Saturday, January 31, 2009

“Cigarette in my Hand, I felt like a Man ----------- I was a dead Man”

“Cigarette in my Hand, I felt like a Man ----------- I was a dead Man”

This song, issued in the Public Interest, was one of my favorite Songs on TV. Those days, there was no Cable Television. We used to watch the one and only Channel, on TV – Doordarshan. I was around 13, then. Though I liked this song to the core, I used to Hate Smoking / Smokers. Have had quite a lot of tough times, when I used to travel in those KSRTC Red colored buses to my village, where invariably 50% of the folks, used to smoke, on board the bus.

I was studying in class 8th and I was an NCC Cadet. I’ve attended a few camps in my 4 year association with NCC. During one of those camps, I started interacting with a few of my seniors who used to smoke at the Zeroth hour. Well, I was forced to smoke on quite a few occasions, but I was pretty stubborn and I was pretty sure that I’ll never have the so called, Energy Stick in my Hand. Yeah, that is the phase when I still used to hate smoking. With quite a lot of my friends / seniors being smokers, my hatred for Smokers gradually faded away. Smoking was still an alien.

I was in my Class 10th. It was the Maha Shivarathri Day. As usual, I, along with a few of the vaThaara boyz thought of venturing out in the night, on the pretext of JaagaraNe. Finally, 4 of us (Me, Raghu, Prasanna, Manju) started on our Bicycles towards Kamakya Tent (Now a TheatreJ). It was around 10PM. The movie was scheduled to start at 11:30PM. We reached the venue, only to find that there was a big queue to buy the tickets. None of us had the patience to stand / wait in a queue. Not knowing what to do, we came out and thought of having some Coffee / Tea. That is when; Prasanna enticed Manju (kuLLa Manju) for a Challenge. The conversation went something like this:

Prasanna: “Maga kuLLi, 1du challenju: Neenu 1du cigarette poorthi sedhidre, ninge naanu innooru rupaayi, koDtheeni”.

(kuLLi alias kuLLa Manju was the eldest in the gang; a good 2 years elder than the rest of us. We always suspected kuLLi to be a smoker, considering his contacts / friends. On a few occasions, I had even asked him, whether he smokes. His answer was: NO, always. Prasanna was waiting for an opportunity to trap kuLLi and he seized this opportunity).

KuLLi: Waah, magane, nin hathra innooru rupaayi ello barutthe, elli, thorisu, noDoNa.

Prasanna: Sisya, ivatthu thane manay nalli Pocket money koTro, nodu (Showed 2 notes of 100. kuLLi’s eyes brightened. Well, twas a known fact that Prasanna used to steal a lot of money @ home. On quite a few occasions, Prasanna’s parents who happened to be Doctors’ had told me that Prasanna has resorted to stealing @ home. So, it didn’t come as a surprise to us. Also, Prasanna was a big financier for us all. He used to treat us all with Pani puri etc, everyday, for close to two years:-). Obviously, we had a great deal of respect for him:-)).

KuLLi: Kesvaa, Raghu; Maklaa, neevibre idakke saakshi.

Keshava and Raghu: Sari kaNLaa (In chorus with a true victorious smile:-)).

Prasanna: Magane, poorthi cigarette sedhbeku.

KuLLi: Wokay!!

Yes, there was no hesitation, whatsoever from kuLLi. He bought an ITC King from the
nearby store and started smoking. Sure enough, he looked very much experienced in smoking. Some sort of a fear kept in his mind. He was afraid that we might inform this to his parents. That is when, he started playing the trick. He started behaving as if he was getting a wonderful pleasure from that Energy stick. He also, started telling us that, having a chocolate after a cigarette is good enough to ensure that our mouths don’t stink.

Now, it was kuLLi’s turn. He challenged everybody else to try it once. All of us hesitated
for a while and then it was Prasanna who went forward, purchased a cigarette and had a drag. Even he gave an impression that, there is no harm in smoking, once in a while. Obviously, I and Raghu also got tempted and we had a cigarette each. Oops, 15 years back, I started smoking. I’ve no regrets about that.

Now a days, I smoke around 1 or 2 cigarettes a day. People call it craving, but I call it a Passion. Yes, I’m really passionate about smoking, now. Cigarette has been with me during my Good / Bad days, a real trustworthy companion. I’ve changed brands from ITC King to Charms Blues to Wills Navy cut. Now, I smoke ITC Classic Milds. Have even tried out a few Foreign Brands. The brand doesn’t matter, that special pleasure we get out of smoking, we just cant explain that. I’m definitely not very keen on discussing the ill effects of smoking. But, for sure, it reduces obesity. For people who don’t smoke; my advice is, try out smoking; you might find a bit of peace / pleasure which you would have been looking for, from quite a long time now. A Reaaal Goood Feeel:-):-)!!

