Friday, September 25, 2009

Sensors…

IMG00115 A group of lads were surprised and happy to see the sign! The sign announced “Sensor operated. Please do not touch!”. They were happy because of the ease of use and the hygiene factor. At the same time, there were curious to see the sensor in action.

So, they went under the sign and waited for the sensor to swing into action. In spite of the long wait, nothing happened! So, they stepped back and checked the sign again!

They brainstormed about the various reasons that caused the failure. They decided the sensors were not sensing their presence! So, they stood at various angles to check if the sensor would work. This hardly yielded any results.

Finally, they gave up and came out of the men’s room! They cursed the sign, above the pissing bowl, on the way out.

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Tags: Musings,Sensor

Movie: 17 again

In 1989, Mike O’Donnell(Zac Efron) is the high school star and has everything going for him. Just before a crucial basketball match which would change the course of life, his girlfriend breaks the news of her pregnancy to him. Hearing this, Mike leaves the game midway and proposes to his girlfriend.

Now, Mike(Matthew Perry) is in his late 30’s. He is separated from his wife and high school sweetheart, Scarlet(Leslie Mann). His kids, Maggie and Alex do not like him. As Mike does not have a place to live, he stays with his best friend, Ned Gold(Thomas Lennon). Mike believes his life would have changed if he participated in the basketball game on that fateful day in 1989.

Disgusted at seeing the position he yearned for at work going to someone else, Mike turns up at the high school, where he studied and where his kids studies now. At the high school, he meets a janitor(Bryan Doyle-Murray). Mike unknowingly confesses to the janitor that he would like a second chance. Later in the night, he chances upon the same janitor trying to leap from a bridge into the river. But, the janitor leaps into the water before Mike could reach him. To rescue the janitor, Mike jumps into the river. When Mike comes out of the water, he has transformed into his 17 year old self.

On reaching Ned’s house, Mike is mistaken for a thief. But, Ned is convinced by Mike’s plea and their high school pictures. After vainly trying to fathom this mystery, Mike finds this to be an opportunity to get closer to his estranged family. He, then, convinces Ned to enroll him in their old high school as Ned’s son. What happens between Mike and his family forms the rest of the story.

Burr Steers directs this comedy based on second chance. There has been many movies based on second chances wherein the protagonist regrets past actions and finally finds peace with the decisions taken. This movie follows the tried and tested pattern. Hence this does not have anything new to offer.

Skip this!

Language: English

Genre: Comedy

Rating: *

Picture Courtesy: http://www.cinemablend.com

Tags: Movies,Zac Efron,Matthew Perry,Leslie Mann,Thomas Lennon,Bryan Doyle-Murray,Burr Steers,Comedy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Highways!

IMG00090 You are driving at a speed of 110 km/hr on the highway. It is a newly constructed highway with four lanes! The lanes are clearly marked with white paints Every two kilometers, you see markers announcing the distance between you and the next major town! Encouraged by the markers  to reach the next big city sooner, you push harder on the gas! If you are not a speed-freak, you tend to slow down a bit after glancing at the speedometer. All of a sudden, a herd of goats are trying to cross the road in front of you. There is no other option but to hope the last visit to the service station was effective and the brakes are working!

When this happened to me a couple of weeks ago on the highway between Hyderabad and Bangalore, it was less dramatic. I was not speeding at 100km/hr. Instead, I was driving at 80 km/hr. Since it was a stretch of long and straight road, I had enough time to anticipate and react! I also took a picture!

Driving on highways is always an enlightening experience. Highways indicate connectivity to a major city. But, most of the highways are in a perpetual state of construction. There are so many dangers in travelling on a highway. Goats are one form of this danger. I have also seen people crossing the highway in the middle of nowhere!

The half-highways present another danger. The half-highway is the partly finished segment in an highway. It is partly finished because only side of the highway is fully functional. The dividers are constructed and the road on one side of the divider is usable. The other side is still under construction. So all the traffic is diverted to the functional side constituting the half-highway!

The stretch leading to the half-highway is the most dangerous part. While speeding on a full-highway, you are presented with big empty containers, big rocks and an uprooted trees obstructing you from going forward. In the middle of this obstruction, there is an arrow mark indicating you to turn to the other side. The arrow mark is so inconspicuous that you will hardly notice these unless you are within 50 meters from it in broad daylight.

In most of the roads, you will be zig-zagging between half-highways through a major stretch of the road. You alternate from a half-highway on your left to the half-highway on your right!

