Saturday, September 01, 2007

Dear Office Going People

I agree, I really haven't been inside anything that resembles an office for over 2 years. Especially in the last 6 months, I haven't done anything that can even be remotely described as professional work. I have been on the move, doing the dude thing. Never stayed in a place for more than 5 minutes. Given all this excitement I have had, the contrast that the the office offers is incredible. Well not 'incredible' but in reality cruel, offensive and boring. So, I have a question. No, many questions. How do you - some of my dear readers - manage to sit in the same seat/cubicle office room for 8 hours? Isn't it terribly boring? It is a closed space and all you do is stare at a monitor and type characters into a box. The biggest change during your day is - wait - wait - wait for the incredibly exciting - a meeting, where you go and meet other people in a closed room and talk about typing characters into a box. What is it that you office going people have against roads, open spaces and in general - being out ? 8:00 clk I am in the cubicle staring at the monitor. My back begins to hurt at around 10. I feel sleepy at around 12. I am really restless by 2 and begin to pace up and down my office at 4. There should really be some sort of fast action, pace and movement. Being incarcerated in a single room should be in the Human Rights commission's agenda.

I grew up watching the likes of Senthil and Goundamani. To me, Goundamani was/is the greatest philosopher in the world. To combine Aristotle, Socrates, Betrand Russell using the logic of Immanuel Kant and the mathematical precision of Jacobi is not an easy task. And Goundan discovered the electron before - who ever else it was is credited with the discovery. That Goundamani could be sarcastic makes him an altogether potent combination. When I watched them, they never did work. Didn't seem to have gone to school at all. They were just dancing and prancing in the fields inventing new philosophies and scientific methods. I think they were successfull because they had to do nothing. This was what I was doing for the last 6 months. Nothing. I do have to say, I miss getting up in the morning with a I-have-nothing-to-do feeling. Its an awesome feeling. No feeling can match this. Much literary work needs to be done on this. After all S.Ve.Sekhar can't handle this burden alone. His characterization of Sigamani just did it for me, you know. All Sigamani does is spend his father's money and run behind women. That's his "job". I envied him with all my heart. In his seminal thesis called 1000 Kicks to Sigamani he asks his father "Wont my friends insult me if I go to work? Wont they ask me if my father has become invalid? When I have a father who can earn money, why should I work? So I quit." Simply brilliant.

Not a day has passed by since I got introduced to Sigamani, that I have not asked me father as to why he did not become a corrupt minister. If I were a minister's son I'd have jasmine flowers wrapped around my wrists, wear silk shirts and drive around Doraisami road in Lamborghini. I'd join engineering in NRI quota, have 42 arrears (which I will clear in the 8th semester) and spend 4 years in the company of hot girls. I'd be in gym for a lot of time and won't know multiplication tables beyond 6. Being a CEO's son isn't bad too because as a corrupt minister's son, even though you have some power, there is good chance of seeing your father go to jail. So being born a CEOs son makes you legit. Someday you'll inherit a lot of shares and fight with your brother for an extra billion dollars. Not a bad fight to be in if you consider the fact that a Thanjavur court judge may actually be spending time making decisions on half-a-ground worth of property, near Mayiladuthurai. If the great Goundamani had anything to do with it he'd put a minimum bar on financial level of an issue that is brought to court. "kaakus katravanellam case poda vanthutanunga" - or a more inventive "latrine katranavennallam litigate panna vanthutanunga". Hey, to me, if you are gonna be fighting your sibling in court its better to be fighting over a billion bucks than to be Munnusami's son fighting for a 0.50 grounds that's filled with cow dung. As a CEO's son, you can even visit a psychiatrist to overcome problems of being a star child. Being a CEO or a Minister isn't cool at all. In fact I think they are losers. Do you think all those CEOs are having the time of their life? Or Ministers? They are slogging there butt off 24 * 7. The son inherits all the money, wealth and power but not the work. So its your call - which is better? Have-money-cant-enjoy-do-work or have-money-will-spend-no-work. For me Becoming a CEO does not match the I-have-to-do-nothing feeling that his son might get. You have to born as their children to experience that amazing feeling. It is a feeling so powerful and rewarding that when you get up over there in the morning, your mom thinks you are a darling and gives 2 doses of coffee, your grandma brings some sweet and cooks 2 tons of food straight in your plate. All you do is just walk around and feel special. I got only but a small taste of this life and they grabbed it away. The bloody society.

