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29th February 2008 :: A blanket of leaves

One day I saw a guy in the parking lot deflating the tires of my neighbor's car. Before I could grab his collar I realised it was my neighbor himself. Before I could ask a question, judging by my surprised expressions, he answered it himself.

Check out our conversation and the bigger image

27th February 2008 :: Can only be the work of an engineer

God, like all great creators in this world, doesn't have the time to create all the things himself and he too needs some help and just like everybody, it is not always possible to maintain a standard while hiring help and things do slip from an otherwise tight net. One such slip up was assigned the job to make the leaves for this tree. He was busy working when another “helper” walked past.

Check out their conversation and the bigger image

26th February 2008 :: Ek galassi, do galassi, teen galassi, chaar...

Once I was singing this song “Ek galassi, do galassi, teen galassi, chaar... ” (One glass, two glasses, three glasses, four...) with Manu. He tried to reapet it after me. He could count upto two but forgot after that so he composed his own song “Ek galassi, do galassi... bahut saari galassi ” (One glass, two glasses... lot of glasses.)

25th February 2008 :: One for me and one for my dad

I liked these mugs so I decided to buy them. I didn't think it appropriate to use these to serve coffee to my guests so I bought only two of them. Now mostly Manu and I use these mugs. He won't let Mira use them. I have tried to find any difference between these two but found them identical but somehow Manu manages to differentiate them. He says one is his and one is mine and he also knows which one is his and which one is mine. “No this is Papa's give me mine” is what he says sometimes when we give him one of these mugs. Don't know how he can tell the difference.

24th February 2008 :: Tie a rope, to be extra safe

Not that I dislike my job but I do love weekends and tend to get a little cranky by Sunday evenings in the anticipation of the end of weekend. Saturdays are the best days as you have Sunday to look forward too but Sundays are a different story altogether. This change of mood is shared by Mira too. I still remember how as a kid I used to get all gloomy on Sunday evenings watching the only movie of the week and thinking about the end of the only holiday of the week. For the record I definitely disliked going to school. Hated it, just don't get me started here.

23rd February 2008 :: Water fungus and pebbles

What am I thinking? Apparently not much. The weekend has started and I am not in a mood to race my mind and that should be evident by the title of this post. Enough said.

22nd February 2008 :: King of good time at Walkeshwar

It was a surprise to see an empty can of beer in the Ban Ganga pond—a place that is surrponded by more than a dozen temples. But then it was surprising to find empty packs of cigarettes, guthka and pan-masala in the Holy Spirit Hospital too.

21st February 2008 :: The last reflection

This is the last of the reflection shots from the Walkeshwar least for now. In the coming days I will be posting more shots taken on that day but not the reflections.

20th February 2008 :: Ban Ganga

Same as yesterday, this shot was shot at Banganga, Walkeshwar in South Bombay. I was talking about bullshit yesterday, another piece of bullshit is the naming of the places. The name of 3 out of 4 metros have been changed. I have not been to Madras or Calcutta so I don't know what the scene there is but here in Bombay there are people like Raj Thackrey who get angry when people say Bombay. While our man was arrested and produced befrore the magistrate, the city was repeatedly called Bombay and he just kept listening. Earlier he told a journalist that no such place exist on the map of India, the name is Mumbai.

Not to mock or irritate anyone I call this place Bombay. What do you call it? On an unrelated note, what do you say is easier to speak “Kolkata” or “Calcutta” and “Madras” or “Chennai”?

19th February 2008 :: Inside out upside down

A few days ago I read on the Dilbert Blog that Paul McCartney said in a recent interview that most of their hit songs had gibberish lyrics. Inspired by this Scott Adams posted a couple of lines on his blogs and invited the readers to continue with it. Later a few lines from the readers were selected and a band in Germany sang that song. It is completely stupid but if you were not aware of it, you would most definitely give the benefit of doubt to the songwriter and think that maybe it is something profound. We are constantly given so much information that our bullshit meters have stopped working. This also reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon

Pointy Haired boss: Maybe we could form a vision statement of our concepts for requirements.
Wally: Or maybe we can bound our strawman by the mission critical functions of our quality vector!
Dilbert to Wally: You're shameless
Wally: There is fine line between participation and mockery.

18th February 2008 :: The future is bright

I was reading an interview of Ranbir Kapoor and he mentioned that he along with one of his uncle is considered the “educated ones” in the family. He has passed class XII and his uncle class VIII. I am not sure if he was serious or not but one thing is for sure that there are a lot of people who are very successful with little formal education including Sachin Tendulkar who started playing cricket even before he finished school. Depending on your point of view, you may find it encouraging or a worry. As for these kids living near a dhobi ghaat with bleak prospects of reaching college, it is definitely encouraging. Is it just me or do they really fancy their chances of walking the ramp one day soon enough.

BTW, if you are among the people in the worried category, I'd like to remind you that Akbar—probably one of the most successful ruler of India was illiterate and had in his court “the navrathnas” (nine gems) the most educated people in nine fields.

14th February 2008 :: Thinking of Valentine Day?

You have been waiting for a chance to speak to the girl you have always liked in your class, you are trying to get back to your girlfriend after you had a fight last month, you have just got out of a relationship and are looking for someone. Your chance has come. Its Valentine’s Day so go out and speak to the person you have in mind. But if you are in Bombay, keep a few things in mind

  1. Don't carry flowers or large boxes of chocolates, stuffed hearts or anything that can be identified with Valentine's Day
  2. Don't go to a place you would have obviously gone to in a situation like this like the Bandra Reclamation or the Bandstand.

The Raj Thackeray episode is over just in time for his men to focus on the "evil influence" of things like Valentine's Day

What do you think is the real reason?

