26 December 2007

My Mumbai/Goa Holiday - Part I

Day 01: 8th December

My holiday started today. Had an early morning, 11:40 AM flight to catch to Mumbai.

As luck would have it:

- I woke up only at 9:50 AM (couldn't, for some weird reason, sleep the previous night), and by the time I hauled ass out of apartment, it was 10:10 AM.
- I didn't get an auto for 15 minutes.
- No taxis in sight either.

I finally boarded a Volvo coming my way, stopping it by waving frantically and nearly blocking the road.

By the time I reached the airport, it was 10:45 AM, and by the time the huge queue at the entrance, where you put in your check-in baggage through the X-ray machine, cleared, it was 10:55 AM. 45 minutes to departure. I went to the baggage check-in counter, where, when I very optimistically asked them, with big smile on my face, to check-in my bag, they politely (with bigger smiles than mine) and very indirectly asked me to fuck off, telling me that I was very late and had to lug my huge bag for the duration of the flight as cabin baggage. I finally had to subject them through 5 minutes of irresistible charm and wit before they checked-in my bag.

After checking-in bag, found time at the airport to pick up Jed Rubenfield’s The Interpretation of Murder, a murder mystery featuring Sigmund Freud as protagonist. Had heard good things about the book, so thought I'd gift it to my sister.

The flight took off on time, and reached Mumbai 15 minutes before schedule.

Sis was at airport to receive me. The journey home in her car lasted 45 minutes, and for the entire journey, I was holding onto front seat for dear life while her driver kept shifting lanes at high speeds continuously and taking fast turns. My sister, who I thought was generally more jumpy than I was before she came to Mumbai, did not bat an eyelid (except when she had to blink, of course), and kept talking, unfazed. I gave her the book, telling her that someone had recommended the book as a good read, and that she should check it out. She took one look at it and told me that she had already read the book, and it was she who had recommended it to me in the first place. :|

After lunch at home, sis and I headed out to Jahangir Art Gallery, where, according to a colleague, you get posters of old classic movies in the pavement shops. We got down near Jahangir, and went to this bookstore called Magna. Like it happens to me in other bookstores, I just had to pick up something... anything. I ended up picked up Haruki Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Urge satisfied, we went to Jahangir, where we found not a single movie poster, either on display or on sale anywhere in the vicinity. Gee, thanks a ton, Vivek. :|

Went back home, sacked out for a while, before I headed to Hard Rock Cafe to meet a friend. Sis and B-I-L told me it would take me 15-20 minutes by walk, so decided to walk it. We were to meet at 7:30 PM, and so I left home at around 7:10 PM. On the way, called my friend, telling her I might be 5-10 minutes late, and asked her to go ahead and get a table, but she asked me to go ahead of her and to give her a call 5 minutes before I reach, and when I asked her why, she gave me some logic about it not looking nice if a girl goes early and has to wait for a guy. Girls, I tell you... :|

Reached HRC at around 7:50 PM. They had some benefit concert, so the entrance passes were 500 bucks a head, out of which 300 went to charity. Friend came, and we went in.

This was the first time I was going to any HRC, and I loved the place. The place was high-roofed and spacious. Rock memorabilia everywhere. The music wafted all over the place like mist, flowing smoothly down the wall onto the floor and slowly but gradually enveloping everything. Them playing Pink Floyd's Shine on You Crazy Diamond I-V only heightened the effect.

Most HRC employees had on these black uniforms, and had fixed artificial white wings on their backs. Hanging around the waiters and the DJ was this one annoying girl, dressed in white, who also had wings attached, and who had just about as much make-up as a goddam geisha. She was wearing this tiny skirt which showed a lot of leg, and for some strange reason, raised her left leg bent at the knee, and rubbed it against her right leg forward and backward, like a dog which has oscillating 'yes/no' thoughts about peeing someplace because it doesn't resemble a lamp-post or car tyre.

We were trying to get a table, but because of the concert, most of the tables were booked in advance. Firangs occupied most of the other tables. After a while of waiting, we decided to go someplace for dinner, and left.

We went to Phoenix Mills, a mall near my sis's place, where we had dinner at this nice and quiet joint called Noodle Bar, where my friend gifted me these books: one of the Calvin & Hobbes comic books and Haruki Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (yeah, the same book I bought a few hours back...). I had got her John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams/Mark Carwardine and a few Mani Ratnam movies.

Then came the tough "Writing stuff on a book" part. If there's anything I absolutely suck at, it's gotta be writing stuff on a book I'm about to gift someone. I always think of writing something witty, but whenever I take pen in hand, my mind's a complete blank (like a blackboard just cleanly rubbed, without the slightest trace of chalk, by some over-zealous class first-ranker who comes half an hour early to school especially for this purpose) and finally end up scribbling something dumb, something achievable only by someone as dumb as Big Moose or Moe, the class bully in Calvin & Hobbes. I took a good 10 minutes to think about something to write, and eventually wrote "Happy Reading", and "Hope you enjoy the book" or some crap on those lines. :|

We later went to the Worli Seaface. After a while, she left, since she had to go to Pune early the next day.

It was only 11:15 PM, and since I didn't have to go to Pune the next day, I finally went back to Phoenix Mills, to this place called Brew Bar. The place was more or less empty (only one other table apart from mine was occupied). After I had settled in and was drinking beer and reading the Calvin & Hobbes I'd just got as a gift, the waiter, a tall reed-thin guy, walked over to me, looked at me for a few seconds and then, tilting his head to one side and pointing a finger at me as if he was trying to correctly guess something, asked me,”Sir, you're from the South, aren't you?"

I said "Yeah... u guessed from the moustache?"

He said, grinning widely, "Yes, sir. Where in the South are you from?"

"Kerala", I lied.

He then went on to tell me that he had worked with a lot of South Indians and had liked them, and that they were hard workers, smart and good at heart. After a minute or two of this and related topics about moustaches, etc., the conversation fizzed out and he went back to what he was doing, and I went back to reading Calvin & Hobbes.

When I got the bill, I noticed that it was much lesser than the amount I had mentally calculated after looking at the menu. I looked at the waiter, and he grinned at me. The guy had just given me a 30% discount on the bill, only because I was a South Indian!

I walked home, read awhile and slept.

Day 02: 9th December

I was woken up really early, at 8:30 AM, by sis, with whom I was to go to Dombivli to visit my uncle, aunt and cousins (2 sisters and a brother) I haven't seen in ages. Sis asked me to take a book along, just in case I got bored on the train, so I took Koji Suzuki’s The Ring (yeah, the one that got made into a movie).

We took a taxi to Byculla Station, and after figuring out which platform to go to, we boarded a semi-fast train to Dombivli. We luckily got seats (my sister got the window :-( ). My sister started reading a book she had got, while I generally looked all around me.

The train was getting crowded, and on the far side of the same row, near the window on the opposite side, sat a Muslim family: an old guy wearing a prayer cap, and 3 old women in burkhas with veils lifted.

Ahead of me, by the entrance to the compartment stood 3 college kids who were joking around and laughing, and whenever the train started from a station, they found some girl standing on the platform and loudly shouted out: "I Love You"; one hand holding the railing, the other stretched out towards the girl, their faces full of fake pain and longing. They obviously got some kick out of this, for they did this at every station the train stopped at and started from, and afterwards, would laugh, not lecherously but good-naturedly, for a whole minute or two.

A Hindu couple with two sweet-looking kids got on board a station and stood on our side. The husband, a little plump, wearing a teeka, looked like a slightly heavier version of Govinda. He had a very nice, honest smile. The wife, apart from the trademark Hindu bindi on her forehead, had a very neat assortment of teekas (very unlike the completely random teeka-like things movie heroines have on their forehead after a rape scene), and in her hand, held a basket of flowers/coconuts. The kids, being kids, were restless after a minute or two, and squirmed in their parents' laps. One kid said something to the father, pointing to the window where the Muslim family was sitting. The father then requested the Muslim gentleman to let his kids stand near the window. The Muslim gentlemen and the women nodded in total agreement, as if saying "Of course, if they're kids, they have to stand by the window", and took the kids by hand, patted their heads, pulled their cheeks, kissed them and let them stand by the window. One of the two women by the window had made one kid sit on her lap, and the other woman was pointing somewhere outside and telling the kid something. The parents, in the meanwhile, took no notice of the kids, and were talking to each other and joking/laughing.

