Saturday, September 19, 2009

Turning Forty

I turned forty very recently. I was looking forward to it with trepidation as I have always heard that things will happen at 40. Actually, in my case, Things started not to happen. Here is a list of those

Enlightenment did not happen. I was told that I will attain enlightenment on reaching the momentous age. I in turn can dish them out to all especially to pretty young ones. I slept with a beatific smile on my face on the eve of the birthday. For months I used to practice the smile, before the mirror as it is important to give advice with a beatific and mysterious smile. I woke up the next day hoping to have a glowing halo around my head. Alas, there was no enlightenment. After a warm hug and heartfelt birthday wish, my wife politely told me to brush my teeth and remove the weird expression I was wearing. I am definitely going to ask for my money from the "Satisfaction guaranteed have a beatific smile in 7 days or your money back" course.

Affluence did not happen. I had planned my life and wanted to retire by 40 with a large mansion in Los Angeles, California and to date 7 playmates at a time. Obviously it did not happen because Hugh Hefner has already hijacked it by the time I turned forty. Moreover it was an unrealistic to imagine attaining it at 40, when Hugh could do it only at 107.

Fitness did not happen. I started assiduously to exercise from a week before the D-day so that I can be Usain Bolt by the time I hit Forty. I have an injured Tendon and a bruised shoulder. My gym instructor has strictly told me not to use any weights for doing strength training. I was not disheartened as I know as a diligent physics student that Atmosphere has lot of weight.

Maturity did not happen. I thought at my age, I will feel sagely and wise. Actually, I still feel like a small kid in the candy store. I do not expect women to pull my cheeks and make koochi koo noises but do expect them to give me a hug when they pass by. I am must have grown up a few years.

One realization was that "What nature takes away, it gives back in some form". My head lost some hair and my ear lobes gained. The other realizatin was life has been good to me; Meaningful marriage, fulfilling career, great friends who lift other than air in the gym and hence can lend their strong shoulders and my other two loves; running and writing which adds to the purpose and intent in life.

Forty was not bad at all. I look forward to 107 and hopefully Hugh's playmates would not have aged by then.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

I have been growing in my popularity. My blog hits have gone up by 100% from two to four. In order to satiate the innate curiosity of my fan, here are the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions. Discerning readers might have noticed the singular Fan in the last sentence. It indicates only one person; me.

Why are you called SalaryMan? Do you have any superpowers?

SalaryMan is the name given to all salaried folks in Japan. It is pronounced as Saa-laa-ri-ma-an in Japanese. You can know more about SalaryMan in here. As far as I know, I have only one superpower; to withdraw money from ATM. I am on a path of self discovery and might figure out other powers on the way.

Are you the only SalaryMan chronicling your life?

I wish I was the only salary man. It would have meant oodles of traffic to my blog and hordes of money from Google adsense. Unfortunately neither is true. One of my ilks who write regularly is The blog is breezy read for someone with a Japanese context.

Who is this Showa?

Again a Japanese context. The calendar in Japan is as per the year of reign of the emperor. I was born in the reign of Showa and hence have decided to give myself the same pseudonym. All great writers have creativity, perseverance, command over language and pseudonym. I thought I will start with the pseudonym. In case you are wondering the current calendar is called Heisei and 2009 is Heisei 21.

You seem to have a Japan hang over? Where do you actually belong to?

I am an Indian by birth. However I am a true blue global citizen and would like to work for the upliftment of everybody starting with me. (Wait, that is a mix up from the speech I am writing for the Miss Universe pageant winner. Guys, I strongly suggest that you visit the page, you will not be disappointed. The operative word here is swimsuit competition.)

You are a very brave person, writing always about your wife. How do you manage to do it?

My bravery is directly attributed to a substance called alcohol. Moreover my wife does not know the URL of the blog.

What will happen when your wife finds it?

As a true blue salaryman, I have a Plan B. I run long distance and am part of a group called Runners for Life. If you see me running hard with a pretty lady chasing me, it means that I have been found out. You can help me by saying to my wife that she was alluded as pretty in my blog.

Why do you want to write a book?

I have been misunderstood. I do not want to write a book. I want to earn millions of dollars. I figured out that there must be somebody out there who will pay me up to shut up.

What part of your writing you are most proud of?

That is a easy one. My five tweets to Gul Panag. She replied twice to me. You can also try it out here. In case you want to follow me and get more URLs like the Miss Universe one, please connect with me on twitter.

When are you going to stop?

I always stop at 500 words on my blog. I am definitely going to write every week till end of 2009. I might disappoint all of you and continue writing afterward too. All I can say is "Sorry".

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Balance of Power

This is a flash back. Some of the events mentioned in this post are embellished and could be a figment of my imagination. My wife definitely thinks so. I would let you decide.

I was newly married. Being married was bliss. I could not understand the lament of many of my married friends. Life was a bed of roses except for the aunts. One of things which I abhorred about being newly married is all the old matrons giving a wink and asking "Any good news". My standard answer was always I read times of India's last page and it is filled with only good news with respect to Madonna, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They seemed to be increasing the population of their household through adoption. My reaction as a newlywed, when I read those news articles was "Lazy folks".

My father had advised me that the first week of the marriage decides the balance of power between the man and the woman. I took the advice very seriously. Hence when my wife brought up the discussion of doing it, my proposition was simple; once a week.

There shall be no excuses like headaches or I am feeling very tired. One of condition was there we should make it interesting with hot water or by trying out different brands. We even tried perfumed ones. The result was there for everyone to see. We became the model couple.

Women of the yore in India like to do it in the sitting posture. I prefer the standing one. One of the things which I like about India is that you can get hired help to do it. Missus and I made a pact to hire a nice person. Not that I did not want to do it.

I would request readers not to get misled. I was only talking about doing dishes here. According to my wife doing the dishes is ultimate proof of my affection to her.

As all married guys know that, it is important to prove your affection at every available opportunity. When my wife complains that my affection for her has diminished over the ages. My favorite come back is that "No way, I came back from the game in 2 hour 50 minutes, instead of 3 hours. I also spoke to you for 2 minutes continuously yesterday".

Two hoots to my father's advice. I do not care about the balance of power as long it can earn brownie points. Bring on the dishes.

PS Glossary: - Perfumed ones is Scented dish washing powder, in case you are wondering.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bringing Reality into life

All the bright minds in the media industry are figuring out how to bring more reality in to TV shows. They are trying all kinds of stunts like getting actors to bathe under an artificial water fall or getting participants to bare their souls. The actors are ecstatic for getting a real opportunity to remove body odour through natural means. Baring is extremely important in reality TV. If life imitated art instead of the other way round, then the following could happen.

Every day would start with a heart thumping theme song. The titles would run simultaneously showing not one but scores of directors of your life; boss, spouse, teachers, children and Mother (in-law).

Life would become fairly uncomplicated and full of peace. Whenever my wife asks me to get out plates out for dinner, I uncannily pick up the wrong ones.

"Have you ever seen me put out these plates for guests"

"Er, No"

"Sometimes I wonder whether you live in the same house"


I would then pick up another set of wrong plates. Life could be less interesting if we are able to cut out the 12 takes it takes me to put out the proper cutlery. The scene would be rewritten

"Wow, the place mats are perfect and the water is filled to the right level"

"Does that mean that I get to hog the TV remote without guilt?" I never miss a chance to cash any brownie points scored.

The possibilities are endless

  1. We can have auditions to hire house help
  2. I can scream "Let us meet on the other side of the commercial break" in case I am on verge of losing an argument which is very often.
  3. We can get paid for multiple product placements around the house.
  4. We can get the entire family to vote through SMS or Tweets on "who makes the best bed in the house".
  5. We can call visits by Mother-in-laws as a wild card entry.
  6. We can judge each other's chemistry and then blame it on the script
  7. You can actually have a voice over from the Father when the spouse says that "You sound exactly like your Father "
  8. We can introduce the guests in the house with flourish and actually get away by saying "The guest tonight is Mr. so and so and he would like to promote the sure shot way to beat the stock markets"
  9. We can fire lots of complicated questions at the guests without repercussions. I would definitely like to ask "You gave me a PC game for the Birthday. Was it a recycled present?"
  10. More importantly, you get to change the channels. All fellow males have a gene which makes us flip channels every 15 seconds. Just when the life would get interesting in the history channel when you forgot you spouse' birthday few years back, you can flip to the cooking show.

