Recap of 2018 ...

One more year comes to an end and once again I did not keep up the promise of blogging frequently, but I am sure my readers are used to that now.

Ok, 2018 was honestly a great year professionally, probably the best year where the learnings I had was more compared to the last 10 years. I had to move out of India this year to improve my technical skills and aslo get some good exposure, and my move to Denmark did not disspoint me a bit, I would continue to be in Denmark for another year or two before I head back to my base Chennai.

Personally also this has been a great year where I had the opportunity show my 2 year old son some parts of Europe and also this was my wife's long stint abroad. Settling in Denmark was a bit tensed but it was still ok. Got a bicycle for my own, which was my childhood dream, whenever I asked for cycle to my dad he use to ask me to get 1st rank in school, but those days I thought that was too much of an ask for a bicycle and hence he never got me a cycle and I never got 1st rank, but when I got my first bike (cycle) in Denmark I was super thrilled and I enjoy all my rides in that wonderful country.

Pranav has started to speak a lot these days, he is super fun to be around and I am enjoying every bit of my time with my lovely son. Life in Denmark is pretty relaxed with me having a 7 hour work day and a 8 weeks vacation, but I MISS CHENNAI IN EVERY BREATH I TAKE, so I will come back to Chennai before Pranav hits 5 or 6 years.

2019 awaits with a lot of challenges. I have been assigned to a new client and also I have a mandate to clear 2 certifications, so the first quater of 2019 is going to be super busy, but the later part could be peaceful. I wish and pray that 2019 acts kind to me and I am ever thankful to almighty for what he has given me and I should not ask for more.

I wish all my readers a very happy and a delightful 2019. For frequent updates I request my readers to follow me on Twitter where my handle is @minorkunju.

Take care and stay blessed buddies. Keep smiling and keep helping, and always be kind to animals.

Me Too

I am a little confused and perplexed over this Metoo trends on twitter, I know I cannot say all of what I wanted to say on twitter so I turned on to my blog where I am the boss and I can say whatever I want with utmost honesty, of course I could well be taken for a roast if this link circulates on SM.

Ok, I know this is truly emotional and extremely sensitive (at least in India) and we as Indians are extremely famous for "emotionally reacting to things", and to cite few examples, we ran to the roads for Nirbhaya, Aarushi, Jhallikattu, Demonetization etc etc, and what happened? After screaming loud on social media we all went back to our own lives to hunt for our own bread and butter, basically we "motivated" some of the folks who were agitating and comfortably went back to our "white-collared" jobs, because, we have a living and we have a family to take care.

"Me Too" is no different here, all the rants I see on twitter like "Power for you girl", "Hero Girl", "I am with you", "We are there", "You have our backing" kind of stuffs, honestly tell me, how many of us are going to resign from our jobs and run to Priya Rajamani's house and support her while she is going to take on one of the most powerful ministers in this country and his 97 lawyers? You know, you can only scream on social media and mostly under some fancy handles where no one even knows if that is your real name or identity, so let's stop being emotional here and use a bit of brains before you put your support or views on.

Coming to the most important topic of "Me Too", without going into a deep dive analysis of who started this tag first, I would like to putforth my views blatently here - "Me too" is just a "publicly available personal diary" and that has now been circulated on the web for all of us to read and I am very sure that there are "men" out there who wants to read those stories just to feed their "sex cramps", those sleazy descriptive writings do give a kick for some MEN who are totally invisible to this society and are probably the ones who are commenting "Power for you girl", "I am with you" kind of stuffs and the so called victims happily reply back saying "Thanks so much, this means the world to me" types. Those folks are like "Sleeper Cells" you can never identify them.

