OFF -BEAT

AN UNCLEAN THOUGHT

Posted on September 17, 2016. Filed under: BLOGGING CONTEST, OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL | Tags: , , |

As a student of Statistics, I have gone through the concept of ‘Nonsense or Spurious’ Correlation. To the challenged, it denotes a mathematical relationship between two or more variables, when there is in fact, none. I can give an example to explain this. Sometime this year, government employees are going to receive higher salaries as part of the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. This also includes teachers at different levels. It so happens that more students are successful in the examinations of 2017. The teachers will argue that the improvement in the performance is due to their efforts while the students and their parents have a different take.The government can argue that everything is because of the timely implementation of the Pay Commission report. Economists can make a better analysis. But the fact is that nothing concrete or mathematical can ever be brought out in support of the different reasons. This is the spurious correlation. 

There is another example that combines the population of pigs and the production of pig iron in the country into a single equation. However hard we try, there is no way of establishing any possible cause and effect relationship between the two.

My post is also something along the lines of establishing a spurious correlation between the slogan of the day ‘Swach Bharat’ and the huge spurt in the case of vector borne diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya. Add to it the case of Malaria and the picture is complete. Don’t open your mouths in surprise for there may be mosquitoes flying around you!

It is not that there was no death before the coning of the term  Swach Bharat from the likes of dengue. What is surprising is the rise, almost in an exponential rate, the number of people affected by the mosquitoes almost coinciding with the increase in the time, money and people involved in making India a cleaner country.

In the days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi first talked about Swach Bharat, everyone hitched on to the bandwagon. My principal of that time who is not in the habit of waking up early, posed for photos with a new broom in his hand, cleaning a tiny part of the college ground. Every alternate day there would be a procession aimed at creating greater awareness on the need to have a cleaner India. Even the municipality got involved. Slowly , everyone started to talk about the need for the people to develop an attitude that would clear the garbage, paving the way for a cleaner country.

As time has passed, things have taken a turn for the worse. There are now garbage mountains almost at every street.  Everything is blamed on the people and their lack of a desire to have a cleaner street and country. It is true that I want my house to be clean and so I dump the waste in front of the house of my neighbour and this process continues. But I do not have the resources to take all the garbage of the street or the town and dispose it off, safely. That is where the authorities have to step in. In the name of Swach Bharat and the poor participation of the common man, they have neglected their duties.

It is this negligence that has resulted in the rise of the number of people suffering from the likes of Dengue.

An idea which was to make the country cleaner has ended up making the worse even worse than before.

It is for the readers to determine the cause and the effect, if any.

This post is an attempt to post for Tangy Tuesday Picks by blogadda.com as part of the #CelebrateBlogging campaign. I also intend to lay my hands on the sunglasses from #MiamiBlues

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SORRY,I AM SELFISH!

Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: HIGHER EDUCATION, OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL, POLITICS | Tags: , , , |

A couple of days before the surrender-cum-arrest of Subrata Roy Sahara of Sahara, one of his sons read out a statement before the media. Like any other dutiful son, he talked about the respect his father has for the law of the land, among many other attributes and adjectives glorifying the senior Roy. But one thing struck a bell in my head.

While asserting that his father and the company did not do anything wrong, the son vouched for the contribution made by Subrata Roy to the country.

Sometime ago with the opening of a new ‘world-class’ terminal in the international airport of Mumbai, the promoter’s son expressed satisfaction over his father’s ‘gift’ to the nation as if the project was funded out of his pocket!

Many years ago, when a business house launched mobile services, it was also supposed to be something of a gift to the country.

Politicians of all kinds belonging to different parties do not shy away from stating their desire to gift the hapless people a better nation.

In this context, I would like to recall the views of some colleagues of mine over giving private tuitions in contravention to the regulations laid down by the authorities. A colleague who taught Mathematics made a lot of money from tuitions and he asserted that this act was something of a service to the needy students and the society! This is some activity where the Private Marginal Profit is much bigger than the Social Marginal Profit.

But I am an ordinary man who does a job to feed himself and his family and I am not at all ashamed of putting my narrow personal interests above those of the nation. I shall never put the cloak of national interest over my self interests and never have any intention of giving ‘gifts’ the country.