Go ahead and let your imagination rip and send me your possibilities. You and your thought could be featured on Salarymantale.

Also, please get in touch with me in case you would like to illustrate for my blog. It could then become our blog. You can get in touch me on my gmail account – Jaiseeker.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Running Jacks have a podium finish

I live in a very beautiful community called Jacaranda in a large apartment complex - Brigade Millennium. We formed a running team on the fly (with in 24 hours) to take part in the 4 x 5 KM relay race. The race was a mock up to the corporate relay race - Urban Stampede to be held two weeks later.

It was at a resort called Olde which is close to the Bangalore International Airport. The team consisting of Vinayak, Rohan, Subbu and myself assembled on time at 4:25 AM. Since we do every thing in style, we were accompanied by a Manager - Ram Prasad. The only team to do so. We did not equip ourselves with walkies talkies because our Manager pointed out the fate of Hansie Cronje when he used it.

The race was to start at 6 AM and that is what I thought at least. However the way I misread women's emotion, I misread the time too. We left the apartment complex at 4:45 and reached the resort at 5:25 and that is when I realized that the race was at 7 not 6. Thankfully the registration started at 6:15. The race was professionally arranged by Runners for Life, with batons, split timings, water stops etc.

The weather was really nice and the resort looks good. We decided that Subbu will start the race and pass the baton to Vinayak. I will run third and Rohan will anchor the race.We did a recce of the finishing lap before the start of the race.

The race started at 7 past 7. The race was on a pucca road but passing fields and nurseries. An occasional car or bike were the only things to remind us that we were in urban Bangalore. The course went uphill all the way till the U - turn point. It crossed some High Tension wires on the way which were making a constant hiss sound. The way back was down hill and hence easier.

Subbu and our Manager Ram ran with me during my leg. Subbu acted as my pace setter. It was incredible for Ram to do 5K on his first run ever. Way to go.

Subbu : 27:44
Vinayak : 29:48
Jai : 28:17
Rohan : 26:08

At a total timing of 1:51:57 we had a second rank podium finish. We could have done better as Subbu missed the entry to the resort and Rohan missed the return point of the race. The photograph of the proud runners' up with the team Manager

L to R: Subbu, Jai, Rohan, Ram Prasad, Vinayak

As my regular readers know that "Not only - but also combination" is the only grammar rule I know. Here is an example of my grammatical prowess.

Thanks a lot to Subbu who not only drove us all the way but also fed us. I am thankful to Ram who not only looks much younger than his age but also infused infectious enthusiasm in to the team. I should definitely thank cool dudes Rohan and Vinayak who not only helped us to the podium finish but decreased the average team age by 40%. :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Desperately seeking

I am desperately seeking illustrators for my blog. If you like my blog, draw well and do not have any hopes of getting paid, you fit like a T to the job description. You might be mildly famous though with around 500 hits on the blog every month. Please get in touch with me at google mail id; jaiseeker.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


One of the most influential thought I have ever imbibed is that Life does not have any automatic purpose. One needs to infuse life with purpose. Setting a goal and achieving it, creates a tremendous sense of accomplishment and a mental orgasm. Here is how I achieve it.


All it requires is a pair of shoes and will. The Universe provides for the remaining most important equipment – Earth. I add Music to the list. The possibilities of setting goals in Running are endless; Number of times in a week, Speed, Distance. I took to running by chance. It also started off something I really enjoy – writing. My first blog piece was on Running.

I am currently between jobs. As a long time SalaryMan, I miss being a Corporate Warrior and waging email wars. Running has been one of the corner stone which has allowed me to be happy in a dark period. It not only gives me the Runners' high but also allows me to bask in accomplishments; Running 4 times a week, running long distances (10 to 14 KM) on one weekends. What makes it better is that I run with my dear friends. The oft repeated sentence after each run is "Life does not get better"

I run to achieve two life objectives; Short term goal of running 1000 KM in 2009 and the long term goal of running a Marathon. As a gadget geek, I own Nike Plus which tracks my progress on the life's purpose. Check it out.


Writing for me is the ultimate journey of discovery of self. Creating a written thought gives me unbelievable pleasure . Writing makes me a creator, albeit for a short period of time. It opens up endless possibilities to surprise myself. It is still astounding that I could write about walking ice trays, naming potholes, Cosmopolitan.

I write to achieve two life objectives; Write a blog post every week in 2009 and write a book and earn lots of money from it. The ultimate token of appreciation of creation is that somebody is willing to exchange hard earned money to read your thoughts.


Reading is consciously participating in a creation of somebody else. It is a luxury that you can actively take part in any era (past, present or future) or any emotion of the writer's choosing. For me it is like the author has extended a warm welcome in to his private domain of thoughts. It creates a sense of gratitude in me.

I read to achieve two life objectives; Read the complete Harry Potter series to my son and the long term objective is simple – Retain the faculty to read as long as I live.

Thought to complete this blog post – "Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is being asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible". This thought is written by Victor Frankl.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blue to Red

This is to warn that this post is not about Matrix. You will definitely not learn Taekwondo in fifteen seconds. Your life will not be changed by reading this. This is about changing from Blue to Red. I have always been a blue person. I always felt that blue symbolized the corporate cool. It coincided with my personal goal of ending up in the top freezer in the corporate world – The ultimate salary man. Blue was conservative and indicated inner peace, so I thought.

The following anecdote would make it clear. I was married when I relocated to Tokyo in the late nineties. The plan was that I will go first and my wife Radhika would join later (I have been instructed by Radhika to prefix her name by “My wife” to remove any misgivings that she is a living in partner. By the way, the position is till vacant).

She had warned me not to buy things for the house before she comes to Japan. She is definitely not going to miss acting out her child fantasy of playing House. As an obedient spouse, I adhered to her warning. However I bought curtains for the house. I had to. It was not only to protect my modesty but also more importantly to save Japanese lives. I did not want good Japanese folks to die of shock when they saw my nonexistent biceps.

The whole house was barren except for the nice curtains. When Radhika stepped in to the house, I was like the new bride, anxiously waiting for the mother in law’s approval. She looked at the curtains and remarked “Yew! It looks like a hospital”. I took it as a compliment. I was a die-hard blue guy.

However things are changing as I am approaching Forty. I am not talking about receding hair lines and the nubile young ones calling you uncle. I am talking about repressed red desire exploding in to consciousness.

My prized position is a red shirt. It is so Red that my friends want me to forewarn them in case I am wearing it. Some of them have become my followers in Twitter just because of that. The entire gathering looks like Matrix, wearing glares. Unlike me they still have not swallowed Red pill – Poor blue uncles.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Post dated wish

We all have post dated wishes. If you are thinking “I do not have one”, you might be right. I mentioned “We” the way royalty of yore used to address themselves in plural, like “We will partake the food, take some rest and hunt some wild animals”. In order to placate Mehr-un-Nisaa (Nur Jehan, for those who slept through their history class), Jehangir addressed himself once in Singular “I”. If Jehangirnama had foot notes it would have read – The empress was unhappy that the emperor failed for the umpteenth time to get the plumber and fix the leaky faucet.

I am always on the placation mode with Radhika. Not only I fail to fluff the pillows but also fail to make the bed properly without wrinkles, keep the shoes back in the rack, reply to her in full sentences instead of monosyllables, give food to the guests before partaking it myself, making comments on prime time Hindi Soap operas, etcetera.

