14

Ordeal at Client Office


Just another day at work, just another client meeting! The only thing which excited me that day was the team lunch at South-Indies after the so-called brain storming session. The magic about these kinds of meetings is that even the most complicated problems on earth get solved if you talk jargons sitting around a table flashing power point presentations! Please note - Quality of the solution is directly proportional to the fanciness of the slides shared! So easily we draw conclusions and arrive at the so-called best decisions! Oh... how I wish, if decision making in life was as simple as that!

However, on this particular day, there was something else in store for me. …something more fancy than the usual pie charts and bar graphs that pops up and fades away on the wall!

I was waiting at the lobby to meet this guy for the first time, the Communications Manager of ‘so-&-so’ company. FYI, ‘so-&-so’ is one of world’s largest makers of laptops and desktops! I was hoping the guy to be good looking; you see - there should be some motivation on a Friday morning to participate in a discussion actively! 

I had 10 more minutes, hence I decided to utilize the time to visit the rest room. I finished the planned activity; but to my horror, I discovered that I got locked inside! I looked around… except for a dust bin, there was nothing else in the tiny stupid room which I could use to try to open the door. Now I know why most of the girls carry spanners and screw drivers in their handbags; not only lip sticks and eye liners! But, I had no gadgets with me and to add to the misery, unfortunate me had gotten inside the visitors’ rest room. Hence I saw chances of somebody coming in soon almost close to nil. I looked at my watch… God, the good-looking (I wish…!) manager would be waiting for me! How nice, if all the loos in the world had emergency alarms!  

I thought, "Should I call my boss and inform that I cannot meet the client as I got trapped in an inaccessible zone?!" But, how could he pull me out of the mess? I scrolled through the contacts on my mobile and paused at ‘so&so manager’. “God, What a fate… Should this really be the first thing to discuss face-to-face?”, I couldn’t have been in a more embarrassing situation!!  

I dialed his number, thinking “Wish he gets relocated to the US tonight itself, so that I need not interact with him ever after!”
“Hello Shalini… Are you still on your way? I am waiting at the lobby”.
“Hey, Hi… Very Good Morning. How you doing?” Daivame… how do I tell him?!
“Good morning! I am going good. And you?”
“Actually, I am not… I…”
“Oh… not keeping well?”
Idiot, will you let me speak? “No no… I am absolutely fine! But, I got trapped inside your rest room”
“What?! You inside MY rest room?”
Dumbo! What will I do in your toilet? “I mean… here, inside your office rest room near the lobby. Unless you rescue me, I don’t think I will be able to join the discussion”
“Oh no… I am so sorry. I shall make the arrangements to get you out!”

In few minutes, I was set free; I felt sorry for all the prisoners in Tihar and Kannur Jail! Thanks to the mobile revolution! Else, I would have compelled myself to become a James-Bondi, that too inside a toilet fighting against the door!

I met the not-so-good looking manager; for the next five minutes he apologized to me on behalf of ‘so&so’. Later, he introduced me to rest of his teammates. Perhaps, he would have wanted to say, “Meet Shalini Surendran, the girl whom I rescued from the rest room!!"

After the discussion, the floor was open to share “Take Aways”. I almost said, “In future, you may or may not use computers; but definitely you will use toilets! Hence I STRONGLY think there are more important things to be done in this company than innovation on desktops and laptops!”

Like most times, finally the twist in the tale – This is my ex-colleague’s experience! About her in short – She is from the land of Rasgullas!

Folks, enjoy your weekend!
See that you don't get trapped in rest rooms in cinema halls or restaurants! ;)

10

Tweeting cannot get more dramatic!


Condolences to all those who lost their lives and dear ones in the fire that broke out in Carlton Towers this evening. It was indeed miserable to see people jump from top floors only to lose their lives! Oh… it cannot get worse! L

I have no idea what I would have done if I was one among the hundreds who got trapped inside! But definitely, I would not have changed my face book status to, “Guys… Guess what? This building is under fire. Oh, I am feeling hot and this smoke is spoiling my new salwar suit!”

Cheers to this guy who was tweeting when he was not sure if he is going to die or get saved! …if he will go home after a chai with his friends or by an ambulance!

This guy totally resembles one of those Bollywood heroes, who runs to his girl friend when he is almost thrashed and killed by the villain. …the kind of hero drenched in blood, who pulls out a duppatta from his pants pocket and howls at the heroine, At least now my Jaan, I have to reveal the secret - I am the same old boy who flicked and hid your lal-dupatta. Before I die, I think I should give it back to you saying SORRY; here it is…!!" 

