Friday, November 19, 2010

a send off speech that made me cry!!!

Our department's faculty consisted of 3 guest lecturers who were just a temporary replacements till the university appointed some new lecturers. Our batch were very close to each of those 3 teachers, they were like one of us. They try to draw a line and be serious sometimes, but a few jokes and non-cooperation from us they become normal and realize we are uncontrollable. Me and many of my classmates went into the department staff room to talk to them during interval hours, only to them. The HOD is strict like every other HOD in every other college. But the day finally came when two new permanent professors were to be appointed. It was like one of those reality shows where two contestants would be cut and only one contestant makes it to the next round. Two out of the three of the most friendly teachers were going to leave our college, and we had few and few students hanging out in the department staff room each day.
                                                   The only thing we hoped was the new guys (guy professors are always tough to mess with, you can't flatter them-bad news for all the boys in our department) were not so strict, but it was inevitable that our reign of terror in the department of commerce had to end one day. First sir came he was one of those guys no student would want a problem with, but he did teach well enough (barring the minutes of awkward silence when he goes through the text book to clear a doubt, which he finally agrees to clear some other time..... when that time would come -no one knows!)
                                                     And after bearing with every one of our tortures for one and a half year, two professors were being sent off. And our class planed a send off program for them, complete with mementos, draping of shawls, cake cutting,( One of the organiser kept saying "we need to cut a cake" , maybe he confused a send off with a birthday party but still some of the other organisers agreed and it was included)speech in both malayalam and english, and last and more importantly snow spray and confetti. I was given charge of the speech in english and part responsibility for an poem my friend was writing for the occasion.(more like the poem writer from whom he could steal the credit from) This program like every other program planned in our college had a lot of problems, we had to conduct the program after the last hour(much to anxiety of the students, I mean don't get me wrong we love those professors but any thing that means staying an extra minute at the college is always a sore subject among students) and also the principal didn't want us to decorate the class and make it messy, but he finally agreed to it after we promised to clean the class on our own. (yeah right!) 
                                            On the D-day I was talking with my friend, and second before the bell signalling the end of lunch hour, my friend asked me if I wrote the speech. That set of an alarm clock in my head, like one of those red alert sirens you hear in action movies. I had two hours to write a send off speech that was supposed to last 5 minutes,and not two free hours but one hour with the new sir and the second hour where I was to help the guys decorate the class! But thankfully the new sir was just teaching  the computer application lesson -powerpoint. Why is that good you ask me, you see even though I sit in the second bench and even though the sir can see what I am writing if he looked carefully, I had a skill in which I have excelled so much so that I am ashamed of it.
                                      I can pretend to be the most attentive guy in the class and still play tic tac toe with my friend. My skill is "the attentive face", as long as the sir doesn't ask me any questions I was safe. So after one hour of "the attentive face" and scribbling and scratching out of grammatically wrong lines. I had written the speech. I had no time to memorize it, I was busy with the decorating and final organising of the program. And the program finally began after every one else at the college were out. 
                                                                    The plan went well, we had a few students sing songs. (the ones who took a little long were given signals to shut up and complete the song) Of the people going off was a miss whom we forced to sing a song (she sang 2 lines and sat down. just like we hoped she would do.) next we asked the sir who was leaving, to sing. ( this guy was in our choir and he sang a classical song, for god knows how long  we were getting edgy, we all wanted to get that program over with and go home. So we started to clap when he hit a low note in the song, hoping that he would understand and sit down; but no! he thought we liked the song and he was singing the song longer that it really was, repeating lines and stuff) Finally the song that never seemed to end, ended. And it was my turn to bore the students with my english speech,the already agitated guys clapped and some even booed me for every single one of my lines, not because I was a good/terrible speaker but because they wanted the program to end. I cut short the speech so much that at one point it looked like I was reading random lines off a paper. I had written three jokes in the whole speech where I would pause for the guys to laugh ( what I failed to consider was that,  most of my classmates came from malayalam medium schools and even write their exam in malayalam. they didn't understand a word I said) only the two professors laughed. And with that the program ended, the snow spray foam was all over the cake, and When I ate a large chunk of the cake with "snow" al over it, I found out that "snow" spray was originally soap water.(not that I didn't know that before but when the students sprayed the teachers with the spray it fell on the cake, and the part they gave me had the foam all over it.) So when the program was over and I missed the last bus before nightfall I thought to myself the day couldn't get more worse after that. But then a classmate walks up to cheer me up, he says                                                                                                                            

" Man your poem was good, they were booing you off because they didn't understand it, and also they wanted the program to end soon, it not because your poem was bad"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A "recipe" for disaster

This post is written for blogeshwarandanubhooti.

