Dec 23, 2007
"We can't let this go on", thundered Head of HR, who called himself Great Wise Brain (GWB)...
"We will show them our true might"... agreed VP of HR, who headed the War Against Tirade-ism... he also heads the COmpensation LImiting Network (COLIN)...
"People can be with us or against us... since nobody wants to be with us, inspite of the pretty faces in our department, they must be against us", the Chief announced, steam coming out of his ears...
"We will accuse them of WMDs (Workers Mocking Discipline) and bomb the hell out of them", agreed VP-HR, fantasizing about stripping the workers and dragging them around on a leash, in a prison called ABUse the Gharibs...
And so it was decided... HR will go to war against... against... er, they had as much idea about the enemy as any GWB ever will...
HR is very meticulous... So, before they announced their war, they went about planning religiously...
They first organized a seminar on "How to go to war", and invited GWB's father to lecture on how to telecast the same on Cartoon Network Nextgen (CNN)... but the troops fell asleep... live on camera
Then, they had a motivational lecture series for their troops, in which they simulated war games... after all, playing games together builds team spirit and enhances morale... but there was much infighting over the points sytem used for appraisal... with the troops accusing their bosses of favoritism... some men even accused their bosses of giving extra points to pretty faces...
Once they returned from the all expenses paid vacation called 'Training Workshop for War', they printed a long form, with questions like "What was your most significant learning?" and "Feedback for the next training program"... but the troops were too tired to write those answers down... they simply ticked "yes" under all questions, including the one on "Is the mess food the most delicious you have ever tasted?"... which is when GWB realized that the troops are not even reading the questions...
They also designed a psychometric test to verify whether the troops has the Emotional Quotient to go to War... but most of the troops flunked the test big time, even when there are no correct answers...
Finally, one bright young HR manager (yes, they do exist!) saw the 'big picture' and told GWB, "If our troops get so frustrated doing all this, why not inflict the same on those who give us gaalis? So much more effective than bombing the hell out of them, plus we won't even lose a single soldier from our side..."
GWB, having read Sun Tzu and realizing that the greatest victory is in defeating the enemy before he swipes his access card, smiled an evil smile, and said "So be it"
And, thus, my dear friends, HR waged a war and won it without us even realizing it...
Dec 19, 2007
How is the weather in North Pole? My mom tells me it will be very cold there. Snow all around. I like snow, but I hate cold weather. Makes my nose run, you see. I like reindeer too.
I have been a good kid all year. Not just for the X'mas present. I am generally a good kid. Ask my mom, she thinks I am the best in the world.
There have been times when I have felt like bashing up some people, but I did not. Like this one time, a fat guy (fatter than me, maybe not as much as you) stood on my feet on a local train and nearly crushed my toes. I politely asked him to not behave like Waqar Younis. He threatened to throw me off the train. But, I did not hit him. Did not even use a cuss word. Of course, the fact that he was fat and huge and strong did not frighten me.
Then, this other time, one strange guy called me and started abusing me. I was very polite with him too. Of course, I did call him chu**** in the end, but you see, his friend calls him that, and so he does not mind. And, Santa, this is Mumbai. Even brothers call each other chu****. So, kindly overlook that.
Of course, I did make fun of some friends in my college at the farewell party. But, it was a harmless leg pulling session, and even though some of them may have felt bad about it, I am not sorry about it. I would do it again, given a chance, even if it makes you cross my name out from your list of 'people who deserve gifts'.
I did dance at the same event. I apologize to all those who were tortured to see that sight. Thankfully, the camera guy was intelligent enough to cut me out from the recording. Saved me from embarrasment for posterity.
I also made silly rhymes about some people. But, even you would agree, they deserved it. In fact, they deserved only that and nothing else. One guy called my favorite cricketer a buffalo, another wants to kidnap my favorite politician, and the third tortures me by singing. Even if I apologize to my college friends, I wouldn't apologize to these... should I call them people?
Ok, I did not buy my mom or dad a gift for their birthdays. It is ok, I thought since they have been even more well behaved than me all year, you would give them a nice gift at the end of the year. Next year, I will try to get them something.
I am not asking for a Ferrari. It would be nice, but I can't drive. I am not asking for a bungalow at Malabar Hill. May be next year...
I am not asking for all those freaky gadgets like iPods, digicams, Nokias and what not. Can't understand why people go crazy about things like that.
I am not asking for a date with Asin. It would be fantastic, but my mom tells me that many screen icons look disappointing in real life. So, let me live with an image.
I am not even asking for a kiss under a mistletoe from my dream girl. That (and more) happens all the time in my dreams, and I don't even have to stand under the mistletoe.
All I am asking for is a nice weekend of rest. Good sleep, no work, no deadlines, no excel sheets, no powerpoint or word docs...
Is that too unreasonable a gift? Especially since I have been so good all year long.
P.S.: If you can't give this gift, please put 'kiss from dream girl in real life' as the dream shot.
Dec 15, 2007
Date: 15 Dec 2007
Time: 10.54 a.m.
Me on chat: "haven't worked a weekend till now. touch wood..."
Date: 15 Dec 2007
Time: 3.36 p.m.
Me (woken up from a dream by a call, number recognizable but too sleepy to note such things): Hello
Voice: Hello Siva
Me (drowsiest voice possible): haan bol
Voice: main XYZ baat kar raha hoon... kal office aa jaana...
Me: oh ok, boss!!!!...
Somewhere in the back of head, I hear a loud evil buhahahahaha laugh.
Dec 14, 2007
Why, at one point of time, I even believed in the man-is-the-maker-of-his-own-destiny kinda gyaan. That is why it seems strange that I seem to have acquired an un-Midas touch, or the very fact that I am thinking on those terms.
Once, I told a friend that he will miss his train and meet me for chai at night. He ended up having a picnic at Andheri station. I don't know if he did, but I did not hold myself responsible for that mishap.
Then, this other time, I told a friend at midnight (who had a flight to catch early next morning), “soja beta, pata chala ki kal flight miss ho gaya.” An entirely harmless remark, with no malice in it. He ended up missing his flight, and he did not blame me. Neither did I blame myself.
Then, at Delhi, at the fag end of a wonderful trip, a very bad thing happened. We had deposited our luggage at the cloak room, and went out of the New Delhi Railway station, to see the Delhi Metro. Caught a rick (to some Metro station, memory not what it used to be), and 4 guys squeezed in. One of my friends was carrying a bag, which he handed it to me. I had no idea what it contained. I kept it at the back of the rick (the ‘luggage rack’ they have), and my friend said “yaad se lena yaar bag”, and I shot back, “tera bag hai, tu yaad rakh”… I know, rude thing to say, but politeness was never my strong point. Well, by now you know it, we alighted from that rick, and forgot all about the bag. And with the bag went my friend’s digicam, our return tickets from Delhi to Mumbai and god knows what else. Felt very bad, and my friend (nice guy) didn’t blame me. I partly blamed myself, but never thought about luck or those kinda things.
My mom asks me "Nine years in Mumbai, and not a single girlfriend?". I jokingly tease my mom by asking, "yeah, how will you react if I marry a gal and then bring her home and ask you to say-hi-to-your-bahu?". My mom (you can NEVER fool moms, NEVER EVER), retorts, "go ahead by all means. One headache less for me". Secure in the knowledge that her son is not capable of patao-ing any. Even then, I blamed the girls for being so dumb that they can't recognize real talent. But I never blamed myself. After all, my teacher wrote 'stud-ious' in my report card, year after year.
And, now in my company, every deal that i have touched till date has been stalled... every single one of them... (I hope HR or my bosses don’t come across this before my appraisal).
The reasons have been manifold... client data delayed, deal stolen by competitors, deal shot down by credit dept etc...
The deals were led by different bosses... successful ones who have achieved their targets, not so successful ones who are fighting to meet their targets, and everyone in between...
The deals have been in different sectors... power, oil and gas, real estate...
When I think about it, the only common factor that all those deals had was that one stupid fool who calls himself SRK worked on it... and while the six-pack star keeps making hit after hit, this pot bellied SRK keeps belting out one flop show after another. Not that I did not work hard on them deals, I did… yes, I truly did (even if HR is not reading. I did, promise!). But, somehow, they all ended up down the drain.
None of those bosses have blamed me yet. Thankfully.
Sometimes, I think, “Is it me? Does the fact that I was born during rahu-kalam have anything to do with this?”
shit, where is Bejan when you need him? Since I don't have a wife to love me sweetly or gently, nor do I have a Ferrari, and I hate taking baths (terrific or otherwise), I just want to know, "Should I eat cheese burger with mutton or chicken?"
Dec 11, 2007
So, please pay your fees before you join my batch
Please don’t misunderstand me, honey
But passion to teach cannot substitute money
Forget the IIMs, to us, they are no match…
Have you come across any b-school,
which has a roof top swimming pool…
Oh, u cracked CAT and have offer from BLACKI?