My heart warmed at these sights. In a sudden rush of emotion, I sent my friend an SMS, saying "I'm on the Mumbai local train. I've brought a book to read, but I find myself looking at the people around me, who seem very nice, and have such honest smiles :-)".

Only later that evening was I to realise I had spoken too soon…


17 December 2007

Cookies, by Douglas Adams

This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person is me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, UK. I was a bit early for the train. I'd gotten the time of the train wrong. I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packets of cookies. I went and sat at a table, newspaper, coffee cup, packets of cookies. There's a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase. It didn't look like he would do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.

Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There's nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies. You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know. But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn't do anything, and thought, What am I going to do?

In the end I thought, Nothing for it, I'll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, that settled him. But it hadn't because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie. Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. "Excuse me, I couldnt help but notice..." I mean, it doesnt really work.

We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back.

A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies. The thing I particularly like about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who's had the same exact story, only he doesn't have the punch line.

16 December 2007

Music Band Wallpaper Site

Just found this good music band wallpaper site. Do give it a dekko:


16 October 2007

Caterer woes

We have this new caterer at our office cafetaria. I write about this caterer, not because the food's good or anything (it, in fact, is no better than the usual crap dished out by the others), but because of this 'feedback' guy they've posted near the cafetaria door, whose job it is to ask everyone if they're okay with the food.

This guy's presence, though annoying, is helpful in a way because these days, I'm in no mood to go through that trial-and-error thing we usually have to do with cafetaria food (taking a bit of whatever looks eatable, hoping that something would turn out to be good), and if this guy's around, I know for a fact that the food will be shitty, except probably for the rice and curd (which no one can possibly screw up, even me), and so I restrict my lunch to just these.

I usually avoid talking to the guy, not because I might end up being rude to him, but because I might feel bad about it later (I too am, after all, a nice guy... ha ha) and the last thing I need, looking at the current state of things, is this feeling (I even put up with my friends these days... ask them and they'll tell you how unusually tolerant and quiet I've become of late).

Anyway, this guy has this particular way of doing this feedback thing. He stands at his 'post' like a bouncer in a discotheque, hands folded, scanning the expressions of people coming out, and anyone with an expression betraying even the tiniest sign of displeasure, he closes in on them and asks them for their feedback. All this, with an extremely humble look on his face.

Last week was no different. He was standing there as usual, doing his routine, when I came out after lunch with my trademark blank expression, and he must have sensed something unusual about this, for he stopped and asked me, with an honest, innocent tone (like the one employed by Kindergarten kids while acting in one of those Annual Day things, where everyone plays a goddam vegetable or animal and steps forward to talk two lines or something in an honest-as-hell tone) and this real earnest look on his face (his last name's probably Hemingway or something... ha ha):

Him: Sir, was the food good? Did you like it?

Me: It was pretty bad.

The sly bastard then changed his expression from 'extremely humble' to 'extremely surprised', as if he was representing the best catering service in the whole goddam world, where they employed world-class, highly-paid food tasters or something, and were always used to setting a benchmark of excellence for their other competitors, and the goddam chefs had this healthy competition amongst themselves and strove to surpass each other everyday, thus improving the quality of food and therefore delighting the customer all the time.

Him (with same expression, but shaking his head slightly, probably from disbelief): What was wrong, sir? We would like to improve.

Me: The rice was not cooked fully, the curd was ok (you probably bought it from somewhere outside), and there was more garam masala than yam in the yam thing.

Him: Oh. What about the others?

Me: I didn't eat anything else, but judging by the expression on other peoples' faces, I'm pretty sure they were bad too.

To his face already displaying surprise, he then proceeded to add on expressions of injured pride, regret, resignation, anger (on being let down by his world-class chefs and food-tasters... he was probably gonna sack the entire bunch of bastards that very evening, judging by all the contortions he made with his face), and determination.

Him: Tomorrow, you see, sir. You will definitely like the food.

Me (dropping the red coin into the feedback box): Yeah let's see.

Needless to say, the food sucked the next day too...

12 October 2007

Zuiikin' English

Learn English and Aerobics at the same time through....

Zuiikin' English!!!!!!!!!

Things to look out for:

1. The background music in general, especially between sentences.
2. The way the camera focuses on the girls' legs between sentences, and the way they stand on the tip of their toes in perfect timing to the background music.
3. "Let me off at the nekust corner."
4. Their happy faces when saying "Spare me my life!" and "I was robbed by two men".
5. The exercise for "Let's go dutch!"


And if you thought these were funny, check this out:

If you have, just like me, become a big fan of Zuiikin' English by now, here are a few useful links:

The official homepage of the Zuiikin' English programme on Fuji TV:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuiikin'_English

A few more episodes of Zuiikin' English:

Parodies of the Zuiikin' English programme:

Gu-roo Smaaa-run Gu-roo Smaaa-run
Gu-roo Smaaa-run Gu-roo Smaaa-run
*dinchik dinchik dinchik dinchik dinchik dinchik dinchik dinchik*
Gu-roo Smaaa-run Gu-roo Smaaa-run....

29 September 2007

13 September 2007


We have a group of people at office who organize all these 'feel good' activities so that the average employee thinks our office is a great place to work in. Recently, we got an email which mentioned that this team would be giving away a surprise gift to all employees. Later that afternoon, these people came around, giving away yellow smiley-faced stress balls to everyone with a noble smile on their face and all, as if they were feeding a thousand kids at some goddam orphanage.

All this was pretty much okay, and I was feeling pretty neutral about this whole business, when I realised they were cross-checking from a list whether a particular employee had already received a stress ball or not. I mean, here they were, 'donating' stress balls to everyone, smiling widely and all, as if they found no better joy in life than giving away stress balls to everyone, only to turn around, stone-faced (add a few more of those 'cold, steely' things that Roger Waters keeps talking about in his songs), to tick against someone's name in a goddam list.

The goddam icing on the cake was when these guys took photos of employees when they were accepting these stress balls, and when I say that, I mean these guys took photos of employees exactly when they were accepting these stress balls, you know, both of them in contact with the stress ball in the photo. And going by the preciseness of the moment at which the photo was taken and considering the fact that there was no motion blur in any of the photos, it only means that they actually posed for this.

Posing for photos. That's gotta be the phoniest thing you can ever do. You may argue that photos are good if, twenty years later, you wish to look at them and see how happy you were and 're-live those happy moments' or some other happy-shit reason, but then, from a logical standpoint, I think it's pretty pointless. You may become happy after you've transported yourself to the past, but when you transport yourself back to the present, you're left feeling more melancholic than before.

Anyway, coming back, I had no clue that photos were taken until we got an email the next day with a link to the photos. People smilingly giving away smiley-faced stress balls, and people smilingly accepting them. I had to go out for a short stroll to kind of get back to normal after seeing them photos. I was secretly happy they didn't ask me to pose for a photo or something. I might have had this grim expression of impending doom, or might have 'accidentally' shown a finger or something.

People, I tell you. They're always making a big deal out of things like stress-balls. Try telling them this, and they'll give you some lame, shot-to-shit crap about little things like this making life interesting or making a difference or something.

PS: Couldn't resist posting this photo of an over-stressed colleague's stress-ball.

Random Question: What do stress-balls do when they are over-stressed?

The poet in me awakens...

You are two parts hydrogen,
And one part oxygen.
Pray tell me, o mighty rain,
If you had a headache, would you take a Novalgin?

