The 100th pail of water

My mom always tells me this story when I am running out of steam or enthusiasm about something. This usually happens when one gets bored of studying for an exam or is no longer interested in something that he/she was passionate about. This has somehow got ingrained in my head… I have seen numerous examples of this everywhere. I would love to share it with everyone since it is beautiful and really simple.

Once, an old lady was very sad. She wanted so many things in life which God did not grant her. So one day, taking pity on her, God appeared and told her that all her wishes will be granted if she poured 100 pails of water in one dying patch of a garden. She readily agreed.

She set to work next morning, pouring and pouring the water drawing it from a well. She was initially enthusiastic about it, but the scorching sun and the effort in drawing water from the well slowly flagged her spirit. Still, determined she continued until she reached the 99th pail. She was absolutely tired and worn out and now a little angry too. She thought ” Arre! I have poured 99 pails of water and nothing has come out of it, what will happen if I pour the 100th?”. She abandoned the activity and went back to her home. Tired and sad that she was tricked.

But hey!, didnt God just say 100 ? He said he would grant her wish if she poured 100 pails of water! Why did she not complete the task then?

The same thing is true for many of us. We huff and puff our way into doing something and then last minute back off. I am not only talking about our personal lives, look at the various examples around us. The Government spends crores of rupees on a project to benefit the people, they work tirelessly for ten or even twenty years and then back off! What does that result in? People cant use that piece of infrastructure and it is nothing but money wasted.

I got reminded of this as I was driving through a 99% completed flyover i encounter enroute which has been in the same sorry state for the last 5 years. There is another 10 meters of flyover to be built, even the roads are ready. But now, political parties use that cement to paint posters and publicize election rallys and film posters are all over it. Cars need to inch along and it is extremely crowded. Why didnt they just let it be?

Even in life, it is the last pail of water that counts. Everything upto that remains null and void. One must complete the entire task to get the benfits and fruits.

Wish I could tell the Government that!

Humour in billboards…

India is a land of aggressive marketing. Billboards, especially colourful ones, bright and neon-lit adorn the main roads of the city giving it the extra zing. What one doesnt notice, is the tiny shops that line the other roads of chennai, catering to the majority of the people. As one drives ( or rather inches) along the overcrowded streets, a lot of extremely funny billboards get noticed. Here are few of them:

1. On the board of a shop: “Cassettes, CD’s and Underwear sold here” ( eh ? What a combination!)

2. “Welcome to Lucky’s Woin Shop” – Now it did take me a while to realize its actually wine.

3. “Fresh Snakes sold here” – That did send shivers down my spine!

4. “Hot Berrotazz on sale” – Is that Italian!? Hell no, its a tamilized version of “parantha” otherwise referred to as “Barota” usually. Im sure that guy makes better pizzas!

These two were due to the adventurous nature of the shopkeepers to translate tamil into english with obviously disastrous outcomes!

5. “Fresh Sicken on sale” – Ok, tamil language lacks a proper “ch” so often one ends up using “s” wherever the need arises. But whats a sicken?? A sick chicken ?? Hehe. Im not sure I want one of those, fresh or stale!

6.”Velu Military Hotel – Now in Paris” – Does he mean Paris? Or Parry’s ? (Parry’s corner is an important landmark in Chennai)

7. “YemmYessVeeYenn” – Was that a simple M.S.V.N ?

8. I know numerology is in vogue…but this chap definitely did some major work there ” Ayyyaapppar Sweets and Snacks”

9. The lights of this neon hoarding werent fully operational. Ironically it was in a light fittings shop. So this is what the hoarding ended up looking like. ” Come, tighten your fittings for free”. From far off, it doesnt quite make the sense it is supposed to !
Ahem! No thanks.

Confessions of travelling in a car with tinted windows : Its fun to watch people on two wheelers, do stuff to their hair and check their appearance. As a kid, I used to giggle while watching them from inside, then roll down the windows and show them a thumbs up only to see their embarassed red faces.

I saw a Harley Davidson in Chennai today!!! Man, I stared that motorbike down and the rider also continuously stared back. Not knowing how he could possibly make out I was looking at the bike, I realized only later that my car didnt have tinted windows!! Must be thinking, I m mad!

For you, Aarushi…

I am back after a mini-sabbatical. Forced sabbatical more like. But this is something that has kept not only me, but the entire nation hooked to the daily news. As many channels put it in a sensationalizing manner ” The Murder of 2008″, the “Murder of the year!” and what not, this is my dedicated post to that poor little girl, Aarushi.

Someone whose existence I sadly came to know only after her death, I cannot but feel terribly sorry for her. Yes, for life to be taken away in such a brutal fashion, that too at such a young tender age is terrifying. But even more terrifying is the disgraceful way the media has been treating her case. With her photograph being flashed in every news bulletin, with one of these apparently “catchy” slogans underneath it, what is the media trying to do ? First, throw a truckload of rut on her character, by sensationalizing totally false information about her, then blaming the servant without even looking around the house?! ( I sometimes wonder what if the killer actually was walking on the terrace and enjoying all the ruckus below?). Then blame a father for killing his daughter, conduct narco-tests every now and then..I want to sometimes just scream at the news channels saying ENOUGH!! Havent they lost enough already ?

The thing with the Indians is that, we love to lap up these things. Agreed, some amount of public interference is needed. Like the Women and Child’s commission was required to make the Noida Police shut their trap and stop throwing nasty ideas about her character into public’s minds. The more you show the details of the case, the more tongues will wag. Some smart, young girl has become the object of public sympathy, dinner table discussions and even articles about how her murder is making people watch more news. Sad, aint it ?

All I would now just request people ( I know in vain…) to leave that bereaved family alone.The highest federal body of investigation is on the case now and I think even they would perform better outside the media glare. Maybe the case gets resolved faster. They have lost perhaps one of the brightest spark of their family and the most loved. In addition, the family must be totally shattered now and i am not sure, society is going to accept them back.

So, Aarushi, you are long gone now, but the fight for your justice will continue. It is sad you had to become headlines only because you were snatched away by some animal in the most brutal manner. Hope your soul rests in peace. I truly feel sorry for you everytime I see your beautiful pic flashed in a news-bulletin.

PS: Im sorry that my return-to-blogging post has been on a sombre topic. But this is what I could gather from the flashes of news headlines I managed to catch every now and then. Its been Aarushi , Aarushi and Aarushi all the way…