Saturday, June 27, 2009

Attire Satire!

I have been fighting with myself since a couple of months. Should I write about it or not? Its a very touchy topic, do I invite wrath, debate, criticism, flak? Whatever. I finally decided to write. It so happens that I get into a discussion on this particular topic with my friends, my mentor or simply my peers at work; more often than not, I am amused and appalled at the views of few people, shocked at their ideas; specially when it comes from learned, educated and exposed "I know the world" types.

Its nothing other than the choice of dress women wear. Let me dig the dirt here. What I learnt from all the discussions I have had is certain people have some mindset, they are stereoscopic and don't want to change. They stick to the thought and don't want to listen.

Many people have the opinion that Saree is the most elegant and 'respectable' attire that a woman should wear. Salwars and chudidhars are acceptable and are traditional. Jeans and shirts are vulgar and must be banned.

I and my mentor started a discussion few days back when I was asked 'Why do women wear transparent shirts?' He was of the view that it was not in good taste when women wear light shirts. I absolutely agreed with that. I added that as long as they made proper arrangement with the inner wears, it should be elegant enough. How can you expect all the shirts that are manufactured to be thick and opaque?

Lets take a light colored shirt, a crispy white one. Its an elegant, official costume anyone would want to wear to work. But, there's a problem. There can be no white shirt which would not be transparent. Does it mean women must forget white shirts altogether? Or should it always be paired with a thick jacket?

To support my statement, Saree is the most elegant attire you can ever find. But wont you agree if I said that it was the most sexiest attire too? Imagine a situation where a voluptuous lady is wearing a pair of trousers and a T shirt. She is seated and as she gets up, her T shirt raises up and reveals a bit of skin near the hip. Its so disgusting isn't it? We would all complain, "What an awkward situation. Why do they dress so vulgar?"

What if the lady was in a Saree. A blouse that has a deep neck, the blouse material transparent enough to tell the whole world the color of her inner wear, the neck level way too deep and the back way too deep almost revealing her upper shoulders. And the width of cloth covering her shoulders too narrow to reveal her waist, her belly and her flab; her chest improperly covered!!!

This sight is so common if you see around. Yet people don't feel any sick about it. It doesn't draw the same flak that a T shirt raised to reveal teeny-weeny skin. Is it because its a Saree after all and its a 'respectable' attire at any cost? Compare that with the trouser and a decent shirt which completely covers a women's body to a half-naked Saree. Its absurd.

The same with a salwar kameez. The notion here is that a Salwar-Kameez is a big no-no or is revealing if its not teamed with a veil/dupatta. A friend recently asked me "Didn't they give you a dupatta with this?" This question raised in spite of the fact that the kurta was an appropriate official attire and was in no way in bad taste or revealing. I had to explain him that it was a kurta and it doesn't require a dupatta and its not meant to be worn with a dupatta anyway!!

Talk about fashion absence. Another question I often get asked is "Why do girls wear such tight trousers". A friend frequently asks me. What would I answer him? I tried explaining the anatomy of a women's body, and how wearing a loose pant would look sloppy and awkward. A loose trouser would not fit right and would look funny. And also with these things, there was something more rampant called fashion sense; that there were different styles available - skinny, boot cut, curvy, flared.....and they are all designed to fit a women's body and that it was OK unless it was not vulgar and revealing; which then turns out to be awkward situation for all. But to no effect. His idea is just bland - they are tight.

And to think how people map the attire a lady wears to her character is just unacceptable and outrageous. A decent disciplined lady in a pair of trousers would invite cat calls and whistles than a women in a Saree or a Salwar - yeah paired with a dupatta. That's the mindset. A women in a pair of trousers is always open and available, promiscuous types. What the heck!

When people(I must mention mostly guys, but don't want to create a debate in here) throw their view points, its really shocking to hear just out-dated and narrow views; from guys who are educated, who spend most of their times with women at work, otherwise who are forward and open to other ideas. Some ideas like these are implanted in their brains and they don't want to change, they would rather stick to their stupid views.

