Saturday, August 4, 2018

P buys Bitcoins

long or short

A parody of Madame Zeroni's song in Holes
If only, if only,” Mr P sighs,
"The price of cryptos would go up so high"
While he waits below, hungry and lonely,
Longing for BTC to moo-oo-oon,
"If only, if only.”

It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon and P had just got up and had a shower. As he was getting out to buy his burger for lunch, P saw his neighbour, a stock trader by profession, pruning his rose bushes in the garden and went over to the picket fence to have a chat.
Neighbour: “P, I hope you won't mind but I have to ask you this question. You are looking very tired these days. What's up?”
P: “I'll let you into my secret. You see, I am planning to buy a Lamborghini."
Neighbour astonishedly: "Did you win the lotto or something?”
P: “No, but I am into crypto currency these days and so I can hardly sleep. And maybe that's why I look tired.”
Neighbour: “Ah! I see… So what coins?”
P: “Only bitcoin.”
Neighbour: “Are you long or short?”
P was puzzled and stunned, wondering why his neighbour who was normally very circumspect and prudent, was changing the topic from crypto trading to his physical dimensions......
Tired of his old Getz, he longed for a Lambo
And though without a twin or a name like Winklevoss,
P went into crypto-world like daring Rambo,
Hoping it would  end all his monetary woes!

But P bit off more than what he could chew,
When he borrowed money from his credit card
And bitcoins he could buy just one or two;
His get-rich-quick plans were totally marred!

Of blockchain and cryptos P had no clue
And had bought the BTC at its peak,
Hoping its value would then accrue;
But crashing prices left his future bleak.

He was sleepless, tracking crypto price,
As he HODLed onto his coins tight;
Fud and fomo made his heart rate rise
As bulls and bears made their daily fight.

He doesn't get what is ‘short’ or ‘long’
But if only, if only BTC would moon,
He can stop singing that soulful song
From “Holes", he sings so out of tune;
For his neighbours, it would be such a boon!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

On collusion between ‘would’ and ‘wouldn’t’ and blue moon and blood moon

Blood moon that comes so rare
But more often than a blue
Had P enthralled in wishful thoughts
To watch the eclipse in the early dawn
And he went about to lay out his plans!

But his love for creature comforts
And the usual sleep-in on a Saturday
Eclipsed his desire to watch
The much talked of phenomenon!
(But maybe it was just Fake News?)

Yet, P wondered how he missed the sight
Even with all his well set plans
But P shrugged it off as the norm
Of collusion that is seen these days
When ‘would’ and ‘wouldn’t’ can interchange!
P had decided to get up at 4 am on the 28th morning to watch the lunar eclipse. He had read that it was going to be a phenomenal sight in the sky with the blood moon and the glowing Mars next to it. So, for the sake of watching the blood moon, for once in a blue  moon, P decided to get up before daybreak. However, P always considered that though his spirit was more than willing, his flesh was weak and often betrayed him. He could not be sure that he wouldn’t (would?) just turn his alarm off and continue to sleep when it woke him in time to watch the eclipse. He therefore decided to rope in his neighbour into the scheme of things and had a long chat with him on the phone about how worthwhile it would (wouldn’t) be to watch the eclipse.
Finally, P convinced his neighbour on what he would (wouldn’t) be missing out, if he would not (would) watch the eclipse, and how such an opportunity wouldn’t (would) present itself for a long, long time. He also managed to get his neighbour promise to give P a phone call around 4 am, to ensure that P gets up in case P’s alarm clock did not serve its purpose.
Everything thus organised, P decided to go to bed early and went about his pre_bed routine. He set his alarm clock to ring at 4 am next morning. He brushed and flossed his teeth, and jumped into his pyjamas. He switched off his phone, put it to charge and turned off the lights. P then hopped onto his bed, snuggled down comfortably and switched on the TV to watch a bit of Fake News but went on to watch a movie on Netflix. It was quite late when he finally switched off the TV and sleep could embrace him.
The next day P got a glimpse of the phenomenal blood moon through the photos people put on the internet and also from those that were taken by his neighbour whom he saw late in the afternoon, working on his garden.
P did not question his neighbour on whether he had tried calling P on the phone as he had promised he would. P did not question as to whether he himself wouldn’t have switched off his phone by accident or turned off the alarm clock when it rang, had he been more committed.
Finally it all came to a collusion between ‘would’ and ‘wouldn’t’. These were times when ‘would’ and ‘wouldn’t’ could be interchanged so easily and even at the very highest of echelons of power. It didn’t need a blue moon for that to happen, let alone a blood moon!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