--Guru "Wordsworth" Smaran

03 September 2007

Uncle & Aunty

The first words I heard last morning were "Hello uncle, is aunty around?"

Some middle-aged woman had not only dialled the wrong number, waking me up at a godforsaken hour (8-something AM on a Sunday morning), an hour when the whole goddam world sleeps, but also thought I sounded old enough to be her goddam uncle.

Uncle, influenced by sleep and the previous day's alcohol, the effects of which hadn't yet worn off, replied, "If uncle had aunty, why would he be like this? Uncle still searching for aunty. Lemme know if you find her", hung up and went back to sleep.

20 August 2007

Reader's Digest and the 3 Mystery Gifts

Recently subscribed to Reader's Digest. This is what was written in the Registration page when I subscribed:

To enjoy the Reader's Digest throughout the year or to Gift a Friend the experience, just fill in the form and we will get back to you right away. Remember, 3 Free Mystery Gifts are waiting to be picked up! You can opt to pay through Credit Card or VPP.

The 3 Free Mystery Gifts was something I was really looking forward to. Images of beautiful RD hardbound books flickered in my head, those RD hardbounds found in much abundance in all the second-hand bookshops, and I grinned inwardly, for books, especially hardbounds, excite me like nothing else. There's something about those hardbounds that make them irresistable. Is it because they are beautifully bound and a pleasure to look at, or because they feel lovely when the tips of your fingers come in contact with them, or because they smell so nice? Or is it because all these things come together to become this beautiful experience of sight, smell and touch?

Anyway, a couple of weeks later, I got my first RD copy. There was however no sign of the 3 Mystery Gifts. I waited a while longer, mentally composing an email to send to the folks at RD meanwhile, thinking about all the wise-ass* things I would say, like, for example: "The 3 Mystery Gifts still remain a mystery", or using "The Mystery of the 3 Mystery Gifts" as the mail subject.

While pondering thus, I completely forgot about the letter box in my office, and when I checked today, I found the 3 Mystery Gifts. However, they did not turn out to be the lovely hardbounds I had dreamt of, but three small booklets printed on cheap paper. :-(

They were these three tiny booklets that were put together in a transparent plastic covering and thoughtfully tied together with cheap, coarse string to hold them together, lest they fall out and I get deprived of my 3 Goddam Mystery Gifts. Reader's "Customer Satisfaction" Digest. I now feel I'd have been happier if they had fallen out, but then, if that would have happened, I would've continued thinking that they were gonna send me lovely hardbounds, and I'd have probably emailed them a stinker or something and wait even longer, only to get these 3 Corny Mystery Gifts in the end. The feeling of writing a stinker, the very thought of investing time and effort and even attempting to infuse word-play, all for 3 goddam booklets would have depressed me no end. Hell, it might have even driven me to suicide.

Anyway, these are the 3 Mystery Gifts, and I can't do anything about it. More depressing than the booklets were their topics:

1. How to Lose Weight and Keep Fit:
Printed on cheap paper, this book has a lot of diagrams of this black-bikini clad girl doing these exercises, and the paper is so bad that you can see the black bikini from the previous page(previous exercise) kinda merge and become a part of the bikini-clad woman in the current page. I dunno why, but bad paper and their effects on diagrams always have a very disturbing effect on me.

2. Time Management: Make Every Second Count:
Yeah, you're right. It does have the dial of a clock on the cover. Apart from the clock, it does have four pictures, three of which are of people wearing official attire and staring at laptops, etc., while the fourth picture is of this guy sitting with his son on the banks of a goddam river, you know, just to show that there is life outside office, and that this book will teach you how to plan your time so that you can sit on a goddam river bank with your goddam son, thus, achieving in the end, a proper work-life balance. Work-life balance. That has gotta be the corniest word I've heard in a very long time.

3. The Assertive You:
The cover of this goddam booklet displays the two hands of this guy. One hand, the left one, is open, the palms facing upwards, while the right hand is formed into a fist, and is held above the left hand. Like the fist is gonna come down on the open-palmed hand. You get the picture? An assertive symbol and all. Know who were the authors? Stanley "Body" Phelps and Nancy "Language" Austin.

Anyway, the more I look at these books, the more they depress me, because I always think about how I expected hardbounds and how RD fucked me in the end. I therefore intend to dispose off these books to members in my team who're either overweight, non-assertive or don't give a shit about time. Have already found a taker for the "How to Lose Weight and Keep Fit" book (the taker was this girl who didn't need to lose weight at all. Girls, I tell you. Even if they're thin as a goddam pencil, they still think they're overweight and would want to lose more weight), but not for the other books.

Therefore, people reading this, if you have read and enjoyed this blog immensely, please leave your name and postal address to win 2 Mystery Gifts.

* - At that time, I thought they were clever statements to make, but I now realise that they are like those corny attempts at wordplay that all those retired "Letters to the Editor" type of old people try in order to show off their superior command of the English language.

PS: Doesn't the title sound a little too Harry Potter-ish?

06 August 2007

Loo Behaviour

If there's one sect of people I hate, it's gotta be those who, when peeing in the loo, spit in the urinal.

Urinal. That's gotta be one of the most disgusting words in English. Think about it, and you'll know what I mean. Life is unfair, probably thought the guy who came up with the word, and therefore coined the word "urinal" after much deliberation, deciding that this was probably the best revenge that a guy who was not at peace with the world could take.

Not to be left behind is the word 'urine' and related words used in conjunction with 'urine'. Like how some people say 'pass urine' instead of using the word 'pee'. "Please pass urine into this small container so that we can do the tests". "Excuse me.. I need to pass urine." Yeah? Don't pass it onto me.

It especially sounds very crude when someone's talking tamil and say stuff like "oru nimisham sir... urine poyittu varen", which, when literally translated, means "one minute sir.. i'll go for urine and come". Go for urine. It's extremely disgusting when people use words like 'urine' in a sentence and end up making a grammatical mistake.

One word I've given a lot of thought to was 'Urine Culture', a word commonly used in laboratories. I've always wondered what the hell 'urine culture' meant. Was is something like folk culture? Did pee samples in labs get together and do something? Or did those lab guys really dig those samples so much?

Anyway, like I said, I hate people who spit into the er... umm... bowl when peeing. I also hate the thick 'thhpt' sound they make when they spit and the 'splat' with which it lands. Whenever I hear these sounds, I instinctively get this strong urge to push them forward towards the bowl, but since we are an evolved species, I find other ways to take revenge.

So if you're reading this and realise that I have, in the past, busted your balls for no good reason, you now know why. Muahahahahahaha!

PS: Girls, steer clear from guys who do this. They're usually assholes. Make sure 'He shouldn't spit while peeing' is one of the important points in your 'My Kinda Guy' list. And in case you were wondering, no, I obviously don't do this. :-)


In case you're planning a change of profession, and have finally zeroed in on becoming a parking attender or a security guard who's in charge of a parking lot, here's the one and only thing that they teach you during training, the only rule you will have to follow to the point of obsession if you plan to stay in the race and/or garner respect from your future peers despite being new in the profession:

When people have found parking space after hunting for nearly an hour, and have parked their bikes/cars and are about to go about their business, finally getting a chance to forget about parking-related woes, tell them that they shouldn't be parking there, and asked them to park elsewhere. Most importantly, before you tell them this, make sure that they have taken the trouble of side-locking bike, and if it's a car, ensure they have locked it, and the entire family has gotten out and has walked about 3-4 steps away from car.

29 July 2007

Wanted: Karate Students

Saw "The Karate Kid" on Sony PIX a week or two back. If, by now, you still haven't yet figured out or seen the movie, it's about this bullied kid, Daniel, who learns Karate from his japanese neighbour Miyagi, and, in the end, kicks the bullies' asses. In the process, he also gets a girl, Ali [a very gorgeous Elisabeth Shue], who also happens to be the head baddie's ex-girlfriend [I wonder why all these bad guys in movies always have to lose their girls to the heroes... poor bastards]. Throw in a couple of 'bonding' scenes of Miyagi and Daniel, a 'date' scene or two with Ali, a feud with a karate school where the baddies learn karate, a Karate Championship ending (I'm sure you know who wins the tournament), and you have the movie.