What they don't understand is the choice of attire is mostly got to do with the comfort and ease in everyday life and the routine; with more women working and spending time commuting and being at office. A Saree is definitely good, but is it feasible to wear a 9-yard to work each day, commute and manage?

Ultimately, its not about the attire but the way you wear it. Any attire can turn out to be a disgusting one, or turn the women to an elegant mannequin, depending on how they have chose to wear it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Posters Posters Everywhere

For the past few days, I have been reading regularly about Hollywood actress Jessica Alba. Er...before you guys all yell "You too a scoop monger; who reads useless stuffs and gossips about movie stars???"

Then heavens no!! It was indeed about Jessica Alba and it was yeah an article logged under the movie section. But the topic was very important. One that involved the surrounding we live.

"Jessica Alba Vandalism? Oklahoma City Police Probe Photos Of Her Defacing Property"

I am not sure how many of you saw this news on TV and newspapers few days back. She glued posters that were part of a campaign; on public properties - the bridge, electrical boxes and others. The campaign was to save sharks....well a noble campaign to make people aware of the sharks' dwindling numbers.


She was accused of defacing public property and vandalism. It could be a felony and it could invite punishment in prison. But she was let off as the damage was not more than 1000$.

The thought that was going on my mind over and over again were the uncountable posters that adorn or rather deface any city in India. Bangalore was free from posters at least 4 years back. Poor thing, not anymore. They are glued left, right and center on public properties- city transports, fly overs, road signs, warning signs, electrical poles and any possible area - movie posters, politicians, gods, job advertisements, loans, election campaigns, VIP meetings.............

Image from

Once the event is over, they don't bother to clean the mess up, but leave them unattended. I have seen that in US, election campaigns with posters that are pasted on the roads and removed promptly as it ends; and mostly campaign posters are all pin-ups which could be removed later.

Image from

A new construction would just commence, and the next day, one can see posters all over them. Such acts are committed when there are no people around, at nights.

Posters pasted right on top of "Construction Zone. Hard hat area".
Posters pasted on the "No Entry" signboard.

It looks so ugly and non civic. I still can visualise an ugly sight. Animated poster which depicted a young man with a noose around his neck was posted at all prominent places in the heart of the city on a Monday morning. Seeing something so disturbing on a morning spoiled the whole day.

Of late, some Tom, Dick or Harry celebrates his birthday, his face as large as a mini UFO is pasted all around, a first timer organizes a gully cricket, his face is posted all around. Publicity, all want to become famous. But why deface the city? And why scare the people by forcing them look at these ugly faces all around!!!!

There is nothing the civic body does. All are busy fighting for their share of bribes. Sad state of affair......

Friday, June 19, 2009

Being a father

As a child, her father dotted on her. She would wait for him to return from work. He would come home, tired, after a long and grueling day; but all his wariness would vanish like a miracle, once he saw his daughter's lovely face, yearning eyes and the innocent smile. He would wake her up each morning to take a goodbye kiss from her. She would sleepy-eyed bid 'tata' while he merrily went to work; now that his day was made.

She was the apple of his eyes. His life was a bundle of joy with her, he played with her, he fed her. He waited for her birthday all 364 days a year. He planned for his doting princess' birthday months in advance, saved money to buy expensive silks.

He was in awe of his daughter's skills, her knack of learning things. For him, she was the most beautiful and the most intelligent child on earth. For her, he was her "Daddy". He was her hero, the omnipotent being who was her provider and protector. Life was bliss for the father and the daughter.

As she grew, she realized that all was not rosy between her father and her mother. They fought all the time, they got violent, much to the shock and dismay of their two angelic kids. She tried hard to be composed at such tender age, manage to hold on for she had her younger sibling to look after to. Things got worse each day, grown ups behaved like kids. They fought for trivial issues, they despised each other, they were suddenly strangers to one another.

