Monday, November 5, 2007

Mixxed up..

Some stuff is always best left alone.

Humanbeings who evolved as a result of a million years learned a lot of lessons the hard way. often simple but important things.The first time he touched a live ember, he learned that he shouldn't use his naked fingers to do that. The first experience must have been totally convincing. Soon he also learned that he could kill an ember with water. That mix works. But if you combine fire with oil, you have a different result. That lesson must have taken a bit longer to learn.

The evolution, they say, is complete. But we keep making mistakes with some mixing. It all gets mixed up; badly.

Religion is certainly man-made. It is also a universal fact that what ever was made by man, has its flaws. Some times the nice stuff outnumber the flaws to that extent, one wouldn't have to worry much about it.That is when it is wise to quote the first sentence of this blog, again: "Some stuff is best left alone"

Politics, another man made phenomenon, is a universal mixer. It mixes with any thing easily. For eg: it combines with good & bad people with out discrimination. It is no surprise that it mixes so well with politics. The news from my home state Kerala reinstates this fact.(Pardon me, I am too sick & tired to explain it here)

The church in the past has never been shy of politics. In fact it has been everything the politics is now, at one time. More over, the common man who has his own religious ideology is also a part of a secular society. This dual association itself is complicated. The chaos is intensified when the clergy interferes in politics with the same intensity they would show in practising their faith.

How much practical discerning is possible when we try to understand the overlapping realms of religion and politics? Where do we draw the lines?

How justified are our religious leaders who campaign for or against political parties?

Complexities; ambiguities. But if we put people first & the rest second in line; would that put somebody's beliefs in jeopardy? How logical is it to have a combined edition of a holy book and a constitution?

Atleast to me, the relative unimportance of politics in religion is the same as it is in the case of religiousising politics. They both serve humanity. But why should we mix it? This mixed serving is dangerous. Are the servers listening?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

E-how!

It was a friend's remark adorned with a few emoticons during a casual chat that made me think of this topic. He thinks that in the begining there was nothing and then came technology. Technology is the big fat mother of all creations. Big bang was nothing but a tracheal irritation in comparison.

It is mostly the IT professionals I have met (not all of them) who seemed to go ga ga over tech-stuff, especially about their own spheres of work. Technology is the supreme being and every one is supposed to pay obeisance to it. Even the slightest disregard including an ignorant facial expression would be held against you if you dont.Or worse, thou shall be ignored.

If you do not own a PC, you are a savage
No i-pod? not i-ntelligent
No mobile phone? no body will even attend your funeral
If you do not chat, you are chaff
No credit card? not worth anything
No email? which planet are you on?


I may worship God,logic and reason.But technology is sort of a by-product. Just a tool. I don't worship people espousing how to live or think, based on how they feel or interpret events for eg:. reading palms. Neither do I worship technology just because it has a purpose, unlike organized religion and/or generic spirituality.

I am against the veneration of technology - mostly when it takes a higher priority than a human being.Technology affects my life in a profound way. It puts food on my table and stimulates my grey cells. But it doesn't own my head, unlike the ones who claim that they are wedded to it.

If he can't understand how the hand that held a steel knife had the power to gift or steal a life, his e-vision was blurred. It isn't the sugar that makes the coffee sweet; it is the stirring. May the Tech-gods e-help him!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The ship of Theseus

What do you carry forward from yesterdays?

"You are still the same person, dear!" This compliment sounds nice at times but lacks conviction; and why?

Priorities have changed and thus planning. Friends have changed and thus preferences. Outlook has changed and thus opinions. Even the way you look has changed over these years.

Ever since I was born I lost many things perioidically; starting with the shedding my skin, my hair, my teeth...my innocence..to name a few.In return I aquired many. Habits, dislikes, passions, vices,lover, love, loathing, lice..though not in the same sequence.

The face I see daily in the mirror has changed a lot but the familiarity with the routine has probably made the gradual but certain changes inconspicuous.

I am no more of what I was before. My friend made the mistake of misinterpreting a fleeting glimpse of an old big toothed grin of mine and concluded that I am my former self. I am prone to such mistakes too.

Change, in all its manifestations has to be the essence of life. In my shoe size, in my career, in the seasons, in growth and deacy....it is unsettling.

I even changed my house 4 times in 7 months. It wasn't amusing. But there were not too many choices. Hail Heraclitus!