I'm not much of a cook, all I like about food is the stage where you get to actually enjoy the glories of a good delicious meal. But my culinary skill were put to a premature test (my cooking skills start and end with making tea) when my mother had to go to her alumni meeting one day. She was in a hurry and just prepared rice for lunch, and I was supposed to heat up the previous day's fish curry. But I wanted something else and still was too lazy to get anything from a hotel. So before my mom went on her journey I asked her how to prepare egg. She told me the easiest way to prepare egg(for normal people) here's the recipe with each step, and also how i messed up each step.

1. get out the frying pan, pour oil on it place it on a stove and wait till it is hot enough.( how am i supposed to know it is hot enough, was I supposed to touch it?- I just waited till steam came off the pan.)

2.break the egg in the middle with a knife. (easy for my mom to say, have you ever tried doing that? I was too scared to do that, I mean what if the "egg matter" splatters all over? so I was hitting it with the least amount of force as I can )

3.pour the "egg matter" onto the pan without any small or large pieces of the egg shell falling in.(the problem with this step was that, I was still pondering over step 2, so I just broke off a tiny portion of shell at the top and started to pour it onto the pan- BAD IDEA, the "egg matter" fell like sand in a sand clock, too slow and too little.So to speed it up I tapped [hit hard] the egg with the knife, and then there was pandemonium- the shell at the bottom fell in, and it dazzled me to such an extent that I let go of the other half of the shell in my hand. Obviously I hadn't thought that through)

4.turn the stove to simmer and add some powdered pepper and salt on top.(but at this stage I didn't turn the stove to simmer and I was picking off egg shells with the knife)

5.turn the "egg matter" to the other side,so that it is cooked equally on both sides, the other side must be light brown (by the time I took out all the pieces of the shell, there was a smell of something which was burnt a little too much. Then I remembered this stage and turned it over to the other side, but instead of a light brown colour there was a dark brown colour bordering on a slight shade of black.)

6.turn the stove off and admire a perfectly good, tasty egg fry.( that's when I realised I haven't fully followed  step number 4. so I turned it over and added some salt and pepper powder(3 spoons each, hey it seemed perfectly sensible when I did it. I mean, I usually add 3 spoons of sugar to my tea[when I made it])

7.enjoy a perfectly tasty egg fry with rice and some curry (went to get the door, post woman came then with new copy of reader's digest. And when I got back to the stove I could smell something that was really similar to the odour of burning rubber. so I turned off the stove and got out of the kitchen to get some fresh air)

When the kitchen was seemingly safe enough to enter again and all the smoke cleared out, I got to see my masterpiece for the very first time, it was shaped like a dog or a puppy I could never be sure. In a way it reminded me of that scrappy character in the old cartoon series scooby doo. (I'm not immature, I really have a good memory of all the cartoons I watched when I was a kid)
                                        And the finished product tasted as bad as it looked and sounded,(with my explanation of how I made it) it was too salty and too hot.[to my surprise] All I can say is, that incident taught me a lot, for starters I learnt that the last thing I do should be to cook food to impress someone.It also made me realize how tasty my mom's food really is. Seriously the best time to get a good perspective, is when you hit rock bottom or in my case when you taste something really disgusting.

p.s if something smells like it is burnt, it most definitely and probably is burnt, so don't eat it. Trust me I know *sad face.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

blind man driving, watch out!!!

As long as I can remember I always wanted to drive a car, maybe because I saw people do it on tv and it felt “cool and awesome”. But a few years went by since I was a 13 year old watching, Vin diesel race in a fast and furious movie. And I finally was old enough to enroll myself into a driving school, which was a complicated procedure in itself. All the documents I had to produce to enroll,could fit in a briefcase and the fee was preposterous. Then the eye test where I had to read Malayalam words in different sizes, I told the doctor I can’t read it; I of course meant that I didn't know to read any Malayalam letters and i could read the English version of it. She just asked me how many letters were in the last row, and then she asked me in a concerned and disbelieving tone “you can see, right?”. And the attested copies of certificates’ that include my caste certificate and voters id. (ya even I can vote!)And the blood group test certificate, I mean why do they want that, to give a drivers license? (Do they say “oh you have an O negative blood group I’m sorry sir you can’t get a license, people with O negative blood group are bad drivers!”) And finally the day came when I was to take my first driving lesson.
                                              The instructor asked me my name and whereabouts, then started a brief tutorial on all the basic stuff anyone must know before they are allowed to actually drive the car. Like the clutch, the gears and the break, he also told me the break and the accelerator needed the right foot and the clutch needed the left foot like air to the human beings. (I fought hard to not laugh at the silly over-dramatized comparison, but I kept my calm) then I switched to the first gear from neutral and my first experience behind the steering wheel of a car began. (Well technically my second, my first experience involved a government jeep with a dented back door and a broken lamp post, but that one doesn’t count) The pull I felt when the car accelerated, hmm I’m never going to forget that. And at the end of my first 5 kilometers the instructor asked me if I have driven a car before that,and the first day's lesson ended there.(Now I laugh at my classmates who try desperately to get a compliment from teachers, but there’s no denying the fact that it absolutely rocks when you actually get a compliment.) But the second day started with the guy driving before my turn forgetting to take his foot of the clutch and getting smacked on the head for that mistake, to top it off when it was my turn it started raining hard (god wanted to have a laugh at my failing attempt to stay cool) and the car we drove was only designed to take as many students as it can for each trip and to have as many shaky, rickety and rusty parts in it as it can, not for silly reasons like driver safety. This I say because the car had no wiper.

