Friday, April 16, 2010

What Next?

The story, in my case, started the moment I took shape in my mother’s womb. Although I had sufficient access to food, the space was constricting. All attempts to escape the environment – throwing about my limbs – ended in despair. Not just that, the inhabitants of the free-world rebuked my attempts by terming them “cute”, “sweet”, “tender” etc. I felt helpless. It was then that I framed a sub-conscious objective - to wiggle out of the womb, to find that place where space would never be a constraint. Objective achieved; time taken - 9 months.

It was then payback time for all those people responsible for making me feel helpless in my previous abode. I forced them to feed me, to clothe me, to clean my debris, to make squeaking buffoon-like sounds for my entertainment and to participate in numerous activities that they normally wouldn’t. I had an awesome time. Payback meted out; time taken – 2 years and 3 months.

At the fag-end of the payback period, people started to see through my deliberate ploy. I was no longer cuddled whenever I forced tears out of myself. I could no longer get people to do crazy things for my 1000-watt smile. I was thrashed around if I “debried” all over the place. Worst of all, I was thrown into a school – gotten rid of by the same people who couldn’t let go of me for even a minute (When I was awake, i.e.). I had to adapt to the new environment and find a new method to get things done for myself. The existence of a sibling meant that I needed no rocket-science to figure out what I had to do – score marks (cross the 90% barrier). The objective was achieved on and off. My scores ranged from 50% to 99%. Things were amazing when I crossed the barrier, and brutal when I didn’t. The journey consumed 10 years of my life.

When I entered my 10th grade, I caught a new buzzword doing the rounds – IIT JEE – and held on to it. By using the buzzword, I had risen above the task of scoring marks in the examinations (the people around me no longer cared). I could use the phrase “I’m preparing for the IITs,” to get things done for me. I then dreamt of what I could get done for myself if I could use the phrase “I’m an IITan” - objective framed; achieved in 3 years; preferential treatment lasted another 4 years.

During my first job at L&T, a harsh reality struck me. I could no longer command the preferential treatment from my colleagues and bosses. It was déjà vu – the same sub-conscious/conscious feeling was haunting me yet again. A week of observation yielded a mission – be a part of the management! Objective – get into a top B-school; achieved in 2 years; preferential treatment lasted another 2 years.

The last one year (after the previous phase) has been a year of extreme introspection. I’ve come to realize that being a part of the management wasn’t as rosy as it seemed to me. In fact, there has always been a stark contrast between what I expected and what I experienced once an objective was achieved. I expected the world to be freer once I got out of my mother’s womb. I expected people to give me undue attention forever, when I was a baby. I expected things would get easier if I crossed the revered 90% barrier, only to realize that a 50% score was surreally looming around. I expected a king-size life once I cleared the IIT-JEE. Finally, I expected to be someone everybody would look-up-to, once I became a part of the management. I was always disappointed. This disappointment made the question – “What next?” – run amok in my mind. One disappointment led to another disappointment and that to another. Damn the vicious cycle.

Today, I take an oath that I should’ve taken the moment I was born – “I shall strive to find happiness in the present.” It’s time to undo the 25-year-damage I’ve done to myself. Wish me!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mother (Originally written in Telugu)

Your determination that the hands that touched another woman
Should never touch you, made you a loner.
So what? Your thought that a caring mother with a heart
Was worth million times a cold father with brute, has got you going.
And from then on, you never looked back!

Nobody knew whether you ate or not.
The only ornaments that you adorned were
Pride, self-respect, courage and honesty.
This is the tale of your youth

Afterwards, you worked hard to support
Your children’s studies and secure their future.
You bowed down to the circumstances
And swallowed your dislikes.
You derived your happiness from your children’s.

Your hands that worked tirelessly for your children
Also fed the first bites of your grandchildren.
Every drop of your blood toiled for
Your children, the children of your children,
Your well-wishers and all the needy ones you passed by.

So what did you get to keep in the end?
Because Selfishness, to you, was an unknown entity,
Your only worldly possession was survival.
O mother, how many births should I have to take to repay you?
The peace that I found in your shadow!
The protection that I sought under your wings!

When you had been through eighty three springs,
I used to count every second of my time
To experience the feeling of catching a glimpse
Of your glorious aura and your ever-loving face,
After returning home from a hard-day’s work.
This experience, to me, was heaven on earth.

I have made every effort from my end to protect you,
Until God called out for you,
With love so pure and care so personal
That in this entire world, only you and I know the truth

When the time came for me to hand you over to God,
The angelic glow that irradiated from your face and said goodbye,
Lit up a million candles in my heart, forever.
Rendered helpless, I had to give you up for a greater cause.
In every birth I take, I wish to be born as your daughter.
This, my mother, is my rhapsody to God.

