Sunday, March 26, 2006

Series of Accidents

The morning bus that leaves at 8.15am from our stop was not all set for a shocking picture that was waiting for us at that half-blind curve before we had another 2kms to cover the last lap of our not-so-F1'ish race to reach office that Tuesday.

It was a gruesome scene of a man lying right in the middle of the road with his head almost severed from the neck and squashed out on the top to bring out all the contents in the most grisly way possible. Lying by his side was a battered bi-cycle and a cloth-bag contents of which were strewn around languidly. It was all fresh and new – the food he had brought for his lunch and his slaughter as well.

Should it be the tanker lorry driver or should it be the cyclist himself who has to be held responsible for this brutal outcome?

I couldn’t digest the picture of this cruel accident that hit me hard; pulling out a strong chord linked to my heart and pushing out all the enthusiasm I had saved in for that Tuesday morning... IT was plainly disastrous!

Believe me I couldn’t have 2 of the 3 meals for that day and anymore than a glass of milk for that night. The same continued for the rest of the week as well..

The very same day while was traveling back to my home taking the last bus for the day which happens to be the one at 11.30pm – I was shocked yet again when I had to see an almost similar accident – but this time the victim was a calf, the horrifying sight of this calf being crushed to an extent that its innards were squeezed out and laid in an awkward position with its eyes half-open in the middle of the same highway, just a couple of kilometers away from the previous accident scene.

And it didnt end here either.... After getting down at my stop from my office bus, I had to get across the road to walk though an alley which would lead me to my home. There was hardly any traffic at that point of time and more so on that not-so-trafficked road that I was trying to cross. I would have crossed the first half of the road, when I suddenly saw a Qualis from nowhere speeding towards me at 80-90kmph on that deserted road, and for a second I thought I was dead.

Hell! It took me one full minute to assimilate the miraculous escape that I had from an accident that would have seen at least one of my leg severed!

I was still feeling the throb in my left knee where I got a close-contact of the Qualis brushing past me. I screamed behind the car with whatever swear-words I could muster-up at that moment, only to see the trailing tail-lights getting far & out of my visibility zone.

What’s with these late night and early morning drivers that they’ve taken for granted, the roads that they drive on is completely theirs and that they care the least for others who unfortunately happen to take the same roads to reach their earthly destination but end-up finding their eternal one!

"Please do not destroy lives even if you cant save them!"

Monday, March 13, 2006

Precision at Pronunciation

I hate this creature that comes to me every morning at my desk just to cross-verify how well I pronounce a particular English word. Belonging to south has given me the best gift of its own prominent drawl on practice of my language.
I agree upon the fact that my English is heavily inflected with a strong southern scent but that should definitely not be a reason for discrimination among others, in the public, on the roads, in the workplace and at all possible arena of mockery that’s available to some, who are constantly impertinent and ever ready to brazen you down even at the least prospect that comes deliberately or by sheer luck on their way…
These cheeky guys often forget the fact that, they are improper, incomplete and highly unacceptable in many ways of their own! Yet, they don’t hesitate to pull that delicate string of disparagement and conduct as though they are the lords or masters of the land of contempt or so they think and behave…

Inmates of the planet of precision they are…..Aren’t they?

Wonder what sort of a sickening, perverted pleasure they should be drawing out this utter nonsense pulled up at people all the time!

Anyways, as a matter of fact, oflate I’ve been struggling a lot to utter few words due to their mystifying phonetic effects, very recently I had forgotten that brinjal was articulated as “Brinj-al” and not “Brinj-ol” and I have no clue of what had come over me, I had been pronouncing it “Brinjol” until recently I felt a little weird about the way I was pronouncing it and got it clarified from a friend of mine…

Hmmm..this very thing about “Yellow” came up today morning with this above mentioned irritating personality I am talking about bugging my life to high hell.. I had lost my beautiful yellow colored deer embossed coffee mug a couple of days ago and have been asking about it to every person that comes into my sight….And so I go to this person which on an after thought I feel is the most awful blunder I had committed till date, to report and enquire about the same, with a weak expectation that he might have taken it as part of one of those usual uninteresting pranks of his!

But I was caught totally off-guard when he repeatedly asked me to repeat the color of the mug, which I presume according to him, I was voicing it as “ELLOW” and not “YELLOW”…and there I was standing bolted to the ground with enormous amount of anger built-up in me and at the same time feeling pathetic about the fact of being unable to voice it for the only reason that he was a senior to me!

He for nuts can’t say ‘sss’ and ‘shhh’ properly and there he is trying to make fun of my accent and usage of my words…

Anyways nothing more to say…Hope people realize very basic things like “Before pointing your finger at the other person always remember there are three that are pointing towards you!”

But….I don’t follow it myself that strictly …Do I… a Big Question Mark ?

Chai.. Chai…Chai….

