Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Firm and taut. You would call her a beauty; I call her my lover. She lay there, covering little - very little - of herself with the blanket we shared to soak her sweat from mine and mine from her body. The Burgundy of the silk spread turned dark to indicate the passionate duo within. Soon the spots merged, like we had done a while ago.
I watched her body rise and fall to the relaxed rhythm of her breath. Her stomach rose so gently, tugging her lovely nether regions towards the soft mounds, victim to my parched mouth. And in that motion, she drew me to unite with her and we breathed together in separate beings. I watched her hand, raised to cover her brow, a full breast held in place by her youth. But nothing pleased me more than what I saw now. The gradual welling of her peace accentuated by the glint in her eye, as it orgasmed into a tear and lazily burnt its way down her cheek...

Like last night.

Generation gap?

I was pulled into an article in The Hindu. It started thus:

Somewhere along the line, young people have started to mistake bad manners for confidence

So here I was with the newspaper in my hands and I think: "Hmmm, so true! Let's hear what this person has to say." Well, what the person said revealed how little he knew about presenting a topic and he was so thoroughly confused. If someone makes a statement like:

It is not that they are useless: most speak good English and are confident of themselves. They are aware of the latest ring tones, movies and jokes. But when one goes a little beyond, they stare at me with dull eyes.

I know the person has very little clue about what he wants to really say. How does knowing English relate to being useful? Or being aware of the latest ringtones!!?? :-O

But the topic is something that is of relevance. People of the present generation believe that being disrespectful can be likened to one or more of the following:

1. Being confidant
2. Being cool
3. Essential for getting work done

I disagree with all of them (don't I love that!? ;-)

What has being confidant have to do with being disrespectful? Or getting the work done? Frankly, I think anything that needs to be realised only by being disrespectful is rather left unrealised. The article talks about things beside the point and I was left rather exasperated!

India (and most of Asia) has had (and still does) have a deep tradition of paying respects as protocol for most societal interaction. This is dying. This tradition has been considered privy to places like Japan, but India too has a very rich tradition of being respectful. It is a traditional practice and tradition cannot be mistaken for a mere formality.

When youngsters today talk to their parents, it is quite disturbing to watch their gestures and the phrases they used were unthought of a few years ago.
"Get lost dad! You are such a bore!"
Huh! :-o
"Paati (grandma) is so outdated. I really do not know what to do with her."
Huh! :-O
"You know Krishnan mama (uncle)? That old neighbour of ours? Yeah the fat one. He keeps coming every morning to borrow the newspaper. Such a miser!"
HUH! :-O

And these are the mild ones. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the words used (like screw, pain-in-the-you-know-where, etc.) are appalling. So much said about language.

When an elderly person walks into the room, we were taught to rise and sit only when the person instructs us to do so. Maybe that is too old-fashioned, but extending your legs in front of someone old enough to be your grandfather/mother? Or munching on some snacks and talking to them?

Something I find entirely unacceptable is the "mobile" culture that has crept in. People must have their mobiles on and they must attend to it no matter what. As the article mentions, many candidates I interviewed for companies would suddenly have their pants singing out to them!! Loud enough to disturb other candidates sitting at other tables. To my present teams I made it clear that mobiles should be switched off during meetings or turned to silent mode and left ignored (so that you can find out who called and return those calls after the meeting). What can be so urgent in this world? A member whose wife was expecting (don't ask me what) was allowed to answer his mobile, but he too had to keep it in silent mode. I don't know why this has to be told. Isn't it a basic modicum of decency?

We never spoke in presence of elders unless our opinion was sought. Nowadays I find children butting in and rudely disagreeing with them. There are polite and definitely decent ways of putting forth a point.

