Saturday, June 30, 2007

friends..........and the pursuit of happiness?

I am not sure if this is the case only with me or if everyone feels the same. I feel i dont have any friends at all. I was watching 'Happiness formula' on BBC .They had some very good results , ofcourse after quite a lot of research. The results appealed to me:

1. The lesser the time u spend in front of television, the happier u wld be. The effect of TV on happiness was very evident in the case of Bhutan where televisions were introduced , the last nation to do so, in 1999. To make the job of a researcher easier , Bhutan govt infact has a gross national measure of happiness. We, it seems, prefer to spend b4 tv bcos its so easy; jus a click and its ther.

2. The program then talked abt ppl being happier when they r with their frnds. very true, aint it. on a lighter but poignant note they said ,'Americans spend more time watching 'friends' than actually being with them.'

I always i had wished i had friends with whom i cld share my interests, go places, explore a lot, spend my liesure with, share my love and understanding. But i have only come to realise such a coterie of ppl with common shared interests is a rarity.

It has been easier to find ppl with whom u can form groups and being together means firing a bunch of cigarates and going out means going out to the pub and talkin means talking abt money or women.

3. Happiness mostly lies in things that we dont have to spend much like spending time with friends, in the park , in the museum ( we tend to mostly visit places for photo's sake).

"According to happiness research, friendship has a much bigger effect on average on happiness than a typical person's income itself.
One economist, Professor Oswald at Warwick University, has a formula to work out how much extra cash we would need to make up for not having friends.
The answer is £50,000. " (

4. Being richer doesn't mean happier. bcos we always tend to compare ourselves with others.

"Scientists think they know the reason why we do not feel happier despite all the extra money and material things we can buy.
First, it is thought we adapt to pleasure. We go for things which give us short bursts of pleasure whether it is a chocolate bar or buying a new car.
But it quickly wears off.
Second, its thought that we tend to see our life as judged against other people.

5.Happiness and longevity:

"In one study, the difference was nine years between the happiest group and the unhappiest group, so that's a huge effect.
"Cigarette smoking can knock a few years off your life, three years, if you really smoke a lot, six years.
"So nine years for happiness is a huge effect."

6. Goals and a meaningfullife

"The second vital ingredient is having meaning in life, a belief in something bigger than yourself - from religion, spirituality or a philosophy of life.
The third element is having goals embedded in your long term values that you're working for, but also that you find enjoyable.
Psychologists argue that we need to find fulfilment through having goals that are interesting to work on and which use our strengths and abilities. "

Monday, June 25, 2007

food for thot

Excerpts from a Nadine gordimer interview that appeared in Businessworld:

You sound more pragmatic and less optimistic than in the past. You used to be more of an idealist. You said once in the early 1990s that even though Communism failed, there were still some ideals society could keep from it, namely the desire to change the world and make it a better place. Is there any space left for ideals?

Let’s look at the good aspects. To do so, you have got to go back to other revolutions, to the French Revolution, to 1848, to 1917. There are terrible disappointments about what happened. But some ideas, some changes from each revolution, have remained to change the world: the rights of workers and women’s rights have all been furthered to some extent. But at the terrible expense of such suffering.
Many people of my generation still believed that the great hope for one, just world was indeed Communism or Socialism. We’ve seen it fail horribly, leading to the illusion that capitalism is the right thing. But we’ve seen capitalism fail and failing every day with such poverty and inequality!
We always look or hope for something that will change the world and make it, in a sense, one world. Not that we will lose our individualities, or our languages, or our cultural customs and religions. But there should be a common sense of humanity so we don’t just kill each other.
We have got this lovely term globalisation. But, so far, globalisation is just another big trade pact — the big nations looking to improve trade among one another. We are too preoccupied with materialism. We praise materialism at one moment, and then we speak against it! It is not that I am a pessimist, but optimism in old age is very realistic. Where does all this lead?
It seems that materialism has conquered all. We are urged every day to buy and to see our own image in terms of what kind of car we drive. In the developing countries, this is particularly disastrous. In South Africa, it has led some of our most principal people who were heroes in liberation to make a fool of themselves. Once they are in big positions, they become corrupt because their wives have got to have a Mercedes

How does a self-declared atheist like you cope with the global resurgence of religion in recent years?

