http://ouocblog.blogspot.com/2015/06/image-arjuna-and-duryodhana-seeking.html

How do you ask for Help?

In Mahabharat, when Arjun from Pandavas and Duryodhan from Kauravas approach Krishna and request him to fight the war from their respective sides, Krishna didn’t really have any bias. He was neutral and in general reluctant to side with anyone. Both parties knew that Krishna has a large army as well as the most brilliant political mind. So, having him with them would tilt the course of the war in their favor and make it certainly a lop-sided battle. But there’s an interesting story in how Arjun and Duryodhan approached Krishna.

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Do’s and Dont’s for Jokes in these times

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

According to South Park, it is okay to joke about anything after 22.3 years. But this was said by Eric Theodore Cartman in 2005. That time we didn’t have Social Media’s power which we have now. So, as per me, adjusted to inflation, the rate of social media growth, the ease of mobile phones, the handiness of the free time due to WFH, and a random constant number 3.14, the world nowadays can make a joke about anything which is 22.3 minutes old.

So there we had it. As soon as the news of disease COVID-19 caused by Virus SARS-CoV-2 came into being, it didn’t take long for the jokes to come. The first one I remember is that Indians can’t get it as we are the immune-st bunch of people because we used to clean the cricket ball, freshly taken out from the dirtiest of drains, by just bouncing it thrice and moving on. Then you would have seen the memes about more babies getting born after the quarantine and they would be called the Coronials.

The funniest part of the jokes is that as long it doesn’t happen to you, they all sound really chuckle-worthy. But as soon as something is directed at you or happens to your near & dear ones, it becomes a no-go zone for you, no matter who you are.

Therefore, I took the liberty out of the thin air and wrote some Do’s and Don’t about joking about the Corona Virus.

The Do’s & the Don’ts

  • Pundemics are okay, the Pandemics aren’t.
  • Racist jokes should be avoided. The maximum you can say about China is this: Nowadays, everything is Made in China.
  • Jokes about Panic buying should be encouraged. People who are not panic buying are getting panicked by others panic buying because now non-panicky folks fear that if they don’t panic now, the already panicked fellows will buy everything and there will be nothing left apart from having a panic.
  • Following types of jokes should be totally disbarred:

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

It’s WHO.

Who WHO?

Roses are Red, Violets are blue… You travelled abroad? We need to Quarantine you.

Nobody
  • Jokes about Flattening the Curve are fine. But you need to flatten your belly curve too, Sir.
  • Social Distancing jokes are fine, as long as you don’t irk people permanently that they diss you and keep a distance of 10 feet from you forever. (This is the worst of them all, I Know)
  • Jokes about Work From Home are fine but I want to write another blog post so I cannot pour all my creativity here.

I hope you all are following the protocol shared above as well as staying safe, aloof and giving cold vibes to everyone like it’s a Monday morning.

Jokes are what make us human. Again, jokes dry up when someone we know gets affected. Not everyone is equipped to crack jokes and not everyone is sane enough to take them. Till then, ciao? No no… sayonara… no that is also not safe and also the wrong country.

Namaste. (Can be used as a greeting as well as a goodbye, right!)

Auto!!

On one fine Saturday morning, I was waiting at BTM Bus Stop. With only 30 minutes for the movie to start, I was in a rush to reach PVR at Forum Mall in Koramangala, which was just 2 KM from there. If I had taken a bus, it would surely have taken me more than 30 minutes or so, thanks to the place where time just slows down. Yes, the Silk Board. I had no other option but to take an Autorickshaw which could zigzag its way from the lanes and take me to my destination in time. After waiting for some time, I found one empty Autorickshaw coming my way. I waved my hand to make him stop. Despite being vacant, the driver just glanced at me but didn’t stop. Maybe he was in a hurry himself, maybe I wasn’t enough good looking, maybe I didn’t have Maybelline. Another Autorickshaw was passing by. I shouted “Auto!”, he stopped. When I asked him, he just said “Neh!” and moved along, still vacant on the same road where it could have taken me easily and earned money. In a minute another one came. I asked him whether he will take me or not. Nonchalantly, he said, “Oh Forum aa? 200 Rupees!” without any shame or regret on his face. He demanded 200 Rupees as if I had asked him to drop me at the Airport. I said, “It is just 2 KM”. He got disappointed to see that I knew how far it was. He said nope and went away. I decided to walk towards my destination find an auto on the way. There was supposed to be an auto-stand half a kilometer away as well. When I reached there, I found 3-4 autos standing there. I went to one and asked “Sir, Forum?” The driver who was reading a newspaper gave me looks as if I had asked his daughter’s hand for marriage. I said sorry for disturbing him and chugged along. I asked another one, he said “Ok, 20 rupees extra. Lot of traffic there!”. I was getting impatient now. I sighed “Let’s go.”. Finally, I reached in 20 minutes.