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THE IRRELEVANCE OF POLITICS IN THE CAMPUS

Posted on April 14, 2013. Filed under: HIGHER EDUCATION, INDIA, OFF -BEAT, POLITICS | Tags: , , |

The Sunday Story ‘CHANGE’ in The Hindu dated 14/03/2013 made for an interesting read with write-ups stressing the import of campus politics and inevitably there was one about the recommendations made by the Committee headed by J M Lyngdoh, a former Chief Election Commisioner of India.

As a Lecturer for more than 18 years and in-charge of conducting elections to various students associations,I have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no need to hold elections in the campuses for it does no good.In fact, the entire campus atmosphere is vitiated with the entry of political parties and large amounts of money and muscle power. Not only the students even the staff are also affected by the involvement and the interference from the political parties.

In the said page, it is mentioned by S N Vijetha that the limit on expenditure of Rs.5000 per candidate is something that is not practical and also something that no candidate ever wants to adhere to.For me, the most sticky recommendation is relating to the attendance.In most cases, the aspirants are not in the habit of attending the classes and the college authorities are often pressurised to give the required attendance under duress from local politicians.When some college decides to take the proverbial bull by the horn, there is no support from any corner of the state administration.The student unrest following the disqualification of aspirants due to the lack of attendance forces the state administration to cancel the elections only to hold them at a later date.

I welcome the recommendation that gives a student only one chance to contest the elections for in the past many students used to have a monopoly over certain posts for a long time.Similarly, the fixing of the age limit also has put an end to serial contesters.

Most of the candidates who come out successful in the elections learn the art of things like collecting funds from various sources very quickly and that should be a stepping stone into Indian politics where it is increasingly becoming difficult to come across a politician who is not corrupt.

More importantly, we are in a country where entry into politics is determined by the lineage of a person, cutting the political teeth in the campuses is hardly required.

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Of Drought & Twitter

Posted on May 4, 2012. Filed under: OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL, POLITICS | Tags: , |

Many parts of the country have been experiencing drought like conditions for many years leading to farmer suicides.In this context, this is a completely fictional account of how our ‘beloved leaders’ and some celebrities would react to drought in their own inimitable style on one of the icons of the present day-twitter.The resemblance to the people quoted here is intentional.

1.Sonia Gandhi:It is for #drought #MNREGS is to help people dig ponds to store water.

2.Rahul Gandhi:I realize there is #drought but you must realize that ours is the only family that can fight #drought.

3.Manmohan Singh:It is to get water and remove #drought that #India needs #nuclearpower.

4.Sharad Pawar:There is no #drought.Why drink water when there are colas,diet drinks and fruit juices?

5.P Chidambaram:I want to create a national security agency to fight #drought and this team there is consensus.

6:Jairam Ramesh:The centre is giving so much money but the states are not using it properly and this is the cause of #drought.

7:Prakash Karat:The #drought is due to imperialistic conspiracy and is the symptom of the malaise under capitalism.

8.Kapil Sibal:There is #drought because most #Indians drink too much water while using #socialnetworks on the #internet.

9.Pratibha Patil:#drought? That is why I have abroad so many times, even with my grandchildren.

10.Naveen Patnaik: The #drought is due to the step-motherly attitude of the centre.The allies of #UPA are getting more water.

11.Prithviraj Chavan:What #drought? Come monsoon and you can swim on the roads of #Mumbai.

12.Vilasrao Deshmukh:I am going to give more land to builders and filmmakers for making their own water to remove #drought.

13.Akhilesh Yadav:There is #drought because the #elephants and parks of #Mayawati drank too much water.

14.Pranab Mukherji:I have addressed #drought problem in my budget speech.There is a need for supply side management.

15.Mamata Banerjee:There is no #drought,it is a Marxist conspiracy.There is so much water in the streets of #Kolkata

16.Manish Tewari:The #drought is all in the fertile imagination of a sterile mind.

17.Subramaniam Swamy:The #drought involves very powerful people and I have evidence to prove it.

18.Ram Jethmalani:I will put 10 questions everyday regarding #drought.

19.Abhishek Singhvi:#drought? Is any cd of this conversation is being made?

20.Nitish Kumar:The #drought is due to the misrule of #Lalu and #Rabri.Require another term to solve the problem.

21.Oomen Chandy:Don’t worry about #drought.There is plenty of toddy in #Kerala.

