Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy 2-0-0-6 !!!

Just another day,
nothing much happening here.
Yet it 's customary to say,
Happy New Year.

My resolutions for 2006
Will talk less and listen more.
Will be punctual.
Will be sincere at work.
Will shave regularly and be presentable at all times.
Will take ownership and act responsibly.
Will shed negativity.

Will try my best to keep my Resolutions atleast till Pongal.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

MiG 21 or Tik 20?

Four crashes within one year makes me wonder if MiG 21 should be renamed to Tik 20. Yeah, it was state-of-the-art in the 1971 war. Yeah, they were used in the Kargil war. But it is time for IAF to consider alternatives and expedite the phase out of these MiG 21s. They are proving consistently lethal, whether to enemies or not , to our own men.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Capital Punishment - A spot of dilemma.

A non-believer of capital punishment and euthanasia that I am, I was closely following the Tookie Williams' clemency appeal. It was turned down. Just when I was feeling bad for the guy who will be dead by the time you read this article, I heard Pat Buchanan on the radio quote:

"When you delay execution in such cases; the identity of the victim is lost and
the accused gets a whole new identity."

It is so true in the case of Tookie. The guy is convicted of committing gruesome murders in 1979 and now after 26 years and a few children's book later, the deliberation is about the values he has added to the society instead of the murder for which he has been convicted.

I feel that Governor Arnold did the right thing by turning down the "clemency appeal" sighting

Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings,
there can be no redemption.

This has made me wonder if my position regarding Capital Punishment is correct. However I still strongly feel that euthanasia is immoral. As I debate myself...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sheila Teacher - Part 5

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Mrs. Sheila and I walk into the school together. I don't utter a word and we are about to part in two different directions - she heads towards the staff room and I go towards my class. Just then, I turn back and say "Thank you, ma'm" to put an end to the awkward walk of silence. She acknowledges and fades away.

I walk into the classroom thinking, "If anybody had to say 'thank you', it was she. Why did I thank her? For giving her a ride?."

Anyway, I quickly get back to the task ahead - the task of completing the Physics assignment. I now have a good 30 minutes before the school officially begins. I sit down and start writing the assignment straightaway. One by one everyone enters the class. And when Karthik walks in I ask him to give me his notebook so that I can copy the assignment rather than having to look for the answers from the text book. It is far more easy that way - If you know what I mean. By the time the bell rings I make good ground and I am pretty confident of completing all the assignment before the 4th period.

As expected, I complete the assignment during the recess and sit pretty, now eagerly waiting for Mrs. Sheila's arrival so that I can get over with the viva-voce too; especially thinking," she knows me by face and is sure to remember the huge favour that I did for her (the ride in the morning)."

The bell rings for the 4th period to begin and Mrs. Sheila arrives promptly. As usual she starts off with the defaultees. "Stand up, those of you who haven't completed yesterday's assignment.", she orders.

Today, there are only three people standing. And surprisingly there is no one from yesterdays list of defaultees. Wait... No... I take that back. Slowly Arun, my saviour yesterday, gets up smiling at everyone who looks at him. Yes, he has not completed his assignments today also.
"Man, what guts? This guy has no fear. " I think. My admiration for Arun grows manifold, witnessing this bold act of his.

Mrs. Sheila starts off with him, recognizing him very well from yesterday. As I said earlier, she spots her prey and she is a delight to watch when in full flow. But just that, this time it is my good friend. So I consciously deny myself any enjoyment from the sufferings of my saviour best friend, Arun. However the entertainment is too good for my weak resolution. I join the class in laughing for every slap and verbal abuse showered by Mrs. Sheila. This way twenty minutes go by and Mrs. Sheila throws the four defaulters outside the class and settles down to resume from where she left yesterday. She calls out for those who did not complete viva-voce one by one. My turn comes and I duly finish up with her. As anticipated, Mrs. Sheila was nice to me. At the end of the viva, "Come and meet me at the staff room", she whispered. And "next" she moves on.

Sheila Teacher - Part 4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The next day morning, I wake up a little earlier than usual and get ready to go to school. I am not sure if it is the fear or the cold steady rain outside that has disturbed my sleep. Nevertheless, I pack my books and just when I am about to leave, "I will drop you in the school in my car" affectionately dad offers me.

The overnight rain was good enough for the already bad roads of Chennai and by now the potholes are filled with dirty water.

So I quickly take the offer and sit in the car. This way I also gain a good five minutes to complete my homework.