I’m sure this must have happened to you as well? Right? When you were just refused or were asked
for an exorbitant amount or had to shelve 20-30 Rupees extra?

Fortunately or unfortunately, Auto Rickshaws in India are the most common mode of transport, aren’t they? From small towns to big cities, you can find them everywhere. In fact, if you want to draw a picture of a market Scene in India, your picture will be incomplete unless you show a small yellow black toy looking 3-wheeler adorning the side of the road. I happened to read a blog post by a journalist Anand Ramachandran on Yahoo sometime ago. He, originally from Chennai, had just moved from Mumbai to Bangalore and he had an acute observation about Auto Rickshaws of all these cities. He said that while auto drivers of Mumbai are businessmen and part-time tourist guides, auto drivers of Chennai are basically gangsters. In Bangalore, they are hobbyists Autorickshaw drivers. He said that unlike other cities, Auto Rickshaws in Bangalore are just for aesthetic reasons and decorative purposes and serve no actual function. Maybe they are already very rich real estate owners themselves so they just don’t really care. To top all that, they live under a huge misconception that IT guys are rich people. IT guys and rich? Autorickshaws are going to take you for a ride, when they take you for a ride. Auto Rickshaws Drivers have personality of Dhanush but they carry the Attitude of Rajinikanth.

Love it or hate it, auto rickshaws are something which actually works in a place like India. They are small enough to get into any lane, no matter how narrow it could be and big enough to carry 3-4 people and even more if the driver decides to allow. He himself will sit in the smallest area possible to fit a human backside but if there is shared auto possible, he will easily fit 5-6 people without breaking much sweat. And the way they drive? They don’t really care how narrow or busy the street is. They still drive like James Bond and as a passenger, you have to hold whatever is available possible to save yourself. I had thought that after the inception of more buses, or cab services or even Metro, the attitude of Auto Rickshaws will improve but all in vain.

Did you think that through my speech I was going to present a solution to the menace of Autorickshaw Drivers? Nope. When we cannot improve after so many years, how will they? I guess, Autos in India suit our sensibilities as a nation. I just think when I will get fed up with my life as an IT engineer, I would become an Autorickshaw driver myself. And when some will call me to take them to any destination, I will demand at least 100 Rupees extra, just to see how it feels.

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Photo by Nathália Bariani on Unsplash

Toastmasters Storytelling Project 4 : Who will cry when you will die?

This is a story about a couple who lived in a small town named Teresopolis in Brazil. It was the golden hour time when the Sun was about to set and the shadows of the surrounding hills were engulfing the golden rays of the sun across the farmlands.

The breeze of the autumn evening was very soothing and the weather was extremely pleasant. Bob and Maria were strolling across their farm which was located in a picturesque valley near a river and a hill. It was one of those days when they were discussing the life they had lived. They had mostly lived a happy life. Bob had been a farmer all his life, while Maria used to run a bakery. They weren’t very rich but they believed they had enough. They always loved what they did and they were satisfied with how the life had turned out for them. They didn’t have any regrets but they had only one thing missing in their happy life. They had no kids of their own. Many of their friends had told them about adopting one. But they believed that it was their fate so they had happily accepted it.

On their way, back to their home, they noticed some squeaking noise coming from somewhere nearby. They tried to locate the source of the sound but didn’t see anything. Bob walked towards the barbed wire boundary of their farm and noticed something. He called Maria. Maria asked him what was there? He just kept on smiling. Maria then went and found a small puppy struggling to cross the boundary and come into their farm. The small brown puppy had somehow entangled its body halfway and couldn’t cross or go back. Its watery eyes and his small cute squeaks sought for help. Bob carefully removed the pup. As soon as the puppy got free, it started licking Bob’s boot and fluttered its tail to show his love and gratitude. He handed it over to Maria and told her to take care of their new guest. Maria smiled back and took the puppy into her hands and gave it a small kiss on the forehead. Sun had almost set now. They took him back to their home and fed him.

