Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cricket SA & the unemployed 80s hero

As a long time South African cricket fan who follows them ardently, strategizes what they should do to win a strong opponent, and works out scenarios for them to win an important game, I can't stop myself drawing parallels between the SA cricket team and the unemployed angry young heroes of the 80s(mostly Indian movies). For the last several World Cups they have been the strongest team to enter the competition. On paper they appear to be the best; but like the cliché goes- cricket is played on green fields, not on paper. The team somehow gets into an inexplicable situation and invents ways to lose control of a match (or tournament) from a winning position.

The unemployed 80s hero is very similar. He can fight eve-teasing rowdies to save the heroine; he can use “rope” as a mode of transport and time his jump perfectly to fight the villain and his goons to save his sister/mother who were kidnapped and tied to wooden chairs in the basement of a building that is under construction. He can solve complex problems, help his friend’s love life, advise people across all age groups on how they should lead a principled life, empathize with daily wage workers and their problems-BUT CANNOT FIND A F***ING job. The multifunctional, all-rounder, loved-by-all charming guy can’t find a means to earn his living. Why? SA has not been able to win a world tournament. Why?  Well! Shit just happens.

The 80s hero graduates from college, stands in a long queue waiting to be interviewed by a bespectacled panel who look for ways to eliminate candidates. He walks in to the room like he owns it, brimming with confidence. He even answers questions like “What is the capital of Denmark?”, “What is the GDP of Cambodia?” and manages to impress the interviewers. Just when the panel members nod to each other and are about to hire our hero, the black color dial phone in the corner of the room rings. The baldest member of the panel picks up the phone and says “yes…aahan…yeah..Okay sir…okay…definitely sir (pronounced as saar)..I will do the needful” and ends the call. Turns to our hero, puts a sad face and says “That was our MD, he just recommended his nephew from Delhi to this job. We are sorry. You have great credentials, but we can’t hire you.” Well that’s what happened to SA in 1992 WC semifinal game against England in Sydney. They were Duckworth Lewis-ed out of the tourney. Rain and fortune were against them. Not their fault right? Not the hero’s too.

A couple of months later,our hero helps a gentleman recover his bag when a robber snatched it and tried to run away with it. This said gentleman gathers that our hero is jobless (Otherwise, whose calendar is free enough to save a stranger on a Tuesday afternoon at the municipal bus depot). As a sign of gratitude, this said gentleman gives him his visiting card. This guy happens to be an industrialist, and invites our hero for a job interview. Wow! This is his best chance. Big industrialist and all, has his name printed on a card and walks around the town carrying stacks of those cards. Our hero is going to find a job before we break for the intermission. Well… that’s what we think. On the morning of the interview, our hero runs into a critical situation. He is waiting for the bus. An evil rich guy hits a helpless girl on the street with his car and speeds away. The public, who witnessed this, do nothing. They mind their jobs and avoid this situation. Our hero cries for help. No one responds. He carries the poor girl in his arms and shouts even louder. Now an auto-rickshaw wala stops and offers a ride to the hospital. They admit the girl, her parents are thankful and call the doctor a God. The doctor humbly points to the hero and says “he is the one you should thank”. After doing the quintessential good deed for the day, he remembers “Oh my God I am late for my job interview.” Our hero rushes into the interview room with a bloody, shoddy, dirty shirt, soiled shoes, and unkempt hair. The panel is disappointed with the hero’s punctuality (or the lack of it), and tilt their left wrist and look at their watches for directorial touch. The gentleman who recommended our hero feels let down and looks at him asking “what happened” with his eyes. Our hero has no answers. He draws a blank. He is helpless and has no way of talking himself out of this situation. The industrialist walks out of the room shaking his head in disappointment. So, after all, our hero hasn’t got a job yet. Very similar to what happened in SA in the 1999 WC. Allan Donald and his brain freeze. Oh that run out! You don’t have be a SA fan to feel bad for that 1999 WC semis against Australia.

Soon after the intermission, our hero gets a job. But the audience has now predicted something is wrong-we are just halfway into this movie, no way is our hero getting a happy ending here. Something is fishy. This is how SA won all their 2011 WC’s league games. Top of the table after the first round; walked in to the knockouts like a boss. The audience’s hunch turned out to be true. The hero in his new job was actually working for a company that was doing something illegal (like organ trade or something). The scrupulous guy he is, confronts his boss, his management and walks out of the company untying his tie and shaking his head. You know what? Remember that car which almost ran over the helpless girl before the interval; that actually belongs to this illegal company’s MD/GM’s son. Total bad guys WONLY these people! It is in that fashion how SA walked out of 2011 WC and packed their bags. Of course no bad guys involved, but similar in the speedy exit.

