Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Chikku Tree and Other memories

It is surprising how the most pedestrian things evoke memories of the past these days. I can’t make out why , but it does. I was rocking my chair at home yesterday and remembered that it was a disease that was programmed into my DNA since school days.

We had these little chairs and hexagonal shaped tables (formed by joining two trapezium shaped ones) in school. This was supposed to form a group in the class. I understand that this is unconventional when compared to the benches in normal schools. Yes. Our school was unconventional in more than one ways. Rocking the chair was the most involuntary thing that we used to do. But, sometimes some of us fell. And the onlookers couldn't help but burst into a huge laughter. The teachers warned and scolded us not to rock those chairs, but we still did, not matter how many times we fell. We were incorrigible as far as this habit was concerned.

I had Chikku milkshake the other day in office canteen and I was directly transported to my old house in Tumkur. Our neighbors had a huge garden which included two big Chikku trees. Every summer I used to climb those trees and pluck Chikkus before they ripened. I used to put them in gunny bags filled with Ragi to ripen them. Of course, the neighbors didn't care. It was also a de facto cricket ground. Today those two Chikku trees are no more. The whole garden is gone. In its place they have built a commercial complex.

The third memory I wanted to write about was the 10.20 breaks in school.  Even the coffee break at work is exactly at 10.20. Usually it was hard to concentrate in the last ten minutes of the class before break or lunch, especially if there was a tasty dish in the box. We used to look at the watch again and again and curse the minute hand for refusing to move faster. Sometimes it is the same case in office. I usually wait for that minute hand to hit 20 on certain days if not all.

I don’t think that I’d be the only one who keeps going back to those good old days. I sincerely hope so.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why I don't drink and Other random thoughts

It is one of calm and slow days at work where one gets embroiled in the most random chains of thoughts. Sometimes I let them go without facing the guilt of being documented and judged by an older and wiser me. Documenting one's own thoughts is a dangerous thing because one eventually grows out of them and it is difficult rationalize why that happened. In fact, I have deleted a few posts on this blog due to the shame caused by self-analysis. However, I promise myself that this post will be spared from that trouble.

The inspiration for this post is Orwell's "Why I Write". However, I shall not try to follow his template in any way. In fact, I write with a consciousness of being caught blogging by my boss (though the probability is fairly minimal due to my well secured cubicle).

Now that I have mentioned my cubicle in brackets, I must mention that it is not my first one in the company. My first cubicle was fairly spacious and was directly opposite to that of my general manager. However, my new cubicle is protected in the front by a display board cum divider. A column blocks view of an passer by walking on my left. On my right, I have a harmless colleague who belongs to a different team. This strategic position has empowered my balls to gather the courage to write a pointless blog post right in the middle of a working day.

I have never felt the need to explain why I write, because that was never the question that bothered me. However, the question that bothers me is : Why I don't drink? This rambling is definitely not from a sanctimonious high ground but that of a dilly-dallying nitpicker. I have the kind of profile of lonely , pessimistic and dorky attitude that attracts a bottle of whiskey by default. Such questions would have been dealt with and closed with a couple of tweets on a sunnier day. My earlier concern was - Why alcohol/beer/whiskey ? However, this tendency to find purpose in meaningless things is the trait that I need to shed as quickly as possible. The correct question to be asked would be why not ? However, the answers to both remain a blank sheet as far as alcohol is concerned. There is simply no motivation to go and pick it up.

The other bad habit I have acquired the curiosity to watch what drunkards do. This is one of the reasons that I took the spectators role. Even that reason has lost traction these days. Morality would be the last reason that one could offer to abstain from alcohol (unless if you are in Saudi where you could be staring at a minimum punishment of 50 lashes).

I would consider myself wise if I don't mention anything about my boss or the workplace. Nevertheless, I presume that many people do get to enjoy this kind of free afternoons including the HR department of my organization. The greatest achievement of this post is that I have given up the habit of dealing with any sort of concrete topic or thought in a post. In the process, I have helped myself drag through an hour in the middle of a boring day.

I could have written about the pointlessness of the daily wage laborers sweating out in the sun to tend the grass of a corporate football ground in the hot sun. But that topic can taken on a day when MGNREGA is scrapped and labor unrest goes bat-shit crazy in any of Tamil Nadu's SIPCOT SEZs.

P.S this could grow longer as and when I feel like updating this post.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

House of Cards Season 3 : My Predictions

I watched all three seasons of the British version of House of Cards. So, far the series has gone the same way as the British version did. Any differences in the story line are mostly due to differences in political structure of Britain and USA. However a strong businessman character like Raymond tusk is missing in the British version of House of cards.

The British Version

The British version of House of cards has just four episodes in each season and the story moves quickly though not as thickly as its American counterpart. Underwood will have to make it to the vice president and then shoot for president. However, his British version, Francis Urquhart  needs to just pull down the Prime minister. The details are  a bit different. However, the general approach is the same. He implicates his in a money laundering scheme and makes the prime minister resign.

As for the second season, Urquhart picks up a fight with the monarch, who opposes Francis’s capitalistic policy and suggests a more humanistic and socialistic approach would do more good to the society. The war drags on and the king hopes that Urquhart will be defeated in polls. Eventually, the king is forced to abdicate the throne due to one of Urquhart’s dirty tricks. In the first episode of third season, Urquhart wins his second term and returns to office. He feels that he is an unstoppable force in British Politics.

Following this consolidation, Urquhart tries to build a legacy for himself by trying to end a long time conflict between Greece and Cyprus. In the middle of this exercise he indulges in corruption. He makes sure that some waters having huge petrochemical reserves go to Greece.  By such maneuverings   he is assured of a huge ‘pension’ package by an industrialist.

Eventually, past sins of murder catch up with Urquhart and finally knock his door. The secret behind Cyprus also falls out and creates a huge mess domestically as well as internationally. A challenger from within Urquhart’s party revolts and puts up a stiff fight against the PM. Finally Francis Urquhart is murdered by his own guard at the behest of his own power hungry wife.

The Prediction

I do predict something similar might happen in the third season of House of cards. Underwood might run for president and win. He might fight Walker or some past foe. Whatever be the means, Underwood’s political capital will consolidate in the beginning.

This might be accompanied by a major foreign policy blunder in Zulu, similar to a Cyprus crisis in its British counterpart. The clue to this is in the Teaser Quartet part 3 released by Netflix. In addition this , Raymond Tusk might rot in jail because of the denial of a Presidential pardon. Or, he might even get it and become friends with Underwood. That could go either way. Eventually, I predict that Underwood’s murder of Zoe Barnes might spill out. Finally, the series might end with Underwood’s murder by Edward Meechum at the behest of Claire.