Leg anna leg!

September 28, 2006 at 1:56 pm

I was telling somebody how much luck I bring to everyone. And I consider everyone who studied alongwith me in the same batch as I did to be really blessed. And if you were in the same states at the same time as I was then oh my! you are as elite as I am! Our fundamentals are very strong. Why? Because we studied the same thing over and over again. Check it out:

1992:
When I was in my 7th standard in AP, it was the public exam and I was all serious about it. That’s when it all started. My fundamentals really becoming strong you see! The exams got canceled because papers leaked. And I had to study all over again!

Three years, weak in fundamentals phase went on. Then God became kind.

1995:
10th standard, AP, yet again paper leaked. Fundamentals that much more stronger now!

After I passed out of my school, the school itself closed down! Whew! That was close! And in the meanwhile, the school in which I studied till my 3rd standard also closed down. Well, if you thought that was some track record, then read ahead.

Two years later, another fundamentals revision class.

1997:
Intermediate II year (XII Std) AP, after we wrote our first two exams, we went to the examination center as usual on the “Mathematics/ Biology” day. Some newspaper, I don’t remember which one, it doesn’t exist today, had printed the entire paper on its first page. (I was about to type homepage! LOL!) There you go. I would have got 100% in all those subjects!

Same year:
IIT JEE papers leaked. For the first time in the history of IITs, the exam was canceled and rescheduled. I would have got through the first time you know! You are reading a blog of a could-ve-been IITian.

EAMCET, AP, paper format was changed that year. For the only time in its history as well as future. Never again have they introduced that stupid analytical type of paper!

CET, Karnataka, counselling sessions got scheduled and canceled and confusion prevailed before they allowed us to pick an engg seat.

Oh and yeah! My Intermediate college closed down after that!

Somehow scraped through all this. Made it to some college of engineering where thankfully the processes were more stable and even if the paper leaked (no proof of that) we never came to know(sad though!).

By the time we were about to have our campus placements, the IT boom was supposed to be at its peak. So, we had the best placements ever. With the highest salary ever and all that! But by the time we were about to finish our engg and join those companies, the bubble burst! And we also received the highest number of offer-revoking letters ever! A few companies ceased to exist! Anyway, that can be termed a coincidence if you want. My leg cannot have that reach!

By the time we finished our engg, it was September 11, 2001. And Osama thought it was the right time to strike US. Does he also belong to my batch? Well, terrorising thought! So, let me leave it at that.

I joined my first company Intelligroup in Hyderabad and there were strong rumours that Wipro was going to take over the company but before the rumours could subside I shifted to CMC. Now CMC doesn’t exist anymore. It’s taken over by TCS.

I joined Oracle after that. And for the first time in the history of the organization they laid off people on a global level. Think about the the customer for whom I write software. UWB. It’s being taken over by IDBI now!

Oh! I forgot this one. I decided to write Subject GRE in 2002. And had applied for it and booked a date. Again a never before never again thing happened. Afterall, my leg na. It was cancelled. No reasons given. Money was refunded.

The college from which I did my engineering was affiliated to Osmania Unversity all these days. Now OU itself will not be there. It’s going to be made an IIT.

Then, I started blogging enthusiastically and had posted three posts in a week when the Governement of India blocked blogs itself.

And now, I am going to write an exam in the month of December. Do you know why I don’t believe in the words “All the best” now? Leg anna leg! I know.

Rubaroo Roshni!

September 26, 2006 at 11:30 am


We sent Paheli to the oscars last year ahead of a few classics like Black, Swades, Hazaaron khwahishen aisi and I showed my dissappointment here.

Keeping with the trend I thought they had pick Krrish, since the other two (Lage Raho Munnabhai and Rang De Basanti) were very good for the panel to decide.

Wisdom prevails. Rang De Basanti is picked. I wouldn’t have a problem with Lage Raho either but then RDB is also a good pick. Let’s hope it wins us an Oscar.

I am not getting into the argument as to why we should crave for recognition from the western world and all that. All I am saying is that, since we have sent an entry to the oscars, I am hoping it will win. Period.

Clarification | Devanahalli airport

September 23, 2006 at 10:29 am

Mr. K. Sriram, Chairman, Builders Association of India, Mysore Centre, replies to my post via email:

“Your point on Devanahalli airport is well taken, but it is not as far as you are making it out to be. As a regular visitor to the site I would say that it takes 1 hour to get there from downtown bangalore at most times and may be 1.5 hours in peak hours.

The 6 lane highway is at an advanced stage of completion and this should reduce travel time further when completed. NICE is a private company which is laying a beautiful peripheral road from the Tumkur road to Hosur road cutting across the Magadi road, Mysore road, Kanakapura road etc. And wants to link uptill Devanahalli and also lay a monorail on its median. And believe me it will be ready well before the airport.

NICE is also building an elevated link to the (Bangalore) city center from Mysore road so you can possibly get to Devanahalli in 45 mins max from any corner in Bangalore. The scenario from the current airport is no better as it is. It takes us 2 full hours to get to Mysore road at peak hours and we believe we can be in Devanahalli in 45 mins from Mysore road if the NICE road is completed.”

Thank you Sir for your clarification. That brings hope to us that the city is in safe hands.

