Archive | May 2008

Man of Few Words

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Please click and read the enlarged view if not clear

While browsing a matrimonial website together for obvious reasons [recent past time of my Dad, me a poor victim. Sigh!] we came across this profile. And it just reminded me of what Shakespeare said. Ahem!!…95% compatibility….Errr…Excuse me Dad for rejecting a qualified guy who is full of so much wit but it looks like I’ll be in constant struggle to meet some pre-defined high standards and will be compared at every step. Thats only one reason. No comments further….everyone is entitled to write as little or as much possible in “about me” sections of a matrimonial profile. 😀 😀

P.S. Guys are MASHA-ALLAH!

A Teacher’s Reward

Come to think of it, I have always been a teacher. And had wanted to become one since childhood as seen in this diary entry at age of 10 years. [yes I know my handwriting is bad 🙂 ]

A teacher’s best reward is when a student goes out into the world and makes use of the knowledge gained and acknowledges the one who imparted it to him. As a child I used to teach all sorts of things to my first student…right from alphabets to dances of India [inspired by geography book] by pulling the student’s cheeks in different ways to explain difference between Kathakali and Yakshagana and of course practical demonstration by the teacher inspired from “Baje Sargam Har Taraf Se“!! I had subscribed to a children’s magazine TARGET and it had all sorts of tidbits in it..[Has any of you read it? loved the mag but it got converted to TEENS TODAY and then got discontinued] It had a travel section and in one issue it covered China. The author had given 7 Chinese sentences and their meanings…like Xia Xia (Thank you), Ni Hao Mar (How are you), Dui Puchi (Welcome) etc etc [I don’t remember the rest 4 sentences]. I took it upon my little shoulders to teach those as a foreign language to my student. I used to take oral tests to make the student memorize but as the student was more interested in pulling my frock and leg, I gave up.

Two days back, that student called up from France and said “I met some Chinese people today and when I talked to them in the sentences you had once taught me they were very happy with me. I called up to tell you that today your first student has achieved success”. I was so amused and so very happy!! It made my day!! [Of course I said this too “See how it proved useful and you were never serious about it”]

Thank you dear student for humouring me and for being a wonderful playmate.

The teacher Reema in specs and her first & best student Didi
*************
Miss Wormwood: Yes, Calvin? You have a question?
Calvin: Yeah, I was wondering if we could stop the lesson here and adjourn to the playground for the rest of the day.

Miss Wormwood: Of course not. Now then, let’s all turn to page 24 and…
Calvin: Miss Wormwood?
Miss Wormwood: Yes?
Calvin: How about just me then?

**************

P.S. Knowledge never goes waste.

[Image credited to schoolclipart.net]

The Chronicles Of Narnia – Prince Caspian

The Poster
I love fantasy and animation movies!! I have already mentioned it before but no harm in another affirmation. Though many people consider that kiddish but I like losing myself for sometime,taking a respite from the real world in the world of magic and fairy tales. I admire the imagination of the authors who write such books and the screenplay writers & the directors who bring the pages to life. I watched the movie “The Chronicles Of Narnia – Prince Caspian” today and proceeded to write a review.

The Pevensie Kids- Edmund,Peter,Susan and Lucy

Sadly, the movie doesn’t stand up to the reputation and expectations left by its 1st part “The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe“. Somehow it seemed to lack the magical lustre in it. The storyline seems to lose its pace. In fact it drags a little bit in between. But the visual effects especially the river coming to life are worth watching. And I like the British way of talking..crisp and clear not like the American drawl. Would have liked Tilda Swinton to have more role in the part-2. [In fact I had The White Witch as my profile snap before. What can I say…I liked the mixture of Power and Evil in a woman. 😀 :D] The soundtrack isn’t so great as it usually is in fantasy movies like Harry Potter or the 1st part. Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) is cute looking. And I like the Centaurs very much [would like to ride one someday or in some life..hmmm]. The part where many Narnians have to be left behind to die is touching. The mouse warrior is cute and funny. Overall a family entertainer and to be enjoyed on the big screen.

Prince Caspian surrounded by the Pevensie kids

Reepicheep is one of the fiercest fighters in the realm

Aslan The Lion

Epic battle at Aslan’s How for control of Narnia

The Lost Hobby

In our childhood we develop few hobbies that we stop pursuing as we grow older either due to disinterest or lack of time. Sometimes they even do not find place in our to-do list or back of our minds. Recently while reading a novel I was reminded of my hobby of Philately. Well it can’t be called much of a “hobby” as defined by Wikipedia. My Didi and later on me (who inherited the album when she got busy with studies) just collected for fun and on basis of country or design or theme. Our maternal uncle had gifted this stamp album to Didi and it is the reason behind this hobby. We collected stamps from envelopes in the traditional way, but mostly we bought packets either mixed or of some particular theme (Thanks Dad for spoiling us!!) During ragging in college, we had to introduce ourselves by giving name,place,branch and hobbies. I used to say Philately as hobby. Used to save me from dancing or singing!! I post a tribute in the memory of my oldest and life saver hobby.