Close to the end of the movie, the hero realizes that all companies that have job openings are either dominated by nepotism or run by corrupt illegal individuals (those BAAAAAST**DS). So he decides to pursue ways of self employment. After encouraging speeches from family and the heroine, our hero starts an auto-rickshaw agency (calls that auto wala who offered to give a ride to the hospital). He even employs the father of the injured little girl. Now these are a bunch of good guys who don’t charge pregnant women, old women, and school-going children any tariff. And they all live happily ever after. A movie can be scripted and edited to have a happy ending-pleasing the audience. Unfortunately, sporting events don’t work that way. Can SA overcome all oddities and have their happy ending. Can Ab De Villiers be their hero and director to win this WC and please their fans? Let’s wait and see. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

That 80's show-Magic of Moojic-1

The talk show Neeya Naana has very rarely had the intersection of (a)good topic (b)good/mature participants (c)an unbiased verdict/bottom line. The most recent show(aired on 07/22/2012-*) hit the magic intersection of these three factors.The show was about music(cine music-Tamil)  in the 80s and  its everlasting effect it has on people. People shared their favorite and the then-popular numbers and their related nostalgia connected to those songs. If you are talking about(Tamil & South) cine music in the late 70s and the whole of 80s, it is a sin if you don't mention the name of Ilayaraja at least twice in every sentence. Many music directors have come after Ilayaraja. Most of them are extremely talented; they compose super-cool songs-they use great instruments, reduce the noise,cut-paste sung portions so that the breath control of a singer doesn't limit the tempo of the songs, get global attention and recognition and what not-BUT no one comes close to the degree of soulfulness that Ilayaraja packs his songs with. He penetrated into the minds of people and literally dictated them what song to think about when they face a particular situation. In fact, I would even step out and say some people just remembered some songs and waited for life events to happen so that they can apply and relate to it. I envy those people who enjoyed their formative years as a music fan when Ilayaraja was at his peak. The burning jealousy was partially pacified by the fortune of having  cinema paithiyam mother and brother who indulged me in those classics when I grew up.

If you belonged to the middle class in the 80-90s with a dull-sad greenish blue color paint covering your wall, you probably didn't own a lot of tape cassettes. You had to wait for your favorite song to be played on the radio. Or stop and wait near a tea-stall when one of your favorite songs was being played.I know people who have skipped/missed their regular bus just to listen to a favorite song of theirs in a tea-shop/newspaper mart.You wouldn't know when the next opportunity would come to listen to that song. That element of rarity and surprise cannot be quantified and it has become such a lost entity that it is difficult to relate to it when we have youtube and multiple sources of mp3 files at our disposal. Once every year, my mom used to write down a list of songs on a sheet of paper and give it to the cassette recording guy(next to a XEROX shop). This was a great concept. It helps you pick and choose your favorites alone as opposed to buying the album's cassette where you like just 2 or 3 songs out of the 6. Besides saving money, we also have a customized only-hits playlist. Amma would have always exceeded the capacity of one cassette just by a song or two. The guy in the shop would give us an attractive offer- "If you want to record a second cassette including those extra songs and some more new additions I will give a discount on the per-cassette cost." I can't remember a time when we have showed a restraint for it. Now, we had to sit down there and list enough number of songs to make a complete cassette;-this was an absolutely sweet pass-time. Since we get to do this in the shop itself, we get to sit and listen to some songs for OC(free of cost)... :P. 

Being a part of this idiot generation has stolen some of the unique experiences like these from me and my friends.People who had their childhood in 80s or went to school-college in the 80s are at least 917.8765% more awesome than anyone who didn't.

