Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Paneer-Brinjal Contract

Something we die to live for! One of our most compulsive indulgences. Irony that it may seem to be, it still remains the truth that I missed my hostel food whenever I went home. Unbelievable....but true.

My MBA hostel. Tuesday's breakfast was immortality personified in paratha-channa. Even the laziest bums woke up on time to make it for the breakfast in time. Funny coincidences failed to kill my appetite, not when the taste was beyond explanation by the tongue! There was a high Karl Pearson's coefficient of correlation between the time tables of our campus lawn mowing and palak curry. Tamarind rice became the mainstay food for a couple of weeks during our rural food distribution service every year.. Even after 5 years, I relished it with the same enthusiasm or rather desperateness! Not to forget the sweet pongal and tamarind rice served on Shivarathri days.....

Graduation hostel. Rasam was amruthan. I bet they made the world's best rasams.
 Tamarind rice with coconut gratings and groundnuts....unbeatable...... My heart aches with the thought that I may never get the chance to taste it again.

Senior School hostel. Unfortunately this was the time I started to like paneer! Sunday brunch craze still haunts me. Chutney and bun-patti.....beyond bliss.

Primary school: Today's lunch, a full south Indian meal at a certain Meenakshi Bhavan provided a whiff of their rasam that took me back to a similar aroma back in my school in Ooty in 1990 as a 2nd std kid. I had a green small chair alloted to me. Rasam and rice mixed and served so lovingly because we kids may not have known how to mix rasam with rice!

Primary school was also the place we kids used to have 'how many paneers did you get' contest. Somehow, I didn't like paneer then. With the security at the pantry being tighter than Alcatraz, the only way to deal with some curry you didn't like was to pass it to someone who liked it. Often paneer was traded for chocolates, places for video sessions and a lot more things. It was short of the national currency in the hostel! I also don't happen to like brinjal, but always had some extra curry thrust on my plate every time....... Murphy caught me very early in childhood. Then, there was a guy in my class, Anupam Jyoti Das. He loved paneer. I hated paneer and brinjal. We got into an agreement that lasted almost 3 yrs.

He would get 'ALL' my paneers if he also agreed to take my brinjal curry whenever served. I really appreciate his sincerity! But sometimes I doubt if he did it out of his craze for paneer!!
Nevertheless, it was the sweetest  & most cunning contract I had schemed in all times!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A True Story

It was in my Business Communication course in MBA. We we were asked to speak for 5 minutes on any topic. The speech to the class would be video recorded and analyzed for verbal and non-verbal communication in front of the whole class!! Embarrassing for some I must say!  The lecturer was not a generous type. I had to resort to something that stands out from the rest of class. And I knew what exactly I had to do! I planned to narrate a true story.

I will try and pen it down as exactly as I had done. At least the first part of it.

"It was a decision I had made......
It was tough. But it was taken.
I prepared my mind for over a month to face it when the moment came.
I knew there was no walking back on it. The only way....was forward.

Days passed...
The final day had arrived. I decided that a height of 11floors would do the necessary.
I began the climb.
My knees trembled.
My heart rattled against my rib cage.
After what seemed to be ages, I was on the top.
No turning back, I said, to myself. Not when I am here.

The world stopped. Putting all my faith in God, I jumped.
The sight was beyond ordinary.
The Earth was hurtling towards me accelerating at 9.8 m/s sq.
The wind gushed through my mouth that opened in awe.

Just when I reached the bottom, I felt myself going up.
I felt light. Light as feather. Floating, in slow motion.

Two minutes later, I was standing on the helipad of Sri Sathya Sai Airport having done the first Bungee jump of my life."

I then went on to explain the history of the sport which originated from a tribe in some remote place and got done with the speech with exhibits of bungee cord and alloy fasteners.
At the end, the lecturer , confused, tried to say that in the initial part I seemed to be talking about.......with hesitation to say the word, paused. I gladly supplied the word- "Suicide". He asked why I did that.

My plan had worked. I told him I wanted the class to think it was a suicide when it was not. After all, it was about communication. The lecturer couldn't believe. He asked the class if they too thought I was on the way to jumping into my own grave.

Any school teacher would have jumped with joy at the next instant. Every hand in the class was up! I scored!
Needless to say, I got 42 of 50, highest ever.

And that idiot behind the video camera forgot to press the 'Record' button.