23 June, 2007

Hidden skill

Cartooning has been my favourite hobby from childhood days. My dad was associated with Stationery and Artist's materials business and used to bring home lots of brushes and different kinds of pencils. I always had a curiosity on using them. Once he gave me few of them and asked to draw. He was very impressed and encouraged. The sad part is he did not live long to encourage me. He had brought home sketches of him drawn by famous artists like Latha ( who used to draw for historical stories in leading Tamil magazine) and Raakee who used to draw cartoons for Thuqlaq cover in those days. I was impressed by it and started showing interest on them. I admired many cartoonists work and if I had to mention Mathan was my favourite. Few friends jointly were involved in making a manuscript magazine in younger days. I was given opportunity to draw cartoons in that magazine. That was a field which I was keen but never had an opportunity to develop further. Once I started blogging, I was inspired a lot by Arvindh's drawings. Due to that I bought few sketch pencils and decided to scribble a few while travelling.
If the above picture resembles George Michael then, I need to agree yes I tried drawing him. If you do not feel so, forget it. It was just a practise after many years. The drawings below are some people whom I came across while travelling. You cannot draw everyone especially cartoons. There are few who will be having certain features which you portrait easily. These two gentlemen are someone who travelled in my compartment and I drew without their knowledge. Glad that I have found a way to spend my time while travelling.

Thank you Arvind! I also need to thank Narayanan Venkitu a fellow blogger and childhood friend who has been encouraging me to sketch. We need motivation at all stages isn't it?
Probably based on your comments I shall produce more for you!

15 June, 2007

Telling Lies - No Papa

It had been quite hectic. During my train journeys I have started meeting nice people. For the last few weekends London was very busy. A week before while returning to London, a huge crowd was rushing to Wembley park to watch a friendly football match between England and Brazil. Last Sunday while I was returning from London, there was a huge crowd rushing to the same venue but for a concert by George Michael. I found few law breaking women smoking in the Tube stations. These kind of little things do upset me. Smoking is going to be banned in England from July 1st. It has been already done in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland.

I was wondering at certain qualities of human being during my journeys. However we all tend to forget the one which we do have – telling lies. I do not believe that there will be someone in this world who had not told a lie in their life. From childhood we are taught not to lie, both at home and at school. I keep telling the same to my kids. It really hurts when we hear someone telling a lie. The kids get confused when parents tell them not to lie, and when they lie. The kids get it indirectly into their mind that they can tell lies.

I think every human being would have told a lie, at some stage. But some keep telling lies as a habit and mess up many things in their life. I read somewhere that you do not need a great memory power to speak truth always. But if you are a liar, you need to have a good memory.

Sometimes it is embarrassing to hear lies, when you know the truth. I think fear is the root cause of lie. Fear of losing something, committing mistake, status, image, prestige, ego, pride, losing money, wealth, leads to telling a lie. The technology today is against those who tell a lie. We cannot tell lie while chatting and with the webcam. For example, few years before a colleague came to visit me. He got a call from another colleague of us. While answering the phone he told in a cool manner that he was shopping. I asked him why he answered so. He said that he may mistake him for being in my house. I could not understand it. I was also working along with them. Within minutes the guy who was on the phone visited my house and the one who told a lie was trapped. You can imagine his face.

I think even today, people are telling lies to get their children married. I knew someone who got married recently. Within few days after his marriage he has found that the girl had some serious sickness which was blatantly hidden. On questioning, the parents and relatives are now coming with the truth. They never bothered to understand how much it would have hurt the boy and his family. It looks like they thought a marriage will solve her health mysteries. The girl is innocent and could not even realise what is happening to her. The boy is now finding legal remedies.

Some tell lies, for simple things. I like to be plain in many cases. In my younger days, when I did not have money for Petrol, and cycle to work, people used to ask me whether the motorcycle had gone for service. On telling the truth, that I did not have money for the Petrol they laughed and said “ Sir... Romba Tamash..pa...”. (meaning he is a very funny man).

Recently we were discussing about finances. I told one of my friends that I am not having that much of money to buy a house. A couple who were present could not believe this and thought it was a lie. I told them that it is the truth. At the same time, requested me not to reveal the actual cost price of their house to others. They even told me that they had not told their parents and relatives about their recent purchase of a property in England. The reason given was that it will cause problem. I could not understand but was wondering why they should tell a lie about it.

In this country, the Government grants benefit for those who are single and separated. Few parents who come to pick up their kids in my daughter’s school, suggested my wife to declare that she is living alone and claim benefit. My wife was very upset and we discussed the cheap mentality of such people. Again, when it is real, and when we do such claims genuinely, we are being scrutinised to such a great extent, we really get irritated to claim such reliefs. But the system does allow for those liars to go free.

I still remember those times in India, when local government staff visited home to supply ration card and wanted to know the income. Most of the house hold commodities are supplied according to the income. But when I declared the true income, which was on the higher group, they wanted to assure whether it was true, since I may not get any benefits. We could only laugh on that day.

My mom often used to say “Poi sonnal Bhojanam Kidaikathu” (meaning if you tell lies you will not get food) and I used to reply “Bhojanathukey Poi solrangaley ma”. (Just for the food people are telling lies mom).

I remember a lady near my house that fooled everyone by telling she was a bank employee. Later one day we found that she was doing a job of cleaning the telephones at offices, since she visited my friend’s office too. We never understood why she had to lie about her job.

Certain lies go without reason. We never know why it was told. But it hurts when we know the truth. Many of those, whom I have come across, have told that they have told a lie, and it hurts them as well for being a liar, since their partner believes them. Some feel guilty. In that case, why should we lie?

I love children because they are innocent and always tend to speak the truth. Once when my son was a kid, he screamed from the bath, that there was a bird in the toilet. None of us showed interest due to the morning tension. He kept screaming and my wife rushed hurriedly and called me too. There was a bird trapped in the toilet flush. We could not believe it. Luckily we saved and took outside the house and let him fly. The bird’s entry into the shower room is a mystery till today. But we realised how true the kids are!

Once I met a kid in a friend’s house and felt that he should eat well since he had not grown for his age. He got the doubt in his mind and said “Uncle, do you think I am not grown up for my age. It is because of this...” and removed his shirt to show the operation scare across his chest. He continued “ I had a heart surgery... since my heart was small I did not grow. Now the heart has been repaired, I will grow..”. I could not control my emotions.

Kids are so true and innocent. Probably that is the reason they are being told as early as when they are in nursery “Telling lies, no Papa”. Let us be like kids in being true.