Aug 18, 2016

803. Respect a NO

So we were at this supermarket. My daughter was sitting in the trolley. This middle aged man in his early forties was making funny faces at my daughter. I was watching this from a distance. As my daughter did not find his facial expressions amusing she simply ignored him. 

This 40 year old man thought that it was a grave insult by a 4 year old. So he made the next move and came near her and pinched her cheeks. I do not like anyone pinching my daughter's cheeks. That man's wife gave him a sign of approval. I did not understand how she could think that her husband's act was cute. 

My daughter was taken aback and she gave a bad stare at the man and said " Stop touching me". He did not seem to get it. He and his wife started laughing and that infuriated me. So I decided to intervene. But before I could move, this guy leaned forward and pinched her cheeks again. My daughter decided to take matters in her own hands. She spat on his face and swung her right hand wildly and ended up slapping him. 

The people in the supermarket were stunned to see a kid slapping an adult man. But I was elated. I rushed to my daughter and gave her a hi5 and told him "The next time someone says No, learn to respect that". His wife started giving bad stares at me. She might have thought that I was not bringing up my daughter by teaching her good manners. But I am glad that my daughter did that or else I might have done that and it would have ended up as an ego clash between two adults.

When some one says NO; respect that

- Chronicwriter

Aug 16, 2016

802. A business magnate in the making

A True incident

Date: 14th August 2016, Time: 10:30 pm
Place: Outside Zaitoon, Velachery, Chennai

Representative Image
My wife, daughter and I came out of Zaitoon ( A restaurant) after a sumptuous dinner. The guy at the door went to fetch my car and I was standing at the entrance when a little girl approached me with a few things to sell. She must have been around 8. She had a few Indian flags in her hand, a few strips of sticker, a few pens and flannel cloth to wipe the car.

As I have worked in an NGO, my immediate thought was that this girl must be a bonded laborer or must be a part of a mafia. So I looked around to see if any thug is orchestrating her movements from nearby. But I could not find anyone around. So to make sure that she was not in trouble, I initiated a conversation with her. My wife and my daughter were standing next to me.

Me: How much are these?
She: Rs 10 each.
Me: OK. I will buy two sticker sheets from you
( I bought two sticker sheets and handed her Rs.20. My daughter was happy now because she could now stick the walls with these stickers. I made two little girls happy with that single transaction)
She: Sir, I am hungry. Can you give me that food parcel? (She was pointing at the food parcel I had bought from Zaitoon)
Me: OK. Here you go.
(By this time, my car had arrived; but I wanted t know more about this little girl
Me: Do you think you are safe working at 10.30 pm here?
She: My parents and my elder brother are also selling these in that signal
(She points to the near by signal and I can see a couple of people selling the same things to cars parked at the signal)
Me: Where do you get these things from?
She: My father buys it from Parry's corner, Chennai.
Me: Where is your house?
She: We live in Avadi
( Those who are well versed with Chennai will know that Velachery, Parry's corner and Avadi are at three ends of Chennai)
Me: So when do you go back home?
She: We will leave in another 30 minutes.
Me: Are you studying?
She: Yes, I am studying in 3rd standard. I come to sell with my brother only on weekends.
(This girl sensed that I was asking this question to check if she was forced to Child labor and she was brainy enough to give that additional answer that she works only on weekends. Apparently she was earning along with her family to take care of her education)
Me: How much do you buy these stickers from Parry's corner?
She: Dad buys them for Rs 3/- per strip
Me: Wow! So you just made a profit of Rs 14/-
(Here I was having a conversation with a brilliant mind who could logically understand my question; but was innocent enough to reveal the money for which she originally bought that sticker for. That was the innocence of her age.)
She: Sir, I make Rs 500/- profit by selling these in a day
(I thought she was making up this number. So I asked her a cross question)
Me: So how many of these stickers do you sell in a day?

She: I sell around 80 things including the stickers and flags (It was India's Independence day the next day). So I make a profit of around Rs 500/-
Me: But Isn't 80 multiplied by 10 = Rs 800?
She: Yes sir. But I am only talking about the profit. I deducted Rs 300/- from that
(Here was an 8 year old girl who was taking a class to me on multiplication and was also teaching me about basics of financial accounting. I was overwhelmed by this.)
Me: So what do you want to become in future? (Expecting her to say "Engineer or Doctor")
She: I will be rich one day. Very rich. (She was confident in her response. She could have said that she wanted to be rich one day. But her words were that she will be rich one day)

I said good bye to her and came back home. I forgot to click a picture of the girl. Today morning, when my daughter took the sticker strip to stick them in her favorite wooden board, I remembered each and every single word she spoke to me.
Key takeaways:
1) She was not begging and she was not part of any mafia
2) She was not doing bonded labor. She has the right to education and she was studying
3) She was good in numbers and she knew what she wanted to become in life

Yes! poverty was making her do all these. But she was a confident girl; not arrogant; but with a vision which I am sure she would achieve.

