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Dec 19, 2006

A Reason to be a Plumber

We met for coffee. She had called me, so I could guess, it was to talk about me.

"Your Mom wanted me to talk with you." I wince and look away.
"Its about you being a plumber." I make a face.
"Its been months, and now its not funny."
I shrug and say "Maybe it wasnt meant to be funny".
She sighs. "You gave up your job, so soon, after His death to become a Plumber. She thought there could be some connection, and thought I could convince you."

He, was her dead husband. One of my best friends, like her.

"Haven't we been through this before?"

She gets mad, and I cant help smiling, and as usual, that just makes her more mad.

"Dont start on what I should do. There must be some reason, to be a Plumber" she yells, and then quickly lowers her head, realising she has spoken too loudly. I smile more broadly, and she fumes.

I stretch my legs, sip my coffee and say
"Since I opted to become a plumber, many theories have been floating around regarding my motives. Why dont you try to see if anyone of them, makes sense". And I remove a sheet from my pocket and read from it, since I had come well prepared.

"1. Childhood dream.
This is by those who cant think of anything. And for anything and everything, think it goes back to childhood. I wonder if they would have mentioned the Childhood Dream Theory, if I had become an autopsy surgeon.

2. A Spy in disguise
Err please go back to your movies and novels. Truth is stranger than fiction.

3. All About a Girl and a Broken Heart
If the elderly mention childhood dreams, the guys my age, think the only reason a guy would go crazy (i.e decide to become a plumber) would be because of a girl. Maybe they think, I hide my tears due to the broken heart, by blaming the leaky pipes (wouldnt being a chef and cutting onions a better option?). Never mind, thats not the answer.

4. I love it
Now again, why would someone love cleaning clogged drains? Again, would they have mentioned this theory, if I had been an Autopsy Surgeon.

5. Perhaps secret income in the form of blackmail
When folks call me to fix their pipes, I dont fix tiny cameras and neither do I inject them with truth serum.

6. An excuse to meet a certain woman
Ha if its not a broken heart, it must be sex, according to some guys. Life for me, isnt whats potrayed on Desperate Housewives or Ekta serials for that matter.

7. Aspiring actor/model, who has pride and therefore a part time assignment or a writer wanting to write "Plumber diaries".
Thats perhaps by those who havent seen me:D and "Plumber Diaries", that would be about pipes not people, so no chance of being a bestseller.

8. Laziness
Hmmmm. Yeah I love being lazy and working slowly, in a stinking, wet, room.

9. Lack of opportunities. Blame the government.
Not exactly. Unlike the unfortunate, atleast I am employed.

10. Hate my Family
Thats by those who realise my family, hates me for my "career choice". "

11. I am Gay and dont want to get married
Hmmm Plumbers can never get married?"

I pause, I have come up with only 11. I like an even figure, can you think of another one, and please dont say "I am crazy, thats a boring theory"

She smiles mischeivously and adds
12. This is a secret marketing strategy, developed by your marketing team to get you inside the house, and talk to your clients about credit cards. Since all potential clients slam the phone or the door, when you start talking about credit cards.
I laugh "Hmmm, perhaps not a bad idea, and perhaps I should contact my ex-Boss and convince him to give me back my job. But how do I start the conversation with my clients. "I have done my job, but you could pay me with a credit card. And I can suggest a perfect card for you, even if you have 5 cards. And if you apply through me, I can get you a complimentary, tap, free?"

She grins and looks steadily into my eyes. I simply smile back. We have finished the coffee. And now she has to hurry back home, so that her mother in law wont be suspicious. And her cosister's children would be home from school soon.

"Please change. Its just so horrible for them." she pleads.

"To say, my elder son is a plumber and my younger son, a software engineer?"

She sulks and then says."I just hope you are not ruining your life, because of me."

"So its ok to ruin my life, as long as its not due to you?" I retort lightly as the bill arrives.

She seems upset. I pay. For the first time, in our friendship, she doesnt volunteer to share. We both realise it, and yet pretend to not realise it.

We get up, and as we leave, I say "You know, I owed him some money, but I could save only a part of it till now". And try to hand her an envelope.

