09 January 2015

Please, keep us near

Mohini and I spent this new year eve staying at home to look after our grandson and each other. A visit to the Gurudwara (Sikh temple), followed by a quiet dinner and a surprise visit by our friends Anupam and Priya.

As we grey, we spend half the time looking back and reminiscing. We recalled a new year we celebrated 16 years ago.

"Dad, I want to welcome the new year in with you and mom. Can we come with you to the party you are going with your friends on new years eve?" asked our son Mohit. He was 15 and our younger son Pavit was 13 at that time.

"Of course not", I retorted. "You better go along with your friends, that is who you should be spending your new year time with." 

I simply ignored Mohit's sad and crest fallen look. I was making a man out of my son, he had to learn to be strong and independent. In fact, I felt damn proud of myself as I left for work.

That evening Mohini my wife asked, "What did you say  to Mohit? Why can't the boys come with us? I have spoken to our friends, they are quite comfortable if our boys come with us to the dinner and dance. Please let them come."

"No my decision is made and please don't argue with me", I said curtly.

"Do you know what your son said? Do you have any idea what is going on in that young boy's mind and heart?"

"Don't make a sissy out of him", I scolded her.

She made me sit down and explained to me as a woman often has to explain to her man the eldest child in her family. " He says, mom , very soon I will be busy, with my friends in college and then my professional studies in Engineering,  my working career will dominate and marriage thereafter.  We have only these few years remaining,  that we can four spend real quality time together. I want to spend it with you both so that I can relish it all my life.  This is why I want us to be with you both. We will never have this time again. So please keep us close to you, while you can."

My macho arrogance had blinded me and had stolen my empathy and love. It had made me both senseless and heartless. Could I not have had the same conversation with my son as Mohini had? Why had I failed to hear and feel what he so dearly felt?

Tears welled in my eyes and I wanted to kick myself. How could I make it up to them? I went to his room and their he sat reading a book. He said, "Mom explained everything to me. Dad it's ok, that you cannot take us with you. You and mom have a great time. Pavit and I  will just chill out at home and watch TV."

I walked up to him, stood him up from his chair and embraced him real tight, and kissed him on his forehead. I said, "I am sorry, I refused you in the morning. On second thought, it will be a great idea if you came with us."

We all went together, the four of us, to the new year party. We sang and we danced, and we laughed until our stomachs ached. We then danced and laughed a lot more.. It was a fabulous, unforgettable fun filled evening.

Our sons have grown up and are now married, and Mohit is a father now. Everything has happened almost exactly as he foresaw it. 
With the onset of adulthood, intensity levels and differences in preference are more dramatic. This is only natural. We don't go to many functions or parties together with our children anymore. They devote more time at work,  devote quality time to to their wives, and are comfortable with their friends. 

Nowadays when the six of us do go out together, we still laugh a lot, but it is somewhat different. The love is strong, and that magic is still there, but it is not so overpowering anymore. Not so intense and definitely less insane. 

21 December 2014

Puns for educated minds

  • How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it....
  • Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!
  • A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
  • I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
  • Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
  • England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
  • I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
  • They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.
  • I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
  • Jokes about German are the wurst
  • I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time. 
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
  • This girl said she recognised me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore. 
  • When chemists die, apparently they barium.
  • I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
  • I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
  • I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
  • Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
  • When you get a bladder infection you know urine trouble.
  • Broken pencils are pretty much pointless.
  • What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
  • I dropped out of the Communism class because of lousy Marx.
  • All the toilets in Delhi 's police stations have been stolen. As of now, it appears the police have nothing to go on.
  • I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
  • Velcro - what a rip off.

10 November 2014

Catch anything?

The rain was pouring and there was a big puddle in front of the pub.
A ragged old man was standing there with a rod and a string hanging into the puddle.
A tipsy- looking, curious gentleman came over to him and asked what he was doing.
'Fishing,' the old man said simply.

'Poor old fool,' the gentleman thought and he invited the ragged old man to a drink in the pub.
As he felt he should start some conversation while they were sipping their whisky, the gentleman asked,
'And how many have you caught?'
'You're the eighth,' the old man answered.