Religion is a great source of violence. That's why Amartya Sen’s book Identity and Violence is so important. In a word, we’re put into boxes. You are told you are a Muslim or a Jew, I am told I am a Christian, and this is our identity. Sen points out that there is no such thing as a single identity. Each of us has many identities.
Religion tells you what you are, but it does not define what I am or what you are. We are many things. We must allow society to see and to understand that we cannot be boxed into a single identity. Boxing an individual's identity contradicts the spirit of modernity. And that goes for race or ethnicity as well.

Journalists like to ask older and wiser people what they’ve learned from life. May I pose that question?

Now that I’m alone with my own old age — my husband of 47 years died six years ago — I find to my amazement it’s like adolescence all over again, in terms of questioning everything, of looking at how you react to other people and the expectations you have from them.
(There’s) this lovely myth that I have heard that old age is kind of a beautiful plateau of calm and acceptance of the world, full of wisdom. Well, there is no wisdom at old age. It is the same old questioning at yourself and everybody else as it was when I was 15. This peace of old age, I am afraid, has not come to me.


"Are you listening "

"Why do u look lost" In response to my staring.

"I hate books" reacting to my frnds comment that i love books.

"You make me feel wanna be a better person" - As good as it gets

" The ego of a man is the Fountainhead of human progress" Ayn rand

" Avan "Athiruthu illa" nu solrathula sathame illa... ana athukku theatreley orey sound. illam vetti payaluga polapa pakuratha vittutu....." - Over heard someone who did not like Rajni.

I know in the present, circumstances my faith in God would have made my life easier, my burden lighter and my disbelief in Him has turned all the circumstances too dry and the situation may assume too harsh a shape. A little bit of mysticism can make it poetical. But I, do not want the help of any intoxication to meet my fate. I am a realist. I have been trying to overpower the instinct in me by the help of reason. I have not always been successful in achieving this end. But man's duty is to try and endeavor, success depends upon chance and environments. Bagat Singh in 'Why I am an Atheist'

Sivagami et al.

Today morning i woke up after a short sleep of 4 hrs after the n8 shift. Somehow i was in a a mood to muse a lot. Hence this entry.

Ever since i opend my eyes, and infact even earlier when i had actually lost sleep and was actually trying not to loose the continuity by tightly closing my eyes, Rajni's song "podhuvaga en manasu thangam" was playing in my ears, particularly the begining part "annanukku jey....". It was kind of giving me a lot of enthu. I was jus lying down and wondering about the kind of positive energy that can flow from a song. I wanted to make it my hello tune. I wondered y did i have "Iayyao..." frm paruthiveeran as my hello tune. It was ofcourse for the love in it.

Then i wondered y were i so much obsessed with love... Well , this takes me a lot backward....Having grown up mostly in hostels , r8 frm 1st std till 8 th,.... my father having to relocate frequently thot it wise to put me in hostel so that my edn would not break... so mostly my idea of a motherly affection came frm wat i saw in movies, mostly portrayed by manoramma- my idea was that of a infinitely loving, infinitely tender, most graceful, all knowing and beautiful in her own way person ...... dont blame me for such a naive mindset... that is wat i grew up to believe a mother wld be like ,thanx to the movies and my distance from and the resulting yearning for her .

It was somehow a big dissappointment for me to discover the limitations in my mother when i started to live frm home frm 8 th std.... not that she actually had any shortcoming, ..she was jus like anyother mother... but i had to be content with continuing to yearn for that picture of mother... i believe i still am. I believe it is the yearning for those qualities in a person that makes me attracted to the grls i have been since.

Roshni, Divya, Priya, Tharani, Suganya, Archana, Rekha, Faheema, Kirthika, and now Gayathri.... I have missed mentioning many , for they m8 have been too shortlived. It was always a case of yearning and deep pain with each of them.

It jus occured to me that i had to undergo all that pain bcos i was doing a mistake. okay that much for commonsense. But all this while i wld neither know wat mistake it was or y i was doing that mistake. Today it jus occured to me that the mistake was that i , in the fst place, had too very naive expectations out of my mother and since i missed it i was looking for it elsewhere... it was a mistake to miss something at one place and search for it in another, i wld finally end up having nothing.