If these are not dangerous enough, then there are vehicles using the wrong side of the highway on a full-highway. These drivers use the wrong side of the road to reach the closest gap in the road which are provided for taking a U-turn. Once these drivers reaches the gap, they cross over to the right side of the road. But while breaking the law and endangering everyone around them, these drivers are the most disciplined. They stick to their left while on the wrong side of the road!

Tags: Musings,Highway

Monday, September 21, 2009

Movie: Street Kings

Detective Tom Ludlow(Keanu Reeves) works for the LAPD Vice under Captain Jack Wander(Forest Whitaker). In addition to Ludlow, Wander also has three other cops working for him – Sgt. Mike Clady(Jay Mohr), Detective Dante Demille(John Corbett) and Detective Cosmos Santos(Amaury Nolasco). All these cops slightly bend the rules - by planting evidence and editing the reports - to get back at the criminals.

Ludlow kills a Korean gang and frees kidnapped twins. Wander and his cops arrive at the scene and plants evidence so that Ludlow is not charged for breaking a dozen laws. When the TV and the press go berserk with the latest heroics of Ludlow, Detective Terrence Washington(Terry Crews), Ludlow’s old partner, confronts him. Wander diffuses the situation and warns Ludlow to keep his distance from Washington. Wander knows Washington is talking to Internal Affairs about Ludlow.

Ludlow, then, leaves the crime scene and goes to a hospital to clean up his wounds. His girlfriend, Grace Garcia(Martha Higareda) works in the same hospital. But their brief interlude is interrupted by Captain James Biggs(Hugh Laurie). Biggs is in charge of the Internal Affairs and he warns Ludlow to think about the consequences.

Convinced about Washington’s snitching, Ludlow follows him the next day. Washington makes a stop at a convenience store. Before entering the convenience store, Ludlow finds two armed and masked men entering the store with guns. Ludlow and Washington tries to defend the store. But, Washington is brutally killed by the robbers. When Ludlow calls for help, Wander and his other cops arrives at the scene. While watching the recordings from the safety camera, Wander finds incriminating circumstantial evidence against Ludlow. So, Wander asks Ludlow to destroy the security recordings and agrees to help Ludlow get out of this situation.

Ludlow is temporarily transferred to Complaints department, a desk job, till the heat settles down. Meanwhile, Detective Paul Diskant(Chris Evans) is assigned to find Washington’s killers. Ludlow urges Diskant to find out the truth behind the killings. Soon, Ludlow and Diskant follows up every lead. What they find out is shocking and this forms the rest of the story.

David Ayer directs this thriller based on a screenplay by James Ellroy. James Ellroy specializes in telling stories about corruption in LAPD which is reflected here too. If you have seen other adaptation of James Ellroy books like LA Confidential, Dark Blue etc, there is no suspense in the movie as you will guess what is coming!

About performances, there isn’t nothing much to write about! But the movie has an ensemble star cast. The movie also features Cedric the Entertainer in a tiny role.

Watch this only if you have nothing else to do.

Language: English

Genre: Thriller

Rating: *

Picture Courtesy: Yahoo! Movies

Tags: Movies,Keanu Reeves,Forest Whitaker,Jay Mohr,John Corbett,Cedric the Entertainer,Terry Crews,Martha Higareda,Hugh Laurie,Chris Evans,David Ayer,James Ellroy,Thriller

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Movie: Dil Bole Hadippa!

In a quiet little town in Punjab, Veera(Rani Mukherji) dreams of becoming a great cricket player. She is extremely good at batting and are far better than men in the area whereas the game is concerned. Unfortunately, there aren’t any women’s team in the area and the men do not allow her to play with them. So, she does not get any opportunity to show off her talents to a wider audience. She make a living by working for a drama troupe with Shanno(Rakhi Sawant), Chamkila(Vrajesh Hirjee) and Chachu(Shri Vallabh Vyas). But in the drama troupe, she is completely overshadowed by Shanno in spite of her talents.

The same quiet town also hosts Aman Cup every two years. Aman Cup is brainchild of two friends – Vikram Singh aka Vicky(Anupam Kher) and Liyaqat Ali Khan aka Lucky(Dalip Tahil). Vicky is an Indian while Lucky is a Pakistani. Aiming to promote peace and friendship, they conduct an yearly tournament by alternating the location every year between India and Pakistan. Vicky’s team has been failing consecutively for 9 years. Tired of repeated failures, Vicky summons his son, Rohan(Shahid Kapoor) from London. Rohan is a successful cricket player in London. Vicky urges Rohan to lead the cricket team to success. Although Rohan is reluctant initially, he relents to his father’s pleas.

