Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Emperor's new clothes

The glitzy malls, extremely over-priced coffee shops, watches priced at least a six thousand rupees, shoes, make up, accessories, purses, more accessories; the money and the people who buy in a wave of their hand somehow do not equate to the rest of the country. How has purchasing power escalated so much with a huge part of the country struggling to go to schools? I am sure everyone has an opinion about making a difference, but strangely, the hordes buying pretty pink shoes to go, perhaps, with their pretty ponies, speak of losing ground and identity; amidst other things. Do all objects nouveau make a person more than what he/she can ever be, as a person?

Where is the child who cries out about the Emperor's new clothes?


Reminds me

Friday, June 18, 2010

Doing No Evil

I have always had a thing for lifts.When I was little, the ones at my Dad's office in Madurai had very unsightly grills, almost never worked and yet, were highly revered. Even today,when I stand in glass walled escalators or the ones that are as large as rooms, my brain kicks in to an awe mode. The sudden jilt in the pit of my stomach when I go up one brings back a lot of memories of all the other things I used to fancy as a kid; like new Enid Blyton books or fresh Tinkle Digests or long pink pencils that had a pony tail like fluffy thing attached to the end. Though I have outgrown the pencil attachment, I still fancy the lifts.

For this particular reason, I was strangely excited to see a dedicated lift "lobby" out here at Omega building in Hyderabad. Omega stands in the hi-tech city as one of those massive buildings and strangely without any indication that it housed Google inside. Not many people know about Google being here, and definitely not the fact that, this is the second largest office after the headquarters at Mountain View.

My mother with all her good intentions had wanted to me stop wearing "those vulgar jeans things" and in her sweet(not!) own way had insisted on formal cotton Salwars. There I was in a neat, largely CIT-ish salwar and waiting with enormous anticipation of my "office buddy" to walk in. People kept zipping in through the glass doors, with long confident strides and were clutching their laptops as they tossed their heads stylishly.I knew things were going to take a ninety degree turn and be absolutely phase shifted the moment I saw the signature colourful Google on the walls.

It was like a Harry Potter-waiting-for-sorting-hat-to-call-out-his-name moment. Surprisingly, this was the first thing given to me in the office.

Though they call this thing as a Noogler cap, which all the newbies have to wear, this contraption is generally known as the beanie. Readers of this blog should know my historical association with the beanie .

I am not going to rave about the office though
it is absolutely rave-able.

The cafeteria menus I have sent out to friends have created quite a stir and people have just stopped short of threatening murder and have limited themselves to send in hate mails.

Somehow, all this luxury is overwhelming. I have not opened my purse ever since I came to Hyderabad. So, today when I went to watch Raavanan at this hi-fi theater, I was rather amused to see that I couldn't bring myself to buy a can of coke as I have gotten the "every-imaginable- drink- is- free- at- office"notion etched in my mind; in a week at that! Boy,life is going to be tough later on. I should refer to my "no-fan" pages at CIT, occasionally, to keep in touch with the grim reality that lurks just outside the impermeable bubble that Google is.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


After languishing in my last holidays I am all set to go out to the big bad world. I was sitting in my uncle's house this morning before my flight to Hyderabad. A chap came to the house to perform "Dharpanam". I was sitting before the computer ignoring the wrong pronunciation and the hasty ritual to satisfy our buggy moral code. And suddenly, this chap barges in to my room and discovers that he could impress me with his wisdom.

This particular guy, relatively young in mid thirties, happened to be an M.A in Sociology (at least he claimed so) and was apparently doing his PhD. He clung on to my vicinity like poison ivy and started a diatribe on Indian Culture.

The strong points of his outrageous argument ranged from how girls should get married at 20 and not a year after that. He claimed that MNCs and other organisations have brought about the degeneration of Vaishnavism. I was politely nodding my head thinking about how many Heshey chocolates he would have devoured from unknown nephews in the Amrika. He was telling me that software was a bane to India because it ruined the Brahminical society and perhaps conveniently overlooking the fact that it was those software sons and daughters, working 15 hours a day in faraway lands, who were making his purse fatter by the day for the wrongly performed Darpanam. I was politely nodding so as not offend his sentiments when he started talking on how awesome Sati was.

At this point, I shook my head in disbelief. It wasn't his pretentious, unbelievably pompous statements, but the very fact that all such crap comes out of a person who seems to have a doctorate in Sociology.

Why is that the patriarchal society considers itself educated because it lets its females to go out of houses and complete an education? Why is the notion that after 21 years , I have to feel lucky that I am not married and on my way to change diapers. It is this same society that boosts the over inflated egos of IIT-ians of the male variety? How is that I am any lesser than a frigging guy mugging Salivahanan and calling himself an engineer in Nagarcoil. It is the same creed of half-baked religious bigots who consider massacring women and children over issues of temple as a service to lord. God, if he exists at this point would sit and guffaw over these people's arguments.

These are people who have cocooned themselves safely in the wraps of ancient wisdom. They are the class of Indians who claim to be educated and yet yap about Sati and purity of blood. They have neither learnt the scriptures nor know the meaning of any of them. These self impudent posers take it upon them to protect their purity of blood. Last time someone wanted pure blood millions of people were dead. A truly educated person would have the humility to accept all men are born equals and lucky to be themselves, thanks, to the disposition of the genes. They should admire God or whichever superior entity for not twiddling with their DNA making them a dolphin or a penguin fluttering in the oil spill.

Why can't they for once acknowledge that everyone has a right of pursuing his/her owns happiness, albeit the created equal business. I was sick and simmering with rage as the guy ploughed through his arguments that were as impudent as the man himself who claimed to be so wise enough to find girls of 21 who might not retort back at him.'

When my grandfather, 78 years old, acknowledges everyday that he is open to newer ideas and listens to TED talks on behavioral economics with glee, why can't these pretentious people stop hailing men who made it through IITs and then, advising me to get married?

Indian Culture has always survived and shall, without people who take it upon themselves to protect it. I sincerely hope there are thousands of Indian women in the world who could go ahead and discover their potential just to prove all these people wrong. I sincerely hope these women raise their sons to respect women for what they are, else it shall all be Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles.