” offenders in the US army? Not that I have any hate or love for the Taliban or the US troops, but the reporter who wrote this headline must have had his tongue firmly in cheek to describe the severity of punishment that awaits US troops who cremated dead Taliban militants.

A military spokesperson in this article is quoted as saying that the offending troops will not be prosecuted ( just disciplined) because their action were motivated by “hygiene reasons”.

Now that is even more interesting. Now getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth and burning a Taliban militant will be considered as good hygiene. Bad breath? Burn a militant. Body odor? Burn another militant. And so on and so forth till you are absolutely hygienic and smelling wonderful.

I must admit this headline woke me up from my Sunday hibernation mode to instant alert mode.

“The U.S.-led coalition's operational commander, Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, said broadcasts about the burned remains, while "designed to incite fleeing Taliban to fight," violated military policy.

This is a very strange war tactic indeed. You have the enemy fleeing and victory in sight and you goad them to come back for more? Consider this “scene”.

Sergeant Tim: The Taliban is fleeing Sir!
Kamiya: Oh nooooooooo!!!! How can they do this to me? Come back you cowards and fight like a man!!!
Sergeant Tim: er..general, they have vanished.
Kamiya (recovering composure): “Ok it’s time for my pet Foolhardy Strategy No. 457 that will make the enemy fight like a man. Call the video cameraman!!”

Kamiya to video camera man: “ Burning Scene No 658940,Lights,Camera, Action!!!!”

The shot is canned and sent for broadcast.

Flushed with the succes of his strategy, Kamiya has since resigned and has opened the School of Creative Military Tactics in POK.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Has anyone here been to a homeo doc? Well, I have been several times, as my parents have great faith in Homeopathy. During my numerous childhood visits I never noticed the questions that the doc asked my mom. The scores of small bottles that lined the shelf and the smell of alcohol and Lactose pills that hung in the air would fascinate me and I spent many happy hours exploring the clinic.

Recently I had to go to a homeo doc near my office for a persistent cough that I had developed after getting drenched in the rain. For the first time in my life I faced the questions of a homeo doc on my own. By the end of the case taking I felt I had been through a methodical KGB style interrogation! Before I proceed any further let me assure you that I have utmost faith in homeo meds. However the questions that a homeo doc asks you, can drive you crazy.

Homeo Doc (HD): When did u notice you had a cold.
Me: When my nose started running and I started coughing.
HD: Exactly what time did your nose start running?
Me: er......I don't remember
HD: You don’t remember? Does this happen often?
Me: Does what happen often?
HD: These memory lapses
Me: No no no my memory is perfectly fine, it's just that I didn't notice when my nose started running.
HD: ( looking at me with exasperation) How can make a case study if you don’t give me an approximate time?
Me: hmmm I think it was morning!
HD: Ok, was it between 1am and 3 am or 3am and 6 am or 6am and 9 am?
Me: er...I think it was between 6am and 9 am.
HD: Please be sure. These things are important you know.
Me: ( itching to make a dash for the door) Yes, I am sure.
HD: Was it cold or foggy that morning when your nose started running?
Me: I dunno
HD: What do you mean you don't know? Didn't you look around?
Me: I don't get up that early.
HD: But you just said that your nose started running between 6 am and 9 am. Then you would have noticed the weather.
Me:( in a hurry to get this painful exercise over) It was definitely foggy.
HD: Describe the nose run.
Me: Huh?
HD: (patiently) Was it clear, green, white thick or thin?
Me: I think I want to puke.
HD: So you have nausea too?
Me: No, but if I have to describe my snot I think I will puke.
HD: Suit yourself, but don’t blame me and make statements that homeo meds don’t work if I get the diagnosis wrong because of our non-co-operation.
Me: (meekly) Ok, It was clear and running like crazy.
HD: Ok, so when did the cough start?
Me: Oh my gawd do I have to go through this all over again?????
HD: Yes.
Me: groaaaaaaan

At this point of time I was hoping that an Allopathic doctor would appear miraculously with a lethal injection in hand to put me out of my misery.

And er..."NO"...the injection is not for me!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

P C Hell !

“God could not be everywhere so he created System Administrators”
Not so ancient saying

There is this enduring legend in IT companies. It’s called the Legend of the System Administrator(sysadmin). Everyone has heard about him but no one has actually seen him. And like the other people in this company including the management I have never seen him. There are random reports of sightings, which are however not confirmed to be actually a sysadmin. The management is sure they have hired a sysadmin. The Security guys complain that someone keeps slithering in and out of shadows and stairwells. The Housekeeping guys have reported that they have seen something move in the wiring. In fact Muniyamma from Housekeeping performed a Pooja to smoke what she termed was an evil spirit in the Network cables. Whatever was in there coughed up a storm making the systems crash.

It is rumored that he comes out in the open in the nights when no one is around to attend to our complaints. Of course this is a rumor mind you. A lot of people here believe that He is our God keeping an eye on our Network, PC’s and protecting our data. And like God, we blindly believe in Him and His abilities to tackle our problems. We have even kept aside several auspicious days where we offer ritual sacrifices to appease Him. Last Monday we created a Folder called Network Problems and sacrificed it by Shift + Deleting it. Then we sang His praises and went back to work.

This week the sacrificial folder is called systems_not_rebooting.

Next week I anticipate a sacrificial folder filled with complaints called: oppenoffice_is_driving_me_crazy_somebody_please_helllllllllp.

Of course there are doubting thomases in our company too. These infidels do not believe in the existence of a sysadmin and say that the Network is a result of a big bang though I must admit it usually looks like a big bang did take place in the networks! These unbelievers do not understand that like God the sysadmin tests your faith and patience in him from time to time by frequent Network crashes. It keeps us on our toes and makes us believe in the mortality of our labor and frequent back ups on removable drives.

We even believe that there is a PC Hell to which we are confined if we are bad and spared if we have been good.

Bad behavior according to sysadmin is:

1. Sending mails to the sysdamin asking for help. (It disturbs his concentration while playing Solitaire)
2. Changing the settings on your PC and making it crash. (because he has to leave the cricket match commentary and come to attend to your PC)
3. Mailing him with complaints about the EPABX (Because by force of habit he will come down to repair the EPABX and then realize that it does not come under his job description)
4. Swearing at the computer when it hangs and thus abusing his profession (Because he thinks no one likes him and everyone pokes fun at him, which is actually true)
5. When you send huge attachments to everyone jamming the mail server etc.( because he realizes that he was not in the mailing list)
6. Mailing him probing questions about your PC problems (because he himself doesn't know)

Good behavior according to a sysadmin is:

1. Never asking for help
2. Using Do-It-Yourself-Manuals or Online help
3. Waiting for his help for five seconds and then calling the AMC guys of your home PC for help
4. Doing a short course in System Administration so that you can help yourself
5. Sending him occasional e-cards telling him how much you appreciate his services.

