Labor Day Satire: I could have been University topper! πŸ˜‰

I honestly feel (πŸ˜‰) I was robbed of an opportunity to be University topper. Did someone say “Were you deprived of good tutoring and lacked guidance from teachers to put in focused effort?” Nah, that would have been too much hard work with no guarantee of success. A much simpler way I could have topped the University exams: Plead the Fifth! Hear me out and you will agree. For every question in the exam I should have answered “I plead the Fifth”. What would have happened if I had done that? When the exam results came out some talented and hardworking fella would have been declared the topper. 😑 That woulda been the right time for me to move in and declare I should have been the topper instead. What would have happened next? The University would have said I never answered any of the questions. To that my response would have been “I pled the Fifth because the exam questions were unfair and designed to prevent me from emerging as topper”. Noticing this in the news some successful lawyer/s with high-powered team would have taken up my case pro bono. πŸ‘ Asking for a stay in declaration of exam results a date in the distant future would have been set to hear my case. I could then ignore repeated summons for me to appear in person for the case hearing claiming I was too busy to appear in court. A ruling would be issued against me. My legal team would then appeal against the ruling saying I never got a fair chance to state my case and take it to a higher court. The same scenario would play out till the case reached the highest court of the land in a few years. I would then appear in court and plead the Fifth to every question asked. Exasperated by all the delay and wary of dragging this case any further both sides would have reached a compromise: Declare me as joint topper! πŸ‘
Would that be justice for the person who studied hard and topped the exam? I plead the Fifth, of course! πŸ˜‚

P.S. What better day than Labor Day and Teachers’ Day in India to plead my case πŸ˜„

Noted Carnatic vocalist TV Sankaranarayanan

Noted Carnatic (South Indian Classical Music) vocalist TV Sankaranarayanan passed away couple of days ago. Wanted to share my own TV Sankaranarayanan (TVS) personal experience. Dates back to early 1980s. Classical music used to be played regularly at home, on radio and cassette player, as both mom and dad are classical music lovers. In addition a local music association in my Mumbai suburb, Mulund Fine Arts, used to arrange concerts by professional musicians one weekend in a month. At that time I was more into old Hindi movie songs, not that I did not like classical music. Movie songs offered instant satisfaction similar to fast food whereas classical music required some patience and more discerning taste to enjoy fully, similar to a multi-course meal. One weekend dad was either out of town or had some other prior commitment and he couldn’t attend that weekend’s concert. The performer scheduled to perform was TVS. Typically concerts started at 6pm and ended by 9pm. So, mom went by herself and asked me to reach the concert venue before 9pm for the walk back home after the concert. I went there before 9pm and waited outside. By then the singer had sung the more elaborate songs and was moving into short pieces (tukkadas) which, like desserts, are very tasty and crowd pleasers as those pieces can be appreciated even without technical knowledge. TVS was singing a familiar song (Srinivasa Thiruvenkata) starting with a prayer called viruttam. In the context of a meal viruttams are like free bread or chips and salsa offered to set the stage for the piΓ¨ce de rΓ©sistance, the main course, to follow. I like viruttams quite a bit (just as I like the bread/olive oil, chips/salsa and wouldn’t mind eating them as entire meal πŸ˜ƒ). I digress. As TVS sang a familiar viruttam (before the main song Srinivasa Thiruvenkata, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpzI3BpCmU8 , I stood transfixed. As the singer moved to the main song I found myself drawn into the performing hall to hear even closer. That song was followed by another favorite of mine song “Eppa Varuvaro” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVMkzDWhMII ) and followed by the popular English note (starts at 2:16:35 of this video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjegI6T9JJc ) . I realized then even a classical song can be enjoyed without much technical knowledge if the lyrics are divine and the singer is inspired. At the end of the concert as we were walking back home I was speaking with an elderly gentleman from my neighborhood who had more knowledge and finer taste than me. I mentioned to him I really enjoyed the concert and he said it was inded a fantastic concert. Sometime later I remember reading it was one of the best concerts organized by the organization, Mulund Fine Arts. The concert venue was an open hall in a pre-school (called Shishu Kunj). Not exactly a location that was acoustically designed! TVS probably has sung better and in better venues but his singing that night was special for me. In the intervening period of 35+ years some things have changed (music is now available on demand anytime, anywhere πŸ‘), some things haven’t changed (my knowledge is still the same as is my love for fast food πŸ˜‚) but some memories are indelible πŸ‘Œ. Thanks for creating that moment for me, TV Sankaranarayanan. Rest in peace πŸ™

