C-rappy Cacophony

Saturday, January 31, 2004

A wider,weird,wired world!

I was just thinking about how my life has been drastically changed due to the internet.Until 3 or 4 years ago,the web world was a luxury and I hardly spent any money or time fiddling with its unmeasureable bandwidth of information/junk.But now,life has completely changed.I can't imagine a single day being cut off from the web.At office,if one was to have a counter to make note of everytime I refresh my yahoomail or msn mail,it would easily reach a 1000 hits per day.The curiousity of the mind to figure out if somebody has mailed me any info,whether personal or even a forwarded mail,makes it bump back and forth to the inboxes.
A normal day begins with a hot cup of coffee logging into the most fav news websites and the yahoo/hotmail account.The note saying that there are 3 unread messages springs a sense of happiness which almost instantly drowns down upon noticing that 2 of them are junk mails and the other one is a forward from a friend whose face is hard to remember but whose boring fwd mails are hard to forget.
The world of chat has brought a different meaning to the concept of friends.I have made so many new friends,whom I have never even seen but are very very close and passionate.May be it is due to the fact that there is a distance and a feeling of a strong facade that even some girls have come forward to interact and express their views freely.I definitely feel that but for the safe,secure feeling emanating out of the internet,many would have not come out in the open.
Coming to the world of blogs.This was an unexplored vista of the internet world that suddenly came into the picture with a bang around an year ago.The fact that every person has his own individuality and creative thought process was very efficiently brought out by the blog medium.I have been able to understand many friends better and also rectify my false impressions of considering some dullhead to be an erudite person,with the aid of their blogs.
I definitely feel that the internet has made a world of difference in my life.My interaction even with my parents has increased manyfolds due to the daily chats and emails.I sometimes feel,I have spoken more with my dad in these 4 years being away from him,when compared to when I was living with him.Such is the effect that it is having in me.But then,I feel it has brought in a high sense of ennui and monotonous routine.
Life has been reduced to expressing happiness through smileys,expressing urgency through offliners,expressing grudges through flaming blogs and many more such idiosyncracies associated with the wired world.We definitely dwell in a wider,weird,wired cosmo!!

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, January 29, 2004

food for thought..hmmm..fodder for timepass

Got this in a fwded email.Found it interesting..Don't know how far it is true.
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies and the economy grows.
You retire on the income.
You have 2 cows.
Feed them as long as they milk.
For less milking cow feed less.
Throw the non milking cow away.

You have 2 cows
You put both of them on the bench
And hire another to do the job.

You have 2 cows
You tell them that only one will go to onsite.
You ask both of them to fight for the only H1B Visa.
Both of them die after fighting.

You have 2 cows
You milk them only for 24 hours on just 7 days a week.
They run away.

CTS Economics
You have 2 cows
You train them for two months on how to milk themselves.
Then u ask them to pull bullock carts.

You have 2 cows.
One is intelligent one is dumb.
you send the dumb cow to onsite
making the intelligent cow frustated.
Intelligent cow resigns out of frustration
and dumb cow is laid off by the client.


Posted by rajesh |

Monday, January 26, 2004

Virumandi ~ V..aandhi

A rejoinder to my posting abt my great enthusiasm in watching Virumandi:
Virumandi didnt appeal much to me and I am sure it is not going to be a sensation in the Tamil tinsel towns either.Kamal should learn the basic fact that not every tom,dick and harry(actually kandsaami..munnuswaami n kothaala thevar) in TN would be able to appreciate the kind of intellect that he seems to possess and has been, time and again trying to bring out through his miserably performing movies.All his current themes such as Anbe Sivam are of a different genre and would definitely not appeal to the Box office crowd.
I am sure there would be brickbats from many,saying that Kamal is a class apart and they and him don't care about the box-office collections but only the effect/acclaim it creates among the critics and the critically confused league of extra-ordinary film followers.I would accept that arument when the topic of issue is Kuruthi-punal but not for this movie,which was given a hype both by the media and Kamal himself as being one of his breath-taking performances.Kamal might be the greatest of all actors and the most talented in the film arena,but then,why even make such a movie under a commercial banner?He could very well start doing excellent government funded documentaries.
Virumandi had all the elements to make it a flop movie among the masses.There wasn't any single aspect in the movie that stood in my mind after the gruelling 3 hours.It is nowhere near a 'Nayagan' or 'Michael Madan Kama rajan',thinking of which reminds me of great scenes and even pushes me of watching these movies again.With Virumandi, Kamal has fiddled with the idea of portraying his individual talents and simultaneously adding a global theme of 'Capital Punishment'.But the sad truth is that he has as always,succeeded in the former but failed miserably beyond description,in the latter theme.But for the reason that the movie had Kamal in it,I would not have sat through the entirity of the movie.That sums it up.

Posted by rajesh |

google bombing...

This website explains the reason why when you search for the term 'Miserable failure' in google , it returns G.W.Bush's biography page! Pretty amusing.Well then,I guess its true too.Click here-Raapi

Posted by rajesh |

Sunday, January 25, 2004


It is a well known fact that the Tamil and telugu Film industry has been thriving so well due to the film fanatic public in the southern parts of India.These 2 entities have probably sucked out money like a leech all through the years from its ardent aficianados,who dont hesitate to watch a movie paying around half a day's earnings or even the entirety of their pocket money.Yeah!I myself knew of many of my fellow college mates who used to spend around 100 to 200 rupees a week on movie tickets.But the unbelievavble fact is that both these cinema industries whine time and again about the lack of funds and failure in box-office hits leading to some producer's suicide or distributor's disappearance.I feel the directors and the actors(the term encompasses the actresses too)should be made liable to the movie's failure.They should be paid based upon the collection that it gets.Anyway lets leave that issue.My point was something different,when I started to blog.
Well,I somehow feel all these years cinema has ripped us off some significant amount of money.Now its kind of payback time.That is being taken care of by the ever-increasing breed of M.S students in the U.S...Not a single movie is left unwatched and almost every movie gets downloaded,thanks to the innumeroul peer-to-peer file sharing(read as file stealing) hubs available.Although this is akin to the 'thirutu VCD' type of illegal watching of movies,this is not being given much of attention because it is beyond the understanding of the tamil film industry people and its operations are strewn all over the virtual internet world.
The last few months have been an entirely gruelling time for many M.S students.There are a lot of movies in the queue but not enough time to watch all of them.But then the sheer perseverence of the mind to endure through any kind of boring movie has made everyone watch almost most of them.The height of all records is the latest kamal movie.It was released around a week ago and this 'puppy' is already sitting pretty in my friend's laptop ready to be watched anytime today.
This might seem too wierd to hear someone expressing pride in having performed an illegal act,but then the movie makers don't deserve all that money they have been getting.
Anyway..Indian movies..Here we come to watchya'll.

Posted by rajesh |

Friday, January 23, 2004

Holy Cow..and its Farting!!!

Funny..yet thought provoking!But then I dont understand how they gonna avoid this thing from happening.You are confused..huh??look into this article..
Statutory Warning : Cow farting is injurious to health .
Cow flatulence

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, January 22, 2004

chiyan naa enna??

Thats a very well known dialogue from the movie 'SETHU'..That question makes so many people inquisitive and in the movie its shown as if everybody right from the teashop man to the college prof give their own explanation!
Thinking on the same lines,I draw a parallel in my name too.So many people whom I am acquainted with,still do not know what is my real name and there have been many people,all through the years who have asked me what "Raapi" refers to.I have always given them the cliched explanation stating that it is a derivation from the first few letters of my name - 'Ra'jesh 'P'arameshwaran Vijayaraghavan!
But then my curiosity to explore what it really means made me search for the term.I bumped upon some interesting explanations.Here are some of those.I am pretty sure that everybody has experienced silly pleasures called as alpa-sandhosham in tamil.I got one such feeling when I learnt what it meant in some language/culture!:-))
Raapi..the planet??
Raapi..the Monarch in Kardii vocabulary..hehehe
hmm..Finally ' A rogue is a rogue is a rogue by whatever name you call him..' ;))

Posted by rajesh |

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Google..or Googly??