But do those colleges offer you free laptops and Wi-fi?
You still want to go to IIMs, you fool?
Who wants to work for Goldman & Lehman?
When you can do consulting with P-l-a-n-m-a-n,
Unlike IIMs, we have no OBC Quota
Our USPs are GOP and GOTA,
And making movies like "Stop me if you can"
We have faculty from Harvard, Columbia and Yale
See, so many firang profs on a discount sale
Who cares about the All India Council for Technical Education?
Success is about slick marketing and communication,
Believe me guys, over here, life’s a fairy tale!
All it takes to get a magazine’s top rank
Are a few dollars discreetly put in a Swiss Bank
Think beyond the IIMs, do you dare?
If you have some ready dough to spare
Who cares whether you CAT scorecard shows a blank…
My latest plan is to kidnap
The guy who beats me in talking crap
His going to war for oil
Makes my democratic blood boil
Any suggestions on how to lay a trap?
Dec 7, 2007
One was from a MNC bank which is recently trying to gain greater foothold in India. The bank’s ‘telemarketing executive’ was trying to convince me to take their credit card. Now, I know of busy people who get irritated by such cold calls made at odd hours, and bark unmentionable obscenities till the caller hangs up. Thankfully (for the callers), I am not such a busy person yet, and 4 years of teaching experience has given me some patience.
So, the conversation goes:
(CC: Credit Card lady; Me: the author)
CC: Good Morning Sir, I am calling from MNC bank. Is this Mr. Siva… Mr. Sri… Mr. Sivarak… Mr. Siva (pause) Raa (er) ma.. Kris… Mr. Sivaraka…
Me: (pretty used to my name being murdered by sundry people; not their fault) yes, this is Mr. Sivaramakrishnan.
CC: Sir, which company are you working with?
Me: IDFC… Infrastructure Development Finance Company
CC: (with a tone which conveys never-heard-of-it) ok sir, but this company is not on our list.
Me: ok, then I guess you can’t give me a credit card. Thank you.
CC: (realizing that it is one cross mark on her list of thousand people to be called) sir, it is alright. We will add this company to the list. What is your monthly take home?
Me: blah blah
Now, if you didn’t realize it yet, these marketing executives are trained by their slave master (HR training) that addressing the customer by name every time makes the customer happy. Or even euphoric.
Under normal circumstances, I'll tell people "Call me Siva, call me SRK" etc... but I was enjoying the fun... plus, my mom used to say that PIs throw in as many Gods as possible in a name because every time one utters the name, one gets punya (or adds to the 'good deeds' in plain english)... so, I let her earn some brownie points with God, if not her slave master...
CC: (guy-seems-well-paid-enough tone) Mr. Sivaraka… Mr. Siva… Mr. Sivaramakrishnan, we are glad to offer you this exclusive gold credit card. This card comes with blah blah blah…
(somehow, I never listen to what the ‘benefits’ are… they make me want to sign up; so I hold the receiver away till the noise ceases and I know for sure she has exhausted her pitch)
Me: Oh, but these benefits are offered by every company today. What is it that is special about your card?
CC: Sir, as I said, blah blah blah…
Me: ok, assuming I sign up for this card, what all documents do I have to submit?
CC: (slight one-more-bakra-ticked-in-the-monthly-target note of happiness in voice… ) Sir, we would require your identity proof, your salary slip, and an address proof. I can send my representative over to collect these whenever it suits you.
Now comes the fun part… I hate people talking to me from a script. No reason, just that it puts me off. So, I decide to tear up the lady’s script, burn it up and piss on the ashes.
Me: But I don’t have an identity proof.
CC: Sir, any id proof will do. PAN card, Voter’s Id, Passport, Driving License…
Me: I don’t have any of those. All I have is my company id. Plus, I don’t get my salary slip since I haven’t submitted my PAN card in the office. They just issue me a cheque.
CC: (thoroughly confused now) ok sir, Can I call you back in 2 minutes?
Me: yeah sure.
Two minutes in their clock is a wee bit longer. But sure as hell, the phone rings again…
CC: Hello Mr. Sivara… Mr. Sivaramkr… Mr. Sivaramakrishnan, I am pretty-sounding-lady’s-name from MNC Bank.
Me: yes, tell me…
CC: Sir, it is ok if you can’t submit the id proof. We will take the Company id. But can you please submit your PAN card as soon as you get it?
Me: Sure, and what about the salary slip?
CC: Sir, can you give us the salary slip of any of your colleagues, who are working in the same designation as you.
Me: But why would a third person want to give his salary details to you?
CC: ok sir, in that case, can you give us a visiting card? That would do, till you get your salary slip…
Me: Sure, send your person over… I want to see the terms and conditions too… so, send a detailed form which gives all the details…
And that set me thinking… after such a bloodbath in the sub prime crisis in the US, the same mistakes keep getting repeated. It is possible for a person to get a credit card without a proper id proof and a proper salary proof. God help the economy…
Anyways, the second call sounds funny now, but it was mighty irritating at that time.
(Anonymous Caller: AC; Me: Me)
Time: 8.30 pm
AC: kya yes yes bol raha hai be, angrez ke kutte..
Me: hello, aapko kaun sa number chahiye?
AC: abbey Vijay, mere saat aisa naatak nahi chalega… awaaz nahi pehchaana kya?
Me: bhaisaab, lagta hai aap galat number laga diye… idhar koi Vijay nahi hai
AC: abey, masti mat kar saale… baat nahi karneka toh seedha seedha bol… yeh wrong number ka bahaana kyon bana raha hai?
Me: (slightly irritated, only just slightly) excuse me boss, yahan koi Vijay nahi hai, yeh wrong number hai…
AC: abe harami madar*****, kya naatak kar rahela re? theek hai theek hai, Rajesh ko phone de…
Me: (a little more irritated, just a little) Hello bhaisaab, phone pe aise gaali dene se pehle number kaun sa dial kiya check karo… [Cuts the line]
Time: 11.30 pm
AC (same number): Hello Vijay, mera jacket tere ghar per eh gaya… main aa raha hoon lene…
Me: bhaisaab, yeh waapas aap galat number pe phone kiye ho. Yahan koi Vijay nahi hai…
AC: abbe kitna masti karega harami… main aa raha hoon, tab baat karte hain…
Me: (very very irritated) abey chu****, hindi samajh mein nahi aata… TAB SE BOL RAHA HOON WRONG NUMBER HAI…
AC: dekha pehchaan liya… sirf tu hi mereko hamesha chu**** bulata tha…
[cuts the line]
And so, I resolved never to use that term on the phone...
Dec 1, 2007
So, I was going to propose to her. But then, I don't have enough courage to say it. (ah, a coward, even in my dreams!)
So, I write out a love letter:
“I, son of Mr. ___, residing at ___, (hereinafter referred to as the “first party”), seek to enter into a contract with Ms. ___, daughter of Mr. ___, residing at ___, (hereinafter referred to as the “Second party”), to offer certain services (as enumerated in Annex I) and avail of certain benefits (as enumerated in Annex II). The contract will be for an indefinite period, terminable at the option of either party, or in case of death/incapacitation/insolvency of either party. The contract will be subject to Indian laws, and in addition, will also be subject to in-laws.
The First Party agrees to the following set of positive and negative covenants:
1. The First Party shall not partake of any substance which contains alcohol/tobacco/non-living animal, without the explicit permission of the Second Party.
2. The First Party shall not observe/look/stare/whistle at or otherwise misbehave with any member of the species of the Second Party. Seeking of permission shall lead to termination of contract, and payment of damages to Second Party.
3. The First Party shall restrict contacts with other members of the same gender to one evening per month, subject to the provision that the Second Party has been given due notice thereof and express permission has been obtained. Permission granted under this clause does not imply permission for any act specified in the previous clauses.
4. The First Party shall promise to remember all the anniversaries that the Second party may require him to remember, either through express communication or through implied conduct. These dates may include, but are not restricted to, the date of first meeting, the date of first communication, the date of first arm contact, the date of first lip contact, the date of Second Party’s third cousin’s birthday, the date of Second Party’s fourth pet dog’s vaccination day and such other dates that may be added to this list from time to time. No notice need be given to the First party as regards addition of dates to the said list, and the First Party cannot claim ignorance to the facts.
5. The First Party agrees to provide certain articles to the Second Party periodically, which may include but are not restricted to a pair of diamond earrings, bunch of flowers, perfumes, scented candles, stuffed toys and such other items that may be added to the list from time to time. No notice need be given to the First party as regards addition of dates to the said list, and the First Party cannot claim ignorance to the facts.
6. The First Party also agrees to remove the Asin Wallpaper from his desktop, and put up a picture of the Second Party in place thereof. The First Party also agrees to delete/cut or by other means remove all the pictures/videos/wallpapers/screensavers which may be deemed objectionable by the Second Party.