Some situations and songs that appealed to me in school:
Friday evening from school to home -Idhu oru ponmalai pozhudhu(Nizhalgal)
Sunday evenings/Monday mornings-Malai oram Veesum Kaatru(Paadu Nilave)
The games with flat-makkal- Vaanam Namakku Boomi(Anjali)
Foot board on bus-Valai Osai(Sathya)

*-P.S: Youtube Link to that Neeya Naana episode:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnelGoMvvIs&list=ELefVro1ipeMY&index=0&feature=plcp  


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flash back-15 yrs ago-Nested Diary Entries

Flash back- 15 yrs ago, my perceptions about 02/14 as a 11 year old.
A blog, about a diary entry about a diary entry. A prerequisite knowledge that all the readers should possess before reading- Venkat was my one-year-older-than-me neighbor who went to the same school as I did. In other words, he was my senior in school and also my neighbor.
The characters who narrate are.....

madras mokka- The blogger 
madras - The blogger when he was 11 yrs old
Venkat- Neighbor of madras(Venkat's diary entries are not his own entries. madras's imagination of Venkat's diary entries are written in this font and color)


13th Feb 1997:
Dear Diary,

I think, the following is what Venkat will be conveying to his diary tonight and tomorrow evening

13th Feb 1997:

Dear Diary,

There is something that I have not told (even)you till today. You know you are my best friend; and for the same reason, I hope you would forgive me for keeping
this secret from you.

You know that I've always wondered why Mathematics is taught for a longer time than it should actually be taught for.Once the method is described, and an example is worked on the board, why should we repeat the same formula on different numbers many times. If we had saved all those minutes spent on repeating the routine, we would have had a lot more free periods/holidays or best- more games periods in school.This is how I have always felt.But this newly appointed Reshma ma'm has changed the way I look at this and the school in general. The first day she entered the class, I thought she was the substitute English teacher in-charge, covering for the absent Padma ma'm. She wrote ALGEBRA on the board and underlined it.I was shocked. I couldn't believe she was a Maths teacher. She didn't wear spectacles, she had long red nails. she had applied lip-stick and there was no sandal/vibuthi mark on her fore-head.She is so different from the other Math teachers. Everything she does has some grace about it. When she cleans the board in a hurry, that music from her bangles clinging on to each other caused by the hasty hand movement is melodious.One moment, she is near the first bench;then, suddenly she rushes to the board to write something.That quick turn makes a whiff off that divine scent so representative of her, glide through till the last bench in the room. The free hair is all over her face; and she clears it with so much grace that I could compare it only with a dozen flamingos dancing in unison. I wish she was our neighbour. I wish she was the only Maths teacher all along. I wouldn't have sulked when she borrows hours from English and Hindi teachers.I would have asked for 6 working days a week and at least 5 Math periods a day. I have one of her handkerchiefs that I stole when she was busy writing on the board. It has purple flowers printed on the white background with a pink border.

Raju mentioned that there is a new shop called Archies near our school.
And he saw seniors buy heart shaped balloons, roses and cards from that shop that they were going to give to the girls they liked. I stayed in school till 6 in the evening at the playground and waited for the crowd to disappear around the school campus. And then walked into the store. I asked the shop keeper what was the most popular gift people were buying today and would my pocket money be sufficient to buy that. He gave me this red rose with a plastic skirt around its stem and a plain white card that has " I Love You" written in bright red on the inside. I am going to go early to school tomorrow- telling Appa that I have a cricket practice session. I am going to stand outside the staff room and wait for Reshma ma'm. Give this rose and card to her and run back to my classroom. Wish me goodluck. I am going to sleep early tonight. First thing tomorrow after I come back from school, I will tell you what happened. Sorry for not letting you know about this earlier.-Bye

Just because he is elder than me, Venkat thinks he knows a lot about this V-day and roses and cards. I think this is what his entry will be for tomorrow. And as I am about to continue writing, India lost another finals to SA- SBI ODI series.