I have two post dated wishes. One, to get an appreciable nod from Radhika for making the bed and the other is to drink a chilled glass of beer. You might wonder that, why drinking chilled beer is a post dated wish. It is because that I have resolved to imbibe alcohol only after getting a job. I have kept up my spirits mostly by running long distances, pumping iron, reading and writing. Of all these, only pumping iron is the new activity. It has lead to stronger teeth (Read about in Gym Capers).

I never knew that strength training is not only strenuous but also an expensive affair. In order to measure the progress of my gym exploits, I bought a measuring tape.

I read in a Men’s magazine getting your spouse to measure the biceps is a good start for a seduction routine. Hence, I requested Radhika to do the honors. Predictably I had her rolling on the floor. Unfortunately it was with laughter. All she could manage between gasps of laughter was “What biceps”.

The tape did not show any improvements and I had to order scientific instruments which were sensitive enough to measure changes in microns. It set me back by few thousands. All I could say to Radhika is “Wait for another 10 years and we can measure by tape”.

Pumping iron has also made my orientation circumspect. I walk up to complete strangers touch their arms and exclaim “Man, awesome biceps”. I am glad that all their partners can do now is wring their hands. They would have filed a formal complaint of harassment earlier. I am glad for the Delhi High court judgment on same gender relationships to keep me out of custody.

So readers make my wish come true. I promise not to touch your arms in public and will eat the food only after you have partaken yours. I will even share the beer with you.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not competing with Mark Spitz

This morning I was given a very important assignment by the Master of the House (Radhika). I could have written Mistress to appease all my girl friends who are hard core feminists. However Radhika would not have taken kindly to the moniker.

Here is the result of my preparation
I am NOT
a. Competing with Mark Spitz.
b. Competing a role rejected by Abhishek Bachchan, even though stubble might fool you but the similarities end there.
c. Undergone Cataract or Lasik.
d. Propagating Guinness. Although the year 2000 was a great year for the Ale. I am quite snobbish with respect to beer. I need to know the Vintage. I make an exception for KingFisher because they make great educational calendars. Life is continuous learning and I try to learn from January to December, all year long. By the way, the calendar is shot by my dear friend Atul Kasbekar. Please put on hold your plans of sending your portfolio to me. I have not spoken or communicated to Atul in the last 40 years of my existence. He will definitely not recognize me ever. My reasoning is that any one shooting a swimsuit calendar is a dear friend.

So, what am I doing. I am following in the footsteps of my Son and made a mince meat of the assignment given to me by Radhika.

I earned brownie points with Radhika by cutting Onion tearlessly. Although after finishing the job my cheeks were wet with tears of joy. Radhika the ultimate perfectionist looked at the Onion pieces and said "Good job". It felt like winning an Oscar.

I would like to thank the makers of powered swimming glasses - Spalding. My son who gave me the idea and my friends who stood by me in my darkest hour. I will not let this go to my head and come up with better cuts next time too. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Learning by Watching

It is been a habit for me to learn something new every year. The resolution for this year is to learn swimming. It is not that I have never tried learning it before. I have a solid foundation in theoretical skill of swimming. This has been acquired assiduously by watching the TV show Baywatch. Watching the bay on TV is not only therapeutic but also is educational. I was always moved by the heroism shown by the characters in saving folks who did not even have a theoretical knowledge in swimming. I go green with envy as I have never been saved even once, in spite of being better equipped – knowledge wise.

In order to prove my intentions to Radhika, I watched the show mostly on mute :-) . I share my admiration for the show with two other life influencing people on this earth – Joey Tribbiani and Chandler Bing. If you say, " Joey Who?" Then you have not partaken in an activity which has engrossed millions ; Watching the TV show – Friends.

All you folks can read Paul Krugman and Paul Samuelson to figure out the state of economy. It is Friends for me which gave me the direction of economy way back in 1998. If I had written a paper, there was a good chance I would have got a syndicated column to myself. I might have even won a noble too after changing my name to Paul Jayaraman. You cannot go wrong with the name Paul as the first name and the family name ending with N.

It is a great show where waitresses who are living in pecuniary wear designer clothes and jewelry. It elucidates the point which has resulted in the global economy going down the drain – Work simple, Live big.

The TV show has played a big hand in keeping my marriage fresh. Whenever Radhika says that "We do not do anything together anymore", I say "It is not true. We watch friends and some time we also hold hands while doing so". Sadly the response has never scored. I need a different line.

As you can see that I have learnt of lots of life skills from TV shows. I need to go to the pool now and drown at the deeper end and hope to be saved by a buxom blonde. If not the world would lose a great TV watching economist.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Until Death

My cousin lost her Grand Father recently. You will not find him in history books, but he left a mark on every one who came in touch with him. His singular achievement was to create a family which is a team. I am yet to come across another set of folks who are related by blood or marriage and celebrated life enormously. It is almost like magic. He instilled values like simplicity, gratitude and faith. I have been personally touched by his gestures and his blessings. In spite of his arthritic hands, he wrote for me and many others a hymn. The hymn has graced all the houses we have lived in. I find solace in the protection of the hymn. This blog post is an ode to a simple man whom I would like to emulate. God be with you, Mama.

In ancient times in India, everybody prepared for Death. Life was divided in to four stages;

Bhramacharya Ashram: It is the stage of learning and community living.

Grahasta Ashram: It is stage of married life and put the learning to practice and become a productive citizen.

Vanaprasta Ashram: It literally means facing the forest. It is the stage in which a person acts as a mentor. It is said that the person in this stage only give solicited advice.

Sanyasa Ashram: This is the stage when one would renounce everything and enter the forest to die.It is not that death is not pondered about during other stages. In games like Kabaddi and Kho Kho, players get out (Death) and come back in to the game (re-birth).

I like Stephen Covey for his advice; plan your life based on the person you want to have become by death. I think it is a sage advice and enables one to be centered both in moments of unalloyed joy and manic sorrow.

I read an amazing book by Bill Bryson recently which is titled pompously as "A short history of nearly everything". In this book the author argues that the purpose of life is to replicate. We are slave to our DNA and not the other way round. For the time untold, the double helix in the DNA has existed and replicated. The miracle of life gets the double helix to unzip and each strand finds its partner molecule creating new cells – The chemistry of life itself. It might come as a surprise to many that we share the same enzymes and life plan as a Banana tree or a Peacock. It is both humbling and revealing to know that the life is the same for all living beings.

We have differentiated ourselves by achieving a level of consciousness which is unmatched in the known Universe. My theory is that the Universe needs to know it exists. We are the medium through which it achieves this.

If the age of earth is compressed in to 24 hours, then as human beings we have been in existence for the last few minutes only. In order to make a lasting impression and compensate for meagre existence, we can create noble institutions, build successful companies, write ageless classics, create unforgettable melodies, establish new religions, find cure for cancer, figure out that E = MC2. However there is no need to despair if we are not able to. All one is required to do is live a contended life spreading peace and love, as Mama did. As DNA has proved, we are all the same. We are the life force of the Universe and exists through life and death.

The constant reminder of death should allow oneself to rise above foibles and achieve joy which comes through love and a sense of accomplishment. Here is a wish for every one of you – Become all you can.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Love at Nth Sight

The person who came up with the phrase Love at first sight was definitely not a mathematician. All of you know that Life is unpredictable. Love can happen at the second, third or the seventy fifth prime number sight. Hence, as a Mathematician it is easier for me to write "Love at Nth sight". I am an official card carrying Mathematician because I visit Wolfram Alpha at least once a day. It is from this great site that I found that Jlo and I share the same birthday. Some people would have whooped with joy after discovering about this about themselves. It became a great matter of concern for me. I did not want to be compared with Jlo by the posterior generation. Hence a quick measurement with the tape provided me great relief. Neither do I share her wealth, nor do I have been endowed with her assets. The "neither – nor" & "not only – but also" are few of the grammar rules I know and never fail to use them in my blog to prove my prowess.
Many people wonder what to do when love strike at the Nth sight. Here is a simple step by step guide for guys:

1. Wipe your glasses and look again. If you do not wear glasses, quick blinking would do.
2. If you still feel the same, round all your henchmen who carry their guns with impunity to visit the family of your smitten one I feel extremely proud of myself for being a new age writer. Discerning readers will note that I did not write girl but smitten one.
3. In case you are not from Sicily and do not read Mario Puzo then the best thing to do is to check out the online profile status. If it reads Married or Engaged then have a quick chat with your partner to resolve the situation. As far as I know Polygamy or Polyandry is illegal in most of the places.
4. Once you Single status is established, then check out whether the object (or subject) of your love shares your status. If not it is time to call the henchmen in.
5. Unfortunately, all love stories ends sadly. Normally the the love remains unrequited and it gets immortalized by Shakespeare or James Cameron (who will get an Oscar). Even Michael Corleone did not get his lightning. If not it might get requited you will get married.

