Oct 30, 2009


You know those stupid face-book quizzes that everybody seems to be clicking on these days? I never do them. Because the one or two I did in the initial "I-am-so-excited-to-be-on-facebook" stage gave out patently false results. As expected. One even suggested that I'll die from a shoot-out in a gang war. Yeah right!

I have usually been skeptical of such links. The ones which says "You are 51% female" even when your blog url does not read "http://ardhnareeswara.blogspot.com", or the ones which say "This blog can be understood by a school dropout" etc etc...

So, imagine my surprise when I finally found a link through some totally random browsing that finally gave a true result!

Reminds me of the quote made by my friend: "If you set out to do nothing, and end up doing nothing, haven't you achieved 100% of what you wanted?"
PS1: When there is nothing happenning in one's life that is blog-worthy, can a post about the worth(lessness) of one's blog be used as a filler?

PS2: From 3 day weekends a month back to working Saturdays now... how the leisurely have fallen :(

PS3: Any investment banker out there who can tweak the terminal growth rate and the WACC to give a respectable value to this space? Like a certain power company, I promise to write 28,000 mega posts by 2015.

Oct 25, 2009

Exam Fever...

Sunday 10.00 a.m.

“Aiyyo, I have an exam tomorrow!”


“I don’t remember anything. I am sure to fail!”

“Oh c’mon! It can’t be that difficult!”

“You don’t understand! Ennaku mandayylaye yera maatengarathu!” (“I just can’t get this into my head!”)

“It’s ok. Show me your notebook, I’ll help you.”


Sunday 12.00 noon

“Aiyyo, it’s all so confusing! Why did I join this stupid course? I am not going to use any of this ever in my life!”

“Not everything you learn has to be used in your life. Besides, this is going to be useful, you just don’t realize it.”

“Poda! I don’t want to write this exam. I don’t want to pass this course. I just hope everybody will leave me alone.”

“Stop putting nadigar thilagam style drama! Why are you getting so worked up over such a silly exam?”

“Precisely my point! It is a silly exam! And I will end up failing in that too!”

“Listen, your performance in this exam does not in anyway reflect the kind of person you are. You are the best, irrespective of whether you pass this stupid test or not.”

“Kadavule, pazhani aandava, enna indha kodumai lerenthu kaapaathu appa!” (“Oh God! Lord of Palani, please save me from all this misery!”)


Monday 9.30 a.m.

“Did anybody see my pen? Where is my pen?”

“It’ll be where you put it after writing your notes last night!”

“I can’t seem to find it. Don’t just stand around passing wise comments, help me search for it!”

“Inniki exam nu theriyum illa? Nethikke pena ellam eduthu vechurkalam illa?” (“You knew today’s your exam. You should have kept everything ready yesterday itself!”)

“Aiyyo, onakku vellayaata irukka? Unna, vandhu pesikiren! Ippo, just help me find it!”

(“All this is a joke to you? I’ll get back at you once I get back.”) [Sorry, couldn’t resist the translation pj]

“Ok, ok...”

“Hiyya! Kedachuduthu! Poitu varen.” (“Aha, got it! Ok, I’m leaving”)

“All the best. Bhayapadaama paathu ketu ezhudungo, Amma.” (“All the best. Don’t get nervous, and write carefully, Mom.”)


PS1: When I suggested to my mom to enroll in a computer course, I never imagined that it would lead to so much drama in the family!

PS2: I never thought I’d use “my Amma” and “cute” in the same sentence. But this episode was just that! Too cute! And yeah, role reversal is much fun!

PS3: The "exam la paathu ketu ezhudhu" is literally the most misleading advice one can give to youngsters. And yet, I have seen (and heard!) most relatives using this. Of course, yours truly was really honest in exams!!!

PS4: Back from the home trip which included the mandatory social visits to ageing relatives. Why don't they ever realize that “when are you settling down?” is the most unsettling question one can ask a 26 year old?

Oct 15, 2009

Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth...

Unlike me, my mom is not someone who is obsessed with money. She even violates the founding principles of economics which starts with "human wants are unlimited". She always seems content with whatever she has, and shuns most comforts that I crave for.

May be it has got something to do with growing up in a large, not so well off family. Where one learnt to put off costly luxuries since there wasn't enough to fulfill the necessities.

I am amazed at how detached she can be when it comes to material comforts. And yet...

"Keep the house clean, or Lakshmi will run away."
Not "it is so messy", or "you'll fall sick with all the dust", but "Lakshmi will run away".

"Light a lamp at sunset, to welcome Lakshmi."
Not "to keep darkness away", not "to help us see better", but "to welcome Lakshmi".

"Keep the front door open at dusk, or Lakshmi will go away."
So what if the only things that come in are blood sucking mosquitoes. And a small rat at times.

She also has a velakku shlokam routine while lighting the lamp, which starts with "Velakke thiru velakke..." something something, and the single stand-out line I remember in that goes "pasu maadu thaarum amma, potti neraiya bhushanangal thaarum amma..." I remember chuckling at that and asking her if she really wanted a cow and a boxful of treasure, only to be shushed at with a rebuke, "Don't make fun of Lakshmi. She'll desert you."

And it is not just my mom. I have seen it across Tambrahm households. Most of them express an inexplicable distaste for hankering after money and material comforts, preferring (pretending?) to be interested in spiritual pursuits.