On the roads, people talk to vendors rudely or in a rough voice. They think that by doing so, they can establish who is in control. This is not something that only youngsters seem to do. In Madras, people tell me that you have to be tough with autorikshaw drivers as they are most inclined to fleece you. I have been here for nearly 4 months now and I have never had to even once raise my voice. I clearly state the price and if they disagree then I simply walk away. I have never (knock on wood, else another post will come up :-) had to be tough with them. With the vegetable vendors too, I have never had to be gruff. It was mostly a case of a clear steady voice and then the deal is realised or not. Another thing on roads that I observe today is the way drivers treat each other. Without doubt it is annoying when a car cuts your path, but there are decent ways of telling the driver that s/he was doing something stupid. People shriek and shout and of course! swear.

Why have we stopped respecting human beings and lost ourselves to getting things done and making an impression? Why is it so important to make an impact and be firm, when we cannot master the art of being gentle but persuasive?

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Now that the days find me less occupied with work at the office, my domestic responsibilities take over. I enjoyed living out-o'-box but no longer! I set myself the task of cleaning it all up and it sure is a tiresome job. Cartons upon cartons of books took most of my time. This time I decided to stack the loft with books that I will not be reading in the next 12-18 months. All my lofts are full. Then I decided to stack the lower compartment of my massive cupboard with books and magazines that I have read and will not be re-reading in the next 12-18 months. The compartment is full. Goes to show that I have a lot of reading to do after a year! :-)

In the midst of all these cartons stood an innocent and seemingly drab structure. A wooden stool which looked vaguely familiar (many things in my house are vaguely familiar, and my mother would ask me occasionally, "Remember me? Your mother?" ;-). I stopped my sweaty job and stood staring it. It looked fresh, but something about it reminded me of days which coloured my life about 15 years ago. I went around it and around, but it refused to bring to the forefront the memories that clung to the remote recesses of my mind. Such memories are like gum stuck on a shoe. They are fresh and of their particular colour till we walk great miles; then they mingle with the sole's contours and are covered with what covers the world.
I cleared the contents placed on the stool and kept staring at it. Then it struck me. I toppled it on its side like you see in the picture. Voila!! This was the spacecraft of 5-10 year old Condor 2000, the greatest ever warrior to save this earth (don't ask me from what!). I couldn't help laugh and cry at the same time, a kind of behaviour fond memories are known to incite.
Who was Condor 2000? That shall come up in another post. But this spacecraft was a wonderful creation. This spacecraft is nearly as old as the author. I fail to understand how the wood lasted so long (not referring to my bones!). It has been through many avataras and holds its present look. In its heydays it was coated in grey synthetic paint (which made it shine, like a hero's spacecraft should).
The rungs create compartments and Condor 2000 would always be in the middle. The rear was reserved for his pesky sister and the front compartment was for his knees!! The cockpit (as indicated) was very sophisticated and had all the controls required to navigate through any terrain. Traveling under water, through lava (learnt this one from the UGC programmes), through space and through vacuum (something I learnt from my sister's books) was piece o' cake (which usually followed hours of traveling in the craft. Come on! Heroes get hungry too!). The best thing about this cockpit was its understanding. Depending on the need of the situation, it would spring new controls and gears and levers. So I could shoot Shington rockets and Freezo rays whenever I wanted. There were nail biting situations when I would run out of supplies of ammunition, but the craft was clever enough to send out radio requests to its automated helper crafts which would navigate based on the signals (see? I had invented GPS long ago!) and replenish the supply. These rockets couldn't be detected by enemy spaceships or vehicles (the B-2 stealth bomber learnt this from me!! ;-) and would attach themselves to my spacecraft. I believed in reuse and hence these "subordinate" mini-spacecrafts morphed themselves into rockets and bombs (so they didn't have to waste a trip back to the station!! ;-)
Many adventures were lived and played in this spacecraft. Those were also the days of Star Trek and my inspiration was obvious. I also had a secret code for friends of Condor 2000. Things have changed since then. The spacecraft has retired to become a stool (I still remember once my mother demanding that I get out of the "stool" and my telling her that she couldn't recognise a stool from a spacecraft. What followed is best left censored! :-(
I do not fit between the rungs anymore (I could turn it around and I would fit into the rungless spacecraft of Eroteme, but I look stupid in there). My sis is too far away to trouble me with her incessant request of getting a ride (geez! how many people hitchhike a spacecraft!!??). I have forgotten the names of my rockets and bombs. The stool was re-painted twice and has a spanking new "sanmica" sheet on its top. As you notice, it has "sissy" plastic bushes under its feet.
Things change. Now my room is cleaner...

Friday, March 24, 2006

And they lived happily ever after...

And many days have passed when a well-meaning friend would ask me with earnest, "Why do you write such depressing prose? Why must someone suffer at the end?" And I would merely smile, more for the reason that I know not what this friend of mine is referring to. When I had posted this, a friend of mine called me and asked me, "Why do you want me to cry?" and I told her with all the honest I could command that I didn't want her to cry. Something similar happened when I wrote this post. As stupid as I can get, I laughed it out every time someone told me that they cried. Frankly, they weren't meant to be tear-jerkers.
Recently, friends tell me that they would like to see a happy post, maybe a love story with a happy ending, even something quotidian but saccharine. Some go one step further and ask me, "Is it not possible for you to write a happy post or story?" And I smile for laughing is popularly considered rude.
As a writer, I cannot preordain what I shall write. I am a writer, a slave and I shall go where the pen takes me. Maybe I will write happy posts (like this and this and wacky ones like this) maybe I will write dark ones and saddening ones. I really do not know where a post takes me, or where a story leads me. To decide the tone and ending and what each character will do at every turn of the story is like planning a love-making session (let's wrap this up in 30 minutes, lady! You need to lie there, no slightly to the left, yes... purrrfect!....).
Last night (and it is never yesterday night, for pete's sake!) I read this very interesting piece and it cajoled me into writing this post. It would be funny to follow the ideas that the author mentions. E.g.

Madame Bovary could also do with some cheering up. How about this: Emma marries Charles, a terrifically entertaining and virile country doctor, they have eight children, someone invents Prozac, Emma buys an Aga and wins first prize for home baking at Yonville agricultural fair


Even though Austen ended all her books with a definitive full stop, dozens of imitators have added sequels and prequels, new endings and new beginnings. There are sequels to Treasure Island, Kim, Lark Rise to Candleford and even Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. No one has yet written The Sisters Karamazov, but it is only a matter of time.

What I liked most was found towards the end, and it always helps to find a piece of clove (such as this) to chew on after a long read of rib tickling ideas!

No writer worth the name sets out to produce happy or unhappy endings, let alone seeks to alter existing literature to produce one or the other. It is not the mere happiness or unhappiness of fiction that grips us, but the questions it asks, the people and situations it creates, the complexity of emotions it stirs. Some of the greatest endings in literature are neither uplifting nor distressing, but inquiring.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An old song

Please come to me
I am at your doorstep
My love's for you to see
We'll set everything right
Will you please be mine tonight?

I'll catch moonbeams
While your hair tickles my lips
I'll weave in them dreams
While our lips lust-n-fight
Will you please be mine tonight?

I need your eyes
To make my world beautiful
To make truth of my lies
To make my dark shadow bright
Be mine tonight... every night!

Excuse Me!

I would love to see the day when people stretch on fine Italian leather couches sipping a martini and smelling fish, paying an extra for stale ones.
I would love to see the day when people would give up that Italian leather for sewn cotton wool from a mechanic's garage.
I would love to see the day when people would give up that martini for lizard barf!

And why not? I am sure that day will come, especially when the today is the day when people prefer to foul mouth rather than speak clean and clear. It is extremely annoying when people find it fashionable to give a fine cloak to their inadequacy in holding a decent verbal conversation. Nowadays it is considered fashionable to swear. Of course, it is ironic when the same intent is communicated in, say, Hindi or Tamil or Marathi and it is termed vulgar. Pray tell me how does it get to be vulgar when its English cousin is still quite fashionably smoking a thin Camel on the arm of a bachelor armchair?

