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Words to Live By !!

22 Feb

A couple of weeks ago, I visited a friend who was admitted to the hospital. On my way out, I decided to take the stairs (instead of the elevator) since I was just 2 floors up and anyhow the elevator was tiny and claustrophobic. Halfway down, there was an elderly gentleman who was walking down, one hand on the railing and the other hand taking the support of a walking stick. Instinctively I reach out and grab his right arm to support him. He accepted the help gratefully and both of us walk down.

“People expect me to take the elevator” he says, “..but I like to exercise when I can”. When we reached the ground floor he thanks me and then suddenly asks “Are your parent’s alive?”. It was a question that caught me off guard. “Yes..” I said..He then continued.. “If you don’t mind I will tell you something. Talk to your parents for at least five minutes a day. Ask them whether they’ve taken their medication, had their breakfast..just speak to them”…..

He paused for a while before continuing… “It will make their day more enjoyable…”

Words to live by !!!

Culture Culture

5 Nov

Ya ya… we are a multi-thousand year culture.. yada yada yada… bear with me…

Barack Obama wins the election and McCain concedes gracefully. He says that the entire country must help the new President.

“I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face,” McCain said before his supporters in Phoenix, Arizona.

Cut to India. Party 1 wins election against incumbent Party 2.

1. Party 2 accuses Party 1 of rigging and irregularities

2. Party 1 will open all kinds of investigations

3. Party 1 will stop all “development” projects of the previous government.

4. Losing party will hold Dharnas. Burn effigies of the election commissioner

5. People will defect to the winning side. Suddenly opposing principles dont seem too bad

Different Country. Different Culture. Something worth Emulating?

Say that Again Plisss?

15 Sep

Got this one as an email forward.

Literal translations between languages and local customs can be funny. Heres what some American companies found when they tried to launch their products overseas.

When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, “Fly in leather,” it came out in Spanish as “Fly naked.”

Coors (beer) put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”

Chicken magnate Frank Perdue’s line, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken,” sounds much more interesting in Spanish: “It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate.”

Not to be outdone, Puffs tissues tried later to introduce its product, only to learn that “Puff” in german is a colloquial term for a whorehouse. The English weren’t too fond of the name either, as it’s a highly derogatory term for a non-heterosexual.

The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. “No va” means “it doesn’t go” in Spanish.

When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back, they translated their slogan, “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave.”

When Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product something that when pronounced sounded like “Coca-Cola.” The only problem was that the characters used meant “Bite the wax tadpole.” They later changed to a set of characters that mean “Happiness in the mouth.”

A hair products company, Clairol, introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that mist is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the manure stick.

When Gerber first started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as here in the USA – with the cute baby on the label. Later they found out that in Africa companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside since most people can’t read.

Cooku for a Weeku

18 Aug

Every other summer my uncles would visit us from the USA with their families. Invariably our house in Bangalore was the first stop and a staging area while they visited Mysore and other places.

Suddenly the house would be teeming with relatives either staying with us or visiting my uncles. Relatives would come out of the woodworks to visit… and hoping for the odd T-Shirt or perfume bottle. Considering that our house in Jayanagar had 2 small bedrooms, I wonder now how we squeezed so many people in.

It was during one of these visits that mom threw her hands up and said she needed a cook for the 3 weeks that the visitors were around. After all cooking for 20 odd demanding people while you have a full time job as an Economics prof was difficult. She had just lost a cook who was with us for 3 odd years (that nightmarish story later).

After some debate it was decided that a cook had to be hired.. this happened to be a guy who had worked in a Udipi restaurant and was in between jobs.

We kids were excited (my cousins from the US could not care less… they were missing their barrgurrs).. but for us it was a great thing to have a “real” cook at home. Moms cooking was too healthy and not exciting enough.

Day 1- He started off well enough… with some great Idlies and Vada… and typical hotal sambar… great rasam for lunch.. and dinner…there were praises all around.. snide remarks about mom’s cooking… why can’t she get some tips from this guy etc etc… amma has a frown on her face.. “What a cook” we chorus.. “can we keep him?”

Day 2 – Same dishes, same food…. still tasty enough…Some gas building up inside the grownups… one of the relatives swear that baking soda has been used.. still the cook gets the benefit of doubt…maybe its mom’s fault she didnt give him variety in the ingredients.. everything was the same.. same dishes, same taste…

Day 3 – Dishes dont change.. rasam tastes the same.. gas build up increases.. mom’s expression changes to a smirk

Day 4 – The Soda has everyone bilious… elders hatch a conspiracy to get rid of the cook… mom is grinning broadly.. she has been happily hands off from the kitchen… dad broaches the subject of firing the cook.. only to be met with a cold stare…uncles start grumbling “We came all the way here to eat hotal food aaaa?”

Day 5 – Murder plots are being hatched. Bathroom is occupied ALL the time. Food is being supplied from a neighbours house because peeepal do not want to taste the same rasam, sambar and soda filled rice again… mom is now laughing….