Or on a more philosophical note: I must have been hiding inside my shell and it is wearing off gradually. If I am not already exposed now, one day I would be. The strip tease is on, though it is't getting much attention from others..!

Or like the fabled onion, I shall become "no more" in the process and leave only the sting, a tear or two but nothing else.

I am the ship of Theseus.Heck, we all are...

Monday, August 20, 2007

rooms

There was a time when I spend a lot of time on yahoo chat.The rooms were like brothels. People come, do what they want & leave. And anyone who took them seriously left with lil scars.
But inspite of all the nonsense, it was a study in human behaviour. Down right silly but amusing. There was a subculture that evolved in rooms.

Virtual rooms where a pansy took on opponents he thought who were tougher than him;and filled the screen with his 32 point crimson font war cries;

The 60 something lover called herself "pink lady" and talked dirty to 14 something teens;

The 14 something called himself "death-wish", finished his biology homework and talked about 12 ways of killing nymphets; while munching a kit-kat;

The cyber cafe guy who kept wondering aloud why flights are always so late these days & secretly worried whether all this stuff his friend wrote for him was grammatically correct;

The timid 40 something husband became "d-rebel-kid", walked tall in his own world and lived out his dreams;

All of them went in there, trusted no one including themselves, left feeling good, bad, disappointed, spent...what ever

The rooms were like toilet walls and everyone had a marker

Rooms were we all wore masks, smile was an emoticon and cussin was cool

Rooms were hugs never intruded personal space

Rooms were friends were just nicks

Friends that never were

Thursday, August 9, 2007

30 plus

There are surveys held on such ridiculous things and they get printed before they are even spell checked!

"The average life span of an Indian male is 60 years"

This time, a multitude of thoughts crossed my average Indian male mind.

-I am over thirty and that means Iam half way through..
-Average Indian male doesnt do much anyways, so what the heck! Sooner the better..
-Shit, I still have a lot of stuff pending; I gotta go..
-All averages are wrong, so screw the survey..
-I may beat the average and become an exception..
-How good are exceptions when u are only good at warming chairs..!
I pulled the reins on my thought process and realised that I was actually getting older, on a daily basis. So is every one else.

15 years back, days were longer; Iam certain. The perception of time is so different when you have seen lesser winters; measure less around your waist or when you still haven't earned your first salary.

Life is playing itself out at a furious space; and at times it seems overwhelming, so unlike the days of childhood, and to a similar degree to those of my 20s. Those days lasted forever.

But now I'm starting to understand.

At 30 plus, my body no longer wishes to sleep until the early afternoon -- it wants up at 5 am. Even more startling, I actually enjoy the mornings. This is the one time in the day when I have all my energy, I feel mentally alert, and the world outside is calm. Come to think of it, I actually made a lot of good decisions looking out through the window, with a cup of coffee in my hand while the a lazy sun was still some where behind the horizon!

What is growing old then? I randomly listed out a few dry facts...

When you are getting older..

You have more time to worry or when you have more time, you start sit and think/worry/ponder; with or with out your coffee.
You KNOW it when you are appealing to some one from the fairer sex and hence you dont try too hard with a few.
You KNOW you should not do it, but you do it because tomorrow could be worse.
You prefer the company of younger guys but once you are with them, you KNOW that you are in the wrong league.
You won't dance but you are a good critic of the art.
You have a pretty good opinion about everything but no one asks you for yours, bcos u are still not old enough(!!)

Hmm, you are getting old and thus you cant even write this stuff in a slightly more organised fashion....

This isnt doing me any good! I am sure there are better ways to look at the situation..What is the word Iam searcing for?

Yes...thats it. "Aging gracefully" Thats what is happening to my knees these days. But what a shame, the doctor wouldnt agree..

no common man

In common man there is this burning desire for simple, stimulating, comforting faith. How ever dogmatic are the religious practices, they loosen up in the comfort of their faith. It must be a good feeling. A feeling that I could never indulge in...

My emotion over ruled religious exaltations. Rationale overpowered faith. Stories were dissected. Examples were analyzed.Doubts prevailed.questions arose...

The essence of an earthly existence is fascinating. The differnce is that I was always trying to see it from the-wide-eyed-science-fiction-reading-kid's view point. The night sky never made me think of the power that held it all together. I was wondering who else was lying beyond that, on a bed and thinking the same thoughts.