One constantly gnawing thing about the movie... I wouldn't say irritating, but it was this constantly 'gnawing' thing, if you get what I mean... it's like you don't mind it, but it sticks out like a sore thumb, making you notice it everytime... was Miyagi's accent. I mean, any Japanese guy who's been in the US for a while kinda gets to speak normal english, you know, proper sentence structure and all. But Miyagi, despite living in the US for years, speaks the same goddam Japanese-English spoken by every goddam Japanese character in all of goddam movie history, doing stuff like referring to himself in the third person, and saying stuff like "Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later *squish sound* get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do "yes" or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so", *same squish sound* just like grape. Understand?" Also, in a scene, it's Daniel's birthday, and Miyagi sings "Happy Baaarrrrrsssssday to you". Baaarrrrrsssssday!! What the hell is a 'Baaarrrrrsssssday'??!!

One really bad thing about the movie was that since Miyagi has his origins in the East, the frickin' script-writer decided to throw in all this eastern philosophy shit at every goddamn opportunity. And when I say every goddam opportunity, I mean EVERY GODDAM OPPORTUNITY. I had to feel sorry for this Daniel character, who, apart from us, got a lion's share of Miyagi's strange-utterings-in-the-guise-of-philosophy. For example, there's this scene where the poor bastard, when taking something out of his wallet, drops, by mistake, a polaroid photo of him and his girl. Miyagi, who pounces upon every goddam opportunity to sound wise, likewise pounces upon the photo and says "Miyagi no know you have sweetheart. You both different. Different but same." Different but same. I admit that wasn't anything philosophical, but it sounded philosophical, if you know what I mean. Different but same. That killed me.

Another major letdown was that in one scene, Miyagi is trying to catch a fly with his chopsticks [Guru say Karate/Kung-Fu movie incomplete if guy no catch fly with chopsticks] and when Daniel asks him what he was doing, he says the following Confucious-like saying:"Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything". Till then, I was drooping in my chair like that sunflower in ET, and when Miyagi said this Confucious-like saying, it was like ET touching sunflower and bringing it back to life. I sat up, excited and expecting more quotes like that, perhaps stuff like "Cow with no legs, ground beef" or "Man who drop watch in toilet have shitty time", but in the end, I had to make-do with that one Confucious saying, which wasn't even funny in the first place.

But all was not bad, for we learnt much while watching the training sequences. After Daniel nags Miyagi for a while, asking him to take him as a disciple, Miyagi extracts a promise from Daniel ["We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions."]. Poor unsuspecting Daniel agrees, and Miyagi, cruel bastard that he is, then proceeds to make Daniel wash and wax his car ["Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important."], sand his decks, paint his fence, and finally paint his house, all in the guise of teaching him karate.

When I said we learnt much, it was because after watching the movie, we decided that, considering the kind of money we have to shell out for a domestic help these days, this was the best and most cost-effective way to get someone to sweep and mop the floors of our apartment, wash the bike, do the dishes, wash the loos, cook food, get alcohol from shop, etc. Of course, we have to teach him karate one day or the other, but I'm sure that the three of us room-mates can come up with some karate based on what we've seen in other movies. In the worst case, I'm sure my '36 Chambers of Shaolin' DVD would help to a great extent.

After this, the only thing left would be to enroll this guy in some tournament and make him win it. This too, I think, could be arranged. Let me now go try convincing room-mate to act as opponent and get ass kicked. I think a bottle or two of beer should do the trick...

23 July 2007

Today's Cafetaria Menu

After supplying plain boiled rice with sambar and rasam for the last goddam 200 years, the caterers in our cafetaria decided to add more variety to their offerings and came up with the following:

Ghee Rice: A disgusting thing, in which rice is mixed with ghee [something I have a life-long hatred for] and garnished with all those tiny things you garnish stuff with. Truly pukeworthy.

Bisibela Bath: Sambar Rice, with a lot of special effects [carrots, boondi(one of those things that can't be translated), and peanuts]. Supposedly solid food but ends up being of a pasty consistency. When swallowed, it flows down your throat like radioactive ooze, like thick slime down a drainage pipe.

Lemon Rice: Bright yellow in color, missing the main ingredient: lemon.

Tomato Rice: Rice mixed with Tomato gravy within which lurk several million annoying long rolled-up spiky pieces of tomato skin which invariably get stuck between your teeth, or, if swallowed, miraculously survive the acids of your stomach, only to, like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption, "come out clean on the other side".

Vangi Bath: Brinjal Rice. Tastes as disgusting as it sounds. Brinjals mixed with some weird powder and rice. Need I say more?

There are more, but none come to mind.

Anyway, today, those guys finally ran out of things to mix with the rice, and in the end, you won't believe what they came up with. Take a wild guess. Not in your wildest dreams would you imagine them to come up with...

Milk Rice Bath!

Rice mixed with goddam milk!!

And before you ask, no: I obviously did not try it. But I did ask a few colleagues who did not see the menu and ate it unknowingly. I was like "Hey... how's the milk rice?", and one of them turned red in the face. I asked another, who I did not lunch with, and judging by her about-to-puke expression, I didn't have to wait for her answer to figure out that she had eaten it. A while after she came to know, she told me she was feeling low [strongly suspected as a side-effect]. I suggested a cup of coffee to cheer her up, and gave her the idea to have black coffee, and when she asked me why, I told her that the black coffee would mix with the milk rice in her stomach to become coffee rice, and that this was something the cafetaria guys hadn't thought of [atleast not yet]. Needless to say, she did not find this idea very appealing.

Anyway, I know you guys won't believe me that there indeed exists something called 'Milk Rice Bath'. So at the risk of being labelled insane by all and sundry, I took a photo of the goddam cafetaria menu when everyone was around. Here it is:

12 July 2007

Captioned T-shirts

I have something against people who wear T-shirts with supposedly wise-ass captions. They'd have probably gone shopping, seen the T-shirt which has some lame, done-to-death quote like "The best way to avoid a hangover is to stay drunk" or "I went all the way to America, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt", thought it really funny and original, also thinking that they were probably the only people in the world wearing a T-shirt with that caption, and would have then bargained like hell for it and would've finally bought it, satisfied look on their face and all. And while buying the T-shirt, they'd also have thought about how everyone would look at it the next day and how people would think how funny the caption is and how cool s/he is and all.

The next day, just before wearing the T-shirt, they'd think about all that attitude they're gonna exude that day, and they'd wear it with a smug smile and all. And finally, when they come to office, they'd have this fake swagger of hips but very matter-of-fact and normal expression on their face, as if the T-shirt was some 20 years old, lying in some corner of the house somewhere, and they wore it because there was no other T-shirt available, and that they never really gave the caption much thought. But one look at them, and you know they're faking it, because the 'normal' expression is a different kind of normal, and you can instantly see through it because of this subtle-yet-obvious smirk plastered all over their face, and also because they act consciously normal, if you know what I mean... doing stuff like looking elsewhere whenever people look at the caption or talking a little more animatedly so that people notice them and eventually their T-shirt. And if someone actually goes upto them and says something like "Hey... nice T-shirt", they'd give this surprisingly amused look, as if they never expected someone to come upto them and compliment them on a goddam 20-year-old T-shirt, and they'd then say thanks and change the goddam topic immediately, as if talking about the T-shirt was trivial and that there were more important things to talk about.

People wearing captioned T-shirts, I tell you. They have to be the phoniest bastards on earth...

Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny

I've got so much work these days, I feel like Joe Pesci in this clip...