22.Narendra Modi:There is #drought everywhere except #Gujarat.Follow the teachings of Vivekananda and invite more industries to get water.

23.Kiran Kumar Reddy:There is no #drought in #Andhra due to the blessings of #SoniaGandhi.

24.YS Jagan Mohan Reddy:My father brought rains to #Andhra.With him gone, there is #drought.Make the #CM,will bring rain.

25.Sachin Tendulkar:#drought? Wait till I become 60 and score my 500th 100.

26.Amitabh Bachchan:I can speak about #drought only if the right sponsor is found.Can my family take part?

27.Aamir Khan:I am a thinking actor and need more time to say about #drought and that is the truth.

28.Anil Ambani:My father wanted to give mobiles to all so that people would spend more time talking and not worry about #drought.

29.Mukesh Ambani:My group is now digging for oil and in future I shall dig for water to solve the problem of #drought.

30.Vijay Mallya: I cannot fly my planes and you worried about #drought?Will buy more liquor stocks to quench the thirst.

31.BJP: The #drought is due to the appeasement of the minorities.

32.Baba Ramdev: The #drought is due to our #MPs.Have yoga and costly herbals to reduce the need for water

33.Team Anna:The #drought is due to corruption.#Janlokpal is the only cure.

34.Jayalalitha: The #drought is due to the misrule of #DMK

35.Montek Ahluwalia:The #drought is due to the higher demand rising from declining poverty under the #UPA.

36.Dinesh Trivedi: I wanted to increase the railway fares to fight #drought but my party won’t listen.

37.Chiranjeevi:I once danced and brought rains in the film #Indra.Will do the same to end #drought and provide #socialjustice.

38.Suresh Kalmadi: I will bring #OlympicGames to #India and the swimming pools will take care of the water scarcity.

39.A Raja:There was no #drought under #Kalaignar.Besides, I get sufficient water in jail.

40.Kanimozhi:The problem of #drought is to be addressed once people forget my role in the #2G scam.

41.Nira Radia:No one has talked to me since the tapes were released.Will dial the right people to address #drought.

42.Ratan Tata:Will have to think about a #nano solution to the problem of #drought.I leave that to my successor.

43.Barkha Dutt:The buck does not stop with me over #drought.Will host a debate to get the solution.

44.Digvijaya Singh:#drought? It is all a conspiracy hatched by the Hindu terror groups near the Batla house.

45.Mayawati:Let me enjoy the cool confines of #RajyaSabha.The #drought can take care of itself.

46.RBI: will do the tweaking of the key interest rates to remove #drought.

47.Shah Rukh Khan:My next film is titled ‘Rain-on’.There are amazing special effects in water that will solve #drought.

48.Indra Nooyi: who cares about #drought when there is #Pepsi?Bring more #FDI to reduce #drought.

49.Lalu Yadav: I am going to #Pakistan to solve the problem of #drought by creating bhai-chara.

50.Rajnikanth:Ena #drought rascals? I shall look straight into the eyes of the sky and rain will pour.

51.Common Man-Aam Aadmi: is there anyone who will provide me some water in these times of #drought?

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PORTRAIT OF THE TEACHER AS A BUSINESSMAN

Posted on April 29, 2012. Filed under: CORRUPTION, HIGHER EDUCATION, OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL | Tags: , , |

Every year we college teachers are required to give a written undertaking to the effect that we are not giving any private tuition to our students. It is another matter that most who give such undertakings do merely consider it only as a piece of useless paper.It is also quite another matter that people who are engaged in other professions having no proper qualifications want to cash in on this situation.

Over the last 18 years, I have been witness to many of my colleagues who have no qualms in making money by providing their ‘valuable time and knowledge’ to the needy students ostensibly to help their pupils. So much so that a senior colleague who was not in the habit of taking classes while in service is showing keen interest in classes even after his superannuation.

