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Today could have been a perfect day. Being a Saturday, we woke up pretty late (~ 07:15 am …thanks to Onga who slept a full 15 minutes more than his usual quota). Usually, he wakes us up by dropping Thomas on our heads. But today, it was the  disgusting stench sweet aroma of the brocolli and beans from last night. The man was carrying a lot of  load, very early…. in the day. Once fumigated attended to, we were ready for the rest of the day.

I was famished wanted to lend a helping hand, just like any smart good husband should, over the weekend. So I took up  slow death the privelege of feeding the baby !! This would mean, that his mom could  go fix breakfast  relax, unlike other days during the week. Instead, she wanted to fix breakfast and I just did not have the heart to say ….”NO”. Afterall, she is a great cook, and I was ready to eat a cow probably getting a little hungry.

I told her …. “take it easy huh …. just make something simple …. something like … that ….spicy onion masala uttapam…that should be easy …right ?” Suddenly, she became very quiet. While I started flipping channels played with the baby, she got started on the masala (stuffing) part of that simple breakfast. There was hardly any noise from the kitchen. Like the calm before a storm. It was a little creepy, and in retrospect, I think that she let the oil fume,  before she relocated the cut onions from her hand onto the pan.

Now ..let us pause for a second,  shall we ? This needs a little flashback, if you will. Let us try to recollect what a very hot   knowledgeable  Miss Joseph had taught on a warm summer afternoon, several years ago to some ogling diligent students. Sometimes two unlike molecules cling to each other due to attraction and that is defined as adhesion.  In addition, I would also like to cite a Bengali phrase – “taile jale ek hoye jawa” (the phenomenon of oil and water forming a homogenous mix).

Back to present day. You see, in the heat of the moment, some water droplets (from the cutting board), decided to get  some of that adhesion action going, ….with them, young and juicy, cut onions. This catalyzed, ….what society would taint as an illegitimate union of the hot oil and the water. 9 nano seconds later : the spluttering oil, singed her right arm and gave birth to several blisters of all kinds of shapes and sizes. At that very moment (almost an hour late than usual),Onga dropped Thomas on my right toe . This was not good timing … at least not for me !!

I had to limp and  get a bucket of cold water for her to drown the sizzle to feel better. I called M to find out what else I could do to heal the pain. “apply ghee..” she said. We did not have any. So I cut a half-inch slice of  butter and rubbed it over the wounds, slowly and with extreme care, ….not to spill any on the floor.She looked up and smiled at me. And that is when things got bad. I mean really, really bad.For me !!

I grinned back at her….” you were in labor for 11 hours … this must be nothing…huh ??”

You see, some days it is best to shut the fudge up and let the DNA (that makes a good husband) do its work !! Today, could have been a perfect day for that !!

image courtesy : here 

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Thanks to the densely retarded media world – Tiger Woods’ press conference about his alleged affairs with 25,781,230,732.00 girls got a lot of publicity !! Apparently there were reporters from as far east (matter of perspective) as Japan, to cover this “very important” news event, though if you were not as half drunk as I am, you would think, that they would cover the Winter Games or the aftermath of Haiti relief efforts instead. Now how about that ? Do you think Mr.Baby Face can touch celebrity excellence ? Would the world stop salivating and try to remember that every celebrity’s private life is his/her own business ? Would Tiger come out of the Woods again?

You guessed it right !! I was up all night yesterday. Making corrections to the speech that the Tiger had to deliver this morning in Florida. He did not get time to thank me personally !! He was busy doing Betty  pretty important stuff himself. I must warn you ….what follows is a glimmer of im mature  insanity and if you are wearing pace maker(s) or suffer deep rashes on your skin from rat poison …….you should probably consider revisiting this blog at a later time ….. !! If you still want to face it …. do not complain ……I did warn you …!!

beginning of transcript………

Good morning, and thank you for joining me so early after a wild night..Many of you in this room are my girl friends. Many of you in this room know me intimately. Many of you have cheered topless for me or you’ve worked with me or you’ve supported me through my infidelity.

Now every one of you has good reason to demand some cash reward to be critical of me and my body odor . I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, Screw You !! I am not in the least deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish self pleasure behavior I engaged in with all of you hot babes.

I know people want to find out where the sex tapes are how I could be so selfish and so foolish not to sell them on Ebay. People want to know how was it to party with porn stars  I could have done these things to my wife, forget her name Elin, and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private strip dancer person, there are some parties things I want to  dance with Paris Hilton and her muah muah say.