11 July 2007

Strange occurence at office

Weird shit just happened at office! I was working on some database-related work when suddenly a bloody bat (not the one used in frickin' cricket, but one of them Count Dracula ones) materialized out of nowhere and started flying all over the floor, coming damn close to me thrice or frice (frice, froce or whatever you call it when something happens four times). For a moment, I stood there shell-shocked. I mean, the last thing you expect when working on stored procedures at 11:45 in the night is a frickin' bat flying around you!!

A few seconds later, I called up reception, told them about the bat while ducking whenever it flew past me, and then ran like hell to the exit door, closed it behind me and watched through the small glass part of the door as it continued it's flight across our floor, hitting parts of the cieling once in a while. The reception guys came armed with a stick and they opened another exit door, but it didn't figure out that it could get out. One guy then swung at it a few times with the stick but missed. The other guy tried throwing a goddam floor mat on it, and after a few tries, hit it, and it fell down. They then surrounded the poor thing and hit it till it died.

I was depressed after they killed the bat. I wish they had been a little more patient with it by waiting to let it fly outside. It eventually would have. Killing it might not have meant anything to them, but I guess it would have made a world of difference to the bat. Hell... it probably had kids or something, which, thanks to the reception guys, would now be orphaned, and would be deprived of a proper upbringing. You know, after seeing all this, I don't really blame bats for biting humans and stuff. If I were a bat and they killed one of mine, I'd do more than just biting people on their necks. I'd have probably gone on a 'roaring rampage of revenge' like Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) did in Kill Bill.

Anyway, I'm still a little edgy and jumpy after this whole ordeal. Bats flying around your seat at 11:45 PM isn't exactly your average everyday happening at office. What I need the most now is some alcohol to steady my nerves. But It's 12:30 AM now, and all the bloody shops are closed. It's an unfair fuckin' world!

03 July 2007

How are ya?

Of late, I've noticed that people, when asking you how you are or how work/life is, don't really listen to what you say. Questions like these more or less are like time-fillers, the conversational equivalent of something like a newspaper in an office lobby, or 'uncomfortable silence'-busters, because people just have to say something, even if it's crap, when they're in the same room as someone they know.

I've often been in situations like these, especially at office, while waiting for lifts or when bumping into colleagues in a corridor or the cafetaria. They generally ask me how I am, and don't really listen when I reply. This always pisses me off, probably because I not only listen to what people say, but also impart pearls of wisdom while talking to them.

After consciously observing this for a while, I wanted to try and see how it would be, doing the same thing to others. One day, a golden opportunity presented itself in the form of a colleague who happened to be in the office lift with me. When the lift doors opened to my floor, I got out and asked him "Hey... how's work man?" and turned immediately to go, and the poor guy opened his mouth to reply but didn't have an opportunity to answer me, since the lift doors closed. I felt really bad. The colleague in the lift was a nice guy.

Realizing that I couldn't do this to people without feeling bad, I've instead started mumbling nonsense whenever someone asks me how I was or how life/work was... random stuff like "President", "Leipzeig", "Fisichella", "Steinbeck", "Foo Manchu", "Forty Nine", "Dr. Seuss", "Roald Dahl", "Imbruglia", "Guten Tag", "Portico", "Alsace", "Kipling", "Civil War", or whatever crops up in my head at the moment, and out of a thousand times, only probably once or twice did people stop to ask me what I said.

People, I tell you. The phony bastards don't really give a damn how you are.

25 June 2007

Paper Plates

Since time long forgotten, the staple snacks for an attendee in any Indian party/gathering is a Samosa, a small piece of cake with part of a yellow flower or half a pink alphabet, some mixture, potato chips heaped over all this, and a plastic glass (the kind that rickshaw-pullers drink out of in wine shops) with half-cold and stale Pepsi/Coke, Fanta/Mirinda or Sprite/7up. All this, obviously with the exception of the plastic glass, they stuff onto a really flimsy-looking paper plate which is on the brink of collapse under strain.

This easily has to be the most disgusting food-assortment you can possibly put together on a plate. The samosa, standing high like a mountain, drips oil, the cake, deciding to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa, leans at an angle of 5.5 degrees, while a few of it's fragments are smeared all over the plate, and the mixture runs freely when the plate is held in hand, a few of them sticking onto the cake as and when detained during it's expeditions. But the worst thing about this assortment has to be the chips, which, when heaped all over the plate, get stuck to and pierce through the cake, and you have to pick them out of the cake in order to eat them. Eating chips covered with a bit of cake can be one of the most depressing things you can do to yourself.

But more depressing it is for the paper plate, which, even before the party, probably nurtures an inferiority complex because of the cheap paper it is made of and the kind of wussy floral patterns it has on it. The poor thing not only has to deal with it's inner demons and a shattered self-respect, but also with an oil-dripping samosa, a cake which smears parts of itself all over the place, mixture running helter-skelter like mad children, and chips which jump onto all the other three like soldiers storming a hideout of unsuspecting terrorists, or like one of those annoying school classmates who still surprise you, 20 years after school, with a 'Boo!'

It is therefore no wonder that the paper plate is always nerve-wrecked, on the verge of a breakdown, and when it's resistance finally breaks, it dies a gory death, destroying not only itself but also it's tormentors.

I probably sound crazy when I say this, but paper plates remind me of the students, the 'misfits', who, unable to take it anymore, take a gun to school, massacre everyone before turning the gun upon themselves.

21 June 2007

Ugly Jeans

Today, a guy in our office wore the ugliest pair of jeans there ever was. Till I set my eyes on this pair, first prize was for the one worn by a plumber in our building. The plumber's jeans were dull blue in color, caked with dirt and grease, were artificially faded (the fading done in the jeans factory, where the back and front of your thighs are bleached white to give it a faded look, while the rest is blue in color), and it had a lot of ball-point-pen graffiti written all over, even on the back of his thigh and on his butt pockets. You name it, and that guy had written it on his jeans... "I Love ____"s, a million heart shapes, someone's name and mobile number, etc.. Hell, he even had scribbled down measurements. I strongly suspect he's the guy who scribbles "I Love You Pooja" all over the walls of our apartment lift.

Anyway, like I said, this guy in our office today elevated ugliness to an art form. His pair of jeans was...

Lemme stroll towards him, shoot the crap with him for a minute and soak in the details...


His jeans are also blue in color, an ugly blue, and had tiny irregular patterns all over like TV-white-noise, and had this unreal whitish-yellow (pus-colored) artificial fading.

It was a close call deciding the winner, because, even though they were more or less equally matched and the plumber had a slight advantage because of the graffiti, the colleague won because his ticket and butt pockets were made of rexine, resembling cheap leather, and were light-brown in color!!!

You just have to see these pair of jeans to believe what I'm saying! Rexine pockets stitched over a pair of jeans, and artificial fading the color of pus... how can he NOT win??

Anyway, I can almost imagine some designer spending time on designing this goddam thing, and showing it to the jeans factory boss. The boss would've been thrilled with it and would've approved it, and then they'd have manufactured these jeans by getting rexine from somewhere. And when they distributed these jeans to the shops, the shop keeper must have been blind enough to accept this monstrosity. And then comes along my colleague to the shop, looking to buy a pair of jeans, looking at different ones before choosing this, of all things. He must have looked at it, tried it on, even worried a little about whether it fit him well or not, then deciding that it fit him just fine, would have bargained for this. Bargaining for the ugliest pair of jeans in the world has gotta be the most depressing thing in the world. Anyway, I wonder if the shopkeeper had secretly smirked at him when packing it, glad that one more of these ugly jeans were gone.

And what would've happened when he went home to show it to his wife or kids, i.e., if he was married or something? Would the wife and kids disown him because of this? Or whenever they go out, would they kind of shy away, embarassed, whenever someone they knew approached them? Or was it the wife or kids who had actually suggested this pair of jeans out of revenge for something he had done, like not buying the kids chocolate or something?