The Album

It had pages dedicated to countries in alphabetical order with some information about them at the top…but some like Bangladesh were missing so I had to make entry for them. When there was no more space under India, we converted the less known and stamps unavailable countries’ pages to India.

India





Pakistan/Bangladesh

Japan/Korea

Bulgaria

This country Ajman had these small weird figurines on its stamps and these were available in plenty. God knows why! We had to see carefully so that we don’t paste any same stamp twice.

Ajman

Russia


Romania

United States of America

Then there were thematic pages in the album both empty (for us to write) and specified.

Space

Birds

Animals

Sports

Reptiles

I miss the hobby but of course it was fun only when done with Didi. Once in childhood I was showing my album to a family friend’s son who nicked two stamps while I left the room awhile but soon I counted (Trust me to trust no one!) I caught him and threatened to tell his mom (who was a strict lady). He surrendered the booty. 😀 😀

Shame! Shame!

I’d decided the world would never come to know of a recent and one of the most embarrassing incidents that happened to me . But then by not sharing I lost the opportunity to rant about men. So first the incident then the ranting.

Few days back the college where I work was a center for candidates appearing in Pre-Medical Entrance Exam. The candidates ranged from general category to the reserved, urban to rural and intelligent enough to understand instructions to the dumbest. We, the lecturers, had been assigned as invigilators. Now, each floor has 4 bathrooms at its corner…for girls, ladies staff, gents staff and boys and has that written boldly in red at top. Before the exam started, I went to freshen myself in the ladies staff one and just as I went inside the already open door, a young boy (must be candidate) was answering nature’s call!!! I rushed out shouting “its ladies bathroom” and went straight to the assigned exam room.. [Yeah laugh at my plight!!] Thank God he had his back towards me!!!

Later in retrospect, I thought why was I feeling embarrassed with no fault of mine and I was disgusted at the non existence of the feeling of shame in most Indian Males (or maybe all males of world). Even if the boy had entered the wrong bathroom and didn’t even know that there are separate facilities in cities/colleges; still he should have locked the door not out of manners or etiquette but out of shame. As I analyzed further, I remembered the common sight of men(any age group) answering nature’s call by roadside or on a wall and mostly not hidden from view. For pictorial depiction you can see here.

One may argue that maybe men have less bladder control than women but anatomically speaking women are supposed to have less bladder control. But do we see women sitting on road side? Maybe the poor and illiterate women are seen but males of any class & any age can be seen. They consider it their birthright. The trouble we girls have to face when we go on a picnic or trip!!! We have to take a friend (girl) along to stand guard against any Peeping Toms. Why us? Men don’t have to worry about such problems.

So is this habit a result of the difference in upbringing of the male child and the female child in Indian society? Do we encourage our sons to become shameless by allowing them to bath openly or roam around without wearing vests? Is covering up essential only for the girls? Is lajja or shame meant exclusively for women? Is decency a feminine virtue?

Why is it wrong for girls to wear low waist jeans and not for men? I don’t like seeing or knowing about the brand of brief they wear!!! Another example.. this attitude “We are men. We don’t need to hide” is so expressed in the design of Men’s bathroom (note: no personal experience..as seen in movies and asked guy friends) which is different from the Ladies’ in matters of privacy.

Of course the Govt is to blame for not providing public utilities along the road on an infrastructural basis and for not maintaining those which are provided. One factor is the so called lack of funds for such a trivial thing when we have bigger problems to deal with like price rise and poverty. Another may be that are not most of the politicians male and have the same attitude towards “shame”? Thus they feel no need to provide such a basic amenity even in slum areas. There is an old joke about this Indian habit. You can read the joke and a good rant about this habit and another famous Indian habit of spitting here.

I admit its fine when one goes long distance driving like from one city to city. But in normal circumstances why can’t you just stop at a restaurant/petrol station or hold it till you reach wherever you are going? And for God’s sake look if its for men or women & for Shame’s sake Lock The Door!!!

P.S. Some (like a very dear guy friend of mine) may think “what an absurd topic!” but its My Blog and I can rave and rant about whatever I feel like. So there!