Cigarette Rocks!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hope of a party

“Next Saturday is my party”, exclaimed Krishna in the true Katte spirit. All the faces of the members lit up with the sound of “Party”. The occasion was Krishna’s birthday and like every year Krishna announced the party. Incidentally Krishna is the only member of the Katte who treats his mates on birth days. He had been following this process from a long time without fail. There have been multiple speculations by some of the Katte members about the attachment of Krishna with his party on birthdays. Some of the primitive speculations are, “Krishna is happy to be alive”, “Krishna wants to remind members of his being alive”. One of the widely and wildly accepted philosophical reasons is “Krishna likes treating his friends and Birthday is just an occasion he has chosen for consistency”.

Nevertheless when it comes to parties, Katte members never worried about the reason. They followed the philosophy of “Do not find the root of a party, just enjoy it when it comes”. In the history of the Katte there have been many reasons for parties. The prominent ones being, “Other members know that somebody has cash in his pocket”, “One member saw, a beautiful girl smiling at another Katte member in the class”, “Somebody just felt that he needs to treat his mates in middle of a Katte meeting”, “One Katte member quit smoking for a week”, “Missing Katte member visited Katte after 2 months”, “Somebody went abroad”, “Somebody saw a new restaurant and decided to acquaint his friends with the same” etc. etc. It never mattered to Katte boys of what the world thought about the reasons, and always indulged themselves to find out the source of next party.

Katte members looked forward and enjoyed the party, just like tribals of the long forgotten era enjoyed their rituals. One can easily say that the sincerity with which tribals approached their rituals is followed by the Katte members in the modern era.

Just before day of the party Krishna, emailed his mates with the terrible news of postponing the party. He was supposed to be stuck with a deployment or some such sort of crap at office and couldn’t make it. He proposed to postpone the party to week after. Krishna was a statesman of the Katte and there was nothing for the Katte members to doubt his character. But, Krishna also sent an email with the news of him not able to attend Katte meeting on Friday. Some of the Katte members became anxious as Krishna never had a history of postponing a party and very rare history of missing Friday meeting.

To give a brief history of Friday evening’s meetings of Katte members, Katte used to convene all days during the student and un-employed times of Katte members. All the well meaning members visited Katte everyday, without fearing the sun, moon, rain, cyclone, storm etc. Over a period of time as the Katte members got into professional life the meetings shifted to week ends. As some of the members got married the Katte used to convene on Friday evenings only. This Friday evening meetings of Katte used to be in restaurants and never got the tag of “Parties”. This is because the Katte constitution clearly states that “Any Katte meeting/outing clearly sponsored by one individual only is deemed as Party”.

Followed by Krishna’s email, there were other emails mentioning various reasons for different people not able to make it to the Friday meeting. It was not very inspiring to see the missing of party and to top it, cancellation of the ritualistic Friday meeting. In the gloomy environment of financial depression in the world, the missing of party and meeting was not taken well by the remaining members. The members who were expecting a party or worst case a meeting felt sad about the state of affairs.

With all the terrible things happening around the world and Katte on a Friday evening, Rama sends a sweet email to the members saying “I am going to treat you all next week after Krishna’s treat. Reason will be revealed on the day of the party”. In reply to this email, the least eligible bachelor (one who is engaged) of the group, Kumar, sends an email requesting him to give an opportunity to treat the Katte members in next 2 weeks, as he will not be available after this period due to marriage preparations. Not many members were present in the office, when these emails came, and Katte members do not have a habit of checking emails from home.

The next week, when the Katte members saw the emails, they were thrilled. The week which ended with a gloomy environment of missed party, gave way to flood of hope for future weeks.

The members quickly got involved with solving the grave problem of priority of the parties and the locations for the different parties. Katte members with all the renewed energy typed away emails with various suggestions on the location and the order of the party. The party givers typed away emails, fighting against the various costly options selected for the party location.

Katte was out of the depressing environment, and one could feel the renewed energy of the Katte members even through the computer.

--Madhukar Hebbar

Sunday, January 25, 2009

ನಿನ್ನ ಒಲವ ಬೇಡುವುದು ನನ್ನ ಮನಸು

ನಿನ್ನ ಒಲವ ಬೇಡುವುದು ನನ್ನ ಮನಸು

ಕೋಗಿಲೆಯು ನಲಿನಲಿದು ಉಲಿಯುವುದು ವಸಂತದಲಿ
ಎನ್ ಮನವು ನಲಿಯುವುದು ನಿನ್ನ ಸಂಗದಲಿ
ಚೈತ್ರದ ಚಿಗುರಿನಲಿ ಸಂಭ್ರಮದ ಹೊಂಗನಸು
ನಿನ್ನ ಸಂಗಕೆ ಹಾತೊರೆಯುವುದು ನನ್ನ ಮನಸು
ನಿನ್ನ ಒಲವ ಬೇಡುವುದು ನನ್ನ ಮನಸು -೧-

ಶೃಂಗಾರದೂರಿಂದ ಕನಸುಗಳ ಹೊತ್ತು ತಂದಿರುವೆ
ನೀ ದೂರ ಸರಿಯದಿರು ಓ ಚೆಲುವೆ
ಬೆಳಗಿನ ಚುರುಕಿನಲಿ, ಅಬ್ಬರದ ಮಧ್ಹ್ಯನದಲಿ
ಏನೆಲ್ಲ ಗಳಸಿದರೂ, ಜೀವನದ ಸಂಧ್ಯದಲಿ
ನಿನ್ನ ಒಲವ ಬೇಡುವುದು ನನ್ನ ಮನಸು -೨-

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who is the Boss?

