Monday, December 27, 2010

Words and Meanings

Words are the very essence of life. It has always been my plan to hone the craft of writing them and make money out of it.

I listen to words very carefully, especially when I have broken my commitment of getting the wires from Wii and PS3 fixed for the 227th time. My choice in the matter is limited. I always listen to my wife.

Every time I promise, I really mean to do it. However, something critical happens at that time like Mortgage crisis or Wikileaks. This leads to serious study of situation and discussion with other experts. I want to be prepared just in case Secretary Clinton or Reserve Bank Governor calls me for advice. I should confess that it is not only the news cycle which keeps me busy but also there is an occasional Sheela ki Jawani for distraction.

Words take a life of their own and assume new meanings. This is a short summary of words with old and new meanings. I actually wanted to write “Time and Memory Challenged” instead of “old” but then..............I forgot.

Old: Please take this tablets thrice a day after food. See me after a week in case you still have money in your insurance
New: My tablet is really sensitive to touch. I need to caress it for some time before the screen brightens up.

Old: I always have liked you. I never knew that I like you that way ;-).
New: In case you are enthused by the millionth photo of Eiffel Tower on Facebook, please press the like button.

Old: You need to share your toys with your friend or else I will not buy any more new ones.
New: I just landed in airport. It might not be earth shattering but would like to share it on Twitter. Hopefully twenty folks at the airport might read it and give me a standing ovation for eating the airline food without fuss.

Old: I want hot coffee.
New: I want Brazilian coffee of 2007 vintage roasted to 160 degrees centigrade. Grounded by a motor rotating at 2000 rpm. Brewed at 7 AM in the morning. With skimmed mild by the side with a dash of vanilla in a tall glass please.

Old: I cannot come to work and increase shareholder value for next couple of days because I am suffering from a viral infection
New: Susan Boyle

Old: Mankind, meant Personkind (to include all the genders) have spent lifetimes in the eternal search of meaning of life. It took us a Hitchhikers guide to galaxy to find out that it is 42.
New: To the consternation of Yahoo and Microsoft, it is Google.

I can go on but need to fix those wires or else I would be grounded. Wait the phone is ringing. By the sound of it, I think it is Wen Jiabao wanting to figure out the currency valuation of Yuan. It is a tough choice but the one which has to be made. I think I will listen to my wife one more time. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cult Fiction

When I was between jobs, one of the career options I had before me was to start a Cult. The basic structure of the Cult is the same everywhere. Here is a non exhaustive list I made:

  • Smile enigmatically.
  • Get a contract signed before hand with all the cult followers.
  • Speak with pregnant pauses (and also ensure that only pauses are pregnant).
  •  Make sure that private retiring quarters are not spy-cam friendly.
  • Acquire new wheels. If you do not have the money, do not worry, banks are more than willing to finance cult leaders. Apparently they are more successful than  technology start-ups.
  • Have levels. It is important for your followers to feel that they have are progressing spiritually.
  • Keep a lecture ready. If you do not have here is a starter one.
The Myth of Inner Happiness
My fellow Universal beings, who keep asking “what’s up” and also are in the eternal quest of happiness; Today I am going to talk about the myth. The myth of inner happiness. 

Happiness is as elusive as the wind which caresses your face or as sure as the facebook poke. You have been told that the happiness lies within yourself. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you have been told a lie.
Your happiness depends on the external world and how you react to it. One month back, my ashram accountant told me that our cash balance has fallen below a billion dollars. 

I opened my arms
And stretched it far and wide
Asked for Alms
Came in Dollars, Rupees, Yens, Euros and even a helicopter ride
When faced with penury
I did not wallow in pity
There in lies the moral of story

Seriously, Happiness belongs to those who seek it. My mantra for happiness is as follows
  • Always be in the company of people who laugh and make others laugh
  • Surround yourselves with photos and memorabilia of family, friends
  • Love
Happiness is not just with in you. It is easier if you get it to work for you. Create an environment which makes you happy; A family dinner, friendly conversation, run in the woods, well done report in time, crossed off to do lists, filed papers, reading good books, watching a play, holding hands while walking, generosity.
So children, your inner self is dependent on the environment you create for yourself.   