Please do not wonder that there is no step by step guide for gals to deal with Love at Nth sight. I am in no position to give advice to women. Fourteen year of marriage has made me capable of only receiving advice from women. The current one being "Watch your behind, it might be growing".

Monday, June 1, 2009

Salaryman takes a break

This week SalaryMan takes a break from writing. I have an excuse - completion of Sunfeast 10 Run in Bangalore in 55:13. I always feel connected. The race made me feel that more with 7000 feet striking the pavement. I also feel proud to be in a country where a previously unknown person extends a helping hand without a second thought. At the finisher's lounger, we were caught without a camera. We requested an absolutely unknown person to take our photo and email it to us. Thanks Joseph for doing so.

Left to Right: The man with the cool glares and a halo around his head is Rajesh, Muscular dude flashing a victory sign is Subbu, The handsome guy pretending to have biceps is me. Only I am described as handsome because I write this blog.

All of us are MBA - married but available except for Subbu who is secretly available. Before any of you guys get any ideas, we are straight.

For our respective wives who might chance upon this blog - Available means available for running only.

PS:- Subbu came first amongst us with an incredible timing of 53. Rajesh kept looking for Deepika Padukone which made him run at 59. He normally burns the asphalt.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Creative Writing: 4 lessons you can live without

Michael Martin, the British Speaker had to resign for his handling of the “The Expense Report” scam. There is a lesson for all of us in this. First is it does not pay to be a British Speaker. It does not pay to be an Indian Speaker too. I have been one along with billion plus of my compatriots and have not been YET paid for speaking. On the other hand Bill Clinton gets paid millions of dollars for speaking. I guess it is the Universe’s way of balancing things. I do not also have smart interns working for me which also underscores the fact.

The second lesson is that Expense and Tour Reports creates more divisions in an organization than the CEO had originally intended. All the sales folks have their pet peeve against the accounts department. These are the people who will go to great lengths to prove that taking the space shuttle to go out of town is actually cheaper than taking the bus. “Otherwise, we would have missed the deal” is the common refrain. If countered with “We did not win the deal, anyway” would bring the rejoinder “We would miss the deal, more now”

The third lesson was taught to me in my management school. My professor Deven Dhanak used to say Expense account leads to extreme self confidence. To quote him “Every corporate executive reaches his peak level of confidence when flagging a taxi on an expense account”

There is a legend which goes like this (not mine, wish it was though)
Boss: What is this large amount on your expense account?
Sales Person: It is the taxi bill
Boss: Ok, I will allow it this time, but do not buy any more taxis in the future.
The fourth lesson is that writing tour reports is the ultimate exercise in creativity. I strongly recommend folks to write one in case you want to become a writer. If you are lucky you will write many. All I can say then is do not forget to bring photographs taken from space for your accounts manager kid's science project.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Current Events: You might be shocked

We had a running joke amongst the students when I was studying at B School. Studying is definitely a overstatement given the courses I had taken; Modern human dilemmas, Movie appreciation. The second one was not a course run by the institute but by us students. The joke was;
Me: I have stopped reading the newspapers these days
Fellow movie goer: Why?
Me: Same headlines
FMG: What?
Me: Times of India (TOI)

As regular readers of this blog would know that I like TOI a lot. Especially the last page where the paper writes about important events in a WAG’s life. I feel sorry for you, if you do not know what WAG stands for. It is Wives and Girl Friends. I always wanted to thank the editor for the uplifting photograph and pieces.

After the last page, I switch over to the middle page which normally gives extremely important life saving details Viz. Studies has shown that Viagra does not affect the eyesight of men. I feel it is total humbug. We men do possess roving eyes and are extremely proud of it. I am sure Viagra will only lead to more roving. As all of you know that Roving is a strenuous physical activity and would only contribute to strength and better eye sight.

I am actually thinking of buying a roving machine for physical training. The thought has not been converted to action because of TV Shopping. I am an avid watcher of TV Shopping channels. Here is another set of people who are interested in your progress by selling:

a. Sauna belts with Magnets: The svelte figured model promises that you can eat all the big macs and samosas and wear this belt. Voila, you will look like a Bipasha Basu look alike soon enough. Bad luck if you are a guy. Given such painless methods to acquire six packs why should I buy a roving machine.

b. Hair grower: This is not the actual name of the product, but I could not think of a better one. It typically shows a morose bald male who finally deduces that women are avoiding him like Swine Flu because he lacks hair. The TV presenter looking at the moroseness of his audiences throws in a Screw Driver set too. The whole deal looks too sweet to be true. The man orders the Hair Grower on the advice of woman who wears a Sauna belt. He goes on to apply the magic lotion on his head. The camera then moves in to future where he is shown with a shock of lush hair on his head. He is also accompanied by a blonde woman who requests him in a husky voice to tighten the screws in her house. Now you know why men like tool sets.

c. Revolutionary seating arrangement: This is an amazing product. The product converts itself in to Sofa, Bed, Yoga mat, Bar and also an F 16. Due to security reasons this product which costs all of 100 dollar is not sold in Taliban infested areas. You get a screw driver set with this too.

My only advice is that; do not indulge in carpentry work while wearing the Magnetic Sauna belt because it might get difficult to pry the bolts loose from it later.

I wrote bolts but wanted to write screws
To avoid the word overuse
Also prevent being misconstrued
PS: The first paragraph on TOI having same headlines is not mine.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Figured it out: Do not play jeopardy at home

I am sure that figures less than 10 catch people’s attention. It is the reason one comes across multiple pieces dispensing knowledge. The texts in blue are my thoughts while reading such pieces.

6 ways to get the job you wanted: It does not work if you want to be a male lead in a Priyanka Chopra movie. It did not work for AB Baby or John Abraham either. They got the movie part but only each other.
8 ways to make money (Even) in this stock market: Forget that the stock market exists and invest in bank deposits.
5 ways to make her tell “Yes” when she is telling “No”: You gotta be kidding. There is only one yes person in my house. I am not going let go of the job which I always wanted and the only one I have now.

In order to prove that I am not anti-establishment, here are my 2 ways to beat Recession.
You need to be a very rich person and in the market to buy a private Island. As this news report “For sale: tropical islands at recession-friendly prices” suggests that you can buy an Island at 50% discount. Hold your breath; not because you will be snorkeling but it is the same Island, Julia Roberts wanted to buy. This way you can sail away to your private Island and be out of reach of any recession. The additional advantage is that you can declare yourself as a separate country and print your own money with Julia Roberts on them. However I were you, I will take 2 precautions
a. Check the gas tank of the chopper for any stones
b. Print one or two denomination of money notes with the spouse’s picture also

You might say “But nobody is damaging my chopper because I do not have one and henceI am a good candidate for getting caught in recession”. It is for you the adage “A stitch in time saves nine” was written. You can ask what to stitch and what nine things it can save. All I can say 9 is less than 10 and it rhymes with time. As far as the stitch in time for you, to beat the recession is by marrying a rich person. If you are already married and your poor spouse really believes in “Till death do us apart” then you do not have any recourse.

Actually you have one; you can watch and emulate jeopardy. I am not talking about Double Jeopardy where the husband frames the wife for his own murder and then the wife seeks revenge by actually killing him. I am talking about the game show where the contestants are given an answer and they have to guess the question.