"14th Feb 1997:Dear Diary,

Nothing worked as planned. Everything was a disaster. You remember how we lost the WC
semifinals, from 98 for 1 to 120 for 8 at Eden gardens to Srilanka.That is how it was.I went to school at 7:30 today morning. Stopped near the temple. Prayed to lord Ganesha and then climbed the stairs and was waiting near the staff room for a long time.Finally, I spotted Reshma ma'm climbing the stairs. She was carrying a bag in her hand and couldn't climb the stairs comfortably. I ran to the stairs and offerred to help her by sharing the load she was carrying.She gave me a smile and handed over a small plastic bag and an umbrella to me. My heart was beating faster as she approached the staff room entrance and went near her seat. I also followed her to her seat. Lakshmi ma'm and Latha ma'm were also in the staff room. Reshma ma'm asked me- "Thank you very much. Why are you here Venkat ?" I replied- "I have a doubt in this sum where the denominator reads (x-x)-Isn't that a zero expression then ma'm? How to solve it ?" She looked into the textbook and said "Oh yeah, that is a printing mistake my child. Don't worry about it. I think it was meant to be a (x+x),printing mistake." Perfect timing-as this conversation lasted just long enough for Latha ma'm and Lakshmi ma'm to leave the room. I nervously reached for the rose and card from the front zip of my schoolbag and took it out.It felt like I just pulled the fuze of the hand grenade out and the explosion can happen any moment. I gave the rose and the card to Reshma ma'm and ran back to the class as if I was chased by 5 bull dogs.The last thing that I noticed before giving the rose to her was that the petals had dried and developed a maroon colour along the edges.
I entered the classroom and hurried my way on to my seat. I was sweating and panting. Vivek was sitting next to me. Though he noticed that something was strange,he didn't ask me anything.I was very anxious thinking about what would be running in Reshma ma'm's mind. The first period of the day was Math. With every step she marched towards the classroom, a new sweat gland kept getting activated in my body. She entered and every student stood up to wish her and then sat down. She took the attendance register, read the roll call out and walked near the board. The class proceeded like it usually would. She was very normal and conducted herself as if nothing happened. I, for a moment thought "did I give the rose and the card to some other teacher? This whole thing was a bad idea.God, please get me out of this trouble..Somehow!!". In a while, the bell rang marking that the first period got over.She looked at me after the class got over and smiled. As Latha ma'm entered the classroom for the next class, Reshma ma'm said " Latha, I am taking Venkat out for a few minutes." That's when one part of my problem was solved. I haven't given the rose to some other teacher.

She took me to the staffroom and said "See, Venkat. You are a
good student. A smart boy. It is very common for a boy of your age to develop a crush on people from the opposite gender you see. But it becomes destructive if you get distracted. Take your mind off it and concentrate on studies and the cricket tournament that starts in a couple of weeks. I will not complain about this to the principal or your parents." She gave a friendly pat on my head asked me to get back to the classroom. I experienced a huge sigh of relief on my way back to the classroom.I took small steps in walking towards my classroom-very different from how I entered the classroom the first time today morning. I was glad that it didn't get any worse and returned to my seat. The rest of the day passed by just thinking in how many different ways things could have gotten worse and how lucky was I to escape from all of them.

The final bell of the day rang, and everyone was getting ready to
leave the classroom. I slowly dragged my feet outside the classroom and was walking towards the exit, thinking about the events of the day. Suddenly, I heard the peculiar tap noise of Reshma mam's sandals. The tempo was a little higher but yet I could recognize that distinct sound pattern of her getting down the stairs. Though, everything was over, I was interested in knowing why she was hurrying her way out of the building. I have never seen her do that. I followed her from a safe distance and still managed to trace her movement. She went out of the school gates and ran to the corner of the street and stopped near a blue Kinetic Honda.The number plate read TN09 5645. The man sitting on that vehicle removed his helmet and got down off it.He had brown hair, a thick moustache, a golden bracelet on his left hand. His hair style and built looked very much like Ramki,the yesteryear hero of Tamil Cinema. Reshma ma'm gave him a hug and put his helmet back on his head and sat behind him on the pillion. I couldn't control a trickling tear from my left eye as I saw her move away speedily on the motorized vehicle.I wish I hadn't followed her to only get my heart broken. That curiosity did kill me.-Bye

I know it is quite possible that something like this can happen to Venkat tomorrow. Though I don't like him dominating me, I don't want anything bad to happen to him. He may be elder than me; but he fails to realise the fact that I have an elder brother(6 years older than me and 5 years older than Venkat)who can guide me with his advice and experience to handle such situations. Anna introduced me to the word Infac-chuation . when he came home for the winter break between semesters. Sorry sorry it is spelled as infatuation. He says it is very common for students of our age to have a crush on one of our classmates or teachers who we meet on an everyday basis. But, we should stay away from being distracted by that, else it becomes very dangerous for our studies. It is better to spend a lot of time on studies and hobbies to get out of such thoughts.

_>/ _

14th Feb 1997:
Dear Diary,

I think, we were being very creative yesterday. Nothing eventful happened in the school today, but for this- I walked close to the dustbin(of our classroom) to spit the gum I was chewing. To my surprise, I saw a rose and a card in the classroom's dustbin. I didn't assume anything.