Draw a circle around you and fill it with happy friends, happy books, happy plays and movies and see your inner world becoming happy.

I would like to quote my guru, Douglas Adams in the seminal book The hitchhikers guide to galaxy
to answer the supreme question
What’s up
I do not know, I have never been there
Be happy and make me and my accountant happy either through cash or credit cards. Love to you all.

Ps:- Please check out Gretchen Rubin blog on happiness.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fuzzy Logic

The collective IQ of my household is 58,732. On hearing this, Please do not rush to us to solve important problems like the best way to make a volcano famous or which is the next country Brad Pitt should adopt from.

This is because as a family we are normal folks with average intelligence. However we have really smart gadgets to help us out to increase the collective intelligence. It normally starts off with me reading the important parts of the newspaper – advertisement.  The ads typically run like this. “Our ACs are really smart. They save 18% of power and can sense your presence in the room and direct the airflow towards you”.  Being powerless the first utility is of no great use to me.

My friend bought this air conditioner. I spent most part of an afternoon jumping around the room to see whether the air flow gets directed. It is true; the air conditioner can sense my presence. The air flow start flowing towards the TV after it was switched on with SRK dancing around. It is not the case of one smart device seeking another.  Apparently the AC can sense the net worth and smarts too.  I normally stick around with my wife whenever I visit my friend’s house.

My grandma was visiting us when we bought a fully automatic washing machine twenty years ago. She was fascinated by the machine that it can take drudgery out of everyday life. She asked me the cost of the machine. When I told her that it costs around Rs. 12,000, she almost fainted. Obviously she wanted to get me tested for sanity. She got over it and asked the reason for it being so expensive. My answer was “it is fully automatic and it does everything by itself”.  Her retort was “for that kind of money, hope it undresses you, washes the clothes and put it back on you”. She never stood near the machine, lest there is a misunderstanding of the intent.

As a man who like statistics, I run with Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor with and a NIKE + IPOD SPORT KIT. It has been known that Air Traffic Controller routinely declare my running route as “No Fly Zone” as I cause disturbance to the Earth’s magnetic field. The first one is an awesome GPS watch which accurately tells me my location, speed and heart rate. It gives me great kick to announce that we are in Lalbaugh and my heart rate has just jumped. My friends are definitely not enthused as there are thousand sign boards to tell our location. They are also worried when I make the heart rate comment as it is usually preceded by a pretty one passing by. They think I will get literally kicked.

I am not so bothered. They (My friends) will go green with envy when they hear about the future millions in my bank and never have any marital trouble. This is because I have started asking for stock tips and life advice from our Food Processor. It has fuzzy logic, you see.  The day will come soon when both SRK and I will get the same treatment from the air conditioner.

PS:- I do not own any shares of Panasonic (not yet) or Garmin or Nike. My food processor is quite silent on that front.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mid life desires (Not crisis)

I have answered the most important question in life here.

Why the heck middle age is called the middle age?

Folks who are still in school; I am not referring to the time period in earth where hairy people rubbed stones to make fire and poked each other with spears instead of facebook. Gee, they did not have facebook at that time; losers.

I am talking of the age when your parents can embarrass you by breathing.

Here is the answer to the important question. It is called the middle age because whatever you eat it ends up in the middle. Alarmingly your age becomes your waist size.

One day in the morning, I woke up and found out that I have stepped in to middle age. I did not realize it till my wife subjected to me a fidelity test which I have always failed till date.

“What do you think of the pretty model on the billboard”

I replied “It is good, but I heard that the next release is going to have 3G and multi-touch”

She went quiet and I think her cheek was wet with tears. This has never happened before. She can now claim her husband to be completely hers. Only thing is the most of the time her husband is bumbling around the house asking “Who am I”. Not philosophically because it is bloody hard to remember.

