Friday, March 30, 2012

Silliness of Petrol

"This is, of course, extremely silly. Not individually silly—if there is a run on petrol it makes sense to get in the queue, just as it makes sense to pull all your money out of a bank during a bank run.

 But it is collectively silly. As motoring groups have pointed out, there is no overall petrol shortage; if everybody behaved normally, there would be plenty to go round, and no queues. Britons will get at least seven days’ notice of a strike (if it comes) so they really do not need to be panicking now.

The Guardian is directing readers to post their accounts of panic buying, and has linked to a map which indicates the silliest areas of the country. The commuter belt to the north and west of London is pretty silly, as are parts of the north-west. The south coast is silly. Scotland is not particularly silly. "

The words from the economist.  Read the complete article here

Recently we had a Tanker Lorry strike proposed by Indian oil Tanker Drivers in Kannur District. My area was identified as the most affected as the 90% trucks would invariably have to pass through Kannur and also that the striking fellas would warn they'd stop the non-strikers and their vehicles at any cost.

Luckily the strike was deferred, but it could not trigger such a fallout as the silliness of Britain.
Britain is one fantastic case study !

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Charged Up when Charged Out

In my days of the Kanhangad "Kaanja" Solitude, my lappie is by best mate.Its my bridge to my work hence my office; to my friends hence my after work life. Having no so called office to work in, the general difficulty with me is to when to "call off" the work for the day. Its generally when my eyes log off and my legs ease from the couch to prepare for the clutch-brake-accelerator session of the next day.

The inability to sort the times means my other activities go for a toss - clothes yearn for a rinse, books for my reading attention, some plates and cups to move to the kitchen from my work table and what not.

Yesterday though, I did the inevitable.Forgot my laptop charger in an outlet miles away. With barely 35mins of charge left , the urge was to check emails,drop emails and log information and save them.  And once the shutdown was made - it left between me and my bed a good 3.5hrs. Suddenly there was time to wash clothes, make food , wash plates and what not.

Having no charge on my lappie meant - I was fully charged up through the day.
The ending - yeah I picked my charger today morning -  and ..... I better stop the usual day story !

Monday, March 19, 2012


I was born a silent observer.

Known to be a very reserved fella in school whose name "barely appeared on the blackboard" - the hitlist of talkative students. The change came in college and life with 17 more guys made me privy to upteen number of gossips/arguments/debates which we termed "the talk of the intellectuals". Still I considered myself a good listener in most conversations.

And that was when mobile phones came up in life. I lost  my friends who searched for their "range". Secretly I felt deprived when my precious talking times with pals/gals would be stolen by the guy/gal on the other end  and their conversation would never end ( how i wished i could talk like that too ! ).

Work life and the travel on office buses in Pune for long hours taught me the art of the m-talk. Horns.honks and busy streets gave way to spicy talks on anything and everything - on the life of money. Back to college couple of years later meant that my mates thought I was too busy at studies to be free, I was too busy thinking my mates would still be with their bosses to talk.

And then I got the perfect talking job. Company gave me phone and people called in to say "Hello" to  give their numbers. Rest is history - when this little thing is ON is where I feel i work for a Fortune 100 company rather my boss feels that m-connect and marks my attendance.My customers feel my presence and warmth and taunts :) .

I learnt the art of hands-free. Yeah i.e. when you talk and mentally  you are still @ work with hands and try to at times - drive...safely though.

Last saturday though I left my hands-free in my car. I was too lazy to get it over for Sunday and I  worked over phone for a while. Thats when I realised the small pimple on my right ear. Each time I kept my  phone close to my right and efficient ear, it hurt.  It still does.

I call it the Pimple-Phone. The P-phone.

I was born a silent observer.Today - I am trying to live with the p-phone.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tickets please.

"Perception" is defined as the “process by which individuals select, organize, and interpret the input from their senses to give meaning and order to the world around them.

Source Wiki.

Did my bit of wiki-ing and googling after seeing my TT ( Ticket Checker aka Train Ticket Examiner ) gave  a  big smile and asked me if I carried a photo I-Card  with me with my Chennai-Kanhangad  3rd AC ticket. I said yes and reached for my purse - he said "Fine.Thank You Sir".

It hasn't been the happiest of fortnite at work for the railways.