_>/ _

Till date, I have never spoken anything about this to Venkat. I just like to think that certain things happened. It was nice to recollect that this is what I had imagined 15 years ago to............. get over my crush. And Shhhhhhhh!! till date, my diary doesn't know about this first crush.

-madras mokka

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Adam, in the Prospect

The beauty of evolution is that it is a gradual process; but the drawback is that- sometimes we are caught napping midst the slow proceedings when the natural selection demands a societal change. The concept in Boolean algebra that is the closest to evolution is---- Karnaugh map. The change of state representation is very gradual and smooth- 00 01 11 10(note that 11 precedes 10). Little did I realize, it had so much to do with the human life cycle, till a couple of days ago.The moment this realization hit me hard, I felt like a prophet and accepted the self imposed responsibility to spread the word. 00: When the first batch of men and women walked on earth, natural resources were abundant. You just had to stay awake around a meal time to avoid starving.That is how easy sustenance was(no one had to "seek"). No one had to work;in fact no one knew "work."This,I define as 00. No woman worked; no man worked.

01: Then came a phase when natural resources were slowly getting depleted. Satiating hunger started involving some voluntary action called gathering food or sometimes hunting.This turned out to be a defining moment in evolution. Sometime during the fag end of 00, women secretly met and decided that- in the event that resources dry up, we somehow make it the responsibility of the man to find food and make sure the family survives.Women of this period were stubborn and determined in executing their secret code.This batch of staunch women were clinical in incepting the thought that man should win the bread(Later they would "create" folklore around manufatured principles like Udhyogam Purusha Lakshanam).Men had to start working. Men who rebelled this set up, didn't have(or lost) families. They were skimmed and ignored as outcasts. It became an ultimatum of the day-Men should work. The only solace, rested in the fact that other men had to work too. This, ladies and gentlemen I define as 01. No woman worked; Men started working.
Several years after men started working, there crawled a gradient in their earning potentials. Some men became more productive than the others and started to bring home more goods when they returned from work compared to others. These men, not only inflicted harm on other men by raising the bar, but also became cocky with their power to provide- It translated into attempting to dominate and ill-treat their spouses. Just like a crook saved the fictitious Pumplesdrop during an economic downturn, some hardworking prick(s) a.k.a more capable men ruined life for other mortal (jestu passu)workers. At one end, the needs were growing like weeds;the middle-class clan started embracing luxuries and gradually standardized them as basic necessities. At the other end, these oppressed women(spouses of highly capable men) felt the need to neutralize their husbands. Economic prowess and financial independence seemed like the path to take to achieve that. Words like equality, women rights, egalitarianism, liberation and emancipation spread like a virus. Thus, these mega needs and social equality impended women entering work places. This, my friends marked the beginning of the 11 era. Women worked; Men worked

Future: ??
Some where in the evolution, human beings developed this habit of selectively responding to premonitions. That's when they became sensitive to global warming, recycling plastic, awareness about soon to be extinct species, acid rain,conservation of fossil fuels, ozone layer depletion and all the buzz that surrounds paper-less bank statements. Never did they stop and think about the the next evolutionary step in the human life cycle even though the warning alarms were anything but subtle; they are in fact, louder than the loudest rock band. The evils of of the current 11 regiment are too many.
With both the husband and wife working, there is no quality time and effort spent on the bringing up of children. Stress levels have reached new heights. Domestic violence is prevalent(which gender gets abused is a totally debatable topic worth another blog). Premature divorces are so common; that, now divorces are trending towards becoming premarital. What a hazardous situation are we living in. It is time to step up and promote 10. Women working; Men not working.

Why 10 is the need of the hour and some vibrant signs:
a)Look how much women have transcended. They have entered work places(with the advent of 11) that were once meant only for men. They started wearing men's clothes. They have gone to space, become presidents,manage companies, run schools and what not. It's high time we start entering territories that they have had exclusive control of(at least once upon a time). We should be at home, kitchen, watch mega serials, spend a lot of time with the kid, and run other such errands. I have always felt, just like Autokaarar.. .Rickshawkaarar. .Paalkaarar..Veetukaarar. ...Home Maker should also refer to a man. If you want to sound cool make it H2(H-square)-House Husband.