                        But I did okay, didn’t get a compliment but I as long as I didn’t get a smack on my head I called it a job well done. And when I was driving it felt like on of those horror movies where the actor was driving through a monster infested forest, and they know something bad is going to happen. All I could make out in that torrential rain were dim silhouettes of on coming vehicles, and each time I saw it, I pictured my mangled carcass photographed as the latest road-kill on the front page of the next day’s news paper with the headline “blind college student crashes his car onto an oncoming truck killing his fellow students”. (I’m not blind by the way I have 20/20 vision, for any of you who may feel an urge to call up and complain to who ever issues the license) But don’t worry my class ended as this new blog post so clearly proves – I’m as alive as a dog chasing its tail. Or am I just imagining to write this post from my after life someone post a comment tell me I’m wrong.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Santa clause does exist" or does he?

Before any kid who believes Santa exists reads this-Santa does "exist", so no need to read this post ( its not like i have a huge base of 5 year old kids reading my blog. But i just thought I needed to be more socially responsible)

Now every Christmas my family had a regular plan, we went to the midnight mass came home slept and my mom would prepare a feast fit for 3 kings! And the rest of the day we spend by trying to digest all those delicacies. When I was in second standard I had one of those brainwaves (seems absolutely foolproof at that moment, only to backfire in totally unimaginable ways) I thought “why don’t I hang up one of those socks on the Christmas tree with a wish list of things I wanted for Christmas. (Inspired by a Hollywood movie I saw at that time and the idea of making Christmas more productive brightened up my young face, just like our Christmas tree in the living room.) 
                                                        So I got one of my father’s large socks and put in a long yet sweet list of toys I wanted for Christmas and hung it up on the Christmas tree.(hey, I was really young then) I was so exited that I jumped around even in the church.The jumping and all the excitement made me fall asleep quicker than my expected time of Santa’s arrival. And of course my sister was skeptical of the idea (she had that higher wisdom- she actually knew Santa was a myth, and that knowledge made her even more like the kid who liked burning ants with a lens)

                                        And yet I wake up in the morning and before anything else, ran to the tree to see if there was any "new development” there. No gifts of any sorts, but the sock was gone.(at first I thought Santa was after all a poor old man- he needs some time, or may be there might be some red tape issue at north pole, I mean even parcel services worked slower even with a lot fewer deliveries) Then I had started having second thoughts about my theory after I saw my sister walk into the room. I asked my parents and my sister if they took my magic sock, my parents in response kept asking my sister if she hid it they even searched her room. But no, the sock seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth like magic. To a 7 year old there are fewer things more thrilling, and awesome than that. So when I was hopping about and teasing my sister, my father was in the backyard watering plants- he called me and my sister.
                                                            When we were in the back yard, what we saw was our pet dog Ronny (Sir Ronald, I later named him) chewing on something at the far end of the garden.(Ronny was a puppy back then and we used to let him loose inside our home, he slept on my bed, or in the toilet or he would make my bed his toilet and sleep there. But you get the point right?) if you still didn't guess what Ronny was chewing on- it was the magic sock. So the mystery Santa clause was none other than our loyal friend/pet Ronny, he looked at us with his usual “what did I do wrong now?” look. So that was one of the Christmases to forget that I never fail to remember. It’s the human nature when we ask our self or someone else to not do something, that’s when we actually want to do it. Like- Me:"hey Bill don’t look there", bill: "where?" (staring at where i just asked him not to look at) So I forgot what I wanted to write about sorry reader but thanks for reading any way.
me, with the culprit.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

the auto miracle!

