Sunday, July 27, 2008

How to make kids

This is long before the days of IVF, cloning, artificial insemination and test tube babies... ok maybe not test tube babies.. but the problems faced by many childless parents in the Mahabharat is the same faced now... only the way the story is packaged is really interesting. So if Kunti goes and asks a sage "how to make kids?" the sage gives her a "mantra" instead of explaining the ins and outs of the standard procedure. This way, you can tell the story to little kids.
A sage who indulges in meditation, or tapas, explores the universe through the inner eye and has no care or concern for the "real" world. This was an idea that a sage called Vishwamitra took to heart, and no worldly pleasures could distract him from his tapasya. Now the king of the Gods, Indra, felt a little insecure and tempted Vishwamitra with many heavenly beauties and suchlike. They were all unsuccessful till Menaka managed to seduce him and bore him a son - Dushyanta. Vishwamitra said the whole affair was a ploy, and pretended he had nothing to do with his son, who was orphaned and brought up in a hermitage. He grew up to marry Shakuntala, and the story of India begins with their son, Bharat. Bharat was a little unlucky, the sages then had not progressed in their tapas enough to help him out, or he did not seek divine help; either way, he did not have a son to hand over his kingdom to. It is unclear that if he ever had a wife, but even if he did, women in those days were considered non living things if they could not conceive. Bharat did a bright thing, went right ahead and held the first general elections in India, and established India as a democracy. The elected "king" was Shantanu. Shantanu had his own share of problems in the child-bearing department. Conception was not a problem, but the problem was his wife, who killed every child he got. He protested when she was about to do this for the seventh time, and Bhishma was allowed to live, while his wife, Ganga, left him. The story may be similar to that of Krishna, only he was the eighth. Shantanu, now single, fell for the charms of Satyavati, a fisherman's daughter while out on a hunting expedition. Satyavati agreed to marry him as long as her son got to be the king instead of Bhishma, and Bhishma, being the good son that he was, took an oath never to marry so that his father could have a wife. Out of their union were born Chitrangadha and Vichitravirya. Bhishma, being the good half-brother that he was, took up the responsibility of getting the two married, and kidnapped three wives for them, Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. Amba wanted to marry Bhishma, because, after all, he had won her over. Bhishma told her of his promise, she yelled at him for ruining her chances of getting a good groom, and went her way. The remaining two settled down with Bhishma's half-brothers but both the half-brothers died before they made babies. Enter the sage Vyasa, who begets children with their wives by virtue of being a sage. Dritarashtra and Pandu, are born as the official sons of Chitrangadha and Vichitravirya, are the heirs to the throne, but are fathered by Vyasa. Enter Kunti, a little girl who gets celestial sex education and through "means unknown" conceives Karna, get's shit scared, lets the baby float down a river and for all practical purposes, retains her virginity. Then she gets married to Pandu, and conceives three more children for him - that aren't really his. Dharmaraja is Yama's son, Arjun is Indra's son, Bhima is Vayu's son. How Kunti manages this is anyone's guess, but little kiddies in India are told that she does this using a mantra. She teaches the 'mantra' to Pandu's second wife, Madri, who also, through means unknown conceives Nakul and Sahadev who are the children of lesser Gods in the hevenly hierarchy. Dritarashtra, and his wife Gandhari, meanwhile have birth complications of their own. Vyasa, who has progressed the field of genetics since the days of Bharat, puts their fertilized embryos in pots, and conceives a hundred children for them. That is the beginning for the mahabharat, and a catalogue of how to beget.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cities are really interesting things - like little pockmarks. A fraction of the world's surface is covered by progressive, stinking, overpopulated and globalised urban areas, but a stone's throw away, the earth still appears to hold its own - being old fashionably large and infinite. the people here, are not what you would call normal. One man's occupation is to poach wild boars, with unlicensed arms, and ammunition that comes for fifty bucks (roughly a dollar). You buy the bullets, he kills the boar, both of you eat. The villagers barely tolerate the police, have no clue what the government is upto. No one has heard of the nuclear deal here, they'd rather talk about - seriously - the weather. A water pump is the most complicated piece of machinary, and the entire village runs on solar power - which is possible because hardly anyone uses lightbulbs. Many men have mobile phones - but they keep it on a shelf, and use it like a landline, because their dhotis don't have pockets.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Anguish Languish

The premise is pretty simple, English words lack meaning so much, that it does not matter which words you use where. So, without further ado, floor pinting, coat yurt files on network brotherhood. Laser pint, formal sixty pisses. No, contry poplar beefs, I ham note hide. Note ever a beetle tit. Door youth gate it? A date vile come, wherever one tips lick diss. Gate it? Mite seam petty handsome, goal whore say jet crow mate laser print. Hello yawn. Dope belt me on passage, his artillary had planks to wreck up on a mountain. Still, hipyards jacks make hippies happy. Here, they want a mouthful. Lick on there spritle to swallow kink.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Job Hunting

It happens to be the time of my life when I am supposed to go out into the world and find myself a job. In this day and age, the easiest way to bag a job is to go online... at least that is what a bunch of friends suggested. The online portals doing the rounds hereabouts (in Mumbai) are, and A little background here is necessary, I am a graduate... the course was BMM, thats Bachelor of Mass Media for the uninitiated, with a specialisation in journalism. I am therefore not suitable for a job in the IT/Telecom/Banking - Finance/BPO or Hospitality industries, and these sectors have the lion's share of openings. The timesjobs portal, belonging to the times group, went overboard with the advertising as usual. The only remotely suitable media job was with a theatre, and not exactly being spoilt with choice, I clicked on 'army placement agency' to see if I would be any good in the army. Turns out the link was for employers to take people OUT of the army, and into their businesses. For what purpose, I did not bother to find out. has the stereotypical monster mascot, green with purple and black hair, a yellow nose that is like an inside out funnel, and a mouthful of teeth. This monster, according to their ads in television, appears magically and puts you in a suitable workplace. I'll give them credit for being the best made site out of the three I happened to scope out, with also the most jobs available. Here, I really was spoilt for choice, but the credentials of the potential employers was pretty dubious. For example, I was perfectly suitable for the post of a sub editor at "key 2 job consulting pvt ltd" only they were looking for "editors with a Journalism/media background having a flare for English". claims to get a perfect job "match" for you, a bit rich considering they categorised media along with fashion, entertainment and art. Let's just say there are things rarer than rain in the Sahara.
This is not to say I went to a lot of efforts to find a job, the next step I took was to send my resume to a couple of places. Four days passed, with no replies, and I was discussing the matter over with a friend, who pointed out a very relevant point - that it would be easier to find a job if I had a contact.
I did find a contact... from a friend. It was this guy who made a living killing ants. Now if I were to work for him, my job profile would be to bring ants to him, or if they were too massive to be transported or in large quantities, I would have to bring him to the ants. Finding the ants, would have been my primary engagement, but he would kill the ants, because that was - is his job. Animal rights activists need not worry, because there is always a stock of breeding queen ants kept to ensure (1) that ants don't become extinct and (2) that there are always enough ants to kill. The species of the ants does not matter, it is only the quantity that generated the profits. The man who kills ants for a living respects his occupation, and does not torture the ants unduly, like cutting off the legs and watching them struggle, despite the pleasure of such engagements. The actual killing itself is accomplished in one swift squish, and he has so much experience that the last ant that he squished and did not die was in the year 1983. He is one of the select few to be awarded a super jet black belt sigma six rating, along with the dabbawallahs and Jesus Christ.
The long and short of it - I really am jobless.