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!