Over the last 3 months in Madras, I have gotten used to long walks in the afternoon. I go down station road, cross Mambalam station, walk through Ranganathan street (incredibly exciting), take a left in Usman road walk until Pothys, take a left in Doraisamy road and go back home. Imagine the number of people I see every day. Imagine the noise I am used to. The noise is like being in a stadium during Ind-Pak game. Compare that life, that royal life to this. This thing, because I refuse to call it a life. My wife wants me to jog in the morning everyday. Compels me to eat low-fat cereal bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Never wants me go near food. Pinches me hard if I touch the lovely little Ruffles chips. On subject of noise. And man, this place is so silent. Nobody talks. America is the lull after the storm. My ears have that hollow sound because of the silence. India is full of screaming people, active environment. And the moment you commit the sin of crossing the seas and step into the port-of-entry box, you are cursed with deathly silence. For the past 2 weeks it feels as if God muted out all the noise in the world. Its even more muted at work. I tell you, the moment they slapped that I.D card around me, made me sign pension, health benefit papers and sent me inside - it felt like I was walking into jail. I shed a tear and said bye to free society. All through school, when my mom put that half-drowser on me and sent me on my way, I complained that the education system was being forced upon me. I cursed the guy who invented the system. And now I have I've jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

I have to say that this society is so male oppressive. It is so biased against the men of the species that somebody ought to do something about it. A woman can stay at home, not work and she is called 'adjusting' and sacrificing. If a man wants to stay at home, he is irresponsible, effeminate, 'dhanda soru', and in general - a madman. Why the discrimination, I ask? Since the beginning of time, men have been sent to gather food, build tribes, conquer tribes, fight wars, build machines, create philosophy, spread religion, kill animals, and now what - go to work. While women have been sitting at home cooking food and having sex. Food and sex - the dream combination that every man wants has been secretly cordoned off by the evil woman. and whats more, the suffragist movement make men feel guilty for letting them have it so easy. They claim that they actually want to do the work and earn food and sex. I'd like them to start all over from the beginning with the invention of fire and wheel and then work their way down to corporate offices. Now that 'work' is being done in A/C rooms - they suddenly want to be a part of it. If a wild boar had to be caught in the dark forest for dinner to be cooked, its time for Asterix and Obelix to do the work. You won't find Mrs Impedimenta or Mrs Geriatrix complaining about the glass ceilings to Chief Vitalstatistix. Can you imagine their ultimate triumph? They've made work look like something special and forced men to dominate it and later made men feel guilty for dominating it. Can there be more injustice? I demand freedom for the stay-at-home guy. Men should be able to stay at home and not be made to feel bad about it. Let this happen and then women can demand equality.

I have to go back to my drawingboard and devise a way to emancipate the stay-at-home man. All those people who have the supressed desire to quit work will soon see a solution. More importantly, I have to discover a way to do it without feeling guilty. Maybe all of mankind in the future will build a statue and sings songs in my praise.

p.s: ok. so I am incredibly homesick. I should be excused for this rant.


rads said...

Haven't read such a strongly worded homesick sentiment before. Ever. Brilliant.

I go down station road, cross Mambalam station, walk through Ranganathan street (incredibly exciting), take a left in Usman road walk until Pothys, take a left in Doraisamy road and go back home

My route - half-way at least!
How is Ayodhya Mandapam looking these days? same januvasams, same kacheris, same madisari mamis?
*now I am homesick :(

I said...

adhu ennavo seri dhan.

MLC said...