"A special form of communion with God is prayer". At prayers, how hard I tried I felt guilty; guilty because of doing something that I could never believe in, something that was supposed to comfort me, but never did anyways.

Two months back I joined my friend in prayer in his church. Christian Science teaches that prayer is a spiritualization of thought or an understanding of God and of the nature of the underlying spiritual creation. One believes that this can result in healing, by bringing spiritual reality (the "Kingdom of Heaven" in Biblical terms) into clearer focus in the human scene. The world as it appears to the senses is regarded as a distorted version of the world of spiritual ideas: the latter is the only true reality. Prayer can heal the distortion.

The prayer lasted for more than 2 hours. My knees ached. May be I am no common man; the healing of my aching knees took 2 days. I know, I can never directly petition to God. My wavering mind seeks to run away from prayers.

I meditated hoping to learn the art of concentration. I ended up listening to the sound of a film song played from a far away house.

I am a doubting believer. Is there such a phrase? I just cant seem to find a better way to describe it.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Excuse me!

"Iam sorry sir; I swallowed my pen & I couldnt complete that write up u asked me to do"

I would love to write a book on excuses; and then I would name it "1001 excuses". May be I will come up with different versions intended for different market segments. for eg: "The ultimate excuse collection for the employee" or "Excuses for dummies"

I am dreaming of making a lot of money, yes Iam! What do u think? A book like that should be a hot pick!

Iam actually counting on my experience as a student and later as a teacher to provide me with content for this book. These 2 roles gave me the right perspective to approach excuses. Right,left,wrong...Iam not sure. But it was interesting. The following is a sneak peak into this literary marvel in the making..

Excuses are life-savers. U just have to ake sure that they are made available all the time; just like all life-savers. The most common types u may need are the following:

No time: If you dread saying "Oh I dont think I have the time for that", you could use a stylish alternative like: "It is amazing how you managed to do that within your tight schedule. Could I borrow your watch?"

Dont know: If you do not like to say "I do not know", rephrase it. How about, "I used to do it before. But as I learned more important skills, I can't remember much of these things these days. But I know that u are different, so......" (let it hang in there..!)

No money: This one is easy. "Oops, has anyone seen my wallet? cos i haven't!"

Disclaimer: Most of the excuses never really worked for me. But that shouldn't stop u from trying out a few or from, yeah!, buying my book! After all life is about trying out different things! Some of them will work for sure. Keep faith..

Monday, July 9, 2007

may i shake your hand?

I am employed; but that doesn't mean that I am working hard. Save the frown buddy, I know that u also do that sometimes. Anyways, one such day i started browsing aimlessly and stumbled upon "handshakes". It got me thinking...regretting...plotting...wondering..

Your hand shake provides clues to your personality; well..we've heard that before. You know that aggressive people have firm handshakes. I remember times when i could hear the bones in my palm cracking. Why?..because the other guy also had read about it & apparently wanted to let me know who was the boss. So puny lil me invented my come-back-thing; I stamp him on his feet & say something silly like, "hey u got big shoes man!!" (never tried this so far & u Know y )

"People with low self esteem often have a limp handshake. Politicians typically shake your hand with their other hand covering the shake or holding your elbow. Domineering men often squeeze the hand of women during a greeting"
Are't we missing something here?
My hand shake had been limp sometimes due to the following reasons:
-because I didnt want to shake a hand in the first place. why again? because it depends what "the hand" had been doing until then.If u r still in doubt about what am I saying, observe taxi drivers in abu dhabi.I'm not being discriminative here, just stating a fact. i would shake their hand only if Im wearing disposable gloves.
-my hand shake could be limp because i read about the lady who sued this guy for sexual harassment. why? because he "pressed" her too hard..

well domineering men often squeeze your hand..right?
I do not know, may be a lady can answer that better. But is it always "dominance" that they portray when they do that? Haven't u seen men who can't seem to let go a lady's hand after the shake is over? The "your-hand-is-mine" type. The dominating one's pale in comparison with these schmucks in the irritant-factor.

"The clever woman moves her index and little finger in toward her palm preventing a crushing handshake"
If she is clever, she should just let the guy know. What do u think?

Another interesting read was the masonic hand shakes. If you need to complicate a simple hand shake, guys, give it up for the freemasons! They do a lot f stuff with their hands..(no pun intended)Google it for more info..!