P is not for POTUS or for Putin

Things were not looking good for P and he was worried when he returned to blogosphere after a long break. He had chosen to be known as P rather than by his name 'Pillai' which could also be translated as 'baby' in South Indian languages. But, quite a few things starting with the letter P were showing up in collusion and in bad light or even trying to silence P--- stars, on the sly! And now there was this big baby blimp in a diaper going to be floating in the skies in London!

However, P had no intention of going anywhere overseas, let alone London, any time in the near future especially with all that was happening with immigration and border security. He worried that his visa may be cancelled for no reason. He worried that he could be separated from his family and be put in a detention centre. Times were so bad that, that was what was happening to kids these days! After all, his name suggested that he was a child too!

A big orange blimp, up in the sky;
It broke his heart, not to see it fly!
But with new rules and travel ban,
P worried about his dark skin and tan!

Staying home was not much fun,
But safer than a trip to London.
For times were bad and children sad,
Separated from mums and dads!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

P becomes listless with lists

P was looking at the Daily Post week-end writing challenge and it was about lists. It gave him a great idea! He could make a list of things to do and not to do so that he could get to the interview on time the next day morning. In P’s quirky life, he found it very hard to be on time anywhere, any time.
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P firmly believed that this was not because of his fault. Despite striving his level best to be punctual, fate and nature seemed to be conspiring against him.The list of these conspiracies kept on increasing:
1)      There were incidents where his alarm clock gave up after he repeatedly pressed the snooze button and had left him sleeping blissfully till noon even when he had an early morning appointment.
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2)      There were times when the can of tea powder would turn up empty, or there would be no milk in the fridge, when he dragged himself up from bed to get his first cup of tea. He had to rush to the corner shop or supermarket to get these items. Can you blame P if his constitution was such that he could come alive only after his cup of tea in the morning? Can you blame him again when at the shops, he decided to buy other things that were running low in the kitchen? And can you blame him if it took more than the expected time as he checked the prices and searched for the cheapest items on sale? Naturally he would be late if he had not slotted the time for ‘grocery shopping’ in his morning activities prior to leaving for an appointment.
3)      His attire also used to give him plenty of trouble. Finding the right apparel from his wardrobe was always a time-consuming task..... especially when he was dressing up to go to some important function and changed his mind several times on what to wear. Who could blame P for wanting to look his best?
4)      Many a time, his clothes for the day had been forgotten on the clothesline after washing and it would have rained in the night leaving them soaking wet. He would then have to throw them in the dryer and iron them. P only could shake his head at nature’s vagaries.
5)      Even the lowly socks seemed to have it in for Mr P. Many a time his well laid plans to be punctual were trounced by the hunt for a matching pair.
6)      Then, there were all those times when he believed that he had eaten well or was not hungry till he was about to leave for some appointment and all of a sudden, pangs of hunger would claw at his entrails. He then had to stop and eat something, upsetting the time schedule.
7)      Also, his car keys would disappear at the last moment, and he would spend valuable minutes hunting for it everywhere only to find it hiding beneath some papers on the table or sometimes even in his pockets!
8)      Talking about keys, his house keys also had their days of vanishing act, throwing him into a turmoil. Very often he would find them still stuck in the key hole of the door forgotten to be pulled out after entering the house the previous night.
9)      Sometimes it would be the turn for his glasses to play hide and seek, and waste his time. They were often retrieved from beneath the bed where he had fallen asleep watching TV, or sometimes in the car.
10)   When his wallet became untraceable, P used to become very desperate. He could not go out without it as it contained his driver licence, cash and cards.  Frantic searches have often unearthed it from shopping bags he had brought home from the supermarkets, if not from under the car seat, sofa, top of the fridge and so on....