Domestic violence, verbal abuse, physical abuse. She was taught that these were 'normal' in a household. She saw her father abuse her mother, she saw her mother abuse her father, she saw them both growing harsher towards each other. It was unbelievable for the poor soul to witness demon like behavior from her parents whom she thought were picture perfect.

She understood that her parents were less than kids, immature, egoistic and selfish. The trauma grew deep within each day. No one to talk about it; as it would be a matter of ridicule. She always wondered why didn't her parents love each other, why didn't they go out as a family; like all her neighbors did, why did they hate each other so much that they hurt each other. She tried to come to a conclusion............

She missed a happy family outing, a laughter-filled family dinner. She missed her family at the school function where she would bag most awards, and she would be speechless when other envious parents asked her to introduce her parents. She would walk home alone at night, fearful and weepy; when her father did not come to pick her up from extra classes. She knew he was busy elsewhere, satisfying his selfish needs.

As she grew up as a confused teenager, she would eye her classmates with jealously when their fathers would come to school to pick them up. She would be left out in the crowd during lunch hours when each girl talked about what each family did on a weekend and time spent with their dad. She would just smile when someone showed her her father's surprise gift. She stopped going out on excursions and outings as she had no one to fetch her back home at odd hours. When asked why she dropped out by her friends, she just withdrew and learnt the art of lying. She would long for a reprimand by her father when she scored less in academics.

As she grew to be a woman, she missed being disciplined, she missed being protected as fathers of other girls would do. She would long to be questioned when she came home late, that authoritative question. She missed him when she wore skinny low-hip jeans; for she knew her conservative dad would never allow that. She wanted to complain to her dad about the guys who teased her, who passed out remarks at her; she missed him the most then. She missed him when she got her first job, she missed him when she got her first paycheck, her first car, her first home, new family......She spoke to her father once in a while and when they spoke, it was a formal chat between two unknown strangers. She called him up all excited on her birthday, her beloved daddy long ago prepared for her princess' birthday months in advance............................only to realize that her father has long forgotten he had a daughter, let alone her birthday, as he was long gone to lead a separate life.

The daughter has moved on, counting her blessings, yet the trauma visits her and she misses her dad......

"Being a Father means
....................coming home to a hug after a long day at work
....................pride in the accomplishment of your sons and daughters
....................making sure your child has all the benefits of having YOU in their life
....................being involved in your child's life"


Image from

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Sometimes, we get so attracted to a word/phrase that we start using them so often that it becomes our buzzword. We tend to use it all the time for everything; literally. Most times, it works and we get away but not always. Caught with the wrong foot and it really is an embarrassment and konfusion.

I have this habit of questioning a statement in a jovial or satirical way with a "For what joy?" phrase.

Every information continues with my "For what joy?".

"I am taking off today"..........."For what joy?"
"He asked me to inform you......." "For what joy?"

Its no big deal about this phrase for questioning; until few days back. A friend was missing in action for a couple of days and then later informed that he was out of town.

As usual, I asked "For what joy?"

He said with a confused look, "My uncle passed away".

Oh gosh!! I just wanted to hide my face. It was really so embarrassing, but thankful that he knew my way of using "For what joy"; so he was not offended by it.


At my work place, a member had a liking for the word "JUNK". For him, everything was junk. Junk design, junk code, junk people, junk process, junk food. I am not sure if he meant it but it seemed he was very much in love with "Junk". His computer desktop would have files named "junk1", "junk2", "junk3" and so on....

He abused 'junk' to such an extent that the word was pandemic(I like this word now. WHO has been using it of late). Every one of his team member started using 'junk'.

One such poor 'junk' chap was my 'junk' friend who had to work on a customer escalation(I dare not call a customer escalation 'junk'). He junk-solved the issue and posted a junk-software version for the customer to pick up. Guess what? He junk-named the file 'junk'. The consultant who represented the customer( a large organization) took it offensive. His question was - "Does my issue seem junk?" Higher authorities had to junk-intervene to bring the junk-situation under control.


