17 July 2007

Life Cycle

There were mixed reviews for my previous article – Memoirs of an invisible man.

Some felt it was lengthy and rest felt bit complex. Few of them who regularly read my articles suggested to reduce the size, as a result I have decided to write articles with less than 2000 words. It is difficult to engage a reader for more than 2000 words.

This is my first article for http://www.daijiworld.com/, it got some good reviews.

Read on or if you want to read it on Daiji, click here.
- Ravi

“This Earth is His, to Him belong those vast and boundless skies;
Both seas within Him rest, and yet in that small pool He lies.”

Atharva Veda
Book 4, Hymn 16
From APJ Abdul Kalam’s - Wings Of Fire.

Life is beautiful.

There is a movie by that name, it is beautiful too. I am old enough now NOT to believe in traveling-into-the-past movies and Harry Potter. How I wish they were real!

If only I could rectify some of my mistakes by traveling into the past as in BUTTERFLY EFFECT! But alas, life is not fair and may be not that beautiful after all.

While there are no REWIND buttons, no funny gadgets which can take you into the past; we can only make our present and future more meaningful.

Kids – Age of innocence

Kids should ask – lot of questions; I used to ask lot of questions. It’s a different thing that I got all the wrong answers for my queries; that somewhat decided my destiny.

When ever I wondered about the lightning I was told that it is the result of angels playing cricket! When I enquired about the rain I was told that rain is the result of Gods crying.

Being a not-so-smart kid, I believed all this stuff; and became a laughing stock in front of my science teachers when I argued with my pseudo logic.

While I have found the answers to most of my questions of child hood painstakingly, some are still unanswered. For example as a kid I used to wonder why all the super hero’s wear their underwear outside, I am yet to find the answer!

There were also highly imaginary, impractical abstract stories. In one of the stories, all the animals create a stampede, result of falling sky. Everyone is under panic except for the old woman who pushes back the sky to its original position by her walking stick! Millions of stars, meteors, planets, satellites, galaxies, black holes - repositioned by a mere walking stick!!

Peddy master, my favorite teacher, told one story in which the lead character explains the functionality of the Tube light – is by kerosene flow in one wire and fire in another!

In another of his stories there is this guy named Ali Baba who can open a cave door just by saying “open sesame” – he could do that at a time when there were no voice sensors and remote controls!

There was also this stupid genie, which could do almost anything for his master but could not come out of the magic lamp by itself!

Flying mats – without the motor! Talking animals!!

In another story there was this guy by name Venku, who travels to a distance place by name Panamboor, apparently for no particular reason!

My child hood was filled with these kinds of highly imaginary non practical stories. This imagination restricted the growth of my reasoning part of the brain, made me a writer; not a scientist.

Take my example and be kind to your kids. Teach them logic, not fantasy.

When people die, they don’t become stars! This fact has been scientifically proved now- so don’t feed your kids with this jargon. There are no invisible magic strings for birds and aero-planes, but actual aero dynamic laws! Try Google, before taxing your grey cells - it works!

Finally, don’t force your kids to become doctors or engineers – if you are not one, they may not have the necessary genes in the first place!


This is a most difficult period. I know because, I was once a teenager and was so difficult to handle that my parents literally started doubting whether I am their own son!

Wild and difficult to handle; they are mostly like Saint Thomas - believe in only what they see.

They are revolutionary! They read revolutionary stuff like Kafka, Camus or Karl max! I have read all that, but when you are jobless and hungry Kafka can’t help you!

They wear such short dresses as if they have some kind of enmity towards the textile industry!

Never, I repeat NEVER explain the harms of alcohol to a teenager holding a glass of beer. The most they hate is dual standards. They can not understand how the parents can have the fun stuff, while they themselves are not allowed to do that! They can not understand why they can’t lie, smoke, drink, stay late - when parents can do these things all the time.

Often they do the things which you don’t want them to do. Their music is noise to you. Your music is sleep inducer for them. They prefer a hairdo only a porcupine would be proud to have.

Often you don’t know the answers to their questions, like – “what is objectivism?” Or you don’t want to answer like - “Dad, can I smoke?” Don’t make the mistake of saying NO to latter because that’s the first thing they will do once you are out of sight!

Instead say –“Yes! That way you will stay younger for ever!”

“How is that?” they will be curious.

Now it is your time, “By smoking continuously, you will die before 40! That way you will never be old!”

This is the kind of reasoning they will understand! There is a good point in the above argument. Now, they have a choice!