This blog piece is a rejoinder to my previous blog.Just as I was basking on the fantasies of a great IPO offer that would probably resurrect the sagging investor confidence,this article came as a jolt.It really brought me back to reality from the initial utopian euphoria!Anything very highly hyped and anticipated has a very high probability of a being a damb squib!Will Google be a googly?-Raapi
Google your odds of success :: AO:
Google your odds of success
NewsTeam | CBS [MarketWatch] | POSTED: 01.14.04 @10:30

ANNANDALE, Va. (CBS.MW) -- Here's my advice for those of you who are waiting with bated breath for a possible Google IPO.

et's review all the things that must fall into place before you will make more money in a possible Google IPO than by investing instead in the Vanguard S&P 500 Index fund.

First, Google has to decide to actually go through with an IPO. This is not a sure bet by any means, even though the company has been quite coy about its intentions in this regard.

For argument's sake, let's put the odds of a Google IPO actually coming to market at 1 in 2.

Secondly, even if Google does decide to go public, your next challenge will be figuring out how to finagle yourself into that select group of investors who are allowed to purchase shares at the initial offering price.

To be sure, this may not be as hard as it used to be, now that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been shining his spotlight on how investment bankers allocate IPOs to their favored clients.

Nonetheless, given all the attention that already has been given to a possible Google IPO, and given that, if it comes to pass, it would be the event of the year in the new issues market, your chances of being able to buy the company at its initial offering price are extremely low.

For argument's sake, let's put those odds at 1 in a 1,000, even though some of the investment advisers I spoke with thought that even these odds are generous.

Thirdly, even if you have jumped over these first two hurdles, you still will face dismal odds. That's because the average IPO underperforms the market.

There are a number of ways of making this point, and I have written about some of them before. But for this column I want to focus on another statistic that I find particularly revealing.

It is the percentage of each calendar year's IPOs that, as of the Dec. 31 of that year, are trading below their initial offering prices. Ask the investor on the street, and he'd guess that this percentage is very low. After all, buying an IPO at its initial offering price is supposed to be the investment arena's closest thing to a lead-pipe cinch.

However, according to Jay Ritter, a professor of finance at the University of Florida, and one of academia's experts on the IPO market, about 1 in 2 IPOs end their first calendar year of life priced lower than their initial offering prices. Note furthermore that this statistic is not a function just of the 2000-2002 bear market. It also tended to be true during the late 1990s, well before the Internet bubble burst.

This is well illustrated in the graph below, which reports this statistic for each of the past eight calendar years. Take a look at calendar 1998, for example, a year in which the go-go era of the late 1990s was very much alive and well. That year saw well more than half of its IPOs finish the year lower than the prices at which they came to market.

Or take a look at calendar years 1996 and 1997, which also were very much bull market years. The percentages for those years were only slightly below the 8-year average of 43 percent.

For argument's sake, let's assume the future will be like the past eight years and the odds of being ahead of an index fund at the end of this year by buying a Google IPO are 57 out of 100.

Now that we have these three individual odds, we can multiply them together to come up one overall probability. The result: You have a 0.029 percent chance of beating an index fund this year in a Google IPO.

I'd give you higher odds that Pete Rose is really and truly sorry for betting on baseball.

The investment moral: Leave fantasies to others. Focus your investment energies on pursuits that have better odds of success.

Mark Hulbert is the founder of Hulbert Financial Digest in Annandale, Va. He has been tracking the advice of more than 160 financial newsletters since 1980.