There have been instances where the whole tuition exercise has become a business. In Economics, costs( expenditure) are classified under two heads: fixed and variable.The costs that remain constant irrespective of the quantity of output are called fixed costs while the variable costs are those that are related directly to the quantity of output. When it comes to tuition at home, the fixed costs mostly relate to the use of electricity for the fan and the light.Even when no tuition is in progress, the use of electricity remains the same for the teacher and his family needs it. On the side of the variable side, the costs remain very less at almost zero, since most students are not even provided with chairs or tables.So in my humble opinion, the costs are as good as zero while the benefits in terms of the money paid by the students is great. Economic theory explains that the producer finds it profitable to produce as long as the marginal revenue (benefit) exceeds the marginal cost (expenditure). In this way, it is most profitable to give tuitions from the confines of the home.In terms of Opportunity cost also, they are on a sound wicket with them putting their time and effort to good use.The teachers very often outsource talent from outside their homes to ‘educate and discipline’ their own children.

The teachers often come up with ingenious plans to overcome competition. Cartels and alliances are formed to drive away rivals out of business. Very often, the cartels are shortlived but the rivalries provide a lifetime of bad blood. Discounts are offered for carte blanche packages. When things become hot, the teachers form tutorial centres with someone else being put in charge to run the operations. This is proxy capitalism.If both the husband and wife are teachers, then it is profitable in more ways than one.A few years ago, when the authorities wanted to take stern action against the offenders, the students had to go at odd hours, sometimes even before the sunrise. Some teachers forbid the use of shoes and cycles so as not to attract the attention of others.

It is the teachers of the Science subjects that command the most of the tuition market primarily owing to the practicals. It is common knowledge that students going to tuitions are often rewarded with good marks in the practical examinations.The teachers of Mathematics and English make the students quake in their shoes in the classrooms. The teachers make the subjects more difficult than what they are in reality. The English teachers make the students believe that knowledge of Grammar is essential to succeed in the examination for which tuition is the only alternative.

Whether it is the revised scales in line with the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission or the UGC, the tuitions still matter to these wise men. It is only money and the greed for it that drives the teachers to give tuitions although the givers give different and often ludicrous justifications. One former colleague of mine, a Lecturer of Mathematics pointed out that he was doing a service to the society by helping out the needy. On the other side, a Chemistry colleague wants teachers to give tuitions in order to have ‘a grip’ on the students.It is not uncommon to find students often at the receiving end of the teacher for not going to the house of the teacher.The Chemistry colleague of mine does not shy away from predicting the failure of students who are not obliging. I can cite two examples.One student who went all the way to qualify in the IIT entrance was called arrogant. The other student who is very well placed now was so much harassed that he went to the teacher. These people do not shy away from giving lengthy discourses on corruption and favouritism and that too in public spaces! Some even had the gall and temerity to ask others to send text messages in support of the movement led by Anna Hazare and company.It is all the more easy to get students when the college is granted autonomy where the ‘grip’ of the teacher is considerably stronger.

The society also in a way encourages this practice where teachers are more proactive in tuitions rather than in the classrooms.The quality of a teacher is often estimated on the basis of number of bicycles in front of his house.This is what I call a ‘cycle index’. Students are often chided by their parents for spending more time in the college for they learn more from the tuition teacher directly.

Then there are the ‘professionals’ who are not engaged in the teaching profession but give tuitions either on a full time or a part time basis.Some of them have really made it big on the fiscal front and they get more respect in the streets in relation to a teacher who does not give tuitions. They make it a point to ensure that their students do not go to the college for the classes by scheduling their tuitions in parallel to the college timings. This leads to situations where the students even do not know the names of the teachers in the college. The college teacher is simply known by the subject.The tuition teacher is more respected for he has the ability to teach many a subject while the college teacher can claim knowledge of only one subject.

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TO MAKE AMENDS

Posted on November 25, 2011. Filed under: OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL | Tags: , |

It has been extremely difficult for me to get this post up on to my blog in time for the great contest put up by indiblogger.in and Surf Excel. The reason being the paucity of time.

Being a student of Economics, I was taught that while human wants are unlimited the resources to satisfy them not are scarce, but also have alternative uses. I tell the same to my students in the classrooms.

For a long time, money seemed to be the only resource that was in short supply as far as I was concerned and that gave me difficulties in life.But marriage and fatherhood added a whole new variable to already complex equation.

When I was single, I had all the time to do whatever I wanted to do, of course, within the confines of my small wallet. I developed this habit of watching movies and surfing the internet late into the night. The nighttime was also utilised for tasks related to my job. My father and mother wanted me to go to the bed early but their pleas were never listened to. The evening time was meant for friends.