If your wife walks in a beautiful dress and then you blurt out “How big you look in the dress”. I promise you that your wife will not practice double jeopardy; she will kill you once for all. As far as I checked, Recession does not touch the dead.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Axe Effect

If you think this blog is about the job cuts due to recession, you could not be more wrong. It is about growing pains.

It was a huge struggle when I was growing up. Imagine having the same daydream every moment of life – Scores of women chasing me. It is like having a remote with only one channel button. This was an anathema for a guy who changes TV channel every 5 seconds. I am actually waiting for the day when you could flip channels using brain waves. My wife once asked “Why the hell do you change channels every 5 seconds”. My answer was “#%$@ TV, I am not able to get its response time for less than that”. Needless to say she has given up on me.

I am no chick magnet. During college days, I looked like Clark Kent without the broad shoulders, bulging biceps and vulnerable look. Actually the only resemblance was the parted hair and stumbling goofiness. I always walked looking upwards so that a Kryptonite might hit and make me actually look like Clark Kent. There isn’t a Kryptonite which would have transformed me to Superman.

In order to resolve this, I turned to the most trusted source while surfing the TV– Commercial. It was for a deodorant called AXE which showed my day dream in reality. It also fulfilled Radhika’s dream also because the channel remain unchanged for 30 seconds.

It showed hundreds of women running and swimming towards a guy who sprays himself with Axe. Unfortunately for Unilever, perfumes and deodorants make me photo sensitive. Please do not confuse it with Photosynthesis. I do not make my own food. The proof is that I am alive.

In order to find a solution I turned to another trusted source - the Internet. I love the Internet which is filled with helping souls; they are waiting to make me rich by just surfing the net and/or help me last longer. After surfing the net for an hour during which time my net worth remained the same, I bumped in to a solution used by Queens (including Freddie Mercury) and Fashion Divas. I sprayed a mist of AXE and walked through it. My theory of proportional attraction is that if Axe-man can get hundreds to run and swim to him then I should at least get ten. (Note for Radhika: Not that I needed even one also as I have a doting and beautiful wife who also makes delicious food for me by non photo synthetic methods). After that every splash and every thud made me look around and rub my hands with anticipation.

All I got was a wrinkled nose from Radhika, sprained neck and chafed hands.

My wife did a great favor by marrying me. She must have seen an inner person which I did not see at that time – a guy with terrible sense of humor. Through this medium, I am begging her for one more favor; please do not axe me in spite of these blogs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Right Choice, Baby

It is vastly surprising that Decisions gets made these days. Right from Coffee to Matrimony there are Six billion choices.

“When I was growing up” was the first choice for me to start this piece. I replaced it because my wife strongly opines that the process of my growing up is not completed still. I believe that a Man has to stand up for himself some times; especially when I have not told Radhika about this blog. So, when I was growing up there were only 2 choices for Coffee at home – Either you drink it or not.

A Coffee drinker makes a refined choice these days. The alpha males' order for Coffee goes like this:
The Coffee beans should belong to South Brazilian plantation and of 1985 vintage. The beans should have been picked by damsels swaying to simple harmonic motions between 6:37AM to 7:45 AM. The plantation should be equal opportunity employer and can employ males also, if they are certified to sway as per standards. I do not have the other details because the Alpha males do not divulge their secrets of their perkiness so easily.

Mathematicians can scoff on the statement for Six billion choices for Matrimony as it is close to population of earth. They might not be progressive enough to figure out that Matrimony can be between same genders too. However they are putting their skills to greater use as per the news article sent to me by an alert reader - The Mathematicians in Japan are working hard to make you look Sexy. This is what happens when you belong to a breed which came up with Sudoku. I kick myself for not taking higher Math. When I am caught ogling and asked “what you are thinking?” I can safely reply:

If you were born in Japan or a Brazillian plantation owner you would be quick to realize that it is the equation for Simple Harmonic Motion.

Not only one has their own personal choice but also the help of zillions of netizens to help them out. When I was still growing up, watching movies was an indulgence. I had limited money and was dependent on friends with similar taste and fatter wallet to decide on the movies to watch. Now, the trip to movie involves checking out the movie site, ratings given by other watchers, figuring out the fate of other movies employing the same spot boy and the astrological position of the Sun of the producer. As per my calculation, I spend close to 137 minutes to make the choice for a 90 minute movie. I then spend another 142 minutes to put my ratings in later.

Given the days of recession and my status of being currently unemployed, I do not have the luxury of choices. I have dusted my Math and Physics books and have started looking for a recruiter position in Coffee plantations in Brazil. I need to apologize for not using the right word for unemployed, as advised by numerous Job Search aid sites which is “I am between dreams”.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Writers' block

I tried lots of things including visiting a Doctor for clearing the block – writers’ block. Refined punctuation fanatics including the author who wrote “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” would be happy that the punctuations is right on in “Writers’ block”. I suffer from mild attacks of hypochondria once every hour which explains the doctor visit.

I searched “Times of India” for my favorite last page muse. Unfortunately none of the WAGs (wives and girl friends) of footballers and F1 drivers have paid a visit to the Doctor in the last week. Some of the cosmetic surgeons might even file for bankruptcy in case the trend continues. I am worried about TOI too, as the alpha males will not have any incentive to buy the paper then.

As I was left with no choice and to justify the money I spend on the paper, I turned to first page on the paper. It was to find out about a new 4 letter word discovered by George Bush (Jr) and P Chidambram – Shoe.

My ability to think bizarre situations might be directly proportional to the fall in the Sensex. The Sensex has the allure of all the alpha males because it has a sensual feel around it and it has been on rise for the past week. I am not complaining except that Satyam shares are staying exactly where they are.

I tried various positions. Before your imaginations run wild, I meant Yogic ones. All I got was a bad sprain. Fortunately for my publisher I am not writing a book. Otherwise he might to have to join the plastic surgeons soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fame; Name of the game

I am quite a popular person, especially among the pharmacist community in Canada. The connection could be attributed to my Chemistry major in the University. I get scores of mails from them wanting to sell prescription drugs. The top of the list is the one which rhymes with Niagara. They send these mails which sounds like preamble in a Philosophy book. A typical mail would read –

The gust of wind sways the heart.
We ship anywhere at no extra cost.

My friend thinks that it is to beat the spam filters. I would have agreed with him if I had not known better. The pharmacists on the Canadian Internet have figured out that mind has to be in peace first before the body responds. I read the same magazine as they do – Cosmopolitan. All you alpha males can laugh, but I read the magazine for current affairs. The one that features Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Mallika Sherawat and Abhishek Bachchan.

Most of the articles written to rekindle the passion in the Magazine talks about going to an uncluttered room with a whiff of incense or nice perfume and then whisper sweet nothings to each other. Radhika and I read this article and decided to implement it. We are at the first stage of un-cluttering (not a real English word as per MS Word) the room. The only thing is that it is going on for the past 3 years. Radhika wants to throw away my precious scrap paper collection which has large number of telephone numbers, most of them without names. She has clearly told that there will be nothing sweet to whisper till we get around this imbroglio. I tried emotionally blackmailing her that it will have a negative impact on the Canadian Pharmacy Industry, but to no avail.

The other set of folks I am popular with are women. I did not believe it myself, till they started sending intimate picture of themselves. Some of them want me to marry them also.

As my blog is read by solid middle class citizens with great values, I cannot reproduce the picture or the emails here. My theory is that that they know I am going to very famous in future and want me to sign the pictures and send it back to them. Next time folks, please send your mailing address in a self stamped envelope. I am a struggling writer and cannot afford stamps.

I am sure the tales of impending fame and current level of stamp impoverishment has reached Africa too. The thing I like about these folks that they are way better than publishers. The publishers want to see a book outline typed on pages with one inch margin on both sides with no spelling or grammatical mistakes. The way I want is; they hand over the 20,000 dollar cheque without bothering about mundane things like actually writing the book. It is season for big advances. Mr. Ramachandra Guha – The person who wrote the awesome book “India after Gandhi” got a 200,000 USD advance for his new books. 10% seems reasonable. I can throw in a discount for Cosmopolitan though.

