Sunday, 25 February 2018

A Gene gets modified

Rajesh is enjoying his happy hours. He was quite a drunkard in his college days and could easily down a crate of beer in one sitting or finish off 2 bottles of an OLD drink easily.

But now he is happily married with children. On strict instructions of his better half he can no longer get happily drunk inside his home.

He can no longer go to the neighbourhood bar, again thanks to his better half, because, “what will the neighbors say”

So he goes every Friday to a bar which is near to his office, sometimes with his college buddies and sometimes with his colleagues.

So today, Rajesh is enjoying his happy hours. But these hours are no longer happy since the last few occasions. Or rather, these hours continue to be happy, however it is the hours after, that are not so happy.

The hours after, are spent in getting rid of the hangover which invariably creeps in, in the dead of the night, when he is snoring away, happily disturbing his wife and children.

The unhappy hours start quite early in the morning after, when he first gets the urge to discharge the alcohol laden acidic fluids through the wrong orifice, when he throws up.

His head feels like splitting into a thousand pieces, the searing headache putting great pressure on his eyes.

And since these episodes have started, our Rajesh has actually come to dread enjoying the happy hours. His drinking stamina has gone for a toss which brings a smile to the face of his better half.

Is it anything to do with age? No! Not at all!

If Scientists are to be believed, the entire human population is at a disadvantage here. Yes, you, me and everyone else.

Research; yes, the same dreaded word again! Research has proved that there is something sinister happening inside our bodies. Some of the enzymes, known as Alcohol Dehydrogenase (ADH), are turning over a new leaf, undergoing genetic variation on their own and increasing the enzyme activity which produces an adverse physical response to alcohol consumption.

Et tu! It is said that when you think of achieving something with your entire being, the universe itself will conspire to help you achieve it.

But here, a huge population of the human race, mostly the female variety, wanted to achieve prohibition on a gigantic scale, and see how the universe has conspired to help achieve the exalted goal!

The gene responsible for breaking down alcohol in the human body is getting less effective, meaning increased hangovers and lessening consumption.

The days…and nights are not far, when happy hours will be celebrated with a digestive liquid in hand. And the better halves will be smiling like Cheshire cats!

Yatindra Tawde

Friday, 16 February 2018

Evil Eye?...really

In India, people blindly believe in the so-called bad effects of the evil eye.
So a truck driver will write, “Buri nazar wale tera muh kaala”; literally meaning, “If you look at my beautiful truck with an evil eye, may your face be blackened”
Or grandmothers will deliberately put a small black mark with an eye liner (Kajal), on a newborn child’s cheek, again to protect it from the evil eye, saying “nazar lag jayegi”
But Indians do have a propensity to take things too far. But I had not expected to hear something like this…
Apparao is a farmer in one of the Indian states in South India. He is one of the few Indian farmers, who are fortunate enough to own his own farm, however small it might be.
His farm is located very near to the road, where there are many people either walking alongside or traveling in their various modes of transport.
For the past 2-3 years Apparao is flummoxed…his farm thrives for some days at the start of the farming cycle, but as the days go by, the crop deteriorates, and the final yield is minuscule, just enough to feed his family but never allowing him to make decent profits.
He has tried all tricks in an agriculturist’s bag to maximise the yield but to no avail.
He has spoken to the best professors from the local agricultural college, who have given him sound advice, but at the end there is minimal improvement.
His friends too have pitched in and given their advice on steps to increase the yield but all their efforts have come a cropper.
One day Apparao is sitting with his friend, Bhaskarrao, enjoying the local toddy. He tells his problem to Bhaskarrao.
“I tell you Appa, you must see this awesome movie. The heroine is so sexy” coos an inebriated Bhaskarrao.
But Apparao is in his senses. He sticks to his point, “Bhaskar, my crops are failing once again. I don’t know what to do. Please give me some idea, my friend”
But Bhaskarrao is lost in his film world, “Appa, let me take you to the movie. Ok, it’s on me…ooohh, that heroine…”
In spite of so many pegs, Apparao is still standing firmly on his legs, “Bhaskar, please, please tell me, how can I protect my crops”
Finally Bhaskarrao loses his cool demeanour, “You and your crops. Do you really want to know what you should do? Ok, I will tell you”
“You put up big banners of this heroine near your farm. And mind you, she should be in a bikini in those banners. I will come to your farm instead of going to the movies”, so saying Bhaskarrao storms out of the toddy shop.
Someone else would ignore this advice as a drunkard’s foolish talk. But it actually sets Apparao thinking.
And lo! And behold! In the next few days the banners are up, the passerby no longer stare at the farm since their buri nazar or evil eye has got something else to ogle at.
Apparao is happy and a national newspaper deems this story fit for publication.
If only a cute actress not winked her way into the internet record books, Apparao and his sexy scarecrow, if you can call it that, would certainly have broken the internet.
And I am not at all trying to prove that a drunkard’s advice will always pay such bountiful dividends.
Yatindra Tawde

