Saturday, May 26, 2012

Code of Conduct - Real Men

1. Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

2. You may exaggerate any anecdote told in a group of men by 50% without recrimination.

3. The maximum amount of time you have to wait for another guy who’s running late is five minutes. For a girl running late, you are required to wait ten minutes for every point of hotness she scores on the classic 1-10 scale.

4. Moaning about the brand of free beverages in a friend’s refrigerator is unacceptable. Only complaints about the temperature are permissible.

5. Before dating a friend’s ex-girlfriend, you are required to ask him permission.

6. Women who claim they “love to watch” a given sport must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and, more importantly, the ability to pick a chicken wing clean.

7. No man is ever required to buy a birthday present for another man.

8. If a buddy is already singing along to a son in the car, you must never join in.

9. Never hesitate to reach for the last soda or the last slice of pizza, but not both. That’s just plain mean.

10. If a man’s zipper is down, that’s his problem; you didn’t see anything.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Qualified Father

Once upon a time, a trader named Pravardhamana lived in Dhaaranagaram. He was a successful man in business and was one among the richest persons in the kingdom. He had a beautiful daughter who had attained the age to perform marriage. When the trader was thinking how to go about his daughter's marriage, one night dacoits barged into his house and decamped looting all his belongings and killing him.

After loosing her husband, Pravardhamana's wife took off to a journey with her daughter Jayaprada not knowing where to go and what to do. They left Dharanagaram and were passing through a jungle in the dark. While they were walking in the dense forest, as it was shady they mistakenly stamped a thief's leg.

The thief was already severely wounded and was on the verge of death. Oh God! screamed the thief with pain. Meanwhile, clouds cleared in the sky spreading moonlight on the jungle. In the dim light, they noticed him and were sorry for his state. Falling pity on him they stood close to him.

The thief watching the two strangers understood them to be mother and daughter. Madam! Epics say that persons who die without male children were not eligible for heaven. I will die any moment. Please get your daughter married to me and I will pay you one thousand Varahas (currency in ancient days was said to be termed as Varaha in the sub-continent as we have Rupee, Dollar and Pound in the modern age). You will be free to get your daughter married to anyone after I die. In case, she gives birth to a male child marrying someone else, he would become my son.'

Mother was lured on hearing the thousand varahas from thief's mouth. She dragged her daughter little away and discussed with her in a convincing manner. Jayaprada resisted her mother. Mother are you mad? How could I marry a person who is about to die now or then?'

Mother convinced her, You dumbhead! I pretty well know he is about to die. I wish you should marry him for those one thousand varahas. We will leave the place immediately after he is dead and live comfortably.' Both of them reached the thief and asked him, where is the amount?'

The thief indicated to the bottom of a tree nearby and said varahas were buried near the roots. The duo went there and took the money out of the ditch. Immediately mother went to the pond close to the place and brought some water and performed her daughter's marriage with the thief. After a while the thief died and the women reached a town crossing through the forest and started living in a rented house.

As the days were passing by, Jayaprada loved one Brahmananda Sastry who was passing through their street regularly. She informed her mother about Sastry and wished that she was inclined to flirt with him. The next day, mother invited Sastry to their house and conveyed that her daughter was interested in him. Sastry was happy to spend some time with Jayaprada and demanded some money for the act. Mother agreed and paid the sum to Sastry.

As a result of the association of Sastry, Jayaprada was pregnant. Few days later, Sastry lost interest in Jayaprada and stopped visiting her. Jayaprada gave birth to a baby boy. The same night Jayaprada dreamt of a Goddess ordering her, This boy will become a king. Take him on the cot to the portal of the royal palace and leave him there placing one thousand varahas beside him.

She woke up mother and detailed the entire dream. Immediately both prayed the Goddess and decided to go by her order in the dream of Jayaprada. They made all the arrangements according to the Goddess and left the child in front of the royal palace. Meanwhile, the Deity appeared in the dream of the king Kamaladitya and said, King! You are not blessed with children. One child is lying on a cot with one thousand varahas beside him in front of your palace main gate. Go, get him and groom him as your own son.