I did not ask her name. But I am sure that I would be able to see her around Velachery on a weekend. When there are thousands of people who choose begging as a way of life or cheating as a lifestyle, there is this little girl who has started carving her own future with a determination that will surely take her where she wants to go.

- Chronicwriter

Aug 4, 2016

801. Ten Management lessons from 23 Pulikesi

23 Pulikesi is a Tamil humor period film directed by Simbhudevan. Actor Vadivelu's role in the movie is still etched in our memories. The script was strong and Vadivel's acting took it to a different level. People may see it as a comedy movie and move on. But the director has hidden many management lessons in the movie. This blog post will unearth ten management lessons from the movie Pulikesi for the friends with benefit of the readers.

 Management lesson 1 : Prepare monthly/ quarterly reports without fail

This is the first lesson we learn from Pulikesi. His performance is not really worthy to be mentioned in public. But he knew how to manipulate data and project an appealing report. We all do this by uploading edited photos in our Facebook account. Similarly lot of corporate companies project an edited output in their reports. Once you master this art, you become an efficient management professional

 Management lesson 2: Always have an allakkai with you

It is imperative to have an allakkai (who will always put aamaansaami ) close to you. This guy will make you look important in group discussions when you make a point. If this allakkai laughs at your silly jokes, it will be highly beneficial for you. You can always give him those extra donuts during appraisal time. The allakkai knows that you already know that his actions are fake. But you both have no other choice but to travel together.


Management lesson 3 : Stay away from the honest person
 

In every company there will always be one or two people who will stand for justice, rights and will always call a spade a spade. Keep yourself far away from them. If possible make sure to dig a pit for them so that they fall inside it. Such people will be problematic for your growth in the corporate ladder. So eliminate them as quick as you can. Pulikesi made sure that he eliminated a poet who seemed to be causing trouble to him.

Management lesson 4: Have some entertainment at work

Companies like google have a corporate culture that is envied by many who do not work in such companies. There is a common assumption that employees there get free food and a lot of time to party and play. Pulikesi always encouraged games in his kingdom even if it meant loss of lives. 

Management lesson 5:  Have a good work life balance

It is always good to work hard and party harder. Pulikesi knew it all. Be it in the palace or in the jail, he always maintained a good work life balance. This made him to come back to power even after being locked up in jail.

Management lesson 6: Never be ashamed to accept defeat

When you make a grave mistake, never be ashamed to admit it. Fall flat and accept your mistake. People will respect you for that. If you try to defend yourself by giving justification for your actions, chances are that people will gang up and beat you black and blue. Pulikesi had the heart to accept his mistake for eating Vallavarayan's dove. The poets in his kingdom lauded this move by him.

Management lesson 7: Be Shrewd in making strategic decisions

Even though Pulikesi was lazy, he was shrewd in his decision making skills. He knew how to make winning solutions. When a spy tries to fool him with a cooked up story, Pulikesi uses his analytical skills to identify the lie in it. This business intelligence is important for every business leader.

Management lesson 8: Learn from your failures.

Some projects may fail and you may lose hope and get dejected because of that. But Pulikesi taught us that even when a bear spits on his face, he would not feel bad for it; but take that as a lesson to move forward in life. He taught us to be emotionally stable in all situations

Management lesson 9: Keep that useless resource in the team.

There might be some employees in your team who may be completely useless. They will do everything wrong. Don't send them out of your company. Preserve them. They may be useful for you in future. Pulikesi had a kollan who was fit for nothing. All the weapons made by him were faulty. But that comes in handy for Pulikesi at a point when he actually needed in life. This management lesson was adopted by Dhoni. Dhoni followed this principle and had Sreesanth in his team for two world cup winning finals. The reason for having Dhawan in certain matches and Rohit Sharma in certain other matches may be the same too.

