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Last week, over tea at GRT, a 40+ colleague confessed to the gang that he dreaded going home as his wife had suddenly become very cranky. Group Therapy Session. Emapthy, Sympathy, Did you try Homeopathy? Stock explanations – lonliness, tension, frustration, sagging…er…morale, self-doubt. ‘One doubt, also Samshaya Rogam?’, enquired a veteran, and the 40+ lost control, “(text deleted by Symantec)”.

I Googled for mid-life crisis and stumbled upon this very scary photo…

and some scarier truths “Aging makes men look more authoritative, accomplished, distinguished. Sadly, it’s not that way for women” (Rush Limbaugh, US’s leading RJ. December 17, 2007. Full rant here)

Akismet has stopped 2034 spam comments in the last 10 months, from Zacharias, Ari, Augustinos, Kyriacos, Skyros, Marios, Hippocrates, Philippos, Stylianos, Kyriakos, Stratis, Giannis, Dimitri, Orestis, Periklis, Giatas, Efstratios, Christodoulos, Antonis, Makarios, Demetrios, Yiannis, Herakles, Constance, Achilles, Nicolas, Arion, Themestoclis, Stephanos, Nick, Alexios, Athanassios, Costa, Aiakos, Gustas, Aniketos, Tassos, Thanasis, Dimitris, Marinos, Sotirios, Stelios, Arsenios, Platon, Nikolaos, Demetrios, Miltiades, Gustas, Augustinos, Timotheos, Nicolaon, Ilias, Isaakios, Othon, Giorgos, Stamatis, Evripides, Herakles, Panicos, Valerios, Aristides, Stelios, Boreas, Giatas, Anninos, Kostantinos, Grigorios, Anastasios, Panayotis, Kharilaos, Konstandinos, Giatas, Nikolaos, Georgios, Sotirios, Vasilis, Arion, Platon, Nikolaos, Demetrios, Miltiades, Gustas, Augustinos, Timotheos, Ilias, Othon, Nicolaon, Isaakios, Giorgos, Stamatis, Evripides, Herakles…and a thousand other Greek bhais.

Why me? Why Greece? Was it the Kuriakose-part that got all the geeks excited? Will I ever know?

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing
Socrates, Greek philosopher

Chittappan, my friend and a great supporter of this blog, shared with me a poem he penned on his mother’s death anniversary (His mother, widowed when Chittapps was very young, succumbed to a deathly disease 15 years ago)  

It’s 15 years since Destiny had it’s way and Amma passed away.

I am thankful to Destiny that…
…she had the courage to face life after her intense personal loss
…she had the wits around her to smile even while grieving
…she had the will to face up for the sake of us
…in her own ways she showered her love on me
…she stood by me during my dark days
…she never expected anything great from me
…she did understand the love I had for her
…she is not around to see the mayhem

And I miss her all the more as days and years go by!

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There is one Good Friday that I will never forget, the Good Friday that Chaly and I bunked church and went for the noon-show at Lulu (Revathikkoru Pavakkutti starring Gopi and Radha)

Image from The Passion of the Christ website

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First Belle
‘Sir, would you like to advertise in the yellow pages’. I was new to the job and was happy to have somebody to talk to. She would call me every day and talk about ad size, release date, file format, discounts…then finally, ‘Sir, when can we meet?’ I was like, ‘How about tomorrow?’ The next day, I reached office fully fragrant, expectant…and this huge guy dark ambled over to my seat, ‘I am from yellow pages’.
What? Something was not right, I asked him, ‘Where is Sunitha?’
‘Sunitha?’ the gentle giant knitted his brows, was trying hard to think, then, click…a smile lit up his face, ‘Saar, she is from our call centre’.

Second Belle
‘Sir, would you like to advertise in the yellow pages’. Ah! You can’t fool me twice; I asked her, ‘Are you from the call centre?’
‘Yes’.
‘Then why should I talk to you?’
‘Because I am fun’
You can’t argue with that…Sonali was her name. Vadakkan, dad was a prof in Anna U. She was cramming for CAT and yellow pages was for pocket money. One day she told me, ‘Babu, you sound exactly like my old boyfriend’. I had to match that ‘You know what, my ex’s name is Sonali’. We started burning up the telephone wires; she was so good that after her call even the guy in the next cubicle would have a cigarette. Then one day, we met…she read the disappointment on my face, and never called me again.