These friends who are in Africa want to share millions of dollars with me. All I have to do is write an email (not a book) to them saying I am game. Unfortunately for me and my Nigerian friend, Radhika wants me to earn the money by actually writing the book. As I do not have any book idea, my fervent plea to my fans in Canada is that, please do not send me a one line philosophical quote. It is difficult to develop a book with a single line. The wind doth sways my heart, but the pen requires more inspiration.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

But, it is Emotional Attyachar

Emotions lead to questions. I am sure this is what researchers have found out and are prompting the producer to increase the emotional quotient of reality shows. The participant would have just sung his heart out and the host would ask “Do you think this performance would fulfill the dream of your neighbor’s dead great grandmother?” The participant then would discreetly wipe away the tear and say “Not only her dreams but her dog’s too”.

Personally I am wary of questions especially the ones asked by you know who (This is my Harry Potter hang over). There are 2 questions I actually dread; how do I look in this dress and how many drinks did you have. Of course, I do the great mumbling trick. I try mumbling in a very soothing manner looking for cues like “I think I will wear the green one, you did like it the last time”. This is the time to jump in and say “But babe, you look good in any dress”. Do not try this at home as I have been professionally trained on this one. It is dangerous to start any sentence with But especially when you are commenting on a dress.

For the second question on how many drinks did you have to drink. The tactic is to say two and immediately change the topic “Remember we used talk for at least two hours when we were going out”. Needless to say do not try this at home too. It has never worked.

The other kind of questions which I love is the TV presenter asking very insightful question such as “So you have won the Oscar, How do you feel?”

Obviously they are expecting an answer like this “The credit definitely goes to my Kindergarten teacher whose rendition of Ringa Ringa Roses was the inspiration. I feel awful winning the Oscar as I will have to share royalty with her. Is this being transmitted live?”

“Yes Sir”

“By the way when I did the song shut up and bounce, I did not expect the producer to take it very seriously. The payments have been bouncing. Bharat Bhai, please pick up my phone at least. It has been only ringa ringa”

As you can see I watch TV Shows under influence. However I love reality shows because of SMS voting. I own Bharti Airtel stocks and the only way the #@&* stock would go up is when you send multitude of SMS.

I am waiting to see the day when judges in reality show come to studio in their bath towel. It is not part of my adolescent fantasy but more of a recent one :-).

TV Host: Today, India has answered the most important question facing the nation today, what will the judge wear? Bharat Bhai for you India has decided that you will wear striped PJ and Vest.

Bharat Bhai: This is not fair. How many people have voted?

TV Host: Only one, and the SMS reads "this is for the bounces cheques".

So folks, please send those SMS using your Airtel moble, if you do not want me to end in a bath towel. I am not a pretty sight, my six packs are not yet ready. I need to go and put on the TV as my neigbours’ great grandmother is getting restless in the grave.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Marriage by listening

I got married the traditional way as they do in India – Arranged Marriage. We met at my house. She walked in and I was enamored. Only thing I could not show it because I had taken a deep breath and was afraid to let it out. My friends had told me that the best way to impress a girl is to have broad shoulders and chest. I forgot to stand in the line when God was distributing those.

She asked me “how are you” and I nodded. I thought I was giving the impression that I belong to the category of strong silent types. Radhika later told me that I looked like a constipated geek. As is the tradition in South Indian families the girl was requested to sing. I was wondering about the root of the tradition; which I am sure came from our movies. The guy looks at the girl and she bursts in song roughly indicating that she will be his soul mate and will allow him to hang out with his buddies at least once a week. The second part is not true but when you meet for the first time it is all music to ears. May be the female species also sing to ward off the males from flirting. I read this piece of news after reading the last page in a leading English daily; Wife of an English footballer settled in US is only going to hire male baby sitters only.

My Human resources experience has specifically trained me for instances such as this. I got in to the interview mode and asked a stupid question “Tell me about yourself”. When I am asked the question it puts me in a quandary and am tempted to answer; "I brush and floss my teeth regularly. I liked the movie Reader not for the steamy scenes but for the story. I dream of getting a six pack. The only way it comes true is when I buy a six pack of beer cans”.

So when I asked the question she acted coy and said something. I do not remember what she said because I was not listening. She then asked me to tell about myself. Tell me about yourself style of questioning is contagious. The flood gates opened....... I told her that one day I am going to write a book. She asked me the subject and nature of book. I looked at her with disdainful eyes and replied that that those are small petty things to worry about. The only thing we need to know that, it is going to be a best seller. I also mentioned about my dream of running a marathon (I did complete partially what I had promised by running half marathons)

I spoke for 30 minutes which was a mix of truth, fiction and dreams. Believe me that was the only 30 minute stretch ever I spoke to her. After that I have been only listening. It definitely lead me to become an effective HR person and got my colleagues to say “Jai is a great listener”. Marriage is not that bad at all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3 letter word with X in it

It is a three letter word which ends with X and I dread it a lot. As most of my readers are solid middle class citizens with strong family values, the first word which comes to their mind when they read the sentence is Tax. They are right. If you thought about some other word, Sorry dude, check out this Movie “Reader”.

In my (almost) forty years of existence, I am trying to figure out the utility of Taxes which is to provide jobs to tax consultants. I have a tax consultant even though I do not have any income at this moment. Let us call him Raghu because that is what his name is. I always check with him on tax related stuff.

Me: I keep listening to the ads which says bring all your junk and pick up a refrigerator at Big Bazaar. So do I have to pay any capital gains taxes for the exchange?

Raghu: You loser and you are late as usual. I went there and they gave me a nice earthen pot. They are out of it now.

The other utility of taxes which I read in my Son’s book is that Government uses it build roads, bridges and underpasses. I am glad that my tax money is working real hard in Bangalore. The roads and underpasses are perpetually under construction. I look at the pothole near my home and feel really guilty about not studying during my school days. I would have then paid my taxes in time and the Government would have filled the pothole.

Ideally speaking the Government should have incentive schemes; either to get folks to read their civic books during their school days or get them to pay taxes in time. The scheme would go like this. The citizens get to choose their favorite pothole and indicate it in their tax returns. When they fill the pothole, we can go and leave our hand imprint, like they do in Hollywood.

I have figured out that that the best way to make money is become a tax and life counselor myself. I have added the life part because I do not know anything about taxes. I do not know anything about life either, but hopefully I can hoodwink my clients. So I hung up a board and was in business and this is what happened.
Me: How often do you pay tax?

Client: Once a week

Me: Why it is not more often?

Client: I am getting old and cannot do it anymore. It is also all the Cess which we undergo in technology industry.

Me: How do you know that you are undergoing Cess?

Client: Times of India says so. Don’t you read the paper?

Me: As a responsible tax counselor, I go directly to the last page to check out whether Pamela is happy with her current asset situation. Have you discussed this with your Partner?

Client: The priest said that we were joined in holy matrimony but did not talk about joint accounts. By the way why it is called tax returns?

Me: Beats me, my tax has never returned.

Client: That is a nice small pot out there. How did you get it?

Me: They give it exchange at Big Bazaar for all the used tooth paste tubes.

Client: Really, but why is there a hole in it?

Me: The Government is yet to fill it.

