Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our daughter - Elsa...born free

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

Stay free where no walls divide you
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free and life is worth living
But only worth living
'Cause you're born free

This is one of the first Hollywood movie song that I understood fully due to the crystal clear words even though I was a kid. The name of the character of the lead actress was etched in my mind along with this song for ever. 

Many many years later, when my wife was pregnant, and we were seeing a news broadcast on yet another girl child being abused and neglected due to her gender, I commented that God should give a precious gift as a girl child to people who can take care of her to the fullest...who will give her every joy in the world, every gift that life has to offer, and the freedom to take any choice that she sees fit...she should be Born Free...

Later while discussing a suitable name for our little angel, my brother-in-law suggested this name in one of our numerous 'name storming' sessions, and immediately this song started playing in my mind...And I knew what would be the apt name for my child, the lead actress of the movie...a lioness named Elsa...Born free.

Now I will let Andy do the talking, or shall I say, the singing...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tobacco : Kill the Image, and you will save Gen NeXt

World no tobacco day came and went...I wonder if google had a doodle to pass the message to the masses...Well when I think of the tobacco habit, many incidents come to my mind, and I will share a few.

1. After lunch, one of my team mates who is a smoker used to walk for 1 km in the hot Chennai sun (its more 'fun' as the walk is between concrete jungle on a tar road at noon time) since there were no shops near the IT park...many times he used to ask us 'Anyone coming' halfheartedly with a sheepish smile. Then with a bit of reluctance he will start the long hot walk.

2. I heard someone coughing in my hostel corridor one was a friend learning to smoke...I asked him why he was trying so hard to learn...He told he wanted to see what it feels like and that he was so strong mentally that he could quit whenever he wanted to...In the years to come he got the nickname "Chimney" for obvious reasons...If you ask him eve n now, he smiles and says he still hasn't thought of quitting and the minute he does, he can stop without any problem ;)

3. On a dark chill night in Munnar, a guy was walking on a empty winding road to his hostel smoking a cigarette he had bought before starting the long climb up the hill to the hostel...Mid way, on a sharp turn, he ran straight into one of the most infamous Electronics Dept teachers of our college (Legend has it that a villan character in Sholay movie was named for him, albeit many years ago...good hindsight perhaps of the script writer that in future such a character will actually come to College of Engineering Munnar).

Well the guy panicked and threw away the cigarette. The teacher came close to him..

Teacher :  Why did you waste Rs 1.50 ?

Guy : (Doesn't know what to say...Then after a long pause) Sir...Actually the cost is Rs 2.50...

Teacher (without a pause) : Of course. But you have already smoked Rs1 worth of it :)...

(Another legend goes that the big rock overlooking our college, and which is split in the middle, was split when the rock laughed too much at one such infamous joke of this teacher)

4. Strong Image of Macho Man (Smoker) :A friend of mine is one of the best natured guys I have met in college.Never curses, never speaks ill of others, rarely gets angry, speaks to everyone with courtesy, doesn't drink, and never used to smoke...In college, with the beautiful hills of Munnar around us, road trips were a routine affair. And this friend used to smoke only on such trips because the image of the biker stopping after a long ride on a hill side, sitting quietly looking into the vast horizon and smoking was just too strong to ignore...Somehow cigarette made the pit stop feel complete. To my knowledge the guy still smokes noly on road trips and never at any other time...Thats how strong the image of smoking is I guess...

So kill the image, show displeasure when people smoke near you...even if they are close to you...and let the message sink in...