She stands still, stunned. "He never told me, about it."
"The poor guy was so scared of you, in my earlier job I would have paid back in a month, so he probably didnt tell you."
I shrug. "Of course, I would rather not pay it back, but unlike you, I dont wanted to be haunted by him."

She sighs and says "I wish he would haunt you and scare you into doing something else. Now what do I tell your mother, her son is just crazy?" I shrug again.

She stares at the envelope, unsure. I say, "Hey if you dont want, what is yours, dont blame me, if I dont give it to you, again."

She perhaps thinks, its genuine and not charity and takes it with a smile and says "Now I need money and you better switch your career, if you want to finish off the loan quickly"

I retort "Sorry, I cant make a career change, just for you." That seems to make her happy. And she walks away, while I stand near the door waiting, so that we wont be seen together.

After a few steps, she turns around to wave at me and says "Just be happy.. and take care.."

I smile, nod and wave. And walk home after a few minutes.

Being a plumber is not fun. But its easier than being an electrician for me. And it also makes it easier, to talk to the maid, who works in the flat, adjacent to hers. (They stopped the maid, since She could do that work). And the neighbour's maid feels comfortable talking to a curious plumber, not a telemarketing guy.

I do wonder, if I would have realised otherwise, she doesnt have the money, to buy what she needs, every month, and her embarrassment, last week, when asked to justify her expenses, to her inlaws. After all she wasnt supposed to spend for herself, like her cosister, who had an independent income.

True, my family is embarrassed over my choice. But thats nothing compared to her embarrassment, when it comes to discussing her problems.

My family isnt proud of me, but then, she is too proud to discuss her situation with her parents or friends.

Plumber might not be the best choice. But it was what I could come up with, at that moment. Instead of wasting my time, thinking about the doing the best, I go along with my choice, making the best out of it.

- Jupiter

Previously with these characters
Censor the Sad Movies
Imagine - Him Her & Me
This is fictional entry in the Imagine series.

Post no.345

Dec 11, 2006

The Monk who Cut Off His and other links

I need material for blogging, and everyday, I spend couple of hours, browsing. Sometimes I just copy paste the link for reference, and if its serious data, keep the entire article. Since I am unable to blog on all of them, since I am trying to restrict myself to just couple of posts per week.Thought I might do a post on interesting links I came across in the last few weeks.

And for those who are wondering on the title. One among the posts, that I have been trying to frame is on sex and celibacy. Well this is related to it. When I first read it, I was thinking phew, now we could have a new bestseller, The Monk Who Cut off his Penis. But when I realised he didnt want it back, even when, err, it could have been reattached, it did make me wonder, on his mind frame. Till I can come up with something more on it, heres the link
Monk cuts off penis, rejects refix
and some more links, which can make you say, ha ha, hmmm, oh or What!. Read them, and let me know what you think.

A passenger lighted matches in flight to mask odours from her flatulence. Flatulent passenger grounds flight

Photographs taken from orbit suggest that water may have flowed on the surface of Mars in the very recent past — or may still do so — raising yet again the possibility of life on Mars. NASA images show water on Mars. Life?

Reduces traffic jams, pollution and saves fuel and time. Mumbai social network organizes car pooling

Medico Legal Institute of Madhya Pradesh has no idea what to do with about 25 foetuses preserved by it in the hope of offering them for research.
No one has turned up so far to seek them either. Besides the foetuses, it has also preserved an equal number of livers, spleens and brains of foetuses, thinking that either a government institute or a private one would take them for research. A chilling reminder: Bhopal ‘gas leak’ foetuses go on display

Since the mid-1980s, the stubborn brown cloud of pollution that shrouds much of India, coupled with increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, together have limited both the yields and extent of rice farms in the nine Indian states that account for most of the country's wet-season harvest, University of California researchers report in a new study. One of the world's largest clouds of pollution, formed from soot from fires, factories and tailpipes, wafts over much of India. That cloud cuts the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth and in turn reduces rainfall amounts, in part since its dimming effect dents the amount of water evaporated from the sea. Rise in pollution, rice in trouble

The free-software approach poses a challenge to Microsoft Corp, whose success revolves around sales of its long-dominant Windows operating system and Office suite. Google takes technology to schools

