Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Did your school provide you with sex education?

Warning: I am not in a good mood to sugar-coat my stings. This post contains a lot of information about you and your child's development. It will be uncomfortable to read and it might have been a taboo topic. If you have a child and you still feel this post is lame, get off my blog and never return because you have already failed as a parent.

I wrote this post when I was extremely agitated and so it may not be the best read. It is about the ultra-orthodox, repressive education system in Chennai/TN. Read ahead and get the picture.

I recieved this as an forward and it was supposed to be funny.

And I found it to be very funny. I was born and brought up in the same city as this (Satya-Baama Engineering College) university is and I do not find it insulting because the whole city is just retarded and refuses to change.

The poster is just a sample of the abuse that goes in the name of discipline in Chennai, India. The parent's over excitement in ensuring their child's future, blinds them to the extreme situation the child faces in orthodox and backward education system that exists in Tamil Nadu (a southern coastal state in India).

Readers who have experience living in Tamil Nadu may please affirm/refute my allegations below.

The Kinder-Garden starts at the age of 3 for our young darling, but we want our little angel to be better equipped when she enters the kindergarden so there is a pre-school which starts at the age of 2! I am not sure who invented this, but the government school starts with the First standard at the age of 5, and has been so since the British system. One more place where our dear Indians have acted on divinity and reduced the most important phase of development in a child.

Did you know that you just cut your child's second psychosexual developmental stage ? The Anal stage is where the child learns about anal control. It means, she was trying to learn to poop and you sent her to learn arithmetic. The utter lack of any sense of knowledge before interfering a growth process of a child numbs me. Lady, you just sent your darling son to a stranger of a teacher and placed him in the middle of tens of other equally confused babies, when he is incapable of developing any kind of relationship with the teacher or other students and you expect him to learn ?!

By the way, who determines these private educational policies in Tamil Nadu and in the whole of India ? Is there any regulation?

Since *every* child from rich and middle class families has been to private school in India, we are looking at a potentially high percentage of urban population, who have been affected in either Anal stage or Phallic stage. Not that sending them to school will completely ruin their psycho-sexual development, but without their natural protective (mainly mother) character they would be lucky if they escape unscathed through this wilderness. But, since Freudian psychology is not accepted completely even though seen in real life, I will focus on more physiological issues.

This is just the wonderful starting point of a child in Chennai, India. But wait, this ride is not over yet. (From this point on... you can relate to your experience)

The child goes to pre-school at 2 (killed the Anal stage) , kindergarden at 3 and 4 (Phallic stage crushed) and finally enters the First standard at 5. Now, you might realize, you cannot ruin the toddler's development any further, but no ho ho! It continues to whack the brains out of the kid in her/his puberty.

Since I am guy, I will start for boys. Since there is no external sudden onset of the puberty, it could conveniently be ignored to be talked about. There exists considerable *fear* on the part of the boys in their unspecified change of their voice, body and facial hair. No boy will go and ask his parents about the sudden hair growth in his body and will try to rationalize it with his limited knowledge and could come to any quite random conclusion. This would be made worse by the fact that his voice sound more feminish now adding to the ridicule among peers, sudden unwanted physiological changes again noticed by everyone and being "looked at"! More reason to talk to if you find signs of puppy fat or gynacomastia.

Please, please talk to him before he hits this stage! I plead here because, I did not have any kind of sex education in my school or college and I know that friends are not a reliable source of information !

I am confident that most of the people in India who have not had a class-room course on human anatomy will think that the female "comes to age" at puberty! The previous statement is as ignorant as it can get. The mother might have experienced thelarchy, pubarchy and menarchy but could have forgotten by the time the daughter reaches this stage. I am not a girl, so I do not how it feels. I would assume that the mothers talk to girls about this because of the much more dramatic bodily changes in the girl. Remember, the puberty does not suddenly commence at menarchy and also includes the most important mental maturity.

I want to stress on the importance of the knowledge of puberty because, as far as I know Chennai many schools *do not* have sex education! I did not have it. My school's name is Balalok Matriculation Higher Secondary School. It was a reputed school in its geographical region and is famous for it discipline. I am sure there are many schools like these in Chennai which spends a lot of time, effort and money in spiritual development, but has consistently produced batches of ignorant younsters for the country. Many may not know, but this school had been an advocate of a Hindu holy man and his teachings until a summon was issued related to a criminal investigation. This lasted for about 3 years during my adolescence. Imagine my confusion first at the acceptance of this guy and then the rebound!

Clinging hopelessly to orthodox methods can possibly ruin your child's development and some of the damage may not be visible right away. Chennai has become notorious for such extreme conservatism and stone-age thought process. Now, I get this email from a friend of mine about a near imprisonment of college students in the Satyabama Engineering College (now a deemed university). The Chennai city is brimming with smart people, ready for yet another generation of ignorance.

