Sunday, May 31, 2009


Some feeble sound disturbed his deep sleep…..the same irritating “beep beep… beep beep...”.  He woke up…it was 5:30 in the morning. His legs were still aching. They were traveling non stop for 2 days now without proper rest. It involved a lot of walking too. He tried to wake up his wife…. “shut off that irritating sound and sleep…. I think u are not human… who will think of waking up this early after traveling so much….”  And she went back to sleep. “Mechanical alarm clocks are so sweet to hear…. Its only with these electronic stuff we get irritated…” he said with a grin on his face…. His wife looked at him with “that” pissed off look on her face…He didn’t want to get beaten up early in the morning. So thought its better he leaves the scene. He went out of the hotel and into the park with a mug of coffee and a cigarette…. Sun was rising…. What a sight it was…. Snow clad mountains and a lush green park in front….what a way to start the day….


They were done with the packing. Bread, juice, umbrella… the list goes on. After checking everything for the umpteenth time his wife pronounced them good to go. He said… “if it were to be me alone it would have been just a water bottle, some biscuits, a camera and a couple of cigarette packs…. Look at this big bag we ( I ) have to carry now!.... haven’t you studied anything about efficient ways of getting things done?!.... we Mech guys are so smart like that”. His wife said “shut up and get going…. Don’t delay by talking bullshit again now….I don’t want to run to catch that stupid train again…theres always a limit to being punctual… likewise our railways are better…. They always have 5 minutes for passengers arriving late”…..

They locked the door, handed over the keys at the reception and walked out of the hotel into a pollution free world. It was their 3rd day in Swiss and every moment was eventful. Today the plan was to go to a mountain and they had to take a cable car to go to the top of it. They boarded the train. He was all excited as he had never done this before. Wife was all consumed in the views of mountains and the surrounding greenery and went on showing off her photography skills all along the way.

They reached the next destination where they were supposed to buy tickets for the cable car. Till now all he used to do in situations like these was to hand over some cash to his wife and the rest was done. Till she came back he used to quickly enjoy a cigarette. So as usual even this time he gave her his wallet and took out a stick. He was about to light when she sad…” I think u are smoking too much nowadays. You go buy tickets this time and I will be back in a while… the shop ahead has some nice handbags…. And let me keep ur cigarettes till I come back.”….. hmmpff….smart… but not enuf to beat him…..a Mechanical engineer he is. He took out one more pack…. Lit one and went ahead to buy tickets……

“wohin..??”…asked the lady at the desk by fanning the air around her nose….He realized his wife was right. His breath was stinking after he had smoked. Since he came onsite he was smoking a bit too much. “Nach Titlis….. zwei personnen….und wir haben die Swiss pass”….some broken German since she could not understand English. He showed her the passes, collected the tickets and left the counter. He heard some loud conversations as soon as he left the counter, of course it was in German and as usual he didn’t bothered much …..

“I hope u have got the proper tickets…”….. his wife said tauntingly after she realized that he had smoked. “Baby!....we Mech guys are programmed to do things right….we are real world people….we don’t work in cyber space….just follow me…” ….. she got terribly irritated… threw the cigarette pack that she had snatched from him at his face and started walking… he loved doing this….  ;)…..

Beautiful landscape… snow, mountains, green everywhere around…..reached the cable car place… took a nice ride to the top. “see… no computers in these…. All mechanical stuff….. no electronics to confuse and malfunction… just clean visible technology…”…. Wife ignored him and went on with her photography. He had a weird grin on his face which irritated her even more and made her look elsewhere. He enjoyed the view around humming a song.... "bahut pyaar kartein hain...tum ko sanam......"

They reached the top… wow!!... what a view….alps, alps and alps all around….covered by snow….. a rare sight for people like them…. for it doesn’t snow in tropical weather. His wife was calmed down a bit by the beautiful scenery around. He decided not to irritate her again… at least not today. His wife was clicking as if there was no tomorrow with his camera and he loved his camera very much. He didn’t want her to chuck it at his face…. For it was not a cigarette pack. After getting done with everything they started on their way back. Cable car again…. He opened his mouth to say something…suddenly she said….”yea yea… I know…. No computers in these…..”...ok…. he has become too predictable or his wife has understood him too very well….

They reached the same railway station where they had bought the tickets to the cable car…. He saw the same lady behind the counter…. He went to her and enquired a bit about their next journey…. Turned around and went ahead to light a cigarette….. again he heard that lady talking to someone loudly in German….. probably she might have got way too irritated by the smell of cigarette reeking out of him…..He wondered how his wife puts up with him with all these…..that too all day long!.....and now for her entire life to come.... 