I feel good that i have realised this. Its secondary if i make amends to my outlook. but having discovered the wound is quite relieving. By the way, Sivagami is my fst love and pain, my mother...... (in pic: Venus de Milo)

Hospital again..

My grandfather developed illnesss again this sunday. This time it was a case of continuous vomiting. nothing stayed in his stomach, he puked every thing .And had severe stomach pain. We Took him to the hospital. This time it was Sundaram foundation, My father seems to have subscribed to the idea of brand value and he seems to have bought the crediblity of the TVS family. So he decided that we could put our faith in them.

It was almost 11 o clock in the n8 when we reached there. Only the emergency entrance was open, as is the case with the nature of the hour we arrived. ONly one 'attender' could be let in. I opted to stay out and let my uncle go in with grand pa. It was unbearable to be called 'attender' somehow the hospital management had forgotten the word 'relative' , a word that could have avoided so much irritation to me.

My uncle was sent out to pay some regn fees, in the meantime i peeped in to fill in the posn of the 'attender' . My grand pa was already put on a bed with some tubes running abt him. And the sister was questioning my grandpa abt wat was happening and the history of the problem. he was struggling to answer as he was almost exhausted, since he had nothing that could stay on in his stomach. I was shocked and irritated at questions being put to him at that condition. further came the irritanat , 'stay out' . I shouted back saying if they could tell me wat actually was going on. Then the doctor came in , intervened and 'tried to pacify' me where as wat i wanted was a clear answer, telling me wat they had diagnosed and wat was the future course of action, and how much did they think this was gonna cost us. But rather than persisting for the answer, i suddenly became conscious that i had over reacted and accepted the doctor's 'pacification' came out.

soon left for home, leaving my uncle behind. The next day morning i went back at about 9 o clock. no one had cared to appraise my uncle of wat was going on. i went in asked again if someone could explain wat was happening. Then came a big expln. It looks like xray in the abdominal area showed signs of obstruction. and further wat he puked was green in colour, indicating that bile content and pancreatic juice, so the obstrn was somewhere after pancreas.... this obstrn had caused all the vomiting. it seems he had not been in a posn to release gas in the past 24 hrs.

Happy that at last someone had spoken to us, i walked away triumphantly having discovered something and shared the info with my dad and uncle. And left again with my uncle leaving my dad behind, and came back again in 3 hrs , only to find out that the consultant physician had come and gone without bothering to talk to us and grand father, who was in a fatigued condition had to initiate a dialogue on knowing how much the trtmnt wld cost. I was now told it wld cost at least 10 k to tell conclusively wat was happening Ct scan alone cost 5k .This drove me mad again. I wanted to ask the doctor if he did not think it sensible to keep us in confidence abt wat was happening and how much cost we wld have to bear. I just did not use the wrd 'sensible'. This drove him crazy. I did not want to stay there anymore and left my dad and uncle there to decide on the future course.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wet, wet, wet...

The Monsoon has been very busy this week trying to keep chennai wet. It has been a great climate . A cool sight to watch the trees wet and green, the buildings tho have lost their sheen. This climate almost makes your ears hungry for melody. I only missed some one to hug tight on to and bury my lips into and found myself giving vent to that feeling of helplessness through puffs of cigaratte and regretting later.

It is really unfortunate that many such habits have rooted in me from such helplessness for something else and regretting later. Apart from smoking masturbation goes into that list of habits.

It has been a tough time riding up and down ,20 kms each,to the office. I have to be covered by a raincoat always. It is better that way, otherwise ur dress wld be covered with spraying of mud from the tyres of vehicles going in the front. The roads are slippery. on the way, it would rain at one place and not in another.

In the mean time ,the day before yesterday i went to check the progress of work on the car. It has been a week since i admitted it into the workshop. It has already cost 4000 rs. for the spares alone, atleast thats wat the mechanic claims. Most of the work had to done on the chasis it seems. It seems the car, due to poor suspension, was almost hanging about to break down into pieces. I should have visited a bit earlier to appreciate wat exactly the state was. But now it was late. Only a few more work were pending.