Only yesterday a friend of mine was narrating a long but a cliché story of the time he missed a train. It got me going back the old memory lane and I remembered the time when we nearly missed a train, if it wasn’t for an auto rickshaw driver we would have missed a train trip to Kerala to attend a hire certificate hearing. The incident took place 4 days before my first 12th standard board exam, me and my mom had to attend a certain send off and a prayer to write the exams well meeting at my school. At first we thought the program would last an hour or so, but we were sorely mistaken. The train was an 8.30 teagarden express to Cochin. And our original plan for the evening was- we attend the function, return home where we pick up the luggage and my sister then scramble to the railway station. But the function never seemed to stop, the principal so anxious to get a 100% result and possibly a state rank holder dragged on the prayer a little too long for our comfort. At 8.00 he finally thought it apt to stop the prayers and start reading stuff about the school’s new programs for the next year. My mom was practically shouting at me to go and talk to the principal to exempt me from staying any longer. And so I did with my mom accompanying me at the podium, where we explained the situation to him. Thankfully the principal being a good man told us we had to leave as soon as we possible to catch the train (like we didn't know that).
                                            My mom was running to keep up with me, she was panicking and kept saying “oh my god we definitely are going to miss the train.” (Frankly I thought so too, In fact I was confident that we were not going to go back home then to the railway station in time to catch the train) If we were to have any hope of reaching on time the timing had to perfect. In 25 minutes we had to make a 15 minute trip home, a further 10 minute of utter confusion and pandemonium there, and finally a dreaded 20 minute trip to the station. What we needed then was a miracle, and a miracle we got in its crudest form. A really rickety, fragile looking auto rickshaw pulled up at the entrance and asked us where we needed to go. Me and my mom jumped in told him the destination and explained the mess of a situation we were in. the driver suggested we call my sister and tell her to haul the entire luggage outside and lock up the house (which we followed to the word). After the call, the excitement drowned a little (only to rise, tremendously again) then I realized we were practically flying through the streets. My mom holding on to the seat for her dear life, as the auto driver made yet another death defying turn to miss being hit by a truck. In order to avoid the traffic he was literally driving on the wrong side of the road, but we weren’t complaining in 5 minutes we were home. Then the driver got out, stuffed the suitcases behind the seats and we were back on the race track. But you got to give it to him-the driver, I think he was in the wrong profession he could earn millions in the stunt driver business. My sister was too scared to even open her eyes throughout the journey.
                              I really enjoyed the movie “the transporter” of Jason stathom, now I was in the real life version of it and it didn’t look all that “FUN” all of a sudden. The 10 minute ride (if we had a police car chasing us and a helicopter above us taking in the whole scene on camera, the ride would be the best car chase escapes of the century) felt like a whole eternity, and my hands hurt real bad, after all holding on to the armrest so hard will hurt your hand (and I held on it because otherwise I feared I would be tossed out when the driver makes those sharp turns) the auto finally came to one of those screeching stops. (The ones you see in movies and think you want to do that too, take my word for it it’s not the same when you are actually in the vehicle when that happens) My mom handed him a 100rs note for a 70rs journey, well I think the driver earned every single paisa. And the pleasant surprise was that the train was still there and we got in just seconds before the train slowly started to move. We sat in our seat and laughed our hearts out for about half an hour. Of course everyone there were staring at us like we were mad people who just walked in, but if they were in the journey I’m sure plenty of them would fall on their knees and thank the lord for surviving the trip!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

i was attacked by a toilet flush

If you think the title is a little bit too difficult to believe or unrealistic, my friends you are sadly mistaken. Yes I was attacked by a bathroom flush. It happened while I was on a train to secunderabad. I always found train toilets filthy, smelly and poorly maintained now I have just added a new word to describe it- dangerous. It was half past 10 and I was going to use the toilet before I slept. But the queue outside the bathroom was enormous. Even after 15 minutes of sticking around there, a guy was still ahead of me. He was standing right outside the doors ready to pounce into the toilets just as soon as someone would exit one of the toilets. But the people occupying the toilets were in no hurry. So I decided to check out the toilet in the next compartment, lo and behold one toilet just got vacant just as I went there. Around the time when everyone goes to sleep on a train the toilet seats are as hard to get as an IIM or IIT seat. So anyway I did my business in the toilet and like any good citizen wanting to keep the government property clean I pushed the flush button – BIG MISTAKE.
Then there was pandemonium in the toilet as the flush button was in my hands, it came off. And the water was everywhere; I tried putting the flush button back but the more I tried to fix the situation the more it worsened, there was water all over me and not a single drop went into the toilet bowl, where it is supposed to go. And finally I almost fixed the flush up with a minor plumbing work of my own; just a few drops were dripping. (Not bad work for an amateur plumber) so the worse was yet to come when I was out of the toilet I checked to see how bad the situation was. I wore a black t shirt so the shirt look pretty much dry, the pants on the other had was wet in all the right place, to make the illusion of me wetting my pants. So I began walking towards my berth, the people who saw me outside the toilet, waiting there for more than a quarter of an hour (pacing up and down like a new father outside the hospital’s delivery room) and suddenly I disappear and when I came back my pants were wet. Looking back I think I should have done some explaining. Its not like I wanted this to happen, who would want that (I don’t go to sleep every night checking off the “I was attacked by an inanimate object” column) but with me these things happen, is it because I’m unlucky or is it just another hurdle life throws at us ,I don’t know but its an experience I can remember for a long sad time. Be sure you can have the same experience. The train I got in was sabari express coach number s4. the bathroom to your left when you go there through s3. (for reference of any plumber who might read this)

