Monday, November 3, 2008

I’m back!!!

For those of you who wanted to conduct a funereal ceremony for my blog - I’m back!!! At least for now I am. I apologize for the vanishing act. This blog stuff works entirely on my mood. I’m not much of a writer, so blogging doesn’t come to me as you would imagine.

A lot has happened since my last post. The wife has returned and we’re leading a pleasant and happy life. The big news - “Were Expecting”, yup that’s right. The Paunch is going to be a father. Our baby’s ETA – April 1st `2009. If my child decides to be born on April 1st, it’s going to be hard for me to convince my buddies about the news. My wife and I are totally thrilled about the whole thing. We’ve been monitoring the baby’s development on a regular basis & I have lost count of the number of times I’ve viewed the video of the ultrasound scan to see him or her moving inside. It’s just breathtaking to see and know that there’s this new life form inside her, growing in size everyday.

Fatherhood is one thing that I dread. I am hideously bad with kids. Its not that I don’t like them, it’s just that it’s to some extent hard to communicate with them. By the way I am speaking for myself. I’m sure nearly everyone who is reading this might not be of the same opinion, but this is what I feel. My wife Scatterbrain calls me a “Baby Magnet”, I sometimes agree with her in a way since I have noticed many kids are mesmerized to see me, or at least they keep staring at me like I’m from some other planet.

I’ve been reading-up about fatherhood and here are some useful links for all aspiring fathers to go through (Good Parenting, Dad Café, and Great Dad). Its useful information, but I guess the best way to bring up your child is doing it your way. Like my good friend Mac says – “When you notice that your child is starting to hate you, you know your doing something right”.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Scatterbrain, I love you:

“The light of my Life” (Scatterbrain) has gone to spend some time with her folks for a week, and I’m left all alone at home. The house feels so bare. Even the TV and couch misses her being there. I guess this time; her going away has been quite hurting, even though it is only for a week and I know that she’s mine and mine alone eternally. It has been only 2 days since she left and I already feel like a baby weeping out to her to come back. They say big men are the most emotional – maybe that’s why I feel this way. :(

Ever since I met her 5 years back, my life has been a rollercoaster ride, and I’ve loved every single moment spent with her. We got married on a beautiful date (07/07/07) and it is going to be one year since. I was always terrified of getting married, but since day one, its have been extremely exciting and have no regrets. We do have our highs and lows from time to time, but the best part of the fight is when we make-up for it.

Being married to Scatterbrain is like living life in the movie “The Sound of Music”. There’s so much laughter, singing, dancing, and so much fun. She even manages to cheer me up almost every evening when I come back home from a hard days work. All my worries and tensions fade away when I’m with her. She is what every husband could ever ask for. And I feel on top of the world to be married to her. Everyday is a brand new day. The whole of last year feels like a dream to me, it feels like it all happened just yesterday.

Scatterbrain you are the best and my heart beats like Shivamani on the drums when you’re around me...:)

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Remarkable tuk –tuk man

The rising fuel prices have been eating into most of our daily expenses, and I wonder where this is all going. The salary remains the same but the cost of living goes up. Here are some cartoons I received in a fwd mail.

Have you even sat in an auto rickshaw and wondered if the driver was a genuine guy, and that he was demanding a fair price for your destination? Most of us have a pre-conceived notion that auto drivers are always trying to take advantage of people, by taking them for a ride. It is true but not all of them. They normally do that because they think you are an “Out of Towner” and could take advantage of the situation. I’m sure most of us are in some way egocentric when it comes to our own benefits.

Yesterday I had a chance to travel in an auto to work and as usual I raised my hand to the next auto in sight. This guy was really nice. He was kind and he had that sense of dependability and made sure he was respectful and requested for a fair price from my home to office. I normally have to brawl and argue with these guys, and end up paying almost Rs.70 for about 5 km distance. A fair fee would be between Rs.50 to Rs.60. This guy asked me, how much I would normally pay for this distance, and me trying to be all straightforward, told him in a very cheeky tone that I pay only Rs.50 and nothing more than that. To my surprise he offered to use his meter for the journey. Normally auto drivers never offer to use their meters since the prices were too low for them to break even. In my mind I was wondering if his meter was rigged. Anyway I took my chances and sat in the auto. When I reached office and looked at the meter and the amount was Rs.40, and the auto driver also told me that I need not pay Rs.50 as agreed before, but to pay only Rs.40 as per the meter reading. I felt a little guilty for all that went through my mind during my ride to office, and so I insisted and paid him Rs.60 and told him “I wished all auto drivers in Chennai were like you.” I would consider this as one of my best moments in an auto. It is very extraordinary to come across people like him.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We Treat God Heals

CFH (Christian Fellowship Hospital) Oddanchatram, is a hospital catering to the people who live in around the poverty stricken villages of Oddanchatram. Oddanchatram is a little town located in the district of Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India.