Links:
Builders Association of India, Mysore
Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Limited

BangaloreMetblogs.com | Devanahalli Airport at Bangalore

September 22, 2006 at 3:58 pm

The new Bangalore airport that has been proposed at Devanahalli is far away from every inhabited place in Bangalore. It becomes just too far for someone just taking a regional flight of one hour. And the flight timing for most of the cities from Bangalore will be well within a couple of hours. It is plain impractical to locate the airport at such a God-forsaken place. Imagine the time taken to travel to the airport in your city being equal to the time taken to travel from one city to another!

So, what could we do? Since already millions of dollars have been invested into this can we find some way of making this a win-win for everyone involved? Is it possible? Of course, it is going to be the most developed and high-tech airport the country has ever seen and all that. So, can we also make it accessible please?

Please click here to continue reading the post (It will take you to the metblogs site)

Cricket, CFTRI and Mysore

September 20, 2006 at 3:08 pm

You give me these three things and I will not trouble anyone for the rest of my life! ;) Anyway, getting on with what I want to put up today cutting out the nonsense.

Picked this one up from here. We (the original author of this write-up and I) are from the same school. The Get-together of which I missed and wrote about that here. Anyway, let’s get to this one now.

I was in 7th standard when I was selected to my high school’s cricket team. Naturally enough, it was the happiest day of my life. A moment of quintessential bombaat to be sure.

The news of my selection was delivered by my school’s PT master—and I know I can’t (shouldn’t, rather) use his real name so I’ll just call him UR.

UR, up to that point, wasn’t exactly my favourite person in the world. He verbally abused us every chance he got especially during Saturday mid-morning drills. To
wit:

* “Lo kothi, ninnanna yaaro yelnay claas-ige paas maadidhu? Leftoo andre yedagaalu kanole, idiot!”

* Or the ever popular rhetorical question: “Nimmappa amma yaak school-ige kalustharo ninna? Sumne manelidhu katte kaayakke laayak neenu.

This was pretty standard stuff as I’m sure you’ll agree.

Anyway, the first day of cricket practice was a Wednesday. We got done with classes at 3:30 pm. My classmate (who was also selected) and I pedaled over to the cricket ground a short distance away.

The rest of the team, i.e. the chaps from 9th and 10th standards, showed up a half-hour late. We were told to help carry the mat onto the field. In short, we were cricket coolies.

The stumps were pitched. The practice batting and bowling orders were announced. We were not present in either one. So I assumed I was part of the unannounced fielding order and stood at point because no one was standing there. I was asked, sorry, told, to go and do byes keeping.

It dawned on me that the seniors of this team had had no creative input in UR’s decision to select us lowly 7th standard guys. And they didn’t think much of the
idea.

My classmate and I (he was doing byes keeping on the leg side) exchanged looks. The looks said, “I hope no one from our class stops by to watch cricket practice today.”

After all our seniors had batted, bowled and humiliated us it was almost time to wrap up. And that’s when UR showed up. “Yenappa, yellaroo battingoo bowlingoo maadidhraa?” The captain (bastard!) said “Yes sir. Yellardoo practice aaithoo.

And then UR did something he wasn’t supposed to. He looked at me and my classmate and asked, “Yenraiyaa, yengithu practicoo ivathu?

I blurted out, “Namige batting siglillaa sir.

And right there, at that moment, my chances of ever playing for the school team while I was still in 7th standard thudded softly into the grass.

UR took charge. “Neenu pad maadkolaiya. Naan practice kodistheeni. Lo baddimaklaa”—this to the rest of the team—“banro svalpa bowlingoo fieldingoo maadrappa ivribbarge!

So, having only played tennis ball cricket up to that point, I put on pads for the first time in my life. They were too big for me. When I walked, the top of the pads slammed into my stomach.

The old style belt and buckle pinched my ankes, calves and at the back of the knees. Still in the process of padding up, I picked up this plastic cup that I knew, in theory, to be the (then euphemistically called) abdomen guard. It had no straps
whatsoever. So I did a little bit of 3D mental manipulation to figure out how I
was supposed to rig this contraption so it would protect my, you know,
abdomen.

Out of my own sense of modesty I’ll omit the rest of the details. Suffice it to say however, that after I’d put on the abdomen guard, the only way I could walk was with my legs spread wide – like a Dasara Kesari pailvaan approaching his next victim at the beginning of his kusthi match.

I walked up to the stumps. Legs spread wide (for aforementioned reasons), I took my stance. UR had ambled up to point to get a closer look at his two new junior players.

My other classmate, in the process of padding up behind slips, was holding an
abdomen guard with the same quizzical expression on his face that I had a few minutes ago.

One of my seniors ambled up and bowled one short on the off. All I saw was a whistling flash of red. Mustering all the strength I could—“MADAGOO!” yelled UR from point—I heaved the bat and swung.

Missed completely. Got turned around because of the momentum of the bat. Ended up, facing square leg (and what seemed like) a lifetime of embarrassment.

UR delivered the coup de grace, “Neen hodioyoshtralli, naan canteeng hogi cawpee kudkond bandhbidbodhu kanaiya.

And that was when, for the rest of my life, I fell in love with cricket. Thumba
thanksoo
, UR.

The UR he is talking about is Uncle Ranga, our PE (Physical Education) instructor. And yeah, we used to call our teachers as uncles and aunties then. He used to be our cricket coach and I have played under him both as player and captain of our school team. And he’s the best you can have. And when Mr. Alfred Satish Jones says thanks he echoes the voice of every single student who has passed out of CFTRI school under UR! You are Uncle Ranga, You really are THE BEST!

