Friday, November 28, 2008

Terror Strikes Mumbai!

It happened once more and predictably in Mumbai, which has already seen some of the most devastating terror attacks.

Tragedy is not that hundreds of innocent people have been killed once more; the tragedy is not that the Country, in one night, also lost some of its best Police Officers! The tragedy is that it happened in one of the most predictably obvious targets, and within that in predictably the most vulnerable, most accessible and quite logical targets. The Oberoi and the Taj Mahal hotels are barely at a walking distance of the Gateway of India and so obviously accessible from the Sea. Unfortunately, our intelligence agencies, aided by inept politicians’ complete apathy, had neither clue nor the necessary preparedness to handle the situation. To add to the woes, all and sundry politicians’ started descending on Mumbai, giving the forces the choice between protecting innocent civilians and protecting these Z+ (whatever shit that is) secured guys! What kind of choice is that?

And it will continue to happen as long as guys like Shivraj Patil, with no antecedents, nor inclination to learn, continue to hold portfolios as important as the Home Ministry despite repeated public showcase of a total lack of capability to handle the situation. His only eligibility criteria - that he is a Nehru-Gandhi Loyalist! Despite their arguably decades of service to this country – pardon me for saying this – “Ye Desh tumhare baap ki jaagir nahi hai” (This country is not the private property of your Father) – that you’ll hand over its management to any Tom, Dick and Harry – mostly Dicks.

Mr. Patil said He was proud that certain Policemen had died in the line of duty. Mr. Patil, you don’t deserve to be proud for the sacrifices of able men, you ought to be ashamed that they had to die, or are you too think skinned along with your numerous designer clothes to assist?

I think its time that Mumbaikars refuse to showcase the “indomitable spirit of Mumbai” that politicians use as shields to hide their callousness, ineptitude, and disregard for ordinary citizens of this country.

There is no spirit left. The nation is heart broken, not because innocents got killed, but because innocents got killed AGAIN!

Mumbai, please, for a change, keep that spirit in abeyance, let them feel the pinch of a Mumbai coming to a compete standstill, if necessary for weeks, till such times that they come out with comprehensive, executable action plan, not hollow words.

Corporate houses in Mumbai too need to come together and say that they are too tired of this to even want to bounce back, how about bouncing out instead, that should do the trick as far as Mumbai goes, the rest of the country of course will continue to suffer.

One saving grace is that the Western Media, for a change has taken more notice than it normally does – maybe because American and British Citizens were involved (Tumhara Khun -Khun, humara khun – Paani “Western Blood is Blood and Indian Blood is water?) – At least the world understands that this is not just a third world problem.

What hurt me most personally was that quite a few of us were too busy chasing our daily targets to bother about, or concerned with this, simply because Mumbai is not our backyard. Someone please teach such people that nothing else can be more important in life than life itself!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Matter of Interpersonal Choice - The Kunti Phenomenon

Last night I caught up with a debate on TV, on the pros and cons of Premarital Sex. Both sides had very self righteous approach to it. One side talked all about gaining experience - what’s wrong in Being a Management Trainee in Marriage, instead of straight being a CEO, I wondered, and please that’s not the only experience required for a successful marriage, how about more mundane areas like Cooking and Budgeting, and Child Birth – the other side talked all about abstinence, to keep oneself a virgin for your husband/wife, mostly husband because I do not hear too many debates where it is found worthwhile to ask whether a guy is keeping himself in pristine condition for his future wife.

The main question in my mind was, where does right or wrong come in, is it not a question of personal choice, or maybe a question of interpersonal choice!

And yes, most of these debates equate virginity with vaginal sex, there where no clarifications on Oral or other forms of sex, or even masturbation! To my mind, Virginity is a state of mind. If, in your mind, you have experienced desire, if in your mind you have had an orgasm, or if you have really had an orgasm, you are no more a virgin (You may call it the Kunti Hypothesis – apparently no Sex was involved, but because she gave birth to Karna just by thinking of the Sun God – She lost her virginity and had to go a great length to hide the fact!)

Otherwise, there is no other definition of virginity that is gender neutral and hence progressive. Alternatively, as an after thought, you may say that if two or more people are involved in a sex act, virginity is lost (irrespective of how far you go – heavy petting, mutual masturbation, intercourse etc), else not.

Now the question is, if virginity is lost, does it matter? I think not, but then that’s my opinion, and to impose my opinion on others would defeat the very secular nature of this article!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


He walks out of his office. It’s his last working day and he has decided to not be polite even for a moment. After all it’s not his style. He is not a common man.

He is, after all, by popular account – The uncommon man, Man, MAN!

But to begin at the beginning once more, he walks out of his office, or rather his big, bad paunch walks out first, and he follows a couple of minutes later. I remember someone saying – Structure follows strategy. Is this what they meant, I wonder.

He walks out, and he is thinking something. You can make that out by the way he twitches his moustache – no, wrong expression - he actually twitches his nose and the moustache follows obediently.

His day has been normal, he is mega satisfied with himself, having sent some really rude e-mails, for having woken up people from their apparent disinterest in what are potentially cutting edge assignments. He positively cannot fathom as to why others don’t share the same enthusiasm for excellence, the minimum standards for any assignment is after all, “world-class”.

In this age of inclusiveness and diversity, he is the greatest champion of diversity. He has this knack to respect, and to insult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, genetic map, etc.

He is actually diversity personified.

He is a minority unto himself and to have him in the team is by itself a very satisfactory diversity policy and success story! Where else can you find a person who potentially can become the first casualty of a POSH he himself launched! Now come on, who in their right senses would do something as crazy?

He is a master in music, mainly classical. But he is classic in his mastery, or lack thereof, of Hindi. Even here, he does not, true to form, distinguish, or shall we say, discriminate between genders, Women to him, are man enough!

Ladies and gentlemen, I regrettably but quite proudly (for having known him) escort a very uncommon MAN out of our doors.

May the doors be kept open, in hope that, the paunch, and its owner, will walk in again! Structure, as always, will have to follow strategy.

I wonder who will do the insulting around here now!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Immaturity to Maturity Continuum

The question I had in mind while posting this peice of Behavioral Science was, what is the effect of Positive or Negative Reinforcement (B.F.Skinner)on a person's movement on the Continuum.

