The Leaf Falls

Today my Amma slipped and fell. Thankfully she did not hurt herself. As I offered to lift her up, she said – ‘Wait I will get up on my own’. I stood patiently as she chose to drag herself across the floor from the kitchen to the living room. She was still not able to get up. I told her – ‘Amma, just close your eyes for one minute.’

She complied and I lifted her up, putting my hands below her shoulders and hoisting her up gently.

She got up sat on the bed for a while as I sprayed pain relief spray and then applied Moov ointment. I checked if she was fine and then proceeded to work.

I thank God that there was no serious injury. It is just that I keep wondering why Amma chose to wait for a while before she allowed me to lift her.

Some questions will always remain unanswered.

As the astrologer predicted the ‘falls’ are happening. The remedial pujas that are being conducted are mitigating the quantum of suffering.

As I continue to seek answers, I dread the inevitable.

I am preparing myself for the worst!

At times I just want to cry, cry, cry till all the tears dry up.

But it is pointless, if there is a tree, the tree will bear a leaf, the leaf will dry, it will fall.

Life goes on!

Run Fat Boy Run

There was a time when I used to box, train and run, nothing phenomenal, running was something that never fascinated me. But being an avid footballer and cricketer meant somehow or the other I ended up running a fair distance quite regularly.

Over the years as other incidents and accidents happened and priorities changed; the sole purpose of life has changed. The everyday rush to reach college followed by office on time meant that physical exercise took a back-seat, especially after life in the corporate zone happened.

My exercise is cycling roughly 3 kms a day (to and fro/total) from home to railway station and back and walking for about 1.5 kilometres (to and fro) another station in the city to office and back.

At time like these when I look at various news-items on sports events, I wonder what would have happened if some things had not happened in a very, very bitter past. I could have been an accomplished boxer or excelled at least one sport and represented my state if not the district. Some memories just do not fade away. The adrenaline rush when you pad up to face the 6.5 feet pace bowler from the other college team. The joy of a header that tricks the goal-keeper and fetches celebratory back-thumps and hugs from team-members. The sheer training that one imposed on one-self to become a powerful boxer. The endless time spent shadow-boxing and perfecting the one-inch punch.

I look back at myself and wonder, if I could create a wormhole/black-hole/flux some fancy term to go back in time!!!

OK what prompted this post???

Well our attendance register closes sharp at 9:55 AM at the reception counter. So today I ran and walked fast, ran and walked fast, akin to an old double-decker bus navigating through narrow by-lanes – to cover about a kilometre in around 8 or 9 mins, wading through the mush and slush of the overnight rains.

The joy of beating the clock brought back a whole bunch of memories.

As I sit back, relaxing for a while, wondering how life has brought me here, I can only be grateful for the small acts of mercy and kindness that the Lord has showered on me.

So back to work :) time for the fat boy to run, run to catch the train back home :)

The Show Must Go On

It is around 6 PM.
All the punctual staff,
Who enter on time,
Are ready to leave,
Their day has come,
To a wonderful end.
Having read and replied,
To a multitude of emails.

Others have processed,
A number of files,
Which have been sent,
To people around the world,
For translation into various languages.
Some people have focused,
All their energies,
Looking at statistics,
To determine advertising performance,
Others focus on digital advertising,
That has to be published.

Newsletters that need to be built,
Test to be sent to groups,
Before the final dispatch,
To the client mailing list.
Amidst all this; meetings,
Seem to be taking place,
With unfailing regularity.
A conference room with glass walls,
Distracts my attention and colleagues,
Seem to walk in and walk out!

I came in late today,
Thanks to a massive fault,
On the suburban train system,
Signal failure and track disruption.
My life has become a strange ritual,
Of rushing to catch trains.
Hoping they are running on time.
Sending an SMS to my superiors,
Begging for permission,
To reach a bit late.

Amidst all this hurry and worry,
A rodent has chosen to die,
It is caught in some AC duct,
That is hidden by the false ceiling,
We are being visited,
By technicians and exterminators,
The rodent is truly a devil,
Escaping all the probes and searches.
The stench of the rotting carcass,
Is sending my olfactory bulb,
Into a crazy tizzy.

The AC has been switched off,
The windows opened,
The pedestal fan swings,
From left to right,
And then right to left,
And I wonder with,
A sardonic smile,
Like the fan, I too am lost,
Without any fulcrum or purpose,
From second to second,
And day to day.