Waist stuff

September 18, 2006 at 4:28 pm

I quit having milk products (mainly coffee and tea). Don’t ask me why. I just did. That I find letting go off curd (yoghurt?) to be extremely difficult is another story altogether. Now, whenever I go to someone’s house you must see the way they react. And in India, the degree of hospitality that I show to my guests is directly proportional to the amount of food I successfully stuff them with. It so happens that coffee and tea are common beverages to go with the “hospitality”. Nobody leaves without having either of the above.

(Yes, it’s as if you are almost at gunpoint!
You will take coffee or tea?
No nothing thanks. I am fine.

Ok. So coffee is it?
No seriously. I am fine. Thanks.

How many spoons sugar?
Aaargh! Even salt must be okay with me!)

Recently I went to someone’s house and added them to the list of the jaw-droppers-after-hearing-my-giving-up-milk-products. As soon as I told them that I don’t have coffee or tea their jaw dropped and their eyes widened with a how come you are alive? kind of a look. I give them that sheepish smile as if they had caught me while I just murdered somebody and was looking around to hide the weapon!

What’s so wrong in giving up milk products? I get to have good fresh fruit juices instead. That helps me in controlling my size so that I can still manage to squeeze into doors made for the size of average Indians.

That brings me to the burning issue of my increasing waistline. It’s burning because everyone thinks I am getting more cumbersome by the day. A recent conversation with my tata went this way.

My tata: “Exercise madta idya?” “Are you exercising?”
Me: “Madbeku. Maditini” “I need to. I will”
Me to Me: Oh no not again! This conversation happens everytime I meet him! And I still make those promises like Gen. Musharraf makes on fighting terrorism.

MT: “Madbekappa exercise. Illa andre nodu ee naduve heart problems barta ide chikka chikka avarige. Aa Mr. X gottallva ninge? Avanige 35 kooda aagilla vayyasu, aagle heart attack anthe. Doctors helidru avanige avana weight inda ne avanige aagirodhu antha. So neenu nodko”

“You must exercise. Otherwise, nowadays young people are being affected by heart problems. You know that Mr. X? He was hardly 35 years of age and has had an heart attack already. Doctors told him to reduce weight. You should also take care”

Me: “Hun Tata. Madtini” “Yes Grandfather. Will do”
Me to Me: Atleast this time bugger start doing something once you are in chennai. Don’t keep promising like this to him.

MT: “Nanu S ge yavaglu heltane irtini. Avanu enu madalla. Nodu ivaga henge iddane antha!” “I always used to tell S to exercise and control his weight. He never did anything. Look at him now!”
Me: “Hun tata. Madtini” “Yes Grandfather. Will do”
Me to Me: Okay. From tomorrow I should start exercising. I will get up at 6AM and do some jogging and stretching for atleast 40 minutes.

They are all not entirely wrong you know. They include my mother and every well-wisher of mine. My body today resembles someone like Bomman Irani. Ok to be more precise, the top portion (waist and above, don’t get ideas!) resembles Bomman Irani’s top portion and the legs portion resembles Rambha (I mean that thin! you know!)

Next day morning 6AM. My mobile alarm is almost ready to stand up and crush me to death. No wonder my mobile looks like Amrish Puri to me! Till 6.45AM I am successfully snoozing the alarm when my wife gets up and starts her booting up process to go to office. After she gets up you need no alarm. You are so alarmed at the sounds she can produce once she is awake, you are automatically awake and up on your feet.

One joke to end the random post:
One particular day at office, my colleagues were having tears in their eyes and the sounds in the office were not particularly sad. So, I was looking around as to what was happening. Then one of them managed to explain the joke to me. Somebody had written physiotherapeutist as physio-the-rapist. I was like, “duh?!”. I had to laugh.

Absentee reporting from Class of ’95

September 18, 2006 at 11:48 am

I missed it. I missed it. I missed it.

:( :( :(

Well, as usual I bunked it. I was notorious for bunking since my schooldays itself! But this time I wasn’t playing TT or volunteering for some event, I was sitting at home! (Since, I might cry if I continue typing this, I shall stop here and allow you people to relish the moment! Maja maadi…)

But there are photos that have been sent to me by my classmate Sutejas. We are from the batch of 1995. And from the photos I gather that my batch is the #2 going by number of people attended! Great going guys! (Jayanth, please don’t correct me if I am wrong! heh heh!)
Jayanth was the main organiser of the get-together. He is from the batch of 1996.

How much I would have liked to be a part of this get-together! But then, there’s always a next time, right? Right Jayanth?! ;) Say yes! You have no other option!

Blame Sutejas for the quality of photos!

Check it out here.

Links:
My School blog
My School yahoogroups homepage
My batch googlegroups homepage
My school-gang yahoogroups homepage

Sometimes life can be like this – Final Part

September 13, 2006 at 2:33 pm

Continued from Part I

UPDATED with English Translation of the Kannada sentences

As I sat there with my tea being only two sips poorer, the talkative boy approached me. This was his third round within a span of twenty minutes to clear my table. Generally people finished their tea within that much time I guess. I had noticed him come and retreat with various plates and containers from other tables over his previous rounds, but didn’t have the presence of mind that the kid would love to finish with this table too.

