Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One step at a time

Evening walks were usually balked at by me back home. However, I have started the habit here. Home from office and a drink of water/juice/frizzy drink depending on my mood. A change of clothes, some coins, bus pass, camera, mobile and often a book - and I am ready for my walk.

I usually walk 30-40 minutes one way. However, the actual walk is interrupted by dogs - me and the dogs pet each other in delighted ecstasy while the dog owner looks on bemusedly. Usually the owner and I exchange a couple of doggie stories, and both parties are on our way, me and the dog stopping at frequent intervals to look back at each other before moving on.

Grumpy kids demand another halt. I have discovered that I am as fascinating to the Finnish kids as an elephant might be. Indeed, for many of them, I am the first indication that human beings can be of a different skin color. Kids crying their head off will invariably shut up in surprise on seeing a brown human saying 'Moi!' . The trick here is not to linger too long - the more they see you, the higher the chances of them losing interest and going back to the original screaming with renewed vigour. Moi and walking off makes them turn to their mothers and ask a hundred questions.

The next stop is for adults, who just wanted someone to talk to. A group of dignified old men, in their expensive suits having a deep discussion presumably on where to go for their kahvi, are as curious as little kids. Debunking the myth of Finns who talk in monosyllables, they break up their discussions; greeting me invariably in Finnish, then switching to English. Where are you from? Are you studying here? How long have you been here? How do you find our country? Did you try sauna? Do you have siblings? Wont your parents miss you? - the questions flow, with the dire warnings about the winter and the darkness.

The walk by itself is structured to be unstructured. No the same streets as far as possible. 30-40 minutes walking away from where I live. Each day brings in different kinds of discoveries, different people. Once the time is up, I reverse my path; back to home, but through different roads. Thankfully, despite all the random twists and turns that I do take, I am back at my apartment safe and sound, never once feeling or getting lost.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I often wonder...

What happened to all those kids who created amazing scientific inventions for saving energy and improving rural health back during school science fairs - Did they all suddenly turn moronic?

What about the person who wanted to be the Prime Minister of India ( when she was in college ) is doing about it? She got married ( no; not into the Gandhi family ) and no guys; she was dead serious when she said this and was quoted in a local news paper.

What happed to the classmate from engineering who was a staunch communist who wanted to give back to the community? He is now a glorified bean counter - oops, software programmer - for an Indian company in US of A, and proudly puts up the picture of his car, home and other thingamajigs in his Orkut page. I am just wondering about the going back home part though; especially as back in the good ol' days, this guy could force me into guilt trips for reading English literature instead of only Malayalam ones.

Change happened, you would say. No need for me to get all bitchy about that!

I agree. And that is precisely why I smirk inwardly when someone tells me that they never will do / think / say something or act in a particular way. If you are below thirty and make this statement, I would rather let your future actions prove you right ( than any amount of impassioned speeches).

Those of age 30 and above are exempt as I think they might have had enough life experiences to not get swayed by anything new that may happen in their life. An alternate line of thought is that if you are not grown up by 30, then its time for the rest of the world to give up hope for your mental development.

Celebrities like Hollywood Party girls, Gossipy Bloggers who think satire is doing bad MSPaint jobs on other people's pictures, Bollywood tartlets who think Marlon Brando & Al Pachino look upto them, Dynasty Politicians etc. are not included n either of these categories as they are yet to raise to the challenge of aspiring to reach the mental level of a mentally challenged person.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am better than You

We all yearn to belong somewhere. To feel at home. Sometimes we are born into it, other times we build our own sanctuaries. The concept of home is valid when surrounded by your parents, your siblings and other special people in your life. It is equally valid when you are in the middle of nowhere and far away from everything you have ever been through.

Paradoxically, we all love to believe that we live in the edge. That we have the pioneering blood, that we are different. That we do things others wont, and have a different world view.

Deep deep in, we all love to be special, to be different, to be superior to others. That is why we have a thriving fashion industry. That is why we have rules and norms, the adherence of which proves my moral superiority over you. That is why we criticize the differences, or laugh at the so called mistakes that others make. It makes us feel better compared to them. That is why we accept the differences, and laugh at ourselves. That is also why this post is going to be contradicting itself with every new sentence, as there is no one way of looking at things. Sometimes the only constant in our life is change, yet we believe that we are traditionals at heart. Sometimes we crave for the soft snugglivity of conformity, and believe that we are outsiders. Are we wrong? To us we are not. But to others, we most definity are; as our world view is considered inferior to theirs.

So what to do, Luccio? To confirm to the varied worldviews? To hold on to one's own opinions? Or to move with the flow or hold on to a mountain? To accept the comforts that belief offer and lead a relatively happy life? To doubt, question everything, and be lonely and depressed? To swim to the surface or to dive deep in or even to alternate between the two, creating a different extreme?

And yes; addressing your lingering doubt. Why Luccio? What is the significance?

Why not?

Monday, September 17, 2007

God Bless America!

Saying this back home would have gathered me many looks of disapproval.