Management lesson 10: Upgrade your skillset

A lesson learnt from his failure made Pulikesi to upgrade his skillset and learn an art form that was greek to him. In the process, he ended up killing a few people and still did not learn the art form. But who cares!!! At least he tried. As Ravi Shastri says, two teams played and cricket was the winner

-Chronicwriter

Aug 3, 2016

800. My wife is a murderer

When I was sleeping in the night, the blanket moved away exposing my leg to mosquitoes and just when a mosquito was about to bite my leg, she comes and kills the mosquito and covers my leg with the blanket. That is my wife who does not allow even a mosquito to hurt me. Yes she is a cold blooded murderer. 


She walks around the house like a tennis player, swatting mosquitoes at will. If there is an Olympic sport for killing mosquitoes, she will easily win a gold medal for team India.

But, though I would like to thank her for protecting me from mosquito bite, I am sad for the mosquito's family. You might know that only female mosquitoes bite human beings. The male mosquitoes feed on flower nectar. 

The female mosquitoes require blood to produce baby mosquitoes. The mosquito that was killed by my wife, might have been pregnant. Her husband might have been waiting for her to come home and he might still be waiting with tears in his eyes. The deceased mosquito's children would be in a state of shock. Their home would have a gloomy atmosphere now. 

If film director Rajamouly had seen this murder, he would have taken a movie "Kosu" which would have given tough competition to his earlier movie "Eega".

Blue cross activists have not started their agitation against this murderous act. They would raise slogans against topics they have no clue on; like  "Jallikattu"; but would keep quiet when a mosquito is killed. Is not that a living creature too? When people can raise slogans like "Black lives matter", " Say no to beef", why not raise slogans to protect and konjufy mosquitoes? 

You might be thinking that I am harsh against my wife here. I might be! But I can't keep quiet when an innocent soul is killed. What mistake did the mosquito do? She just wanted some blood from me to lay eggs. My blood investment would have made her happy. But my wife killed her and this brings great grief to me. I am unable to sleep for the last two days because of this.

As I type this, my friend who sits next to me says that if I publish this post, I would not get dinner tonight at home. I guess it is gonna be my favorite dish "Chilly beef" for dinner. I knowI will have to stay hungry and look foolish tonight for publishing this blog. But I don't care. At least I would have peace for standing up for mosquito rights. I can hear you saying "Indha kosu tholla thaangalabaa"

My wife and I completed 5 years of married life on 1 August 2016. Click this [ link ] to know how I met my wife. 

Click this [ link ] to read how I was attacked at my wedding.

Note: This is my 800th post in this blog. The journey goes on

- Chronicwriter

Jul 29, 2016

799. The beautiful sister

Facebook suggested me this ad in my timeline. It irked me for many reasons

It was an ad where a beautiful girl's picture was shown. I first thought that it should be a cosmetic ad.

But then I saw the word "Gift your sister". This made me wild. How can the advertising brand call her my sister?

That totally put me off. This is the same thought that would have hit all the men who saw this ad.

The second thing that caught my attention was that this pendant that was advertised in the ad was labelled as "Jewellery for women safety". 

It doe not have a pepper spray, nor does it have a laser gun attached to it. In that case, how on earth would it give women an assurance of safety. It seems there is a chip that alerts people on their phone when attacked. The chip that costs Rs 200 to make is now being marketed for Rs 4000/- just because it finds itself in a jewellery.

To make matters worse, the pendant is long and is strategically placed between the girl's breasts. Is that a safety mechanism? I don't know. May be safety experts might know it best. 

I came to know that the pendant almost weighs 200 grams. With such a heavy pendant, those girls who wear the chain will develop spondylitis.

Verdict: This ad is a big fail for all the men

The word Raksha Bhandhan always gives me nightmares. And advertisements like this make it an unpleasant experience for me

Read my post exclusively written for guys on how to run away from girls on Raksha Bhandan [Link]. 

Read this post that talks about the different types of Annas you will come across on Raksha Bhandan [link]

- Chronicwriter

Jul 19, 2016

798. How to be a good writer

My friend pinged me on Facebook and asked me "Chriz! What should I do to be a good writer?"


That one pop up message on my FB messenger is the reason behind this post. The word Good is highly subjective. What's good for me may not be good for others. I consider a certain IIM grad writer as a good writer because he is a great storyteller. But a majority of grammar Nazis hate him and say that his English is not up to the mark and he is not fit to be called an author. I don't think he gives a damn about all the taunts he goes through. At least he is doing what he loves to do and he also knows how to make money from that; which is not the case with almost all who criticize him. BTW, if you are gonna hate me for supporting him here, let me tell you that he has blocked me on twitter because he thought that my jokes were on him.