Posted by rajesh |

Google..my friend ,philosopher and Guide!!

www.delawareonline.com : The News Journal : BUSINESS : Google IPO excites investors

This is gonnabe the next most exciting thing to hit the Economy.The investment bankers and establishments are quite eager to pounce upon this much awaited IPO launch.I am also eagerly waiting for it!!
Google..the savior of many thousands of M.S students like me,right from the simple search for trivia till the thesis/assignment computer program code,it has been brutally used,rather abused!!
As the article states,the only worry is that once it gets commercialised,there is every possibility for it to turn crappy with silly pop-up ads and junky links getting added to it..Oh..I cant even imagine getting links to "cheap telephone cards to India" or "pills for enlargement" etc coming out whenever I google!!
Hope the great website is able to maintain its integrity and continue to serve many many millions of ignoramus like me.
But the question is ... If the rumours really true,When is it gonna happen?
Its ironical that even to get the above mentioned links,I used Google;))

Posted by rajesh |

Monday, January 19, 2004

munnabhai...too good

This weekend I saw 2 Hindi movies after a very long time.I had mixed feelings towards the movies.While both have them have been talked about being the Box-Office hits in current times,I felt a marked difference in these 2 films- Kal Ho Na Ho and Munnabhai M.B.B.S.
Munnabhai M.B.B.S was a classic movie with lots of entertainment and the entire movie made me laugh heartily.It was a decent performance from most of the actors in it and Sanjay Dutt bringing in some great comedy.I felt it really deserved the appreciation its been getting in the media.It had some entirely different story when compared to the regular triangular love/Gangwar-Police stories.
The other movie Kal Ho na Ho-I didn't watch it entirely yet,but having watched half way through the movie,I have already got the feeling as if I ve watched this movie 4 or 5 times.Its too stereotyped and started irritating me with its predictable move in the story.The fact that it is just a small variation of the old hindi flick-Anand stands testimony to this movie's predictability.Shahrukh Khan once again put up his oft-repeated acting style.I find his mannerisms too artificial and its well evident that his dialogues have been memorised and just spit out in front of the camera.There was no element of a surprise in his speech and his artificial ever-echoing laughter seemed too pedestrian.
Another thing I noticed in these movies was that,the Hindi actors/actresses seem to speak at the top of their voices.Most of the scenes were there were only 2 people conversing with each other,it seemed as if they were speaking loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear thier voice.
May be I have been used to the kind of Mani-ratnam type soft,pleasant dialogues which are terse yet very meaningful.Anyway,I would like to conclude here today saying that Munnbhai MBBS was better than the other movie and the cool Mumbai slangs were too too cool.It is worth another watch.

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Enga maapla H1 visa holder ..maami!!Unga maapla??

