Oct 8, 2015

760. A candle becomes a time machine

I was driving back from work when my mobile phone rang. I pulled the car to the corner of the road, picked the phone and it was my Dad.

"Hi Prason! (He calls me Prason. My friends call me Chriz) There is no power at home. Buy some candles when you come home"

"But Pappa! We have the invertor"

" I know! But there is a power lay off at our place because of some problem with the transformer and the electricity guys are at work. The power will be restored only tomorrow"

That made me realize that we do not have even a candle or a matchbox at our house. I rushed to the near by store and bought a pack of candles and a box of matchsticks. With sophistication creeping in, little did I realize that basic amenities like a candle and a match box have slowly faded away from my life, except when I have to buy them to celebrate someone's birthday.

When I reached home, it was already dark. My 3 year old daughter greeted me like she always does. She did not understand why all the lights were off. She was like "Its not time to sleep, but why all the lights are off?". It was difficult for my little daughter to even fathom the thought that the Government could pull off a trick like this once in a while.

So we all sat in the drawing room and lit a candle. My daughter immediately asked whose birthday it was. I had to tell her that it was no one's birthday ; but we had to light the candle because of lack of light. It was amusing for her because according to her candles means birthdays.

She was even more amused to see the hand shadows that were done on the wall. With hands, we started creating shadow images of bird, dog, a man with the hat. This game took me back to my childhood days when my sister and I would create shadow images with our hands on the walls. Back then, the power cuts were an every day incident and we had only petromax lights or the candle lights to give us lights in the evenings.

We have learnt for exams in candle light. The greatest romantic dinners back then happened in candle light. Today this has become a concept and people pay a huge sum of money to have a candle lit dinner in a restaurant. But during those days, we had candle light dinners everyday.

All it took was a candle to transport me back to my childhood days and the fun we had during those days. Now when I look at the molten candle in my drawing room, I have that smile because it gave me back some of my greatest childhood memories.

Do you remember your childhood candle light days?


Sep 29, 2015

759. Stay silly! Stay smart!!

I met this girl Sharanya a week ago. She was my classmate in school. While having coffee, she told that she runs a startup and she employs 50 people. I was astonished to hear that. She also told that she graduated from IIM Bangalore and had her own stint in the Wall street. I had my jaw open when she narrated her story.

You might think that getting an MBA from IIM is no big deal anymore because of the fact that some IIM pass outs end up writing books and judging dance shows. But her case is different.

Sharanya was the most irritating and dumbest girl in my class. She would sit in the first row and raise her hand every minute to ask the most silly questions. She did not ask these questions to show off; but she asked them because she really was dumb and she did not know the answers to those questions.

At times, the whole class would groan and frown at her when she puts her hand up to ask one of those silly questions. The class teachers were always patient with her. But she would even irritate some of them by asking the dumbest of dumb doubts.

We studied Chemistry tuition together. She would ask doubts like "Why is Oxygen represented by the letter "O" and why not "OX". There were times when our friends and I have called her up on her home phone and told her that the classes are cancelled, just to make her stay away from tuition.

We would tease her; call her a dumb blond. None of our taunting deterred her. She was the teachers pet because she was always attentive in class and her class participation quotient was always high. She was never bothered to admit that she was dumb and that her questions were silly. But by raising her hand and asking those silly questions, she made sure that she climbed up the stairs in a steady manner; where as all those who stood around her and taunted her never realized the efforts she was putting in to climb the ladder.

Coming back to the present day, she said "Chriz! you know! I never knew that you guys were making fun of me back then. If I had known, may be I would have felt ashamed and would have kept quiet. But I was not ashamed of my weakness and my learning challenges". It was a slap on my face.

Have we sarcastically nipped some one in the bud by putting them down when they tried to come up in life? If we are still doing it, let us stop it. Let us allow people to be silly and smart.


Sep 25, 2015

758. Open Mic stand up comedy by Chriz

For those who know that I do standup comedy, this is a gentle reminder that I am back in the business of standing up and cracking stuff that I call jokes.

I tried my hand in the art of standup comedy after a gap of 5 years. Standup comedy is picking up its pace in Chennai. The humor quotient is going high

I was searching for some spots to launch myself in the standup zone in Chennai and I realized that unless you are a part of a theater group it is not that easy to become a standup comedian. So I opted for plan B to enter this art form.

I chose Open Mic forums. To my happiness I found that the Chennai comedy circuit gave platforms for open mic-ers like me to crack our so called jokes.