Rohan carefully studies the present team. He eliminates the bad players and conducts an audition for new players. Seeing this as an opportunity, Veera transforms into Veer by putting on a turban and a beard. Veer gets selected into the team. With Rohan deciding to stay back in India till the next Aman Cup, his old friend, Soniya(Sheryln Chopra) also turns up, adding heat to the proceedings.

The rest of movie tells if Veera is able to realize her dream. What happens between Veera and Rohan? Will Veera confess the truth about Veer to Rohan?

Anurag Singh directs this romance. He has an interesting story to tell – that of a woman masquerading as a man to show her talents. But instead of focusing on this aspect, Anurag meanders into the romance between the lead pairs thereby watering down the message and also testing the patience of the audience! Anurag also relies on a jarring background score. This acts against some of the emotional scenes especially when Vicky pleads with Rohan to stay back in India to win the Aman cup!

Yashraj Films produces this movie. So, the movie is very colorful with eye popping colors splashed on the screen in all forms (shirts, lehengas, shawls, vegetables etc)!

Rani Mukherjee impresses. But her performance has a lot of drawbacks. She is not able to completely hide the female in her and perform like a male. She raises a few laughs. But that is primarily because of the humor in the dialogues and not because of her performance alone!

Shahid Kapoor and Anupam Kher are good. Both of these actors perform well  to elevate the movie.

Language: Hindi

Genre: Romance

Rating: *

Picture Courtesy: Bollywood Hungama

Tags: Movies,Rani Mukherji,Shahid Kapoor,Anupam Kher,Dalip Tahil,Rakhi Sawant,Vrajesh Hirjee,Shri Vallabh Vyas,Sheryln Chopra,Anurag Singh,Yashraj Films,Romance

Friday, September 18, 2009

PVR and Tata AIG

PVRTataAIG Have you used the PVR website to book movie tickets? On your next visit, have a good look at the page where you enter your credit card details. You will find two checkboxes. One of them is a standard checkbox to indicate that you accept the Terms and Conditions. But the other one is for a free personal accident insurance from Tata AIG! You can see both the checkboxes at the bottom of the page(See the picture).

Why would you want a personal accident insurance while going for a movie? What could go wrong on your visit to the movies?

Traffic? Yes, this can be really tricky in a city like Bangalore. Forget about an accident. The anguish resulting from this helps you age faster which in turn causes reduced shelf life! I’m so happy PVR realizes this!

Food? If PVR sells bad food, this is a recipe for disaster. But, why would they want to help us with a free insurance for this? They can change the vendors in their halls and also have measures taken to improve the quality!

Unsafe building? The movie hall may collapse. Oh man! This is too dangerous! But, this should have been done by PVR even before opening the new center! With multiple screens, there may be 1000 people or more running around the PVR section on a busy weekend!

Terrorist attacks? This is valid. Isn’t this the very reason why you are frisked at the entrance?

What is this insurance for?

After purchasing movie tickets, popcorn and Coke, the chances are more for a bankruptcy. So, PVR should be supporting an insurance for bankruptcy.

Tags: Musings,PVR,Tata AIG

Thalassery and Cricket

He: You see that?

Me: Huh?

He: That is a cricket stadium.

Me: So?

He: Did you know cricket originated in Thalassery?

Me: What?!!!

He: In Kerala, the cricket was first played in Thalassery. That stadium is exclusively for cricket!

Me: Exclusive?

He: Only cricket tournaments are hosted here! Very soon, international tournaments will also be hosted here too!

Me: *wondering* I hardly remember a famous cricket player from Thalassery! We have one from Kerala - who was slapped by a sardarji player! Is he from Thalassery? Isn’t he from Thiruvananthapuram? Does he have any Thalassery connection? I better keep quiet. This guy will surely find a Thalassery connection for that player.

Me: *acting impressed* Really?

Foot note:

This is based on a recent conversation with one of my best friends – the most likeable and reliable person I have known. He resides in Thalassery. I visited him recently. This may be the third visit to the sleepy little city, 25 kms away from Kannur. On each visit, he gives an interesting tidbit about the city. Of course, I make fun of him.

In fact, Thalassery boasts of a cricket tradition and also has a cricket stadium.

Picture Courtesy: www.wikipedia.org

Tags: Musings,Thalassery

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Importance of Iron Man

While living in California, laundry constituted one of the most important activity of the weekend. Luckily, the last abode in California was equipped with a Laundromat that ran on cash cards instead of quarters. Still, there was a last minute anguish on recharging these cash cards instead of the frantic hunt for quarters.

