Sunday, September 28, 2008

Small Acts of Goodness

Every day, we are provided with opportunities to display small acts of goodness. Do we make the optimum utilization of the same ?

It may be distributing alms to the needy, vacating a seat for a lady or a senior citizen in the public transport system ,giving directions to the stranger for his destination, keeping the public properties clean.

Some go ahead a step or two in this regard and make such acts their routine.

A retired government employee in our colony takes the responsibility of paying his neighbors electricity bills along with his (Of course the amount of the bill would be collected). This has become such a routine for him that the neighbors now just hand him the bill and the amount even before the senior citizen can ask for the same.

The young bank employee who drops some of the young kids of his apartment to their school everyday in his Maruthi Alto. The kids are happy. Any person on the street would definitely mistake this bank employee for a driver. But he cares two hoots about this as half of his journey to the bank would be fun-filled.

The middle-aged housewife who gives tuition to the needy kids of the locality. She feels it is the best way to kill the boredom rather than watching mindless serials or movies.

If every person thought in the similar fashion, this world would have been a heaven itself na.

Hmm..... Thinking of Utopia......

Friday, September 19, 2008

Boys don't cry

Most of the time, I have heard this statement, I felt how wrong the statement is. Not only boys, but also grown ups cry a lot. And sometimes they do it for the silliest of the reasons.

Recalling a news bit of some four-five years back when a politician cried aloud in the vidhana soudha saying that no one gives him a chance to speak. Emotional outburst.

Not long back, a movie had been released in Kannada with the full intention of making boys go for their handkerchief. The movie was Mungaru Male. I remember a girl telling me of how she laughed when she saw her male friends shedding tears on the sentiment filled dialogues of the tragic hero.

I have got a good example at home. When my grandfather (Mother's father ) died of old age (eighty plus), my father cried buckets that too on the thirteenth day causing real embarrassment to my mother. Mother and other relatives kept watching with shock at this tough guy weeping out his heart aloud.

I seemed to have inherited this feature from my father. Tears download very fast from my eyes. A soft click on my emotions is sufficient enough to start the process. So now, a separation from a good friend has initiated the process.

By way of tears, one can either reduce his grief or get more sucked into pain. The option is with the beholder of the tears.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hanuman and Jambavantha

Jambavantha is a clever bear in the ministry of Sugreeva who helped Rama in the battle with Ravana. Jambavantha is more known for constantly reminding Hanuman of his immense capabilities and motivating the monkey-god in achieving great heights. It was he who inspired Hanuman to cross the seven seas and find Sita. It was he who inspired Hanuman to get the Sanjeevani Herb and cure Laxman.

Is this just a story or does it resemble more than that. I may sound philosophical but I feel I am not wrong.

Take for example of this young family man who whenever encountered with problems, just makes a visit to his uncle and has a sitting with him. The uncle just shows him the way and reminds the young man that the making or breaking of a family depends on the attitude of the young man.So his uncle is a jambavantha to him.

Or the officer from this MNC who in a young age holds a dignified managerial post. Whenever the stress become unbearable or whenever he feels that the tension is mounting upon him, he visits his dear lecturer from the business school who was always his guide. A few hours with him musters up courage and relieves the tension and gets him fully geared up. So the mentor seems to play the role of Jambavantha in his life.

Or take Me for that matter. Why did I start to write. Because I was motivated by a friend to do so. Sometimes I go blank as of now. So a few minutes of chit-chat with my good friend brings back the writer in me. So I think I should nickname my good friend as 'Jambavan' :)

But the question is How long will these Jambavantha's will be with you? The uncle or the mentor may not be there for the entire lifetime. The friend may be there for me only for some months.

The real Jambavantha is said to be eternal and so is Hanumantha. So where are they ?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Let's write on Love

Prem was sitting in the waiting lounge for his friend Dr Shashikiran. The doctor was busy advising a lady in her early forties who seemed to be quite disturbed. And waiting along with Prem for the counseling to be over was the lady's fourteen year old daughter Nisha. But unlike Prem, she was busy with her Pen and Paper. She was scribbling all along.