One other thing that I come across quite often is the SMS version of the word "come". The very first time I encountered it was in the form of text message from my college mate who was supposed to come to my home for a project discussion. His message was thus -

"I ll c*m. On d way". (Insignia refrains from typing the word here. So a *)

I was perplexed for a moment. Was I reading it right? Did that guy realize what he typed? Was I the 'evil' one with a dirty mind as "good" folks would say? Or was I too fast paced to know the word and what it meant; and the poor chap had only used it with sheer ignorance in order to save himself from the pain of tapping one extra key?

Later on, I got used to the SMS way of "come". Each day, I get called by such messages by my friend at work......"C*m, we'll go" and so on.....


Another very old incident that I can recall even to this day occurred when I was around 4-5 years old. We had this home needs convenience store attached to my house. On the days my school was closed, my mom would ask me to watch out when she could finish some chores in the kitchen. She taught me a couple of call-out sentences in case we had a customer.

Its a well known fact that a language is spoken in many ways and they have their own dialects and slang; with different new words. This fact actually caused confusion and a near fight in one such case.

There was a customer, hence I had to call out to my mom notifying her. I called out in Tamil -

"Amma, Yaaro vandhurukka......" (Mom, someones here)

The guy who knew a bit of Tamil but was not a Tamil guy heard it otherwise (Obvious as one cannot expect him to know all the slang available in Tamil). He heard it as "vanthurukkaaN"(note the N here.....shows lack of respect) and was oblivious to the fact that ' vandhurukka' was an acceptable 'respectful' word

It meant that I addressed him in singular without respect. He picked that up and blamed that she(my mom) has not taught me basics of addressing elders with respect :-|


PS : I did not forget the spelling of Konfusion. Its just that I liked Konfusion this way.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bomb Threat for Pizza....

Today was an eventful day.

Yeah at work. My day began as usual....a long day...a hectic day..Lot of stuffs to finish, what with that infra issues and other nasty stuffs that pop up at the last moment.

Around mid-morning, got a mail from our VP to evacuate as there was an emergency. I just carried my phone and walked towards the emergency exit. My bag, wallet all left behind. It was sort of fun. Fun because I got the much needed break; after taxing hours. I had time to pull my team mates' legs, teasing them, nice! Past few days, we haven't even been able to catch up on coffee.

If you have been wondering why the title of this post is "Bomb Threat for Pizza", read ahead.

Firstly, I had pizza for lunch today - Veg Extravaganza. While having the pizza, got reminded of John Grisham's novel "Playing for Pizza".

Yet, why the title Bomb Threat for Pizza? The story goes thus. Its short guys...So chill.

In between our taxing times at work, I have been asking my colleagues to lunch outside for a day. We regularly eat at our office cafe. I said I wanted to have Pizza; that sudden crave!! I have been asking them since a week, and we were never really able to go because someone or the other had work and were not ready to invest an hour into Pizza gorging.

And out of the blue today, some beautiful soul decided to scare the wit out of us and he placed a hoax bomb threat. Bomb squad and the police arrived and the sanitizing drill began. We were evacuated and were asked to move to a safer spot. Know where? Exactly to a food court which has a Pizza joint!

So after the usual leg-pulling, hair pulling and other stuff, we decided to lunch leisurely. As it was an emergency exit, all I carried with me was my phone. But that would not prevent me from indulging in a pizza, would it? So I went about and borrowed some money from my friends and ordered my Pizza and Coke and a bonus of Alphonso Mango and Cream ice cream with Strawberry sauce toppings...Yummy!!!!!!!

While enjoying my Pizza, one of my team member said "So finally, you got to eat Pizza".

Hmmm...A blessing in the form of a Bomb Threat!!! Anytime for Pizza again!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

'Click' at an odd hour

I have been working like crazy since few days. Yesterday too...It was 11:30 PM and I was sort of restless. I had office work to do, but my mind wanted to do something else....Creative?

