Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Multilingual humour

June 28, 2017

What do you call a bee that comes from America?

USB

What do you call a lady who drinks only one tea in a day?

Jaswanti

Why don’t people clap in Afghanistan?

Because of ‘Tali-ban’

How do you ask your ‘Maasi’ to take a dip in water?

Diplomacy!😀😀

How do you say “she is calling a cab” in one word?

Vocabulary

Which Pakistani cricketer does not have a date of birth?

Umar Gul

What you call a fat girl waiting at the Bus Stop.

MOTIVATING.

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Mr Mathrubhootham and airline travel, 150417

April 15, 2017

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to you following a conversation I have just had with one of my grandchildren. I call him Arun. But his real name is some modern confusion that his parents found on the Internet. Aryamaan or Antenna or Aquarium or something like that. I only call him Arun. Because at most I have 10 good years left on this earth and I can’t waste eight of those trying to address him or his sister Shamiana.

So Arun came running a few minutes ago and showed me a WhatsApp video of a passenger being dragged off a plane in the United States. In the video you can see that he has been hurt quite severely. Poor fellow.

“Can you believe this?” Arun asked me.

“Keep quiet,” I told him, “and look at all the other passengers. Look at how they are sitting with so much discipline!”

Arun grabbed his phone and went away complaining that I lacked humanity for other people. As if he has been building free hospitals for the downtrodden with his bare hands since the age of 6.

Sir/madam, if there is any aspect of human life in which I would sanction the use of excessive force, it is air travel. From the very moment you step into an airport you come face to face with the very worst examples of humanity.

Some months ago I had the opportunity to take a short flight from Chennai to Bengaluru for a family function. First I had to show my passport and ticket to enter the airport. Then I had to show my ticket but not passport to stand in a line. At the end of the line a third fellow wanted to see my passport and ticket to give me a boarding pass. Then a fourth policeman wanted to see boarding pass but not passport, and my ticket he treated with contempt. And then I told Mrs. Mathrubootham that she can go to Kochi by herself, I am going back home because even Veerappan was not investigated so much.

But she persuaded me and I proceeded to the departure hall. There I approached a pleasant young lady in a modest shop and purchased two vegetarian samosas and two cups of tea. For this I paid so much money that I told my wife that we will share one samosa and keep the other one in bank locker in case of any family emergency. Shameless black-marketing.

And finally I met the worst of the worst: other passengers. Sir/madam, never in my life have I met a group of people dedicated to the act of doing the exact opposite of what they are told. Ask them to stand up and they will sit down. Ask them to sit down and they will stand up. Ask for only families to board, and every single bachelor will run. Ask them to keep boarding pass ready and they will hold in their hands every piece of paper from their life including passport, ticket, PAN Card, Aadhaar card, marriage certificate, Padayappa matinee ticket, but not boarding pass.

Things only got worse on the flight. One young couple sitting in front of me, perhaps on honeymoon, were behaving as if they are one of those insects that come out in the rainy season and have only fifteen minutes to produce children before dying. My wife spent the entire flight reading the air-sickness bag.

Finally, when I reached Kochi the airline informed me that my bag was still in Chennai. It is OK, I said, I will buy a whole new wardrobe after selling this samosa.

Sir/madam, therefore you will understand why I am not entirely against better discipline in the field of air travel. Of course there should be no violence or dragging or bleeding and all that. Maybe just a little bit in case of emergency.

Yours in exasperation,

J Mathrubootham

Suburban Gardening…and God

December 10, 2014

GOD AND ST. FRANCIS DISCUSSING LAWNS
GOD: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It’s a natural circle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have they scheduled for us tonight?”
ST. CATHERINE: “Dumb and Dumber”, Lord. It’s a really stupid movie about…..
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Interesting sculpture…and roundabout dogs….more questions! Linkoping, Sweden, 230614

June 27, 2014

As I came by bus into Linkoping, I caught sight of this very large hoop adorning one of the roundabouts:

IMG_0990

I caught sight of a statue (life-size) of a dog, placed looking askance at the hoop, as if to ask, “What should I do?” only when the bus sped past.

But a few days later, when PC and I walked down to Biltema and the IKEA shop, I was able to get a much better picture of this dog-and-hoop, and here it is:

IMG_1433

You can clearly see the dog looking at the beautifully-balanced hoop!

