Monday, 30 April 2012

N.I.M.B.Y. ( Not In My Back Yard!)

There was a huge uproar in our housing complex a few days ago. The issue that was raising a stink (pun intended) was a collection station for garbage dumpers which was being relocated right next to our housing complex's entrance gate.

Obviously, this was unacceptable to us for obvious reasons! As events turned out, it has been shifted to another site, at a 'safe' distance from us before the stink could hit the roof.

N.I.M.B.Y. (Not In My Backyard) is an acronym describing this attitude. 

This reminds me of our typical knee-jerk reaction to any change which adversely affects us directly. A specific incident highlights this point. A few years ago there was a huge public uproar by the high-profile residents of apartment blocks of the upmarket Peddar Road in Mumbai: the thorny issue this time around was a proposed flyover straddling this arterial road as a solution to perennial traffic jams it is plagued with.

One legendary singer even went to the extent of claiming she would 'lose her voice due to the increased pollution' levels expected as a result of the flyover! It is another matter that the flyover is just a plan on paper till date.

A classic example of NIMBY! Aren't we all masters of this fine art? Anything not affecting us personally is conveniently consigned to an event we 'sympathise' with..

Saturday, 28 April 2012

House Hunt Over!

Our House-Help has finally found the 'house' she was looking for since over a month. Its available at a manageable rental and is liveable. We all heaved a collective sigh of relief! 

With A Pinch of Salt! ( #2)

The Boss sent me out for a Scoop Interview with Sachin's PR Man.

I didn't know what the fuss was about but said, let's give it a shot.

Mr.PR's pretty assistant, yes, he too had a PA , smilingly greeted me and ordered a Coffee for me.

Mr.PR joined me some ten minutes later, mumbling about how life has turned Topsy-turvy since the MP nomination.

Yeah, I nodded, I can understand. So how are you planning out Sachin's future, I asked him, considering his immense responsibilities.

Pat came the rehearsed reply: 'You see, it comes naturally to him! As such he has been shouldering the expectations of a Billion people since 2 decades manfully. Plus, you know when he got stuck on 99 tons for a year, the burden increased manifold. Parliament is like a walk in the garden for him! Not to worry!

No Sir, I said tamely, with capable people like you to help him, things should be fine. Gingerly, I continued, Sir tell me how on earth will he be able to attend Parliament considering the ICC Schedules, IPLs and all?

Not to fret: we have it all figured out. Sachin is a very ethical man , Mr.PR proudly said. He would never have said yes to the RS without being sure about his involvement. The Monsoon Session of Parliament comes to our rescue here! There are no foreign tours or domestic cricket that time, simple.

Oh I see! But what happens to his TVC's and endorsements?

Ah! Now this is the tricky part! Firstly we are negotiating the Endorsements all over again. Sachin is now on the verge of Super Iconic Stature: just imagine an MP fighting for India v/s Pak in a Test! Simply mind boggling! We are going to be very selective..besides, the TVC's will have to be shot in New Delhi when the RS is in session.

True, preened his P.A., 'Boost is the Secret of Sachin's Energy gets an all new spin now! 100tons n.o, 12 days a year in Parliament, just too good!''

Mr.PR glanced at his watch and excused himself, got to rush for a meeting with Mukesh (Ambani), he said. We are fine tuning the arrangements for the bash in MP Sachin's honour.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Treadmill- it begins nowhere, ends nowhere...


A walk begins somewhere, ends somewhere
The treadmill, mind you is something else!
It begins nowhere, ends nowhere….

The Mayan’s world came to an end in 2012
He stopped living even before he turned 12

Cramming up in School, fighting for grades
On Grad day, the job hopes fade

The pure thrill of the first love
Has now degraded to just push and shove

A Man who feels no joy cannot feel any pain
All that matters is whether it’s a loss or a gain

So much to achieve, so much more
Every moment, every day is a chore

At long last the overdue promotion
He’s wondering where’s the elation?

Yeah, he’s got all the perks, he’s got the lifestyle,
Yet can’t see any joy beneath his smile

Can’t get off it, the stakes are too high
Got so addicted, why even try?

