Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Am I worthy enough ...?

I am living a lie,
if I say, "Everybody loves me"

I am living a lie,
If I say, "I love everybody"

But I am not living a lie,
If I say, "I don't hate anybody"

I might dislike the manners
But if I hate somebody,
I dislike the very existence

By hating somebody, 
I place myself above the Mother Nature 

That's the time to question myself,
Am I worthy enough to do so?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is your MOM cared enough?

     India is an ancient country. We have a history of thousand years. In many ways India ,as a country, is a grand-mom to almost all other countries in the world. In a pleasant contrast we are also a country of young people. According to World bank report published in 2012 every second person in India is young ( person of working age).  But it doesn't mean that rest all are old; remaining population is made of older or younger people. My specific interest was in knowing how many of them are old which typically means people above the age of 60 years. And data shows that 10% of them are old. It means every tenth person in India is old and this percentage is growing every day. By 2040 every eighth person in India would be old and then onward there would be steep increase in the number of elderly people around us. Are we, as a country and society, ready for this demographic change? Unfortunately answer for this question is big "NO".
     Our countries infrastructural and socioeconomic changes are in fact creating a very unfavorable environment for elderly people. If I have to state a few major problems then they would be...

1. Cost of Living and Medication 
2. Marginalization by society which is prominently young
3. Stress of lifestyle mismatch with current generation
4. Weakening of family bonds 
5. Psychological side effects of loneliness
6. Elderly unfriendly infrastructure and provisions  
7. Virtually non-existent elderly care system            

      All these factors have assumed big enough proportion to be looked into and addressed. Time has come that we proactively look into these issues and start creating necessary awareness about the elderly care which in turn may lead to favorable government policies, better focus from NGOs and possible attention from business community.
    My friends we owe so much to this grayed population; now time has come to return the favor. 

Monday, November 18, 2013


I characterize myself by a prime time TV character, Homer Simpson. I am amused by the similarity of this character, or rather exactness of this character, with a character called me. In fact I started suspecting that author has developed Homer after carefully studying me and my lifestyle. My suspicion forged into confirmation when I saw this picture of Homer Simpson. 

The reason I am sharing this is very simple, I intend to set your expectations right. As a brainless chap I lived a very insignificant life and following is a brief account of the same.    

I was born to a school teacher and a house maker. Being their first child they had lot of expectations from me. But I was quick enough to set their expectations right. My father detected my brain paralysis (or rather absence of anything called brains) in my early age . For my mother, it took some time to come to the terms but eventually she accepted the fact. Being a mother she was little more patient but years later my choice of bride has confirmed the condition to her. 

I have two siblings; a sister and a brother. They are twins who collectively carry the load of the very same expectations which my parents earlier had from me. All three of us did our schooling in a small town from Maharashtra and went to same school. Me and my school never had a cordial relationship. We always had differences of opinions on what is right on what is wrong, especially in the context of answers to exam questions and behavior in general. Obliviously I, being meek and week, was always overpowered by school. This resulted in less than poor performance at school and less than zero appreciation at home. 

My existence in school was so much insignificant that I am merely remembered by anybody in the school. To quote an example, my class teacher of six consecutive years , who would eventually become my mother-in-law, was so much so unappreciative of me that she had to be reminded of me when her daughter re-introduced me to her. She could relate to me only when it was told that I am elder to my younger brother and sister who also studied in the same school. Obliviously my parents were not wrong in resting their hopes on my siblings. 

After my schooling I did my diploma in mechanical engineering and by some strange coincidence landed in National Chemical Laboratory(NCL) which is a reputed research lab of India. I joining NCL was a reason strong enough for my relatives to question the credibility of NCL. During my NCL tenure most of the time I was doing nothing; there I was a total misfit among those scientists, chemists and PhD aspirants. I survived there for a year and later made a switch to information technology sector. One biggest advantage of IT industry is that jerk like me can easily hide himself in a crowed and can still claim contribution to success under the disguise of teamwork. IT industry was kinder to me it and it continues to provide me my bread & butter & pizza & McD Burger & many more such essential things. 

Later I married to my long time girlfriend who had special preference for dumb husband. She had a belief that dumb husband is easier to control than the smarter one. She was a smart girl and she always believed in conventional wisdom. Understandably, falling in love wasn't difficult for me because being dumb comes naturally to me. 

A Couple of years letter we were blessed with a daughter who is six years old now. Recently I overheard her talking to her mother; she was referring me as brainless scarecrow from a popular children story book, "The wonderful wizard of oz". This book features a Scarecrow as a character which is in search of brains. That day my life came full circle as I was being called by the same name as my father used to call me by, BRAINLESS. Of course, this time, along with truth, there was lot of innocence in it and I loved it.