With Gayathri, i feel helpless again. i am not good at speaking. and dont know wat to speak to her. so stand helplessly staring at her. i realise i am doing myself no good by simply staring at her. i would only earn her ire.... i should learn to behave with her.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Okay , alas our hr dept has empathised with us and has recruited a girl for the communication trainer post in the floor. Wow ! she looks gr8, rather cute.... i could not take my eyes off her face. There was a feeling inside me that could be compared to a sweet drizzle in a desert. i forgot to close my mouth. I wanted to sketch her face. i wish i cld record on a paper wat my eyes had captured.

I wish i cld put her pic here. But u know i dont have one and nor wld i have her consent to it. So let me draw her with words. okay, here we go.

Her hair style is that of 'jillunu oru kadhal, second part' Jo's.Big eyes. Big brownish dark eyeballs that almost filled the eyes. Eyelids like an umbrella, opened and shrunk ( thanx to the sw monsoon) . her cheeks were like two slices of apple. complexion wheatish fair. Beautiful lips- full, light pink, very well shaped , shaped like,say, two fishes kissing each other lip to lip , with the tails cut.

The fst day she wore a short shirt and a pant.( she joined on tuesday) the next day she wore a salwar kameez in light green. in that dress she was almost luminous and looked like the moon.

The fst day i think at some point she got tired of my staring and vied to tell me something, thank god, i was on a call then, she wld have certainly blasted me otherwise.

The next day, she got going with her job and wanted to have a chat with each of us. I was the fst one . i was very excited.

i was so glad to be so near her that my eyes were relishing every bit of her face and her eyes. She was telling me why she called for this chat at one point suddenly stopped and asked if i were listening. Now it was my turn to speak, she put a few qsns and wanted to listen to me speak so that she can assess my language. okay, now i cld nt see her, i had to speak. i was glad that i was speaking to her, and the qsns were of sort of my interests and such things, i was glad to share it with her.

she has a very sweet smile. her face lingers in my memory....

Monday, June 18, 2007

June 16-17. The High and the low.

This weekend was full of excitement to see sivaji... With the help of a frnd i had got tickets to a show in aradhana on sat 630 pm. could take only the two wheeler as the car had not yet been discjarged frm the work shop , the mechanic is frightening me with the bill, i wish i could ask him to stop further work on it and take it away.

it was a long journey frm annanagar to aaradhana. Was so excited that i thot it wld be fuel to fun to have some alcohol but it turned out to be a disappointment, it took all the energy out of me that i had to cancel a trip planned for sunday.

And further i was almost watching the movie in a trance. could not fully appreciate it... jus howling and adding to the hoopla in the theatre. So i am not in a posn to exactly comment abt the movie.
About the thtr, Aaradhana was a very small theatre and further our seats were jus 10 rows away frm the screen. The men's wash room had only 4 urinal pots. so u can imagine the rush in ther...

jus as we came out of the thetre it started raining - fst authentic showers of the sw monsooon in chennai ?!. But it was raining only in the ecr stretch, there was no rain in the city after thiruvanmiyur. i had got thorughly wet in the downpour in ecr and was again dry before i reached home.

i was completely depleted by then and it was 1130 in the n8, i had lost all hopes of making the trip on the next day for which i had to start by 5 am. i had planned to accompany pradeep and sangeetha on their drive to ambur, near vellore, to a temple.

it turned out to be forr good'sake that i didnpt make that trip, for my grand father developed chest pain and had to be rushed to the hospital, since a neighbour who was also a doctor cautioned us that it could be a mild attack but i was confident that it wa not that serious bocs i could see wat was wrong but went with the general perception. we took him to sridevi hospita, opp to rohini thtr in koyambedu.
The hospital had a modest infrastr. It was a horrible sight too see that they had their front compound wall , which overlooked the ph road, brought down as a part of the ph road expansion. As soon as he was taken in a ecg was taken , we all anxiously awaited the doctor to look at it and pronounce his sentence.