I am not ignorant of the terms employed to describe various things. When I was in Lucknow, I used to write poetry with the most vulgar words. I was 11 then and had the least clue about what these meant beyond being something hush-hush. I think that was my last year of swearing. I do not claim to never swear beyond that point in history. I do. I do say "shit" and occasionally make the heavens cringe by saying "Holy shit!". But I am holding myself against the firing squad as well.

A language is for communicating the true intent of the speaker. Slang is out. I do not understand what slang has in a place strictly for communicating. If it is a fun party with a lot of boisterous young lads and lasses, then communication is not the focus and hence anything is fine. Hence, I fail to see why slang enters conversations. Abbreviations and shorter words aren't really slang. They are primarily convenience. How many people would say International Business Machines? How many people would say television? How many people say refrigerator?

In places where communication is not the primary focus, slang is permissible, but why foul mouth. What follows is not advisable for the weak hearted. You are welcome to read other posts/blogs.

I hear people say "Shut-the-f***-up" Doesn't make sense no matter what you try to glean from it. It is terribly saddening to find people at the loss of words on such a simple matter. All it would take is to memorise "Shut up" or "Shut your mouth".

The word "Bastard" has a clear meaning. I suppose it was once slang but is no longer that. And its origin is not American. Its usage to a clinical case of illegitimacy or of suspect origin, is fair. When used to rebuke someone, it makes less sense. When used to happily greet someone, it makes least sense!! :-o

Ass, which once was a cousin of the horse, is the American version of a British slang of arse (we cannot help en-slang a slang word further with the hope that two negatives would in some generation - maybe this one - make it a positive) is so often used that I wonder whether it has taken the role of some unknown punctuation mark. Everyone unacceptable is an ass**** and everyone cute is also the same. In certain programming languages we have the concept of run-time-type-information; this appears to be the case of RTTI in real life!

And then there are words used to describe parts of the male and female anatomy. Frankly, I do not know why we need more words than what already exist. And the new words are not phonetically very inviting nor are their origins (and they are bastards in the true sense) very clear in capturing the purpose. A typical case of imagination running haywire.

I doubt whether it would be possible to eliminate slang entirely from our vocabulary as most of us do not consider it time well spent to research it. At times it is more colourful and adds a touch of spice and tang to the atmosphere. Scuzzy is fun to hear instead of the post's title. Yo is livelier than Hello. But we cannot eliminate proper usage and speaking a language (any language) correctly. It is appalling when one hears a bunch of teenagers talk amongst themselves. A generous touch of 2-3 languages well shaken to produce a language exclusive to themselves. Mails carry SMS-ese and I spend an extra few minutes trying to decode them.

Why can't we respect the language that we love to employ for communicating, and speak it correctly?
Has communication become something to "get-it-over-and-done-with"?

You might want to read this rather amusing article.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Zen Koan