A curious Prem just couldn't resisit the question " What's that you are taking note of, little girl?"
The little girl turning her head and with a beautiful smile"I am going write a bestseller in a month's time. My book will be titled 'Love from a teen-angle'. And I am not a little girl. My name is Nisha."
Prem really liked the name "I am Prem. And do you think you know all that has to be known about Love ?"
Nisha confidently "You may have love only in your name. I have experienced Love. Love is not enjoyed best while watching a movie from the corner seat or having a ice cream in an AC Restaurant. Love is best felt while enjoying the simple pleasures of the life"
Prem thought that discussion was turning sweet "And where did you learn this, dear Nisha. From Romantic Novels ?"
Nisha swayed her head from left to right "From the local pani-puri stall. You will find more lovers there enjoying simple pleasures like Pani-Puri, Bhel-Puri etc"

Before Prem could ask more, the girl herself was advertising her book "Each chapter has a statement to make.... Like Love is not about giving precious gifts or dancing hand in hand. Its about expressing oneself"
Now where did she get this, thought Prem "Let me Guess.... Mobile Messages ?"
Nisha smiled hinting that again he was wrong "From the Graffiti and writings seen in my school benches and note books and toilet walls. ."

Time was running out as the lady in the doctor's room was preparing to leave. So Nisha had to tell how she planned to conclude "Love has got nothing to do with Age... A young guy can fall for a middle-aged divorcee or A happily married family man can fall for his teenage daughter's friend."
This time Prem's guess cant go wrong "These are from movies"
Nisha just shrugged her shoulder "May be. But I do have a personal experience. See that doctor over there ", Pointing to the doctor who was coming out of his chamber, "I am in deep love with him, though he is around 30 and I am just fourteen"

Prem asked her a final question before she made her exit along with her mother, who had come out of the doctor's cabin, "Why don't you wait till your teenage is complete? why are you in a hurry ?"
Without a change of expression, the girl commented "Because I don't have that much time. Because that doctor, my new boyfriend, has given me only a month's time on this Earth. I want to give him my lovely heart and he says I have a problem with my heart which can't be resolved"

Prem was speechless and couldn't continue the conversation as Nisha had already made her exit.
Later the doctor explained in his own lingo of the heart condition with which she was born and how no treatment can help her out. He was thinking of the smiling face and the pain it was carrying at such a young age. Prem could only pray for the poor soul "I hope all her dreams come true"
Doctor replied positively "At least, one of her wishes has come true. I have fallen in love with this little girl."

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Journey not to be forgotten

If an accountant goes into a depression, he may do accounting errors which will be noted by the auditor. If an engineer goes into a depression, he may do mistakes which his assistants would point out. But what if a simple man who bears the responsibility of fifty persons at a time goes into a sudden depression ? Prem had a similar kind of encounter with a local bus driver.

It was a friday evening and Prem was catching this early bus to home so as to enjoy his weekend with his sister's kids who had come down for the Onam holidays.

It seemed the driver was in a more hurry than Prem. Prem had to curse his stars as the only seat that was unoccupied was the last seat. Prem held for his dear life as the driver kicked on the accelerator. Was the driver possessed by Aryton Sena, the formula one driver, thought Prem. The bus driver never cared for the potholes and just took the bus through them. Prem saw himself flying high and then landing safe back on the seat, on one such occasion. It reminded him of his childhood days when his mother used to slowly throw him up in the air and then catch him saying 'Caught You'.

But the conductor, who had crossed 50,got pissed off and shouted at the driver "Why can't you slow down a bit ?" The driver who was in mid twenties, answered back, but his tone seemed to be a sober one "You are telling me to slow down now. Where were you, when i was going steady with my relationship". Prem understood the matter very quickly enough and was freightened with the thought that the person on the wheels could be one who was in depression.

And his doubts got confirmed when the driver failed to take the diversion at the next stop and went just straight ahead. Now the conductor started cursing the driver "U madman, where the hell do you think you are going ? We are supposed to take the left turn." Getting down the bus, the conductor signaled the other vehicles to stop, while the bus went into reverse gear. All this while, the driver was telling to himself in a very melodramatic tone but audible to all passengers "Only if there was a reverse gear in life, I could have landed where I started and corrected my mistakes." Each passenger's face told the story, including Prem's. They were praying to the Gods they knew so that they can reach the home safe and sound

The driver seemed to have cooled down and the bus was proceeding towards the destination at a decent enough speed. All of a sudden, the driver applied his brake and Prem was just thrust forward. Not serious damage done to Prem. But something had triggered the driver's emotions again and he was weeping profoundly. The bus had come to a halt.The conductor lost his temper and started abusing the driver. But it had no effect on the driver. The driver resting his face on the steering wheel, went on crying like a small baby. The bus had a stephney, but not another driver. The drama continued for some more time bringing the traffic to a full halt. Shrieking sounds from vehicles behind was irritating enough.