I am not saying this "Me Too" shouldn't have been started in the first place, but IMHO, I think we are all washing "dirty-linen" in public, and before we start "mud-slinging", one should understand our judiciary system, it goes by "proofs" and only "proofs", also one should understand that the results of a "Lie-detector" test is not valid in the court of law, so unless those victims come out with concrete evidence, you can never put your perpetrator behind the bars. It is all ok in doing "naming and shaming" which could give some sense of "relief" for those affected victims, but it is not really going to help and above all, most of the allegations come "anonymously", which is more like one acting as a "mute" in a radio drama, who is going to care? It is ok to vent out what was hidden in your hearts for so long and for sure that is going to take off some weight from the mind and make you feel light.

Please remember girls, we had concrete proof of a "godman" rolling on the bed with another "ex-actress" and he is continuing to release videos after videos and is leading a happy life, in our judicial system, even that kind of a concrete proof is not helping a person to be put behind the bars. Yes, I can hear the scream "Who will have proofs for such harrassments, are you stupid?", and exactly that is also my point, no one is prepared to be sexually harrassed everyday and goes well equipped with cameras and audio recorders, but, yes that is how poisoned our society is, MEN were not brought up well by teaching the value of a WOMEN, he is moulded to see her only as a "SEX OBJECT" and that is the sin this society has, and the only way to eradicate is to educate our boys to behave well. PERIOD

Other than drawing more perverts to come and read those sleazy descriptions, this Me Too is not taking any direction, if we all think naming and shaming will "correct a person to behave well", bloody we all should have been corrected when our schools did that to us by writing our names on "blackmark charts" or putting in the "school notice boards", our DNA as such is so thick skinned and we hardly care about name shaming. The moment of victory would come only if you hit the families of those sexual predators with some evidence and if a daughter or a son of these predators ask them "Why did you do this papa", that's when this "Me too" would be a success, no one can argue with their own son or daughter, that will really shame them and make them repent for what they have done in the past or continuing to do now.

Again - Please don't take me wrong, I am not saying that the victims should not have come out in open and spoken their heart out, self healing is also a process of healing. But expecting that this movement is going to shame the predators and the next gen of predators will think twice before touching a girl is "stupidity". Certain things don't change in a society, and these sexual offenders will find new ways to silence the victim, because as you all girls rightly said, they are "powerful". All we can only hope and expect that a unknown DOG will not bite us, but expecting the DOG to also think the same way is called "stupidity", because DOG is not designed to think like us.

Other social media folks, if you cannot be with the victim, don't over boost them with your confidence, let them fact their own battle, you and I are not even going to be in the scene when they fight this out legally, so lets be responsible before "encouraging" someone to do something where you are not ready to take responsibilty.

Request: Please don't tag me as "male chauvinist" just beause I have a different view from the rest of the world, I know this blog would not put me in the same line as "supporters" of this movement, but to me, any fight which is not going to create an impact on this society is waste of time.

Wish these joys were never stolen ...

Off late, I have been thinking of the good old days of my life where there used to be these abundance of joy in the little things of life and today when I sit back and think, it pains to see that my son is not going to enjoy any of these joys as they never exist anymore in my country, may be there are still some traces of these in the remote villages of India, but in cites these are dead long back ....

I think kids born in the 70's are the most luckiest is what I think, because this is the generation which has seen life before the technology storm took us by surprise. These are some of the great times which happened in our lives before we all grew up and started to chase money.

School days ...

I used to take this old 'Jolna Bag' to my school where the only way to carry that is to put its long handle over the head, and that too on certain days where we will have 'practicals' we should carry our record books and that will put more stress on our heads when we carry.

Drawing my own time period table was the most pleasing one for me, I take an A4 and I carefully draw borders and then put check boxes for all the 8 periods and give my designer touch for 'loo breaks' and 'lunch breaks', there used to be requests by my fellow mates to draw such neat period charts for them as well and I feel as if I am 'Ravi varma' at that time

While I used to walk back to home from school, there was never a single route, I literally roam all the streets and come home, while walking I used to see my pet 'kannu kutty' (baby cow) which used to be tied in a lamp post at that time, some days I keep some balance of my lunch so that I can feed him, I fill water in my water bottle to give him after I fed him, his face is still so fresh in my memory.