It was a small town where Master Naoki lived. He didn't have an enormous monastery to himself nor did he have a huge following. He was, hence, very happy and at peace. In the same town lived an entrepreneur by the name Daiki. Daiki had, to a great extent, singly transformed the agricultural town to a prosperous industrial one. He had constructed firm roads and waterways. Schools were established and trading market places were constructed for fair trade. He was the iron hand behind the administrative body of the town and people respected him as much as they feared him. But in his heart was this constant desire to be acknowledged by great people from different walks of life. When a great samurai visited his town, he would show him all the metallurgical units and the various martial arts schools he had established. He wouldn't rest till the samurai confessed that he had never seen any other town with such facilities and that Daiki-san was truly a great visionary. When a sage visited his town he would show him all the wonderful places of worship and the Zen schools that he had funded. When the sage bowed low and congratulated him for such a great feat, Daiki-san slept well that night.
On one day the head of Kobe monastery stopped at this town. He was on his way back to Kobe after completing a pilgrimage. He wanted to meet Naoki-san before he returned to his monastery. Daiki-san rushed to greet him and paid him all the respects due to the head monk. He arranged for a palanquin and had the head monk taken to the great Buddha temple at the outskirts of the town. He explained to the head-monk the details of procuring the finest granite in order to carve the feet of the Buddha and how he had to engage more than a 1000 men to erect all the pillars and the dome. He then explained how he constructed the pond at the foot of the hillock for pilgrims to use to wash themselves and the aqueducts that he had constructed in order to keep the pond fresh. At length he paused and waited for the head-monk's reaction. The monk smiled and said, "I would like to meet Naoki-san."
Daiki-san nodded and requested to show some other parts of the town before they stopped at Naoki-san's residence. He showed the different schools of philosophy, especially Zen, that he had constructed and had the students recite the sutras and conduct debates. He showed the head-monk various texts that were published in the town. After a grand display of all this he searched the head-monk's face for awe. The head-monk smiled and told Daiki-san, "I would like to meet Naoki-san."
Daiki-san was much disturbed but instructed the palanquin bearers to head towards Naoki-san's residence. Daiki-san was quiet throughout his journey and wondered what was it about Naoki-san that could distract the head-monk from all the great deeds of his. He had a vassal trot beside the head-monk's palanquin and describe every single monument and effort that they came across. Soon the passed by the holy tree and reached Naoki-san's house.
Naoki-san rushed out to greet them and offered each of them a fruit. He offered water to the palanquin bearers and to the vassal and then gave them a basket of fresh fruits. He then sat down with the head monk and Daiki-san. They spoke at length about various topics and about the head-monk's pilgrimage and the state of the administration at Kyoto and Kobe. When they were ready to leave, the head-monk, with a twinkle in his eye, asked Naoki-san, "Daiki-san here has done a lot for the town, hasn't he?"
Naoki-san bowed low and said, "He is like the seed that springs the holy tree."
Daiki-san was overjoyed and his breast swelled with sudden pride. He was glad that his worth was finally made clear to the head-monk. He bowed low and escorted the head-monk to his car and they headed back. When they were about to pass by the holy tree, Daiki-san couldn't help but say, "I am glad that Naoki-san helped you see my role in this town."
The head-monk smiled and asked the bearers to pause. He alighted and walked up to the tree. Daiki-san followed. The monk was looking up at the leaves with the kindness which fills the glance at one's child while she is asleep. He turned to Daiki-san and asked, "You didn't listen to Naoki-san's words correctly, did you?"
Daiki-san was puzzled and stared blankly at the head-monk.
"It is the seed which shoots a tree which bears a fruit which contains the seed."
He paused and started walking towards his car.
"Let us go. It is time for me to return to Kobe."

Writer's Block

What could be worse than that for a writer? Apart from having to watch re-runs and Sania Mirza's interviews? Picture this dear readers:

Fancy a man sprawled on the floor of a gaol. There he lies watching the world move and brush her dark robes against the pinpricks of glistening stars. And lo! he thinks to himself

What night shall I call thee?
One which the day shall wipe?
Or that which will haunt me?

In you rises this sweet, dark flavour
Of a myriad tantalising desires.
In me rises a murderous fervour.

Why should you go, or I let you?
When my world is born from thee.
Am I but another man you knew?

And he tries to rise with the urgency of a man possessed by the most demonic ants on his derriere and unseen chains yank him back to the floor, pants, ants and all....

Such has been my state (no, not regarding the ants. I readily escort any I spot to a far far land!) over the past 2 months. There hasn't been (and I thank every god and goddess) a dearth for content, but a severe paucity of time. I would go to the extent of calling it inhuman. To starve a man of his vital nourishment - what greater sin can there be, especially when it is done consciously? Pray, suffer me for I am a man bereaved.

