Lacking Common Sense!

As I start to write this up, am fuming with anger. It might be an exaggerated emotion, but ask the other 2 who went through the act with me and you will end up hearing some more.

Firstly what do you mean by common sense?



Common sense is beliefs or propositions that most people consider prudent and of sound judgment, without reliance on esoteric knowledge or study or research, but based upon what they see as knowledge held by people "in common". This might be the dictionary meaning for the term,however in simple it is something that a person should be aware of without being told or forced by someone else. Hope you are in agreement! If that’s the case let me know what you'll do in a frustrating case like the one we observed last evening.



As the boring Sunday was turning out to be a very boring Sunday; Sis, a friend and myself thought of venturing out on an undestined place. Unsurprisingly the thought on all minds was to avoid the suffocating crowd, mainly wanted to keep our souls out of the malls. I had an idea of visiting any exhibition but since none of the good ones running in the city, the option was pushed out of the stack. Later as we headed to a part of the city where a lake with an adjoining jogger’s park is located, an idea of boating struck the brains. We were not aware if they had the boats up and running this season yet. Minimum amount of circus to park the car is always a part of our trips. On finding a good spot we parked and walk down the path leading to the entrance of the park. Fried corn was the attraction! 30 Rupees popped to get 3 of those fried corns and we happily thought of walking inside the park with it, to enjoy a nice eat, talk and walk. But hey "Wait!” This was the signal from the guard trying to maintain the vicinity clean and clear from all the waste. Okay, I see some improvement from the authorities. On snacking the corn completely, we made the waste go into the right garbage bins. Our part of commitment to a cleaner society. Summer holidays on the go, you find kids every nuke and corner. Revived those lovely moments once again.



With those thoughts still tarrying on the heads we moved out. Our minds were curled like a school going kids' head and we started acting like one of them. Ice Candies - mango and lychee from a hawker nearby, then the soap bubbles. Oh god, it was so refreshing.



Now after all this, it was time we thought about the next hop stop. Why not a visit to a temple nearby? And the wheels followed a couple unknown roads to only land up in the known one after a few random turns. There we were with the parking spot hunt activity again, near the temple and we were lucky to find one. Alas! Nothing working out. We were there at 5:30 pm sharp and that’s the time of Naivedyam [offerings to God] and no devotees allowed till 6:30 pm. Wow! What next? An hour’s wait equates boredom. Shopping wasn't any bad idea. Moreover we weren’t far away from an old and familiar market place.



Pulled out the car to reach the market area. Ensured that the car was parked at a safe and sound place. Checked for all no parking sign boards to certify we are okay on that spot. A glass of fresh melon juice sufficed the thirst and refreshed us yet again. A pair of sandals is what I bought. Then we marched through the fresh vegetables market lane to pick some veggies directly from the farmers. It was indeed direct from the fields, fresh with mud. Dumped all these in the car and planned to walk the distance to make it for the temple visit by 7pm. It was a complete exercise walking the 60 degree inclined lane, threadmill effect in a realtime!

Offering our prayers to the almighty as we descend the steps, we caught the sight of prasadam being distributed. Having the pongal prasadam we strolled back to the car and guess what happened?


Car was still there. Then why the worry, you might wonder. There lying was our poor car with one car in the front and another parked right behind ours with no signs of the owners. WTF!! Literally that was our reaction. Who is this who lacks minimum amount of common sense? Is it sufficient if you make space for your car by blocking the others in the lane? Simple! Think if you can take your car out, if someone parks another right in front leaving an inch of space between the wheels. Ridiculous wait almost got us into wild thoughts like - “Puncture the tyre of the car", “Scratch the body with some weird slogans” and the like.


Indeed the complete wait was about an hour and to top it all was the smiling excuse with a single word "SORRY" from the owner of the car on his return. Sis was on her nerves and started the blah blah blah ...His response was "No English am from rural". Sarcastic look on my sis face, then both my sis and the friend went right from ಅ to ಅಃ and ಕ to ಳ in Kannada. Still one simple and ridiculous "Sorry" is what was received as a response.


This is the level of common sense prevailing in today's drivers. When I was iterating this to an auto driver he made an awesome statement that brought a smile on my face. "Madam be thankful that another two wheeler wasn't parked in between the cars". Ahmmm! thats true, we were spared from that part of the mess atleast.


We do not expect a person to be knowledgeable to follow lane and parking rules as per guidelines in the book, but isn't it common sense for one to be able to judge. If he is not able to, then who gave him the license???