Are the rules specified in Satyabama Engineering College even legal ? Is this human ? Is this college accredited ? Do you think that a college, which is attended by bright young men and women, should follow these rules ? How many colleges are like this one? If you are from Tamil Nadu, you think you really had a complete educational experience?

It is time to change.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Purpose ?

What is the purpose of writing a blog? Here are a few reasons which I do not even relate to.

1. I want to impress a girl.
2. I have a lot of talent and I want to show the world.
3. I have lot of spare time and anything else is just even more boring.
4. I need to maintain a cyber presence.
5. Be a part of pop culture.
6. I am happy when my blog gets attention and comments.
7. I have no social life and so blogging is my exposure to the world.
8. I have a lot of readers who will be dissappointed if I stop now. (yeah right!)

I am lost.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mr. S. P. Narayanaswamy

Mr. S. P. Narayanaswamy is my maternal grandfather. He was born in a village called Senkalipuram, near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu. He is an Electrical Engineer. He was born at least 20 years before independence and worked under the British. He always had a royal gait, a back straight as an arrow which made him look extremely handsome in his British styled trousers and a well oiled obedient hair combed back without a partition. We used to call him Ravippa.

He passed away in his sleep at 5 am on August 24, 2006. He was 86 years old.

He was a staunch believer in the British discipline and followed it religiously throughout his life, which we as Indians never learned. After seeing the country rot for 60 years after independence and having seen the Britishers being demonized in the country, he taught me that not always is the depiction of a villain completely true, even if it is your own school books that show it that way. He showed me that the harbor in Madras, the aerodrome and the railway infrastructure were build by the Indians only because of the proper goading of the Imperialist.

He worked in his brothers company Thyagarajan and Co., and later on joined Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). He retired as a Chief Engineer from NLC. My mother, as well as my sister were born in his home in Neyveli. After he retired from NLC, he built his home in Madras (as he always liked to call it) which is where I was born. Soon after, he was diagnosed with oral cancer at an age of 60 although he was not addicted to any form of tobacco. He was diagnosed early on and he survived through radiation therapy. The therapy powdered his left jaw bone away.

I only remember him from then. I have not seen him with his full jaw. He still was the most majestic man with his full sleeved shirt tucked neatly into the pants with razor sharp crease ("katthi maadiri crease-a iron pannanum") and shoe polished like a mirror. And none of which he let anyone else do it for him. He never seemed to be sad or sorry about his cancer or his jaw. He was always a cheerful man. I have only seen him smile, all the time! through his injuries, his sickness and health.

He is a very proud man. Nobody pitied him because he was not pitiful. He will never be pitiful. He always took care of himself, in cancer and in old age. He did not rest at home permanently after his radiation therapy and started working as an Electrical Circuit Designer for a private builder till his cataract in his eye ruined that too when he was 75. Yes, he was an active earning member of his family till he was 75.

He is the kindest person I have ever seen, always having a watchful eye over the grandkids, teaching them the morals, admonishing the wrong doings with a slap on the back that only generates a loud thud but never hurts! Every time I visited him, I remember how he would smell my palms and exactly guess the previous meal that I had had, including the pickle, even if it had been a couple of hours before! I am not sure if he really asked my mom behind my back, or I always ate the same "pappu sadham, murungakkai Sambhar thottundu thayir sadham" (Lentil rice for the first course and yogurt rice with spicy sambhar for the second course).

I do not remember his stories often, but many come to my mind today.

Once, when he was working as an apprentice for an electrical company on board a docked ship. His was so busy working along with his colleague onboard that he did not hear the sound of the air horn. The ship started moving and the first thing that came to mind was to jump and reach the shore as it was a cruiser it would not stop for two young interns... and being young he was not very rational. But he did not do that only because he had a set of imported tool set which he could not afford to jump with. It turned out to be a silly joke as the Captain lowered a boat and sent them safe back to the harbour.

There was this other story where, he was on a bus to Kadaloor. He was stretching and having tea in one of the stops on the way. His co-passenger with whom he had been making polite conversation during the trip was now trying his best with kili-joshiam (parrot fortune tellers). The kili-joshiam guy was starting to make some very weird statements about his future and suddenly pulled out a newspaper to show a most wanted announcement and arrested him on the spot. Ravippa was actually travelling with a felon! He was astounded at the professionalism of the the kili-joshiam guy who was in reality a CID officer.
Sorry Ravippa, I cannot really remember the details. Now, no one will know the real story.

He was a real funny man, very kind, punctual, dedicated, clean, religious and very straight forward. He had a very good handwriting in English, Tamil and Sanskrit. He always used to write letters in the British way, without a single unnecessary adjective and definitely without a single spelling mistake.

I miss you.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Blasted Dream!