And I speak of this writer's block and not that of which many have made movies (surely a reedy Ms. Paltrow helped a great writer ;-)

When a man must go, he should be let to. I heard this being said about a child who pressed his thighs together in the most contorted ... wait, his face was more contorted then - so, who pressed his thighs together in one of the most contorted manner and wheedled and coaxed permission to go and... well, like some say, the rest is all history (Shiver me!! If history was made of such incidents, school would be one helluva funny place). But I do not speak of that "go"ing.

A man (and I say man because it is many keystrokes lesser than "man and woman") must be granted fully the right to pursue his whims. That is decency (although it might be stupidity to chase every whim for the man under consideration). Tell me why does a man earn a living when he has little left of life at the end of the process? Don't tell me now. Be patient and tell me when your turn comes!

Various self-conjured factors (which include, what people popularly called, occupation) lead to the systematic demise of free time which I had wisely used in rejuvenating by resorting to writing, art, conversing, friending (if there be such a word to describe the human activity of relishing time with a friend!) and, oh! yes, living. Earlier, days found me grumbling at the necessity to move across cities and lakes and canals and wild settlements of roaches. Well, there aren't any here or where I was earlier, but there was a lot over the paths I trudged! :-) No, casualty: 0.00 Now I grumble because I am allowed very few minutes for myself. And then they say that I must brush my teeth every day and can you believe it: have a bath too!

Work shouldn't be meant to kill a human being. Killing, I proclaim, is subjective whereas living isn't! Hah! How is that for a punchline? Killing is always subjective. For some, working 15.35 hours of the day is murder but 15.34 is ok. For some working day and night is ok but not at noon! For some... well, at least for me, working till the job is done and not giving up one aspect of life for the sake of the other is essential. I do not understand the philosophy of many industry "stalwarts" (fine fine fine... I am referring to managers and VPs) who say that it is ok to "slog" 3-5 months and then have a peaceful stretch of a week or two and then back again. Could we switch roles? Living is always about being happy and contented.

To me losing my time for reading and writing is on par with infidelity which is on par with nothing (because it is one of its kind!). I feel sadder when I have to look at a books flapping cover beckoning me and say: Not today, honey! Baby boy's all packed with work. Maybe tomorrow!
It is treacherous when I have to look at blank sheets of paper and tell my self: See how beautiful she is? Waiting there for you? Go on Roger, today is your day.
And then take one step towards the sheets and stop: Damn, did you compile that, bozo!?

Honestly work does that to you. I am talking about suddenly calling yourself Roger and Bozo and stuff like that. You have no clue what people in the office call me. Frankly, I have no clue till they actually call me. I am called by every male name that they can think of (no I cannot be confused for a woman. Get real!). Why? Because people are so drained out of the common sense of associating names and faces. People talk to computers. They beg the compilation process to go through well. They swear at the monitor when they read "Error at line 5698: ; expected where ) found" Well, the monitor swears at them and they return it with interest. Point is you must realise that there are more than 5698 lines in an average file and there are tonnes of files!! Lots of swearing around. Now you know why most sailors were once software programmers? Neither do I....

With all this work, I thought it would take a mere 5-10 minute break (occasionally) to keep in touch with my love (easy! I mean reading and writing), but one thing that is surely lost in a pile of work is a sense of time. You decide to start working at 9:00 and then feel a little tired and stretch yourself. Hey! What's the time? 14:30. Jesus!! What happened to lunch? Someone walks up to you asking for some information and you excuse yourself because you have to go have lunch and he stares at you: What? Lunch? You haven't had lunch? Why?
Because I was flying kites.
Because I took a fancy to the mouse on my desk and I have been serenading mouse-love-songs.
Because my pants were stuck to ... (enough with the pants, E).
Because I was caught in a time warp.
Because I was dreaming about Arabian women doing a belly dance all around me and they kept stepping on my legs and I couldn't get up (frankly, I wouldn't want to! ;-)

This genre of blockages is very difficult to work around. And when I reach home (and it is funny to note that I reach home before I leave for the day!! :-D I reach home around 4:00 in the morning and am in office by about 11:00-12:00) I am too tired to lift a pen.