Elin and I have started the process of discussing about getting a new maid and the damage caused by the golf clubs my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me we already have “18 ” ass holes, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words but a diamond bracelet and onion rings; it will come from my reality show Cheating in the Bunker behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss about pre extramarital affair agreements; however, what we say to each other will be available for sale during Christmas on Amazon  remain between the two of us.

I am also aware of the pain in the privates my tiger “balms” behavior has caused to all the honey bunch Cheerios those of you I have “played with” in this room. I have let you use my iPad down, and I have let down my pants fans. For many of you, especially my hooker friends, my performance behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who have been paid out work for me, what the f@#$ are you still doing here?? I have let you down personally and professionally. My bad breath behavior has caused considerable worry to my mistresses business partners…………..

much blah blah ensued ……and then finally …….

That also means cheating some more relying on others for help with fake excuses. I’ve learned to seek athletic support from my underwear company peers in therapy, and I hope this evening someday to return to the club scene that support to others who are seeking for some quick bogies help. I do plan to return home in the morning to golf one day, I just don’t know through which window when that day will be.

I don’t rule out getting high on weed that it will be this year. When I do start drinking and gambling return, I need some extra cash to make it to Hooters my behavior more respectful of the game. In recent weeks, I have received many thousands of free condoms in the mail e-mails, letters and phone calls from the Mothers Against Drunk Pregnancy people expressing their deepest desires good wishes. To everyone who slept with me has reached out to me and my family, let’s do it again and again and again thank you. Your fetishes encouragement means that now I can have my own naughty movie the world to Elin and me.

I want to thank The Hilton, Marriott, Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, Sulabh Complex PGA Tour, Commissioner Finchem and the belly dancers players for their patience and understanding while I keep scratching work on my private parts life. I look forward to seeing you all in Room 420 my fellow players on the course.

Finally, there are many people in this room who I have not yet slept with, and there are many people at home who believed they would sleep with me in me. Today, I want to ask for your phone numbers, emails and Facebook ids  help. I ask you to find a nice hotel with a spa room in your heart to one day believe in UFOs me again.

Damn, I need to work on my strokes!! Thank you.

 end of transcript…….

As you must have guessed by now, the man is really ashamed of his actions !! I would say he is bleeding and wants to make an reentry. Wait ….that came out all wrong !! What I am really trying to say is …. let us pretend (for a second or so)  that we believe in every word he said or thought he said !! That does not make sense either. …..what the putt !!

Source Material and Photo Courtesy : here

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The Howrah Hatia Express 8615 sneaked in, through the smoke, from the coal ovens of the railway quarters and the tea stalls. The coolies (porters) , hopped onto the still moving train and pushed their red uniforms through the almost empty compartment (most passengers disembark at Ranchi). The softness of your eyes, smiled at me as I waved back at you through the rust of the window railings. We stuffed the auto rickshaw with our baggage and after some gyrations of reckless maneuvering, found ourselves at the new place in the HEC Colony.

This house was better – more room, lots of sunlight and a train of dahlias woven around the perimeter of the property, like a garland. While the rest of the family got busy with conversations and interruptions, I followed you along the red soil driveway. I can still smell your khadi kurta (home spun cotton shirt) and the early morning air, as I held on to you tightly, perched on the back seat of the Vespa – en route to the dudhwala’s (milk man). For the next few days, I was the devoted nephew, absorbing every bit of intellectual conversation feasible between an adult and an adolescent.

The days bloated with constant chatter of the family. The evenings were calm, and that is when, you and I used to go for our walks. Stepping away from the colony walk ways, onto the main road and then bridge over the skinny brook. Our daily little secret was the daal vada (lentil dumplings) from the dimly lit kiosk run by the tribal couple. Any evidence of this atrocity, was neatly wiped out on the greasy square cut out from the daily newspaper, that the vadas were served on.

Somewhere along the path, you  pointed at the lights from the houses, behind the eucalyptus trees and mentioned how there was a son/daughter from each one of them, studying in one of the élite engineering/ medicine schools of India. “This is a great neighborhood ” – you had said, “a great place to build confidence and feed ambition !! ”

That was in the summer of 1994……

After that, the last time we met, was at the hospital in Bhowanipore. You lay there among strangers putting up a brave fight. I could see, that you noticed how much I had strayed. I was not going to be the protagonist of the success story – of your vision. Shame caught me unawares, for a few moments of true self appraisal. My life, as it was then, was clouded with superficiality and restlessness.