A word here abt the doctors' attitude. There is no way we could blame them . we were actually there quite early in the morning which the doctors who served the night shift were towards the end of the shift. So we had to be attended by doctors who had sleep looming over their eyes, or some one who was woken up in the middle of his sleep, it was a very pathetic situation.
I wanted to tell them to wake up, but i had to be careful abt wat i said, afterall we were now at the doctrs mercy! Further the medical community has this tendency to keep wat their doing look like a sanctified practice that we r not supposed to understand. It would help us a lot if the they could explain to us wat actually was going on, we could afterall appreciate quite a bit given our biology background, that way they could actually help the whole process of treatment.

Finally , they decided to tell us that the ecg was normal and it was not anything to worry with the heart. And that they thought this might be due to excessive phlegm in the lungs. And the casue was , later on , resolved down to a 25 years of smoking habit( when he was 25 and 50 ) that had left his lungs shrrunken and with patches that now served to hold the phlegm on.

The rest of the sunday i was ther in the hospital with him. He had to be admitted to treat this so called ' pulmonary infection'. I spent my time reading a bit of FranzKafka's "metamorphosis" .It rained in the evening when i had to go out to buy some medicine, i got completely drenched for the second day in succession.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Waiting for Cupid

I wish i could fall in love, but unfortunately love eludes me so much , i dont know y. i wish i had someone to think about always. i wiwsh i had someone to share my thoughts with. i wish i had some one to go out with... i wish someone walked into my life and stayed with me.

My falls

These wishes often lead me to falling in to one groove or the other very frequently. its almost like a pattern it keeps repeating itself.first i would fall for some charecter of the grl, she wld mostly be my colleague whom i happen to see frequently , i would eye her so much that if my eyes had a piercing power my sight would have borne holes allover her. i would not know wat to talk to her so i would jus keep looking at her whenevr i get a chance, i wld believe she wld understand my feelings without words.....

Then i wld get the chance to take her mobile num, then i wld spk to her , she wld ask me many qsns jus out of curiosity but i wld mistake it to be becos of her interest in me... i wld wantto spend all the money at my disposal to charge my mobile so that i can keep speaking to her endlessly..... Then i wld sleep with my mobil ph besides me hoping to get her call and to be carefull not to miss her call jus in case she called. i wld have the mobile always in my hand. i wld send msg and wait endlessly for her replies, and ofcourse wld never get any. if atall i happened to be away frm my mobil for sometime , the fst thing i do wen i come back to it wld be to look if there has been any thing frm her. And whenever some msg or call comes i wld come to the phone hoping that its something frm her, but it wld mostly be a msg or call frm my brother Anand or Ramraj,.. I wld know i was doing something wrong but wld not have the brains to stop doing it. i wld call her , only to be ignored and feel heart broken and wld want to collapse and vanish. i wld want throw mobile away.

I wld curse myself for being such a psycho . i wld keep thinking abt her always. if she was absent i wld miss her so much that i wld keepin looking around expecting her to come about , understanding that i was expecting her.../... and wld find it difficult to spend the time at office. As if i did not have anything else to do at all. my mind wld not go into my usual passions like reading or learning. i wld remain aloof. i wld not get along well with my frnds, i wld not want to be with them , i wld always want to be with her only.

I wld take immense pleasure in reading her fav book, visiting her fav place, learning her language,....

And somewhere in the middle of all this her b'day wld come. I lwd become very excited and wld want to give her a gr8 gft. I wld have to overcome a lots of shyness to give it to her. evne this aspect of the pattern satys true every time.

And after a hell of a time of such a depression i wld finally find out that she already has a boy frnd and wld have to say gd bye to her never to see her again and praying to God not to lead me into such a groove again.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Flooded by lights

This saturday, 09/06/07, i chanced upon luck and made good use of it. My brother had got a few complimentary tickets to the Asia vs Africa match in Chepauk stdm and he offered me a few tickets. I wanted to grab this oppurtinuty for, one, i had never watched a match live at a venue and two, i had never been two chepauk, it being one of the world famous spots in chennai. Another cool thing about this was that it was a day and n8 mtch and hence there was no need to worry abt the scorching sun.

A gloriuos scene

We have always come across this phrase in litr. , that some thing is gloriuous to see. I just witnessed one. Chepauk is simply a wonder to see the grass lit by the flood lights. The view simply bowled me over. I went there with an idea of turning back in half an hour. but the view, the cool breeze assured me i was in for a good spectacle of a time and view.

