Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Friday, December 10, 2021
Friday, December 3, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Friday, November 12, 2021
Monday, November 1, 2021
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Friday, October 1, 2021
Monday, September 27, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
This is a true story. It happened a long time ago.
There was an American in India employed there. When he came back to San Francisco after his assignment he brought with him his cook. (In those days it was very easy to sponsor a personal servant). The cook, Jambunathan, was a Tamil guy and his English very poor. In those days, there were not that many Indians in the Bay Area and that too Tamilians are almost nil. Jambunathan was feeling lonely.
His American employer met the Indian Consul General and explained the situation. I knew the Consul General very well. One day he called and asked me to help Jambunathan adjust to life here and socialize with him. I agreed. One day this Jambunathan came to my house. He was about 55 at that time. His wife and 4 kids were living in Tamil Nadu. He was so deferential he won’t even sit in front of me. He brought sweets for my family.
He used to come to our home during holidays like Diwali, Pongal, Tamil New Year, etc.
One day he came to our home and started to cry. He said he had a fight with his employer. The employer said if he leaves his employment he has to go back to India and cannot stay in USA. I asked if he has any papers. Fortunately, he had his Indian Passport. I looked at it. At the last page, I saw his Green Card number. (The American employer conveniently took Jambunathan’s Green Card at the SFO Airport immigration.)
I told him the whole truth. I said I will get a duplicate Green Card for him. I went to the Immigration and Naturalization Office and got a form to fill out to request for a replacement Green Card for the lost one. I received another Green Card within 10 days. I gave it to Jambunathan and told him not to tell his employer. I also told him to keep it safe and this is his permission to stay in the USA for as long as he wants to. He was very happy.
After a few months he came. He said he found a job at the home of a millionaire in Los Angeles. I wished him well. He left. Never saw him for another 3 years.
One day he came to my home unannounced. I asked him where he is working now. He was hesitant to tell me. I asked him a few times. He said “amma irukanga. Adhunala solla mudiyala” (Your wife is standing here and listening. So, I hesitate to tell you). I told my wife to go to the other room.
This is what he said in Tamil. I will paraphrase in English.
“I was working with this millionaire in Los Angeles. His daughter graduated from college and admitted to a reputed university in the Bay Area for her master’s degree. She is 23. Her father bought a flat for her in the Bay Area so that she can live there and go to the university. They also sent me to cook for her and take are of the flat. That girl loved my cooking so much she started to love me. Now we both live in the flat like husband and wife”.
I asked him if her parents knew this. He said no. I told him what he is doing is not right. Even if she fell in love with you, you should have advised her properly because you are as old as her dad.
He left my home. Never saw him afterwards.
PS: Name changed for privacy’s sake.
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Sunday, August 1, 2021
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
The following are the reasons:
Time Difference: USA is behind in time from Japan by 16 hours. Whatever American television (NBC) shows as "live" I already know the results. I knew Naomi Osaka lost her tennis match before their "live" broadcast. I already knew the mighty unbeatable American basketball team lost to France.
American prejudice: The network (NBC) thinks Americans want to watch only American athletes. That is why they are losing the audience. The American public wants to watch and learn about all the athletes. For example, if in an event an American athlete comes in 5th place they will ignore all the other first 4 and starts to interview and tell the life history of the athlete that came is 5th. His/her childhood, how did he/she trained, if he /she brought his/her significant other to the Olympics, and if they slept together before the event.
Unrecognizable events if an American is participant. I watched an athletic event called "Slalom Canoe". I watched it for one hour. (Side bar: Even though I am not an athlete, I have theoretical knowledge about many games and their rules. From Kho Kho to American Football) I had no idea how this game Slalom Canoe is played and how they score points and how they win. They showed for a long time only because some Americans were the contestants. Many Americans went back to sleep.
They will never show any event that Americans are not participating. For example: Field Hockey. Badminton, Handball, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Trampoline.
Stay Tuned for my next week's blog post. I will repost the blog post I wrote about spectators for the London Olympics in 2012.
Sunday, July 18, 2021
I wrote before briefly about my uncle's remote village in Tamil Nadu. There was no electricity. There was no phone. You have to cross a river to go to the village. There is no bridge and therefore you have to walk through the water to go to other other side.
Here are some more details.
There is a special street where only rich people live. How many houses in that street? Just one. My uncle's house. One has to cross that street to go to the other streets where poor people lived. The unwritten rule is bullock carts can go thru that street from 6 am to 6 pm. And, that too the people who are sitting in that bullock cart should get down and walk until crossing that street. After 6 pm and until 6 am next morning, no bullock cart can go thru that street because our family is sleeping in the middle of the street on our cots. (There were only 3 weather patterns there. Hot. Hottest, Murder)
My uncle had few servants. They were not allowed to come inside the house. They came thru the side doors to clean the house, clean the dishes, milk the cows, and take the cattle and cows for grazing.
This was long time ago.
Now that village has electricity, bridge over the river, so many phones, high rise apartments, and even a high school.