The girl might have been fair, unfair or even more dramatic to the hero on-screen. However, to our joy, the off-screen tale has a happy ending! Our tweet'er hero cycled home safe to become a champion over-night! He, his tweets and photographs clicked in between the accident are everywhere - on news channels, portals, newspapers, blogs and where not??!!!

…and here are the tweets from the Reel Real Hero:

Carlton Towers is burning and six of us are trapped inside. The fire's above but there's smoke everywhere. Saw people jump to their death.
Don't call me folks, you can't help. Will keep posting.
Rescue ladder only reaches the fourth floor. We're on the fifth.
A Corner House treat to whoever gets a picture of me looking out of the window. Seriously, people, there's no need to panic. Bad for you.
Heard it's not a fire, just an electric short-circuit. Only smoke (itself quite dangerous).
Massive crowd outside. This must have choked traffic for kilometres around.
Cycling home. Won't take calls. Please feel free to use my pictures as needed.
I'm home safe now.

I seriously admire you, Mr.Cool Head..!!
J


4

Jai Ho!


Every night, we sleep under the cover of peacefulness because of the Jawans who watch for intruders and parasites! Yet…

There is no applause

When a solider returns from duty.
There is only remembrance
When he comes back in a coffin, wrapped in tricolor!

Here I salute each one of you, with gratitude and immense respect!

Don’t know why I feel extremely extremely patriotic today!


20

Beware; MCPs in Town!


You agree it or not, this definitely is a man’s world! We live amongst a bunch of M.C.Ps - absolute Male Chauvinist Pigs! I swear, I am neither a feminist, nor I hate men. In fact, three of the four most important people in my life are men and they don’t belong to this category of which I am talking about!

Today, I got to know of this person, whom not even by mistake I want to meet in my life. Let me call him Mr. MCP. This guy received a wedding invite from a distant relative of his. The invite read this way,

Dear Mrs Mariam and Family,
We request the honor of your presence at the marriage of our daughter…..

Mr. MCP resent the invite to the sender adding this note:

Hello Mr.Joseph,

For your kind information, I am the head of the family and not my wife Mariam. She is just my wife! If you really want us to attend your daughter’s wedding, please send the invite once again to me, ie to the person who runs the family.

Thank You,
MCP.

Guys, can you actually believe that somebody did this just because he felt his wife was given more importance than him? Such an insecure creature he is who craves for and demands superiority. And he shamelessly announced, “She is JUST my wife”. Does he mean that women in general are just passive objects not worthy of attention that they don’t even deserve to be addressed in a wedding invite?
 

Anyways, nothing much I could do about it other than writing this blog post and feeling sorry for his wife and daughters. I don't need to worry about his female friends cos for sure he will not be having any! You see, for obvious reasons!! 

I remind myself every second of how fortunate I am, 
for being My Dad’s daughter, My Brother’s Sister, My Husband's Wife and My Friends’ friend. I am truly blessed…

Anybody who passes by this blog post - what message do you have for such M.C.Ps who are in fact the ultimate losers in life?

14

Heights… heights of what?!


What has technology done to all of us in common?
It has made us a bunch of lazy bums.

I overheard this conversation in the elevator today. ...and I felt it is worth archiving in this little space here!  

Blue Shirt – Man, you were supposed to send the revised “blah blah blah” presentation to me, right?
Cow-Dung Green Shirt - Which one?
Blue Shirt – Where I asked you to shuffle the slides? I wanted the slides with tabular columns one after the other; but pie charts squeezed in b/w them!
Thinking I – Huh??!! You mean like tomato in a bread sandwich?
Cow-Dung Green Shirt - Huh… yeah, I have already sent it to you.
Blue Shirt – Oh, really?? When?
Cow-Dung Green Shirt – I guess last to last week.
Blue Shirt – Please… from now on, whenever you send an important email, please come to my cube and tell me.
Cow-Dung Green Shirt – Tell what?
Blue Shirt – …that you have sent an email and it is important!!!
Thinking I – And if it is less important, call and tell him that an email has been sent; however it is not so important!

7

Thinking of you, Gocha!


Last evening, with just twenty rupees in my pocket, I was scanning the cafeteria menu wondering what to choose to please my taste buds! Finally, with all what I had, I picked a pastry which was of the size of a gooseberry! As I tossed it down, I was relishing that ‘once upon a time’ in my life when I was such a content being! …and I call it ‘College Days’
 J

I smile at almost every day spent in the college campus. When I look back, there isn’t a single moment which I did not enjoy; there is something nice about even the bitter experiences that I tumbled upon!