Trying to get more information about this sculpture, I googled the following words: “roundabout dog sculpture linkoping sweden”…and got

this very interesting link

about roundabout dogs!

“A roundabout dog (Swedish: rondellhund, originally Östgötsk rondellhund, “Östergötland roundabout dog”, a pun on västgötaspets) is a form of street inThe roundabout dogs started appearing in Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden (and were therefore originally called: de östgötska rondellhundarna), after a sculptured dog that was part of the official roundabout installation Cirkulation II (English: Circulation II) by sculptor Stina Opitz had been vandalised and later removed. The original dog had been made of concrete, and Stina Opitz was planning to make a new version of it after the vandalism, when someone placed a homemade wooden dog on the roundabout. The dog was given a concrete dogbone by another anonymous artist. Soon after the media reported these developments, roundabout dogs started appearing in various places around the country.

Peter Nyberg (maker of the first ‘Rondellhund’) of Linköping told tabloid Expressen that his dogs were intended to “mock the state-employed artists, who get so much money to make sculptures that we can do just as well ourselves”. In some smaller towns where there were no roundabouts, dog sculptures were placed in ordinary intersections with traffic islands.

The Swedish artist Lars Vilks made a drawing depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog. This was published in a Swedish local newspaper in July 2007. It provoked accusations of blasphemy from some Muslim groups in the Middle East. (See Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy.) The 2010 Stockholm bombings are considered to be sparked partially because of the cartoon.”

That was certainly something to make me think…. I read on:

“In April 2007 Bjorn Andersson started building roundabout dogs in his workshop south of Stockholm. His mission is to keep rondellhund at Philanthropic Street Art level and to give a moment of enjoyment to all people traveling by car. His dogs have traveled the world to places in the USA, in Australia and in the UK.”

How surprising! The wiki goes on further to say:

“In 2009, similar dogs started appearing on some of the roundabouts in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshirestallation, that began occurring in Sweden during the autumn of 2006, and continued for the rest of the year with sporadic occurrences since then. The phenomenon consists of anonymous people placing homemade dog sculptures, typically made of wood (or sometimes plastic, metal or textile) in roundabouts (traffic circles). Occurrences were reported all over Sweden, and the phenomenon also spread to other countries, such as Spain after it was mentioned on Spanish television (PuntoDos). Swedish tabloid paper Expressen even placed one at Piccadilly Circus.”

The dog I’ve photographed is not a wooden dog in this sense, and now I am unable to understand if the hoop was placed there first and the dog “added” as part of the “roundabout dog” theme, or whether they do belong together.

So…in the process of finding out more information on the net, I seem to have opened up more of an enigma! I wish there was someone in Linkoping whom I could ask..I’m afraid the language (and the fact of most sites being in Swedish and not translating too well) IS proving a barrier to learning a lot about what I am seeing around me.

बड़ा महत्व है….

June 6, 2014

ससुराल में साली का
बाग़ में माली का
होंठो में लाली का
पुलिस में गाली का
मकान में नाली का
कान में बाली का
पूजा में थाली का
खुशी में ताली का——बड़ा महत्व है

फलों में आम का
भगवान में राम का
मयखाने में जाम का
फैक्ट्री में काम का
सुर्ख़ियों में नाम का
बाज़ार में दाम का
मोहब्ब्त में शाम का——-बड़ा महत्व है

व्यापार में घाटा का
लड़ाई में चांटा का
रईसों में टाटा का
जूतों में बाटा का
रसोई में आटा का—–बड़ा महत्व है

फ़िल्म में गाने का
झगड़े में थाने का
प्यार में पाने का
अंधों में काने का
परिंदों में दाने का—–बड़ा महत्व है

ज़िंदगी में मोहब्ब्त का
परिवार में इज्ज़त का
तरक्की में किसमत का
दीवानो में हसरत का——बड़ा महत्व है

पंछियों में बसेरे का
दुनिया में सवेरे का
डगर में उजेरे का
शादी में फेरे का——बड़ा महत्व है

खेलों में क्रिकेट का
विमानों में जेट का
शारीर में पेट का
दूरसंचार में नेट का—–बड़ा महत्व है

मौजों में किनारों का
गुर्वतों में सहारों का
दुनिया में नज़ारों का
प्यार में इशारों का——बड़ा महत्व है

