Monday, February 18, 2008

Moms,Dads and Technology

Trring trring…That’s ur Telephone bell,Mr.Graham Bell!
Thanks to Graham Bell,for the first telephone even though he considered it a bane rather than a boon.I beg to differ,Mr.Bell,cos had it not been for your invention, the number of love marriages in the past 3 decades would have been considerably less than what they are , my mom would not have been able to speak to her sisters as much as she does and a lot of us wud have been swished down the drain of the education sytem,(Read,how do u think we figured out what portion of the syllabus came for exams and that too on the eve of the exam?By listening in class? U got to be kidding), But as life gets more complex we can no longer point to one person and say Thanks to him for any of our modern day inventions.Take the internet or the mobile phone which most people swear by as their lifelines.There is no one person whom you can point to and say , yeah, there goes the guy who invented the first cell phone.I know half of you will google in a minute to prove me wrong and if you can, then well, hats off to you for reading through all that material on the net and figuring it out.I can think up a few more things for you to google if you like.

A couple of weeks back I was chatting to my aunt.My uncle is a marine engineer and was away from home.My aunt wud log onto gmail daily check any mails from her hubby.One day she told me that the email was one of the greatest blessings ever and saved so much money on postage.I replied saying that next to Graham bell and the guy who invented cell fones, the person who invented the internet wud get the Swarga-lok noble prize.My aunt replied saying they wud definitely get the vote and especially from Shippie’s wives(Shippie is slang for sailors)She said now thanks to emails she was in touch with her hubby almost every day whereas in earlier days , letters from my uncle would come nearly a month after he mailed them .She said that my Uncle used to spray the letters with his perfume.Once she caught the postman sniffing at a letter and he commented “No perfume on this one” .The letter turned out to be from one of our overseas relatives.I cheekily asked my aunt if she sniffed at the letters too.And she replied saying without doubt and that my cousins did it too cos it brought their father home every time a letter came.While emails were definitely the best, she wistfully said that they lacked the human touch that letters provided.I agree with that completely.I still have every letter my cousins wrote me when we were kids.In those days letters were for grownups and when I got a letter,it was like receiving a secret parcel.For some reason, even today when I receive a letter in mail ,no matter how mundane it is, I love seeing my name printed on it and love tearing it open.(Well, unless it is the electricity bill )

To me the Gtalk is one of the best things invented ever;a real heaven send and I use it every day to chat with my mom,my aunt and a few cousins if they happen to come online.My mom and her trip to becoming technology savvy has been awesome.My dad had been using the cell phone for some 7-8 years or more and all my mom knew then about using it was to hold the fone to her ear and jabber away. Whenever she needed to make a call, Dad would dial the number for her ,press talk “green button” and hand the phone to her.She wud finish her call and then hand it back frantically saying “Done, done!” so that Dad wud press the “red button” to end the call.So my dad was considered the tech-savvy member of the family.Fast forward a few years to when I was in college and stayed at a hostel.Not only did the smart lady learn how to make calls , she also picked up how to send SMS since this was cheaper than making STD calls to her daughter.And she learnt how to turn the dictionary mode on and off and was so good at the abbreviations that sometimes I had to read her messages several times to figure them out.Sometimes they did get a bit too cryptic but then once I figured them out I cud not think of a better way of putting them.Some of my all time favorite messages went time this. “Me sniz took med & zzzzz.”Translated into plain English this meant she had another bout of allergy and had been sneezing.So she took her medicine and slept.Simple ,huh?
Anyway,after some time my dad found to his surprise that my mom knew the latest news about me including what I had for dinner without even making a call.All she seemed to do was tap away at the mobile fone and keep giggling.Thats when I started getting messages from my dad.Alas,the messages went something like this “higoodmorningtoyouhopeyouhavenaniceday”.Put a space in the proper places and u have the message “ Hi good morning to you.Hope u have a nice day”.Now when I sent back a reply asking him to put a space between his words so that I cud figure out what he was saying, I got another message which went thus ”howtoputspace”.
Needless to say,my mom took every opportunity to crow over him.Then came the day I joined Cognizant and I cud no longer send messages at any given time of the day.And that’s when my mom learnt to send emails and use the internet.I got a few sheets of newsprint and wrote down detailed instructions on using the google search engine and sending e-mails.The lady used google to look up cake recipes and just about everything that came into her head.And I sent all the forwards I found funny or interesting to her mail.She wud log on daily and check her mail and send me interesting info which she picked up during her Googling.
Well, if u know anything abt my family then u wud know that there is this endless cosmic competition which goes on there with an imaginery scoreboard on which points are chalked up.Now as soon as my dad found out that my mom was getting mails from me albeit only forwards, he got her to create a mail-id for himself which she duly did with a lot of long suffering sighs and condescending remarks on his internet skills.Soon enuf came a mail from pops and when I did not oblige by sending him tons of forwards a day,there came a phone call demanding why I did not send him the same number of forwards that I sent my mom.Jeez…. I scrambled to send him everything I sent my mom including post dated forwards…

When BSNL started putting up a tower in our residential area(which was illegal but they were doing it since our colony had telecom officers living quarters ) my mom learnt how to use the digital camera I had bought for my dad( and which had been sleeping in his cupboard for more than 6 months) and took snaps of the ongoing construction. (am sure the workers were probably flattered to find a lady taking pictures of them at work and probably posed for her) The snaps helped win the case the residents had filed against BSNL.The victory was celebrated with gusto and all the colony folks were full of praise for my mom’s detecting skills while my dad proudly kept telling everyone who wud listen ”My daughter bought me that camera!!”.