Oh and p.s I never fully understood the expressions "a hurdle life throws at us". Why would life do such a thing? I mean, they say life is a rat race and how are rats supposed to jump over hurdles let alone evade them when life keeps on throwing them at you? Silly language, English is!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

a case of curious identities

One would think, the purpose of a photo identity card is to establish the identity of a person. But the meaning of the identity card obviously got lost in translation with the government of our great nation. I say this because when my mom got her voters card (in Andhra pradesh) she went down to the registration office because she thought she got another woman’s voter’s card. My mom’s name is Magi Justine, but the card read – “mega jestis”. (I know it seems like a super hero’s secret identity!) She might as well have worn a cape and jumped off a building yelling “mega jestis to the rescue” than argue with the registration office clerk, that the card got her name wrong. Their big argument was “the picture is yours so it’s okay”. But the photo was a masterpiece of it’s own right; painters can get a person’s likeliness wrong, but for a photographer to get it wrong I mean what are the chances of that? The photo looks like a mug shot of a dead body that just washed up on a beach. And my mom’s husbands name (my dad) was printed as jestis M S. it’s funny because my dad’s name is Justine M J, at least that’s what my mom wrote on the application. I still am in amazement on how a person can confuse J with S. (written in capital letters)
But that was nothing compared to the utter speechlessness our family was in when my dad got his voter’s card. The name read -jeswin . Em . Je .(“seriously, People can get initials wrong” might be your question. The answer is a big YES!) But the best part was spelling mistake (highest form of an understatement calling it a spelling mistake) on the wife’s name (first of all there was no wife’s name only father/mother/husband’s name so I pity all the married guys who got a voter’s card back then) my mom’s name appeared as –“jan Em. Vi.” But an optimist would have said “look on the bright side at least his photo look a little bit like him” but im not so sure! So thus the “non”identity card was to be tolerated and thus for a few months in Andhra my parents were jeswin Em Je and jan Em Vi, thanks to the election commission of India of course.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

fishing in hell

Okay fishing is a hard job; imagine fishing without water or a fishing rod? (No, fishing is not in a metaphorical context here) there’s this tank at our back yard, it was supposed to be our septic tank but it was not properly built nor was it closed, after a new septic tank was built. In a town where it rains almost daily the tank is almost always filled with water .And the people we rented our house to before we moved there had put some fishes in the tank so that mosquitoes don’t lay their eggs there. So one hot summer day my mom comes to me and says “there’s fish at the bottom of the tank, the tank dried up so you can catch it easily”. So I decided to be sport and catch some fish, thus began an hour I desperately try to forget.
Imagine this, the tank is 4 feet deep, it had dried up in the summer heat.(regrettably not fully dried the floor was a wet muddy mess) I could spot two fishes (mudskipper or catfish, I don’t know the name but they are more elusive than an al queda terrorist) they were in a small pool of really wet mud. So the traditional method of a hook and bait would definitely not work. The only weapon of choice I had was a pair of long sticks that I had to use like a giant pair of chopsticks to push it into the bucket attached to the string my mom placed near the fish. I know what you are thinking if it was just 4 feet deep why didn’t I get in it and get the fish. The floor of the tank could be placed in the top 5 most disgusting and dangerous terrains in the world list, so getting inside the tank could be placed as the last possible resort to get the fish. The fishes were alive and they were more slippery than a greasy pole with motor oil poured throughout its length. And what’s more annoying is having my mom and sister yelling instructions at me “push it in” “lift it with the two sticks” “go right” “go left”. An hour passed by with no luck. When people give you directions (that’s only use is to cause the poor soul listening, a migraine) and you are the one doing all the work it causes a feeling of at most annoyance that cannot be described in mere words. But finally I managed to push both the fishes in the bucket (one slippery living hell at a time).Two sore hands, a few bruises and a really tired body later there they were, the two fishes that ruined my day. But when the question came on who would have the pleasure of killing them, I thought I would be more than glad to kill them (and kill them violently) but I couldn’t, after more than 2 excruciating hours in the sun trying to catch them I couldn’t get myself to kill the fruits of my hard work. So I let the killing and cooking with my mom, I didn’t even eat the nice curry the fish had the poor fortune of becoming. The moral of the story is when you work so hard on something, only for your effort to be eaten by others you have to make sure have a little bit of it yourself or you’ll have to starve !

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Venus human trap !!!!!!

Yesterday I got myself into yet another pickle of a situation. My ambition after getting my degree is to do an MBA. And for that reason I wanted to enroll myself into a CAT entrance coaching center. I heard there was a coaching centre in a building near my gym. So I thought I’ll check it out, despite me being seriously fatigued by a tough work out session. The coaching centre was at the 4th and top most floor of a plaza. I took the stairs up there; people at the coaching center were looking at me like I was a stray dog that just walked into a church. I was certainly not looking sharp after a 2 hr workout, and the limp I developed (because of the new exercise I got for my thighs) was not polishing my image either. But the place did not teach the subject there, they only had MAT. The news did not disappoint me, but the thought that I had to get down 4 flights of stairs simply broke my heart.
So then I saw a heart warming sight, the cushioned walls of the lift and the air conditioned atmosphere in it was like a light in a dark tunnel (literally, the corridor was so dark). So I got in the elevator, no one else did they opted the tiring stairs. I thought to myself “why do these people use all the facilities in such a nice place?” When the lift doors closed I noticed something on the door -“venus” It read. I didn’t give it a second thought, I pushed floor 0 and waited for my floor. The lift announced “welcoming you” in two languages. (I hated it when recorded messages are grammatically wrong) so finally it came “ground floor” but the door wouldn’t open , I pushed the open door button. NOTHING! I tried every thing, with the same result, the stubborn door appeared to be laughing at me. then it hit me, when I was trapped in the lift like a toad in a well. I understood why “venus” seemed funny at that time, one thing came to my mind then “the venus fly trap” everything about the elevator drew me in the bright lights, the cool air, the (grammatically wrong) electronic voice ushering me in, or the prospect of an effortless ride instead of a strenuous walk down the stairs. But the lift had taken a day off, maybe the lift had ‘problems’.(how do I know about the secret life of an elevator?) for 10 minutes I panicked and tried everything I possibly could do( I yelled out like my life depended on it, I hit notes that would make any whale cry with envy) then I though “if I’m stuck in an elevator why not have some fun while I’m there.” I went up and down and up again, this went on for a quarter of an hour; then I had a brainwave I went to the top floor and I yelled , kicked ,screamed made as much noise as I could. Finally one woman from the coaching center thought she heard some faint noise (faint for her, throat busting for me) and pushed the lift button. Then I heard one of the sweetest sounds ever the lift said “thanking you visit again” and the doors opened. She asked me what was wrong, I explained to her my ordeal with the most stubborn lift, and I said goodbye and good riddance to the floor.
And looked towards the stairs, and never have I felt so glad to see a dirty, smelly, energy draining flight of stairs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

12 tasks for hercules

Think Hercules had a tough time doing the task given to him? Now if he needed some Unfeasible tasks i got a few for him(based a little bit on the chores I had to do) here goes:

1) Cleaning all the weeds from my mom’s garden. Do that in the burning sun and humidity which would put a sauna to shame. And the tool you have to use is a shovel which is broken and may at any minute turn in its axis to cut the user’s foot in two.

2) Clean the water tank the water has to be drained away. ( Hercules better not wear his best shirt to the job when doing this) The stubborn sand at the bottom won’t come off leaving the person frustrated and with a migraine.

3) Catching cat fish from the drained off well like structure. For your information, cat fish know how a human thinks, it’s filthy, it bites, and it gets into the hardest to reach corners.

4) Attending the class of our management professor and, (here comes the tough part) staying awake the whole time. The most resilient of students from far off corners of the college have tried this task. The most one has managed is half of the hour, and the record was set by an insomniac kid. ( well insomniac till he attended the class at least )

5) Stealing food from the school canteen where I did my 12th. It’s like a tough communist ration center there. Or a prison canteen.

6) Eating the bonda made in our college canteen, Seems refreshing? Well sometimes I think they are made with tortoise shells and titanium shavings. Biting it means loosing a tooth or more. My friends buy the bonda to use as a throwing weapon, it’s an excellent projectile.

7) Reading my accounting book, and comprehend at least one line from it.

8) Cleaning my room. Hercules may have cleaned the Augean stables but when he takes one look at my room he may start hating himself.

9) Try to apply for any government identity card in Kerala. If he gets the job done in less than three months he deserves more than just a place in the book of Guinness records.

10) Turn into an inanimate object or into a lower life form like a dog or cat. I bet he can’t do that. Neither can I, but we are discussing Hercules here.

11) Get our washing machine to work. I will even pay him for this.