11)   There were occasions when he could locate his wallet but was thrown into a panic as he could not find his bank cards within the wallet. The mere thought of all his money being siphoned out by some fraudster, used to get him so worried that he would spend precious time ringing up the bank and credit card companies, cancelling his card only to find it later in his wallet, secreted in one of its small pockets or concealed by some slips from the supermarket check-outs.
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The list could go on and on, but for now, P was making a list of things to do to help him get to the interview on time. This interview was important and it was at 9 am, which was the time he usually turned his alarm off and snuggled deeper under the covers in his bed. He also did not want to turn up too early for the interview. “Ten minutes before the interview is ideal” he remembered reading somewhere.
So P grabbed pen and paper and made his list:
1)      The interview was at 9 am so he planned to get up very early...... He noted to set his wake-up alarm as early as 8.30 am.
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2)      He decided to choose his attire for the next day and have the clothes laid out on the ironing board.
3)      Pressing his shirt and pants for the interview would take some time, P guessed. He mulled a bit on whether he should finish this job today, but then, it was such a nice evening and P was just not in the mood. He decided that as soon as he woke up the next day, he would spend not more than 5 minutes and iron out all those creases.
4)      Not to be outdone by his socks the next day, he decided to find a suitable matching pair and have them lying at the top of his bedside drawer.
5)      He decided to do away with his morning shave as it could save him some ten minutes. Moreover, didn’t the faint undergrowth on the chin and cheeks help in giving him an intellectual look?
6)      Usually his morning showers ranged anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. He decided to reduce the time of his short morning shower to 5 minutes the next day morning.
7)      The time spent in front of the mirror sprucing and grooming was to be cut short from half an hour to 5 minutes.
8)      He decided to locate his car key, house key, glasses, wallet and cards and place them together on the dining table so that he would not waste any time looking for them.
9)      Skipping his usual elaborate breakfast, P decided to have an Up & Go on his drive to the  interview. He had estimated the drive to be 10 minutes. Even though he would not be able to reach the venue 10 minutes earlier than the scheduled time, he assessed that he would be able to reach there at least 5 minutes in advance.
10)   He decided to go to bed early, rather than stay late into the night watching movies and late night shows, so that he would not hit the snooze button when the alarm went off the next day morning.

P followed everything as per the list and exactly at 8.45 am the next morning, he hurriedly grabbed his brief case and his UP&GO, stepped out of the house and shut the self locking front door behind him.
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He put his hand inside his pocket for the car key......................

The UP&GO  and briefcase fell from his listless hand as the image of the cards and the car key still lying on top of the dining table flashed through his mind.....................along with the key to the front door of the house which was now auto-locked.

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Murder on a train

New Picture (18)
P had been ill at ease with the night travel by train in India, especially when he did not get tickets for the air-conditioned compartment and had to travel second class with the windows left open to counter the heat. It was not helpful that only the previous day, he had watched the film 'Madras mail', which was about a murder on a train. Tired, he had however nodded off and was woken as the train jerked to a stop at a station.  As he lay there with his eyes still shut, slowly drifting off to sleep, he was jolted by the sound of a slap. He kept his eyes closed and listened...
Child’s voice: “Kill him, mummy, Kill him!”
Woman’s whisper: “Hush! I don’t want you to wake up everybody on the train!”
Through half-opened eyes, P slowly peeped at the family of three on the opposite berth, travelling in the same cubicle. The dim light was still turned on and he could discern the figure of the man slouching by the window, probably fast asleep.
The woman was now looming over the husband with her hand slightly raised as the tot stood by her side, anxiously whispering “Get him mummy, get him!”...
P was shocked to hear the child say those words... He couldn’t believe a child could be so evil!... But then he remembered the famous film, “Omen” and he shuddered.New Picture (19)
The woman was now leaning towards her husband and as her raised hand came down in a slap, P cringed and shut his eyes...
Child’s voice: “Did you kill him?”
Man’s voice: “What the...?”
Child’s voice: “Did he escape again?”
Woman’s voice: “Yes, Dennis. And stop calling the mosquito “him” and “he”. It is an “it”...
P breathed a sigh of relief...
The woman was trying to kill a mosquito... and not her husband!