Click the link-Biggest H-1B employers - The Economic Times

I ve been reading a lot about H1-B visas and about the number games that is being played in this arena.That is basically because,my company has filed for one such visa for me and I hope to get it within a fortnight.This year,there has been a cap or a limit on H1-B visas and the number is 65000.According to reliable sources,this number is going to be reached very soon(may be a month).
Linked above is the list of the companies hiring maximum H1-B visas.Although this list gives a good outlook about the U.S job environment for people from India,I view it with a different angle.I feel it should be an eye-opener to the breed of students applying for their M.S in U.S universities.The noticeable fact in the table is that there is not a single Semiconductor company,both manufacturing or design,in this list,but yet the majority of the students coming into the U.S for studying is in the area of Semiconductor Design or processing.Even other areas such as the telecommunications take a beating when compared to the IT arena.It would definitely be an excuse to shy away from reality,if one were to say that his intention to study M.S was not to get employed in such firms but strictly for the knowledge base and going back to India.Even in that case,the chances of one getting employed in the semiconductor arena seems to be bleak.
Most of the companies that feature in the list are the Indian companies which recruit freshers from Indian universities with undergraduate degree and train them to somewhat decent manageable standards and send them to the U.S with one of the numerous available visas such as the H1-B and L1.One factor that I have noticed in this model is the largesse that the Indian companies show towards the branch of their fresh graduates.They do not seem to bother even if the person is from a civil or chemical engineering background and welcome them with open arms.
According to my most humble opinion,I feel this kind of an approach towards building ones career is better than taking the traditional India-B.E,U.S-M.S and H1-B job route.Why I say this is,the whole picture of life changes when the person works in U.S but has a base in India,i.e, if the person has a clear-cut goal of gaining experience/money through the short-time(not short many times-2 or 3 years) U.S visit and going back to India.The feel of contentment and the development in both personal and professional areas, is very well evident in this case.One would get treated like a king at work,upon his return from U.S and one could obviously lead a life like a king with the money that is earned from the trip.But if we consider the case of a person who chooses to do his M.S and get into a H1-B job in the U.S,the whole scenario is different.Due to the lack of a strong pulling force from India in terms of job,nobody leaves the country and chose to stay in the U.S.This gradually brings in a stunted growth both in the personal and professional aspects.One is forced to lead a life of a lonely beggar,considering the fact that one is isolated from the family and how much ever money is earned in U.S,it doesnt matter if one were to live in U.S.On a funny note,the only thing I feel that is of benefit to this U.S beggar is that he is still much sort after by the matrimonial ads and the Maamiyaars2be who advertise for grooms with H1-B visas working in U.S;)))))
So..is it worthy to be a king in India or a begger in U.S??That is something everybody has to dwell into before putting their foot into their careers and all the maamis who open their mouths to say "Enga maapla H1 visa holder ..maami!!Unga maapla??".

Posted by rajesh |

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Happy pongal

Wishing everybody a happy pongal!!
Really missing the fun and most of all..the great food :(((((((
even the cows have better luck than us..they have a pongal day dedicated solely for them..
whereas we guys in U.S
hmm..pongal kum kudthuvekkala..ponungal..kum kuduthu vekkala..cha..!!

Posted by rajesh |

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Quixtar Blog??interesting...

This link below ..I jus bounced upon it today..The person who writes this blog has a neutral opinion about Quixtar/Amway and explains the effect of these on his life.His wife happens to be an active member of it while he is not...I also figured out that he has linked my webpage and my outbursts about the menace in his sept 05' 2003 blogpiece which can be found in his sept archives..
I spent a good amount of time reading thro some of his blogs..Could easily visualise the pain the person is undergoing in his life..Here take a look ifya got enuff time to kill and if you wanna enjoy the feeling of not being in the so-called despicable business!Quixtar Blog: November 2002 Archives

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, January 08, 2004

You now..Old student isn't it,now?...

I was reading some articles/columns in sulekha.com and got inspired in jotting down some incidents that I felt were memorable though insignificant.Here is one of them.