Anyway, I'd probably go on and on about this, so I'll stop.

If any of you have seen an uglier pair of jeans and want to prove me wrong, please leave a comment.

Anyway, I'll try taking a photo of his jeans secretly, so that I can put it up here.

19 June 2007

Music-Band Movies, or Why do fat guys always have to be drummer?

I've seen a million movies about music bands, and it's always the same story. The band members start off in their garage, being a pain in the ass to their parents and neighbors. They then show us how they compose their first song (which usually ends up being their biggest hit), which is usually like this: they're all feeling pretty low because they aren't able to compose shit, and then the guitarist 'accidentally' plays a riff while practising, and the songwriter 'accidentally' notices the riff, gets all excited about it, and then proceeds to add lyrics, and so on. This is probably one of the most depressing parts of the movie, because the song they've just composed usually sucks, and it's always depressing seeing people improvise on a song that already sounds awful. It's like putting in a lot of effort for something while going in the wrong direction.

Anyway, while at the pinnacle of their cacophony, their future manager 'accidentally stumbles' upon them, and, very impressed with their music, arranges for them to play a gig in some cheap club. They end up playing like shit, thanks to their nervousness and all, and they're booed like hell by the crowd. The manager, worried, calls them backstage, and gives them an inspiring speech full of assorted crap. So they let go, inspired, and give it their all, playing with all their heart and all, and lo! they're an instant hit!!

We then get to see how their song made it to #1 in the local radio, how they go to a recording studio and record their first album, which again goes on to climb all the charts, and we see rotating newspapers with blow-ups of the bands, more gigs, and so on. They also show some happy cigar-smoking record label boss patting the band members with cigar in hand, big grin and all, obviously impressed with their talent and the sales of these albums. If there's one thing I hate the most in the world, it's cigar-smoking record label bosses. They never fail to piss me off.

Anyway, after a few years of all this popularity, these guys are big shots, and act like pricey bastards. Then comes this big ego fight resulting in the band splitting. The fans are distraught. They send like 20 million letters urging the band to get together, but since the band members are egoistic bastards, they don't.

Many years later, they happen to meet in a gathering (probably the band manager's death), and they kinda make up with each other. And then they decide to play together once again, "for -band-manager-" or 'because -band-manager- had always wanted this". Someone always has to die for these fuckers to come together again. That's why the movies have characters like band managers. Normally, they're about as useful as a fork is when drinking soup, and their only purpose is to die and get the band members together again.

Anyway, these guys decide to play together ,and as you've guessed by now, the gig is sold out. The movie ends when the band, after singing a few of their numbers, decide to sing their first hit, the crap song. They exchange glances, grin at each other (which is shown in close-up), and then break into song, and when the crowd hears that familiar riff, they go mad.

What I hate the most in such movies, apart from the music, is that if there's a drummer in the band, it always has to be a fat guy, who almost always is nothing more than a part of the background. He doesn't even get to put on any starry airs, even during the scenes of the band splitting. Hell... the poor bastard doesn't even get a chick!

I do agree that the drums are important in a band and all, but then, you don't need great skills in order to play drums in a movie. The only proper skill you need for playing a drummer in a movie is your goddam stomach. And the bigger it is, the better your drumming is supposed to be. I can almost imagine the director, when casting, thinking "Ok... now the drummer. What we need is a fat guy with a lot of hair, who'll gel with the background. No... not this guy. We need a real mean drummer, and this guy isn't heavy enough to look like a good drummer." That always depresses me.

If I ever made a movie on a music band, I'll make sure the fat guy either sings or plays the guitar or does both, apart from getting all the chicks he wants. Those poor bastards deserve a break, you know.

18 June 2007

Eye check-up

There's something seriously wrong with my eyes. I've been cutting onions quite frequently in the past one week, and I realised that of late, my eyes have not been watering while cutting them. I realized only yesterday, when I cut 5 giant onions and my eyes didn't even drip a drop.

Gotta go get them checked at a doctor's one of these days...

14 June 2007

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Barabar....

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom has gotta be the most aired trailer in TV history or something. It's probably come 30 million times on TV already, and god knows how long it'll keep coming (I hope the movie dies a quick death). All the 30 million times, it's the same goddam thing. You see a weird Amitabh Bachchan trying to look like Jack Sparrow, Medusa-haired Bobby Deol, Lara Dutta looking like a Pekingese (don't know why, but I always associate her with the dog... probably because the way 'pekingese' sounds when pronounced is funny in the same way as how she looks), Abhishek Bachchan with that Neanderthal Man stubble that he has been maintaining since the Jurassic Era, and Preity Zinta, another funny-looking thing with dimples. While our eyes get assaulted at the sight of these people, there's this irritating theme song that keeps going on and on and on...

That song has gotta be the most annoying thing in the trailer. The lyrics, a stroke of genius and original thought by the lyricist, contain only two words: Jhoom and Barabar; and they keep repeating these words again and again. The song kinda mindfucks you when you try singing it, because when you say the last Jhoom in the phrase "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom", you don't actually end the first phrase, but in fact, you're actually beginning the next "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom". It's like this endless, vicious cycle, which, if represented in Set Theory (yeah.. the stuff we studied way back in school), would probably consists of like a million sets of something, each having the value "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom". When you do a union of the first two sets A & B, it becomes "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Barabar Jhoom", and when you do a A union B union C, it becomes "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Barabar Jhoom", and so on. Imagine doing this a hundred million times, and you'll see what this song can do to your sanity.

Anyway, I'm pretty tired and pissed-off with anything even remotely related to Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. I hear that bloody infinite-loop song another time and my internal organs will probably go into convulsions and I'll probably end up with multiple haemorrhages or something.

PS: I know the Set Theory explanation above is full of crap. Mathematically-correct morons need not point it out.

13 June 2007


Bunked office on my birthday as planned. Had slept at around 3 the previous night, thanks to the cake that my room-mates surprised me with, and phone calls from friends, romans, and countrymen. Woke up all groggy at 8 AM, thanks to relatives, and vegetated at home till around 11, watching TV.

Had planned to go to Brigade Road, and so I went there. The day was hot as hell, and I sought shelter from the intense heat at Peco's, where I quenched thirst with beer while listening to Led Zeppelin. I was probably the only guy in the pub, and I shot the crap for a while with Nagesh, the bartender. I was getting a little bored, and so I called a few colleagues and incurred their wrath by asking them what they were doing in office, telling them with a devilish laugh where I was, what I was doing, and asking them to continue rotting at office.

A couple of hours and beers later, it was 1:30, and I went out, only to find that the sun hadn't relented, and was doing it's job with the same enthusiasm as a software engineer who has just got a 50% pay hike. I then went to a few second-hand bookshops and hung out there will about 4, getting, apart from a very bad sinus headache, the following books:

Something Happened – Joseph Heller
Picture This – Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J R R Tolkein
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - J R R Tolkein
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - J R R Tolkein
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - J R R Tolkein
To Have and Have Not – Ernest Hemingway
The Short Reign of Pippin IV – John Steinbeck
Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
The Call of the Wild / White Fang - Jack London
Nine Stories - J D Salinger
Captain Courageous – Rudyard Kipling

Was totally zonked out and very hungry by the time I came out, and so I went to Pizza Corner and had one of them Sandwizzas or whatever you call them. The damn thing was hard as hell, and so you had to chew it a million times before you swallowed, and because I had the kind of headache that you can feel throbbing between your jaw and forehead when you chew, I was pretty much gone when I finally came out of Pizza Corner. Those guys can really kill you if they want to.

