Saturday, July 22, 2006

Embarrassing Moments

Things like this has happened to each and every one of us

I moved to a new school when I was in fifth standard. Now this new School was supposed to be the best in Trivandrum, if not in anything else at least in the firang language called Angresi.

So there was this recitation competition. I was like over eager to prove myself in the new surrounding. So there I was waiting in the queue for my chance. Then suddenly I realized that all fellow kids were giving intros. I thought what would I say now. "I am going to sing this poem”?????

Being very intelligent even at that time I decided the best policy is to listen. I listen once. I listened twice. All of them were saying I am going to "DECIDE" the poem or better yet that’s what I heard them say. My chance came. And went on stage and said "I am going to DECIDE the poem “Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson" and the entire audience erupted into laughter. I had to live with pet name of "decide" for almost two months.

But it took me much lesser time to learn that u RECITE a poem and do not DECIDE it

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Morality and Ethics

Somehow I find it difficult to accept the term Morality. Maybe because of those Moral Science classes in school which tended to prescribe behavior based on conformism.

I would rather love to debate on Ethics one of my favorite subjects in Management. Ethical Universalism (Kant school) and ethical relativism are two schools of thought that people subscribe to.

I believe for any person the ideal thing to do would be take a decision which would prick his conscience the least rather than staunchly holding on to relativism or universalism.
For example infibulations or breast ironing in African countries may seem crude and atrocious from a universalistic perspective but in the social context of these countries it’s perfectly logical. The most important point is being logical. We have been blessed with the ability to think logical. Better use that than base your behavior on some prescriptions.

The problem with Ethical Relativism is that it gives rise to prescript practices. I mean if at a point of time Cannibalism were essential in a particular community to stay alive, that would pass over centuries and we would have cannibals who have no idea as to why they are eating their brother’s flesh. Now that’s what I would called “Blind faith”

The best thing would be Ethical relativism based on constant inquisition on practices based on Universalistic principle. I know that sounds confusing. What I mean is that practices, which we accepted based on ethical relativism, must not become a social custom or ritual. Rules need to evolve. A universalistic good would be ideal but then we have to tread the path of relativistic realism towards the ultimate goal

I would thank Prof. RC Shekhar for giving me clear insights into Ethics from which I could build my own trains of logical thought

Thursday, February 02, 2006

On Internet- In A Season of Love

People would not believe how much he had changed in the last few months. The total book worm bugger who used to spend most of his time reading either textbooks or his novels in his dingy little hostel room suddenly started to take a shower in the evening, put a heavy layer of talcum powder on him, look at himself in the mirror and, go out.

This evening excursion was to cyber café a kilometer away from the college hostel. He liked to walk all the way just feeling the breeze rush up against his face. For a introvert like him internet was a heaven. There was nothing to fear of. You didnt fear that you may not be able to utter a word if a girl looks at you in the eye. Or the big fat guy will beat you up if you abuse him.

This evening felt all the more better. He was again going to chat to Shirley. His love, finally he too could say he has a girl friend. Nowadays that has become a must have. You are not man enough if you don’t have a girl friend or they may even call you gay

Now girls in the real world were the most irrational people around. He often wondered how girls could fall in love with lousy idiots who drank smoke and spoke about their girls assets to other guys in the hostel. Maybe they too were not interested in love. It was all in the name of fun.

But his Shirley was different. She was all he wanted his girl to be. She was god fearing, beautiful (that’s what she said) and at five seven with 34 26 36 figure and long jet-black hair by descriptions could not be ugly. She was intelligent too. She could talk about American army in Iraq with the same ease she would talk about her lipstick and her roommate. And above all she loved him. The Iraq thing was surprising to him. But he forced himself to believe that god had hidden a jewel for him.

He had met her online a week after his only friend in college introduced him to chatting. He was in the Kerala room and just watching as the conversation scrolled by. When suddenly a personal chat window popped up with a HI!!! After the initial asl and other formalities she just raced into his heart.

It was just around 5 30 when he reached the café. There was a vacant seat and nowadays wit more computers with connectivity at hostel the cyber café was not full except for the rush hour. He sat at this favorite corner seat. No one preferred to sit there because it was all cramped up. But it served his purpose. This was he could be away from public eye.

Shirley was online. A smile came to his face. He pulled up the keyboard and said a Hi. After that awesome Hi on the first day it was always him who said the first Hi. He loved doing it. It made him feel in control

She send a smiley and said hi. She said she wanted to say something important to him. He tensed up. She said her parents had fixed a marriage for her. They guy was from the UK working for some multinational. He had lot of money and his parents were also keen.