…and who has witnessed almost all of these emotions we were going through? Undoubtedly the College Canteen! It is almost every last bencher’s favorite place and so is mine! 
J It is not just a place to eat masala dosas, but also an open arena for debates, discussions, arguments, romance, gossips, lazing, kidding and having unlimited fun – a place to add different flavors to life and grow memories of friendship …through cutlets and pepsi!

I am trying to recall that one afternoon in the canteen, when one of my friends and I laughed and laughed, till our tummies ached and we almost lost our breadth. Both of us were finishing our assignments over coffee and daal-vada, while this guy, whom we call ‘Gocha’, came running to our table.

Snatching my pen and the last bit of vada, he mocked at us saying,
 “Why do you waste your life finishing assignments? I am borrowing your pen for the next 2 hours. And girls… Grow up! Why don’t you engage yourself in something fruitful – like me, who is going to write my supplementary exam? You see... it is a chance to brush your learning!” 
“We are not interested in growing so much! …and Idiot, it is already 2 O’ clock! Will they let you in now?” 
“For my level of intelligence, three hours is not required to answer an exam. So darlings, see you in a while!” 
“I salute your dripping confidence dude…!! All the best; Ayushmanbhava!!”
“Oh, Thanks sweets!”
Pode Podee…!!!” (Malayalam to English – “Go away…!!”!)

More coffee and vadas were being served. We were immersed in our assignment business. Like he said, exactly in a while - in less than half an hour, there comes Gocha.

“Huh?! I never thought you were this intelligent to finish a 3 hours paper in just 15 minutes! You are born intelligent, Gocha!”
“You don’t need to repeat facts! Uhh… BTW, here is your pen; I might need it after 6 months. Keep it safe!”
“What happened? You saw the question paper and decided to not write it?”
“Nope… The invigilator couldn’t find my roll number in the list. That is when I came to know that it is not in ‘Marketing’ that I flunked; ‘Advertising’ was the traitor. And the exam was over yesterday! How disastrous for the university, they are not fortunate enough to read my smart advertising tips and theories!”
“They have read it once and hence u r requested to repeat again - your maha findings!" 

"You bloody irresponsible brat, The Looser of the decade!!”
“Rude woman! How could you accuse me without knowing the truth? It was my room-mate bugger who gave me this false info; I trusted him so much that I did not even check my marks card...!! So, obviously, he is at fault and not me!”
“I will write a book on you Gocha!” 
“For cover page photograph, use the one clicked when I grew my hair, preferably wearing sun glasses! I look really stunning in gogs! J
":X" ":X"

Gocha… If not a book, at least I have written a blog post about you, though I know you are worth something much bigger! 

BTW, Gocha got married to the love of his life, proving that untainted love goes even beyond the barriers of language and religion. He definitely is not a looser in life, which makes me smile really really wide! 
J

Now, do you have any canteen memories to share? The floor is open to you!!


19

Inappropriate


I packed my bags and started for Amritsar from Bangalore, for official reasons. Of all the places in the country, Amritsar! Why couldn’t Punjab be in South India; in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or at least near Mumbai? Who the hell has placed Punjab there, even beyond Haryana? 
This trip will not let me watch me son perform on stage for the first time as Spiderman :( The sacrifices made in life just for the salary credit at the month end is indeed big! 

Totally disliking the trip, I boarded the flight and forced myself to sleep, turning on the “Do not disturb” panel. In fact, I meantDare not to trouble me; I'm in a very bad mood!” 

I woke up listening to the chaos in the air craft. Gentle men and women were seen very grumpy; they seemed to be not so gentle. They were constantly murmuring; but nothing made sense to me. Suddenly I heard,
 “Ting Tong… Dear passengers, Kripaya dyan deejiyee. We are landing into New Delhi airport in few minutes” “Huh? Holy Cow… Did I board the wrong train, I mean flight…!! What am I to do now?! …Madam continues, “This is due to some technical problems and we shall resume our journey to Amritsar in a short while. Hope you are enjoying your flight. Dhanyavaad

Oh no; I hate this! I knew something bad would happen, cos the first guy I saw this morning was George Bush! Newspaper could have had Mahatma Gandhi or at least Julia Roberts instead. In the next 45 minutes, I could only find faults with everything. There was this little baby crying; I felt like sealing its mouth with a milk bottle. I got even more irritated when I saw its mother who instead of finding means to lower the volume of her baby was merrily blabbering non sense over the phone. There were people cribbing about hunger, unclean aircraft restroom, laptop and mobiles running out of power, delayed meetings, weddings going unattended, and so on. However, I felt mine was the biggest of all the problems, “I couldn’t get photographed with my son on his first ever fancy dress competition” 

People shut their mouth when the aircraft started flying again. The most looked at thing was the watch for the next few minutes. “Ting Tong…” She cleared her throat and announced, “Dearest passengers, Welcome to Jaipur. We had almost reached Amritsar when we realized that for the next two hours the place is still technically unfit for landing. Hence we are here, in the Pink City of India. Hope you are enjoying your flight. Dhanyavaad.”