However, in this day and age, I honestly don't know what being immature means. Is Political correctness and making people hear what they want to hear - Maturity and as a consequence, being honest and upfront- immaturity?
Suppose someone asks me for an opinion, and I give them mine, and its not exactly what they had in mind in the first place - Which one of us is immature, I, for having a difference of opinion, or they, for not being able to live with that difference! Is disagreeing with a point of view Immaturity or is being disagreeable on being confronted with an alternate opinion, Immaturity?
Those are my questions on defining Maturity. However, the more important question that I have is what do I do with all the negative reinforcement that I am getting to exhibit a certain kind (read - preconceived) of mature behavior. Do I shrug in indifference. Do I study it like the way I am doing now as a keen observer of the subject, or do I, myself being the subject as well, allow myself to be led by the consequences of the theory, to be moulded into a certain pattern of behavior which may be mature by definition, but definitely not a true piece of me, and hence, not of consequence to the moulder. Catch 22!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Great Indian railways

Does interesting travel happen to some people all the time or do some people make all travel interesting? This post is an attempt to answer that question by way of an example, that of our recent trip to Shirdi.

Shirdi is an interesting place, by all accounts you simply can’t plan a Darshan - it happens to you. This trip proved that once more. We planned to be at Shirdi on the long weekend starting 2nd October, got the leave sanctioned, got up early on many mornings to try and book the ticket online, somehow it never happened. The next weekend, despite the shorter notice, it became possible. On the day of the travel, just about 5 hrs left to catch the train and oops, Chiya develops a fever in excess of 102F. An hour or so to catch the train and we are still with the doctor 20 km from the railway station, decided to leave everything to God (and to the bunch of medicines prescribed by the doctor) and reached the station with 10 minutes to spare! We worried all the way to the station about the fact that her temperature now was below normal (overdose of medicine? should we, shouldn’t we? what if….incidentally come morning the fever was completely gone).

Finally we settled in our compartment. We were in the same Bogey but in adjacent coupe – another way the railways makes your journey exciting. One lower berth and one middle berth is what we had – never mind that another family was completely occupying the lower berth and looked at us beseechingly so that we part with the same – we would have too but for the fact that Chiya is too small to safely occupy the middle berth with Rashmi. Anyway, I managed to be firm without being rude and the rest of the night was relatively uneventful. Not really. For one this family in question was close to 20 people and were traveling with their entire household effects – Food for 100 people (Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch and spare meals for emergencies!), plates, pots and pans, I think I saw a cow as well. Maybe not! They would have had a tough time trying to put a cow in the upper berth anyway! To teach a cow to use a western toilet must be quite a task and to flush after that an even bigger one.

Separately, scores of waitlisted passengers spent the night haggling with the TTE for a Berth. A Waitlisted passenger in AC compartment is just another way for the Railways to become profitable I guess, in the process if TTEs also make some money, why not. After all it’s a nice mix of socialism and capitalism. Maybe even communism with 100 people sharing space meant for 60!

Then again, the Indian Railways were always a social commentary. You see all shades of people and behavior to go along with it. I have had the privilege of traveling in all compartments right from the IInd class to 1st AC. On the one extreme is - a towel thrown in through the window reserves a berth in the best of times and a place to squeeze in in the worst of times? The other is the extreme of snootiness, you not only get a extremely private (read boring) place to yourself, you also get people to wait on you, if only that pot bellied, smelly attendant could be replaced with a Flight attendant from one of the premiere airlines (who knows, you may still – looking at which of those institutions is more profitable). In the first instance, you can shamelessly borrow a Beedi from one of the co-passengers or maybe even tobacco to chew, in the second, in all probability you can peacefully have a heart attack!

The best way to travel in the railways is of course Sleeper class – people are friendlier, most people offering you food are harmless (although occasionally it may be drugged) and unless your planets are aligned in a negative manner, you will find very few cockroaches to share your food and your berth with.
You can safely chain your luggage to any and all existing hooks and pillars without for a second feeling typically middle class!
The best Platform Food and tea is also normally available to Sleeper Class passengers – Tea in Kullars (Non existent mostly, despite Mr. Yadav’s tall claims), Piping hot Bread Omelets, Puri and Sabji both dripping tons of oil – if someone could figure out how to tap into the railway toilets, I am sure it’s a perpetual supply of endless energy, separate the oil and use it directly as fuel and convert the rest to Biogas! I can see the headlines too, “USA signs a historical S1, S2, S3 deal with the Indian Railways despite strong Chinese opposition – Green Cards to Railway Vendors, Citizenship to Indian Middle Class, technology transfer from the Indian Railways. The military is concerned as this is transfer of duel use technology – Potential Biological warfare implications, especially since culturally we fart quite unabashedly."

The biggest advantage of the Railways over the Airlines is that your entire family can see you off right up to your seat.
Oh to see those multitudes, all with valid berths and most with valid platform tickets jostle at the gate as if someone else is going to occupy their seats.
If you are a 20 something good looking female - actually that’s sexist, it happens to quite ugly looking young men as well – no way you can safely travel on the Indian railways unless your Father, Mother, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunties, childhood friends and the next door auto rickshaw walla come to see you off. They must all enter the compartment, check that all fittings are in order, fan is working, and adjacent seats are occupied by “families” as against hormone pumping, young, lone “deranged” traveler of the opposite sex!
Thank God! I married and have a kid as well, gained some respectability, fathers of all supposedly good looking girls from Patna to Panaji have since sighed in relief. So have I, having suffered the humiliation of being considered a potential “Majnu” or worst a rapist! The added advantage for me is that now, if (academically, mind you, no real intentions) I do decide to lech and ogle, I need to be worried about only Rashmi as against some girls entire family tree since independence!

To be continued…

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


It’s been a while since I have posted on this Blog and even while I was posting, it was spaced more than I ever wanted. Since writing is one of the things I genuinely love doing, this set me thinking about the direction my life is taking.

You wake up in the morning, jumping out of bed to come to work, not so much that you want to (jump, that is) but that you have to. You are already feeling tired, have not slept well all week – and that’s your story for your entire working life – and there is general lethargy. Unfortunately, you also happen to love the work that you do, it gives you a high. Unfortunately, it also takes away from everything else that you love doing, some more so. Dilemma, huh?

You sleepwalk through your morning, catch up on the news (its either catch up on the news and get late to work, or not catch up at all, you choose) take the car out of the garage and drive down 17 km to work – ideally a 17 minute distance – and it takes you anywhere between 90 to 120 minutes, and you do it twice a day!