He wanted to say “lets run away and get married” but suddenly his hands would not work they were cold and would not move. He pulled his right hand onto the keyboard with his left and managed an “and”.

She said, “I know it would hurt you, but lets be practical. It would take a lot of time for you to get settled in life. Another two years of your course and then god knows if you can manage a job. I cannot wait that long. I am sure you will find a much better girl than me. Infact I fell I don’t deserve you da.”

He could see his dreams shatter in front of his own eyes. He had even decided on the name of the kids they would have. And here she goes of so abruptly. He felts sick. He could not breathe. He just got up slowly locked the comp and walked outside. He took a long breath of fresh air. The sickness vanished but he still felt bad. He went in.

He typed, “ I want you to be happy. If this makes you happy then you should go ahead. The best part of love is letting go of the other and let them be happy” the words he read in one his favorite forwards. “ I would like to have a picture of yours. A memoir of your”

She said “Hey hey no pictures. Why you want to complicate things. You said you are not in love with my body. So why would you need my picture for remembering me?”

He said “okie”

She said “ Look I need to go now. I may not log into this id again. It was nice knowing you. You take care.” And she logged out

He got out wrote the timing in the register paid the man at the counter and slowly walked out of the café. A head popped out of the cabin near the door and winked at the administrator. It was his best friend who introduced him to chatting> he told “ And so dies Shirley” and both burst out laughing

He walked back towards the hostel. Tears rolled up in his eyes. He wondered, “How could she!!!” and he could feel his inner voice break in angst. He stomped his foot on the road.


He spat out. The strong wind carried it back onto his own shirt

Hour glass

Sand is dripping down
Through the narrow neck
Time laughs like a clown
As is reflects on the clock

Time is indeed flying by
No I would not stop it
All I can do is curse and sigh
And hang in here a bit

Waiting is lifes brew
Lived till now nothings left
All the sand has fallen through
Wait for someone to reverse it

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Being in Love

Being in love is not easy
They say it good but it is not
Yesterday it made me queasy
Made me sit and think a lot.

I am pained by people I love
For others I don't give a damn
Affection we need and we show
Inside we know more we can.

Yester she pained me extremely
Hate her for it, I should
I tried to tear her apart slowly
Love her more, is all I could

Monday, January 09, 2006

On Ekta Paneri

After that open letter to Ekta and some amount of desperate pleading she agreed to give me her number. What did i want the number for? I am not sure. Maybe I wanted to talk to the Voice of God from ON@CC. She had said once that I have to ask nicely for the number and maybe I had finally asked nicely. That was realization number one this new god has given me. I after all can ask nicely.

I resisted the thought of calling her up for sometime. Why I was afraid to call her, maybe it’s the same old of feeling of what she will think. I am not sure I worried about that much. These are situation where I fail to understand myself. But logically I should have been.

I went up to the roof of my office. And dialed the number and strangely I cannot remember if there was a ring tone or sing tone at the other end. Maybe my mind was just yearning for a voice to answer at the other end.

“Hello” it was a female voice. Damn so Ekta is a female after all. But then the voice broke so much of my imagination. It was not croony, it was not husky, It was mature. Far more mature than I could ever imagine. Now don’t ask me what I mean by mature. The only answer I will have is mature is mature.

She asked me “who”. I was a bit confused. Did I dial a wrong number or was I given a wrong number in first place. Hesitation on my part and then I said,

“Err this is Renjith. Remember u gave me your number in the morning”.

I couldn’t make out what her reaction was to my call. She must have been neutral. Because the job she is currently in is attending calls. So she can take calls minus emotions.

I said “ I am calling office from the roof of my office”. That was a real foolish thing to say. What difference does it make if I was in my bed or I was in a busy street or I was on the beach. That was just filler. The kind of thing that you say when you have nothing else to say.

And didn’t she make me look like a fool. ”Hey you office is on the roof” . That made me realize how silly I must have sounded. I don’t regret it because it brings smile to my face when I think of it. And anything of that sort shouldn’t be regretted. It sometimes feels good to feel like an idiot.

She controlled the entire conversation. Its amazing how in transactional relationship one of the operators firmly put forward ‘ I am the boss here”. And then she asked the question. I expected her to ask that. I wasn’t prepared for it though. “ You called me to check out if I am female right”

At that moment I denied it. But yes maybe that was one of my intentions. But then again I did want to listen to her voice because I am as much of a realist as I am a romantic. Means I can imagine wildly but then I need physical evidence to imagine. And I am a very ‘touchy” person I need to touch a person to express my feeling towards him/her. This has made some of my guy friends even wonder if I was ‘gay’. I think that in itself is food in itself for another blog.

