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.