Monday, 21 July 2014

Hemantha Kalam - 25 'Thank You, All!'

It is exactly on the 21st July, a year ago, that I had started writing my blogs under the Column titled ‘Hemantha Kalam’.

My first post gave the explanation on this title. Ever since almost every fortnight I wrote a blog and unleashed it on some 2000 and odd friends and well-wishers.

I am not sure how many of those poor victims remain to be my friends and well-wishers now, after the regular bombardment of what I think would be useful and interesting reads.

During the year, I did, indeed, receive a bit of ‘Fan Mail’ so that I can still be left with the hope that I can write and that what I write can be meaningful; at least to some.
It was indeed very gratifying to see, from the ‘stats’ of the Blogspot site, that every day my writings were being read across the globe and also in those countries where I have no contacts at all. That is the power of internet, without which, I wonder, what we all would be doing!?

As I am writing this post, the collective page views for all my blogs are 4656; averaging about 13 readers / page views per day and an average 194 readers / page views per post. These figures may or may not be big but it still instills confidence in my work and my thoughts.

I had observed that audience can be classified in to the following categories of readers, who;

i) genuinely liked my blogs and encouraged me by their responses
ii) read my blogs and in exchange suggested that I read their blogs as well
iii) read my posts, liked them, but remained silent
iv) might or might not have liked, but coasted on
v) simply ignored and moved on their businesses, whatever they are
vi) explicitly asked me to get off and not to disturb them anymore
vii) must have silently fixed spam filters and ensured that not even my name is heard of   

Out of the 2000 odd recipients, to whom mails are sent by my distributing system, only about 10 requests, instructions, commands, annoyance came in asking me to remove their email IDs from my list and I had promptly complied and ensured that I would not be bothering them again.

I am indeed grateful to those who are able to still maintain relationship with me and encourage my ponderings and wanderings in writing.

During this year I had posted 24 blogs and this is my 25th post and this post is all dedicated to you for your support and most importantly for your belief in me and for valuing my writings however little that could be.

A BIG THANK YOU to all of you over there.

Courtesy: content/uploads/2013/04/497c1d2d2afa822fcd293267cfea8c87.jpg 

So until the next, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Sthoothiy (Sinhalese) Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian), Kob Kun Krab (Thai) and Asante (Kiswahili), Maraming Salamat sa Lahat (Pinoy-Tagalog-Filipino).


Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

Chennai, India

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Hemantha Kalam - 24 'Abstained Vision, er Television!'

A couple of days ago I was reading through Mr. Baradwaj Rangan’s writing on ‘Switching Channels’ in the Indian National Daily ‘The Hindu’, wherein he wrote on how he abstained from watching Television for a month and the affect and effect of it.

Interestingly I had completed a year of abstinence from watching the Television on the day his writing broke in the newspaper. Only I could not write it for ‘The Hindu’ - so this blog, as a poor cousin!


Unlike Baradwaj Rangan, who should be a busy writer, I have quite a good amount of time to kill, as presently I am in that envious state of having every day as a Sunday and where the television would have certainly helped.

Why I gave up switching on ‘my’ television is a not a very closely guarded family secret, but interestingly, like Baradwaj Rangan, I too did not find anything much amiss. In fact, I would dare say that this abstinence saved me, as I did not watch the FIFA 2014 and see Brazil losing 7-1 to the Germans. Well, I worked in Brazil frequently at one time and I had learnt Deutsche to some extent, ending up having good friends from both the countries. As I did not see the game, I could not comment on hearsay and I could hopefully stay neutral to both.  Unlike Baradwaj Rangan's television, the one in my house boasts the access of some 250 channels and counting and I pay a fortune every month for this luxury which I have not been using.

The positive aspect is that I found that I am now spared from the rhetoric of news that I cannot use, the ‘n’th time of viewing Jason Statham’s ‘The Transporter’ and the sequels, Jackie Chan’s ‘Rush Hour’s, Arnie’s ‘Terminator’s and Sly’s ‘Rocky’s and all numbers of First and bad ‘Blood’. Pity is when even TLC has been repeating and repeating its travel and food programmes that I have become used to the talks, the scenes and the activities by rote.

I also find that I have more time now, for reading three news-papers in two languages every day, from this end to the other, using the now not-so-dull sharpness to close the hard and evil levels of Sudoku and daring to attempt the crosswords once in a way only to find that I may need to give up TV forever if I wish to qualify to the elementary levels of the Crosswords.

Reading of newspapers include the occasional ‘inserts’ (despite the best of efforts, the Indian newspapers could not succeed in eliminating this easy to reach homes inserts in the newspapers), the tid-bits and flyers that are inserted in the daily newspapers by the local business people, zipping the newspapers of their advertising revenue and yet using them for distributing to readers. These ‘inserts’ more often range from amusing to annoying standards and guide on one’s knowledge of how a language could also be but should not be. Confused? Now you got the essence of the ‘inserts’!

The negative side of my abstinence is that I have become the soft and captive target for my wife’s unending questioning, on various subjects, to which I have the least clue and on occasion for petty quarrels too, unsettling the tranquility created at such a sacrifice by me in abstaining from vision, er television. She knows that I have now much savings, in terms of time of course, and that I can very well spend some for her or she has a right to take and use it. I can’t argue on that, if I care to still maintain my daily sustenance and body weight!

So I magnanimously leave the full authority on the ‘Idiot Box’ to her and retire to my ‘den’ (which, indeed, it is; making a home to many ‘immediately unwanted but maybe wanted in future material’ and I suspect many a time that that could include yours faithfully too) to make and send consulting proposals for which I receive an occasional response. The only regular responses seem to be coming from unknown faces of ‘friends’ on the Facebook.

