Saturday, June 27, 2009

What an idea Sirji ?

Hmm, wanted to write about this for a long time and finally got the time today.

Circa : A month back, when the TN CM Karunanidhi announced a scheme of gifting a gold coin to the family which gives their newborn a Tamil, oops Tamizh name. Now, pop comes the question to my mind. What exactly classifies as a Tamizh name and a non-Tamizh name ?

Let's see 10 examples on what kind of names would be to get the few gms of gold!

1. Akash -- This will get a score of 1.8 on the Tamizh Scale (a patent pending scale developed by yours truly). Why so ? The TN supremo will claim its etymo from aakasam, which incidentally also means the same in Tam. Well, if Karuna decides to go against what his name implies, this name will get zero or maybe, negative, if he realizes that its origins are actually from Sanskrit.

2. Vikas -- Surely negative. No existence of any linkings to the Tamizh bashai. Of course, this scheme is not meant for those who want to Vikas in their own style (vikas meant progress if I rem my tenth standard Hindi well!)

3. Joseph/Abdul -- Woe betide the followers of Islam/Christianity if this scheme has any value. Poor chaps, they might have to make it Abduzh to even make it count to one extent. No sanskrit origins here might even infuriate the TN supremo, although he doesnt care a damn about Sanskrit. (This was just an example to prove my point and I'm not liable for any religious discrepancies arising from this post!)

4. Mayawati -- Karuna would love to take a gold coin from the family naming their newborn thus. Politically speaking, the newborn would be condemned to Upper Parts of the country, whereby developing narcissistic feelings (read : Too proud to listen to anyone, caste being no barrier here) and erecting statues which will get razed down by the next govt. In fact, Karuna might impose a Mayawati tax on her family so as to generate 1000 cr for the exchequer by the time her Maya is cast! You still interested in finding out the score on the Tamizh scale ? If so, then you're surely Mayawati!

5. Jayalalitha -- Hmm, tough one here. What does Karuna do as the Tamizh scale cant make any shit out of this name ? He uses his veto powers and shuns the name, to be condemned to the Hall of Shame. Anyone crying foul play ? Dont blame the Tamizh Scale, it's apolitical and unbiased!

6. Sonia -- Uh oh! Surely a zero on the Tamizh scale and if Karuna were to strictly follow the recommendations, he would lose out on getting cabinet seats for Maran(which incidentally is the name of a coal block in MP!)

7. Dayanidhi Maran -- Now, dayanidhi is undoubtedly un-Tamizhish but due to Sanskrit mixing(Karuna calls it polluting) with Tam, it might get a 2. Maran ? I thought I mentioned a coal block above with MP origins. Sheesh-- score == Zero!

8. Stalin -- What's that ? Russian right ? All those poor people who voted for the Dont Marry Karunanidhi party to power and hoped that naming their newborns after the CM's son might get them luck are in for bad news. Oh, Friends, Tamizhians, Countrymen, Karuna denied you your rightful gold coin, but Karuna is a noble man. Unleash the dogs of war you idiots!

9. Kannimozhi -- Finally, something which scores above 8.5! Why ?
a) It has the letters 'zh' in it in succession
b) People who have lived outside the venerable Tamizhnathu dunno how to pronounce it properly (including my Geography teacher!)
c) She's Karuna's daughter! (this is not on the basis of the Tamizh scale but coz Karuna forced me into adding an extra 0.3564 points. Ah, if only I had the power!)

10. Seshagiri -- Hmm, this will get 6.5. Why ? It sounds perfectly Tam right and sounds similar to Karuna's son (remember Azhagiri ?)? But didnt you forget, the scores seem to get tampered every now and then by the powers that be. Did I ever mention how the TN supremo prefers upliftment of masses ? And the masses apparently dont have too many Tam Brahms (ob. They are sitting peacefully in Benguluru or US of A!) So to promote populist culture, the name doesnt score above 7.

So, what kind of names should the people of Tam land give to be entitled to the 'elusive gold coin' --

Any name scoring greater than 5 on the Tamizh Scale-- which implies the following :
a) end the name with 'an' or any of the endings suggested below
b) have a 'zh' in any part of the name
c) having 'giri' at the end of the name might help sometimes
d) having 'swamy' at the end of the name is better
e) having 'samy' or 'mani' at the end of it is even better
f) start the name with a tam word for anything. It doesnt matter; it should just be of Tam origins. So, even if you start the name with the tam word for 'bullshit', you are probably the lucky owner of a BIS un-certified gold coin!

So, if my parents had ever made the mistake of settling in TN and had I been born in this year and had my parents made an even bigger mistake of being lured by the 'Gawd of all schemes', I would have probably been named Raghavan (ya, Raghav is a more northy sounding name to the ears of Corona-nidhi!). Luckily, neither of the abovementioned took place and I'm living to tell a happy tale from my keyboard!

