JUST LIKE THAT


This small little blog of mine will be setting its status to Away” for some time … maybe a few days, maybe a couple of weeks ( … hopefully not more than that ! ) A lot many things happening in the real world … so I need time to ‘run’ more, to be able to catch up with life.

Meanwhile all you people who have come here can read my previous posts …. maybe read some of my “Fiction”, and tell me what you think. Or feel free to read my old posts, from a few months back when I started this little blog.

And yes, thanks for visiting. Please keep coming back often. I will be back soon, with more stuff.

Finally, before I go, here is some interesting trivia about the movie “Cast Away” (2000)

I enjoyed the movie to some extent. I liked the concept where they made a whole movie with only one actor on screen for almost 85% of its duration. And Tom Hanks did full justice to the role – wonderful acting, and even going to the extent of losing lot of weight to get that ‘starved Castaway look

All right …. now, at the end of the movie, Tom Hanks goes & delivers the only package that came through unopened & undestroyed after his long ordeal out at sea – he delivers the ‘box with the Angel Wings’. Does anyone out there recollect that part ?

So,  the director of the movie, Robert Zemeckis was once asked in an interview what was there in that unopened package.

And … he replied that the package had a Waterproof, Solar-powered, Satellite Phone !!

People in Papua New Guinea seem to have found a solution for rising gas & petrol prices – run vehicles and generators using coconut oil (coco-fuel)

If the citizens of a small island in Papua New Guinea can do it, people from “God’s Own Country” should definitely be able to do it.

What a dream scenario – buy a huge can of coconut oil. Or even better, make it in your own ‘parambu‘ (piece-of-land) — after all, what better use for the 50+ coconut palms standing tall on your land.

And then, when your wife needs oil to make Pazham-Pori (Banana-Fry) or to fry Pappadams for Lunch, ask her to take some oil from the can. Later, when your son wants to go for his daily class at the local CTCC (Coconut-Tree Climbing College) ask him to fill up the tank in his motorcycle, from the same can !

Meanwhile, you can sit on your patio and enjoy a dozen nariyal-tel flavoured Dosas, with fresh Nariyal Chutney.

Lets make this world a better place ! Lets do our bit to reduce carbon-emissions ! Lets work together towards the goal of more coco-fuel stations popping up everywhere, around the world !

In my short work career so far, I have had the chance to work in quite a few offices. The number is not anywhere near the dozens of offices and clients that my friends and colleagues have been to.

But, I have always wondered and even been amused by the different types of coffee breaks that I have been introduced to at these places. I am attempting to categorise some of my coffee breaks here.

I am sure most of you out there have your own types of coffee breaks. For those who don’t like their java, it could be a break for any other beverage or even a smoking-break. Please feel free to drop in your 3, 30 or 300 lines about it, in the Comments section here

The break could be from any kind of work – from office-work, from house-work. It could be a break from your desktop PC, or a break from your kitchen PC (which is the ‘Pressure Cooker’) or a break from working at the Dixons or Circuit City store …. or even a small break from barista duties at ‘Cafe Coffee Day’

Here goes …
At the Desk + Brainstorming” Coffee break
You are so deeply drowned in some critical task at work – like, say, something that you were supposed to complete and send yesterday. You don’t have time to un-glue yourself from your seat. But you still need the dose of caffeine to keep you going. What do you do ? You pick up the phone, dial the small pantry facility that your office has, and request the chap (Nandu) to bring you a cup of hot ‘Kaapi
He puts on his usual talk about desktop coffee only being given twice a day and that for the rest, you need to go yourself & get it. But since you are one of Nandu’s “Frequent Foodie” customers, he obliges to your request. “Only this last time. Next time you will have to walk over and get it”, he says as he places the cup right next to your mouse-pad.

Deadline-meeting celebration” break
This usually happens the day following the above mentioned situation. The previous night, just as the on-duty security guard was about to drive you nuts with his long story about the time he met Sachin Tendulkar and Pravin Amre at some Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav celebrations, you managed to complete the work and send out a  mail. You managed to get the last Autorickshaw waiting near the office gate – to reach home, just a couple of hours before the “Good Morning India” show on TV started.
And now, today to describe your brave midnight ordeal to two of your colleagues, you take them for an extended morning tea-break, over to the neighbouring Indian Coffee House

Long-weekend stories” break
I saw these type of breaks on one of my overseas assignments.
Its the Monday after a long weekend. Everyone on the project team had either gone to some exotic vacation spot, or had gone to the hot & happening pubs, clubs in town. And now, each person is eager to share his story with the team. So, at sharp 10-30 AM, the whole team decides its coffee time. All take the Lift (Elevator – if you prefer that way) down the twenty odd floors, walk over to the Starbucks across the street. Everyone buys their stuff – Latte, Mocha, No-sugar-no-cream Coffee. Some grab a muffin or two. And the whole point of going all the distance is to get enough time to exchange weekend stories.

Oops-I-broke-the-machine” break
At one particular office, I did’t have to walk too far to get my perfect coffee.