An old lady went to the driver and talked to him and tried soothe him as if she was speaking to her own son, "Son.. Tell me Son... what happened ". The driver lifted his face and still weeping "This is the place, we used to meet frequently. Now she has left me forever and married someone else. I don't want to budge from this place. I want to die here itself."

One of the irritated passengers erupted "First drop us at our stops. Then you can come back and die here"

The old lady signaled the fellow passenger to be silent " I know, you are stranded in this journey of life and love. But you can't just stop because one passenger got down. Think of the other passengers who are with you in this journey of life and other passengers who may join you at the future stops. The journey of life must go on. Don't give up in the middle of the road."

Prem didn't knew whether the statement made any sense to the driver or not, but he was confident that this is what he had to apply in his life.

After sometime, the bus did start and Prem reached safely home.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What a dedication !

Prem was at Hardhik's place waiting for the latter to show up. Hardhik was of the same age as Prem and had the habit of constantly looking for action and always getting himself in awkward situations. This time was also not different.

Hardhik's mother showed up some time later saying that her son was glued to the radio for the past 10 minutes. Prem rushed to the young man's room to know first hand as to what was keeping Hardhik from coming out of his room. The room was filled with the sound of a Radio Jockey who seemed to be casting a spell on the young soul with her magic voice and sweet words.

With a one tight pat on his back, Prem brought Hardhik back from the world of angels. Prem questioned Hardhik "Is there something I need to know ?"
Hardhik in a very romantic mood started remembering the previous night he had with his girlfriend "Yesterday, I had a candlelight dinner with my RJ Girlfriend. She promised that today she will dedicate the first three songs exclusively for me. Its her voice that's in the air. I am waiting for the dedications." Like a snake charmer hypnotizes a snake by the melodious tune of his instrument, so has this radio jockey hypnotized and imprisoned the chocolate hero Hardhik.

Hardhik, continued in his soft voice "Last night was the most romantic night, I ever had. I still cant and never will forget yesterday night. "And at the time Hardhik was uttering these lines, the announcement came from the Radio "Three Back to Back Songs. Number One".
And guess what was the first song dedicated. "Bhool Ja... Jo Huva Use.... Bhool Ja" by Shaan.
Prem tried to control his laughter but was not successful. Hardhik, confused and at loss of words, came with a lame excuse "You Know... Sham is my favorite singer".

Prem tried to divert the matter "And what happened after the dinner ?". Hardhik went again to a dream-like state "We danced. Her hand in my hand. We danced till we got tired. Waltz, Salsa. I was good in all. She liked my dance very very much...". How much she liked the dance was proved by the second dedication that followed immediately after Hardhik's statement. "But Pappu Can't dance, Saala!"
Prem just let a small giggle, but he felt that a big laughter was what was called for.

Hardhik was now disgraced, but still continued finding some lame reasons. "She likes to joke... I like her sense of humour... She is a humorous person... In fact, she is multi-talented person. I am thankful to God that I have found such a cute character as my girlfriend." And what has she to say about finding Hardhik. The answer was in the next song, a golden oldie played as a bonus " Main Kya Karun Raam Mujhe Buddha Mil Gaya"

This had Prem in splits and he didn't do anything to prevent the outbreak. Once it started, it didn't stop so easily. All Prem had to say to Hardhik was "What a dedication!"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Monday Morning Blues

It was a monday morning. Prem never thought that his office would come to a standstill that morning.

It was some time before the office settled down to work. Half of them were late as they landed directly from their hometown and the rest half had stories to tell of how they spent their weekends. The office hours on monday should be made from 11.00 AM TO 7.00 PM, thought Prem. But at exact 11.00 AM, the powers went off. Without their hands on the system and the air conditioner to cool them, everyone seemed to be restless. Maintenance department was put to work immediately. The problem was resolved within half an hour. But someone had good time with the power setup and backups, came the report from the Maintenance department.