So if you want to be immortal, send some money to me. On second thoughts, you can send lots of money too. I will fill the pothole on your behalf and name it after you. I will do it sometime during the next 3 financial years which would be faster than the Government. Now I need to go and brush my teeth as Radhika wanted one more pot at home.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My ice tray would walk one day

I had to blink hard and rub my eyes when I read the news article “ Shoes that works as Mobile Phone” . It made me think that I am not abnormal. I always wanted a printer which would make my photos look muscular, a clock to take the dog for a walk and a washing machine which throws away clothes which are never worn more than once and sale signs which would disappear when one walks by. I seem to be having lots of these, not ideas but clothes which are worn only once - in shop's trial room. It will be save me lots of money or otherwise I need to buy a separate house to store the clothes.
Going back to the shoes that think is that it would lead to better flexibity among the users. Currently in Bangalore, India whenever the mobile rings while driving a bike, the rider just shoves the phone between the ear and the shoulder in to a popular yogic pose called Mobile aasan. The picture below shows a variation of the pose it is called one hand phone pose.

Now imagine if the person wears the shoe mobile. It would definitely not only increase flexibility of the wearer but also of the reflexes of the folks who wants to get off way of the rider.
I always recollect that we have run out of ice, only after pouring the drinks in to the glass. The invention which I am definitely waiting; Ice cube trays which will automatically walk and fill themselves when they are empty. I would like to see the look on the face of the guests when the fridge door opens and the ice tray stepping out to fill itself.
The other invention I would like to have is memory reset counter. My wife keeps a keen watch on the number of drinks I have. She will also forget the year when I forgot her Birthday. Here is awful non prose to end this blog with
I can cancel the appointment with my shrink
I am normal, which is different from what my friends think
My wife keeps on saying “Have one more drink”
I keep talking to my shoes when the phone rings

Monday, March 2, 2009

G-gap is widening: Rd dis nw

It was required for people to be born at least 30 years apart from each other to have a generation gap. Apparently they have changed the rule and that too without telling me. I was busy attacking the Samosa in the party when my friend sidled up to me and said “I want people like you from the next generation to take over from us”. I almost choked on Samosa with couple of peas stuck in my trachea. My friend is 6 months older than me. It made me conclude that, generation gap can not only be contentious but also be deadly. If you are a regular reader then you would not have failed to notice the “Not only but also” combination.

In keeping with the times, the forces that decides all these things – the folks who run Facebook and Youtube are running out of letters to describe the generation. My generation was called Generation W. It has to be, as the current one is called Generation X. Only thing is that nobody told us we are Generation W.

My proposal is that we can come up with a very simple system which is a combination of letters and numbers. Instead of generalizing and saying that I belong to Gen X, one can say I belong to Gen X.205 version 3.2. It would be make life easier for us folks who were born on the older side of 20th century.

So if receive an email which reads – “Hw’s ur gf? Orkut 4 dt. Mt me @ 5. Gr8. LOL”
All you have to do is run it through the dictionary for finding out the translation in to Generation W Language. If you belong to Generation V then Ha, ha, ha or LOL 2 U.

It is amazing to see that need for vowels are completely eliminated. This is because most or all of the communications happen over phones and everybody is strapped for time; ILU, U R fired, U R dmpd Lsr or Cme 2 da tble 4 dnr. I am sure there is some body smart in Nokia who is proposing a cost saving solution of removing the vowels from the number pad on the phone.
If we type the vowels then it would be impossible to keep up with the messages. It also means that you would get around to sending your New Year greetings by SMS in July only.

I am sure that time is not very far away when my son Aditya would have the perfect excuse for not coming for dinner – “Pop, but you did not send me a calendar request”

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Points to be taken

It was literally a red letter day for me in the month of December. I got a personal letter with the Signature Red from Dr. Vijay Mallya. He expressed his gratitude gushingly for patronizing his airlines and has encouraged me to use it more for which I would get more points. If I collect enough of them, may be I would get a chance to become Atul Kasbekar’s assistant for shooting swim suit calendars.

Points have always been a great motivator. I have more than 20 point cards. Some of them are rare and is available only to manic point collectors. Like the one I have for collecting points for parking my car at Shoppers Stop.

The other day I wanted to earn brownie points from Radhika, my wife.
Me:- Did you notice something?
Radhika: What?
Me: I did not do something especially for you.
Radhika: Other husbands do something special and the lot I picked does “not do” something special. Anyway what is it?
Me (in the tone used by Amitabh when he sacrifices his life in Sholay): I did not go for badminton today.
Radhika: So?
Me: Ok, hand over the dusting cloth, my points are depleted and I need to replenish them.

Some of the points which have been collected by spending needlessly on credit cards have been converted to a small clinic at home. We have state of the art – BP Monitor, Thermometer and Weighing machine which conveniently lies. It asks you – “How much do you want to weigh today”

Some of the other points have been converted to Kitchen stuff. My wife is extremely possessive of Kitchen space.

She has had her full with multiple timers, coffee maker and a food processor with blades which have never been taken out of the cover. Unless it was to show off my gadget freakishness to unsuspecting guests – “This extension can not only crush juice out of dry pomegranates but can count the number of seeds in them”. Radhika has definitely reached the tipping point and has informed me that she will start charging rent on any new buys.

Point taken, especially in the recession times.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gifting ideas: Oil cans always wins

I am flummoxed among other things is the process of buying gifts for Birthdays or for the matter Valentine Day. Others things also flummoxes me; Wild swings of the stock market and weather in Bangalore.

The only certain thing in today's life is traffic jam
and losses due to Satyam scam.

Not only I can write prose but rhyme too. We men like to compare among other things - Time stuck in traffic jam. Favorite being, "You know I was stuck for 3 hours near Trinity circle", "It takes me more time to come from Hyderabad then from Bangalore Airport to home". If you think only women compare figures, think again. We men also like compare the figures – Salary ones. We also buy bigger cars because size does matter.

However nothing flummoxes me more than the process of buying birthday gifts for "You know who" (I read too many Harry Potter books). The choices are endless
• Should it be a surprise or should you take her along. The only problem is that shopping induces involuntary yawning in me which leads to catastrophic consequences.
• Should it be a diamond or as only the thought matters that we can get away with a single rose. I have come to a conclusion, thoughts are ephemeral but diamonds are forever.
• If it is a dress then should we buy the right size or flatter her by buying small

I am amazed at the fact women can do this so easily. They look at a person and gifting portion of the brain starts whizzing and tells them in no uncertain voice. The most appropriate gift would be tall wine glasses which are marked as cut in Bohemia and are in sale which is unknown to other 3 billion women on this earth.
My wife used to buy gifts for relatives when returning home for vacation from Japan. The receiver will go in to raptures. One time she bought small plastic oil cans for my Mother and her friends. I was laughing along with the baggage scanner in the airport. However my wife had the last laugh when my mother whooped with joy and became the neighbor hood navarathri heroine, while the well chosen vacuum cleaner by me got a cursory glance.
PS: This is classic Jai. It means that it is a rehash of an earlier piece written by me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spice up your bedroom moves

I am a left brained person at least that is what I think. This has been found scientifically by taking a cosmopolitan quiz which went like this. Take a spoon and gently tap your left side of your head and then your right side. Rate the sound you hear on a scale of 1 to 10 and multiply with how many times you spoke with your husband in the last week. My score was zero as I do not have a husband. I had to call up the helpline after going through an interactive voice response system for 12 days, the helpline person told me that husband can be substituted for partner. It is then I remembered that I got one word side ways in the last six months with my partner. The result is that my right brain is non existent and my left brain is the size of a pea.

Cosmopolitan is full of surprises. I told Radhika to read an article with a screaming headline “Spice up your bedroom with 12 moves which will floor him”. After a week our bedroom was spiced up with bright bed sheets, curtains and 12 other items and of course I was really floored by the credit card bill.

As a left brained person, my approach to all problems is sequential. It is proven fact that persons with sequential thinking can only cook one thing – Water. Folks who are little bit more parallel in their thinking can do Maggi Noodles. It becomes a challenge when Radhika goes away to her in-laws place during summer. Irrespective of the culture or the age of the women, they become epitome of compliance in the presence of in-laws. The good thing is that I can happily keep the coffee mug unattended and with out any support. They spring legs and carry themselves to the sink instead of me carrying them.

The only way to over come the challenge of cooking during Radhika’s absence is talking to her on the phone. It is the time, I finish my quota of talking to her for the year. Talking quotas are very important. Here is the proof.

