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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why have cockroaches survived through centuries...

"In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment." ~ Charles Darwin

It was an idle Saturday night in Pune, circa 2005.
Arbitmind & a couple of his friends had just finished a full bottle of Johnny Walker
when the realisation dawned that a dinner is actually an integral part of the human diet - 
- Specially so on Saturday nights when there is nothing more left to drink.
....& Off they(the two friends) went to get some dinner.  ..& in the meanwhile , a little bit of Star Movies...Arbitmind reckoned...would not be a bad idea. It was showing "Enemy at the Gates"
Hey !! he had one....not at the gates..but inside his new pair of shoes.

The enemy had been fooling him for a long time. - a couple of hours to be precise - that was the first time when 
Arbitmind had discovered that a cockroach...of all things..a cockroach....for heaven's sake..a cockroach
..had nested itself inside his new Reebok shoes. Which gentleman worth his salt would accept such an unprovoked & brazen attack on his prized possession? Immediate action was being planned(read looking around for a weapon..a broom..a slipper..or anything to that effect)...& that was when the bottle of Black Dog & his friends interfered & distracted his valiant self.
...and now when the issue of the Black Dog was settled it was the time to vanquish the enemy..& claim the 
associated glory.
Evidently.. the enemy would bolt the moment it got wind of Arbitmind's colossal plan.
Hence ..Sun Tzu like tactics would have to be adopted.
Arbitmind walked around casually...a bathroom slipper in his hand...humming a tune....
...reached the shoe rack almost unnoticed...& then.....WHACKK!!!

Doh !! The pest reacted faster....jumped out of the shoe & crouched near the corner!!

Eyeball to eyeball....for a moment the two adversaries eyed each other...& that temptation to 
finish it off  crawled within Arbitmind..nah !! "Act casually"...Arbitmind told himself..appear to be incompetent...that catches the enemy of-gaurd.
So he hit the slipper thrice on the adjoining wall.  The message was conveyed...from the corner of his eyes 
he could see the Cockroach relax a wee bit..Of Course it was up against someone not quite adept. Someone
with very little expertise in hitting out cockroaches...
Or so it seemed. 
The only put-off was that the shoe looked a bit devastated from the previous blow.
Never mind...lets convert the slipper into a projectile...Arbitmind used all his cricketing acumen
to take the aim...& threw the slipper...missed by a whisker...hit the TV instead. 
Nothing broken.
The enemy retreated...sensing the determination of the adversary...behind the TV.
Cannot let it go...decided Arbitmind & got hold of the Badminton Racquet. Two more whacks around the TV
& it came out running....fleeing...Arbitmind raced after it...
The door flung open...

"Bong...You said you were not drunk"
Arbitmind: "Of course I am not. What has got into you? Got the dinner?"
(furious)"Why are you running around the room with a baddy racquet & why were u hitting the TV? Of course
you are drunk"
Arbitmind: "Preposterous...all people who intend to get rid of pests are drunk?"


"You will have Roti or Naan..we got both"

The cockroach survived. Arbitmind realised why cockroaches have survived for centuries.
Of course..because some people think that only drunks think of getting rid off the cockroaches.
Darwin anyone ?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


(Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction & a figment of Arbitmind's imagination)

Hello there!!!
Welcome to the fifth edition of the the Show-Must-Go-On League.(SMGOL)
We have a huge match here today!!

The "Right Nighters" coached by the legendary Mr.Boka-hon versus the "Conventional Royals" coached by one in particular.
We are bringing it to you live.
The stadium is jam packed. We have a game on here.

Its toss time,Coach Boka is walking up to the gallery. The crowds roar. He is an immensely popular man out here.
It is a novel idea..a stroke of genius..the Toss captain would be selected from the supporters of Right Nighters.
This is in line with his philosophy of having multiple captains & bringing about equality among the masses.
..& as Boka had said earlier,"We need to pick the luckiest man for the toss. The toss is very vital in cricket.
Logically, somebody who draws the lucky number among a crowd of 30,00 is definitely a lucky man...& very rightly he will be our man for the toss on that particular day."

Lets see who gets the honours today. Lots are being drawn out here...& we have our winner..the friendly neighbourhood dada...Poltu-da. 
Poltu-da has drawn the lucky number. He is waving towards the dressing room. The dressing room stands up
& waves back at their leader..for the moment that is. 

I can see the players are jotting down his name in a notepad..
..or in wordpad..may be even be a Scintilla editor. If someone amongst them turns out to be the man-of-the match today, he has to thank Poltu-da for the toss in the post match conference.