In some strange pursuit,
From one end of the metropolis,
To the other, from home to office,
And yet again from office to home,
Repeating the cycle,
All over again!
In pursuit of what?
Love, Money, Respect?
I do not know at all!
Like a robot, pre-programmed,
I am one more human,
Who sold his soul.

I sold my soul,
To adhere to the norms,
Of what this society,
Expected of me,
What my family wanted of me.
I no longer dream for myself,
Except for some visions of Mother Mary,
All that I get are nightmares!
Which have me waking up,
In a cold sweat, in spite of the AC.

This should have been a simple poem,
At the most 20 lines,
But this is the problem that plagues me.
No focus, no purpose, no pattern,
Or design – even in what I write.
A day at the office,
As usual as always,
Perhaps this is the only,
Short span, when I can keep,
My crazy mind free of worries.
For the work and tasks,
Assigned to me,
Will keep me occupied!

It is 6:15 PM now,
I started writing this poem,
At just about 6 PM.
In 15 minutes,
I have tried to cover,
The anguish that many of us-
Lost souls or souls who have sold,
Their souls in the pursuit of excellence.
What is it that lies ahead?
Where does this path take me?

At the end,
There is just one line,
There have been many,
Many such souls before me,
And there will be yet,
Many more souls hereafter.

84fd2-taxidriver

Like Travis Bickle,
I look at the crowded streets,
The empty souls,
Disguised with mirth.
All fighting their,
Very own battles.

This too is a phase,
Wherever I go,
This phase shall rear up its head.
This is the Game of Life,
We are all players,
The show has to go on!

Univercell Sync – A New Experience

The Indiblogger Team has hosted multiple events in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and Chennai just did not get a chance. Then there was a notification of an event organised by Univercell mobile showroom group. I registered and awaited the event and then I realized that there was a function that I had to attend and would miss the Univercell event. I still wanted to visit the showroom at a later date. So I just called the event coordinator Nihal and checked with him if I could visit the showroom on a later date and still write about my experience. Nihal said it was perfectly fine and by not going on the date I would only miss out on the snacks that would be served and interaction with other bloggers :(.

I have always wanted to play a spy/secret-agent and there is a bit of an actor in each one of us. So one evening after finishing work I landed up at the Nungambakkam – Univercell store. The store is really spacious and tastefully done up with dedicated sections for music phones, work-phones, gaming and entertainment, etc. Essentially rather than just focus on the Operating System of the phone; the chief purpose/requirement of the buyer has been kept in mind in arranging and displaying the phones.

The staff are courteous, helpful and polite. Prospective buyers can handle the phones and experience the phones before buying them. Special offers on mobile theft insurance, pick-up-and-drop service and a wide range of accessories are also there.

When we check twice before buying vegetables for Rs 50; it is imperative that we spend time when buying a mobile phone that costs much more :)

The prices of the phones keep fluctuating, hence the price of the product is not mentione din the display-area.With cut-throat competition from online retailers and companied like Asus, Xiaomi, Motorola and Oppo deciding to go for only online selling; it is very important that showrooms like Univercell offer an innovative buying experience to woo buyers.

The Univercell Sync concept is a step in the right direction and I wish the store all the very best and thank the courteous and polite staff-members at the showroom.

Learn more about the event!

Private India – Blogadda Book Reviews Program

Title: Private India
Author(s): James Patterson, Ashwin Sanghi
Language: English
Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Crime
Publisher: Arrow/Random House India, Year Published: 2014 July
Pages: 480
ISBN-13: 9780099586395 , ISBN-10: 0099586398

I first heard that Ashwin Sanghi was working with James Patterson on a novel set in India, at the beginning of this year, at ‘The Hindu Lit for Life Literature Festival’ in Chennai. The announcement had me excited because JP is a master-writer spinning plot upon plot and is I believe among the rare few people who does not suffer from Writer’s Block. The prolific output of work is testimony to the statement above :)

JP surprisingly was a recent entrant in my reading list; read one of his books about three years back and then a friend gave me a full bunch of his ebooks with about 15 or 17 of his works and it was an absolute blast reading his books.

Ashwin Sanghi has won the title of India’s Dan Brown and his books have found success with the steady mix of history, mythology, science and politics. I enjoyed ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ and look forward to reading more of his solo-efforts.