And then I came across the terminology: The wet one(we are talking of sweat here,boy), the softy(kinda girlish, yeah), the tipsy(poor in quality), the sqeezy(self explanatory)& the homey(i didn't get the spelling wrong here: this one is a tricky hand shake; what ever that means)

And finally folks, here is my contribution to the world of handshakes: if it was necessary..

How to deal with hand shakes that r funny, uncomfortable, painful. LET THEM KNOW. ask them whether they do it like that all the time. It should get the message across.

Here are a few other types of handshakes that I think is worth mentioning..
The glue: refer the paragraph on the guys who "never-gonna-let-u-go"
The crafty: You never really would understand what happened unless you do it "slowly" a second time.for eg: after the shake, ur ring is missing..
The bolt: The guy lifts his entire hand high above his shoulder and whacks it down on ur unsuspecting palm & it smarts for the next 8 hours
The enigma: U r pretty sure that there was something in that hand that u shook & u keep smelling your hand till you find a wash basin.
The pulse: The guy presses your palm & then lets go & then does it again every alternate second till its over.
The nest: HE just covers your palm with both his (huge) hands and protects it from light, wind, other guests etc for a minute.A fatherly smile is optional.
The orphan: The strangest of all. You are shaking "his" hand but he is talking to some body else, smiling at some one else etc. He still hasnt spotted u because he is important, he is busy & sure he would see u. Till then u are supposed to take care of his precious palm.

Did u ever come across a different one? pls let me know. information shared is a life saved.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

customer's care

Making some one cry is so easy; isnt it? On the other hand, to make people laugh isnt all that easy. At Toastmasters International, being one of the new members, I tried my hand at a couple of competetions & managed to scrape through the humorous speech & table topics. The latter one was my favourite, the reasons being a few like: u have to speak for only 3 minutes, the topic is given on the spot. The nervousness i had was my adrenaline. At the area level, i goofed up royally & was out of table topics. Still there was the "humorous" through which i managed to stay in the competetion.The task was daunting. I had to make people laugh. I used the same speech at club level & area level. My "humour" wouldnt sound funny a third time, i was warned. I could always take a hint...
My first speech was about me & my phenomenal absentmindedness. Getting people to laugh at oneself wasnt anyways too difficult.This was my lead and i decided to do it a third time. .I was competing at the division level.I needed a different topic. The different topic again was me, but me on a different day...

It was back in 94, when my career started, the way i didnt want it to start. How is it for a below average looking, skinny Indian male to be in the shoes of a guest relations officer? A position usually adorned by pretty young things with long legs & eye lashes. There was I, in the lobby, like a fly in the custard...& they treated me like one too..
I put on my best(?)big toothed grin & mumbled "gud morning sir" to everyone. Some looked backed and mumbled something. Some looked at me like I was a social disease. THe worst part was when someone looked back & didnt seem to notice me. Guys, the biggest male ego buster in the world is this: ie. when people ignore u completely; as if u dont exist at all...
When life was indeed miserable, my GM offered a breather one day: "Could u please relieve ur friend Jaison? He is on medical leave today" All I had to do was, be present in the restaurant during dinner. Any thing to get away from that lobby! I said yes.
I should have checked my horoscope before I said that...
I read this somewhere; "when everything is going on fine, those few moments are called "panic""
Walking through the busy restaurant, I didnt notice him first; that loner in the corner. But it took only a few seconds to realise that I had found my nemesis for the night. A 300 pounder with hands like sledgehammers, blood shot eyes, munching masala peanuts. He was drunk like a fish..
The steward's first concern was the bill, which I got signed from him, risking my life. But our guest soon gave us our next set of concerns.
When u r drunk, u may go thru strange feelings & illusions. For eg: u may feel that u r the most popular human being on earth & others r just dying to meet u. Our man was going thru atleast 1 such illusion. He started to visit all the privileged guests we had for the night; shaking hands with everyone. He was also generous to offer some masala peanuts to a few women!
Illusion number 2:U r world's best dancer. He went up to the live band & "performed" Our guests werent really amused by his talent.
Hallucination number 3 got every steward running. Our man was overflowing with love all of a sudden & promptly started a hugging/kissing session with all stewards. This time one of the stewards came forward & told me that it was my call & I had to do something about it. "Please stop him, sir" What did he want me to do? Go stand in front of that drunk walrus & get steamrolled?
And then it happened. He spotted me. I was standing behind one steward who was bigger than me.It didnt work. The next thing i knew was that I was in a bear hug & "splotch"...he landed a big wet kiss on my cheek...I heard the muffled laughter from the stewards standing behind me.
How many of u have been kissed by drunk men who smelled of whiskey, peanuts & bad breath?
Thank god, there werent any mobile cameras in '94; other wise I would have been an internet sensation on youtube the nxt day itself!
Our guest had now seated.But other guests had got up from their seats & were complaining. I had to get this creature out of the house. By now I had concluded on one thing; it cant get any worse than this.So I decided to approach him inspite of his "love" for me. Once the worst has happened to u, u r no more afraid.
I went up to him & told him (from a safe distance) that our GM wanted to meet him & he was waiting with another guest in his room.I think he was too drunk to verify my lie. But still,he couldnt get up from his chair. I decided to help & gripped his hand. Have u ever seen anyone trying to save a beached whale all by himself? I guess my stewards saw it that night; & I heard that muffled laughter once again.