Those of you who fall in the good deeds category will be left alone in peace to deal with your PC problems. But those of you have been naughty and have troubled your sysadmins, will experience the horrors of a PC Hell.

P C Hell is described below for the uninitiated.

1. Messengers do not work your system and the sysadmin replies to your mails saying that he will look into it in a year so, because he has important things to attend to now.
2. You cannot access your Yahoo Mail, Rediffmail or any other free of paid mail services that you are using for no apparent reasons. But you get regular mails from the sysadmin informing you how much he has enjoyed the jokes in your various personal mail accounts.
3. You also get mails expressing sympathy at your bank balance.
4. You are mailed complicated instructions to Install OpenOffice like “ Take a deep breath, Exhale, do this for twenty minutes then mail me again for further instructions”
5. You are tersely informed via mail that for the security of your PC you will now have to use 45 character passwords.
6. Every site you try to browse invariably leads to

Never mess with your sysadmin.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A life so precious snuffed in seconds

During Diwali hols an ex colleague of mine, VK was driving home on his motorbike when his bike handle grazed against a stationery truck hurling him onto the road. As he picked himself up from the road, a BMTC bus which was coming from the opposite direction ran over him. The BMTC bus was a good 15 meters away, but the driver was allegedly chatting with a friend to notice the road. VK died instantly, his body cut into half. He was 24. The driver was arrested. The news was reported in the newspaper and VK became yet another statistic. VK leaves behind a young wife and a two year old daughter.

In his office, the news came as a jolt, especially since VK was a very well loved person with his ever ready smile and sincere nature. The whole office was enveloped in gloom. It was difficult to deal with the fact that VK was no more, and more difficult to comprehend his wife and daughter's future as VK was the only earning member in his family.

During the police paperwork of the case we learn't some startling facts.

1.If you kill someone with a vehicle it is considered an accident. All you to do is pay a fine and if the Judge is in a bad mood a couple of months in prison.

2.Only if you kill a person with a knife or any other weapon is it deemed a murder.

3.In an accident the bigger vehicle is automatically deemed guilty. Therefore you have no choice but to plead guilty even if you were hit from behind.

4.And if the bigger vehicle's owner was indeed guilty, then a pre determined amount will be paid by the Insurance company to the wronged party. The sum is not even worth mentioning here.

5.Investigations of accidents are never carried out. A case is registered so that concerned parties can claim insurance.

Can anyone in the higher echelons of power comprehend the terrible loss suffered by VK's family? If they could they would have definitely made the roads a safer place for the ordinary citizen. The fact of the matter is that no one cares. It doesn't matter that VK's young daughter will never know her father and that his wife will perhaps have to struggle for the rest of her life to bring up her daughter and support her old in laws.

A death in the family has many repercussions. Do we need to spell this out to the authorities?? Or are we lacking as citizens in blindly following the archaic laws laid out in the last century?

Somehow I feel that we have all failed VK by remaining mute spectators to such preventable tragedies.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

A cracker of a start to Diwali hols!

Two weeks back my Dad surprised us with the news that he had booked a holiday for us in Goa after our visit to Kerala for the Diwali hols. This was an unexpected windfall as I really needed a break after last months hectic work schedule due to the IT.In. My jaded mind was too numb to even manage a smile when my Dad made the announcement. Proof enough that I badly needed a holiday. I was too tired to even pack till Friday night just before departure. I left work around 5 pm and headed straight for home to finish my packing. Now, my family is a seasoned bunch of travelers and long years of traveling with the pack has wised me up to certain eventualities that happen before/during/after the travels.

Packing for the journey is a mutlipronged activity with each family member unique in his or her packing habits. My Dad packs the fastest. Two bottles of scotch and a couple of bottles of Vodka thrown carelessly into his suitcase and he is ready to leave. My mom will then, patiently fill the suitcase with not-so-essential material like underclothes, toiletries, clothes etc. My Dad doesn’t waste too much time on the mundane.

My eldest brother ‘G’ is more organized. He starts packing at least a week in advance. He is the person we will most likely turn to in the middle of nowhere for an Antacid or an earbud. Mom and me are a close second to “G” in packing efficiency.

This leaves out a very interesting packer in my household. My second elder brother 'M’ who everyone says is a classic example of a Bohemian born into a mallu family. He is even more prudent than my Dad in packing. Dark sunglasses and a tube of hair gel thrown into the suitcase is all that he needs to hit the road. For the past several years I have done the not so enviable job of packing his bag, to avoid the inevitable confusion when my eldest brother realizes that his shaving kit is missing in the morning or when my Dad realizes that his Bermudas and Tees have somehow migrated to his second son’s room. M also wears and discards clothes at the rate of three pairs a day. Which means I have to mentally calculate the number of days we will be out with the number of clothes he will wear. After some complicated mathematics, I simply empty his cupboard into the suitcase/s.

My Dad goes into hibernation the moment we leave Bangalore and leaves all decision making to ‘G’. This leads to lot of snide comments from ‘M’ (for my ears only of course, for he has a healthy respect for Chetan) about favoritism and nepotism and all other isms that he can think of which may be totally unconnected to the situation like ‘communism’. The fact that he cannot even decide whether he should shave or not before leaving is ignored in the feeling of righteous indignation.

Both the brothers share driving duty. Prior to departure ‘G’ would have stored all his favorite numbers into his MP3 for his stint at the wheel. He is also a very safe and able driver and the first half of the journey will go uneventfully. It is when ‘M’ takes over the wheels that the atmosphere inside the SUV changes dramatically. My Mom removes her rosary beads and talks wistfully about seeing her grandchildren before she dies. My Dad looks like he has just been told that he has only a few hours to live. I usually say a silent prayer and adjust my hair and makeup incase I have to enter the Pearly Gates in a hurry. (I better look good to cover up for my vast multitude of sins).

Past experience has taught me that a sober collection of music will make “M” drive at a steady speed of 60 mph or so. Heavy metal makes him do crazy things like trying to take hairpin bends at 90 kmph. To avoid total decimation of the family I have to perform the vital task of loading his MP3 player with a collection of music that will ensure that we live another day to see yet another sunrise.