The NCAER data is supported by estimates made from school level NCERT (National Council for Educational Research and Training) data: which indicates a somewhat lower level of 2.3 per cent of Muslim children aged 7-19 years who study in madrassas. The proportions are higher in rural areas and among males." Only 3 pc Muslims study in madarssas

The quality of water supplied by municipal corporations in India's metros is unfit for consumption and can cause potentially fatal diseases. Metros neck deep in murky water

The latest data available with the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) shows that only two of the 131 foreign institutes, offering degrees and diplomas for a range of courses in collaboration with Indian partners, have bothered to get necessary government approvals. Foreign institutes head for trouble

And what if the children too are below the poverty line? And when the retirement age in many companies isnt 60, what about the gap. Instead of this bill, there should be a social practise of not financing the children after they turn 18. Mainly to avoid higher education and wedding exps. that could be used for retirement. If a child can vote, he/she ought to take care of education and marriage. Govt to bring Bill to protect elders

But some experts have doubts over the sketchbook's authenticity. They say the quality of work here isn't as good as his 10-12 other sketchbooks.New Ravi Varma sketchbook discovered

The disabled make up six per cent of India's total population and yet there are no awareness programmes or AIDS-related services for them in India. Disabled population prone to abuse

( is developing a type of spray can into which the man inserts his penis first. At the push of a button it is then coated in a rubber condom. It could be in market from 2008. Here's a tailor-made spray-on condom

After a car accident armed with a degree in Architecture and Inclusive Environments, Shivani Gupta is now involved in doing an access audit, in seeing just how customer friendly the hospitality sector is towards the disabled. Woman beats disability to spread awareness

Sandeep Kaler a visually challenged creates digital audio books for print disabled people. The disabled who are willing & able

This is the 2nd incident in the same unit in 6 months. Family blames officers for Lt Col's death

Because abused kids are not a votebank. Red tape delayed ashram kids' rescue

It takes one month to act for a minister? Poor enforcement makes mockery of laws for children

Thirty-two-year-old Major Manish Pitambare of 3 Paras died from the injuries he received during an operation, in which he killed the Hizbul's most wanted commander Suhail Faisal. Braveheart major dies fighting terror

First lets educate every MP AIDS ignorant: Truckers, and MPs

Underworld Wide Web: Orkut in dock

Get close to Kylie's butt, lose your job This was at the madam tussad

Shocking stats: Every fourth MP in India 'tainted' The interesting thing is that Lok Sabha records show that every fourth MP has a criminal record. Cases range from murder to cheating.Of the UPA's 36 MPs with a criminal background two of whom are in jail. Fifteen are from the Congress, 10 from the RJD and five NCP MPs. The Opposition is no better of the NDA's 37 MPs, 26 of them are from the BJP. While the SP and BSP have 18 MPs with criminal record.

Trained bees can sniff bombs: scientists Bees could be carried in hand-held detectors the size of a shoe box, and could be used to sniff out explosives in airports, roadside security checks, or even placed in robot bomb disposal equipment. the next step would be to manufacture the bee boxes and train security guards in their use.

Teacher crunch affects Patna school One such primary school in Patna does not even have a building and classroom. Rather it is being run in the premises of a temple and the teachers too have gone missing for the past six months. In the Kahjaekala Primary School, senior students have taken to teaching their juniors because for the past month there's been no sign of the government-appointed teachers.

Kolkata students in clean up campaign The environment campaigners spend their Sunday cleaning up a locality with the message not to litter plastic bags and chocolate wrappers.

Retreats for dogs doing good business better for dogs or the dog business?

Italy whips Google over bullying video When Indians hold website officials responsible as in DPS-Bazee case, we are being pig headed but when Europeans do it, they are pioneers

9,000 Delhi kids missing in last three yrs Over 2,500 children have been reported missing in 2006 itself, according to figures available with the missing persons squad of Delhi Police

Cops take ATM route for bribe money The ACB took action and the officials arrested.

RTI turns costly for Punjab farmer He spent Rs.24000 for 11900 pages

HP may treat female foeticide as murder But will the mother suffer? The other iniatives of giving incentives to panchayats with more female births, family planning after girl child etc seem better. But unless, women take care of their parents, parents arent going to wish for girls.