He approached me with a sympathetic look and asked, “Aa tea thannige agogiratte. Bere tankodla? Bisi ne beku antha helidri allva adakke kelde aste. Kopa madkobedi.” in what was a clear reference to our first conversation where I was rude to him.

“The tea would have gone cold. Shall I get you another one? Now, don’t shout at me for this, I just asked because you were particular about having your tea hot”

I looked at him and the tea in front of me. I didn’t remember whether I had sipped the tea or not, but my burnt lips did signify that I had. I appreciated his customer-centric attitude despite my apathy towards him and said, “Aadre nanu kudididdini kanappa idarinda. Adu henge bere thankodtiya?

“I have already tasted the tea. Will you replace it even then?”

“Enu parvagilla sir. Neevu yaavdo gnangadalli iddeera. Tea kudiyodu marethogiddeera. Nimma kashta nimmge. Atleast olle tea ondu tankodtini bidi. Adarinda nimma kashta enu kammi agalla aadre olle tea kotte antha nange santosha agutte.”

“No issues Sir. You seem to be lost in a world of your own and have forgotten to have the tea. You have your problems. Atleast I can get you some good tea to drink. Even though it doesn’t heal your pain, it would make me a happier man because I would have given you some good tea to drink.”

I just broke down. I guess I was waiting to break down. It had been a long time since anybody had actually bothered about me and my life. I wanted to hug that guy and thank him for his concern. But he didn’t quite look at me once he knew that I was in tears and had covered my face between the table and my arms. He quietly picked up the glass and walked off. I could hear the clipty-clopty sound of his hawai chappals fade away from my curled-up presence.

I came from the “Men don’t cry” school of thought. But here I was totally helpless. I found myself crying uncontrollably. I cried for my father, my brother, my mother and also myself. I just cried it all out. I didn’t know why it was happening and I couldn’t control it. I guess I cried for about half an hour or so with my arms curled around my head which was resting on the table.

I didn’t realize the kid was back with my tea. He had carefully waited for me to show my head again and approached my table. He avoided eye contact, probably for the fear of making me cry again, and just left the tea on the table and went away. I was too overwhelmed with my own crying that I didn’t want to begin talking to him. The tea was piping hot and I liked my tea to be hot.

As I resumed sipping the new tea, I noticed a dog stroll down the aisle separating the dhabha and the highway. The burnt lip hurt but the tea tasted better. It was a masala tea and I had not specified that to the boy. The dog had a belt around its neck. And that seemed strange to me. Just then the talkative kid ran behing the dog and attempted to direct it away from the highway. His timing was perfect because a truck loaded with more than what it could handle zoomed past the dhabha at a speed of 80kmph that would have run over the dog easily. For truck drivers, dogs are more of a liability than a beautiful form of life.

The kid caught the dog by its belt and dragged it into the dhabha. The dog blissfully unaware of what had just happened was happily wagging its tail and trying to lick the kid’s face. It was a cross breed-German Shepherd almost the height of the kid. The kid walked upto my table noticing that the glass was empty. The dog was close on his heels. And I loved dogs.

As he picked up the glass, he asked,”Tea chennagitta?” “Was the tea good?”
I replied, “hun”. “Yeah”

The dog was near my legs smelling my footwear. I was rubbing its neck and body. Dogs have this ability to make you forget sadness by making you shower affection on them. The kid started shouting at the dog asking it to get away from my feet.

I said, “Irli bidu. Nange naayigalu andre ista. Enu idara hesaru?” “Its ok. I like dogs. What’s his name?”
“Shaaroo”, he replied.

Interesting name I thought. “Chennagide hesaru. Enu hangandre?” “Nice name. What does it mean?”
“Nange Shaarookaan andre sakkat ista. Adakke avana hesare ittbitte.” “I like Shaarookaan a lot. So, I adopted his name for my dog.”

I almost burst out laughing. It was amazing how life could make u cry one second and laugh the next. I hated SRK!

“Sari. Elli siktu ninge ee nayi?”. “Ok. Where did you get hold of this dog?” It was a cross-German shepherd and one of the costly breed of dogs.

“Eno gottilla sir, bahala dinagalinda nanna jote ne ide aste. Ee dhabha serakke munche nanu city nalli footpath mele idde. Ondu divasa nanu oota madbekadre nanna oota kitthkondu horatuhoytu. Avattu nange bahala hasivu aagittu, adakke nanu adanna attiskondu hogi nalakku vadde. Aste sir. Avattinda nananna bittilla idu. Estondu divasa nange oota tankottide bere. Nanu shaaaroo na bidalla.”
“I don’t know sir. A few days before getting into this dhabha I was on the footpath. And one particular day, this dog came running and snatched my meal for the day and ran away . I was so hungry that I ran behind this dog and beat the hell out of it. After that it hasn’t left me. What’s more is that many days it has found food for me when I was hungry. I will never leave sharoo”

The dog had started licking my hands now. And it liked playing with me. Dogs and I got along very well.

“Dhabha serbekaadre nimma ejamaanaru enu anlillva naayi bagge?” “Didn’t the dhabha owner object to your dog coming alongwith you here?”
“Avaru helidru naayi togondu baa bekadre aadre adakke ootakke ella neene nodkobeku aste” “Yeah, he said that I would have to take care of the dog’s hunger et al”

“Aadru nanu oppikonde. Shaaroo illde irakke agalla nange. Nange oota illde hodru sari adakke oota haktini. Yake andre adu yavattu nanna jote bidalla. Nange enu aagde iro hange nodkota irutte”, he continued with his eyes getting moist, “Bidi, nimmge yake ee kathe ella. Nanu hogtini. Ondu tea mooru rupayi. Nanu nimmanna kelde ne masala tea tande adakke ondu rupayi extra sir. Neevu beda andre eradu rupayi kodi parvagilla.”

