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.