You get along with your day, sometimes coasting through, sometimes struggling with, but you get through the 10 hr day (ideally, 12 hrs is not a problem spent on quality work, but then you already have provisioned for the 3 hrs daily commute). At the end of the day, you reach home, drained and disgusted. Take stalk of your time – 1 hr preparing to get to work, 3 hrs commuting to work, and 10 hrs at work, 1 hr winding down from work. That’s fifteen hours. That gives you 9 hrs (wow!) to have your breakfast (I mostly used to miss mine, nowadays I eat it at the traffic signals - necessity is the unwed father of invention!) – prepare and have your dinner and then go to sleep (Most of us supposedly need 8-10 hrs to just do this last bit to keep our Biological machinery in top shape) – Interesting or what?

That brings me to two questions:

Is it worth it?
If not, what do we as individuals, and the organization that we work for, do about it?

The first question, obviously has a spirited (or dejected?), resounding NO as an answer. To do what we have been doing and to get a monthly salary which either takes care of your day to day needs or an imaginary future and does nothing significant to add to your present, unless you count those white goods that you can’t genuinely enjoy or the car you’d much rather not drive as a value-add. Look at the irony; I work in a mad rush to earn money that buys me stuff that I would not need if I had more disposable time instead of more disposable income! I can only smile that wry smile.

We notionally own two cars (notionally because one is company provided and costed as CTC and the other one we are still paying an EMI); we notionally own a house (notionally because in an inflationary economy, we would continue to pay the EMI till we retire!). We own a Microwave and a washing machine and pay exorbitant electricity bills to run the same and earn more money to pay those bills. Unfortunately, with more time at hand both these equipments are unnecessary and the work that you do to earn that money to pay for them is also unnecessary and hence releases your time, elementary.

So very clearly, you need to work only because you love doing it, every other reason is superfluous.

So what do we do about it?

Firstly, my advice to organizations is simple, go beyond the superficial and genuinely realize that employees are spending more and more time on work or work incidental activities and the only way work life balance can be achieved is not by superficial HR (or Non HR?) actions like taking employees to picnics, but by more robust, thought through interventions which do not follow the lead of others but carves out a name for itself. Let me give examples. Once upon a time, it was thought that 8 hrs was a good time frame to work. It went hand in hand with issues like 8 hrs was more or less fixed, stretching was not involved, and commute was far more easier. When commute to work became difficult (and organizations added to the difficulty by getting further and further away from the city centers to manage costs) the entire difficulty was passed on to employees to manage from their personal time. I know of no organization which has said that owing to the organization being located at a distance of 20 or more kilometers from the place of stay, the organization has reduced (not changed) its working hours by 30 minutes? Not one. The improvement in productivity reflects in the organizations P&L and the loss of individual productivity reflects in the employees personal P&L, unfortunately, no one except the employee is required to audit that. Not even organizations which control the commute through their own services like buses, have thought in this direction.

Work life balance cannot mean balance your work by constantly giving up a piece of your life. When was the last time a work life balance programme was launched, which envisaged giving up a piece of work to balance life!

Secondly, my advice to individuals (starting with myself) is staying hungry. Ask yourself this simple question every morning - “is what I am going to do today dear to me?” - if the answer is “No” for most of your days, its time to look for a change. Go out in search of what you truly value, make the sacrifices required to achieve that and you will achieve that. Stop living the mundane existence.

As I keep saying, there’s more to Life than High5’s. Tough choices will be presented to us often in life and only tough decisions will help!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Human Tragedy unfolds…On the Banks of the Kosi, in the tunnel of our minds!

The happiness quotient of a nation is not determined by how many people are happy, it’s determined by how many people are unhappy, and our score is pathetic.

On August 18, 2008, the Kosi River, also known as the “Sorrow of Bihar” picked up an old channel it had abandoned over 100 years ago near the border of Nepal and India. The river broke its embankment at Kusaha in Nepal, thus submerging several districts of Nepal and India. Almost the entire River reportedly was flowing through the new course. The worst affected districts included Supaul, Araria, Saharsa, Madhepura, Purnia, Katihar, parts of Khagaria and northern parts of Bhagalpur,

2000 people are reported dead although the official figures are closer to a 100. 26 Lakh people are affected and more than 10 Lakh evacuated. 250,000 acres of farmland is under water destroying wheat and rice.

But this isn’t the biggest tragedy. The biggest tragedy is not what has happened. The biggest tragedy is what has failed to happen. I remember the Tsunami of 2004, when the entire nation stood together, at hindsight, perhaps because a Tsunami, by its novel nature grabbed attention, whereas floods in Bihar –change the topic – what’s new about it. They happen all the time! After all didn’t some statistician say, 20 dead is tragedy, 20,000 dead is statistics.

Our singular apathy to it, limited to reading the front page of the newspaper (5 minutes, maybe 10) or 2 minutes of news, channel surfing between a Big Boss and a Soap (watching imaginary tragedies unfold!) is cheap, degrading and simply takes away the right to be considered civilized.

In fact someone I genuinely respect as a human being commented, unexpectedly, quite surprisingly, and if I may say so, unbecomingly that “even God wants to wipe Bihar off the face of the earth.” And I wanted to ask. Why? What is it that Biharis have done that they deserve this? If an utterly exploited, genuinely suppressed, part of the country, as a consequences of that suppression and ages of oppression has turned out to be a Social misfit in an “IT enabled” environment, who is to blame?

Let me throw some light on the place that Bihar was. To begin at the beginning, Kosi or Koshi was formerly Kausiki named after Visvamitra (also known as Kausika) who was a descendant of Sage Kusika and was said to have attained the status of a Vedic Rishi along its banks.

Nalanda, one of the greatest universities in recorded history was situated here and used to be a major seat of Buddhism (In fact Buddha himself, technically was a Bihari). In fact, Mahavir Jain is said to be born near Nalanda at Kundalpur and attained Moksha at Pavapuri. Ashoka, one of the greatest administrator, a Buddhist and whose lions now grace every currency note that India mints, was a Bihari.

Do we really need to be wiped out from the face of the earth? Is that God’s will? No, that’s either humor at its worst, plain apathy or a sign of extinct intelligent life form!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

On the Road in Bangalore – Version II

I know, I know. I wrote a similar post a while back. However, if you need a different perspective, I suggest you undertake this journey. It’s literally an eye opener.