“I immediately agreed. I can’t live without Shaaroo. Even if I don’t have enough to eat, I make sure he is fed because he will never leave me alone and go. Moreover he takes care of me too”, he continued with his eyes getting moist, “Well, why should I bother you with all these stories. I ll leave now. One tea costs three rupees. And because I got masala tea which is one rupee more without asking you, you might chose not to pay me that one rupee.”

He motioned the dog to come towards him and the dog happily followed him wagging his tail.

“Sari sari togo ittko. Bahala matadtiya kano neenu”, I handed over a ten-rupee note, “Change ittko neene. Shaaroo ge enadru tinnisu.”
“Okay. okay. Take this and keep the change”, I handed over a ten-rupee note, “Get something for Shaaroo too”

“Bahala taanks sir”
“Many thanks sir”

“Lo nimma appa amma ella ello?”, I asked as he turned to take leave.
“Hey, what about your parents?”, I asked as he turned to take leave.

“Yaarige gottu sir. Yavattu nodilla avarna”, he shouted as he approached the counter dancing and almost running. He was singing “Mitwaa….!”
“Who knows sir. I have never seen them”, he shouted as he approached the counter dancing and almost running.

That was it. I got up and drove back home. I reached home at around 4AM, early in the morning. The door was wide open and I walked in. And none of them at home had slept. Nobody said a word. I didn’t speak to anyone either. I went into the room where my father was lying down with his eyes open staring at the ceiling. I settled onto the carpet made of plastic straw (called “chaape” in kannada) next to him and joined him in staring at the ceiling.

My dad spoke, “Bandyeno? Baa pa baa.”
My dad spoke, “So, you have come?”

Tears started running down my eyes. I replied, “I am sorry appa. I am sorry”

Sometimes life can be like this – Part I

September 12, 2006 at 10:52 am

I flinched as the tea was hotter than expected. Since it was a particularly cold night I had ordered for tea and told the talkative boy to make it hot.

“Sir, enu beku?”
“Ondu tea”

“Bere enu bedva? Roti, dal, paneer butter masala?”
It was natural for someone to order those since it was dinner time. But I wasn’t in the mood to eat.
“Ondu tea togondu baa. Saaku.”

“Sari sir. Nimma ista. Hasivu aagtirabahudu antha kelde aste!”, he shrugged.
“Lo, jaasti matadbeda. Tea togondu ba. Bisi aagi irli!”, I motioned a dismissal with my hands to this young talkative boy. I ain’t generally rude to the waiters, but then he was talking too much. Who was he to bother about my hunger?

I forgot completely about the order and was immersed in my own world. I hadn’t even noticed the boy spilling tea on the table while he almost stabbed the table with the glass. I am generally very meticulous about keeping the table clean and all that. Even at Dhabhas I am no different. But today was a different story altogether. I had taken a sip from the tea glass without even knowing what I had done.

I shook my head vigourously. The burnt lip (or was it my tongue that was burnt?) had got me back to the present. My eyes were filled with tears. They weren’t from the sadness that was within me, but from the tea that I had just had. Oooh… it was just too hot! I didn’t know if I had done the right thing by just fleeing the scene. But it had become just too much.

The latest incident was my father having two heart-attacks within a space of a day. The second attack was accompanied by a cardiac arrest and they had to revive him through “shock” techniques. “Hoge bittidneno?”. My dad’s words reverberated through my mind and my body shuddered at the thought of losing him in these circumstances. I closed my eyes tight as if to close myself from reality and took another sip of tea from the glass. It was tasteless or I don’t remember because I didn’t bother about it. And I was here, leaving him all alone to handle the situation at home.

My elder brother suffered a kidney-breakdown at a very early stage in his life. My father donated one kidney of his to him because the doctors felt that it would have better chances of acceptance with the body. For a couple of years after the transplant, my brother was normal. Then the problem began. Frequent attacks of fever and cold and cough. Increasing impurity levels in the blood, my brother’s body had begun to oppose the new kidney. Going to the hospital daily was a routine. The indication of hopelessness the doctor’s eyes gave away were cleverly shrouded by the words that he spoke.

“Worry madkobedi Sir. Enu agalla. Idella usual post-transplant conditions. Neevu enu worry madkobedi”
“Doctor, namma kynalli adashtu madteevi naavu. Neevu heli enu madbeku antha”

“Neevu enu madteera sir. Ella aa devara kynalli ide. Naavu namma kynalli agiddu madtane iddivi”
“Nimmanne nambidivi Doctor”

This conversation used to repeat itself in my dreams also. At times, I would get up from my bed only to see my brother writhing in pain. I used to wonder, “What is God doing? Does he exist at all?”. Sometimes, I would get angry with the doctors. Why can’t they do something? What’s their problem? But then I know, being an engineer, that solving a problem requires not only knowledge but some amount of divine intervention too. My brother didn’t have it on his side. God had supposedly forgotten about the existence of this creature that he had created but also forgot to support him when it was necessary.