Unless of course, by the term “mosquito”, she was alluding to her husband...

Going in Circles

Circuitous Paths
A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.
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If you need to find your way, don’t ask it of P;
His sense of direction is blighted as it could be:
If with his help your journey was charted,
You could end up where you started;
For poor P is indeed not street wise,
And going in circles you’ll soon realise,
His concept of the earth being round.
But on the journey of life, his theories may seem sound!
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Stranger: “Sorry to trouble you like this but I am from out-of-town and am a bit lost here. Would you be able to direct me to the city centre?
P: “Not a problem, mate. Where exactly in the city centre do you wish to go?”
Stranger: “I’ve come to participate in the craft market at the show grounds”
P: “Ah! It’s quite far away. Chris, my neighbour was talking about the market the other day and he said it is twenty minutes’ drive from here. I’ll tell you what would work best. I’ll jump in the car with you and show you how to get there”
Stranger: “That’s very kind of you. But how will you get back?”
P: “Don’t you worry about that. I’ll manage to get a ride back somehow just as I found one now to get to the market. You see, I had asked Chris to take me there in his car but he had not obliged, but I have found a ride now...” P smiled.
Stranger: “OK then, that’s fine with me”
P hopped into the stranger’s car and off they went to the market. However, after taking numerous left turns, right turns and driving north, south, east and west, the stranger looked at his watch and said “I guess we have now been driving for more than forty minutes and you said it would only be a twenty minutes’ drive?”
P: “We are nearly there. You should not be in such a panic. Do you believe in souls and reincarnation?”
Stranger: “Yes ....but what has that to do with anything here now?”
P philosophised: “You know, souls are eternal and with reincarnation, what they can’t accomplish this life, they can achieve in the next or the next or the next.... There is eternity ahead and so you should not be so anxious about time. In this round world, we just go in after life after life... Unless you stop the cycle of rebirth”
Stranger a bit perplexed now: “I don’t want to be late for the market!”
P: “I know, I know!...  And that’s why I am trying to help you out here... Wait!...Stop!... Can you just take a U-turn and go back to the big, grey building we saw a kilometre behind us?”
Stranger: “But there didn’t seem to be any show grounds there. I read the board and it said  'Tourist Information centre'!”
P said sheepishly: “Exactly! Let’s go in there and get a map and some directions. To tell you the truth, I have a very poor sense of direction and am totally lost as well!”

Tourist information centre

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mr P - On One way trip to Mars and Aliens..............