7. The First Party agrees by express consent, to grant all decision making powers as regards place of accommodation, decoration of said accommodation, spending of monies, timing of physical intimacy, name and place of education of children and any other contingency not covered herein, to the Second Party.
8. The First Party also assign the right to the Second Party, by express consent, to alter, add or otherwise modify the above clauses.
9. The First Party agrees to have read and understood all the above clauses, and his obligations thereof, and claims to have been in full possession of his mental faculties, except for the legally unrecognizable factor called ‘blind love’, and hereby signs the document as an attestation of his agreement.
This space has been intentionally left blank.
And then I woke up...
and how do I know I was awake, and not just dreaming I was awake?
b'coz when I turned over, there was no dream girl to kiss :((
The dream starts with me in deep sleep, dreaming…
First, the alarm spoke to me, “This is the alarm clock (“the alarm”), hereby discharging the obligation of waking the owner (hereinafter referred to “you”) up, at a time which was mutually agreed upon at 2100 hrs, 30th of November, 2007. You are hereby requested to wake up. Use of the snooze feature may not be in your best interests.”
I perform the usual tasks that people do when they wake up (of course, since it is my dream, I also turn over and kiss my dream girl who is sleeping beside me).
Then, I open the door, only to have the milkman say:
“I (“the milkman”), acting on behalf of Sai Kripa Milk Centre (“SKMC”), hereby deliver half a litre of pasteurized homogenized toned milk, with an agreed fat content of 3% and SNF content of 8.5%. In consideration of the same, I humbly request the client (“you”) to hand over one coupon from the specified booklet, which you had purchased from SKMC.”
Soon, the doorbell rings again, and I am greeted with:
“I (“the garbage collector”), acting on behalf of the Clean the Building, Dump Rubbish on the Road Brigade (“CBDRRB”), kindly request you to hand over your garbage, and assign me the right to use, sell, recycle or otherwise dispose of the same, in a manner that CBDRRB may deem fit. No consideration is deliverable for the said assignment of rights over garbage, except that the garbage collector may request for a bonus (hereinafter referred to as “Baksheesh”), every year at the time of Diwali, the date of which would be determined by the Hindu Calendar.
Well, I get ready and leave for office. On the way, I hail a cab and tell him:
“I (“the passenger”) hereby propose to avail of the services of your vehicle (“the cab”), and in consideration thereof, I promise to pay you the sum as would be determined by the distance recording and fare calculating instrument (“the meter”), subject to the following conditions:
The passenger should be in one single piece at the end of the journey.
The passenger should be alive and breathing.”
The passenger does reach in one piece and is alive.
I proceed to my office, and the day passes off uneventfully. Probably because no one in my office bothers whether I am in or not, alive in one piece or not, and thus don’t come and speak to me.
Anyways, I login to gmail, and there is a chat window which pops up:
“I (hereinafter referred to as “the friend”), would like to enquire about state of well being in general, and state of your job in particular. I would also like information on what your waist size is, so that I may advise you on your dietary plans. It is common knowledge to both parties that the friend does not have the requisite qualification to advise another on dietary and nutritional plans, but both parties have an implied agreement not to raise the said argument.”
I leave office, but do not head home. I am going to meet my dream girl and today is going to be a big day. I am going to propose to her!!!
(to be continued)
PS: This is what happens when you read legalese late into the night, and then fall asleep :((
Nov 30, 2007
I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. No, they can’t do this. C’mon Mallika, you have seen the effects of another tribute first hand. You still had the balls, oops nerves, to do this?? I can imagine the director telling Mallika “I have always had this Khwhaish to Murder the Madhuri song. I loved Madhuri till she married that NRI doctor. So, now I am experiencing Pyaar ke Side effects.”
Well, I thought things couldn’t get any worse. But then, there are three things you should never overestimate: Bollywood, Sensex and myself. Just when you thought the depths have been reached, we’ll drive you underground with a new low.
So, I turn the pages, only to be greeted by this:
This time I was sure there had been a Spoonerism. I was eagerly looking forward to know which miss was being given a kiss. But all my dreams were shattered. It was like BT politely reminding me that I stink and that I should go shake a tower. Such a blushing crow to my heart.
The article was unbelievable. I am sure BT had decided to play their annual April 1 spoof article a bit early this time. But, I was the fool after all. A sentimental fool at that.
The article continues:
I mean, Tanushree Dutta wants us to appreciate her intrinsic beauty and histrionic abilities? And not her bare back? My cup of woes floweth over!
But I found this most interesting “Tanushree Dutta says she would find it embarrassing to face her parents if she kissed onscreen”
So, here goes another imaginary conversation… Tanushree Dutta’s Dad (TDD) and TD herself:
TDD: Er, what was that on your lips in Aashiq Banaya Aapne?
TD: Emraan Hashmi
TDD: Was that, oh my god no, was that a KISS? :O
TD: Oh c’mon, papa don’t preach. For aspiring starlets like me, a liplock with Emraan is like CAT for IIMs. Everyone has to go through the experience, irrespective of how screwed up you may feel at the end of it.
TDD: Oh, then it is ok. I always wanted to see you do an MBA. But you went an enrolled in that Miss India pageant.
TD: Aw c’mon Papa, and work on stupid excel sheets? You must be out of your mind. And who said Bollywood doesn’t have managerial skills. Read my interview in Indian Express, that Journalism of Courage. I said, “Bollywood is Bollywood! We still have our traditions and customs intact. It's just that we have learnt the art of glamorising and packaging everything. Good and bad products are packaged so well to be presented to the masses. The skin show is just a part of packaging. I guess the industry is becoming very smart in its managerial skills.”
Er, madam, where is the art of packaging everything? Shouldn’t it be unpackagaing? When Bollyowood starlets start using terms like ‘managerial skills’, ‘packaging’ et al, you know there couldn’t be a sadder day for Bollywood.
Nov 25, 2007
Baby, one more time, I am Britney Spears
I tell this with a lot of tears
My mom has taken to bed
My last husband, wot’s his name K-Fed
Oh, I so want to kick both their rears…
I haven’t been able to come to grips
What’s the big deal about locking lips
Of course, t’was Material Girl and not some boy
But, why should I be so coy
I was only asking the diva for some tips…
Oh, for old times’ sake
I still say hi to Timberlake
Till one night at the Super Bowl
He did an act most foul
Oh, I suffered my first heart break
And, this one event, I did attend
The marriage of my childhood friend
The bastard took me for a ride
I never realized I was the bride
But, 55 hours later, I said “the End”
“What’s ur f***ing problem, dude?”
If I roam in front of my kids in the nude
I had taken so many drugs
I couldn’t care who looked at my j**s
Sometimes, I wish you’d stop being such a prude
Nov 24, 2007
I watched a Kareena movie (Jab We Met) in a theatre... (note to self: to err is human)
I liked the movie (note to self: I have lost it... no hope for me)
As if that wasn't enough, I also went and watched Om Shanti Om... as i said, lost it completely... 2 Hindi movies in 2 days, that too in theatres...
but that is not what this post is about... and if you are expecting a review or my opinion on the movies, let me tell you that I don't do movie reviews... more of that sometime...
Anyways, has it ever happenned to you that you make a self-deprecating joke, and the audience conveniently ignores the joke part...
like the time I tell my friends "ok, my PJs aren't that good", only to get a "yes, we agree" :((
or the time I tell someone "I am not all that smart", and he/she nods sympathetically in agreement...
well, for once, I happenned to be on the other side of the joke...
Bebo is pulled into the train in the opening scene in JWM by some bugger, and she says, "abhi main andar aa gayi hoon, abhi toh haath chod do... itni bhi acchi nahi dikhti hoon"
and I was nodding in agreement, unsympathetically...
OSO... again, I wont give my opinion...
just that when SRK repeats, "tum bore toh nahin ho rahi hai na" for the 3rd time, I shud confess I was a little bored...
and when they say "picture abhi baaki hai" for the first time, I said "good... i dint pay 100 bucks to leave so soon..." but when they repeated it soooo many times, I shud again confess that I felt "nahi, bas... khatam karo... screw the happys endings"
ok, if you found the above absolutely crappy, please attribute it to the fact that I saw 2 movies in 2 consecutive days in a movie theatre... something that I have never done in life...
after all, "main itna bhi bura nahi likhta"
Nov 21, 2007
but BT has shown that it is also a newspaper that cares... that makes people want to believe in God, to believe in miracles and to give them hope.
[For those who don't read BT as often... you dunno what you are missing!
* PYT - Pretty Young Thing
** LBD - Little Black Dress]
This is what they had put up today... it was so good that I immediately did PrtScr rather than give you a link
And since I am affected by the limerick bug nowadays... here goes...
(warning: certain links may not be safe for office)
hello ppl, i'm the sexy Salma Hayek
i've alwez wanted to wear a low neck
alas, i used to have a flat chest
so, prayed to God for a bigger breast
He granted my wish, and din even ask for a paycheck!!!