Once the laundry part is over, you are faced with the task of ironing the clothes. The planner that I was, I always did it in just in time! On second thoughts, I did it just in time when there were no options. I had plenty of options in the form of dear ones throughout my life. There were many who helped me to get this task done. Starting with mom and dad, the list of do-gooders comprises of my sister, my cousins, my uncles and my wife.

After moving to India, I was glad when the maid doubled as the Laundromat. No more running around for quarters. But this joy was short lived. In Bangalore, the maid vehemently refused to do laundry. As a result, we bought a washing machine!

For the ironing part, there was an easier solution. The Iron Man! You find this kind in all the communities in a major metro. Armed with an open topped push cart and a coal powered iron that requires considerable horsepower to use, the Iron Man presses your clothes. You may have to bargain on the rates initially when you move into a neighborhood. Be ready to hear his woes of rising coal prices! Depending on the size of the neighborhood, there may be multiple iron men to serve you.

In Bangalore, there is only one Iron Man to serve our neighborhood. The neighborhood consists of a dozen apartments at present. None of these houses more than 16 families. All of us are served by this gentle soul. He always promises to deliver it on time which generally means the end of the day. He is very consistent in not meeting the expectations. Last time, I waited three days before I took the untouched bundle of my clothes back from him. Before this incident, I went looking for him and realized that he went to his home town! Luckily, he left my bundle of clothes with the guard stationed at my apartment.

He does not have to fill in a customer satisfaction survey from me for I would have given him a zero! Angry at the treatment meted out to me, I decided to boycott him! I was successfully able to do this for the past seven day. On one occasion, I ironed it myself. And on other occasions, let me put it this way. My list of do-gooders was appended with two new names – my in-laws! They have been with us since my daughter had the nasty fall.

As with any boycott, this one also has to end. After all, I have to contribute my two cents to stimulate the local economy even if this is in the form of neighborhood Iron Man! He buys coal, recharges his mobile and also eats from a local restaurant. Yes, it is trickling up to fuel the local economy! On top of this, my in-laws also have to go back to their home. They went back yesterday.

I ended the boycott with two bundles of clothes instead of the regular one! I handed them over to the Iron Man by 9 am yesterday. He apologized for his earlier negligence towards my bundles. So he promised to deliver it by the end of the day.

As of 7 am today, I’m still waiting for the Iron man to show up with my two bundles of clothes, pressed and ready to be worn.

Picture Courtesy: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/

Tags: Musings,Bangalore

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Movie: Australia

During the onset of World War II in 1939, Lady Sarah Ashley(Nicole Kidman) flies from England to Australia to bring back her husband after selling their property named Faraway Downs in Australia. Her husband has already spent a long time raising cattle in this property without any returns.

Sarah arrives in the city of Darwin and meets Drover(Hugh Jackman), an acquaintance of her husband. Sarah takes an instant dislike towards Drover. But she has no choice but to travel with him to meet her husband. Sarah reaches Faraway Downs with Drover, Magarri, who is the aboriginal partner of Drover, and Flynn(Jack Thompson), who is the perpetually drunk accountant of Faraway Downs.

On arrival in Faraway Downs, Sarah is shocked to see the dead body of her husband. She is met by Fletcher(David Wenham), the manager of her property. She is informed about her husband’s murder by King George, an aborigine. The police is on the lookout for King George.

Meanwhile, King George’s daughter and grandson, Nullah(Brandon Walters), were employed by Sarah’s late husband. Nullah is an half blood – a mix of white and black. Fearing capture by police and eventual handover to missionaries, Nullah stays hidden from public eye.

After being persuaded by Fletcher, Sarah decides to sell her property to King Carney(Bryan Brown), who have a monopoly in the cattle business in Australia. But, Nullah shows Sarah that Fletcher is lying to her. Fletcher is working for Carney and is planning to marry his daughter. Sarah also finds that Fletcher is the father of Nullah.  He also wants to hide this secret from Carney and also the world.

Sarah then fires Fletcher and persuades Drover to drive the cattle to Darwin for selling them to the army thereby breaking the monopoly of Carney and reviving Faraway Downs. In order to form a team, Drover chooses inexperienced hands from Sarah’s staff along with Sarah and Nullah and leads the cattle to Darwin.