Friday night, just before we left I sat down and carefully chose some not so raucous numbers for M’s MP3 player. While waiting for them to transfer I decided to finish my packing, dinner etc. Finally we left after my Mom had made us say the mandatory prayers and we had handed over the house and dogs to my aunt. We reached Coimbatore by midnight and spent the night at my Uncles place. Next day after breakfast M took over the vehicle for the next lap to Cochin. ‘G’ as is the practice switched places with me and migrated to the back, so that he could better control the itch to snatch the wheel from M every time he swung the vehicle like a madman on a suicide mission... which he usually does once every half an hour.

M, after adjusting his sunglasses and smoothening an invisible lock of hair into place, drove out like a pilot taxing to the take off point. We left Coimbatore and cruised on the Highway. The speedometer showed a comfortable speed level and I sat back to read the newspaper. After 100 kilometers or so the vehicle screeched to a sudden violent halt. M looked like he had seen a ghost. The entire family ( except Dad who was sleeping like a lamb) looked around to see the cause of this sudden stoppage in the middle of the road. M then slowly removed the headphone and turned around and glared at me with black murder in his eyes. He pointed to the headphones and said “ there is a cat wailing in here !!!!!”

Perplexed I took the headphones from him and listened. The mellifluous voice of M S Subbulaksmi (MS)wafted into my ears. She was hitting a particularly high note of some carnatic raga. But how the hell did she get in here ?!?!

Now... a mixture of MS Subbulakshmi and M is a more volatile combination than candle and gunpowder. They have a particularly violent history since the days my Dad would insist on putting on an MS tape in mornings. After several unsuccessful attempts by Dad to get the family to appreciate MS, M finally got fed up and threw the tapes over the fence. M has developed a virulent hatred for anything to do with Carnatic music because of the force fed diet of such music in his earlier years. I realized that my Dad must have loaded some of his favorite MS numbers onto the MP3 not realizing it was M’s.

The culprit was fast asleep. M was fuming because he felt that his ‘rhythm’ was disrupted. My mom was giggling hysterically when she realized what had happened. I was holding my stomach trying not to laugh my guts out, while G’s face was contorted as he unsuccessfully tried to stop the paroxysms of laughter.

M watched us in disgust for some time and grouchily went back to the wheel when he realized that it would take some time for the laughter to subside. He drove in a black mood till Ernakulam and then to his utter delight and our utter dismay found a heavy metal CD in the glove compartment. A collective groan arose from us as we realized that we would have to endure some heavy duty noise for the rest of the journey.

However the look on M’s face when he switched on the music is something I will remember to my dying day. Instead of heavy metal music, Daler Mehendi bellowed lustily “hogayi thi balle balle, hojayegi balle balle”.

The culprit was fast asleep.

(The less said about M and his relationship with Daler Mehendi the better! Suffice it to say that they don’t share a very cordial relationship.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The ABC of a Girls PC

Disclaimer: Girls who are PC savvy may find this post offensive. Therefore you are advised to read this post and feel ashamed for not helping your PC challenged sisters.

Recently a blogger has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. He had merely linked a story about an Institute in his blog and for his troubles was sent a ‘notarized email” by the Institute. Now I think this is as good as sending a mail with a lawyer as an attachment! Now.... e-mails with viruses, adware, Trojan etc I don’t mind, but a lawyer? Imagine a lawyer running lose in a gals PC like mine! Gawd!!!! My deep dark secrets will be exposed to the world. My huge collection of jpeg images of....... puppies, kittens, flowers, teddy bears, little red hearts etc. etc. will become public knowlegde and I will become the laughing stock of the world ( read guys). On the flipside I will be the envy of all the gals, who will promptly flock to my PC to see if there are images that they can take and add to their collection. This dark underbelly of my PC is a folder called “ My Pictures” located within My Documents. No amount of therapy could cure me of collecting more and more of these pictures. (Now that I have confessed this deep dark secret I feel much better whew!!!) Now you guys must understand, we gals have our needs too, and no amount of cuddly sacharine sweet images will satisfy our craving to go awwwwwwwwwwww.

Even our PCs are very different from a guy's PC. For starters, we will have roses, teddy bears, little ones of animals and not so little ones of humans like Brad Pitt , Ashton Kuchner, Irfan Pathan etc as our Desktop background. However our Desktop is a Niagara Falls of Icons drowning out the background image.

Our PCs will remind us patiently at regular intervals that there are too many unused icons on the Desktop, which we ignore as we are genetically predisposed to ignoring anything that pops up on our Monitor. Our Microsoft Outlook will however have numerous reminders popping up at regular intervals reminding us about sales in various Malls, stylist’s appointment, changing nail polish, bill payments, Novenas etc.etc. For convent-educated gals (of any community), saying a Novena* is a must.( *a nine day prayer which if said without fail for nine consecutive days will yield a lot of hot air). Gals have Novenas for everything like:

1.Retrieving lost items especially email passwords ( I swear by this one)

2.A break up between John Abraham and Bipasha Basu

3.Getting a good boyfriend who will immediately propose (definition of ‘good’ unknown to this writer)

4.Getting a good boyfriend who will NOT propose etc.

We are notoriously bad at running Virus Scans inspite of the reminder window that frequently pops up after the due date. For PCs used by gals, Norton Anti Virus has a special feminine Edition in the pipeline. It comes with numerous power packed features like a reminder that the PC is due for a Virus Scan and then, actually going ahead with the scan anticipating that we will close the reminder window. It will, then catch the virus, worm, trojan and dangle it in front of our eyes on the monitor, forcing us to recoil in horror. Another feature is, numerous cockroaches that will crawl in the monitor as a reminder that a scan is overdue. Nothing like visual suggestion to drive home the point. Apparently this edition has an inbuilt thingie which enables it to detect that the user is female. For example:

1.Only a girl will use her PC running in Safe Mode.

2.Only a gal will push a warning from Anti Virus that there is a dangerous virus in the system to one side ( because the window can't be closed) and continue working.

3.Gals don’t like Quick Launch, they prefer everything on Desktop

4.And since there are too many confusing Icons on the Desktop we prefer to use the Programs Menu anyway.

5.Outlook Express will have additional stationery options with little hearts, bows, roses…..guess you get the gist by now.

6.The monitor will be festooned with colorful ribbons, little teddy bears and dried flowers stuck with tape. And the keyboard will have colorful stickers looking like sores all over.

7.We have never been to C and D Drive and do not know of its existence.

Anyways a recent incident led to a sea change in my attitude towards my PC and Laptop. I now swear by frequent virus scans. It all started with this innocent incident at a meeting after a presentation on my Laptop.

Boss: Ok guys! We have to strategise this quarters Brand Promotions activities.
A pop up window pops up from my Laptop with this message: Looking for Brand Promoters? Your search ends here. Contact ABC Brand Consultants.