The day started on a high note. Chiya started saying OK instead of her normal “nahi” (No, for the uninitiated in the Hindi Language) this morning.

A Unisex Parlor had this hilarious signage outside.........Facial, massage, shave, ladies hair cutting, gents hair cutting, baby cutting (Huh! What was that again?).

Why am I surprised? During my last job, every day on my way back from office this thelawala was proudly selling Gobi Mangurian to unsuspecting victims!

Then the day deteriorated. I stopped at a traffic signal. Saw a guy selling flags (he was from a minority community whose patriotism is often questioned in these difficult times) and proudly lowered my window to buy some - one for the house, one for my car, one for Rashmi’s car, but not if they cost more than 20Rs a piece, see how we set a limit to our patriotism – when thak-thak – (incidentally, thak-thak reads as think tank on my MS Word dictionary and there is a meaning to that as well) someone knocked on the other window – one of those numerous beggars who run an alternate economy on each traffic signal in the city – a woman, no less (at least one job where women are being given better than equal opportunity in this country) and let me be honest, my first shameless thought was – there goes a clean, disinfected window. That was before I noticed the child – maybe 4 yrs old, ordinary, just like hundreds of others roaming the streets, conceived precisely to do this job, in a country which guarantees education as a fundamental right to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years, and I don’t think his luck was going to change in 2 yrs time, for him to claim his legal rights. In principle, right or wrong, I don’t support begging, not that I do anything else about it either, so I shooed them away and watched that child limp away (yes, he was limping and I could make out that one of his nails was sticking out of his toe – accident? Perhaps), till the signal turned green. Green happens to be one of the most significant colors in our national flag and it provided me my escape route.

I did not buy the flag. It cost less than my 20 Rs patriotism limit. I was wondering what that child, who will not be set free, ever, was thinking about all this? When will his independence day come?

A few days before Independence Day, a rich man’s kid (I don’t resent him that) won a Gold medal in the Olympics (I am proud of him) and we set out making him richer still. State Govt. after State Govt. went about showering lavish cash rewards on him (taxpayers money, mind you – money better spent elsewhere, and not necessarily even on sports in a country where education is not available to all). Most newspapers covered him on multiple pages for multiple days, while little kids like the one I wrote about earlier were hawking the same newspapers on the streets.
They knew not sports.
They knew not Olympics.
They knew not Gold (most definitely not) and
They possibly would neither have heard of the Govt. or from the Govt.

And of course there is the electronics media, spends more time covering events like two celebrities kissing (breaking news, no less) than they would cover the plight of these kids. I wonder where the sannate ko cheerti hui sanshani, that we need so much is.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

EDIT (19th August)

My Apologies to Times of India. They came up with a wonderful campaign called Teach India on 15th August.

Shobha De published an Article on TOI on 17th August which bears an uncanny resemblance to this post of mine! (Mera Bharat Kahan - TOI 17th August, Page 12 - Read it @

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Journey, a Destination

It’s been a while since I last posted. In all probability, the next post may take a while as well. I intend to make the most of this post and say as much as I would like to.
First things first, I was in between jobs and time was at a premium. I started my Career in the Cement Sector, Moved on to Apparels and have now joined a Beer Company. In short, I have now worked in Roti (not really, but allow me the poetic license! and the nutrients are in place), Kapada and Makaan industries. What do we need to survive in this world? Just about that and possibly a credit card and an e-mail ID can be thrown in and it would be perfect! So that sets the agenda for the future, Banking and IT to be the future entries on my CV. Sheer genius, I must say!

To begin at the beginning, after three and a half breath-taking years which I thoroughly enjoyed - except maybe the last 6 months - my last job had started feeling like a chore and it was time to move on, which I did, and here I am, drinking too much beer and it’s not always free, contrary to the expectations of my over enthusiastic beer guzzling friends and family.

One of the first “events” in my new assignment was to take a flight out of the much maligned Bangalore International Airport, which I did, having some trepidation about distance to airport, time taken etc. The distance was exactly 50 km point to point from my house to the Airport – one point to the critiques. However, the time taken, I realized was not significant, 03:11:23 to 03:54:04 – one point to people who believe in taking flights which maximizes the productivity of the day. My suggestion, don’t take any afternoon flights; you won’t get much work done at your destination anyways. In short, it’s a good airport, yes the distance is too much, and yes the connectivity can be bettered, till then, smart travel should help and you can always catch up on your reading, which we hardly ever do nowadays.

The circuit started with a flight out to Cochin (God’s own country is Gods own country!) followed by a flight to Chennai culminating in a day spent at Pondicherry (This isn’t so far removed from God’s own country, is my opinion – The Kind Sir has Dual Citizenship, I guess). The trip followed on to Hyderabad - and yes Rajeev Gandhi International Airport is a few notches better, aesthetics wise than our very own BIA. Shopping Experience, however, is better (make that significantly better) at BIA. But yes, taking off from Hyderabad and landing at Bangalore is decidedly a humbling experience.

I have taken other flights since, and my feelings about BIA remain the same.

I was in Istanbul in the last week of July, the city of two continents, but hardly in an identity crisis. In fact it was a city so sure of itself it gave a new definition to confidence. Wide, well developed roads (with footpaths – Having been in Bangalore for 4 years, I always thought footpaths were a figment of my imagination, mind you). Tramways, people always on the move and of course the belly dancing, you must admire the women for their fitness level; actually, you must just admire the women! Wow! I think I can get away with saying that the Istanbul Roads are inspired by those bellies!

The ride from the Airport to the city is brilliant, you catch the city in its various shades while the Sea remains a constant.

We flew Gulf Air, and on three out of Four Gulf Air Flights we took, the Cabin Crew was brilliant (or seemed brilliant in relation to the fourth one). Unfortunately, on one of the flights, precisely, Gulf Air Flight from Istanbul to Bahrain on the 30th of July (GF 44, 1500 HRS Istanbul Time) – The Airhostess had an attitude bigger and heavier than the rock of Gibraltar and the supervisor was not much help either. Reminded me of traveling (long, long ago, the memory is so feeble) on a state transport bus between Delhi and Roorkee, believe me, the experience is comparable. No, cut that out, the State Transport was better. I would like to fly Gulf Air again, but currently am working on the probability of encountering the same crew again! My math’s a little rusted.

