Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Oversight

The Consultant”, read the board. An arrow mark on the board pointed to the first floor.

One might mistake it to be an arrogant declaration of unchallenged supremacy. Yes, the consultant was arrogant and supreme in his own ways, but the reason for putting no other text on the board was to remain as general as possible while attracting clients.

His office had a bed and a chair. Clients were always made to sit on bed. That suited his methods. He believed in attacking the roots of the problems without worrying about the details. Clients were barely allowed to finish telling their troubles. He would talk of fundamentals and show remarkable understanding of time and space and all things wrapped in between.

Crucial to his work, there were notes stuck on the wall. They read:

“This is not your problem. This is not your problem. This is not YOUR problem. Truth be told, this is not even a problem.”

“Lament not. Have a massage if indulge you must.”

“By the time you finish reading this sentence, four humans would have died. Go on, read it again. Eight more will be dead by then.” **PS Footnote at the end**

“Measure yourself not with what you can do; pleasure yourself with what you can get away with.”

“Who cares?”
There were four notes with this caption.

He had a large sheet titled “On this day…”, which typically looked like:

Year 2040984 BC- The first ape to walk straight fell off the tree. Humanity set back by a thousand years.
Year 1330 BC- Tutankhamen did not like his oranges.
Year 1941 AD- Some president signed some bill to attack some country.
Current Year- Mr. Client has a problem.
Year 4918 AD- Planet Earth splits into two.
Tick the odd one from the list above.

His business thrived. Folks from all walks of life found solace in his office. Many revisited. A few competitors tried to copy his model, but none of them had the combination of the conviction and nonchalance. It stemmed from what he called “The Japanese-Man Wisdom”.

Some said the wisdom was better than Zen; it filtered out only the grief and let the fun be with you. It was the ultimate tool he used if nothing else worked. It went like this:

Client1: I bought five shirts in a sale for the price of two.
Consultant: Congratulations.
Client1: I didn’t notice that all of them have a hen painted at the back.
Consultant: So, what’s the problem?
Client1: My colleagues make fun of me.
Consultant: It shouldn’t matter. Do you remember what your colleague wore a year ago?
Client1: But what about the present?

Now that the temporal shift technique hadn’t helped much, it was time for using the Japanese-Man wisdom.

Consultant: Look at it from the third person’s perspective.
Client1: He too will ridicule me.
Consultant: I am not done yet. Look at it from a fourth person’s perspective; from the fifth; from the sixth. Are you with me?
Client1: I suppose.
Consultant: Let’s keep going. From the seventh; go beyond your neighborhood; cross the borders; look at it from the man-in-Japan’s perspective.
Client1: He can’t even see my shirt.
Consultant: That, my friend, is the point. When in trouble, you must look at yourself from the Japanese man’s perspective and everything will be alright.
Client1: Profound. Thank you. Here’s your fee.

Let’s take a look at how another client was satisfied.

Client59: Do I invest in commercial real estate or keep my money in stocks?
Consultant: Doesn’t matter.
Client59: Would you care to explain?
Consultant: Look at it from the third person’s perspective… Look at it from the man-in-Japan’s perspective.
Client59: Brilliant. I would rather blow it all away in Vegas. Thank you. Here’s your fee.

And so it went. Until one day, when Client666 dropped in.

Client666: I think I am in love.
Consultant: Good for you.
Client666: I haven’t met her yet in person. But we talk everyday.
Consultant: What’s the problem?
Client666: Should I propose to her?
Consultant: Doesn’t matter. Look at it from the third person’s perspective…from seventh...Go beyond…Cross borders…Are you now looking at it from the man-in-Japan’s perspective.
Client666: I am. I am.
(Client 666 sounded awestruck. Consultant waited for the Japanese-Man Wisdom to deliver again; always has been his rock.)
Consultant: So???
Client666: I don’t think Mr. Tomiro Nakagawa is going to like that his wife is being proposed to.

That was the death of the consultant’s conviction. Client667 never happened.


** Footnote**
1.8 humans die every second on an average.
Average reading speed is 300 words per minute.
The sentence had 13 words.
Number of deaths have been rounded off to the closest integer.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Riders On The Storm

I had a shocker today morning while driving. As soon as the radio was turned on, these were the words that fell on my ears:

Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown

91.9 FM playing Doors at 9.30 in the morning! And that too Riders on the Storm! The best ever.

“There has to be an explanation”, I told myself. “Must be a mix up. A new crew perhaps?” Riders on the storm is not, I repeat, not a candidate to be played on any radio station in the morning and this is a Bangalore station for Jim’s sake.

Turned out that they had roped in a lady author for an interview and the song was played on her request. She lost all my respect though as soon as she dedicated it to her son who will be “riding the board exam soon”, to quote her.

Anyway, it was a heady feel to drive as the song played. I feared that they will truncate the second part as they usually do when there are not much lyrics. They didn’t.

There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad.

It got me stoned, completely. Stared hard at a rowdy looking school kid outside. I hope he got scared. There is only so much one can do when inside a car.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Four Whatevers And A Song

Saying Hi To The Dead

Get yourself a plain sheet of paper and a pen.
Find an ant if the dead was a nice fellow. Else get a tiny spider.
Contact me if you can’t find a spider.
Write “Hi” followed by the dead one’s name on the sheet. Block letters preferred.
Cripple the creature and let it roam on the sheet for a while.
Burn the sheet. The blighter must not escape the fire.

A Day On Planet Earth

Sun rises
Stuff happens.
Sun sets.
Corollary: Don’t take a cock along with you while flying west.

Entropy And The Exception

The fan has stopped responding to the switch.
The tap is leaking drops.
The car is taking more time to start.
I am nearing death.


So this well informed woodcutter throws his wooden axe into the pond and hopes for God to appear with the offers. Last week, he threw it in the shallow area and ended up getting wet at the end of the day. He showed more commitment today.

God, as usual, doesn’t have anything useful to do except, of course, to watch the rerun of Ashes 2005. The wood-cutter’s bawl interrupts the commentary.

Voila. God appears. Customary greetings follow and the cause of grief is communicated to God. God decides to check whether humans have evolved using the same old "three- axe" test.

Is this your axe?” God brings the golden one.
“I wouldn’t be a wood-cutter my Lord”.
You know the story, don’t you?
“Which story my Lord?” Wood-cutter followed the universal rule. Never admit.
Oh well. We’ll talk about it later. Is this your axe?” The bored God adds a twist.
“I haven’t lost any deodorant, Sir.”
Alright! Is this the one?” God brings forth the iron axe.
“Yes, my lord. Very kind of you, my lord. Can I have my axe my Lord?”
First let me tell you the story.” God continued, “Hundreds of years ago a wood-cutter was in a similar situation, responded similarly and in turn received three axes. The next morning, two of them cut his arms and the golden one beheaded him.
“Why cut his arms if he was to be beheaded anyway?”
That’s not the point. Point is that you must spread this story amongst all the moronic wood-cutters who keep throwing their axes in water. In turn, you get the golden axe.
“Won’t it behead me?”
Don’t worry about that. Too many have already died on this blog and I am done spilling blood for the day. I’ll go catch the rerun now. Just enough time left for the last session.”
“Thank you, my Lord”.
Take this deodorant too. You need it.”

A Song

Found this on BBC Introducing Program

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Six Whatevers

“Nice wig.”
“Takes one to know one.”
“Mine is special. All hair in it belongs to my clients.”
“Same here”
“I know all the barbers here. Where’s your shop?”
“The post-mortem office.”

Playing God
Climb atop the tallest structure around.
Look down at the world.
Let a minute go by. Keep staring.

The lonely drive and the billboards
Four women in a saree ad
3,2,4,1. No wait. 3,4,2,1.

The tortoise had the win. But the hare got to dream.

Come undone.
Enjoy your stay.

The Under-performer
Before marriage, potentially half the world is your wife.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Mother, do you think they'll like this song?
Mother, do you think they'll try to break my balls?
Mother, should I build the wall?