January 30, 2005

My Autobiography – How I don’t want it to be.

Another 40 years left in my life if accidents, cancer, and diabetics don’t play a spoil sport. How do I want my life to be? The options to choose from are too many – Management studies, M.S, journalism and medicine. Although becoming a doctor after an under-graduation in engineering might look insane, it is not impossible; all it takes is an admission into a Patna university.

All of us (rich/poor/dark/fair/ugly/sane/insane) have to go through this crucial phase of selecting a career path. Instead of breaking one’s head with the options, it would be better to employ a different method of selection. Just think of what you don’t want to be in life. It’s that simple!

The following is how I don’t want my autobiography to read

Autobiography of VIKRAMAN VASUDEVAN (1983-2043)

Chap1: Childhood days

Chap2: Adolescence and running behind women (without much success)

Chap3: undergrad days and the fun associated with it.

Chap4: The dream job and marriage (shh! Running behind women secretively)

Chap5: My First child - a successful marriage indeed!

Chap6: Oh my god! My child walks, a moment of ecstasy.

Chap7: YES. I got him admitted into the best school.

Chap8: My child runs behind women- nostalgia!

Chap9: Retirement life with a cane chair and Hindu crossword.

January 23, 2005

God, can I have fast growing facial hair?

I added the seventh can of Gillette shaving cream to my cupboard. You guessed it right; it was a gift from someone who came from the US. Why do people invariably gift us with Shaving creams? Do people in the US shave 5 times a day that they think we must follow it here? Or may be it is because they think we don’t have such ‘sophisticated’ things in India. We may not be ‘cultured’ enough to use a toilet paper, but we certainly use shaving gels.

Let me see how I can finish those seven cans soon…

#1 They can be used as a substitute for fresh cream on birthday cakes.

#2 Dissolve it in water and use it for white washing the walls.

#3 Fill the centre of a biscuit after eating the cream off.

#4 The not so potent men can fake an…well it has a lot of other uses.

January 21, 2005

The unsung heroes – DYFI and SFI

I persuaded myself really hard before I took the final decision to leave to cuddalore to help the tsunami victims. I called up AID-India many times to find out about my vaccination, food, accommodation and bugged them with every other possible question. I felt proud of myself and the feeling of becoming another mahatma was on the rise, only until I reached the place.

The volunteers of DYFI (democratic youth federation of India) blew the feeling that was budding in me. These guys have been working in the camps for over a month now without any remuneration. Some of them are on a loss of pay and the others are on a long leave.

Whenever I got an opportunity to talk to the volunteers (mostly at night), I tried to reason the force that drove them this far. I had a good chat with Mr. Sudhakaran (joint-secretary) while we were on our way to Chidambaram to buy note books for the kids. He is an ITI degree holder who had many offers from dubai and Saudi which he refused; he believes in working for the people.

Mr.vanchinathan (in-charge of the camp) narrated an incident in which moved me very much. Hundreds of unemployed youth gathered in an open ground hoping to be selected into the military for 180 vacant posts, some of them were engineers and science graduates. The crowd which became unmanageable was lathi-charged which left many wounded. Those who were selected had the shock of their life when they came to know what they were selected for- they were to be the barbers in the military camps. Mr. Vanchi felt the need for an organisation which would back the unemployed youth in the country against such insults.

DYFI and SFI (student federation of India) are the real heroes doing real work for tsunami relief. This post will therefore not contain any photos, showing me playing with children or doing some relief work.

January 05, 2005

God’s own country – The people

Visit kerala and you’ll find out the limitations of your vocabulary (applicable even to the Brits). This is perhaps the only place where Mother Nature remains in her pristine self. The lofty Western Ghats, cool weather, lush green tea plantations, streets filled with the aroma of spices and the beautiful women make the place a heaven on earth.

As I got down from the train I saw a woman in salwar kameez with her thuppata struggling to cover her curvature walking towards me and I knew I was in kerala. We had that ‘inevitable' collision that sent both of us a few yards away, having lived majority of my life in Chennai I was expecting some nasty comment or atleast a cold stare. I was surprised when she smiled and said “I am sorry”. No, she actually said “I am Sooory” (Punch on the ‘O’ when you’re in kerala).

There needn’t be temples when people worship their work; Kerala is not crowded with temples that fight for survival in every nook and corner. The people of kerala are very practical (should the credit go to communism?). YOU DON’T FIND A BEGGAR IN THAT STATE. Against a common notion, the keralites are not cunning but in fact very helpful.

Should all Indians have the same attitude; India will certainly be a better place to live in.