(My hand reaches mechanically with years of experience of closing Pop Up Windows and I close the window without blinking an eyelid.)

Boss: So what are the Events that we plan to do as a follow up to the promotional activities?
Popup Window: For Promotions and Event Management contact Best Events!

Boss: ahem... silverine, have you cleaned your machine lately?
Popup Window: Clean your PC today. FREE adware scanner , download NOW, Click Here.

Me: huh! Why do I need to clean my machine?
Boss: Well... there is an awful lot of popups in your machine.
Popup Window: Free POP UP BLOCKER, click here

Me: (closing the window automatically) Where????
Popup Window: Your search ends here. Find Everything at The Hottest New Search Engine

Colleague No 1: Please run the Norton Anti Virus from time to time.
Popup Window: Get professional antivirus software and advice - protect your pc. Click Here

Colleague No3 to Colleague No 5: I think I am coming down with the flu.
Popup Window: Cold and Flu Treatments. Click here for your Guide to Herbs & Vitamins Proven To Prevent, Relieve, Speed Recovery

Colleague No 4 to me : (whispering) “Hey there is a sale at Metro Shoes today, Lets scoot from office early today ok? “
Popup Window: Shoes: Buy It Cheap On eBay, Low Prices, New and Used

Boss: ahem girls…lets return to the topic of discussion shall we?
Popup Window: The Key to Choosing the Right Topic for Discussions - Tips and Advice from Bright institute.

Boss: For Gods Sake!!!! Somebody shut down that laptop !!!!
Popup Window: Searching for God??? God wants you to seek a close relationship with Him at

My lappie and me have since then been grounded. *sniff*

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Things people type on search engines!

I recently installed a Stat Counter in my blog. I was amazed to see that my blog has recorded 1000 hits in 5 days!!! However my celebrations were cut short when I clicked on another feature that the Stat Counter offers.....”Key Word Activity” (KWA). It lists the key words people have entered in various search engines, which have led them to my blog due to these words being present in my blog or post titles. Here are some examples.

1. getting someones password for yahoo

(please, please pass me the details too)

2. unholy relationships

( now how does one enter into this kind of relationships? Date Lucifer?)

3. mallu brides

( you want mallu brides? hey, polygamy is a punishable offence in India !!!)

4. mallu aunty

( this has to be a mallu ungle! )

5. cooking guys

(if you find the recipe do send me a copy. ps. Lemme know how it turns out)

6. mallu gals

(I would recommend taking a train to Kerala)

7. susan aunty

( so.... susan aunty is lost in Cyberspace? )

8. chemical silverine

( wow they have named a chemical after me?!??! Or are they trying to eliminate me? brrr )

9. bangalore traffic police fining

( yeah, they are very ‘fining’ gentlemen, believe me )

10. mallu cooking

( now you want to see a mallu cooking or you want to learn kerala cuisine? )

11. fowl playing

( well, I have never seen ‘fowls’ playing too, please send me the link)

12. malu masala group

( mallu speaking masala's of the world unite! )

13. colds cure caffiene ( note the typo)

(so when you get a cold, you know what to do. cure Caffien of whatever ails him. )

From now on I will refrain from using words that bring such scum to my blog.
Oh no!! I just used the word ‘scum’ !!!!! I dread the creatures that will now come visiting :(

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

If you got IT, flaunt IT !

The IT COM ( now rechristened IT.IN ) will soon be upon us and I remember the very first such event I attended in Bangalore a couple of weeks ago. Just a fresher in college, quite wet behind the years and to make things worse I was doing Internship for an IT company! Now working for an IT company is great.....but during IT Com , I wish I could take a sabbatical, contract typhoid, Chicken Pox or whatever else it will take to keep me away from office during the run up to the event and for the duration of the event itself.

It is at this time of the year that most departmental heads suddenly get very creative and start dropping by my cubicle ‘oh-so-casually’, with ideas, suggestions and brilliant brainwaves that if implemented would definitely get us the “Most Grotesque Stall” award for the year 2005.

Consider this:

RK: Why don’t we have a waterfall and pool in the stall?
Me: Sure and I guess you want all of us to lounge around the pool in string bikinis too?

AN: I say we have thermocol cutouts of our products all around the stall.
Me: Sure and when a visitor wants a demo, I guess you will make the sputtering noises for that device?

SK: The testing team needs to be adequately represented at our stall!
Me: Ok, how about your entire team standing in the stall dressed as bug exterminators?

PP: Now Customer Support is a vital function and should be highlighted this year at our stall!!!
Me: Sure give me the list of all those customers you avoid and I will send them a personal invite.

And the suggestions never stop. Thank fully there is a centralized decision making team that makes the final decisions like how many passes each one of us will get and who gets to go around checking out the guys/gals at the other stalls, who gets to go for the free dinners and lunches and who gets to shred the resumes that pile up etc etc.

This is also that time of the year that my team and me are told, not to waste our time doing anything other than Exhibition work. By anything, I mean time wasting activities like breathing in, breathing out, blinking, eating, thinking, diggin nose/crotch ( whichever applicable), going home, sleeping etc.etc. In fact I am told that these qualities are very necessary to become a manager in my company. You should see my HR manager. He looks absolutely breathless all the time!!!! And my Big Boss looks positively blue in the face 24/7.

Now Resume collection and shredding is a vital function at all IT exhibitions. Resumes are collected with gusto by a pre selected person who looks as sincere as Dharam Singh promising to do something about Bangalore’s crumbling infrastructure. This person will take your resume like he is being handed the Bible/Gita/Koran and place it with reverence in a box. At the end of the day, each stall compares the number of resumes collected and the winning stall gets dirty looks and the losers prepare to look even more sincere the next day so that they could be the next winners. The collected resumes are then shredded to make way for the next day’s collection. So I request all employment seekers to exhibitions, especially freshers to please stick your resume with gum that is if it has more than one page. STAPLE PINS AND OTHER METAL PINS CAN DAMAGE PAPER SHREDDERS!!!! So please be careful.

Another vital function of people manning stalls is to answer important questions with aplomb! Check these scintillating conversations out.

Visitor: So you make software
Me: Well...yes....
Visitor: So, how many softwares do you make in a month?

Visitor No 2: So what do you make?
Me: We make Enterprise Solutions, Government solutions, Communication Network, other Products and Services......
Visitor No 2: Wokay, wokay thank you, where is the toilet?

Visitor No 3: So how much does your software cost?
Me: er....what line of business are you in sir?
Visitor No 3: I am a contractor
Me: So you undertake turnkey projects? In which case I would suggest you speak to.....
Visitor No 3: naah, I am a labour contractor.
Me: er... so what do you want to do with a software solution?
Visitor No.3: (shrugging) Oh nothing, chumma I asked.