Thus begins the adventure wherein Drover, Sarah and Nullah faces a variety of hurdles while travelling through the rough terrain. The adventure brings three of them closer to form a family. But, they have to conquer fear to come close as a family. The rest of the story traces their life until 1945 when Japanese forces attack the city of Darwin.

Baz Luhrmann directs this movie with a running time of 2 hours 35 minutes. He builds the story with the cattle drive and then slowly changes the focus to the life of the three people after the cattle drive. At this point, the movie falters a bit. He has chosen the backdrop of World War II and the pathos of the Stolen Generations to tell the story. This enhances the drama. In this movie too, Baz adopts the same technique used in his previous movie, Moulin Rouge, where he swoops in the camera to put the audience in the middle of the scene close to the performers and then he swoops out the camera to take them away from the scene. This technique heightens the drama in some scenes and sense of adventure during the cattle drive sequences. Baz relies extensively on CG throughout the movie. Although the CG scenes are obvious, it also helps us to fuel the audience’s imagination.

This is primarily a director’s movie and so, the performance are dwarfed by the visual imagery.

Go for it to see an old fashioned romance.

Genre: Romance

Rating: ***

Picture Courtesy: Yahoo! Movies

Tags: Movies,Nicole Kidman,Hugh Jackman,Jack Thompson,David Wenham,Brandon Walters,Bryan Brown,Baz Luhrmann,Romance

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stress

My colleague, I call him so because we belong to the same organization, was assigned to a project a few months back. As the project was executed outside India, he was working in a foreign country. Quoting his words, it was a “Do or Die” situation. Eventually, he died a bit to do it. The entire team worked hard, putting in long hours and staying late at work. All the while, they were not sure about the outcome. Finally, after two months, they successfully turned around the situation.

After the turnaround, they convinced the client about executing the rest of the project in India. He came back to India and continued to work on the project. Although the situation was much better now, they were always afraid of things going sour once again. As a result, it was like walking on a razor’s edge throughout the period. Very soon, he experienced blacking out while driving the car. When he sensed a blackout, he halted the car by the side of the road and rested for a while. He resumed his journey after he had rested well. Gradually, out of insecurity, he urged his team members to share the ride with him while commuting. This helped a bit.

In the meantime, he consulted his managers and opted for flexible hours. He also consulted an ayurvedic doctor and initiated treatment. He feels better and blackouts do not occur anymore. He emphasized on keeping the best health. If you lose your health, it is a loss for your family.

I was surprised by his story. Although he looked much younger to me, he has gone through more hardships than me. Yes, I have abused my entire system.

Looking back, I have always relied on food to bring the stress levels down and I have always been surrounded with friends who love food. So, in California, it was always Shan Restaurant and Kabab and Curry’s. In Pune, it was Boriwake’s(sad this is closed now!) and ShivSagar. Gurgaon was an exception. I couldn’t find the right company to go out and eat like crazy! In Bangalore, it is the hidden kitchens adding to my girth!

Movies augment food. There is never a dearth of really bad movies to take your mind off the stress. These days, I have Mafia Wars on FB.

I’m not sure what works for you! But there should be something to take your mind off the stress. Else, how can you avoid burnout under such extremely stressful work atmosphere?

Picture Courtesy: http://www.stressden.com

Tags: Musings,Stress,Work

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Movie: Puthiya Mugham

wall_800x600_3 Kichan aka Krishnakumar(Prithviraj), a Brahmin youth, resides in Kalpathi with his dad (Nedumudi Venu), his mother and his younger sister. He teaches Mridangam to young kids as a profession. He is in love with Sreedevi(Meera Nandan) and their respective parents are happy with this match.

Kichan moves to Kochi to pursue education in an engineering college. At the college, he instantly becomes famous because of his inclination towards music. The girls are smitten by him. One of his classmates, Anjana(Priya Mani), becomes friendly with him. This causes jealousy and anger in Sudhi(Bala), a senior in college who wants to marry Anjana.

Sudhi’s brothers and Anjana’s dad are friends. Sudhi has two brothers, Mahi(Saikumar) and Giri(Shammi Thilakan). Three brothers together are involved in all kinds of nefarious activities and they are supported by the police officer, Sivaramakrishnan(Vijayaraghavan), who is Anjana’s dad.

Unable to stand the friendship between Kichan and Anjana, Sudhi puts pressure on his brothers to get engaged to Anjana. Anjana relents after everybody agrees for a marriage after 4 years. But Sudhi is still jealous of Kichan. One night, he gets drunk and tortures Kichan.

The rest of the story forms how Kichan life gets transformed after the tragic incident and how he stands up to Sudhi and his brothers.