Thankfully, the next stop was BIA (Bahrain International Airport, to be precise) and the Duty Free there makes you forget all hardships. We shopped till we dropped, especially since we had 4-5 hrs to kill. And this you must note, after three days at various locations, we discovered free drinking water here, a total savings of 2 Euros – just right for my coin collection.

Good Old McDonald’s was there in its full glory. Just never realized that a Burger would cost so much!

A last word, I suggest the Indian Govt. change the value of the Rupee to about 100 Euros, otherwise every time you spend money while you are abroad, you spend only small change (an Euro at a time for about 500 times) there and come back home having lost a months salary!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Deranged or what

It’s been a while that I wrote anything. Whether on this Blog or elsewhere, elsewhere being the two books I am working on right now.

The first one, all of 10000 words written in 10 days in February, and languishing since in a remote folder of my laptop is contemporary in nature, which does not talk about the India that seems to permeate Indian writing in English - India of Squalor, of strife, of the rich and the poor where elephants and princes’ still roam around in abundance – this does not talk about that, instead it talks about the fairly ordinary, mundane, uninteresting middle class India, which lives in small towns, dreams of big cities, and does rather well for itself and finds no mention, naturally so, in IWE. The second one, might be of some interest to those big ticket agents, because it talks about an India that is of interest, snake charmers and all and to add to that actually goes back in history more than a hundred years. This is my ticket to fame, seriously, the one which will prevent my fall from grace for being a non-conformist. Here I conform. Unfortunately, this has not progressed beyond the 1000 pages of research and 100 words of beginning. Shit.

To begin before shit happened, as I said, I have not written anything meaningful for close to two months, and its getting on my nerves.

But, why would I not write, when I love writing and have always done so. I don’t believe in Writers Block, and anyway it can’t happen to a novice like me whose only publishing credit is about half a dozen Blog entries, read mostly by well meaning family and friends. So what is it that holds me back?

I think what holds me back is the fact that I have been feeling like Winnie the Pooh with Alice in Wonderland, if you get what I mean. Or to phrase that more meaningfully, I have felt like a Viagra Pill inside a castrated Dog! Lost.

But then again, as I keep saying, one, there’s more to life than High5’s and two, nothing keeps me from being my usual self, and that’s being a little over-cheerful and a little under-crazy.

So, here I am, back from the brink, anything but extinct, looking as good as shit would look when dressed in a bowtie, i.e. looking myself, bad color combination and all. I have so much to talk about; I don’t know where to begin. Do I begin at the point where I stopped; I was then talking about the rights of pets? But then that’s trivia when you consider all that’s happening around us –The father of the constitution which unifies this country has become the chief mascot of separatists, morons rule the world and all that’s within, Priyanka redefines sanity and forgiveness while all around us insanity prevails.

Where do I begin?

Let’s do something innovative. Let’s try and make this a group activity. Where do I begin being the last thread, may I request you to put in a comment in the comments sections which when added to this original post, makes it look like a continuous article? Lets say in about 150-200 words? I promise to edit this and incorporate the best of the lot to the original with due credit to the author of that part.

Interesting? Or just a dumb trick by me to get you to do all the writing? Makes us think.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How to Create a Dogs Life: For Everyone!!!

First: Here's my sincere apologies to dogs for the title I chose for this post. I neither want to hurt your feelings nor do I want to offend you. Its just that most people understand what I am trying to convey through this topic.
My Apartment Complex is debating whether Pets should be allowed in the complex:

Let me first put forth the arguments against pets as listed by people:
They can be dangerous. Hullo, since when only they are selectively dangerous. What about all those I-care-two-hoots psycopaths who inhabit the planet.

They can attack Old People and Children on the elevators (Lifts) . Of course, I think they selectively target this group. I do notice a lot of Children carrying puppies with the scruff of their necks. I have yet to see a puppy carry a human child like that.

They create a nuisance at night by continuously barking. Read about other Nuisances at Night below.

They Drop poop. I thought it was people challenged in civic sense who did that!
Children are scared of large animals. Are they now? I haven't noticed.

Now let me put forth my views on the subject.

Even I don't want any Old people, Children, or perfectly capable young people to suffer any harm at the paws of "deranged" pet animals. But extremes of anything are never good.

I completely support that Dogs or other should not be left unattended anywhere: Not even within the confines of one's own flat. Not because they are a nuisance, only because It's not good for them.

I support that Old People, Young People, Children, everyone needs to be protected.

I support that Owners should be cleaning up after their pets.

I support that there should be rules governing pets, just like there should be rules governing everything else.

However, I do not agree that there should be blanket bans enforced.

This world after all belongs as much to Dog-Cat-Parrot lovers as to people who think otherwise. At least we are having pets in a controlled environment, is anyone safe in an uncontrolled environment outside.

Are Pet Dogs - mark the word Pet here, I am not talking about some street animal - necessarily deranged creatures that go about attacking people? Not really!

Yes. Sometimes they are a nuisance.


Sometimes even children are a nuisance (Ever heard a baby scream at the top of her lungs in the middle of the night? Or two boys fighting or when they break something like the Pool Table cue?). Let us ban children as well shall we? In case you think I am joking, let me tell you that to a lot of people, their pets are like children. They don't keep pets to show off!

Sometimes youngsters are a nuisance (Ever heard music blasting late into the night?).

Sometimes Old people are a nuisance.

Yes sir. No disrespect meant, but I do know a Grandfather in our Complex who goes home only after checking on the welfare of me and my family, in the middle of the night, every single night!

Here we are, struggling with two laptops, a sack full of groceries, a fidgety toddler, two lunch boxes, and whatever else that’s weighing us down at 10 PM in the night, straight back from office, minus a cup of tea, thinking about what junk to eat for dinner tonight, and he says "been to your native?" one day or "very Beesy Man, Prabhash" the next all followed by his snigger- Please Ban him. I want to ban him! Better still punch him in the jaw and then ban him!

Hey! We will end up banning our lives.

But then again, not all Old People or Young People or Children or Pets are a Nuisance. In fact they are quite fun to be with. Let’s not go around banning them.

It’s a persons right to acquire a pet within applicable municipal laws and as long as he is a responsible owner and citizen. There are more stray dogs and other animals on the streets likely to cause harm than a well trained, properly inoculated pet under a responsible owner.

