Monday, August 9, 2010

My Name is...Never mind!

[This post has been long overdue! Two nights back I was surfing through the Channels and landed on the one that was showing SRK trying real hard to show how he can get Autistic! I will reserve my comments on that performance for another post, but first it's I, me and myself. So read on.]

"It is a bit Big", a bird sitting next to me in office chirped. I chuckled. She was commenting on my name(before you run your imaginations wild). I told her how a friend of mine in his inimitable sarcasm had exclaimed-"I never knew you had such a magnificent name! You could write a Novel, make a movie out of it." I had chuckled then, too.
It all started way back in 1976, when I was, apparently to the joy of my paternal and maternal family, born. Now both the families suggested names- Paternal side suggested Srinivas and Maternal side suggested Chetan and in a magnanimous moment when the decision had to be taken, someone(I really dont know who) decided to appease both the sides! And thus I was christened Srinivas Chetan. Now,along with these two names came the initials H and K(H is the village we hail from, Hebbar. K is my father's name, Keshavamurthy, the part I am proud of in the entire protraction.
My parents kept it simple calling me chethi mostly and chetan occasionally (the latter with a soprano, which usually meant I was about to be spanked).
At school, my friends called me Chetan. Teachers were having a tough time choosing from Chetan to Srini to Srinivas. In the professional world, the crisis continued- but it stabilised between chetan, srini or a very rare 'chet'. This went on and I thought I was settling down- until recently- when I joined this organisation which demanded I give my name "as it is in the passport".
And so I had to give my fully expanded name- "Srinivas Chetan Hebbar Keshavamurthy", which now has become my display name on all my official emails and chat.
The new set of colleagues keep asking me -"What do I call you?" Considering the wide range I have to offer, I just narrow it down to "Srini or Chetan- you can pick". I am sure I have left an entire office confused. But then, Srinivas Chetan is my name, and its all the same!
Birds keep chirping, and I keep chuckling, wondering "Whoever said What's in a name?"
God, Stop this Game.
Addendum: I need to mention the shortest way anyone has addressed me- "C". Thats from my butter-half.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The lullaby, the frown and the silence

I am sure God was not in his elements when he was working on my vocal talents. It is a well-known fact that singing is not the most enjoyable of experiences that I can provide my audience, if I manage to gather any. I had, believe me, managed a prize or two during my school-days, but that was largely due to my mother's vigilant selection of songs that were simple enough for me to stay in the chord that I started with and end the song with tolerable damage to the original. But, then the fact is that my singing talent is at best, a croak and at worst, a bray. And so, I harmonised my tunelessness in tune with my life and moved on.
I eventually got married- I didnt have to sing to impress my wife-to-be, you know. And then the children. I had almost forgotten how shocking my singing can be until recently and instinctively, I tried a lullaby on my 1 year old daughter.
It was one of those nights around 10PM and both my wife and I having had a long day, were preparing to retire- but for the tantrums thrown by our daughter. In one moment of indiscretion I decided to take over the responsibility of "putting her to sleep". I tried a few tried-and-tested tricks in the bag- carrying her and resting her head on my shoulders, putting her on the lap and rocking her on the lap- but her screams and cries continued. That's when my instinct took over. I started singing what I thought was a lullaby. And then miraculously, there was a sudden silence. My daughter stopped crying and started staring at me, intently and there was a frown on her innocent face which- if I'm not mistaken, was a mixture of anger, shock, stunned amazement and later moved into deep sympathy. She said it all in that fleeting 3-4 seconds.
It could be any or all of the below thoughts: An angry "Ok..Ok.. If you care to make up that truck-load of crap, I will sleep. Now stop singing for Gossake". OR a regretful "I should have listened to mommy and gone to sleep." OR a panicky "Help..help..my dad is a freak" OR an ingenious "The only way I can keep him quiet is to go to sleep. Let me just close my eyes.."
And in the next 2 minutes she was fast asleep.
But before that lull after my storm, there was a strong statement without utterance of a single word.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Missing the bus!

A siren blows at the traffic signal and people scamper from one end of the road to the other- they have to make it before the siren ends and the endless stream of detained motored monsters resume their journey. As you wait peering out of the window seat of the bus, you observe the scenes that are straight out of Bangalore traffic- the motor-bikes snaking through the endless stream of vehicles, just managing to brush a few cars; the car drivers contemplating their next move to fill in the gap on the road ahead, to gain a few yards; and the colourful posters of movies(some expressively b-grade ones too- for the lusty few!).
With the signal turning green the wind blows against your face as you squint and watch the world you pass by. You just turn your attention inside the bus- a large man catching up on a snooze; a sheepish guy looking outside the window, conspiring for the right opportunity to land his sputum on the road - his only aim is to avoid the numerous heads that ride by; a group of boisterous school-goers chattering; a lone traveller playing his cell-phone music loud enough for the entire bus to vibrate (I am sure he assumes that his musical offerings are enjoyed by all on the bus!). Good intent, nevertheless!
If it is 30 kilometers you travel oneway to reach office - there is a enough for you to smile, squirm and ogle about!
As I approach the last few days of this daily journey, I ponder the duality of my mind.
On the one hand I want to reduce my travel-time to work, but on the other there are things I would miss, if I did! Of them all, I would surely miss the bus- (pardon the misplaced pun)! And trust me, though I am one of the lusty few ogling at the posters, I wouldnt miss them as much.