Radhika: We do not talk any more.

Me: It is not true; remember we spoke for 15 whole minutes when I made Sambar the last June

Radhika: Ah, yes

We live happily till the next summer vacation.

My instructions on the phone call goes like this. Wash the potato with water and cut in to pieces roughly the sizes 2 cm by 2 cm. At this moment, I will drop every thing and raid my son’s cupboard for a scale. You can understand the reason that the potato curry gets made in roughly 3 days. I had to order industrial grade thermometer because I burnt our normal one making Sambar. The other things used are multiple watches. All items which are being cooked has a watch by its side. If my wife or the recipe book says, cook it for 7 minutes then 7 minutes it is.

If you know the editor of cosmopolitan, let her know that I have managed to spice up my kitchen with my moves by sprinkling turmeric and chilly powder on the floor and can write an article – Get your husband to spice up the kitchen floor.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Beat the Bangalore traffic - Use Nano Technology

Like everyone else in Bangalore, I love to talk about Traffic. My belief is that without traffic Bangalore will be a city where no body can carry a conversation for more than 5 seconds. Fortunately for the well being of so many Bangaloreans, I do not know to drive but employ a driver. His name is Bangarappa. He is seriously thinking of changing his name. It is not to appease the gods of luck with numerology. It is to salvage his pride after Bangarappa lost his election to Yeddyurappa.

If I could change my name, I would like to change it to Brad Pitt / Gregory Peck to match with the way I would want to look. I can also change it Shahrukh Khan to match with the 6 packs which I am planning to get by my next life.

My driver is extremely technology conscious. He can change his ring tone every other day while my wife cannot. It is also because he has a better mobile phone.

The simple funda in my life

Good drivers are hard to come by,

You can always find a new wife

The other reason I say that Bangarappa is on cutting edge of technology is because he is a Nano Technology researcher in disguise. He believes that he can squeeze an 1100 cc sedan in to space less than few millimeters including legs of cattle which passes our way.

He also shares the following beliefs that all the motorists in Bangalore have.

  1. He is always right even when going down on a one way street in the opposite way
  2. If you are involved in an accident then you broke a very important law. It is not the traffic ones but the law of nature. The law of nature which says that no two things can be at the same place at the same time
  3. All the other motorists are wrong
  4. Most of the others drive as they have address the call of nature this very second
  5. Traffic lights are optional
Optional is some thing all of us learn as students. All my course mates including me used to study only 50% of the syllabus. We did more important things like appreciating the art of movies for rest of the time. At a campus where we were doing interviews, one of the students was asked - Please tell the sequency for memory access in a computer. The student answered confidently "But sir, I left it as option during my exams". All of us nodded sympathetically and would have promptly hired him except that this student had left every thing out as optional.

As a very compliant employer, there are very few rules set by me for Bangarappa. He cannot honk unless it is national emergency like the Indo Pak cricket match will get over by the time we reach home. The other one is that he cannot use his mobile phone while driving. It is good that at least some of the other fellow motorists also follow the rule. They use a hand free while attending to phone calls while driving. They get used to it so much that they use it even they are sleeping. The other day I saw a guy who made to the toilet with his hands free blinking from the ear and then the phone rang. He went about doing the business while on the hand free; he exclaims “What boss, long time, no see".

So folks, overtake a cattle head at your own peril, for Bangarappa could be driving underneath.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jump off the rat race

My dream goes like this that I am running very hard and am at the same place. I always open my eyes to find my dream is true as I am clocking away miles on the treadmill.  It is the ultimate rat race. If you stop you fall off. 

I tried getting off the rat race. Unfortunately the method I chose went awry. I bought Satyam Shares in 16 tranches. I own so much of it that I got a call from my CA who helps me to do tax returns. He wants to make sure that I have enough money in the bank to cover his fees this time over. A mere bank statement will not suffice now. He wants to go to the bank and physically count the money they have in my account. My title of the book has changed to Intelligent Loser. At least the second part of the title is true.

In order to get out of dire straits, a well wisher advised me to moon light in to advertising. I think it is a great idea, but for my extrapolated thinking. I keep extrapolating ads in to future.

Pappu pass ho goya. He marries, has kid(s) unless he has the condom ringtone on his phones. The ring tone is a great tool which would keep every body around celibate.  Pappu then jumps in joy and distributes chocolates when the telemarketer tells him that he is the chosen one for the new credit card.

Sar utha ke jiyo. The protagonist does exactly that and bumps his head on a low ceiling. He then goes ahead and buys shares in Satyam.

Hungry kya. The hero only eats in Mac and develops plaques in coronary artery. As he is not a VIP, he admits himself in to a normal hospital and utters the magic words " I have insurance". Hospital then does a very fast bypass and gives a bill which bankrupts the insurance company. It also compels the hero to apply for the job which says earn Rs. 50,000 by doing web search.

So folks, if you want anybody to extend an advertisement to a full length hindi movie lasting longer than Jodha Akbar then I can surely take it up.  For extra money I will even walk the red carpet with Ashutosh G.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gym Capers: Way to stronger teeth

Nowadays, I feel like Salman Khan. Not that I immensely worried about upcoming Chinkara trial dates or whether Katrina Kaif is having eyes for Ranbir. I am going to the gym regularly and fulfilled my dream of doing bench presses. This is definitely the year when all of my dreams might come true, which is making me a worried man. I am worried about spending money on new clothes for my evening out with Deepika Padukone. I am also worried that I might kill somebody due to all the weight training I am doing.

a. The real gym addicts would die of laughter when they see the weight which I put on the bar for the bench press (It is thin air, if you want to know). Atmospheric pressure is not light.
b. Or, I might drop the bar on the lady doing leg lifts nearby
c. Or, the leg lift lady would kill me or the gym instructor 
Lady after doing 15 leg lifts: “Aur kitna karna hain” (How much more to do). 
Gym Instructor in a loud voice: “Madam, Aur 3 round karo, Thighs kam karna hain na” (Madam, Do 3 more rounds, you want to reduce your thighs right). As you might be aware it is dangerous to stare at the thighs (thinning or otherwise). 

Gym also helps you to become good at Math. Not only you learn to count calories you intake but also the one you spend. Many of you must have noticed the “not only – but also” combination. Thanks to Wren and Martin, this is the one of the five grammar rules I know and use regularly. I was always enamored by the Wren and Martin. It was the first fat academic book I started reading. It never failed to impress my parents. I spent most of my time reading the comprehension stories at the end of the book and guys writing complaint letters. 

I have figured out that making coffee consumes the most amount of calories. It beats doing laundry, putting clothes to dry, dusting, etc. This is because I make the coffee. My favorite come back that you do not help around the house has been to mop the sweat of the forehead and remark “But, I make coffee”. 

I have already started day dreaming of doing celebrity endorsements once I complete 300 days of going to the gym. The issue is that only the following companies come to the apartment for advertising; Kaya skin clinic, Mimo (For mothers and mothers to be), Manipal Dental clinic and Strawberry clothes. 

I cannot do Kaya Skin Clinic because it is sure that the only skin which has a visible glow is my thinning scalp. Radhika will definitely put multiple bolts on the door after pushing me out, for endorsing Mimo. Imagine pointing to a pregnant lady and saying “Try mimo, it worked”. I once bought a phone which was strawberry red in color and quickly got multiple propositions from guys with bulging biceps. I quickly decided strawberries do not agree with me as I do not want to feel like Boy George in a prison.

Of all the avenues available, I will do the Manipal because it would match with my post gym personality. My teeth would be infinitely stronger after 300 days of crunching them while trying to lift the gym mats. It is definitely in me to look confidently in to the camera and say –
We will make your tooth brighter and you wallet 250 rupees lighter
If you suffer from after-effects of seeing thinning thighs, do not despair
We will reset your jaw, without a flaw

If the above does not rhyme well, bring on the Wren and Martin. I am sure to lift it fifteen times at a go once I complete my resolution.