I have visited India twice,since coming to U.S in july 2000, for holidays spanning a month.Both the times,my penchant for reliving the past made me make trips to Thirumalaisamudhram.Upon hearing this name,for a second,everybody gets a picture of some old,historic place making its majestic presence felt with a marvellous palace adjoining the ocean.But the sad truth is that it is just a barren land lying on the outskirts of Tanjore enroute to Trichy with no other significance associated it other than it rendering base to the gargantuan buildings belonging to Shanmugha college of Engineering and happening to be the place where many brilliant minds spend around 4 years of their life.Some say that it was the worst phase of thier life ,while many others portray the exact opposite.I belong to the latter category.
My 4 years in Engineering taught me more about life than all my other phases of life put together.Before anybody gets a wrong picture about technical education being the topic of discussion here,let me clarify that it was one of the last priorities or aspects that occupied my mind during my 4 years of undergraduate study.What I meant was the various aspects of life that those 4 years had to offer to me in terms of living independently,planning for the future,making friends for life and more than everything - accepting harsh realities in life and leading a contented life.The entirely carefree attitude associated with hostel life was a treat to many students like me.
The College classrooms,most of the days happened to be our favorite joint for meeting with friends and spending quality time discussing an entire gamut of topics ranging from the local mundane tea-shop talks to the IEEE research findings.(Well,I am sure atleast one of those ardent afficianados of Engineering,seated on the first benches,would have talked about IEEE!!!).
Before I joined B.E,I had always wondered if the so-called HOD's were as idiosyncratic as shown in the indian movies.Almost all of these movies had made me believe strongly that this tribe of extraordinary gentlemen belonged to their early 50s,with a grim face and every action of theirs portraying the geeky,dumb character that any youngster would try not to be associated with.This notion of mine about the head of the departments was corroborated when I entered the portals of ECE at Shanmugha.Our HOD,although was also an idosyncratic individual,he was a class apart from the general portrayal that I had witnessed in movies.He was a man,who lived in his own world ,trying to enforce all the silly rules that the college had prescribed to its fullest extent.His mannerisms,way of talking,his attitude-everything brought a unpleasant feeling invariably among almost all the students of our batch.When I make that statement,I exclude the highly academically oreinted comic characters who too existed in the classrooms.His attitude towards his students was that of a high school teacher towards his adolescent students.He never tried to understand the ground reality that he was teaching in self-financing college and not in one of the premier institution such as the IITs.Being a stickler to the traditional system of science and ancient scientific idea,all his lectures bore the flavour of the old 1950 textbooks filled with explanations consisting of vacuum tubes and age-old bulky transistors.Most of the students including me,had a 'naam-ke-vaasthe' respect towards him and were never forgetful in cursing him once he vanished from the corridors.
My only sense of gratitude towards such a person came from the only good thing that I felt he did to me.He showed his largesse in showering encomiums in the Recommending letter that he gave for my M.S college applications.I was flabbergasted when I got his reco letter which had lie written all over it,one of which was me being on the top 10% of the class.It was great reading about myself which I myself didn't know that I was good in.According to my reco letter,I had great interest in telecommunications and was very shrewd in class.It also said that I was proficient in oral and written skills in English,Hindi,French and sanskrit.There were many other wierd stories that I heard about his recos that my other friends got from him.
As I alighted from the trichy Govt bus at the college bus-stop on a hot August afternoon,I was reminded of the good-old college days.Almost immediately my feet made the walking straight to the opposite tea-shop-the favorite 'Udayar kadai'.I went in and looked into the mirror on the wall as every other student used to do upon entering or leaving the shop.I sat in the usual bench and asked for 2 parottas and an omelette.I could sense the same feeling as I devoured upon those delicasies.It really did taste better than the "Olive Garden-eggplant parmesian' or my favorite Nacho-cheese taco!As I wiped clean the banana leaf,I went for my favorite cup of tea,not to forget the 1 Re- karachev packet that I emptied along with it.
Then I crossed the road and went into College compound.I treaded through the first year block towards the library and was bewildered to find that the library had been moved to a different location.The number of buildings had almost doubled since I left.I continued on and then reached my department building,which reminded me of the great times I had spent with my select group of friends.All through this walk,my mind was churning out fond memories of the golden era and suddenly I came back to reality when I saw a familiar entity pass by.It was one of my lecturers who failed to recognise me.Then I walked into my HOD's room and waited outside his cabin.I was able to overhear his familiar conversation with some student.The student was getting his daily dose of bitter medicine from the HOD for having bunked classes the day before.Then as my turn came,I went in and introduced myself ..
Me:'Sir,Rajesh Parameshwaran -2000 ECE pass out student Sir'
HOD:'Hmmm...what now?what do u want now?'
Me:'I am doing My MS at Texas Tech Univ,U.S.A..just came down for a visit.'
HOD:'Oh...2000 Batch isnt it?Ganesh Srinivasan Batch..now isnt it?'
Me: Yes Sir.
HOD gave his characteristic irritating look and called his assistant..
HOD:'Narayanaaaa...Come here...See..now...This is old student now...has come now..See if he has paid the library dues/lab fees now..If not collect it from him..now..'
I got the holy frigging shock of my life.I never ,in my wildest dreams had imagined that a person would stoop to such a low standard.I,almost immediately left that place and vowed never to meet that person!
Some people may age but old habbits die hard.That was the lesson I learnt that day!It was an insignificant incident but was a memorable incident!

