by Ramesh Mahadevan

Till recently, I had only half a million cousins in the USA. Last week changed all that, with the arrival of cousins Mahesh and Ganesh from India. I am serious. Independent sources can confirm this. Mahesh will join U. of Penn, Mech Engg. and Ganesh, the brother of Suresh, will join Something College of City University, New York for MBA. Folks, feel free to 'orient' them if you run into them. But this post isn't about them.

One of the biggest complaints about my SCI posts has been that they are too 'impersonal and out of touch with the mainstream'. That I don't even respond to posts made in response to my posts and daisy-chain them into a 'topic'. Maybe it is time to change all that. Here is a post with personal touches and mostly truths, just like the previous paragraph. It is about the fellow Colorado SCIers and cows, a topic that was discussed on the net.

The first time I met Rajan Parikkar was when India was getting thrashed by West Indies in World Cup cricket, after having consumed countless beers. He is truly 'erudite' (I had always wanted to use this word since my GRE days !) about music and his interests are not limited to just Hindustani classical music, but also to Thyagaraja and Ilayaraja. When I met him the other day, there was a cow near us !

That was during the 'India Day' arranged by the Hare Krishna folks. (The local desi population in this area hasn't yet reached a critical mass to organize 'India days') The cow was a part of making people aware of vegetarianism. They probably rented the cow from one of the nearby farms on an hourly basis. As you may already know, we have many, many farms near where I live. In fact, when we get out of work, we go straight to the farms and milk cows. These farms not only have cows, but also have horses and even llamas. (There is even a llama here named Dalai) Oops, I am digressing.

That cow was an udderly massive animal, unlike its cousins in India. Two colonies of sparrows could easily play football on its back. People were allowed to 'pet' it and it was enjoying every minute of the attention, giving nonchalant looks, as if someone else was getting petted. It looked a little tickled at times, perhaps because some guys may have petted its erogenous zones by mistake. Its tail seemed to have a life of its own, swatting flies non-stop. I too went near and touched it gingerly. The cow gave me a cold look through its peripheral vision. As if possessed by devil, I had this incredible urge to tip the cow, like what Manu ('Njan') had mentioned. But the damned animal was firmly anchored on all its four feet. Also, I realized that if the cow would 'tip', then I would 'pit', i.e 'tip' in the opposite direction, to conserve linear and other momenta. I perished the thought instantly. Since then, I have been trying to assemble the 'Dream team of Colorado SCIers' for the sport of 'Cow Tipping'.

With a little persuasion, Rajan agreed to join the team. "But don't tell anyone on the Rec.Music.India.Classical" was his only precondition. The next person on our team is Paul Chamanoor. I met him only last week. Self, like many of you, simply love his posts. They have a certain logic-defying impishness about them. We met for lunch at one of these pseudo-European cafes. Paul, alias Icarus, had scotch-taped his wings and could not even handle the sizzle of chicken fajitas. Either he was a slow eater or a fast talker or both. By the time he was on story number 232, he was only on the second piece of chicken. I had already stuffed my face quite well in the meantime and flushed it down with several coffees. When he was on the next story, in walked one of the vice presidents of our company with eleven of his family members and sat in one of the nearby tables, kind of inhibiting me. When Paul left us (to go to the church, of course) we agreed to get together next time, under the influence, near an unsuspecting cow.

Up the highway, an hour away, lives Kannan Subramaniam. I have known him even before he made a single post on the net. His first person, singular stories, whether on the net or in first person, are always fun. If his first passion is hiking in the mountains, his second passion is passion itself. (Also known as 'hiking with women'). Let me not delve into Woody Allenesque privacy-invading, although it is he who started it all and told the whole world about the seven remote controls in my entertainment system.

He is also a P. G. Wodehouse trivial pursuee. During one of the dinners, he discovered that someone else at the table was also a Wodehouse fan and dueled with him all evening with questions like "What is Jeeves' middle name ?" "How many aunts did Psmith have ?" "Who is the Emperor of Blandings ?" They matched each other trivium for trivium. Till I butted in, unable to contribute anything to the conversation and confessed to being a neo-illiterate. I had read just one Wodehouse novel all my life. "Which one ?" asked Kannan. I replied "The frozen assets", at which point, Kannan's face contorted and he was stunned. He, the biggest Wodehousian of all, had not read this Wodehouse opus. Somebody else at the table also spoke up and said "Yes, I too have read the 'Frozen assets'. It was a great book, I must say". Kannan went paler than the Raita on the table. The one book that he missed reading was read by several Wodehouse non-fans. If we hadn't restrained him, he would have darted out to the nearest library the next instant in search of this book, to complete his Wodehouse education. Folks, he may be asking around one of you by email, if your library has it. Don't yield to his friendly persuasions. Don't help him find this book. Let us slowly drive him nuts and get him all fired up to lead our team, against 'em cows.

Yes. The Colorado gang is for real. (Even though I use Carnegie Mellon account) And Veeramony Sthanumurthy, eat your heart out. And I was in Minnesota just this morning, at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, no less - parked at the Indiana level in the East Parking lot. No kidding.

Copyright(R) Mahadevan Ramesh