I usually can understand my dreams pretty well, like if I kill Michael Douglas over and over again I know it is because of my undying love for Cathy Zeta Jones, but this is one dream that fails to enter my boundaries of perception. Here it goes.

I live in a modern mid-size American city (my friends call it "the villez"). I roam about going to graduate school and doing basically nothing, idyling and ogling at girls here and there. There I enter a street which does not look familiar in the otherwise much roamed about lanes. The road is different because it is much more familiar than any other American street and the road is lined with tea shops and random platform stores. It looks exactly like Ranganathan street in the late morning hours. It is 11 am. People not from Madras should know that Ranganathan Street looks all the time like a movie theatre entrance just after a movie has finished, just that people move in both directions and really sweaty.

I entered this wierdly uncomfortably familiar road and suddenly I see a friend of mine - A. This friend is supposed to be atleast 2000 miles away, but somehow A apprears to just walk in front of me and react as though it happens often. I am really pleasantly shocked to see A that I just check around to find B,C and D also there, just lounging in that street.

(This is very unlike me, but what happens next is ridiculous) I get extremely angry that "my" people are in my town and not stayed at my place, forget that, atleast visited my place, or even just told me that they were coming. A, B, C and D are not some random four people, but really my friends who are supposed to be atleast. This is ridiculous because they look all happy to see me but tell me that they were in the "villez" to just look around. I start hyperventilating here. When I get angry it is not exactly a pleasant sight, but this time I could see what a blinding anger really was. The hyperventilation then goes beyond control and I could not think of anything.

Then suddenly, C takes my hand and walks me out of the crowd. We reach a tea shop and C orders two special Teas (remember that the road looks like Ranganathan street?). We get two and I start sipping into the piping hot tea and somehow I calm down. This part is weird because I do not need help, and I hate being mothered, but that Tea helped my hyperventilation atleast.

We get back together and I take them to all the nice places in the "villez" and then when the story was just about to loose all the fiz, comes the next shocker... C's mother is around and all the five of them had arrived in the "villeze" some two days back. This makes me so mad that I just smile and start a weird mental transformation.... as though I don't trust these people anymore and have successfully isolated them. I suddenly add an unfamiliar respect to each of them completely, making them strangers (I think this is called "isolation" a completely normal psychological defence mechanism).

Then, C's mother (I have no clue from where she turned up!) showed up and I knew it was C's mom because of the resemblence. This was freaky because I knew I have seen C's mother in one of the long shot family pictures and she does not look like this woman. But I recognize her as C's mom because of the freaky resemblence and she starts saying something which is just overwhelming. She made me realize that there was something else going on, that I did not understand hence the uninformed visit.

I calm down immediately and I really became frivolous again and had a blast of a time after that.

Something is wrong with this dream, I cannot really picture what is, but something is wrong. I do not make up unknown faces and I do not get angry that easily. I do not hyperventilate. C is not like that, I don't listen to C, D never visits uninformed. Why did C's mother come into picture at all? I am definitely convinced something is wrong with me, maybe some loose ends to be tied. I can still remember C's mom's face... clear as a crystal, only she is of my making.

Any Freudians out there... Help please.

Update at 2:45 am on Aug 22:

This post is not for fun because I am really worried that some shrink would write a comment like :

"this dream shows your hidden frustrations of a desperate paedophile!"

get the drift?

Update at 5:45 pm Aug 22.

This dream is all very erroneous. Firstly I have never had tea in Ranganathan street only Cane extract juice!

I am really going to crack this son-of-a-gun dream down to its roots!

Last Update:

I think I got it. I had once challenged my friend C that I would contact C's parents without any help from C. I never really got to contact them and lost the bet. It had been in my mind for some time and so now that C's mom recognized me, I guess I have a artificial satisfaction of having accomplished that! Hurray for my dream!


Sunday, August 20, 2006

A little despo

Hellooo people,

What is wrong with you all ? Have I done anything to you in your previous birth that you are refusing comment on my blog. I was not angry but just a little desperate till yesterday. But now something seems to be terribly off.

I would be happy to know if nobody "wants" to visit my blog ever again, because of my piss-poor English, butt ugly template, crass attitude, previous personal goof-ups (there are too many people to whom I have done this!) or victims of my rather sick games. Nope, none of that is the real reason for recieving no comments.

What amazes me, is that, I have some half-a-dozen regular (yeah! really!) visitors, and none of them had commented once here! I was actually speechless when I heard this! They just did not want to comment. Why on Earth? God, why do you give friends as weird as I am? It would have been better if everyone had forgotten about this blog because all it needed was some advertising and I will be back in business but this is just ridiculous.