Children should not be trained to be afraid of dogs or other pets, they should in fact learn the social skills of interacting with fairly sensitive animals - Under Adult Supervision, always – I am looking forward to help my child become a well rounded individual not someone inflicted with zoophobia.

Monday, February 25, 2008

We the People

The last few days have been amazing when it comes to Abuse of Biharis.

First, The Entire Sons of Soil Vs Soiled Sons episode was enacted in various parts of the country.

Then yesterday, I heard the erstwhile landowner of the land on which our Apartment Complex was built - He also owns a substantial number of Apartments there - say that the Carpenters were urinating and Spitting Pan all over the place – “These Bloody Biharis…” were his exact words.

Incidentally, I am a Bloody Bihari (at least I am from the United States of Bihar and Jharkhand), doing very well, thank you, in Karnataka for the past 6 years, and within that, in Bangalore for the last three and a quarter years, bought a flat and all that. I am not Shah-Rukh-Khan-in-Lux-Ad when it comes to cleanliness, but yes I don’t go around spitting Maghai Pan (Incidentally Maghai comes from Magadha, the modern day Bihar) on staircases and street corners, nor do I expose myself in public and start urinating against walls. Obviously he got my goat. Now, if I was the violent sort and - to lend strength to another unfair generalization- Biharis are a violent lot, He would be in hell and I would be in Jail, which is one and the same thing. Thankfully, for both our sakes, I am not the violent sort. Not even verbally abusive, another generalized Bihari trait, Teri ma ki…

I had to explain to him, very politely, lest the animal (Hardly any Humans are born in my native state, if you go by the opinion of certain morons) in me came out, that being unclean and unhygienic was not geography dependant, but trait dependant – arguably geography defines certain traits, not all. To give him credit, he apologized. I am not sure, if it was to let sleeping lions lie. My recently acquired moustache and the fact that I had not shaved in days, or got myself a haircut, did make me look as if I belonged to Chambal. Incidentally Chambal is NOT IN Bihar, but he wouldn’t know the difference, otherwise he would have been in the IAS, which incidentally the Biharis crack, like they crack their fingers, daily. Bottom line, neither my look nor the fire in my eyes left him with enough Hing-in-his-backside (Any Bihari in his dreams can translate that into Hindi) to continue the conversation his way.

Then today again, in another conversation, the subject matter of Bihar (It’s quite popular as a subject of discussion if not otherwise) came up, this time, apparently the abilities of Biharis to get away with doing almost anything in Bihar. I tend to agree, except that we manage to do it even outside Bihar and not all of it we need to be, or are ashamed of.

But the most important point I want to drive home – home being the tender fat butts of these zealots who want to drive fundamentalist stakes right through the hearts of our founder fathers, is that, like it or not, the Biharis who are an imaginary threat to the imaginary jobs that you would have got if they were not around are doing very well, thank you very much and are here to stay. Therefore, stop fooling around with poor carpenters and cooks and taxiwallahs and hammals and coolies. Don’t grudge them their meager existence, and if those are the only positions you aspire to attain, the test has not been invented yet to test your IQ levels. I rest my case.

Incidentally, I work in a very cosmopolitan organization; there are Biharis there and Gujjus and Bongs, and UPites (who south of the Vindhyas are difficult to separate from the Biharis and you never know which one of them actually spit the Pan on the staircase wall!), we have the South Indians there too. All of us urinate. None on staircases and boundary walls.
All of us, outside of India, become Indians. In fact outside of India, even the Pakistanis and the Bangladeshis are Indians, working as cooks and taxiwallahs and Software Engineers, the entire community, with its identical identity lives on, till such times that they are caught urinating against the imaginary walls erected on the platform of jingoism. Such walls deserve to be urinated against.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lick not, Nibble not

Ever since I started growing a moustache, people, especially male friends keep asking me awkward questions such as these:

“How do you manage it?”
“Don’t you feel like nibbling it?”
“How do you stop licking it?”
“How often do you trim it?”
“Doesn’t your wife say anything?”

Hell, Gimme a break. No, I don’t manage it. Yes, I do nibble at it. Why will I lick it, it gives me absolutely no pleasure whatsoever. Trim? My wife absolutely adores it. So there, now you understand, your opinion matters not.

No, let me correct myself, yes, you have a right to your questions, your opinion, your sarcastic wit, freedom of speech and expression and all that. I have a right to ignore or not.

On the subject of moustache, and seeing how touchy I am about my own, It’s quite an interesting subject to cover, is it not. I mean, think about it, size, shape, color, texture, intent.

Let’s talk about intent for today.

Why do people grow moustaches, when it’s so much of a pain in the backside (I know, I know. That’s not where a moustache is normally grown, but still…) to manage one.

Why do I have a moustache for instance? Is it to satisfy my need to grow up quickly, need to look mature, imitate my father, and scare the shit out of potential boyfriends of my daughter (incidentally she is not even two right now…early days yet), what could be my purpose, is it divine like those shadhus we see in the holy Ghats on the banks of the Ganges? Is my purpose fashion, i.e. flow with the times, or is it cosmetic, i.e. is it to look good. Interesting questions those. Is it worth it, seeing that both eating, at the basic end of the spectrum and kissing, at the other end become so unmanageable.

Some people keep moustaches to flex their muscles, technically how that works I have no idea, but apparently it does. Strange. I mean, how can itsy-bitsy pieces of hair bunched together, help you flex your biceps? It will surely take some doing!

What people do with moustaches is equally interesting. Some people stroke it. Like a pseudo sex organ, they go at it. Up and down, twist and turn, two fingers, two fingers and thumb, slowly, seductively. Some people let their moustaches grow unkempt, more like letting it have a mind of its own. Some keep it immaculately trimmed. Some possibly gel it too.

I know a gentleman, who allows his full head of hair to grey, but keeps his moustache immaculately colored black. Huh. On the other hand, I do remember Mr. Hansen, my class teacher in 5th and 6th grade, his moustache was colored in such a way that he looked like a parrot rounds his lips.

My father has a full grown moustache. As far as I am concerned, it’s been there for the last few decades, makes him look like the “Masterjee” of the old Hajmola Ad. My moustache, in front of his, is a travesty of a moustache. I won’t be surprised if he disowns me in his will on this one issue alone. There are other issues. Insignificant.