Hey u, staring down there, look up please,
My name in Aramaic means ‘Calm and Peace’
If you really dig up my past
You’ll know I was an aspiring gymnast
So, there’s much more to me than movies of birds and bees…
From your eyes, I can tell
My sexy moves cast a ‘spell’
To think I suffered from dyslexia
Mind you, it is not anorexia,
For my size, I eat very well…
I can also sing a song
And not just look good in a thong
I am the producer of Ugly Betty
I am rich enough to own a private jetty
My list of achievements is quite long...
You’ve seen Bandidas, I hope
If not, throw yourself off a hill slope,
We rob many a bank,
And bad guy’s asses, we spank
And I even taught kissing to Penelope
Nov 20, 2007
Sachin's worried he jus can't hit a ton
I say, "don't worry, gently ask Anjali for a son"
if she says "u stink", go have a proper bath,
or take her for a drive in ur Ferrari, haathon mein haath...
if all else fails, chuck it and eat cheese burger with mutton!
I confess, "ok, I'll be truthful...
i had some neat scotch, 2 glasses full"
some people think I shud be put behind bars,
for saying Sachin has a problem with his Mars,
"c'mon, didn't u get the sarcasm even after i said Double Bull?"
"ppl, tell me your problems, the pleasure's mine"
42 is not the answer, it's 'coz of the number Nine!!!
that bloke Sachin is such a nice fellow,
I could get away with calling him Buffalo!!!
keep wondering why people call me asinine?
oh arrogant, self made people, it's all in your stars
your life can be screwed by Jupiter, Venus and Mars,
I advise you to wear a bracelet of copper,
don't you threaten to run me under a super sopper,
Eat mutton cheese burgers, 'coz chickens cause SARS
"While batting on a bouncy track,
Sachin should not play from the back"
writes the five-feet-nothing Sunny...
now that is what I'd call super funny,
should ask Ganesha, oops Sayesha, to give SMG a virtual thwack!
I come out with predictions every week,
religiously, the elephant God's blessings I seek...
I predict, "you'll get lucky and rich",
with luck, even your dog will find a new bitch,
Strange, sometimes I hear people whisper 'Crazy Old Freak'
When all goes wrong, blame your luck
accepted, sometimes my predictions do suck
"even the mighty Daruwalla can lose his wicket"
Sob, people want to send me to space on a one-way ticket,
why grudge an old man a chance to make a quick buck?
if you are tired and sick
of reading one more limerick
send me your name, age, CTC and birth charts,
I'll use a predictive technique called 'throwing darts'
and tell you, your chances of scoring with a hot chick.
PS: The Sunil Gavaskar article is from ToI, I wanted to give a link, but for this...
Nov 18, 2007
It is amazing how much one changes over the years, and Sunday mornings are a best reflection of the metamorphosis.
There was a time when I used to get up at 6.00 am on a Sunday morning, eagerly awaiting the sound of the newspaper man flinging the Hindu on to our verandah. Time when seeing a sunrise was not restricted to some vacation with friends in Goa. Time when friends used to come over at 8.00 am with the make-do cricket kit – one bat, another with a broken handle to be used for the non striker, one rubber ball, (a tennis ball if someone got lucky), and three wooden sticks. Time when we used to invariably hit the ball into some neighbour’s house and got yelled at. Some days, the evil auntie confiscated the ball and we had to return crestfallen. A quickie lunch and more games, games and games.
Nowadays, Sundays are so different. I end up doing tp till 3.00 am on Sat nite, and crash thereafter. Hoping to get some sound sleep, promising myself that waking up before 12.00 is a waste of a Sunday. (one of the favourtie quotes I have read: “A day not wasted is a day wasted”).
But there seems to be a big conspiracy to ensure that SRK doesn’t get his beauty sleep on Sunday mornings. First, it is the sun, aiming his rays straight on to my face. (ok, ok, I forgot to draw the curtains, but why does the bugger have to rise at 6.00 am on a Sunday? I mean, take a break dude)… So, I get up, draw the curtains and come back to my oh-so-cosy bed…
No sooner have I returned to dreamland, the doorbell goes DING DONG. Ah, the milkman, who comes late on weekdays (thus making me late for office) and somehow has a resolution that he will make up for it on a Sunday. Ok, am half awake now, so might as well glance through the headlines on the paper. (see, some habits die hard). So, there goes another half hour, with me moving from the headlines to the sports pages, the gossip columns and the comic strips. Finally, the funniest part in the paper...
I decide I need more sleep when the Aishwarya pic that I am drooling over is getting blurry, and it is not the mistake of the photographer. The eyes are pleading with me to get back to sleep.
Off I go to bed again, and feel thankful for such lazy Sundays. Three years back, I would have been getting ready for the marathon Sunday lecture that I used to take while coaching students. Ah, they would all curse me mentally (and some audibly) for waking them up on a Sunday morning and discussing Debit-Credit etc.
But just as I lapse back into dreamland, the doorbell goes DINGDONG again. And a voice shrieks ‘Kachraaaaaaaa’… curse myself for not putting the garbage out the previous night. (Ah, should get married soon, at least the wife would nag me to do it every nite without fail... ok, people from the family reading this, don’t tell my mom I said this!!!)…
Dump the garbage, and get back to bed. Remember 2 minutes later that I did not wash my hands. Ok, I am normally not a fussy-about-cleanliness person, but somehow my hands stink. Get up, wash hands, go back to zzz… Somehow, I keep dreaming about the excel model that I was working on… Damn the job, they are making me work too hard.
Ok, by now, you know what is gonna happen. Funny how both the SRKs are so damn predictable. It goes with the name I guess. Yes, the doorbell rings again. It is the bai this time. Wait a minute, didn’t I tell her to come late on Sundays. Well, I did, but then she comes up with some excuse that I am too sleepy to recollect. Anyways, by now, I am more than half-awake, so might as well have some breakfast.
I open the fridge, only to find it empty. All those inventory management lessons from MBA have been happily forgotten, and I am too lazy to go down six floors to get something. Convince myself that I am getting too fat and missing a meal once a week wouldn’t hurt.
Log in to the computer, only to find that I am not the only one awake on a Sunday morning. After all, everybody else has a milkman, a kachrewaali and a bai. Just as I am about to bug people on chat, the net conks off.
I try my hand at AoE, but in my sleepy state, the computer kicks my ass. Not wanting to start of the day on a bad note, I shut the comp and go back to bed.
Soon, I am woken by a series of continuous squeaks. A stupid sparrow has flown in through the window, and like Abhimanyu, has no idea how to get out. But this was no Abhimanyu, it was a she (how did I know? By looking at her chest, stupid!). Now, I don’t really like birds in my house, (unless they walk in wearing a mini-skirt), and I had no patience for this cute li’l sparrow. They shit all over the place, and then bang themselves against a fan and drop dead, creating a bloody mess. [ok, before someone from PeTA reads this and decides to become a PITA for me, let me clarify that I have nothing against birds, animals, fish, worms and other things that you guys may care to protect. As long as you keep coming out with innovative ways to protect animal rights, who am I to complain?]. So, I somehow drive her out without killing her.
Then, off I go to sleep again. Till my stomach growls for the missed breakfast and I decide to hop over for an early lunch...
Nov 7, 2007
I should have suspected Murphy would be arriving. He hadn’t visited me in a long time. Today was a very usual day, a xerox copy of so many previous days.
Go to office, log in to gmail, mail, chat, update stupid cheapo status msg, remember that work is to be done, do work, read blogs, do more work, crib to friends about work, crib to friends about not having ‘good’ work, eat tasteless lunch, remember mom’s cooking, come back to reality, solve Hindu crossword, give up half way, order coffee, ask for extra strong coffee to guard against drowsiness, fall asleep anyway, remind self that ‘power nap’ is a concept only in theory and not when your boss comes around to see how work is progressing, start cribbing about snacks not coming one hour before it usually comes, eat tasteless snack and wonder whether the cribbing/waiting was worth it, look at watch, see it is 5.30, expect boss to call you since he always calls ‘after’ the official closing time, answer phone from boss, feel happy that you were proved right about him calling, feel sad that you will have sit late now, slog some more, realize that the work is not too hard and can be finished later too, pack up and leave for home… busy day, eh?
Anyways, here I am, going home after such a hard day’s work. I reach Dadar station and realize that my home keys have been conveniently forgotten in office. Now, on any usual day, I could have said ‘chuck it’ and gone home, where one or the other roomie would be there. But, both the roomies had taken off for Diwali and gone home. (u loser, why didn’t you also take leave and go home?). I call up my friend who usually sits late in office in the hope that I can ask him to pick up my keys. Call. Not reachable. Call. Not reachable. Call. Not reachable. Call. Not reachable. (yeah, BPL has doubled its network!!!). So I call another friend and tell him that if I can’t collect my keys, I will stay at his place. Now, I consider that I have the ‘haq’ to drop in unannounced, but when friends work till midnight, dropping in unannounced will mean being greeted by a locked door. He says, “No problem yaar. Isme poochne ki kya baat hai.” (thanks dude, sau saal jiyo).