25 October 2014

Full body Scan at airports - A report


CATSA disclosed the following airport screening results.

Dec 2013
Statistics on airport full body screening report from CATSA
Terrorists Discovered                    0
Transvestites                              133
Hernias                                      985
Hemorrhoid Cases                    2,455
Enlarged Prostrates                  2,049
Breast Implants                      39,452
Natural Blondes                             3

It was also discovered that 387 politicians had no balls

11 October 2014

Road Crossing Instructions in Pakistan

Look both right and left for cars, motorcycles, animals and pedestrians,

Look "up" for American drones.

 Look "down" for bombs and land mines.

Look sideways and backwards for kidnappers and suicide bombers. 

Hold your bags tight and watch for every person near you.

Then walk zigzag to avoid bullets.

My thanks to Dr. Surjit Patheja for this article

01 October 2014

Power, money, friends and good manners

Every moment and every interaction can be a learning. Even an election to head a sports club.
I recently observed, participated and analyzed such an election.

There were two candidates Mr. Rich and Mr. Simple.

Mr. Rich was a very wealthy man whom several members seemed to be in awe of. He rarely came to the club or interacted with the members until canvassing for elections began. A relative stranger to the club and having little in common, only a few members socialised with the wealthy Mr.Rich. It appeared many people hung around Mr. Rich in the hope of gaining some benefit financial, political or social leverage.

Mr. Rich flaunted his money and his powerful connections. Many members deferred to Mr. Rich though many members privately confided that his presence and push was way over the top. Mr. Rich spent an enormous amount of money wining and dining members, making slick presentations and distributing brochures. Mr. Rich focussed on status and on his personal achievements of which he had many. However he had done nothing notable at and for the club or it's members till date. 

The other candidate Mr. Simple was a down to earth builder. Mr. Simple had served for many years on various committees, projects and activities of the club. He was at the club regularly and had many friends and even more well wishers who appreciated his visible contribution. 

Mr. Simple was approachable and tried his sincere best to resolve issues and address the concerns of members politely and respectfully. He had many shortcomings, but he was lovable.

Unlike Mr. Rich,  Mr. Simple in contrast wrote a simple mail to all members outlining his contribution, and the values he stood for. He stated that he did not believe in expensive dinners and parties but his track record of his contribution and his conduct to let members choose who was to be elected.

When the results were declared Mr. Simple had won by a margin which was the largest in the club's history. It appears that money and power alone or even together can rarely win hearts particularly of the well informed. My belief was reinforced that; 

"Friends and good manners will take you where money and power will never be able to take you"

Behind every successful man is ........

It is often said that, 'Behind every successful man is a woman'. It would be more appropriate to say that, 'Behind every successful man is a surprised woman'.

Normally the woman behind the man, is his wife. Without even being briefed, intuitively a woman knows a lot, if not almost everything about her man.

A man, needs a place to return to, rest and recuperate. Feeling secure within his own home, man tends to lower his guard and social pretences and usually reverts to being just himself. That is the issue, because the man that reverts to being his natural self at home, is a unique and often imperfect creature.

All men are imperfect, only types and levels of imperfection vary. Flaws include vanity, ego, greed, lust, and many other human traits. Obsessed with people and things man is full of eccentricities, fetishes, strange fears, etc. This is exactly what his woman sees.

What women rarely get to see or learn of, is that her man who pursues some form of work/career or professional responsibility, is typically pretty good at what he does, and often well appreciated and respected for it by colleagues and society at large.

Since this is normally not  visible to his woman, she can rarely appreciate his professional competence, and capabilities.

Man generally need props to define himself socially and professionally. Props could include vehicles, associates, designations, size of his workplace , his computer and work tools or perhaps a title or even a crown. 

This creature called man, at home and in his lair, with his guard down, often looks and behaves clumsy and incomplete.  This is the creature that the woman sees. Can she be blamed for being surprised if her man is successful?

Man it appears, is the master of the circus by day, and the clown by night.