Friday, May 16, 2008

The Macaws

About a month ago, a lady walked up to me and pointed on the word on my well worn-out t-shirt’s sleeve. “Great fonts. ‘Macaws’, Do you work for this company?”
“Oh no, this is not the name of a company. ‘Macaws’ are a kind of multi coloured birds.”
“I see, so you have birds for pets?”
“Not really. This is a group’s name”
“A rock band?”
:) “ No, just a group of students”


“Maakkaas?” my sister made a show of suppressing her laughter.
“Uh no. its Macaws..say ‘Ma-khaus’. Isn’t it cool?” that was me trying to make her see how seriously out-of-the-world-ly cool the name that we had chosen for our group was.

We were a group of 11 odd MBA students and were doing a truly no-nonsense project for the Electronic Corporation of Tamilnadu. More than half way through the exercise, we realised that we didn’t have a group name! No identity, no brand, not to mention a lack of total focus of contemplative collective mission and…well, did I tell you that I was doing my degree in management?

After days and nights of bashing of a poor group mate's brains - courtesy 'follow-ups' by moi, up we came with an innovative and catchy name.

“Nooooooo! Macaws! beautiful, multi-coloured, vibrant, new world..
“Parrots!” said my sister with a made-up sneer on her face. She was clearly enjoying this.
“Er..Well, they are birds..ya, sort of.. parrots. But they are colourful and intelligent and..
“hee ha ha ha…Maakkaas”

Teena came in later that evening and I hurried up to her to show our rad group name.
“Hmm, what does it mean?”
Super, so here was a person who was really interested in the details. I explained to her animatedly.
“Sounds good..makas”
“Oh nooooo. Its macaws! Say..
“Oh ok”

At the final event, all of us were sporting brand new t-shirts that had the Electronics Corporation’s logo on one sleeve and “The Macaws” on the other and spent a good part of all the days we were at it explaining what our group name meant to anyone who cared to ask. Somehow I never got tired of explaining to people what the word meant, but it sure freaked me out when they mispronounced it.

It was a refreshing feeling to hear this stranger pronounce it right :)


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

DDD. Dreams that go Down the Drain

“1500 rupees for just the application form! Can you believe this?” He said, more to himself. All kinds of expense calculations going on in the back of his mind. “Anna university’s BE applications cost less you know” He rested his chin and stared at nothing particular. “I cant imagine what the fee must be.”

More calculations, more thinking, then he got up and inhaled deeply. “He really likes it you know. I think I will be able to put him in the music school if they believe in EMI” He was smiling now, not a worried smile, but a happy one.

That was my friend, making a decision to enrol his son in KM Music academy – a music school by A R Rehman. (No comments on the holdings, I have no clue).

Now it was my turn to ponder.

I counted the number of things that I let slip by because I lacked the money, the courage, the initiative and lot of other abstract adjectives I prefer not to write here. I looked around and saw some mirror images of myself – people who do not realise what is important to them (most times) and live only half of their allotted lives. I also see some people running after things, which after they get, are left to gather dust.

Who is doing the right thing? What is the right thing? Do we recognize the things that are important to us from the lot of million others that are not? If we do, what are we doing about it?

My brain also dusted off and popped into my thinking stream a line that one of my friends had said a long long time ago – “If you really like something, you better put in some effort and money into it. Or else, you bet your *** you are gonna regret it someday”

I wonder... how did i respond to her? It was a long time ago and I dont remember, did i make it clear to her that im not into betting? Well, I hope i did...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Regional religion

**Disclaimer: This is not a ridiculing note, but an observation of a passer-by, i.e. me**

This is the neo age and dont think that its just the cars, suits, furniture and a countless other things that are custom made. We also have for you, Custom made... Gods!

Santhome Basilica, a temple of Christian Catholic faith and a monument of great touristic interest houses a statue of Mother Mary, in a glass and wooden dome within the church campus. This Sunday, she was wrapped in a bright purple saree complete with bright golden coloured zari work.

This is the Tamilnaattu Mary maatha, custom made for the Tamil people. I wondered how they dressed her up north.

An year ago, when a European colleague came visiting India, he was taken around Chennai for the traditional go-around of the city and on Sunday, keeping his high Catholic values in mind, the manager made arrangements for him to attend the sunday mass in one of the churches nearby.

Monday morning saw a grumpy European Catholic in the office. He was disappointed and depressed to find Mother Mary "strangely clothed"!

Well well, I told you, just an observation, remember?