One thing I have realized from my family is that Moms wud go any length to pull one over Dads.When Cognizant was giving out ipods, I rang up my Mom and told her that we were receiving ipods as annual gifts.She promptly asked “what’s an ipod?” and I gave her an explanation which she seemed to understand real well.The next day I went home and in middle of dinner , told my dad and my brother that Cognizant was giving us ipods as annual gifts.Both my dad and bro immediately asked “what are ipods?” and before I cud reply , the dame of technology crowed “You don’t know what ipods are???!!! Sheesh!!!” and proceeded to give word for word the explanation which I had given her the previous day.My brother was so shocked that he was speechless.and as for me, I sat quietly and reflected on the deviousness of Moms.

I wondered why this competition existed only in my home until recently when I found my poor uncle asking my aunt to find him a number in HIS cell fone.The aunt in question rather smugly proceeded to find the number all the while inflicting scathing comments on how easy it was to find a number a cell fone and how men are just not technology savvy as women are.I honestly felt rather sorry for the uncle who spake thus in his frustration “Shobha, am asking cos I DON’T KNOW how to find it” .Well, if u ask me , the man had admitted that he did not know something and had it been me I wud have let it go at that but not so my aunt who proceeded to rub it in with a withering “Jayan, how many years have you been using a cell fone? And u still cant find a number in it???!!!”

Poor Dads.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tapori gang....Meri awaaz suno!!!!!

Chuckle….Tapori gang ,ur comments deserve a reply that comprises an entire post.

Some people are not meant for marriage.I mean God did not design them to be married.And I was one of those people.What happens when a person gets into a situation which is beyond all his mental capabilities? He goes mad.Same case here.If u thot I was mad before marriage then now I am stark staring mad.Forget about following Buddha cos the good saint wud lift up his robes and run for his life if he saw me follow him.

Take a good long look at me,dudes,cos they don’t make wives in this model anymore.I am the ultimate insane wife who spends a Sunday afternoon ironing all her husband’s clothes including his t-shirts cos she fears that she may not have time to do it on a daily basis(Yikesss!!!),the wife who insists on cooking shrimp fried rice even when she is dead tired and would gladly eat bread but for the fact that he hates bread and rolls out chappathis on a weekday(huh,ever heard of the folks in Somalia???),the crazy coot who massages his feet cos hers feel like lead(an aching lump of lead),who is paranoid about him falling sick and checks daily whether he has toweled his hair dry properly(if not she towels it dry too...sheesh!!),the woman who hates letting him wash the dishes even when she can hardly stand straight and who makes her hubby’s favorite food for the weekend. And still manages to put in 8 hrs of work everyday at office and change her nailpolish thrice a week cos her husband likes it(Disgusting!!!).I never even used nailpolish before marriage.and in spite of all this,my house does NOT look like its been hit by a hurricane.You wud think I wud be proud of myself but frankly,I think am bonkers and seriously need to see the kind of doc who tightens the nuts and bolts on human heads.To those smartalecks who are contemplating writing a comment on how I was born without bolts,let me tell you.Spare urself the trouble cos ...I KNOW !!!...

Trust me ,boys,they don’t make wives like that anymore.As for me? I was someone who never intended to get married.My standard reply to anyone who asked me when I was getting married went something like this.”Tell me one good reason for marrying.Right now I need to cook when I am hungry, wash up what I use and clean up only the messes that I make.If I marry , I’ll have to cook when the dude is hungry,and clean up his messes too.Do I look nuts to marry and complicate my life?”I proclaimed that if I married I wud marry a chef and if I don’t marry a chef then the dude I marry need not expect me to cook.He can cook when he is hungry and since he is anyway cooking , he may as well cook a little bit extra for me.....sigh!!! So why did I marry one of yours? cos I fell in love with him.Simple and straight. And lost my marbles into the bargain.

Women who work would ostracize me from the girlie world and throw stones at me.Cos am breaking all the norms but then I was always a rebel.If you are waiting for a review from Anup to think about marriage then forget it.You would be walking into a snakepit with your eyes shut.Cos I repeat, they don’t make wives like that anymore.Try telling the gal u are gonna marry that u expect her to iron ur clothes,cook,clean and hold a full-time job.It’s like asking Hulk Hogan to do the ballet.Not only is it impossible but also dangerous. and I promise she’ll blast ur eardrums off onto planet Pluto.
So don’t walk into marriage expecting to find your shelves filled with ironed clothes and lovely smells coming from the kitchen as well a fat paycheck every fifteen days.You will be disappointed.Show some respect and fairness and you will be treated like a king,cos beside her King, every woman has a queen’s throne.(Dont u dare tell ur wives abt how I rule my kingdom!!! I'll sue u for slander and sue ur wife for assault.So there!)

So what converted me?Sigh!!! I sure wish I knew.
My ex-roomie cried at my wedding and you ask me who’s fate was the gal crying at.
Without doubt,mine !!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

An epidemic

This is something I read on the internet and liked so much that I decided to post it here as a reminder to myself.Here goes.....

Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.
Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:
A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment. A loss of interest in judging other people. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others. A loss of interest in conflict. A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom). Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature. Frequent attacks of smiling. An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen. An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Awesome,isnt it?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Why Indians marry just once in a lifetime

Now I don’t want to make it sound as though all Indians marry just once in their lifetime and live happily ever after.It sounds like hitting the jackpot every time u play roulette which is simply not possible.There has begun a sorry trend of divorces in India and while most people cite several reasons as to why they want out,the thought itself is fearsome.I bet in twenty years time divorces in India will become more frequent and mostly amongst the 20-30 age group.But am digressing from the real topic which was not to deliver scary predictions of the divorce rate in India in some X year.

Got married just ten days ago.While the experience was part fun and part fury,it was a jumble of events,people,music,cameras,clothes and of course,intense beauty treatments.Now,beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and there are some people whom no matter what the beautician does,can at the best be only turned from an ugly duckling to a duck (nature’s order of things)rather than a graceful swan (Fat chance!).

Anyway,I had been tweezed,squeezed,waxed,plucked at,had my skin ripped,rubbed,burnt and bleached.One lady even took before/after pictures of her handiwork on me. I do hope it brings her more clients. My cusins, my hubby and just abt everyone seemed happy with the final product. All that is except my poor parents who probably felt their swan had turned into a duckling(All children are gorgeous in the eyes of their parents).My mother went so far as to suggest that I go back to my wild plumy self after marriage which is not gonna happen if my hubby has anything to say abt it.His frequent complaint was that no one seemed to do anything beyond a haircut and a face bleach in terms of beautifying him which I rewarded with a look(read dirty).

But more than anything the top reason why Indians marry only once in a lifetime is the crippling expense.I have already decided that my kids will have to elope cos am not gonna be able to afford their marriage if I intend to eat atleast 2 meals a day.The horrifying expenditure of an Indian marriage ,even if it is a simple affair is enuf to make one feel guilty at being born. I told my parents umpteen times that it wud be less expensive if we both just ran away .After all they had agreed to the marriage. But for some reason they had to have it in a proper khandhani rivaaz.Read expensive hall with expensive decorations I hardly noticed during the do,me decked out in jewellery most of which were handed down by my mom which she had worn probably once in all these years if at all and which I wud probably wear just once in a lifetime if at all.Thankfully my parents, unlike most ,abhor weighing down their daughter with chunks of gold contrary to the social trends though my dad was tempted to buy jewellery as though he was buying potatoes. But then that weakness stemmed from his long held belief that his daughter is some kinda fragile princess in a tower who does nothing but comb her long tresses all day long.Alas, he picked the wrong specimen from the basket God held out and he was stuck with a daughter who cant sit still for more than 5 min,still climbs trees,works and sleeps odd hours,stubbornly refuses to keep a maid believing no maid can match her in cleaning her house and the only time the tresses are combed are when orphan bee tries to find his way inside what he mistakenly thinks is a beehive.

The never ending list of invitees which only seemed to grow and not reduce as the D-day drew closer ,the umpteen cries of dismay by anyone who saw a pimple on my face(that’s right,I did not see it cos I did not spend more than a minute in front of the mirror and some days,not even that)The long hours of sitting still with mehandi on my hands and feet(7 hrs and I cud not even use the bathroom) vs the family feeding me lunch.My dad fed me lunch for the first time I can remember in years.My brother fed me 2 cups of semiya payasam and my cousin took over from him at the third cup.I never realized that semiya payasam always tastes nicer if you have someone else spooning it into your mouth.My 63 year old uncle brought me a cup of water and held it for me to drink from.Boy! oh boy!!

What an experience…!!!!!Touching everyone’s feet during the blessing ceremony(including my cousin who is just 9 months older to me! Ha!It probably is gonna be the most cherished moment of her life),commenting furiously during every video shoot,keeping everyone in splits with self deprecatory comments,meeting people whom I have not seen in a long while and some whom I had never met but heard of(Radhika aunty and my cusin Harsha, who had never met me, came for the wedding and was I touched!!) and even more people I did not know existed.Sounds exhausting? Yes , it is…but its also exhilarating….The maddening videographer and photographer ,who keep encouraging you to smile when all u feel like doing is turning your back on them and doing a bumshake, do take the prize for being the most patient human beings I have met in my life.Remarkable!!

If you are Indian then the sheer energy,time and money spent on your marriage is enuf to sustain you thru it for nearly 50 years ….cos most likely you are broke and really cant afford to get married a second time!!!