No. Its not the Dinesh Trivedis or the railway budget tamasha. Reports of women being unsafe in trains has been talk of the town. An icing on the cake, regional Malayalam channels have been beaming pictures of a TT caught by RPF on a complaint of ill behaviour by a woman on a Rajadhani Express. 

Now this did hurt. Co-passengers yes. But even TTs ? All hell broke loose and the community has had its public image tarnished. PERCEPTION. !

I have enjoyed my train journeys all my life. I keep telling my friends that if I add up the number of days I have spent in trains - it wud definitely be more than 365 days - thanks to my dad's and mom's Leave Travel Concessions !

Every journey was different. Still can remember how excited me and sis were to travel in AC, that too full 3days to Delhi ! In 3 days  I was 3*2shift number of TTEs and each one was different in size/shape/hair do but that "dont you mess with me" attitude was common. They were fire spiting demons - who could burn to ashes anyone who dint toe their line. Be it paseengers,pantry crew or anyone else who dared to enter their "compartment:".

I'v woken up from dreams of  my dad suddenly losing our ticket and TTE throwing us out trains.  Luckily  though, dad has safer hands than Rahul Dravid in the slips. We were safe in all journeys.

When I mentioned my tour plan for the week - travel to Cochin for training- to Calicut for meeting - back - then to Chennai for review- back,  dad sounded bit wierd when he told me " Daaiii.Be careful. Dont even look at your co-passenger or you might be the toast of town "( read Kairalis,Manoramas,Visions...etcs).

And what I saw in each of my journey completely blew me off. TTEs working overtime to change "POPULAR PERCEPTION".  The smiles were out in full glow, train stops and times were shared, waiting list passengers personally escorted to seats and TTEs even made way for passengers and chai wallas !

For a moment I missed the TTE of my childhood. They were very scary,true, but I slept at peace for their presence was more security to me than any Policewalla on train duty.

Tickets please.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2 spoons of Harthal , one pinch of Strike and little Bandh to taste !

The advantage of doing what I am doing right now - I tell all my folks - is to start work from a new office everyday - eat food from a different joint - meet new set of people each day.

What I dont tell them though (and I am revealing this little secret only to you ) is that my WORKPLACE is generally a petrol pump -  for all of my NRI pals - "a gas station" but without the comforts and seats like one and FOOD - is something I deem eatable - visit to a place like "Permude" and "Meeyapadavu" assured cannot give me the choicest Kerala delicacies. I stop my car - have my tea and a snack and I am happy. "PEOPLE" are people of a type themselves.  I would need atleast 2-3 posts to describe them - which I will do in the couse of time.

Today- is yet another priviledged day - for the mallus of Kerala - we celebrate the day with heart. Yes - Hindu Muslims Xtians - Upper Lower Middle - its a day of Strike and Hartal. Brings me back memories of school when a sword hanging near my neck innthe form of a homework would sudenly vanish in the form of a bus strike forced hartal or a opposition forced one for student leaders getting "kissed with lathis" by our own policemen.

The hartals of Kanhangad  are though different. My luxury of mobility and choicest food is affected. That is when I turn to my own cooking "skills". Yesterday was when I hurriedly bought some curd, few baggy green veggies and a bunch of ripe bananas. I know my skills and I also know my patience levels are too low for cutting veggies and washing solied plates. Settled for a  raita and some cooked veggies. Lunch done. Fingers crossed for dinner.

End of Day - Harthal scores - people relax on a harthal - here was me - running around for food veggies and milk, cutting vegetables , washing plates for 3 times a day when all I could have done was drop into a teashop :(. All's well that ends well. Loving my limited cooking abilities though !

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jailed by Openess !

Today’s drive  was to the SmallRiverPlace - Cherupuzha in Kannur. Decided to take a new route .  via Cheemeni.
Cheemeni is a small town with empty roads ( a rare occurance in the densly populated Kerala )… and driving through the roads with Cashew Estate of the Plantation Corporation of Kerala  synonymous with the word “Endosulfan” noticed these words … OPEN JAIL - CHEEMENI .
Random thoughts criss cross the mind.
Isnt every human mind an open jail ?
Can anyone be “jailed” by openess ?
Similarly can anyone be given the “freedom of a closed room “?
Parked my car. Got out …..took a deep breath…stretched my arms …got back into the car…..switched on the music ..started driving again.