Over the years, change (for the better) picked me up on its way We spoke long distance and not too often. You got better but then it started getting worse. I prayed. There was a guilt of not spending enough time with you, when I had the time of your day. And then one day the phone call happened. Our conversations were over – for good !!

That was a year into the new decade. ……2001.

Almost another decade later …. this summer (of year ‘09) ….

He walked out on a relationship, one which he had believed would find him happiness!!  As brave as he is, he survived her lack of commitment and fought back to find himself at a better place. Professionally !! Now, the two hour commute to his desk, finds him at peace with his new life –  the cafeteria et al.

His likes are strong and his dislikes stronger. Over the weekends,  he devours the works of the best and the worst of authors , some in and others from out of town. He critiques with brutal honesty,  silver screen creations of the famous and the infamous. I can imagine how his apartment has not been cleaned in ages. Some days, when mischief pokes him,  the building plummets into  total darkness, thanks to his ancient iron box from the past. His laughter is loud, like that of a  child and his advices are crisp, like those of a good lawyer – one just like him !! That is all I can tell about his day job, almost like the Friends, about Chandler Bing’s.

We talk about everything, from Tarentino to family gossips, from shaadi.com to thin crust pizza, about our days near Nona’s Corner to the cheap vodka, that we downed during our last reunion. He confessed that he was jealous and often times, wondered what his father and I talked about, during those walks, several years ago. Back when he was a kid drowned in books and I was a teenager oblivious to his existence.  We speak to our memories for details and try and put the pieces together. We speak almost every day – me buried  under the Atlantic snow storms and he resonating from a local train in Bandra.

And  in my heart, I realize that our conversations are not over. When I talk to him,…… I talk to you !! You are gone …….but he is here for me –  as I am for him. I know I have to make up for lost time. We live in a cynical world and it is not every day that we know and love someone ……who can complete our sentences in a seemingly intellectual conversation!!

Someday, when I can get myself to see him again, on that balcony, somewhere in  Navi Mumbai, we are going to look up at you ….. and we know you would softly smile back at us ….and say – “Go ahead , ……take that walk….. down that road, ….over the bridge….. from behind the eucalyptus trees !!”

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My prolonged absence from my this space is attributed to several reasons of mundane or zero significance. Ramesh, a gentleman and loving friend as he is … did not leave me alone … (thankfully!!). He checked on me and myself ….and one of us …..asked him to do a guest post. We “had made no offers that he could refuse” (watch Godfather ….please) ….so here we are !! Thank you Ramesh for your brilliant handwriting !!

You may have noticed that our good friend le embrouille blogueur has disappeared for a while now. If you recall, he was last “in prison” in a company that had outsourced its IT to the Great Firewall of China and being subjected to sleep deprivation torture (otherwise called midnight conference calls). So when he asked me to write a guest post on work life balance, I jumped at the idea. But this being a Sunday post, I took the liberty of altering the title , just ever so slightly.

In the good old days, life was very simple. The man went to work and earned the daily bread. The wife kept the house and looked after the kids. Simple. Uncomplicated. OK, if you want jargon, role clarity. Then came the concept – you must achieve work wife balance. Here’s a primer for those still struggling with this idea.

The central premise is that merely working hard and earning a good income is not enough. You must “take care” of the significant other. Here’s how.

The minute you enter the house (before you take off the shoes), you must ask the lady as to how the maid was today. That’s an essential safety valve to release. A tirade will follow – she bunked, she dawdled, she was rude, she answered back, You have to cluck your tongue at the correct intervals, shake your head resignedly on the irresponsibility of that species, listen sympathetically, nod the head, etc etc.

Once the maid has been sufficiently dealt with, then you should proceed to implement this strange notion of equality – that the man must do some housework, instead of resting his tired butt on the sofa and fiddling with the remote. Don’t sigh (that’ll kill it). Just set off for the kitchen – do the dishes, or vacuum the house, or take the garbage out, or whatever.

Progress on to the third step. Parenthood is supposed to be equally shared (your earning the keep does not count as a contribution). Get on to changing the nappies, or rocking the baby, or reading a story. At least 2 hours of this, so that the lady can go online and blog . And don’t call time exactly at the end of 2 hours.

A very critical part of the process is to have a conversation after the baby has gone to sleep. The definition of conversation is that she will talk and you will listen. You have to let her talk about the gorgeous new dress that the neighbour was wearing, how she has no good outfit at all (don’t risk getting killed by rolling your eyes), or how that b*@#$ behaved so badly at yesterday’s kitty. You must ensure that your share of the talking is exactly between 8.46 and 9.32 % of the total words spoken. Any less and you will be charged with being no better than the bedpost. Any more and you will be accused of not listening.

Then there are some weekly chores. Like taking her out. Allow the process to happen patiently. Like the question of what was she to wear (that question should never be answered with “whatever you like”). Allow at least three outfits to be changed and for each, complement on the radiance and the beauty. Accept that you’ll be delayed by at least 1 hour in the process. And you should accept that she’ll tell four other ladies that you are bum, don’t help with the house at all, etc etc and you should grin stupidly at the suggestion that men will be men.

Now here are the don’ts – these are cardinal don’t’s – never ever do them

Plonking on the sofa and watching TV (that’s a red rag), saying that you are tired (how can you be tired when all you have done is go to the office), not noticing the subtle change in her (like new hairdo, new outfit, new shoes, new handbag – look hard my friend, there will be something), not making bed tea for her in the morning (that will count as sacrilege), …………

If you do all the dos and don’t do the don’ts, then you’ll achieve work wife balance.

Got it ?

Image Courtesy:here

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As the rental vehicle cruised out of the parking lot, he held out his hand to touch her henna smeared fingers. Her other hand held on to him ..the one she was going to spend the rest of her life with. This was the first day of the rest of her life. This was the first morning, the morning after two very exhausting days. The massive barrage of rituals felt insignificant to both of them, but they had played along. It had been a spar with ignorance and orthodox conventions and they were glad that the closure worked out in their favor. But then, a wedding is a wedding is a wedding !! No matter how hurt you are, if you are the daughter, you do feel sad to be leaving your Dad and his aura….. to be swept away in the delight of a much awaited matrimony. The speed breaker catalyzed the effects of gravity ……her tears shook him back to the present. She turned to him with those eyes (the reason for this derangement of emotions) and asked him …. “you alright?”

Sometimes life is all about saying the right thing at the right time. He did not know what was the right thing or if there was even a right thing for that moment !! Instead he let out a weak smile. All he could think of, was the father who he had turned to look at …. wiping his tears. And he told to himself ….”I wish I can keep her happy!”.

In the next few years the henna began to blend with the colors of her married life. She liked to ask him, about everything. He was amused at her innocence. She blushed, about how he had been completely brazen about his emotions which in turn had induced unrest in her !! They reminisced about how the conductor (who knew about their then “clandestine affair”) always cared to warn him that the bus was nearing “the neighbourhood”. They laughed about how they would change seats, and then later the same day ….he would take the same bus back to the city. She would wave at him from the balcony as the bus went over the bridge. As the vehicle went over the bridge on that day, he had looked at the balcony. He had missed seeing her there …. and then it had all come back to him … they were together. The families had given in …. they were a couple !!

And then motherhood came, and she glowed like he had never seen her before.He wanted to take care of her even more. All the time. He called everyone from across the seven seas. The medley of information from online forums, visits with the doctor and the family beliefs took a toll and they decided to just follow what they had learnt and what they thought was best…under the circumstances. They looked forward to the images and tried to imagine how “he” would look like when he arrives. And then the day arrived and the other rest of her life began. This was the first day of the rest of her new life. She was a mom. Just like you were to her … !!!

You completely missed my”know it all” grin. You missed my ending sentences with ..”you know what I am saying?” You also missed how she fought against the whole world to be with me. You missed taking care of me when we visited home. You missed taking care of her when she carried the “extra weight around”!! You missed when she cried during her labor and reached out …..to find my hand. You missed when she held “him” in her hands and shed her tears. You missed how when “he” wakes up and smiles ..she tells me … “right there .. he looked just like her“.You missed it all….. !!!

It is not today, but every day that you are missed. We never met, but she thinks that you would have liked me…a lot (I think …). Wandu Ma (the name of love ….. that everyone called you by) ….I want you to know…. I miss ….not meeting you in person !! But I am glad that I found you, when I met your child !! I see her and I know that you must have been a great mother. I know that you know …. if not all the time ….there are moments ….when I do make her happy !! You see it is a learning curve and I am a little slow……!!

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A few years back – this guy with the horn-rimmed glasses started a tirade about wireless networks dropping signals.The catch phrase took the potential consumers by surprise, so much so that they gave in and just bought it on face value – like we do when we pick up the candy near the check out counter. I am talking about any one of the many commercials which changed the way people refer to communication.Unlike what this post seems like it is doing – it is not going to talk about the flourishing effects of this well thought over business strategy.Instead it is about about talking to each other, in a relationship and more importantly about listening.Well if you have the time – tag along and I will explain ..!!

Just like when any other politician’s infedilty is splashed with candour all over the media – it was no surprise that the new addition to the list riled up the common viewer and the affected political parties.But how many of us really saw through the attrocity and felt what Elizabeth Edwards is, at this moment? I would really like that number to be low.I am certain beyond a moment’s doubt that not one of us wants to be in a relationship where every waking moment is an awareness about what “stuck” really means.And this is where I have a problem.What are we waiting for? Why do men think it is too “un-macho” to be able to have a one on one with the woman instead of always trying to prove his physical integrity? Impress with flowers, chocolates and good humor. I would not dare say it is cliché .I look around and I know that if it is one business I cannot go wrong – then it must be the business of making lonely (not always) hearts meet (read results of the Google® search for dating and matrimony websites ) . The need is endless and there is every kind of Alpo® that one may think of.

Couple of years back a Tamil movie – Mozhi moved me.It talked about the basics of a tête-à-tête, something which has become rare in the world where the audience is waiting to watch He’s Just Not That Into You. All around us are the teenage SMSs, the Valentine day icecream cakes and not to forget nice dinners at the Zagat® pick. There are the mariachi love notes and the walk in the park. But to me nothing beats a simple conversation !!

Here is from where I may sound like I am contradicting myself……

It is funny how the West is looked down upon, for the statistical highs on failed relationships.Divorce,breakups, walk outs, walk ins, red handed, cold blooded and most of all marriage counselling are the hottest topics you could spin your sitcoms around. For someone like me who has seen a little bit of both worlds and who has a blog to transmit…..what the rest of the world misses to see under the icing is how there is also a lot of voice that is heard.Couples talk to each other, and they listen to each other. They are not scared or if they are they still do it anyways.When I was growing up and even now, all around me, I saw couples who had diffculty conversing without getting into an emotional throwdown.Now when I look at them, nothing has changed.I am not ready to accept that it is love that is keeping them together.I would love to be the optimistic romantic but the fact of the matter is – they just do not know the way out, or if they do, it is not an easy one. So they decide to be “stuck”. I am no Dr.Gray but in my heart, I believe that there is no crisis (in a relationship) that cannot be resolved over a good conversation, with some fresh brewed beverage and key lime pie. O.K. maybe the pie is a stretch. But I really feel like we could do better,only and only if we learnt the art of dialogue with our significant other…try it !!

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Saturday morning saw me driving towards my weekend chores and listening to this extremely calm and composed individual on NPR. I was a little amazed that the public radio actually was speaking to him a few hours before a fight which is probably one of the most talked about fights in recent boxing history.And I told myself … “so this really is a big deal!”. The funny part is how I fit into all this.Blame it on HBO. Most nights during the week when I finally call it quits and crash on the hotel bed, it is them who have had this reality show following two boxers as they come closer to the duel on May 2nd in Las Vegas. I had never heard of him before I had started watching this show.But once I started, it was on my mind like clock work every night. I was fighting the complete exhaustion of the project to wait and see how the two trainers would react to the camera and the questions on that day. The whole process was too engaging.

And what made it so addictive was the contrast in their temperament. Both extremely disciplined and yet different in so many ways. While Freddie Roach had a calm demeanor about him, Floyd Mayweather was aggressive and very vocal.If Roach was the calm before the storm, Floyd was the eye. They did not hide their passionate hatred towards each other nor did they under play their confidence in their trainee, one of whom would make boxing history in a few weeks.My association with following this sport has been close to nothing except for the fact that I was actually part of the live television audience which witnessed the famous “ear biting” drama.But in this case I was drawn into the whole build up process.

One of the perks of not being a regular subscriber to any cable television network is that I depend on the web for my updates.The fight was a Pay Per View program and though I was curious,it did not ruin my sleep.His face was all over the sports channels at every store that I stopped at and I was curious and probably hoping that he wins. Why ?? It is his mother!! And I will explain how.

This was her first time in the States and she had flown from the Philippines a week before her son was going to be in a fight which is probably one of the priciest prize money events. When I saw her in the episode where she is so excited, not because she has stepped into the “supposed land of opportunity” but because she was the mother of the child who was followed by thousands of fans and was a favorite to win the title , I felt a warmth. And I told to myself – let him win.Call me the emotional hopeless. Here is a son who is glad that another made his mom proud.No one in this world would feel the pain she would,if he went down.I know I almost make it sound like destiny.He worked really hard and he earned it. Good job Manny Pacquiao and many congratulations !!


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