The king woke and rushed to the main entrance of the palace. He found the child as per the dream and took him into the palace and handed him over to his queen. Time passed by and the child grew. He was named Vimaladitya. Years cut through and the kind died after crowning Vimaladitya as his successor.

Vimaladitya seeking better place for his father in the heaven went to holy town Kasi and was about to leave food to the dead. Suddenly, three hands rose from the water and Vimaladitya was confused in which hand he should place the food. He sought advice from Brahmins. The Brahmins looked closely at the hands. They decided that one hand belonged to the King, depending on the ornaments, the other one belonging to a Brahmin and the third one as thief's.

Question: Whom should Vimaladitya offer the celestial food.

Answer: There is no doubt here that who is a qualified father. The king groomed the child taking one thousand varahas, hence he could not be graded as father. When it comes to the Brahmin who was directly responsible for Vimaladitya's birth, he took money for associating with Jayaprada. Therefore Brahmin is also not qualified as father.

Comes the issue of the thief, he married Jayaprada paying money and said that anytime a son is born to her he would be treated as his son. So, it is the thief's hand on which Vimaladitya should place the sacred offering.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

At school

Schools are about to close and teachers have to deal with their students.  Here are few conversations.

Teacher: Don’t you want to be in the top half of your graduating class?
Pupil: I’m content to be one of the students who make the top half possible!

Teacher: The picture of the horse is good, but where is the wagon?
Pupil: Isn’t the horse supposed to draw it?

Teacher: Why are you reading the last pages of your history book first?
Pupil: I want to know how it ends!

Teacher: What can we do to stop polluting our waters?
Pupil: Stop taking baths?

Teacher: Can anyone give me the name of a liquid that won’t freeze?
Pupil: Hot water!

Teacher: I told you to stand at the end of the line?
Pupil: I tried, but there was someone already there!

Teacher: I said to draw a cow eating some grass but you’ve only drawn the cow?
Pupil: Obviously you didn’t realize the cow ate all the grass!

Teacher: In 1940, what were the Poles doing in Russia?
Pupil: Holding up the telephone lines?

Other blog

Yesterday evening, we launched our other blog.  It's called 'Gateway to SAP' (for now) and the url is I am starting to post articles there as well.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Handful Grain and a Thousand Gold Coins

Once there lived a stunning beauty named Vidyullatha in the Vijaya Nagar empire. Vidyullatha was a rich lady and well versed with prose, poetry and composition besides dance and music. Vidyullatha was famous as a proud woman in the region.

A hoarding appeared on the compound wall of the woman’s house quoting as, “A reward of one thousand gold coins would be presented to those who can win over the Lady in the house. The competitors are required to prove their upper hand in humour, wit and scholarship.” This became a prestigious issue for the scholars in the region.

Many responded to the open invitation and barged into her house, individually, to test their fate through the fete. Surprisingly, everyone whoever walked into Vidyullatha’s house lost in the battle and came out with chins down. The list of losers was steadily growing and after sometime there were no takers to the invitation.

Days were passing like this. One morning, a vendor with a load of firewood on his head started shouting in front of her house, “Firewood…strong firewood…excess heat generating firewood…” he continued the sequence for sometime. Vidyullatha thinking that his noise was growing unbearable walked on to the threshold and enquired, “How much do you sell the load for?”

An instant reply came from the vendor, “I will not sell this for money. If you can give me a handful grain I will give you all the load.” Assuring him to give more grains, Vidyullatha ordered him to dump the load in the backyard and return to collect the grains.

The vendor unloaded the weight off his head then and there started to argue, “There is no bargain in this deal Madam! I will sell this to you only if you can give me a handful grain, did you get it” he stressed, “a handful grain.” The rich woman got disgusted with the vendor’s behaviour, “Hey you bloody vendor. Stop crying, I will give you what you wanted.” She said, “throw them in the backyard and come here.”

The Vendor was adamant and made his firewood load’s price much more clearer, “There is no change in the deal Madam. I said a handful grain…that means nothing more or less…it should be a handful grain. If you cannot pay the price, you should pay me one thousand gold coins and wipe the invitation hoarding on the compound wall.”