And all this after you have prepared a good two months for the event and have stood for hours in the stall with every muscle in your body aching and screaming for rest.

I am so not looking forward to the coming IT.In :(

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Oh brother!

It’s that time of the year when I have to go through the pain of filing my taxes and as usual I am late. I finally get my Income Tax statement from the accounts department and am very happy to see that my IT deduction is in manageable figures. This means that ‘me’ the severely Income Tax challenged person has done all the right things this year. I show the statement with a touch of pride to my eldest brother. He glances through it and frowns. “Something is amiss here. Why are you paying so much tax?” He asks quizzically. My smile dries up.

Suddenly from nowhere my nemesis, also known as second elder brother (SB) scoops up the statement from my unsuspecting eldest brother’s hand and gleefully glances through it, his smile growing wider and wider with each column he surveys. He gleefully turns around and says loudly for everyone in the vicinity to hear.

“You know what? You forgot to claim depreciation for your brains!!!!”


Now a word about this creature I call my brother. I am supposed to call him ‘chetan’ (elder brother) as he is three years elder to me. But I have steadfastly refused to do that since childhood because that honor is reserved for my eldest brother ONLY!!! And that is because he has earned that honor by NOT pulling my hair, sneaking spiders / cockroaches into my study table drawers, scaring the hell out of my friends by suddenly jumping out of nowhere wearing a gorilla mask and being a major pain throughout my growing years. So, much to my SB’s chagrin I made it a point to call him by his given name. Of course we ( me and friends) had devised other names for him too, which I shall reveal not here, in case there are children below 12 years reading this post. I don’t want to get into trouble with the Expletives Censor Board.

Of course like most hardened criminals ( read ‘annoying elder brother’), he too has his moments when he felt a twinge of repentance and sorrow for the horrendous crimes against humanity ( read ‘younger sister and friends’ ) At such times he would remorsefully try to make up for his misdeeds by treating me to an icecream, or to a ride on his precious motorcycle seriously jeopardizing his love life and my limbs. Of course my suggestion that I print a short message on the back of my T Shirt announcing that I am his sister to clear the doubts of his adoring fans (read ‘gals who don’t bother to look at him’) was greeted with enthusiasm. His enthusiasm soon dried up when he saw the caption.

“I am the sister of the bozo driving this junk”

As me and my friends grew up, so did his pranks. Consider this.

School Graduation Day!

Seven girls in the my house trying on the ugly purple saree that Sister Principal had made mandatory for all of us to wear for the ceremony. Of course being girls we decided to start getting ready at least three hours before the event!!! Not that tying an ugly purple saree requires three hours, but gals will be gals I guess. Finally mascara’ed, powdered, lipstick’ed, perfumed and saree’ed we were ready on time. SB gallantly offered to drop us (I must have lost my senses to have accepted his offer)

We get into the car one by one, gingerly picking up our sarees and sitting down carefully so that we arrive mint fresh at the school auditorium. Suddenly SB’s phone rings. He pulls over, gets out of the car and talks leisurely for a good ten minutes. Then, ignoring the anxious stares of seven pairs of eyes gets into the car casually and we resume our journey. Then he pulls over again. This time to check non-existent punctures on the tyres. After a thorough check of ten minutes or so of our precious time coolly ignoring the frantic pleas of his passengers and hyperventilating sister, he again gets into the car and we are off. We check our watches; we are going to be 20 minutes late!!! My friend Nina suggests to SB that he step on the accelerator to make up for lost time. He does …….and we start crawling at 30 miles per hour!!! I look at him horrified. However SB is unmoved. He says there is something wrong with the car. This was no occasion for a joke, besides we were horribly late and I could imagine an auditorium full of girls and the faculty sitting grimly waiting for us to arrive. I feel tears pricking my eyes. The urge to call Mom and bawl was too tempting.

I suggest that we take an auto. The suggestion is turned down, as the thought of sitting in a windy auto and keeping our appearances and sarees intact was a physical impossibility. Finally with a car full of wailing, cursing and groaning passenger SB drives into the college a good half an hour late! The girls pour out, pick up their sarees to make a dash for the auditorium, when SB remarks casually:

“ Oh by the way…..Sister Ann called. She said the Graduation Ceremony is delayed by one hour, due to VIP movement on your college road!”

I leave the rest to your imagination dear bloggers. Of course the car was already reversed engine running, driver in seat with leg firmly on accelerator before he let out that earth shattering revelation!

This guy is Marquis De Sade personified. I mean even the good Marquis would be proud of the refined and painful torture that we were put through that graduation day. I mean no blood, no gore, no broken bones or other grisly sights that you see in torture scenes in movies. Just plain, undiluted, sadistic, torture for the years we let out air from his mobike tyres, complained about him to my Dad, stole his hair gel, CDs, keychains, mobile for furtive SMS’s, sneaked about him to mom etc. etc. etc.

Today is this descendent of Hitler and Goebbels's birthday. And on his birthday I would like to say:

Happy Birthday Cheta!!

However having said all that I must admit, that carrying my pink school bag with matching water bottle to the school van everyday during my Primary School years, takes lots of guts. And teaching me to swear in Malayalam and Kannada also takes lots of guts. Because when Dad heard me saying “Poda patti” (dog!!!) he wasn’t amused. But then the very next day you taught me to say “nayinde mon” ( son of a dog).

Never say die right? ( that's his credo)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Entertainment Taxed

Ok, it is official.

I saw my first Hindi movie (Sholay) in five years. (Amongst my friends, who have fainted after hearing this news, please read this blog after you recover from the faint. I am not gonna sprinkle expensive mineral water on you)

And for those of you who made those jokes on a certain person going to watch a Hindi movie, I have only one thing to say.

“Saale, Kuthe!!! Mein thera khoon pee jaonga !!!”

Disclaimer: Being a South Indian I don’t know the meaning of the above words, but Dharmendra looked suitably incensed while mouthing these words in ‘Sholay’. All disputes arising out of my usage of Hindi learned from Hindi movies will be heard in a Bangalore/Chennai/Hyderabad/ Kochi High Courts in chaste Kannada/Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam only.

And those of you, who would like to cut and paste the “Disclaimer” please go ahead. I have a hidden Cut and Paste Counter installed in this blog, which tells me that it has already been cut and pasted around 40 million times. Now that’s the approximate population of South India. What a coincidence I say!

'Sholay' is a thoroughly entertaining flick. I didn’t understand a word of the Hindi dialogues. However knowledge of Hindi is unnecessary as action speaks louder than words in most of the scenes.