Back in my small state, such a statement would have been frowned upon. The norm was to blame America for budget deficits, lack of progress, MTV and poor monsoon. The CIA and Star TV led attack on the moral and social fabric of the society was frowned upon, and there was at least one protest march a year against the various American Presidents we held personally responsible for our collective woes.

Still, I love America, for. they gave me South Park and MAD magazine. Both of these are hated by many people who think they are gross, arrogant and thrash. It is like calling wine decayed grape juice.

Take SP. When many animated series go overboard with special effects, SP did a volte-face and opted for 2-dimensional, cardboard cutout like figures. If their clothes were interchanged, will you identify them? ( true fans will.)

Their most popular character is Cartman. How many other series have a fat boy, having a parent like this literally kicking others ass? The series had tried to show the darker side of the moon too, in some episodes.

It has a storyline, and it never chickens out from poking fun at all and many. How many comedy series have mastered the truth that there is no absolute rights or wrongs in life?

It makes better us of its Guest stars. Seriously, how many tv serials have the guts to ask George Clooney to act as a gay dog?

It understands kids. Children are seldom innocent personified; or have you forgotten how you were as a kid? This show knows the alleys and tunnels of childhood, and uses them effectively.

I could keep on and on... but as a great guy told once, "If there are any questions, direct them to that brick wall over there."

Sunday, September 09, 2007


There is something to be said about perseverance.

It is one thing to receive email, and another to receive spam mail. Most of the emails from friends that I receive are either without a subject, or with subject lines not even a micron as exciting as the content.

Not so, with spam emails.

I get a regular supply of spam mails thanks to my yahoo account. Out of the 71 emails that I received today, about 50 was spam. Yahoo, in its inept best, assures me every time I delegate them to the trash can that my filter is alive and kicking, and deliver another bunch the very next day when the filters look the other way.

Spam has its cycles. There was a time when I was emailed by benevolent Nigerians, who wanted to give away their money to me. ( You beautiful creature with animal magnetism, you! -I congratulated myself on my charm which make people to give away money to me) I used to mostly delete these, and once in a while, when really bored with life, used to write back claiming that I am actually the love child of the person who had died ( that"s the good part - consistency - these guys always have someone kicking their bucket which triggers the money ) and demand to be paid the entire sum. Fully. In cash.

There are some who feel that I may have a need to be a bit more Yang, and would like to be a man. Those good souls, from Editor Bob - who emails me more than any of my friends or family - so much so that I am thinking of adding him as a friend in Orkut and Facebook - they are pretty consistent, one a day. From Phil, the emails arrive in a bunch once in a while, as if he is too lazy to put some effort into spamming me. These gentlemen assure me that one I have the blue pill or try to enlarge my that one part which is not part of the package that writes this blog, then all the women are gonna come. Literally. To me.

Then there is Carmen. She writes trying to pedal software from this or that online shop. Her ads are very vague, some can’t even be read. I often wonder about the poor child, imagine her to be in a sweat shopish place where she has to send as many spam emails as she can to earn a living. And the girl being ironic, in a heavy symbolic gesture, she reduces the font to a level where even an ant would need a magnifying glass to read what was on offer. Chris does not like a subject line; he tries to build suspense, mystery and drama. Me being the lazy bum, don’t even show any interest in the bait.

Honorable mention goes out to those poor souls who have names like Viswanathan Allen. I think of poor little Allen"s childhood, getting tortured on the playground, by fellow kids who seethe in rage as they cannot pronounce his name. Tough times, the childhoods.

And lastly, I spit on you, my name stealing doppelganger spammers! May your computer get virus infected and your cell phones get stolen! May cats scratch the expensive paint job off your cars and may birds shit on you on your way to a late meeting! And may your inbox get swamped by spam driving you to mental breakdown and ultimately a catatonic life!


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back again...

After almost a month ( so much for a new year resolution of blogging every three days) I am back here.

The upside of not blogging for so long is having a lot of things to write about.

The downside of not blogging for so long is having a lot of things to write about.

I could, for example, blog about how much spam I receive in my Yahoo account - so much, so that certain regulars like Editor Bob and Carmen, trying to make me buy medicines which will enlarge body parts I don't have, email me more frequently than many of my friends.

Or else, I could take the lazy way out and post some pictures here of the Sweden trip that me, BR and BT took.

Else I can blog about BT. How for two years, even though we lived pretty close, she was just a random chick for me. How joining the same company has made me see a different side of her, and how now she is one of the few people who's comments I take time to think about, and try acting upon.

Or about the new bunch of Indians, whom we met here, who were helpful and ready with a thousand tips.

Or about the adventure of living alone; with no parents, no flatmates, not even that staple of all Indian homes - a बाई ( bai = female servant) - to help you out.

About some of the most well mannered and beautiful looking people I have even seen. Sadly, this place has more women ( who are mostly hot looking) than men...

About seagulls with attitude.

About the dogs and kids around here. well mannered, throwing tantrums at times.

About keeping in touch with friends back home.

About my fear of winter.

About a beautiful city.

But I think I have made my come back post now... :)