"We live in a male dominated society"

This has been the argument of the society from time immemorial. The common understanding of the world is woman have been dominated and controlled by Men. Woman’s rights and freedom have been curtailed by Men.

From the perspective of an outsider, probably the understanding is true. We can state numerous examples and generalise by saying, "Men have controlled the happenings of Woman’s life". Some examples are “Man shouting at his wife seeing a small mistake”, “Women not getting educated to the level of Men”, “Woman marrying the person decided by Father” etc. From the birds eye view this looks like Woman were actually being controlled by Men.

In a general house-hold during early days of civilisation (till around 100 years back), Man was supposed to work in the fields all day long, he was supposed to do the heavy energy intensive jobs like, cutting firewood, watering farms, etc. etc. Whereas woman would always be in the shade of the house typically cooking, taking care of the garden, weaving baskets, making a broom, taking care of children etc. Women used to enjoy the best of the life. Yes, there always used to exceptions and cross-over of responsibilities during special periods. But generally the break-up can be defined as above.

If I see the above work break down structure, I get a feeling that Men were actually treated like slaves. They were supposed to work in hot sun the whole day; they were supposed to do all labour intensive jobs. Woman did the relatively less labour intensive job and more of skill oriented jobs. At a high level, we could define the structure as “Men earned” and women had the responsibility to "manage the earnings (house-hold)". One can relate this to the corporate world, to identify the boss in this relationship. Manager of earnings and cost is the real boss, and everybody works on the instruction of the Manager.

I feel, Women always were the boss, and it is well kept secret and superbly managed conspiracy. They never made this known to the external world, and I guess, they managed there tight control on men because of this secret. The execution of the conspiracy was done with such precision that most of the Men never got a hint of it, women made the Men look-up to themselves as boss. This was the master stroke of the whole conspiracy which allowed the supremacy of Women not to be questioned by Men.

Could such a conspiracy really exist? Or, I do not understand the life of people when farming was the primary profession? Since, I couldn’t really comprehend the life of a farming family, I thought of trying to understand the life in city. That would be the best way to reason my feeling with logic, as city is the life I have seen.

A general city family of 1970-80, would be structured as, Men going to work/business and earning, and women had the responsibility of managing the house-hold. I could just state “Men Worked” and “Women Managed”. One might argue that is how people structured themselves and there is nothing called as Boss in such a structure. Is that so? General behaviour of a Man always used to be controlled by women. For Example, After a hard days work, a typical man wanted to entertain himself by gambling, or drinking alcohol. But such privileges were never allowed by women, and I believe these were made as social evils by Women. Men would have to answer numerous questions for not reaching home early from their work place. In some cases, woman would even torture their husbands with crying, whining, not eating, and other special tools. The height of ingenuity of these tools is that, Man never got a doubt of the conspiracy and always thought woman are weak. And woman’s behaviour of crying, whining etc. was considered as their weakness, and men felt the responsibility of supporting them. How Smart?!!

The control never stopped at some of the vices of Men. Control was more pronounced, when after a hard days work, they were supposed to help Woman at home in doing house-hold stuff. This helping in house-hold work is not so pronounced in the society and even if they were helping, not many men shared the information to the external world. This was because Men were made to believe that their status increased by that. I guess, this was the thought process of men, which helped women to hide the conspiracy. How Stupid?!!

Everyone might have heard of the way a Man is terrified, when his Mother-In-Law visits their family. This fear is real, and Man has always shared some of the truths like this to external world. One should just have a watchful eye to understand the reality in those truths. I believe, these visits by Mother-In-Law were the training ground, as the mother views the ways of the daughter first hand and advices the daughter on how to take control of their man. I guess, this is how the technique and method of control has been handed down over generations.

Yes, there were certainly some men who were exception, but generally most Men fall into category of being controlled.

Dowry is believed to be used as a tool by Men to show their dominance over women. Guys, just sit-back and think for a while. Shouldn’t dowry be termed as a process of women buying a Man? Isn’t it simple, women pays money and buys a Man. And women always wanted the best Man who can take care of her needs with the available money. That is what it is. I believe this is another master stroke of the conspiracy to always make the Man believe that he is in control, whereas it is women who are practically in control. You just have to visit some of these house-holds of dowry marriage to realise what has been told above. Yes, there were always exception cases (atrocities based on dowry), but general behaviour was women controlled men.

I suggest you folks to visit and see the life of some widowers and widows. Visit specifically the widows/widowers who have been married for 30-40 years and then lost their partner. I have always seen an old widow leading her life peacefully without generally having a feeling of loss. Just like a manager would feel when he has lost an employee, they just have a tinge of sadness and then they continue to lead life normally. But widowers I have seen, end up being lost in this world. They never have the energy or knowledge of coming out of this loss as they were always managed. Moreover at that age, they do not know how to manage themselves. The scenario is similar to a prisoner, who has been managed in the prison for, say, 30 years, and then released. He doesn’t know how to lead his life. He has the feeling of loss.