Here I was at Llyods tea house with my first set piece on the art of farting. It did not come out well. I wrote my own jokes and shared some incidents from my life. Check the video here.

After my first attempt, I pulled my socks to work on my strong points. I knew my strong point was with the guitar and with songs. So I chose to sing one of my favorite sing along songs adding my own twist to it. To my happiness, it worked. Check the second act here.

Thanks to my friends Prasanna and Kavipriya for capturing the videos in their mobile phones. Thanks for Sharada for partnering along with her standup acts. She is a wonderful standup comedy artists. Thanks for the Chennai Blogger Club family for turning up in big numbers and clapping to glory.

I am writing more songs and all those "so called humour songs" will be unleashed soon. I still dream of a the day when I will be doing my own standup comedy acts. When that day comes, I will come back to this blog post and read this line again and leave with a smile on my face.

Aasai yaarathaan vittu vachudhu


Sep 22, 2015

757. I won't eat at Mexico City's Pop-Up Restaurant

A friend of mine shared this picture on Facebook.

In Mexico, there is a particular food chain that serves food to people in the air.

Most of my friends were commenting that they would love to have food from this place.

The moment I saw the picture, I decided not to have food at this place, even if someone pays for me and treats me free of cost.

I would never ever have a peaceful meal if I eat at this place.

What if I drop my phone from there? It is a possibility. All of us use phone when we eat. We use it to take selfies while eating. If we are in such a place, we would surely click pictures to post on facebook and I am sure to drop my phone. The guy in this photo has used a selfie stick and he is lucky not to drop his phone. But I will.

What if the food falls down? What if the spoon and the fork falls down and injures someone down below? We will be charged for murder.Who would want to be imprisoned for eating out?

What if I suddenly have to pee. They won't allow me to just walk to the rest room. I can only pee from mid air. What if I have to poop? Will they provide me with diapers?

In a normal hotel, I can at least run away if I do not have money to pay. But in this case, if the bill is not paid, I will have to hang there for ever. I am seriously not going there.

I am also acrophobic. When I even talk with tall people, I would feel like throwing up.So if I have to sit in mid air and eat, I will end up throwing up and it will be a paint bath for people below.

I am not going there. You may say " Chriz! No one invited you nor will anyone invite you". I know no one will invite me; but who cares, at least I have a blog post on this topic

Sep 21, 2015

756. Cousins and Carrom board.

The game of carrom board was introduced to me by my grand mother. She had an antique carrom board in her house. My cousins Robby , Seelan and I were taught to play this game by our grand mother. She used to play with an ivory striker. Now a days Ivory strikers are banned and we have only plastic strikers.

Before playing the game, we would sprinkle boric powder on the board and make it suitable for playing. My grand mother was unbeatable in this game and we have tried many a time to beat her; but failed all the time.

The only trick that I adopted to win the game was to steal the coins when no one was looking. That trick does not work when I do not pocket even a single coin. But it works if you can convince your cousins that you did indeed pocket a coin.

Time flew by. My cousins and I got married and our wives became more responsible. We met over the weekend and we decided to play a couple of games of carrom board.

So the brothers (Robby and Seelan) joined hands and formed a formidable team. They called themselves " Lodukku Pandis". They were up against Blessy and me. Blessy is Robby's wife. We called ourselves "Good People".

In the first game Blessy and I decided to let Robby and Seelan win the game because we were the good people. So the lodukku pandis won the first game.

In the second game, the good people decided to play to our strength and ended up blanking the lodukku pandis.

In the third and deciding game, Blessy and I started thumping the brothers; but suddenly the Lodukku Pandis won. I think they flicked the coins when we were not seeing them. As we were the good souls, we did not create big fuss over this incident.

Robby is wearing Blue t shirt; Seelan has 1952 on his shirt.This picture was taken during the third game and this is when the lodukku pandis flicked the coins and won the game.

- Chronicwriter

Sep 16, 2015

755. The Facebook dislike button

Marke Zuckerberg finally made the much awaited announcement that facebook will soon be adding the dislike button. The purpose of the button is not to downvote a particular content or photo; but to use it to empathize with someone. 

For example, if someone posts a status stating that someone close to them has died, the dislike button can be used to empathize with the person. Similarly for news on cruelty and terrorism,this button will come handy. This is the real reason for Zuckerberg to add this button.