Seeking more day by day,
While quietly life passes him by

A walk begins somewhere, ends somewhere
The treadmill, mind you is something else!
It begins nowhere, ends nowhere…

Saturday, 21 April 2012

A Moving Story of Exceptional Civilian Conduct and Honesty!

Today's Mumbai Miiror carries a moving Cover Page News story of a Father dutifully handing over his own Son to the Cops.

His son was involved in a Car accident at Juhu, in Mumbai where he knocked down a Pregnant lady. Unlike many of today's youngsters, he did take her to Hospital. After having done so, the thought of facing prosecution was a bit too much for him and he deserted the stricken family.

Being from a poor household they were unable to foot the surgery charges quoted by the Private Hospital. The woman and her yet to be born child did not survive the ordeal of being shunted from ine Hospital to the other: both of them died.

The youth did not reveal anything to his family but his father got suspicious when he saw a photograph of the Car involved in the papers. The son too, had been behaving oddly..he had become quieter, wasn't eating much..

On his father's questioning he spilled the beans. The father then dutifully handed him over to the police, although his son was a young Engineer employed with an Infotech company and his career and life was at risk.

I admire the father. Not too many of such upright people nowadays are there?

Another thought: should the son have deserted the woman at the hospital?
Easy to sermonise. Consider that he was ridden with guilt later itself throws light on his upbringing.

With A Pinch of Salt!

An old builder friend of mine and I were sitting in a Coffee Shop.

'They are going to make us shut shop!' said he. 'These people don't understand the problems of the real estate business at all. It isn't like the old days anymore.'

I inquired about whom he was referring to.

'These Government and Town Planning guys! What's the world coming to? Nowadays they threaten to put us behind bars for the tiniest of lapses. Project delays, unsanctioned change in plans, a few additional floors..' He fumed.

Obviously, I said, the action must only be for the more serious offences.

'Ha! Everyone knows no project in India ever gets completed as scheduled. Then what's the big fuss about? A couple of years to a decade's delay is hardly our fault! What do they expect us to do? Start constructing each floor only after we get the plans sanctioned? Will you pass me a cigarette? During my last project, three Ministers got sacked, one commissioner's term ended. Best of all, the CM was sacked!
How can one account for such unforeseen events? Now I have to begin from scratch with the new chaps.'

A decade is quite a delay, I raised my eyebrows.

'There! Nobody seems to be on our side, not even a friend like you! When all my plans were in place, our chief Architect and his team took up another assignment! Moreover, he has even completed that project while leaving my massive project in the lurch!'

So, which new project did he take up, I prodded him.

'My palatial, sea front villa at Alibaug!' he grinned at last.

'In fact why don't you join us there during this weekend? I'll introduce you to the new CM and the rest of the gang.'

Still in search of her House..

Continuing my story on my House Help's travails..

Its been a fortnight and she still can't find the right place: either there's no water in one, another's a a Tin shed or else it's  simply unaffordable!

I asked her, if the rentals were so high, why not consider buying a place outright? A small room can't be that expensive, I asked, trying to be helpful.

13-14 Lakhs, was her reply. Nothing had prepared me for this kind of pricing for what was essentially a slum dwelling!

Meanwhile, my sister tells me that in her building the home prices have gone up by 10% since she bought hers (exactly six months ago!)

What's ailing our great city? If you can't find an affordable place for all strata of society, it sure is a sign of strife in the years ahead..

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Monday, 9 April 2012

Every Rat has its Day!

A few days ago my family had a tough time dealing with a rat which managed to sneak in through the open door!

My wife was so scared by the little visitor that she refused to venture into the Kitchen till we had the unwanted guest ejected!

My brave House-help finally came to our rescue and dexterously maneuvered the 'b'rat out of the house.

When we asked her whether she wasn't afraid of getting bitten by these ferocious creatures, we learnt that she and her young
 son had been bitten a number of times. The pests run rampant in her ramshackle dwelling everyday!

For the fortunate few like us, its Just another day in paradise...
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