Over last 10-20 years, the scenario has changed and women are working shoulder-to-shoulder with Men. I am not sure, if this is just an adaptation of the conspiracy to the new world or something else. It might be also that, somewhere down the line, the knowledge of managing this conspiracy has been not communicated or not understood by the younger folks. Probably the young women folks of this day have been misled by the opening of the communication channels through Papers, TV etc. and believe that working and earning is the way for control/independence.

But whatever has happened for whatever reason, all Men have to be careful not to be controlled. In the times of change, Men have to be more careful to understand where they stand and free themselves from the chain of the control.

For all men,

Best of Luck!

-- Madhukar Hebbar

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Let me know if anyone of you is able to solve this puzzle.

Hey Folks

Here is the solution to above puzzle




Friday, January 16, 2009

Logical Architecture of Brain

A brief description of the different components of the architecture are provided below.

Senses: Various Senses of the Human Body receives inputs from the external world. The inputs are termed as eyes seeing something, ears hearing, tongue tasting, etc. etc. Each and every sense of human body is passed to “Processor” of brain to perform an action.

Processor: Processor can be termed as the engine of brain. The Engine is triggered by an input request. Input can be either from an “External World” or from an internal “Background Process”. Processor identifies the relevant rules from the “Rules Storage” according to the input, Arrives at the result, Stores in “Memory” or/and Passes a message to perform an action to relevant “Body part”.

The process of starting from an input till deciding on a action is called “Thought”.

To relate this to the computer world, Processor (CPU) is running a thought (thread) to perform an action according to the defined rules and objectives (Programs) on the data available in memory (Database).

There are 3 different processors, which can run multiple threads at any point of time. These processors are built for a specific purpose and have the ability to pass a thought across to another processor based on the defined Rules and Objectives.

The different processors or

a. Background Processor – The purpose of the background processor is to perform the house-keeping operations for rules, objectives and memory. A thought in the background processor is not triggered by any input. Some examples of house keeping are
  1. Arrange and label (Indexing) the memory according to the ever changing rules and objectives.
  2. Prioritise the data in memory and move the data to “Memory Cache” according to the rules and objectives
  3. Provide inputs to Sub-Conscious processor in case of any exceptions to the rule found while house-keeping

As an example for point 3, a person might have taken a decision sometime (week, month, year, infinite) back. But after a certain amount of time, the person realises what he did was not correct. This might happen at the middle of the night, when he is thinking of completely unrelated subject, etc.

Another example of Background Processor is a person wakes up fresh every morning after a good nights sleep. Sleep is when the background processor is most active and house-keeping operations performed by it is what makes the mind fresh.

b. Sub-Conscious Processor: The purpose of the Sub-Conscious processor is to collect the inputs, validate rules and perform an action as defined by rules. Sub-Conscious processor is a low energy consuming processor. The Sub-Conscious processor can also be defined as the processor which works in a mechanical/defined way. Any exception in this process of thought, the thought will be transferred to the Conscious processor. Some real world examples of Sub-Conscious processor are
  1. A person is walking on a road, steps aside when a tree comes in the path without even realising. The decision is Sub-Conscious and the person doesn’t realise this had happened.
  2. A person doesn’t touch a fire as he knows Sub-Consciously that his hand will burn.
  3. People doing monotonous jobs use Sub-Conscious processor only.
  4. Sub-conscious processor is typically associated with all scenarios related to “inactive state of mind”.
  5. Involuntary activities are performed by Sub-Conscious processor. (Heart beat and various other functions of body)

c. Conscious Processor: This processor has the sole responsibility of creating, changing and deleting rules and objectives. This is highly energy consuming process as creating, changing or deleting requires the validation of multiple existing rules and objectives in the system. Conscious processor when using high energy levels can reduce the working of Sub-Conscious and Background processor to reach the result.

The process of using the full energy reducing the working priority levels of other 2 processes to minimum is called as “Concentration”.

Sub-Conscious processor whenever finds an exception scenario in its process, passes the thought to Conscious processor to create, change or delete rules and objectives. Real world examples of using of Conscious processor are
  1. Reading a book
  2. Playing a game actively
  3. Person reading a news paper suddenly transfers to active state of mind when he sees the news of Aliens in his city. An example for shifting of thought between Sub-Conscious to Conscious processor.
  4. Conscious processor can typically associated with all scenarios related to “Active state of mind”

Rules and Objectives Storage: This is the component which has the ability to store and manage the relationships of various rules and objectives using which the processor has to work.

a. Rule: Rules are always created with a definitive result. Processor uses each input to look-up the rules related to that. Each thought in the brain system will validate multiple rules. Though the result of each rule is always definitive and absolute, the end result of all the results might not be definitive. In scenarios like this, the processor uses the collective result and validates it with the defined “Objectives” to perform an action. Every action performed by Brain is defined by the rules and objectives, Even if a brain decided to take No-Action, it is defined by rule whose end result is "Take No-Action".