Time to comb my moustache...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Wherein lies commitment

The other day, I was reading an article in the newspaper as to how a Bollywood actress did a “bold scene” in an upcoming movie which involved wardrobe malfunction (scientific name for your boobs popping out at the most inopportune moment). The writer went on to inform us - was he/she trying to get us to watch a movie, I wonder – that this was the same actress who in an earlier movie had taken off her knickers and thrown the same at her beau! How original. Apart from bad odor and a possible chance of infection, I don’t know what that achieved.

The gist of the article was that this was one committed actress. Huh? Committed to what? International Society of Anatomical Research? PETA? Pirelli Calendar? Society of the Mothers in support of Breastfeeding?

Before I read this article I always thought that commitment lies somewhere between our two ears. Never realized it was anywhere lower than that. Certainly not as low as the Gluteus Maximus, nor anywhere near our breasts (unless someone was referring to the hearts connection to commitment, a concession, I am willing to give.)

I remember my college days, when we used to stash away our smuggled copies of playboy underneath the mattress, never realizing that we could have got away by saying that we were getting inspired to be committed. Nice big commitments some of them ladies had.

Even a few of my teachers at school were quite committed. One of them – I won’t name her, she doesn’t want the world to know her commitments - was oozing commitments. In fact commitment was straining at the seams of her colorful dresses.

I thought I will write a self-help book on commitment. An Idiots Guide to staying committed has a nice ring to it.

The chapters in the book could read something like:

Take care of your commitments. They are vital. As statistics show.
Stay committed to keep your partner happy.
Enhancing commitment: The Silicone way.
Commitment Self Examination is a must.

All the makings of a best seller; let me wait for the big fat advance and keep my cards close to my chest, oops, commitment I mean.

I see light at the end of the tunnel. My answers to a lot of questions that research could never answer.

Why men watch women in bikinis? Obviously, since they don’t like commitment.
What is common between Pamela A, Rakhi S and Bipasa B? They are all hugely committed. Go take a look again.

One question remains unanswered. How do you recognize a committed man?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Murphy’s Law Revisited

To begin at the beginning, Murphy’s Law is that thing which makes you make pulp out of your thumb when you are hammering a nail and you let lose expletives you didn’t know you knew.

Of course, in the simplest of terms, it simply states that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” Like the time when you have 3 sets of keys for all your bedroom doors and lock the door INSIDE WHICH ALL THE KEYS have been accidentally left!

So, Mr. Murphy is at his best when you are under stress. Did I tell you that the second Gas Cylinder we booked in August 2006 became due to be delivered to us on January 25th 2008, so wherein Mr. Murphy, you ask? Did I not tell you that we changed our dealer on January 19th and the booking apparently does not hold good with the new dealer? Cheers. Incidentally, the Solitary Cylinder, as it is, has been empty - like the Brains of people who make such rules - since ages and nothing stopped us from playing lazy and doing the transfer AFTER we had taken the second cylinder. Then again, Mr. Murphy had ensured that we had no way of knowing that the second cylinder, pending for a year and a half will get cleared at precisely the time when the maximum salt inflicted damage could be done to the wound, another one of those irritating Murphy’s Law corollaries.

Whilst on the subject, I realize that there are so many possibilities that exist in life to make Mr. Murphy’s day productive. Here are 10 examples from daily life (you are free to add 10 more in the comments section):

1. You can never set the shower knobs to the perfect blend of hot and cold water, either scald yourself, or freeze!
2. The only time otherwise busy people will have to look at you, you will be caught yawning or digging your nose!
3. Your ass will itch only while you are in a public place!
4. You cannot fart quietly in a crowded place, especially if there is female company!
5. Your boss will call you in the morning on the day you are late to work. Other days, he doesn’t know you exist.
6. Corollary to 5: You will be late to work on the day of an important meeting.
7. The only day the lunch dabba cover falls on you lap in 3 years is the day you are wearing white / near white trousers to work. Of course, you also have a post lunch meeting scheduled the same day!
8. If the only dinner you are planning on your way back from work is a glass of milk, rest assured that you forgot to keep it in the fridge in the morning and it would have curdled.
9. There are no places to hide your stockpile of porn which your mom can’t reach.
10. Corollary to 9: If your dad is the first to switch on the TV and DVD in the morning, you forgot Long Dong Silver in the DVD last night.

This was my small tribute to the genius of Mr. Murphy. Do keep writing in with your own compilation of similar Laws.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jumping Out of Bed to Come to Work

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep! It went. No it wasn’t the alarm clock; it was Rashmi Sterilizing Chiya’s Bottles in the microwave. It was also my cue to “Jump out of bed to come to work” as DM used to say when asked about our Vision Statement. Unlike Dm’s context, this wasn’t a sign of my engagement levels however. This just meant that today, I was feeling good about life in general.

Then again, who wouldn’t feel good about life, if he is woken up from a deep slumber in which he was having erotic wet dreams about submission of proofs to claim income tax exemptions, trying to figure out where to find another 20,000 Rs to max out the 100,000 Rs exemption under 80C, all of this just to save some more tax. Incidentally I was the same guy who just about 6 years ago was taking home about 100,000 Rs a year and there was no tax to dream about. No Tax. No Tax Exemption. No Wet Dreams.

Who wouldn’t feel good about life to know that today there are no bottles to sterilize, not much at least. Wouldn’t you feel good about life knowing, intuitively, that despite the Dhobi not showing his face for close to three weeks - the three weeks during which I managed to use up all my extra advantages of working in the Apparel Industry – you will find your clothes ironed today? Top this up with that all important morning cup of tea that is on the bedside table, ready for you, when the solitary gas cylinder has been empty like Aurangzeb’s Harem for close to a week now. (You got it, we have mastered the art of microwave cooking, a strange mix of scarcity and plenty teaching you a few things).

Hey! I forgot to say thank you. Shit.

I put the last batch in the microwave and set it up for four minutes. Four important minutes during which I manage to brush my teeth. Yes. I know. Absolutely brilliant I am.

I come out, and the rice is cleaned and soaked, ready to be cooked. 20 minutes in the microwave, add Puliogere Mix and Oil and Lunch ready! Last night we had pizza, very cheesy, very different from Puliogere. How people change overnight.