Zaheer and Sourav

Tho we cld catch distant glimpses of Jayawardane, he was too short! ; Jayasuriya, i felt thrilled when i realised it was jayasuriya, a man he is; Dhoni,he reminde me of his commercial appearences; Yuvaraj , its a treat to watch him field; Bhaji, he was making all the noises, be it tapping someones back or applauding someones feat; and Sehwag, he was a busy man on the field; We really got to relish the most of zaheer and Sourav for they were posted to man the field near our quarter.
The Crowd
Every one wanted to catch a bit of zaheer and sourav in their camera. They even called out to them to pose for the camera. Zaheer never responded. But Sourav somehow yeilded and played to the crowds tunes, or it cld be said the crowd had found a way to attract sourav's attn.

They harped calling out 'dada', they roared whenever he turned towards them, they chanted saying they wanted him to bowl and they declared he was the best caption. And all thru sourav seemed to enjoy all the attn.

Thinking frm the players perspective i could only wonder how they managed to put up with all this nonsense.

The stadium
The stadium was as grand as the game itself, at international level.

Friday, June 8, 2007


This is a movie that i saw on sony pix s'day. featuring Robert de nero, the man who is known for his method-acting and the way he brings life and charecter to the roles he plays. i have so far seen his 'raging bull' and some scenes of 'taxi driver'.

There is a small part of the movie where they talk about the '47 Ronins' and the tradition of samurais.

That having evoked my interest , resorted to wikipedia to find more abt Ronins :(A rōnin (浪人, rōnin?) was a masterless samurai during the feudal period (1185–1868) of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the ruin or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege. ) The folowing quote in that wiki article appealed to me:

A ronin was given equal respect to master-sponsored samurai by the general population and were actually preferred by Zen masters, artists, philosophers over their more obedient and faceless samurai counterparts[citation needed]. As thoroughly bound men, most samurai resented the personal freedom enjoyed by wandering ronin. Ronin were the epitome of self-determination; independent men who dictated their own path in life, answering only to themselves and making decisions as they saw fit.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

June 7

Chennaiites will remember this day for it was the fst pleasant day after a very long time.

Chennai received its first kiss from the monson ,very mild showers in the early morning i missed it bcos ai had not got up b4 8 o clock. i could only see the drop marks on the jogging track. i went for jogging as late as 830 am. i could not have dared to do it yesterday bcos of the burning sun. but i could already make out that this was going to be a pleasant day. the sky was so much covered with clouds all thru out the day that the sun never came out. There were no more showers for the rest of the day but it was a very pleasant weather for the whole day.

The weather reminded me of some cool walks i had in some parks in delhi.

World environment day

June 5 World env day was spl this year as i got time off office and to go to one of my colleague's land were Admin people had arranged for plantations to be done. We were taken in cabs, a group of 10 ppl headed for redhills, near madhavaram. We stopped for brk fst at woodlands drive in hotel, near stella mary's on cathederal rd.

I was very glad at the prospect of going to that hotel, for i had never been ther, eventho i had passed by it many times. But it turned out to be a big flop. It was such a prime location and such a vast facility that was wasted. The service was very poor and the food was no spl. But the green ambience was very good. Lots of cars were driving in making me wonder wat really attracted them, it probably was the facility that they served in the car.

And then we reached the land in redhills. the area was mostly barren with few houses dotting the place. there were mostly thorn bushes. the land for the purpose had been cleared with the help of jcbs the prev day. we donated around 60 saplings to be planted. some of them coconut treelings and others pungs. we planted some for photos sake and left the rest to the gardeners.

Thanks to the Admin departments initiative , i thot we had done something worthwhile.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


June 1 st was a day of helmets in chennai. Every two wheeler rider , even the the ones on pillion, wore a helmet. It was a amazing thing to see. There were police around every corner trying to grab people who had not heeded to the government's notice.

There was a steady build up all thru the week that preceded. helmets were on sale around every corner. all shops selling helmets were mobbed.

It was a safe ride for me, for i had always used a helmet and had no problems in that.