Now let me tell you a bit about my reading tastes – I am a bit crazy about serial killers and murder mysteries. There was a time when I hoped I would go on to do an MPhil and a PhD and my thesis would be ‘Serial Killers in Fiction and Reality’. Well fate had other plans and all I do is read books and write reviews when time permits. Jo Nesbo has been the single biggest novelist who has managed to charm his way into the hearts of readers with his Harry Hole series and his translator deserves equal merit.

Now moving back to ‘Private India':

In Mumbai, women are being strangled and killed with a yellow scarf. Strange motifs and symbols are being placed next to their corpses. Private India, a team of super exclusive private investigators is brought into action and headed by Santosh Wagh, ex RAW, the team of Nisha Gandhe (ex Mumbai CID), Hari Padhi (tech wizard) and Mubeen (forensic expert) take it upon themselves to try and find the killer before he strikes again.

Step-by-step the case unravels, the book is paced fast and lots of secrets tumble out. I do not want to add too many details as this would make reading the book boring. The book is a great read for those unfamiliar with the works of JP. To seasoned readers of books by JP and other crime-thriller masters; this book is a bit of a letdown.

It is evident that the descriptions of Mumbai references to the various forms of the Goddess and the Navrathri are by Ashwin Sanghi – but somewhere deep down I felt this book was going like a bit of a tour guide for international readers. Somewhere there seems to be a disconnect, I am just not able to put it clearly, perhaps I am wrong and it is my personal viewpoint. May be if I had not read any of JP’s books before I would have waxed eloquent and offered five stars. Read some of JP’s earlier books and you will feel the difference.

Mahesh’s Rating: Three stars out of five for this thriller.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

JUICE by Mohit Jain – Book Review

This is the second book that I have received from ace-teacher, inspirational speaker and author – Mohit Jain. The previous book that I had reviewed was Four Corners of the Circle. You can read the review here.

J.U.I.C.E. stands for – ‘Join us in creating education’

The book has an intriguing cover in blue – with the outline of a cocktail glass designed with various words.

juice

The book focuses on explaining tough and complicated principles in management and economics through simple tales that can be easily understood and retained in memory.

One of the other aspects that I liked in this book are numerous illustrations and cartoons with some text in them. These ensure that readers are not bored and the interest in the book is maintained throughout.

The writer takes various incidents from his own life – his stint in Direct Marketing, his evolution as a teacher and motivational speaker and uses these incidents to cover a number of topics that are part of the curriculum in all management programmes.

I would love to write more about this book – but then it would rob potential readers the joy of reading the concepts that have been explained in easy to understand ‘no-nonsense’ style.

My only sore-point with the book is some spelling errors that have crept in – then again the message and the value of this book to management and economics students is much higher than the minor irritant of a few spelling mistakes.

I would whole heartedly recommend this book to students; please buy this book. I wish I had read this book, when I was younger :)

Buy from Flipkart.

Priced at just Rs 199 – equivalent to a movie-ticket and parking at a multiplex – please invest money in this book – you will not be disappointed.

The Goddess to the Rescue

‘Brennen beginnen die Waffen'(Commence firing the guns) – Captain Karl von Müller’s voice was clear; the darkness of the night was suddenly illuminated with flames as the oil tanks exploded. The labourers in Madras Harbour were in deep sleep and it was absolute chaos. An alarm began ringing somewhere; the British officers lulled in a false sense of security never realised what hit the Madras Harbour.

As Captain Karl continued to oversee the attack – a strange apparition appeared before him. He was in absolute shock – it was an Indian lady with dark skin, long hair, deep red eyes and a red silk saree draped around her. From where had she come? Karl rubbed his eyes thinking it was a hallucination – but the lady stood before him – visible only to him.

She said nothing – all she indicated with a swift move of her arm was – ‘Leave at once’. Karl was a Christian and not necessarily a God-fearing man; but this vision was a bit too much for him as the lady vanished as suddenly as she had arrived.

‘Rückzug’ (retreat) – shouted Karl and the ship ‘Emden’ left as swiftly as it had entered the harbour.

The guarding spirit of the city of Madras had saved her! Was it Goddess Kali? We do not know!

All we know is that if Karl had wanted he could have inflicted maximum damage to the city of Madras but he chose not to and the city now known as Chennai marches proudly into its 375th year of existence.

Learn more about the Madras Day Competition organised by the British Council.