Finally that man was in his room. I went back to my lobby. The night was over.
I narrated this incident at the toastmasters & a few laughed. It must have been funny. But hey,it must have been funnier for those stewards..!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

a girl, a guy & a coffee

One friday evening at Le bouveret during my short stay there, closer to the room heater, trying to keep my bones from freezing. It was colder than usual, snow was expected any day. I had just come in and my ears were still red from the cold wind outside, and aching.

A big mug of hot coffee; sinfully strong and a cigarette. I knew; it was going to be another long, lonely weekend. I just wanted to get back to the desert. I had more friends there.

Through the foggy window I saw the couples walking into the pub downstairs. One couple was still fighting. The girl wanted to go in. Ofcourse she wanted to, it was warm and cosy in there! The guy seemed to have other plans. He had a few friends waiting for him around the corner; he kept glancing back . I went back to my coffee, and a funny lil thought crossed my mind..

One of those funny things, yes, just one of those funny things about men is that they really want to get close , real close to some one who would give them their space!

Hmmm, close enough to some one who would leave them free, leave them alone when ever thay want. The opposite sexes can't be anymore opposite. They are so far away from each other but just cant keep away from each other. Just can't stop complaining but just can't get enough of eachother. Just dont get along, just can't stop thinking of each other...

This is the perfect dilemma in the world that makes it go round. Should we just leave it like that? Could u change it if u wanted to ?..as if we could just get up and do something like you would change a channel, flip a switch..?! wish it was so easy.

Or may be it's supposed to be like this..in all its vague ambience, amidst all the chaos & confusion..

But...here's something some one said...

Relationships, of all kinds, are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold on to some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.

I looked down again,. The girl had let go of his shirt sleeves. His friends weren't around. The street was almost empty. The guy was smiling. And now, they were about to kiss. I couldn't look away.

Alright, I have my coffee anyways..

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

snow flakes

Frozen crystals of all shapes and sizes float down and accumulate. The white fields resemble diamonds glittering in the sun. Wilson ‘Snowflake’ Bentley took over 6,000 photographs of individual flakes between the early 1880’s and his death in 1931. No two were alike.

No two snowflakes follow the same path of creation.

No two snowflakes fall to earth by the same course. No two snowflakes are alike.

Over the course of its life, a snowflake may go through many different stages of growth, experience a host of different influences, as the wind dances it from cloud to cloud, from drier to moister or warmer or cooler environs, all of them leaving their marks on the final flake.

A snowflake is a dance between destiny and contingency. A snowflake is a rendevous of physical law and chance. Each snowflake is individuality in crystal shape. Each snowflake is a marvel of uniqueness. Each snowflake has a distinctive beauty.

Each snow flake is like a human being,. Each one so different from the other. And they all travel through the same air they breathe. They tumble, dance and fall. Some meet , some dont. Some meet and become one. Some retain their shape, some dont. And somewhere, they all end their journeys.

But look above ! There is a fresh journey that has begun. And they are all beautiful too!

Monday, March 26, 2007

just another day..

The morning wind, too warm, is wafting in from the corniche. It comes in rudely to lift the heavy curtains as they fall down against the window in a lazy thud. The sun shouldnt be this bright at this time of the day at all..

The banket that gave me this warm-but-still-cool feeling wouldn't do any good any more. The birds that live atop the ledge, right across my window fly like darts to and fro. May be I am the only one who still is pondering; "Is it still too early to get up?"