And yet, the obsession with wealth (or at least its Goddess!) is to be seen to be believed. Half the time, the curses will be "Moodevi!" (the other half being shaniyan!), and half the threats for not following some ritual will go "Daridram pidikkum" (Poverty (or misery?) will haunt you!). Why not "paithiyum pidikkum" (given that I am more afraid of going mad than going bankrupt!), or even "jaladosham pidikkum" (since I sneeze all the time as it is!)? One can only speculate that losing your wealth was considered infinitely more scary than losing your marbles!

In private, they sneer at the business class. And yet, go to work for them, remaining loyal workers for life. Risk-taking is an anathema, the stock market is a gambling den, and the constant message every child gets is "study well, find a nice job and settle down." "And invest your money in post office monthly income schemes," they might as well add.

Money is not a tool to be used for purchasing comforts in life. Money is a whimsical goddess who'll desert you if you don't adhere to certain arcane diktats.
So, I grew up hearing both "Don't run after money!" and "Worship the Goddess of Wealth and don't incur her wrath!"

And the tragedy is that since she is my mom, I know she hasn't taken a hypocrites oath and genuinely believes in those two opposing value systems!

on that note, Happy Lakshmi Puja! and Happy Deepavali too!
PS: Going home for a week! Let's rephrase that: "GOING HOME FOR A WEEK!" :D :D :D Limited access to the net, and a good time to check whether I am truly addicted to this blog!

Oct 11, 2009

Of working weekends, loan signings, unplanned trips and more...

This is going to be a personal post (and extremely long). If you came here expecting PJs, and are not in the least interested in knowing what an exciting social life I lead, please brace yourself for some disappointment.

Since we wrote that epic limerick in anticipation of a long weekend, Murphy decided to show up and remind us of the old line, "If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans". So what if we don't actually believe in God. Or tell really godawesome PJs that would make even an imaginary God forget to laugh. May we remind you that we refer to ourselves in the plural whenever we are happy. Also, when we try to imitate Bihari Hindi. Hum bas ee bolna chahat hai tau ki hum bahut kush hai. I know I got it wrong, but whatever!

So, the long weekend was spent in office. Struggling with a huge loan document. With a cold pizza to ensure that we don't drop dead due to starvation. But we just attended our first multi-million dollar loan documentation, and boy, are we boasting about that ever since?

Anyways, once we were done and dusted with the official work, and all the lawyers were happy, we asked boss for a day off to make a trip to Kutta (South Coorg) with our friends from Bangalore (Bengaluru?) over the next long weekend. Yes, thanks to the same holiday given to us because of the great man's birthday. The same person whose smiling photograph on green coloured crisp paper makes girls go weak in the knees. We love him so much we keep multiple pics of the man in our wallet. No girl has gone down on one knee for us yet, but then girls are not so lame. But we are still hopeful...

We are lucky to have some really enthu friends who arranged for a vehicle and acco and off we went. To a beautiful unplanned holiday that got us thinking why aren't we taking more such trips?

Now, we were in half the mind to do a travelogue kinda post, with nice pics and detailed write-ups on what to do and where to go and other boring useful stuff. But, we figured that there are nice forums which do that anyways. So, we just put together a collection of random pics. If only to remind us that we need to take off on impulse trips more often.

Apparently, the drive from Bengaluru to this place is nice and scenic. Of course, we wouldn't know anything about that. Because, we subscribe to the policy of sleeping through the journey so that we can remain awake once we reach the place. The fact that we can snugly fit into the backseat of the Qualis is but a minor incentive.

Yes. We have a tendency to sleep in any moving vehicle. Cars. Buses. Trains. Planes. Even when riding pillion on a motorcycle, as our friend never stops reminding us.

Of course, we did wake up when our friends spotted spotted deer. And we came up with a PJ: "Why are there so many deer?"... "B'coz deer are horny!". Our friends who were trying to convince us to stay awake were now regretting their decision. "Thoongara singatha thatti ezhupeeta" as Thalaivar used to say. And we would be polite enough not to repeat the "Spotted deer is not a verb" PJ that we used in this post.

Of course, things got slightly more exciting when we spotted our favourite animal.

We really love elephants. Behenji notwithstanding, we think they are too cool. They can be majestic, they can be cute, they can be frightening, and best of all, they have big pot bellies. Just like us.

Unfortunately, that was about the only wild life we spotted. Though we had heard that the Nagarahole forest range has lots of wild animals. Like tigers (well, no Gujju family this time, but still the striped one stubbornly refused to show up. Makes us wonder whether we were the ones who scared the tiger away at Corbett). Like bisons (the only bison that was there was beneath my shirt. Or was it Poompuhar? We are too decent to publicly state our brand preference!). Like wild boars (ok, no smart ass comment this time. Even we are fed up now!)

But what we did find, at the place we stayed, were spiders. Hundreds of them. We went crazy clicking them. So much so, our friends started calling us Spiderfan. (Main 'ma' ko 'fa' bolta hoon was the only kaminey-type PJ we could come up with...)

Take a minute to appreciate the world's best web designer. Next time you do ottarai at home, remember that you are destroying such beautiful creations. That's why we don't clean our house. And people think we are just being lazy.

Of course, we also spotted a lonely cow somewhere. And thankfully, no dumb Farmville players around to claim points for it!

And that concludes our pseudo-travelpost.

We are approaching the festival of loud noises, which usually makes us go all senti. Let's hope we come up with something more funny this time.

PS: We were desperate to put up a one-liner on Obama's Nobel Prize. Like how "any US President who doesn't declare war and kill English is eligible for the Peace prize". But this dude beat us to it. And put it better.

Ps2: Most pics clicked by friends. Who are welcome to claim copyright if they want. The spider pics clicked by me! You are free to use them, unless you make money off them. In which case, pliss to share!