Posted by rajesh |

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


Oflate I ve been feeling too restless.This has kinda reached the height of emptyness or boredom.I have always performed to the best or worst of my capabilities only when there has been some kind of a motivating factor . During the school phase,I had the motivation to score good marks to get into college.When I entered college,I lost that motivation about marks but then something else motivated me.It was the fear of being jobless after graduation.But then,the thought of an ordinary life with only a B.E degree and a beginner's job terrified me and brought in the motivation of coming to the U.S.The next motivation was the obvious completion of the degree with little spending and gettin into a job.When I managed to achieve those goals,I had developed a new motivation but this time it dint last long.Just as i was under the impression that it would be a smooth ride,I have been forced to hit the breaks..
Right now its all blank and nothing remotely motivational comes to my mind.
breath to live..eat to breath..earn to eat..work to earn..live to work..breath to live!!This cycle sucks big time!
p.s 1 :Thanks to all who empathised and mailed me abt their feelings for grandma!was delighted to hear that my paati was explained every word of what I wrote,by my uncle from the print out of the blogpiece.
p.s 2 :Request to all who fortunately or unfortunately bounced into this public domain :- If u can't stand what I say,just leave ;but before leaving, for a change bookmark/block this site to never visit it again.
p.s 3 :Do not behave as if U ve been paid 5.5$ per/hr daily to visit this blog and don't condescend to unmentionable standards.

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Paati...The tender,iron hearted or the heart rendering irony???

