Help! Hindu God of Olympics!

I know why India does not win the Olympics. Hinduism, for all its openness and boasting of having over 3000 gods does not have a Major God for Sports. A random page says The God of Sports is Lord Subrahmanya.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_is_Hindu_god_of_sports
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murugan

A Mythology refresher: Subrahmanya is the one who was challenged to a race around the world thrice against his brother.(http://hinduism.about.com/od/lordganesha/a/Ganesha-Tales.htm)

Subrahmanya had a peacock and flew off, while his pot-bellied elephant brother had a mouse to run around the world. Long story short, Subrahmanya and his peacock lost the race to the elephant brother and skulked off to brood at a hilltop in Tamil Nadu. (I don’t know why Wiki answers proclaims him to be the God of Sports) Anyway, I thought the Lord Subrahmanya was only famous in Tamil Nadu, which is famous for idlis, filter coffee and curd rice (none of which are exactly high up on an Olympic sportsman’s diet you will agree).

In other news, Karnataka is in drought and Rs. 17 crores have been set aside for drought relief. When it comes to drought relief, what are the measures you can take to alleviate the water problem? Illogical solutions to this question will not be tolerated easily.

Think.

Right answer: 17 crore rupees is being set aside for performing pujas at temples across the state to entice the rain god to perform in the State. Nobody is gullible enough to spend all that money on one temple: 34000 temples across the state will perform the same puja on the same day and rain will come.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/karnataka-temples-to-hold-prayers-for-rain-today-bill-will-be-17-crores-248142

Now you see why we need a famous God of Sports having at least 34000 temples? If we had set aside an Olympic Coaching Fund and organised a prayer to appease the Sports God at the same time, while feeding our athletes curd rice and idlis, we might have won the Olympics. Alas! Hinduism in 5000 years did nothing towards this end and we are forced to pray to Gods who have to cut themselves free of their main task and take on Sports overtime.

Olympian Diet
Olympian Diet

What’s an Indian Olympic Athlete to do against these enormous odds?

Slimy Brazil Sprout Rice Recipe

Given the recent claim to fame my flaming Slimy Brazil Sprout Rice has received; I have decided to share the recipe with my readers. You are welcome.

Ingredients:
Brazil sprout (You can either ask any Brazilian where to get them or mine through some really dense cabbage farms to find these. If either of these methods don’t work for you, you can ask for Brussel sprouts instead)
Snails or Earthworms (Snails preferred)
Yucky vegetables

Method:
Chase the snails as fast as you can – actually as fast as they would go, and collect the slime they leave behind. Scoop into a cup and set aside.
Cut the yucky vegetables into a size of your liking
Crush your spirit along with the snails slime
Mix them all together with rice and cook in a pressure cooker.
Serve it hot with a dollop of Ghee to your daughter.

My daughter’s teacher probably thinks I am an ogre who lives in a swamp and gathers mush and slime to make the vegetable rice for her and I don’t blame her. This is what my daughter had written when asked to write a paragraph about food choices.

My mom makes Vegetable rice. It is a rice I hate because it has vegetables. Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate yucky vegetables. Sometimes she puts brazil sprouts and that’s the worst because to me, brazil sprouts is a mix of all the vegetables. Also my mom makes me eat a really slimy vegetable and watches me until I’m done. She said she knows I don’t like it. Now thats just being mean. It would be a little better if my rice doesn’t have the vegetables. Even though I don’t like them I have to eat. That is why I hate vegetable rice.

The teacher has asked for a substitute word for ‘yucky’ and has corrected Brazil to Brussel.

Teacher’s comment: Fun to read! Great description 🙂

If anybody has some kind words of consolation to say to me, please head on over to the swamp where I am languishing in the mush collecting ingredients for dinner.

Potato Vs Radish Miming Competition

A Gujarati lady (let’s call her Geeta Ben) comes in and helps me with the cooking once in a while. She talks in what she thinks is Hindi and I do the same. I think my Hindi is better though. I told her to use very little oil and no sugar in her dishes. The ‘No sugar’ was a bit of a blow to her, but she bore it stoically, shook her head and added a disclaimer that she was not sure how the dishes would turn out without sugar and very little oil. She tried anyway. They turned out to be fabulous.

The usual fare is some chappatis, a few aloo parathas for the daughter and a side dish or two. I don’t think our conversations can bear any more than that.

A sample of our conversation is presented for your reference:

Once our small talk is complete Geeta Ben asks for “Aadu” (‘Aadu’ in Tamil means ‘goat’ incidentally. I can be pretty sharp when I want to and rule out the possibility of Geeta Ben asking for a goat to make a vegetarian dinner. )

“Aadhu?”

“Haan aadhu – soonth na adhu”

Apart from the “Haan”, the rest pretty much washed over me. I try to clear my fuzzy brain by guessing that she has the chillies, she has the garlic, it must be ginger that she is asking for and say “You mean Adhrak?” Years of fantasizing about ‘Adhrak Chai’ leave me in no doubt that Adhrak is ginger. But Geeta Ben disagrees.

“Na – aadhu – aaisa” and she mimes a ginger for me.

