Sunday, December 4, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
My dear Son
Do you know that today is "fathers' day"? More importantly, do you know that I am writing this letter to you from an old-age home crammed with similar souls?
My memory is still sharp enough to remember that I was dumped here because of my alleged escapades on internet and a frivolous complaint over telephone from a pizzeria waitress. Without even giving the benefit of doubt to a deserving old man, I had to pack my bags and surround myself with more old age. This mail is to just let you know that I had saved enough money to buy an ipad and my usb modem was safely tucked into my "Cobra" boxers before I got into your car.
Life has a different flavor being in the company of many like me here. The collective angst of old men is a force to be reckoned with as you would soon realize. Our brains scamper in all directions but come back with ideas that will make young studs like you cringe. I must thank you for giving me this opportunity in self-discovery. The pizzeria was a mere sign of the times to come. My son, I am at home. Finally.
Rachel, who lost her husband and has four kids in US of A, is a sprightly thing with money in the bank and time to kill. Conversations with her can't be categorized as an intellectual discourse but more filling than the 3 course lunch I get. How can you ignore a girl who thinks a "belt" is a thing that comes off a guy!
My latest profile on facebook is a bit intriguing with a new name in "Musli- prowess" and a profile picture of Robert Downey Jnr. Finally I have an image that appeals to the 18 to 80 year old. ;-)
The pizzeria girl is not even in my thoughts now. I order Thai food from the near by restaurant and they have these short haired staff who like the way I move! On an average, a call to place an order for sauteed prawns take around 15 minutes. No one needs to teach those kids about the benefits of repeat patronage.
My buddies convey their regards to you. They say that you put me here and added color to their life. We even formed a band called "Vintage warheads". Our covers of the Beatles throw our girls into a trance! Your wife's emotional operas pale in comparison.
Today is Fathers' day, Son. Hope your kids are fine. I am writing this with a finger on the ipad, a hand around a plump waist and a song on my lips. My wine glass looks lovely in the candle light. I think I miss you. But again, I could be wrong. Old age can often mess with your thinking, eh?
Sunday, June 12, 2011
The neighbor's wife was older but slimmer. Never seemed to care about silk sarees and seemed to be in possession of just one; "ONE" mobile phone! And she never wore any gold. Which chromosome is she missing?
That first day, early morning when Susamma arrived into this world screaming, legs kicking, her beaming granny gathered her up in her frail but gold-bangled arms and marveled: "Oh she is a chunk of gold!". That sort of did it. Lil Susamma latched on to the first word she heard and decided to dedicate her entire life worshiping the precious metal. The rest is history...still in the making.
So back to the neighbor's wife who didn't seem to care a rat's ass about wearing the precious metal. On the other hand, Susamma carried a minimum weight of 400 gms of the yellow stuff at any point in time including the occassional funerals of a relative. She took pride in carrying the scars on different locations of her pleasantly plump body; all caused through abrasions caused by her gold ornaments. Well...one exception was the dark snake like mark around her waist caused by a tight, heavy waist chain. But no one ever saw it except for Thomachayan, who never seemed to be bothered about it at all especially when the sighting was may be once in six months. While Susamma went through a lot to carry gold and the scars, her neighbor's wife had none on her silly slender body and still men seemed to be interested in her. Susamma scratched her head with a hand that jingled with four gold bangles; each weighing 16 grams each.
Susamma's despair was tripled by an incident that had concluded 2 days back; Thomachayan's friend's daughter's marriage. The horde of gold bearing women at the venue resembled a splotchy sea of yellow and in the midst of it all stood her neighbour's wife Nancy, in all her gold-less glory; wearing just one platinum chain. In her plain and simple raw silk saree, she was graceful as a swan among pudgy ducks with bad make up. Even Thomachayan was found silently adoring that woman. Susamma died a thousand deaths that day and wished a thousand more to her neighbor's wife. Contrary to her habit, Susamma left the party early before the roly-poly women folk dispersed.
Back home, she gathered all her gold from her box, body and book shelves. After meticulous calculations, she put them all back. That night Thomachayan saw the snake around Susamma's waist and a jubilant Susamma sold all her gold the next day for a few pieces carved in platinum. The next day was a beautiful sun drenched Sunday. She wore her shocking red silk saree, wore the platinum, and walked ahead of Thomachayan to the lift. Her timing was perfect. There she was.
The slender neighbor in her lilac cotton churidar. Around her slender neck was a string with a pendant that had all the colors in the world captured inside. Susamma's jaw dropped. Unintentionally, she mumbled, "what is that?". Nancy smiled and said; "Abalon". Susamma, confused, looked back at Thomachayan whose adoring eyes had left the abalon and had wandered over to Nancy's abalon abs.
Susamma's hand absentmindedly went to her waist, barren without the waist chain. She almost heard the snake hissing.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The forwarded mail was inflamed with just anger and indignation. The one who sent it and the ones who saw it before me had entered their names. The signature drive was on. The youth, the old, the wise and the ignorant; my whole country was waking up from their sleeper-cell-slumber in response to a frail man's war-cry. His name was Anna Hazare.
I resisted my temptation to ask my colleague: Who is this guy? Oh don't! Better sense prevailed. What if he thinks that I am such an ignoranamus! Silently I googled and found what I needed to know. Thank God for internet. No one knows what you do not know, what you pretend to know.
For a moment I wondered what would have happened if the Lokpal bill had been a reality a few years back. I shuddered at the mere thought. I had paid the Panchayat, the Sales tax department and many more to get my pet project on the road. Any aspiring business man would have done the same thing. There is a time when principles swell up your throat and you push it down just to ease up matters. I am not the only one. I was just following the norm.