Defective salary scheme irks TN employees While some get no salary others get double salary and it not easy maintaining minimum Balance which comes to 50% of their salary sometimes.

Delhi police to employ Dhoom bikers While the bikers will go through their paces as regular members of the Delhi police, they will also be part of a special squad.

Onions, garlic may lower cancer risk

TN govt to bring in bill on court language Every year nearly one lakh cases are filed in the Madras High Court - a court with one of the highest backlogs in the country.

Dead man gets court summons in Himachal A man who died 26 years ago was asked to appear in a court in Shimla after summons were issued in his name over a land dispute, much to the surprise of his family

Govt seed relief in Vidarbha ends up sowing resentment Read it.

UK protests against Kazakh Hindus harassment I dont know if Indian government also protested.

Wages of power: cattle & cash

Male chimps find older females sexier

China to build world's largest solar plant seeking to ease its dependence on coal to fuel

Branding Children is kutch witch doctors' preferred prescription

Subsidised cow to prevent suicide? In Vidarbha, look who ride cattle scheme

US push for drink detectors in cars

Finally, justice for 3 disabled After TOI highlighted the discrimination against them — of being denied a service cadre despite being selected in the 2005 civil services exams — the Prime Minister took up the matter and on Monday all three were allotted services

Free Viagra spices up small town life

Daughter digs well for disabled parents
Nasrin dug a well for her parents in just 20 days. Her father hurt his chest in an accident a few months ago and can't even take his auto rickshaw out for more than an hour each day.

2 of my favourite opinions recently
Kaun banega conpati On the Amitabh UP ad. I agree with every word in it.
Women in public life confront sexist hypocrisy that goes by the name of tradition On the Vasundra Raje, kiss controversy.

344th post.

Dec 7, 2006

Friendly yet Friendless

Did I write that? Did I think those stuff? Cool. I thought, when I came across 3 comments yesterday in Blogging about Boss. Its not even a year old. Yet, if someone had asked me, what I had written on that topic, I would have just stared back. And perhaps could have come up with one point after thinking, for 5 minutes. And yesterday, while going through my list to select my Favourites, I came across, couple of titles, whoose contents, I didnt have a clue.

Sure every stuff I write is original and comes from the heart, filtered by the head. But its tough when memory fails you.

When you open the fridge and stare at it for a minute, your mind goes blank, and yet you desperately want to remember, feeling helpless, as if I am drowning in dark waters, staring at the contents, hoping for a clue, wondering why I opened it.

And then thankfully, logic rescues me. I Think back, at what I had been doing. And realise, for cooking that thing, I would have needed to open the white door of the cupboard, not the white door of the fridge. Happens with people all the time. But its tough when it happens too many times, in a day. And hey I am just 32 not 82. And its not easy when you cant just remember 482.86 and have to copy paste it from one screen to another.

I struggle hard to remember, and many times, its ironical to be complimented for memory. Well thats because, most people take their memory for granted, I dont. I think back or write down. You become obsessed with thought, when you have to rely on the thought process.

But this isnt just about memory and me. Its the logic, that I insert into everything. The compulsiveness, I feel to be correct.

After 10th Prelim exam results, when I went from home to school for the 3rd time, to tell the geography teacher my marks have to be reduced. A paper corrected by perhaps another generous student, for a result that wouldnt be recorded, I remember the puzzled words of the teacher "What are you trying to do?". I dont think I had an answer, and even now I dont have, other than a voice which said, "This isnt the right mark, take it back, to the school"..It was fine once, but thrice?? And as a quirk its fine once, but at every point in life??

I want to finish this post soon, because I am not comfortable, talking about myself. Sure I like attention, but at what I create, not at self. Because I would hate, to be misunderstood. And I pity the person who misunderstands my point, since I will come back again and again, to clarify and communicate my point.

And while people just think, I think over the way I think and the way, others think. It of course helps while analysing or understanding, and the base of logic, creates in a funny way, emphathy for everyone. And perhaps, its wonderful that I am pursuing Psychology.

But this mind, puts a toll on my relationship. When I sound like a lawyer and break down the sentences, in an arguement. Or when I speak like I am under oath, mentioning all the Ifs and all the exceptions, in casual conversations.