13th February 2008 :: Mostly happy...but otherwise too

Manu is a little over three years and this site is a little under three. During all this time I have take pictures of Manu and posted them here which presented the fun, lovely and happy aspect of parenting. There is another side to it which I never discussed here. A part of parenting that is not happy at all. Today I have decided to share that too. Before I go on, I would like to share a story I watched on TV a long time ago. There was a young boy about 4 or 5 years old who was narrating his experience to his mother. He was going in a rickshaw and his dad stopped at a shop to pick up badminton rackets. He initially thought his dad has bought those for him but they actually were the present for the kid whose birthday party they were going to. He then asked his mom when his birthday would come. Since he was a little kid and didn't understood the concept of weeks and months, his mother told him that when the plant in the garden would be as tall as him, his birthday would come. The boy they picked up to play that role was an absolute kid. He was not naughty like other kids and he was absolutely adorable and although all kids seem vulnerable, his vulnerability wanted you to protect him. Anyway he watched that plant grow and he used to water it. One day a goat came and ate the plant. His mom chased away the goat but not before almost the entire plant was eaten. He started crying that now his birthday won't come. Watching his cry made me sad. The impact that story had on me is evident in the fact that I still remember it after all these years.

Coming back to what we were originally discussing, there is a part of being a parent that fills you with sorrow just like that. Manu had a cough and yesterday he got a fever too and vomited twice. Watching him like this makes me sorry they same way I felt for that kid. There is nothing you can do except taking him to a doc

8th February 2008 :: Washable but dry-clean for the first time

Yesterday I was talking about washable things and that reminds me of another theory that I am not able to understand. This happens if you are buying fabric for ladies' dress or a dress itself. When you ask the salesman if this is washable, you get to hear something that doesn't make sense at least to me “You can wash it but dry clean it for the first time”. What is that going to achieve? Here are four options I could think off. Feel free to add yours to the list.

  1. Dry cleaning adds some sort of protective layer on the garment that makes it safe to wash.
  2. You wear a dress dry clean it once and then wear it and then wash it and the colour fades or it shrinks but since you have worn it already a few times, you don't really care
  3. You feel the cost of the garment is not high enough to justify a dry clean and decide to take a risk. Now you can't go back to the shop as the salesman will say “I told you so. I told you so.”
  4. The last option is if you have followed instructions and take the garment to the shop from where you bought it, a considerable time has passed and the salesman will conveniently say “Madam you should have come earlier, we exchange things within a week of purchase.”

What do you think is the real reason?

6th February 2008 :: These are washable but you can't really wash them

There is a paint ad on TV where a child his mocking his dad who is trying to wash a mark on the wall and ends up washing the paint itself. The washable paints are apparently not as washable as they would like us to believe. Then there are lean foods like the oats that is 2/3 carbs, you have fruit juice that is made of a fruit concentrate and water and has no added “colours” but has added sugar and flavour. Similarly these shoes are not leather and when I wanted to confirm this with the salesman he told me these are synthetic and washable. For me a washable shoes are those runners that you can throw in a washing machine. I asked him if that is what he meant. “No sir, you can clean them with a wet cloth.”

5th February 2008 :: Dad, I have fixed your shoe laces

The shoe lace was invented so the shoe would fit better. When you tie a shoelace, two things are to be kept in mind, first is that the shoe should fit properly on your feet, second is to ensure that the loose ends of the lace are short enough and you won't trip on them. There never has been a rule that the laces should be tied in a knot the way they are and who better to understand it than Manu. When I take off these shoes, without fail Manu fixes the laces for me. I guess since there are a lot of holes, long and contrasting laces, he is attracted to these shoes more than any other. After he is done, both the objectives are met. There are no loose ends on which one could trip and had the shoes been on my feet, they would fit very nicely. Looking closely will show how many times he has managed to put the lace in a few holes.

4th February 2008 :: I'd like mine with orange sauce. Thanks.

“I am feeling hungry”
“Then let's go to Walkeshwar”
“I don't want to take a dip, I want to eat”
“That's why we need to go there”
“What do you mean? ”
“You'll see”

Now he is surprised watching his friend playing with the ducks that have gathered aeound him for the seeds.

“I didn't knew you liked ducks”
“Oh Yes I do. Specially with orange sauce”
“You can't be serious...”
“I am. ”
“No way! ”
“Well, this place has been a supply to my kitchen for quite some time”

Initially quite spooked but he did enjoyed the lunch

“That was indeed very good man. Where else do you go? ”
“While in Delhi I go to the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara”
“And? ”
“Have you never been there? You should see the fish in the pond; they are begging to be picked. ”

3rd February 2008 :: Girl and bicycle

I think a little slower shutter speed would have worked better here. The blur needs to be a little more pronounced.

2nd February 2008 :: Elephants and boy

In Bombay you can see the modern and the traditional side by side. Andheri Kurla Road in Andheri is a prime address for businesses and offices. On that road and closer to it you can see so many modern buildings and if you walk inside towards the CineMagic cinema, you can see a well. The surprising thing is that the well is still in use. You can still see people taking water from it to wash clothes or to take a bath. Similarly in South Bombay, Marine Drive is the most expesive business area one can rent or buy and not too far away from it you find a place that has old temples and walls of houses painted like this.

1st February 2008 :: My addiction

Identifying a need and creating something for that requires some talent like someone identified that there is a need for communication while on move and mobile phones were created and now most people can't imagine a life without it. What requires even more talent is creating something for which there is no need and then that thing going on to become an integral part of people's life.

I was writing this to be posted here but then it got quite long so I have posted the complete thing on Mental Floss :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites: