All in a Smile’s Day

Some good intentioned soul in our workspot decided that what we all needed was a couple of laughs and some more joy in our lives. So, they decided to bring in some clowns into the place.

The clowns walked in to our office spaces and started doing their act. You know clowning around. The problem being they’d been told not to make too much of a noise. So,they shook their heads and waved their hands around while trying not to hit their own nose. The poor blisters could not have walked into a more dead suite than ours. I haven’t told you this before. But everybody on our extended team looks very serious as they try to accomplish whatever it is they are accomplishing. If they browse, they have a keen, analytical look while browsing. If they are working, they look keener and analyticker.

Now I want readers to focus on the clowns clowing around trying to get us to laugh without making a noise that is. It was like watching an oyster trying to drown.

Not to mention that since these clowns were bustling around in the office areas, they were accompanied by security officials. Never have I seen a more bizarre scene. Building security training hones character traits such as looking glum and bored. Additional points for the downward trending on the lip.

Clown training, on the other hand, harps on the enjoying life and laughing bit.

I remember an adage – something to the effect of: Share your sorrow and make it half, share your joy and make it double. Nuh-uh. I beg to differ. When I saw the clowns lunching together in a conference room, they looked positively sullen. I don’t blame them. It must be rotten trying to get folks to laugh by smearing your nose and having a security guard accompany you at all times while doing so.

I don’t know what the employers of the clowns are going to do to get them to smile again.

Heralding the Vegetable Orchestra Era

Something tells me this is going to be the next ‘in-thing’ at South Indian Brahmin weddings:
Chinese vegetable orchestra

Let us list the potential positives:
1) It has vegetables and no meat. “We are very chaste you know?” a Meenakshi Maami or Chachu Maami will proclaim as they swallow a burfi whole (with the silver lining).

2) The first set of weddings to have it will be talked about in glowing terms till the next wedding has the same thing. Then, that wedding will talked about in glowing terms and so it goes.

3) I am sure paying these artists will be expensive and therefore, tie in nicely with the unnecessary-exorbitant paradigm. Maybe James Band can diversify his talents in the direction. Who is James? And why his band? (Please go here for answers:

In short, James Band was the illustrious band that performed at my brother’s wedding, confused music with noise and received glowing tributes from one and all.

4) There is no active participation of the audience required. One can flit like butterflies or flies near the show, smile vaguely and flutter away towards the edible end of the hall.

5) In general, we like things that knock the wind out of ya. This one has wholesome yams & potatoes.

6) It has a wind instrument touch to it that appeals to South Indians – one can make it loud and also ignore the artistes and turn to look at the cut vegetable show on the side. A simple Google search throws all of these different things one can do with vegetable cutting. I must also point to the fact that weddings now have a vegetable show where one is allowed to go and see the creative pursuits of the wedding contractor’s vegetable carver. Of course, the v.carver is never there to see/hear the appreciation, but a true artist does not wait for them apparently. He has the next set of carvings to get to.

Given that our food decoration wonders stop at the star-shaped carrot like in the dish below(The mother made the dish for the Cancer Institute Foundation fundraiser, but we were tasked with decoration and we pulled off the only thing we are adept at ), we can but marvel at the ingenuity while listening to the vegetable band:

7) The whole lot of the ‘instruments’ can make its way from Srinivasa Maama’s wedding to Vaidyanatha Iyer’s wedding and then morph into kootu at Pataamani maama’s daughter-in-law’s seemandham.

It will be nice to be able to look back at this post a few years from now when the vegetable orchestra is the in-thing.

The Bill of Health

Have I told you about the husband’s visit to the doctor a few years ago?

When asked to take up a physical exam, the husband will run a marathon or at least a half marathon. I think he just likes to tone his muscles and present himself as the ‘Man with the glowing physique’ to the physician. As soon as enters the Doctor’s office, he also makes it a point to bring the topics of conv. around to running and subtly inserts hints about his long distance running and running shoes. The psychological advantage being that the doctor with his glasses as he scans the lab reports cannot be too harsh on numbers that don’t look good. You can’t bombast a guy for his triglycerides and make him kneel down for seeing him at Saravana Bhavan with an oily dosa at hand and an oilier vada in his mouth if he has just run a marathon what?