Rules can have all sorts of relationships anybody can perceive. Rules can be configured to override certain rules based on some other set of rules. Rules can be written to In-validate rules in certain conditions. Etc. Etc. There is no-restriction, constraint to define any sort of rule by any Processor. Rules are always specific to each brain.

Some examples of Rules are,
  1. Touching fire will burn the hand
  2. A person defines a rule that, eating sugar is bad.
  3. A person defines a rule that, "do not drink alcohol". Person also defines the rule that "alcohol is fun". When in a party with friends he decides to drink in-spite of the rule as Objective of “Having Fun” takes priority.
  4. Person has created a rule that, gambling is the only way of making money.

b. Rule/Objective Formation: Brain when created always comes with some basic rules/objectives associated with them. These basic rules are termed as “Instincts”. These are installed into the system through Genes. Though over a period of time, with creation of more and more rules, these “basic rules” can be changed by the Processor. There is no restriction towards changing of any basic rules during the lifetime knowledge earning of an individual. E.g. People committing suicide, swamis not having sex, homo-sexual people etc. fall into a category of people who have changed the basic rules (instincts).

Memory: This is the component which is designed to store huge amount of relational data in the system. The data store can manage N-Dimensional relationships between different pieces of data in the store. Data of a life time of an individual has to be related at each level for easy search and access by the Processor. In a typical scenario, Processor applies various rules on the data to arrive at the result.

Memory Cache is an area, which is used for quick access. For example, a student studying for an exam the next day, sets up the priority of the objectives so that, the data related to exam is available in Cache for quick retrieval.

Another example is, 2 individuals see the same movie. But after an year, one individual is able to remember the hero, heroin, music director etc. of the movie and the other is not. The basic difference between the 2 individuals is the priority given to this data by these 2 individuals is different. Priority in-turn is dependent on the rules and objectives of both the individuals.

Actions: Any activity, movement, of each cell of human body is performed by the process of a thought in one of the processors. In case of an input to the Processor discarded by a rule, "No-Action" taken by body is also considered as "Action".

-- Madhukar Hebbar

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Me and my friends

“Life is not fair!”

It has never been to me. Right from the days of my school, college and then marriage, nobody really cared for my thoughts. Worst nobody recognised I can even think. Nobody asked me for my opinion any thing; even decisions of my life were made by somebody.

This is what I used think before.

I was born to a middle class Brahmin family in Bangalore. Most of early part of my life was defined by my mother and father. My mother was all over me in my early years to learn cooking, cleaning and doing other house work which would make me a “good” wife in the future. My father, called himself progressive and wanted me to study well. Studies were one thing, which was my own, though the decision of what I studied was made by my father. During those days, I had adapted to the family process, didn’t worry about all these things and joined Engineering as decided by my father. Not many girls studied engineering during those days (1966, Bangalore). I was proud of myself to have achieved that. I was like a star in front of my friends, who were few.

Just after Engineering was over, I was married off to a professor who was teaching in an engineering college in Ooty. Needless to say, my parents didn’t ask me for my choice, instead was advised on bright future I had because of the qualities of the groom. Rajan Acharya was good looking, earned well, and moreover was in a respectable profession. This was enough for my father to show-off in front of his relatives and friends. I have felt number of times in my life that the perception of friends and relatives mattered most to my parents. Anyways, it doesn’t matter now on what they thought and what they are supposed to think.

As any girl of that age, I had my own dreams of life after marriage. In the hindsight the biggest dream for me was to be treated as an individual than a thing. Yeah, that is how I thought my parents treated me. It is not that, they ill-treated me or anything bad, but my SELF was not satisfied with my life decisions made by my parents. I wanted to make my own decisions and make my own mistakes.

Leaving that aside, after the marriage I moved in with Rajan in the staff quarters of the college. My relatives and my friends envied me for marrying Rajan. There were lot of reasons from their perspective, I didn’t have to live with my In-Laws, I would live in hill station, Rajan earned well, Rajan was good looking etc. etc. I also felt proud for marrying a husband like Rajan, and even displayed that in front of them. It’s funny, how I am cribbing about not having my independence.

During the initial days of marriage, it was difficult for me to adjust to new scenario. My parents had taken care of all the difficulties for me in my life, and Rajan was not one of those guys who asked about my difficulties. I think this is when I started building up my independence and doing my own mistakes. There were lot of times, I couldn’t eat the stuff I cooked, but Rajan would eat without any comment or without even showing an irritation. He was a nice man.

To define Rajan, I can simply say, he was not one of those charming heroes written in the stories and shown in movies. It looked like, his only aim in life was to make a lot of money. I never understood his urge to make more money. Though he took me to shopping, I could feel his ever conscious nature of buying things cheap. This was still a promotion for me, as my father used to do all the purchasing for me. I never complained.

One evening, after 5-6 months after our marriage, Rajan was filling up an application form. As always, I never dared to ask him what it was about. After filling up the form, he asked me to sign at the specified place in the application form. That is when I realised it was an application for lecturer post in his college. As always, I didn’t ask any questions and signed the application. That night I slept with a happy feeling about working, and was thrilled to know that my husband was concerned about me.

