Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dear O' Dear

Its hard to find words that do justice to my feelings... Apparently a 16th century English poet from Warwickshire, England has come close.

To my dearest FGF :

O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.

respectfully copied from my friend's blog who in turn copied from some where...

BTW, trivia:
Shakespeare died while he was negotiating the deal to get his life time of works printed. The printers were ready to give him 10 pounds... and he was asking for more. After he died, the publishers sent a note to his widow at Stratford-upon-Avon that under those circumstances, even though they were not obligated to give them anything - they would send her five pounds. Yes, thats what William Shakespeare got for selling the publishing rights of all his works. Centuries later, Britain brought in its copy right laws. China is still in the process.

Nevertheless, now concentrate hard and listen to my silence through your eyes...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Five Minutes

There was a slight drizzle. The roads were bustling with late evening traffic. Its amazing how a slight drizzle drives people crazy. Half of them want to stop their two-wheelers below the first tree on their way... and the other half believe that it is not raining at the other end of the road and so want to get there in the next second if possible. Lanes, lights, indicators, cows, dogs - just simply does not matter. Such was the condition yesterday night. Hold the picture in your mind.

I am a fitness fanatic. So, I cycle to office some days. I enjoy it while it rains. It washes away the perspiration... or so I think. Rain comes with its downside too... the chances of the chain slipping is more. It has become usual for me to get my hands soiled a couple times a day. It only a matter of where it happens, and how tired I am at that point. When it happens, I have get off the road and spend about 5 minutes working my magic on the gears. Hold this picture in your mind.

Spare a thought for people who work on the streets for their lively hood. Rain disrupts their business. They may have to go home empty handed; perhaps some loss on their capital too. Damn the government for not providing social security for the unorganized labor pool. One such labor pool flourishes at the corner of Cubbon Road and Dickenson Road. Their work time starts around 9 in the night (I guess) and goes on till wee hours of the next morning (again, I guess). Well, its a 9-to-6 job nevertheless. The ignorant get shocked at their industry. The gentlemen (the hypocrite lot) avoid them all together here. The shy and still curious adolescent gang steal glances at them pretending to be innocently ignorant. The pragmatic lot (like me) will use the road simply because traffic is always free flowing here. Now you know the who, the where and the when. Hold this picture also in your mind.

Now put all the three together. A slight drizzle, crazy traffic, a cycle needing my attention, and me surrounded by a dozen 'commercial sex workers' and their aides. When I realized that the chain had slipped, I began thinking... 'Oh God!! Why here?'. You know its too hard to concentrate on the teeth of the gears when you are conscious of the kind of people watching you. Those were 5 long minutes. All sorts of hypothetical scenarios crossed my mind. What if pretending to repair the cycle was one of their cue to approach? What if a customer approached me with request to broker a deal? What if one of the retailers took objection on me blocking her enterprise? What if my numb fingers (from the cold rain) not able to put the chain back on to the gears quickly? What if there was a police raid at that very moment... my argument that the cycle broke down at that exact place, at that time would look really flimsy. Oh!! there were many more 'What if ?' permutations.

Well, fortunately all the scenarios remained only hypothetical. I got out of there in just as much time.

Autorickshaw - KA-04 B-5824

No, this is not a hit-and-run case. This is the only information I could gather about the auto-rickshaw that amazed me with sheer volume and nature of messages scripted on its back. Truly amazing...

A SMILE can end a war

Smile a lot, it does not cost anything
(B, sounds familiar??)

Life is like an ice-cream. Enjoy it before it melts down.

Beg, borrow but never steal.

My favorite:
Life is like a lock, and mind is the key. You turn it one way, and it locks. You turn it the other way and it unlocks.

There were couple more. Something about life being short and love being beautiful... but these are all that I could memorize in 30 seconds I got to be in reading distance behind him. God! I miss my camera.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I became an 'Ajji KoLi' (ಅಜ್ಜಿ ಕೋಳಿ)

In our child-hood we are taught a lot of fables... Most of them are forgotten by us as quickly as we learn them. But life has its own way of reminding us of them every now and then. One such story....

[Those who know the story, skip to the last paragraph...]
Once up on a time, in a small village there lived an old lady (the ajji ಅಜ್ಜಿ , in Kannada). She had a hen (koLi ಕೋಳಿ, in Kannada) (or a rooster). Both of them had only each others for friends. Every day, the hen would wake up early and let out a loud crow just before dawn. The old lady also would get up early and make fire. Every body in the village would get up a little late after sunrise and borrow the day's fire form the old lady. This was a normal routine.

Gradually, the old lady and the hen both felt that the whole village was dependent on them and they could boss around any body. The hen thought that unless it woke up early and called for it, the sun would never rise. The old lady thought no food would be cooked in any body's house unless she started the fire (and everybody else borrowed from her).

One day, she got into a fight with a young lad who talked dis-respectfully about her ability to start fire. Irked by such lack of respect, she was determined to show the village what it is to live without fire for a day... and to show them what would happen if the sun did not rise for a day. That night, stealthily she took her rooster and a days supply of food and headed out of the village. She planned to spent a day in the forest away from the villagers.

The next day, the rooster crowed - the sun rose and the old lady made fire. She thought it would still be night at the village since the rooster was with her... In the afternoon, when she was eating what she cooked, she was imagining that everybody at the village would be frantically searching her to borrow the fire... everybody, especially the young lad, would be sorry that he spoke so harshly to her... She thought this day would be a lesson for all of the villagers.

After sunset, she returned back to the village. To her dismay - everything is normal there. Kids are happily playing, the shops are all glowing in the light of wicks lit up, there is smoke on top of every chimney. How did everybody get the fire? Nobody is talking about the missing sun. It did not even seem as though any body missed the old lady and her rooster.

At this moment, it dawned on her that all her pride in starting fire for the entire village was self made. The importance that she gave to her own rooster for the sun rising was all a mere hype. From that day, she continued to make fire for everybody - but never bossed over anybody.

Moral of the story
: No body is indispensable. We should help others, but never bind them to obligations.

Ha ha... at this point you must be wondering how did I come to learn this so late in life? Well, It happens. I am a pretty out-spoken person. I almost speak to everybody at my office. I consider all of them were my friends (albeit of varying degrees). Last week, I went on a 5 day vacation... I was surprised to see that not one of varying degree of friends did remember me. There was no reason to (glad about that). But, isn't friendship all about calling a friend without a reason... just to keep in touch... make someone happy... just to find out 'whats up?' and so on. This also reflects on how I have been treating people... After all, all relationships in life (barring a few divine ones) are of quid-pro-quo nature. Aren't they?