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September 13, 2004 09:00 IST

Telecommuting doesn't work!

Working from home was an option I used to exercise at least twice a week.

Until the day I was in the midst of a conference call with my boss and some senior representatives from a client company, and my wife entered the room and banged the door shut, an interruption that did not please my boss too much.

My wife wanted to tell me something urgent, so she whispered in my ear, shattering my concentration.

Then she went downstairs and got into her car. As I watched from the window, she backed up in a hurry and banged straight into my car.

Shit, I yelled, just as my boss finished asking my opinion on a rather important issue.

My wife, unaware of this drama, was enacting her own. After making sure no one was watching, she wiped away the paint marks. Then she caressed my car and gently kissed it before zipping away.

I know I can't handle another escapade like this. I have decided never to work from home again.

Abhishek Nagrath, Dallas

Hema, sweet Emma

We recently moved into a new home.

Since it is located in an area populated by a lot of desis, my wife quickly made a lot of friends.

Meanwhile, a Cuban family moved into the townhouse across the street. One day, as my wife and her friends were out for an evening stroll, our Cuban neighbour came out and introduced herself.

My wife was very excited. "You know," she told me, "that Cuban lady is very nice. She even has an Indian name – Hema."

I happened to meet our new neighbour the following day. "Hi," she said. "My name Emma."

But, to all her new Indian friends, Emma will remain Hema.

Somnath Nag, New Jersey

What's in a name?

My cousin's wife was due to deliver a baby boy in a couple of weeks and he was really excited.

I asked if he had thought of any names for his son. "Abhinay," he replied. I heard 'abhi nahi' ('not now' in Hindi) and thought he had either not selected a name or didn't want to tell me if he had. So I asked when he would choose one.

"I just told you – Abhinay!"

I told him to choose a name quickly as the baby was due soon.

"I just told you, right? Abhinay!" The irritation in his voice was unmistakable.

My wife, who overheard the entire conversation, burst out laughing. Annoyed, I asked her to share the joke. Between giggles, she explained the baby's name would be Abhinay, meaning expression.

Anand Jayram, Houston

Thank you, babudom!

India's infamous babudom can sometimes spring a surprise.

I had applied for a PAN (Permanent Account Number, provided by the income-tax department) card that should have reached me in 15 days. Given the red-tape that envelops every government-related activity in India, I was not surprised to find myself still waiting for it a month later.

Then, another month passed. I decided it was time for some action. I approached another government channel – the GSD – which is responsible for giving you information about your PAN card. Of course, I didn't expect any response.

Which is why I was stunned when they replied within a day! I wrote back with a detailed query. Again, they responded within a day!

Thanks to their efficiency, I was able to trace my card. It had been sent to my hometown instead of my office address.

Thank you, babudom!

Gaurav Johari, Bangalore

Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Telecommuting?

If banging door shut doesnt please your boss, your boss should listen to Dog-barks, Cat-meows, Baby-cries, Lawn-mowing noises that I hear in my conference calls. ...

Posted by prime135

Sub: Indian babudom

Gaurav, for ur information, PAN thing ideally takes 45 days, not 15 days. In 15 days u can get the status online,not the physical copy ...

Posted by Tanmoy Das

Sub: what is in a name?

That was a good piece of joke. I couldn't stop laughing as I read it. Thanks rediff diary for providing simple real life humors like ...

Posted by Steve


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