Thursday, November 15, 2012

Humility

My Dad was the topper of his school in the 10th std board exam (SSLC). He had scored 420/600 which was pretty decent in those days. He then went on to study in St. Thomas College in Thrissur. Full of confidence, on the 1st day in class, he asked the guy sitting to his left his SSLC score. That guy replied "Naanootti muppathe ullo sta! (Just 430, dude)". Then Dad asked the guy sitting to his right the same. He replied "Naanootti irupathi anje ulloda, aarodum parayanda, naanakked! (Only 425, man.. dont tell anyone else.. what a shame!)".

My Dad has not asked anyone else their SSLC scores.

I was the topper of my school and district in the 12th std board exam and I was the only guy who made it to IITM from my district that year. Full of confidence, I boasted on the first opportunity I got to some friends at IITM - "Dude I have studied 18 hours in one day!". My friend from Hyderabad replied "Just one day? We used to study for 18 hours a day for 5 days a week. During weekends, we used to chill a bit and study around 16 hours a day." Another guy from Kota said "You guys could chill during weekends?! Lucky ass!".

I have never asked anyone else how many hours they studied.

My Dad and I learnt the same lesson, from very similar situations at very similar ages. :)

PS - a few exaggerations here are there ;)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

ആറാട്ടുപുഴ പൂരം

ഇക്കൊല്ലത്തെ ആറാട്ടുപുഴ പൂരത്തിന് ഇന്ന് പരിസമാപ്തി. ഇത്  പണ്ടൊരിക്കല്‍ ആറാട്ടുപുഴ പൂരത്തിന് ഉണ്ടായ സംഭവമാണ്.
ആറാട്ടുപുഴ പൂരം നടക്കുന്നത് ഒരു 2 കിലോമീറ്റര്‍ നീളവും 1 കിലോമീറ്റര്‍ വീതിയും ഉള്ള വലിയൊരു പാടത്താണ്. പൂരം പ്രധാനമായും നടക്കുന്നത് രാത്രിയാണ്. അന്ന് കറന്റ്‌ ഇല്ല. അത് കൊണ്ട് പൂര കമ്മിറ്റിക്കാര്‍ വെളിച്ചത്തിനായി 10 - 50 പെട്രോമാക്സ് ലൈറ്റുകള്‍ വാടകക്കെടുത്ത്‌ അത് ഓരോരുത്തരുടെ തലയില്‍ വെച്ച് കൊടുത്തിട്ട് അവരോടു ഇരുട്ടുള്ള ഓരോ മൂലകള്‍ നോക്കി പോയി നില്ക്കാന്‍ പറഞ്ഞു. അപ്പോള്‍ ഒരു വിധം എല്ലാ സ്ഥലത്തും വെളിച്ചം ഉണ്ടാവുമല്ലോ. ഒരു വിദ്വാന്‍ തലയില്‍ ഈ ലൈറ്റും വെച്ച് ഇരുട്ടുള്ള മൂല തപ്പി നടന്നു. അത്ഭുതം തന്നെ, അയാള്‍ എവിടെപോയാലും അവിടെ ഇരുട്ടില്ല! അയാള്‍ ആ രാത്രി മൊത്തം അങ്ങിനെ ഇരുട്ടുള്ള ഒരു മൂല തപ്പി നടന്നുവത്രേ!


Disclaimer - this story is not my original. I heard this story from my grown ups, who must have heard it from someone else.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Holy Cow!

A couple of friends and I have the habit of singing a song in the worst manner possible. We used to be very enthusiastic about it, and it was even a competition among us. Those good old days are past, and such competitions are kinda rare these days. The following story, [spoiler: believe it or not], is a real one, with no exaggerations and happened in one of those golden days. A few of the mallu dialogues, I could not translate in a good enough manner to express its essence, so non-mallus, pls forgive me.

This happened during my 12th std in school. In one of the hours, I forgot why, there were only a handful of (unlucky) students in the class without any teacher too. I seized the opportunity and started my saadhakam (practice). I hummed the 1st few lines of a popular song from the movie Nandanam, got in the groove, and continued, louder.