Couple of years ago I went to India and visited that village where I used to go every summer vacation.
Unfortunately, my uncle's wife (aunt) died. She was sick and not having good health.
Two incidents I noticed.
The daughter of my uncle's servant who used to milk the cows is now a prominent doctor in the nearby town. My cousins called her to come and check up my aunt. She immediately came to our village in a driver driven car. She was hesitant to come into the house. My cousins insisted she come inside the house and check my aunt. The doctor came inside. She was hesitant to touch my aunt, Finally, she took out a silk cloth, put it around my aunt's wrist and checked her pulse. Same thing with stethoscope.
With tears in her eyes, she said my aunt's life is only a few hours away. And, she left. I have never seen a doctor gets emotional in any country in the world about a patient. I have lived in 5 countries. (Doctors never show any emotion.)
My aunt passed way. The next day my cousins were arranging a funeral for her.
The body was inside the house. There came a fancy car. Who comes out of that car? A prominent lawyer who is also the "Leader of the Bar" in the nearby town. A few of his juniors were also with him. Who is he? He is the son of the servant who took care of the cattle and cows for grazing.
He came to pay his last respect to my aunt. My cousins asked him to come inside the house to pay his respects. He refused and stayed outside the house with his juniors.
Finally, the body came out. The lawyer fell on the floor in the street in front of the body. Got up with tears in his eyes, got into the car and left.
Are we developed or not? You tell me.
PS: My wife used to make fun about these villages all the time. That remote village was my mom's where there was only one house in the agraharam. But my dad's village, which was 3 miles away, had 24 houses in the agraharam. My wife used to tell everyone that compared to my mom's village, my dad's village is New York City.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Cricket: The only game where the captain makes all the decision – after winning the toss whether to bat or bowl, who will bowl, when to change the bowler, how to rearrange the field, who to send to bat in which order, when to declare the innings. In other sports, captain is only for toss up.
Baseball: The catcher (ala wicket keeper) tells – via signal – the pitcher (ala bowler) what kind of ball to throw (ala bowl).
Volleyball: the libero (defensive specialist) is the player that wears a different color jersey from their teammates. The libero is a specially designated player that is allowed to replace any player in the back row without the need to substitute. They may never play in the front row.
Soccer (Football): The goalie wears a different color jersey other than the rest of the team.
American Football – The games go on no matter what – Rain or Shine or Snow or Thunderstorm or national mourning. Two days after President Kennedy was assassinated the NFL (National Football League) games went on as usual. The then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle later said it was the biggest mistake of his career.
Golf – It is the game where a golfer does not get a point on the opponent’s mistake.
Ice Hokey: It has 2 intermissions in each game. A total of 3 periods, each with 20 minutes.
If you know any other sports which are unique, please let me know
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Long time ago, we were living in San Francisco city (when it was livable).
Went to Safeway (grocery store) to buy groceries. After purchasing, I was standing in the line to pay for them. There were about 8 people standing behind me. I recognized one of the guys. He was the Consul General of India.
At that moment, the Store Manager came by. I knew him since I was a regular customer. I told him the Indian Consul General was standing in the line and point out him to the Store Manager.
The Store Manager went to him and said: Sir, please come with me. I will open a special counter for you. You don’t have to stand in the line.
The Indian Consul General replied: Thanks for your offer. I prefer standing in line like everyone else.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
Last week I wrote about Senicide. The following is a real life story. Not a fiction. I knew the characters personally. Very tragic.
His name is Larry. An Anglo Saxon White guy. He was working in our company as a junior level manager. He was a bachelor, never married. He lived with his aged mother. He was not heterosexual. Unlike some others, he never advertised his sexual orientation as a gay person. But his mother and friends knew this and accepted that fact. Of course, he had a lover. His name is Charles.
I knew him well. But he was not a close friend of mine. We have been to his house one or two times. He, his mother, and his lover have come to our house once.
Larry loved his mother to death. He took care of her daily needs with love and affection. He would cook for her every day. Made sure she had her medications every day. Daily, Larry would take her mother for walking exercise. He took her on exotic vacation twice a year. In short, he took care of his mother as if he would take care of his own newborn baby.
He never drank. He never smoked.
One day, the fate struck. His doctor diagnosed he has AIDS. He was devastated. His mother was even more devastated. As months went by, his health deteriorated. Larry weighed 200 lbs. And, after 9 months he weighed only 130 lbs. He could not go to work. Therefore, he went on medical disability. He was unable to drive his car. His lover, Charles and another close friend, Sam (a straight guy) took care of the daily needs of Larry and his mother.
Larry was becoming depressed more and more every day. One day, he took several sleeping pills in order to commit suicide. However, Charles saw this and rushed him to the hospital in an ambulance. Doctors saved his life.
Many visitors came to see him at the hospital. All of them (except Sam) were unanimous in their scolding to Larry. “Why did you do this stupid thing? Your mother is very old. Who is going to take care of her if you die? If you die, your aged mother will become an orphan. Your mother is having health problems. You are going to aggravate her condition by committing suicide.”