Rashmi is ready by now and Chiya is up and ready for her massage. This is my cue to mix up 180 Ml of Warm water and Lactogen in her bottle, give it to Rashmi and run towards the bathroom, before she sees me and insists on me picking her up. No guarantee however that She won’t knock on the bathroom door for the next 10 minutes (she uses the door stop as a knocker, in case this bit interests you.)

We leave home, drop Chiya at her crèche and I get dropped at the Auto stand, say good bye to Rashmi and spend the next five minutes haggling over price to M. G. Road (with the guys who want to come to M. G. Road, in the first place). Rashmi waits patiently. Finally, a nice soul agrees to a premium of 10 bucks over meter (10 bucks that I fleece out of Rashmi) and away we are to our respective destination. She in an Alto, I in an Auto not much difference but just an alphabet. She also takes trouble to call me and tell me that this Auto is not Euro IV compliant and is smoking like a chimney. Two thoughts come to my mind; one, why do people quit smoking when all day they face this on the roads and two, wherein the Tata Car!

Didn’t I tell you a while ago that I was feeling good about life today? Well, the feeling continues and I do a bit of useless maths in my head, 10 bucks extra twice daily, for on an average 200 days a year, is 4000 Rs, give or take a few hundred. Oops, that’s more than twice my annual premium on a 10, 00,000 Rs, twenty year, Term Life Insurance Policy with LIC. There goes the good feeling out of the non existent window of the auto.

I cross BTM Signal, go through Maruthinagar and come out near the St. John’s Hospital Junction and there’s perfectly healthy trees cut all along the way! I count at least five. Mr. Pachauri, Ms. Narain, I hope this is on your radar.

I decide to count people instead.

The well built lady all of 80 kilos, eating what looks like half a dozen Rice Idlies in one of the numerous Darshinis that I cross everyday. “Ma’am, the Idlies will be there tomorrow as well, relax!” I think.

I see a man on a Honda Activa in one of the signals I stop at, stretching his shoulders and back. In obvious pain he is. Terminator, his helmet says. “With that kind of pain at 9:15 in the morning, you are the one getting terminated friend”.

I see a school girl, desperately trying to cross the street at a zebra crossing, while civilized men all around, in their civilized cars, rushing towards their civilized jobs, do their best to drive right over her. The elderly Traffic Cop helps – these guys are not all bad, I realize – he is in mortal danger himself!

I see the meter, disinterested, its running fast as usual. There goes another Insurance Policy. I get back to counting people.

I reach office.

Same day, same shit.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Of Sex and other passtimes of civilised men

We are not a people known for our civilised treatment of women. We still remain a country of female foeticide, best food for the male child while the girl child eats leftovers, same for education and everything else that helps you make a life of life! No wonder we are getting better and better at it with every passing year!
How else do we explain women being molested in the "safe" Mumbai (But then is it not the place where the Women's special train is known as "Maalgadi"). Foregin tourists being raped in a place of अतिथि देवो भवः Even kids being molested!!!
The other day "M" was talking about how women bring is unto themselves by their dress and their conduct and their what nots! (Maybe there existence itself M?, maybe they should stop existing cause it may cause civilised men to become lecherous fools!). Incidentally M happens to be a women!
Just because its there, doesn't mean its to be had by anyone whether invited or not. Is it about dogs and bones? I thought men were better than Dogs M.
There is something wrong with our very existence as civilised people. Something wrong with our culture, with our education system where we tend to learn more about the general theory of relativity than about respect for our fellow beings. An education system which teaches us enough about our civic rights but not much about our civic responsibilities.
We are still in the dark ages, India shining notwithstanding. We are going downhill even if the Sensex (The sex that gives you the best orgasms nowadays) is going up. We are in a state of decay and decadence. We are amidst a global warming of far gretaer consequence than any caused by CO2 emissions.
I think women should start smoking! No, don't laugh, I AM serious. After all there are worse ways of dying (or living for that matter) than due to Lung Cancer!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Nano has arrived

It was with some anticipation that I waited for the birth of a baby conceived in the dreams of a man who, by most traditional reckoning should have stopped dreaming, nay, as the most critical of them all would say, stopped thinking altogether.
Not this man.
Ratan Tata, all of 70 years of wisdom, coupled with a persistence which in any other man, or if you didn't know better, feels so much like arrogance, went on about his business as if nothing else mattered more than to prove the critics wrong.
I remember a day not so long ago, when my father would ride his second hand Bajaj Super with me standing in front, ma holding my kid brother on her lap at the back and the eldest brother taking a bus ride so that we could attend a wedding about 50 Km away from our hometown, Ranchi.
Ratan Tata too remembered, and decided to do somthing about it, in the face of intense ridicule from experts of all kinds. Car manufacturers who were not taught anything about paradigm shifts, environmetalists to whom a single man sitting on a Chauffeur driven, filthily priced car with a fuel efficiency of 7-8 kms per hour is less of a pollutant than a family car, priced at a middle class affordability with Euro IV Norms at 20 Kms to a litre!!! How cheap can you get!
I remember that scooter ride, tears flowing down my cheeks because the wind was too cold and biting. I remember my brother taking that lonely bus ride, when he was all of 10 yrs, I think. I remember my mother and younger brother falling because the roads had humps the size of a minor mountain because some environment friendly guy in the PWD had decided to protect cattle on the road. Cattle which had no business being there anyway! I remember. The same way I will remember Ratan Tata for the rest of my life.
Cheers to you Sir!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

When you are going nowhere and reach there on time!

Ever get that feeling. Of starting on time, to go absolutely nowehere. There is no sense of direction. Nothing to guide you and yet, when you arrive, you realise you are oh so on time!

Life throws different challenges at you, sometimes it thorws them at your head, sometimes at even more delicate parts of your anatomy and you need to be prepared to hang around for the next challenge. It is a little like smoking. Every stick is apparently your last, till the next one comes along!

Why would you try so hard, prepare yourself and pack well, for journeys best not taken. What satisfaction do we get for competing with all those around us in search of imaginary destinations with unknown prizes for our toils.

Any answers?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's just not cricket

Once upon a time, in more difficult times, Cricket was a gentleman's game. That was before the chappells and the pontings happened to it!

As I like to say often, there's more to life than just High5's. What use is winning a stupid game of cricket, if you lose friends and admirers in the process. What good is winning a stupid game, if you fail to retain your reputation.

Ricky Ponting used to walk. NOT THIS RICKY PONTING!! Seems like a different man altogether. Halt! who goes there?

Definitely not cricket!