Thursday, March 30, 2006

An offer Coolie could not refuse!

This is the story of Mr. Hernandez Coolie.

He works for one of the fĂȘted bubble gum companies.

He was born there, he was brought up there, he lives there, he feeds there and he sleeps there. (And he thinks he will die there).

He has been working indefatigably for a long period with the company, in an unbelievable co-existence of reciprocal consent and reverence. He was loved by all and he enjoyed his freedom of not enjoying more freedom. Charachterwise, he was a philosopher and he always made it a point to employ his philosophical ideologies in his life.

His Don’s were always concerned about him, because they just loved him too much. They never wanted him to be sitting jaded and idle. They said they respected the abhorrence of Mr. Coolie towards free time. They asked: “Hey Coolie, You are anyway working till late, why don’t you take up this work as well. It will just take 2-3 hours more.”

Thus Mr. Coolie kept on working for blowing the big bubble even bigger.

Although there were times when he grew sentient about superior ‘mouth-freshening chewing gum’ firms outside, he never moved out. There were moments when he told his Dons that he has decided to move ahead, but the loving elders always used to say that he is one of the best people they had, and that they would provide some bizarre protein supplements for his ‘growth’. Every other occasion where he almost had a foot stamped outside, he realized the truth that these well wishers are never going to let him go easily – not without creating lots of problems. The supplements never came and he imparted in his psyche a ‘selective amnesia’ to the thought of moving to ‘mouth freshening chewing gum’ companies – It’s his destiny to ‘learn’ and ‘grow’ by being an ethical bubble blower – Anyway, he was loved so greatly and cared so vastly by his Dons, so why look for greener pastures? Many a times, many a things, he forced himself to believe – Being a philosopher helped him a lot.

It was on such a week that the organization triggered a survey named TIMEPASS which is the supposed to be the abbreviation for ‘Campaign Against Replanting Trees Which Are Already Replanted’ (abbreviation?? – aah..Whatever - Dons can’t be wrong!) survey. Various departments organized diverse backstabbing techniques in getting more people participate, since the department who gets maximum number of participants will have their department name pasted in the company boundary wall and the Dons in the department would win a free Dairy Milk chocolate.

Mr. Coolie ignored the campaign since he really did not mind replanting trees that are already replanted. He was a man who had a clear judgment about philosophical things (as I already mentioned!). The campaign TIMEPASS was supposed to end by Friday.

Meanwhile, the Dons had recently read some books about team motivation –They even had some sessions by experts about providing motivation to the team and leading by example. They were brooding for a chance to apply their leadership ideas and tactics - TIMEPASS is their golden chance and they see the guinea pigs grazing in front of them. Dons starts injecting motivation to their employees through a rapid operation portraying 'leadership by example' named ‘Operation Fool’s Gold’.

Monday morning: Mr. Coolie sees a mail from his Don Apostrophe, copied to his whole department. Don wanted the department name on the boundary wall.
Our department is now 82nd in ratings. We need to pull ourselves up. Do your TIMEPASS.
I have done my TIMEPASS. What about you?

Coolie thought "Wow!! Even Don Apostrophe did TIMEPASS. This is really motivational"

Wednesday Morning: Mr. Coolie sees a mail from the Don Semicolon (who is the Don of Don Apostrophe), copied to his whole department.
“Do your TIMEPASS.
I have done my TIMEPASS. What about you?”

Coolie thought "Wow!! Even Don Semicolon did TIMEPASS. This is really motivational"

Friday morning: Mr. Coolie sees a mail from ‘Don of Dons’ Don Full Stop (Don of Don Semicolon), copied to his whole department. Don Full Stop is a ruthless person who would do anything for a Dairy Milk.
You cannot pay abstinence to TIMEPASS.
I have done my TIMEPASS. What about you?”

Mr. Coolie who had done lots of research and even discovered the close relation between replanting of trees and evolution of 45th leg of centipedes, was disappointed that he could not pen down his thoughts due to the workload he had been given by the Dons. (Coolie is not very clear on his thoughts, now – although he still remains philosophical!)

The disappointed Mr. Coolie did not think further when he replied to Don Full Stop with CC to all the people in the department:

I didn’t do TIMEPASS.
I have work. What about you?”

That's it. Within a couple of weeks, the affectionate and compassionate Don Full Stop himself took the initiative in allowing Mr. Coolie to explore the world outside. Don Full Stop told Don Semi Colon “He might have been a great Coolie, but he deprived me of a dairy milk, and also let the whole department know about it. Don’t worry – We will get another Coolie from somewhere, there are so many on the prowl”.
Don Semi Colon told Mr. Coolie in 'Don Michael Corleone' style “I will give you an offer that you can’t refuse!”. Mr. Coolie did not refuse it and in the process achieved what he could not for the past 10 years!! He finally moved into a ‘mouth freshening chewing gum’ corporation.