The story of ‘Sholay’ is very simple. Two guys who are apparently very good friends leave for Bangalore, in search of a suitable IT job. However due to the vagaries of fate they miss ITPL (International Tech Park Ltd.) by almost 100 kilometers and land up at Ramnagaram (Sholay was almost entirely shot in Ramnagaram on the outskirts of Bangalore). Like most freshers they ride an old motorcycle and love eve teasing village belles (I know I am gonna get lynched for this). And like most newcomers to Bangalore, they too search for shared accommodation in this sleepy village. And like most homeowners in Bangalore, the villagers too greet the young men with glee by converting their homes into hostels with bed and board. For the hospitality shown to them they promise to Wi Fi the village soon. In fact one of them even climbs the village water tank , to survey the area to be Wi Fi’ed but is too drunk because it is Friday night. He finally realizes that the village has no electricity and climbs down.

Hema Malini is the love interest of one of the young men. However she shows scant interest in him. She is fed up of the constant harassment by the Income Tax Department to cough up more of her hard earned money for non-existent roads. She is apparently a Consultant in this film who declares her professions as a ‘Horse Carriage’ owner, which the Income Tax people can’t quite believe. This makes her the target of frequent Income tax chases on the non existent roads by horse borne IT officials. Once they even catch her and use Third Degree like making her dance on glass shards to reveal her exact income. However the gutsy gal refuses to be cowed by such dirty tactics by making a song and dance of the whole situation. Bravo!!!!

The Income Tax Collector for Ramnagaram Mr. Gabbar Singh is a frustrated individual. The villages under his jurisdiction are poor and he hardly makes any money from the poverty stricken villagers. Which is why he doesn’t shave and lives in a cave. He is however duty bound to collect taxes and therefore leaves on his horse (remember he is poor) with his officers (also poorly clad and unshaven) to raid the villages under his jurisdiction. He even shoots his officers who fail to collect arrears. His dedication to duty is commendable.

Into this scenario appears a handicapped man ‘Thakur’ with a daughter who wears only white sarees to fool the IT department into thinking she is poor. Now the Thakur had to give an arm and a leg er.... I mean both his arms to pay his Tax dues. Since then he has been unsuccessfully been applying for the ad hoc deduction of Rs. 40,000 under Section 80U given to the Physically Handicapped without success from the overworked, underpaid IT office of Mr. Gabbar Singh. He sort of takes a vow to fight for his Income Tax rebates and goads our two young men to join him in his fight. The young men, who have just got their first salaries, take one look at their IT deductions and readily agree.

The mammoth war between the salaried guys the handicapped guy and the Income Tax department is the climax of the film. In the end the IT department is sizably reduced thereby considerably reducing their salary expenditure for the Govt. who promptly declare on TV news that there will be more Tax breaks on the common people in the next budget. The people have a hearty laugh providing the much-needed comic relief in this out and out action thriller.

Like all epic battles there are some casualties in this fight too, and one of the salaried guys succumbs to his Taxes er....I mean injuries. The handicapped man is vindicated and the remaining salaried guy and the consultant then leave town in Ramnagaram Express to Chennai, now the hottest IT destination in India. (it gets hotter in summer I heard)

(This post was written after I had buried, as is the practice in the beginning of every month the mortal remains of my butchered Salary Slip in the nearest waste basket)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Password travails

My travails with passwords started when I registered for my very first Yahoo Mail ID. I wanted to use my given name as the Username but apparently there were many people by the same name. After trying various combinations without success I finally hit upon ‘masaladosa’. After chewing on ‘masaladosa’ for a while the registration window spat it right out, informing me that it was already taken. However like the waiters at Shanthi Saagar, Yahoo too gave me an option.... ‘‘masaladosa700’ was available!!! With a sigh, I accepted the proffered name and it got adopted. Apparently the 700 is some sort of cyber chutney taken with ‘masaladosa’.

I selected a simple but cool password ‘chick’ so that I will have no problem remembering it. But apparently five letter words are as inappropriate in Cyberspace as three letter words are in the civilized world and it was outrightly rejected. I was tersely asked to choose a password with six or more characters. Thinking frantically as my Rs. 60 an hour Internet time was coming to a close, I added the word ‘hot’ to ‘chick’. I think the Cyber Moral Police was suitably mollified and ‘hotchick’ became my very first email password. (Cyber morals beats me)

After the Registration, a message appeared advising me to change my password often to protect my acccount. Now back in High School my mail box would typically get 10 odd mails a day. Mostly jokes forwarded by friends, some gossip from friends, lotsa news on who is seeing whom and who is broken off with whom and who is going steady with whom kinda mails. Ok that’s a lot of gossip I know, but High School gals generally don’t talk about The Green House Effect, The NYSE Index and or the General elections. I didn’t think it necessary to change my password often as no hacker could get my Dad’s Credit card numbers or India’s nuclear installations blueprints from my mailbox flooded with mails with subjects like these:

· I think I have a pimple :(
· Raveena is a bitch!!!
· Guess who Rita is dating ;)
· Pictures of George Cloony ;)
· Shoppers Stop Red Tag sale is on :))
· Check out the new chemistry teacher wotta babe ;)
· Friday bunk classes go for Stuart Little ?

Those days we shared passwords so that friends could read each others mails.

Then one day the inevitable happened!!! The greatest and most shameful act of Internet misuse by a school kid happened!!! A friend SP used another friend MD’s mailbox to do some match making. SP wrote a real mushy love-mail from MD’s mail box to a guy in St. Joseph’s. When we heard about it we were gleeful, fearful and tearful in that order with the resultant turn of events. After that incident we collectively decided ‘not’ to share passwords and each of us went our separate mailbox ways. We grew up a little in Cyber Space that summer.

Now to my travails. I have always had problems with passwords. I have always wanted something simple that I could remember plus I had a mortal dread of alphanumeric passwords. Especially since I had so many Yahoo ID’s like ‘vadasambar’, ‘chapathi99’, 'revlonlipstick’ etc in those carefree days. The only alphanumeric password I could remember was my birthdate… a dead giveaway ( I know that by experience because we used to try and open each others mail boxes with birth dates, parent’s anniversary dates, BF/GF birthdates etc.) It was also very easy to guess each other’s passwords. Let’s face it. High School kids are not very original when it comes to passwords. A sample of password sources in High School is given below

1. Your dogs name
2. School House name
3. School name
4. Class teachers name
5. Favorite movie
6. Favorite Toon star
7. Favorite Rock/Pop/Blues/Jazz star (for fans)
8. Boyfriend / Girlfriend’s name (if you had one) etc

Nowadays I have heard that school kids have become more innovative and keep complex alphanumeric passwords like:

1. jimmy22
2. greenhouseisno1
3. baldwinssucksbigtime100
4. ihatesistermary / ihatefatherjohn / ihateprinci
5. collateralisno1
6. tomandjerry2005
7. avrillavignerocks
8. rameshisahunk4me / priyaisadoll2…… etc.