Now to quote Mr. Baradwaj Rangan (with a minute change – on time)  one should be feeling that ‘a year, without something you don’t really need, can reinforce your conviction that you don’t really need it’ – at least till you have Facebook and an internet connection.

Isn’t it? What do you think?

You tell me! 

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian), Kob Kun Krab (Thai) and Asante (Kiswahili).

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

Chennai, India

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Hemantha Kalam - 23 'Native Wisdom!'

As I was pondering on the subject for my next blog, a chance exchange of a couple of messages, over the Facebook, on ‘wisdom’ between me and Prof. Anandswarup Gadde, Australia, triggered a subject for this blog.

Tempered with Common Sense and Experience ‘Wisdom’ is effective outlook, good judgment, knowledge imparted and received through ages, towards planning a right and effective plan of action.

In my humble opinion, wisdom quotient is embedded in every person though, might be, in different levels. Thus the wisdom of an uneducated person could be much more than that of an educated person and / or vice versa too.

I wish to write on three examples now; two of them passed on over ages as adages and fables and the last one – an experience of my own.

In all these cases, the protagonists are not educated but experienced.

In Telugu, my mother tongue, we have a saying ‘Chaduvukunna vaadi kante Chaakali vaadu nayam’. Freely translated into English, it says that a ‘launderer is better than an educated man’. Now this adage is a representation of age old wisdom of the natives and so I wish to call this as ‘Native Wisdom’

While the forecasts and predictions, of the meteorological department, with all their education and equipment is quite off the mark many a time, and vary on the veracity, the prediction of weather by a launderer, on seeing his donkey’s activities, was considered more reliable.

In India, for a very long time, the launderers used, and in several rural places even today use, the donkey, for carrying the load of dirty and soiled clothes to the waterfronts to clean and wash the clothes.

As the washed clothes needed drying in sunlight, the launderer needs to know when the sun will be available and when the rain is likely to occur. For this, he keeps observing the donkey’s activities and understands the weather conditions by the change in the donkey’s moods and movements.

The fable goes that one day a launderer warns his villagers to harvest or cover their paddy fields as rain is expected in the afternoon. The village’s learned men predict that being not a rainy season, there cannot be any rain in the following days. The launderer completes his washing and drying in the morning itself and returns home from work before the afternoon. And rain, indeed, falls as forecast by the launderer on that day afternoon itself, inundating the farms and resulting in the loss of crop and grain. The launderer explains that his donkey always bends its tail in a peculiar way and stiffens its ears a few hours before it rains and it has never done this otherwise.

So his ‘native wisdom’ is derived from observation and experience.

The second fable is also about rain.

In a court of a king, the country’s designated astrologer dies and a need to fill the position is created. The king arranges for the testing of several astrologers for the post and finally two are short-listed.

On behalf of the king, the minister administers the final test of asking the astrologers to predict what will happen in the afternoon. One astrologer says that though at present the atmosphere is dry and clear, by noon slowly clouds will form and by afternoon there will be a stormy atmosphere with incessant rain. He even predicts that a dead white fish would be seen floating at the main entrance of the court. The second astrologer also confirms the same but adds that the fish to be found would not be white but slightly brownish in colour and it would not be found at the main entrance of the court but a few feet away from the main entrance.

As predicted, the weather changes, the rain occurs and a dead fish, brown in colour would be found a few steps away from the main entrance of the court.

The second astrologer would be declared winner of the two and is appointed as the Court’s astrologer. The first astrologer approaches the winner and asks him what went wrong with his prediction. The second one answers, ‘nothing but lack of common sense’ He says the fish that was seen is indeed white in color and was originally at the entrance only. But because of the heavy rainfall it floated a few feet away from the entrance and in the process got dirty and acquired the brown tinge.

Here, the emphasis is on the need of education to be combined with common sense.
Now, my own experience!

In one of my assignments, I was the General Manager – Marketing and Sales of Security equipment such as CCTVs, Spy Cameras, Image Recorders, Voice Pens and what not? All these, when most of India was not even aware of such products!

The promoters and my bosses were frugal in education but much rich in business experience. So much so, that they could see a niche in products and could really make a very good business out of it, as pioneers.

When I used to approach my immediate boss Fakhribhai, for a discount, beyond my authority, for a customer, he used to ask me why I am recommending it. If I said that the discount is likely to bind a customer with us for a longer time or that I can ensure larger quantity of sale, he used to consider the merits and decide on the quantum of discount, if he is willing to allow.

If I say that the customer is a small customer and he cannot afford the prices, he used to say, ‘GM saab, agar aapko dhanda karna hai to aap daftar ko dimaag leke aana, dil ghar mein rakh kar. Aur jab waapas ghar jaten hain, tab dimaag ko daftar me rakh kar dil ko leke jaana’ In English it means, ‘when you come for business / office leave your heart at home and bring only your mind and when you return home leave your mind here and take home only your heart’.

How true and sensible? This comes out of an experienced outlook.

Nowadays, sadly though, we tend to notice that as more and more educated we are and more and more structured our thinking is becoming, the common sense, on which the native wisdom is based on - sharing with experience though, is being affectively eclipsed. And we are becoming more mindful and less hearty at our homes.

Isn't it? What do you think?

You tell me! 

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian), Kob Kun Krab (Thai) and Asante (Kiswahili).

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

Chennai, India