And people are wrong when they say they want someone to be understanding and good. Understand people too much, they wonder if you are manipulating them. And by being good, you just make them feel guilty, and no one likes to feel guilty.

Why am I writing it? Because while framing the 3rd and Last Post on Finding Friendship, I wondered how I would define my friend. And what I would expect from my friend.

It took just few seconds to come to the sentence,"My friend would be a person who thinks like me". Thats not the same as agreeing with me.

But unless the person sees the patterns I do, while watching a movie, reading a book, or just in a conversation, it will be tough to have a long term relationship with me. Sure I have many good relationships, some due to family and some due to acquaintance. But to me, they arent friendships.

A friend is someone who will understand me. Who understands why I have two different hobbies, Thinking and Imagining. Who understands how its possible to be idealistic and cynical at the same time. Who understands why death doesnt disturb me, and yet why a line from a movie, can make me sob. Who understands my humour, and my passion. And who doesnt think I am joking when I am being serious, and serious, when I am just joking:D

If Friendship is about trust,
Its tough to trust, what you dont understand
And its tough to understand me,
When you dont know understand, the way I think.

My mind and the way I think, helps me to be friendly to everyone. Yet leaves me without a true friend. If Friends are defined as people without bloodties, who CARE about me, I am thankfully blessed with many. But my there would be more in my ideal friendship.

I realise if I changed the way I think, I would have more friends and possibly be more happy.
But if I change the way I think, am I being, me, Myself?
And if I cant be happy with myself,
Whats the point of being happy due to others?
And so I simply smile, feel good, for being me,
and hope to find a friend,
even when I am prepared to never have a friend.

PS : If you are reading this link because you are a stranger who emailed me or said over messenger, "I would like to know you and be your friend". Well I hope this serves as a lesson to you. Beware of the crazy people you can find on the net. Luckily for you, I am not a serial killer.

PPS : Bloggers who write, I may not have friends because I dont give what I want, havent understood the post, or perhaps didnt have time to read the post:D

A Blogger's Initiative. Help if Possible. The 343

Dec 4, 2006

Finding Friendships - II - The S Factor

My muse spoke during the previous post, on how tough its for singles to find friends. And now, my conscience speaks on how its tougher to find friends, after being married. The S factor, ie the Spouse factor, interfers, not only when one tries to find new friends, but could also could cut down on existing friends. Well thats something the Singles, dont have to worry about.

Before the moan and groan, lets classify, the Couples. There are just 2 kinds of Couples. Married with kids, and Married without kids.


Rule 1 : Married with kids, dont gel well with Married without kids.
The “with Kids” dont understand, why the “withouts” can't understand, their children are precious, talented, sweet kids, and why the “withouts“ make a big deal out of kids crying, or be mean and deny kids their mobile or remote control, when the little angel asks for them..The without Kids dont understand why the kids control everything. And why the parents pamper the kids and turn them into spoilt wailing brats. (After having kids, they will know the mysterious, secret reason).

Rule 2 : Just because you get along with your friend and you both dont have kids, doesnt mean
Your spouse will like your friend
Your spouse will like your friend's spouse
Your friend will like your spouse
Your friend's spouse will like you
Your friend's spouse will like your spouse.
And when in a group, when one doesnt like the other, its not easy to take it beyond acquaintance. And its not always possible to exclude the spouses.

Rule 3 : If you have kids, what matters is not whether, you, your friend, your friend's spouse or your spouse like each other.
All that matters, is whether the kid likes the friend's kid. Never ever maintain a friendship with a parent of a child your kid hates. You dare to raise an eyebrow? Go ahead braveheart try it, and dont forget to take earplugs to combat the wails. You are stuck up with your kid's friend's parents. And dont worry, your kid wont get into undesirable friendships. It knows that if it makes the maid's kid, its friend, the maid's kid, doesnt have the toys it has.

Rule 4 : Its tougher for women after marriage to find new friends than men. Especially if they dont live in a nuclear family.
There is a difference between stepping out of the house to meet a friend approved by the inlaws, then to say vaguely, I am going to this place, hoping to make new friends.