Marriage brought a dramatic change to my routine. Initially, my wife was rather intimidated to make any change to my time allocation. But as soon as I became a father, she took control. The lights went out early and she even threatened to throw my laptop out of the home. It has become extremely difficult for me to watch the television late into the night. The ‘big brother’ i.e., my wife was always watching me.

The evenings are now spent in the company of my wife and son. I have to share some of the responsibility of the home. In the beginning, things felt cumbersome but now I am happy to spend time with the family. The trade-off is evident in the frequency of my posts on the blog.My friends are now given more time on the phone. It seems a thing of the very distant past when some friend wants me to join him for some event.

The two extra hours can make me a better son, a loving husband and a caring father. Of course, with wants having the knack of recurring, the extra hours may be used for some thing different that might not please my wife.

After all these years, I realise the need to give more time to the real world and not to the virtual one.

If only I win something big in this contest, I can get my wife sanction more time for my late night activities.

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IF WISHES ARE GOODIES !

Posted on November 10, 2011. Filed under: OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL | Tags: , |

 

It is not every day that someone comes forward with the unbelievable offer of satisfying the shopaholic in me and my wife.That offer has been made by indiblogger and qvendo.com.

It took me and my wife a good deal of time to settle down on the goodies that are on display at qvendo.com. The fact that my infant son wanted to have a go at the laptop made the matter even more time consuming that it should have been.Of course, in real life, I have to put up with the hard bargains that my wife has the knack of.

Since my wife has to be given precedence, I shall start with the things that she requires.

1.Replay Gold Brass Bangle- to show that she is young at heart.

2.Replay Siver Red, Green Earrings-to compete with her younger sister.

3.Luis Trenker Vest Rosi Green Women-to flaunt herself.

4.Luis Trenker Sweater Matilde Light Grey Women-to beat the chill in style.

5.Pink Poodle Bag Funkline-Jungle Saturday-Green-to throw her weight around.

6.Pink Poodle Celebrity Amy Black-to make her feel like a celebrity.

7.Pink Poodle Young Art Graffitiy-The Statement-Pink-Black- to make her appear colourful.

8.Pink Poodle Young Art Graffitiy-Brilliant Black-to carry small change and her ubiquitous cell phone

9.Replay Ladies Watch-RW 5901 NR-to make a statement in denims.

10.Replay Ladies Watch-RN 5203 NH-for formal occasions.

11.Replay Unisex Watch-RH5501N2D-for casual occasions.

Now comes the goodies that my wife has selected for me.She has the habit of reminding me about any lack of fashion sense on my part. Having been a teacher for more than 15 years and also being the son of teachers I am someone who does not like to be in sync with the latest in fashion. I want my clothes and accessories to be functional and something which can be comfortable to wear.But since marriage, my fashion sense has been codified by my wife. Here then are the things for me.

1.Replay Gents Watch- RM3306 NH- I have managed to hold of my wife and selected something that would always appeal to me.

2.True Religion Jeans Bobby Men- I have always loved to wear jeans and this piece seems to be perfect. I would not like to wear this to my workplace but for other occasions this is right.

3.True Religion Longsleeve Bike Seat Rock N-I am always interested in going to places on my bike and even if such journeys have been drastically slashed partly due to the rising petrol prices and the demands of my wife, the longsleeve has been picked by her.

4.True Religion Shoe Black- My wife feels that I appear older than my years thanks to the shoes that I have and so for a change, this shoes can brighten my looks.

5.Luis Tenker Blazer Sandro Black Men- I am tired of wearing jackets and sweaters in the winter months and this blazer seems to be the right mix of style and functionality.

6.Luis Trenker Trouser Petrus Beige Men-My trousers are usually dark and so the beige one can have it place of prominence in my wardrobe.

7.Luis Trenker Belt Franco Brown Men-My belts are black and a brown one should complement nicely the Beige trouser.

8.Luis Trenker Shoe Axel Brown Men- the shoes are different from what I have.

9.Replay Silver Cufflinks-RAM130- sometimes a bit of class is not harmful.

I hope the wishlist(s) help me win the grand prize.

For more great offers on qvendo.com. here is the link.

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MY ROUTE TO PHYSICAL & FISCAL FITNESS

Posted on August 30, 2011. Filed under: OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL | Tags: , |

I am very fond of my motorcycle having logged many miles with my friends and my family on the pillion.But in recent times, taking to the road has become very costly thanks to the higher price of petrol.