Hawkeye! this wanting to stay at home is until when? i'm asking coz once u hv kutti hawkeyes around, u might totally change yr mind abt wanting to stay at home and sendng pondaati to wrk! idha pathi yellam nalla yosichi adhukapram avangaloda deal podunga!!!
p.s.: am so glad yr long vacation is finally over:-)!

Arvind said...

You do realize that when you take on the stay-at-home tag, when it comes to the food, you'll be expected to create it, not just consume it, right? :)

Dhana said...

While women have been sitting at home cooking food and having sex.

And watching those crappy Maga Mega Serials!!

Anonymous said...

Like gounder style... adai dei adda dei.. nee engada vella seyyara... evan unakku sambalam kudakaran... i believe it's Mr. kalaku po...

- Ganesh

Karthik Sriram said...

I hate work - i want to win the lottery
- Anon, generally credited to me.


Anonymous said...


no need to re-invent the wheel. check out the poem - the release (it's on the fourth page).

- s.b.

p.s.: i see you hedged your bets very well with that u.mich-osu combo! :-)

Babu said...

engayoo aarambichute engayoo muduchiteye mamu....

I see, that home sickness has not left you and I dont think it will even after your daughter graduates from OSU :-)
In a way that sickness is a good feeling aiyee, you learn a lot about you.....

Isn't Priya with you now?

anush said...

you start a club, something like 'valasaravakkam's men's club' or something and I will volunteer to be its executive vice president :) you reminded me of what seinfeld said 'we work because they force us to work, otherwise, we just like to roam around and check things out. that's the only natural inclination of the male mind'! did you have to wait for your H1B or something for so long to start working?

Jhansi said... now dats wat they call the "male perspective"...incredibly enlightning :)

Deepa said...

So you say, women are needed only for food and sex? Look out your window, do you see protesters?
You are right about the noise part. Sony-Erickson is opening a plant in Chennai and they want the cellphones to ring louder than usual as the CEO feels India is a noisy country an people like noisy phones.

Sachita(india) said...

See the funda was women realized that working @ office = Chair theechafying except when deadlines loom large was far better than the 3 c's(cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children).

Otherwise, the kind of life you describe in india, where your grandmother, mother and wife together take food orders from you, your royal highness takes of a stroll across the every man/ woman's dream as well!

Jillu Madrasi said...

Hawku -- nalla vaangi kattikka pora nee for this one .

I said...

food and sex is the reason why god made women.

Hawkeye said...


:-). Thanks for the kind words. Ayodhya Mandapam is always the same.


danks ba.


no you got me wrong. wife should work under the assumption that i am busy and working. kids go to creche. the whole ' i have to do nothing' extravaganza depends on this.

i can see that my vacation has given sorrow to many people.


at least ill have control over it. ill cut out anything that has 0% fat :-)


thats for drishti


goundan rocks! yeah.


lottery, rich parents all the same.


the poem talks about carpe diem. i dont even wanna get there.

OSU-mich is a football hedgefund in itself.


ya from the time they left us alone in school hostel until now - the home sickness is pain in the ass. she is here.


ah! i can depend on you to get me a nod from seinfeld :-). nothing to do with H1B. I tried to push the start date to the next millenium but they wanted me to start early. all my class mates are still ensoy maaadiying in thailand and such. i yam in front of a kampooter.


yep. its the story premchand forgot to tell :-)


/*So you say, women are needed only for food and sex?*/

no. these are the only two things we are interested in, which they have complete control over. the rest of the unimportant factors are standing in line.

they are also good for conveniently out-of-contexting statements to make men feel guilty :-)

noise is such a good thing.


/* orders from you, your royal highness takes of a stroll across the every man/ woman's dream as well! */

i know. somewhere along the way women started realizing the dream and men got lost.


that maybe true.


you should put this as your quote in your horocope/matrimonial-bio-data :-)

Mukund said...

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I said...

alam muzhukka vaazha vattan-a irukka idea kudukaraya?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this will come in handy -