Note for the personalities mentioned in the story above: Please do not feel offended if you find your mention untrue and far from the reality. I wrote this blog as a creative writing exercise; I have no intentions to hurt anybody. It was just a fun writing for fun reading. :-) 

Image Credit: photobucket.com

Thursday, August 22, 2013


It was four O'Clock in morning. I was in a rush; I needed to catch an early morning flight. As usual I woke up late. Cab was waiting out for a long time. By far, cab-driver had called me thrice; first two times to ask for the directions and third time to wake me up.
    I hurried through my morning rituals and jumped into the car. The moment my seat hit the car seat a buzzer went up and number NINETY started flashing on the car dashboard. I was not surprised by the buzzer but was certainly surprised by the number NINETY. I was eighty-five kg just a week back and here I am at ninety today; five kgs of gain in a week's time was surely a reason to be surprised and to be worried too. I credited some of this gain to my unfinished morning rituals to soften my guilt.
    Speaking of driver disturbed my thoughts. In a very polite tone he was telling me that I am twenty kg overweight by the standard of taxi service and it means I need to pay extra, over and above the normal taxi fare. I smiled at him, showed him my frequent traveller card and told him, "I have enough balance". I knew that I have at least hundred kgs accumulated under my account. Thanks to taxi company which credits one kg for every 100 kilometers of road travel. 
    In the company of my thoughts I didn't realized that I am already at airport. I jumped out of the car leaving five kg discount coupon as a tip for the driver. 
    Standing in a check-in queue, like any other passenger, I too was thinking about today's overweight kg(OWKG) rate. Recently RBI had pegged Overweight KG to US dollar and I knew that yesterday's running rate was ten dollars for a kg. I couldn't really convert it into rupees. Rupee was on slide since 2013 and ever since it was very difficult to track it's value. Relatively, overweight kg was much stable currency. You could always use US dollars if you are out of overweight kg. However Outlets like McD, KFC, Pizza-hut were keeping new overweight KG currency in a healthy circulation.
    By then it was my time to check-in. I paid twenty new overweight kg notes for my extra twenty kgs and secured my boarding pass.
    I still had some more time before I board the plane. So I stopped by a buffet breakfast restaurant. Obviously I was welcomed by a "Good Morning" and a weighing scale. Buffet rate were linked to the guest's weight. Sitting there, around me, were many weights of different kinds, size and shapes. Looking at them anybody would have told you that WEIGHTONOMY was booming.
    I stepped out of the resto after a filling breakfast and boarded by plane. Sitting there I pulled out a new overweight kg note. It looked very similar to regular Rupee note except for the picture of Mahatma Gandhi. Here was no picture of our regular thin & lean Mahatma Gandhi; instead there was a picture of well rounded and overweight SUMO who had a face of Mahatma Gandhi.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Let me start with a small trick. I want you to imagine any number between one and ten. Now multiply that number by nine. Next, only if your product is a double digit number than do a summation of those digits and use that as your current number. Now multiply your current number by five. Good!!! now store this last number in your memory.

Next task is to imagine digit one as a letter "A", two as a letter "B", three as a letter "C", four as a letter "D" and so on.

Now pull out that number which you have parked earlier and replace it's digits with letters as we have mapped them in our earlier step. At this point you have your number converted to a string of letters.

Next, think about the name of a country which starts with first letter and name of an animal which starts with second latter.

There are every chances of you thinking about "Denmark" and "Elephant". If not, one possibility is that you are from the country "Djibouti" or "Dominica". But believe me, majority of us would think of "Denmark" and "Elephant".  

The point which I want to make is very simple, "We all are conditioned". And that's why in many ways we are predictable. The trick I played is a proof of that.

We are conditioned to think the way we think, we are conditioned to behave the way we behave and we are conditioned to react the way we react. We are being conditioned since the day one on this planet. Starting from our parents we have been conditioned by each and every person and institute which came in our contact. We are conditioned by our relatives; by our neighbors; by our friends; by the school where we studied, by the society, by universities; by our loves, by our spouses and list will go on and on.

All these influences make us what we are today. These influences govern our thinking patterns, our selection patterns, factors we consider for making decisions and more than anything else they decide how we perceive our own self.

Interestingly all of us are implicitly aware of this phenomenon of human personality development and generations of us have effectively used it to their purpose; purpose of creating predictable creatures. In fact I would go to an extent to say that we are robots who in many ways think similarly, act similarly and react similarly. Though many of us have found ways to celebrate their uniqueness but in nutshell that uniqueness is nothing but a variation in conditioning.

Being predictable isn't wrong; in fact it is very much required for the order of our daily life. But worry is that many of us have started believing our conditioning as our reality. We have forged rigid ideas of good and bad. And because of which we refuse to accommodate new ideas; new perspectives and new paradigms. I call it "A for Apple" syndrome.