After this phone episode there has not been much contact with Ekta. Except for her blogs in the last two days. And that too a reply to some forward. I for one, hate forwards. But this one did make an interesting reading. And I was just wondering about her patience to fill up the damn big questionnaire.

There was this comment by Alex on her reply to my letter. He proposed that people can be different in their online identities from their actual identities and Ekta says she may be writing what she want to be rather than what she actually is. Both of these are very interesting propositions. I have always believed writing helps you get to some plateau not achievable in real life and yes I am different person as a writer, I have different cyber personality that is definitely bolder than my actual self

Better Late Than Never

I wanted to blog this 3 days back. I may say that I was too busy or I was too lazy. Both are right in some sense. But as the title goes “better late than never”

Its regarding this feeling I have that things usually happen late to me. All these thing s the kid do like riding a cycle or swimming I see they learn it at a pretty young age. I got y first bicycle at the age of 16. I learned riding on my on cycle. I guess that was pretty late. I learned to ride a motorbike at the age of 20. I bought my first motorbike at the age of 25. I have not yet learned swimming.

Just tried my first drink when I was 23. That was because I thought my dad drank my quota of alcohol too. Maybe a misnomer corrected by my management education. Tried smoking when I was 20 didn’t like that though. Must have smoked some 10 times after that during the last five years.

First time I experimented with my sexuality is when I was 17 I guess. And I still remember wondering how my friends from 7th standard used to talk about that years back. I fell in love for first time when I was 23 and fell more madly in the same love when I was 24.

With computers I was luckier I guess. I touched my first computer when I was 14 and I guess I fell in love with it. Somewhere along the line the love story didn’t take of as it should have. I did my first website when I was 23. Pretty late by the standards I had set for myself
Putting this piece together I guess I am not as unlucky as I make myself out to be. Maybe I just like to bask in all the sympathy I would manage to attract. Or maybe I just wanted to put don something and had nothing better to write on. I guess I should just stop cribbing and be happy about what I have.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Open letter to Ekta Paneri

Dear EP,

I was reading “One night @ a Call Center” yesterday. My friend bought it in the evening and was reading it .So had to wait till he slept to lay hands on it. So started at around 11 30 Pm and finished it at around 3 40 AM. Thus sadly eating into my sleep hours. Now in office and feeling terribly sleepy. So thought would do something that’s interesting and thus just giving wings to the idea that took of as I was reading the book.

I didnt find the book as interesting as the first one maybe I am myself an engineer and could relate to the thread of 5 point someone. But then I never studied in an IIT. I never took on me any pressure to perform and yet again I didnt have a beautiful girl friend when I was in engineering

You maybe wondering why I am giving all history of what happened yesterday and during engineering. I can hear your imaginary voice (Has to imagine because I haven’t seen or heard you just read your blogs and chatted a few time) telling cut the bull shit and tell what you want to say. So here I go with out much ado

I was thinking of you whenever my mind wandered of the thin story line maybe because we had discussed this book or maybe cause you are one of those few people I know ( or I presume I know because I tend to believe all my cyber friends. not an wise thing to do, but profiles in Orkut do seem authentic) who work in a call center.

It was funny because (I don’t know how many ‘because’ I will use in this letter, it always happens when some one is upto lame reasoning) while I was reading the story I was plotting my own story in my mind. Its actually not another story. I guess it would be better to call it a suspicion. I had already asked you if the girl who told Chetan the story is you and then I was trying to fit you into the character of every female protagonist in the novel and I failed miserably.

Its again funny as I don’t know you as a person and yet I could rule out that you cant be Esha, Priyanka or Radhika. I was just trying to put in all the images I have about you to these girls. I know it was a futile exercise nevertheless it was just the mind wandering and meandering and going where it wanted. So I let it go.

Then I came to this totally insane but logical theory, That Ekta Paneri doesn’t exist. Maybe she is just a fertile mind who is blogging away his creative energies on extremely cool rebellious beautiful talented character called Ekta. I thought of Al Pacino and Simone. I thought about a net friend I had who would tell me the colour of the shirt I wore to class. I never got to meet her (who knows if it after all was a her). But it was kind of weird and yet exciting feeling that you are being stalked.

The different option flashed through my find. Ekta Paneri could be a bored housewife, a teenage guy, middle-aged man or anything on earth. Oh there are infinite permutations and combinations to when it comes to human beings. Infinite classifications of a single race called Homo sapiens.

But there is something about you that gives you an aura of authenticity and as I thought more about it, I realized maybe someday I may realize the dream of writing a book of my own and you could be the protagonist in it.