This button has some hidden strategy too. This will indirectly segregate people based on common likes and dislikes, because the facebook world will eventually use the dislike button to downvote the posts of someone they hate.

In Youtube, if someone dislikes your video, you will not be able to see the person who disliked your video. This allows youtube users to post positive comment and at the same time backstab you by discretely disliking your video. But in facebook, this is not going to be the case.

In the beginning, people will not immediately jump and dislike a post, for fear of being kicked out from the friends circle. But as time goes by, the egos will kick in and they will start using this button mercilessly. This will force people to unfriend each other.

There fore in another year, people will have less number of people in friends list. This will give more opportunities to marketers to conduct focused marketing for their target group. The fans of film stars will soon fight, rip each other apart and rest in separate walls. This might lead to political parties intervening to stop their war. 

More people will be blocked in the future. This will also result in people getting psychologically affected and psychiatrists will have more clients in the coming days. BP problems and Heart problems also will go high. The FB dislike button insurance will soon be availed by everyone in the society.

It will also be used to corner some people and rag them. Girls will think twice before uploading their pictures because there will always the "sour grape foxes" who will dislike their picture. This will in turn create psychological problems for girls.

Mother in law - daughter in law fights will take a whole different route. This dislike button may actually trigger world war 3. Media channels will start posting more nonsense news stating that actor X had a break up with Actress Y because he disliked her picture. There will be media fights on Newshour and Arnab Gowsami will bark as usual.

Mark will not introduce the anonymous dislike feature. We have to go through this phase because facebook literally rule our lives as it is no more seen as a social networking medium. It is much more than that. Facebook has become a part of us.

This is a brilliant marketing move for segmentation, targeting and positioning; but it will have its impact on the emotional health of facebook users. Get ready to get hurt.

- Chronicwriter

Sep 10, 2015

754. Similarities between Manmohan singh and Dhoni

These are the similarities between Man Mohan Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni

1. They both have the name Singh in their names

2. They both have led India

3. They both did not have proper control of their team. Srini mama and Sonia mami had the remote in their hands

4. They both kept their cool when everyone else in their team went bonkers. See the above picture and see the proof

5. They both were loved by the people in the country, even though their team mates were not really in the good books of other men.

6. Both had a great role in boosting the country's pride. One financially and the other in terms of runs.

7. Both had to take care of a team which had people who were involved in scams and fixing matches.

8. They both were called as dummies by those who hated them ( Refer point 3). But that's not true too.

9. Both had a black sheep in their team. Raja and Sreesanth come to the front please

10. Both were succeeded by leaders who have used the comfort level created by these two leaders.

Yes! I am a fan of both these people. Haters can start abusing me. I know that's what we are so good at. I can already hear a bhakth screaming "Go to Porkistan"

- Chronicwriter

Sep 8, 2015

753. A minute to death by Ganga Bharani - Book review

If you are planning to read a suspense thriller in a short time, this is the book for you. You can complete this book in 2 hours. That’s the time I took to complete this book. A minute to death is a crime thriller that is written by my good friend Ganga. In the literary world she is called GeeBee. She has already published two books.

When I got the book, I looked at the cover and tried to imagine the story. The cover had a clock. The time on the clock showed 5. The two hands of the clock was represented by two keys and there was blood on the words. The first imagery I had was that it should be a murder mystery which involves a specific time and I also imagined that two keys might play a role in the book.

There I was lying down on my couch reading this book, with my daughter playing with her kitchen set. The story starts at a nominal place. A cop who investigates the suspicious death of a girl. He starts suspecting her friends when his girlfriend who accompanies him to the death spot says it may not be a suicide.

The cop starts the investigation and his girlfriend starts using the investigation in her novel. Yes she is a writer. After the first 15 minutes, the reader will join with the cop and his girlfriend and wear the detective hat trying to find who the killer is. I did that. The story was indeed gripping and only in the last chapter, did I connect some clues to find who the culprit is.

Ganga has done a great job in this book. If I have to wear a critical hat to analyse this book, I would have to say that the editing could have been tight. I have seen people giving marks for movies and books. I am not eligible to give ratings for this book. I would say that it is a good read and a great book to read when you travel. 

I like a book if it makes me read it without putting it down. A minute to death did that trick. This can actually be made into a movie. I would like to see some Malayalam movie directors handling this subject as I strongly feel that they are the ones who can handle this plot in the right way at this juncture.

You go girl! Ganga!

If you want to buy this book, click here [link]