Day 6 – Cook is asked to go by Mom.. she cant bear to see the family suffering. The cook cannot understand why his popularity has gone from Rock Star to Porn Star in 5 days. He leaves gladly… Mom is resigned to cook for the suffering lot.. neighbours and relatives offer supporting help.

Moms cooking is bestest…. no one complains

We want to Parteeeeey

12 Aug

Bombs go off.. we rant for a day… promise ourselves to be extra vigilant and life goes on.. but no tension.. Bangalore rebounds.

Bad Infrastructure.. grumble grumble grumble… but then life goes on.. what can we do?

Bars close early… WHAT????? WHAT THE HELL???? Lets protest… we need the right to party late into the night… whats the world coming to? Lets go protest…. Goddamn political leaders !!!

My personal opinion… places should be allowed to remain open late… but a Dharna for this??? Come on…. Get real.. Get a Life… Party on…

Priorities… Priorities…
In the meantime, political leaders say NO !!!! They dont want this to interefere with their partying 😉

They Say:

Even dancing in discotheques is heavily restricted, because the government fears that allowing dancing may lead to dance bars springing up.

What goes around…

8 Aug

A few years ago, Mushy baby kicked Nawaz Sharif out… now its Nawaz’s turn to return the compliment. Life has come a full cirle for the main US Ally on Terror.

Some options for Mushy:

1. Motel business in the USA

2. Go to Saudi Arabia, lick his wounds, and then come back and kick Nawaz’s jamoons once again

3. Work as a Cricket Analyst for Ten Sports

4. Become a UN Ambassador for peace for Afghanistan. Maybe he can win the Nobel Peace Prize.

5. Start a restaurant in Mumbai/Delhi. Call it Mushies Eateries. Prices there will be a bomb (pun intended)

6. Write his Memoirs. Call it “How I went from Peach to Impeach” or “Terror Ally to Terror Alley”

Any others?

In the Meantime….more quirky names

5 Aug

Hmmm serious bout of bloggers block (also called more work at work).

I love interesting signs and names… heres one below (I guess its a travel agency for people who Panic)

Oh by the way theres a company name I saw called Gulfart (I think it’ll look better if they split the Gulf and Art up) 😉

Vote Banks Vs. Peoples Lives

28 Jul

Vote banks at the cost of innocent peoples lives. That seems to be the mantra of all our politicians. How else can you explain the bombings that seem to be happening over and over and over again in city after city.

The police are NOT inept nor are the intelligence agencies. Its political pressure that ties the hands of these people and prevents them from doing their job. Its disgusting.

Bombings happen, people die, politicians express their regret, Government announces compensation, News Channels analyze everything to death.. and then we sit back and wait for the next blast.

I feel its high time citizens play a part in helping the police as well. A good method is to organize neighbourhood watches in both in residential and commercial areas to look for and report any suspicious activity. Neighbourhood watches have worked in other countries. Why not here?

I mean this is our country. Why should a few morons keep us hostage?

Last One Pays the Bill

3 Jul

Few years ago (during the heady days before the dot com bubble), the company I worked for had its partners meeting in Hong Kong. This was an annual exercise mainly intended to give our folks in the USA a glimpse of Asia (in other words total time pass). It was usually sponsored in part by the local partner.. how we managed to get them to sponsor will be the subject of another post. These meets usually happened at the most expensive hotel that one could find. Usually these were attended by all our partners from across Asia and invitees from Europe. It was also an opportunity for us to “thank” our customers.

So anyhow a group of us (including the Sr. VP – AN) are sitting down and having dinner. Most of our Silicon Valley friends were the high maintainence types. Lots of food and more importantly red wine… bottles of it.. as times goes on more and more people join the table.. some invited… some uninvited. Suddenly the table grows to about 20 people.

Finally our sales person from Australia Pam joins the table with two of her Aussie counterparts. They had just returned from having dinner outside and were hailed by the group as they walked by. By now dinner is done and people are having after dinner liquer. One by one the people at the table start disappearing. Each one assuming that the other one is going to pay..finally the only people at the table were Pam and her small group and she got handed the bill… much to her surprise… and nearly faints after looking at the bill… about $4000 USD… anyway she signs it hoping that it will be paid with her expenses.

A week later we are having a conference call.. when AN clears her throat and says “Ahem..Ahem guys.. we need to really look at expenses.. Pam.. my dear.. I am looking at this item thats says ‘entertainment’ and its $4000. You really need to control costs. No way we can pay that”.. Pam’s trying to speak but keeps getting cut off… “No no Pam.. we cannot afford such entertainment… you need to really control it”… (most of us on the call know what that expense is…poor Pam)

Finally Pam sputters “But.. but…this was not my expense… this was YOUR dinner in Hong Kong.. I just happened to be the last person at the table”…

Silence…

Finally AN breaks her silence.. “Hmm.. ahem… well ok.. didn’t realize that”…. More Silence “I’ll approve that right away… but guys we really need to watch our expenses…”

Office Quote

2 Jul

Our email is “DOWN” because of all the Viagara mails we are getting…