I am still figuring out what to do with my life under such circumstances. An earthquake (with an epicentre right near my desk at work) would be very helpful... Anyone, listening? Yooohhooooo!

And excuse me now... a man must go when he has to go.... you know.... :-)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Of machine and men

My life for the past 2 months or so has been distributed (and not evenly) between work and sleep. Heavens alone know how I manage to do other things that normal human beings do. Without bias I can confess that my work has been more greedy and had the lion's share of my day. Sleep squeezed in whenever work knocked me off.

In the midst of this very eventful (sic) phase of my life, I realised one thing which really tickled me. The way we depend on machines for the normal functioning of our lives is tremendous and ironical. We invented machines to ease our life and then we lose our lives to them. But of all of them, I think the telephone is very interesting. And most of my time with this machine was spent on conference calls.

So come with me and imagine this room with 4-5 people standing or sitting (or sleeping) and staring earnestly at an innocuous machine and calling it various names.

"No Sandeep, what we are trying to say is that the design for this component departs from the specification."

And machine says, "Not really, E. Which version are you looking at?"

Sometimes it is name plus voice. So imagine a lady called Tina with a voice like crabs slipping in a tin drum. So you are kind to her and ask her:
"Why on earth wasn't this piece done on time?"

and right claw says: "Oh!! You see..." and left claw takes over "that requirement was missed."

Then we sit back to imagine how this person would look like. Deep voices always seem to beckon sturdy images, and shrill voices conjure a well dressed pencil like structure. Those who stumble and go "Ummm... Aaaah" too often must look like little goats with specs. We invariably imagine bald heads on quivering voices and horn-rimmed glasses and protruding teeth on those we don't like.
The fun part is all the jokes and puns that we shoot out while we put the machine on mute.
My biggest problem has been with too many machines on the same table. I am not sure which one I should talk into, and invariably talk to the dead one. Reminds me of the man who lost his specs and ended up confessing to his wife what he wanted to tell his mistress!

Some guys on the other end are fun and very very friendly. The worst thing we could have is a bunch of dead-techies at the other end who go on in monotone about how this pointer caused that memory leak which resulted in some god-forsaken failure. I enjoy my time with this guy whom I shall call L. We would start the call and he would go: "Is that you, E?" and I would reply in affirmative and he would start out: "Hey! How've you been?" and so on. Really warm person who loves to joke. I know that recounting incidents are less humourous but I enjoyed this one.

We were assigning and delegating tasks and understanding everyone's role for the next 24 hours (yup, now our deadlines are in terms of hours and minutes. No kidding! I love this quote by Doug Adams: I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by). Some people were taking the call from their homes (and pretty noisy homes). I was telling him what he needs to ensure as complete. So I say:
"L, we would need this thing done by EOD tomorrow. Please ensure that you and your team work on this and get it done."

Suddenly someone's child started crying and it was fairly loud on the call. There was a minutes silence till we let it die down or hoped that the person would put it on mute. Neither happened. Unable to hold myself I shot out:

"Come on L. You don't have to cry for that. We are all here to help you!" :-D and he responded with "Mommmmyyyy! See Big Bad Indians are making me work!" and for a few minutes everyone was rolling. People just needed such breaks from what our work was doing to us.

But in all this, the phone stayed the same. Heated arguments, inter-continental demos, sad moments, tense moments and that dark grey instrument stays the same, conjuring images and voices and emotions. If someone's phone is switched off, then it becomes a crisis situation. Telephone lines are down and then there is a flurry of emails. Servers go down and we live off the phone. If someone is not reachable then a lot of things seem to stop (depending on the person's relevance to our work).

And here I am typing away at this post, because the office boy hadn't arranged for my car back home. When I asked him why the delay he said, "Saar, you should have called me on my mobile!" :-O