What do you do in such scenario? If you drop ideas it might be helpful in future when we come up with something similar. Hoping not to experience it again.

-Ashwini













ಮಳೆ ಹನಿ...

ಉರಿಬಿಸಿಲ ಬೇಗೆಯನು ತಡೆಯಲು
ಮಳೆ ಹನಿಯು ಚೆಲ್ಲಿದೆ
ಕಾದಿರುವ ಭೂಮಿಯ ಸ್ಪರ್ಶಿಸಲು
ಮಣ್ಣ ಸುವಾಸನೆಯು ಎಲ್ಲೆಲ್ಲೂ ಬೀರಿದೆ

ಇಂತಹ ಮೈತಣಿಸುವ ಸಮಯ
ಕದ ತೆರೆದು ಹೊರ ಹೋಗುವ ಹಂಬಲ
ಓಕುಳಿಯ ಪನ್ನೀರಲಿ ಮೈಮರೆತು ಕುಣಿದಾಡಿ
ಜಿಗಿದು ನನ್ನದೇ ರಾಗದಿ ಹಾಡಿ

ಕೈಯಲ್ಲೊಂದು ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಹಿಡಿದು
ಪಕ್ಕದಿ ಬಿಸಿ ಬಿಸಿ ತಿನಿಸು ಸವಿಯಲು
ಪ್ರಪಂಚವೇ ನನ್ನದೆ೦ದು ಭಾವಿಸಿ
ಕಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸ೦ಪೂರ್ಣ ತಲ್ಲೀನವಾಗಿ........

ಒಂದು ಮಳೆ ಹನಿ ಕಂಡಾಗ ಮನದಿ
ಹರಿದ ಸಾಲುಗಳ
ಹಾಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಅಚ್ಚಿಳಿಸಿರುವೆ.

ಬಯಕೆ ಹಲವಾರು ಮೂಡಿಸಿದೆ ಈ ಪುಟ್ಟ ಮಳೆ ಹನಿ.

-ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ

Temple gongs!


As a child I was so fascinated of the Bell that sounds so majestic when gonged. Even today I get the same feel of astonishment when I hear it go "Gong". It would rather not surprise many, if I say I have been having various bell sounding tones for the message and call alerts on my mobile. The intention of visiting a temple besides the fact of offering my prayers , is accompanied by the joy of hearing the uninterrupted, reverberating, deep and sonorous sound from the bell(Ghanta). I recollect to have read this piece somewhere - "A well-designed bell produce long strains of the sound ‘OM.’" Surely it does sound like that if you could closely observe.
I had a question on mind from a very long time, ever since I realised that I was attracted to this sound emanated by the bell - Why do one ring the bell when he/she enters a temple?
Do we need to do this just to obey the rules bestowed by our elders? Definitely there should be a purpose.
Do we ring the bell to wake up the Sleeping God before we offer our prayers so that he accepts it without fail? Ain't this sounding funny?
Do we ring the bell to let him know, we are entering the temple as a pretext of seeking his permission. Shouldn't he be knowing that we are coming in? Isn't he called the "Antaryaami" and "Trikaala gyaani" (the one who knows everything).
Poured in a bit of time into this little research and what I have found so far have some explanations that satisfy my inner soul to accept the facts told, but rest are taken as a part of conceptual understanding.
As stated in the Agama shaastra, ringing of Bells in temples is to ward off the evil spirits and to attract the benefecial devataas. The most widespread belief is that the Bell is sounded to invite the deity to accept the worship and prayers offered.
Esoterically, sound of bell, cleanses our aura (energy body), and help mind to become receptive. On entering a temple , its a wake-up call for the person who rings the bell. The moment he/she takes off the pair of shoes - one shoe of ego and other of arguments, he/she stands beneath a Big Bell in the temple. He/She raise hands to ring the Bell harder so that all senses within gets awakened. Vibrations enter mind and heart. Entire emotions are concentrated within eyes, hands are folded with all selflessness as his/her personality.
Those who are not able feel the vibrations of ringing bell, keep banging it. :-)
Ringing the bell helps to create a positive, congenial atmosphere that is free from negative vibrations(which distracts both the mind and the body).
Bells had other reasons also -> as most of the old temples never had doors and were located near hills and forest there would have been distinct possibilities for animals, insects, birds to take shelter. But bell sound doesn’t allow any of the living creatures to sustain inside for a long time. This seems more logical while other explanations cannot ruled out either.
As long as I enjoy the bliss of the emanating sound of the bell ringing, I dont have to worry about why it needs to be gonged on entering a temple.
- Ashwini

Modern ಸಂತೆ!