Since the puppy didn’t seem to have anyone looking for it, they thought of taking care of it. They had a big farm to look after and the puppy had enough space to play around. Their bond kept on getting stronger and stronger. The petite canine made them young again. They used to feed him, take care of him, pet him and Bob used to take him for a walk while tending to his farm. They started to see their unborn kid in the little dog. They named him Leao.

Years passed. Leao had grown up now and the Bob and Maria had got slightly older. Life had become much happier since the advent of Leao. The feeling of not having their own kid had now subsided. The family of Bob, Maria and Leao were happy and content.

One day, there was a forecast of heavy rain and a violent storm in the town. The growl of the wind was turning more and more violent. The skies had turned dark gray and the storm was becoming more and more dangerous. Bob shut the house door and he along with Maria and Sam thought of staying indoors as the forecast was of heavy rain. It kept on raining all night. They thought that they were pretty safe in the confinements of their house but it wasn’t to be. Due to heavy rain, the river developed flood-like situation and the water overflowed. This was one of the most brutal floods in Brazil in recent times. Several hundred lost their lives and many were dislocated. Bob and Maria struggled to keep themselves safe but unfortunately, they got the bad luck when their house was washed away by the strong currents and heavy winds.

Leao survived though. The very next day when the rains stopped and flood subsided, their bodies were found near a tree which had somehow stopped them from flowing into the river. The town authorities dug mass graves for the deceased. They buried Bob and Maria along with the other unfortunate souls. Leao had no place to go now. But Leao didn’t want to leave his parents. So, he stayed near their grave for days. After not leaving the grave for 7 days, eventually, Leao understood that his parents won’t return back.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347862/Brazil-floods-Dog-refuses-leave-owners-graveside-death-toll-tops-630.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347862/Brazil-floods-Dog-refuses-leave-owners-graveside-death-toll-tops-630.html

I will leave you with a question to ponder. Have you done anything good for someone? Have you ever given a thought to the question: Who will cry, when you will die?

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Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

Toastmasters Storytelling Project 3 – Moral of the Story – “F News”

It was one of the busiest days at work. I was deeply engrossed in my laptop. It was the last day of the project deadline, so the surroundings sounded of silence and seriousness. Everyone on my team had skipped lunch that day. My attention was divided between the software application I was working on and my mailbox in which I was expecting some emails from my colleagues about some critical issues.

Meanwhile, just to set some context, a couple of days ago, I had just finished my first year at the office, which also happened to be my first company. I, along with all my batch-mates who had joined on the same day, had received our first ever salary hike letters. We were generally in a mood of congratulations and celebrations. As you know, the first hike letter is special!

As I was expecting some very serious mail about critical issues, I got a message in my inbox. It was from one of my batch-mates. I ignored it for time being and kept on doing my work. Within minutes, then I got another message from another batch-mate. I ignore that too as I had to concentrate on my work. The deadline was lurking. After few minutes, few more emails came. Apparently, there was a mail chain going around with everyone replying to all. After ignoring them for a while, I opened the latest mail. It said that one of the friends had “heard” that the new batch of joiners have been given much higher package and that exceeded our current salary plus the hikes which we were to receive. As you all know, people are very emotional about money. This had started a chain-reaction. Many people had started replying to all in the same mail chain that “how wrong this is and we should do something about this. How could the company betray us like that?” Mind you, I had more than 50 batch-mates.

This replying to all going on for a very long time eventually choked my email inbox. I was neck-deep-busy that day but now my concentration had been compromised due to this unnecessary rumormongering. This constant barrage of email volley irked me. After ignoring for a long while, I decided to end the matter once and for all! I replied to all saying that I have just talked to the HR Manager personally and if this email chain does not stop, everyone’s hike would be canceled. I also added at the very end of the email that I was kidding but please do not send emails to all about such kind of confidential matter, as it is not at all professional.