This post came into existence after a reasonable amount of inspiration that I gathered from my T-shirt quote which read “Chai.. India’s National Drink… Stronger than Vodka, Healthier than Rum, Cheaper than Scotch!”

Hmmm… Very Insightful… pondering on the same lines, relating the above quote to a few real life instances of mine, leads me to an affirmative conclusion on the simple and plain truth about the ever refreshing, revitalising and of course the most sought after hot-drink of the Rest-of-the-India (with the exception of south where in still our trade-mark “Filter Kaapi” continues to rule).

Living in the warm & vibrant western India, in the capital city of Maratha Empire, which is closely associated with the great warrior Shivaji, for an year and a half now (to be more specific) has made me learn and speak fully-qualified sentences in our good-old national language with which my basics were very wobbly & shaky as a result of my only Prarthmic level (meaning Primary education which included reading and writing of Hindi alphabets and numbers up to 100) prior knowledge of the language.

Unfortunate for me, could be because of being a stiff “Thamizhachhi” since the day I remember having gained the faculty of senses, my primary Hindi wasn’t of much help to manage with my day-day talks with the shop-keepers, vegetable vendors, laundry men, servant maid, auto-walas and all the other assorted people of our everyday life!

With lots of difficulty, erring every time with Genders/Tenses/Names of and about living or dead people and existing or evacuated things… Now after 16 months, At least I am sure I can comprehend the language very well to get its full implication, which was nothing more than a meaningless cluster of phonetics thrown at me randomly, before; when I had just stepped in to this all new West-India life in late 2005…

I remembered the day when I made fun of a new class mate of mine in my school who was from Kuwait and knew no more than “Yenku Taamil little little teriyum” – Read it phonetically the way it’s spelled to get the original sound effect of it!

Believe me I was made fun of, the same way I made fun of this guy at my school… when I said “mujhe hindi thoda thoda aati hai” – on hearing that there was an effect of a laughter bomb being blasted successfully and people plunged into the pool of laughter for the next how many ever minutes they can manage in the deafening Laughter-Mania.

(Adappavi makka… Yarukku theriyum thoda thoda atha hai or thodi thodi athi hai nu sollanumnu???) -

Come on dude… I was trying to get gender specific here… Atha – Male , and Athi – Female…. And I frankly didn’t know thoda(meaning little in English and Konjam in Tamil) also had a gender attached to it types…

(Adi-aathi yellam nasama pocchu… keli pecchukku aalayachu!)

Anyways, marching back to our actual topic of the day… Chai…

Apparently, I wasn’t impressed much with the taste of tea as long as I was a pure chennaiite, with no sniff of an outside state, caught in the air that my nose was inhaling ever since I was born.

My first experience with the typical Maharashtrian Chai happened to be in a renowned tea-stall that was the talk of the area in a place called Laxmi Road where all the youth went in for their colossal salwar/chudidhar shopping here in Pune.

It was a perfect blend of Adhrak(Inji), Elaichi(Yelakai) and an awesome flavor of tea-leaves which made the fresh brew taste heavenly – I was simply blown away!

With the taste of this masthi chai still lingering on my senses and taste organs, I got desperate when I looked at the board, having the name Chai marked Rs.4/- at my office canteen’s menu list on my first day of office at breakfast.

As swift as I could, I got the coupon and made sure to be the first in the long queue that was waiting there to pick up their breakfast plates and the tea with nothing more than a flat or grim expression on their faces which I couldn’t relate to before but am very clearly able to now!

“Hey Sal, maybe they traveled a lot before reaching in here, so they are tired or they must be sleepy, so never mind” – I tell myself that and find a comfortable seat with my tea cup with a lot of expectations and anxiousness to take in the wonderful combination of the early morning nature’s beauty and taste of the best brew of the most awaited chai – (after that first experience of mine).

Sitting there…. I took the first ever and most unforgettable ever sip of that most insipid tea by far, giving me a sense of shock and realization at the same time about the T.E.A that I had in that stall and the tea that I had in my canteen!

I gave up on the idea of tasting a good tea after that day until recently, driven forcibly by one of my colleagues to visit a Tupri (Nammuru Potti-Kadai) where the tea was popular in the 5kms radius of the IT Park of which my office was a part of.

I was hesitant and was almost expecting a similar experience that I had long ago on my day-one at canteen… But to my surprise, the first sip of the cutting (half-glass) chai gave me the old revere that I had for the tea I tasted in the Tea-Stall at Laxmi Road.

I was very happy and felt rejuvenated at my unexpected rendezvous with this miniature-heaven in the name of “Tupri” which still continues to feed me with exotic blend of tea that I always longed for!

Finally, Alice found her wonderland, where she would get her unlimited supply of the “National Drink” which costs Rs 2/- per cutting and Rs 3/- per full-glass.

Thanks to my dear colleague who’s onsite right now.