खेत में फसल का
तालाब में कमल का
उधार में असल का
परीक्षा में नकल का—–बड़ा महत्व है

ससुराल में जमाई का
परदेश में कमाई का
जाड़े में रजाई का
दूध में मलाई का —–बड़ा महत्व है

बंदूक में गोली का
पूजा में रोली का
समाज में बोली का
त्योहारों में होली का
श्रृंगार में चोली का—–बड़ा महत्व है

बारात में दूल्हे का
हड्डियों में कूल्हे का
रसोई में चूल्हे का——-बड़ा महत्व है

सब्जियों में आलू का
बिहार में लालू का
मशाले में बालू का
जंगल में भालू का
बोलने में तालू का——-बड़ा महत्व है

मौसम में सावन का
घर में आँगन का
दुआ में दामन का
लंका में रावन का——-बड़ा महत्व है

चमन में बहार का
डोली में कहार का
खाने में अचार का
मकान में दीवार का—–बड़ा महत्व है

सलाद में मूली का
फूलों में जूली का
सज़ा में सूली का
स्टेशन में कूली का——बड़ा महत्व है

पकवानों में पूरी का
रिश्तों में दूरी का
आँखों में भूरी का
रसोई में छूरी का —-बड़ा महत्व है

LAST ONE

खेत में साप का
सिलाई में नाप का
खानदान में बाप का
और
Face book पर आप का—-
बड़ा महत्व है

This is rhyming doggerel and I can’t really translate it, sorry, non-Hindi reading folks!

Love in the time of technology

June 2, 2014

There was a time when palm leaves
And birds, too, were used
To communicate between lovers
And ensure that their souls fused.

The post and telegraph service
Improved this somewhat:
One could be in touch with the Other,
Heart could call to heart.

But now it is the techno-age,
The age of “keep-in-touch”:
To keep separated and sundered hearts
From missing each other too much.

She can quietly text him;
Await his return SMS;
In the silence of words that fly
Their loneliness grows less.

Can she call him? Can he call her?
Can they exchange some words?
Can she hear him? Can he hear her?
Or–just static, screeching birds?

It’s said,by ancients, that love
Is conveyed through the eyes:
But if they’re talking into a phone
Depending on sight would not be wise.

Video calls, then, are the answer!
Of each other they can have their fill.
The thorny of the part of the rose will come
Along with the internet bill!

April 11, 2014

I was dozing off in a fit of heat-inducing somnolence from somewhere out of my dull brain came the thought of my mother…and her love of wildlife documentaries. She was far, far ahead of her times…she had Salim Ali’s bird book with her, though she only watched garden birds..and we often went into the jungles of West Bengal and north India. In a time when wildlife was plentiful, she enjoyed reading about it and going to watch it. I still remember the trips we used to make to places like Betla Game Sanctuary in Bihar, where we saw magnificient tigers…

I thought of two documentaries that my mothe raved about.

One was

The Living Desert, by Walt Disney (69 minutes), made in 1953

Here’s the description of the amazing way in which this amazing, path-breaking movie came about:

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 1953, Walt Disney’s The Living Desert marked a departure from earlier Disney “wildlife” productions in that it was a full-length film. All previous subjects in the studio’s True-Life Adventures series had been shorts.

Disney was inspired to make the film after viewing footage taken by a UCLA doctoral student of a thrilling battle between a wasp and a tarantula. The producer agreed to fund the project which was filmed in the southwest U.S. The film, which focused on the diversity of often unseen animal life was both a critical and commercial success, a rarity for the era.

In addition to receiving an Oscar for The Living Desert, Disney collected three other Academy Awards in 1953, at the time a record for one individual. The Living Desert was chosen for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2000 for its’ “cultural, historical and aesthetic significance.”

Here’s a snip from the documentary, choreographed delightfully to a square dance (with an observer, too!)

********************

Another film was “The Flute and The Arrow”, which I never saw. But the name, etched into my subconscious like many childhood memories are, suddenly re-surfaced.

I googled for “The Flute and The Arrow”, and I realized that it is actually a Swedish wildlife documentary, 88 minutes long, made in 1957:

called, ” En djungelsaga” in Swedish

and I tried to see if I could watch it online.

Here is a video about following up on the main character, a Bastar tribal, long after the documentary was made:

this, in itself, is well worth watching! But alas, I am not able to get either The Living Desert or The Flute and The Arrow online…could someone help?