In an unrelated incident, a bubble started to burst elsewhere.

Hernandez Coolie lived happily ever after.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Heirs of Earth

I just saw a report with a great news. It seems Vaikom Mohammed Basheer’s celebrated chronicle ‘Bhoomiyude Avakaashikal’ (implies – Heirs of earth) is shortly going to be a motion picture, that too, right from the hands of my favorite movie director – TV Chandran. Now, imagine who is playing lead – Yes!! It’s Mohanlal himself. For a change, his co-stars in this movie would be spiders, ants etc. I am as thrilled as any avid Basheer fan, and I just savor these moments during which I envisage how the lead character will be thrown into the intellects of the audience, how the movie will portray the subtle moments and humor in the story etc etc etc...The thoughts go on.... In short, just by visualizing frames in mind, I feel I am back - alive and kicking!!

At any rate, it’s the best accolade that can be showered on one of the best writers to grace the soil of Kerala – Vaikom Mohammed Basheer!!

Monday, March 20, 2006


There are times when I need to be callous. Although I have come out of the supple crust at times and made some impact on higher ups right on their visage, I think I am not doing enough. I see gross injustice, I see people who put genuine efforts suffer and people who masquerade labors enjoy. We need to be professional and antagonistic, but not at the expense of lives of sincere people, not at the expense of a few enjoyable moments that might blaze in the future and never ever to swathe the screw ups that some losers do in the quest for more ‘tags’, ‘promotions’ and ‘so-called organizational growth’.

At times you need to start believing in ethics, which are supposed to be in existence. At times, you need to raise your voice in a way that it’s heard. At times, you need to pull yourself out from cleaning up and let the mess others create remain a mess in their face. At times, you need to hit them hard on the face and let them realize that this is not the way to be. At times, you need to Ruthless.

I am not frustrated, but I guess I need to do a Quentin Tarantino.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

If it’s just us...seems like an awful waste of space.

Updating yet another experience:

It started with:

Young Ellie: CQ, this is W9GFO. CQ, this is W9GFO here. Come back?

It gave two quotes which will persist animated in my mind for quite a while, for sure…

David Drumlin: I know you must think this is all very unfair. Maybe that's an understatement. What you don't know is I agree. I wish the world was a place where fair was the bottom line, where the kind of idealism you showed at the hearing was rewarded, not taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world.
Ellie Arroway: Funny, I've always believed that the world is what we make of it.

Unknown: You're an interesting species, an interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

It illustrated the resolve, doggedness and persistence of a convinced mind:

Executive: We must confess that your proposal seems less like science and more like science fiction.

Ellie Arroway: Science fiction. You're right, it's crazy. In fact, it's even worse than that, it's nuts. You wanna hear something really nutty? I heard of a couple guys who wanna build something called an airplane, you know you get people to go in, and fly around like birds, it's ridiculous, right? And what about breaking the sound barrier, or rockets to the moon? Atomic energy, or a mission to Mars? Science fiction, right? Look, all I'm asking is for you to just have the tiniest bit of vision. You know, to just sit back for one minute and look at the big picture. To take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history... of history.

It ended with (guiding all of us to a larger picture):

Ellie Arroway: [to a group of children] I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right?

As many of you might have known already, I made Contact. From the great director of Forrest Gump, Robert Zemeckis and from the Pultizer winning writer Carl Sagan, came this breathtaking movie - “Contact” - with Jodie Foster as Ellie. PP da, You got me bowled with this one.

Me: All, This is AK here. All, This is AK here. Don’t come back – Go see Contact.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Out of the world!

Implausible – That's what I felt when Mark Boucher lofted a full ball from Brett Lee over mid on for a boundary. It’s hardly half an hour since I saw the best one-day match of my life.

ODI Match number 2349 - South Africa v/s Australia at Wanderers. Australia score 434 in 50 overs to become the first team in the history of the game to surmount the 400 run barrier. As obvious as it was, the rest of the game was supposed to be merely academic. But then, destiny had unusual things in mind – the probability of something happening 1 out of 100000 came about today. A man named Herschelle Gibbs took the game to a new echelon – with an amazing 175 off 111 balls! Making sure that the hard work was not for a losing cause, was an indomitable being named Mark Boucher who was exiled from the team hardly 4 months back. No more frozen frames – Just get a DVD of the match and watch it.

For once, I am so happy for switching off the bike and skipping the plan of going to office on a Sunday evening, when I heard Tony Greig shout "What a six! What a six!" after Gibbs hit that six over extra cover. Myself, Kich and PP were holding our hearts in the hands during the match, and sure would have been all the people who were watching this spectacle. I don’t think we have been so dumbfound by any victory by India. It was entertainment of the utmost class. Hats Off to Gibbs, Boucher, Smith and Van Der Wath (in that order)!! Such a warm, sweet revenge for the 99 World Cup semifinal.