12) Last but one of the toughest of challenges, hang around with me for a whole day. Between the blunt jokes and moronic mistakes. If he still manages to pull through he will be disqualified on the basis of failing a mental test.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

bus ride

Remember when you first start going to a college, the first week you go about 15 minutes early. The next week you start going into the class after the first 15 minutes. Then next month the first period seems like an unwanted luxury. Then we realize the pointlessness of even going to the college. Well it’s safe to say I’m no different from all the other college going teenagers. But as the year drew to a close the subject of financial accounting started to become more and more enigmatic. So one fine day I decided to pay a visit to the college and check out how the place is holding up. This is where yet another foolish quest of mine shapes itself. Well I decided to go to the college, so I thought why not go on time? So I take a fast passenger bus instead of an ordinary bus, the main differences between these buses are that the former covers a 45 minute journey in 30 minutes max for an extra 5 rupees. And unlike an ordinary bus which has a seat that is harder and crater filled than the surface of moon, the fast passenger has a back-friendly seat(or at least one that is bearable).
I was surprised to find many empty seats, normally the bus is packed. I was starting to feel lucky. But as if he read my mind, a guy (stocky…….. okay who am I kidding, a really obese man!) he comes and sits next to me. I’m not prejudiced against obese people, but when 4 or 5 seats are completely vacant and I’m in a seat which is barely big enough for a full grown man, Him sitting in my seat was kind of infuriating. And he obviously had a work out in his work clothes, his weight might have increased a great deal more, with the gallons of sweat dripping from him. As soon as the uncomfortable Journey starts the guy falls asleep (he was literally snoring) I was at the window seat and the guy seemed like he was trying to get his head out the window in his dreams. I was sandwiched between the sweaty blobby mass of the guy and the window. I tried everything to get him to wake him up; I even tried poking the guy with a pencil (in the politest way possible) but apparently the guy had a grudge on me from our previous life.
Then, finally I ran out of options and decided to leave the entire seat to the man, and traveled standing up. I couldn’t see out the window, so I missed my stop and got of 7 stops away. There was no way I was going to reach my class on time, but I still got on an ordinary bus which was packed to the door. I stood on the footboard; well I had one leg on the footboard. And all I could hold on to was some guy’s shoulder. (I don’t want to sound like a wuss, but knowing that a small slip would send me to a gruesome death, that scared me.) Then finally I thanked god for finally reaching my college in one piece. When the bus came to a stop, I actually fell out. (but don't worry another guy cushioned my fall) then I walked to the gate, I was lucky after all I just made it on time.
But the sight that awaited me at the gate was a disheartening one (I felt like someone just hit my stomach with a sledge hammer) the watchman was the only one in the campus. It was a holiday because of a fight that broke out in our college the previous day. I did the only thing my devastated mind told me to do- take a “bus ride” home.

Monday, March 29, 2010

coconut nightmares

Okay this time, I have something that doesn’t involve my childhood. Well technically I’m still a child so we are still in my childhood! I will narrate the chores I have had to do since my family moved to kerala. Most of the stuff I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing in my comfy home at trichy only 1 year ago. There are quite a few coconut trees in our compound. And the coconuts as we all know has a thick outer shell when they are freshly plucked from the tree- a green, mean, energy draining layer of natural fiber. (Otherwise known as coir) my first job was to rip out this outer layer, with a gizmo(sharp stick) used for this job for the past 500 odd years in kerala.. Trust me when I saw the guiness record for the most coconuts pealed with just teeth of a person, I was at a loss of words. He ripped off the 10-12 coconuts in little more than a minute. When all I managed to do with a knife, the stick and 15 minutes of all my anger and frustration (for agreeing to do the job for a lousy 10 bucks) is 2 measly coconuts. And I had to do 5 more coconuts, by that time it felt like the remaining coconuts were laughing at me.
Then fortunately I got the hang of it, I found a weak spot in the coconut which I did well to exploit. (I finally had a modus operandi) the next chore, in a few days.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