Larry was discharged from the hospital 3 days later. Since Larry cannot take care of himself, Sam and Larry’s mother decided to admit him in a Care Home. Care Home is a home where they take care of sick people for a fee. He was there for a week. His mother was lonely at home. Sam went there every day to see how she was doing. She knew that her son was dying of AIDS. She decided to take Larry back home. Since Larry had suicidal tendencies, Sam was opposed to this idea. Sam and Larry’s mother approached the doctor in that Care Home. The doctor refused to talk to Sam. It is the law that doctors are supposed to talk only to family members, if the patient has one.
Larry and her mother talked to the Care Home doctor. No one knew the conversation. The doctor decided to release him from the Care Home and let Larry go home with his mother.
On a Thursday evening Larry called Sam about his car insurance. Sam said he will do the needful. On Friday evening Sam called Larry at his home. The phone was ringing and there was no answer. Sam decided to go to Larry’s house on Saturday. Larry’s neighbor called Sam on Saturday morning at 10 am. He said he knocked Larry’s door and there was no answer. The newspapers have not been picked up from the patio.
Since the neighbor had the extra key to Larry’s house, Sam asked him to open the door. After 10 minutes Larry’s neighbor called Sam and informed him that Larry and his mother are dead. There is blood all over the house. Sam asked the neighbor to call the police and rushed there.
To end this post, this is what happened. The visitors who came to see him in the hospital were scolding him as to what would happen to his aged mother if he committed suicide. This was a very poor judgement on the part of the visitors. Since Larry was already depressed and loved his mother, he was worried so much about the fate of his mother in case he should die naturally or commit suicide. He finally decided to kill his own mother, before taking his life, so that she would not suffer or become a helpless orphan after his death. So on Friday he took a claw hammer (a sharp V shaped at the end) and hit his mother forcefully in the back of her head several times. Blood was forced out of her head. There were blood marks on the ceiling, on the window screen, and on the side lamp shade. She died.
Larry then went to his room. Took a blade and cut the veins in his hands, legs, and neck. He also died 20 minutes later.
This is not a fiction. This is a true story. Larry and Sam worked in our Company. I have changed the real names to protect their privacy. Couple of days later Sam came to see me and told me the whole story. I said Larry made the wrong decision to kill his mother. Even if it was right in his mind, I told Sam, he could have put a bullet into her head as opposed to beating her forcefully in the back of her head several times. Sam just wept.
The lesson: When we visit someone who is very sick, we should say some encouraging words. We should not depress more a person who is already depressed.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Thalaikoothal is a Tamil word. English translation is Senicide. Killing of elderly people by the relatives. It is an involuntary euthanasia. When an elderly person becomes very sick, the relatives (mostly children) perform Thalaikoothal so he/she dies peacefully.
Some do it so the elderly person does not suffer a lot. Some others do it because they don’t have money to take care of them or for operation. Village people think it is mercy killing.
I was surprised to see this is being practiced in villages in Tamil Nadu. This is illegal but still practiced in Tamil Nadu.
I came to know about this when I was watching a Tamil documentary type movie in Amazon Prime. The movie is titled Baaram (Burden). Watched it last night. Very disturbing. Could not eat dinner.
They say there are 26 different methods to do Senicide. Most popular is giving cold water massage on the head of the elderly person and then giving him coconut water. This will reduce the body temperature sufficient enough to cause heart failure. In Tamil language, Thalai means head. I don't know what is the meaning of Koothal.
In this movie, the guy was injected with poison.
Wonder why the Indian Government is not going after the culprits.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
This is not a movie review but my own thoughts
A friend suggested I see this Malayalam movie, The Great Indian Kitchen. To put it mildly I was shocked and stunned. Having lived my entire adult life in USA, I could not believe this was happening in an educated family in India.
Nimisha Sanjayan is a dancer and brought up in Bahrain. She gets into an arranged marriage with a teacher in Kerala. Her in law home is a patriarchal family. She tries very hard to adjust and be submissive. But they test her patience.
Don’t want to give the end of the story.
The movie is directed by Jeo Baby.
The actress Nimisha Sanjayan did not just act. She becomes a real submissive housewife. She tries to adjust to their whims and fancies. But she can tolerate only so much.
She tolerates some of the disgusting things:
The husband and father in law eat and spit the waste all over the dining table. She has to eat there after men finished eating. But when they go to a restaurant, the husband shows good table manners. The wife asks him about it. The husband gets made and ask her to apologize.
The father in law is a cunning character. He asks her not to cook rice in a gas stove. He wants his rice cooked only in fire. He does not like his clothes washed in a washing machine. He asks the daughter in law to wash his clothes by hand.
I don’t even want to go about her sufferings during her monthly period time. She should be away from everyone else. In fact, it was suggested she should not sleep in a bed. She should sleep on the floor.
The movie is not about the “great” Indian kitchen. It is about the Indian domestic slavery. It is about a wife who is a cook, cleaner, and a sex slave.
Excellent movie. Everyone should watch this. Orthodox patriarchal families should learn a lesson.