Friday, 26 January 2018

Poetry attempted

Theory of relativity 

Made me lose my sanity

The basic laws of Newton

Permanently closed the door for me to Wheaton

But when I studied Atomic physics

Everyone started calling me psychic...

Sunday, 14 January 2018

No tears...

Tears run down the cheeks of Rajesh as he works in the kitchen.

His wife, Radhika, is not at home, busy, trying to maintain her project timelines.

His mother looks at him with concern which is garnished with a tinge of irritation. “Love marriage! Who told you to do a love marriage?”, she asks, mockingly.

“That girl, Urmila, was so pretty. And being a daughter of my friend, I knew her very well. Such a homely person. I tell you Raju, she was certainly better than this shrew, Radhika!”, she exclaims in frustration.

“But, Mom…”, Rajesh starts saying but hits a road block in the form of his mother’s admonition, “Don’t say a word, you nincompoop. If only you had listened to me that time, Radhika would never have crossed our door step”, she shuts him up.

“You only saw the glamour of Radhika. Arre, not for nothing the elders have said so rightly, Glamour is only skin deep, the real beauty is in the character of a person. But no, you were blinded by Radhika’s beauty and deaf to words of wisdom”, she continues.

Poor Rajesh has had enough. Finally he blurts out, “But Mom, why are you taking it to the extreme. What has Radhika done that makes you so negative about her. She is such a loveable person”

No sooner has he said that, his mother again breaks him off, “Oh my God! You are still under her spell even after attending to kitchen duties half the time. God bless you, my son”, she says sarcastically.

“Mom. You know I am the Chef-in-chief in the most happening Five Star hotel in this city. I love cooking. Why, I would say that I would cook even if Radhika were home. See, the project which she is currently on, is very important for her career. So chill, Mom, chill”

“What chill, chill…I can see tears in your eyes. Am I blind? I know how you must be suffering. You are just suffering through a hopeless marriage. And there, Radhika must be enjoying herself, for all you know”
“Come on Mom, can’t you see I am cutting onions. Don’t you cry when you cut onions?”, he says exasperatedly.

“Till now no one has been able to develop tear free onions!”, he exclaims to stress his point.

Which brings us to the subject matter at hand. Yes, finally onions have been developed, which won’t make you shed tears like poor Rajesh in above story.

Like we Indians say, “Su-prabhat” when we wish someone good morning, the new onion type is named “Sunion”.

These new type of onions are not genetically modified but have been naturally cross-breeded over a long period of time. The result – a well behaved onion which won’t make you cry. Of course, the downside is that it will be sweeter, milder and less pungent and thus may affect its taste.

In a normal onion, there are volatile chemical compounds which give off a gas immediately on cutting. These compounds form a mild version of sulphuric acid, when they come in contact with water in your eyes, which eventually irritates your eyes and makes them water.

However in a Sunion, these volatile compounds are absent making the Sunion sweeter and not a tearjerker.

 Of course, getting these new onions in the market will still take a lot of time. Currently they are available only in US of A since they are grown in only two states, Nevada and Washington.

So guys and gals, the day is not far, when you can get rid of those onion cutting goggles which are similar to a welders googles. Just joking!!

Since the launch of Sunions in the market, Radhika and her mother-in-law have reconciled themselves to an uneasy friendship and are busy in the kitchen helping out Rajesh to create newer Sunion based dishes for the home palate.

Now all is quiet on their home front. As Rajesh’s mother rightly says, “If an onion can turn sweeter so can the relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Yatindra Tawde

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Dogs and cats

It’s that dreaded word again…research!

Research says that dogs are more intelligent than the cats. But who will tell that to the cats!

Many times on social media, you will read that the smart people stay silent while fools chatter away. It is on the same social media that, cats are the reigning superstars.

While dogs are emotional fools, the cats are true drama queens or tantrum throwing divas.