The coin is tossed up...Poltu-da calls 'Heads' & it is 'Heads' indeed. The giant screen is showing a close up of Boka.
The man is a genius....his method has ensured that no chances are taken with the toss. Surely Boka has worked out the Binomial & Poisson distributions for this.What an unprecedented genius!!!!

The "Conventional Royals" skipper shakes his head in dejection. 
Its Poltu-da's decision now...he wants to bat or he wants to field.
There you are...Poltu-da has decided to field first. Lets see what he has to say to our man in the middle.
(Camera onto the pitch):

Anchor: "So poltu-da , why did you opt to field first? You presume the wicket to assist the seamers in the first half?"

Poltu-da: "Well, first of all I would like to thank my local club, my friends & family. Without their support
I would not have achieved this. Also through this platform I would like to invite everyone to our yearly cultural wife is singing "Aloker ei jhornadhara" this time & my son is taking part in...."

Anchor: "Err..Poltu-da..has decided to field first..the Nighters are coming onto the field. 
The Conventional Royals' batsmen are here already. Back to the commentary box."

Thank you mate. 

The Nighters are on the field. Their field is being set. The off-side captain & the leg-side captain are 
placing their fielders on the respective sides. The wicketkeeper is captaining the slip fielder.
Here comes the first delivery......

Ohh!! Wait..we have crowd trouble here....a huge fracas is going on in the stands. The match is on hold.
Let us go to our man who is in there.

What is the issue ?
Anchor: "Well, apparently here we have a Tarini Jethu..a man who many claim was thrown into the sea by his fellow shipmates , some 10 years ago. However, legend has it that Tarini Jethu managed to come ashore with a fish in his mouth. He was conferred the  "Siddhu, Luckiest Man" award, an award named after the man who coined the phrase, "throw a lucky man into the sea  & he will come out with a fish in his mouth". People out here are protesting that it is grossly unfair that Tarini-jethu was not given the chance to be the captain. He is the original lucky man they say. Back to the commentary box "

Well..there you are..we have more trouble. Supporters of Tarini Jethu are moving towards the pitch. The players have retreated. The latest news is that a " Justice For Tarini Jethu" committee has ben formed & we are having a mid pitch elections for the post of the General Secretary of the committee. The committee plans to do sit-in demonstrations & gherao coach Boka for his alleged acts of favoritism towards Poltu-da.

We are signing off for the day...the match has been postponed. 

This is Arbitmind for SMGOL Telecasters International.
Have a good day !! 

Friday, March 20, 2009


Work kept Arbitmind too busy & he could not put in the posts for a month. Pheww!!

Now that is a reason or an excuse? 
Prima Facie it seems that the same statement can be interpreted as a reason or an excuse depending on
the interpreter's perception.
For example the same response can actually lead to two very different kind of conversations depending on whether  your response is being perceived as a reason or an excuse:


 X: "I could not be on time for the meeting. The traffic is really bad on this road"
 Y: "Yeah. The traffic is really bad. Something should be done about it"


 X: "I could not be on time for the meeting. The traffic is really bad on this road"
 Y: " know pretty well that the traffic is bad on this road. 
You should have started a bit earlier than usual to make sure that you are on time"

Clearl,  in the second case,  Y has taken X's statement to be an excuse.
You cannot really blame Y for that. He has a point. Likewise X also has a point. 
X did not expect the worst case scenario & hence started on the normal time. After all, no one(at least a good majority) wants to start off his day by expecting the worst case scenario.
From Y's perspective it is not acceptable that X did not factor in the possibility of bad traffic wherein he
was fully aware of the prevailing situation.
Both have a point & the debate becomes a sort of "what came first..the egg or the chicken?"

However there are some cases where debate is totally lopsided. 
X believes he has a watertight case.
Y thinks that the response is preposterous.
like the following ones. All of them are real life stuff.

Location: School Chemistry lab.

Teacher :  "This is the third test tube you have broken in as many sessions. For God's sake why can't you be careful?"
Arbitmind(indignantly): "It just broke by itself, seriously, I barely touched it."

Location: BITS, Pilani

Prof-In-Charge: "You want a make up for this test of Lin AL? Why ?"
Arbitmind (bristling with confidence) : "I was sick"
Prof-In-Charge: "What happened?"
Arbitmind(merrily): "stomach ache, headache, dizziness, giddiness."
Prof-In-Charge: "Anything else?"
Arbitmind : "No, this is enough for a two day rest..right?" 

Location: Pune

Arbitmind : " Work kept me too busy and I could not put in the posts for a month. Pheww!!"