If anyone planning to live in TN and is interested in buying the 'Tamizh Scale' in the hopes that their child will shine bright (I say, it depends on the gold quality!), can reach me by mailing to :

PS : All names involved here have no right whatsoever to sue me for using them as this post was intended for purely academic purposes!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quote of the Month

This is one of the statements which I heard, made by an employee of L & T, Powai where I'm currently interning.

My boss : Arre bhau, kasa aahes ? (Marathi for : How's life bro ? )Bahut din baad dikhe ho. Sab theek na ?

Employee : "Arre, mast hai. Peir theek ho gayen hai. Socha kabhi apna munh yahaan dikha doon. Waise LnT main kaam aur paisa kahaan hai saab. Isse achcha toh bagal ki Kali Maa ki Mandir ke trust ka President banke aur fayda utha raha hoon "

I had to control my laughter in front of my boss and escaped saying that I was going to get tea :)

My experiments with truth - Part I

Hmm, it was a good outing today at this place called Azzuri in Mumbai. 6 of our close gumbal from school decided to meet up as one of our friends was just going to graudate with a B.Com degree and he had decided to treat us. The chap has aspirations to become a CA and I wish him good luck in his endeavours.

As far as Azzuri's concerned : It's a place which serves alcohol and in good measures and is apparently pretty economical compared to other places they have visited. I stuck to my teetotaller image and had a cooler while the rest downed themselves in Tequila shots or Smrinoffs. The good part about the place : The papad! Aye, the rest - DJ/Music sys/Service pretty much sucks. Wonder how it was carried as a review article in one of Times' weeklies.

Well, why am I writing this post ? I certainly don't intend to describe a more-or-less trivial affair (barring the fact that I got to meet all of my buddies after a gap of 1 whole year!) . I came back home at 11 and prompt comes the question from Mom : "So, where did you go to eat ? " I was hesitant to answer coz my Dad knows about this place but decided to stick with the truth and told her. Then my Dad provides the spoiler "But dont they provide liquor there ?" And I replied "Aye, but they drank. I didnt" . Nothing whatsoever could convince them at first that I went into a place serving alcohol and didnt consume it. Thankfully, a bit of 'trust' prevailed and they agreed that their son has still stuck to the 'teetotaller' image.

This brings me to this very important question : Ever tried telling your parents (or any elder for that matter) that you went to a place serving alcohol/hookah and you didnt consume any ? I would love to know their responses, which I am safely assuming would be in the negative.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Word-dict is out ?

Hmm, so the world's gung-ho about the English language acquiring its millionth word. And India's "Jai Ho" about it, thanks to the media glitz and what not. Apart from all this paparazzi hype, I still dont get this fact, "Jai Ho" are TWO words, whose realization brings us to the pertinent question, which one of them is then in the race for the millionth one ? It certainly can't be 'Ho', coz it already exists, albeit with a different meaning compared to its Hindi counterpart. Therefore, by the above logic, it should be "Jai" which should probably be a strong contender for the race to come out trumps amongst others for the "Millionth" word.

But, keeping all the above views in mind, any non-rocket scientist can also tell us that "Jai" alone can't make it to the top ten contenders, leave alone top them, for obvious reasons. And it's ironic, that "Jai" can't come on top (ironic due to its Indian meaning). It's another irony that one of the "words" to be in contention for the millionth word in "English" is of Indian origin, which the Brits never quite understood completely, notwithstanding that anglicized accent. Oof! Not that they ever understood their Greek/Latin properly, but it must be accepted that they understood it much better than Hindi.

Another Indo-English/American stuff which the Indian media gloats over is stronghold of Indian-origin kids in the Scripps Spelling Bee competition. The Indian origin kids have produced 6 champions in the last 9 years. Wow ! Stunning fact right ? Well, not so stunning to me, considering that, my ideology has always remained that an avg. Indian is much smarter than an American, when it comes to memory recall while there are other issues where the Americans do beat us. A lot has got to do with the Education system, I suppose,but I'm not getting into that debate now. I'm not belittling the feats of these young achievers and I back them to the hilt to go miles in the future, and probably govern the USA in the near future( i.e. if the USA does exist after surviving potential threats from the Korean nukes!).

The whole essence of this post is to show that the Indian media has a tendency to highlight Indian achievements in a big way, but I think the real reckoning comes when an outsider does the same for us. It's all right to get a feel-good factor about being an Indian, but in some ways, it shows us the kind of insecurity we have as Indians to celebrate "Indians going global" news with glee only when such news is highlighted, while bemoaning the sorry state of the country for the rest of time. It's not that I value "The Sun" or "The NY Times" opinions greater than that of the TOI or The Hindu, but it's just boils down to this fact : Let the world speak about you rather than just you yourself. That is when we will pass the acid test for the global recognition of our abilities.

All said and done, I'm still proud to be an Indian and will be forever. Jai Hind! or should I say "Jai Ho!" ?