When you observe a cat, you will see her engrossed in herself. She is either grooming herself or being selfish for her food. And can she manipulate! All her actions are designed to emotionally blackmail her owners to part with food.

Her meows range from almost begging to demanding to commanding. If that doesn’t work, she rubs against the owners legs and purrs with contentment. That is sure to melt the heart of any strong headed owner.

When she sits, her pose can range from a majestic one like a tiger, like resting on its side with the legs on one side, to the typical kitty pose where the paws are close together and the back is arched cutely. When she sits in this pose, she is constantly blinking it’s eyes in slow motion. Cuteness personified!

She is a Lone Ranger and aloof but at the same time can play with the owner. For playing, anything is game from a bouncing ball to a string. But while playing also, she is actually trying to hone her hunting skills. If you don’t believe, please observe her as she hunches and lowers itself, her pupils dilated and ears pushed forward, followed by the most graceful launch with the springing of her hind legs, to catch the toy or the prey.

When you observe a dog, he appears like a monk who looks at you with the most admiring eyes.

There is a genuine love for you, which is well manifested, especially when you return from the shortest of absences.

The dog is always ready for a hug and a slurping lick with his tongue. He doesn’t constantly beg for food but will eat when served. He is also much more patient animal than a cat.

The dog loves the outdoors and enjoys a bath, unlike a cat. Why cats hate water is a big mystery to me, they have almost a pathological fear of water.

While dogs are social animals, the cats a loners. Dogs can be very protective about the human babies, while cats can just about tolerate them.

Finally dogs have much more neurones in their neurological system as compared to cats making them more intelligent and empathetic.

No wonder dogs were friends with ancient humans from times immemorial, while cats were put on a pedestal and worshipped, like in ancient Egypt.

Yatindra Tawde

Monday, 11 December 2017

Happy hours...on Mars!

My happiness knows no bounds. A few weeks back I had announced  about my ticket to Mars. What? Don’t tell me, you don’t know!

After all, that news broke the internet. You can read about it all, here…

But coming back to the reason for my happiness. As I opened the morning newspaper today, on one of the inside pages, was a news which should ideally have been printed on the cover page. Yes, it really deserved that honour.

One of the leading Beer brands has announced that it is planning to be the first to introduce Beer on Mars. It would certainly make me feel at home.

As you know barley is a key ingredient in the manufacture of beer. So, the next mission to the International Space Station would carry this valuable load of barley seeds to the station, which is being thoughtfully rocketed to the space station by this leading brand. How indebted we astronauts are! After all, nothing beats beer in making us feel at home, in the weightless conditions of deep space.

These barley seeds will then stay in space for a period of one month. Experiments will be conducted to study the effects of the microgravity environment on the seeds. The results of this experiments will be analysed back in Earth and the first steps would have been taken to make Space, a happy place.

And Mars will have the first pioneering potbellied astronauts with a Lager in hand.


Yatindra Tawde

Humans and …sponges had a common ancestor

It’s been proposed by some scientists that many millions of years back, humans and sponges shared a common ancestor! I was shocked on reading this but then I reflected on this surprising theory, and finally I was convinced.

The sponges do not have a digestive, circulatory or nervous system. Instead they depend on water constantly flowing through their body for obtaining food and oxygen and removing wastes. They don’t have tissues and organs and lack body symmetry.

Considering all this I was surprised to read that humans and sponges shared a common ancestor. But then there are many specimen of humans who do share some of the characteristics of sponges.

Let’s see what they are…

Some humans are spineless characters just like the sponges. They lack courage or strength and try to escape any sort of confrontation, especially with their wives. They agree to whatever is decided by their wives, if only to live another day in tranquility.

In the office space, they soak up all the abuse from their bosses just like a sponge. Their only aim is to protect their means of income so that they continue to put food on the table at home.

Some are gutless and lack courage to take decisions. I think everyone knows who they are.

If sponges depend on constant flow of water through their body, some humans depend upon constant flow of alcohol through their body to survive. And miracles miracles! Free flowing alcohol allows them to overcome the above spongy shortcomings, and they are no longer spineless or gutless, albeit for a short time.
And there are quite a few who lack body symmetry with spindly hands and legs but a protruding pot belly.

So folks, when you next see such characters, please remember that a sponge is your sister species, and both of you have a common ancestor.

Yatindra Tawde

Mumbai - 2025

Mumbai - 2025 I am wandering through the lanes of my place of birth, Dadar, getting nostalgic about the days gone by. Hindu colony and my ...