I got the job very easily, as my husband was an influential person in the College. I had to attend 6 month training and started my work with enthusiasm. I think those were the best days of my life. I was involved in work completely both at college and home and the process of learning to teach gave me lot of satisfaction. My busy mind didn’t let me think some of the negative things, which I had slowly started off after the marriage. I even didn’t bother that my salary was being credited to a joint account with my husband and Rajan controlled it with tight hands.

My happy days continued with new colleagues at office, there was only one female lecturer other than me and we quickly became buddies. Deepika was a nice person with lot of heart and we quickly became friends sharing our thoughts and views on life. After my school days, this was the first time I had found a person whom I could share my thoughts.

It was during these happy days that I got pregnant. I was ecstatic, for the first time in my adult life. I thought for hours and hours on the way to tell Rajan and finally broke the news to Rajan the next day evening, he told, “Ranjana! We didn’t need this now” and went to sleep. For him, our child was a “this” and I quickly saw the saddest day of my life. I had no energy to do anything and didn’t go to college the next day. I was worrying the whole day on what would happen to our child, and what would Rajan do next. I was sleeping when Rajan came back home and broke the news that, his family was visiting us the next day morning. He even helped me in cleaning the guest room. Another first, I had seen 3 firsts just in 3 days. I realised that my worries about Rajan’s thoughts was all my imagination. I was in peace.

After Ranjini was born, my whole life was filled with her. It was like a dream world for me, feeding, cleaning and playing with Ranjini. It opened up a whole new life for me, which I had not thought existed for me. Rajan, as usual kept to himself, he didn’t show any signs of special joy of becoming a father. I guess that is how Men are made. Whenever Mother-in-Law was critical of his not helping me, he always dismissed her with silence. I had almost forgotten about college until Rajan reminded of my leaves coming to an end. Mother-in-Law, spoke first, announcing that she will stay with us till the Ranjini is big enough to manage herself. Rajan was emotionless, as always.

God knows how the years speeded past in my life. I had somewhere heard that this is what children do to parents life. Ranjini quickly grew to be a talkative kid, and my after college hours became cheerful seeing, talking and playing with her. I had found my best friend in Ranjini. Life at college was normal without much special things, and my friendship with Deepika provided me the much needed comfort. Most of my days were typically filled with Classes, Deepika and Ranjini.

One evening, around 6 years back, when Ranjini was still in her 3rd standard class, Rajan announced that he is going to America. He had got an opportunity to teach and do research in American university for a year as part of an university education program. I was dumb-struck and couldn’t talk for 10 minutes. Only thing running in my head was, “How am I going to manage without Rajan?”. For the first time in our marriage, Rajan, explained the need for him to go to America. He wanted to get the experience and make money and if possible stay on in America. America, the land of opportunities, he exclaimed! I was not sure, if I had to be happy or sad. For the first time in my life, he was showing emotions which were dear to him and the event would make me take all the troubles of raising Ranjini alone. I had never before, told or did anything against his will, and today, when he was so happy for his opportunity, I couldn’t stop him. I even didn’t know how to show my worries to him. Over next one month, Rajan did everything with interest. He taught me all the nitty-gritty’s of the house finances starting from our bank account, Ranjini’s school fees, paying other bills, purchasing stuff, etc. etc. He had never before talked to me so much about anything, and I felt very happy about his talking to me. I took up my new responsibilities very seriously and even enjoyed it. One fine day, Rajan left to America.

The life without Rajan was not that scary as I had thought before. Ranjini was my best friend and life went on as before. Rajan used to call us once in a month, and never talked more than 5 minutes. He talked about the research he was doing and about how he never had time to write a letter. Generally, after these calls for 2-3 days I never used to feel good about life, I used to feel the loss of Rajan from my life. The feeling of loss became more pronounced as Rajan extended his trip to another 5 years. He never missed calling us every month, and never more than 5 Minutes. I used to feel bad for Ranjini who would be cut in between in her talk if she felt like talking more. She lost interest in monthly calls from Rajan.

Deepika always mentioned to me that, I am loosing interest in life and asked me to cheer up. She sometimes indicated about possibility of Rajan having an affair in America and asked me to be careful and inquire about that. I was sure this is not the case, knowing the person and his interest on whatever he was doing in America. Right from the first call of Rajan from America, he would talk about the wonderful work he was doing and money he was making. No! this man, didn’t care about any women. My father with all pro-activeness even went a step ahead and inquired through some of his friends son who was in the same university. He brought me good news of how he was a workaholic and a good man. It makes me laugh, as I think, how Rajan can be a good man?

Nevertheless, my stints of feeling alone continued.

As Ranjini grew older and became more independent, I started feeling more and more alone. I realised that the idle time which I had, made me think of all the negative things and made my loneliness more difficult to manage. Hence, I started involving myself in more activities. I started going to Gym with my daughter. I started taking more subjects. I started reading more. I started cooking different delicacies which I had not tried before. As I involved myself in more and more of these activities, it slowly reduced the feeling of loneliness. But I could feel the loneliness still existed in my system.

