Tuesday, December 26, 2017

We have moved!

Please read the latest posts at my new blog: http://arjuntalk.com/

Eyebrow Raiser

Eyes are the windows to the soul but eyebrows are the archways to the prefrontal cortex
~Shakespeare (after a debate with ACP Pradyuman)

Are you here to sue me?

A reference a day keeps the lawyer away

Image source: istockphoto

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Chandu Chacha practically saves a tree

Image source:  www.123rf.com

Builder Ranjan: Do you realise that you are putting a lot of lives at danger for the sake of one life? Not even one life, just one tree.

Chandu Chacha: A tree is very much a precious living thing.

Builder Ranjan: Be practical Chacha. You cannot convince me with emotional arguments. We will re-plant it elsewhere if the tree is so important to you.

Chandu Chacha: Either you did not go to school or you did not understand probability. Which one is more likely to happen? Someone dying quickly in a fire or someone dying a slow extended death through breathing this polluted air?

Builder Ranjan: Frankly, I don’t care about how these people die. All I want is for my building to pass the fire safety regulations. And I will not get it till I can prove it to these morons that the fire engine is capable of reaching the building complex in less than 10 minutes of the alarm ringing. That is all that I care about. And that tree of yours is standing right in the middle of the only road that is wide enough to allow the fire engine to pass through.

Chandu: You just told me to be practical didn’t you? The road is 25 feet wide at the narrowest curve near the tree. I know the width of their fire engine. It is no more than 20 feet.

Builder Ranjan: They let you enter the fire station and measure the width of their fire engine?

Chandu: Don’t digress when I have you cornered

Ranjan: I will bring up this point in the next review meeting.


Ranjan: You were not practical enough Chacha. The fire engine can pass through the road with the tree standing there.  But, because of the tree, it has to navigate the curve at such a slow speed that it will never reach the apartment complex in less than 10 minutes. The only solution is to cut the tree so that fire engine can navigate the curve faster and reach in time. Not to mention that the margin of 5 feet difference between the road width and the fire engine width is too low if there are firemen are standing on the side of the engine.

Chandu: They have firemen who are five feet wide? I would be worried for my safety if such obese firemen come to rescue me from a fire.

Ranjan: Make all the jokes you want Chacha. You have two days before they come with the bulldozer to raze the tree down.


Ranjan: What is it now Chacha? I hope you have a good reason to delay proceedings now.

Chandu: This is my nephew Kailash, he is giving IIT entrance exams this year

Ranjan: Do you need help for his tuition fees Chacha?

Chandu: Don’t be stupid. He is here to prove to you that the fire engine can navigate the curve at a speed fast enough to reach the apartment complex in less than 10 minutes.

Ranjan: What the?

Kailash: Yes uncle, I have revised my curvilinear motion mechanics syllabus yesterday itself. The road has a bend of 94.3 degrees with an average friction coefficient of 0.34 without potholes. The weight of the fire engine is 765 kgs when unloaded and it goes upto 980 kgs when fully loaded with water and on a full tank of petrol. If the road is slightly elevated on the outer edge of the curve by 2.3 degrees, the fire engine can navigate the curve with a speed upto 30 kmph without any danger of hitting the tree.

Ranjan: Don’t tell me they let you enter the fire engine and let you measure the weight of the fire engine.

Chacha: Don’t digress when we have you cornered.

Ranjan: Did you factor in the weight of the five foot wide firemen in the fire engine?

Kailash: Yes presence of heavier firemen on the engine will only increase the friction between the tires and the road and this will offset the margin lost due to increase in weight of the truck. Not to mention that the friction coefficient of the road will only increase when potholes appear giving the fire engine a greater margin to work with. I mean, the fire engine may topple over because of the pothole but it will definitely not skid enough to hit the tree trunk.

Ranjan: There will be no potholes appearing on the roads. I have built the best quality roads.

Chacha: Don’t digress when we have you cornered.

Ranjan: I will bring this up in the next review meeting.


Ranjan: You know Chacha, you will always be a narrow minded activist who cannot see the big picture and practical limitations. You never factored the height of the engine into your calculations. This time, I went into the fire station and measured the height of the fire engine myself. It is much higher than the height from which the lower branches of the tree hang. It breaks my heart too but I don’t think you can save a major part of the tree Chacha.

Chacha: You know, you need not go to the fire station to measure the fire engine dimensions. The specifications of the engine are available online.

Ranjan: Look who is digressing now

Chacha: I tell you, you are trying to cut the hole to fit the pegs here. Why do they need to bring an entire fire engine near the building to extinguish the fire?

Ranjan: What are you suggesting now?

Chacha: I will personally finance a local fire-fighting water storage unit near the apartment complex that can be filled by the fire men and sprayed within 10 minutes.

Ranjan: You will never be a practical man Chacha. I will bring this up in the next review meeting. But remember, all the expenses of the local water storage tank will be borne by you personally.