I guess so. I felt like snapping the things lying around me in an inquisitive way. And lo, here they are. Hope its good, as I was half asleep...

The first thing that was near me was my phone

I loved this detail. One of my ear piece

One more of my ear piece - each of the stone's color variation is amazing

Best of all. My antique piece placed on John Grisham's 'The Associate' :-D

A wrist band I grabbed some time back. I took it for those tiny silver drops

Hmmmm...Love the flaming red beads

Another wrist band. The blue with those shells...Lovely!!

The embroidery detail on the border of my pink Saree

Finally the neck piece....Yeeeehhhhaooooo...

If you thought I was jobless clicking them, then fact I was pretty busy but wanted a break..

Friday, June 5, 2009


Yeah right! This post is about the stupidity that I have encountered and I have committed.

There have been lot of instances. Why not? Man being the most stupid creature on earth( No offense people). I am one among you...

Let me pick the most stupid stuff. The Stupidest of ALL

Stupidest stuff that I have ever done

I am a freak of orderliness and being up to date. Be it anything. After at task is done, I make sure I do the post-cleaning as soon as possible and stay put - Like organizing things and such.

One such time, I was copying a large file from a CD on to my System drive on my computer. The copy process approximated about 20 minutes. I was idle watching the window where the sheet of paper was moving from one direction to another. And ..............

Tadaaaaaaaaaaa.....A bulb over my head blinked. Aaahaa..What a waste of time. Why cant I eject that CD and put it away. Once copy is done, I can shutdown the system.

And yeah!! that's what I did. I ejected the CD. :-|

Stupidest stuff that I have witnessed

From an unknown cellphone number - "Hi, this is my new number from now on"

No name, no address. What the heck? How can people assume that the number was famous as if it were Sachin Tendulkar's!!!! Yeah, his cell number is on billboards everywhere in town now!

Hmmm...So any such stupidest thing you did and witnessed? Please share. I want to feel good that I am not alone.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Athithi Devo Bhava!

I wanted to write a post on guests who visit home without prior intimation. I was thinking about an apt title and got 'inspired' by our Incredible India! campaign; now that Aamir Khan too endorses it. Hence the title.....

Last week sometime, I went home a bit early from work and slept away. I slept like a dead wood. And out of the blue, I sensed as if someone was knocking my head off with a club....Bang...Bang...Bang.....And soon, it was a loud unpleasant music...."Ting Tong..Please open the door". Trust me, I don't like that lady's voice. She is monotonous, the same voice modulation all the time. She was screaming now, literally pulling me out of the bed, towards her; as if I want to hug her! Oh! I am talking about the door bell.

I forced myself out of the bed. Luckily, I wore "acceptable" attire, unlike most times. I struggle my way to the door and opened it. My relatives and my nieces - 6 altogether. They were all smiles that they managed to give me a surprise. Yeah surprised I was! I welcomed them inside while my head was being nailed from all sides. I could visualize scary looking witches nailing my head. I asked them to make themselves comfortable while going into the kitchen to retrieve water for them to drink. As I wobbled, I hit my toe to the adjacent wall of the kitchen....

aaaaawwwwwwwwwwwww aaaahhhhhhh......................I rubbed my mistake. I should have splashed some water on my face so that I could well be active; now that my sweet nieces have come. As I rubbed my eyes, I went to the washroom and splashed some water over my face, wiped it off, yet my eyes wouldn't budge. I forced myself and got back to kitchen and served water to my guests. I open the refrigerator door and oops!! milk.

Well....things are going from bad to worse. I run to the neighborhood shop to get a packet of milk. And yes, the witches were still nailing my head. While a couple of naughty goblins playing head was spinning.

I got back, prepared coffee for my guests while I burnt my palm as I was still trying to come out of my sleepiness. I was not able to talk to them with much attention. I could not play with my nieces. The moment was not a pleasant one, it was not that I was not happy seeing these folks, it was just that the moment was wrong.