As a ‘complex password challenged’ person I have finally hit upon a solution. When I sit down at my comp to change my password, I look around carefully and take inspiration from my immediate environment. Some of the thus inspired passwords are given below as an example.

1. hpprinter
2. servostabilizer
3. Samsungfaxcumprinter
4. yellowpages
5. ibmthinkpad
6. creativewebcam
7. ajanthaclock
8. crocintablets
9. seagateharddisk( I still have the cover)
10. brandy ( my dog if he sitting as usual under my chair)
11. lakshmi ( my maid, if at that precise moment she is cleaning my room) etc.

I know I know…..originality is not my middle name. But now I am in the big league of ‘complex password’ churning geeks ;)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A unique tag

Jagan has tagged me. This is a unique tag. Required a lot of thinking from my side to pen it down. Here are the seven things that I have to reveal about me in all honesty. So here it is……

Seven things you plan to do before you die!!

1. Quit my job in my 30's and become a full time naturalist / birder
2. Start my own ad agency
3. Learn to fly
4. Travel around the world
5. Fall in love!
6. Teach kindergarten kids!
7. Buy a cottage in Ooty

Seven things you can do!!

1. Get back to advertising/copywriting
2. Visit school more often and keep
in touch with the gals who studied with me.
3. Get back to piano classes
4. Read more often
5. Continue birding during weekends
6. Get serious about photography for above purpose
7. Give more time to my hobby “cooking”and "gardening"

Seven things you can't do!!!

1. I can’t flirt
2. I can’t stop being brutally frank
3. I can’t take life too seriously ( I look at the funny side of every thing!!)
4. I can’t stop sobbing while watching sad movies
5. I cant ignore a beggar.
6. I can’t do without my Mom
7. I can’t do without talking to my eldest brother at least once a day( he is my agony aunt and punching bag)

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex!!

1. Sense of humor
2. Maturity
3. Loyalty
4. The ability to advise without imposing his views
5. Smile
6. A guy who treats a girl as a lady irrespective of who she is.
7. A guy who is not jealous and clingy

Seven things you say most!!!

1. Jeeeeeeeeeeesus Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiist!!!
2. Ok, fine
3. For Gods sake!!!!
4. Vendado
5. Poda / Podee
6. Oh my God!
7. Will do

Seven celebrity crushes!!!

1. Tom Selleck
2. Tommy Lee Jones
3. Harrison Ford
4. Bill Pullman
(sigh..they dont make them like these anymore, I mean the above 4)
5. Emraan Hashmi
6. Arjun Rampal
7. Mathew McConaughey

Seven people you want to take this quiz.

Leon Cyril

All that I have revealed here is true to the best of my limited knowledge. Thanks Jagan, this tag made me think really hard and introspect. Didn’t realize it would be this hard to pen down only seven facets of my multifaceted life ;)

Wish there were more than seven hunks to be listed in the celebrity crush list. Mebbe 10 or maybe 15 or maybe umpteen ???? I have wandering 70 mm cinemascope eyes for Gods sake!!!! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In the cold

I have a cold and the flu too due to some unwelcome organisms inhabiting my person. They are actually welcome to stay if they are willing to follow in house rules like 'no wanton multiplying' and other obscene stuff. Now dear friends the ‘cold’ is not actually ‘cold’ in the thermal sense. It is actually a term that has been coined to describe the absolute helplessness faced by General Practitioners in curing the said condition. In other words, the ‘cold’ bacteria or virus has left the GPs in the ‘cold’.

I am now taking a break from work and enjoying some ill deserved rest at home. Mom is making sure I do not miss the stress and tension of office by her constant commando style raids to my room to check on my meds. The decreasing number of tabs is carefully noted to ensure I am actually swallowing it. I hate the cough syrup prescribed by my doc. I prefer the sweet and mentholly Vicks Formula 44, but the doc has prescribed some icky, chemically, nasty, sleep inducing stuff. And to add to his sadistic pleasures, he advised my mom to ‘ensure’ I drink it down. I am gonna change my doc if I survive this illness, but cannot get rid of him completely like the ‘cold’ because he is my cousin…. grrrr.

To make sure I don’t miss the office cafeteria atmosphere my mom is making some of her own cure all decoctions that 'mallu' moms are so fond of making. The smell of the decoction is all-pervasive and I can see a steady stream of cockroaches leaving the kitchen. I tell her that she will make a pile of money if she could only sell the recipe to some MNC insecticide maker. Her sharp glance cuts off any further hopes of talks with Bayer India Ltd.

I am missing the peace and quite of my cubicle and the sonorous snores of Subbu from the next cubicle. Having said that, I need to go to the nearest Greeting Card outlet and buy a ‘Missing You” card for my Boss, my Big Boss, my HR, the Cafeteria guys and my entire department.

Tomorrow I shall go to work a changed person with some noble resolutions.

I will appreciate every corny joke, every 6:30 pm call for a meeting just when I am ready to go home, every vendor call and the 2366th design change to the website. I will take every call asking me if I am ‘Housekeeping ’ and transfer the call with a sweet smile to ‘Housekeeping’ instead of HR/Applications Team/Testing Team as I usually do. I will swallow the cafeteria food if I have to forcefully wash it down with water and offer a gracious thank you to the lunch caterer instead of asking him if he was a prison cook as I regularly do. And lastly, from now on I will avail my medical reimbursements by checking myself into the nearest hospital next time I get a cold!

And I owe all these changes in my attitude towards work to my Mom. Thank you Mom. Because of you I just can’t wait to get back to work.

Btw the cough syrup….. do I have to take a bottle three times a day or a teaspoon three times a day? Damn the doc’s illegible handwriting!!!! (hic)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Work Perils

I am sitting in a cubicle surrounded by gently flowing water, landscaped gardens, chirping birds and typing a very important letter to the Big Boss. However MS Word is giving problems and certain features have become unavailable. I do not have the time to get it re-installed as the network may be disconnected due to some work going on around me. I typed the letter without the help of “some features”. My letter is an example in ‘organizational efficiency with limited resources’. Any way, here is the mail I sent to Big Boss.