I dont blame it to the growing population or the cropping up trends and the amenities we are falling prey of. A casual lazy Sunday afternoon, Sis and myself set off with the thought of shopping. Girls and shopping are used as a double by most of the guys I know. If I had to reverse this statement it wouldn't mean indifferent anymore. I witnessed the growing numbers in guys coming out on a shopping spree last evening.


What leaves me in a state of shock is the well designed strategies developed by the renowned marketing teams, that are rather benefecial to the organizations than the convinced buyer. They kind of cheat the customers with the inapproprite-fancy-eye catching schemes. The normal tendency of any customer is to buy articles even if it is'nt of much use. Thanks to the discounts that are so beautifully articulated that one bends down to the offer.


Some instances of such offers can be scripted as below.
In a section of a huge store one can see garments placed ,with a board holding the price saying it ranges between 199 to 299 rupees. The discount says "Buy three at the price of two". In this case the probablity of customers buying two garments or more will exponentially raise. Who is profited in return? Customer who needed to buy only a single garment will end up buying three.


Catch line now a days - "Your bill cross 1500/- Rupees , you avail a gift voucher of 250/- for the next purchase." Consider a case where you have entered the store with plans of buying a T-shirt which hardly cost you 700 bucks and now with the tempting offer you end up buying 2 more which actually burns a hole in your pocket without your notice. Simple and easy robbing:)


"Buy 10 Kg sugar and you get one litre of cooking oil free." Dont be astonished when you see the expiry date on the oil can after getting back home.


"Buy one and get the second one absolutely free" on some of the cosmetic products - maybe quality is way below required standards and no one is using it. Therefore you get it FREE!!!


These are a few excerpts only.


Inspite of knowing such idiocity, I am no different. I tumble into a few of these crafted discounts.

Sis and Me stepped into this shopping mall and were striked with great surprise. There were people of all caste, creed and age groups congregated in the area, trying to find something of all the things kept under the single roof. Struggling through the flock of crazy people, managed to get to the section of bedspreads having been lined up so neatly with a nearly personified namaste. While bulk of the branded consumer goods are sold at the MRP, there are quite a few items on sale - that is what I guess, as a consumer you need to track. Don't be fooled. Best part of shopping at such places is that you get almost all of the items you need under one roof. What is annoying is that it is no less than our good old "sante" {ಸಂತೆ - weekly market of ancient times} with the fresh touch of new generation. I remember the "Sante" I used to visit as a child, near Grandma's place. The scene I was catching no wonder was exactly the same but with a modern twist. I could hear the announcer shouting into the mouthpiece the best offers of the day. As I moved around, my eyes captured a few subtle things that goes unnoticed most of the times - a staff was noting down the items clearing out from the shelves, one guy behind the fruits section convincing a consumer of the best grapes in town, a lady explaining the benefits of a wrinkle clearing cream. I could not stop giggling when I overheard a couple discussing about the monthly ration and fighting over a chocolate bar's inclusion into the list.


After a few picks we were done with filling our baskets with a whole lot of items, of course most of them useful. As we head to the billing counter our faces had the disastrous look, not because we had a whole lot of things which shot the price but the queue had nearly 20 ahead of us. There were multiple counters and with our IT brains working smarter than ever,we chose to stand behind different counters waiting for our turn. We stand there waiting and the wait seemed to never end. Am grateful to the huge discounts and exchange programme organized by the marketing teams for this huge a crowd piling up tonnes of articles to carry back home. Gazing at the billing machine, the carts and baskets lying in front of me yet to be billed, thoughts followed. How we as a country, have developed in the recent past to pace up with the other parts of the world. This shopping mall replicated a few I had paid a visit while in the states. This was almost same with a single difference of - so many people. While this was running on my mind I tried to watch if Sis was moving towards the counter and Yes she was next in line. I rushed and handed the basket to her. Finally we were happy that we also made a strategy and that worked.Billing completed after a streneous 15 min wait.

On the way back home Sis suggested I write about the charm of the old Sante and this SuperMall experience i.e the Modern Sante. So I have presented the relation with my perspective. What's your take?


-Ashwini

Stranger talk!


I was returning back home from other part of the city, this time I was taking the bus ride - unusual corporate me. Mostly I tend to incline myself to the 2 wheeler or if am too tired to ride then I take complete advantage of the gifted, yet stubborn auto fellows for a drive. It costs me several bucks which I hesitantly shell out, but rather forget about the fact when the eventual event is worth it.