All I wanted to do was go home and crash, but then, I first wanted to pick up a few DVDs, and so I went to this DVD shop, and bought the following movies:

Volver (Spanish, directed by Pedro Almodovar)
Flags of our Fathers (English, directed by Clint Eastwood)
Letters from Iwo Jima (English/Japanese, directed by Clint Eastwood)
An Inconvenient Truth (the Global Warming documentary)
Pan's Labyrinth (Spanish, directed by Guillermo del Toro)
A Scene at the Sea (Japanese, directed by Takeshi Kitano)

Anyway, while I was picking up these movies, some dumb moron in the shop decided that the only way to find out if the music DVD he was buying worked properly was to play the damn thing really loudly while people like me were sitting right next to the speaker, looking at the DVDs. I almost killed the guy because my headache went up a notch higher after all that noise.

I finally came out with DVDs and a more intense headache, and finally decided I had had enough and took an auto to go home and crash. Spoke to my sis-in-law, and told her I probably wouldn't be visiting them (brother, her and their dogs) that evening because of my headache. I went home and had hardly laid down when my brother called up and told me that he'd pick me up in an hour, and so I got up, went to a barber's near my place and got myself a good head-massage which kinda knocked out (literally) most of my headache. I got back home, got ready, got picked up, and went to my brother's place, where I spent the next few hours drinking, watching some cheap tamil movie on TV while commenting on it non-stop (a pastime I have developed an affinity to, of late), having dinner, and playing with his dogs Charlie and Butch (probably the best part of the day). Whoever the quote was attributed to was right when s/he said "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face". By the time I left, I felt much better, the headache now completely gone.

I went home, slept, woke up at 8 the next morning, and went back to office. :-(

08 June 2007

Random Post #2

Girls who've done eyebrow jobs by thinning them and all seem like they're very inquisitive, very suspicious, and don't believe a word of what you're saying. Probably because their eyebrows are always raised.

Random Post #1

The shape of the 'head' hole of a V-necked T-shirt, the one where you put your head in, reminds me of the logo on Superman's chest.

07 June 2007

Weddings & Invitations

2007 seems to be not only the Year of the Boar, but also the Year of Marriages. Four of my friends tied the noose... oops... knot in February alone, all these weddings happening in a span of 10 days, and I've been getting atleast 5 or 6 wedding invitations a month from people I either know or work with. I don't attend most of these weddings. Attending weddings can be one of the most depressing things you can do to yourself. All these people come there, reeking perfume, dressed up with lots of jewellery, resembling intricately-designed victorian chandeliers, their jewels reflecting light so that you have to squint while looking at them, all the time acting humble and all, being very friendly with people they don't give a shit about, and doing a million other phony things. The worst thing is that you know they dressed up specifically for the wedding and all, wearing clothes that they have reserved only for special occasions, and that when they go back, they'll have to remove all that crap and get back to their shitty existence, and their clothes go back to the closet, rotting there till the next special occasion comes by. Thinking of all that stuff depresses me.

However, one good thing about weddings are the invitations. I always love reading the crap they write in the cards, with clichéd words like 'gracious presence', 'blesssings', etc. This girl I work with gave me an invitation to her wedding yesterday, and the card read:

A moment of joy needs someone
with where you can Share & Feel
Glorious would be those moments when
you make your presence on
the occasion of my marriage with
-Bridegroom's name-
-wedding date & time-

The poor girl probably had to go around the whole office, giving out this invitation card, oblivious of the grammatical mistake, worrying about whether she had missed out anyone while people were reading the invitation card in front of her, noticing the mistake and suppressing a smirk. One more thing she must have gone through was to answer all these questions that these people ask. I don't know if you've noticed, but all these people ask the same goddam banal questions, and you often end up having to answer the same question more than 50 or 100 times or something, while being patient as hell and smiling all the time. You had to feel sad for the girl.

01 June 2007

Birthday Plans

If there's one thing I've grown to hate in the world, it's going to office on my birthday. A million people, half of whom you don't even like, come and wish you for your birthday, and you'll have to put up a big fake smile and say thanks. The next thing they'll ask is "So Guru, today evening... Bageecha(the haunt of the office booze-hounds), eh?" . while laughing as if they're saying something really funny.

The reason I'm worrying about all this is because my birthday's just around the corner, and I plan to take leave on the day. One good thing about my workplace is that they give you leave on your birthday and wedding anniversary. Anyway, like I said, I plan to bunk office, wake up late, go to Brigade Road sometime in the afternoon, loiter around for a while, go to Blossom's (the second-hand bookstore), buy tonnes of books, walk to Peco's, tired n all, and then drink beer and come back to life while listening to great music. Sounds like a good plan, except that I'm 99% sure it won't happen, thanks to project pressure. Your project needs you only when you decide to take leave or have a nice time.

28 May 2007


Rice, sambar, curd. Rice, sambar, curd. Rice, sambar, curd, rotis, weird gravy. Rice, sambar, curd. Rice, sambar, curd. Rice, rasam, curd, rotis, some other weird-tasting crap. This is how repetitive the lunch menu has become at the cafetaria. And as you've guessed by now, I've got rice, sambar and curd coming out of my ears.

A lot of people I've complained to keep asking me, "Then why don't you go out for lunch everyday?" Like I never thought of it. I would, but then, there are a lot of things that eventually dissuade me from going out for lunch, some of them being:

1. It's hot as hell outside during lunchtime.
2. There's a physical effort involved.
3. All the good restaurants are not within walkable distance.
4. Because of (3), I have to go on bike, which again involves physical effort. I have to kick the bastard for like a million years before it starts.
5. The only people I get for company want to eat at this Malayali joint. I already have Malayali food for dinner, because there's only Bullet Rice (the mallu rice) at home, and the last thing I want to have is Bullet rice in the afternoon. It kinda gets to you after a while. The Bullet rice, I mean.

Worse than the Bullet rice is the coconut-flavored food you get at all these Malayali joints, which the other guys seem to dig a lot. I dunno, but the smell of coconut oil in food kinda reminds me of these nerds, the front-benchers in college who put bucketloads of coconut oil on their hair, the kind who become the honest "Letters to the Editor"type when they grow old. I know I'm crazy, but whenever I taste coconut-flavored food, I always think that they kinda took all these nerds into the restaurant kitchen and kinda wrung their hair dry in the goddam vessel and cooked the food in the oil wrung from their hair. The food's got a weird taste. I'll probably find lice in the food one of these days. Some guys found a cockroach in the food... the guy who had his hair wrung that day must've been one helluva huge giant nerd or something to have cockroaches instead of lice in his hair.

Anyway, I've just about had enough rice-sambar-curd in life. I'll probably get a haemorrhage or something if I have rice-sambar-curd again. These cafetaria guys can really drive you to death when they want to.

26 May 2007

Priarie Oyster - Hangover Cure

Read this somewhere. Sounds like the hangover cure that Jeeves concocts for Wooster on the first day of his employment. Haven't tried it, but plan to do so soon.

1 Egg Yolk
1 oz. of Vinegar or Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp of Tabasco Sauce
A dash of Black pepper and/or Salt

Don’t break the yolk. Shoot it down in one gulp.

Addendum: If all else fails, go to Gent's Hair Saloon (yeah, that's the name of the place) at Kundalahalli Gate, Bangalore, and get yourself a head massage.

23 May 2007

Coffee Mugs

I don't believe it! Someone actually stole my coffee mug! And before you ask... no, it isn't of any sentimental value. It's one of those 'company' coffee mugs they give you if you work for one. This one is white in color, has our company's logo on one side, and a cartoon character with a stupid expression on the other side. They actually went around 6 floors, distributing these stupid-looking cups to everyone. Hell, they even asked you to sign on a sheet of paper after you received yours. All rationed and everything. I can imagine the folks who did this spending considerable amount of time designing this thing, planning the number of cups they'll make and all. And when they decide on, say 500, and just when they're about to order the mugs, someone'll say in the last minute, all earnest, concerned, and in a honest tone and all, "Shouldn't we order 100 more? I know we need only 500 now, but just in case, you know." And the others would think about it, and one of them would say "You know.... he's got a point. Let's go with 600!!". I hate it when people get all honest, caring and earnest about things like coffee mugs.