Chacha: Whatever

Chacha (walks out of the office, takes out his phone and speaks): Haan Kailash beta, apni mumy ko bolna ki apartment ke paani ka problem solve ho jayega

Post Script
The above piece was written as part of a session at Write Club on 30th April, 2016. The theme was to write a few scenes of a play. We were told to make sure that the story involves someone (or something) in mortal danger.  I found the beautiful tree next to our venue to be particularly inspiring.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Man refuses offer for out of court settlement. Vows to continue legal battle over moustache.

2nd April 2016, Bangalore
Man refuses offer for out of court settlement. Vows to continue legal battle over moustache.

Mr Vishwaroopam Venkatachalalapati has refused an offer for out of court settlement in the ongoing 4 month long Venkatachalapati vs United Feminists Federation legal battle. 

In what appeared to be a last ditch attempt by the United Feminists Federation (UFF) to avoid a full blown out legal battle in a case that is fast showing signs of becoming political, the UFF offered to allow Mr Venkatachalapati to keep his soul patch provided he shaves off his beard and moustache.

Ms Reshmi Taangowali the prosecution attorney for UFF is said to have made a counter attack against Mr Venkatachalapati’s allegation. Venkatachalapathi made a statement in the media earlier that his moustache is the most attractive part of his physique that makes him irresistible to women and that his wife is demanding him to shave off his moustache more out of jealousy rather than genuine concerns of skin rash. Ms Reshmi made references to Amir Khan’s soul patch in Dil Chahta Hai and said that women still found him attractive and that there is no reason Mr Venkatachalapati should feel that trimming his moustache to a soul patch would reduce his popularity among women.

Mr Venkatachalapati is said to have flatly refused the offer to cut his moustache and has promised to continue the fight for the freedom of men to decide the length of their facial hair. Shouts of azadi from large crowds of bearded men seemed to speak volumes about the public support that is gathering around Mr Venkatachalapati. Court was looking to fix another date for the next hearing while reports last came in.

17th April 2016, Bangalore
Moustache battle blows into full face to face stand-off

In what appeared to be a well thought out strategic masterstroke by Mr Venkatachalapati and his team of attorneys, they have made a counter offer to United Feminists Federation that men can be legally asked by his wife to shave off his moustache to a certain extent. The amendment to the proposed marital household facial hair act is that men be allowed to keep facial hair provided the length of the moustache hair plus the length of the husband’s hair on his head is less than or equal to the total length of the wives’ hair on her head. These points seemed to be well received by the jury especially in view of the sound gender equality and follicle freedom policy towards equal hair rights arguments that were put forward by the defendants.

United Feminists Federation is said to have countered by claiming that this is an attempt by the defendants to divert the attention of the court from the main legal battle over the narrow discord between a husband and wife over the husband’s moustache and turn it into a wider gender equality battle over the length of hair that each gender is allowed to keep. Allegations were made that Mr Venkatachalapati is doing this to gain political mileage and is planning to start a political party. UFF has asked for an extension on the next court hearing while reports last came in.

21st April, 2016, Bangalore
Man launches political party over moustache battle. Sections of women also come out in support of party.

Mr Venkatachalapati has finally confirmed the rumours floating around and formally announced that he will be launching a political party that will fight for the rights of people who want to sport facial hair. With the formal announcement made, support began to flow in from various quarters and fringe groups. A rally was taken out by dozens of women in support of the pro-moustache party most of them patients in the nearby St John’s Hospital for Hormone Replacement Therapy. Although not everyone seemed to be happy with the announcement as Bangalore Barber’s Association announced that they would never support this radical neo-Nazi ideology.

UFF has alleged that Mr Venkatachalapati’s party has polarized the society along lines of facial hair and follicle health. However, Mr Venkatachalapati has argued that his party has managed to bring out barbers in support of feminists. “These two groups that never had much interaction before, two groups that don’t have any ideological similiarities are joining hands against us. What does it tell you? They are afraid of our growing popularity” said Mr Venkatachalam.

The defendants have asked for an extension before the next court hearing in what appears to be a calculated move in view of the upcoming assembly elections to milk out maximum political attention before the next court battle in what has become a long drawn out legal war between Mr Vekatachalam and United Feminists Federation.

28th April 2016, Bangalore
Parliament throws out fractured verdict. United Feminists Federation offers new terms for out of court settlement.

With the electorate throwing up a fractured verdict with no party able to muster an absolute majority, there seems to be a rush to turn to diplomatic maneuvers instead of open political mudslinging. United Feminists Federation has announced that are ready to allow the legal act to make a provision where men need not be legally forced to shave their moustache provided that they meet certain other minimum requirements.

To validate their point, Mrs Rekha was called as a witness. Mrs Rekha described how her husband had shaved off his beard and jumped into bed but in his enthusiasm forgot to remove his spectacles and poked her in the eye while thrusting his lips towards hers.

UFF has now asked for a separate committee that will research and study the physical hazards that should be taken care of before and during intimate moments between a married couple. Courts have decided to adjourn hearing on this case till the committee of physical hazards in the bedroom has submitted its detailed reports.

Post Script
The above piece was written as part of a session at Write Club on 16th April, 2016. The prompts consisted of a number of newspaper headlines. Looking down at the list of prompts, I could see my moustache as well as a headline that read "Dad vows to continue fight over moustache".