Since the scorching sun was right above my head and not a drop of water had trickled down my throat from a couple of hours, I was bathing in vehemence. Adding spice to the already provoked anger, the smell of shit and urine hit my nose every step I took.[This is the case in most of the bus stops - Wonder where all the tax paid has gone to?]. Battling the sweat and avoiding the street hawkers I finally managed to reach a counter where I could get some refreshment to quench my thirst. On the menu I could either opt for a bottled drink or a freshly squeezed cup of cane juice hinting a bit of lime and ginger. Considering the previously iterated detailing of the smells around, I chose the much hygenic bottled cold badam milk. [I can hear a few hushes out there. Nope I am not acting like those foreign returns here. I still drink cane juice at other outlets, happily gulp pani puris or gol gappas on the roadside. But this was an exception, merely because of the filth that surpassed all my tolerence levels.]

Soothing my throat with the cold fluid, I next dared a little to walk down the pathway, where city buses rushed down to thier bays, in of course the very much known hapazard way. Less familiar with the bays, it took me about 10 minutes to get hold of the right one. Though not the direct bus I thought of doing one stop hop. So I was there trying to get into a bus which came halting with a screeching sound almost scraping through my right arm. I was at the door when it stopped at the bay, but the crazy crowd attacked the passage, that I literally managed to fight through the lot, just to be the 10th one to board it. I held on to a seat on a 3 seating arrangement. Another struggler who looked to be in his late 60's succeeded and sat on the neighboring seat.

The third seat was also occupied in no time. The bus was full, yet the driver was in no mood to leave. He was waiting for more passengers probably to meet his deadlines by the end of day. Various perfumes mixed with the smell of Jasmine flowers, Jhonson's baby powder applied to a tender kid, the not wanting odor of sweat. This cumulative effect was almost in the verge of knocking me down, right then driver switched on the engine, fresh air blew to keep me still grounded.

I generally dont start a conversation with any stranger and neither do I shoo away the ones who try to have a general talk with me. This old Uncle sitting next to me, named some XYZ kicked off by asking the favourite stranger talk starters - "What you doing madam?", " Are you from this city?" , "Where do you live?" to which I vaguely responded with one word or maximum by a single liner.

We had crossed a signal or two and there was a fat lady who was managing to handle two kids and a huge bag in the little space she was standing. Before I could get up and offer a seat, there was a sudden burst of shout from a fellow lady passenger trying to become the heroine at the scene. She goes on with her low language terms which I could not even understand as it was in her own local language. I responded back by letting her know that I was ill too and I was not even given an opportunity to request the mother of 2 kids to take my seat. She was not ready to listen a word and continued with her bad mouth shouts. I ignored this and asked the poor lady to shift to my seat as it was getting really difficult for her to handle 2 kids there - amidst the cruel nauseating crowd. She kindly obliged with a thank you. I continued to stand next to the same seat as there was only enough space to breathe, not move.

While I stand this stranger goes on "So how much do your company pay you ? Must be high ahhh!? " I gave a look of a sarcastic "Yeah" and replied some amount $$$ definitely way below my payscale. He was on a rapid fire set and I was now getting concerned about his intentions. Still I portrayed my calm profile not giving him the exact details.

Few more Questions that poured in were:

"you married? Do you own a house or any other property?"

"you invest in Gold or any mutual funds?"

"Why dont you get into some business to deal with on weekends?" - This was some suggestion I guess.

My responses were a No, No and not interested with a humble smile. By now the 3rd seat occupant had to alight and so he gets up making way for me to rest again. I thought of ignoring this next seat stranger but he did not give up. Next in order to keep the conversation active he said "I have a daughter who resembles you and she is settled well off in Saudi. She and her husband in total earn way lot more than people here. I am a retired defence official and currently I do consulting for real estate and property." When he saying all this I kept nodding my head and at the end of it I realized that he is yet another agent who keeps roaming in the city all day, catching hold of young innocent techie's. If these victims are not smart enough, they end up loosing a huge sum into some dummy investment or the like.

He tried to execute his well practiced plan on me, only to end up with a rejection for all the policies he tried marketing. I glanced out of the window and was delighted when I saw the bus moving to the destination bay not because I was scared, but I was half way home. Another 20 minutes and I would be in front of my plate having my lunch. The thought of it made me happy.

Beware!! there are such high profile agents trying to cheat on you. Not that everyone is a cheat but you should be clever enough to draw the line.

-Ashwini

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