Pseudo Birthdays

Today is my Didi’s pseudo birthday. A pseudo birthday is that birthday date Indian parents (mostly fathers’ idea) put as their child’s birth date instead of real one and which is a few months or years later date and in some rare cases it can be a few months previous date. The mentality behind this practice is that the child will get extra years at service which means extra money. It is also done in case of those children whose actual birth dates fall between school session like in October,November etc so that they get admission instead of wasting one year. Then there are some unlucky ones like my Dad. He was a naughty child and always playing outside. He caught the local school’s headmaster’s eye and the headmaster suggested my Grandpa to put him in school. When Grandpa said my son is not yet of the school going age, the headmaster said nothing to worry and promptly increased my Dad’s year of birth by 1 year and admitted him to school!!! Poor Dad. Maybe thats the reason he was influenced to change my Didi’s birth date by 6 months!! Not even a year! Its like done with a mind that wants to do it and also doesn’t. Then there are some like one of my colleagues whose parents made her birth date 25 July instead of using the actual 10 July because 25 July is their marriage anniversary!! Talk about saving expenses!!

But there are so many consequences of this silly practice!!! The repercussions range from mere explanations to dealing with red tape.

1. Those who have dual birth dates tend to hide this even from their closest friends because after all its illegal and to save themselves from Q&A session.

2. Poor fellows do not get to celebrate their actual birthday and people wish them on the pseudo birthdays for years whereas they are not feeling the joy. They even receive cards & gifts on the wrong day. (But that shouldn’t hurt right?)

3. People (having read Linda Goodman) may form false impression about their actual nature and traits as they appear to belong to a sun sign and may get themselves into trouble. Like people may mistake my Didi for a paradoxical, flirtatious, talkative, breezy Gemini whereas she is a reserved, intense, mature, stubborn Scorpio. Their friends even read out wrong daily horoscopes from newspaper for them. Some friends may even chart out horoscopes and come out with wrong predictions!!!!

4. I don’t want to sound biased or generic [Amit plz note 🙂 ] or accusing anyone, but decreasing the age used to be quite common in Biharis, UPites and MPites (don’t know about present situation).There are so many uncles who have become so old (You may decrease the age but you can’t stop/delay the aging process) but are still in service. And others make fun of them or may be jealous of them.

5. And then some get retired early or get sucked in the Education System early.

6. Last but not the least, the amount of running around and bribing it takes to make a duplicate birth certificate (because the original is submitted during admission to Class 1) showing the pseudo date and Ministry’s signature for Visa and Work Permits purposes especially for Europe; causes high blood pressure, sleepless nights and hypertension and you really regret the day you lied about the birth date.

So don’t do koi jhol jhaal
Mat chalo koi chaal
About the janm tithi or saal
Warna karna padega babu ko mala-maal
Tab jaake galegi aapki daal
Aisa hai jhooth ka jaal
Mat rakhna koi shikwa mere naal
Goodbye to aaalll

[I got carried away by the poetic/rap urge :D]

Anyway,Didi, your birthday today may be pseudo but my wishes are always heartfelt.
Happy Pseudo Birthday!!

P.S. Don’t worry guys…Mine is real i.e. 22nd June 😀

Edited to add: This poem is an original Rimu and subject to copyright laws.

Vacation Resolutions

New Year Resolutions are such a cliche. Having become wiser I have stopped making customary resolutions on the onset of a new calender year which I have never been able to adhere to anyway. In my present work, I get a whole month summer vacation and that is the time when I make resolutions to do certain things and complete certain tasks every year. So taking a break from my usual quite vocal posts about social issues and being currently uninspired; I have decided to enlist my Vacation Resolutions ( or rather a To-Do list) as my blog page is always open and it will constantly remind me.
  1. Assist Maa in the kitchen and catch up on cooking.
  2. Begin my annual one month morning walk.
  3. Read The Complete Adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray (vol 1 & 2), start and finish A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and Freakonomics by Levitt & Dubner (both gifted by a dear friend who didn’t know my taste is mystery and humour…though I think Freakonomics is in humor category isn’t it?)
  4. Clean my room obsessively.
  5. Learn MATLAB 7.0 and practice it.
  6. Watch movies like You’ve Got Mail, Thelma and Louise, The Sting, The Royal Tennenbaums, The Terminal, The First Wives Club, Bonnie and Clyde, Amos and Andrew, Sweet Home Alabama, Space Cowboys, Sleepless in Seattle, My Fair Lady, Severance, The Merchant of Venice, Death at a Funeral, The Devil’s Advocate and more.
  7. Read the 15 blogs I have bookmarked and comment and not to bookmark any more blogs till I have read these.
  8. Convert my baby steps into the blogging world to a stride.
  9. Being alert while filling cooler with water and not to forget the tap is on. (read: Save the Earth!!)
  10. Indulge in food (mostly non veg and pizzas) and mango juice.
May the Force be with me!!

P.S. My vacation started on 18th. Shit! I’m running late by 4 days. (At least got around to make a list today!!!)