Third Belle
‘Sir, would you like to advertise in the yellow pages’. Jyothi was a sardarni, but I did not want to take any chances…so after a few calls I asked her how she looked. She said she was engaged…pretty soon I officially launched my bride-hunt, and Jyothi became my new best friend. In fact, when Velan got married and I had to move out of the Kalakshethra flat, it was Jyothi who got me a PG acco with her friend’s family.
(Aunty and Smitha treated me like a member of the family and I lived with them for close to a year till my sis joined me in Chennai. I had had a great time with them, and when it was time to part, Aunty was in tears, and the stoic Smitha had Don’t Leave looping on her stereo.)

Last Belle
‘Sir, would you like to advertise in the yellow pages’. A couple of months ago. By then I had taken to snapping at all unsolicited calls, but this voice was electric. Act 1 and 2, same formula. Then one day, ‘You know, my husband works in the movies and he goes on these long tours’. I wouldn’t say I wasn’t tempted…I asked her, ‘What does your hubbie do?’ Seema said, ‘She’s a stuntman’. Halo Halo kelkan mela.

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Photo from Google Earth.

Check out the website. (The faculty page has some familiar names – Mr. Xavier Panackal, Mr. M. J. Zacharia, and Paulosechettan)

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Check out John Updike’s ‘I Missed His Book, But I Read His Name’

Though authors are a dreadful clan
To be avoided if you can,
I’d like to meet the Indian,
M. Anantanarayanan.

I picture him as short and tan.
We’d meet, perhaps, in Hindustan.
I’d say, with admirable elan ,
“Ah, Anantanarayanan —

I’ve heard of you. The Times once ran
A notice on your novel, an
Unusual tale of God and Man.”
And Anantanarayanan

Would seat me on a lush divan
And read his name — that sumptuous span
Of ‘a’s and ‘n’s more lovely than
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan” —

Aloud to me all day. I plan
Henceforth to be an ardent fan
of Anantanarayanan —
M. Anantanarayanan.

Source. Thanks VP!

Got up very early, skimmed through the paper, the coffee-maker not showing any signs of waking up, so back to the paper. IIPM’s two-page ad in the Deccan Chronicle highlighting their Global Opportunity & Threat Analysis Program (GOTA), Global Student Exchange Program (GSEP) and Global Outreach Program (GOP). 40 Photographs of “international professors who taught and took exclusive sessions with IIPM students”. I was scanning the gallery for famous faces/names when “ZurPic” hit me. ZurPic? withoutaspace?

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Years of working with layout artists told me that ZurPic had to be a file name. (Google proved me right – check out Prof. Zur Shapira’s IIPM page). I was thrilled, this is blog fodder…IIPM vs Blogs all over again…”Blogger Exposes IIPM’s Shoddy Proof-reading Practices”.

Then I did a double-take, am I seeing double, Did I see two photographs of Samuel Craig of Stern School of Business…my eyes are tired, GOTA GOP GSEP some sleep. GBYE.

Last Friday, when I was on 6041 heading to Kochi, my hit counter crossed 6041 (OK, I was on 2623, and the count crossed 6041 only on Saturday – but then the first line is more dramatic). And to commemorate the occasion, I am releasing the list of my all time Top Ten. Ta Da…

Desperately Searching Meera Nandakumar
I am a Malayalee…

Hey! I got a reply from Vimala Raman!!

Top-Ten Terms

The World According to Garp

Chennai-Velankanni-Pondy

New Two Rupee Coin

Looking for ‘Bharathapuzha allenkil Nila

About

These Mallus…

 

The Top Ten Posts got 45% of the traffic. Meera single-handedly managed 12.6%.
(Image flicked from Flickr. Thanx Saffanna)

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