Yesterdays newspaper still unread over the fridge, some clothes in a careless pile at the foot of the bed, a stained tea cup on the study table. Well, thank God, I am still myself on a saturday morning.

The keeper guy has started cleaning the courtyard and wasting water as usual. Doesn't he know that it is a matter of minutes before the dust invades again? And today, once again, he has forgotten to get the newspaper which is still on the ground, where it fell when the newspaper guy threw it in. He hasnt seen it as yet. The water on the floor has almost reached it. Another wet paper for the fridge top.

A toyota land cruiser comes around the corner and glints the sunlight off its glass, blinding me for a few seconds. A lone rooster jumps off the waste bin and runs for shelter. I can hear the drone of engines from the flying club.The incessant flying would start in no time. I decided against the usual morning tea. Something cold would do. Even the wardrobe has heated up from the slanting sun rays that comes in. Before I pull the curtains across, I span the area once again. I cringe my eyes. The birds are still darting. No one on the road. THe dust that arose with the arrival of the 4 x 4 has settled. The rooster is back on top of the waste bin and his wife is giving him company. My sleepiness has suddenly disappeared. Outside, the desert was a hundred degrees.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What's ina worm!

It was a student f mine who asked me this question: "How does the tequila worm taste like?"

Having no clue at that, I wanted an answer. since I consider myself as a meat eater who eats more or less anything, I still was a virgin when it came to experiencing worms!

I remember seeing that gross lil thing in a bottle brought home by a friend of mine. In that fiery liquid, the worm looked more like an freaky accident than a creative garnish. Who would want a worm in his drink?

Jacobo Lozano Paez wanted! This Mexico City entreprenuer had seen some of these worms get cooked up along with the brew that was used to make mescal (mescal is a generic term meaning any distillate of the many species of agave (or maguey) plant, tequila included) The agave worm, which is actually a butterfly larva, bores into the agave plant's pineapplelike heart. All those unfortunate critters who remain there during harvest, get cooked! So in 1950, this man realised that the worm was an essential component of the liquor's flavor and color.

He may also have figured out that mescal is about as tasty as varnish and you have to be senseless to pour this down your own throat. So why not add some drama to the whole thing, even if the actor looks like acritter!? There was also another non contested popular hear say that the worms had aphrodisiacal properties. Most men would eat/drink anything if it could do wonderful things down under, rt!?At any rate, the ploy worked and the worm in the bottle is now a firmly established tradition, though not in every bottle.(thanku for small mercies, amigo!)

The actual agave worm is a bright coral color, which fades to pink in the bottle. Some bottlers substitute a species of white worm that lives on the leaves of the agave plant. Connoisseurs complain that the white worm isn't as tasty as the red one(!!) which is like complaining that your chicken's got the wrong kind of flu!. I have had a few tequilas and my doubt is this: This drink can knock you out with a mule's kick; why would u need a worm in between!?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A scene from a mall

A mall is not just a big setting where you shop. It is a zoo. A big stage where one can watch human behaviour in all its splendour and with all its misgivings. Last week i witnessed it, the low side of it.

A rich couple with four children having food & fun at one of the outlets in the food court. In a corner was an asian guy who was busy cleaning the floor. Aged around 40. Time was around 10 pm. In my home town, most children, like the ones who were there at that moment, would have been asleep by now. But i guess in metros, things are different. I have seen toddlers awake and having fun in fast food oulets along with parents as late as 1 am.

One of the kids, must be around 5 years old; was looking at the cleaner guy for a long time. He then started to tear some paper into small pieces. Finaly he had a hand full of that stuff. By that time, the guy who was cleaning, had almost finished his job. The kid ran up to him and threw the bits of paper right on to his face. The parents watching this from their dining table couldn't help laughing. Th cleaner guy wasn't laughing anyways. He stood frozen for a few seconds,looking back and forth between the kid and his parents. He shook off the bits of paper from his body and started to clean, again. The guy still looked calm. May be it wasn't the first time he had seen this happen to him. But Iam sure, he wasn't prepared for what happened next. The small kid this time came back with a pepsi can and hurled it right at him. The aim wasn't bad. This time, the kid's mother intervened and dragged the kid back.

The cleaner guy was still calm. There was even a faint smile on his lips. He was wiping the liquid from his face. I took a step forward from my table and offered him some paper napkins. He took them, thanked me and went back to his work. Only then I noticed the tears in his eyes.