Following his usual tactics, he ran a marathon, set up a physical exam and started bragging about his running minutes into entering the Doctor’s presence. But, he had recently changed doctors and this one was not to be fooled by marathoners. There is something about spectacle positioning that can make grown men feel like school children. It is neither too low down the nose, nor perched perfectly – the eye penetration factor to severe spectacle ratio is perfected by some causing folks so spill their guts with a mere ‘Hello’. This doctor held a doctorate on spectacle positioning and frowned upon learning that he was a runner.
“Hmm….Marathon running eh?”
“Yes..” *Gulp*
“I know you marathoners. You will run and then say,’I ran so much, so let me eat’ and you will eat.”
“No Sir…sorry, no Doctor.”
“Yes…Yes…I know you people. You will eat way more than necessary. Has your weight reduced because of the running?”
“, but that was not my goal.”
“Then muscle toning eh?”

There was a laugh in the muscle toning that told him that no matter what his answer, he was not going to be happy with the Doctor’s take on it, so he kept glum. (which is saying something)

Fast forward a few hours and imagine my shock when I saw a haggard looking husband droop into the house and recoil at the food I had put on the table? A little gentle probing revealed all. Apparently the doctor in his enthusiasm to drive a point told him that, “Last month….a young man – running, busy job etc came. This month dead.”
I mean…what the? What?

Obviously shaken to the core, he veered off food for a few days, and ran a half marathon after the check-up as well.

The same thing happened to me a few days ago. There I was, sitting and browsing about this and that when I read this article that said my job is killing me. A sedantary job does that apparently.

So, here is a call to all workers, please put in your quota of exercise and eat right. I myself sacrificed a bag of fries yesterday. Which reminds me – it has been a while since the husband ran a half marathon, I should ask the Doctor’s office to remind him about his annual physical exam.

The Baby Job

We have a good deal of things running by themselves at work. I don’t just mean the dogs and the people – they do too, but jobs on systems. Of course, every now and then we feel the need to put in another job to see if the first job is running. Let’s call them Job A and Job B. So, Job B has to see whether Job A is running.Of course, JobB has its set of problems: you know, it might go and check up on the wrong job and then that job puts its nose up in the air and stalks off; if not Job B decides to take an early retirement or wants its spot in the limelight and wonks off. Point is, once we are done running behind Job B to ensure Job A is running, someone suggests that we put in another job, Job C, to see whether Job B is running. Then it is Job B’s job to see whether Job A is running, and if all three are not running, we can always buckle down to developing Job D.

It keeps us fairly busy. You know dog chases cat and cat chases rat. It keeps the rat race on. (Like this Tom & Jerry poster)

So one might excuse me for getting this muddled up dream that had me rankled. I have a baby, who while being the apple of eye, also has his own view of the World. He sometimes decides that the world looks at its rosiest best at 2 a.m. and plays. I admit that when this happens, I avoid eye-contact with him completely, hoping the lack of response will bore him and he falls asleep though he sees no point in the dastardly act of sleep that his parents seem to enjoy so much. When that doesn’t work, I employ a number of techniques that include vague clucking, shushing, patting and singing (I have a blog about my singing that I shall get down to just as soon as I am able to).

He did it again last night. He looked bronzed, fit and alert, like an athlete going to start his customary training before the big match. And played. I do remember patting him and hushing him, but I also remember telling myself that what we desperately need in such moments is a job that tells us our little one is not sleeping.

Then, the left half of the brain pips in: Why do we need a job? We already know that the baby is not sleeping.
No….how do we know that?
Dull thud to the right of my head!
Left half of brain: Because he is banging my head right now, that is how.
But that means you have to be awake.
L.Half: Well, isn’t that what the job will do? It will monitor to see whether the baby is sleeping and if he isn’t, wouldn’t it alert you?
Yes….but that baby’s crying or gurgling or in this case banging his head against mine should alert me, right?

This intense debate went on for a while and finally it was decided that a job to monitor the situ. may be unwarranted, since the baby had me well under control.

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