The best is this story: There was a new visitor here and she happily followed a link to one of the other blogs and goes there to write that she came from here. Why does she have to rub it in like that? and the best part is that, the author of the linked blog really hates me! (as a consequence of a nasty joke)

So, if you are one of those sneaky people (I know who you are), who comes here often to enjoy an occasional laugh, you better start coughing up some comments. I do not take pleasure at this public goading because, they are some of my closest friends and being amazing (read lazy) people, are not going to moved by this near plead of a post and still are going to email me about how funny this post was and not post a comment. What a waste!

Thanks a load to all the people who commented here! You guys are the best.

Those of you, who come here to sneak, do not worry, I am not going to put a stat counter to see how many times you have come here. So, keep coming. I love you too.
(yeah really pandering now!)

Friday, August 18, 2006


will be back with a bang.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

HIV - Gross over-approximation for the sake of simplicity

I was forwarded an email regarding how a boy got AIDS because he ate paani-puri and the vendor had contaminated the "paani" with his blood from him cut in his hand (puportedly when cutting onions).

Lavanya makes some good points regarding this issue and in general how this case is fake. She has some very strong points like
* Eating HIV contaminated food, cannot infect a person because the body-fluid needs to be active unless the person has a cut in the mouth.
* Injestion cannot lead to infection because the life of the virus is limited to seconds outside an active medium.
* The virus cannot be detected for an initial period of approximately 3 months.
* Causes of infection includes intercourse, oral sex, wet kissing, blood transfusion and unsterilized needles.

The above are all very true. But there is more. All I did was read about it in Wikipedia where there is fresh research data. Here

For example, here are a few shockers,

1. HIV virus has been found in low concentration in saliva, tears and urine even though the actual infection rate is assumed to be low.
2. The probability of trasmission of HIV virus through any kind of sexual act with an infected person without the use of any kind of latex condom is less than 1%. The probability of transmission of HIV virus through blood transfusion is 90%.
3. There are highly successful post exposure anti-viral drugs that can help completely (debated) take out the virus. However, there have been cases where the post exposure anti-viral drugs have failed.
4. HIV causation of AIDS is first of all debated. This means that AIDS could be caused even without the exposure to HIV and at times anti-viral drugs could become toxic.

So, if Shabana Asmi advertises on TV about the humanitarian attitude toward the HIV infected people, it tries to address the social isolation of the victims. But, if you are in continuous contact with a HIV infected person, your chances of getting HIV is non-zero.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tell Tale 12

Have you ever just thought about something and you wanted to run ? Well I do. There are times when I want things around me to move back. I would sometimes want drain the energy in my whole body so that the thing in my head would magically go away. It would feel lame for the first 10 minutes because warming has never been exciting! But then, when the song in my Ipod goes bum-pum-bum in a regular beat like "Dil Se" or "Mortal Kombat", you would want to step on the speed a little bit. But a single step out of tune would feel like a bad note. Every song I added in my ipod has had a different feel when I am running. This has made me listen to every song with a completely different ear. I guess running is the closest I could ever come close to dancing.

But, why did I run? All this beauty about running comes only after I have taken a voluntary decision to make a move. Is there any philosophical reason to it? I am not going to use obscure arguments or a foreign philosophy. What could possibly make an organism, bring down her energy level to a bare minimum for absolutely no reason. I ran around a ground twice accounting for about 6 kilometers. Would have taken half a litre of petrol to drive a car.

Maybe it was power, a sense of self gratification about my health, my fitness, my ability to be at my physical optimum. But, why O why did I try to race a bicycle for a full half kilometer? Maybe it a masochistic pleasure, that I get when my abdominal muscles pull and my thigh muscles hurt.

It is obvious to me why run. Just for fun!

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Monday, August 07, 2006

My contribution

Ammani had brought her blog back to life and this time she has asked readers to submit a letter to anyone starting with "My dear." I was not sure if my contribution was going to make it so I am posting it here!

My dear Grandson,

Good to know that you are getting married. Your fiancé looks very
beautiful. Congratulations. Of course, we have all started the
preparations for the marriage which is in less than 2 months. There is
a small detail that I am sure you have not told your fiancé. I think
it is important that you say this to that girl before you get married.

When you were a small kid, you were a real brat. You were so
mischievous that your mom (my daughter) lost 20% of her body mass. You
were a wonderful loving son but that did not make you any less
troublesome. You broke most of the things in the house, fought with
your sister like a tiger, would not eat anything, get bruises
everyday, run like a rabbit, jump like a grasshopper, fly like a bee,
had two life threatening accidents that shook the whole family, but
you may not remember any of that.

There was a time when I felt so helpless and desperate that I cursed
you: "The curse of a brat son." I cursed you that you will one day
have a son exactly like you were. I love you my grandson but the curse
was heart felt. I am afraid that it might come true.

So, take care and may God help you.

I love you,
No, it is not completely fiction.
No, I am not getting married.
Yes, my fiancé, don't tell me that I did not warn you.

I hope I only have daughters!