This hospital-doctor-dream-wakeup-see brother in pain had become a daily event in our lives. My mother, suffering from acute arthritis, would do her best to serve us and keep us in good spirits. But poor thing, she couldn’t walk around much too with the joints pain. So, gradually I took over the cooking and cleaning department too. I didn’t want my mother to strain her limbs to the extent that she would have to just lie down for an hour waiting for the pain to subside. Getting up early, cooking, cleaning and hospital and again cleaning, cooking and sleeping were what made my day.

I was a successul engineer. Studied at one of the top 3 colleges of Karnataka and did well too. Was offered a campus placement after my 6th semester at one of the leading IT companies at that time. And as if God was out to prove that He didn’t exist, the offer was revoked by the time I finished my engineering. It came as a blow but that also meant that I could help at home. Take over from mom and help dad in curing brother.

For two years after my graduation, I worked as an intern under one of the professors at India’s leading Science Research Institute. That gave me ample freedom to manage everything I had to do in a day and also work at the night and learn. I was preparing for my PG entrance exam. Being an engineer to do a PG was my dream. Finally, when the results came out and the call letters were sent – I was through to one of the the world’s best Engineering Institute (say WBEI)! Man! That was my dream.. and i was there!

As luck would have it, the WBEI refused to give me a degree because my project hadn’t come out to their expectation. And they ran the risk of losing the funding for the project. So, they had to blacklist me and not confer any degree on me. The project was a work by a team of three of us, and one of them committed suicide as soon as he was told this news. I don’t remember developing suicidal tendencies but for the first time ever, I didn’t brand my late friend a “coward”!

I went back home after this happened. I didn’t believe in dreams anymore. And God? Ha ha! Tell me about it! Then, this series of heart-attacks happened. Now the daily routine meant visiting a hospital but a different one – a cardio speciality. My brother had taken the secondary role. He didn’t demand attention, not that he ever used to. But we now had to deal with my father who was getting increasingly worried about the finances for my brother’s treatment.

Whenever I thought I could chip in to help my father, I would realise that I was a mere B.E.(Bachelor of Engineering) and nothing else to the corporate world. I was worse than a fresher because they would consider me as a person incapable of acquiring a degree. All the years after my B.E. degree would be ignored by the corporate world as they have done. The on-campus offer from the world’s best consulting company wouldn’t hold any water anywhere without the Master’s degree from WBEI. So, I realised that I was not being much of a help anyway.

Not being of much help and having to daily go through this routine again made me go sick. Then, my father came back home from the hospital with a doctor’s recommendation that he should undergo a bypass surgery because the blockage was quite high in the blood vessels leading to his heart. I had just had enough of everything.

After lunch, I just took my bike and started out on a drive and arrived at this dhabha a good 200 kms away from my home. I haven’t told them anything. I didn’t know what they are thinking about my sudden disappearance from the scene. I had left my mobile also at home so that my friends cannot contact me. I just wanted to be alone. I didn’t know how to handle this situation. Will I ever come out of this? What to do? Should I flee completely or get back to help my dad handle the situation? What should I do?

To be continued…

Simi and…

September 11, 2006 at 9:30 am
…her Rendezvous with Chan!
Missed the exclusive rendezvous with the global icon and legend Jackie Chan on Sunday? Only indya.com brings you the complete conversation between the king of action and queen of words!
The show began with Simi saying, “I’ve come here to meet Hong Kong’s one-man film industry. He’s made over a 100 movies… He speaks a language I don’t understand and yet he’s no stranger to me, coz we belong to this family called ‘Cinema’. He was named Chan Kong-Sang, which means, “born in Hong Kong” but the world knows him as the legend called JACKIE CHAN!”
It’s a pleasure to meet you
It’s an honour 

You know something, when I was coming here.. Back home I was telling everybody I am going to Hong Kong to interview Jackie Chan, the reaction was always the same… “Jackie Chan???!!! “Big Smile! Woww! Everybody was so happy and they all said Say Hi to J for me, give him my love!
Just last year I was in India. Before that I really know of so many fans. That really really surprised me! Really thank you! I’m not Indian.. I’m Chinese but there are so many fans and so many people that support me! Thank you! Thank you (Joins hands, does a namaste and bows his head)

Tell me Jackie, you have a face and a name that is known everywhere in the world. Is there any country you have been to, where you have not been mobbed?
At the moment… None!

Everywhere … Everybody knows you…
What really surprised me.. Especially Morocco… in the midst of no where .. almost 10 hours.. mountains… We stopped the car for location scouts and the people… Ah.. Jackie Chan… Haaa.. Why???? In the middle of no where.. mountains.. only few houses … How can anybody know me? That’s really surprising. Then.. Africa.. Even the Zulu.. They go.. Jackie Chan!!!

You are today one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Perhaps in the whole world I know that this kind of stardom does not happen by chance. What is that deep driving desire that has brought you here?
When I was becoming a star I need fame. I want money. I want everything… I want the whole world to recognize me… Wherever I go. When I say Jackie Chan.. They should not say Jackie Who??? They imagine Bruce Lee. Even though they know Jackie Chan. They go. “Oh!!!! Bruce Lee!” One day I want everyone to know who is Jackie Chan!