And that worked! The shower of emails stopped. Some of my friends who thought I was really serious came to my desk and I told them that nothing’s wrong, I was just joking as I had got frustrated with the constant bombardment of emails onto my inbox. I told them about the last line of the email and the matter ended with laughter.

Everyone moved on with their lives. We finished our project on its deadline and life went on.

A few days later, I was at home on a vacation. I got a call. It was from office. I picked up. The person on the other side said that he was the HR of the company I was working in. He revealed that he had been forwarded that email of mine. The email also did not contain the part where I had said that I was joking. The tone of the HR was very serious. He asked me who had given me any right to spread such misinformation. I told him the whole story but he asked me whether I sent the mail or not. I said I did send but my intention was not to spread fake news but rather to stop spreading rumors. The HR said he does not care whatever was intended but since I was the one whose email he had received so I was to be blamed. He scolded me for 30 minutes before hanging the phone up. Luckily, he left me with a warning of never doing this again.

Toastmasters and guests, our generation is a generation of information. We all receive such messages. For example, UNESCO has declared our National Anthem as the best National Anthem. Drinking Coke after eating Mentos is Death by Explosion. Haven’t we? However, with this information overload, sometimes we receive some information, which is as far from the truth as Pluto is far from the Sun. There is an umbrella term for all such information. Can anyone guess? Yes, this plethora of misinformation is called ‘Fake news’.

Moral of the Story: First, do not believe the fake news. Always check several sources before forming your opinion. More importantly, do not react and spread fake news. In today’s age, whatever you share electronically, you have no control over where it will end up. Moreover, whether it will end up in its entirety or not, is out of your hands. I learned my lesson that day. Have you?

By the way, did you know that if you do not discuss this speech with 10 of your friends, you would have bad luck for 10 years?

Skin Whitening Shit

Whether you were near or away from the Equator,
You ought to have the tone which you assumed to be better

You tried to apply balm, creams, multi-colored ointments,
Still, you couldn’t get rid of the obvious resentments

Did you think it was NOT because of the color of your skin?
Or your short-sightedness or your current/last birth’s sin

You gave up, gave in and considered yourself inferior,
You let them have it, for superficial fun, you ruined your interior

How does it matter, what is the shade you have now, your life’s up for bids
You learned it from your elders and taught the same to your kids

Be Black, White and Asian like panda, they said
But you handed over your soul to the rules they laid

Hands up Panda!

Hands up Panda!

Till when will you wait, to raise your voice?
Most of it anyways will fade into the noise

It would work better if you could do see a bit,
First stop applying yourself any Skin Whitening Shit

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An Ode to the Bengaluru Road

Gone are those days, when people’s talking taste was only about Weather and Traffic. The new talk of the town, hey smile.. don’t frown, is the locations of potholes so specific.

They add to the beauty, and act as the dimple, oh road you cutie! They’re spread across everywhere in the city. They don’t spare anyone, a pedestrian or a wheeler, but only the helicopters and that’s a pity.

They are spread across all the roads in a peculiarly random fashion. You might avoid one, or may be even 2, but you cannot help but get into another and learn a quick driving lesson.

Because where else will you get such a lovely training to drive and BONUS: open your senses to the unpicked garbage’s stench for free? With increase in concentration and ability to stretch, (the answer is everywhere in the country).

Some manholes would be open, some would be absent. Some men will fall and become God’s tenant. Some holes would be wide, some will be narrow. If you haven’t bathe since yesterday, it will rain again 2 days in a row, carry an umbrella or you can take open shower tomorrow.

You have nothing to lose. It will only make you good, while driving with one hand as and putting the other to cover your no(o)se.

The randomness of the holes cannot be measured but at least that’s what makes them something to be treasured. As one survives the potholed lanes, one finally reaches the city’s foamy veins.

I saw one guard, stopping a cameraman from taking the pics of one of the lathery Lake. But all in vain as the froth was in full flow, lake gave everyone around a low blow, we inhaled more toxin than the pics that he could ever take.

So is the condition everywhere in Monsoon, or otherwise. The asphalt is laid but withers away too soon, and we keep tolerating it like common loons. We cannot be optimistic or get our hopes up because whatever dream of development you have, will, for optical fibre cable, get dug up.