2022 Raj Farm Update# 12: Saucy SanMs and Pretty CherryTs!

Saucy San Marzano tomatoes (SanMs) courting pretty Cherry tomatoes (CheeryTs) 😍
That’s like a big NFL player in love with a petite gymnast! πŸ˜„
“Bountiful harvest” say the sporting cherry tomatoes, about their saucy suitors, with a twinkle in the eye πŸ₯°
Sassy! Mighty crush I must say! πŸ˜‚πŸ‘

Weekend Humor: Have you seen my wife? πŸ™‚

It’s a busy weekend at a LA area shopping mall. A security guard near the exit door of the mall notices a man running around as if he is searching frantically for something. The security guard calls out to the man
Security Guard: Sir, can I help you?
The man approaches the security guard, flashes a badge and announces “I am Lt Columbo, from LAPD”
Security Guard (looking at the badge): Ah, the famous Columbo from the LAPD homicide department! What brings you here, Sir? If I may, I must say I have been dying to meet you (and lets out a guffaw pleased with his own joke) πŸ˜‚
Lt Columbo: You sure do have a sense of humor πŸ˜€ I am looking for my wife. We were shopping in the mall and I don’t know where she is gone. Have you seen her?
Security Guard: You got to be kidding, Sir! You have mentioned about her so many times on TV but we haven’t ever seen her 😊 To help you I will need more details. Can you provide some?
Lt Columbo: Sure, she is very bright woman! And… (absentmindedly Lt Columbo walks away)
Security Guard: “And” what, Sir?
Lt Columbo: Just one more thing πŸ˜‰ She loves dogs. She absolutely adores our dog
Security Guard: What kind of dog? Is the dog with her here?
Lt Columbo: No, the dog is in the car
Security Guard: In that case I will need something more. Do you have her picture with you?
Lt Columbo: I sure do! Here, hold this cigar for me. (Rummaging through his raincoat/jacket) I have it somewhere here. Hmmm…Can you hold my jacket for me? (hands over the jacket to the security guard and searches in his coat pockets and only finds some old shopping bills, a boiled egg and other pieces of useless paper. Removes his coat and hands it to the security guard). Can you hold my coat too?
Security Guard (struggling to hold it all): Sure, Sir! Are you looking in your shirt and trouser pockets?
Lt Columbo: Yes, I am. (after a bit) Hmmm…Can you believe it, I can’t find it (absentmindedly playing with his belt buckle)
Security Guard: Whoa, whoa, hold on, you could be booked for indecent exposure if you remove your shirt and trousers too in public, Sir! 😟
Lt Columbo: No worries, I will look for her myself and walks in towards the shops
Security Guard: Sir, you forgot your coat, jacket, half-smoked cigar, egg and other pieces of paper!
Lt Columbo: Oh, sorry about that. (Picks up his stuff). I better hurry, hopefully she is not searching for me now (and runs towards the exit)
Security Guard: Sir, that’s the exit. I thought you were looking inside the mall πŸ˜„
Lt Columbo: Oh, yeah! Thanks! (and runs inside the mall)
Security Guard (shaking his head and mutters) “I wonder how he solves all his cases!” πŸ˜‚

2022 Raj Farm Update# 8: Creeping body of evidence!

Earlier this week got an unexpected call from my lawyer, DL, who said he had bad news. This is how the conversation went.
DL: I have got bad news for you, Raj! You have to appear before court for a misrepresentation case.
Raj: Really? You got to be kidding! I am a tax-paying, law-abiding citizen. Why am I in trouble?
DL: Nope, it’s serious and for real. You got to haul your ass to a court in Sicily, Italy!
Raj: Whoa, whoa, some respect please! I don’t pay you big bucks to call me names like lazy bum. Even if that’s true those are my features, not bugs πŸ˜‰
DL: Well, my friend, the case of misrepresentation against you has been brought on you by the famed Marzano, Roma and Cucumbera families.
Raj: That’s surprising indeed.
DL: Surprise it may be but you have to show up in a court in Sicily, Italy, within 48 hours
Raj: It’s busy, farming season for me. Can’t it wait?
DL: I am sorry but you cannot reject or put off the court summons. Will be treated as contempt of court I am afraid.
Raj: Ok, I will take the earliest flight. See you there

Off I flew to Sicily. Had a brief discussion with my lawyer on reaching there to understand the charges against me and to discuss defense strategy. The next morning we headed for the court. As we entered the courtroom I heard strains of familiar, haunting and melodious music, yet it had a spine-chilling effect on me. Felt surreal as if I was entering Godfather territory! Take a listen, you will agree ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWqKPWO5T4o ).
It was a rather somber atmosphere in the courtroom. As the very stern looking judge, Rule Legali (RL), entered the room the bailiff announced “All arise!”.
The charges were read. In one of the posts on Raj Farm I had referred to cucumber as tomato (by mistake, I must add) to the consternation of Marzano, Roma and Cucumbera families. That’s considered a very serious offense in Italy I was informed, especially in the Naples and Sicily areas. I spotted in the courtroom Stan Marzano, Tony Roma and EL Cool C (Everybody Loves Cool Cucumber) with their family consiglieres. The prosecution began its case.