Now let me come back to the post. How to be a good writer. Let me rephrase it. How to be a good story teller! I think I am eligible to write on this topic, because I have tried the art of story telling on a one-to-one basis (with my daughter), to a group of hundred people (in college) and to a crowd of ten thousand people (events) and succeeded in getting positive responses. 

So this is what I do when I prepare a story. I would first set the basics right. I would work on my strengths and push my weaknesses under the carpet. 

In my case, my strengths are humor, concluding a story and simple language that connects with all age groups. My weakness is my English. I make a lot of grammatical errors, typos; editors and proof readers will even doubt if I am a writer in the first place.

How do I work on my strengths?

  • If the blog post has 10 paragraphs of three lines each, I would make sure that there is a humor element in all the 10 paragraphs. I would build the tempo in the narration that the humor element connects well with the climax of the story
  • I work a lot on the plot ending because I believe in leaving a lasting impression on my readers. I have at least 3  climaxes for every story and choose one among those based on my instincts. At times it works and some times it has bombed too
  • When I type, I type as if I am conversing with the laptop. The lap top becomes an imaginary friend and as I type, I make sure that I know that the laptop is listening to my story with great interest.
How do I sweep my weaknesses under the carpet?
  • I never use heavy words to tell the world that I am a writer. This is one mistake many make. Just to prove that they are good in English a lot of amateur writers force fit GRE standard words in their story. 
  • I use simple short sentences to convey the message
Now once my strengths and weaknesses are taken care of, the rest becomes easy. Have a great opening, a smooth flow and a tight climax. As you type your story, you should first love what you write. Never become preachy  (I know this line itself is preachy) because no one wants to listen to that. Make a lot of mistakes. Never ever feel bad when people treat your writing like shit. But always keep an eye on why they treat it badly. If you have an urge to become a good writer, you will succeed in writing.

Who knows? You may even publish a book tomorrow. If this post has inspired you to write or start a blog, I'd be happy. Keep writing.

-Chronicwriter

Jul 11, 2016

797. The Indian super hero who is stronger than Captain America

My nephew Jeremy is a big Captain America fan. He is born and brought up in Amrika land. I find it difficult to catch up with his accent; so when he talks to me, he changes his accent and tries to speak to me in with an Indian touch. I, on the other hand try to add an American accent to my English and end up sounding like Rakhi Sawant.

My nephew - Jeremy, niece -Jolena and my daughter Anya having a good time in the train. I know this photo is not related to this post. But I am adding here to let my readers know how Jeremy has grown.

Jeremy likes Captain America and Flash. We were sitting in the drawing room, when the following conversation happened between us

"So maamaa, Is there any Indian super hero you like?"

"Yes, I like Shakthimaan."

" Who is that?"

"He is Gangadhaar with a mask"

"What is his super power?"

"He can spin like a top and he can fly"

"But maamaa, Captain America can do all these stuff and he and Flash can also create tornadoes. Can Shakthimaan do all that?"

" No Jer! I don't think so"

He was happy now. He had a sense of victory. He started jumping around the house thinking that there was not even a single Indian super hero who could match these American Superheroes. I let him jump around for some more time.

"But Jer! There is an Indian super hero who is much powerful than Captain America"

His smile disappeared. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow and asked

"Do you mean to say that he can create tornadoes like Flash?"

" He is a tornado himself"

His eyes widened and I could sense defeat in his body language for the first time. But still he had other questions in his mind.

"What is his name Maamaa?"

"His name is Vijaykanth"

"What are his superpowers?"

" He can jump, fly, do somersaults in midair, catch bullets with his teeth, bullets bounce back from his chest and kill the bad guys, He can singlehandedly destroy Pakistan terrorists, girls go crazy about him, he can give electric shock to the electric transformer"

"But that sounds like Chuck Norris"

"No No. We have an Indian super hero who is better than Chuck Norris. But I am not gonna talk about him here because I am his fan too."

" Is Captain Vijaykanth really that good?"

"Yes, he can also do yoga and if you misbehave with him, he will also say,"Thoo". So you better be careful."

"Can I watch his movies?"

This is what I wanted.

We watched Narasimha, Virudhagiri and Arasaangam and Jeremy has finally accepted that Captain Vijaykanth is powerful than all the American Superheroes. We are going to watch Gajendra this week. Anyone care to join?

If you want to read my review of ARASAANGAM, click here [link

- Chronicwriter

Jun 27, 2016

796. My daughter is her class monitor

My daughter ran to me from school with her usual smiling face. Today she was happier than before.

"Appa! I am the class monitor".

"Wow, That's nice. So what do you get to do as a class monitor?"