With the 25 paise I have in my pocket, I used to feel super rich. My mom worked in the same school as mine as a teacher, some days she used to give me 1 rupee, and that's it, I will have the feel of buying everything in this whole world. I will literally put budget on how to spend that. I love those kuchi ice which is 10 paise, so I reserve 20 paise to eat 2, then there would be this "pepsi-cola" that was a craze during my school days, that was 15 paise per stick, and whenever I am rich, like if I have 1 rupees and more, I can afford for a 'milk ice stick'. I hardly cared about bad water, bacteria and all, it was just pure enjoyment

Hour cycle - This was one of the brilliant business idea of my times. You can rent a bike for 1 hour and you pay 1 rupee, so whichever relative comes to my home, I (without letting dad know) ask them to give me 1 rupee so that I can rent a bicycle, and I also would request the cycle wala to not tell this to my dad, and he was a typical gujju fellow, so to hide the truth, I have to pay him 1.25 per hour. The moment I start riding the cycle, I feel as if I have wings, there was not this crazy traffic in Mylapore during those days, so it was fun to ride my bicycle.

I was not a super dooper student in my academics so when ever they distribute 'answer sheets' those days would be the most chilling days of my life, I will surely get beatings from my dad for not scoring well, so once I thought I can fool my dad, so I added a '0' next to 8 (out of 100) and showed my dad, and this little brain did not even think that my dad will count the marks. Many terms I have been the dad for my self, where I used to sign on behalf of my dad in my progress cards, and one day my dad came to know all of my malpractices and that day was 'bloodshed' in my home. :)

Sunday afternoon (if we are lucky) National channel will play a tamil movie and then followed by another movie in the evening, that sunday would be the best in the life, 2 movies in a day and the entire family would prep for that, mom will make all the cooking ready by noon, any prep for snacks is also done before the movie starts and from 1:30 to 8:30, the family would sit in one room and watch those movies. No fiddling of FB or phones for obvious reasons.

They used to sell 'trump charts' in Mylapore where you have to buy them for 5 paise, 10 paise, 20 paise etc, and you have to select a movie star icon in that chart, if you were lucky you will get a return gift, like a whistle or top or chocolate or NOTHING, so that was the biggest gambling I have ever played and that was super fun. Sometimes you also get money, you may win 5 rupees if all the GOD's in this world were smiling at you, and I never managed to win once, but one of my friend won that and his win was my win, with that childish innocence, I celebrated that win with him.

Power cuts .... oh, how I wish there could be power cuts all the day. If the power goes in the night, its celebration time in my street, without any means of communication, all my friends would come out when the power goes off, the entire street will be outside and all the adults will be chit-chatting and we young boys will play hide and seek and there is no better time to play that sport other than a power-cut. We all will be like - ohhhhhhhhh when the power comes back and with sad faces we all go back to our homes. There used to be so much of social bonding happening during that time.

Conductor Whistle - I was head over heels on this metallic brass conductor whistle, I bugged my dad so badly to get me one and I still remember he got me one from Parrys Corner for 7 rupees, a shiny metal whistle and to date I have that in my locket as a remembrance. With this monthly salary of 700 or 800, that should be a good amount for him to shell out.

Big Fun - Oh, I don't think there was no such brilliance next to 'Big Fun' chewing gum. That company should have a master marketing manager who made the sales of 'Big Fun' chewing gum a crazy success. I still remember it was priced at 30 paise to start with and what is the beauty of that? Yes, they had this wrapper on which this gum was folded and that wrapper would have a print of a famous cricketer (batsmen or bowler) and if it is a batsmen you may either get 0 run to 6 runs printed and if it is a bowler, you will get 1 wicket printed and the company said, we have to collect 300 runs and 10 wickets to get a free cricket bat from them, and it took me more than 700 chewing gums to reach that mark and yes, I did manage to send all those to the company and they promptly sent me a cricket bat. My first 4 runs were of "Sandeep Patil" and my first 6 runs was of "Viv Richards".