- T.Suryakala (My mother)

Monday, September 08, 2008

How MCPs are Vctims and not Victimizers

Economics reverberates that efficiency lies in specialization - one should do what one's best at. It's amazing how the same funda applies to household chores. Just as an illustration - Consider a task - to cook omelets. "A" cooks great omelets and B doesn' economic theory says that A should take up the task for the economy to be efficient.

Long ago, work was physical in nature. The man, who had more brute force than the woman, specialized in running after animals, tilling the land, breaking stones etc. The woman, less strong, stuck to the softer chores. This had become a way of life. It is to be noted that economics doesn't consider the household chores as economic activity. Economic activity, at this point of time comprised of men’s brute force activities.

Then came the invention of the agricultural tools – work became physically easy for the man. As time progressed, more machines were invented. Work became less physical, and man’s core competency – the physical ability - started to diminish in importance. Men were thrown out of their comfort zone. This was a point where the lifestyle started changing. In other words, the men (and women) had a “Lifestyle Shock”. The shock-recovery process saw men fiddling with the softer chores and women trying their hands at the knowledge work – the economic activity. As time progressed, men and women shared both types of activities delineated by economic theory – the household activities and the economic activities. The basic theory still remained the same – people were still doing what they were best at.

Now, let us define the Male Household-Activity Involvement ratio as MHAI = Household Activity by men/Total Household Activity(Household Activity is measured in seconds). From “Long Ago” to now, this ratio has been on the upward trend, starting at near-zero. 0.5 is what the MHAI is tending to, over time. The MHAI, however, is significantly less than the ideal value of 0.5 at present (random observation of a perfectly sane mind). What does this mean?

Essentially, at present, there are still people (men and women) coming to terms with the Lifestyle Shock. Not long ago, men saw their fathers doing maximal economic activity and minimal household activity; women saw their mothers doing minimal economic activity and maximal household activity. While some of these men (and women) have adapted well to the changing times, some are still in the "Shock" phase. These people who couldn't adjust are suffering from an illness (Common symptoms of the illness include the use of brute force against the fairer sex by men, and the lack of interest in education for the women). They are the victims of changing times - they are sick. Unfortunately, it's really heartening that the male victims, who are obviously sick, are further victimized by the usage of a very hard-hitting phrase - Male Chauvinist Pig (MCP). This terminology doesn't make their adaptation easy - it complicates the matters.

Now, what exactly can a fellow human being do to make the transition of these victims easy? Firstly, one should refrain from using the phrase Male Chauvinist Pig (MCP). What if one calls the women undergoing the lifestyle shock - Female Petrified Owls (FPOs)? Hurts doesn’t it? Secondly, take time out and explain how the economic theory functions. Tell them that they have a Hobson's choice - Adapt or Perish! Thirdly, if the MHAI of your house is greater than or equal to 0.5, REJOICE, for there are no victims in your house! Lastly, pat me on my back whenever you manage to meet me. ;)

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Composer in Me

Let me start off with a very commonplace statement - "Every person's mind wanders." Stating so is not very ingenious of me, I accept. The point is that whenever a person is faced with idle time, his thoughts lead him towards a certain activity. Some of the activities that had occupied me in my lulls comprise of: watching a movie, sleeping, reading a book, admiring the beauty of the fairer sex in general, and the worst - plotting the murder of Arjun Singh (a fallout of watching Rang De Basanti). But, none of these activities were as pleasurable as the process of creating a totally new tune - composing music.

Some people call it a gift of a lifetime, some call it a waste of time and others don't care. To me, composing music is a way of life. It's an opportunity for me to declare myself unique, an attribute that makes me proud of myself.

Enough words, I'll let my music do the talking: (Left Click)
Sritha Song
Beside You
The Sujata Song
Nee Kosame
Mumbai Hawks
The Pagalguy Song

P.S: For the lyrics, feel free to checkout my previous posts.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Beside You

[Music and Lyrics by the band 'Three Times a Day', IITR]

Walking in the rain,
there was no one by my side.
I felt the need of one
who'd make the drenching fun

Some memories that stay,
and some that fade away.
I'll be there for you,
No matter what comes on.

I'll stand beside you,
I'll live beside you,
wherever you are,
I'll die beside you.

I've been riding this storm,
Since the time you'd left me
There's no one to share
all the dreams every night.

Illusions of you
that I see everywhere.
No one but you
can fill this gap

I'll stand beside you,
I'll live beside you,
wherever you are,
I'll die beside you.

This loneliness that I feel is a tragic disarray...
My mind is never stable, and is needing you today...
I open it to call you from the abyss of my heart...
I have a sentimental yearning that I need you here...

I'll stand beside you,
I'll live beside you,
wherever you are,
I'll die beside you.