So in order to bring coolness in to my life, I literally took matter in to my hands. Discerning readers would have noticed that I did not say “to bring coolness back”.

It happened during my wife’s annual trip to her in-laws and my in-laws. It is the scene straight out of the movie – Seven year itch. My mind was filled with all the wild things I would do during her absence. I could not remember of even one though. Alas, there was no Marlyn Monroe to seduce me. Hence, I called up the person who comes handy during this time to correct the situation – Russell the Artist. I knew that he was an artist because among other things he had his nose pierced. He is no ordinary artist, he makes permanent markings on your body, through mutual consent.

I went to a social gathering with a teaser portion peeking out and proudly declared – “I got a tattoo”. One pretty young one approached me. I thought at last I have become super cool but my world came crashing down when she said “Uncle, where is the tattoo”. I bit back by tears, ignored the uncle bit and replied in a husky voice “On my biceps”. She started laughing out loud and said “What biceps”. The dam burst and my Tshirt was wet with tears (Read all about me trying to build biceps in Gym capers, way to stronger teeth).

So If you see a middle aged guy with a wet Tshirt, mumbling to himself “who am I”. Show him this picture to remind him about his identity.

If you are a lady, give him a hug. Please do ensure that his wife is not around though.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Life Rules

Life rules could be a great name for Sitcom, but here it indicates the rules of living. If you think this would lead to salvation or make you extremely successful then stop reading. Most of the rules are applicable only to me. Hence do not practice at your home. It has taken more than 15 years of domesticated training and I still have not mastered many of them. As they say life is continuous learning process.

Rule # 1
No Dusts while there are Guests: Our house is impeccable except for the corners inhabited by me. The book shelves look like many bulls has recently visited them. My wife has made sure that they are kept under wraps so that nobody can stumble in to it. The arrangement is that she will take care of food while I am suppose to keep the home time tidy by the time guests arrive. I will labour away to glory and announce "Radhika, I think the only place cleaner than this is the operation theatre". Her nose will spring a tiny wrinkle when she clears the 3 feet dust ball from the corner. I think they materialize from a different plane when my wife does inspections.

Rule # 2
Appetizers (Starters) are for Guests: I also contribute to the preparation of food in two ways. The chief most is by telling "You make awesome bread rolls. Please make them for the evening". The second one is by getting out of the way. The guests arrive and then the starters are served. It always happens that the starter bowls are placed near me. This kicks in the primate instinct in me. I have known to growl and bare my fangs at the guests who make any attempt to dip in to the starters. My wife has tried everything; putting the starters under combination locks with the code known only to guests, using subliminal messages, to telling "Starters are for guests". I become a brave person and defy my wife fortified by the presence of guests and completely ignore her. As nothing has worked, am taking the cue from Tiger Woods and enrolling myself in to Starter de-addiction centre. My request to all my guests is that I will pay you off. Please do not bare any SMS text on the web.

Rule # 3
Pizza delivery slips are important than passports: This is the reason, I keep pizza delivery slips which is more than 10 years old in a safe location and my wife is in charge of the passports and other non significant documents like insurance policies

Rule # 4

Do not sleep before guests: I have sleep bomb which goes off exactly 10:29 PM every night. We would be in midst of animated discussions on such important topics like the correlation between the length of the cheer leader skirts to the propensity of the team winning in IPL. Then the clock would strike 10:29 and lo, I would be asleep. (Note to my wife: In my dreams the cheer leaders wear full length skirts). Fortunately, I have found a way around it. I have asked my friends to wake me up before my wife steps in to the living room. Even if it means emptying the champagne bucket on me.

Corollory to Rule #4

Even if you do sleep, do not snore. Even if you snore, make sure that it is within human hearing range. It is difficult to replace spectacles of my guests which have got broken by my snoring.