alter boy memoirs

Okay, here something that happened a few years back. It may sound like memoirs of suraj, so please bear with me. I’m going to tell you guys about my experience as an altar boy. For those of you that don’t know what an alter boy means, well they are basically like stage hands for priests (Christian of course) during a holy Mass, every sunday. We kind of say prayers, and do stuff ( I honestly have no idea about it!) . I was about 10-12 years young and my family and i used to go to our local Malayalam church in Tamil Nadu. I did my Sunday school there (only because my parents forced me to attend it) the nuns there made me an alter boy, not because I was extraordinarily pious or any thing! They needed four boys about my age to make their requirement. And with only three boys regularly attending, I was kind of a lack of choice rather than a unanimous addition!
I am not beating around the bush, I was a terrible alter boy. Well I slept at the side of the altar even with, 50 odd people looking there the whole time! Most of them wouldn’t have noticed ( busy with their own slumber, appearing to meditate… but hey, god knows the truth right?). But the nuns and my sis-eager not to leave out even the most miniscule of my mistakes wait with a crocodiles patience for me to fall asleep. After the sermon I get a routine 15 minute admonishment of nuns, and a further lifetime of repartee from my sister and “friends”.
Being a Malayalee born outside kerala, it would be safe to say my knowledge of the Malayalam prayers was less than microscopic. And to make the worse, further worse my pronunciations sounded funny even to me! So the prayers were left to be said by another guy. And there are other small chores that I was remotely aware of, so it was left to the guy standing next to me. Which leaves me standing there doing nothing, the whole time but stand, sit or kneel at the appropriate times.
Even this simple exercise of standing and sitting seemed too complicated to my poor sleepy mind back then. More than once have I sat for the sermon and slept, so when every one in the church is standing up after the sermon I would be sitting there in my catnap, in front of every one. After 5 minutes of this humiliation my fellow alter boy finally finds it apt to wake me up. There was one incident where I slept during a midnight mass before Easter. Only the funny part this time was,I was standing up when I fell asleep all of sudden and fell on the alter table. The priest asked me after the mass (he was not angry, actually I think he was amused) “you could stay awake for one hour before Easter?” (this is where it gets hard to explain to the non Christians, the bible reading that day was, where Jesus Christ took his apostles to the top of a mountain on the night before the day he was executed. The apostles slept while Jesus Christ went to pray to accept all the mankind’s sins) so I said to the priest, “father, even the apostles fell asleep and you make a big deal when I slept?” of course I was tired and not in my senses when I said it. But the priest laughed for a full 5 minutes after I said that. He would narrate that to anyone standing with him when ever he saw me ( for the next 2 years I was there!)
I have never been an alter boy since then, and I don’t intend to being one in the near future. Two years of my reminiscence as an alter boy has made me panic-stricken on my idea of an alter boy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

my first day of school!!!!

If the reader is looking for a melodramatic story, I’m sorry to say you come to the wrong place or in this case the wrong blog! The story of my life is quite normal, with a few errors and mistakes…….okay a lot of errors and mistakes! It began quite normally in a hospital like many of the others. I’m one of those not so rare cases where the doctor who delivers the baby instead of slapping the baby, slaps himself! Yeah, another warning for the readers these cheesy jokes are the very foundation of my blogs so feel free to flee now!
                                                                 Okay here’s what I’ll share with you folks, some of the dumb situations I get myself into. They are quite hilarious to those who are not ME! To begin with, I was a really shy kid, stress on was. My mom told me about the first day at school. I was the only one not crying. My faint recollection of this is my mom dropping me off at the class and promising to sit outside the whole time.(a lie my innocent 3 year old mind believed completely) I walk into the class room where a lot of kids my age were crying for their parents. The phenomenon seemed like an epidemic only I was immune to, every now and then a new kid would walk till the threshold of the class happy, unaware of the fact that he is about to be stuck in this hell hole with his parents waving a quick good bye to him and disappearing. The moment they notice their parents are not coming back to get them, they go berserk. I was like an outcast, unable to cry, feeling a little guilt that I’m doing something wrong only I did not have the faintest idea what I did wrong! There was a heap of toys at a corner of the class completely unnoticed by the tear full eyes of my first classmates. It was the paradise of any 3 year old. Now I simply could not waste any of my time missing moms, when a heap of toys lay there begging to be played with ,now can I?
                                                    The crying finally subsided after an hour or so, I think because of the overwhelming number of kids who needed to pee (but they were totally confused by the complicated mechanism of the zipper). After the class the parents were all back to take their “educated” toddlers home. I told my mom and dad that the school place was not bad, I really thought so too, until the next day. My mom dresses me up in the uniform. That’s when I sensed something was wrong.(I guess it’s one of those things which are good the first time you try it, not so much afterwards) . Now here they were taking me to the place…. Again! The floodgates opened and with the tears came my desperate struggle to hold on to my one chance of escape……my mom. That hope died when I saw her wave to me (I was now now held in a vice like grip of two teachers). Only the previous day I was mystified as to why the kids were crying. Well at least then, I knew why!
                                                          I don’t recall any of my friends there, but I used to sit next to this Sikh kid named Pankaj. I remember his name well because once there was a terrible stench in my class……… like something crawled up in there and died (its common for kindergarten kids to shit themselves, especially with an incredibly intimidating teacher like the one we had) and the stench was traced to be originating from our bench. I knew who the culprit was so I kind of looked at him when the teacher came near. Oh how I regret that now! It seems looking to the side, is a sign of guilt in kids who shit their pants. Because the teacher caught my ear and took me to the aaya(the janitor lady) who took me to the bathroom and strip searched me for any signs of lethal weaponry. I was acquitted of “the crime.” Well I don’t recall an apology but, I still hold kind of a grudge on the kid called Pankaj.