Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Small Talk

Two days ago, I attended an Indian wedding in North Carolina. It was a grand wedding. All went well. Everyone was very happy. Met a few relatives I have not seen in a long time.

The previous day before marriage day was “Vratham Day”*. (I don't know how to translate this in English)  I went there and sat in a chair. A smart and beautiful young lady approached me and said “breakfast is ready. I will take you to the breakfast table”. I said my name is R and I am the bride’s…. Even before I could finish, she said I know you are the bride’s paternal uncle. I was impressed she did her homework before having conversation with me. She said her name is S and she lives in Seattle. I said I used to live in Sammamish for a few years. She said she is familiar with that place. It was a short small talk. 

This young lady impressed me because she did not ask the usual intrusive questions Indians/NRIs ask when they meet someone for the first time. Within 2 minutes of meeting the following 2 questions will come up: 

Where did you go to college? 

Where do you work? 

If it is in India, with some people there will be another question – What is your salary. 

I think asking such intrusive questions upon first meeting are impolite. But why they still ask? Once, a professor at a famous university in USA told me that Indians are really inquisitive people. This is their habit of placing people in their social hierarchy. 

Some of the other intrusive questions (during small talk) I have heard: 

Why aren’t you married yet? 

When are you going to have a baby? 

How old are you? 

If you have heard/experienced any other intrusive questions, please let me know.

Vratham is a religious ceremony performed for both the bride and the groom.  For the bride, it is the tying of holy thread on her wrist to ward off all evil spirits.  Kind of protective armor for the bride.  For the groom, preparing himself as a new chapter in his life as a Grihasta (householder). (Courtesy: Vadhyar.com)

Friday, November 12, 2021

Power Trip

Is this a power trip? 

Wall Street Journal reporter wrote an article about Indian Bureaucracy. I think in the year 1990. I am not sure about the year. That reporter interviewed many Indian government employees. 

One of them was an Under Secretary in the Finance Ministry. This is what he told the Wall Street Journal reporter. I paraphrase: 

“I am an Under Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. I live in R. K. Puram (Rama Krishna Puram). I go to my office by bus. I don’t have money to buy anything after the 22nd of the month. I have to wait till I get paid on the 1st of the month. But I am proud, in my office, I can make J.R.D. Tata wait outside my office for 15 minutes."

Is this a power trip? What do you think? 

There are 2 words. I don’t know if they are Sanskrit words or Tamil words.  

Janma Saabalyam. Meaning Life Accomplishment/purpose. 

So, that Under Secretary attained his Janma Saabalyam by making JRD Tata wait outside his office for 15 minutes.

Monday, November 1, 2021

"Bubble" Fatigue

Jasprit Bumrah says India suffering “Bubble” fatigue. He said "sometimes you need a break. You miss your family. You've been on the road for six months”. 

Here are my thoughts: 

Why did you then play in IPL? 

Don’t you all travel with your families? 

Don’t you feel fatigue when playing IPL? Money gives you extra stamina? 

Take the “well-deserved” break immediately and go home forfeiting the remaining 3 matches.

Why are unfit players in the team? And, fit players left out. Bring on Deepak Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, and Shreyas Iyer in the playing eleven. (My personal opinion) 

Will fatigue still be there if there is another IPL immediately after this World Cup? 

Here are my final thoughts: 

Players get extra bonus for excellent performance. Likewise, they should be charged huge amount of money for nonperformance.  Example: Rs.10 lakh for a duck. Rs.5 lakh for under 25.  Rs.10 lakh for a zero wicket.

There is also “man of the match” award. There should be a “wimp of the match” award for the worst performer. Then only these “semi-gods” will learn.