One day as I was taking a class of Operation Research to 8th semester students, I realised that one of the student was staring at me. I glanced at him time and again as was teaching to confirm what I saw. I was surprised to see, he was actually staring at me through out the class. As that was the last class of the day for me, I went home and started thinking what this student was up to. I was nervous, shocked and filled with un-understandable, un-definable feelings. Next time I took the same class, I noticed during the attendance call that his name was Joy. I started digging around his history and realised that he was not a bright student, and had a problematic history in the college. During the next 2 weeks I glanced at him once in a while to see if he was staring at me. Yes, he was. Sometimes he noticed my glances and got embarrassed and took his eyes away from me.

One of these days Joy came to the staff room asking for me. He was a little anxious and wanted to ask some doubts in the subject. The doubts he asked was very basic and was covered during the initial days of the semester, 1-2 months back. I realised my role of a lecturer and explained the solution to the problems. Over next few days he came with various doubts and I used to clear the doubts for him. I started noticing that he stared less and started concentrating on the lessons in the class.

One day as I was coming back from the Gym I noticed that Joy was smoking next to a tree near our house. I didn’t show that I noticed him and went into my house. I started worrying about Joy. He always looked aloof as if he had lost something in life.

Rajan called up and told that he is coming home in 2-3 months for 3 months holiday. He had completed his research successfully and was appreciated by every body. He was ecstatic about his successful completion and he went on and on about how he had got different offers to do the research on other subjects. He told that he was still thinking about the offers and need to decide what he wants to do with his future. He talked for 10 minutes. A record. Ranjini didn’t talk to Rajan that day, as she was busy studying for her exam next day. I felt a tinge of dissatisfaction in Rajan’s voice as we told byes.

That night, I thought I need to understand Joy and help him if possible.

Next time when he came to staff room, I inquired about his parents and general things. I asked about the movies he saw, his interests etc. He was always energetic about answering the questions and providing his views on various subjects. His views on his father being autocratic was startling, and I could feel the similarity of our lives. When I inquired about why he was not seen around with much friends in the college. His answer was, he had made multiple attempts to make friends and he could never converse with them for more than 2 sentences. He talked about how he used to find his peace in smoking on top of the mountain. It was nice listening to young man talk, and I could feel him getting the much needed comfort talking to me. I remembered the comfort which Deepika had given me during initial days of my marriage.

Joy was feeling lonely in a place which was not made for him. It was unfortunate, people around him didn’t understand his needs and expected his life to run according to what they thought was life. He saw a friend in me. Next few days were beautiful as I had found another friend. I realised, I was not feeling lonely as before.

2 weeks back, Rajan called, 2 weeks later than his customary monthly call. Another record! He told that he is going to come back permanently to India. He had got a job offer in a R&D division of some company in Bangalore. He asked me to take leave of 2 months and come to Bangalore so that we all can enjoy holidays along with his parents. He asked me “Do you want to work more? If you wish, you can search for a job in Bangalore?” I was shocked!!! I kept silent without knowing how to respond. He was getting uncomfortable, I could realise from his tone. He ended the call, by saying “I miss you”. I was ecstatic for the second time in my adult life.

As I sit in the bus to Bangalore and see my whole adult life running in front of me today, I feel “Life has been fair”. Whenever there was a trough in my life, Life showed me a friend, first Deepika, then Ranjini and then Joy who have made my memories joyful.

Oops! I forgot to say bye to Joy.

-- Madhukar Hebbar

Note to reader:

If you want to know more about Joy, read "Was I Sane?" a short story.

If you want to know more about Rajan Acharya, read "What is better than money?" a short story.

Friday, January 9, 2009

ಸುದ್ದಿ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮಗಳಿಗೆ ಒಂದು ಗುಳಿಗೆ !

ಸುದ್ದಿ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮಗಳಿಗೆ ಒಂದು ಗುಳಿಗೆ !

ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ನಟನೊಬ್ಬ ಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ಹೂಸು
ಅದೇ ಈ ಕ್ಷಣದ ಬ್ರೆಕಿಂಗ್ ನ್ಯೂಸು
ಅ ನಟಿಯ ಕೇಶವಿನ್ಯಾಸ ಹೂ-ಕೋಸು
ಏನು ಸಿಗದಿದ್ದರೆ ತೋರಿಸಿದ್ದೆ ತೋರಿಸು!
ಒಂದು ತಲೆಮಾರಿನ ಅಭಿರುಚಿ ಕೆಡಸಿದ ಈ ರಾಸು
ಅರ್ಜೆಂಟಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಬೇಕಿದೆ ಹೆಸರು ಮತ್ತು ಕಾಸು !!!
- ವಿದ್ಯಾಶಂಕರ್ ಹರಪನಹಳ್ಳಿ

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Walk the Talk

From the age old times of the human evolution, people have expected that life would be beautiful if all people Walk-the-Talk. People always believed that, life would be easy and neat when “everybody thinks before talking” and “act as they have talked”.