Mr. Big Boss
Dot Bust Corporation
Bungler ( read ‘Bangalore’, my spelling sucks and spell check is not working, but the cleaning lady Muniyamma from housekeeping has kindly consented to proof check)

Dear Big Boss (delete ‘Dear”. Delete function doesn’t work)


I hate this internship! (Delete the entire sentence).
I hate you ! (delete this line too)
I hate my cubicle ( and this too)
I hate cafeteria food ( yup this one too)
I need a whopping big raise (and... this one too)

This is to bring to your kind notice (delete ‘kind’) that I am slogging my arse off in this corner from time immemorial ( ‘arse’ is underlined in red. I dunno what to do and neither does Muniyamma).

In case you haven’t noticed, the building around me has been pulled down and they plan to make a swimming pool where I sit. I have complained to the Facelift Manager (read 'Facility') and he has very kindly consented to dig around my carbuncle ( read cubicle) so that it remains as an island in the swimming pool. However due to lack of funds he will not be able to provide a bridge to my cubicle. I will apparently have to swim to my cubicle every morning, but HR says that a swimsuit will not be appropriate for office wear. I am in a tizzy now and plan to learn walking on stilts. However the good news is that during winter I will be able to walk through the pool to my cubicle.

The Netwreck Madman( read 'Network Admin' ) met me during lunch break and informed me that he will have to remove me from the network soon. However he has promised to network me witlessly (read ‘wirelessly’).

Since my access card is not accepted in the other buildings, I am forced to eat my food at the road side food cart and drink the piped water used for watering the plants. I am unable to attend meetings and my salary is dumped on my desk in fifty paisa coins. I am still counting last month’s salary, which HR says will keep me gainfully employed this month. While counting and recounting the coins (as the noise of the bulldozer is quite distracting) I have realized how lucky I am to have a job. Therefore I will not ask for a raise. (I can only count so many coins in one month and Muniyamma agrees.)

Gratingly yours (delete and replace with ‘Gratefully Yours’)


The Big Boss never replied, even after three months of counting 25 paise coins (since my mail they have been paying me in 25 paisa coins and I have become very thin). Last evening I heard the Facilities Manager remark to the contractor that as soon as my cubicle vacates he will convert it into a floating bar. I am hopeful now, as this could mean that I will shift into the other buildings with the rest of the employees. The BMTC bus conductors do not accept 25 paise coins so I am forced to stay back in the cubicle in the night. But the frogs are friendly.

I am afraid this Internship is turning out to be lot more difficult than I thought. Perhaps I should try the Housekeeping Department as HR had suggested when he interviewed me for this post in the first place. I’ve heard that mopping the floor and cleaning toilets does not require MS Word or even a computer!!! Wow!

(This post is a result of a boring afternoon when MS Word wouldn’t function and I was covered in dust and grime due to some redecorating work going on around me. Those of you, who think I have been benched, may please wipe the smirk off your faces. But... if my HR gets hold of this post, then you may reapply that smirk again)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Friends, philosophers and guides

I have been book tagged by fellow blogger Neil,
And so here an account of my journey into the world of books and their influence in my life.

One summer holiday I stumbled upon an old wooden trunk in the attic of my grandparents home in Kerala. It was a treasure chest and this is no fiction. All I am about to reveal is true. I opened the trunk and saw several dusty books covered by the dust of time ( Ok I am getting a little carried away here). I picked up a book from the top and saw it was “The Keys of the Kingdom” by A J Cronin. On turning the page I saw my grandfather’s name written in neat cursive letters with an ink pen. This treasure chest was the sum total of my grandfathers travels around the world for the UN. I sat down in the gloomy attic and began reading in the half light of the one glass tile of the tiled roof. I finished this book in 12 hours. The story was so gripping. I will not spoil it for you by giving you a review but it is a must read. The next day I picked up ‘The Nuns Story’, which is adapted from a movie. Another 12 hours and the elders were getting curious about my disappearances into the attic. My uncle came to investigate and I came back home to Banglore that summer with the treasure chest sitting proudly on the cars’ roof.

Total number of books I own: Plenty at last count. All time favorites however remain all book of James Herriot, Gerald Durrel and Betty MacDonald’s hilarious classic‘Onions in the Stew’. I think Betty MacDonald has influenced me most in my writing though I don’t see even an iota of that class reflecting anywhere in my writings! A personal thank you to her for shaping my views on life. I think I read her ‘Onions in the Stew’ in Class 6th (yeah guys I did go to school). I was amazed at her ability to scrape out humor from the driest of situations in her life. And since I read her book in my formative years, I was able to laugh through most of my teenage years when rebellion and doubts and frustration at parental restrictions were at an all time high.

Last book bought: ‘Blood, Brains and Beer” an autobiography of David Ogilvy.

Last book read: Dave Barry in Cyber Space. I am not gonna apologize for this. After a tough week in the office I was in no mood for “Song of Ice and Fire” however it is highly recommended by fellow blogger Jake and I will get down to reading it soon! . Dave Barry in Cyber Space will keep you chortling and is not recommended for reading in public areas.You might risk incarceration in a mental asylum due to the demented laughter that will burst from within your person from time to time. The digs on Microsoft and Customer Support will catch you off guard.

Books that mean a lot to me:

1. All the Fairy Tales I read in childhood: These books are the trigger that made me take up reading. It lead me to fantastic lands of fairies, elves, wizards, witches and helped my imagination take wings. These books also made childhood a very happy place indeed.

2. Oliver Twist: This book led me to read almost all the works of Charles Dickens and also flagged off my journey into English novels. This is the story of Oliver Twist a pauper child who runs away from the ‘workhouse’ only to land in the dragnet of a criminal gang. The entire narrative is gripping and reveals facets of the English society where the lot of the poor was indeed grim. The book ends on a happy note but if Dicken were alive today I would definitely walk up to him and say “ Please Sir can have some more.”

3. Treasure Island: How many kids have embarked on treasure hunts after reading this book? Set in the days of pirates and sail ships this book is about the buried treasures of Captain Flint an infamous pirate. Robinson Crusoe: Another adventure in the sea. Yes the sea and pirates fascinated me after Treasure Island and so it was natural that I picked up Robinson Crusoe. This book is considered to be the first English novel.

4. The Mahabharatha: The entire Mahabharatha especially the many tales of the Pandavas in exile is perhaps one of the best Indian story books I have read.

5. Anne of Green Gables: Anne Shirley the protagonist became a sort of role model for generations of girls since the early 20th century. This classic is still a hot favorite with school and college girls in India.

6. A Farewell to Arms: This book by Hemingway is an account an American ambulance officer's disillusionment in the war and his role as a deserter.

There are so many more, but lack of time forces me to cut short my remiscences.I am supposed to pass on the book tag. Therefore with malice towards none here are the lucky ones. (Wow that rhymes)

Leon Cyril