We tend to think only of Discovery or NatGeo when talking about wildlife documentaries, but there must have been a solid body of work in the past, before these became household names. I’m glad I was able to dig out two out of my erratic memory!

How difficult it must have been, to make these films in times where far less technology was available

There was also the Disney documentary, “The Vanishing Prairie”…can others come up with more such wildlife films from the past?

How to identify artists!

March 7, 2014

Here

is a great way to identify artists, for all of us Philistines who can’t tell a Michaelangelo from a mudpack! I laughed all the way through.

Excellent exercise for people of any age…

February 27, 2014

EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 60

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb. potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb. potato bags.

Then try 50-lb. potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.(I’m at this level.)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.

Suchi Govindarajan’s wit

February 14, 2014

Happy Something Day!
July 22, 2013 at 10:34am
This Mother’s Day, Brether’s Day, is all getting too much I say. Only last month, on June 15th, my cousin brother called me at the ungodly hour of 6.00 am.

“Why you didn’t wish me?” he is asking, “Lalli, Paddu, even my North-Indian daughter-in-law Sweety and her parents are calling to wish me.”
“Is it your bird-day? Happy Bird-day! Happy long life to you! May you have many more birds.”
“No, no. It is not my bird-day. It is Father’s Day.”
I thought about this for a few seconds.
“Ay, don’t you know who you have called?” I said, “You are not my father! That’s why I didn’t wish you.”
“No, no.” he said, “I am a father means everyone should wish me. That is the new tradition. Please note for next time. Cut the phone now, I have to call other relatives also.”

After that, I am logging into Facebook, and seeing all my friends, including my friend Hema Malini, putting two-two pictures of their fathers. Then they are posting about what they bought for them. One person is writing, “I bought cotton shirt, that too Pure Lenin shirt, for my father”. One more is posting that he bought Ab-Circle Pro Exerciser for his father from Home Shopping Network because he wants him to be healthy. Then, just for effect, he is adding, “It came with seven free potato peelers which I gifted to my driver”. Within four minutes, he got 60 likes for this status. This, my friends, is the state of the world today. No wonder all this global warming things is happening. All the collective hot air in our brains is getting multiplied by the number of Facebook likes and spreading into atmosphere through wireless.

Now, I have no objection to celebrating family and friends, but why should everyone should do this on the same day? Take this Valentine’s Day. You are having one number girlfriend or boyfriend. If you want to take them for a romantic dinner, you should do it on a really special day. Why to go out when hundred other people in the city are also going out? What romance is there in that? And if that is not enough, every now and then, some politician will declare that it is offensive to Indian culture. “In Indian culture, there is no sex, no this type of love and all.”, they will say, “We are highly moral culture. It is only through prayers to God that one child is born here every two seconds.” And then they will return to their parliament session and watch porn on their mobiles.

The other problem with these foreign days is that everybody will be wanting sep-separate days for themselves. Already, people are asking when is Daughter’s Day, and is it different or same-to-same from Day of the Girl Child? Imagine how big a problem it will become in Indian context? We will end up with Co-Brether’s Day, First-Cousin-Twice-Removed Day, Sister-in-law-on-spouse-side-day, Sister-in-law-on-my-side-day, etc. And there will be major confusion in families where there is intermarriage. In some families in South, your cousin is also your uncle (or sometimes, your father). In that case, whether you should wish them for Cousin’s Day or Uncle’s Day? Unnecessary complications, I tell you.

As I was writing this, I decided to do some research on today, hoping it will be a Nothing Day. But then I found
out that July 21st is National Junk Food Day in the US. And full July is National Ice-cream Month, as proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. (Yes, there is a full proclamation on the internet.)

I am thinking now, this is not a bad idea. Instead of having days for people, we should have days for food items. I think National Junk Food day is little foolish for a country where they are drinking Coca-Cola using bucket and mug, but, we Indians can improve on this. First, I want to propose “National Curd-Rice Day”. It will serve many purposes: it will be a good day off for all the people who have to cook, and youngsters will also get full quota of dairy and carbohydrates. There will be no tension in giving gifts on this day. Simply make or buy curds and distribute to family, friends and annoying neighbours. Or, if you are unable to do that, simply make photo of curd-rice as your profile photo in Facebook. I guarantee that people will put many likes on it.