Success, they say is relative. There are successes which end with world wide fame and recognition. There are plenty of Indians who have bettered mankind and have thus achieved immortal fame. Though India lacks in its PCS factor (that is Per Capita Success factor) for this kind of success, we make it up in other forms. Success can also be leading a peaceful life with the domestic bliss of a wife and kids, and a lazy evening spent over chaai and butteraan. There are billions of Indians who are successful at that. Given that the modern day nihilistic society in the industrialized world searches for that very bliss, I thought it would be best to share the secrets of Indian successes with the world. I have labeled it “The seven habits of highly effective Indians”. Here they are:
1) Procrastinate: This is best described by the couplet that goes “Aaj kare so kal kar, kal kare so parson; Itni bhi kya jaldi hai pyare, jab jeena hai barson”, which loosely translates to mean “Postpone today’s task to tomorrow and postpone tomorrows work to the day after. What’s the hurry when we have years ahead to live”. As Indians, we do not have to worry about learning this particular habit. It is a part and parcel of our DNA. It runs so deep in our blood that even after we are cut, the blood takes a while to come out. Hence the term “Bloody indian”. This is THE MOST important quality one must learn in order to be a successful Indian.
2) Aimlessness: Had it not been for aimless wandering, places and things would not have been discovered. A cursory glance at a street corner in India will show you young kids going “kutti severru” around their houses, middle ages mustachios debating the “kavarchi nadigai” news at the tea kadais and at the same time the aged while their time whining about the present state of life with interspersed remarks of antha kaalathule. One must also practice this rigorously and make sure that it permeates into ones very essence.
3) Rainy day planning: As the sub-heading reads, rainy day planning does not involve having to plan for bringing the clothesline indoors or remembering to fold up your trouser hems as you wade through the rain water. Rather, it is to be a pack rat and hoard up every single thing you come across because “you never know when you will need it”. Be it locks that you do not have the key for or the beyond repair radio on which your kollu thaatha heard the swearing-in ceremony of lal bahadur shastri. One must therefore rat hole everything that one finds for a day that it might be needed.
4) Think Loss/Loss: The Indian pysche is beyond comprehension by even the finest of minds. The reason we do not have any alien abductions of Indians is the fact that the aliens are scared that we might in turn brainwash them instead. As the say, if you cannot stream ahead in a running race, then you got to trip the other runners! One must be prepared to take the high road and also drag along any road blocks that come up. Then and only then will you be able to reach your destination.
5) Be the loudest: In a land were one has to converse over the din of a jam-packed commute its only natural that our voice decibels have climbed to higher octaves. Ask any of abundant politicians that we produce, the key to success is to be louder than the loudest competitor to make your voice heard!. The best lawyer in town is not the one with the most legal knowledge but the one who can out-shout the other prosecutor with “Objection your honor”. To this effect one must practice twice every day, one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, in order to make your voice louder.
6) Teamwork: This one is simple. Get into the team based on your performance and then become a permanent fixture, like a birthmark. Avoid all attempts to take you out. If the heat to kick you out becomes unbearable, then gloat on your past achievement irrespective of your arid contributions in the recent past. Referring back to our politicians and their tactics, blame someone else for any failures.
7) Dull the aruvaal: Since all work and no play makes jack a dull boy and jill a dull girl. In spite of Habit 1 (i.e. procrastination), one needs to ease off the work schedule calendar. The sharp dagger of a lifestyle which involves mooching off and delegating can cause both senses and sensibilities to be on ultra-high alert. Hence from time to time it needs to be dulled with a healthy dose of sick and casual leaves.
I am sure that these habits and an unhealthy exposure to a tanning lamp might qualify you to be a face in the crowd of one the most successful people on earth….the Indians…(not the native American variety).
The spelling bee is a contest that is held annually for kids to show off their geekiness and their skills of being a mug pot. I know the saying that there is no such thing as useless knowledge, but what is the point of knowing obscure words and their origins? Its usability in modern day life is like that of snail mail. Yes it exists, but who uses it!?.
Given the direction the modern day generation is trending, in terms of spelling. grammar and pronunciation, I was thinking how it would the actual spelling bee competition should be held. Here is my version.
The final round. Only one kid is left.
(Kid walks up nervously to the microphone)
Judge: Contestant # 416. If you get this correct you will be the champion. Your word is “companion”
Kid: Companion…..companion. Can I have the origin please ?
Judge: Originally from Latin from companio
Kid: Companion….companyon..Could I have its meaning please
Judge: Closely connected, confidant.
(Nervously trying to say the words over and over again)
Kid: Compagnion….companeon…….Could you use it in a sentence.
Judge: Salt and his companion pepper spiced up the egg.
(Slowly muttering it over and over)
Kid: B F F
Judge…That is correct… Companion is spelt BFF. (Best friends forever)!!