The office has a shiny, techno-smart vending machine. Press 5 buttons in the right order, keep your favourite coffee mug in place (or the disposable plastic cup will also do) and press ‘START’. Voila ! Hot & sleep-defeating coffee is ready in 15 to 150 seconds !
You also get to meet one or two new people in the office, while you are waiting in queue for Miss Jane to get her coffee from the machine.
All this on the better days. On the bad days – when you sat on the wrong seat on the train, and when you had actually managed to put a layer of polish on your shoes – the machine will give out a grawky noise and suddenly spray the coffee over the floor – and all over your shining shoes.  B!**)y Hell !!!  The bad day just got worse !

So … what kind of a break do you like to take every day ?
 

7 Decades ago …
Her parents & his parents – they were yet to be born

7 Years ago …  
She was busy pursuing higher studies, after her graduation.
He had long back given up any plans of further studies after struggling through graduation itself. And he was beginning to think if he had spent a little too much time at his current job & if he should change.

7 Months ago …
They are a happy couple with a cute little son, and are in the US on his current assignment

7 Weeks ago …
The three of them are driving back home, after a nice vacation break. They had been wanting to visit this place since some time now. And they sure had a great time !

7 Days ago …
Its yet another manic Monday morning for the family.
On this day, he is told that his current assignment has been again extended, this time by three more months.

7 Hours ago …
She is busy giving Junior a bath.
Junior loves splashing around all the water. And Junior always feels that his bath has ended sooner than he would have liked it to.
He is scampering about the house, as happens every morning, getting ready to leave for work.

7 Minutes ago …
She is at home, reading out to Junior, from a ‘Thomas The Train’ picture book.
Junior loves flipping through his books. In this particular book, Junior loves the pages where ‘Thomas’ comes out of a dark tunnel & where ‘Thomas’ sprints away, showering everything with mud.
He has just settled down at his office desk, with a fresh cup of coffee from the cafeteria.

Time sure seems to fly …… !

And now, to set the values in this equation of Life …
He     = Taks
She    = Taks’ better-half, Meera
Junior = Their 2 year old son, Yash

Last week, I had gone to the post-office – which by itself is a rare thing nowadays 🙂
One of my colleagues had moved onto a new project, in a different city. And I had the last few letters & bills that had come to his old address here. I was to send the few important ones to his new address.

In the post-office, I went in and took a few envelopes off the shelf. I thought that, while I was here, I should pick up a couple of bigger envelopes for myself – to send some prints of the latest vacation photos to the folks back in India 🙂

I put in all my friends’ letters into one of the envelopes. When I proceeded to write the address, I found that I did not have a pen. Surprisingly, the pens on the desks at the back, which the post-office provides for its customers, were all missing too.
I remembered that I had a pen in the car. So, taking the half a dozen envelopes with me, I walked out of the post-office, into the parking lot, opened the car — and then it struck me.
I had taken items which were on sale, and walked out without paying for them. Of course, I knew that I had come out only to take a pen & that I was going back in. But, technically, I had committed a crime …  ‘stealing’ !
If at that moment, a postal employee had run out, shouting that I was a thief, I would not have been able to deny it !

With the pen in my hand, I made a sprint back into the safety of the post-office. I quickly proceeded to pay for all the items & services that I wanted.

Thankfully, nobody seemed to have noticed my ‘crime’. At least nobody made any mention of it.
And when I returned to my car, there was no car waiting outside, with flashing lights & wailing sirens. Only one thing has been nagging me since then – do they have CCTV surveillance at the post-office ?

The only sounds that I can hear are the birds chirping away in perfect chorus from the trees and the faint sound of the waves crashing on the beach at the bottom of the hill.
I am relaxing in the lazy hammock, straddled between two palms in the manicured & lush green lawn.
The book I was reading lies on my chest. The sweet aroma of the filter coffee, wafting from the mug placed on the nearby rock, fills my senses.

My house sits on the top of a hill, looking over the most beautiful and peaceful beach. A beach with crystal clear water reflecting the blueness of the sky in all its glory, on this pleasant & sunny day.
There is no cellphone network or internet connection in this corner of the world, so I will not be disturbed by urgent phone calls or will not be required to check any urgent mails.

The leaves on the trees rustle in the light breeze coming from the sea. The peace & calm of the place is sweet music to my ears.
Finally, after all the years of hard work, after all those long nights & working weekends, I have rightfully earned this slice of paradise.
And I am relishing its sweet taste … its aroma.

(more…)

Today, there was a picture on the BBC-News site with this caption “Japanese 20-year-olds celebrate their Coming of Age day all around the country. It is the age at which they are allowed to drink alcohol and vote in elections.”

This got me thinking … I did not actually celebrate the date / age from when I was legally allowed to drink alcohol and vote. Later, I did vote in a couple of elections. And I did celebrate a lot many times the fact that I was legally allowed to drink alcohol 🙂

Talking of age, I think I am beginning to get old. After all, you can see so many signs which say that you are not that young and not so full-of-energy any more …

1. More than 75% of the Indian Cricket Team is younger than you
2. All the athletes in the Athletics and Gymnastics events of the Asian Games are half your age or even less than that.
3. The current batch of kids who play in the apartment complex don’t call you “Chettan” or “Dada” (meaning Elder Brother in Malayalam & Marathi respectively). Instead they call you “Uncle” !
4. The question at the friendly place where you go for your hair-cuts has changed from “Which college are you studying in?” to “How many kids do you have?”
.. and many more signs like them.

But then the wise man says “You are as young or old as you feel”. Thats what I am going to follow … I will always be 21 yrs old ! And from now, I will only use Santoor soap.

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