Anyway, I'm glad they didn't ask us to stand in a queue or something to collect our coffee mugs, like those Nazis did when distributing clothes and blankets when Jews arrived in their concentration camps. Of course, I wouldn't have gone to collect my allotted coffee mug, but then, people all around me would've gone, come back with their mugs with a smug, content expression, and would've asked you "Hey... didn't you get yours???" That would've depressed me.

Coming back to the point, someone actually stooped to the level of stealing this coffee mug, of all coffee mugs in the world. I wonder if they took it out of need, very well knowing what an ugly-looking mug it was, or if they took it, thinking it was beautiful and all. Whatever the reason, stealing a goddam ugly-looking coffee mug really is the pits. I wouldn't do it even if someone offered me a million bucks to do it. Even if the coffee mug was good-looking as hell.

22 May 2007

The Unknown Regulars

There are a lot of these people I keep bumping into at family weddings (the very very few that I attend). I don't know who these people are, I don't know if they are relatives, but they land up at every wedding in the family, and they seem to know me by name and all. I recognize them only because I've seen them in the last family wedding that I attended. Everytime I meet these unknown regulars, the following conversation takes place:

S/he (smiling widely): Hi Guru!!! How are you??
Me: I'm fine. How are you?
S/he: I'm fine. How are mom and dad?
Me: They're fine...

I don't ask them if their parents are fine, because they're quite old and all, and I guess their parents must be dead, and the last thing I want is a foot-in-mouth situation. So we gape at each other, smiling dumbly at each other, an uncomfortable silence hanging thick in the air.

Then finally:

Me: OK.. I gotta go. Got some work to do.
S/he: Sure. Pass on my regards to your parents.
Me: Sure...

Everytime I go to a family wedding, they're there, and we always have the same conversation. Either that, or this:

S/he (pulling my cheeks): Guru! Is this really you? I don't believe this!!! The last time I saw you, you were three years old, in your chaddis, and were peeing on and on.
Me (trying my best to hide my embarassment from the girls who promptly materialize out of nowhere during moments like this): Err... umm...
S/he: Do you remember who I am???
Me: No.. the last time I saw you, I was only three years old, remember??

And then that person would proceed to explain who they are.

I have tried asking my mom about the identity of these people, and she has tried explaining how we are related, but it's usually a very lengthy one (Eg; father's brother's sister-in-law's nephew's cousin's father's brother's daughter), and I lose track after "father's brother's sister-in-law's". Moreover, the last thing I want is to stack up useless information about people who don't matter in my filled-to-the-brim-with-unwanted-crap head of mine.

I've always gotten away when dealing with these unknown regulars, but my sister was less lucky.

It was during her own wedding reception. She was having this really tough time because she had to keep smiling at everyone who attended the reception without even knowing who they are (and knowing my sister, it's impossible for her to do phony things like this). Most of these people seemed to remember my sister a lot, and kept saying the same ol' things like "I can't believe it. The last time I saw you, you were this small. Do you remember who I am?" My sister got this "Do you remember who I am?" question many times, and initially, she said no, and everyone explained. But then, she looked at the queue of people waiting to meet her, and then, she started saying "Of course I remember... how are you?", etc.etc. This went on smoothly, until this old lady came to my sister, gave her the gift she had brought and after the initial pleasantries, asked her the usual "Do you remember who I am?" question. My sister gave her the usual reply and looked away for an instant, when the lady asked, grinning, "Really? Who am i?"

16 May 2007

Good News!

I’m happy to report that the anonymous guy in our apartment, the guy who loves Pooja and professes his love on the walls of our lift, actually has a vocabulary of more than 3 words (discounting Pooja, which isn’t an English word). Apart from the four “Pooja I Love You” scribblings on our walls, he has now scribbled, apart from another “Pooja I Love You”, a “PILY” (the abbreviation of Pooja I Love You) and “I’m Yours Pooja”. Also, it looks like our guy here is getting a little desperate. There's also a "Pooja I Love You Please".

I am planning to add a “too” between the “I” and “Love” in one of the “Pooja I Love You” messages, or add one of my roommates' name and mobile number below the messages. Let’s see what a bit of competition does to the anonymous lift-scribbler.

10 May 2007

Wall scribbling

Holden Caulfield was right when he said "If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the "Fuck you" signs in the world." While people across the world are busy writing their "Fuck you" signs, Indians instead scribble "I Love You" signs all over, be it a historical monument, a harmless tree-trunk in a park, or any other clean surface with a minimum size of 5 inches x2 inches.

Holden Caulfield was right when he said "If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the "Fuck you" signs in the world." While people across the world are busy writing their "Fuck you" signs, Indians instead scribble "I Love You" signs all over, be it a historical monument, a harmless tree-trunk in a park, or any other clean surface with a minimum size of 5 inches x 2 inches.

Hell, even the walls of our apartment lift haven't been spared, and they now boast of some guy's profession of his deepest feelings for Pooja, apart from the name and contact number for Jigar Name Boards Brass, which, I'm sure, was written by the owner of Jigar Brass Name Boards, a poor guy earning his living who resorted to this out of desperation after seeing the poor response after knocking on all the doors of our apartment complex. He must have returned home, his clothes sticky with sweat, his shoulders drooping, the brows on his face hanging over his eyes like dark clouds, and his wife must've asked him how business was, and soft-spoken that he is, he must've shaken his head slowly while sighing and looking down, and his wife must've comforted him saying that things will be better tomorrow. The wife, going to the kitchen, must've opened a small Pan Parag tin where she stores probably the last of the family's savings, and asked one of her two kids to go to the market and get rice or something. The kid, obedient, kind and unspoilt, unlike the rich kids of today, must've gone to the market, and the shop keeper must've passed insulting remarks in front of other customers about the credit that the father already owes him. The kid, though his eyes were blazing and his teeth were clenched, must have pleaded with the shop keeper to give him rice one last time, for during the conflict between the stomach and the heart, the stomach always wins. The kid, crying silently out of shame, scarred for life thanks to this incident, would have returned home, wiping his eyes outside the door with a corner of his slightly-torn shirt, and the mother would have cooked dinner, and noticing that there wasn't enough rice for everyone, would've given away half her share to the husband and the kids, since the husband's gotta go tomorrow looking for people interested in name boards, and the kids have to grow up. Thus, eating very little and drinking water out of a earthen pot, she must've slept, her stomach rumbling late at night. Her husband, not able to sleep at night, must've said 'Don't lose hope. Hope is all we have. Tomorrow's a new day with new possibilities.' Thus, comforted by her husband's word, the wife must've slept, dreaming of a better future, while the husband must've stayed awake, thinking of survival in the long, vulture-laden road to prosperity.

The son, however, would need any reassurement from anyone about his future. It was all chalked out for him now, thanks to Amitabh Bachchan (henceforth called AB, thanks to lazy fingers), whom he idolised, mainly because AB had a childhood and family situation much akin to the boy's in most of his 70's movies, getting insulted by shopkeepers and all, and when he grew up, he was rich, powerful, and whipped everyone's sorry ass. The boy imagined how he'd grow up to be like AB and how he would take revenge on the shopkeeper. But there was a problem though. In all these AB movies, the mother always died, and he did not want his mother to die. His eyes became watery as he imagined a scene from the future of his life, where his mom was ill, in bed, wanting medicine to survive, and he would save up all his money shining shoes to accumulate the money, and then he'd go to some pharmacy, hand over all the money in change, get the medicine and run home, only to bang into some car (thanks to negligent driving) and splatter the medicine all over the road. He would then plead the car owner for money for the medicine, but the car owner would ask him to fuck off, and so he'd run home, only to find his mother dead. He realised that this was a situation he did not want. So he got up, the tears now flowing freely, prayed to God, asking to grow rich and powerful like AB but without his mother dying, laid down again and slept. He did not dream any dreams that night.