I’ve played dumb-charades in my time. (I can’t say I am stellar, but I manage. I have some blogs on Dumb-C that I will have to get to one day), but I have to admit ‘Ginger’ would have had me stumped. How do you enact a piece of Ginger for the audience? Yet Geeta Ben doesn’t flinch. She gives off a performance of a carrot, but I reach for the ginger anyway. She congratulates me on my quick wit (in Gujarati) and I beam. She could well be calling me a dumb ass but she would not do that. Geeta Ben is too sweet for that – she has an innocence about her that makes it hard for people of her caliber to call people dumb-asses.

And so it goes: Geeta Ben gets her laugh; we get tasty food.

Some friends of ours had come to stay with us for a few days and it so happened that Geeta Ben wanted to come in at a time we were not sure we would be home. But our friends(Mr and Mrs Friend) said they would be home then and off we all went after telling Geeta Ben to hop on over. I could have told her that my friends would be home, but I did not want to risk saying something like that on the phone. Once before I got chatty on the phone with her and she thought she was not supposed to come and went off to the Temple. So, Geeta Ben knocked and my friend opened the door. Poor Geeta Ben’s smile went halfway through and then recognition hit. Her smile froze when Mrs Friend welcomed her into the house. She first tried peering past her to see if she had the right house. The decor seemed to indicate the right house.  She asked her, “Shoma Ben?” Mrs friend assured her it was my house and welcomed her once again.

Poor Geeta Ben took a few steps into the house and stopped hard in her tracks. See, she could take a friend opening the door, but she hadn’t really bargained for the next scene. There was Mr Friend lounging around on the sofa with a glazed look on his face in his banian. Mr Friend was working, and when working, he dons a look that stumps the best of us. It knocked the wind out of Geeta Ben. She ran past him into the kitchen and took refuge in her work. Just when Geeta Ben put her mind to rest and started off with the dishes, Mrs Friend conveyed my request to make Mooli Parathas(radish parathas).

“Mooli?”

“Haan Mooli.”

“Nahin aloo na aloo”

“No – aloo nahin – mooli paratha”

“Magar mien Aloe paratha hee banathee hewn”, (I always make aloo parathas) says Geeta Ben making round ball like movements with hands – falling to her time-tested habit of miming potatoes when in the presence of the weak Hindied. The miming catches on and Mrs Friend tries miming a radish.

 

It was during the radish vs potato miming competition that the husband walked in and Geeta Ben breathed again. At least she was in the right house. She knows better than to ask for clarifications to the husband in Hindi. An encounter in Hindi with the husband is not for the weak of heart. She makes a brave face that all is not lost in the house and Radishes or Potatoes, Mr & Mrs Friend or no, she will make what she is told before the husband starts explaining in Hindi.

She almost hugged me when I came into the kitchen and half apologetically asked me whether Mooli parathas was what I conveyed. I nodded and her heart resumed beating at a normal speed again. Bless Geeta Ben!

Yammer Yammer Chatter Chatter EMail Email IM IM

I heard about Salesforce’s product, Chatter, as a means of evaluating employees a few weeks ago.
http://www.fastcompany.com/1842019/evaluating-employees-based-on-influence

The product is supposed to add a tangible component to the intangible factor of employee chatter and tried to put an algorithm around influence. Chatter is hardly the only one trying to address an office audience. Yammer is trying something similar too.

Are we adding yet another source of noise around ourselves to make us busier than we already are? We maybe – according to one study an average corporate worker sends/receives 105 emails a day. It looks to me like we are over-communicating already.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/life%E2%80%99s-too-short-for-so-much-e-mail/?smid=li-share

Not to mention that instant messaging over Skype(or similar) is used over and above the emails. Instant messaging requires one logged on at all times to be abreast of the fast flowing message river. A few days away is enough to overwhelm the stoutest of souls when they get back.

What about influence: Does every job function require influence? I am not sure. I don’t think every single job profile requires influence around the office block.

Will products such as these affect the introverts in the office or help introverts since they can resort to technology instead of meeting people? It takes all kinds of people to contribute in their unique and creative ways in order to achieve something.  Can we generalize and assume that only those actions with influence are important.

Ten years from now, we may have embraced the office chatter and influence algorithms for them to become a part of our daily lives, or it may not have gone well or we may have moved on to entirely different paradigms 3 times over.

Am I a busybody or am I busy?

Everyone loves being busy. My son, for example, spends many hours being busy. For one so young( a year old); one would wonder why he is this busy. All one has to do is walk into our home when we are loading the dishwasher to see the domestic chores he has to handle. (Try constantly climbing onto the dishwasher lid when the relentless mother is pulling you away from it, or face the frustration of having his unloading efforts thwarted at every stage) He has the additional responsibility of identifying objects of a questionable nature and then tinkering with them. Working on finding questionable items of high impact require several skills at once. Tinkering with the empty battery charger, for instance, is a low-medium voltage exclamation mark from the parent, opening the vaseline bottle and looking like a shimmering idol in the evensong after liberal application a medium exclamation – the real crowd pullers are the remote and the phone.

The point is: he is busy.

The daughter is busy too. Her priorities are different from the son’s, but she is busy nevertheless. She is busy playing with her friends, busy making her room a mess, busy making cards that her callous mother throws away.

Which brings me to the husband and I. We are busy too.

Being busy is exhilarating. Makes you feel wanted and keeps you occupied, which is why so many of us fall into the busy trap.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

The article, like many others, made me stop and ponder about our lives. How much of what we do is necessary and how much of it is noise? How do we identify the chaff from the grain when we are busy running after the chaff and the grain in the whipping winds?