They boarded their next train. The train started and they immediately slept off, for they were too tired roaming around walking. 

In his sleep, he was dreaming of someone poking his shoulders with a sharp object, a pen might be. “hellooo…….helllllloooooooo…”… these recorded electronic alarms nowadays have gotten so irritating….  he opened his eyes to shut it off and go to sleep again…. Saw someone in uniform standing in front of him….. “auswisen bitte…” asked the visibly irritated man.  Probably the officer, a ticket examiner, had tried waking him up for a bit too long now. He opened the travel pouch and God damn it!!!.... no passes there!!!!!.... He waked up his wife and asked her…. No use… even she didn’t knew….He was sweating all over… He just imagined the amount of fine they ( He) would have to pay…..He requested the officer to give him some time so that he can properly search the bags…. The officer, irritated again, agreed hesitantly and left the scene. He wiped out the sweat trickling down from his forehead and asked his wife if she remembered anything at all about the passes. “I remember a Mechanical engineer went out to buy the tickets with those passes in the morning” came the reply. It was like someone has hit him with a frying pan on his face. Shit!......He thought about the fine amount and started sweating again….. wife said she has to use the wash room to get her hair done and left. Look at her!!... here he is sitting in he middle of no where thinking what to do for tickets and she’s worried about her hair do!.... He looked out of the window. Suddenly all the so far beautiful mountains started looking like just heaps of rocks…. How situations influence our perceptions!.....

Wife came back with a satisfied look on her face of having done something really great. She was all smiles and humming a song...."antintha heNNu naanalla.....nannantha heNNu yaaroo illa.." . He got terribly irritated but kept mum. She saw that and started humming even more loudly. He went to the wash room…. Splashed some water onto the face… and went to the officer to tell him that he has lost the passes and will pay the penalty for traveling without them. The officer saw him and said something in German which again he understood very less. He told the officer that he has lost his passes and will pay the penalty. The officer said something again in German and was pointing at someone standing right behind. He didn’t even bother to turn around and see who was that. “Ich versteht nur etwas Deutsch… bitte sprcen Sie aus English”….. Right then…he heard a loud laughter behind him…. Even the officer started giggling. He turned around to see his wife rolling over the floor and laughing. The officer patted on his back and left. It didn’t take him much time to realize what had happened and was getting prepared for the worst. And then it came… “Your Mechanical engineering is getting obsolete…. Its electronics and software which controls most of the machines now…. At least stop doing it from now on”.

He had forgot the passes at the ticket counter where He had bought the tickets for cable car ride. That lady at the counter had called him to collect them but he didn’t understood and had ignored. His wife, probably plotting a revenge since God knows when, had collected the passes from that lady but didn’t tell him about that. As I said earlier, by then, probably she would have guessed how the scene will be, for he had become so predictable for her….

And since then… its Mechatronics in his life. A new technology for both of them….. J

Friday, May 22, 2009

Irony of Gavaskar's theories

I have always got irritated with the analysis of Mr. Gavaskar on the cricket matches. For the experience he has, first playing cricket for a long-long time, and second being associated in close quarters of cricket as commentator/analyst. I feel, his analysis is repetitive parrating of the age old theories. One of the big gems and stupidities has been this IPL's parrating of "How Indian domestic players cannot play on South-African pitches, and how this has been a great factor". This has been his favourite subject this IPL, and he invariably says this when a Indian domestic player gets out trying to hit the ball outside the boundary line.

In the hind-sight, before the IPL, any body who has a zilch knowledge of cricket would have guessed that playing in South-Africa would be challenging for the young Indian players who have played before, only in placid Indian pitches. But, unfortunately, the great thinker Gavaskar is, parrots the same thing again and again, as if he is the only person under the sun, who has predicted this great phenomenon. But the wonder of the situation is, the South-African pitches played in this IPL have been no different than any other Indian cricket pitch. The pitches have been wobbly and placid, and performance of spinners have been great example of state of the pitches in South-Africa this IPL. Still, our guy Gavaskar goes on and on about the In-capability of Indian players managing the Fast and Bouncy South African pitches. I hope, somebody teaches Gavaskar to talk about other things, which are happening other than this.