Dad slowly takes the car out of the house. The five minutes that I thought I would save is already lost and more - he drives the car at snail's place.
As we move towards the end of the street, a pedestrian woman steps aside carefully to leave way for our car. My dad acknowledges by a nod of the head and slows down (further) to ensure that he doesn't splash on the lady. Only when she looks up I realize that it is Mrs. Sheila. The expression on my face changes at the very sight of her and my dad is quick to pick that. "Do you know her?" he asks.
"Mmm, yeah she is my new Physics teacher. I didn't know she lived in the neighbourhood", I reply.
Dad, immediately slows down the car to take a second look.
In my mind I say, "You can't go slower than this."
But he seems to have different ideas. He stops the car and offers a ride to Mrs. Sheila.
Mrs. Sheila hesitant at first, obliges and gets in after noticing my school dress.
Mrs. Sheila doesn't know me as her student. She just knows a few people in our class. Afterall she has been in the school only for 3 months.

"Thank you, sir" as she seats herself in the back seat.

"Not a problem at all. I am going there to drop my son afterall. Why not drop his Physics teacher? haha" he responds and eases her into the conversation.

"Which class are you studying" she questions turning towards me.
"XI E mam.", I answer obediently.

"You live here Ma'm? I have never seen you before in this route." I pose one back at her.

"We recently moved here to the 43rd street. Its just been ten days", she responds having a first time complete look at me.

I realize that she is not going to forget my face after this.

"What is your name?" she quickly asks.

"R. Rajesh Ma'm" I reply.

Dad adds to his tally by posing a few questions to her. But the car hasn't moved much in the meantime.

I must agree that some good personal information about Mrs. Sheila were revealed through their conversation.

Now I can tell the boys all about Mrs. Sheila's family - that she is unmarried and lives with a brother and an old mother; that her brother is studying for IAS and she is the only breadwinner of the family. Just as the conversation continues, dad asks Mrs. Sheila "So do you take tuitions outside of school as a supplemental income?".

Mrs. Sheila gets a little uncomfortable with the question. But she pulls herself together and replies, "No, I think the school has some wierd policies that the staff should not engage in private tutoring of our school students".

Dad is smart enough to understand from her reply that Mrs. Sheila would love an additional income oppurtunnity, if only it was not for the school statutes that prevent her.
So he quickly rubbishes the school saying "Yeah, they have all kinds of rules, most of which is absurd and nobody follows" giving Mrs. Sheila the much needed confidence for taking private lessons.
"I want to put Rajesh into some tuitions. So if you are okay, you can teach him in the evenings. I would be more comfortable if he takes tuition lessons from his school teacher than some third person", he adds.

Mrs. Sheila, obviosly uncomfortable with the question, in a dilemna, replies "I will think about it and let you know through Rajesh before the evening"
And with that we reach the school.
We both get down and dad drives away.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Aagaya Chunaami (Tsunami)

SUNTV News was reporting the recent rains that created havoc in Chennai. There is this usual voice that reports "Sirappu Cheidhigal". The camera was showing us all parts of the city - Mowliwakkam, Madippakam, Velachery, Vijay Nagar, Saidapet, Virugumbakkam.... The scene was really bad. Each house looked like an island of its own.

Just when I started feeling bad for my fellow Chennaiites and useless; sitting miles away from my hometown, the reporter went on to describe the event as "Aagaya Chunaami". I laughed for the next thirty minutes - non stop . "Aagaya Chunaami" hehehe.

Who said Tamilians are not imaginative? Who said Tamil is not a descriptive language.

I agree that in Tamil, we refer to electronic equipments by its functionality like "thulai pesi" for telephone; "pada pudippu sadanam" for camera.... but can anybody come up with Aagaya Chunaami?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Gadget Addiction & Conflict

As long as you don't have it; you don't need it.
If you have it; You cant live without it.

I now can't imagine:
a world without electricity,
a world without automobiles,
a world without telephones,
a world without TV, RADIO
a world without tapes/cds,
a world without camera,
a world without movies,
a world without cellphones,
a world without laptops,
a world without internet,
a world without ATM,
a world without TIVO,
a world without conflict.

Well, everything in the list but the last one, was invented in the 19th/20th century.

1. This makes me wonder if the world really existed before! Is history a well conceived story?

2. Is it fair to trace to the earliest conflict and say that the world was created around that time.

3. Are we fooling ourselves when we talk of World Peace?

Tell me if you know.

Am I out of my mind?

In the morning, I laugh about a story that a guy died kissing a girl because of peanut allergy.
In the evening, I feel bad that Inzaman was run out on 97.

Is something wrong with me. Or is this how the world works.
I wonder...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Yeah Right

Teacher : Two positives will never give a negative.

Student : Yeah, Right