When you were around six years old, your father went to Australia to work at the American embassy so they left you in a boarding school. The Chinese Oprah School. Now Jackie, the world over everybody knows that boarding schools are very tough but the Chinese…
More tough!!! Don’t tell me! Now even young children, even my son tells me that boarding schools are tough! No! No school was tougher than our school! The government they don’t care about these kind of schools. That’s why Red Cross used to come every month to give me a tooth spray, t-shirts, shoes… Everything! The school was 3000 sq ft. We eat here, sleep here, we training here, do everything here. You know children. 4-5 years old.. We pee on the floor.. When we eat, we drop the rice, everything on the floor… When we walk on the carpet… It’s like sticky… Dirty. It used to stink.

You said that you got very little treat but plenty of punishment.
Yes! If you do something wrong! You get beaten… All over! One day I bring the nuts! I dropped the nuts behind the refrigerator. I moved the refrigerator… I catch the nuts.. The teacher twisted my ear and said.. What are you doing? It’s about time you get some… Bring me to the chair and put me down, and bam bam bam! I was crying! First time in the school.. One weeks later .. I just turned around… And I wanted to go away. Where would I go? My father was not there! Everytime I saw my teacher I would start shaking! Then I know… Wow! That’s my jail!

So they taught you martial arts… Acrobats
Singing, dancing, everything

What about school? Reading, writing?
Yeah! We do have that but that time for us was sleeping time! You can imagine.. You get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, punch kicking until 1 o’clock.

And you had to do a thousand kicks?
A thousand kicks is ok. First you kick high, later you kick low.. But to stop is most painful. When you do this (punches in mid air) and then stop (hand still in the air)

Under these harsh circumstances, Chan’s extraordinary strength, agility and fearlessness were forged!
You have to listen to orders like its an army! You have to eat slow… You cannot make a sound. Even if one person made a sound, the teacher would ask all to stop. Then he would ask all to stop. Then he would take a round and then ask all to start eating again. When teacher finish… we have to finish.

My dream is on… Becoming a stunt coordinator. That’s why I’m learning hard to learning a camera angle, camera movement and luckily becoming a small star after Bruce Lee died. Just small star. At that time there was so many Bruce chair, Bruce table… Everybody… In my poster… Second! BRUCE LEE… Jackie Chan… Starring!

Jackie it was always real action?
Yes!

Real danger?
Yes!

And real injury?
Real action… Real injury!… Stupid?!?!?

Stupid? (smiles) How many broken bones did stardom cost you?
Too many! Cannot count… All over! I haven’t counted the operations. At that time I used to think that was the only way to make a movie.

That time with success your stunts got more and more dangerous. A jump from the sixteenth floor, you thought.. “No! It’s too predictable… Lets make it 21! Why! Mm… Lets hang from a flying helicopter” (Laughs!! )

Why was that necessary?
I wanted to be on the top! At that time everybody learned from Bruce Lee. After my success… Everybody learned from Jackie Chan.

Why didn’t you use computer graphics?
I don’t know how to do computer graphics? I don’t have the knowledge in my head! I felt that’s the only way to make a movie. Before I don’t know.. But now I know. Put the camera. Don’t move. I do the hit then I go. Second shot, get the car… Stop here… Then combine together. Boom! Same thing! It’s more dangerous… The audience do “Wow!!!” and that time… Everybody was scared… I might kill myself…

So many times… Nearly you killed yourself. Why?
That’s the only way I know how to make movie. I jump once ok! Director would say, ‘Ok good shot!’ Every time there was just one shot… When we’re doing a stunt.. There’s no second take!!

Well no insurance company is ready to insure you!
No! Blacklist!

Blacklist!
Jackie Chan. Jackie Chan’s stunt team- Blacklist!

So you pay for everyone’s treatment?
I pay!

Yourself?
Yeah! You hurt in my movie? I’ll take care of you my whole life. That’s my promise.

Tell me Jackie, which would you say is the most difficult stunt you have done, which you were terrified of?
Actually… Every stunt I’m terrified.

Every stunt?
Look… Am an ordinary man! Am not superman! Really! I just… I just… Shows enough… I’m scared. I have to do it. There are so many people watching it… For the movie… For myself… for the fans… For the world. Ok I do it. Baboom Baboom (feeling his heart) BAM!!! Luckily nothing major happened! Boom! Ok Lucky… Broken Arm! Really scared… Even today!

Tell me Jackie. Is Hollywood the ultimate goal for an actor?
I think… Yes! Coz it’s the biggest market in the world. Hollywood is the place to be. No matter your Indian, Chinese… The whole world… Sometimes I ask myself why? Why Hollywood? Why Oscar? You have your own Oscar… We have our own.. Nobody cares! But why Oscar.. Everybody cares… It’s Hollywood.. Everybody wants to get into Hollywood… Even myself. I tried to get into Hollywood. So difficult. 

They didn’t understand you. You didn’t understand them.
In the beginning. My English they just don’t understand. They make my action, they make my kick, they make my punch so slow. They say.. No Jackie.. Your too fast. Then the dialogue coach.. Get rid of the gum.. Dialogue coach taught me how to speak English They don’t care the action .. they care about my English. They want me to speak perfect English. Even now I cannot speak perfect English.

You had a bit of a love-hate relationship. You loved Hollywood and you hated Hollywood.
Yes! After I tried to stay American for two years I realized I’m not the biggest star. There are so many big stars. I speak no English. Nobody likes Jackie Chan movies. They like John Wings, They like Bruce Lee, they like Clint Eastwood. They didn’t like my action.

