Monday, August 11, 2008

The Aura Around Aurum

On the occasion of independent India bagging it's first individual Olympic Gold, here's a countdown...

An Olympic gold medal in hand is worth (much more than):

10. Two boxes of champagne bottles

9. Two truck loads of gifts

8. Two duplex flats at Colaba

7. Two phone calls from the country's premier
(or Sonia Gandhi, whosoever is greater)

6. Two chapters in Class IV Hindi Text Book

5. Two hundred Indian delegates at the games

4. Two thousand and eight patriotic Bollywood films

3. Two billion TV debates on "Why only one medal for one billion Indians?"

2. Two Tera bytes of illegally downloaded mp3 songs

1. Two of us -- you the reader, and me the writer!


Meanwhile, if the Indian Olympic Committee is interested in bagging more Olympic Golds but without spending anything on infrastructure and training, then it should suggest to the International Olympic Committee to include "Spitting" as a sport, with following events in this new category (on the similar lines as Shooting):
  • 1m Spit

  • 5m Spit

  • 1m Running Target

  • 5m Running Target

  • Trap

  • Double Trap

  • Skeet

The Indian betel leaf should be used as ammunition, thus leading to a betel revolution in our agriculture sector.

On further research, I came across this article on the web: "Hitching a Ride with the Chinese Olympic Spitting Team". Looks like the Chinese have a PhD in Spitting! So, for the time being, Suresh Kalmadi and team have to discard Spitting and invent a new Sporting event. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What's In A Name?

'lA-jane-dlA'... That's how I used to pronounce my name, long, long time ago, when I had barely started communicating in my mother tongue. It was my dad's assignment, late in the evening, after dinner, to bring out the 'R' in me with a proper roll of the tongue, which, thankfully, he managed successfully.

I mention this so that you understand how sensitive I am regarding making fun of people who have pronunciation or stammering problems, even though I never had such a problem later in my life. But that shouldn't stop me from writing about this incident which happened in my office today.

A new guy has joined our team. This fellow stammers while saying his name. The name as such isn't long: only four letters. But when he pronounces it, the first syllable would take 5/6ths of the time. (That's a rough estimate as I don't have a stop watch to time it.)

What's more amazing is, each time he introduces himself, he would pronounce it similarly.

That made me ponder: May be the poor fellow is pronouncing his name as it should be! After all, who better can pronounce one's name than one own self! It reminds me of the African tribesmen who have clinks in their names which the stand-up comedian Russell Peters doesn't fail to admire.

Had I been able to keep a straight face each time he said it, I would have given him the benefit of doubt and remarked, "That sounds tough to pronounce. Would it be okay if we called you 'Ravi' instead?"