Vidyullatha yelled at him, “What nonsense are you trying to talk?” The vendor replied on par with her, “There is not any nonsense. I told you the price, you agreed for it and now if you cannot pay the price, stand by my wish. You should give the one thousand gold coins. That is it.”

The fire broke out between Vidyullatha and the firewood vendor. Both started arguing and shouting at each other. The local people started gathering in front of the house to witness and know what is happening and why is the Lady was having a tiff with an ordinary vendor. Tired of shouting, both resorted to approach the provincial Court of Law for justice.

Vidyullatha presented her argument, “My Lord! This firewood vendor must have gone crazy. He is not ready to accede to my offer, though I wished to pay him more. He is sticking to his senseless argument to have a handful grain. He demands later for payment of a thousand gold coins and wiping away the invitation hoarding. I plead for justice.”

The Judge looked at the vendor and asked him what was his problem. Folding hands the vendor started in a humble manner, “Yes Your Majesty. She was right to some extent. However, I am not crazy. I informed her beforehand that the load of firewood would cost her a handful grain.”

He continued innocently, “When I was clear about a handful grain, she must have understood that I needed handful of grains. That was her mistake to mistake my quote for a handful grain. It means, one grain that fills the hand.”

What more? Vidyullatha was speechless. Obviously, the verdict was in favour of the vendor. Vidyullatha was unable to comprehend that a handful grain meant so much. Shocked with the development and the judgment, she was compelled to pay him one thousand gold coins and wipe off the invitation from the compound wall.

The people of the region knew about this and told themselves that the years old proud ness of Vidyullatha was shattered to pieces in a single stroke. By the way, the vendor was Tenali Ramalinga.

On hearing about the problem Vidyullatha created with her hoarding, Ramalinga took due permission from the King Rayalu to take her to task. In the guise of firewood vendor, Ramalinga fulfilled his responsibility with success.

Credits: TenaliRama Stories

The Loss of Friends

The Elephant and The Sparrow

Two sparrows, husband and wife, built a nest on a banyan tree where the female sparrow laid eggs. One afternoon a wild elephant came to the tree seeking shelter from the sun. Unable to bear the heat, the tusker suddenly went berserk and snapped a big branch of the tree, crushing the sparrow's eggs in the nest. The sparrow pair somehow escaped the fury of the elephant but the wife began crying for her eggs.

A woodpecker, a close friend of the sparrow, heard her crying and moved by her grief asked her, “Why are you crying, my friend? Wise men do not grieve what is lost or what is dead or what is past. That is the difference between a learned person and an unlettered man.”

Credits: Panchatantra

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What teachers make?

He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?

He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true
what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite company.

I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?
And I wish he hadn’t done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy in my classroom
about honesty and [butt]-kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question, so put your hand down.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the class, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?”
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question,
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.

I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.

I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.

I make them understand if you’ve got this [brains],
then you follow this [heart],
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this [a gesture].

Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a [real] difference!
Now what about you?

Note: To watch the youtube video, click here.  Cannot post it here due to the language.

Credits: Taylor Mali

New Blog in works

I had been gone for almost a week now, and am still settling down after my trip from Orlando.  In between, wrapped up the Sunday school grading and completed a move at Emory.

While I am gone, I am in my world of work and am slated to start a work related blog.  The one I have in mind should impart knowledge to Customers, Consultants, Sales Team, Executives, Market Watchers, and to those who even want to get their feet wet in SAP and consider it as a profession.  The idea is to grow with everyone, and create a win-win situation.

All I need is your prayers and support, along with blessings from the Holy Spirit.

Monday, May 21, 2012

When you thought

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you hang my
First painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately
Wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you feed a
Stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind
To animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I heard you say a
Prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always
Talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you make a
Meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I
Learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you take care
Of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
To take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw how you
Handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t
Feel good, and I learned that I would have to be
Responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw tears come
From your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
Hurt, but it’s all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw that you
Cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I learned most of
life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and
Productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I looked at you and
Wanted to say, ‘Thanks for all the things I saw when
You thought I wasn’t looking