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Monday, May 31, 2010

Turning 44

I had my frequently-used and the more well-known cellphone (read official) shut down on my 44th birthday. Partly because I was on a holiday with my family and I did not wanted to be disturbed by official works; and partly because I suddenly did not know how to respond to people wishing me "Happy Birthday". My other cellphone (the older one) was, however, on.
The first reward for keeping it on came in the form of a a birthday wish from a 30+ spinster. Pleasant one! She has been a regular at wishing for past several years except probably one or two recent years when she was too preoccupied with family problems. The next one was, as always, a very old friend from my hometown. The next one was from my brother and the last one was from a recent friend. By midday I was tempted enough to put my first cell on hoping for more wishes. Immediately the phone rang; it was someone from my office asking advice on some official matter. I put the phone off the next moment. The day went on without any further wishes.
Growing older is a tricky business. Turning 44 is even trickier. The body sends in signals that the decay has set in, but the mind refuses to leave the wicket. My spinster friend (actually she is friend of my wife) says 44 year old male are the ones best avoided by women in the office. They are considered dangerous; experienced but bored by monotony and are looking for opportunities and excitements. My brother says, 44 is when the obvious question pops up - Family, house, car secured; what's next? Another journalist friend (female of course) says, turning 44 is like approaching a target, a destination - the anxiety of almost reaching it makes one nervous, the way one gets jittery while approaching a landmark, like a half-century.
It seemed the world has not much of a good opinion about 44 year olds. Does everyone thinks the same way as my brother and the friend? Does they would think the same way about a 50 year old? Well, how will it feel to be 50? Or for that matter, 60? May be 70? I did not bother much to think how did it feel to turn 44. In fact, I could not. I was more occupied with the thought how my father was feeling that day. He has turned 76 on the day because we were born on the same date 32 years apart! I wanted to ask him how does it feel but did not. I was sure he was not thinking about himself. He was looking at me and wondering how the days had gone by; the way I was looking at my five-year-old son and thinking how the days went by.

Mongoose and woman

An woman in a small Indian village had a pet Mongoose which was very fond of her toddler son. While the woman attended to her daily chores, the Mongoose used to play with the toddler.
One day while the woman was busy working, the Mongoose was playing with her son. Suddenly a snake appeared from nowhere and attacked the toddler. The Mongoose put up a brave fight to save the toddler and killed the snake.
When the woman returned the Mongoose went running to her in excitement and in expectation of reward for the great service that it had rendered. It could not communicate in words but tried with gestures to explain to her what happened. The woman could not understand but was terrified to see blood in the mouth and body of the Mongoose. She thought that the Mongoose had eaten her son. Out of sheer anger she immediately killed the Mongoose.
Seconds later she found her toddler unharmed and a dead snake nearby. She realized what might have happened and started crying.
This is a story from Upanishad. The morale? Never rush to conclusions.
I think we need to bring in a slight change in the morale of the story. Apart from the teachings for humans, there is some morale lessons for the Mongoose too.
Never try to communicate to those who risks misunderstanding you. Rather than the woman's failure to take decisions logically, it was the failure of the Mongoose to communicate with the woman. What do you say?

Monday, May 17, 2010


Aul or Ale was a brew much liked by the Vikings. After consuming a bucket or two of this brew the Vikings would head fearlessly into a battle - often without their armour or even shirts. The fact is that 'berserk' means 'bare shirt' in Norse.