Is this a fact? Will our life be beautiful if everyone Walks-the-Talk?

As I was thinking, I realised that life would be chaos if everybody started walking the talk. 10-15% of the people will go out of jobs and the world will end up in a big depression if everyone walks-the-talk. This depression is nothing to do with economic or financial but all to do with psychological aspects of people.

The first breed of individuals whom people expect to Walk-the-Talk is Politicians. Fortunately enough, this breed never do what they talk and have been the key factor in maintaining the sanity of the world. One can imagine, what will happen to the whole set of news channels, national news papers, state news papers, city news papers, street news papers etc. etc. etc. if politicians started to Walk-the-Talk. All these people working in these industries will go out of job for the very simple reason that, they do not have anything to publish.

Most of these news communicators are typically filled with very entertaining stories about “how politicians didn’t think before talking?” or “how politicians didn’t act as they talked”. If politicians do not provide an opportunity for this scenario, the much needed entertainment for the viewers and readers will be lost, and hence will loose there purpose of existence. Can you see the catastrophe of thousands of employed people loosing there jobs? Worst, can you see the catastrophe of you loosing your much needed share of entertainment?

For example, If we think of a scenario where Politicians say “There will be equality among all human beings”, “Everybody will get jobs”, “Poverty will be erased”, and they actually strive towards achieving this, worst, lets assume they actually achieve it. What will the news paper report on? What will the TV news channels show? Even if they show all these wonderful people, trying to achieve what they have talked about, will you watch? Will it be entertaining enough? One can contradict the above the statement by saying this hypothetical scenario and we might watch or read about all these wonderful things Politicians are doing.

The best example of the breed that Walks-the-Talk in today’s world is business men. It is not that these are great people, but if they do not Walk-the-Talk, they will be kicked by hundreds and thousands of investors. Hence, these guys cannot be careless and need to Walk-the-Talk. How many TV Channels, news papers are present to depict the business world? Handful, right? Even if somebody consumes this material, that will be from a sole purpose of knowledge rather than entertainment. Do you want to have such an impact on all the politics related news?

I wonder, if the politicians really start Walking-the-Talk, what would happen to us general people? What would we discuss with mates during tea breaks? One can imagine mates in office having coffee/tea with blank minds and faces. There would be nothing left for the friends to talk in the pubs. Can we discuss on the efficiency of the politicians and the good things happening around? NO! No! no! I would prefer dying of boredom instead of discussing about efficiencies and smartness of politicians.

What will barbers talk about? Hair-cutting exercise which has been made refreshing by the energetic chit-chat of the barbers would tragically move towards boring exercise. In fact, my prediction is people will stop visiting hair cutting saloons to escape from the boredom of the exercise and will start looking like pre-historic people.

Celebrity lifestyle is the second biggest source of entertainment in this world. I can’t imagine the scenario if Paris Hilton and Britney Spears decide to marry somebody, go ahead with the plans, have kids, and live happily ever after. This would be a disaster for the whole entertainment industry, right? Who would call such a story as entertainment? My prediction is people will not even care for Celebrity works, if they started to Walk-the-Talk. If Sharukh-Salman don’t fight in public for Katrina, Would you watch their movies? I believe brand value of the Indian cricket team would go down, if Harbajan Singh starts to act like sane Walk-the-Talk individual. The whole entertainment industry will crash, as the basic purpose of entertainment of the individuals will not be met.

I hope the reader realises the gravity of the problem, if everybody starts to Walk-the-Talk. We are in grave danger of loosing entertainment and loosing stuff to talk about if every one tries to Walk-the-Talk.

One might think that these are external factors and we will find different sources of entertainment in the eventuality of everybody Walking-the-Talk. Let us try to, get into our house and our lives, to understand the impacts.

Imagine the scenario when, all the members of your work-team Walk-the-Talk. People with shorter view of life might say such a thing would be fantastic for work life. But I think the impacts are hugely negative, this actually means that I need to do work. I can’t go for long tea breaks discussing about the stupidity of my manager. I can’t give reasons for my failure to meet the deadline. I can’t miss deadlines. I can’t blame team mates for my failures. I can’t blame my manager for my failures. Life is going to be hard battle, and life would suck if this actually happens.

If this is the scenario in office, life and relationships are going to loose all the masala if everybody starts Walking-the-Talk. I can’t even imagine how boring it would be, if all my friends reach the party on-time. More so, if everybody starts walking-the-talk and life of all our mates is the bed of flowers, what the hell will we talk when we meet? Why the hell do we need friends anyway? We wouldn’t have an opportunity to bitch around anything and anybody if everybody Walks-the-Talk. Can you imagine the impacts when you say “I wont be able to meet you today, as I am having beer with my friends and we all are enjoying it.” to your girl friend?

I hope reader, understands the importance of people not Walking-the-Talk. We cannot compromise on our share of entertainment. From the bottom of my heart I request the readers not to expect people to Walk-the-Talk so that the life continues with full entertainment.

by Madhukar Hebbar

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!!!

Happy New Year - 2009 to all Katte Boys.

May your wine glass never be empty
May you be loyal to Katte committee!