The story of CFH is that of a few people venturing into a very backward area as a three-man team including a doctor - living in mud wall huts and starting in a one-room dispensary. "The Christian Fellowship Hospital, founded in 1955 by Dr. A.K. Tharien. It is a 289-bed, multi-specialty, secondary level care hospital catering to the poor in and around Oddanchatram. It has primary care centers in the surrounding villages and hills like Pachalur. Every day, Christian Fellowship Hospital receives an average of 1,500-1,700 outpatients. The Hospital Staff are a living example for Christ and simple in their lives". - from the CFH Website.

As the story goes back in time, when Dr. A.K Tharien (My Grandfather in law) had a vision to serve the poor with medical help without any foreign aid. He identified Oddanchatram (ODC) since this town had minimal resources available. (now it is a flourishing business town) They lacked proper electricity and food supply. The villagers were not aware of such a thing as medicine. The Dr, took a small haunted house on rent since it was not occupied by anyone and started a small clinic. His first patient was a pregnant lady who came with complications. The only thing that could save her life was a cesarean operation. She was about to be disowned by her family who could not take her to the nearest hospital (30 kms away) and left to die. The Dr and his team of 3 staff decided to do the best they could . They sterilized their equipment, including kitchen knives and bed sheets conducted the operation on the kitchen table and helped deliver the child. Both mother and child were safe. This was the biggest miracle seen by the people of the villages near by. The hospital’s growth began there and it continues.....

Friday, June 6, 2008

Days of Glory:

I was looking for some inspiration to write about, the one thing that crossed my mind was my days in college. I am really proud to have been a student from MCC (Madras Christian College). Those days of my life were like a three year holiday!!! It is not because I didn’t attend classes, it is just that all the other activities got us so involved that we didn’t even realize that each year was coming to an end. And before we knew it we were thrown out in the real world.

The first year started with the Principal’s speech and a campus walk escorted by our seniors, who were just waiting to pounce on us. The 1st year students had many names those days (Pissakaattan, Kaattan, piece of S@#T, fresh meat, etc...), and the “hall boys” (resident students) were made to wear full-sleeved formal shirts with unbuttoned sleeves and rubber bathroom slippers. Their hair had to be cut short and faces, clean shave
n. This was the dress code if you were a member of the hall. The day-scholars had a different treatment; they were ragged & humiliated on the train journey for about 45 minutes from Tambaram all the way up to Egmore. This sounds very traumatic but quite honestly, I enjoyed it!!! I can remember the times when I have been so broke; even to buy my self a ticket worth 5 bucks to get back home. Being broke was normality back in the days. There was a time when my buddies and I were so hungry we went to this shady joint near the railway station to grab a bite of whatever we could get with the pieces of change we had in our pockets. Halfway through the meal we found a well cooked spider in the food, but considering the hunger we continued to eat.

Times have changed now, and college going kids have a completely different lifestyle. I’m sure they also have their share of fun. The 2nd and 3rd year of my graduation was not as thrilling as the 1st year. That’s cause I was busy clearing all my arrears, and slowly getting ready to face the world and dreaming about a great career :)

I’m quite happy about the way things are today, I would have never imagined being where I am today four years ago. Sometimes I wish I had worked harder in my studies during my school and college days :(

Here are lyrics to a song that my buddies and I wrote, while we were lazing around at the café with a cup of kaapi and dhum!!! This song became famous after our acoustic band's first performance at the
IIT college fest. The Band was called “The Lumbadi Lungies and the Chorous Mangalams”

We don’t smoke marijuana in MCC,
We don’t take our trips on LSD,
We don’t spike our hair like them pansies
I’m Proud to be a hippie from MCC.

I’m Proud to be a hippie from MCC.
The girls are not really pretty cant you see,
They always love to wear our lungies,
But there still cooler, than the Stella Kutties.

I’m Proud to be a hippie from MCC.
The guys are simply Kaattans cant you see,
But their still cooler than the Loyola sissies
Guess who loves them ? WCC

Comments are welcome...

Friday, May 30, 2008

The BIG Picture:

A big company offered $50 for each money-saving idea submitted by its employees. First prize went to the employee who suggested the award be cut to $25 – Anonymous.

I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by. Life in the corporate world can get to you sometimes. I’m not sure if I am made to live life in the corporate world. Does my employer look forward to more than what is achievable? Or am I not competent enough? Last night I dreamt about what it would be like if the salaries & perks were reversed with the designations. Wouldn’t that be overwhelming? People need to understand the importance of employee satisfaction and also need to be shown how m
uch they mean to the organization. And I strongly believe that just by giving a handsome paycheque is not going to make the employee happy. Good and bad appraisals could happen due to various reasons, and also depends on how well the industry is doing, the individual contributor’s performance, overall profitability of the organization and such like. Gone are the days when people look at the title, role and the growth that the company provides for them. People have become so hard to please and only want money. It is more of "What is in it for me?" rather than "How can I be of use to your organization for it to grow?" I’m sure if people join companies with a positive attitude to learn, grow and accomplish their goals, by giving not least but less importance to the monitory benefits, life would be so much better.