I can tolerate anything but not being interrupted while I sleep!! I sensed they started feeling uncomfortable. But I could not help. My body gave away and I wanted to be left alone!!

What happened to "Athithi Devo Bhava". We have been imbibed with values deeply rooted in our Indian culture to treat guests like GOD. Am I treating my guests as GOD? My inquisitiveness made me think otherwise.

Does ATHITHI mean "guests"? Or is it A-THITHI? Someone who drops in without a THITHI?

If so, am I not supposed to treat them well and make them happy? Make them feel at home?

At that moment, only one question crossed my mind -


In West, guests arrive by prior intimation. People visiting notify well ahead about the time of visit and such details so that hosts can plan and be prepared. This also means hosts get time to choose what outfit to wear, what food and drinks to serve, entertainment options etc. When everything is planned, the hosts are happy and the guests find the experience fulfilling.

Oh, but wait, isn't this sort of orchestrated?

But here I was, sleepy headed, no proper outfit and I was doing my best to entertain them while I was getting my very own piece of entertainment. (Remember the the witches were still nailing my head. While a couple of naughty goblins playing violin)

But again, the same question....What if no one were at home?

The guests would have come all the way with their kids and others with a genuine idea of surprising the hosts, but would instead return back as the hosts were not at home. Or now that someone was at home but was sleepy or sick, they didn't get the expected treatment. Would they complain and take offense? Would they bad mouth about me and accuse me of showing disinterest?

I am confused. But whatever, I lost sleep and it took me considerable time to drive away those witches and goblins!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Frozen Memories - by Mano

We immigrated to USA long time ago. Even though we visit India frequently, our memories of India are frozen at that time we left. Since then every time we visit India, the changes, good and bad, give us shock. For example, an ordinary Kancheepuram silk Saree now costs Rs.5000.00. Even though we can very well afford, my wife says “my marriage Saree was only Rs.1000.00”. When we left India, a plate of idlis was only Rs.2.00 and now it is Rs.20.00. But it is not shocking to the people who live in India because they grow every day with that change.

This frozen memory happens to all of us. Say we had a friend in school. We have not seen him/her in the past 15 years. Our memory of that friend is still the same as we saw him/her the last time. If we see him/her now, we will be shocked. In school, he had a nice thick curly hair and now he is bald-headed. She was a cute little beautiful girl and now she has 2 kids and weighs 185 lbs.

Going back the place we visited long time ago is also the same. The last time I visited Delhi was in 1997. I visited again 6 months ago. I was pleasantly shocked to see the Los Angeles style freeways. The toll plaza at Gurgaon looks more or less the same as the toll plaza at the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The Ring Road from Moti Bagh to Safdarjang Hospital to AIIMS to Defence Colony to Lajpat Nagar was crowded and congested. Now there is a smooth freeway there.

In the past 300 years, lot of Indians have migrated to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Fiji Islands, and West Indies. Their memories are also frozen at the time their forefathers left India. In those places, those Indian origin kids learn about Indian traditions and customs from their parents and grand parents. They, in turn, learnt from their parents and grand parents. Therefore, today’s Indian origin kids think as Indian traditions and customs what was practiced 100 years ago in India.

There was an incident happened this weekend. This prompted me to write this blog. We were invited to a cocktail reception in a friend’s home. The host and hostess are from Malaysia and speak Tamil at home. They have never visited India. As soon as we entered their home, the host shook hands with me. The hostess started to fall on my feet (to get my blessings) and half way through I stopped her. She said she is delighted to receive me because her grand parents told her that it is auspicious and good luck if a “Brahman” comes to the house. I smiled and said I am not that kind (pious, learned, knows 4 Vedas) of Brahman. In fact I have come for a cocktail reception. She said “I do not care. All I know from my grand father that it is auspicious and good luck if a Brahman comes to the house. Therefore, I need your blessings”. Memories are not only frozen but passed on to the next generation also.