Handle your teenagers carefully, because the future is theirs! Who knows when your future is not that good, you may have to depend on them. Like the elephants, teenagers manage a long memory!

Not all men are dumb, some are bachelors! This is a unique category.
They drink lot of beer, spend lot of time out side and think lot about sex!

They are alien to – Madam Curie, Condoleezza Rice, Anne Frank, Sarojini Naidu, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Joan of Arc, etc.

Instead they know everything about Malika Sherawat, Bipasha Basu, Britney spears, Angelina Julie and Shakira. When I say everything I mean EVERYTHING.

Rarely, some selected people get a call from God. Yes! That’s correct and God would say – “come and be my Shepherd”! Most of the guys can’t hear this call, because of the high volume of TV. In my case though, not being a great fan of TV, I heard this call very clearly! But I rejected this wonderful offer from God and subsequently married as rest of the normal guys.

Marriage is like the – second half of the movie after the interval; fun part is over and some serious stuff ahead.

A woman expects at least 3 things from possible candidates. First thing she ponders is - Can I domesticate this human monkey? And if so - If I ever get kids, with his association, can he support them? And finally and interestingly she wonders - How many qualities of this guy are common with my dad?

If you ask a male, what kind of a girl he wants to marry? He will start with - beautiful, slim, tall and just when you were expecting the list to end he will continue to – sexy, candid, frank, passionate, lovely, pretty, comely, exquisite, sublime, loyal, funny, mature, compassionate, elegant , pious, punctual, honest, - you will wonder how good his vocabulary is .

Every eligible bachelor thinks he is Shah-Ruk-Khan and wants to marry Kajol! In fact Shah-Rukh-Khan himself could not marry Kajol in real life, even though he married her at least thrice (DDLJ, KKKG, KKHH) on the screen!!

There is a point system in every marriage, where couples rate each other. Interestingly it works differently for men and women. The point system for women is scalar.

For e.g if you are a man and get flowers for your wife, she will give you 1 point. If you open the car door for her, she will give you 1 point again. If you cook (?) for her, you will get one more point. And if you get her a diamond chain, you will get not more than 1 point!

The system works differently and exponentially for men. If you are a women, and bring flowers to your husband he will give you MINUS ten (-10) points. If you cook for him and expect points he will give you zero (0) points, because he thinks that’s what you are meant to do. If you open the car door for him, he will get offended; he doesn’t like people pushing him.

But if you ever present him - "Multimedia, Wi-Fi, Virtual keyboard, GPS and Internet-enabled 2.75G quad-band GSM mobile iPhone by Apple" - he will give you 10000 points!!!

The trick is to know the difference in the point system and use it for your benefit. Following the above logic, A woman would love regular flowers, than occasional gold chains, it is also economical!

A fine balance?
Two Perfectly normal human beings become arch rivals, as soon as they assume the role of daughter-in-law and mother-in-law.

A mom is always mystified how her daughter-in-law can make her son dance to her tunes; where as she her self could not achieve this feat in so many years. (Obviously she underestimates the power of sex!)

a wife wants her husband to come out of his mom’s area of influence ASAP and be an independent.

I think our culture expects these things from them. This is kind of accepted norm. The Ekta Kapoor serials will definitely guide you, if you are missing something.

As a normal (intelligent?) man, one should maintain a fine balance between these two wonderful people, always. Your 100% biased support to any one of them can potentially ruin your life!

During my time
The moment you hear – “during my time”, you should be very careful; a philosophical sermon is on its way.

I am tired of the stories from the oldies going to Karkala feast by walk - 2 days earlier. I was frustrated by my grand father’s stories -how he used to walk 5 miles one way for school, and work in rice fields after school hours, just to give us a better future (Nothing can be more sentimental than this). How he used to get only 50 Paise from his dad for church festival etc.

I am tired of their saint-like life styles with no scandals; ultra whitened clean slate life.

These are the same guys who drooled for HELEN’s provocative, suggestive postures and consider her in the category of classical dancers!

Waiting for Godot
While we struggle to reach the top, we often forget that there is no TOP. There is no meaning to the TOP without its edges. We forget the scenery.

We think we would be happy and things would become better once we get a promotion, move to a better house, marry or once retirement benefits start. We wait for perfect times and utopian conditions; like Godot they don’t come. We miss the train to happiness.

Hope I had known more Latin; the only words I know in Latin are “Carpe Diem” which means seize the day! So here it is the final sentence, seize the day as if there is no tomorrow.