Rule 5 : For women living with inlaws, other than the above, also avoid having these people as friends, even if they were your friend before marriage.
1. Divorcees : Even if she is the best friend, she is a bad influence. So you are expected to dump her or maintain a distance from her.
2. Widows : She could be bad luck. But if she fits in with the customs, and she has been your friend since highschool, well..she could be ok..
3. Women who have been married for 2 years and still dont have kids. (Even if you dont have kids, she could be a bad influence). This doesnt mean its ok for you to continue your friendship with a woman who has had a child outside wedlock. It could reflect on your character..:D
4. Men : Unless, you a tie Rakhi, men are bad news, especially unmarried men, unless, they want your inlaws to find them wives and are willing to spend more time with them, than with you.
5. Women who are lawyers, police officers, models, etc.
6. People who are NOT friends of the family and their relatives. Therefore, before you talk with a married woman your age, check if her family gets along with your family. Surely you dont want to be a traitor.

Rule 6 : For men, female friends are mostly not ok, unless they are married or have a visible boyfriend.
Widowers, divorcees, men without kids are ok, as long as they can get along with your spouse. Men from any career are ok, as long as they are employed.

Rule 7 : Its tough to Find Friendship if you or your spouse is a Freak.
Social Definition of A Freak :
1. A man who believes women have to be respected.
2. A woman who believes she is a human, and therefore equal to human males.
3. A man or a woman who believes caste and religion, dont matter, even in a private conversation.
4. A man or a woman who is goody goody and believes in paying taxes, not watching pirated movies and treating the servants as humans, not giving bribes and in a nutshell, is just being a pain, for being Holier than thou.
5. A woman who hates shopping for gold,and garments, unless its necessary and a man who hates shopping for electronics, unless its necessary.
6. A male homemaker
7. A female who hates soaps
8. A male who isnt interested in the Indian men's cricket team.
9. A man or woman who thinks a child has to be given what it needs, not what it wants, even if it Wails for it.
10. A man or woman who thinks, discussing current affairs, includes talking about how 7000 Indians die Everyday from Hunger, How a woman dies Every 5 minutes due to childbirth in India (and that its worse than the situation in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh), Neonatal mortality rates, 47% of Indian children are under nourished., female foeticide and that there are only 927 girls per 1000 boys and its becoming every worse every decade, Child marriage is more than 50% in some states, Environment, Cost of Indian Parliament is more than a crore per day and so on..

Rule 8 : Husband talks with Husband and Wife talks with Wife.
Even if initally a Wife and a Husband had been friends from kindergarden. (And if you are a man talking with a husband of your friend from kindergarden, never talk, as if,you know your friend better than the spouse, even if they have been married for just a day. Similar rule for the woman, talking to the best friend's wife.)

Rule 9 : Having pets is like having kids.
People with pets are more likely to find new friendships with those who have similar pets, and of course its important that the pets get along, and the topic of conversation would also include on pet foods and doctors and so on...
If you have pet and kid, well now its important to find people your pet and kid likes. Phew. And may God Bless You.

Rule 10 : If you are :
1. Female Divorcee : Dont waste your time trying to finding friendships with married couple. Unless you have a visible big scar, from your exhusband. Watch out, your married girl friends may have to distance themselves from you.

2. Male Divorcee : You have better options than the female one. But if you have are going to talk about the visible big scar from your ex wife, you better have had an affair, otherwise, no husband wants to befriend a "wimp", even if he is a wimp.

3. Widow : You will have your existing friends, and also your husband's friends. But they will expect you to have a "silent, sad, and yet I will manage smile". If you want to have fun (even 2 years after his death, they arent the right people for you). And dont expect them to find you a new boyfriend or husband.

4. Widower : You too will retain your friends. Be prepared for suggestions of getting married, 1 month after her death. And your friends would love to cheer you up.

5. Live ins : Forget finding friendships in married couples. They will never understand why you dont have to be married, and you will never understand, why they got married.

6. Single Parent : Make friends, with those who have kids.

7. A Homosexual Couple : You can rule out many people as your friends, unless, you can get away with we are room mates, and searching for romance and avoid suspicion. But why would you want endless, suggestions and proposals, when you already have your family doing it for you?

And if you are planning to get married, dont forget to invite everyone you know. Especially those who are already married, whom you avoided because you thought they were boring. Now you know, why you need them.

All Posts on Relationships . Previous Posts for Married : Do you need him to be happy?