Thursday, March 29, 2007 2 reflections

What is worse than India's exit from World Cup?

Alright so it is now official that the ‘Men in Blue’ were in fact ‘Men without a clue’. Fine. Time to deal with it and move on!

But what is worse than India prematurely exiting the World Cup? The aftermath. Now by this I don’t mean the fate of Indian cricket or the future of the players and the coach. I could not care less about it for reasons best known to me. But what has started annoying me is the silly representations that are being made of these guys.

I received this email message sent by a friend of what he called ‘Future of the Indian cricket team’. We had a suave looking Saurav Ganguly cutting someone’s hair. We had Sachin Tendulkar selling paani-puri at a roadside mobile center and of course Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid literally painting a wall with signs.

First of all what is so funny about this? Comparing them to the common man who is actually doing an excellent job and going about his life with pride? Shading them in a color of honest hard work and proud labor? Please. Is this not a tad ironic since their real life experience of the players is anything but? Or was the creator of these ‘ideas’ so smart that he/she actually wanted to portray this irony? I doubt that very much based on the final product.

I know everyone who had hoped that illusive cup of the world would return home after more than 20 years is hurting. But sharing that pain using the image of a hard working common man will not achieve much either. If anything it will bring us more shame for having disrespected our own kind.

The honest kind.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9 reflections

Sexual Harassment? Me?

LIVING ALONE CAN BE BOTH A BLISS and a bane. I share this rather embarrassing tale with all you lovely folks so that you can appreciate the fact that, if it applies, there is someone in your home living with you. It also enlightens another little nugget of wisdom of the importance of self awareness and most importantly the vitality of an alert mind of what is happening around you.

The year was 2003. A lovely year with a great summer. I was back home visiting my folks and enjoying the fact that I was getting excellent home made food thrice a day. A great way to say a temporary good bye to the otherwise mediocre pieces of edibles I used to call ‘food’. No I did not miss that one bit. This was paradise. Having been by myself for over three years I had pretty much bid a teary adieu to comfortable life at the furnished apartment I called my ‘home away from home’. This, in effect, had added more value to the few weeks of blissful dependence I was nourishing myself with. The self-indulgence was so great that I had actually forgotten such as a basic thing as to how to use an alarm clock! As I said, it was absolute paradise.

So here I am one bright morning getting ready to head out. A small gathering of friends from college had arranged a movie/lunch date and I was eager to check it out. One of my closest buddies was to come over and pick me up at 10AM so I was ensuring I was all set to go.

The feel of the warm shower hitting the fatigued molecules nestling inside my tired skin felt wonderful. It was as if tiny water angels had flown in through the shower head and started scrubbing my every living pore with eternal affection. The dirt and debris of the previous day was sliding down my exhausted soul and vanishing in a musical whirlpool at the corner of the sun soaked bathroom. The steam the shower was emanating disappeared into the bright blue outside as I soaked myself under this endless stream of magical beads. Healing beads.

A good fifteen minutes of this paradisaical cruise and I was ready to start my day. Refreshed and awake I turned around to feel the bath towel hanging further away so that the freshness can be dried to fragrance.

Uh oh! No towel to be found. As I cleansed my eyes off of the dripping beads from heaven I realized that in my hurry to get into this bathroom fable I had forgotten to pick up my ‘exit license’ as it were. No big deal, I thought. I rubbed down the dripping drops and casually opened the bathroom door and walked up to the bed where I had left my crisp bottle green drying towel. I tip toed to ensure I did not slip and fall down spread eagled on those ‘vitrified tiles’ since I had been told they were break easy.

This story ends here. Nothing more to it really. My friend came by and picked me up. Turned out the plan had changed and we went out to have lunch and spent the afternoon at another friend’s place sharing jokes and stories.

A few days later I woke up to a rather jarring commotion from the living room. Not sure what it was all about I walked wearily downstairs and found that my parents were arguing about something. Dad was convinced what mom was saying was wrong while mom debated her point was true since she was the one who had heard it first.

‘Heard what?’ I intervened putting on my spectacles and rapidly blinking a few times for better vision.

‘Nothing…’ dad responded looking back at the newspaper in an attempt to simplify the matter.

‘What nothing! Tell him! You are not alone now, you know! Realize that!’ mom continued unperturbed. ‘Don’t you wear any clothes back in your apartment?’ she went on.

Coming from my mother it had to be one the most random things she had ever asked me.


‘Just close your room's door when you take a shower from today, OK? There are other people in the house here. You guys go out and pick up God knows what nasty habits. Now I have to spend another month looking for a new one’ she whined before heading back to the kitchen.

‘Dad…’ I said settling down next to him at the dining table ‘What is she talking about? What happened?’

‘The maid apparently spoke to your mother yesterday. She saw you walking around completely naked the other day and it scared the living daylights out of her. She promptly came and complained about it, I guess. She said she can’t work in a place where there is no respect for women.’

I stared back blankly at my dad without a word in response.

‘She also said,’ he continued flipping to another page ‘that she did not like such inappropriate behavior from men. She will not be coming from today.’

‘But…I didn’t even see her! Where was she?’ I revolted back in a hopeless attempt to redeem myself.

‘Oh don’t worry,’ dad continued with a dismissive smirk. ‘She saw more than she needed to. And that’s that. You want some coffee?’ he said handing me the newspaper.