Soon, it was pretty loud. Within a few minutes, the teacher from the neighboring class, with a look on her face that you usually get when you step on something nasty, came running into our classroom, and cried - "Ithenda ivade orocha!!? (What is all this noise here!!?)"

Ok, she didn't ask "Who is singing?" - I could forgive her for that. But she didn't even ask "What is that sound?". Irritated from the lack of appreciation I was getting, I thought "Athrekkayo?" and with a straight face, replied - "Ath porathe etho pashu aa teachere (It must be some cow outside, Madam)"

"Oh..", she said, convinced, and left.

THAT, was the proudest moment of my singing career.

\m/

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Questions

Facts:
1. This is Recession time.
2. The Indian economy, which was growing at 8% pa, has been slowed down to a growth of 5% pa, but nevertheless, it is still GROWING.
3. The US economy, the worst hit, is having negative growth right now.

Questions:
1. Have we ever wondered WHY THE ****, in spite of facts 2 and 3, Rupee is now at its worst Ever in HISTORY against the US Dollar ??!
2. Why havent we ever wondered the question 1 ??!

Possible answers:

Why, in spite of facts 2 and 3, Rupee is now at its worst ever in HISTORY against the US Dollar ??!
1. Every other currency is gaining against the US $. This is because India is one of the few (if not only, I dont know) countries that allow direct trading between its currency and the US $. There are a lot of rich people/corporates in US. For eg, General Motors, the car manufacturer, has more net value than the GDP of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (and we thought Saudi is a rich country!). So when currency is traded freely, the rules of supply and demand works. People with money have the power to create artificial anomalies in supply and demand and increase or decrease the "value" of any commodity that is traded. So whatever losses they get when Dollar weakens against say Euro, they make up by the gains they get when Dollar strenghthens against Rupee. OK maybe not all the losses, because the volume of trade is different, but still, US companies get losses when they trade with a country whose currency is gaining against
the dollar, and they make profit when they trade with India.
Why are we allowing this ?? Why is our Finance Minister allowing direct trade of Rs and $ while FMs of other countries are not ?? Why is the Oppostion not questioning this ?? Why are they letting Indian companies trading in the international market bear the losses of their stupidity ??
I m sure this is not the only reason as to why Rs is weakening against $. I dont know enough economics to figure out the other reasons, mayb there are stronger reasons and the reason i gave might b insignificant or even wrong. I dont know. I m writing just one possible explanation.

Why havent we ever wondered the question 1 ??!
2. "Who cares ???" - isnt that wat came to ur mind when u read my 1st question ?? Yes, we, the present generation, the "Gen Next" or "Gen X" or whatever, just DONT GIVE A DAMN. And why ? For us, entertainment is EVERYTHING. And economics, is not entertaining. Whom do we watch in TV ? Shar Rukh Khan or some nerdy reporter asking such questions? Which page do we read in newspaper ? The sports page or the economics page ? ("Is there an economics page???" - some of us might be wondering.) I say "we", because i too do the same. I too am "Gen X" or watever. Why are we all-consumed by this mass hysteria abt entertainment ? Why are we oblivious to the problems of our nation and fellow countrymen ??
Because THIS IS WHAT THE MEDIA WANTS US TO DO - We shouldnt think, we shouldnt raise questions, we shouldnt stand up against such absurdities in our society. We should just sit in our homes, watch Channel V and ESPN, eat at Mcdonald's and Cafe Coffee Day, party all the time in clubs and pubs. The media and corporates, they tell us only wat they want us to hear. And we think, that is what we want to hear. They feed us the answers
which we think are true. And we dont counter-question. Hell, we dont even question !! They are manipulating the way we think. And they are doing a damn good job. That is why question 2 is more important than question 1.

This is an open ended discussion.

RAISE SUCH QUESTIONS. Show them we (still) have the power to think logically.

This is my 1st blog. I never thought i ll blog. but this is something i want everyone to ask. This and more questions. so i wanted to share this. the "facts" i ve written here mayb wrong. i heard it from a friend of my Dad. my "answers" also might b wrong. they are my own thoughts. Please forgive my mistakes, if any, and do point them out.

Also, please comment, criticize, discuss and question.

- Sreejith Ramachandran