Diphan directs this action movie and he succeeds in giving the audience visually appealing action scenes to an extent. While photographing the action scenes, the director of photography has used weird lenses which dwarfs the fighters and widens the angle. This irritates the viewer and takes the beauty out of the well choreographed action scene. However, the jump cuts and the slow motion used in the final action scene is breathtaking.

The script is weakest link where logic takes a backseat. There are a lot of performers. But none of the characters are well etched. Saikumar, the usual master performer, turns out to be the weakest villain among the three brothers. Bala’s character gets beaten up by Prithviraj very early in the movie resulting in a predictable outcome whenever the two fight with each other later in the movie.

Deepak Dev’s music is enjoyable.

This is a movie to showcase Prithviraj as an action star. He also croons for the title track. So, if you are Prithviraj fan, go for it. You can try it out if you want to see some mindless action. But please keep in mind, the action starts towards the interval. So, it might be a drag till then.

Language: Malayalam

Genre: Action

Rating: **

Picture Courtesy: www.nowrunning.com

Tags: Movies,Prithviraj,Nedumudi Venu,Meera Nandan,Priyamani,Bala,Saikumar,Shammi Thilakan,Vijayaraghavan,Diphan,Deepak Dev,Malayalam,Action

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The boy who went for pappadam

During the Onam day, the womenfolk of the house were preparing the feast.  Towards the final stages of cooking, they noticed insufficent pappadams. One of the elders decided to send the boy to get more pappadams.

The boy started off happily. He walked two kilometers to one of the best pappadam sellers. The best was located near his aunt’s house. On the way back after buying the pappadam, he halted at his aunt’s place.

As soon as he saw his cousins and aunt, he forgot about the job that was entrusted to him. He had a rollicking time with his cousins. He also ate the Onam lunch at his aunt’s house.

When he returned home after the sumptuous meal, his father confronted him.

I vaguely recollect the rest of the story. The boy might have got slapped or caned. I’m not sure. This is a favorite Onam story narrated at all Onam gatherings during my childhood. The narrators changed mostly. There were consecutive years in which the same narrator presented the story. Sometimes, several Onams later, a narrator was given a chance for repeat performance.

The boy in the story is my dad and this happened during his younger days. When I was a small kid, I listened wide-eyed as the hero in the story was my dad. As I grew older, I realized my dad was not shown in the best light. So, I was mostly cross with the narrator. When I became an adult, and after losing my dad, I finally made peace with this story.

My dad spent most of his life as an expatriate. So, he was away during most Onams. His siblings missed him dearly and this was the most funniest and warmest memory they had of him during Onam. So, they tirelessly recounted this one Onam after another.

Like many Onams, I will be miles away from where this story will be recounted for the umpteenth time. But I can sense the laughter and the smiles during the lunch after the narration of the story.

Happy Onam!

Picture Courtesy: http://farm3.static.flickr.com

Tags: Musings,Dad,Onam

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thou shalt not steal

Thou shalt not steal. The ten commandments says so. Then, how do you justify stealing? What drives you to defy the commandments? We have read or heard numerous stories where one is driven to such a life because of poverty, hunger and survival. Is this a justifiable reason for stealing?

Recently, a friend recounted his experience in interstate travel in a Volvo bus. He was travelling to Kerala. His travel coincided with the maiden journey of the Volvo. To commemorate this event, all the passengers were given a chilled bottle of mineral water and a Mysore Pak.

My friend has his digestive juices working overtime all the time. So, he devoured the Mysore Pak in no time and waited patiently for the bus to move. All the night buses in this route stops in the middle of nowhere for dinner. So, he was looking forward to this welcome break. But destiny had other plans. This bus was not going to halt anywhere.

As the bus moved closer to his destination in a painfully slow pace, he struggled with the hunger pangs. But his stomach was grumbling and the revolt gathered strength no matter what he did to crush it. He was unable to sleep because of hunger pangs of his body and loud snores rising from the passenger seated next to him. While throwing a disgusting glance at the snoring neighbor, he noticed the uneaten Mysore Pak on his neighbor’s lap.

All morality went down the drain. After checking his neighbor was sleeping soundly, he grabbed the uneaten Mysore Pak and ate it. Although it did not curb his hunger, he felt better.

No, he has not adopted a life of thievery. But he did steal. Is he justified in his action? Is he black(bad) or white(good)?

As for me, I have accepted him to be grey!

Picture Courtesy: http://www.thehindu.com

Tags: Musings,Interstate Volvo

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