" I can use the remote control for the TV to switch on the TV to play rhymes in our class"

"That is pretty amazing. Any other privilege you have as a monitor"

" Yes, I can also teach my class mates some actions for rhymes"

"Oh No! Please don't teach them the actions that I taught you at home"

"But Appa! I already taught them some of those actions"

"Did you really teach them?"

"Yes I did. Including the grinder moves and the dikilona dance step"

"But did your class teacher approve of those steps?"

"She asked me to bring you to school tomorrow"

I know that I will be getting some nasty comments from the teacher tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to answer her questions. I seriously have no clue on what other actions my daughter has taught her friends at school.  When I was thinking on my defense tactics while facing her class teacher, my daughter walks up to me again with her smiling face

"Why are you smiling like that Anya?"

"Appa! I will have to give a passot photo tomorrow"

"You mean Passport photo?"

"Yes! Passport photo only. Now don't post this in your blog as if I did a mistake. You make lot of mistakes while typing"

" But why do you need a photo?"

" My class teacher wants to paste my photo in the class chart as the class monitor"

"Let's go to the photo studio"

So we both went to the near by photo studio. She sat on the chair and started to smile again. The photographer told her not to smile as it was a passport photo

"But uncle I have a smiling face and I always smile"

" But baby, for passport photos you are not supposed to smile"

"Who told you that? Am I supposed to show my frowning face? It won't look good"

Nothing could deter her and she posed with her usual smile.. While returning home, she asked me "Appa, Have you ever been a class monitor during your school days?" That question dragged a mosquito coil in front of my face and the coil started to rotate.

- Chronicwriter

Next post : When I was a class monitor

Jun 24, 2016

795. The 7 Burphy laws

1) Married house wives living in America will eventually become bakers and will have a cookery blog and a Facebook page on baking.

2) IT employees buying a DSLR will immediately become the official photographers of their respective projects. Eventually they will have a page on FB which has their name followed by the word photography. They would like to click pictures like this. But they never get it right without the help of photoshop.

3) There will be a Carnatic singer in school who will always sing Special song and invocation song in all school functions.

4) There will be one Granny in the house who will always see everything with a negative lens. If you stand on one leg, she will tell you that if you stand on one leg, you will end up alone in life. If you shake hands with your left hand, she will say that it is unruly to shake hands with left hand. The reason she gives is that left hands are used to clean the rear end. Does she know that I am ambidextrous?

5) There is always a silent farter in every school/ office/ family gatherings. He or She never gets caught. I am not talented in this department though because I always get caught

6) There will always be that guy who picks a stone and pelts it at a dog

7) Believe me that there will be an aunt in the family who will ask you when you are going to get married. If you are married she will ask when you are gonna have a baby. If you have a baby she will ask when are you gonna have the second baby. Just when I thought I had silenced all those nagging questions from one such aunt in my family, another aunt emerged out of the blue and asked me when I am planning to have a baby. My answer was "Aunty did you just fart?" . I know that was not the answer she was expecting. But that made her to shut her mouth and now she keeps a distance from me. I am very happy

Why did I name these as Burphy laws? Because the name Murphy laws is already taken


- Chronicwriter

Jun 13, 2016

794. The one night stand with another girl

I have to confess that this is a true story. 

You might be angry to know that I have feelings for another woman.

Is this normal for a married man? 

Well! I don't know whether I can justify what I did that night. 

But I guess, It would not be right If I do not confess. 

After a long time, I decide to confess it out loud to the entire world in the form of poetry.

I decided to express this through poetry because I started my blog journey with blogs on poetry before moving on to humor.

If you want to know what happened between me and her that night, just read this.


The one night stand with another girl

[Present]

She has those beautiful curves
That plays magic with my reserves
As she looks at me with her pout lips
I pick her up and my sweat just drips

As I touch her back and caress her neck,
She keeps her calm as I am about to peck
I become a little bold and undress her tonight
And her body shines so bright in that dim light

[Tense change]

The tension builds up as I move closer
My smile and my gaze froze her
On her neck is my left hand
And on her hip slides my right hand

My cologne was strong and it did linger
And she just simmers as I begin to finger
I was slow to start but soon built my speed
She did not know whether to cry or plead

Grooving and grinding I began to groan
She knew my rhythm and started to moan
My next move was always a suspense
But the action just got more intense

I look down and pull her G string
The door opens and with a shock I spring
My wife walks in and gives me a stare
And Says, The guitar is too loud, please be fair

- Chronicwriter

For the uninitiated, the guitar has a neck, has got curves and has a string called the "G-string"