As the office was about to return to normal, at around noon, all the communication lines failed. Someone was about to order a cup of coffee; Someone was sending a file over the mail; Someone's friend just made an appearance in the chat room; Someone was about to reply to the naukri advertisement. Corporate world. Everything would be solved within an hour. And by lunchtime, it was back to normal. But coffee time was over; the file was handed over personally; the friend's status showed idle in the chat room. Prem was now sure that someone was playing with the systems and started his investigation to reach to the top of the issue.

It's usually that in the after-lunch session, that the usual work begins. And most of the work is done on some software and on some platform. And that's when the workers of this prestigious organization found that the software was completely down. In the modern world, computer users remember God more when there is a software crash rather than during a natural calamity or a disaster. Some in this very small organization also contemplated that this could be a virtual terror attack.

At this point, Prem had the culprit caught. It was Rajan, working with the software division, who was responsible for the all the happenings since morning. Rajan was senior to Prem and was working in the organisation for the last two years. Prem started interrogating.
"Why today? Are you unhappy with something." Rajan seemed to have made up his mind of not disclosing his intention.
"Are you unhappy with the appraisal ? Do you think the raise in salary given is peanuts ?" The answers were obvious and so Rajan just gave a smile and didn't return with an answer.
"Do you find the work routine and pathetic ? Would you like to handle some more responsibility ?" The work was more than routine and pathetic. It was just Control-C and Control-V and following a set of instructions. So Rajan hardly moved his lips.
Just then his mobile buzzed and Rajan suddenly came to life and leaped from his chair. It was definitely his girlfriend . "Where were you? Since Friday evening, I was trying your Number" Rajan had missed his girlfriend badly during the weekend.
Prem also heard the soothing voice of the girlfriend from the other end of the phone, reply "I was very busy with my cousin's wedding. Gussa Ho Mujhe Pe?" And our hero Rajan replied comfortably "Haan. Thoda Sa. Magar Don't worry. Gussa Utharne Keliye Poora Office Hain Naan"
Now Prem understood the entire issue. One girl was responsible for his office coming to a standstill. Why do Girls make the boys so restless thought Prem. Prem showed empathy with Rajan and closed the matter there itself saying that is was unintentional.

(Inspired from the lines from 'A Wednesday' - "Gussa utharne Keliye Poora Shaher Hain Naan")

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sixty or Sixteen

Prem didn't had anything special to do on that Sunday. So he agreed to accompany his mother to see her old friend Leelavathi, who was in a old age home. On their way, Prem learnt that Leelavathi had been left in the old age home by her son. Leelavathi had sacrificed everything for her only child and given him the best education. But the son had told Leelavathi in bitter terms that 'old age home was good for her'.

When Prem saw her at the old age home, he didn't expect someone who has gone through such hardship to exhibit such enthusiasm. The lady in her sixties participated in the sports actively that reminded him of Martina Navartilova. She not only sang songs melodiously, but danced along like Asha Bhonsle. And she could speak on any subject under the sun and all the radio jockeys were nothing in front of her.

When Prem was introduced to her, he teasingly asked the lady "Will You be my girlfriend".
The lady was not the one to miss such a golden opportunity "Think. I am the most irritating and demanding person."
Prem continued the banter "Well, You can't be more irritating than my bosses who call me when I go to sleep and put me on the conference with four people eating my head together"

The lady decided to bring out her other weakness in front of her "If I come as your girlfriend, then you may find spending entire month's salary on me"
Prem was also being playful "That would be a good one. Because I have dried up all intersting avenues for wasting my salary. Let us explore this venue"

The best was yet to come as Lady announced "If I come as your girlfriend, I may ask you to shower more love on me than your mother. I am a jealous and selfish sort of person"
Did Prem had anything to say for this "In every relationship, there has to be some amount of selfishness and jealousness so that relationship could be sustained. But I have confidence in you that you will not over do it."

Lady was really amused by this answer "In spite of all my weaknesses, you want me as your girlfriend". Prem just shrugged his shoulders a bit "No doubt. You are the best. Anyone would like to have you"
But the Lady got very emotional "No. I am not the best. If I am best, then why did my Son left me. If I am the best, then why did God punish me at the hands of my own son" Tears started rolling down the cheeks.

Prem had nothing to say, except to offer his shoulders and to wipe out the tears with his bare hands "Treat me as your son."
Lady with a small smile "No, You are not my son...... You are my boyfriend" and started crooning playfully "Nanagu Obba Gelaya Beku" (I too need a boyfriend)
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