 

The problem has been compounded by the fact that my pay is extremely low thanks to the defective policy of the state government of Odisha.Even as the governments at the state and the centre seem helpless in solving the problem of growing fiscal deficit on account of unchecked expenditure ( mostly unproductive), I as a student of Economics have decided to make the most of my scarce resources.This shall encourage me to use my cycle wherever and whenever possible.In that way, I can meet the demands of my wife and also save some for my infant son’s future.

 

There is also another reason why I have decided to use the cycle in place of my bike. The start button of the bike has stopped the little physical exercise that could be had from kick starting the vehicle.Recently, I had checked my blood pressure and my weight.The first one was normal while the needle on the weighing scale crossed the 100 kg mark.For a man of my height, there was an excess of nearly 25 kgs. The doctor wants me to reduce the weight for a healthy life. Dieting is not going to be of a big help as I have the habit of eating in between the main meals.So the best alternative for attaining physical fitness is to use more of the cycle.

 

I am not interested in setting an example.I am only interested in doing some good for myself.

I dream of owning a car one day and a diesel powered one could be a better option and for further details one go through the link of the Fiat Upgrade Offer.

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FLOWER TROUBLE

Posted on July 15, 2011. Filed under: OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL |

It is now seven years that my parents and I moved to our ‘own’ house. Some open space was left for some flower bearing plants. My parents wanted a small garden not only to have the flowers for the daily Puja but also to spend some time doing a physical work.

Some plants were secured from their friends and some were procured from the market. They took pains to make the plants bear flowers and their joy knew no bounds when the flowers bloomed. Whenever they made plans for a journey, usually to visit my brother and sister, I was given stern instructions to water the plants. With the advent of the mobile phone, it was difficult to miss their queries on the health of the plants.  Being the eldest son, I had little option but to carry out the orders. Initially, I did not relish the idea but with the passage of time, it became a habit. Moreover, I felt the need for something that would improve my physical fitness.

But in the recent months, things have become a little ugly especially in the mornings. My parents have been extremely hurt over the theft of the flowers. My mother and father rise up early even if they take medications to sleep. They go out and sit in chairs to prevent flower theft. My mother is a diabetic and is advised to go for long walks but this could not take place due to the vigils. On occasions, they have even managed to see and talk to the person, usually, a female. The intruders have the gall to inform that the flowers are meant to appease god. One even questioned the attitude of my parents. The contention is simple-flowers are not meant for decorative purposes.

I am not in the habit of getting up early but on occasions that I have managed to rise up early and go out, there have been sights that made me uneasy. I saw a colleague of mine armed with a plastic bag on his morning walk. After exchanging pleasantries, I managed to pop the question. He replied nonchalantly that the bag was meant for flowers that would be offered at the Puja. In the college, I have a senior colleague who has this nasty habit of nipping in the buds the flowers. He is a deeply religious person and does not mind showing this to all in every way possible.The garden that provides the specimens to the Botany laboratory often is shorn of flowers thanks to this gentleman.It was only when some inspection team came to the college, that the flowers remained intact.
This has prompted my parents to pluck their ‘share’ of the flowers every afternoon. But this idea has also been rendered a failure. The flower stealers have made it a point to strike at the most vulnerable time that is, when my parents take their afternoon meal. For a good 30 minutes, the stealers have a field day. My neighbour, his wife and his mother all take turns to have their fair share.A couple of months ago my mother prepared the traditional Telugu mango pickle and a part of the process involves drying the cut mango pieces in the sun. While all of us were having an afternoon nap, someone came and alongwith the flowers took away about two dozen mango pieces.My brothers and sister who get their share of the pickle every year had to without it this year.All hell broke loose and this prompted my mother to proclaim an emergency and remove all the flower bearing plants. Now, there are few flowers in the garden.

The matter has become so serious that I talked about it with my colleagues in the college. Most of them have experiences that are similar to my parents’. Some of them have decided to skip their morning walks and guard the flowers, mostly in the company of their spouses.

There is one question though that rankles me. How are the gods going to be appeased with stolen flowers? That may be the reason why the prayers of most Indians (read Hindus) are not answered even as there are more than 30 crores of gods in the Hindu pantheon.

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