But this mail was in my face. Shimmering in the white virtual glow on my computer waiting to be dealt with. I had to join the millions who would add their names to the ever growing list. Together this would shake the foundations of the servers around the world choking internet bandwidth. A few netizens would rub their hands in glee while raking in thousands in exchange for mail id's they sell to an online viagra seller.
I signed it. Forwarded it to a dozen Indian friends of mine. They were all in their early 40's. Viagra might help. Just thinking about it, I felt aroused.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Remember the guy with the red baseball cap who sat opposite to you while you enjoyed your favorite bbq chicken pizza? I don't think so. Some men aren't conspicuous in a girl's life even if they wear red caps and yellow Tees. When it is a 70 year old one wearing glasses as thick as your arm and a few white wispy stuff adorning his head, it certainly isn't much to look at. But I was looking at you, hard. It took a full minute for me to focus and conclude that you were indeed a girl and you were hot.The short gray hair on the back of my shriveled neck stood up when I saw your ruby red lips as you bit into the medium pan pizza. If an old man is to be judged by what goes on in his mind, I should have been given an electric chair.
As usual, this February also I thought of walking past your house to get a glimpse of you. But my decades old prudence held me back. Some memories are still afresh in the gray matter. Some memories are hard to erase; especially when they involve you. Even if you are pushing 70.
Social networking had been a boon to the super senior lover boys like me in more ways than one. I remember befriending you last February posing as an amateur male underwear model. My facade fell down when my fellow pensioner friend tagged me on our reunion group photograph. Since his eye sight was a notch lower than mine, he tagged the wrong guy. Yet the damage was done. When you removed me from your friends list, I slept broken hearted and forgot to put my dentures in the glass. I woke up with an aching heart, knees, jaw etc and a dry drool measuring approximately 15 cms on the pillow.
Today is February 14th. The day cupid plays tricks with every one who is still in love or searching for love. Baby, I am still love stricken. But I am also stricken by diabetics, blood pressure and a certain illness that makes me change my bed sheets first thing in the morning. But I can't slight that pudgy lil angel who flies around with a bow and arrow. I can't deny the fact the sight of pearly white sinking into a piece of pizza makes me think sinful thoughts. How ever I will never ever bother you again. I will never be an unwanted profile presence even in your virtual world. I am taking my cold heart some where else.
To an old age home, to be precise. It wasn't my choice though. My wife told my son that I have been mis-using the internet connection he provided to see me from his house in California. He saw my profile on facebook and decided that enough was enough. Darling, all my bags are packed and I am ready to go.I am joining my brothers who share a similar fate. I hope to find a fresh meaning in life. I hope to find a pizza parlor there as well. I hope they get customers with pearly teeth ( a full set).And then, one day, I will wear my red cap again.
P.S. Do you know why I am jealous of pizzas? They are held with both hands before those teeth sink in.
That kid was old enough to run around and play. His young mother was with him, doing her surveillance with motherly attention and love. She was talking to him, encouraging him. In their own special language, or that's what I thought; until I was in earshot.
She was talking to him in English. The kid was responding in his own language, like any other kid of his age; a dialect you would understand only if you have spent time with them. However the mother spoke a different one. It was the Queen's English. Perfect in grammar, composition, in that easily place-able Indian accent.
It took only a few seconds of casual observation for me to understand that she was a malayalee. The rubber band in her curly oil stained hair, the soiled salwar,the cheap sandals on her feet and the long, heavy gold chain that adorned a slim neck. It was almost 8 in the morning and the street was already busy. On this by-lane, the mother and son had come to out to play? It didn't look like the perfect time.
The mother was asking the kid to leave his toy car and come back. She kept telling him that they would come later to play. Too young to understand his mother's banter, he went on. The mother didn't really seem to mind. She was more concerned about demonstrating her English language skills. Her furtive glances around seemed to seek the approval of any one who was nearby. She wanted the entire neighborhood to know that she could converse with her lil kid in English. Wasn't it admirable?
I continued walking. Meanwhile the "English speaking" mom had scooped up her kid and had started walking back to their house. I could still hear her talking loud. "Son, we will come back later and play, do not worry". The kid was responding in his mother tongue this time. I felt relieved. You can't mess with some instincts when they are young.
There are many nationalities living nearby with their families. None of the parents speak to their kids in English, even if they all are studying in Anglican schools. Only Indians are more "English" when it comes to casual conversation with even kids. I don't think it was something the British left behind. It is just us Indians pretending to be something we should never be.
We should learn a thing or two from that lil kid. I should have written this piece in Malayalam, to start with.
Monday, February 7, 2011
If I claim that for the average narcissist, Facebook "offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication", a few would even bethink removing me from their "friends list". Such reaction is likely to happen in spite of all my hypocritical glory, I am aware that social networking in general allows me great control over how am I presented to and perceived by other users.
In a survey conducted by a psychologist, young people with narcissistic personality traits were found to parade facebook activity that was distinctly more self-promotional.There was this "pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance."
The survey's results showed "significant positive correlations between narcissism and self-promotional content in the following areas: Main Photo, View Photos, Status Updates and Notes."
Male narcissists were more self-promotional in their "About Me" descriptions, using this section as an opportunity to highlight their intelligence and wit.
Female users with narcissistic tendencies tended to use images in their self-promotion, uploading content that "included revealing, flashy and adorned photos of their physical appearance."
I couldn't help remembering how a few people I had known but not really "known", had been ostentatious and loud on networking sites but timid and shy in real life. Their insecurity grew wings and flapped wildly, perched on a facebook flagpole.
On facebook, even the trivial takes such gargantuan proportions. Why should the rest of the world be vexed with Jane revealing that she is "Out having a coffee with out cream"? Tarzan says he is "swingin again". It is all your fault, girl.
By the way, I have to go now.
"Out driving a tank".
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