Given the way modern spelling is evolving the day is not too far when the best english and grammar teachers would be southern rednecks!. Thats something I am picking up in ample doses!.
What makes man have an innate desire to cause destruction. Many of the things that he makes are actually built for destruction in the first place. Yes, I am talking about “popadums”. The little flat round brittle pieces of dough that are part and parcel of a south indian meal.
The manufacturing process is quite the toil. The dough is mixed in a mortar and pestle, and for those who are unfamiliar with the thing, its like benchpressing weights and shooting an arrow at the same time, with just one hand. The dough is then rested and rolled out into a thin sheet the thickness of a tin foil and flat as katrina kaif’s stomach. Its then cut into small round shapes and dried out in the sun. After all the blood, sweat and time has been put into it, it is then fried served, when it is promptly smashed in a matter of seconds. What a heart-wrenching waste of time and effort!! Its like painstakingly building a ship inside a bottle and then flushing the bottle down the toilet!!. Some even go to the extent of placing the popadum flat on the plate and bringing out thier pent up vengeance and vehemence on the poor wafer, to just shatter it to little pieces!
But why is a popadum round?. Why not square or triangular?. I think this has a lot to do with south indians and their affinity to this particular geometric shape. The argument of course it that everything in nature is round. The sun is round, the moon is round and so is the “ghatam” and the corresponding pot belly of the player. So the profusion of the shape and sense of aesthetics has led to the popadum, too being round.
Popadums have the loosest morals of any food item. That’s to say they go with almost anything. You can join them with rice, down them with idlis and I have even seen them being pushed in with biriyani. They appear at times as appetizers on the table too. Popadums come in many flavors. You can have them roasted over the fire or deep fried in oil or baked in the microwave. Their flavors range from regular to garlic to ginger etc to black pepper etc.
The name popadum too needs a little introspection. It almost seems that its etymology is derived by the mix of two words. Pop-(with)-a-DUM!. Which means you need to pop it with a deafening sound.!.
No matter what is said and done, these little round brittle pieces of dough are just too good!
Courage, valor and honor have always been the most respected and admired forms of human charecter. Images of people who put thier lives for the sake of others, like firefighters, soldiers, policemen are always respected. I agree. And I take my hats off to them. But I belive the greatest and the most courageous of all people were the early cavemen who laid down thier lives trying to find edible food stuff. Men, women and kids who went “pop” while trying out strange colored berries and veggies. If you really think about it, it really takes awesome balls to pluck a totally unknown piece of fruit and be like…”hmm..lemme just try a nibble” and the next moment, you are lying there frothing at the mouth and your limbs spasming like a clock’s second hand that is stuck due to low battery.
Ok…I can understand fruits and berries, but how was that early man started eating potatoes and onions. What made the early man, tug at a little plant, uproot it from the ground and be like…”hey…its got some lumpy things attached to it…I am gonna try and eat this!”….
Well…..I guess, we modern day apes are far more cowardly than our ancestors, because we shrink away from strange foods, though they be the staple diet for other peoples!. Till later…cia
It was well into the wee hours on a summer night and I was trying to complete my daily required dosage of TV. I happened to come across an infomercial for weight reduction pills. The ad claimed that all you needed to do was to pop this pill, and viola in a couple weeks your belly would go from that of an over due pregnant mom to that of a NFL running back. They kept showing before and after pictures of people, implying that they had lost all that weight. But the pictures could hardly be believed. Come on…., before picture of a ugly looking fat chick that transforms into a Scandinavian blonde in the after picture ; a balding paunchy guy with sagging breasts changes into a strapping hulk!…yeah right….Seeing how obviously made up these pictures are and that the “before” and “after” pictures are of two totally different guys, I came up with a brilliant plan. I have a proposal which I am planning to send to the companies that make weight reduction pills. Take a picture of me now. This could be used as the “After” picture. Then let me pig out for 6 months on a calorie rich diet of ice-creams, fried foods and good ole meat. Then when I have gained a few feet in circumference and added a couple more chins, you can take a picture. This would become the “Before” picture. Now you have an actual documented case, with picture proof of a “before” and “after” picture .And it is the same guy!! Now isnt that brilliant So guys go ahead, call the companies and let the pigging begin in earnest!.
My dad was big on handwriting. In the old days, good handwriting was as good as having good palm lines. It was indicative of everything from good education, to good manners to exemplary virtues. It is to this effect that students are taught to write with pencils. All the kids from kindergarten to grade 5 use pencils. The reason forwarded is that a pencil has better control and versatility thus improving this motory skills, when compared to a pen. But I think the pencil use is due to the mothers not wanting to wash ink stains from shirts and dads not wanting to buy stacks of notebooks since pen writing is permanent!.But then I researched to find out that pencils started out their career in 1500 AD while pens predated them to 5000BC. No wonder all those cave drawings and papyrus writings are so illegible. If only they used pencils!