Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pulling My Own Leg

We have an in-house magazine. It is called The Big PICture. The last issue was a humour special. I contributed the article reproduced below. I have made some additions to it.


A sense of humour is not just about enjoying a joke, especially when the target is someone other than you. Here are some I have pulled on myself or really good ones pulled on me by others.

I had some ear problems. I went to the ENT specialist. He was a serious, gentle and thoughtful man. He put me on the examination chair, peered into my ear with an Otoscope. I felt that he was peering right into the innards of my head. After some serious and concentrated peering, he took the instrument out and said thoughtfully, as if talking to himself, “There is nothing organic”. I asked him with a disappointed look, “Not even a cabbage?”. I had to wait quite some time before he could recover from his laughter and give me a prescription.

I joined Philips 9 years ago and after a couple of months a friend came to visit me at work. We chatted for a while and he asked me what my department was called. Intellectual Property and Standards, I told him with some not inconsiderable pride. His question, with a dead pan expression, was, “What work do you have there, then?”

This friend and I worked together earlier. In that place, drinks were served at your desk twice a day. Before or after that, you could not get anything to drink for love or for money. You gave a coupon, worth 15 Paise, (Ya, I do mean 15 Paise) to the tea boy and he gave you a steel tumbler full of the drink of your choice – well coffee or tea. We two hosted the morning drink for all hands on a particular day of the year and called it our birthday – spiritual birthday. The first of April.

I have very low tolerance for alcohol. One glass of beer and I feel light headed. (It is economical, isn’t it? Alas, I can’t brag like some macho guys – “Eight pegs of whiskey! Nothing happens.” Why drink then? Might as well drink water, right?) The alcohol goes straight to my head, so to say. The reason? Well, could it be that “nature abhors a vacuum”?

I was in IIT Kharagpur doing my M Tech. I was known to be an analog and power electronics hardware geek, averse to software. A friend came to my room and found the book Artificial Intelligence in my room. “How come?”, he asked me expressing surprise. “I have no natural intelligence of my own. I was wondering if this helps!” was my reply.

Just the other day, I took my wallet out of my pocket and a comb fell out. My impudent son exclaimed, “Oh! You carry a comb!”

Recently I lost my old mobile. My sons insisted on my buying a smart phone. I have a gnawing suspicion that they wanted something smart about their dad!

The best thing about pulling your own leg periodically is that it hurts less when others do! On a more serious note, it saves your head from being filled with hot air and hence prevents people from laughing at you and makes them laugh with you.


The article ended with this self (pen) portrait:

About the Author: Anil is an electronics engineer engaged in the serious business of protecting Intellectual Property of the company. His hobbies include writing blogs (quite a different cup of tea from writing patent specifications), visual arts (sketching, watercolour painting), music (Veena), poetry (Kannada) and so on, all of which he takes seriously! 


  1. Have always been a secret fan of your blog ever since i interned at IP & S in Summer of 2010. This is another good humorous post from your keyboard (i won't say pen) :P Best Line: "I have no natural intelligence of my own".. Hahahahaha...

  2. Anonymous8:48 pm

    One beer? :-)
    Have you thought of the possibility that you are already natuarlly high on life itself :-) so all it probably takes could be few sips and Voila!

  3. Hi Sachin! So nice to have had a secret admirer! :) Thanks for the comment and reading my blog. I am glad that you think that the line you have quoted is a joke! ;-)

    Dear Anonymus, I would like to convince myself that you know me and hence make the comment! The "voila" makes me think that I know you too! Many thanks for the comment!

  4. Ha...ha.. amazing...very humorous...
    The “Not even a cabbage?” is a killing one...laughed a lot...glad to see this ..will follow.

  5. Thanks Soman. So glad!

  6. Anonymous9:43 pm

    He!He! Good ones!! I sometimes laugh too much about myself!! The worst fear is when you for sure know that what you said was a sure wisecrack and the others can't even get a hint!!

  7. stumbled across ur blog...not even a cabbage :):) had me in splits...loved ur postings

  8. Thanks Anonymous Nandini :-)
    Thanks Naveen.

  9. I actually imagined a cabbage while smiling in a white shell! Nice one that! My elderly Iyengar friend was fond of answering "... to ensure that others will not put the 'naama' to me...". People used to question him "Why do you put that 'naama' on your forehead so boldly?"