image copyright Lekha Sreekantan

“Oh, why would you want to go on a one way trip to Mars?” asked Kris.
“Why wouldn’t I? I think it would be awesome. And I would be on TV!” Mr P was making conversation over the fence, with his neighbor Kris.
It was a Saturday morning and Mr P had gone out to get the newspaper. The sun was shining through the trees. The birds were singing, flowers were smiling, bees were humming and butterflies flitting happily. In other words, Mr P was feeling particularly elated as it was the weekend and he could laze at home. That was reason enough for him to stop by and chitchat with his neighbor who was pruning the shrubbery in his garden. After local politics, the subject had veered round to the Mars trip and Mr P had started the topic with “You know, the booking for that one way trip to Mars finished last week. And I just missed it by a whisker,”
He had then started to point out the things that deterred him. There would be no television in Mars. Nor would there be any of his favourite haunts such as Pizza Hut, KFC or McDonalds. “There would be plenty of parking space, I believe” continued Mr P trying to find some advantages for Mars.
“No point in having parking space without cars” argued Kris. “I guess you would only be walking….. and that too in your space suit.”
“I wouldn’t mind walking around in a space suit always. But somebody would have to wake me up quite often. It looks quite comfy and I think l’d fall asleep in it. As long as there is no summer in Mars….” Mr P crossed his arms and closed his eyes picturing himself in a space suit. He wouldn’t mind getting one for the South Dakota winters. He regretted that winters were still too cold on earth even with all the global warming.
“The paper says two hundred and two thousand, five hundred and eighty-six people have volunteered from all over the world.  I wonder why more haven’t applied” he brought his thoughts back onto the topic.
Standing back to take a look at the pruned plant, Kris muttered “Well, those who have some sort of family, probably will not want to go”.
“We can’t generalize that. There are a few people whose family would badly want them to go on a never return trip to Mars.” Mr P quipped.
“And I don’t mean you” Mr P added hastily when he saw his neighbour’s forehead crease into a frown.
Eyes on his shears, Kris mumbled “There are a few people whose neighbourswould badly want them to take the trip too……..”
At that point, Mr P realized that for his continued good health, he had to break the conversation then and there. He hastily said farewell and scooted back into the house. After Mr P had finished his breakfast he googled up more of the details of the trip to Mars as the earlier discussion was still uppermost in his mind. He scrolled through the website and was amazed at the requirements that were specified for the candidates. It seemed as if they were listed specifically with him in mind! He down-loaded the page and took a print of it. Kris was still in his garden, so he rushed out with it.
“They have listed on their website, the characteristics the candidates need to have. I think I would have met all the criteria perfectly. Here, take a look” he cried, and handed the paper over the fence.
Dubiously, Kris put his shears down, rubbed his hands on the sides of his gardening pants and grabbed the paper.
extracted from
“Resiliency, adaptability, curiosity, ability to trust, creativity and resourcefulness” Kris read out the main headings loudly, trying hard to hold his mirth back…“Hmmmmm… Some of these fit you well. But if you ask me, not all!” Kris tried to say diplomatically.”Resiliency: I must admit you have that quality. “Let’s look at them one by one. ” Kris then proceeded to list out the expectations for the potential Mars trekkers and his take on how Mr P would fit in each case.
“Your thought processes are persistent: Otherwise why would you still keep trying to borrow my car?”
You persevere and remain productive: I have heard how hard you try to control the fire ants in your tropical home but sure, the ants remain productive and keep multiplying!”
You see the connection between your internal and external self: Don’t you fall asleep when doing yoga and meditation? Is it that, your external self, is then trying to catch up with your internal self or vice versa?”
 “You have a “Can do!” attitude: Otherwise, how would you even come up with the idea of volunteering for Mars? I admire your cheek!”
” Let’s  discuss curiosity….. I agree with you there. Aren’t you always wondering what’s happening this side of the fence?”
At this point, Mr P was not sure whether Kris was admiring him or making fun of him. Slightly piqued, he asked Kris who could be good candidates in his opinion.
“Dedicated scientists may want to go” said Kris.
“But, if I were a scientist, I’d rather somebody reach there first and confirm it’s safe before I go. Or what if I die before I report my findings? It would be such a waste,” countered Mr P.
He kept the conversation rolling. “Depending on if any beautiful women have applied and will be chosen, I’d be happy to go if they accept late applications. Shouldn’t there be a “knight in shining space suit” to protect the women from all those aliens?”
He asked Kris if a pepper spray would be handy in that case.
“Don’t worry” said Kris. “The deodorant you spray on you, would keep even aliens at bay.”
Mr P had not fully digested this information before his mind was boggled by what Kris said next. “You know how the US border security and immigration call people from other countries ‘aliens’? Well, if we humans go to space and find some aliens, are they the aliens or are we the aliens?”
It took some time for Mr P to get his head round the question. He was still mulling over it as he returned back into the house. “Are they the aliens or are we the aliens?” he kept asking himself.