Aree re are ye kya hua…” I started singing to myself. That is the mantra to control my anger and frustration. I also started consoling myself, “This is not the worst[ the flight could have been hijacked. God saved; that did not happen!” 

“Tring Tring…” My mobile rang.

“Hello, Am I speaking to Priyanka?”
“Yes… Who is this?”
How you doing?”
“I am good. Grrrr Who is this?”
“I'm from Employee Communications Team. We have already exchanged couple of emails. Since I did not see a reply from you, thought I shall get it done over the phone”.
“Can we speak…”
”My questions are not technical, for a change. So, I'm sure you'd love to answer them!”
“But I am…”
“Alright… here I go. To warm up, let me start off with easy ones.
“errr…”
“Which is your favorite holiday destination?”
Hell… Here I am stuck in this stupid aircraft for hours and somebody wants to know where I wanna go holidaying! “Pass…”
“Oops, ‘Pass’ is not an option. There should be at least one dream destination, right?
“Shall I answer it at the end?”
“Fine. Tell me, how is it for both of you, I mean for you and Bharath to work for the same company?”
“There is nothing fancy about working in the same company”
“Isn’t it lovely to be with your husband even at work?”
“Give me a break…”
“Oops, by the way, are you free to talk? Sorry; forgot to ask you that. 
“Shall I call you back? I don't think my brain is working now”


This is my colleague's story who had a very unpleasant travel experience. 
...and I was the one who asked her in the middle of all the mess, “How romantic is it, to go to work daily with your husband?”




15

The keywords – CSP


Indians are undeniably unique - unique in their way of living, unique in their thought process, unique in their dressing style and even innovation. From us, came not only zero and USB, but also the most elegant, yet the sexiest attire in the world. T
his five and a half meter of cloth could be more revealing than Priyanka Chopra’s golden bikini! Stay on, I am not here to talk about saree; boys have already done enough research on that! 

Talking about the Indian way of questioning and sharing concerns, we have some predefined FAQs, which are mostly raised by aunties, grannies and mommies. Even colleagues! Like, today at the lunch table she asked him, “Wow, so many dishes your wife has packed for lunch! Love blooms - in the form of beetroot and potatoes, even after 2 years of marriage! Impressive!”

And this guy replied “Yes, she is nice!” And we all smiled at him feeling good for the girl.

The next question from the same lady, “Oh so, is the junior in the making? Planning or execution stage?” She sounded like the President of “Association of Curious and Impatient Mothers and Mothers-in-law” in the country. By the way, every second person in India is eligible to become the president of this association!

It is a ritual in our country to spend time, energy and money on gold, food and decoration. Why? - To fancily lock the girl and the boy in a room, so that from day 2, parents, relatives and the entire neighborhood can ask if the girl has started showing baby bump. For the boy, it is more like proving his manliness to the whole world! 


After the wedding there is only one “good news”, which is not a promotion at work or buying a house. It has to be that one obvious ‘good news’! Recently, out of the blue, my cousin called and without any headlines to the content, he gave me “The” good news, “I have done my bit successfully, we are gonna enter parenthood shortly!”

“Wow… Congrats to-be daddy & mommy!”,
I felt really happy for them and also their parents and relatives and second cousins and grand aunts and uncles and current neighbors and previous neighbors. Even the lady who sells fish to her mother and the gardener who occasionally works in the yard there. All of them have been waiting keenly for many years for this to happen. Now they can move on in their lives.  

“Compulsion, stress and pressure! I had no choice in the end; I will start seeing my wife grow forward".
My cousin told me and I rolled on the floor laughing. 

He continued, “I even felt that we were being talked about more than global warming and Obama completing one year as the president of USA. Everybody was so concerned. Before I could receive a memorandum-of-request signed by the entire population of Kerala, I managed it to do it! I was still giggling lying down!

So don’t forget the key words: CSP - Compulsion, Stress and Pressure! Have you learnt to overcome it?  


You too experienced CSP? Most welcome to share your stories in the comment box below!

.
7

Are you a devotee too?




Some worship God, some worship heroes,
Some worship power, some worship rank
…and over these ideals they dispute!
But in common, they all worship money for sure!!

How the great Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan’s fans expressed their love for their favorite hero, who is no more! P
icture clicked from a village near Mysore.


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