b)A trend that has been observed in the last 17 years- the pass% and aggregate distribution of class X and class XII results have showed that female students fair better compared to male students. Another noteworthy observation-Harsha Bhogle and Indra Nooyi were classmates. Indra Nooyi went on to become the CEO of PEPSI FOODS, whereas Harsha Bhogle makes a living by writing skewed cricket articles and Abhangs about popular cricketers. I think men should be the bigger people here and not be interested in academics and corporate set ups anymore.

c)Motherhood has been receiving a lot of mention and appreciation in art, literature and religion because of the mothers' role in their child's growth and development.Probably, if men spend most of their(or all their)time at home they will have the opportunity to make a mark for fatherhood.

d)Women should have their cycle of fun too- for eg: male infanticide, adam teasing, women tying the knot,men living with their in laws,sata(male version of sati) and more.

Imagine the sight of 10 men marching side by side towards a school, taking lunch for their children. Feeding them sitting under a tree. And then,stay there, hang out with other dads and discuss bikes, cine star gossips, hot models in place of an afternoon siesta. Wouldn't that be heaven on earth.

Now the ball is in the men's court. Do we want to resist this important evolutionary step; or be alert in spotting the cues and indulge in the transformation. Do we want to be the typica or the carbonaria ?? Who knows, this positive step may put us back to the most coveted 00 in the cycle. What is more special than asking your lady love on your knees "Will you take me as your (house) husband."

-madras mokka

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mr.Peter- Linear equation exemplified

Fond memories of Mr.Peter on a Sunday evening:
1995: He sat next to me in 5th std. During lunch breaks, my normal friends and myself used to play chain cut under the hot sun. I remember, kedi* Sundar always got out first if Shruthi was the catcher, so that he could hold her hands and chase others. Coming back to the point, Mr. Peter(bandha paramasivam or pult*-ing lad) always read Tintin comics during the lunch break. He always ate 'fox' chocolate(or candy...it is the rich man's ravalgon candy) during the 10 minute recess after first three sessions of class. He wore an elegant spectacles(thin metal framed, when all other middle class employee's spectacle wearing children wore a glass/synthetic frame). His uniform was always neatly pressed(may be his mom was a housewife?? or may be his watchman Marudhu got it pressed from bhai's mobile laundry).
He was slightly round(not too obese). He wore a watch that his father bought him from Singapore. His lunch was brought in a tupperware. I didn't notice anything wrong with the way his anterior teeth were positioned but yet he wore a dental clip(it was the fashionable thing then). He started using deodorant sprays from the age of 9.

1996: It was the first time he had invited his friends(myself and some of the others who sat around him in the class) to his home. It was his birthday party. In 1980s and 1990s movies, a rich kid named Raj always wore a suit/blazer and would look dazzling with his suited up daddy and designer saree draping mummy with expensive ear-rings and necklaces(who also had a bun ring of hair called "kondai" by Gaundamani) on his birthday party.
(eg: bun kondai and designer sari)

It was nothing short of that blitz and splendor. He showed us around his room and the rest of his house. What else should I say, I think the movie Azhagan* was shot in his house. In 'his' room, he showed his expensive stamp collection book, his TELL ME WHY, TELL ME HOW books and also a thick rich looking encyclopedia. He had a video-game set and catrdiges. He used to come to school in a Maruthi 800, dropped by driver Manikam. Whenever my mother dropped me at school in a state of the art TVS XL(not super) she would humorously ask "ivana kadathina evalo therum??(translation: what amount of ransom money would be fetched if we were to kidnap him and blackmail his parents" He had Video cassettes of Home alone, Honey I shrunk the kids and some other American TV junk that always appeared post-modern for Indian audiences, when the maximum englipees thing that me and my friends watched were Tom and Jerry on Sunday mornings in DD2 Metro. His highness always considered himself to be very smart and studious and the worst part was that; he made others also believe in it. But cometh the exams and then the results, his true material was revealed. Not that he was a bad student(he was actually about average to above average); but the aura he had around him and the intellectual look he had when basic algebra was taught; and not to forget- the fluorescent highlighters/markers he used(even while reading a story book) made him look like an utter failure and an idhuku dhan ivalo pult-a? impression about him.
1997: It was around the time when we were transitioning from Oliyum Oliyum* to Pepsi Ungal choice*, Mr. Pult-man started listening to the Jazz, Rock kind of western stuff and borrowed some old 1980s Michael Jackson cassettes from his A-may-rican cousin who would dump out-of fashion American trash on Pultman. Pultman's father was transferred to a different part of India and that's when I thought we would never meet again.

