Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Modern Day Dasarathas

It was about 11.00pm in the night on a week day. I was in my room at home as usual hunched in front of my computer catching up with email and friends online. I heard a knock on my door. I was surprised 'cause my parents sleep by 10.15pm after their regular mega-serials. My sister goes to bed even earlier 'cause she leaves the house every morning at 6.45am.
I opened the door and found my mom excitedly staring up at me with a copy of the Ananda Vikatan (a local tamil magazine). I say staring "up" at me 'cause my mom is a good one foot shorter than me.. and it is literally looking "up" when we are in close quarters. "Ma! What are you doing up at this hour? Isn't it way past your bed time?". She said, "Oh! I couldn't sleep, so I was reading something! Stop treating me like a kid!". With a childish smile she continued.. "You have to listen to this.. Please, it will take only a couple of minutes. It is a very well written piece on the irony of today's situation". So, alright, I go sit with her to the living room, and we turn on the lights. She read out the piece to me and it went along the following lines (in Tamil ofcourse).

(In the article, there was a cartoon of an old man addressing some mythological figure with a copy of the Ramayana lying around in the background)

Oh foolish Dasaratha! You let go of your life in a moment of stupidity. You let go of your life because of "Putra sogam" (translation: sadness over the departure of your son). You let go of your life because your son left you to go live in the forest for 14 years.
Look at us Dasaratha. We are the modern Dasarathas. We have spent many decades toiling for our beloved kids.. incurring big fat loans.. and sending our sons to America.. And then we live longer away from him, than we have been with him.. bearing all nameless diseases.. Sometimes it turns out that this boy who drops in every two years in his shorts and American accent is someone we don't know any more. It has been twenty five years now, and will probably be another twenty years away from him. If only you had seen us, then maybe you would not have thrown your life away.

I was amused at my mother's reaction to this piece. She was amused/excited/affected by the parallel the author had been able to draw from mythology to what she sees around every day. Obviously (hopefully?), she does not feel that way 'cause I'm here.. But, I was a little concerned and I said "Ma! I'm here only.. so I hope you don't feel that way". She said "Nonsense.. it has nothing to do with me. It's what I see all around me!"

I was deeply moved somewhere down inside for some reason. I don't know how to write about the feelings that ran through my head at that point. Many people have asked me how I feel now in India.. now that I don't earn as much as I used to before. I have answered many times "It's really not that big a deal!". How come people talk about a decrease in salary like a big hit and not necessarily a decrease in family affection to the same effect? Maybe there is another answer I could give to the usual question. "I feel staying near my folks makes up for the dollar difference". But, would people truly be able to understand the value that it brings to me, on the same scale? I always wonder.

But, let me tell you one thing. That moment when I heard my mom say that it's not about her, but actually about what's happening all around her.. it was priceless. I don't know if any amount of salary hike can make me feel the way I felt at that instant.

Is this what we call a Mastercard moment? Hmm. Many times I have not felt good about myself. But that one instant.. truly priceless.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Alcohol Aesthetics

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Economic Times (Madras Plus) features the Chennai Ultimate Frisbee club

Well, they got it almost right. They forgot the word "Ultimate". Well, can't complain too much I guess. It's a start!

(trivia.. the press took 2 years to get ISB as the Indian School of Business and NOT the International School of Business)


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Office trip to Fisherman's Cove - Catamaran Ride!

Last weekend was good fun. Our company took us to Fisherman's Cover for a day outing. We had a brilliant time. It definitely helped us all get to know each other better and become closer as a team. These small things definitely count in improving work atmosphere. It's also nice to see that the company cares for its employees!
The catamaran ride was the highlight of the day. A superb ride on a motorized catamaran cutting through the waves. We reached the open seas and at about a distance of a kilometer from the shore, the catamaran's stopped. We then jumped out of the boats (like in the song from Yuva / Ayutha Ezhuthu) into the sea. It was a great feeling to just float around in the sea. It was a little scary initially. I was the first guy to jump out. It was a little unnerving to go underwater knowing that there is no land underneath in close proximity. Nevertheless, GREAT FUN!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chennai 600090

My dream for Ultimate Frisbee in Chennai.. Gully UF! :-)

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

More on Ultimate

A lot of people seem to think that Ultimate Frisbee is a granny's/kid's game where people stand around in a circle and just throw the frisbee around.

Are you kidding me??

Does this look anything like a "stand-around" kind of game? (photos: German Ultimate Frisbee League)

If you're still not clear.. here's one of the popular videos from YouTube showing you what Ultimate Frisbee is all about.
Watch the video with just two rules of the game in mind..

* You score a point when you receive a catch on the opponent team's end-zone
* You can't run with the Frisbee. You have to plant one foot to the spot where you receive a pass, till you pass the Frisbee to someone else.

Don't miss the brilliant attempt at 2min 35 seconds.