Anyways, I hop into a train for Churchgate. Empty train. In Mumbai!!! Yippie… mebbe things are not so bad after all. A couple gets in. Guy starts necking around. (even he was thinking “Empty train. Yippieee”). Keep going dude, this is what I need to take my mind off forgotten keys… (man, the guy looks like a gorilla… the girl is cute though… how come all the stupid guys get all the sexy girls… I mean, ignoring minor things like my pot belly, slightly bald head, PJs and bad dressing sense, I am sexy too… after all, my name is SRK)… anyways, there is this irritating ‘chamathu payyan (CP)’ inside me who yells “move it man. Don’t embarrass them. How would you like if someone stared at you and your girl?” So for once, I listen to this CP and move on…
Anyways, I am praying hard that the security doesn’t leave early, and the office is kept open… Funny how a half atheist like me ‘prays’ when in trouble… As if, my prayer would make God delay the security guy… I mean, his wife and kids would be praying that he returns home early…
I rush back to office… the lights are on… thank you God… mebbe Mrs. Security did not pray hard enough… anyways, I collect my keys and heave a sigh of relief…
Oops, so sorry Murphy, I’ll have to see you off to Bangalore again. You see, I got the keys.
I return home thinking of happy things in life. Diwali mood. Festival of Lights. Prosperity. Joy.
I enter my building. Press the lift button. Press. No response. Press. No response. Press harder. No response.
Ok, I climb the six floors. I am wheezing, partly from the Diwali cracker smoke and partly from the effort of climbing my Mt. Everest. I am totally breathless.
One more person is breathless. Murphy. He is laughing his guts out.
PS: Happy Diwali ppl
Nov 3, 2007
But some weekends, I am too lazy to venture out. Normal, one would think. Not according to the MBA 'Law of the Weekend', it seems.
A typical chat conversation with any random friend goes like this:
Random Friend (RF): Dude, wht’s the plan for the evening?
Me: Nuhtin yaar…
RF: C’mon man, how can u sit at home on a weekend?
Me: arre, feeling lazy yaar ("which section in the IPC makes it a crime to sit at home on a weekend?")
RF: tera life itna sad hai yaar/tu itna sad hai yaar/fin guys are boring man/paani mein doob mar/isliye tujhe ladki nahi milti etc…
Me: ttyl ( "tnx a lot buddy for reminding me abt how sad my life is! What would one do in life without you?")
RF logs off, probably goes out and has ‘fun’. Me, go back to my interrupted AoE game (“just when I was thrashing the enemy, I get a ping. Murphy bugger. Must remember to log off gtok before I start AoE”).
And then, I wonder…
Sitting in a dark place, munching on buttered popcorn (see Ms. Dietician, am getting calorie conscious… happy?), and watching sad hero (with six pack abs!… should start exercise) flirt with my sexy heroine (oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, how can someone be sooooo beautiful… should put her pic as wallpaper, but Asin rules... for now), is considered ‘fun’ activity? Not my cup of tea.
But, sitting at home, playing a fabulous game of AoE, royally kicking your enemy’s ass, feeling good about it, doing a victory dance in the privacy of your room… is a ‘sad’ life?
I beg to disagree. The only time it is sad is when the computer royally kicks your ass.
You go and have your ‘fun’. I am happy with my ‘boring’ life.
PS: Friends, this doesn’t mean the next time you plan a movie, dinner, or a meet, you conveniently forget to invite me. All of that is ‘fun’ for me too. Serious.
Oct 26, 2007
Silence! Cease all noise
here comes ‘The Voice’
we call him Khamosh
supports saffron with full josh
yet does it with a lot of poise.
And then, there’s dear Stam
By nature, he abhors anything glam
But here’s the big exclusive news flash
Guy has a thousand plus pics of Ash
Oops, he’s comin to do on me a ground-slam!
Master of all trades, not just a Jack
Can make ppl laugh, has that knack
Never have I heard a better mimic
No, this is not some marketing gimmick
Do check out dear old Issac!
Meet the factory planner called Yuppie,
As he documents the love story of a leppie
At SP, whenever we felt too damn bored
We used to solve the hindu crossword
I particularly like the post abt his mom’s jaadu ki jhappi.
Ocassionally, I do check the almost defunct pgothi
She’s busy selling Maggi in the land of dhoti
I call her a 'minor with an unsound mind'
But frankly, so much talent u’ll seldom find
She sez “itna saara kaam, blog ke liye time nahi hoti”.
Oct 24, 2007
Though ppl call me kiruke-kiruke
While everybody sees models in pixel
I am forced to see them in MS Excel
Waise, this is a lame attempt to write zara hatke…
there is this guy karthick
my friend thru times thin and thick
jus that when i hear him sing
it feels more like a bee sting
although ppl say he is fantastic!
i hv a friend called nandu
projects himself as a maha mandu
started calling himself ‘the monk’
jus learnt his laptop went conk
still, he writes really fundoo
meet my friend, the gr8 hirok
to him, all gals flock.
but u know his greatest wish
is to find a wife to cook hilsa fish
alas! genuine bong babes are outta stock!
thr is this friend called noops
lands herself in all kindsa soups
her recipe for a fruit salad
reads like a badly written ballad
And am glad to be in her friends' groups
hello ppl, meet my boss
makes all my plans go for a toss
makes me work without a pause
thus giving me cause
to say expletives most gross!
Oct 19, 2007
I spend my entire day gazing at her. Getting lost in her myriad charms. Trying my best to understand her many facets.
I have spent many a late night with her. Just me and her. Spread out on a sheet. I go to sleep with her. I dream about her in my sleep. I wake up thinking about her. She dominates my thoughts. My dreams. My waking hours. She has made me forget Asin and Ash. In fact, she has replaced the Asin wallpaper I had on my desktop.
She is very demanding. She insists that I devote my time entirely to her and her alone. She ensures that she receives my fullest attention. Day and Night, Night and Day. Weekdays. Weekends.
She is very moody. She just clams up sometimes. Doesn’t communicate a single thought. Just refuses to talk. I just feel like walking away from her at times like these, but she somehow keeps me rooted to my seat. The only way to make her talk again is to yield control to her, alter her mood and delete everything else.
Other times, she talks a lot, but not in the language that I can understand. Her language seems to have no name, no reference point, and sometimes, no value. I try my best to decipher what she is trying to say, but after hours of effort, simply give up. And tear my hair in frustration.
Many times, I have a feeling that I understand the language, but then she links up so many seemingly unrelated things, that I have to go back and forth trying to make sense of what she is trying to tell me.
She even comes with her own assistant. Who tries his best to help me make sense of her. Animatedly gestures to me – dancing, rolling and doing impossible body contortions. But I hate him. He keeps interrupting when I least need him. Plus, his tips are no use to me. So, I pack him off, hidden away from my sight.
There are happier times too. Times when she has a very intellectually stimulating conversation. Times when I feel a real connect between us. Where nothing need be said, yet a lot is understood. When, after hours of effort, I arrive at that Eureka moment. When, suddenly, things fall into place. At times like these, I feel like jumping up shouting yippieeee.
Today, I had one such moment. After a whole week of pleading, cajoling, threatening, praying and banging my head, I finally understood what she is trying to say. And, I realized that if I press the right buttons, I can even make her say what I want her to say.
To celebrate, I went out and had a nice drink. No, not with her. She doesn’t drink.
If you are wondering when you can meet her, I’m sorry. She is ‘for my eyes only’. Only my boss is allowed to take a peek at her. That too, after I’m done with her.
But friends, please say hi to the new love of my life, the Excel Financial Model.
PS: You knew this was coming, right. After all, I am becoming too predictable nowadays.
PPS: If you can’t understand head or tail of what I have written above, don’t blame yourselves. One, I wrote this at 2.30 am, after working 12 hours and then having a few pegs. Two, unless you have spent a whole week trying to deconstruct an Excel financial model, you won’t understand or appreciate my feelings.
Oct 16, 2007
Endless hours of playing Age of Empires (AoE) through the night, after long hours at work has resulted in this stupid post. Proceed at your own risk!
I have always wondered why the makers of the AoE game did not include an ‘Indian civilization’ in the game. I mean, you can’t blame it on a westerner bias – after all, there are Chinese, Japanese and Korean options in that game.
Thus, as a loyal fan of the game, I am suggesting that they release an updated version of the game with an Indian civilization. Some indicative characteristics (in no particular order) which may be incorporated have been provided: (see, free consulting… offer open till my sanity lasts)
Villagers once used for a task will perform only that task. i.e. once a villager has been ordered to cut wood, he is assumed to belong to the ‘woodcutter caste’. The same villager cannot be asked to mine gold. If you still force him to mine gold, all the other gold miners will stop work to protest that their caste is being polluted.
Villagers will demand rest every five minutes during a game. Denial would result in strikes, bandhs and lock outs. If a ‘bandh’ option is erased, a ‘full day fast’ will be undertaken where all activities will cease in favour of fasting.
Villagers will kill one another occasionally.
Villagers who are put to work as ‘Farmers’ will suddenly commit suicide.
Women villagers should always be used in groups. If any woman villager is working alone in any corner of the map, the remaining villagers will molest her.
Some areas will always remain ‘dark’, irrespective of how many times it has been explored.
Trading of any resource at any point of time may be banned. No reasons need be given.
One unique advantage in this civilization would be the ‘no population limit’. Population will increase automatically at the rate of 2 people per second, irrespective of resources available.
Villagers will always look to migrate to other players’ towns. The most able villagers will flee to the enemy, work for him and send part of the resources back. Whenever they decide to come back, they will expect the rest of the villagers to welcome them with open arms and to kiss their feet.
Priests/Monks will not convert enemy units. The Hindu faith does not believe in conversions. Of course, units which have been converted by enemies can always reconvert. They will have to take three dips in a water body to do so.
There will be a celebration of freedom every 10 minutes. All the villagers, irrespective of whether there is enough food or gold, will chant ‘India Shining’ or ‘Incredible India’ alternatively. The enemies may be knocking down our towers and castles, but we will still celebrate.
Any deal made with allies would be subject to pressures of democracy. Thus, the same player can agree to share resources with a right click, but can object to it with a ‘left’ click. This process will continue till the allies turn into enemies and come to attack us.
Soldiers would not be allowed to use horses, elephants, camels or any other animals. They would have to get written permission from the Animal Welfare Board (headed by one Menace-ka Gandhi) before they train any animal for warfare.
When an army is formed to attack the enemy, the army should contain one villager for every three soldiers. This is part of the reservation quota, and can be increased whenever the villagers lobby for more lucrative positions in the game.
The ‘advance age’ option will always be one generation behind other players.
Half the weapons used during war will misfire. The enemies can use either ‘Bofors’ or ‘Black Label’ as cheat codes to ensure that the Indian weapons don’t fire.
Any dome shaped structure resembling a mosque will be brought down by the villagers. It does not matter whether it belongs to us or to the enemy players.
Ok, I have many more suggestions, but this is the ‘demo’ version of the idea. For viewing the full list, you will have to purchase my licensed version!
PS: For those blessed souls who don’t know what AoE is… “Be thankful. Your life is still in your hands.”
Sep 27, 2007
Ah ha, went my mind! I started dreaming about ordering for myself a nice, beautiful 36-24-36 doe-eyed beauty…
I went closer to the shop, only to read the line above: “Jeans World!”
Remark by my colleague: “I am planning to go to Kutch to visit the Wild Ass Sancutary”.
I’m not adding my smart(wild?)-ass comments on this one.
Comment from a relative who is seeing me after a long time: “You look healthy now”
Once upon a time, I could run, jump, skip and hop. With a waist size of 28. They did not approve. Now, I am out of breath before I climb two floors. I am afraid to jump lest I cause an earthquake. And, my waist is the same size as Pamela’s chest (ok, Rakhi Sawant's, for all the swadeshi obsessed guys!). And they call me ‘healthy’.
But, you know what made me laugh loudest?
“T20 World Cup win is an example of Sharad Pawar’s leadership qualities” – quote by a NCP worker. (I tried to find the link to that newspaper, but couldn't...)
Guys and gals, please note… If you want India to win in hockey, football or Olympics, pls start a campaign to make Sharad Pawarji the chief of all Indian sports bodies. After all, we can’t be content with a solitary bronze or silver every time right?
Sep 22, 2007
I am amazed by the advances in digital technology. Gone are the days when you bought a film roll, loaded it on your camera and carefully clicked, keeping in mind that after 36 photos, you will have to change the roll, careful not to expose it etc etc. Too cumbersome…
Now, you have the digital revolution… click away 1000s of pics, keep the good ones, edit the bad ones and delete the positively ugly ones. What’s more, you can store your whole wedding/child’s birthday/Swiss vacation etc on a device no larger than (as a techie-challenged uncle put it) a ‘nail cutter’. Even impressive, you can upload these pics on a web page and share it with friends who are on the other side of the globe. How very convenient!
Now, while I love the way technology has made life easy, I (being the eternal cynic) want to raise a few issues to ponder about.
Number 1: If you click my pic, with my consent, who owns the ‘right’ to those pics? Is it you, as the person who clicked the photo (with your camera, your skills etc), or is it me as the ‘subject’ of the photo?
Now, before you wonder what kind of crap issue am I raking up, let me give you some situations.
Scenario 1: You invite me to your wedding/party. I agree to come. I know you will be clicking pics of me (though I may not be photogenic, you just want a reminder of the good times we had together… or you just want to prove that I attended your wedding after all, and hogged like the glutton I am). I agree to pose for your sake. (ok, some people pose because they like to be clicked at… but then, it doesn’t matter for the sake of this discussion).
Now, after the ceremony, you decide to put up the collection of pics on some web page (picassa etc) and send a link to people you know (basically, people who you know want to share your happiness, but could not make it to the ceremony etc).
Now, suppose, just for the sake of academic discussion, that I don’t want my pic on the Net. I don’t have a valid reason for it, just one of my strange whims. Can I object to your uploading my pics?
Scenario 1.1: Now, imagine the same scenario, except that instead of me, you have invited the real SRK. (the only minor difference is that he is some 100 crores richer, owns a bungalow in Bandra, has half the nation’s girls drooling and has a six pack, but still…). He also comes to your wedding and poses for your pics. And you upload it on the web. Can he object?
Scenario 2: Now, the reverse. I invite you to my wedding. (before you start starving yourself to hog at my expense, let me clarify it is some 5 years away, but this is an academic discussion). You come with a camera and click my pics, with my oh-so-beautiful wife (mom, pls note the word 'beautiful'). I happily pose for your pics, since you happen to be my close friend. Now, if you decide to upload the pics (with the caption “my best friend’s wedding. Just to make it senti), can I object?
What happens if I happen to be a celebrity? Does it make my case for objection any stronger? How come AB Jr. made sure those guests at his wedding did not happily post pics of his wedding on the Net? (now, don’t tell me he didn’t allow anybody to click pics… I don’t believe that).
Scenario 3: the case of Paris Hilton/Cameron Diaz and countless actresses/models…
Let me recount two well known incidents. The first was when Cameron Diaz successfully prevented a photographer from selling her nude pics to some tabloid/magazine. She had posed in the buff for the guy, when she was a struggling starlet, and apparently, willing to bare-all to get her break. When she did get her break, and became a big star, she (unfortunately for me) did not want any of ‘those’ pics floating around. And she sued the photographer in court saying he should be barred from selling those pics. Now, I don’t know whether she had signed any agreement as to how the photographer can use those pics or where he can publish them. I mean, if you did not want anybody to see them, why get clicked in the nude in the first place? To show it to a select (lucky?) list of movie producers? I am not passing any moral judgment here. (though I would have loved to see those pics... I mean, after the near bare-all in Charlie's Angels and the Mask, I'm drooling for more)
Scenario 3.1: Next is an even more interesting case of Paris Hilton. The dumb blonde (she proves the stereotype) goes out and has a ‘rocking’ time with her boyfriend. The guy (much wiser) also manages to film their ‘act’. After they break up, he releases the video on the net, and it becomes an instant hit. Suddenly, the dumb blonde wakes up to the fact that it is an invasion of her privacy (forget the fact that it actually revived her sagging career, and that she has given us enough glimpses of her privacy even otherwise), and sues the guy for damages. I think she won, but I am too lazy to research it out. (find out for yourselves, if you are so interested in her). Here, the video was shot without her consent and she could sue. But, what if some other dumb blonde doesn’t mind being filmed in the ‘act’, assuming that her boyfriend wouldn’t do a ‘show and tell’ later, after their inevitable breakup three days later. Can she object?
On the face of it, there are some similarities in the three scenarios. There is a person who clicks the pics (call him A). There is another person who is being clicked (call him B). Now, who owns the rights to these pics? Assume that, like normal people, A and B do not bother to sign a pre-click agreement stating when and where these pics can be used.
Does it matter whether the event is organized by A (and hence B, by being present, gives away his rights to object)? (as in, if B organizes the event, he can debar people from either clicking pics, or allow them to click, but claim to have a right over the pic?).
Who should be liable if the pics are misused? Let’s say A innocently uploads the pics on his website. There is a third person C, who hates B (let her be a lady for this example), and copies that pic and puts it up on a ‘different’ kinda site… with the caption “Hot chick feeling lonely. Please give her company. Call …” or some such crap. I can come up with more suggestive captions, but for once, I refrain. (yeah, I can hear your sigh of relief, but I promise you it is short lived).
Anyways, now, this C cannot be traced, but it can be reasonably proved that the pic was lifted from A’s site. Does this make A guilty in any way? Or does the lack of ‘mens rea’ let him off?
Disclaimer: I am not a very big fan of photography. I have never understood the compulsive need of people to ‘capture’ every sundry event and stash it away for posterity. But then, that is my personal prejudice, and has hopefully not taken away my right to raise the issue.
Sep 20, 2007
Enough people, much more qualified than me, have raised enough opinions on the issue. Then, why am I bothering to put up this post? Maybe because I have a vested interest in this issue. After all, ‘Rama’ makes up 25% of my name… how would you feel if the Government suddenly tells you 1/4th of your name is invalid? Not to forget that according to them, even the remaining 3/4th is myth. What do I do with a mythical name?
People have raised serious issues:
Who is the government to question the existence of Ram (be it myth or history)? Why can’t they just concentrate on the basic issues of governance?
‘Rationalists’ thunder – “How can you oppose a development project on the basis of some mythological character?” Believers have their own reasons to object and they make sure they do it.
I intended to write a serious post on it, but then better people have put it in better ways. So, I decided to goof around as usual.
Let’s analyze the Ramayana from two different points of view – to understand how anything, fact or fiction, can be twisted around to suit your purpose.
Believers (me included) believe that ‘Rama’ is a symbol of ‘ideal living’. (not for nothing is he called ‘maryadapurushottam’). The epic, through the story of Rama, teaches mortals like us, how to lead a life of virtue. Although there are countless instances, a few top-of-the-mind ones are:
Rama walks away from power just because his step-mom wanted – if only our politicians could learn from this and not use the same Ram for their political power games.
Rama remains loyal to one wife – in an age when the measure of a king’s stature was the number of wives in his harem. Although I do not fully endorse monogamy (after all, I am an MCP). This also shows why Mr. Karunanidhi mocks Rama – after all, he has two wives.
Rama offers Ravana an offer of peace, and not war – in spite of the fact that the demon king abducted his wife.
Rama sends back Ravana after disarming him once – gives him one more chance for a peaceful settlement.
Rama accepts Vibhishan when he defects from the enemy – shows great judgement of character, by not stereotyping a person just because he happens to come from the other side.
After conquering Lanka, he crowns Vibhishan the king – not keeping the throne for himself.
And so on and so forth.
In fact, when I was a kid (read: brain-washable age), my parents and grandparents narrated the Ramayana and Mahabharata repeatedly, just so that I may pick up some values from them. The fact that I didn’t pick up much reflects more on my corruptness than the failure of Ramayana. In fact, the whole appeal of Ramayana to me was that this is an instance where ‘God’ comes and lives as a ‘human’ and does things as a human, not by magical powers. I mean, if I were God, I wouldn’t be building bridges to cross oceans.
Now, the non-believers will say:
This is the same guy who walked away from his father when he was in his deathbed.
The same guy who shot Vali from the back – and who taught politicians the idea of back stabbing.
The same guy who asked his chaste wife to undergo a ‘test of fire’ – the original male chauvinist, the feminists would scream.
The same guy who accepted an enemy's brother into his camp – and initiated ‘horse trading’.
The same guy who left his pregnant wife alone in a jungle just because someone passed some lewd remark – male chauvinist again.
And so on and so forth.
And a third view... To my vanar dimaag, this is the original bollywood story-cum-Ekta Kapoor soap… I mean, just look at the script yaar…
Old man has 3 wives and 4 kids. Second wife wants more power, so schemes to send eldest son to the jungle for 14 years. (I have always wondered – why 14 years? Why not forever?). Eldest son is the epitome of virtue – he agrees to walk away from his rightful throne. Younger brother is no less – he follows elder brother into the jungle, leaving behind his newly married wife. Another younger brother, not to be outdone, carries elder brother’s sandals on his head and offers him the throne.
Eldest son (hero) has a beautiful wife. Even though some devil-turned-sex bomb tempts him with an item number, he just gives her a nose-cut. Devil goes mad and informs her brother (the villain), who is more interested in the heroine than any revenge motive. He kidnaps her, not for ransom, but for keeps. But, he is decent enough not to rape her, but wait till she forgets the hero and agrees to marry him. (they had such nice villains then).
Villian has a virtuous brother, who cautions him first, then defects to the other side.
Meanwhile, hero goes out in search of heroine. On the way, befriends a gang of monkeys, who turn out to be loyal soldiers. Sends one super-monkey to Lanka, who returns after burning the entire place. He offers to take the heroine back, but heroine wants a more dramatic climax scene with the villain dying at the hands of the hero. So, she refuses.
Hero goes to Lanka, by building a bridge with stones, and fights a larger army and returns victorious.
I mean, this epic has romance, family drama, action, even an item number (Soorpanka). Which modern script writer can come up with such imagination?
So, u see, the same story and the same guy can be viewed in ‘n’ different ways… some people believe, some don’t, and others like me believe but have learnt to take life a little less seriously.
And, finally, did Ram exist? I don’t care. He is an inspiration to many, and that’s all that matters for now.
PS: I know, I have not provided any serious insights, but then, with politicians like ours, how can you be serious?
Sep 10, 2007
Last week, my younger brother joined an engineering college in TN. Even though the college is close to home, he decided to stay in a hostel (ok, mebbe I ‘brainwashed’ him into it, but then, it was his decision).
The day when he supposed to leave, I called him to wish him the very best. My dad asked me to have a ‘talk’ with him (sort of elder brother giving ‘gyaan’ to younger bro).
People who know me reasonably well know that I am a very awkward communicator at the best of times. And this time, I did not have a prepared rehearsed sheet of paper full of advice to give him. What do I tell him?
I wanted to tell him lots of things – study well, make us all proud, concentrate on your goals, don’t let distractions get in the way of what you want to achieve in life, beware of friends who come to you when your pockets are full and do their best to empty it, be an outstanding student but don’t stand out in a crowd, adapt yourself to the environment even if it is inconvenient, change the environment if you can, get a good job 4 years down the line, don’t be afraid to smoke or drink as long as you are confident of you being in control, go out of your way to make new friends and meet new people, learn something about how to lead a life from every good guy you meet, and how not to mess it up from the not-so-good ones, respect your teachers for their knowledge (not merely for their age), don’t be afraid to question things, but learn when to shut up and leave things as they are…
Countless phrases from long-forgotten ‘How to…’ books came rushing to my mind. Nice anecdotes about hardwork, initiative, resourcefulness etc etc were swirling in my mind.
Just as I was about to launch into this long winded sermon (as described above), something stopped me. I knew that Dad would have made sure my bro speaks to all the elders in the family (and I mean ‘elders’ in the real sense, not a twenty something still-searching-for-who-I-am-and-what-bullshit-am-I-doing-here guy who happened to be born some years earlier). I knew he would have been subjected to the same sermon countless times before I got through to him on the phone.
Why I knew it is because I was subjected to the same several years back, when the very same ‘elders’ cautioned my dad against sending his son to a big, bad city like Mumbai (where, in their esteemed opinion, every teenager happens to fall into bad ways and does nothing but smoke, drink and bang chicks… ok, I made up the last one!). I knew it because I was so fed up of that sermon, and remember being thankful that my dad and mom never said a word regarding all this. They trusted their parenting skills enough to send their son over, confident that the son would make his own decisions and live responsibly.
I don’t know whether I was worthy of that trust. I didn’t smoke or drink for 7 years in Mumbai. Never went to a movie hall. Studied like crazy and topped most exams (can you hear a brag-piper in the background?). Never had a girl friend, leave alone banging chicks (ok, I wouldn’t have got a girl even I’d tried, but let’s not get into that. You don’t expect me to pull my own leg in my blog).
But I soon started enjoying a drink or two (ok, maybe more). But, the only chicks that I managed were the ones on my dinner plate. And bang they went into my stomach. But, while I was wasting away my sacred ‘brahiminism’ by indulging in such evils that were sure to send me to rotten hell, I found that I was in no way a lesser human than what I had been all these years. The best thing was that I chose to do what I wanted, and it was I who had to live with those decisions. Not those ‘elders’ who did nothing but what their ‘elders’ in turn advised them.
So, when all these stupid thought clouded my mind, I couldn’t bring myself to give him another lengthy sermon on ‘How to live life like a typical TamBrahm’ and the ‘see no evil, hear no evil, do no evil, eat no evil, screw no evil’ dialogue…
So, I just told him, “Enjoy yourself, bro.”
Aug 23, 2007
But some days, I just hate them for their hypocrisy. From the bottom of my heart. Today was one of those days.
I am standing in the queue for a ‘shared taxi’ with my friend, at Churchgate station. For some reason best known to the taxi union and the RTO, they have deemed that the wonderful ladies should not travel with lowly creatures such as males, while they go to work. So, they have ensured that there are 2 queues, one general, and another ‘ladies only’. (Please note, it is not a ‘gents only’ versus ‘ladies only’; a ‘general queue’ versus ‘ladies only’). I have absolutely no issues with that. Though I would love to travel with some of the lovelier ones, I am willing to allow them their exclusive cabs.
What I do have an issue with is that, while no guy dares to interfere in their queue, lots of them happily come and stand in the ‘general queue’, along with their sundry husbands, boyfriends, brothers and bosses. (Ok, before you start accusing me of implying that only guys are bosses, let me state that I am yet to see a lady boss come and travel with her subordinate; I see lots of lady underlings happily cling to their bosses). I do not appreciate them breaking into our line, but I grin and bear it. (Do I have a choice?).
But what makes me really loath them, is that when the taxis arrive, 5 out of 6 will go for the ladies’ queue. Yes, we get one, they get five. Now, I pay the same fare as she does. I go the same distance as she does. Economically, the taxi driver has no ‘incentive’ to go to the ladies’ queue. He may have his own reasons, but I suspect he is thinking like a typical guy. Why not combine business with pleasure? Why not enjoy some good company (typically fair, slim, smelling nice, all smiles) instead of ferrying sweaty, overweight males? I am ok with the taxi drivers’ mentality. In fact, in his place, I would have probably done the same.
What I have an issue with is the girls' hypocrisy. I look at one, smile appreciatingly and that is called 'eve teasing'. The taxi driver looks at them, smiles appreciatingly, and goes to their queue and that is called 'chivalry'?
When I see a ladies only coach in a Mumbai local going empty while men hang from their fingertips; when I see ‘ladies only’ seats in a bus which are occupied by fully fit (courtesy all those gym sessions) happily seated while some senior citizen guy gets jolted around in the crowd; when I see girls being allowed free entry into discs and clubs; when I see 33% reservation demands in Parliament; when I see an unspoken ‘quota’ in certain colleges; when I see the government giving free education, not on the basis of your economic status, but based on your gender; when I see all these things, I ask myself: Is this what they call ‘equality’?
I mean, either you can call yourselves equal and compete with the rest; or accept that you are inferior, and ask for privileges. You can’t have your cake and hope to remain slim too. First, you proudly proclaim that women are equal, nay superior, to men. That, you have better emotional understanding to actually manage businesses. Then, you turn around and ask for separate queues, separate seats, free entry, concessions and what not? This, dear ladies, is just not done.
That is why I have decide to brand you the ‘unfair’ sex.
Jul 23, 2007
Breakfast - 1 CUP poha/upma/cornflakes (lady, please specify your cup size ;)) [ok dirty minds, that was intentional]
Mid Morning - Lemon water without sugar (why did she have to watch AB's film and then write my diet plan?)
Lunch - 2 dry chappatis/ 1 cup sabzi (hello, even Govt sponsored Mid-day meals offer more, even after the politicians gobbling 90% of the funds)
Mid afternoon - Lemon water without sugar (sugar farmers in Maharashtra are committing suicide, and this heartless lady doesn't even care!)
Evening Snack - 2 wheat biscuits/dhokla, no fried foods (only 2 biscuits??? I used to polish off an entire packet of creamy bourbon in college)
Dinner - 3 dry chappatis/1 cup sabzi/1 cup curd (thanks lady, i already feel full!!!)
After dinner - 1 fruit (now, this is as vague as it gets... whaddya mean by 1 fruit... a grape, an orange, a jackfruit??)
and just when thought she had cut a secret deal with my life insurers and finished me off, she delivers one last knock out punch...
"Go for a walk early morning for 30-45 minutes. Exercise regularly" (Early morning walk. I thought that was for retired people who didn't have to go to work. I can barely wake up in time to reach office!)
Looks like I should apply to the 'Biggest Loser Jeetega' thingy - atleast the sight of Rakhi Sawant might motivate me to run... far away from her!!!
Jul 1, 2007
Or was it Benjamin Franklin? I don’t know, you tell me!
I used to laugh at this statement – why would anyone want to equate the taxman with the deadly Yamraj? I admit, money flowing out of our pockets is not a very happy feeling, but death is at an altogether different level. Or so I used to think.
Until I saw my paycheck, and realized that the taxman taketh away his share before I got to even see my money. He euphemistically calls it ‘TDS’ – “Thanks, Dumb Sucker!”
I consider myself a straightforward guy. I like to keep out of trouble and tread the straight path. I like to remain on the right side of the law and like to keep my money white. Not for me, the cheap tricks that people employ to cheat the taxman. Or so I used to think.
I remember reading in my taxation subject, long ago, that Salary is just one of the different heads of Income – the others being Income from House Property, Business Income, Capital Gains and Income from Other Sources. (yeah, if you earn something, and they don’t know what to call it, they use this heading!). I also remember learning that all the other heads of Income, except Salary, are taxed after some deduction. House Property gets a standard deduction, Business and Other Sources get deduction for all ‘legal’ expenses, Capital Gains gets a deduction for Cost of Asset. Salary used to have a standard deduction, but then some smart Finance Minister figured that the salaried suckers have nowhere to hide, so let’s spare them no deduction. (Well, if you thought that was a boring paragraph, spare a thought for the poor CA souls who have to endure 1000+ pages of such crap!!!).
Anyways, the simple truth is that the salaried class gets hit the most because of that deadly thing – TDS.
I used to think that this was pretty unfair. I mean, if I go to work in an unimaginably crowded train compartment, hanging on for dear life, all I get is a conveyance allowance for which I have to pay tax. But, the owner of the company can come to work in an air-conditioned Merc, and claim the depreciation of the car, the fuel, the driver’s salary et al as expenses and reduce his tax. I, as an employee, am not deemed fit by the Government to stay in a house where the rent is more than 10% of my basic salary. But the owner of the business can stay in a bungalow at Malabar Hill and claim the rent paid as expense if he can prove that he does ‘business’ at the bungalow. Not fair at all, screams my conscience.
But, in spite of all these unfair measures, I still thought of the ‘jawan’ in Kashmir, guarding the borders in freezing climate, and decided that if my paying taxes helps pay for their sacrifice, I shouldn’t grumble about it. Or so I used to think.
But, when I see roads with potholes, thanks to some contractor who greased some babu’s palms, when I see my money going down Mumbai’s drains instead of the rainwater, when I see politicians dole out freebies to all and sundry, I sometimes begin to wonder if every citizen should dutifully pay his/her taxes. And, I doubt if it is moral duty to pay taxes when I know that it is not being efficiently used.
I begin to think, “I’d rather die than pay these bloody suckers.”
And, I slowly realize the wisdom of Mark Twain’s words.
PS: If you are a taxman, let me assure you that I have no intention of hiding my income, and will declare everything I earn, in spite of what I have written above.
Jun 29, 2007
Finally, after a loooong vacation, I have joined my company and have got a taste of the ‘corporate life’. Bhavani had no proper Internet facilities, and hence the long absence from the blog. (For the late comers, Bhavani is a place, not a person).
Company has been kind and generous enough to provide accommodation in a hotel. It is a hotel so posh that it has toilet paper (and no water!) in the loo. And the bathroom there is bigger than the room I used to stay in pre-MBA. The AC is centralized and it is damn cold. I press the 'bell' by mistake, and there is a knock on the door. The room service guy. I apologize, and he smiles. He must be thinking, "kahan kahan se aa jaate hain?" In fact, even I am thinking the same. How things change!
I arrive at work, excited about my first day at ‘work’. (with thoughts like “A small step for SRK, a great leap for MBAkind” etc etc.,)
I do no work for 2 days but listen to people explain the in and out of the company. All I can gather is that we lend money but we are not a bank, we help companies raise funds, but we are not an I-bank, we manage others' funds but we are not a Mutual Fund, we advise corporates for a fat fee, but we are not a consulting firm. If this is confusing, imagine listening to this for 2 whole days. (that too after a sumptuous lunch!)
Anyways, after 2 days, I am assigned to a department. This dept is even easier to explain. Go meet rich guys, convince them to part with their money, play with it in the market. Play right, win money, rich guy happily gives yuou more money and good fees. Play wrong, lose money, rich guy is angry and takes away money to give it to competitor to play with. More money to play with helps, so playing right is important. What I am supposed to do in the midst of all this is still being worked out!
Anyways, as I sit in this plush Nariman Point Office, I wonder whether the rent paid for the sqaure feet I occupy would be more than my pay? (and I am sure it should be!)
Well, on the weekend, I go house hunting, and I realize that the cost of the square feet that I occupy at night definitely is more than my pay. So, I have nmo option but to share a small flat with big people.
Finally, I go back to my cosy room in the hotel, and watch the n-th re-run of Friends. I then play some NFS on my comp. And, I begin to think, not much has changed after all!!!