2004: I had just joined orkut and one fine day, got a friend request from I-didn't-recognize-who-it-was. Then went through his profile and noticed a huge list(like a Bhima's komanam*) of English movies cited as his favorite movies. Only then I realized it was our Pultman and the long list had to be compared with Hulk's komanam and not Bhiman. Then recognized it was our adorable pultman. Now he pults also with his Peter. He was the first one to call me a "dude" and I was honored. He inquired about the "babes" of our class in our orkut scrap conversations. I went through his orkut album. There were pictures of him at various concerts with hep and trendy people. Branded T-shirts and expensive saaku thuni(stone wash waste cloth) pants and his costly deospray/scent or whatever it was- gave a pungent odor through the PC's screen emanating from a digital photograph. He was always in vogue however vague he looked in those outfits :). Then, there was not a great deal of touch with him. However, I followed his updates on orkut.

Hep guy joined some university in the US of A for the fall of that year. And so did I. He had added me on g-talk. Suddenly he pinged me one fine day...

Peter: Hey dude...what are you doing ??
me: u mean now ? or generally these days?
Peter: Now...
me: Chatting with my parents.
Peter: Cool.... one small favor da...
me: yes sure....
Peter: Can you ask your parents to ask my folks to come online ?? I will give you their phone number........
me: sure...

Hmmm... His highness' parents are folks whereas mine are just parents......point taken saar..

2008: Peter became ultra peter after one yr of stay in the US. He left me a scrap in Sept 2007 on orkut. 'Hey dude, u still on orkut....join FB man...let's catch up there. With every passing day in US Peter became more and more Peter-er. He bought all apple products that was available in the market- macbook,i-pod, i-phone, i-touch,i-jatti(chaddi),i-banian,i-thermals. How did I get to know that?? There was an album on facebook titled "My apple family". He had individual pics of each of the i-things he possessed and a final picture that had all his apple products and a half bitten apple was also in the photograph. Wow, he has developed an amazing sense of humor too now. He then bought a guitar. And posed to a lot of pictures with a guitar in his hand, a long hair and made sure the strum was visible in the picture. One of the pictures that shocked me was- he was wearing a round neck T-shirt that had GEEK written on the front of it in a weird font. He had a Macbook in his hand and all other i-things in place with a picture of Steve jobs stuck on his cupboard and the " The Journey is the reward" book of Steve jobs on his table. For a moment I thought(not an apple product), how easy has it become to be a geek. Gone are those days when People used to spend a lot of time with hard-bound 5000 page books and spent long hours in labs and read a lot of IEEE/research papers/publications an what not. Now, if you own cool apple products and add a comic from PhD comics and post poorly attempted geeky jokes on Facebook wall with rank bad word play----- wham!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U r a GEEK. And one more thing, geeks definitely have to watch the Big Bang Theory on CBS.

2011: He deeply mourned Steve Jobs' death. He sobbed a lot on the FB. He was shocked by the untimely death of a man suffering from pancreatic cancer for years. He missed a fellow revolutionary so much that he changed his profile picture on FB(to that of Steve Jobs'). He constantly added videos about Steve Jobs and went on and on and on about how much the world misses him and how much he had changed Pult's life in terms of his peeing frequency to shaving his under-arm hair using i-blade. By mourning so much, you get the high of being Steve Jobs' colleague and a fellow technological whiz. But in reality, it is dumb asses like him who made Jobs rich. In the week following Jobs' death Pult ranted a lot about how one should dream and and take inspiration from Sir Steve Jobs on his blog. And yet manages to work his ass off for an American corporate and be in the same position for over 2 years now. Over the years, Pult has manged to not miss even a single opportunity to show off. It is a lot of effort; following a lot of sciences including fashion, music, food and hair styles. Hats off to you Pult, you are a linear equation.

kedi = smart in a cunning way
pult/peter = show off
idhuku dhan ivalo pult-a? = an expression to say you showed off so much only for this heh ?
Azhagan = a movie about kids who grow up in an affluent household
Oliyum Oliyum = Tamil version of chitrahaar (the only movie songs related entertainment show in Tamil on Doordarshan)
Pepsi Ungal choice = Call and request a song kind of a paid TV(non free to air)program on SUN TV.
komanam = archaic chaddi made out of old dhotis..only while washing it you get to realize what a long fabric that is