Just as I was going through my routine rounds of India telephone calls to wish everyone of my close relatives for the new year 2004,I stumbled on my maternal grandmother's telephone number.She lives with the youngest of her sons at Pondichery,the reason being that that house has the youngest kids in the family which require "Paati"s nurturing when the parents leave for thier work.
God only knows..yeah even Paati herself wouldn't be able to recollect, how many children she has had to bring up / take care of during thier baby phases.I feel I hold a very significant place in the list because I am the eldest of all her grandchildren.It is very very difficult to explain the kind of nurturing that I got from my grandparents.It is one of the sweetest phases of my life.Although I dint get a chance to live with them ,the few months that i used to spend during my annual/half yearly vacation still stays fresh in my fast diminishing memory.
Whenever I think about my childhood days ,almost in a split-second flash,I get vivid recollections of the time I spent with Paati.As soon as the time-table for the half-yearly or annual exams was put up on the black board or notice board,the first though that would strike was the train journey to trichy for my vacation.Paati and Thaatha used to live in a place called Jeeyapuram ,which was located on the banks of the river Cauvery.It was about 10 km away from the city and possesed a unique scenic environment which I have not witnessed anywhere else.
As soon as the train came to a screeching stop at the Jeeyapuram railway station,I could see my thaatha eagerly waving hands towards us.He was an old but very energetic man sporting a monkey cap,a white vaeshti and a sparingly used shirt which had the skills of the local tailor written all over it.Even though it would be very early in the morning,we could find the streaks of vibuthi(called pattai) noticeable through the monkey cap gaps on the temple of his head and on his hands.He always had a unique smell of this Vibuthi all around him,which was a trademark for his freshness.
Once I set my foot out of the train,I would never have to walk for the next few hours.By default thaatha would lift me and carry me on his shoulders along with 2 or 3 of our luggages.Once I enter the village(known as the agraharam),my life would turn into some kind of a young prince.Almost every house in the agraharam would have got the news of my arrival,thanks to my Paati and her group of other broadcasting paatis who would have been discussing about this on thier thinnais ,since the last few weeks.
Paati ,upon seeing me used to leap in joy.She would grab me and shower me with the sweetest of all words in tamil such as 'chakara kutty,vella kutty,raaja,chellam,muthukutty,which would translate to 'sugar,jaggery,the king,the beloved,the pearl.
Once I brush my teeth with the 'Gopal pal podi',the horlicks or Viva would be waiting for me.I would be amazed to see that Paati would have been "aathifying"(reducing the temperature of a fluid by repeated transfering between 2 tumblers)the Viva for about 5 minutes to bring it to the optimum temperature.Once the morning formality drink was over,its the start of the never ending menu..the ribbon pakoda,the maida cake,the mixture,halwa and the best of all 'paal-covaa'.These were specially made by my Paati herself for me.I would relish them for the next few weeks.
Paati was a wonderful lady.She had the signs of old age very well evident all over her.She was a very thin lady,with the veins on her hands and neck almost about to pop out of her body.Her voice was so soft and carried the unique soothing tone.Yet the strenth she had was amazing.She used to move the huge containers bearing rice,floor etc with no signs of any weariness.Her day would start at 4 in the morning and I never even knew when it would come to stop as I used to sleep in her lap before her day was over.
Her devotion to God and her prayer sessions were totally flabbergasting.I had to patiently wait for the final neivaethyam(offering to God) which consisted of kishmish(dried raisins) and the wonderful Paanagam(sweet concoction containing jaggery and other condiments).Once the food was over,Paati used to specially 'pesanjify'(mix rice with dhaal or rasam) and would start ootifying (offer food to a child) me.She used to tell me wonderful stories,which sometimes had me as the protoganist.In every one of those stories,as you would guessed,I would be the victor against the demons or the raakshashas.Apart from these stories,I learnt a lot of details about the Hindu mythology from her ayyapa/krishna and other deity-related tales.
I have never seen Paati getting mad at anyone.She never spoke ill of anyone and had the kindest words for even the mean-hearted ladies of the village.She had a tender heart which always welcomed everyone.Her life has been laden with so much trials and tribulations,yet the strength she possesses conveys the iron-like heart she has.She lost her mother at a very young age and she had been brought up in a very affluent family,but with all the wonderful characteristics that a brahmin girl should possess.She has been like a mother to her sister's kids and her journey though life as a caretaker of babies has started eons ago.
Although she came from a very rich family,fate had decided that she would be a wife to a middle class man.I still hear about the travails she had as mother to cope up with the family tensions and responsibilties.
Her life has been totally dedicated for the welfare of others.She has not asked for anything for herself and I am sure If God were to appear before and give her a wish of her life,she would ask for the betterment of her kids and grandkids.
Now,let me return to where I started.As the new year dawned yesterday in India,I called her up.She picked up the phone after it had rung 8 or 10 times and when I shouted from the top of my voice.."Paati..Rajesh paesaraen America laenrthu"..I could visualise the joy that she would have had.She had the same soothing tone,soft voice which had slowly started to shiver.During the course of our conversation,she said..."Rajesh..From the money that you sent,I had all my fragile teeth pulled out and rebuilt with strong teeth.I am now able to chew the food that I eat.Rombo thanks paa.."
I felt a huge lump of sorrow in my throat and I feel the same, as I type these words.I could not talk for a moment to her.It was a complete irony of life.I still remember her putting her fingers into my mouth and also my sister's mouth to see if our first tooth had sprouted out and NOW SHE WAS IN A STAGE..where she didnt have teeth and the worst scenario that life had brought onto us, was putting her in a situation to thank me for such a tiny deed that I had done.I still don't know how I can repay her even an iota of her her kindness and all the love she has showered upon me and my cousins.
I sincerely wish that Paati has a wonderful life ahead and hope to see her soon and enjoy her company as always.
Paati..Thank you for what you are.We all owe you big time..Love you always.

Posted by rajesh |


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