Sicily Prosecutor (SP): Good morning, everyone. I am here representing the Marzano, Roma and Cucumbera families. The actions of defendant, Raj, have caused pain and anguish to those families. We will make our case today before the esteemed judge and when we are done there will be no doubt about guilt of the defendant. As witnesses in the court we have Herby Parsley and Flavy Basil. They are sworn to omerta but will make an exception today as there is Sicilian honor at stake. Let’s start with Prosecution Exhibit 1.
Your honor, last weekend the defendant, while posting about Raj Farm, referred to cucumber as tomato ( https://therajblog.com/…/2022-raj-farm-update-5…/ ) upsetting the famed families.
Raj: LOL, did the cucumber lose its cool? πŸ˜‚
Judge Rule Legali (RL): Mr Raj, we are here to transact serious business. Cut down on your wisecracks or you will be in trouble for disrupting the court’s proceedings.
Raj: Sorry, your Honor. It won’t happen again πŸ™
Judge RL: Mr SP, you may proceed with your case!
SP: As I mentioned earlier the affected families zealously guard their reputation and any misrepresentation directly affects their business and public perception of them. I think the actions of defendant were deliberate.
Defense Lawyer (DL): I object, your Honor!
Judge RL: Objection overruled! Mr DL, let’s first hear what Mr SP has to say.
SP: Thanks, your Honor! The shape and size of the leaves should have been a dead giveaway to the defendant as to the identity of the plant.
Judge RL: That’s true.
SP: Now, let’s look at Prosecution Exhibit 2. Later this week the defendant, in another post ( https://therajblog.com/…/2022-raj-farm-update-7-c-is-for/ ), tried to cover up this error. We believe the creeping body of evidence is what forced the defendant to take such action. It was not from remorse for a wrong action.
DL: I object, your Honor! We resent that insinuation 😑
Judge RL: Objection sustained. Mr SP, just present the facts of the case. The court will make its ruling.
SP: Ok, your Honor! We wish to call Herby Parsley and Flavy Basil as our witnesses. Herby and Flavy confirm that they have seen Raj around the tomato and cucumber plants long enough to be able to recognize them.

Judge RL: I have heard the prosecution’s case. Mr DL, you may proceed with your rebuttal. Do you want to present any evidence?
DL: Sure, your Honor! Let’s look at Defense Exhibit 1. As you can see, your Honor, the tomato and cucumber plants are so intertwined it’s a little difficult to differentiate between them.
Judge RL: That’s true!
DL: Further let’s look at Prosecution Exhibits 1 and 2. Granted in the 1st exhibit the leaves make it clear it’s a cucumber plant but it’s easy to miss that out given that it’s surrounded by tomato plants. Only in the 2nd exhibit it becomes apparent that the plant in focus is cucumber. In any case of this nature it’s important to consider the intent. Why would my client, Raj, sing praises of the cucumber ( https://therajblog.com/…/2022-raj-farm-update-7-c-is-for/ ) if there was malicious intent? It was just a honest mistake, your Honor! We request that the case be dismissed πŸ™
Judge RL: We will look at the case made by both the prosecution and defense and then arrive at a judgment. At this time does the defendant wish to say anything?
Raj: Yes, your Honor! I apologize for the misrepresentation. As my lawyer mentioned it was just a honest mistake and there was no malicious intent involved. πŸ™
Judge RL: Ok, gentlemen, both sides have presented their case. Thanks for presenting your case in a civil manner, the court appreciates that. Rule legally I must and rule legally I will! We will reassemble at the end of summer when I will announce my ruling. Mr Raj, I would suggest you get some tomatoes and cucumbers from Raj Farm at that time.
Raj: Yes, your Honor, it shall be my honor to do that! πŸ‘ Will the court rule Guilty or Not Guilty? What will be consequences of a Guilty verdict?
Judge RL: Mr Raj, considering the exceptional circumstances of this case the verdict is going to be Tasty or Not Tasty! We take our business seriously but we do have a sense of humor.
Raj: Haha, you do have an unique sense of humor! 😊
Judgle RL: The court is dismissed for the day. See you all at the end of summer! Stay safe! πŸ™