Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bearded days ...

I know what you are thinking. You expect me to write a post talking about how it's been a long time since I visited this part of the woods, blah blah ... well, that is true. But nope, I am not going to talk about all that. Instead, just like a Michael Bay movie, let me jump right to the action.

So this morning I was walking from the Mambalam station in Chennai to my aunt-uncle's house. It was 5 in the morning. Barely a furlong (it was shorter than a furlong ... but I like to use the word since I have no clue how far/near it is) from the house, a policeman stops me ... and this conversation unfolds:
Policeman: Hey, where are you coming from?
Me: From Bangalore. Now I am walking from Mambalam station.
P: Come here, show me what's in your bag.
I open my bag and show him what's there.
P: What do you do?
M: I am a software engineer.
P: You don't look like one. You look like a terrorist ... like Osama Bin Laden.
I keep quiet.
P: Show me your ID card.
I show him.
P: See (pointing at a clean-shaven version of me) ... this is how you should be. What can't you be?
M: I am sporting a beard for style ...
P: But anybody who is a terrorist has a beard ... don't you know that?
M: Not true. I can show you photos of terrorists without a beard.
P: No way.

At which point, I decide that 5 in the morning isn't a good time to get into an argument. I just smile and walk home.

And after the “action” comes the rumination. I remembered Rajjo telling me about the time he visited Lincoln Memorial (or was it the White House?) with an unshaven look and everybody kept staring at him. So, we've reached that stage finally. We had probably reached that stage quite some time back; it just caught up with me now.

So what do I plan on doing? I needed 2 seconds to decide ... I've found a solid enough reason to keep the beard now. It's my own crusade of sniffing out the bigots of society.

On a slightly related note, later in the day, I was at the client office and needed to use the rest-room. I go to the end of the corridor and see doors – Ladies, Managers, Gents. And no I am not trying to channel Dilbert-isms here. I was genuinely shocked to see this. Do managers pee nectar? What sort of company even comes up with such practices? Again, there are probably a thousand companies in the world that practise such “discrimination”, it's just my first time.

I am really pissed.
(and not the managerial kind!)


At 11:20 PM, Blogger vinay_ks said...

sooper maga - both the conv with the cop and the decision to grow the beard :-)

- boda/vinay

At 1:48 AM, Blogger Akshai said...

Unfortunately in most parts of the world a beard is now associated with a radical cleric or terrorist. What most of these morons doing security checks or keeping an eye out for suspicious activity seem incapable of comprehending is the fact that a terrorist on his destructive mission will probably be the last person to do anything which will make him stand out from the rest of the crowd - both in terms of appearance and behaviour!

A separate loo for managers ...haha, hilarious. Btw..are they no separate loo's for Lady managers and Gentleman Managers or all are clubbed under the same category called Managers?

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Kaushik said...

Loo for managers ( the for argument)...

This happened to me last Thursday...
I was in the whitefield office the whole day(my corporate office)

First loo break : Dont know the guy, was smiling at me the whole time i was taking a leak
Second loo break : Dont know the guy , was trying to get his wife placed in one of my companies
Third loo break : An old colleague of mine was complaining about his reporting head
Fourth loo break: The reporting head was complaining about the employee. The second loo break guy walks in, to handover the resume
Fifth loo break: 2 managers dragged me into a conversation, which i definetely did not want to have in the loo or for that matter anywhere else. Infact i wanted to avoid these 2 for a long time.
Sixth loo break : Decided not have it ... and peed behind SAP.

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Kaushik said...

On akshai's note of no female manager loo... Interesting ...
If indeed they are supposed to pee in the same managerial loo...then..

What a wonderful company , promoting promiscuity and all...

At 8:21 AM, Blogger ashwini bharadwaj said...

:) the key thing is that you just needed a reason and you have it now! i think i probably took only two secs to conclude that you would have decided something like that!
would have loved to see your picture though, did you have that shabari mala kinda beard and mush? :)

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Later that day, God decided to tell you how you should've handled that cop. You should've shouted "Where is your manager? Give me his number!" :)


At 10:59 PM, Blogger Sridhar Raman said...

@boda, Thanks dude.

@Akshai, That's the unfortunate truth. And though it was funny in my case, I can see it becoming serious in other cases.

@Kaushik, Not sure whether it's really the "for" argument. E.g. in your 5th loo break, 2 "managers" got into a conversation with you ... which would have happened even if you had a separate loo for managers. :)

@Ashwini, Will send picture.

@Other, I think I should blog about that as well. :)

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Kaushik said...

How about a loo just for me then

At 12:35 PM, Blogger freakphase said...

Kaushik, sounds like you pee more than a certain chemistry prof.

Chilli, it was the Pentagon.


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