There used to be a time in India when the people used to walk-in and out of companies carrying huge files and folders with all their life’s accomplishments and certificates pleading for a job as an assistant or a clerk. The roles have absolutely reversed, with large organizations advertising on the newspapers and television, trying to build a brand and luring some of the young graduates and post graduates of our time. Wonder where this is all going. On the brighter side, the level of unemployment has dropped drastically over the past 5 – 10 years, with a whole lot of multinationals setting up in India, helping feed many more homes. It's just a whole vicious cycle I guess.

Here are some facts I came across on an article - "India's rate of employment generation has gone up from an average of 1.07 percent between 1994 and 2000, to 2.04 percent between 1999- 2000 and December 2002. The rise has been more in the urban areas as compared to the rural ones. Figures released by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) show that on an average 8.4 million jobs have been added over the 2.5- year period. The Tenth Five-Year plan aims to generate 10 million employment opportunities each year."

I hope my buddies and I find the time, money and a good opportunity to set up our dream restaurant at least in the next ten years. :)

Comments are welcome….

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Tag from Mac:

I found this interesting tag from a good friend, and realized that I’m so similar. So I thought I’d add my list as well.

Ten things I wish I could say to people right now:
* Love you guys…you guys are the best.
* Please stop interfering in our lives.
* Wish I could help you in some way.
* Promise to find you one soon.
* Are you sure your ready for this big step?
* Are you really ready to take the plunge?

* Hope we go the same place after we die.
* A little gratitude would be nice.
* I’m OK with you thinking I’m a machine…do you expect me to be a magician too?
* It will happen when the time is right.

Nine things about myself:
* I can’t cry even if I want too.
* I hate people with a "holier than thou" attitude.

* I believe in Jesus.
* I have to watch at least 3 movies a week.
* I hate Wannabes’
* I love Chicken Biryani.
* I’m a good listener.
* I love long drives.
* My family means the world to me.

Eight ways to win my heart:

* Buy me a 52 inch plasma TV.
* Give me a hug or ask for a hug.
* Keep in touch.
* Understand me, without asking too many questions.
* Visit me at my new home.
* Pray for me and my family.
* Sing to me.
* Spend the whole night talking.

Seven things that cross my mind a lot:

* My wife, unborn children & my career.
* The day I might have to loose a loved one.
* Will I be a burden as I grow old?

* Will I ever have enough money?
* Wish the world was a better place.
* Why was evil made?
* Will I go to heaven after I die?

Six things I wish:
* I wish I never met a certain person.
* I wish I tried to know GOD earlier.
* I wish I could fly.
* I wish I could eat less.
* I wish I read a lot more.
* I wish I could go back in time and change things.

Five turn off's:
* Being clingy or over dependent.
* Public Display of Affection
* Working over time.

* Hypocrites.
* People with a bloated ego.

Four turn on's:
* Good mallu food.
* A trip to the countryside.
* Clean feet.

* People who remember old stories.

Three things I want to do before I die:
* See as much of the world as possible.
* See my grand kids grow up and get married.
* Own my own shack on the beaches of Goa.

Two words that describe me:
* Quiet
* Loyal

One confession:
* On this one, I'm most certainly with Mac. I wish I could erase all the men who disrespect women.

Comments are welcome...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guitar Solo

Have you ever played this game called Mario Bros? I’m sure most people who have spent their childhood during the late 70’s and early 80’s might understand what I’m talking about. It was one of the most addictive games ever made and the games tune still rings in my head. The video you see here is an amazing piece of guitar solo I found on YouTube. This guy is impressive with his fingers, they move like a spider crawling on the fret board. This guy is a genius.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Damn Tuesdays

Today has been one of those days when I had to drag myself to office. My butt refused to get out of bed, I was lying there thinking of all the excuses I could use to stay at home; food poisoning, grandfather died (5th time), cousins wedding, flat tire, loosies etc… I’ve used all these excuses in the past and nobody is going to fall for any of them. So finally I reached work at 11:30am, felt a little on the wrong side of the law for doing that, but I guess its ok for once, bearing in mind the number of times the rest of the staff do it.
Being a HR professional, the job can be relatively glamorous from the outside. Most people think it is as simple as “Hire and Fire”, only HR guys will know the real struggle.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thank you, for smoking

“Thank you for SMOKING” is one amazing movie I watched recently, it really opened my eyes to the kind of harm smoking does to the human body. Can you imagine the amount of punishment ones body can take? Many years back my buddies and I were talking about our days in college and the amount of cigarettes & dope we smoked, I mean its hard to imagine that the only thing we didn’t do was probably suck out the smoke from an exhaust pipe of a car or a motorcycle. And somehow we are still alive; most of the credit goes to our wives for bringing about this drastic change in us - by cleaning us up. Luckily I’ve managed to give up “the ganja”, but with cigarettes I’m still struggling. There’s this famous saying that goes – “Smoking is very easy to quit, I’ve done it a million times.”

Best Buddies

May there always be work for your hands to do,
may your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane,
may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. – Anonymous.