The kid's father was still laughing. I wished HIS parents had never met...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Water of life...


Living and working in a desert surprisingly does not cost any head ache about getting water, contrary to what one would think. On the other hand, I can still remember cursing with all my sincerity when I was staying in a place blessed with over 700 big and small rivers. Why? ..beacuse all that came out of the tap was a whistling sound!

You do not realise how precious it is when you have too much of it. And one fine day, you dont have it at all. Those who do not have any; knows its value.

Haven't men killed for it? How many wars have been fought for it?

I was surprised by what has been happening in UAE, where rain makes a guest appearance once or twice a year. Technology and need combined, has come out with a winner in this arid landscape.

Saudi Arabia's desalination plant forms approximately 25 % of world's total capacity and its Jubail desalination plant produces 300 million cubic meters of water per annum.

That's about desalination, for those who can afford it. What else could be done for countries who are yet to understand that they are in for rude surprises from nature? Countries who seem to do less because they seem to care less?

Recycling: Such water is most commonly used for nonpotable (not for drinking) purposes, such as agriculture, landscape, public parks, golf courses etc. It is also used for cooling water for power plants and oil refineries, industrial process water for paper mills and carpet dyers, toilet flushing, dust control, construction activities, concrete mixing, and artificial lakes.

There is also technology available to recycle water for potable purposes as well. Some projects recharge ground water aquifers and augment surface water reservoirs with recycled water. In ground water recharge projects, recycled water can be introduced into ground water aquifers to augment ground water supplies, and to prevent salt water intrusion in coastal areas. For eg:, since 1976, the Water Factory 21 Direct Injection Project, located in Orange County, California, has been injecting highly treated recycled water into the aquifer to prevent salt water intrusion, while augmenting the potable ground water supply.

Eco systems are designed by nature to filter water and augment under ground water reserviors. But the advancement of urban life has thrown the precious balance out of place.Pollution, deforestation and a burgeoning population is on a one way trip to hell.

Sustainabilty, energy conservation & habitat conservation should go hand in hand. Sustainability is possible when we do not use more than what could be replaced. Conservation has to start with agriculture where world's 70 % of water consumption is concentrated. As human beings search for more space to settle down, forests, wet lands, marshes and agricultural land disappear. How do we reclaim what is lost?

Social & technological solutions are plenty. What is missing is a genuine concern to start at our own home!

Monday, February 19, 2007

What if !


The possibilities of altering the process, course , end of an event: a thought that is fascinating and at times scary. It isnt a humanly possible thing, most of the time. But being a dreamer by design, I end up doing it all the time. What if it had happened!? You think about for a while, see it in your mind's eye, and smile! I say, thats the most genuine smile u could ever produce. LIke some one said, when you smile when you are alone, it is genuine!


So, what if it could happen? The "IT" in this context could be anything. I would have carried on this basically meaning less conscious dreaming, had I not come across an article on "lucid dreaming". That got me sitting up and thinking.


Some would explain lucid dreaming as "waking up in your dream & gaining control of it". personally, I like that word "lucid". It even sounds so smooth & easy! What if I could get into a dream mode, see something nice, wake up in my dream, and yet am capable to see what i have been seeing!


Lucid dreaming isn't just a staged indulgence played by your next door psychic: it is a scientifically verified phenomenon. Some studies have revealed that lucid dreaming can help people who constantly suffer from night mares.

Even though it has attracted a lot of attention these days, it isnt really new age science. It was in the fifth century that there was one of the earliest written examples of a lucid dream, in a letter written by St. Augustine of Hippo in 415. ( Check out wikipedia for more information on this)


Dreams as we know is the most inexpensive way to take a round-the world-tour! You can also become anyone in your dreams not having to worry about what some body would think of you. But beyond all this, it is a deep well of resources from where you can draw what you want!


Artists, writers, poets: all have used lucid dreaming. Once you have mastered the technique, board the dream wagon: and get down at a scenic spot! Dream away, to come back fresh with ideas, a dozen of them!


Those who engage in competetive sports benefit enormously from lucid dreaming. They visualise them in the competetion and try out what they learned. In the end, they finish by raising their arms in victory! The applications and possibilities of lucid dreaming are end less!


Go ahead! Dream! You would certainly feel better!

The Covariation model