Yesterdays match between Royal Challengers (RC) and Deccan Chargers (DC) was a very good example of the capability or incapability of the players. The match was played on a strong pitch, which had nearly all the qualities of the South African pitch. A 19 year old kid, who has probably never seen anything else other than an Indian pitch (or Malaysian temporary pitches) played a brilliant innings and hits a century. This was in a circumstances where, No Indian has ever hit a century in IPL, either in India or South Africa. I started wondering what does Mr. Gavaskar has to say on this subject? He was no where to be seen yesterday, unfortunately.

The second theory of Gavaskar in this IPL was about run-outs. He increases the tone of his voice every time, when he says "One person has to call for the run". I wonder in disbelief who under the sun decides, who has to be the caller? In most scenarios, the situation is very clear as One batsmen is always in a situation to decide on a run and he decides to be the caller. But, most run-outs occur when both batsmen have the ability to decide, and the decision taken by both players are opposite, this leads to confusion and hence leads to run-out. And by the nature of T20 matches, which are fast paced and relatively new format, the factors affecting (Speed of the fielder, natural throwing hand, history of fielding skills, situation of the game, etc. etc.) the decision for RUN are varied and 2 players making the same decision is still improving as players gain experience of the format. Over and above this, players of different nationality, different strengths, different religions, different styles playing together makes more of a confusion and takes time, for players to reach consistent analysis for making a decision on a Run.

Man! complex entity this, taking a decision for a run. But good thing is, the batsmen do not get run-out every time they run. That is because, players use the age-old learning, (parrated by Gavaskar) and hence they do not get run-out every time. As most players are experienced in One Day and Test format of the game, there skills are honed to that affect. I am sure, with the experience of players increasing in the T20 format of the game, there ability to decide on a run will become more consistent and hence reduce the run-outs in the matches. I hope Gavaskar sees this fact and relieves the viewers of his irritating repetitions.

I was wondering and discussing with friends year or 2 back, why Gavaskar doesn't take a coaching opportunity etc. I guess it is easier to blabber theories on TV, rather than fail in implementing them. God save us from this dreadful commentary. And now I wonder, which team can risk implementation of these theories?

-- Madhukar Hebbar

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My theories and my wife's actions

"Let’s go for honeymoon in India", I said after marriage
"What? I won’t come with you", she said with rage

"Pick the name of our daughter that I want", I said in a strong voice
She coolly refused and kept a name of her choice

I told her to wait for recession to end to buy gold
She purchased it and said my thinking was very old

I asked, "Will you ever agree to any of my actions"?
She said, "Yes, but I take care of all your transactions"

I have realized that I am just a man of theory
She controls all my actions just like a magical fairy

I know by now that she is a woman of action
Whatever she does is always right, that’s my satisfaction :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

My daughter's naming ceremony

It was a very special occasion for me yesterday. My baby's naming ceremony was held yesterday at Mysore.

At the beginning, we performed Ayushya homa. Ayushya homa is performed to pray to Lord Mrityunjaya (Rudra deva) to give long life to the person. It was Markhandaya rishi who originated this homa for longitivity of life. It involved offering ghee, sammit and rice to Agni deva, who will make sure to deliver the offerings to respective gods. Probably, Agni deva is the first known person who started the courier service ;-)

Then we performed Jatakarma homa. Jatakarma homa is again performed for a reason. When the child is in the mother's womb, it would have swallowed unwanted substances. Jatakarma is performed to purify the body of the child. This also includes purifying the pancha Indriyas. I took out my ring, dipped it in honey and made my baby lick the honey. I hope this will please the gods :-). Also this would make baby's life as sweet as honey :-).

Then the naming ceremony started. Her sweet and short name was finally revealed to everyone. And it's "Sampada", cute isnt it. This name is my wife's choice. Though I had a different name in mind, my wife scored over me. No regrets for me. I really love this name. For those of you, who are thinking what Sampada means, "Wealth", "Wealthy" or "Fortunate". Abhimani devate (owner) for this name is goddess Laxmi. Her janma nama or the name as per her nakshatra is "Tejaswini". That’s the name chosen by me and not by my wife. So I win here :-).

Take a look at these web links

Finally we performed "Annaprashana". Here again, before the child actually starts eating food other than milk, we have to again pray to god to give strength and knowledge by eating satvik food. We got a cup of "kheer" or "payasam" in a silver cup. I again took out my ring and dipped in kheer and made my baby taste the kheer. So she is all set to eat all the pani puri, bhel puri or masale dosa in DVG road. :-)

That was how the ceremony went. I loved every bit of it.