Did you become a bit of a playboy?
Not I becoming a playboy, it’s the girl who made me become a playboy… Not I am after them… They after me… Really I don’t care about love… I care about movie… I care about fun… So this way… Are you my girl friend? They come… You can feel it… You can tell… Go out for dinner… Ya Come… Then I met another one, another one… They call me… Of course I also need a girl friend… But there are so many… Which one’s the best… I don’t know… I don’t have the chance to know them… I don’t want to know them… I am too selfish… When I have dinner with all my stunt team, all my group… I remember this very famous singer

Teresa Teng?
(Pause for a while)… How can you know that? She asked me, “Can I have dinner with you one day?” I said, we have dinner everyday. She said, “No, I mean just you and me” .. OK , OK… She arranged the dinner in a French restaurant. They gave me the menu… I did not know how to read. Then she said what do you want… Steak? Ya, steak… Then the people asked me how would you like the steak? I said, What? What are you saying? Medium or rare… No, well done is not good… I said well done… I want well done. What ever she said I am opposite. I just tell you never do it again.

You separated?
At that time, I am young. I was too selfish… I don’t know the meaning of love… If I know, If I am not selfish, if I know the meaning of love… I am might get married to Teresa Teng… How good she is… So sweet… So beautiful… We are not fit… She is so ady… I am like a jerk… I think because of ten years in my martial art school.

Then in 1981, you decided to get married? Why at that stage did you want to get married?
She had the baby. Then, I said, Wow you have my baby .. that’s my responsibility. Then, because when we go out the first day… The newspaper – ‘Jackie has new girlfriend’. Two crore sue… In Japan… After sue… My company said you cannot say anymore… You have to hide. .. Which is hiding… It’s not the issue of the baby… I have to go away.

To Los Angeles
She went to Los Angeles… Not because of American citizen… No… no… we are hiding from the paparazzi… That’s all… She is hiding… The baby comes out… What can I do? Can we marry? I don’t want to marry… I am a bad boy… Then, ok… She said, “I don’t want the baby having no father.” Ok, then I sign a paper. Today I get married… Next day the baby comes out … Then, Bye bye… Then I go back… Come back to Hong Kong… the movie continues… I don’t care anymore… That’s me… But, all these years I am learning … Yes, I am wrong … I did something wrong … But now I am good father .

But in the world of Jackie Chan, what room is there for family, love… For marriage.
The family is already there… Even my wife, my son they want something, do something they don’t call me… They call the manager, they call the assistant… So never care about family… So I am still concentrating on business… Today, if I quit… Boom… Bye bye everything…

Jackie, I want to ask you, with whom in your life you have the deepest emotional connection…
I don’t know… I think there are two or three people… One of course is my manager… May be one more I can’t think about who she is or he is…

Have you seen any Bollywood movies?
Yes

Which ones have you seen?
I can’t remember, I just know, Indian movies always singing… 3 hours – 4 hours. What are they doing? What are they speaking? Why dancing again? Why singing? But today, the dancing compared to 30 years ago, the movement, the technology, wow and choreograph the dancing, it’s just amazing …

What do you think about the stunts?
I think a lot of things are learnt from us.

Oh sure…
Ya, But now, everybody learns from everybody.

Why don’t you make a film in Bollywood?
I will, I want to… For so many years… Just the script

Forbes magazine has named you among the biggest charity givers in the world, celebrity charity givers in the world along with Oprah, Anjelina Jolie and Sunny Bono. I want to ask you for a boy who grew up hungry and who made his fortune literally by breaking his bones. How easy is it for you to give charity?
Pretty easy right now… I am learning… When I am doing charity I am learning how to do it… When I first got a million… I am the king… I am the king of the world. That time I bought diamond watches, sports car, everything. But after I learnt so many things from so many people… Now, come back… I was so poor when I was a child… So many people helped me… People sent me food… Who are they… I don’t know… Now I have to return to the society. So I started a foundation in Hong Kong. Last year, I built 11 schools in China, this year I will build another two schools. I will continue to do all things… Not for fame… Now I am really doing it from the heart.

The Hong Kong entertainment community calls him Diego (Big Brother)

Jackie you have had many blessing its like you know the fortunes of a million people have all been handed over to you? What you count as your biggest blessing?
I think… When you do a lot of things… Everybody knows Jackie Chan. That’s what God wants me to do – Charity.

Jackie… You have conquered many worlds… You have lived many lives… What’s left now to prove to the world… Or to yourself..
Now, I just do what I want… I tell my manager next week I am free… I want to go somewhere to do some charity… Makes me happy… When I go to sleep I do something good for the world, or for my family, for myself then I can sleep very tight.

Your 52, do the years ahead frighten you .. does old age frighten you…
Before yes, but now, not anymore. I am very lucky! Jackie Chan is really a miracle… Sometimes I look into the mirror and say why me? I think I will be happy… I didn’t miss anything… If 10 years ago… 20 years ago… You ask me… No, I don’t want to die… Not now… I have to so many things to do.

Do you feel you could have done more in your life?
Yes… If I can done more charity… I would make less movie… If I would make more movies… I would do less charity.

Could you have loved more in your life?
I am learning… Still learning … Still learning…

Jackie…. Thank You for a memorable rendezvous… I’ve loved every bit…
I don’t think this was an interview… Just like a conversation… I speak everything truth… You made me very comfortable…

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