All of us must strive to break free of this illusion. On occasions it is nice to imagine "A" as "Another World" which has "Ten Moons" and "A Sun" which melts by evening to cause a flood of light.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


My grandfather was sitting in his chair. He was wearing somewhat sheepish expressions and was staring at the wall in front of him. He knew that she is in foul mood and it would be futile to explain. My grandmother was obviously very angry with him. I don’t exactly remember the reason why but for me that wasn’t important.  The old lady was short tempered so she was never short of reasons. My object of study was my grandfather whom I was observing carefully while pretending to be studying in the same room.  I didn’t hear him say ANYTHING; sometime he would nod but it was very difficult to deduce anything out of that. The show went on until my grandmother ran out of steam and shifted her base.
On her departure I went to him. He still had the same expressions. I whispered to him, “what happened?”, but he couldn’t hear. Next time I was much louder but still no response. But this time he noticed that I am trying to say something; so he lifted up his hands towards his ears; removed his ear plugs and said, “YES DEAR, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY?”…. This was first time that I witnessed the POWER OF SILENCE. Later I have seen even my father applying it. I too practice it on regular basis.
Silence is a very potent tool in marriage. It saves you the hassle of answering unending series of questions if you master it well. Moreover it allows you to keep things open ended by its virtue of not taking any concrete stand. Here is an example…

My wife: Shall we go to Singapore for this December vacation?
Me: <a nod>
My wife: Priti is there so we can stay at her place. It saves us expense on stay.
Me: <two nods>
My wife: Jet is offering very good price for to and fro ticket.
Me: <two more nods>
My wife:  <Smiles – her day is made>
          For her, we are going as I didn’t say NO. For me, we are not as I didn’t say YES. Silence continues to be at work for few more days of blissful life. Later the topic loses its fizzle since it isn’t discussed much and her mother gets an invitation for December stay. J
Silence is equally effective at office. It helps you avoid assignments from your boss. Here is an example…since it is office communication it is through email…face-to-face talks are considered foul in the game of office.

My Boss: Prasad, please help me think creative for a new customer proposal.
Me: <it means he wants to make stories about something which we don’t know- I remain silent by not replying>
My Boss:  <after a long wait> Let us meet post lunch for this discussion
Me:  <continue to remain silent by not replying>
My Boss: <after another long wait> It’s okay; Radhika is joining me for this. You continue your work.
Me:  <after 30 mins of safety period> Oh! Just saw your mail. I was stuck in meeting and couldn’t reply in time.

My silence got my boss a woman of his creative inspiration and it saved me from a really boring job. J

My friends, out there is one man who really understands the importance of silence. He took silence to new heights and because of him SILENCE is now ruling the country. He is the man who gave silence a glory when he recently said, “My silence is better than a thousand answers”.  Learn from our PRIME MINISTER (Dr. Manmohan Singh); he is a living example of “MAUNAM SARVARTHA SADHANAM” which means, “ANYTHING CAN BE ACHIEVED BY BEING SILENT”.   

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Pilgrim's Way

I do not look for holy saints to guide me on my way
Or male and female devilkins to lead my feet astray.
If these are added I rejoice - if not, I shall not mind
So long as I have leave and choice to meet my fellow-kind.
  For as we come and as we go (and deadly soon go we!)
  The people, lord, Thy people, are good enough for me.

Thus I will honour pious men whose virtue shines so bright
(Though none are more amazed than I when I by chance do right)
And I will pity foolish men for woe their sins have bred
(Though ninety-nine percent of mine I brought on my own head)
  And Amorite or Eremite or General Averagee
  The people, Lord, Thy people are good enough for me

And when the bore me overmuch, I will not shake mine ears
Recalling many thousand such whom I have bored to tears
And when they labour to impress I will not doubt nor scoff
Since I myself have done no less and sometimes pulled it off
  Yea as we are and we are not and we pretend to be
  The people, lord, Thy people, are good enough for me.

And when they work me random wrong as oftentimes hath been
I will not cherish hate too long (my hands are none too clean)
And when they do me random good I will not feign surprise
No more than those whom I have cheered with wayside courtesies
  But as we give and as we take - whate'er our takings be)
  The people, lord, Thy people, are good enough for me.

But when I meet with frantic folk who sinfully declare
There is no pardon for their sin, the same I will not spare
Till I have proved that Heaven and Hell which in our hearts we have
Show nothing irredeemable on either side the grave
  For as we live and as we die - if utter Death there be
  The people, lord, Thy people, are good enough for me.

Deliver me from every pride - the Middle, High and Low
That bars me from a brother's side, whatever pride he show
And purge me from all heresies of thought and speech and pen
That bid me judge him otherwise than I am judged.  Amen
That I might sing of Crowd or King or road-borne company
That I may labour in my day, vocation and degree
To provr the same by deed and name, and hold unshakenly
(Where'er I go, whate'er I know, whoe'er my neighbour be)
  This single faith in Life and Death and to Eternity
  " The people, lord, Thy people, are good enough for me."

- Rudyard Kipling

Note: Special thanks to Jagmohan Nanaware for introducing me to this poem