Family time

We used to have a terrace of our own, so during pournami (full moon) days, we all go to the terrace with all cooked food and my granny will mix the rice with Sambar and she used to make all the members of the family sit in a circle she would place that hot rice on our hand, the waiting time for you to get your next turn is the most anxious waiting time ever, that hot sambar rice with 'sutta appalam' would taste heavenly. When ever we decide to have dinner in the terrace, my joy would know no bounds, that is some real quality family time and today you cannot even dream of getting such family bonding time as we are faking ourselves to be busy in this world.

Whenever my dad or mom returns from work, they have to get me something to eat, I would search their bags to find some thing or the other for me to eat, some days you may find one, some days you may not find anything, but that wait and that eagerness to see what they would have bought me was fun, it can be as silly as a 'strong mittai' to a 'eclair chocolate', but I enjoyed that small surprise.

Then Mittaai - That was poor man's basundhi in my opinion, it was sold at 5 paise per piece and I was super mad with that taste, though I now realise that it was not 'honey' and it was just 'sugar syrup', but its soft outer texture and when you bite that, a splash of that 'sugar syrup' hitting the walls of your cheeks, that was heavenly. I would have easily spent more than 50 rupees only on 'Then mittai' when I was a kid.

Marbles / Top / Kite - These were the real team building games in my opinion (not the one's played in our sickening corporate world).

Marble game had two flavours - 1. Raaja - Raani - Toni 2. Bendhaa. I was a champ on these two versions. I was spot on to find the 'Kuzhi' and become the Raaja and choose my own Raani and make others "toni". Bendhaa is a team game, you form two teams and then you draw a peculiar lining on the road and arrange your opponents marbles, and the the other team has to push all the opponents marbles out of the 'rectangle', the challenge here is, your marble should not get caught in that rectangle, so you should hit fast and accurate. Finally the team which looses it will have to do 'Mutti kaasaradhu', that means, they will have to keep pushing their marbles with their 'Elbow bone' and if you miss it, the tar on the road will tear your skin.

Top - You have to wound a thread on the top and swing it hard so that you break the opponents top and that is called 'Aakar' and I have broken many many tops, due to my speed and accuracy.

Kite - I should not self broadcast my self, but I AM THE EXPERT IN PUTTING MAANJA IN THE WHOLE OF MYLAPORE. Children from various slums would come and take tuition from me in applying MAANJA on the kite string. So what is Maanja? It's a deadly mixture of these ingredients - Glass, vajram (calcium & jaggery) and rice flour. You first have to grind the glass to a fine powder and that needs a skill on its own, then carefully mix the glass powder with vajram (this is the softener), add water and rice flour in careful portions and heat this deadly combo till it bubbles settle and the liquid become a thick viscous. Once the content is cooled down, you have to carefully apply that on the string and dry the string in 'air'. So why I am the EXPERT here? Because I USE BARE HANDS TO APPLY THE MAANJA, and that gives full coverage to the string and if you either rub the content too slow or too fast on the string, your finger may not stay in your hand.

With technology caging us in front of a stupid hand-held, we feel like jail inmates in the hands of technology. We hardly see family and friends, the first thing we ask them when we meet them is, are you in FB or WhatsApp, we are slowly reluctant to talk to real people. Every family has a "WhatsApp" group now and life has truly become digital. Where do family get time to eat in the terrace? Where are those ice-selling vendors near the schools? Do kids even walk to their school these days? Where is the value of money here? Why are kids not playing on the streets anymore? I have played games like PAANDI on the roads, does anyone even know the rules of PAANDI today?

Technology is slowly distancing ourself from the real form of life, and I am sure, there will be a day where we kill all these tech gadgets and go back to the good old days of 1970s. I may not be alive to see that, but I was alive to enjoy those happy moments once.

Please write your comments on what you miss the most of your childhood days, I am happy to hear them out ....

SPB - Legend with a Golden Voice Rest's in Peace

  This year 2020 is continuing to be the most depressing year in my life, how many lives we have lost across the globe due to this pandemic ...